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

Teach2Learn

December 17th, 2010
6:39 am

Cheers to you Bob Barr! To your “get out” list in the summary paragraph, I would add the courts because over my 40 years in education I’ve seen the changes that legal decisions have made, how teachers and principals are frequently limited in making the best decisions for children because of “laws”.

JD

December 17th, 2010
6:44 am

Actually — home economics is a course that John Dewey believes should be taught — we need to get back to educating students in line with experience in life — don’t teach math/science in a sterile environment — teach it as a kid learns to make cookies or a stink bomb. Show them relevance to understand the true joys and utility of learning. Teaching to the test — my gosh — we have now created a system that creates workers who can be trained to punch buttons in prescribed sequence or fill in the prescribed ovals. Such a workforce may be what the Chamber of Commerce wants — but it certainly does not create the individual who understands themselves and what they can do to improve their lives and the quality of society — In short, our system of education and those that continue to support the status quo are the worst enemies this country has faced.

A dad

December 17th, 2010
6:58 am

Not about money? Then I guess Deal’s cutting 2 billion from the budget won’t have any effect. He also lowers corporate taxs in an attempt to attract more business, but when they get her the workforce will be too undereducated to be of use. Yes, education is a two-way street. Parents, cut out your child being glued to the boob tube (a rather apt moniker) and/or playing video games once they get home from school every day. Find 10, 15 minutes to sit down each daywith your child and go over what they learned, see their homework, etc. Help impart a true love of learning.
But it takes more. Public education standards have been reduced to the lowest common denominator, and more than one teacher fried has told me that in today’s school, classes are geared more towards passing the CRCT that actually learning. Want proof of this? Parents, how much is 8+7? See, we knew automatically it’s 15, but if you ask your child chances are they will have to stop and actually add it. Why the diffrence? Lack of foundation. When I was in school, we didn’t get geometry until the 8th grade, algebra in 9th. Here, by the time my oldest daughter was in middle school she’s had about 4 or 5 years of algebra (in bursts of two, three weeks per year) and undefstood nothing about it. When I voiced my concerns to an administrator, I was told they will reinforce it when they come back to it in the next year. My response was you can only reinforce what was actually learned.
The U.S.’s education system will only begin its crawl out of the international basement if we start raising expectations, giving kids a good hour of homework each day, teach what’s inside the entire text, not just what’s geared towads the CRCT, and of course, stop making excuses for why a child can’t or won’t learn. Our children are our greatest asset, and our future. We shouldn’t be shortchanging them, and us, like we are doing now.

Mitch

December 17th, 2010
6:58 am

While it is true that we have serious education problems and part of the problem is lack of parent support and involvement, what we need is limitation on what problems the schools must solve so that they can educate. Why should schools solve drug, smoking, sex, health (aids) problems, etc.etc.? In addition do other countries mandate mainstreaming of special ed students, do they operate massive bussing fleets, and do they require Title IX sports programs??

Jane

December 17th, 2010
7:07 am

The comparisons are rigged. Only China’s top 10% of students even go to “high school” and then only the top 6% of that 10% can go to “college.” The study compares China’s top 10% to ALL our students, including NCLB students, SpEd students, and our “won’ts.” I agree with Mitch – the schools are held WAY too accountable for raising children and should only be held accountable for teaching them.

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Bill

December 17th, 2010
7:24 am

How does telling parents that they need to be more involved solve the problem. We have created a country where in many families, both parents must work, sometimes at multiple jobs, just to make ends meet.

Education is not just a private good, it is a public good. We must, as a society, find ways to improve. We will not solve anything by simply pointing a finger.

Money doesn’t matter. Yet, private schools that may are so enamored of spend 2-3 times as much per student as public schools. (and they get to cherry pick their students.)

