Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Oh Boy, Another On-Line Petition!

25 March 2012

My wife has seen people passing this one around on Facebook:

Support the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012

Pardon me, but if you didn’t mean it when you signed your student loan forms, promising to pay back the money you took from them and squandered, then why should we assume that your signature has any value when you put it on this petition?

3Wood has written a short piece on Student Loans – The Next Bubble. I was a little more insulting when I hit this topic last year.

First World Problems

19 October 2011

According to the NY Post, “looking at [Occupy Wall Street] protest attendance, you might conclude that the most oppressed group in American society are white college students.” (H/T: IMAO) One meme that’s spread all over the internet recently is called “First World Problems.” More often that not, some smug leftie is the one attaching that label to any concern that Americans have which is nothing compared to the hardships facing the impoverished and starving in third world countries; well, I think I can be forgiven for looking at the signs carried by OWS protesters and thinking that most of their complaints are “First World Problems” (except for the growing number of protestors who are more accurately described as “Third Reich Problems”). You’re in debt and can’t get a good job in your field, so you want to be subsidized as you camp out on other peoples’ land and plot ways to steal and redistribute their belongings?

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He Also Lost the Vote for Prom Queen

8 March 2011

Providing even more evidence that people are growing increasingly disenchanted with the Hopium™ habit and looking forward to real Change in 2012, schools just aren’t interested in seeing Teh One or hearing the unicorn tales that he loves to spin anymore. The youth are supposed to be the Left’s big target (can I say that word?) audience, but for some reason schools just aren’t interested this year in inviting Obama to use them for backdrops. (Maybe they just can’t afford to power his omnipresent teleprompters during these tight times.) According to a leaked secret White House memo (H/T: AllahPundit, Hot Air)

CBS — The competition was extended from the February 25 deadline until Friday, March 11, after few schools met the original application deadline. CBS News has learned a White House Communications Office internal memo dated February 22 noted “a major issue with the Commencement Challenge.” “As of yesterday we had received 14 applications and the deadline is Friday,” the memo said. The memo also urged recipients to, “please keep the application number close hold.” A follow-up memo on February 28 reported receipt of 68 applications. Noting the competition among more than 1,000 schools last year, the memo said, “Something isn’t working.” It called on staffers to ask “friendly congressional, gubernatorial and mayoral offices” to encourage schools to apply. “We should also make sure the Cabinet is pushing the competition out to their lists,” the memo said. The note reiterated, “We do not want the actual application number out there (we didn’t release the number of applications we received last year until after the submission period)-so folks should not use it in their pitches.”

You can just feel the butthurt oozing out of that memo, can’t you? My heart bleeds for them… or, at least, it would if I wasn’t afraid of the condition placing me in front of a death panel. (NSFW image below cut.)

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Amazingly Non-Surprising News

15 January 2011

You know liberals, and only liberals, were “surprised” every single solitary week of 2010 when the unemployment figures came out and the fictitious “Obama Boom” persisted in not ever actually happening? Well, here’s some other news that should come as a complete lack of surprise to you:

AOL News — When the Republican House leadership decided to start the 112th Congress with a reading of the U.S. Constitution, the decision raised complaints in some quarters that it was little more than a political stunt. The New York Times even called it a “presumptuous and self-righteous act.” That might be true, if you could be sure that elected officials actually know something about the Constitution. But it turns out that many don’t. In fact, elected officials tend to know even less about key provisions of the Constitution than the general public. For five years now, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute has been conducting a national survey to gauge the quality of civic education in the country. We’ve surveyed more than 30,000 Americans, most of them college students, but also a random sample of adults from all educational and demographic backgrounds. … But those elected officials who took the test scored an average 5 percentage points lower than the national average (49 percent vs. 54 percent), with ordinary citizens outscoring these elected officials on each constitutional question. Examples:
  • Only 49 percent of elected officials could name all three branches of government, compared with 50 percent of the general public.
  • Only 46 percent knew that Congress, not the president, has the power to declare war — 54 percent of the general public knows that.
  • Just 15 percent answered correctly that the phrase “wall of separation” appears in Thomas Jefferson’s letters — not in the U.S. Constitution — compared with 19 percent of the general public.
  • And only 57 percent of those who’ve held elective office know what the Electoral College does, while 66 percent of the public got that answer right. (Of elected officials, 20 percent thought the Electoral College was a school for “training those aspiring for higher political office.”)

Overall, our sample of elected officials averaged a failing 44 percent on the entire 33-question test, 5 percentage points lower than the national average of 49 percent. (H/T: Weasel Zippers)

The test is available here if you’d like to test yourself against our elected officials. (I got all of them right. RoboMonkey in 2012!)

