Category Archives: Education

The Bigotry of Low Expectations

I am still in a state of shock over the following report:

The Alabama Federation of Republican Women (AFRW) strongly opposes “race-based standards for student achievement” pushed by the Alabama Department of Education, as reported in The Tuscaloosa News on Sunday, June 30. Minority students will be held to a lower standard, and would be tracked at a lower standard throughout their academic career from K-12.

Beginning this fall, the liberal Department of Education in Alabama will take their racism and apply it to education – how wonderful. Obviously progressive liberals believe that those children, and adults for that matter, of a minority skin color are handicapped, and incapable living a life on their own without assistance from the government, or a helping hand from the altruistic agenda of the progressives. This is just beyond belief, and I feel so sorry for those kids in that school district who don’t stand a chance if progressive liberals continue to run this country. Instead of offering school choice, allowing parents the opportunity to send their children to better schools, with better teachers, and giving them a real opportunity at success, progressives have decided to dumb things down even more, effectively destroying any chance these kids might have. It’s outrageous.

 

In My Opinion

America not only has an economy problem, we have an economic educational problem that compounds the issue and our ability to resolve it. Most of our younger generation have been victims of educational malpractice as a result of liberalism and political correctness that infiltrated our educational system going back a few decades, and it will take a concerted effort, and a few more decades to overcome it. The curricula emphasis on diversity and political correctness took the place of history and economics and has produced a generation of ill informed, over emotional people with a distorted understanding of our Constitution and capitalism. One of our resident liberal teachers here has said on many occasion that the Constitution is racist and misogynistic, and even a liberal Supreme Court justice has said that if she were beginning a new country, she would not look towards the US Constitution as a foundational document, preferring instead to look towards other countries philosophy of governance. Unbelievable as that is, it’s true. The US Constitution is inarguably the greatest governing document ever written, and needs to be taught as such. The US Constitution is responsible for this country becoming the most powerful economy in the world, offering the most civil rights and liberties than any other country hands down.

Re: economics, too many people are financially illiterate as to capitalism, the private sector, and the role of government. Let me begin by simply saying that wealth is not a zero sum game, capitalism is the best economic platform hands down as “a rising tide lifts all boats” (think: JFK), and the role of government is simply that of a referee. Free markets are the foundation of the capitalist platform, and the Federal Governments role is to see that the rules are abided by, and the Federal Government has failed at this core responsibility so to think that they can perform any other function properly defies common sense. There should have been investigations, indictments, prosecutions and convictions stemming from the 2008 housing crash, but those investigations would have revealed some very uncomfortable truths for some very well politically connected people so the fact that those investigations never took place, should be disturbing to us all. The fact is, that more people can be lifted from poverty and the lower class via a healthy private sector, than any government program could ever accomplish, and the more money that the government extracts from the private sector, the less ability that private sector has to turn that money, creating wealth, jobs and ….. wait for it …… tax revenue. It’s all about the turns and any retailer, wholesaler and manufacturer can attest to that. The more you turn your inventory, the more income is produced, the more profit is produced, the more jobs are produced, which exposes more dollars to taxation. It’s better to tax a dollar that is turned 5x at 20%, than it is to tax that same dollar turned 1x at 40%, and any liberal that desires more revenue to the federal government needs to understand this basic economic fact. Sadly, this is not taught often enough in our primary and secondary educational levels.

As a country we owe our children an honest education, and there are certainly people who do take advantage of our capitalist system, as the very nature of the system can invite corruption, but if our federal government was more focused on it’s proper role, those instances would be few. Our children need to understand how the blend of our Constitution and our capitalist economy has created the most powerful, free country in the world unequaled by any other. As it is now, the misunderstanding of those two foundational components of our country has resulted in our current slide into malaise and mediocrity.

The Texas Education Miracle

From The American Interest:

The Department of Education has just released its first state-by-state comparison of education statistics, and the report has a few surprises. Texas performed extremely well, tying five other states for the third-best graduation rate in the country, at 86 percent.
And Texas isn’t the only high-performing red state: Indiana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Tennessee all place within the top ten as well. Meanwhile, New York, Rhode Island, and California, all of which take a traditional, high-spending, blue model approach to education, are closer to the middle of the pack , with graduation rates in the mid-70s.
This is convincing evidence against the popular notion that we can fix the public education system if only we are willing to spend more money. Not only does Texas do a better job of graduating its students than its blue state competition; it does so at a fraction of the cost per student.

