New report: Federal stimulus funds saved and created teaching jobs

Speaking of President Obama this morning in the previous blog, here is a release from the Center on Education Policy at the George Washington University on how education stimulus funds were used:

Education stimulus funds largely met the goal of saving or creating jobs for k-12 teachers and other education personnel, according to a summary of three years of survey research by the Center on Education Policy at the George Washington University. However, ongoing state budget shortfalls have slowed state implementation of education reforms tied to the receipt of stimulus money under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

“Federal stimulus funds appear to have blunted the effects of the economic downturn on the k-12 education sector,” said Maria Ferguson, CEP’s executive director. “Although many districts still had to eliminate teaching and other key staff positions, our research indicates that the situation would have been worse without the stimulus funds.”

The CEP report, “What Impact Did Education Stimulus Funds Have on States and Schools?”, summarizes the effects of the ARRA on k-12 education after three years of implementation. Findings are drawn from surveys, conducted between December 2009 and February 2012, of state and local officials charged with implementing the ARRA and Education Jobs programs and were previously described in six previous CEP reports on ARRA.

In 2010, about 70 percent of the nation’s school districts used State Fiscal Stabilization funding, the largest pot of ARRA education money, to save or create jobs for teachers and other school personnel, CEP found. In 2011, a vast majority of the states surveyed by CEP also reported that ARRA and Education Jobs funds had saved teaching jobs and other district and school-level positions in their state. In addition, the majority of districts receiving ARRA supplemental funds for the federal Title I and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act programs reported using at least some of those funds to save or create jobs.

The report also finds that the stimulus funds had a side effect of laying the groundwork for a common reform agenda among the states. As a condition of receiving stimulus funds, states had to assure that they would take action on certain reform-related activities, including:

• Making progress toward implementing rigorous standards and assessments;

• Establishing and using statewide data systems to track students’ progress from preschool to college or careers;

• Increasing teacher effectiveness; and

• Providing support to turn around low-performing schools.

States participating in CEP’s surveys consistently indicated that they were taking action on these four reform areas, but by 2011 few states had fully implemented the reforms. Further, in states and districts facing budget cuts, progress on the four reforms has slowed.

“Given that nearly 84 percent of nation’s school districts reported funding cuts for the school year that just ended, parents and students may not see the full benefits of these reforms until local economic conditions improve,” said Alexandra Usher, CEP’s senior research assistant and coauthor of the report.

The report also finds that the state education agencies (SEAs) charged with guiding the implementation of ARRA reforms face funding and staffing challenges. Most SEAs report that they have enough expertise to carry out the ARRA reforms, but fewer report having enough staff to fully implement the reforms, and even fewer reported having enough financial resources.

Further, while SEAs have not been immune to staff cuts, it appears that most have done so strategically, often cutting positions not related to the four reforms. “These underfunded and understaffed agencies are charged with many duties under federal k-12 education programs,” said Diane Stark Rentner, CEP’s deputy director and co-author of the report. “If federal policymakers continue to rely on states as their agents of change, attention must also be paid to the capacity of these agencies to guide school improvement efforts.”

Based in Washington, D.C., at the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development, and founded in January 1995 by Jack Jennings, the Center on Education Policy is a national, independent advocate for public education and for more effective public schools. The Center works to help Americans better understand the role of public education in a democracy and the need to improve the academic quality of public schools. The Center does not represent any special interests.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

72 comments Add your comment

GFY

July 18th, 2012
9:11 am

1st to say the stimulus is all about union jobs…..what did the funds do to improve the actual education of students?

Once Again

July 18th, 2012
9:30 am

What is seen is that money was taken from the productive sector of society to pay a bunch of folks to “save” or “create” new jobs. What is not seen is that there is absolutely NO money to maintain these jobs. This is no different from any other stimulus funded job that this administration has thrown money at.

In a private business, revenue and costs are evaluated along with future projections, etc. to determine appropriate numbers of personnel to achieve specific goals. When you steal your money from the public, have no real competition, don’t have to face a loss of customer dollars, don’t have to be accountable in any real way, there is no “value” system upon which to make determinations about anything in your “business model.” This is the reason why Socialism has failed everywhere it has existed, and the government school system is certainly a perfect model of a socialist system.

