And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Archive for the ‘taking back our schools’ Category

Dear Readers,  I am sure you will find many of the articles in this month’s  Heritage   Insider-Online   of interest so for those who do not subscribe I am putting them on my blog for you use.    I have gotten emails from many asking why I am no longer blogging.  Frankly because I have said all I can say about the evil of Barack Obama and now can only sit back and cry for my country.  Even if the Senate becomes Republican this November  and a sane President is elected in 2016 there has been so much damage done that it will take decades to just claw ourselves back to the point we were at when this monster was first elected in 2008.  Being an old lady I won’t live to see our America return to the respected place in the world and a country of independent proud people  that I knew as a young woman.

I have watched the downward slide of America from the mid 1960’s  with Democrat President Lyndon Johnson and his failed “Great Society”.  Even at age 23 I knew that Medicare was wrong!  Only 40% of elderly Americans were unable to afford health care insurance but instead of helping those individuals the insurance companies insisted that ALL the elderly must be given health insurance paid for by the younger tax payers.    The same thi9ng is happening now with Obamacare—the only way the insurance companies will accept  everyone with coverage regardless of health or life style or preexisting conditions  is if every0ne  is forced into the system.    So stupid!  Give help to those few who need it and let the rest of us take care of ourselves as independent decent Americans always have.   It is a fact that has been proven over and over: Any thing the government gets into  is badly run, in efficient, full of fraud and outright thievery  and therefore very very costly to the tax payers.  Medicare, Medicaid and student loans are prime examples of this rule!

I watched the schools and universities as an educator  being “dumb down to the lowest common denominator by see and say reading and new math and  rewriting history and replacing it with social studies and social justice.

Now during these past 6 years I have watched a President of the United States again and again ignore and  violate the  laws  stated in the Constitution of the United States and  no one stopping him!   Yes, I  have live thru the down fall of a great civilization and I will not live to see the rise to greatness again, but I have faith in Americans.  We are a unique  nation form by outstanding people who were wise far beyond their times.  We today have the blood of those pioneers beating in our hearts and this is augmented daily by new blood of those who leave the old behind and come to the land of the freedom and rights of man so that they too can soar above the masses in the world in the only country on earth that allows its citizens that freedom. .I have faith that we Americans will walk proud again but after the damage done during these 50+ years it will take decades to return.

You, the readers of my blog are the people who will lead the way.  God bless you.  Sincerely, BB

 

The Heritage Foundation

To Me
Aug 9 at 8:07 AM
Updated daily, InsiderOnline (insideronline.org) is a compilation of publication abstracts, how-to essays, events, news, and analysis from around the conservative movement. The current edition of The INSIDER quarterly magazine is also on the site.

August 9, 2014

Latest Studies
34 studies, including a Pacific Research Institute handbook on tobacco taxation, and a Hudson Institute report on Iraq’s second Sunni insurgency

Notes on the Week
The environmental costs of delaying Keystone, What does the strategic trade lit really say about the Export-Import Bank? Is administrative law running off the rails?

To Do
Figure out what now for ObamaCare

Latest Studies

Budget & Taxation
The Export-Import Bank: What the Scholarship Says – The Heritage Foundation
Abolishing the Corporate Income Tax Could Be Good
for Everyone
– National Center for Policy Analysis
Handbook of Tobacco Taxation – Pacific Research Institute
Sales Tax Holidays: Politically Expedient but Poor Tax Policy – Tax Foundation

The Constitution/Civil Liberties
An Originalist  Future – Federalist  Society
Repression in China and Its Consequences in  Xinjiang – Hudson Institute
Private Property Interrupted: Protecting Texas Property Owners from  Regulatory Takings Abuse –  Texas Public Policy Foundation

Crime, Justice & the Law
Criminal Law and the Administrative State: The Problem with Criminal Regulations – The Heritage Foundation

Economic Growth
The Long-Hours Luxury – American Enterprise Institute
Misallocation, Property Rights, and Access to Finance – Cato Institute
Do Labour Shortages Exist in Canada? Reconciling the Views of Employers and Economists – Fraser Institute
“Middle-Out” Economics? – Hoover Institution
How Many Jobs Does Intellectual Property Create? – Mercatus Center
Thomas Piketty’s False Depiction of Wealth in America – Tax Foundation

Education
Philadelphia School Trends, 2002-03 to 2012-13 – Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives

Foreign Policy/International Affairs
Setting a Course for Obama’s Rudderless Africa Policy – The Heritage Foundation
The Failure of the E.U. – Hoover Institution
Iraq’s Second Sunni Insurgency – Hudson Institute
The Collective Security Treaty Organization: Past Struggles and Future Prospects – Hudson Institute

Health Care
Changing the Rules of Health Care: Mobile Health and Challenges for Regulation – American Enterprise Institute
Direct Primary Care: An Innovative Alternative to Conventional Health Insurance – The Heritage Foundation
How Obamacare Fuels Health Care Market Consolidation – The Heritage Foundation
A Time for Reform: Close and Consolidate Texas’ State Supported Living Centers – Texas Public Policy Foundation

International Trade/Finance
Sustaining the Economic Rise of Africa – Cato Institute
Market Solutions Should Be Central to U.S.’s Taiwan Policy – The Heritage Foundation

Labor
Asserting Influence and Power in the 21st Century: The NLRB Focuses on Assisting Non-Union Employees – Federalist Society

Monetary Policy/Financial Regulation
“Choking Off” Disfavored Businesses and Their Clients: How Operation Choke Point Undermines the Rule of Law and Harms the
Economy
– The Heritage Foundation

National Security
Autonomous Military Technology: Opportunities and Challenges for Policy and Law – The Heritage Foundation
Size Isn’t All that Matters – Hoover Institution

Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & Science
The Keystone Delay Is Costing us More than Jobs and Revenue – American Action Forum
Who Watches the Watchmen? Global Warming in the Media – Capital Research Center
Rethinking Energy: Supplying Competitive Electricity Rates – Center of the American Experiment

Retirement/Social Security
A Guide to the 2014 Social Security Trustees Report – e21 – Economic Policies for the 21st Century
Social Security Trustees Report: Unfunded Liability Increased $1.1 Trillion and Projected Insolvency in 2033 – The Heritage Foundation

 

 

Notes on the Week

The environmental costs of delaying Keystone: The delay in the Keystone pipeline costs more than jobs and income. There are also environmental consequences that come from shifting pipeline transport of oil to rail transport. Catrina Rorke extrapolates what the costs may be:

If the president had approved the Keystone XL pipeline, it would have prevented the release of an additional 2.7 to 7.4 million tons of CO2 to the atmosphere – the equivalent of taking 500,000 to 1.5 million passenger vehicles off the road or shutting down one coal facility. […]

From the State Department report, we know that the rail options emit 28-42 percent more during normal operations as compared to the Keystone XL pipeline. […]

Replacing the capacity of the Keystone XL pipeline with rail transport risks additional oil spills and the release of up to 23,318 additional barrels of oil – nearly a million gallons of useful fuel entering the environment instead of the economy. […]

The delay in building the Keystone XL pipeline risks up to 1,065 additional injuries and 159 additional fatalities.

