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January 24, 2005

fish "tacos" and "girl scout" cookies

fish tacos
You are Fish 'Tacos.' You might think you're
exotic and worldly-wise, but in reality you're
just a bunch of crap on toast. Repeat after
me: 'just because you put something in
quotation marks doesn't make it so.' And
'taco' isn't Spanish for 'toast.'

What Weight Watchers recipe card from 1974 are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Speaking of food, let me take this opportunity to point out that some of us are paying more for our Girl Scout cookies than others of us. Apparently there is a scale of $2.50-$4.00 and each region, or rather community, gets to decide how much it is going to charge per box of cookies. Now, like good little entrepreneurs, these cute little door-to-door hucksters aren't going to tell you that not everyone is paying $3.50 a box when you buy your cookies this year. If you actually buy from a girl at your door, she may say "uh, I dunno" when you ask why the cost increase. If you buy from her parent at your office, he or she may not know either. The truth is as follows:

"Girl Scout Cookies sell for different prices in different areas of the country. Each of the 300 plus local Girl Scout councils has the right to set its own price based on its needs and knowledge of the local market. Today's prices, currently $2.50 to $4.00 per box, depending on location, reflect both the current cost of cookies and the realities of providing Girl Scout activities in an ever-changing economic environment."

$2.50 AND $4.00 a box do not reflect the current cost of cookies for the National Council of Girl Scouts. They have a set fee, goodness knows how much less than $2.50 a box it really is. I don't know why I am upset by this. Maybe I shouldn't be. Maybe I am being silly. It just reminds me of schools that have richer kids get more taxes going to them so they have better everything than schools that provide education and extra-curricular activities for poorer kids. I don't know what to do about it yet, but it just doesn't seem right.

Food and Drink 11:14 PM | Permalink


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Tracked on Jan 26, 2005 1:14:00 PM



Posted by: *Name Hidden* at Jan 25, 2005 9:56:09 AM

You just reminded me- I need to find out when a local girl scout troop is selling cookies. I've gone too many years without a box of Thin Mints in my freezer! YUM!!!!!

Posted by: Kristi at Jan 25, 2005 1:28:23 PM

Rich kids go to better schools because the majority of public school funding comes from local taxes. It's as it should be.

Of course, school vouchers would solve a lot of the problems you see for many children whose parents can't afford to live in rich districts, but can afford (with the help of vouchers) to send their children to private schools with higher educational and extra-curricular standards than your 'average' public school.

School choice is the only real solution to the ills you describe. Even after the liberals in the teachers' unions push yet another tax increase through, the extra money goes to their new contract.

It used to be that teaching was a civil service. Now it's just another way to make a buck -- with 3 months off each year!

Posted by: The Data Nazi at Jan 27, 2005 12:14:35 PM

Alicia, I was Fish Tacos, too! I wanted SO SO badly to be Rosy Perfection, but alas, it was not to be.

Posted by: Kristine at Jan 28, 2005 2:21:23 PM

Ah ha! This explains so much. Thanks for the info--I was wondering why I was paying so much less for girl scout cookies this year. When I asked, they told me there wasn't a change. I didn't realize it was because *I* had moved. Ok, I feel a little more sane. Not much, but a little.

Posted by: Wende at Jan 29, 2005 9:58:16 PM

HA! fish tacos made me laugh out loud...

Posted by: teresa at Jan 29, 2005 10:49:08 PM

It would break my heart to be fish tacos on my way to work.

Perhaps I'll check back in later . . .

And purely out of curiousity, Data Nazi, wat happens to the school that loses 3-6 kids?

And what happens to the alleged "better" school, when it is subject to unplanned, unexpected random growth?

I have never liked the voucher idea -- it seems a little too communistic for me, and a little too narrow and shortsighted of the effects of fluctuating funding and its effect on the schools.

Posted by: Anne at Jan 30, 2005 4:59:25 AM


Not completely clear on the first question as to the school losing 3 - 6 kids. Assuming you mean one of these underperforming, public schools, the answer would be "compete or die."

Also, any private school accepting school vouchers from the surrounding communities would be under no obligation to take on students beyond their capacity. What would happen in the case of huge demand for any particular school would be a waiting list and (undoubtedly) enthusiastic fund-raising and investment in expanding capacity to meet what the demand. This underscores many leftist fears, by the way. Given the real opportunity, these schools would grow by leaps and bounds. Because it's no secret that public schools, by and large, blow.

As for your comment the the school voucher idea seems 'communistic', that's one argument I've never heard before. Perhaps it's because the voucher program is also known as "School Choice" - a term not often associated with communism.

What blind proponents of the existing public school system don't seem to get is that privatized education doesn't worry about the effects of 'fluctuating funding'. The good private schools will continue to prosper. The voucher program is an effort to put existing funding to better use by allowing the parents of children to use their school tax money to send their kids to schools that will use that money to buy books and find exceptional teachers instead of buying new metal detectors or paying armed guards and negotiating with an unreasonable, unmotivated, unaccountable teacher's union.

