Study confirms US education stinks

In the film classic, “Casablanca,” the chief of police, played by Claude Rains, expresses profound “shock” that gambling has been taking place at Rick’s American Cafe.  Similar expressions of shock were heard in our nation’s Capital earlier this month, with the release of an international survey of student achievement.  This year’s Programme for International Study (PISA) test, which is administered every three years by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), placed the United States far down in the pack in science, reading, and especially mathematics.  The dismal results had the United States 25th in math, 17th in science and 14th in reading.  China was first.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called the the results a “wake up call.”  His reaction shows just how out of touch Washington is when it comes to education.  If the United States hasn’t awakened by now to the fact that our schools are failing miserably to graduate students competent to compete in such key subject areas as math, science and basic reading, then we are in a permanent somnambulant state.  The United States has been stuck among the lower percentiles in rankings such as the PISA, literally for decades.  A “wake up call?”  That came and went years ago.

This trend has continued despite repeated efforts by every modern president since Lyndon Johnson in the mid-1960s, to make “education” one of their signature issues.  George W. Bush heralded his “No Child Left Behind Act,” introduced at the very start of his first term in office in January 2001, as a major step forward to begin improving education in this country.  The Act’s focus on federalizing tests and ranking schools obviously has failed to move the US forward.  His successor’s program, the “Race to the Top” – which like its predecessor programs, focuses on throwing money at the problem – will enjoy no greater success when all is said and done.

The clear fact is — this is not about money.  The United States spends tens of billions of dollars each year on public education, with a large chunk of that coming from taxpayers via the federal Department of Education.  Individual cities and counties spend billions more, but studies show consistently there is no correlation between the amount of money spent per-pupil, and objective results achieved.  In fact, some of the school districts with the highest per-pupil expenditures have the poorest test scores; my home city of Atlanta, Georgia is a prime example.  The problems go far deeper than any amount of money thrown at the problem can ever hope to solve.

Until families and parents take responsibility for the education of their children; until the federal government gets out of the education business; and until state legislators and local school boards get serious about focusing on basic education rather than such matters as sex education, home economics, and political correctness, American students will continue to fall farther and farther behind students in other countries.  And we as a country will sink further and further behind our competitors in the ability to compete in the world economic arena.

78 comments Add your comment

Fran

December 17th, 2010
6:59 pm

Wow! China, a communist country, with virtually none of the freedoms allowed here is kicking our arse in this PISA testing. While I do agree that parenting skills here are lacking, and there are alot of kids who live in unwholesome environments, I still think are educational system is quite relevant and successful. 2 things here to keep in mind. 1) Overall, the general population of kids being tested averages would be higher if their families weren’t being held at gunpoint.(If junior doesn’t get an A, uncle Tye Phook will be arrested and shot as a subversive!) 2) The Chinese are infamous at lying and fudging the facts to suit their long term goals. So it all must be taken in perspective.

Ramona "Quarter Mill" Tyson

December 17th, 2010
7:00 pm

Question: I’m redecorating my office. Should I go with Herman Miller or Mies van der Rohe?

Pats and Taps

December 17th, 2010
8:42 pm

I write. I lead. Others follow.

GOAL Digger

December 17th, 2010
9:23 pm

Where else in the world is an education free? Not many places. I think is part of the problem. Our competitors value education because they have to work for it.

The Asians (Chinese, Korean, Japanese) and some Caribbean nations have the right idea: kindergarten is not play time, you WORK. It’s serious. This continues until high school, where the work ethic has been established. THEN and only then, can you PLAY-AFTER the work is done. Complete opposite of what we do here. School is all recess and play time until they become preteens, then we suddenly expect them to “get serious”. That has never worked for us.

Hmph

Blazing

December 17th, 2010
9:26 pm

@ Fran, your logic is flawed and your grammar is horrid. The Asian kids here in the states are kicking OUR (not “are” :-| ) kids’ asses.

Lee

December 17th, 2010
10:00 pm

Okay, y’all pay attention now, class is in session:

1. Back before political correctness, researchers conducted IQ tests. Time after time after time, they found the IQ hierarchy from highest to lowest was Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic, Black.