The quality of education has never been correllated to education spending. Throwing more money at a problem is about buying votes, not solving the fundamental problems that plague the government system. Now Obama wants to buy even more teacher and likely parent votes with his offer of $1billion the government doesn’t have.

Once the stimulus dries up, so do the jobs. This has been the case with stimulated police, fire, teacher, and every other government job in history. The productive sector cannot sustain this level of monopolistic “service” provision. The end will come soon and those dependent will be hurt the worst. Only the free market is sustainable.

[...] slowed …Stimulus Aid Saved Education Jobs, Research Group ConcludesEducation Week News (blog)New report: Federal stimulus funds saved and created teaching jobsAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 4 news [...]

dc

July 18th, 2012
10:11 am

of course it saved jobs. give me a few billion dollars, and I’ll commit to even MAKE some new jobs. wonder how much this “study” cost us……

dc

July 18th, 2012
10:13 am

makes perfect sense if you ignore the jobs lost due to that money not being put to other productive use….

mumm

July 18th, 2012
10:26 am

@dc
So, teachers, police officers, fire fighters, the military, etc are all non productive? You do realize that your local and state government all fall under the definition of government workers since our tax dollars pay their salaries as well?

Susan Curtis

July 18th, 2012
10:34 am

@dc – this study costs “us” nothing. It was done by George Washington University. It is hard to take your comments seriously when you don’t bother to get your facts straight before you complain.

Waiting for Superman

July 18th, 2012
10:34 am

The “stimulus” spending benefited the groups it was meant to—which unfortunately didn’t include any students.

A simple but poignant look at the future of continuing to throw money at traditional public education: http://www.heritage.org/multimedia/video/2011/06/how-to-improve-education-impact-of-education-spending

Donaldo

July 18th, 2012
10:36 am

A short term fix, unsustainable, typical solution, lets throw money at a problem, without thinking of unintended conseuences. The lie here is that jobs were actually created…

Double Zero Eight

July 18th, 2012
10:40 am

Underperforming public schools will continue
to fail unless there is competition for their students.
Without a sincere and realistuic threat that the
underperforming schools will close, they will maintain
the status quo for the most part.

Parental involvement should be the focal point for turning
the underperforming schools around. With that comes improved
discipline, which will allow teachers to spend more time on
subject matter.

I am convinced that some parents should be required to take
a course in parenting. The question is “how do you get the parental
involvement needed”?

If it was about money, APS would have some of the best results
in the state. The amount they spend per student is in the top
five for the state of Georgia.

Mary Elizabeth

July 18th, 2012
10:48 am

It is amazing to me that people cannot see the “forest for the trees,” or perhaps they simply do not wish to see the profound effects of what has been happening in our nation, especially in the last dozen years, and especially within public education. Here is what has been happening in depth, as I see it.

(1) This nation had a national surplus in 2000.

(2) In 2008, this nation was on the brink of a national Depression greater than the Great Depression of the 1930s.

(3) The Obama administration pulled this nation from that brink of financial disaster.

(4) The dismantling of public schools has been a major target of those ideological Republicans who wish to dismantle the public domain in general, including Social Security as Medicare, as well as public education.

(5) The public domain, at its best, works for the common good of all citizens, without a profit motive for the few.

(6) Private sector jobs have grown, each quarter, under Obama. Public sector jobs, including those of teachers, on the other hand, have been cut severely within the states, especially within Republican led states.

(7) The Stimulus money, obviously, was designed to save many teaching positions within states who wished to dismantle public education.

(8) There is a profound ideological battle being waged in this nation, and it has gained momentum – deliberately created – within the last decade.

(9) Shame on citizens who will not call what has been happening, destructively, to our nation for what it is – and who will not support public education in this monumental ideological battle of what our nation has been about in the past – and what our nation’s destiny will be. We will either continue to be a nation “of, by, and for the people” into the future, or we will not be that kind of nation any longer. Remember, the public domain was designed to SERVE the public’s good. The people, themselves ARE the public, and the people ARE the government – their government.

Google "NEA" and "donations"

July 18th, 2012
11:01 am

@MaryLiz:

Back to again beating the drum on behalf of the Democrat National Committee and their teacher union paymasters “Mary Elizabeth?” The above nonsense sounds word-for-word from their latest press releases ;-)

You shame yourself.

NONPC

July 18th, 2012
11:05 am

This was a one-time extension of teacher contracts (saved jobs… for a year or two) in order to receive a campaign fund kickback from teacher unions.