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deathportal

December 17th, 2010
7:42 am

I think reading is as important as science or math. In fact, I might even go so far as to say it’s more important–that reading is the foundation of all education. But then again, most of the people who are really good at math and science seem to be good at reading too. But it’s amazing to me how much the average citizen DOES NOT read. And those that do read, only read fiction. So reading for a good many people is just another avenue of escape, along with the television, movies, and videogames they already partake in. It might do us some good to actually view reading as a way to further our knowledge and critical thinking skills.

history teacher

December 17th, 2010
7:48 am

Until discipline is back in the schools, we are not going to see improvement. Unfortunately, school leadership has no backbone when it comes to removing disruptive students who not only undermine their edcuation, but also the education of the other students in classes with them. As teacher we hear about AYP and keeping all of our students in school. However, these students who are constant disruptions are cancers in the school and they have affected the entire school. I have been teaching for a long time and have few discipline problems in my AP dream classes. However, I see what is going on around me. Students know that there are no serious consequences to causing disruptions. I sat in a faculty meeting where administrators(whose actual classroom experience is elementary school) told us that better use of differentiated instruction and flexible grouping really works with disruptive students. What a joke. The current philosophy of public educatrion is that the needs of the few outweight the needs of the many..

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What if

December 17th, 2010
7:58 am

Part right, m’friend, but you needed a bit more homework. Fact is, where parents ARE involved and school governance does run (pretty) well, AND there’s plenty of tax base, the schools run really, REALLY well. When the data are ‘dug into’ a bit, turns out that when we compare apples to apples (equivalent socioeconomics and so forth), U.S. kids whip the pants off – or at least are the equal of – the best in the rest of the world. There’s also the little detail that may of these ‘top scoring’ countries cherry-pick the kids who take the tests, while the U.S. works hard to put a representative sample in front of the tests. AND, ya know what, NOBODY CARES about yet another stupid test, so there’s no incentive whatsoever for kids to try hard on yet another test (ONE of the myriad downsides to our testing psychosis), and you better bet that the poor students REALLY don’t care. Perhaps the worst outcome of our 30-year psychotic (doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results) fixation on minimum competency testing is that kids’ creativity has been declining all that time (see Kyung Hee Kim’s work – an article is in WSJ a few days ago) – the ONE thing that foreigners prize and praise above all else about what WAS the American education system.

mike

December 17th, 2010
8:01 am

Why would you say that Bob just look at Clayton County Schools and the City of Atlanta Schools outstanding schools here in Georgia… If the county and state would jist put more cash into the schools it would be better right…

anti-History Teacher

December 17th, 2010
8:11 am

History Teacher; Your story is the reason I opted against a career as a History teacher. Of course, Bob’s reference to the scene in Casablanca is misplayed. What Bob neglects to note is the fact that Captain Renault announces his “shock” as the pit boss hands him his roulette winnings. Discipline a problem in the classroom? Why would classrooms be any different than any other social venue? Discipline is a problem in DC. It is a problem on Wall Street, in American homes, shopping malls, athletic arenas and training facilities, etc., etc. America is, for the most part, a nation of undiciplined, shameless lemmings, led by an equally (or greater) undisciplined group of pied pipers. Surely your study of History reveals this.

Patriot

December 17th, 2010
8:32 am

Simple root cause – government as always. Government is a failure at everything it does. The failures in education are no surprise.

The system is the most socialistic institution in the nation. It is funded through a pure theft mechanism that is based on class and wealth envy and embodies the marxist principle of from each according to his ability to each according to his need.

The constant calls are for parental accountability, yet parents are not even a part of the process. Parents have no choice of schools except as their income levels provide neighborhood home choice. Even that is subject to arbitrary redistricting. Parents pay a token portion of the cost of what the state spends on education. What they pay is based on home value and not the number of children while childless couples and individualized both for the cost of their homes and because they chose to own property (while receiving no benefits). Even the choice to remove one’s child from the horrible system generates no rebate of the school taxes and in many cases only generates harrassment from government goons in the education protection racket.

A truly free market competitive system that requires parents to pay directly for each child’s education combined with scholarships funded through private business or individual contributions is the only solution to our education woes. Of course homeschooling would remain as a option for those who would prefer that route.

Along with this must also come the elimination of the repressive regulations that make opening a school, educating others, etc. so challenging. Education is a service and the particulars of any contract should be between the business and the customer, without government involvement except to enforce the provisions of the contract.

Many will cry about the costs, but study after study have shown that there is no relationship between education quality and money spent. One need only look to Wash. D.C. which spends nearly 15,000 per student and has the worst schools in the nation.

