Saturday, April 30, 2011

What does all this Education reform stuff mean

In 2008 riding on Promises of Hope and change Barack Obama won the presidency of the United States.  Without going into a lot of detail he'd said he was going to fundamentally change America.  As Sandra, who authors Grumpy Educators keeps telling me, the Devil's always in the Details

One of the things Obama planned to fundamentally change when he he became President was our system of education.  American have been told for years we have have a failed education system..  That's not as true as both educators, who use the argument to justify the need for more money,  and their opponents who say we're not getting our monies worth as it is, why throw good money after bad.

My personal opinion is the whole concept has become flawed simply because some kids aren't cut out to be academics and we're trying to measure success based on the number of academics we get into college..  Believe me, a good plumber can earn as much or more than a teacher.... When your pipes are leaking and things are getting ruined, you don't care if the plumber went to Harvard or is a high school dropout.  This blogs not about my opinion, at least not that one...

Parents want their kids to be doctors.  (I started to say rocket scientists, but recently a lot of them went into plumbing).  Educators want more academics and Obama wants scientists so everyone needs to go to college.  Colleges want kids that can, on a college level, read, write, understand math and have parents with money.  If the parents don't have money, they'll settle for government money. That takes a lot of Hope and Change, make that fundamental change,,

Obama's first step was to make Arme Duncan his Secretary of Education, Ducan came out of the Chicago School System, where he made some not to popular changes.  Michelle Rhee was chosen as the poster child for the program... She'd been fired from the DC school system for some less than popular changes she'd made there as well as other things

Next came Teacher Merit Pay, a part of Obama's race to the top initiative..  I all sounded good, and the states tripped over each other and themselves trying to get their paws on RTTT Money.  Some like Florida, passed RTTT based Merit Pay without a clue how they were going to cover the billions of dollars in obligations they incurring by accepting RTTT Grants.  As it turns out, RTTT is only the begining of Obama's fundamental change in America Education System and he had another reason for selecting Duncan as Education Secretary.  Edward Hayes a Chicago Educator and blogger had this to say in a piece called;  Arne Duncan's phony plan dooms real school reform. Why?

Just as George Bush the Irrelevant fed his friends and neighbors from the Department of Defense budget after going to war against whomever the hell it is we are at war with (since it isn’t Islam, Iraq, or Afghanistan), Barack Obama the Elusive will feed his from the Department of Education after declaring war on public schools

Before I start getting myself in trouble,  Politically I'm very conservative.   I'm not a fan of unions and never belonged to one. I am a fan of production based pay, most of my life I got paid for what I accomplished, time didn't matter, achievement did. In principle I'm a strong believer in Merit Pay, provided to goals are reasonable and the system his fair to the Enployee and Employer... I don't believe the plans rushed through the legislatures are fair to anyone..

Many teachers see the Merit Pay Plans, passed by the state legislatures as a war on them and their unions..  I've seen articles that refered to Ducan as a Union Buster, and a Coroporate Lap Dog and a proponet of both Nationalization and Privitation.  Some very recent events lead me to believe Nationalization and Privitation are Obama's idea of  fundamental change..

Ever Since Sandra Started writing about education reform three names keep coming up, Jeb Bush, Pearson Testing and Bill Gates.  I was astounded to see Jeb Bush and Barack Obama together on stage acting like old friends.  Jeb has become the public face of Education Reform.  Being less obvious about it, and staying somewhat in the background is Bill Gates and his billions,,, and standing close to him is Pearson Testing.

Obama and Ducan have both said they're for more testing, and as Sandra pointed out, testing to National Standards.  Both like the idea of Charter Schools.  You can't have National Standards and Nationized tests  without having a National Cirriculim.  As Sandra points out, in Common Core Standards Spur the Marketplace Bill Gates and Pearson have that well under control.. Gates is a compuer genius,,

What do you think about a Retail chain of Virtual Charter Schools, using a national cirriculim approved by the US Department of Education?

If Florida is any example the road to privitation has already been paved, just a matter of painting the lines, putting up street signs and finishing the landscaping.  There is already a bill before the legislature that would allow the schools, with no requirement the school has so much as an office in the state.

In the long run, what will it mean to your children and grandchildren?

I'll start with the sales pitch.. Nationally the per pupil cost for instruction runs 6,ooo to 11,ooo per kid.. 