By virtue of serving urbanized areas, railroads carry a certain risk to the public. A July 2013 train derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec devastated the downtown and caused 47 deaths. Though this tragedy is unique in size, the paths of railways intersect frequently with population centers. The Keystone XL pipeline is designed to minimize this risk, routed to avoid sensitive, sacred, and historic sites, as well as densely populated areas. [American Action Forum, August 6]

Rewarding work: “One factor that is often overlooked in the debate over causes of income inequality is a shift in the distribution of working hours,” writes Tino Sanandaji: “The rich now work more than the poor.”

Between 1979 and 2006, the share of low-wage earners who worked long hours declined from 22 percent to 13 percent. In the same time period the share of high-wage earners who worked long hours increased from 15 to 27 percent. Results were similar when education rather than income is used to segment the labor market. Most of the change is driven by changes in hours worked per employee, not by changes in employment rates. For men lacking high-school education, one-third of the decline in hours is driven by reduced employment rates, while the rest is driven by decline in hours among the employed. Among college-educated men, the entire increase in the long hours is driven by those with employment working more hours.

And the decline of work among the poor is a tragedy, he writes:

In simple economic models, working less and having more leisure increases well-being. A common but mistaken view of this reversal in work inequality is that it has benefited the low skilled because they can consume as much as before without having to work as hard. This ignores the complexity of human psychology.

Humanist theories of happiness, starting with Aristotle, have long argued that the key to life satisfaction is living a purpose-driven life and aiming for higher goals. Modern psychology similarly emphasizes work and purpose for a full life. Abraham Maslow viewed fulfilling one’s potential or “self-actualization” as the pinnacle level of happiness. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi argued that people are happiest when they are in a state of “flow,” or a complete absorption in a challenging and intrinsically motivated activity. [The American, August 4]

What does a gas company have to do with ObamaCare? If you’ve been following the debate about whether ObamaCare creates tax credits in just the state exchanges or in both the federal and state exchanges, you may have heard the word “Chevron.” What’s that all about?

“Chevron” refers to Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council a Supreme Court decision from 1984. Randolph May, observing the 30th anniversary of the decision, describes Chevron’s central holding this way: “When a statutory provision is ambiguous, if the agency’s interpretation is ‘based on a permissible construction of the statute,’ then the agency’s interpretation is to be given ‘controlling weight.’”

When there is ambiguity, why not defer to the agencies? May explains the problem:

Chevron, by virtue of giving agency interpretations of ambiguous statutory provisions “controlling weight,” has facilitated the steady growth of the regulatory state. This certainly is a likely result because of the natural bureaucratic imperative for agencies, granted leeway to do so, to interpret delegations of authority in a way that expands, rather than contracts, their own authority. […]

To the extent that the Chevron doctrine—the counter-Marbury—in fact facilitates aggrandizement of power by government officials all too eager to expand administrative authority, there is a ready remedy. Congress can choose to legislate in a way that makes its intent unmistakably clear. Remember, absent ambiguity in the statute, a reviewing court never reaches the question of how much deference is due the agency’s own interpretation.

Congress legislating with unmistakable clarity? I understand that in the legislative sausage-making process this is an ideal infrequently realized. In many instances, Congress actually intends, whether or not it says so explicitly, to leave “gap-filling” for the agencies. That way, when an agency’s action rouses the public’s ire, Congress can blame the bureaucrats for overreaching. [The Hill, August 8

In King v. Burwell, the Fourth Circuit relied on Chevron analysis to find that tax credits were permissible in the federal exchanges; in Halbig v. Burwell, the D.C. Circuit decided that the meaning of “an Exchange established by the State,” was plain enough that there was no gap for the IRS to fill. Thus, there was no Chevron analysis needed.

The Constitution doesn’t exist for the convenience of the government. For the past century or so, the federal government has been using its spending and regulatory powers to “turn states into mere field offices of the federal government,” write Richard Epstein and Mario Loyola. Their article in The Atlantic explains not only how we got here but why we should care:

A common justification for federal overreach is that it allows for administrative convenience, but the Constitution doesn’t exist for the convenience of the government. Its purpose is to protect the people from government abuse. By leaving most government spending and regulation within the exclusive domain of states, the original Constitution created a dynamic framework of interstate regulatory competition. Citizens and businesses could choose to live in whatever state they wanted, a choice they could make with increasing ease as the nation’s communications and transportation dramatically improved, and states competed to offer an attractive package of services and taxation.

Just like cable-TV providers offer premium channels in pricy packages and basic cable at a cut rate, some states and municipalities offered lots of services and benefits—and higher taxes—while others offered smaller government and a lower tax bill. That larger menu meant more choices.

This interstate regulatory competition could accommodate a wide diversity of approaches, from the progressive safety blanket of Wisconsin to the frontier freedom of Texas. Vigorous interstate competition tended to punish excessive government, leading for example to higher growth rates in states with less restrictive labor laws. It also made it more difficult for special interests to wield government as a tool for extracting benefits from the rest of society in the form of hidden subsidies, cartels, and monopolies. Where special interests reign, market efficiency is lost, leaving everyone worse off.

Even today, states with high taxes, tough zoning laws, and restrictive labor laws tend to lose out to those with a lighter footprint—witness the tens of thousands of people—especially poor people—moving to Texas every year. The easier it is for people to choose between state options, the weaker the case for federal control of markets.

That leaves heavily regulated and highly taxed states at a disadvantage in the competition for people and businesses. Those states have cleverly solved much of their problem by using the federal government to impose higher taxes and regulation across the states. Burdened by often-costly progressive policies, states such as California, Massachusetts, and New York form coalitions in Congress to neutralize the advantage of states like Wyoming, Texas, and Florida. Protection from competition is the strongest impetus for the integration of federal and state governments under an umbrella of overall federal control.

