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On Education, the Left Protects a Miserable Status

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John Beagle View Drop Down
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    Posted: Mar 08 2017 at 10:38am
 by Walter E. Williams
 Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason  University.

 U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement, “The  president’s decision to ask Betsy DeVos to run the Department of  Education should offend every single American man, woman, and child  who has benefitted from the public education system in this country.”

 Expressing similar sentiments, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman  Cedric Richmond said, “I expect that Mrs. DeVos will have an incredibly harmful impact on public education and on black communities nationwide.”

Those and many other criticisms of DeVos, the Department of Education secretary, could be dismissed as simply political posturing if we did not have an educational system that is mostly mediocre and is in advanced decay for most black students.

According to the Nation’s Report Card, only 37 percent of 12th-graders were proficient in reading in 2015, and just 25 percent were proficient in math.

For black students, achievement levels were a disgrace. Nationally, 17 percent of black students scored proficient in reading, and 7 percent scored proficient in math. In some cities, such as Detroit, black academic proficiency is worse; among eighth-graders, only 4 percent were proficient in math, and only 7 percent were proficient in reading.

The nation’s high school graduation rate rose again in the 2014-2015 school year, reaching a record high as more than 83 percent of students earned a diploma on time.

Educators see this as some kind of achievement and congratulate themselves. The tragedy is that high school graduation has little relevance to achievement.

In 2014-2015, graduation rates at District of Columbia Public Schools, just as they did nationally, climbed to an all-time high. At H.D. Woodson High School, 76 percent of students graduated on time; however, just 1 percent met math standards on national standardized tests linked to the Common Core academic standards. Just 4 percent met the reading standards.

The low black academic achievement is not restricted to high school graduates of D.C. schools. The average black high school graduate has the academic achievement level of a white seventh- or eighth-grader.

As such, it stands as unambiguous evidence that high schools confer diplomas attesting that students can read, write, and compute at a 12th-grade level when in fact they cannot. That means they have received fraudulent high school diplomas.

There are many factors that affect education that educators cannot control. But they have total control over the issuance of a diploma.

Educators often complain that there’s not enough money. Census Bureau data show that as early as 2009-2010, Washington, D.C., spent $29,409 per pupil.

Starker proof that there’s little relationship between spending and academic proficiency is in the case of Detroit’s public schools. In 2009-2010, the nation’s elementary and secondary public school systems spent an average of $10,615 per pupil. According to the Census Bureau, Detroit schools spent $12,801 per pupil. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy claims that Detroit actually spent $15,570 per pupil that year.

There’s not much payoff for education dollars. The National Institute for Literacy found that 47 percent of the city’s adults are “functionally illiterate.” The Nation’s Report Card reports that Detroit students score the lowest among the nation’s big-city schools, and Washington is not far behind.

I’d ask Schumer how it would be possible for DeVos to make education any worse than it is for many Americans. I’d suggest to Richmond that if the grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan were the secretary of education and wanted to sabotage black academic achievement, he couldn’t find a better method for doing so than keeping our public school system as it is.

Many black politicians and educators would never have their own children attend the rotten, dangerous schools that are so much a part of our big cities. Many black parents, captured by these schools, would like to get their children out.

But that’s not in the interest of the education establishment, which wants a monopoly on education. Black politicians and academics are the establishment’s facilitators.

That explains their hostility to DeVos. She would like to give more parents a choice.
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
-Joseph Campbell
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 08 2017 at 10:44am

Sen. Al Franken Opposed to School Choice Except for Own Kids’ 44K/Year Private School


by PENNY STARR

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) was highly critical of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos during her confirmation hearing, citing that DeVos had never attended a public school or sent a child to one, alphanews.com reported on March 2.
But Franken seems to like the idea of sending his own children to private schools — they attended Dalton School in New York City where tuition is $44,640 per year.

“Dalton is known for educating celebrities and children of royalty,” alphanews.com reported.

And Franken himself enjoyed attending a private school.

“According to an interview with Harvard Magazine, Franken was a math and science whiz as a boy,” alphanews.com reported. “As he approached secondary school years, his parents wanted to find a better school for their gifted student.”