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Like a Teacher in July: No Class

9 April 2010

Speaking of union thugs, Teachers Union’s Memo The Latest Salvo In War Of Words With Governor Christie (H/T: Storage Manager).

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie isn’t laughing about a teachers union’s memo that hints of his death. … The Record of Bergen County obtained the Bergen County Education Association memo that includes a closing prayer: “Dear Lord this year you have taken away my favorite actor, Patrick Swayze, my favorite actress, Farrah Fawcett, my favorite singer, Michael Jackson, and my favorite salesman, Billy Mays. I just wanted to let you know that Chris Christie is my favorite governor.”

More death threats and violence from the right?

Any Way You Slice It

16 March 2010

According to Politico (H/T: JCM) the poor staffers are upset at the quality of food in the House cafeteria.

Staffers are so unhappy with the “value meal” offerings at House cafeterias that lawmakers spent much of a hearing last week grilling the House’s chief administrative officer about them.

My, there’s a productive use of Congress’ time! Good thing they don’t have anything more important on their plates right now! But seriously, another section of the story leapt out at me:

The value meals – five bucks and change for a meal and a drink – are supposed to appeal to lower-paid Hill staffers who can’t afford to pop for more expensive lunches, such as sandwiches that go for nearly $8 a la carte. But staffers complain that there’s not enough variety in the value meals – and that the quality is less than they’d get at the same price from a fast-food chain.

Really? You can get better products for less money in the private sector than you can from the government? Sounds like a teachable moment here! Unfortunately, I’ll bet that this light bulb didn’t go on over a single representative’s head.

The Stupid is Strong With This One

26 February 2010

It’s hard to believe that a letter like this could possibly be real, or that anybody could possibly be this stupid. But it is, and they are.

I am a math teacher at Brockton High School, the site of a school shooting earlier this month.

Note that this is a teacher, who is (presumably) an educated person; part of whose job it is to be concerned about students.

Current school security procedures lock down school populations in the event of armed assault. Some advocate abandoning this practice as it holds everyone in place, allowing a shooter easily to find victims. An alternative to lockdown is immediate exodus via announcement. Although this removes potential hostages and makes it nearly impossible for the shooter to acquire preselected targets, it unfairly rewards resourceful children who move to safety off-site more shrewdly and efficiently than others. Schools should level playing fields, not intrinsically reward those more resourceful. A level barrel is fair to all fish.

Allowing the children to run to safety isn’t “fair” because some children will be faster or smarter than others; the only fair solution is to keep them trapped because shooting fish in a barrel (he actually uses that metaphor) presumably gives all of the children equal odds on living or dying… Unfortunately, since more children (all of them, in fact) will be at risk in a “level barrel” scenario, with potentially higher casualties, then the average odds of being shot (number of casualties divided by total number of students) is higher for the student bodies – er, body. Of course, the typical socialist doesn’t care if everybody is sick, poor, and miserable; as long as they are equally sick, poor, and miserable; the same philosophy applies here.

Some propose overturning laws that made schools gun-free zones even for teachers who may be licensed to securely carry concealed firearms elsewhere. They argue that barring licensed-carry only ensures a defenseless, target-rich environment. But as a progressive, I would sooner lay my child to rest than succumb to the belief that the use of a gun for self-defense is somehow not in itself a gun crime.

DOUG VAN GORDER
Quincy
Letter to the Editor, The Boston Globe

So not only is he a horrible teacher who doesn’t care about his students, he’s also a horrible parent who would rather see his son die than have him be saved by politically-incorrect methods. Saving his son’s life would be a crime. I have to wonder what this moron’s son thinks, reading this letter in the paper – assuming that his son is even capable of reading, given what a horrible teacher, father, and all-around human being Doug van Gorder is. Someone needs to tell Dougie that Harrison Bergeron was a satire, not a set of guidelines. (H/T Before It’s News)

Educator, Teach Thyself

24 February 2010

Those who can’t, teach; and those who can’t teach, join unions to make sure they keep their jobs anyway. This union is apparently trying to implement their “No Teacher Left Behind” program…

Central Falls, RI – A Rhode Island school district has voted to fire all the teachers at an underperforming school. The Central Falls School Committee voted Tuesday evening to fire every educator at Central Falls High School, including teachers, guidance counselors and the principal. It’s the only school in the tiny, impoverished city north of Providence. Only about half its students graduate, and only 7 percent of 11th-graders were proficient in math in 2009. The plan was developed because of a federal effort to makeover failing schools. The Central Falls Teachers Union says it is reviewing legal options and hasn’t decided what action to take. Education Secretary Arne Duncan applauds the decision and says “when schools continue to struggle we have a collective obligation to take action.”