2. That same pattern shows up in just about every measure conceivable. SAT, ACT, CRCT, employment tests, etc, etc, etc.

3. A homogenous, high IQ population from an industrial nation SHOULD be at the top of educational achievement.

4. Remember the 50’s, when the USA was 90% white, we were at the top of just about every quality of life measure. What has happened since then is we have allowed the third world to invade this nation and lower our living standards. Exhibit A, pretty much anywhere in southern California.

5. What is most telling is the decline of Western Civilization nations such as the UK, Sweden, and Norway – nations which have allowed mass third world immigration in the past two decades.

6. I submit that if you statified by ethnicity, the USA would compare favorably among nations of the same backgrounds. i.e, compare US Asian student population achivement with that of Singapore and Korea.

Years from now, when historians discuss the fall of the once great United States, they will point to political correctness and the cultural suicide we committed.

[...] School District, the New York State Education Department notified the district that Rome …US education stinksAtlanta Journal Constitution [...]

[...] Read more from the original source: Study confirms US education stinks – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

[...] more to education than testsRome SentinelUS education stinksAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Wall Street Journal -CNN International -Columbus [...]

bob

December 18th, 2010
7:44 am

Bill 7:24, Some privates may spend 2 to 3 times as more but many spend less. Look at the cost of St. Pius, it’s cheaper than what Atlanta Public schools spend per student by a few grand. Their teachers do not have tenure and still seem to be able to teach. We have many good public schools, the major differance are the parents being involved. When parents use schools as a day care, the children suffer.

Captain DaPoet

December 18th, 2010
7:49 am

The IGNORANT top heavy ADMINISTRATORS need to be fired and the money saved given to the teachers who actually do the work…

GW

December 18th, 2010
8:08 am

Is our children learning?

JKL2

December 18th, 2010
8:14 am

Obama’s solution has always been to throw more money at it. Then again, that seems to be his solution for everything…

HLo

December 18th, 2010
8:30 am

Dear Mr. Barr,
you are right when you mention that parents need to take more responsibility in education. I agree with you that political correctness should not be a matter of the school to teach. I don’t agree with the term education business – at least not until college. Highschool should be not a matter of business.

The federal government need not to spent less, but way more money, equally independent of the district – this would offer equal opportunity and can harvest more talent of minority areas. However, you mention that money is not necessary correlating with “objective results archived” – what does mean? This is misleading, even though you mention test scores – but what grade/test are you talking about. The money from the Federal government is probably wasted from stupid and obsolete institution as a school board which consists people who talk about thing they don’t have a background for. This is wasting (see the Texas textbook decision). The whole school system needs to be restructured. In China e.g. they are successful because the government spends more money on education and sends the best students abroad. And China does not have a teachers union which also helps in education students – so this union has to be gone first to make effective changes.

Without government the education system will even fail more, do you want private corporations to decide what has to be taught?

f

December 18th, 2010
9:23 am

Students should be taught
as if you taught them not
and things unknown
proposed as things forgot

bob

December 18th, 2010
11:08 am

I think what we need for any education improvement as a whole is an 8 hr/5 day a week/240 day a year classroom for middle and high school students with the additional 2 hours going towards things that make sense at the last two hours, not more “drill and kill” but study hall with tutors available for homework if needed. If the middle school and high school students can have an opportunity to get help in homework that may baffle their parents then they will be better prepared for better education.

Mrs. Norris

December 18th, 2010
7:53 pm

And just think, Georgia is at the bottom of the nation. Wow, we is stupid. And what the f are you talking about f?

[...] Study confirms US education stinks — Atlanta Journal Constitution blog [...]

Michael H. Smith

December 19th, 2010
6:50 am

Eduction is one of the few issues on which I find agreement with the Libertarians. When the money follows the student, parents automatically have to take responsibilities for the education of their child. They have no other choice than to get involved, when nanny government no longer makes their child’s educational choices for them.

J.B. STONER

December 19th, 2010
10:39 am

Crime and education don’t mix.
Never have, never will…….

