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.

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87 thoughts on “The Texas Education Miracle

  1. GMB November 30, 2012 / 3:55 am

    “Never give an inch”

    If only the mccains of the repub party would listen to that advice.

    Mavericks ho!!!

    • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 8:55 am

      Ho Ho Ho Go mcLames mavericks.

      I heard Texas has a terrible curriculum, many slanted towards gay, and islamic teachings not in text books but on line for teachers. yet unavailable for the public and parents to see and read.

      the leftist brain washing continues, might be better if more dropped out of these camps and got their GED and years LESS public “education” from the likes of catspuke.

  2. Retired Spook November 30, 2012 / 11:12 am

    Well, it looks like the original budget deal of $3 in spending cuts for every dollar in tax increases has gotten changed slightly. Obama’s latest offer is $4 in tax increases for every dollar in (unspecified) spending cuts.

    Run, don’t walk, away from the offer, Speaker Boehner. Make the President veto a bill to make all the tax cuts permanent.

    • M. Noonan November 30, 2012 / 11:26 am

      Agreed – Obama’s “offer” is an insult and I can only figure its because he figures the MSM will successfully lay all blame on the GOP and, so, the Democrats will hold the Senate in 2014 and may regain the House even if we’re back in recession. This could, indeed, be the case – but while I’m willing to surrender gracefully on the matter of the fiscal cliff, I’m not willing to crawl on my belly for the privilege of being spat upon…screw Obama. No deal and let the cliff happen…don’t care at this point if you can mathematically prove that we’ll lose 100 House seats over it…we’ll gain them back when liberalism completely collapses.

      • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 11:31 am

        cloward-piven strategy of destroying America right on course.

      • Bob1 November 30, 2012 / 1:18 pm

        M, What makes you think that there will be anything left “when liberalism completely collapses”? I think that the last two elections and the ongoing grid lock in Congress should prove without doubt that the American people cannot agree on what is the best way to manage their common civic responsibilities and there doesn’t seem to be enough representatives in place or even in the political wings to even give much hope to us Americans who dream of a prosperous and responsible American system of free enterprise under the Constitutional rule of law. Herds of sheep that go over “cliffs” do not demonstrate any resurrection powers, and seldom do nations that do the same.

      • J. R. Babcock (@JRBabcock) November 30, 2012 / 1:58 pm

        M, What makes you think that there will be anything left “when liberalism completely collapses”?

        Who cares, Bob? I just heard yesterday that of the estimated 65-80 million Evangelicals in America, half were not even registered to vote, and half of the half that were registered didn’t vote. If that’s true, then to hell with them. Anyone who can’t make it during a total collapse doesn’t deserve to occupy a slot in the gene pool. Time to separate the men from the boys, sport.

      • M. Noonan November 30, 2012 / 3:56 pm

        Bob,

        We can’t seem to win the argument right now with facts and logic – but experience is an excellent teacher. It might be that the only way we can demonstrate the utter bankruptcy of liberalism is to let liberalism bankrupt the nation…when the EBT card doesn’t get refilled one fine day, maybe they’ll grab a clue…

      • thetruthshallsetyoufree2012 December 1, 2012 / 12:03 am

        “We can’t seem to win the argument right now with facts and logic ”

        Well, no, because those things generally aren’t on your side. So you’re stuck trying to peddle lunacy like “liberal Democrats want lousy education because badly educated kids become government dependents” that, as you might have noticed, the American people soundly reject.

      • Amazona December 1, 2012 / 2:12 pm

        As usual, Bubble Boy doesn’t offer an actual political opinion, but darts in to yap at the ankles of an invented Other.

        This IS what Bubble Boy is—not a political observer and commentator, but a mere noise machine focused solely on mindlessly attacking an invented opposition, defending a system he does not understand by attacking a system he understands even less.

    • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 12:32 pm

      politically speaking, the GOP lost an election

      when 47% pay no federal taxes, 99 weeks UE, 30 million illegals, cheating, ballot stuffing, dead, felons, foreigners, santy Klaus and the GOP lost?

      Riiiiight Pee Wee

    • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 12:40 pm

      Go easy neo, he’s an idiot. He thinks 287 Republicans is a “clear minority” to 243 dimocrats.

      Which explains his laughable tax/spend ratio; Clinton era taxes, Bush era spending. Riiiiiight!

    • M. Noonan November 30, 2012 / 1:14 pm

      Oh, BS – I know that is the story the MSM will sell at the behest of the Democrats, but Obama hasn’t come across with any spending cuts – nothing real; nothing like the hundreds of billions in cuts which are necessary. He’s even calling for $50 billion more in stimulus spending, as if that nonsense ever worked before.

      Could we pay the price if we go over the cliff? Sure – because a lot of people are downright ignorant of who is really wrecking the nation. But that is ok – I’ll pay the price…drop us down to 50 GOPers in the House and 5 in the Senate and when the day comes – and it will – when the SS and disability and unemployment and welfare checks don’t arrive, then we’ll start to reap the reward for not going along with complete bullshit.

    • Retired Spook November 30, 2012 / 1:33 pm

      They can’t afford to have the nation hit the fiscal cliff. it will be akin to political suicide for the GOP.