The problem has and always will be government. The sooner state and education are separated, the sooner the children of this country will be able to get a good education.

Ezra

December 17th, 2010
8:37 am

All of you just do not understand. It is not so much about education but getting that diploma. Then, in college, it is about getting that degree not learning a skill or discipline. What is important in the earlier years is to indoctrinate the children into a socialist ideololgy using sex, political correctness, and anti-Christain rhetoric. By taking the stand that we can not have the same morals and beliefs as our forefathers because someone will get offended has dumbed down all of our children. The progressive liberals have given this country a blow to the head. We need to shake out the cob webs and tap them out–all the way out of the democratic party.

carlosgvv

December 17th, 2010
8:38 am

We have been hearing, for many long years now, how badly our students are doing compared to other countries. Everything you can think of has been done to correct this. Nothing has worked. Maybe the overall quality of our students is the real problem. If so, then nothing else can be done.

Imagine

December 17th, 2010
8:44 am

Imagine the president came on TV tonight and announced a massive over hall to the way we shop for groceries. The government would seize all grocery stores and manage them. The government would use our tax dollars to provide “free” food for all. You would only be allowed to shop at your government designated grocery store in your government drawn “grocery district” to get your “free food.” If you want to get food elsewhere that is fine but you will not get a refund of the tax dollars you have paid to run the government grocery stores.

Doesn’t this sound ridiculous? If this scenario played out there would be outrage in this country. The system would be a disaster. Yet this is exactly the system we have in place for public schools. The government will never run anything efficiently because it doesn’t have to. A lack of competition and the ability to fail leads to stagnation.

GregAtlanta

December 17th, 2010
8:52 am

Other newspapers present some earnest analysis of the PISA data and what we can learn. I hope I am just not seeing this right now. What Bob offers is a misguided indictment of an educational system. One key fact is that many students thrive…defying the problems that Bob identifies. Other systems beat us by having a broader segment of students do well–rich and poor. We also got new census data this weak that shows a pronounced racial divide, and then we find a huge disparity in our test scores at the same time. I am certain the educational system can be improved, but these are societal problems we are talking about, and sex education does not play much of a role. If anything, Bob is feeding the problem by throwing a bit of meat out to those waiting to tear into “liberal”educators and other pet peeves. Bottom lines are that we do need to spend some money, and we need to support positive efforts and even some failed experiments. We also need some broader understandings of exactly where we fail. I do not see much of this presented here and the readers are poorer for it.

jconservative

December 17th, 2010
9:38 am

“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.”

Bob you misinterpret Duncan’s remarks. Duncan has been saying that US education stinks since day one. His remarks about “wake up call” is saying that this should be a wake up call to everyone else.

I agree with your last paragraph. The management of the education process from the local school board to the national department has been lousy.

Look at what we do. We teach kids 6 hours a day for 5 days a week. And then give them 2 months off during the summer.

Why not keep them in schools 8 hours a day and 12 months a year?

Why not pay teachers based on their ability and the importance of the subject being taught?

Richard

December 17th, 2010
9:52 am

Obviously there is a clear problem with our education system and an insane amount of hypocracy at work. We can’t complaing about a lack of engineers and produce students that can’t do trigonometry.

Sadly though, this problem isn’t going away that easily. The root cause might be a bit hard to stomach, but here it is:

40 years ago, if you were an educated woman looking for a career, there were only two options available: nursing and teaching. As a result, despite being drastically underpaid, teaching attracted the brightest people of half the population. Now, women have a lot more options available, but the salaries for teachers have not kept up with the times. Teaching now attracts the dumbest of the population (and yes, I’m aware there are a lot of exceptions).

Until teaching becomes a competitive field, the quality of teachers is going to be terrible, and the students will suffer.

Bob, I disagree that we can’t solve this problem by throwing money at it. The powers that be just have terrible aim.

I would suggest we stop spending money like idiots. Instead, make a deal with the teacher unions: all teacher salaries double, but tenure no longer exists.

