Condoleezza Rice on education last night: Crisis in K-12 education is threat to America

Condoleezza Rice called education a threat to "who we are." (Harry E. Walker/MCT)

Condoleezza Rice said the crisis in education was a "grave threat to who we are." (Harry E. Walker/MCT)

A few of you asked that we discuss Condoleezza Rice’s education comments from her speech last night at the Republican National Convention.

Overall, her comments on education were the standard stuff: We need better teachers, higher standards and greater choice.

Since Rice’s speech focused on all the issues in this election with a wide-angle lens, she didn’t go deep on how to achieve those goals. And those goals are not as straightforward as they sound.

For example, the research suggests that pay alone will not entice the brightest college students to consider teaching; we also need to raise the stature of the profession.

And the question around standards, as always, is who sets the standards? We are now following standards set by a national group of state leaders, of which former Gov. Sonny Perdue was a co-chair.

Rice mentioned “greater choice” without mention of either charter schools or vouchers.

Here is the part of her speech where she addressed education:

We have been successful too because Americans have known that one’s status at birth was not a permanent station in life. You might not be able to control your circumstances but you could control your response to your circumstances. And your greatest ally in doing so was a quality education.

Let me ask you, though, today, when I can look at your zip code and can tell whether you are going to get a good education – can I really say that it doesn’t matter where you came from – it matters where you are going. The crisis in K-12 education is a grave threat to who we are.

My mom was a teacher – I have the greatest respect for the profession – we need great teachers – not poor or mediocre ones. We need to have high standards for our students – self-esteem comes from achievement not from lax standards and false praise. And we need to give parents greater choice – particularly poor parents whose kids – most often minorities — are trapped in failing neighborhood schools. This is the civil rights struggle of our day.

If we do anything less, we will condemn generations to joblessness, hopelessness and dependence on the government dole. To do anything less is to endanger our global economic competitiveness. To do anything less is to tear apart the fabric of who we are and cement a turn toward grievance and entitlement.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

101 comments Add your comment

HS Public Teacher

August 30th, 2012
11:09 am

Isn’t this the same stuff said over and over again (by republicans) regarding education? Blame the teachers, change the standards (have a moving target), etc.

How about addressing what most EVERYONE agrees will make the most difference? How about asking parents to step up to the plate?

Too many parents continue to view schools as simply a place to “drop off the kid” and have them baby sit for the day and to feed their kid lunch.

Why don’t the republicans say, something like…. “We need parents to ensure that their child studies every night. We need parents to become involved with their child’s education and work with the teachers.” And, so on?????

Oh yeah – because they love to simply blame the teachers.

Jerry Eads

August 30th, 2012
11:25 am

Maybe the two parties could compete for greatest platitudes. The one with the biggest, most ridiculous, most worthless, most banal wins.

Dr. Clete Bulach

August 30th, 2012
11:29 am

There are 6 causes for low test scores and teachers are not one of the causes. The biggest cause for low test scores is time lost in the teaching process because teachers have to stop teaching to discipline or correct student misbehavior. Next is students come to school and their five basic needs are not being met. Next is the culture and climate of most schools is in need or improvement. A fourth cause is the way power is used to control faculty and students. The fifth cause is the role of parents and community in the school. The last cause is the levels of openness and trust. Each of these six causes creates a lack of motivation and low test scores.

How to create a school culture and climate where these causes are eliminated is the subject of our book on how the create a high performing school culture that improves test scores, reduced dropouts and bullying behavior.

Pluto

August 30th, 2012
11:34 am

So HS Public Teacher all of the educational woes in this country can be laid at the feet of republicans? Give me a break. Nothing like having open minded teachers indoctrinating our students.

East Cobb Parent

August 30th, 2012
11:34 am

@ HS Public Teacher
Teachers need to teach, period. Hard for me to respect a teacher that uses the flip model – go home watch a video and do the problems in class, ask about a specific problem but don’t ask me to expand or go in-depth to explain why a formula works. When teachers adopt this sort of philosophy they are part of the problem.

Aquagirl

August 30th, 2012
11:39 am

we need to give parents greater choice – particularly poor parents whose kids – most often minorities — are trapped in failing neighborhood schools. This is the civil rights struggle of our day.