That process undercuts one of the great advantages of a modern economy: the choice that mobility offers to families and businesses. It hastens the erosion of one of our most essential constitutional protections, the separate domains of federal and state governments, each confined to its proper sphere of authority. [The Atlantic, July 31]

The courts aren’t on board with the plan for unrestrained executive power—at least not all of them, yet. To hear liberals tell the story, the most important thing to know about Halbig v. Burwell is that the D.C. Circuit Court denied ObamaCare subsidies to millions of people in the 36 states that chose not to establish an exchange. The detail that the law says the subsidies are available “through an Exchange established by the State” gets second billing if it shows up at all. Liberals thus blame the court for striking down that which Congress failed to create. What an odd way of looking at judicial decisions. As Michael Greve notes, the acceptance of the government’s arguments as at all plausible is a signal that administrative law is coming apart at the seams. He writes:

[W]ould we actually be having this overwrought discussion over a perfectly straightforward Administrative Law and statutory interpretation question—and a perfectly conventional judicial resolution—if Halbig were about something other than Obamacare? Hardly.

By way of illustration, take a look at Sierra Club v. EPA, 536 F.3d 673 (D.C. Cir. 2008), a case over Title V permitting under the Clean Air Act. In defense of a regulation that took some liberty with the language of Title V, the EPA argued that (1) the statutory language (“each” permit) didn’t quite mean what it said, when read in connection with other provisions; (2) the statutory context warranted a more latitudinarian reading; and (3) EPA’s “programmatic” reading would better serve congressional purposes. In substance, that’s the government’s Halbig defense. Sierra Club rejected all three arguments; and you can clip entire paragraphs from the opinion and paste them into Halbig without anyone noticing. (Judge Griffith wrote both opinions.) No, it’s not a conservative cabal: in Sierra Club, the enviros won. And no, it’s not an outlier: some Administrative Law textbooks excerpt Sierra Club as an example of how Chevron(Step I) analysis works.

And:

Why isn’t the supposed error precisely a case for a “we-messed-up-and-here-is-what-we-meant” statutory override, of the sort that Congress has enacted time and again for civil rights laws, Medicaid, Medicare, and any number of other entitlement statutes? In short, why isn’t Halbig obviously right? And why isn’t that answer congenial to liberals who, from the New Deal to infinity and beyond, have extolled statutory and even constitutional litigation as a “dialogue” between the Court and the political branches, especially the Congress?

Because they no longer believe it. Obamacare was no inartful compromise; it was a brutal cramdown. There’s no kicking this back to Congress; the judges’ rulings, Obamacare supporters wail, spell the life or death of the statute. And when in doubt, the liberals say (for once), choose life. [Library of Law and Liberty, August 6]

Video of the week: Economics is everywhere, including between the goalposts. The start of football season is less than a month away. From Steve Horwitz and Learn Liberty, here’s a look at how the game’s concussion crisis reveals an important lesson about public policy:

footballconcussion.jpg

Pulling back the curtain on Healthcare.gov: Remember the fiasco that was the launch of Healthcare.gov? The Government Accountability Office has looked into the matter and the agency recently told Congress that, indeed, there was a fiasco. Peter Suderman reports some of the details of the GAO’s testimony:

One of the big problems was that federal health bureaucrats kept changing their minds during the development process. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), which was charged with building the exchange system, “incurred significant cost increases, schedule slips, and delayed system functionality.” These delays were largely due to “changing requirements that were exacerbated by inconsistent oversight.” The dithering cost time, and it also cost money. Between September 2011 and February 2014, development cost estimates blew up, from about $56 million to $209 million for the federal marketplace. Costs for the data hub, another key part of the exchange, went from $30 million to $85 million.

It was a classic bureaucratic circus. No one knew who actually had the authority to tell contractors what to do, so contractors got jerked around and sent on fruitless tasks, or asked to do work that they shouldn’t have been doing. The GAO report says that CMS improperly spent $30 million on bonus features that it didn’t technically have the authority to order.

Delays and costs piled up, with some held off until weeks before launch, and when it came time to flip the switch, no one knew if it would work. “CMS launched Healthcare.gov without verification that it met performance requirements.”

But don’t think all the problems are in the past:

CMS Deputy Administrator Andy Slavitt said this morning that “there will clearly be bumps” when the exchanges open for all business again in November, according to a report in Politico.

Slavitt also confirmed that the exchange still isn’t built yet, with key backend payment systems that have already been delayed multiple times still incomplete. Slavitt said that the administration doesn’t expect work to be finished on those systems until next year—after the second open enrollment period is over.
[Reason, July 31]

 

 

To Do: Figure Out What Now for ObamaCare

Assess how the legal challenges to ObamaCare’s subsidies and mandates will unfold now that two federal courts have issued contrary rulings. The Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon and Case Western Reserve University’s Jonathan Adler—the guys who noticed that ObamaCare doesn’t allow subsidies in
federal exchanges—will discuss the Halbig and King decisions. The discussion will begin at noon on August 12 in Room B-354 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

• Experience one young man’s harrowing journey to secure his life and liberty in a repressive future society. The Heritage Foundation will host a private advance screening of The Giver, starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep, at 7:00 p.m. on August 12. To attend, RSVP to enoren@crcpublicrelations.com.

Shoot guns, eat BBQ, and smoke cigars. The second annual Northwest Freedom Shootout is a fun afternoon event where you’ll meet other fans of the Second Amendment. The Shootout will begin at noon on August 16, at the Evergreen Sportsmen’s Club in Littlerock, Wash.

Make your own declaration for Think Freely Media’s Great Communicators Tournament. Shoot a video in which you describe a policy issue using moral arguments to support a free enterprise or limited government. Submit it by August 15. The prize for first place is $10,000!

Get an update on the right-to-work movement. The Heritage Foundation will host a panel featuring two teachers and a home healthcare provider grappling with union power in California, Michigan, and Minnesota. The event will begin at noon on August 12.

• Save the dates: Americans for Prosperity’s 8th Annual Defending the American Dream Summit will take place on August 29 at the Omni Dallas Hotel. The Mont Pelerin Society will meet August 31 at the Kowloon Shangri-La Hong Kong Hotel to discuss the future prospects for liberal reform in Asia.

I loved the debate last night!  Romney was really out there and every bit the President we need.  He was respectful of the President but did not tolerate inaccuracies and came right back with the truth.  Obama reminded me of nothing more than a little boy who was being scolded by his Daddy.  He looked down and wouldn’t look Romney in the eye because he couldn’t; he couldn’t refute the truth of the facts Mitt Romney was putting forth to counter the lies Obama was telling and the  dismal facts of Obama’s administration’s mistakes and blunders and bad policies.  Then Obama allowed his nasty ego to show  when he let us see how upset and affronted he was to have anyone dare to question and confront him.    If there had been just five more  minutes left Obama would have exploded in a nasty temper tantrum.  I expect to see this tantrum in the next debate! because this  egomaniac  holds a grudge and will just have to come back, and in public.  We will see the real Obama next time..    In the meantime Heritage has some great articles on  debate questions and facts and follow up that I hope you will read.   I am printing just one article here but do go to their site and read several of their articles.  In fact, if you do not subscribe to the Heritage Foundation you really should.   BB

10 Questions for the First Presidential Debate

Tonight’s debate between President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney is supposed to focus on domestic policy, with a major concentration on the economy. Health care, the role of government, and philosophy of governing are also on the agenda. The Heritage Foundation’s policy experts have submitted 10 questions they would like to see asked in the debate.