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Trapped in a Red state

December 17th, 2010
10:10 am

The one year my son attended public school…the 11th grade in Chatham County, he was not allowed to bring his books home to study and the students were allowed to use their books during test.
Now, Chatham county says there is no $$ for books in this year’s budget. Unbelievable…

Trapped in a Red state

December 17th, 2010
10:27 am

The real problem in PUBLIC schools is discipline. Think about private school teachers who make about 1/2 of their public school counterparts. The students in private schools must behave or risk being kicked out. Many public school principals fear parent’s lawsuits, so they do not effectively deal with their school’s problem students.I suggest putting video cameras in the classrooms, then when they expel a problem student, they will have evidence to show the parents of these children. Let them sue the school at their own peril. I’ve heard many stories of students cursing their teachers even using terms like m…F….ing. We would have been spanked by both the principal and our parents…then expelled from school if we behaved like that in our day. It’s all about discipline…both in conduct and in expectations.

Trapped in a Red state

December 17th, 2010
10:40 am

Jconservative

I respectfully disagree with the extended school day…although I think the longer day could be beneficial only if these kids get some breaks…recess or PE twice a day. Otherwise, they will not be able to concentrate over that amount of time. Also, these “play/activity times” gives the teachers a “carrot” to motivate the students. Hey, it worked great in my day.

Rafe Hollister

December 17th, 2010
10:46 am

Don’t know what the study cost, but what a waste. I don’t think there is any debate about the state of the schools. As long as Gov controls the schools, the results will not significantly change.

Eric

December 17th, 2010
10:59 am

We have first-class schools in Georgia with high teacher standards. I don’t see what all the fuss is about! We’ve become so absorbed by test scores and competition in the global economy, as if that was the only goal of education. What about turning out creative, independent, thinking, responsible citizens as an equally valid goal? Why are so afraid of “the rankings” versus other countries? This is a straw man argument, Bob.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

December 17th, 2010
11:05 am

Hard to figure: I would have thought the Federal government imposing one-size-fits-all standards would have given us Nirvana.

joe

December 17th, 2010
11:19 am

We needed a study to reach this conclusion? Heck, with our entitlement first society, those who accept them are leading the pack in terms of “under-performing” assets…if we can call them that (assets)…and the teachers unions have a heck of a lot to do with the poor state of our public schools.

Dr. Pangloss

December 17th, 2010
11:26 am

In some European countries, students take a very hard test when they’re thirteen. The test decides whether they go to the Gymnasium to prep for college or to trade school. Sometimes kids in Germany commit suicide when they don’t do well enough. When they’re weeded out that ruthlessly, they may score higher since the weak students are eliminated. I don’t think Americans would stand for their kids being weeded out that way.

Patriot

December 17th, 2010
12:22 pm

We already adopted the horrible Prussian (German) model of education in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. That’s the primary reason why schools are so screwed up. Leave the Germans to their own devices. They have shown at least 2 times in the past century that they are not the country to emulate.

Titanic

December 17th, 2010
12:24 pm

“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.”

They know Bob, they may be disingenuous but they’re not stupid. The underachievers and their parents are the Democrats’ base. You won’t pick up a lot of votes if you single your constituents out as dimwits.

Whiz

December 17th, 2010
1:43 pm

Germans put the Americans on the moon.
Dumb parents raise dumb children.

retiredds

December 17th, 2010
1:54 pm

But Bob, elementary, middle, and most high school students don’t vote, don’t have political PACs, nor do they have highly paid and well funded lobbyists to wine and dine the political elite (should I say ruling class). As long as that is true students will be left in the lurch and education will be voiced as a priority whereas in reality it doesn’t matter to the politicians because the largest givers and funders get what they want.

Gwynn

December 17th, 2010
1:59 pm

Well, why don’t we put an incentive to learning and teaching. Give financial rewards to the best teachers and students at each school. Betcha, you’ll start seeing a difference.

Julie R. Camp

December 17th, 2010
2:02 pm

We needed a study for that? And yet, we still throw money at the problem.

dcdawg

December 17th, 2010
2:26 pm

Bob — You should know that the feds do not contribute a “big chunk” of the cost of a K – 12 education; it’s only about 8%, and most of the federal money goes to provide services to special ed and poor students. Also the feds do not control any aspect of local school curricula.