      You really don’t get it, do you, James? There are lots of us Conservatives who relish the thought of the GOP committing political suicide. I’d love to see, as Mark notes, the GOP Congressional numbers reduced to such a low point that there is no way they can possibly be blamed for the inevitable collapse. Sometimes a strategic retreat is the best course of action, and now is one of those times. True Conservatives in this country will survive just fine, no matter how bad things get.

    • J. R. Babcock (@JRBabcock) November 30, 2012 / 1:53 pm

      James, you seem to mistake us for people who give a crap about the future of the Republican Party. Time for the GOP to go the way of the Whigs.

    • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 1:55 pm

      Great idea, we’ll just beat ourselves into submission.

      We’ll show them!

      Seriously kiddies, you see clearly that as the socialists’ wet-dreams become reality the results area always bad (California!) and their punishment? They have a Super Majority! Who’s getting the blame in California? A “Republican” Governator; a liberal who gave the dims everything they asked for, but ostensibly/marginally a Republican!

      This isn’t what victory looks like.

    • M. Noonan November 30, 2012 / 4:02 pm

      Spook,

      The “blue model”, as its being called, is a complete failure…it is failing in Europe and failing here; failing in Japan and failing in China. I don’t know if the liberals just don’t know, or if they are hiding their heads in the sand and hoping that we can continue on forever without family formation, without making anything, holding BS jobs while playing with our I-Crap. But, regardless, they are not at all doing what is necessary even to save their own, liberal lifestyle…I’m certainly not going to do it for them. We conservatives have essentially spent our efforts over the last 80 years saving liberalism from itself. Screw ’em…let them fall apart. Those of us who are believers who have a work ethic will take over at the end of it all, by one means or another.

  3. dougq November 30, 2012 / 12:23 pm

    I call BS on this article. Our district’s graduation rate was always below state avg, but we always just ignored it as any indicator. For the statistics they would take every student we had that entered 9th grade, then if they graduated on time that would go to our graduation rate. If a student left our school after a week of 9th grade and ended up in another state, that counted against us in that the statistics would assume they did not graduate. If a student left us a week into 9th grade and ended up at another district in our state, then whether or not that school was able to get him graduated would end up on our stats.

    Unfortunately for our school we bled students. We always ended up with 15 to 20% turnover year after year. Not even half of the students entering 9th grade would still be in the same county by the time they were 12th graders. I imagine in a state like Texas where the student population growth is high, or in a state like ND where the same is occurring, then those numbers really don’t mean anything. It’s probably mostly a factor of good families moving into the state to take advantage of the business climate and the school’s being able to retain their current students at a better rate because of that business climate.

    Anyhow, I’ve always found the best way to calculate whether you are doing a good job with education is measuring and comparing how much academic growth the students made in a period of time vs. a comparison group. Comparing graduation rates is really one of the worst ways to do that!

    • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 12:34 pm

      Our district’s graduation rate was always below state avg, but we always just ignored it

      Which explains why your district is always way below average.

      Good luck with that.

      At least your kids can look forward to working for my kid.

      • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 12:37 pm

        count
        At least your kids can look forward to working for my kid.

        lowering your standards??

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 12:46 pm

        Businesses depend on having a cadre of high school dropouts for the menial/manual stuff. Honest labor, no shame in that.

      • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 3:06 pm

        count
        Businesses depend on having a cadre of high school dropouts for the menial/manual stuff. Honest labor, no shame in that.

        they are called mexicans, US dropouts are fat, lazy, dumb as a box of rocks,,….that is why they are donks.

      • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 3:08 pm

        Now give me my raise.

        YOU here by qualify for food stamps, welfare, 99 weeks UE, medicaid, SS, and a Ubama phone……. aint OPM grand?

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 3:14 pm

        “US dropouts are fat, lazy, dumb as a box of rocks,,….that is why they are donks.”

        Lessening to Bill Whittle; The biggest health concern of Americans in poverty is obesity. /irony

      • dougq November 30, 2012 / 8:16 pm

        Count, ““Our district’s graduation rate was always below state avg, but we always just ignored it ”

        Which explains why your district is always way below average. ”

        Count, I failed to mention that our school shows up on the country’s best schools lists because our students perform much higher than they are expected to perform based on their ethnicities and poverty levels. Our test scores are always in the top of the state, SATs way above national average, etc. We do quite well with the students that we get to teach. However, we do quite poorly with those students that leave and go to other states and districts to finish their high school……of course we can’t do anything about them.

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 8:29 pm

        *sigh*

        “Graduation Rate” is calculated based on total number of students graduating divided by the total number of graduates and dropouts expressed as a percentage; the calculation is predicated on students who were not found as re-enrolled in any other school by the following fall.

        Transfers in/out do not skew the results. Your poor graduation rate is from dropouts – Stop “ignoring” it and deal with it!

      • Amazona December 1, 2012 / 2:15 pm

        “….our students perform much higher than they are expected to perform …”

        Set the bar low enough and everyone can be successful…………..

      • Count d'Haricots December 1, 2012 / 2:59 pm

        As Whittle said, since the bar has been placed on the ground, anyone can step over it.