1. In 2008, then-candidate Obama said, “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.” In reality, President Obama’s signature health care law contains 18 new or increased taxes and penalties that will cost taxpayers $836.3 billion over the next 10 years, many of which fall heavily on the middle class. In fact, almost 70 percent of those responsible for paying the fiercely debated individual mandate are below 400 percent of the federal poverty level.Should these tax increases be stopped to protect middle-class Americans from their damage? If yes, where would the money needed to help pay for Obamacare come from?

2. Millions of baby boomers are starting to retire, and spending on Social Security and Medicare as these programs are currently structured is simply unsustainableWhat is your plan to solve the looming entitlement program spending crisis?

3. Medicare as we know it today is facing severe financing problems that are unsustainable and putting future generations’ Medicare benefits in jeopardy. Over the long term, Medicare has made $37 trillion worth of promises to seniors that it cannot keep and the hospital insurance trust fund will be empty by 2024. Worse, the President’s health care law will cut Medicare by $716 billion over the next 10 years to pay for new spending in Obamacare. As Medicare’s solvency hangs in the balance, what structural reforms, if any, are you willing to make to preserve Medicare for future generations?

4. Everyone talks about shoring up our battered American DreamHow would you define the American Dream and what do you think are the most serious threats to it?

5. The Health and Human Services Department recently rewrote the law governing welfare to weaken its work requirements. Meanwhile, the number of people relying on food stamps has doubled under the current Administration. Should all able-bodied recipients be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving aid in public housing, food stamps, and cash assistance?

6. The federal government is currently spending much more than it has, and annual budget deficits over $1 trillion have become the norm.What is your plan to stem the tide of deficits and rising debt?

7. One of the few bright spots in America’s economy has been energy production, particularly on state and private lands.  According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), energy production decreased 13 percent on federal lands in fiscal year (FY) 2011 when compared to FY 2010. What would you do to reverse course on energy production on federal lands?

8. Congress—most notably the Senate, which hasn’t produced a budget in over three years—is sorely lacking in its basic responsibility of budgeting.What would you do to ensure the fundamental process of budgeting is restored?

9. President Obama has previously stated that, in the most important 5 percent of cases before the courts, it matters more what is in a judge’s heart (what has come to be known as his empathy standard) than what the rule of law requires. Is this the correct standard by which to evaluate judicial nominees? If not, what standard would you apply?

10. Former Attorney General of Mexico Victor Humberto Benítez Treviño estimated that approximately 300 Mexican citizens have been killed using Fast and Furious weapons in addition to U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Should Eric Holder resign as Attorney General because of his failures related to Operation Fast and Furious, including his failure to properly supervise the operation? If not, why not?

Watch the debate with Heritage tonight—you can watch it live, streaming on our Debate 2012 page. On the page, you can also follow our experts’ live blog and chime in on Twitter.

As an educator i watched our schools decline over the past half century until now we are graduating more illiterates than ever.  Things were so bad when I was teaching that the really good teachers simply threw their hands up and left the profession rather than continue trying to teach children around and thru the stupid edicts that were being handed down by administrators and school boards.  History being replaced by “Social Studies”  where now people even in college have no idea when the Civil War ended  let alone what it was about.  “New math” where children were expected to learn arithmetic thru osmosis during the elementary years so that by high school the math teachers had to demand that they memorize the times tables the way we old timers  all had to do in third grade.

More and more students entering college , but having to take remedial reading and math courses their Freshman year!  And graduating five or six years later with degrees  that will get them a job behind the counter at the local burger joint!  AND, still not aware of the date the Civil War ended or what it was all about.

 

I am happy to see that some sanity and  changes are finally  being proposed.  Heck, in some places in the country some of these things are actually being done.  This latest newsletter  from The Heritage Foundation is enlightening.  BB

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of a New School Year

As of today, the vast majority of American students have begun a new school year. As lunches are packed and carpool lines grow, Heritage reviews the good, bad, and ugly in education.

The Good

Support for school choice is at an all-time high. In a poll released in August, school choice favorability jumped 10 percentage points since last year, a sign that the proliferation of options such as vouchers, education savings accounts, and online learning is creating a welcome choice for families across the country.

Options like the education savings accounts implemented in Arizona, statewide vouchers in effect in Louisiana, and tuition tax credits benefitting children in Florida provide families with greater control over education—something more and more parents are expressing they want.

Social promotion is becoming less popular.In North Carolina, legislators approved a measure toend social promotion. Rather than automatically passing students on to the next grade, all third-grade students will be required to read at grade level before advancing to the fourth grade. Other states that have implemented this policy suggest that it is helpful in boosting student achievement.

Online, customized learning is on the rise. Individualized online learning options allow more emphasis on areas where students are struggling, without holding back their peers who may be ready for the next level.

Teachers union membership is declining.The National Education Association is projecting a loss of 308,000 members since 2010. One of the union’s top officials, treasurer Becky Pringle, blames “stupid” education reform: “We’re living with a recession that just won’t end, political attacks that have turned brutal, and societal changes that are impacting us—from stupid education ‘reform’ to an explosion of technology—all coming together to impact us in ways that we had never anticipated.”

The Bad

The Administration is singling out minority students for government “help” instead of raising them up through increased options.Over the summer, President Obama signed an executive order to form the new White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. According to the White House, the new initiative, which will work across federal agencies, “aims to ensure that all African American students receive an education that fully prepares them for high school graduation, college completion, and productive careers.”

Parents and taxpayers would be correct to be skeptical of a new Washington initiative to improve student outcomes. A new evaluation by Matthew Chingos of the Brookings Institution and Paul Peterson of Harvard shows a far more promising route to improving academic opportunity for the students the President’s initiative aims to help: school vouchers. The study of low-income students in New York City found a 24 percent increase in college enrollment among African-American students who were awarded and used vouchers to attend private schools.

This success has already proven the vital role of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. Students who have used vouchers to attend private schools in the nation’s capital have a 91 percent graduation rate, while graduation rates in D.C. public schools hover around 60 percent.

The Ugly 

Average per-pupil spending in public schools is reaching historic highs. Nationally, average per-pupil spending exceeds $11,400 this year, meaning a child entering kindergarten today can expect to have no less than $148,000 spent on his or her education by the time the child graduates high school. In all, more than $570 billion will be spent on public K-12 education this year.