The test results you cite are skewed: the other countries educate and test only the elite; in the U.S. we (try to) educate, and we test everyone. Finally, studies show that student tests scores are directly related to: household income, education level of parents, wherther there are two parents in the household, race, and neighborhood. That said, one school system has a high concerntration of both minority students and lower income families and yet posts some of the highest scores nationally: the Depart. of Defense Schools, which educate the children of our service men and women. Wonder why DODS schools do so well? Oh, I don’t know … maybe discipline.

dcdawg

December 17th, 2010
2:29 pm

P.S. The teachers who teach in DODS schools have the right to engage in collective bargaining and are highly unionized. Go figure.

Peter

December 17th, 2010
3:10 pm

Republican’s want WAR not Peace, and are against abortions…..but Killing for Money is Good.

Republican’s hate smart voters, so Education is a LOW Priority for them.

Look at the ZERO Sonny did in 8 years while doubling his self worth, building a fish farm, creating special laws to keep his money……..all while cutting education, and Praying for Rain.

Republican Voters should be ashamed in general !

lovelyliz

December 17th, 2010
3:31 pm

Study: On average, charter schools do no better than public schools
But the study also found more nuanced evidence that the most effective charter schools are those serving lower-income students, especially in urban areas.

Dan Deman

December 17th, 2010
3:40 pm

You are just now deciding that U.S. education sucks? I grew up in a rural Canadian school system. I moved to the States in 1978 to go to University. We were making jokes about how ignorant Americans were in 1978 and it has only gotten worse. Schools don’t have a curriculum. They teach to test. They worry about teaching technology and just breeze over the basics. Schools are only open until 3:00pm!! The classes have TV’s in them!? Parents are too busy trying to earn enough to qualify for a loan to buy the latest LexusPOS to give a crap about their children’s education, until little Johnny brings home an “F”. Then of course it’s the teacher’s fault. Wake up America. You are about to become a third world country, now that you have sent all the real jobs, along with the education to the third world countries.

Mr. Spock

December 17th, 2010
3:45 pm

As long as the Fed Govt. continues to be looked at as the sugar daddy for the lower and middle class, there is no incentive for schooling and education to be thought of as anything more than free day care for all the baby mamas. And so the cycle continues.

Common Man

December 17th, 2010
3:48 pm

We need teacher’s unions. That would solve the problem.

Big Jim

December 17th, 2010
3:50 pm

Let’s suppose I agree with Bobby Barr and say “America’s educational system stinks”. So that explains the unusually high number of conservatives still in existence. I knew that there was a root cause for ignorant minority bashing individuals who can’t seem to get mad at a subject that’s NOT minority friendly.

Thanks for the lesson, Bob.

Big Jim

December 17th, 2010
3:52 pm

Mr. Spock

With your “baby mamas” comment, I now understand why Vulcan was destroyed by Nero. DON’T live long and prosper.

Big Jim

December 17th, 2010
3:56 pm

Dan Deman

I appreciate your perspective. You could be a conservative, which is your right, but not at the expense of insulting minority groups.

Pats and Taps

December 17th, 2010
4:20 pm

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……

and I said I would never read you again. You’ll have to do the thinking for both of us, Bob. But I remember when you first blogged here…..remember….the day that utube had German-porned Paris Hilton, your politics were blue, the german was great……I really think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship……

Jefferson

December 17th, 2010
4:38 pm

Get money where there is money, public educations needs funds from corporations, high income earners. When the 1917 revolution hits here, they will wish they paid their share as they will lose it all…

killerj

December 17th, 2010
6:12 pm

Failure to mention who invent,s more but is sold to other countries is a major failure in it,s self,”money is everything is the American way of life” even if it put,s this nation in jeopardy,just ask our government,wikileaks say,s it all.Go Tea Party.

Mr. Spock

December 17th, 2010
6:19 pm

Big Jim…you must have a few baby mama’s yourself. The facts speak for themselves

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.

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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

rapidshare free premium accounts

December 23rd, 2010
7:10 pm

That’s kind of… abrupt.

rapidshare free premium accounts

December 23rd, 2010
7:11 pm

I don’t know why…