Ima Pol Crook

December 19th, 2010
3:48 pm

Top 10 political crooks-guess who’s on the list?

Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” for 2010
ViewDiscussion.Contact Information:
Press Office 202-646-5172, ext 305

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released its 2010 list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians.” The list, in alphabetical order, includes: Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Rahm Emanuel, Former Obama White House Chief of Staff, Senator John Ensign (R-NV), Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL), President Barack Obama, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA).

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. But it appears she still needs an ethics lesson. Boxer presided over a year-long investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee into whether two of her Senate colleagues, Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Kent Conrad (D-ND), received preferential treatment from Countrywide Financial as part of the company’s “VIP” program. (Senate ethics rules prohibit members from receiving loan terms not available to the general public.) In fact, according to The Associated Press, during an Ethics Committee hearing Boxer asked “the bulk of the questions.”

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However, Boxer failed to mention (or disclose on her official Senate Financial Disclosure documents) that she and her husband have signed no less than seven mortgages with Countrywide! At the time of the hearing, Boxer reportedly indicated she had paid off two Countrywide mortgages, but did not mention the others.

The evidence clearly showed that Dodd and Conrad knew they were receiving preferential treatment despite repeated denials. Yet Boxer’s Senate Ethics Committee allowed Dodd and Conrad to wriggle off the hook with a light admonition that suggested the two Senators should have exercised better judgment. The same, apparently, can be said of the Committee’s own chair, who either neglected to mention or outright lied about her own dealings with the corrupt mortgage company.

Rahm Emanuel, Former Obama White House Chief of Staff didn’t earn the nickname “Rahmbo” for being a mild-mannered shrinking violet. He served as Bill Clinton’s chief money-man at a time when the Clinton campaign was corrupted by foreign money. He defended the “worst of the worst” Clinton scandals, and, in fact, earned his reputation as a ruthless political combatant by fiercely defending President Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky investigation. (Notably, Emanuel also served on the board of Freddie Mac when the company was involved in fraudulent activity.)

The bottom line is that when the Clintons’ dirty work needed to be done, Emanuel did it and apparently without question. That didn’t change under Obama. Remember when the Obama White House wanted to manipulate Democratic primaries in 2010?

Emanuel teamed with his then-Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina to allegedly interfere with Senate elections in Pennsylvania and Colorado by offering federal appointments to Rep. Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff. Sestak and Romanoff were not Obama’s favored candidates, so Emanuel and Messina apparently attempted to unlawfully persuade them to abandon their campaigns.

A Judicial Watch complaint to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel on June 15, 2010, tells the story: “As widely reported in the media, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina, on behalf of the Obama Administration, have both used their position and influence as highly placed federal employees to affect the outcome of federal elections in direct violation of the Hatch Act, which states that an employee may not ‘use his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.’”

And then, of course, there’s Emanuel’s participation in the Blagojevich scandal.

According to sworn testimony during the “Blago” trial, Emanuel served as Obama’s chief negotiator with the Blagojevich team as the former Illinois Governor attempted to illegally sell Obama’s former Senate seat to the highest bidder. Unfortunately, the federal prosecutor cut short the case against Blagojevich and Emanuel and other Obama insiders were never called to testify.

Emanuel left the White House under an ethical cloud and has decided to throw his hat in the ring for Mayor of Chicago, where he again stands accused of ignoring the rules and violating the law regarding candidate residency requirements.

Senator John Ensign (R-NV): In a scandal that first broke in 2009, Senator Ensign publicly admitted to an affair with the wife of a long-time staffer. And the evidence indicates Ensign then tried to cover up his sexual shenanigans by bribing the couple with lucrative gifts and political favors.

According to The New York Times, after Ensign’s aide, Douglas Hampton, discovered the affair, “Mr. Ensign asked political backers to find a job for…Hampton. Payments of $96,000 to the Hamptons also were made by Senator Ensign’s parents, who insist this was a gift, not hush money. Once a lobbying job was secured, Senator Ensign and his chief of staff continued to help Mr. Hampton, advocating his clients’ cases directly with federal agencies.”