    • M. Noonan November 30, 2012 / 1:16 pm

      Just what the heck is “academic growth”? Sounds like a teachers union bit of garbage designed to invent a positive metric to oppose to all those metrics showing illiteracy in high school graduates.

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 1:43 pm

        Working in Academia I can attest that Academic Growth is a clear, reliable metric for evaluation of scholastic achievement.

        By measuring the height and girth of 8th graders, then doing the same on graduation day for the remaining few that make it that far; allowing for wind and solar conditions, the students are demonstrably dumber, but measurably larger.

        You can’t put a price on this kind of Success!

        Now give me my raise.

      • M. Noonan November 30, 2012 / 4:03 pm

        Geesh – not just a raise, but how about a pension plan completely paid for by the taxpayers with a guaranteed 10% annual rate of growth? I’ll just tax a few millionaires and billionaires and whistle that up for ya!

      • dougq November 30, 2012 / 8:23 pm

        Mark, the unions have consistently fought us in implementing ‘academic growth’ statistics, it is something they DON’T want because it shows which teachers are doing poorly relative to others. Of course, we only used them to improve individual teaching, but that doesn’t matter….anyhow here is how it works:

        There are huge national tests that we use to test our kids three times a year. Those tests examine a number of strands in the subject areas like reading and math. Each student recieves a number score. If say a 6th grade student gets a 180 in math (forget about the individual strands in this example), then at the end of the year has a 185, that tells you a lot about how much they learned. If say the national avg for a 6th grade student was 175 to begin with and 183 at the end of the year, then we already know that student started at a higher than avg. level. If on the other hand the national avg of students in the 6th grade who started at 180 ended the year with a 190, then we know our teaching was well below avg.

        Anyhow, we do this at each grade level, with dozens of matrix, and we are able to identify teachers who are lacking in specific areas (such as math facts or reading comprehension) and we can supplement their teaching or make up for it with teacher placement the following year.

        The goal of course is to get each student to grow academically at a much faster than average rate.

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 8:37 pm

        That’s called “Teaching to the Test” and we all did it.

        Testing must be done independent of the teaching environment to be of value; outside of the teachers’ purview ~ which the Unions do not allow.

        Note, The word is matrices by the way.

      • Amazona December 1, 2012 / 2:17 pm

        This kind of discussion always reminds me of a friend who had to pick up a class to graduate, and took a phys ed class that was, and I kid you not, bowling.

        He started the class by bowling left handed, switched to his dominant hand near the end of the class, and got an A, not for his actual score but for his rate of improvement.

  4. Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 12:30 pm

    On the subject of the thread.

    I’m just about the last person to defend the results of the California primary and secondary school system. Money is not the reason for Texas’ successes nor is it an excuse for New York, Rhode Island or California. California has, for the past 7 years made draconian cuts to education, which is a simple fact. California’s per pupil spending when adjusted for regional cost differences is around $3,000 less than the national average. Just as claiming that income of $250,000 in San Francisco qualifies one as “rich”, the same “rich” as $250,000 in Bismarck, spending on schools cannot be compared between New York and New Mexico, or Texas and California.

    And before you claim its teachers unions that make up the difference, Texas spends 36.2% on teachers, California spends 30.9%, New York = 34.2%.

    No, it’s parent involvement and curriculum.

    • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 12:36 pm

      when you have 30% of the school bussed in from the ghetto, and 98% of those have welfare queens as mothers and mutts as fathers you have NAACP, lawyers, community agitators but not “parents” involved.
      The rest of us are not organized and cant fight the govt, funded machine.

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 12:45 pm

        The Supreme Court ruled in Bustop v.. LA Board of Education that mandatory busing was not permissible.

        But the rest of your thoughts are accurate.

  5. Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 12:55 pm

    From an article posted at Hot Air
    As for the economy, California has the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation, well above 10 percent. Texas— bizarro California, being close in size and population and nearly opposite in political disposition— is a little over 6 percent. As Conn Carroll noted in the Washington Examiner:

    “There are fewer private-sector jobs in the state (California) today, 11.9 million, then there were in 2000, 12.2 million.

    And thanks to liberal welfare requirements, a third of all the nation’s welfare recipients live in California despite the state only containing one-eighth of the national population.
    Contrast those numbers with Republican-controlled Texas, where private-sector jobs have grown from 7.8 million in 2000 to 9 million today.

    Carroll also notes California poverty is high as is that most important of liberal priorities— income inequality (higher than in Texas)—while test scores remain low:
    Meanwhile, California eighth-graders finished ahead of only Mississippi and District of Columbia students on reading and math test scores in 2011.

    Texas, on the other hand, showed test scores for eight-graders above California and often above the national average across its white, black, and Hispanic populations in mathematics, reading, and science.”

    • M. Noonan November 30, 2012 / 1:18 pm

      California and Detroit and Illinois are showing the nation just where Obama is leading us – but those places also show just how stupid people can being continually re-electing the people who make the mess. Ok, so it might take complete collapse…if that is what it takes, then so be it.

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 1:36 pm

        Just like the “Fiscal Cliff” the only answer is to give Obama and the liberals everything they want.