Shame on citizens who will not call what has been happening, destructively, to our nation for what it is

What a load of hooey.
Shame on citizens who will not acknowledge that a halving of the of the teacher/student ratio (nearly twice as many teachers per student) has not resulted in one iota of increased student performance. It would be shameful to eliminate teacher jobs if decreasing the student/teacher ratio had resulted in outstanding student achievement. But student achievement has stagnated, proving that the student/teacher ratio has little to do with it. Adding teachers has NOT been beneficial , when viewed from student performance. Thus, eliminating teachers is neither shameful nor destructive.

Shark Punch!

July 18th, 2012
11:31 am

@NONPC: Please, give an example of even one school that has “nearly twice as many teachers per student.” I won’t be holding my breath.

And please, RTFA before spouting such nonsense, especially the part that starts with “Given that nearly 84 percent of nation’s school districts reported funding cuts for the school year that just ended….”

Bobby

July 18th, 2012
11:45 am

Typical vague and crappy reporting from the AJC. How many jobs were saved and how much did it cost? What alternatives were not pursued because this money went to save teachers jobs. How did it help the students? What is the overall benefit to society? Lazy, Lazy, Lazy reporting!!

Not surprised

July 18th, 2012
11:45 am

Mary E, you know THESE PEOPLE have no intentions of seeing the forest.
And you, me and THEM know why. Now they are talking about some type of unknown codes they have solved about Obama’s birth certificate. Logic and critical thinking don’t exist in THESE PEOPLE vocabulary.

teacher&mom

July 18th, 2012
11:46 am

In my district the stimulus funds managed to save several jobs. We were able to hang on to our art and music teachers. Between the stimulus money and furlough days, we were able to keep class sizes at a reasonable size and minimize the damage to our students.

Now that the stimulus money is gone, our system has been slashed to the bone and we are dying a death by a thousand cuts.

Don H.

July 18th, 2012
11:50 am

“Mary Elizabeth” sounds like Ron F in his many guises. Perhaps he’s now dropped his original handle?

Anyway, to debunk Mary-Eliz’s economic claims:

— The official unemployment rate is 8.2 percent.
— There are now an estimated 23 million unemployed and under-employed Americans.
— The national debt under Obama has increased from $10.5 trillion to $15.7 trillion.
— Consumer confidence surveys remain at historic lows.
— Parents remain unhappy with traditional public schools, especially in our inner-cities.
— On June 17th Obama officially played his 100th round of golf since inauguration.

Inman Park Boy

July 18th, 2012
12:00 pm

There are no “Federal funds,” only taxpayer money. I think it is reasonable to ask how many jobs may have been created/saved had this money been left to the peolle who actually earned it.

Retired but involved educator

July 18th, 2012
12:14 pm

@ Don H.

debunk – To expose as false or exaggerated. You put forth 6 statements as fact that, IMHO, bear no relationship to the blog posted by Mary Elizabeth. Typical obfuscation by the right wingers. Come down out of your imagined ivory tower and join the real world.

Jefferson

July 18th, 2012
12:16 pm

Cheer up Don, you got heathcare coming.

Once Again

July 18th, 2012
12:29 pm

This nation certainly has not been pulled from the financial brink. If anything, the coming cliff and fall will be FAR worse as a result of the stimulus, the bank bailouts, the housing bailouts, etc. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 Trillion dollars of more of unsustainble fiat currency and credit have been injected into the economy. Like the heroin addict that will go through great misery to get off a minor habit, getting free from this addition will likely kill the patient (the US economy).

Debt cannot be removed with more deficit spending. Banks that made bad investments should have been allowed to fail, but instead their failures were transferred to the productive taxpaying citizens of the use through additional debt and to everyone with dollars in their pockets through monetary inflation. Researchers at UCLA (a horiffically liberal university) studied the first Great Depression and clearly determined that everything Hoover and Roosevelt did only prolonged the Depression and that it would have ended far sooner if they had done nothing and had allowed the debt to be liquidated and the malinvestment to be corrected naturally by market forces. Look up the study yourself, AJC blogs don’t typically allow links to be posted.