These lobbying activities were seemingly in violation of the Senate’s “cooling off” period for lobbyists. According to The Wall Street Journal, “Under Senate rules, former Senate aides cannot lobby their former colleagues for one year after leaving Capitol Hill.” Hampton began to lobby Mr. Ensign’s office immediately upon leaving his congressional job.

Ensign seems to have ignored the law and allowed Hampton lobbying access to his office as a payment for his silence about the affair. And despite the claims of Ensign and his parents, the $96,000 in “gifts” provided to the Hamptons were clearly hush payments.

Nonetheless, on December 1, 2010, the Obama Justice Department announced it will file no criminal charges against Ensign, while the Federal Election Commission has also dismissed a related ethics complaint. If there is to be justice for Ensign, it will have to be up to the corrupt (see Boxer entry above) Senate Ethics Committee, which is still considering the charges against the Nevada Republican.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): In a story that continued to mushroom throughout 2010, Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) improperly intervened for Maxine Waters (D-CA) on behalf of his home-state OneUnited Bank to obtain Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds. When asked about the scandal, the Massachusetts Democrat admitted he spoke to a “federal regulator” but, according to The Wall Street Journal he didn’t remember which federal regulator he spoke with.” According to explosive Treasury Department emails uncovered by Judicial Watch in 2010, however, it appears this nameless bureaucrat was none other than then-Treasury Secretary Henry “Hank” Paulson!

While Frank’s “partner in crime” in the OneUnited scandal, Congressman Maxine Waters, is being investigated by the House Ethics Committee (see below), Frank’s colleagues in the House have inexcusably ignored the Massachusetts Democrat’s connection to the OneUnited grant.

To this day, Barney Frank continues to defend his role in the meltdown of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying he was just as blindsided as the rest of America when the two government sponsored enterprises collapsed, triggering the financial crisis. Frank has been peddling this fiction ever since the economy collapsed in September 2008. But, as The Boston Globe reported in a devastating article published on October 14, 2010, not many people are buying Frank’s lies anymore. And Frank knows it. Here’s an excerpt from the Globe:

The issue…in 2003 was whether mortgage backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were fiscally strong. Frank declared with his trademark confidence that they were, accusing critics and regulators of exaggerating threats to Fannie’s and Freddie’s financial integrity. And, the Massachusetts Democrat maintained, ‘even if there were problems, the federal government doesn’t bail them out.’ Now, it’s clear he was wrong on both points…

Frank wasn’t wrong. He was just lying through his teeth. Frank claims that he “missed” the warning signs with Fannie and Freddie because he was wearing “ideological blinders,” which was just his lame attempt to blame Republicans. But he did not miss them. According to evidence uncovered by Judicial Watch, he just chose to ignore them.

Judicial Watch obtained documents in 2010 proving that members of Congress, including — and perhaps especially — Barney Frank, were well aware that Fannie and Freddie were in deep trouble due to corruption and incompetence and yet they did nothing to stop it.

Moreover, as the Globe notes, in July 2008, then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says he called Frank and told him the government would need to spend “billions of taxpayer dollars to backstop the institutions from catastrophic failure.” Frank, despite that conversation, appeared on national television two days later and said the companies were “fundamentally sound, not in danger of going under.” Less than two months later, the government seized Fannie and Freddie and the bailout began.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL): This year’s trial of scandal-ridden former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich ended with “Blago” being convicted of only 1 of 24 charges related to the scheme to sell Obama’s vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder. But as the government plans its second attempt to prosecute the case, one person who should be on the hot-seat is Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL).

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. directed a major political fund-raiser to offer former Gov. Rod Blagojevich millions of dollars in campaign cash in return for an appointment to the U.S. Senate.”

How much cash?

The Chicago Sun Times put that figure at $1.5 million in its initial reports. But according to Jackson’s fundraiser, Raghuveer Nayak, the Illinois Congressman asked him to offer not $1.5 million, but a whopping $6 million in campaign cash to Blagojevich to secure the Senate seat!