        Even during a collapse, or especially during a collapse the great unwashed look to government to solve the problem. Roosevelt and his New Dealers gained power as their policies deepened the pain and exacerbated the collapse. Johnson’s War on Poverty has failed by every metric, but voters continue to reward dimocrats by turning over the power to continue the hopeless war in their name. Ditto war on drugs, stimulus, Tax the Rich, etc.

        If the Republicans do as you suggest, the military is radically cut and it’s all their fault. Taxes increase across the board and it’s all their fault.

        The Socialist Gold Mine is hewn; Obama and his dims get the Gold, we get the shaft.

      • Retired Spook November 30, 2012 / 1:38 pm

        Ok, so it might take complete collapse…if that is what it takes, then so be it.

        Mark, the more I contemplate it, the better it sounds. There are really only 3 ways we can get rid of Progressivism: (1) do what they did, and spend 100 years gaining control of the education system; (2) round them all up and execute them; and (3) give them complete control and let them engage in self-immolation. The third is by far the most doable, and, IMO, by far the easiest.

      • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 1:51 pm

        jimmAH

        delusion and stupidity is thy name.

      • Retired Spook November 30, 2012 / 2:08 pm

        what’s the obsession with hoping for a total collapse so that you can win a few votes?

        Let’s be clear, James; I’m not HOPING for a total collapse. I’m just predicting complete collapse if we let the Left have total control. What better way to show what a total bunch of losers you are than to let you destroy the country. I don’t even care about myself; I just don’t want my grandchildren and great grandchildren living under a Leftist tyranny. And if it doesn’t turn out that way — if the Left succeeds in turning things around and gets us back on the road to prosperity, I will be the first to come here and say, good for you; I was wrong. But if that happens, it’ll be an historical first.

      • Retired Spook November 30, 2012 / 3:27 pm

        If the Republicans do as you suggest, the military is radically cut and it’s all their fault. Taxes increase across the board and it’s all their fault.

        The Socialist Gold Mine is hewn; Obama and his dims get the Gold, we get the shaft.

        Count, it’s only the Republicans fault as long as they have some center of power. I can’t remember the last time you and I disagreed, and if the press was still the arbiter of truth, we’d still be on the same page, but it’s not and we aren’t.

      • Retired Spook November 30, 2012 / 3:41 pm

        The Socialist Gold Mine is hewn; Obama and his dims get the Gold, we get the shaft.

        Count, you also ignore the fact that, if there’s a collapse, much of the gold will leave the country, or it will, at the very least, be where the Donks can’t get their grubby little hands on it. And, of course, there’s always an outside chance that the millions of Evangelicals who didn’t vote will get swept up by the rapture, and we’ll be rid of them along with the Progressives — a twofer, so to speak.

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 3:41 pm

        So here’s the upshot.

        1) We don’t want to raise taxes on the top wage earners, so, we refuse to make a deal and the taxes go up on everyone. How does Obama lose?

        2) We don’t want the military cut but we want social spending cut so we refuse to make a deal and, the military is cut and social spending stays the same or grows. How does Obama lose?

        3) We don’t want to curtail growth, punish achievement or give over any more freedom so we refuse to make a deal and, growth stops, taxes go up on achievers, freedoms lost as emergency powers drawn from the coming crises allow Obama to do as he damn well wants. How does Obama lose?

        Face it; Obama and the socialists want the fiscal cliff, they want to see taxes go up, cuts to military and more excuses to consolidate power and buy votes ad infinitum.

      • M. Noonan November 30, 2012 / 4:12 pm

        James,

        Oh, so I’ve been wrong about the economy? Then why is Bernanke doing QE-Infinity and why is Obama asking for executive authority to raise the debt limit? I’ll tell you why – because we’re already back in recession and if we’re to maintain Obama’s levels of spending we’ll need to borrow oodles of money…and the only place Obama can “borrow” from is the Federal Reserve which will print up money like no tomorrow…all so that official GDP numbers can stay around 2%…

      • Retired Spook November 30, 2012 / 6:39 pm

        1) We don’t want to raise taxes on the top wage earners, so, we refuse to make a deal and the taxes go up on everyone. How does Obama lose?

        He starts his second term in another recession, and the U.S. undergoes another credit downgrade, further damaging his “legacy”. And your statement assumes everyone will just pay those increased taxes. That’s not a sure bet, and I’m betting compliance will drop like a rock. Plus, just like happened in the UK, the wealthy will leave for greener pastures.

        2) We don’t want the military cut but we want social spending cut so we refuse to make a deal and, the military is cut and social spending stays the same or grows. How does Obama lose?

        There’s so much waste in the military, I’m not too concerned, and if our enemies conclude that we are enough weaker that they can mount more 9/11’s, they aren’t going to hit rural northeastern Indiana. They’re much more likely to hit a deep blue area — another win/win. And if Obama ramps up social spending with borrowed or printed dollars, inflation also ramps up, hurting the very people the social spending is designed to help.

        3) We don’t want to curtail growth, punish achievement or give over any more freedom so we refuse to make a deal and, growth stops, taxes go up on achievers, freedoms lost as emergency powers drawn from the coming crises allow Obama to do as he damn well wants. How does Obama lose?