Continual increases in the money spent per child and in overall spending haven’t led to increases in academic achievement. Heritage’s Lindsey Burke notes:

We continue to fund institutions—sending that money to schools—instead of actually funding children. Imagine if a child could put those dollars in a funding “backpack” and take that $11,400 to any school—public, private, or virtual. As in every other sector of American life, we would likely see outcomes improve as a result of competitive pressure placed on the government school system.

Despite the successes of more individualized learning and school choice, the Obama Administration wants to further centralize education in Washington through national standards and tests. It has been trying to entice states with waivers from the onerous No Child Left Behind law, which it gives to states that agree to adopt the Administration’s standards instead.

Implementing Washington-controlled education standards means that states, local school boards, and ultimately parents will have less say in their children’s education. This year’s homework assignment for conservatives: continue the fight for increased parental control, individualized options for students, and decreased government interference in education.

Newsletter from  ACT for AMERICA.

August 14, 2012

This couldn’t happen here, could it?

Dear Lew and Brenda,

Yes it could—and is.

In fact, the title of the article below (highlights added), posted at the Gatestone Institute website, could just as easily be “How Political Correctness is Transforming American Education.” 

To find just one example, click here to check out the report we released earlier this year, “Education or Indoctrination: The Treatment of Islam in 6ththrough 12th Grade American Textbooks.”

You’ll learn that the typical textbook fails to note that the 9/11 terrorists were radical Muslims and fails to inform students that the state of Israel was created by a UN resolution in 1947.

Most of what is mentioned below is already beginning to happen in America. For example, a couple years ago students at a Boston-area middle school were taken on a field trip to a mosque. The boys were invited to kneel and pray while teachers stood by and did nothing. Can you imagine the outcry from faculty and the ACLU if this had happened at a Christian church?


How Political Correctness Is Transforming British Education

by Soeren Kern
http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3170/british-education-political-correctness#.UAQtSmOuuGk.facebook

In Cheshire, two students at the Alsager High School were punished by their teacher for refusing to pray to Allah as part of their religious education class.

In Scotland, 30 non-Muslim children from the Parkview Primary School recently were required to visit the Bait ur Rehman Ahmadiyya mosque in the Yorkhill district of Glasgow (videos here and here). At the mosque, the children were instructed to recite the shahada, the Muslim declaration of faith which states: “There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger.” Muslims are also demanding that Islamic preachers be sent to every school in Scotland to teach children about Islam, ostensibly in an effort to end negative attitudes about Muslims.

British schools are increasingly dropping the Jewish Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, according to a report entitled, Teaching Emotive and Controversial History, commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills.

British teachers are also reluctant to discuss the medieval Crusades, in which Christians fought Muslim armies for control of Jerusalem: lessons often contradict what is taught in local mosques.

In an effort to counter “Islamophobia” in British schools, teachers now are required to teach “key Muslim contributions such as Algebra and the number zero” in math and science courses, even though the concept of zero originated in India.

In the East London district of Tower Hamlets, four Muslims were recently jailed for attacking a local white teacher who gave religious studies lessons to Muslim girls; and 85 out of 90 schools have implemented “no pork” policies.

Schools across Britain are, in fact, increasingly banning pork from lunch menus to avoid offending Muslim students. Hundreds of schools have adopted a “no pork” policy, according to a recent report by the London-based Daily Telegraph.

The culinary restrictions join a long list of politically correct changes that gradually are bringing hundreds of British primary and secondary education into conformity with Islamic Sharia law.

The London Borough of Haringey, a heavily Muslim district in North London, is the latest school district to switch to a menu that is fully halal (religiously permissible for Muslims).

The Haringey Town Council recently issued “best practice” advice to all schools in its area to “ban all pork products in order to cater for the needs of staff and pupils who are not permitted contact with these for religious reasons.”

Local politicians have criticized the new policy as pandering to Muslims, and local farmers, who have pointed out that all schools in Britain already offer vegetarian options, have accused school administrators of depriving non-Muslim children of a choice.

Following an outcry from non-Muslim parents, the town council removed the guidance from its website, although the new policy remains in place.

At the Cypress Junior School, in Croydon, south London, school administrators announced in the school newsletter dated June 1, 2012 that the school has opted for a pork-free menu “as a result of pupil and parental feedback.”

The announcement states: “Whilst beef, chicken, turkey and fish will all feature, as well as the daily vegetarian and jacket potato or pasta option, the sausages served will now be chicken rather than pork.”

In Luton, an industrial city some 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of London where more than 15% of the population is now Muslim, 23 out of 57 schools have banned pork.

In the City of Bradford, a borough of West Yorkshire in Northern England where there are now twice as many practicing Muslims that there are practicing Anglicans, 24 out of 160 schools have eliminated pork from their menus. In Newham (East London), 25 out of 75 schools have banned pork.

Other pork-free schools include Cranford Park Primary School in Hayes (Middlesex), and Dog Kennel Hill Primary in East Dulwich (South London).

The Borough of Harrow in northwest London was among the first in Britain to encourage halal menus. In 2010, Harrow Council announced plans to ban pork in the borough’s 52 state primary schools, following a switch by ten secondary schools to offer halal-only menus.

According to the UK-based National Pig Association, which represents commercial pork producers, “It is disappointing that schools cannot be sufficiently organized to give children a choice of meat. Sausages and roast pork are staples of a British diet and children enjoy eating them. If products can be labeled with warnings that they contain nuts and vegetarian dishes can be made and kept separate from meat dishes, [we] don’t see why the same can’t apply to pork.”

Lunch menus are not the only area in which “cultural sensitivity” is escalating in British schools.

In West Yorkshire, the Park Road Junior Infant and Nursery School in Batley has banned stories featuring pigs, including “The Three Little Pigs,” in case they offend Muslim children.

In Nottingham, the Greenwood Primary School cancelled a Christmas nativity play; it interfered with the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. In Scarborough, the Yorkshire Coast College removed the words Christmas and Easter from their calendar not to offend Muslims.

Also in Cheshire, a 14-year-old Roman Catholic girl who attends Ellesmere Port Catholic High School was branded a truant by teachers for refusing to dress like a Muslim and visit a mosque.

In Stoke-on-Trent, schools have been ordered to rearrange exams, cancel swimming lessons and stop sex education during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. In Norwich, theKnowland Grove Community First School has axed the traditional Christmas play to “look at some of the other great cultural festivals of the world.”

Meanwhile, the politically correct ban on pigs in Britain also extends to toys for children. A toy farm set called HappyLand Goosefeather Farm recently removed pigs in order to avoid offending Muslims.