Nobody ever hears about the Crisis of 1920-21. Following the end of WW1, there was a HUGE bubble of government spending, misallocation of resources towards military spending, and tons of debt and malinvestment in industries that were no longer needed following the end of the war. Hoover, president Harding’s Sec. of Commerce, pushed Harding to “do something” about the crisis. Harding wisely advised that the federal government had not interfered with the market in such a manner before and they should not this time as well. From a strictly statistical perspective, the crisis of 1920 was worse than following the stock market crash in 1929. Harding wisely did nothing, Malinvestment and debt were liquidated through bankruptcies and other market forces, and the crisis was over in about a year. Was there pain? Certainly for those who had made bad loans, incurred too much debt or had invested unwisely, but not for the rest of america. Contrast that with the mess Hoover and FDR made of the crisis in 1929 that pulled the nation under and the mess Bush and Obama have made with this crisis.

You don’t hear about the crisis of 1920-1921 because the government kept their nose out of it and those unsustainable businesses, debts, etc. were allowed to be liquidated by the market forces, thus laying the foundation for what was one of the most prosperous decades in our history (yes, I realize that Federal Reserve printed money and super low interest rates did set the stage for the next crisis in 1929, but that would require another long comment).

All this stimulus spending has done is to insure that productive monies that could have gone into sustainable directions were diverted to buy votes and cull favor among the electorate. Worse, all this available money lured qualified talent away from productive projects and towards more government jobs. The folks who think they benefitted from the stimulus will be in for a rude awakening when the piper finally needs to be paid and that day is just around the corner.

meno

July 18th, 2012
12:31 pm

Yes, Inman Park, we know that the earners never got any benefit from a publicly funded education system and keeping such a system going will not help future workers earn.

Progressive Humanist

July 18th, 2012
12:34 pm

Mary Elizabeth @10:48- You’re correct on all counts, but expect a lot of spin, blowback, and insults from bloggers who don’t want to accept those facts for ideological reasons.

Once Again

July 18th, 2012
12:48 pm

Its getting old to constantly hear the whines from everyone that without the govenrment doing something it wouldn’t get done. Education, security, fire protection, road construction and maintenance, power, water, gas, etc. have all been done quite well and quite successfully in this country through a competitive generally free market mechanism in the past.

The abject and chronic failure on the part of government to provide these services today in a manner that actually serves their supposed customers typically generates calls to end government involvement in the process, NOT an end to the serivces themselves. If a service or product is provided in exchange for a voluntarily paid renumeration (either money or service in kind), then that “business” is said to be a part of the voluntary or productive sector of society. If that service is provided through the theft-based (taxation) funding mechanism of government with no competition, etc. then that service belongs to the involuntary sector of society.

Many of those who are sick and tired of what government wastes their money on and the gross inefficiencies they see in the “services” provided would like to see the entire process transferred to a competitive free market to deliver the services that the market desires and in a manner that is financially accountable to the customers. No, government teachers, police, firemen, etc. are NOT part of the productive sector of society. It is likely that these types of services would be desired by the general public, but a far superior mechanism for delivering them would be to end all govenrment involvement and allow the marketplace to meet customer demands for a change.

Donaldo

July 18th, 2012
12:49 pm

Can anyone on this blog offer 2-3 solutions which can be substantiated with facts and sound economics? It appears the only true solution is bankruptcy with the state taking stewardship until the system can be restructured, reorganized into an effective sustainable organization. Ugly, but probably the truth hurts…..

Once Again

July 18th, 2012
12:55 pm

Progressive Humanist – Or those who don’t accept those “facts” on economic or reality-based grounds.

And to be exceptionally clear, the people are NOT the government. The government of the US is an extension of the corporate and global elite who control it. We embraced the ideology of Merchantilism shortly after our country’s founding. Alexander Hamilton was one of its biggest proponents. The Whig party under Clay transformed this into the “American System” that Lincoln championed. When the 30’s came along FDR embraced the modern version – Fascism that was sweeping Europe. Today both parties embrace fascist principles in the way business controls our elected officials and our domestic and foreign policies.

Yes, there is an ideological war under way. It is the age old war between statism and freedom and it terrifies the progressives that the ideology of freedom is finally beginning to win.

Once Again

July 18th, 2012
1:03 pm

Donaldo, the state does not have to take stewardship. The state created this mess. They should not gain more power because of their failure.