Suppose a Virtual charter school could provide the couses at $400 per subject.. say an average of six subjects per child.. you got $2400 a year..

Home schooling, using the program would be encouraged. 

A large percentage of older students would love the independence of being able to work from home and require no supervision.

The programs would have the ability to answer students questions..

There would be a percentage of student who would have to warehoused.. Simply beacause parents work and they're to young to be left alone... but at his point, in most cases, you're paying a babysitter, not a teacher to supervise 30 or 40 kids..

Districts could sell off schools and other valuable real estate.  Generating cash, and eliminating maintence an utility costs

Support and teaching staffs could be reduced by a huge percentage..

The savings would be incredible...

Now of course there are some drawbacks...

There would be no local control over what is or isn't taught.  That would all be determined in Washington DC..  with everyting that implies.. including whatever a given  administration's decides is the correct version of history, subject matter, books/reading material and political correctness,

Everydetai of your childs life gets filed in a government computer.. right down to the smallest questions they ask the computer in kindergarten.  Johney, what dd you do this summer?  Does your mom smoke pot or cigarettes? 

Here's a list, by the Missouri Education Watchdog of the parents personal information that Washington would have

•Base salary or wage

•Blood type
•Height and Weight
•Dwelling Arrangement
•Health Care History
•Health Care Plan
•Identification Results
•Immunization Status
•Insurance Coverage
•Overall Health Status
•Residence Block Number
•Social Security Number
•Voting Status

Orsen Wells was right, he just missed by a few years


  1. If you had posted this last year, I would have thought you'd lost your rocker. There is far too little being reported and far too little public discussion on this.

  2. Works both ways Sandra.. If you'd told me a year ago this was in the works, odds are I'd have blown you off as a crackpot..

    This year, as you've been reporting, the evidence is all over, in the legislatures, the President's speechs, in comments made by Gates, Duncan, Bush, and their aides but who (except you) has the patience and focus to wade through all that crap. The media doesn't pay attention to what any of them say except the president... almost no one.. including legislators and congressman read through proposed laws..

  3. The media isn't touching this because they are a part of the control of the narrative. Bloggers are revealing the facts.

  4. 25 years ago while traveling in Montana, I met a group of farmers and ranchers who I thought were Kooks. They were anti-big government, anti-"revenuers" and didn't believe in getting social security numbers for their children when they were born.

    Their beliefs were that since they asked nothing of their government and were completely self sufficient that they did not need to "register" their children. This was in the 80's and when they would look at what was going on "back East" in cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia and such, they would just shake their head and say things like "are we in the same country" or "we aren't going to support that". I have often wondered how their world has changed.

    I wonder if they still sell those T-shirts out there that say "MONTANA IS WHAT AMERICA WAS"?


  5. SOL... get the bus packed, food and booze.. we'll take some friends and go find out.

    I can remember the sign on the PA-Jersey Border. America Starts Here.. I guess they move it west

  6. I'm in and I know where we can camp on the way! I'll pack the booze and food ya'll bring the flag on the way out.


    I just checked. They are telling Duncan, Montana doesn't need any education
    Reform, thank you very much! Montana is looking good to me!

  8. Fishy, we're going to need some vodka filled chocolates...

    Read the articles Sandra... Montana Placed 8th in the nation on real performance.. and got flunked (and partically defunded) by the Feds for not Obamaizing a well working system..

    Since Jeb Bush is now up to his butt in Bill Gates funded crap.. Obama wisely had Bush write a note about it.. Helps take any backlash off the democrats.

  9. I DID read the articles....amazing.

    Jeb is running his own show, traveling the country selling his plan as The Plan for all to follow. Apparently, Utah has just decided to use his plan.

    Michelle Rhee's non-profit has set up house in Montana to help change their ways I suppose. Duncan was there in the Fall of 2010, but Montanan's were not convinced they needed any reform then...and still seem to think that way now.

    I like chocolate, filled with vodka, whiskey, grand marnier, and champagne. I had not realized the mix I had!

  10. Sandra, with luck she'll find herself snowed in and without power by the end of October... that would at least keep her on ice for the winter..

    SOL's bus has it's own generator.. just need to park near a fuel source

    Bush, Obama, Gates even Ducan and Rhree all see a monopoly a huge captive market and the only regulation being written by them..


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