The pig removal came to public attention after a British mother bought the toy as a present for her daughter’s first birthday. Although the set contained a model of a cow, sheep, chicken, horse and dog, there was no pig, despite there being a sty and a button which generated an “oink” sound.

After the mother complained, the Early Learning Centre (ELC), which manufactures the toy, responded: “Previously the pig was part of the Goosefeather Farm. However due to customer feedback and religious reasons this is no longer part of the farm.”

After a public outcry, however, ELC later reversed its decision: “We recognize that pigs are familiar farm animals, especially for our UK customers. We have taken the decision to reinstate the pig and to no longer sell the set in international markets where it might create an issue.”

I have been receiving the newsletter from ACT!   for some time and really do recommend it to you.  Today the special is a report on how our children are being brainwashed thru changes in their text books.    I am sure parents have been aware for sometime that our schools are dummying down the education of of children and  than crying that it is a lack of money that is causing the problem.  NO!  The problem has been and is the brainwashed  educators!  (See Uri Brezmenov in the Subverting of America in my special pages in the side bar) .  this report is a follow up and c placing in one report just how bad the problem is.

The rest of the newsletter gives  some thought provoking issues voice.  Read and be aware then ACT!  Watch carefully what is  happening on the national level,  but also keep up with the local level of government because it is the local level where the elections in November will be held and therefore where all the fraud and thuggery is going to take place.  I hope the Tea Party people will make themselves very apparent in November especially at the poling places.   Now is the time to start getting out the vote then on election day provide cars and car pooling and especially to just watch and be aware of everything that is happening.

In relation to the corruption of our textbooks did you see the 18 year old who was elected by 88% to the school board in a city in New Jersey?    Schools can’t do a whole lot to harm the really bright children, but it is the rest that we have to worry about because they are the majority and our true future.  BB

Welcome to ACT! for America Education

(formerly known as American Congress for Truth)

A message from the President, Brigitte Gabriel

Welcome! Thank you for taking the time to visit the website of ACT! for America Education, formerly known as American Congress for Truth, your definitive source for information, education and research on issues and topics related to the threat of radical Islam. Here you will find easy access to thousands of articles, videos, books and websites, conveniently organized under the topic headings located in the navigation bar above.

September 11th was a wake-up call for America. For me, it was reliving a nightmare.

read more…

NYC subway plotter: We wanted to spread panic

TOM HAYS, Associated Press4/23/12NEW YORK (AP) — An admitted al-Qaida recruit testified Wednesday that he and two friends were determined to “weaken America” by strapping on suicide bombs and attacking New York City subways around the eighth anniversary of 9/11, but now hopes for redemption.

“I believe my crimes are very bad,” Najibullah Zazi said on cross-examination. “If God gave me a second chance, I would appreciate it and will be a very good human being.”

Earlier, Zazi told a federal jury at his alleged accomplice’s trial that he slipped detonator ingredients into the city on Sept. 10, 2009, after the chemicals extracted from beauty supplies passed a test run.

Using code words, he then frantically emailed one of his al-Qaida handlers to get the exact formula for building homemade bombs to go with detonators.

read more…

Israel marks Holocaust Remembrance Day

The Jerusalem Post4/19/2012By: JPost.com Staff

Siren to be sounded to remember the 6m. Jews murdered in Holocaust; Knesset to hold “every person has a name” ceremony.

Memorial services and events throughout the country were due to continue Thursday to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, which began on Wednesday evening. At 10:00 a.m. a two-minute siren was scheduled to be sounded to remember the six millions Jews murdered at the hands of Nazis during the Holocaust.

Following the sounding of the siren, various ceremonies and events were due to commence immediately.

read more…

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I have urged you all to become well acquainted with the United Nation’s Agenda 21 because this evil is fast over taking American cities.  The North Carolina Patriots organization of which I am a member has a good video and several documents that explains  Agenda 21 very well i think.  BB

Agenda 21 – Sustainable Development

Have you heard of UN Agenda 21?

 

Even if you haven’t heard of Agenda 21, you may recognize some of these terms:  Sustainable Development, Smart Growth, Public Private Partnerships, Alternative Energy, Green Jobs.

 

UN Sustainable Development Agenda 21 was issued in 1992 at the UN’s Earth Summit.

 

Take a look at the video and the document from the American Policy Center.  It looks as though we need to get familiar with this subject

 

If you can, please attend An Overview of Agenda 21 in Charlotte, NC on January 5, 2012.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Agenda 21 is the United Nations Plan for “Sustainable Development”.  This blueprint for global transformation sounds wonderful on the surface.

 

But, this agenda, signed by 179 nations at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, binds governments around the world to a plan for changing the way we eat, learn, communicate and live.

 

Please add information that you find about Agenda 21 and in particular where you see it in NC (we already know that Asheville, Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Chatham County, Durham, Orange County, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem are on board).  Add suggestions about what we can do too!

 

Links that may be helpful:

Gaspee Gazette  A North Carolina Blog with good information about Agenda 21 and related subjects.

Agenda 21  The Document from the UN Department of Economic & Social Affairs Division for Sustainable Carolina JournalDevelopment.

ICLEI  International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives – Local Governements for Sustainability.

Agenda 21 In One Easy Lesson from American Policy Center

Democrats Against U. N. Agenda 21 Life-Long Democrats who are aware of the negative impacts on local, regional and national government.

The Post Sustainability Institute  What happens after the imposition of Communitarianism.

Agenda 21 – Glenn Beck 6/15/2011

Agenda 21 – this will make your hair stand up  Ruthie’s excellent overview posted in As A Mom’s The Water Cooler.

Is The Soros-Sponsored ‘Agenda 21’ A Hidden Plan For World Government?  06 14 2011 Article from The Blaze

Agenda 21: The U.N.’s Plan to Rule Your Life from NC Freedom

Agenda 21 Update: Family Farms Are Under Attack 07 31 2011 Article from The Blaze

The Hollow Halo of Sustainability 09 09 2011 Article from Carolina Journal

Piedmont Triad Sustainable Communities Planning Project

Senator Burr and Agenda 21 from NC Tea Party

Newt Gingrich Rips Agenda 21 posted at Reboot Congress

Agenda 21 Presentation in Raleigh November 12, 2011

As A Mom Agenda 21 from top to bottom

The Blueprint for a Healthier Generation, 2020: Interventions for Promoting Active Living & Supporting Healthy Eating for Mecklenburg County Youth  Wow, Agenda 21 is everywhere.

RNC Adopts Resolution Exposing Agenda21

Sustain Charlotte 11 02 2010

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This might interest you.  I of course have been blogging about these issues since beginning to blog as I had personal experience with text books I personally refused to use in my classroom because of the inaccuracies and  what I felt was bias treatment of some issues.  BB

March 20, 2012

Textbook analysis report
released today!