This is why I can’t stomach Republicans. “All those poor black children being oppressed in their neighborhood schools, we need vouc…wait, CIVIL RIGHTS!!!!”

Disgusting.

Pluto

August 30th, 2012
11:48 am

But Aquagirl isn’t it the Dems that are all for preventing poor children or any children for that matter from ever being born. So the fact that there are poor children is again a tribute to the Dems because your guy’s oversight to this country has been a dismal failure and led to thousands of new poor people. I am sure you have several other reasons you can’t stomach Republicans so let’s not sugar coat it.

Bernie

August 30th, 2012
11:48 am

I am saddened and ASHAMED of one Condolezza Rice. Such great Intelligence and Intellect, However void of WISDOM & UNDERSTANDING.

Surely, if her own parents were alive, they would not support the very people who have wrongly oppressed and abused an entire group of people based on skin color alone. One would think after all all of the pain and destruction she has been personally, intimately responsible for inflicting on the MILLIONS of American Families across this great Nation. One also would have thought she would have started her speech with GREAT HUMBLENESS and CONTRITION.

I could not help but think of the MANY Grandmothers,Mothers,Sisters, Wives, Girlfriends and the millions of children who are without their much needed LOVE and affection that they will MISS and never experience again. Not to mention the millions of Men women and the CHILDREN of IRAQ who paid the ultimate price. Because of the miscalculation,intentional misguidance and the out right LIES sold to the American People about the WAR in IRAQ by Condolezza Rice.

Last Night my thoughts were with them. Sadly crying thinking of their pain and their loneliness last night!

This is NOT the REAL America I know and LOVE!

MiltonMan

August 30th, 2012
11:52 am

“Isn’t this the same stuff said over and over again (by republicans) regarding education? Blame the teachers, change the standards (have a moving target), etc.”

It is rather pathetic that teachers are still in bed with the democrats & they keep spewing the same message that their democratic handlers request of them. It was none other than the Democratic Governor Roy Barnes who took the first shot in this state for blaming teachers. The teachers association (the NEA) blindly endorsed none other than Roy Barnes when he ran back in 2010.

MiltonMan

August 30th, 2012
11:59 am

Hey teachers who keep blaming republicans for problems with education in this state, answer me the following questions:

(1) Where were you clowns for the 130+ years when democrats were in charge of this state & education was also crappy during this time??? Answer: Our heads were in the sand because we are nothing more than democratic minions.

(2) Were are the most successful districts in term of education in this state??? Answer: None other than republican controlled areas.

Bottom Line: Take this attitude of “the republicans really, really hate us & education” and shove it!

Bernie

August 30th, 2012
12:02 pm

Condi’s next goal is to see the HOLLOWING OUT of the American Public Education
SCHOOL SYSTEM with the planned implementation of a NATIONWIDE School Voucher payment system.

Condi, No longer supports and advocates, the very educational system that allowed her to reach the very heights she herself has attained. It was so sad to watch such Hypocritical behavior being cheered on by Fellow Americans.

Condi was just selling her usual trinkets last night…FEAR! FEAR! FEAR! and more FEAR!

I do not believe Americans are in that Market any longer. She should return to Stanford and let America move on. Condi had her chance and failed miserably!

She is one WOMAN America, would better off if she would just SIT down and be QUIET!

Jessica

August 30th, 2012
12:05 pm

@ HS Public Teacher, are you one of the poor or mediocre teachers? I can’t see why a good teacher would feel so threatened by the thought of being expected to perform well.

The government can’t mandate good parenting, other than the prevention of extreme abuse and neglect. It’s beyond the scope of what government can and should do. The quality of education provided in public schools, on the other hand, IS the business of the government at some level or another.

@ Aquagirl, these comments were made by a black woman who grew up in Alabama in the time of segregation. She probably has a better personal understanding of civil rights than most people. You are entitled to your opinion, but it’s in very poor taste for you to call her ‘disgusting’ for expressing HER opinion on civil rights.