In addition to his corrupt deal-making, in 2010 Jackson was also nailed for conducting an improper and potentially criminal relationship with a female “social acquaintance.”

Nayak told investigators that Jackson asked him to “pay to fly a Washington, DC, restaurant hostess named Giovana Huidobro…to Chicago to visit him.” Nayak reportedly did so twice.

We all know what “social acquaintance” means under these circumstances. Jackson says this is a “private and personal matter between me and my wife.” But not if it involves public funds or illegal gifts — issues which remain unsettled.

President Barack Obama: Remember the promise President Obama made just after his inauguration in 2009? “Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”

Instead, Americans have suffered through lies, stonewalling, cover-ups, corruption, secrecy, scandal and blatant disregard for the rule of law…this has been the Obama legacy in its first two years.

In 2010, Obama was caught in a lie over what he knew about Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s scheme to sell the president’s vacated Senate seat. Blagojevich’s former Chief of Staff John Harris testified that Obama had personal knowledge of Blago’s plot to obtain a presidential cabinet position in exchange for appointing a candidate handpicked by the President. In fact, according to Harris’s court testimony, Obama sent Blagojevich a list of “acceptable” Senate candidates to fill his old seat. Obama was interviewed by the FBI even before he was sworn into office. He claimed he and his staff had no contact with Blagojevich’s office. Unfortunately federal prosecutors never called the President or his staff to testify under oath.

The President also broke his famous pledge to televise healthcare negotiations. And in 2010, we learned why he broke his pledge. In what is now known as the “Cornhusker Kickback” scheme, Obama and the Democrats in the Senate “purchased” the vote of one of the last Democrat hold-outs, Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson, who opposed Obamacare over the issue of covering abortions with taxpayer funds. Nelson abandoned his opposition to Obamacare after receiving millions of dollars in federal aid for his home-state, helping to give the Democrats the 60 votes they needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. Same goes for Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu, who received a $100 million payoff in what has been called “The Louisiana Purchase.” (The Kickback was so corrupt that Democrats stripped it out at the last minute. The Louisiana Purchase, on the other hand, became law of the land.)

Obama lied about his White House’s involvement in this legislative bribery that helped lead to the passage of the signature policy achievement of his presidency.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): “Air Pelosi” is now grounded.

Judicial Watch uncovered documents back in 2009 detailing attempts by Pentagon staff to accommodate Pelosi’s numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft for herself and her family as well as the speaker’s 11th hour cancellations and changes. In 2010, Judicial Watch kept the pressure on Pelosi, uncovering documents that demonstrated the Speaker was using U.S. Air Force aircraft as her own personal party planes. Overall, the Speaker’s military travel cost the United States Air Force $2,100,744.59 over a two-year period — $101,429.14 of which was for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol.

For example, purchases for one Pelosi-led congressional delegation traveling from Washington, DC to Tel Aviv, Israel and Baghdad, Iraq May 15-20, 2008, included: Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Maker’s Mark whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewar’s scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniels whiskey, Corona beer and several bottles of wine.

Moreover, Pelosi also abused the rules by allowing members of her family to join her on taxpayer-funded Air Force flights. For example, on June 20, 2009, Speaker Pelosi’s daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons joined a flight from Andrews Air Force Base to San Francisco International Airport. That flight included $143 for on-flight expenses for food and other items. On July 2, 2010, Pelosi took her grandson on a flight from Andrews Air Force Base to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, which is northeast of San Francisco.

Judicial Watch’s efforts not only exposed Nancy Pelosi’s corrupt abuse of military aircraft, but they also led to reform when Rep. John Boehner announced after Election Day that, as Speaker of the House of Representatives, he will fly commercial to and from Ohio instead of using military aircraft.

Of course, it was Rep. Nancy Pelosi who famously promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington, DC during the campaign of 2006 when the Democrats seized control of power on Capitol Hill. That did not happen. Aside from her own personal transgressions, Pelosi also turned a blind eye to corruption on the part of her Congressional colleagues (see Charlie Rangel entry below).