Instead, many are satisfied to let the government dictate educational agendas and funding priorities of our children's education. Your choices are limited by your geography.

That sounds a hell of lot more like communism to me.

Posted by: The Data Nazi at Jan 31, 2005 9:03:36 AM

I have never liked the idea of school vouchers, and I still believe the long-term effects have not been clearly thought through.

I worry too much about programs that are cut first during funding crunches, like art and music.

The voucher program is presented as this miraculous solution, when it seems to be yet another method of evading personal responsibility and involvement in your child's learning process.

Posted by: Anne at Feb 1, 2005 9:01:06 PM


First, to say that you simply 'never liked the idea' the school voucher concept and that you
'still believe the long-term effects have not been clearly thought through' is not a very good argument. What you like or believe is irrelevant. Privatization pilots for public school funding have been ongoing for over a decade in with very promising results. The evangelical community has been active AND involved in both establishing private schools and promoting home schooling for nearly 30 years with absolutely phenomenal results in intellectual, social and spiritual development. The liberal bias against educational choice is absolutely dumbfounding, since the arguments against very solid evidence that it works are much like what you've put forth. "We don't like it, so we're going to fight it." Even a liberal proganda machine like "The West Wing" has had to admit the reality of the situation. In a recent episode, the mayor of D.C. comes to the President asking him to approve a proposed voucher program, despite the 'official' administration stance against school vouchers. The President had to confront his own political inflexibility when his aide, Charlie - a young, black man from inner-city D.C. - revealed that if he had had a choice, he would have attended a certain private school known for its academic excellence. As much as the privileged, New England-raised, Ivy League-educated President Bartlett wanted to cling to his philosophy that the salvaging of the public education system mustn't be undermined by this 'school voucher thing', he had to face the reality that there are kids and parents out there who are trapped in an inadequate public school system and long for alternatives.

That's intellectual honesty. Too bad it's fiction. For the reality is that the New England-raised, Ivy League-educated, presidential wannabe who the American people rejected wants nothing to do with giving the underprivileged a fair shot at educational equality with his children and grandchildren. That would mean the undermining of the American aristocracy that no one wants to admit exists, but loves to pose as the champion of the common man.

Second, the implied charge that diverting funding into a school voucher program would result in the cutting of art and music programs is just absolutely ludicrous. Art and music programs are being cut with impunity right now in the current system. Wanna know why? It's because when priorities in the public school systems are set, particularly in urban areas, athletic programs and security systems win out over the arts. It's just the way it is. School choice offers the promise for parents and their children to choose academic and cultural educational agendas beyond populist mediocrity.

Your third statement may be the most absurd of all.

"The voucher program is presented as this miraculous solution, when it seems to be yet another method of evading personal responsibility and involvement in your child's learning process."

Are you serious? First of all, the use of the word 'miraculous' to demean this concept ignores the decades of study, analysis, development and verifiable success stories in both private and home education endeavors. Advocates of school choice want the best possible learning environments, curricula and teachers for their children. The powerlessness of parents in the existing public school system to protect their children from the effects of widespread violence, amorality and indifference that plague our public schools is more than enough motivation for them to become more involved with any alternatives for their children. Granted, parental involvement in the education of their children requires more than shipping them off to school (public or private) every day, but many private schools, by their very structure and overriding philosophy, encourage or require parental involvement.

One of the keys to having this discussion well is to understand the underlying beliefs driving a particular persons' advocacy or aversion to this concept. It is fairly obvious from your preceding comments that you buy into the liberal worldview and swallow the mantra about public education whole. I am a conservative Christian who believes that life is religion, even if one doesn't believe in the God of the Bible. The public school system promotes the religion of secular humanism and pins its hopes for continued success (in the face of obvious decline) on the basic tenets of this religion -- i.e. - that man is inherently good, God is irrelevant, and rationalism will prevail over 'mythology' (read religious beliefs).

All education is values-based, and the values of the public school system are evident - as are the consequences of teaching them. School choice is a opportunity to grow educational sub-systems in our community that reflect and encourage the kind of diversity that made our country great in the first place. If you place a high value on a broad-based education rich in the arts and humanities, that can be an option, provided the demand for such education is sufficient in your community. The same principle applies to educational agendas centered around spirituality, technology, athletics, trade craft, whatever... The government only needs to ensure that minimum core competencies and classroom hours are met.

It's not really that big of a paradigm shift, when you get right down to it. Yes, the funding pool will be diluted to the point where existing schools will have to make hard choices regarding extra-curricular programming and staffing expenses, but if even a small percentage of motivated, capable students are enabled to obtain the benefits of a higher quality education, the downstream impact will be enormously beneficial to our society.

Posted by: The Data Nazi at Feb 4, 2005 10:32:36 AM

I stumbled across your blog while I was doing some online research. As an educator, I understand your concern about the inequities of school funding. I actually wasn't aware of the fact that Girl Scout Cookies sell for different prices in different parts of the country. I wonder if this makes a huge impact on the activities of the Scouts or not.

Posted by: thebizofknowledge at Aug 1, 2006 1:17:58 PM