Bernie

August 30th, 2012
12:15 pm

Jessica @ 12:05 pm – Just as Aquagirl felt a sense of DISGUST! so did I and both of my parents who are well into their 80’s and a number of their friends who called during that same speech expressing outrage of her selfish behavior concerning the African American community.

If you could only hear the LOUD Curses and Rage being shouted at the many televisions by MILLIONS of the African American community at CONDI RICE last night. She was called names too polite to post even HERE!

You would have been SHOCKED and SURPRISED beyond BELIEF!

williebkind

August 30th, 2012
12:16 pm

The point I got from her speach about education was she was not forced to go to school by the government. She wanted to go she studied and she got the funds to complete it. That is not what is being preached about education. The sermon I keep hearing is get a college degree and you will succeed. Yeah how is that working these days for the liberal arts?

Old Physics Teacher

August 30th, 2012
12:17 pm

I was busy at my lunch break, eating, when I decided to flame Pluto for his flame of Aquagirl. Unfortunately, I read your post just before and had to wince a number of times about your comments. You’re mostly right on target. In our defense, though, is that we don’t have another choice. One one hand we have the Republican who are using teachers as whipping boys (Cristie: “Democrats are pitting unions against teachers!” What? HUH!? The unions are trying to protect teachers! They’re the only defense we have!), and then Roy Barnes, and the Democrats start blaming us too!

The only reason the teachers are backing the Democrats is because they just want to whip us less. They stink too! We would love to get a candidate/party to talk truth. Look people, the problem is with you. There’s a reason poor people are poor: you make bad judgements! Rich people make bad judgements too! They just have more money and DON’T REPEAT THEIR STUPID DECISIONS!

Unfortunately, no politician speaks the truth. They just want to get elected and steal money for themselves (the Democrats) or steal money for themselves AND their rich friends (the Republicans). Show me an honest politician trying to make our county/state better and raise the standards for all our people, (Chambliss comes close enough — and I KNOW he did ugly, bad things to get elected, but he’s there now, and he IS working for the people of Georgia) and I’ll vote for him REGARDLESS OF PARTY. Until then, I’ll hold my nose and vote Democrat.

Now, my 15 minutes of lunch are up and I have to go back to work so you guys can all flame me. It doesn’t matter. I won’t be able to read this again until I get home around 10-11. You see I’m a teacher. and I work even when I’m not being paid. As opposed to politicians, I have a code of ethics I live by, and when I’m being paid to do a job, I don’t goof off on the clock.

Later, dudes.

alm

August 30th, 2012
12:33 pm

MiltonMan when did Decatur turn republican?

Flipped Class

August 30th, 2012
12:40 pm

@East Cobb Parent – you said this about the the flipped class “Teachers need to teach, period. Hard for me to respect a teacher that uses the flip model – go home watch a video and do the problems in class, ask about a specific problem but don’t ask me to expand or go in-depth to explain why a formula works. When teachers adopt this sort of philosophy they are part of the problem.”

If that is all your teacher is doing, or that is how your child explained it to you, or that is how you understand it, then one or more of you are very incorrect about the flipped class model. The teacher should be using time in class to talk about the things the students don’t understand. There should be relevant activities – labs, discussions, etc. The video is simply a way to deliver the lecture. That IS teaching, by most people’s definitions. The student can watch it over and over – you can’t do that with a regular lecture – perfect if you are absent, or didn’t understand the first time.

Yeah, I’m biased. I had huge success with the flip class implementation. My kids loved it, learned more, and were more engaged. I had fewer behavior problems, too. Sorry you can’t respect that.

Batgirl

August 30th, 2012
12:46 pm

@Jessica, you’re right. The government/politicians cannot mandate good parenting, but they could at least address it. Our country’s problems are more about the decline of society as a whole and less about the poor quality of the education system. However, if you’re going to blame someone, there are far fewer teachers than parents, so angering teachers is a better choice for a politician’s career than is angering parents.

@Milton Man, I don’t think NEA/GAE blindly endorsed Roy Barnes in 2010. I think they held their noses and endorsed him because all the other choices were so much worse.

@East Cobb Parent, there have been sorry teachers around forever, and although I can tell you without a second thought who the worst teachers are in my building, I truly believe that most teachers try much harder to do a good job than teachers did when I was in school back in the good old days.