A special message from
Brigitte Gabriel, President,
ACT! for America Education

www.ACTforAmericaEducation.org

Dear Lew and Brenda,

It is with great delight that I announce to you that today we released “Education or Indoctrination? The Treatment of Islam in 6th through 12th Grade American Textbooks.”

ACT! for America Education Executive Director Guy Rodgers and I began discussing this project nearly four years ago. Today, that project is a reality—and I believe that one year from now you and I will look back on this as a truly historic accomplishment that helped change the course of education in America.

This report shines a bright light on a pattern of errors, omissions and bias in the textbooks reviewed. Our children deserve better. Our children deserve facts and accuracy, not historical revisionism.

To give you just one example of the errors our research uncovered, in discussing the 9/11 attacks, the textbooks typically fail to mention the perpetrators were Muslims or that they acted in the cause of Islamic jihad. In one book the terrorists are portrayed as people fighting for a cause. In just a few years after September 11th, the history of what happened on that tragic day was rewritten in our school textbooks. Omitting this vital information, that jihad was the motivation for the attacks, makes it difficult, if not impossible, for today’s young teens, who don’t remember 9/11, to really understand what happened that day—and why.

Please forward this email to anyone and everyone you know. Help us get the word out far and wide! Over the next few months we hope to wake up America to what this report has uncovered!

To access the report log on to www.ACTforAmericaEducation.org. Once there you will find the following:

  • The Executive Summary of the Report, which was mailed to over 70,000 state and local school board members nationwide;
  • The full Report;
  • Sub-reports, sorted by each textbook publisher;
  • A plan for taking action.

The few have always made a difference in this crazy, dangerous but wonderful world we live in. This is our time, those of us who “get it” and are concerned about the direction of our future, to come together and work together to make a difference for our country and our future generation.

I am honored to put my hand in yours and work with you to ensure our children receive the best historical education, and America remains the greatest and brightest nation on earth.


Brigitte Gabriel

» Kids Win: Colorado School Board Sets Students and Families Free with Voucher Program – Big Government.

YES!  There are still some intelligent men and women in politics in this country.  They won’t be found in Washington because except for a very small handful of newly elected Congress men in 2010 there simply isn’t a brain left in our federal government.  If we are to save ourselves and our nation and our very way of life it will have to be at the grass roots.  That is, if we have the time to do this. ( I heard on FOXNEWS this morning that Obama is planning to share our nuclear missile technology with Russia.)

 

We have turned our children over to what this School Board member in the video calls ‘special interests groups” but I am not so charitable because I call the leaders of our schools who are allowing the brain washing and dumbing down of education evil criminals.  After viewing the first videos please make sure to see the last one where the School Board is actually threatened by a union backed newly form group of  “mother, fathers, sisters, brothers, neighbors.” only concerned with the good of the children and absolutely nothing to do with union dues or tenure of incompetents.    BB

Kids Win: Colorado School Board Sets Students and Families Free with Voucher Program

by Kyle Olson

It’s not every day you will see a governmental body, in this case a school board, create competition for itself.  But that’s precisely what the Douglas County, Colorado school board did.

It created a unique, if not unprecedented, voucher program, allowing tax dollars to follow Douglas County students to the school of their choice.

Every single school system in America should adopt this model.  Sadly, parents who need school choice the most tend to live in troubled urban school districts that fight to keep children trapped within geographic boundaries.

But in Douglas County, leaders understand students have a right to the education of their choice, even if it is not within the public system.

John Carson, president of the school board, said recently at a National School Choice Week event celebrating the move: “We all realize that we’ve made two big mistakes in public education.  There’s no choice – or limited choice – there’s not enough competition, and we’ve ceded so much of our children’s education to special interest groups.  And that needs to end.”

Bravo.  If only we had more governmental leaders like Carson, just imagine the improved impression that Americans would have of public education today.

See EAGtv’s coverage of the program here.

Dr. Elizabeth Carson, the district superintendentm said, “We know when we match students to opportunities to learn that are most appropriate for their strengths and interests, we know that they’re going to be more successful.

“ And when we try to do this sort of batch processing model where we take all of these children according to their date of birth and put them through a process – a one-size-fits-all process – we know there are going to be fewer successes.  We want to make sure that parents have the ultimate choice in making sure that their child is matched with their learning environment.”

Parents and community leaders should demand that every single school district follow in the footsteps of Douglas County and be willing to let kids off the assembly line so they can find the school that best fits their needs.

The changes didn’t come easy and there is a big fight ahead to change teachers pay to excellence based and get rid of the dead wood tenured unionist  baloney.  BB

If you want to see more of what went on with the School Board’s decision to make parents responsible for and in charge of their children’s education check out the  other videos. BB

» Gov. Scott Walker Fights Republicans, Unions in Mission to Expand School Choice – Big Government.

Governor Scott Walker like Cristie of New Jersey is another governor to watch and hopefully learn from.  Walker is a fighter like Christie but lacks the new Jersey in your face attitude.  In fact, he is a gentleman at all times; a gentleman who stands firm for his beliefs.   He battled the teachers unions over their contracts and  so- called “right” to bargain (read that riot and strike and clutter up state buildings while calling in sick from their jobs).  With that issue working it’s way thru the courts he has now taken on the teachers unions and failing public schools over the  school choice issue.  He will win I have no doubt.

Is he perhaps the “sleeper” Republican who will come out for the Presidential run at the last minute?  Pair him up with Bachmann and I think we have a winning team.   Both are fighters who will stand firm for their beliefs but both are  professionals in their dealing with opponents regardless of what they are subjected to.  BB

Gov. Scott Walker Fights Republicans, Unions in Mission to Expand School Choice

by Kyle Olson

School choice is on the move in Wisconsin, at least in

Milwaukee County.

The state Assembly has approved a bill that will increase the number of voucher students in Milwaukee, and increase the number of private schools they can choose from.

But an idea recently suggested by Gov. Scott Walker, to spread voucher opportunities beyond Milwaukee to Green Bay, Racine and Beloit, received a cool reception from Senate President Mike Ellis, as well as several other Republicans.

Ellis also questioned a reform, embedded in the governor’s budget proposal, that would lift income restrictions from voucher programs so all families would be eligible to participate.

That leads me to wonder if some Republicans, once committed to the concept of public school reform, have lost their nerve in the face of obnoxious union rallies and recall efforts.

I also wonder if Walker might have received a more positive response if he had targeted the entire state for voucher eligibility, in the same manner as Indiana. Only expanding to three cities may not sit well with legislators from areas that would not benefit.