“Franken ended up attending and graduating from Blake, one of the most exclusive private schools in the Minneapolis area, where the tuition for upperclassmen is currently $29,025 per year,” alphanews.com reported.

Calling DeVos “fundamentally unqualified to lead the Education Department,” Franken took part in the all-night session on the Senate floor to oppose her nomination.

“In reality, most school vouchers don’t cover the full cost of private school tuition,” Franken said. “Nor do they cover additional expenses like transportation, school uniforms, and other supplies.

“Which means the vouchers don’t create more choices for low-income families,” Franken said. “They simply subsidize existing choices for families who could already afford to pay for private school.”

Then Franken focused in on DeVos’s lack of experience with public schools.

“She has never attended a public school,” Franken said. “She has never sent a child to a public school.”

“During a speech in March 2015, DeVos said a child should not be forced to go to a school based on their family’s income or zip code,” alphanews.com reported.

“Let the education dollars follow each child, instead of forcing the child to follow the dollars,” DeVos said. “This is pretty straightforward.”

“And it’s how you go from a closed system to an open system that encourages innovation,” DeVos said. “People deserve choices and options.”

The Daily Caller reported that Franken is one of at least seven of 46 Senate Democrats that voted against DeVos who have children or grandchildren who attended exclusive private schools.

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
-Joseph Campbell
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MElass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 08 2017 at 11:06pm
Agree that (many)politicians have little interest in improving public school education since a very, very few of them (living on our tax dollars) actually have children educated by the (FAILING) public school system. Our graduation rate and test scores are down while our COST per student is up. What is wrong with that picture?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vegasmayor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 09 2017 at 8:46am
We let people make decisions about our public schools who don't send their own children to public schools.  We let people make decisions about transportation who have chauffeurs pick them up daily.  We let people make decisions about our healthcare who are given healthcare plan options that most people could only dream of.  But don't you dare tell us that average Americans are dumb.  Thems fightin' words.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 09 2017 at 9:16am
I know my teacher and administrator friends are not happy with the new education secretary because she is in favor of school choice. They see it as an infringement on their jobs. They should not see it that way.

School choice means that successful schools and teachers will be rewarded by having higher enrollment. Now my question for the teachers and admins is "who is going to teach and administer?"

In my opinion there will be a no net loss of teaching positions. Better yet those teachers who really are not doing a good job will likely leave the teaching profession. This is a good thing.

One more thing 'school choice' doesn't mean much unless we have a better understanding of which schools and teachers are best for our kids so we can choose the right ones.

Lastly please don't give me a list of all the failed private schools. I am well aware of the many failures. But when a private school fails, parents have the right to choose another education product. In our current systems parents have little to no choice. 


  
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-Joseph Campbell
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MElass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 09 2017 at 7:01pm
John, well said. Parents who see their children in failing schools should be able to opt out of that and enroll their children in better schools. Teachers who are" just going through the motions" and "go along to get along" should find another profession. Our kids deserve better.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Houndog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 09 2017 at 7:28pm
The failing of education in our nation begins at home.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MElass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 09 2017 at 9:45pm
Originally posted by Houndog Houndog wrote:

The failing of education in our nation begins at home.


YES, YES, YES!!! But!!!! Those parents who DO CARE and ARE INVOLVED in their children's education should have an alternative if their local public school is sub-standard/lacking.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Houndog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 10 2017 at 7:20pm
If you can afford a good education for your child then they get one.
Otherwise. Sorry.
Only the wealthy deserve such luxuries.
Education is not a right.
It is a privilege.
PAY TO USE.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote basser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 11 2017 at 6:43pm
Dawg, if I understand you correctly, only the wealthy will go to better schools? So that's how the wealthy get into the Ivy League schools. Who'da thunk it !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Houndog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 12 2017 at 10:47pm
Nah. I'm just trying to shine a light on the hypocrisy.
We live in a nation of wealth worship.
Damn the working man.Bow to the billionaire
This is our nation.
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