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY): On December 2, 2010, the House of Representatives voted 333-79 to “censure” Rep. Charles Rangel. Next to expulsion, this is the most serious sanction that can be taken by the House against an individual member. This censure vote followed an investigation by the Committee for Official Standards of Conduct, which finally convicted Rangel on 13 ethics violations, including:

•Forgetting to pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income he earned from his off-shore rental property. (Rangel was formerly in charge of the committee responsible for writing tax policy.)
•Misusing his congressional office, staff and resources to raise money for his private Rangel Center for Public Service, to be housed at the City College of New York. (He also put the squeeze on donors who had business before his House Ways and Means Committee, and used the congressional “free mail” privilege to solicit funds.)
•Misusing his residentially-zoned Harlem apartment as a campaign headquarters.
•Failing to report $600,000 in income on his official congressional financial disclosure reports, which contained “numerous errors and omissions.”
It is worth noting that the Committee did not consider other serious corruption charges against Rangel. For example, it has been alleged that Rangel preserved a tax loophole for an oil company in exchange for a Rangel Center donation. The Committee also did not consider the charge that Rangel used improper influence to maintain ownership of his highly coveted rent-controlled apartment — the same apartment he improperly used for campaign activities.

As this is Washington, politicians of both parties will pretend that censure is a serious punishment. But it is a “punishment” that simply requires Rangel to come to the well of the House and hear a disapproving statement read by lame-duck House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In the real world, you get fired or thrown in jail for abusing your office and not paying your taxes.

Here is further context: The last time the House censured anyone was in 1983, when two congressmen (a Republican and Democrat) were censured for having sexual relationships with teenaged House pages. It seems that unless one is convicted of a crime, one can do anything as a congressman and not be thrown out of the House! The fact that the House has so rarely resorted to censure is more indicative of the lack of seriousness about ethics in Congress than of the so-called severity of the censure punishment.

Rangel should have been expelled from the House of Representatives.

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY): On Election Day 2010, voters sent Congress a clear message: No more big spending or corrupt back-room deals! And what did House Republicans decide to do as one of their first moves for the new Tea Party Congress? Appoint Rep. Hal Rogers, also known as the “Prince of Pork,” to chair the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

According to ABC News: “In two years, Rogers pushed through 135 earmarks worth $246 million. He’s brought tens of millions of dollars into his hometown of Somerset, Ky., so much so that the town has been dubbed ‘Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood.’” Among the most egregious earmarks was a $17 million grant Rogers obtained for an “Airport to Nowhere,” a Kentucky airport with “so little traffic that the last commercial airline pulled out in February (2010).”

But the most serious charge against Rogers involves an earmark he obtained that could benefit one of his own family members.

Rogers secured $5 million in the House for conservation groups that work with wild cats, including the Cheetah Conservation Fund, a Namibia-based organization that employs Rogers’ daughter Allison. In fact, Allison Rogers serves as grants administrator. After she joined the organization in 2007, Congressman Rogers began his push for funding. In 2009, with help from Rogers, the bill passed the House by a 2-1 margin. (It has yet to be voted on in the Senate.)

Congressman Rogers claims he’ll change his stripes now: “No more earmarks. I’ll be the enforcer of the moratorium.” But Rogers’ 27 year history of wasting taxpayer funds on questionable projects is certainly cause for skepticism.

On November 9, 2010, Judicial Watch sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner asking him to reject a bid by Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA), who made our 2009 “Top Ten” list, to once again serve as Chair of the Appropriations Committee, given Lewis’s penchant for influence peddling. Rep. Rogers, however, is no upgrade.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA): Now that Charlie Rangel has been “punished” for his wrongdoing is California Rep. Maxine Waters next up on the hot-seat?

The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (known informally as the House Ethics Committee) plans to hold hearings, although the committee delayed the trial indefinitely on November 29, 2010, citing newly discovered documentary evidence that may impact proceedings. According to The Associated Press, “The charges focus on whether Waters broke the rules in requesting federal help for a bank where her husband owned stock and had served on the board of directors.”

Judicial Watch has investigated the Waters/OneUnited Bank scandal for months. In fact, JW successfully sued the Obama Treasury Department to get documents and obtained explosive emails from the Treasury that provide documented evidence to support the charges against Waters.