        Growth is already curtailed, achievers are already punished, and freedoms are already being usurped. And who’s going to enforce emergency powers? Certainly not the military, a MOST CERTAINLY not Obama’s Kiddie Corp. All of your scenarios assume no blowback, and if everything you describe happens, the blowback is going to be ENORMOUS!

        And Margaret Thatcher was right: sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 7:38 pm

        Spook,

        Do you see any blowback in California?

        Frogs thrown into boiling water die, frogs placed in lukewarm water move their businesses out of state before it boils. Frogs never take up arms and fight the Man!

        Of course the top tier earners will not pay more taxes; they’ll remove it from the economy as they’ve always done. How does this help us?

        Waste in the military, of course, they’re a government run entity.

        Cuts will hurt our servicemen and women, embolden our enemies, weaken the dollar, interfere with our trade and make us more, not less dependent on the kindness of China.

        I’m just saying if Obama gets what he wants, the economy will tank but he won’t get to destroy the nation, only damage it. Damage we can repair, destruction is permanent.

      • Retired Spook November 30, 2012 / 8:55 pm

        Spook,

        Do you see any blowback in California?

        Depends on how you define “blowback”. Personally I think losing almost 3.5 million people (about the population of neighboring Oregon) in the last 20 years qualifies as “blowback”, but that’s just me.

        I’m just saying if Obama gets what he wants, the economy will tank but he won’t get to destroy the nation

        Clearly you and I are not on the same wavelength, Count. Just exactly what is it that you think Obama “wants”? I think he just wants to be able to blame Republicans no matter what happens, and I don’t think he could destroy this country if he tried — well, if he tried harder, that is.

      • Bob1 November 30, 2012 / 9:59 pm

        M. In your response to me above you said, “experience is an excellent teacher”, but it is really a rough “teacher”. I allows “foolish” students to suffer the consequences of their “foolish” choices, and sometimes they don’t survive and some “innocent” dependents also suffer from their “foolish” choices. We Americans don’t seem to be learning much from the “experience” of other nationals that have gone down the current road upon which we are traveling. Sometimes it takes decades to learn an unpopular lesson even though it makes good sense, and in the process the “experience” is often damaging or even fatal.

  6. Retired Spook November 30, 2012 / 2:14 pm

    Here’s a very smart guy who agrees with me.

    The rapidly approaching fiscal cliff will benefit the country in the long run by wiping out complacency when it comes to managing the economy, said Nassim Taleb, the author and financial guru whose 2007 book “The Black Swan” predicted the current financial crisis.

    At the end of the year, the Bush-era tax breaks and other benefits are set to expire at the same time automatic cuts to government spending are due to kick in, a one-two punch known as a fiscal cliff that could send the country into a recession next year if left unchecked by Congress.

    Households, businesses, investors and policymakers worldwide are keeping an eye on Congress to see if lawmakers can put political differences aside and steer the country away from the cliff.

    In the long run, today’s uncertainty will lead to a more resilient economy tomorrow.

    “For me, it is a good thing because the economy requires once in a while to be shaken and people to be scared. Otherwise we’ve got trouble, sort of like the equivalent of a forest that hasn’t had forest fire in a while,” Taleb told CNBC.

    “You need once in a while to jolt the market so people realize that there is something wrong and we have to do something about it. And we need these fiscal cliffs and similar situations to shake politicians.”

    Politicians have less skin in the game than do taxpayers who suffer more from flawed policy, and a situation like the fiscal cliff that puts Congress under the microscope benefits all.

    • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 3:11 pm

      OT

      Three dead in Casper College attack
      Friday, November 30, 2012 2:13:31 PM ·

      Casper police say three are dead stemming from an attack at Casper College this morning. Casper Police Chief Chris Walsh said there were two dead at the school’s Wold Physical Science Center and one dead at another location in Casper, although he wouldn’t identify the dead or the other location.

      did our lil buddy flip out?

      • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 3:13 pm

        count……is this near you?

        City Attorney of Bankrupt San Bernardino: ‘Lock Your Doors and Load Your Guns’
        Friday, November 30, 2012 2:06:55 PM ·
        Breitbart ^ | 11/30/12 | Bretibart News

        City attorney of San Bernardino Jim Penman had the audacity to tell the truth to the residents of bankrupt San Bernardino at a recent city council meeting.

        Taking stock of the fact that San Bernardino’s murder rate has jumped 50 percent over the last year, that the city has been cutting its police force by about 80 officers, and that there is no good news in sight, Penman stated, “lock your doors and load your guns.”

        He stands by the statement today, explaining, “you should say what you mean and mean what you say.” Penman continued,

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 3:23 pm

        I know Jim Penman (a democrat ironically), I’m not sure if he’s referring to my Benelli Supernova Tactical or my H & K P30L 9 mm, but I’m taking his advice seriously.

        We actually live in the County (sheriff) , not the city of San Bernardino.

      • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 4:05 pm

        Count
        Id go with the …….Benelli Supernova Tactical, let the wife have the 9mm for back up.

      • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 4:28 pm

        WH ‘surprised’ GOP laughed at Geithner offer

        Washington Examiner ^ | 11/30/12 | Joel Gehrke
        President Obama’s spokesman said he was “surprised” that Republicans laughed at a proposal from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner that would raise taxes by $1.6 trillion, increase spending, and give the president unilateral control over the debt ceiling. “I was surprised they [the Republicans] were surprised,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters today during the press gaggle when asked about the proposal Geithner made in a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “There is no reason for anybody to be surprised.” Geithner foreshadowed this proposal with comments made to Bloomberg TV last week.

      • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 4:31 pm

        LOL

        “My favorite “Surprised” quote is from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”:”

        Eddie: You surprised to see us, Clark?

        Clark: Surprised Eddie?… If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn’t be more surprised than I am now.

        ( Friday, November 30, 2012 12:38:12 PM by COBOL2Java (GOPe: Already prepping for their 2016 loss – Jeb Bush!)

      • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 4:34 pm

        hey wimpy (boener)

      • Amazona December 1, 2012 / 2:22 pm

        No, casper’s style is sniveling and passive-aggressive sniping.

        I missed this—drove through Casper yesterday at about noon but was listening to an audio book, not the radio.

  7. 02casper November 30, 2012 / 4:44 pm

    Mark,

    “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 plan would be?

    “that their current education problems are the deliberate and malicious result of Democrat education policies.”

    Which policies would those be?

    “tell them (again and again and again) that liberal Democrats want lousy education because badly educated kids become government dependents.”

    Totally untrue. In fact it makes no sense. I have grand children in the system. I want them to have the best education possible.

    Don’t let them off the hook by saying nonsensical, idiotic statements like “all of us want excellent education for our kids”

    How is that nonsensical and idiotic? I want excellent education for our kids, don’t you?

    “Democrats – by their actions – prove they don’t want it.”

    Which actions would those be?

    “They want bloated education budgets.”

    No they don’t.

    Well paid union workers.

    I agree. That’s a good thing.

    “Graft and kickbacks.”

    Again not true.

    That said, this is just fun.

    • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 4:55 pm

      O-catspuke

      and middle class Americans who live in areas which usually vote Democrat –

      WHERE is that? bum Fk egypt?

    • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 4:59 pm

      That said, this is just fun.

      No it isnt, it is 5th grade level stupid,,,,,,,,,Oh Wait

      • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 5:04 pm

        sooo sad but true since the commies took over the DNC and our schools………

        School Life: 1960’s vs Today
        We have seen many changes in our lifetime; some good and some not good. The fictional scenarios, below, describe likely incidents at the schools we send our children to and how they would have been treated in the 1960’s versus now. They make a strong statement about where we are going as a nation. They would be funny if they were not so true.

        Scenario 1:
        Jack goes quail hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck’s gun rack.
        1960’s – Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack’s shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
        Today – School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

        Scenario 2:
        Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.
        1960’s – Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
        Today – Police called and SWAT team arrives. They arrest both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged with assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it.

        Scenario 3:
        Jeffrey will not be still in class, he disrupts other students.
        1960’s – Jeffrey sent to the Principal’s office and given a good paddling by the Principal. He then returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
        Today – Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie. He is then tested for ADD. The school gets extra money from the state because Jeffrey has a disability.

        Scenario 4:
        Billy hits a baseball through a neighbor’s window, and his Dad gives him a whipping because he had been told not to play baseball there.
        1960’s – Billy listens to his Dad, is more careful, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.
        Today – Billy’s dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy’s sister that she remembers being abused, herself, and their dad goes to prison. Billy’s mom has an affair with the psychologist.

        Scenario 5:
        Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.
        1960’s – Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal during recess who has a headache, too.
        Today – The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons.

        Scenario 6:
        Pedro fails high school English.
        1960’s – Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college.
        Today – Pedro’s cause is taken up by ACLU. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against the school system and Pedro’s English teacher. English is then banned from core curriculum. Pedro graduates and ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

        Scenario 7:
        Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up a red ant bed.
        1960’s – Ants die.
        Today – ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents. All siblings are removed from their home and all computers are confiscated. Johnny’s dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly on a commercial airliner again.

        Scenario 8:
        Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary, who hugs him to comfort him.
        1960’s – In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
        Today – Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.

        [My thanks to Edna Oeth for forwarding me this article. I did apply some minor editing for applicability to my audience prior to posting. Original author is unknown.]

    • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 5:22 pm

      I have grand children in the system. I want them to have the best education possible.

      Then you’re in the tiny minority of stupid teachers; every teacher I worked with that had kids sent them to private school, including me.

      Democrats – by their actions – prove they don’t want it.”
      Which actions would those be?

      Duh, support for the bloated, inefficient and greedy NEA which puts pay and benefits before education. Opposition to vouchers and competition which is proven to increase education. Support for protectionist-welfare supported-nationally dictated liberal indoctrination institutions with system-based internally driven programmatic failure factories we call the school system.

      They want bloated education budgets.”
      No they don’t.

      Finally, a debate skill, what do you call that? The “Oh Yeah?” defense?

      Pointed, Skillful, surely you Filleted all opposition with that statement. It is simply Devastating!

      Your students are so lucky to have a master of your caliber. I can tell they’re going to end up competing for a job with Doug’s kids.
      Cleaning public lavatories.

      • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 5:27 pm

        Cleaning public lavatories.