Yes, here are 3 sound solutions:

1. End all legal tender laws and allow competiting currencies to circulate, free of the current capital gains taxation that exists on gold and silver. If this means the end of the fiat dollar and the Federal Reserve, so be it.

2. End the ability of the Federal Reserve to manipulate interest rates and enable banking free of the manipulative control of the Federal Reserve.

3. Enforce all contracts and allow all unsustainable businesses, banks, etc. to fail and be liquidated through well-establish bankruptcy mechanisms.

A sound currency free of capital gains on value increases will attract massive amounts of foreign and domestic investment in our country.

A sound currency and sound banking will encourage savings which is the only foundation for sustainable growth and investment.

The only way to build a rock solid economic foundation is to liquidate debt and have the consequences borne by those who are responsible rather than burdening the entire population.

www(dot)mises(dot)org if you want to find out more about the sound and historically supported teachings of the Austrian School of economics.

[...] A new report from the Center for Education Policy says federal stimulus funds met their stated goal of saving and creating teaching over the course of the past year. (AJC) [...]

dc

July 18th, 2012
1:07 pm

So Mumm….I’m trying to figure out…. can you actually read? Or do you just pull stuff out of your axx?

That may work on the playground, but adults usually actually read what’s written.

NONPC

July 18th, 2012
1:08 pm

And please, RTFA before spouting such nonsense, especially the part that starts with “Given that nearly 84 percent of nation’s school districts reported funding cuts for the school year that just ended….”

Nonsense? How about the conclusion from the self-admitted “independent research and policy institute with a left-liberal inclination” Brookings Institute:

“State resources for education should always be judiciously allocated, but the need to carefully weigh costs and benefits is particularly salient in times of austere budgets. Class-size reduction has been shown to work for some students in some grades in some states and countries, but its impact has been found to be mixed or not discernable in other settings and circumstances that seem similar. It is very expensive. The costs and benefits of class-size mandates need to be carefully weighed against all of the alternatives when difficult budget and program decisions must be made.”

Or, how about doing a cost benefit analysis of school spending vs student achievement? How about : “Is the United States Catching Up? International and State Trends in Student Achievement,” is being released by Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG). Its findings include the following:

“No significant correlation was found between increased spending on education and test score gains.”

I don’t have to make this stuff up. There is OVERWHELMING evidence, and more comes out every single day, to denounce the idea that more spending/more teachers = higher student performance.

The stimulus spending in order to save teachers jobs was a sham. It put between $20-30 million in the pockets of Democratic candidates but did NOTHING for student achievement. Any attempt to justify this spending is an insult to the taxpayer who , eventually, has to pay back those funds.

williebkind

July 18th, 2012
1:27 pm

This makes Obama right! Teachers can not be successful unless government is involved. What is sad none of them are ashame.

William Casey

July 18th, 2012
1:56 pm

@NONPC: There is quite a bit more to good education than “test score gains,” most importantly, developing a love for learning that remains long after a class is over. It is this that is often lost when class sizes balloon.

NONPC

July 18th, 2012
2:07 pm

@William Casey: There is quite a bit more to good education than “test score gains,” most importantly, developing a love for learning that remains long after a class is over. It is this that is often lost when class sizes balloon.

Sorry, but it is not the financial responsibility of the U.S. Taxpayer/property owner to throw money at a situation in order to foster “a love for learning that remains long after a class is over” in children. Even if you could quantify ” a love for learning” and correlate that to stimulus spending, which you CAN’T, it STILL wouldn’t be the financial responsibility of the taxpayer to do so! Where in the H*** to you liberal wingnuts come from?

jd

July 18th, 2012
2:07 pm

It is clear that the GOP desires to be the party of haves and will haves. Those who have access to a good education, money, and jobs and those who will have to do with poor education, no money and no job.

William Casey

July 18th, 2012
2:22 pm

@NONPC: Let’s get the name calling over. I’ll see your “liberal wingnut” and raise you a “crypto-n*zi teabagger.”

Inspiring a person to life-long learning has exponentially positive effects on society. Taxpayers with IQ’s in triple figures can understand that concept. Money well spent.

William Casey

July 18th, 2012
2:26 pm

I pay both income and property taxes (high Fulton Co. ones) and beg to differ with nonpc on proper spending priorities. My somewhat abusive post seems to have been trapped by the filter. LOL

3schoolkids

July 18th, 2012
2:52 pm

They really needed someone to “study” and conclude that jobs were saved by a program that required school districts to “lay off” teachers in order to qualify for funding?