Forget firings; the former staff at that school are lucky that they aren’t liable to be sued for malpractice. But then, teachers’ unions have never cared about the welfare of the students, because of course the students aren’t the ones paying them union dues.

Learning From History

17 February 2010


Would anyone fall for the Trojan Horse today? Craig finds out when he leaves a full-sized replica horse (with concealed Trojans) outside a number of security-sensitive buildings.

This one is an oldie, but a goodie. I just dug it up today when someone elsewhere mentioned the Trojan Horse strategy. Apparently, quite a few people (but not everyone!) haven’t learned the lessons of history. On a not-very-related note, Zombie’s “How Climate-Change Dance Theory spells the end of a movement” draws historical parallels between the latest round of moonbat behavior with Vietnam protesters and Native Americans who didn’t realize that they’d already lost the war.

Democratic Ego Inflation

12 February 2010

MMX Flex poses the following question:

In case you haven’t heard … President Obama’s new budget includes a big increase for the Smithsonian Institution. The museum complex will receive a record-breaking $797.4 million in 2010. Apparently, $761.4 million in 2009 just wasn’t enough. With so much of our money going here, it got us thinking – is the Smithsonian Institute fair and balanced?

I thought that the Smithsonian’s liberal bias was “settled science”, given the way they’ve been caught putting a left-wing anti-American spin on many exhibits – which blew up in their face when they tried to use the Enola Gay exhibit on the fiftieth anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing to “[depict] Japanese as victims” of a United States “motivated by vengeance” (the script, which went through many revisions due to public and Congressional scrutiny and outrage, also “unilaterally … reduc[ed] by 75 percent the estimate of American casualties that would have resulted from an invasion of Japan”).

“Do you want to do an exhibit to make veterans feel good, or do you want an exhibition that will lead our visitors to think about the consequences of the atomic bombing of Japan? Frankly, I don’t think we can do both.” –Tom Crouch, NASM curator

Anyway, to answer their question, MMX Flex “visited the popular Portraits of the Presidents exhibit at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in downtown Washington and snapped a few pictures.” Visit MMX Flex‘s page to see the pictures; all of the recent Democratic presidents have huge portraits, while the Republican presidents have only modest, standard-sized portraits … at best.

A portrait of President Nixon hangs on the opposite side of the Carter wall. The Nixon portrait is quite small (we were unable to find a smaller presidential portrait in the gallery) and dimly lit. Probably just a coincidence … Or maybe this is what they meant by “warmly intimate.”

One commenter mocked the “inflation” received by all of the Democrats, particularly Carter; but the bias is clear to see. If they could get away with it, would they be airbrushing the Republicans out of history entirely, like the Soviet Union famously did to their people who fell by the political wayside? As part of this phenomenon, consider also the massive “cult of personality” portraits of Obama which cover the walls of the White House, making it “almost a shrine to Obama.”

“My Pet Goat” Moment?

25 January 2010

Teleprompter: don’t go to a sixth grade classroom without it.

School Vouchers Work…

16 January 2010

…and Head Start doesn’t, according to the study which was recently/finally (as in, they were sitting on it since 2008) released by HHS. Andrew J. Coulson writes at Cato@Liberty:

…virtually all academic effects [of Head Start] disappear by the end of 1st grade. There is only one positive statistically significant finding out of eleven academic outcomes measured, the size of that effect is minuscule by recognized standards … We have spent more than $100 billion on the program to date … and HHS’s own research shows that its results diminish to essentially nothing by the end of the first grade.

Well, that’s a shocker. A government program that wastes a ton of money with neglible results. (That actually puts it ahead of many other government schemes that actually have extremely negative results; that’s the category ObamaCare will be in if it passes.) In a later post, Coulson explains that the results are actually worse than he’d originally thought. So, are there alternatives to Head Start?

There are other government education programs whose effects actually grow substantially over time, and that are comparatively economical. Consider the federal DC voucher program. Just a year or two after switching from public to private schools, the effect of the private schooling was not big enough to rise to the level of statistical significance. But by their third year in private schools, the evidence was clear that voucher-receiving students were reading more than two grade levels above a randomized control group that stayed in public schools. This program, as I’ve previously documented, costs 1/4 as much per pupil as DC spends on public education: about $6,600 vs. $28,000.

Well then, obviously the answer is to defund Head Start and raise spending on school vouchers, right?

But Congress, and particularly Democrats, have defunded the DC voucher program while raising spending on Head Start. President Obama is at the forefront of this travesty. If you weren’t already jaded and disgusted by education politics and its domination by employee unions opposed to educational choice, start now.

Amazing how often they invoke “think of the children!” when attacking other people’s programs and plans, but how little their programs and plans actually do to help children. As always, politics trumps people.


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