        Thats why im glad im a man….I stand up in them. 😦

      • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 5:30 pm

        count
        remember the WONDERFUL “teacher” Union THUGS in Minnesota?

        stalin must be sooo proud.

      • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 5:39 pm

        Just How Potent Are Teacher Unions?
        Pretty potent, as a rule, though it varies state by state.

        Private-sector firms can do things like that. But what happens when one’s core business is educating 55 million young Americans via the public schools? They have unions, too, unions that typically make demands that are as damaging to educational quality and affordability as those of their private-sector counterparts. But public-sector endeavors can’t just shut down — or declare bankruptcy.

        Education today employs more unionized staff than any other industry, public or private. Between them, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) have some 4.6 million members, a combination of active teachers and other public-school employees, college faculty and staff, retirees, and students. (Meanwhile, membership rates in private-sector unions continue to fall, from 37 percent in 1952 to 6 percent
        in 2011.)

        http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/334441/just-how-potent-are-teacher-unions-chester-e-finn-jr#

      • 02casper November 30, 2012 / 5:48 pm

        “Then you’re in the tiny minority of stupid teachers; every teacher I worked with that had kids sent them to private school, including me.”

        All the teachers I work with send their children to our schools. Guess I must work in a better district than you.

        “support for the bloated, inefficient and greedy NEA which puts pay and benefits before education.”

        The NEA is a union. It’s suppose to work for the workers.

        “They want bloated education budgets.”
        No they don’t.

        Finally, a debate skill, what do you call that? The “Oh Yeah?” defense? ”

        Considering Mark just made that up, it was the best I had at the time.

        “Your students are so lucky to have a master of your caliber. ”

        Thank you for noticing.

        BTW, I have former students who are doctors, business owners, electricians, teachers, video game designers and engineers along with dozens of other jobs and yes, some of them clean bathrooms.

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 5:56 pm

        Then your students are proof that anyone can overcome obstacles and succeed in spite of substandard teaching.

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 6:04 pm

        Nationally, 1 in 5 public school teachers send their own kids to private schools; the rest are considered too stupid for this study to quantify.

        Meanwhile nearly 100% of private school teachers and administrators send their kids to private schools.

        Those closest to the corruption recognize it for what it is.

      • The Return of Rathaven November 30, 2012 / 6:09 pm

        “the rest are too stupid”

        They only have to stay one lesson ahead of their students.

      • The Return of Rathaven November 30, 2012 / 6:15 pm

        “support for the bloated, inefficient and greedy NEA which puts pay and benefits before education.”

        The NEA is a union. It’s suppose to work for the workers.

        Then why is “(T)o fulfill the promise of public education to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world.” in their Mission statement?

        Are they Hypocrites or are you?

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 6:27 pm

        NEA also believes every student in America, regardless of family income or place of residence, deserves a quality education. In pursuing its mission, NEA has determined that we will focus the energy and resources of our 3.2 million members on improving the quality of pay for teaching, increasing student achievement using students as pawns and making schools safer, better places to learn acquiesce to our demands through extortion, threats, and violence if necessary, and WE decide if and when it’s necessary, Public be DAMNED!.

      • Retired Spook November 30, 2012 / 6:50 pm

        The public statement of the NEA General Cousel in a speech last year says it all, and the standing ovation he got from rank and file teachers put an exclamation mark on it.

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 30, 2012 / 7:26 pm

        I would hide my face in shame if that lout spoke for me.

        Teachers are a disgusting lot of covetous self-absorbed thugs ruthlessly reigning over powerless children because as adults they can’t compete in actual endeavors requiring skills and talents greater than the skulls full of mush their terrified charges possess.

        I have less than no respect for teaching as a profession, and less respect for those that do it while hypocritically claiming altruistic motives.

        Buggy whips are too good for these intellectual prostitutes and charlatans.

      • 02casper December 1, 2012 / 12:01 am

        “Nationally, 1 in 5 public school teachers send their own kids to private schools; the rest are considered too stupid for this study to quantify”

        I’m guessing you are basing that on a study done 8 years ago bye a rightwing think tank. Then again I could be wrong. do you have a link?

      • thetruthshallsetyoufree2012 December 1, 2012 / 12:04 am

        “I have less than no respect for teaching as a profession”

        You really have to wonder why the American people don’t want Republicans in charge of education policy.

      • dougq December 1, 2012 / 1:15 am

        Count, we went at this ad nauseum years ago, though maybe a different blog. If you look at Private School vs. Public school test results and adjust them for poverty level, what you end up finding is that students going to private school are generally already expected based on demographics, to do better than public schools – and they do. HOWEVER, when you look at the stats you will also find that those students who are expected to do better (and are doing better at the private school) are scoring WORSE than their public school counterparts whose demographics match.

        To put it in other words: based on demographics, private school students should be averaging 88% (pulled it out of a hat) and are averaging 86%. Public school students should be averaging 77% and are averaging 75%. However, the public school students who should be averaging that 88% based on similar demographics as the private schools are averaging 90% in the public schools.

        When you really look into the numbers the average private school just isn’t doing it’s job (of course many are exceptional – same as in public schools). However, if your investment portfolio is making 40% a year you would be pleased – however, if the average portfolio is making 50% then really, yours sucked. And that is what is happening to the avg. private school student right now, they are getting a good education – but they should be getting a better one.