For instance, a January 13, 2009, email from Brookly McLaughlin, Treasury’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, expresses surprise at Waters’ apparent conflict of interest:

Further to email below, WSJ [Wall Street Journal] tells me: …Apparently this bank is the only one that has gotten money through section 103-6 of the EESA law. And Maxine Waters’ husband is on the board of the bank. ??????

Judicial Watch also uncovered documents detailing the deplorable financial condition of the bank at the time of the cash infusion, which showed that the bank would have been an unlikely candidate to receive TARP funding without intervention from Waters and Frank.

Aside from OneUnited, there was yet another scandal with Waters’ fingerprints all over it.

To support Judicial Watch’s efforts to fight political corruption, donate here.

According to The Washington Times: “A lobbyist known as one of California’s most successful power brokers while serving as a legislative leader in that state paid Rep. Maxine Waters’ husband $15,000 in consulting fees at a time she was co-sponsoring legislation that would help save the real-estate finance business of one of the lobbyist’s best-paying clients, records show.” That “real-estate finance business” was labeled a “scam” by the IRS in a 2006 report.

Where Are They Now?
(Updates on Selected Judicial Watch “Ten Most Wanted” Alumni)
Jack Abramoff, Former Lobbyist: Jack Abramoff appeared on Judicial Watch’s 2006 “Ten Most Wanted” list for his role in a slew of public corruption scandals that led to the convictions of 20 people, including former Ohio Republican Congressman Bob Ney. Abramoff was sentenced that year to nearly six years in prison for a fraudulent casino deal. In 2008, Abramoff received a concurrent four-year sentence “for conspiring to defraud the government, corrupting public officials and defrauding his clients in a separate case.” In December 2010, Abramoff completed a six-month stint at a Baltimore pizza joint, which officially concludes his prison sentence, and he is now on probation for three years. In 2010, Abramoff was also the subject of a new film called “Casino Jack,” which stars actor Kevin Spacey. Spacey received a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of the disgraced former lobbyist.

Former Senator Roland Burris (D-IL): Former Senator Roland Burris made Judicial Watch’s 2009 “Ten Most Wanted” list for his corrupt (and ultimately successful) attempt to secure Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat from then-Governor Rod Blagojevich. According to Reuters: “Roland Burris came under fresh scrutiny…after disclosing he tried to raise money for the disgraced former Illinois governor who named him to the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama…Burris said he looked into mounting a fundraiser for Rod Blagojevich — later charged with trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat — at the same time he was expressing interest to the then-governor’s aides about his desire to be appointed.” Burris changed his story five times regarding his contacts with Blagojevich prior to being appointed to the U.S. Senate. Three of those changing explanations came under oath. As a special appointment, Roland Burris’s term ended in November 2010, and he is no longer in the U.S. Senate.

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX): Congressman DeLay was embroiled in a series of scandals while serving as majority leader for House Republicans, earning him a spot on Judicial Watch’s 2006 “Ten Most Wanted” list. DeLay, who was also investigated for his ties to “Ten Most Wanted” alumnus Jack Abramoff, resigned his post as majority leader in 2005 and resigned from Congress in 2006. In November 2010, DeLay was ultimately convicted of “illegally funneling corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002,” according to The Associated Press. “He faces five years to life in prison on the money laundering charge and two to 20 years on the conspiracy charge.” Mr. DeLay is adamant he did nothing wrong and plans to appeal the verdict. Mr. DeLay is also the only “Ten Most Wanted” alumnus to appear on the television dance competition Dancing with the Stars.

Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT): Senator Dodd made Judicial Watch’s “Ten Most Wanted” list in 2008 for his corrupt relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for improperly accepting preferential treatment from Countrywide Financial as part of the company’s corrupt “Friends of Angelo” VIP program. Then he made the list again in 2009 for undervaluing a property he owns in Ireland on his Senate Financial Disclosure form. Dodd allegedly obtained a sweetheart real estate deal for the Ireland property in exchange for his assistance in obtaining a presidential pardon (during the Clinton administration) and other favors for a long-time friend and business associate. It seems the scandals were too much politically, and in 2010 Dodd announced he would not run for re-election. Despite his ethical lapses related to the financial sector, Dodd’s name (along with Barney Frank’s) is affixed to the “Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,” the huge regulatory overhaul of the financial sector passed and signed into the law earlier this year. In January 2011 he will be out of office.