More and more of that and then go out and explain to the American people – especially poor and middle class Americans who live in areas which usually vote Democrat – that we have a better plan and that their current education problems are the deliberate and malicious result of Democrat education policies. Pull no punches – tell them (again and again and again) that liberal Democrats want lousy education because badly educated kids become government dependents.  Don’t let them off the hook by saying nonsensical, idiotic statements like “all of us want excellent education for our kids” because Democrats – by their actions – prove they don’t want it.  They want bloated education budgets.  Well paid union workers.  Graft and kickbacks.  But not education.  We bring this to the American people and we’ll start to do the main thing needed:  prove that we are on their side while Democrats are not.

Fight the long fight and never give the left an inch.  That is the path not just to victory, but a reformed America.

The Decline and Fall of College Education

From Market Watch:

Late summer is when parents bring their children to college. As they drive to campus they’re worried about tuition increases, the burden of student debt and whether their children will find jobs when they graduate.

Some parents and high-school students are beginning to question the value of a four-year college degree in this post-Great Recession world.   And you can certainly understand why they have these concerns…

…The job market for recent college grads is grim and incomes are down. The unemployment rate for all college graduates over 25 years old is currently 4.1%, less than half of the national unemployment rate of 8.3%.  But a recent Economic Policy Institute study reports that the unemployment rate is 9.4% for college grads ages 21 to 24 (not currently seeking a post graduate degree), and the underemployment rate for this group is 19.1% (this includes part-time workers who want full-time jobs). In 2011, those grads lucky enough to have a full-time job earned an average of $35,000 a year, a 5.4% inflation adjusted decrease from 2000 average income.   Finally, it is estimated that nearly 4 of 10 grads are working in fields that don’t require a college degree (the college-grad barista syndrome)…

The article details far more than that about what is wrong with getting a college degree – and then, in typical (for modern times) Alice-In-Wonderland mode, still goes on to claim that getting a degree is worth it.  I hold, though, that it is only worth it if you are going for a degree in medicine or one of the hard sciences (I don’t even count law school as worth it any longer as we have a glut of lawyers in the United States).  We have, in our higher education system, far too many people pursuing far too many degrees of doubtful immediate utility and the whole thing is financed with a trillion dollars (and growing) of student debt which is increasingly impossible for the college grads to repay.  What happened?

Government happened.  Government (lobbied by the education establishment) decided that everyone should go to college and so set up education systems designed to feed colleges as opposed to educate kids.  Government then set up a student loan program (initially via the private sector under government control, not entirely under government control) which provided easy funding (literally, an 18 year old with no income and no credit rating can borrow tens of thousands of dollars to go to college) for anyone who is willing to put his butt in a college seat.  Colleges love this because they get the money up front so it doesn’t matter if the kid ever graduates or whether the kid learns a marketable skill.  Colleges additionally love it because by providing loans the government allows the colleges to continually hike tuition rates outside of market variable – the kids aren’t thinking of having to pay that back four years later (four years to an 18 year old is forever in the future) and so aren’t actually calculating the loan cost against possible future returns; they are just told by guidance counselors that a college education will allow them to make more money than a non-college education.  No one ever tells them that there are college educations and then there are college educations…and education in medicine will immediately allow you to make a bucket of money per year while an education in post-feminist studies not so much.  As is typical whenever government gets in involved a tiny elite profits (in this case the education system) while the people get screwed.

In addition to that, except for those learning a hard science (in other words, those who are really in nothing more than a high-grade trade school), the kids aren’t even being educated.  100 years ago, a college education included learning Latin and Greek, just to tip-of-the-iceberg what isn’t being done in schools any longer.  We’ve massively dumbed-down college education to the point where I hold it mostly in contempt – because after all that time and money in the class room, I see no ability of a college graduate which is superior to my abilities.  I don’t know Latin or Greek, either…and I’d stack my non-college education knowledge of history, economics, philosophy and theology against anyone who graduated college in the last 50 years.  For most kids, it would be better if they went to a trade school rather than college – it would be cheaper and, for instance, if you are a tool and die maker you are in massive demand, even in this down economy.