Aren’t we still dealing with lawsuits from Fulton County’s riffings? How much did that cost the taxpayers?

Once Again

July 18th, 2012
2:59 pm

A great video from Project Veritas on some of those Stimulus jobs:

http://youtu.be/b8opYArPtPI

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

July 18th, 2012
3:03 pm

Once Again “No, government teachers, police, firemen, etc. are NOT part of the productive sector of society. It is likely that these types of services would be desired by the general public, but a far superior mechanism for delivering them would be to end all government involvement and allow the marketplace to meet customer demands for a change.”

I can’t decide it you are naïve, or deliberately being unrealistic. If individuals are asked to take on the burden of paying for police, firefighters, teachers etc. The first thing that would happen is very similar to what has happened with healthcare insurance. People would opt out and hope their house never burned down, they were not robbed, etc. That would mean a much higher burden for those who did choose those services – which would end up cost MORE than your current tax rates do. Those without children, would not wish to pay for teachers, so that would mean only people with children would pay for schooling – which again, would increase the burden beyond what many could pay.

So some would not pay, and their children would not go to school – so then you would have a bunch of uneducated people growing up in this society with no skills. What do you intend to do with them? I assume you would not support MORE social services to support the uneducated and non-employed, which means literally leaving them to beg and die in the streets – rather like what happens in other poor countries across the world where there is no “public sector” to support societal cohesion. THAT is not the kind of world I want to live in, and I suspect, nor would you.

[...] Original Post By Google News Click Here For The Entire Article [...]

Once Again

July 18th, 2012
3:10 pm

If you actually want to find out what the current education system is about “a lifelong love of learning”, please check out some of the great videos on Youtube or books by John Taylor Gatto (former NYC teacher of the year). His extensive research clearly shows that the current government system has NOTHING to do with that goal whatsoever, despite the propaganda or what teachers mistakenly thing they are doing in their classrooms.

Patricia Tomlinson

July 18th, 2012
3:28 pm

Today I have decided I will no longer use a screen name which I have used in the past. I will no feel anger towards those who hide behind organizations who seem to be determined to destroy public education by refusing to stand up for their beliefs in an open society. Teaching is the profession I chose when I was 19. I did this after working in the school system from which I graduated hired as an instructional assistant in the area of reading because of Title I monies. I would never have even thought about going to college if not for that experience as such a thing was never even considered by members of my family. I had a lot of experiences as a student as I attended 19 different schools throughout my childhood in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. I have taught in both Georgia and California in smaller school districts. In my career I have taught PreK through 8th grade with the exception of 4th. I have taught in private and public schools. I currently teach middle school reading. I am a National Board Certified Teacher in the area of Literacy as well as ESOL certification which I earned in California. In California I was the president of my local association which of course means I was a member of a union. Here in Georgia I am a member of PAGE and have been a member of GAE neither of which could be considered to be unions. I am a teacher. It is a profession I love. In my years of teaching I can recall very few teachers who were in the wrong profession and really only two I felt strongly should have been removed from the classroom. Not because they did something terrible, but simply because they did not believe in their students capacity to become more than what they believed possible.

Now as to the stimulus saving teacher jobs. I think that was the purpose. Those who believe 35+ students should be the norm in a classroom in today’s educational environment do not teach. They do not walk the halls of middle schools or high schools or elementary schools. They do not sit in classrooms where many students are not motivated for many complex reasons. They do not grade essays or written reports for over one hundred students which cannot be graded by a machine but through thoughtful reading and rereading of student text rather than a cursory look through. They do not understand what to do with the student who comes to third grade not reading. They do not understand why a student does not understand a mathematical concept such as those in middle school algebra which all students must take. Those of you who do not teach will say the teachers did not do their jobs before that child came to third grade. Some of you will say those math students are lazy and the teacher is not a motivator. In reality some children just do not learn to read until they are older regardless of all the interventions and attempts to put them into special education. Some students need different approaches to be successful learners of mathematics in the more abstract areas.

Educating our society costs money. Ending schools of education policies which do not require their education students to spend a year assigned to master teachers through internships should become the norm rather than the current “student teaching” policy which is outdated in my opinion. Competition between schools is not the answer. Well trained teachers, excellent administrators and the acceptance by those who do not teach that poverty does affect education.