School choice is best for all families and students. Every child is unique, and parents are best equipped to choose a school that fits their needs.

The state of Wisconsin provides a certain amount of money for every K-12 student in the state. What’s wrong with letting parents spend that money at the school of their choice?

Walker sought to build momentum for school choice expansion with his keynote address to the National Policy Summit of the American Federation for Children in Washington, D.C. last week.

He focused on the idea that all students have the right to equal access to a quality education.

“Every kid, no matter where they live, no matter what their background, no matter what their parents do for a living … deserves the opportunity to have a great education because they each have limitless potential,” Walker told his audience.

“We have 100,000 kids that we serve in the city of Milwaukee. Roughly 20,000 go to choice schools but that means that 80 percent of our families are looking at some other option and the majority of which are (using) public schools … many of which fail to live up to the standard we expect for each and every child in that community and in our state.

“We fail as a country, we fail as a nation, we fail as a society if any of our kids slip through the cracks. We have to make sure every single one of them have the same opportunities we’d want for our children and grandchildren.”

Walker referred to studies that show Milwaukee children in the voucher program are 17 times more likely to graduate from high school than their counterparts in Milwaukee public schools.

“If you look at the kids who come into the Milwaukee parental choice program, they more often than not come in (with lower learning levels) than kids in the Milwaukee public school system. But in the end, one of the most important outcomes is that they’re 17 percent more likely to graduate by the time they’re done.

“One of our greatest challenges is keeping kids in the system all the way to graduation … It used to be that just graduating was enough to get a job, but these days you’ve got to have a two-year or four-year post-secondary education component just to get a job in our society. If you’re not making it through graduation you’re going to be another statistic.”

Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state’s largest teachers’ union, is trying to recall several Republican senators from office and destroy the GOP majority in the chamber.

The union’s president, Mary Bell told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that research “does not support broadening choice.”

I believe the only research that matters is the research conducted by the parents of every individual student in Wisconsin and America.

If they find a school that fits their child’s needs – be it public, public charter, private or religious – they should have a right to use their share of state money to enroll their child in that school.

Somehow our society has been blinded into thinking that government-run schools have an exclusive right to K-12 students. State constitutions mandate that governments provide an education to every student in their jurisdiction. That does not mean those students have to attend government-run schools.

By providing the means for students to finance an education, the state has met its constitutional responsibility. At that point the state should step aside and let parents decide where that education will take place.

As far as I can tell, the only reason for enforcing geographic school boundaries is to provide a guaranteed clientele, and guaranteed jobs, for unionized teachers. That’s not a very good reason to keep any kid trapped in any school that’s not meeting his or her needs.

Scott Walker seems to understand that.  The union doesn’t and it’s unrealistic for us to hope otherwise.  Will legislative Republicans?

Leaders should be going bold in their attempts to save children from failing public schools.  This is not the time to be pussyfooting around, making sure the adults aren’t offended by reforms that put the interests of children first.

A+ For School Choice

by Rebekah Rast

Upon learning that average per pupil spending in the public education system is $9,000, recent Rasmussen poll takers overwhelming stated their dissatisfaction with the return on their investment.

It’s hard to blame them.  Per pupil spending on education has tripled since the 1960s and increased 138 percent since 1985, but test scores and academic achievements remain stagnant and unchanged.

Noticing this trend, taxpayers and parents have found other options—an alternative to the status quo.  Americans are used to variety and choice and thought the education system should offer nothing less.

“In our society choice is something we’ve all been used to,” says Jeff Sands, senior manager of school development for Northeastern and Central California for the California Charter Schools Association.  “Now you can find schools that fit your needs and styles.”

The charter school movement has grown to 4,600 schools serving more than 1.4 million students nationally.

Charter schools have been a welcomed change for taxpayers, parents, students and those states and local governments who have adopted them.

What makes charter school different than public schools?

For one, it gives parents more options of where to send their child.  Also, charter schools have more freedom from the many regulations of public schools.  Charter schools allow students and teachers more authority to make decisions.  Instead of being accountable to rules and regulations like public schools are, charter schools are focused on the students and academic achievement and upholding their charter.  (One big reason for Charter Schools being free from all the rules and regulations is the lack of administration pencil pushers who make up all this nonsense in order to justify their jobs!   Every school system in the country could cut their administration staff by 50% and never miss them! BB)

“Charter schools are much more flexible in their spending and methods,” Sands says.  “They can go with longer days and weekends.  You could have a school with a strong focus on languages or arts or agriculture.  You can use methods and interactions where the main focus is not on the results, but the results happen anyways.”

If charter schools are such a welcomed change, then why are 10 states still opposed and fight against letting them in?

When parents do not have a choice of where to send their child to school, they can become stuck in a union-run, public school monopoly that has no incentive to better itself.  The only group that benefits from this design is the teachers unions.

“About 95 percent of charter schools are non-union,” says Mike Antonucci, director of the Education Intelligence Agency (EIA).  This causes a lot of opposition from teachers unions.

“Unions lose members,” says Antonucci, whenever a new charter schools opens.  “Every teacher in a charter school means one less union member and unions want more money.  This can put a dent in union’s bottom line.”

Sands agrees and adds, “Charter schools have lots of resistance from unions and school boards.

Despite the strong opposition from unions and school boards, many charters are doing very well and opening new schools each year.

Since California approved a charter school law in 1992, it has seen a steady increase of new charters opening.  Sands says last year more than 100 new charter schools opened their doors to new students and teachers.

As new charter schools open around the country providing new opportunities for students and parents, teachers also benefit from school choice.

“As testing becomes so core to school districts, teachers end up having to all teach the same thing at the same time—the whole objective is good scores,” states Sands.  “This puts undue pressure on educators and removes them from the decision-making, professionalism of teaching.  It is becoming very scripted.”

Charter schools give teachers opportunities to think outside the box, try new learning techniques and cater to children’s individual needs and wants.  It would seem that this kind of freedom would be a welcome change for an educator—especially at a time when states are forced to trim their budgets often cutting programs and pulling funds from school districts.

If a charter does not live up to expectation or meet its requirements, then like all businesses, the charter would cease to exist.  “Offering the best products and customer interaction is at the core of any charter school,” Sands comments.  “Many of them understand that they are a nonprofit and have to do smart business.”

Charter schools face more responsibility and accountability than the public counterparts, but they also offer much greater opportunity.

In a free-market, choice fuels competition and produces quality and distinctive products.  A growing dissatisfaction with public schools does not mean all public schools are bad and that all parents and students are ready to up and leave for a charter school.  It means there is a need for choice and competition.

“Charters are not intended to replace public schools, they apply pressure and competition,” Sands concludes.  “The objective is not to privatize education but to compete to make all schools better.”


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