      • Count d'Haricots December 1, 2012 / 12:40 pm

        Casper,
        With all those millions of resources you were bragging about you have to be told where to find data? Were you lying then a
        Or are you lying now?

        Doug,
        I’ve got two words for you; Catholic Schools.

        In spite of your statistics pulled from your arse, private schools out perform public schools substantially. Based on every measurement available.

        I do find it troubling that you engage in the soft racism of low expectations; inner city kids stuck in failing public schools are expected to perform poorly, so if they’re simply performing badly but not miserably you (and your cohorts) have succeeded. Whereas private schools should be based on our expectation, producing twelve Rhodes Scholars for every six students enrolled, are actually failing, not in results but in failing to meet our ”expectations”.

        This must make dealing with the failure of your school system so much easier to ignore.

        Nice to know that our public schools are directed by Monty Python; … we found the penguin was still unable to answer the questions so we concluded it was a size relationship, the penguin’s brain being smaller than that of a man. We increased the size of the penguin until it was equal to that of a man, we found that the penguins brain was still smaller, BUT it was larger than it was. This was the basis for all future experiments.

      • Amazona December 1, 2012 / 2:35 pm

        “All the teachers I work with send their children to our schools. Guess I must work in a better district than you.”

        See what I mean by casper being catty? Meow. But in fact this factoid he claims to be true probably depends on two factors: One is the simple fact of people not wanting to send their children to boarding school, as Casper Wyoming is not exactly a center of private schooling, and one is that its school system does not pay well enough for parents to afford this even if they want to.

        “The NEA is a union. It’s suppose to work for the workers.”

        Finally, cappy stumbles upon a truth. An ugly truth, but a truth. And that is that our entire educational system is controlled by an entity which places education, and the welfare and futures of its students, well behind the “workers” it actually represents, to the detriment of actual education.

        I believe this falls into the category of “Even a blind pig finds an acorn, sometimes…”

        ““Your students are so lucky to have a master of your caliber. ”

        Thank you for noticing.”

        Two points on this—one is the coy cattiness of a supposedly mature man, and one is his obliviousness to sarcasm, no matter how blatant.

        “BTW, I have former students who are doctors, business owners, electricians, teachers, video game designers and engineers along with dozens of other jobs and yes, some of them clean bathrooms.”

        Maybe so—but you were not their only teacher. They had you for only a few classes, with other teachers and probably some dedicated parents to offset your stunning lack of intelligence and your bizarre take on reality.

  8. Amazona December 1, 2012 / 2:53 pm

    Here’s a radical idea:

    Take these students determined to be at risk due to poverty, ethnicity (can anyone see the inherent racism in THIS determination???) or any other factor, and put them in a school which totally ignores any aspect of social engineering and concentrates on the most basic elements of education.

    That is, English classes held IN ENGLISH, featuring phonics, spelling drills complete with flash cards, and hours and hours of reading. Teach basic sentence structure. (And yes, I know, this is not written using the rules of basic sentence structure, because this is a list more than a series of paragraphs, but thanks for noticing.)

    Math classes based on repetition and memorization of basic math skills such as adding, multiplying, dividing and subtracting—again, with flash cards.

    History classes which teach the basic FACTS of what happened, where, and when.

    Geography classes which teach students about the location of every nation in the world, every state and every state capital.

    No “environmental studies”, no sex ed, no classes in diversity or any such nonsense.

    Have these students wear uniforms, so there is no obvious class division, and strictly enforce discipline. Do not hold advanced students back, but put them in separate classes where they can move forward at their own pace, and do not give pity grades but grade strictly on performance.

    Have at least one hour of exercise classes every day—active phys ed classes, involving calisthenics, running, etc.

    Do this for four to six years, and when students reach a certain level of learning ability add in science classes, and algebra and geometry and possibly advanced math classes.

    Measure these students at the end of eight years and again at the end of twelve, against students “educated” in the public school system we have today.

    • 02casper December 1, 2012 / 10:50 pm

      Amazona,
      Believe or not I agree with a lot of what you suggest.

      I’ve always believed in the use of phonics, spelling drills and hours and hours of reading. I also agree with you on how to teach math. In fact, I was responsible for bring Saxon math into our district. I also agree with P.E. every day, advanced classes, and school uniforms. Nor do I give pity grades. Students earn their grades in my class.

      • Amazona December 2, 2012 / 2:55 am

        When you teach the Constitution, do you teach what you believe, which is that the Constitution as it is written means that we should have slavery and deny women the vote?

        This is what you believe it says. You have said this here on at least two occasions. When you teach your students, is this what you tell them it means?

  9. tiredoflibbs December 1, 2012 / 6:22 pm

    Count to cappy: “With all those millions of resources you were bragging about you have to be told where to find data? Were you lying then a
    Or are you lying now?”

    This is what cappy is famous for – playing ignorant. He is always asking for data that is easily found with simple searches. His usual excuse is “I can’t find….” or “I never heard of …..”. But his usual response is a simple dismal – “nuh uh”.

    Cappy is afraid of facts and truth counter to his talking points that are gleaned from the typical mindless proggy blog.

    Pathetic.

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