I would also to say most who hate public schools need to become regular volunteers at one of those schools they feel should be shut down.

If there are any errors in my grammar, etc. I apologize…

Once Again

July 18th, 2012
3:41 pm

You should have changed your name to “I love government dependency but I hate when people question it.”

Virtually every subject/service you identify has been thought out by dozens if not hundreds of authors exploring how the marketplace could easily and creatively address these items. I just don’t feel like trying to cover this here as you are clearly coming from a perspective of one who does not trust their fellow man/woman (but somehow does trust them when they work for government).

Bottom line is that our societal cohesion is falling apart now because SO MANY have unlearned personal responsibility because they have not had to exercise those “muscles.” At what point will we end the chronic dependency on government and restore the appropriate reluctant reliance on social/church/family, etc. supports.?

I would encourage you to check out http://www.mises.org and http://www.lewrockwell.org to explore these writers and alternatives. The dependency culture will be collapsing soon. It is unsustainable as the host is out of money to support it. Actually we are more than $160 Trillion over drawn by many accounts. If we don’t start thinking aobut how society will be able to function once the bloated government appartus is gone, we are going to be in big trouble.

Ron F.

July 18th, 2012
4:43 pm

@Don H.- Nope, just one of me and I’ve been staying out of the loop on purpose. No sense jumping in the pit with the idiots. It’s much more fun just reading as you guys throw out the same drivel, no matter what. If I’m going to stay in education, which is what I truly love doing and the results show it, then I have to avoid this. It’s too depressing, angering, and not worth my time. Have fun- pretty soon you and yours will be the only ones here. When substantive, respectful debate ceases to happen, we lose an important part of what makes American society work. As for me, I’ll just keep teaching and sharing my heart with my kids. What will you do of productive substance other than complain and call names?

Don H.

July 18th, 2012
6:42 pm

@Ron F — Posture self-righteously all you wish, Ron. But you have misused hundreds of column inches with pettifogging and mean-spirited attacks—against any who would bring real choices to parents desperate to escape failing public schools.

And your Democrat partisanship is never far from the surface, is it?

Lee

July 18th, 2012
7:26 pm

“As a condition of receiving stimulus funds, states had to assure that they would take action on certain reform-related activities…

Rule #1: government money ALWAYS comes with red tape. You teachers may as well go ahead and tattoo your SSN# to your forehead…. barcode format, of course.

Prof

July 18th, 2012
7:43 pm

@ Ron F. I’ve missed your posts for the last month or so, for you always seemed to speak out of your experience as a public teacher of poor, rural, under-rated students.

Meanwhile, in your absence the professionally paid blog-trolls out to dispose of public education altogether seem to have multiplied on “Get Schooled.” Or it’s one or two inventively named persons. However, their language is so familiar–”teachers unions,” “parents’ choice,” “Democrat [not Democratic] partisanship,” “government dependency,” etc.–that it’s a Pavlovian trigger for one to scroll on past fast.

But the genuine,authentic reminder of what it means to teach the marginalized students is needed. Glad you’ve re-entered the scene.

Don H.

July 18th, 2012
8:01 pm

@Prof …

Ah, yes. Where there’s Ron F “Prof” is never far behind. And always reading from the same teachers’ union script of No reforms! Never!

Tell us: Do you two have adjoining cubicles over at GAE/NEA headquarters … or are you merely another of Ron F’s inventions?

Prof

July 18th, 2012
8:24 pm

Just in case anyone missed it, there was a very illuminating post a few days ago on the thread, “Great Georgia Teachers”:

ColoradoTeacher, July 15th, 2012, 12:38 pm.

“Thank you for this inspiring column. It left me energized to do more and be more as a teacher this year, in my 20th year of teaching. David Ragsdale does what those of us who have come to teaching as a mission aspire to do. He elevates lives.

“As we’ve faced our own disheartening battles in my Colorado district to keep public education alive and out of the hands of ALEC inspired and funded privateers, I have counseled myself not to read the comments attached to articles like yours. Someone above wondered “who butters their bread,” but at this point I think there is very little question about that. Paid trolls spend their days highjacking comment threads across the country in an attempt to sway public opinion against public schools. They are easy to spot by the talking-points and buzz-words: monopoly, government-schools, tenure, choice, union-istas…”