When Obama talks about how he wants to spend more on education all he’s really saying is “I want to subsidize this massive failure because it provides campaign funds for me”.  The Education people know which side butters their bread – they know that as long as they keep the donations flowing to the Democrats the Democrats will keep the money flowing to the education system, no matter how lousy the product is and no matter how many poor kids are burdened with massive debt (nothing like starting out in life as a debt slave, huh?).  Its all a crock, a scam and a national disgrace – end the student loan program and you’ll pull the lynchpin out from under this rotten edifice.  It’ll collapse in a heap if there’s not a flow of loan money in to colleges – they’ll have to cut staff (and the staff most likely to be cut is the heavily liberal areas, such as the aforementioned feminist studies), cut tuition and start offering a more meaty education program which provides something you can’t get in high school or trade school.  We’ll also cut off a huge source of funds for the Democrat party and the larger left.  There’s no downside to eliminating student loans – certainly not for the kids who won’t be $30,000.00 in debt for a useless degree.

But, will we?  Not yet.  We’re still in a cowardly phase where we’re afraid of a Democrat “Republicans hate education” attack line.  But the fall of college education proceeds apace and maybe when we’ve got kids sitting under $2 trillion in worthless education debt there will come the will to change.

 

Regarding One-Trick Ponies.

The cover from this month’s edition from my teacher’s union magazine:


Minnesota, like many other states, is about to become a “Right To Work” state, and it is the unions themselves that are unwittingly helping it to happen.

The unions and the democrat party have long had a nearly exclusive, symbiotic relationship. As long as the democrats remained in power, the unions were protected by the democrats; and in turn, the unions were free to act in a blatantly partisan fashion and be an unrepentant, militant arm of the democratic party.

Because of this relationship, the unions never had to worry about public relations. They could afford to be as-in-your-face-nasty-as-they-damned-well-wanted-to-be. Conservative rank-and-file members were summarily ignored. They didn’t care what the average non-union person thought. They didn’t care about winning the hearts and minds of the average American voter. They were quite comfortable in their roles as the enforcement/thug/footsoldier arm of the democratic party. But now that the democrats are largely out of power in Minnesota, as well as in a host of other state legislatures, the unions are suddenly finding themselves in the precarious position of being the toady left on a street corner whose protector has suddenly left the scene.

Now, given that “Right To Work” will no doubt make it on the ballot this November as a Constitutional amendment in Minnesota (and other states) , one would think that the unions’ very survival would depend on improving their public image. One would think that the unions would be running a full court press on public relations, running ads 24/7 extolling their virtues, and the services that their members provide to the public.

But instead, the public unions, including the teacher’s unions (of which I’m a member) have doubled-down on their self-serving, narcissistic thuggery. They haven’t yet awakened to the fact that with Right to Work going to the ballot this fall, it will no longer be the legislators (whom they used to have in their hip pocket) that they’ll have to convince. They’ll have to convince the very voters of Minnesota why they should remain a viable, omnipotent, political force.

Ergo, when the union leadership organize angry demonstrations like so many 60s hippie throwbacks or cadres of Bolsheviks running roughshod in near-riotous mobs, they’re not doing themselves any favors. At the same time,  they just don’t seem to have a clue as to just how precarious their position is, or how to fix it.

Up to this point, Minnesota’s teacher and other unions, having had the luxury of being able to act like spoiled teenagers; largely without consequence, have been virtual one-trick ponies in terms of defaulting to in-your-face, thuggish tactics to get demands met.

But as Minnesota native Bob Dylan once crooned, “Oh the times, they are a changing.”

If Minnesota’s unions want to survive, they better damn well change with them.

Another Victim of Bullying Lady Gaga Doesn’t Care About

This story of a 14-year-old girl who committed suicide last week hasn’t received the same traction in the national media as other similar stories.

