Thursday, December 22, 2016

Who Runs Things

People in the area always hear about the various reasons that the Philadelphia school district is horrible, including corruption. What most people usually forget (or don't know) is that the state has run the district for over 15 years. That doesn't mean that if it was purely a locally controlled entity that all of the corruption would magically go away, but it is important to remind people that there is no local democratic accountability. It's long been fashionable for even good "liberals" to remark how certain cities just can't "govern themselves" (cities with lots of black people in them, of course, nobody seems to mind when rich white municipalities go bankrupt or similar). This kind of thinking leads to state takeovers, which leads to completely unaccountable disasters of governance.

The state took over the school district over 15 years ago. This was cheered on by basically every elite local institution (most of which have their power centers in the suburbs, of course, where such "experiments" never seem to be necessary), along with the worst charter law which declared the place open for business for grifters of all kinds.

But people always hear about bad things in the "Philadelphia School District." State control, and everyone still gets to blame "those people" in the city.