Chap

December 19th, 2010
10:54 pm

Richard is ignorant of the teachers unions’ influence in Georgia. He’s just repeating what he heard on FOX News. It is also obvious that Richard was never required to think critically during his education. Otherwise, he would see the fallacy of his suggestion. It is impossible to double teacher salaries without money “being thrown at the problem.”
A Dad knows everything about education because he went to school, so naturally he is informed as to the reasons behind the math curriculum changes.
Patriot thinks that privatizing schools so that corporations can make money from our children’s right to an education is going to create a better system. Just look at Edison Schools and other corporate schools before you go on a rant about socialism and the market economy.
It is obvious that the conservatives in our midst are small-minded, one-dimensional automatons who spout drivel from FOX News or the Tea Party without actually examining the applicability of their statements to this very complex problem. There is no book of right and wrong to consult on how to fix education. FOX News doesn’t have it. Conservatives don’t have it. Arne Duncan doesn’t have it. It is wrestling with the complexity of the situation that will yield an answer.

You shallow thinkers should also learn to write without such obvious grammatical errors.
Imagine uses the word over hall! That should be overhaul, Imagine.
Also, Mr. Spock, Killer J, and Titanic, you’ve got some apostrophe and run-on sentence problems. I wouldn’t comment on education so vociferously if you can’t even prove you’ve had one.

Tracy

December 20th, 2010
6:38 am

There’s countless books written from the 50’s through the 90’s explaining how technology will alter the learning abilities of children. We went from a TV era to a now a TV + internet era.

What our educational system has failed to do is work around this. To adapt. As a whole, we’re still using 1950 style education in the year 2010.

Being 60 years behind though isn’t that bad though considering it is the United States we’re talking about.

Big Jim

December 20th, 2010
10:55 am

J.B. STONER

December 19th, 2010
10:39 am
Crime and education don’t mix.
Never have, never will…….

He’s right. Just ask the Italians,Sicilians,Irish,Germans,etc. Organized crime from these groups contradicted intellectual growth,so they stopped killing and started becoming educated,… somewhat. But don’t think these groups are in any way,shape or form BETTER than anyone else.

Also, why does the same system that educates DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS stink? Maybe because it teaches us the same thing, but we somehow end up
on opposite ends when we become adults. How could we have produced Obama(HIGHLY INTELLIGENT) and he gets no respect, and GW Bush(Apparent nimrod, not unlike most sons in a FAMILY business), who garners the respect other posers like JOHN WAYNE and RONALD REAGAN did. The system is flawed.

point out the obvious

December 20th, 2010
11:08 am

We can thank the Marxist ran Teachers’ Union for this. Not only do they seek to indoctrinate instead of educate, but they have made it impossible for schools to fire braindead, incompetent teachers with their corrupt tenures.

Alan Cook

December 20th, 2010
4:09 pm

National math test scores continue to be disappointing. This poor trend persists in spite of new texts, standardized tests with attached implied threats, or laptops in the class. At some point, maybe we should admit that math, as it is taught currently and in the recent past, seems irrelevant to a large percentage of grade school kids.

Why blame a sixth grade student or teacher trapped by meaningless lessons? Teachers are frustrated. Students check out.

The missing element is reality. Instead of insisting that students learn another sixteen formulae, we need to involve them in tangible life projects. And the task must be interesting.

Project-oriented math engages kids. It is fun. They have a reason to learn the math they may have ignored in the standard lecture format of a class room.

Alan Cook
info@thenumberyard.com
http://www.thenumberyard.com

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December 23rd, 2010
7:10 pm

That’s kind of… abrupt.

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December 23rd, 2010
7:11 pm

I don’t know why…