A 14-year-old girl whose Facebook page says she loves ” all my haterz” has committed suicide after enduring two years of bullying by her female classmates, her family claims.

Eden Wormer, an eighth grader at Cascade Middle School in Vancouver, Wash., hanged herself Wednesday.

The girl’s family told ABC News affiliate KATU that she committed suicide after two years of being bullied by girls in her class. Wormer’s older sister, Audri, told the station that Eden changed her appearance several times in an effort to fit in, and begged her older sister not to report the bullying because she thought it would only make the problem worse.

Lady Gaga isn’t renewing her calls to make bullying a hate crime, as she did in the wake of Jamey Rodemeyer’s suicide last year. The difference? Do you really need more than one guess? Rodemeyer was apparently bullied for being gay. The girl in the story linked above, was, as far as is known based on report, not gay, just had problems fitting in.

Of course, I’m not saying I think bullying is an issue for the federal government, it’s not. I don’t care what the motivation is. Kids throughout our country’s history have been bullied, and perhaps modern culture exasperates the problem, and the internet gives more avenues for bullying to occur, but this is an issue for parents, teachers, and school administrators, not our members of Congress.

12 Former Officials Indicted for Voter Fraud

Well as the talking point goes, all Republicans are racist, so….
….. for whom did these officials commit fraud?.

QUITMAN, GA (WALB) - 12 former Brooks County officials were indicted for voter fraud. The suspects are accused of illegally helping people vote by absentee ballot.

State officials launched an investigation after an unusually high number of absentee ballots were cast in the July 2010 primary election. “As a result of their grand jury findings 12 individuals were indicted in that particular matter and we will be trying that case in a court of judicial law instead of a court of public opinion so that will be pending this next year,” said District Attorney Joe Mulholland.

The defendants include some workers in the voter registrar’s office and some school board members. They are Angela Bryant, April Proctor, Brenda Monds, Debra Denard, Lula Smart, Kechia Harrison, Robert Denard, Sandra Cody, Elizabeth Thomas, Linda Troutman, Latashia Head, and Nancy Denard.

And as the second talking point goes.  “Democrats don’t commit voter fraud.”

Here is another example, drones, of Democrat voter fraud.  We see and will see this more and more as the Democrats begin to lose in the arena of ideas, when class envy, class warfare, demagoguery and race cards no longer have any affect.

No wonder, liberals are against any type of voter verification for without it they could not pad the ballot box.

Here’s an update.

And another.

Wow, This Is A Dumb Idea

As Obama acts more like a dictator every day, he’s looking for new ways to energize potential voters to save his 2012 prospects. His latest trick is a “student stimulus” of sorts.

But Obama is now seeking to use that new power to obtain a taxpayer-financed stimulus that Congress won’t approve. The idea is to cap student loan repayment rates at 10 percent of a debtor’s income that goes above the poverty line, and then limiting the life of a loan to 20 years.

Sounds awfully nice, doesn’t it? I would say awfully stupid. It doesn’t take an economics degree to figure out that this would essentially amount to taxpayer-funded college education. Here’s one example from the story.

If Suzy Creamcheese gets into George Washington University and borrows from the government the requisite $212,000 to obtain an undergraduate degree, her repayment schedule will be based on what she earns. If Suzy opts to heed the president’s call for public service, and takes a job as a city social worker earning $25,000, her payments would be limited to $1,411 a year after the $10,890 of poverty-level income is subtracted from her total exposure.
Twenty years at that rate would have taxpayers recoup only $28,220 of their $212,000 loan to Suzy.

This may well be an extreme example, but it hardly off base when it comes to demonstrating the flaw with this idea. For one thing, the snowball effect would make this worse. If students know that they’ll only end up paying a small portion of their education costs, they’re more likely to choose a school with tuition costs well above their means because they know they won’t have to foot the bill later. This does nothing to address reasons why education costs are so expensive, and will actually make them more expensive, as schools will figure out that free market rules no longer apply to them, they’ll jack up tuition rates even more.

This is a dumb idea by a dumb administration. A sad attempt to energize young voters on his behalf.