Entitlement Society

August 30th, 2012
12:52 pm

HS Public Teacher wrote: Why don’t the republicans say, something like…. “We need parents to ensure that their child studies every night. We need parents to become involved with their child’s education and work with the teachers.” And, so on?????
________________________________________________________________________

Say it? Why does that need to be said? Perhaps because it is understood. It is a given. It’s like saying we need parents to feed their children. A ridiculously obvious statement. Why would you require one party to say that statement over another anyway? This is not about politics. This is about education.

Another comment

August 30th, 2012
1:30 pm

Condi Rice just showed she is an example of affirmative action gone wrong. Hillary Clinton has been by far the best Secretary of State we have had in well over 30 years if not forever. She also knew that she had to do a better job than any male had ever done, because all eyes would be one her.

Condo was the Bush token and continues to be the Bush token. She is now the biggest token member of all at August National, the one that makes no sense she lives and works in California. Who bets her membership initiation is free?

Inman Park Boy

August 30th, 2012
1:35 pm

If you’re waiting on parental action to improve schools, it’s going to be a long wait. And you know what? Most schools do a pretty darn good job with most students. The large majority of Americans have had a good education, they can read, do some high level math, and they understand our history and government. BUT, there will always be students (and parents) who don’t care about any of those things and you know what? It is their scores on the ITBS, the SAT-10, the ACT and the SAT that bring down the average. So yes, its the parents. But they by and large they don’t care.

Pluto

August 30th, 2012
1:49 pm

@ Old Physics Teacher … Before I entered the classroom “to make a difference” in the lives of our children, one of my careers had me working in the legislative arena where I got to know many politicians and bureaucrats of all persuasions. I don’t trust any of ‘em and they will all lie to your face to get elected, re-elected or just keep their jobs. So before you commit to one party over the other remember there is no loyalty other than to label and use you as a constituency group. If they offer support to an initiative or cause that is “the right thing to do” for most folks they look for payback. Be careful who you serve because they sure a hell don’t serve you.

Rickster

August 30th, 2012
2:07 pm

Teachers need a base salary, with incentives for performance that will reward those teachers that get the greatest result. There needs to be incredibly tight security during testing, since incentive pay will provide incentive to less scrupulous teachers to cheat in order to get the most pay.

Bernie

August 30th, 2012
2:33 pm

Those same 1950’s republicans that were yelling and screaming last night were some of the same people yelling,screaming, cursing and Beating the many African Americans who were just trying to register to vote in Birmingham in 1964.

That same Woolworth CONDI spoke of last night. If she had entered with her parents many of those same Republicans in attendance would have beat she and her entire family to a BLODDY PULP just trying to enter that store.

I remember those same tactics right here in Atlanta as a Little BOY!

The Bridges of the Rich’s store, where the lighting of Atlanta’s Great Christmas Tree stood ATOP for many years. Were forbidden places for African Americans to stop or to have Lunch for any reason. If you did, you risked arrest and JAIL by the CITY OF ATLANTA POLICE DEPT.

The Fox Theater in Atlanta had an area at the top rear… Balcony. It was called the “CROW’s Nest” a place reserved seating especially for Atlanta’s dark skinned citizens.

Dr. Monica Henson

August 30th, 2012
2:47 pm

“You might not be able to control your circumstances but you could control your response to your circumstances.”

Sound advice, and not just for students seeking an education–but for those whose complaining posts turn the comments on this blog into a continual whinefest that lays blame on parents, kids, administrators, the state legislature, the Georgia Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Education, and pretty much anyone who doesn’t pay dues that help support the NEA’s political agenda, without offering reasoned arguments based on research and best practice.

Bernie

August 30th, 2012
2:53 pm

Piedmont Park was another place forbidden to African Americans in Atlanta! You were only allowed to WALK through…no SITTING or use of the PARK for any reason. You were allowed into the Park on Friday’s and only allowed to enter at the 10th street entrance. The same place where Atlanta Celebrates yearly, the annual ending of the Peachtree Road Race. Imagine that!

Solutions

August 30th, 2012
2:58 pm

America better stop pandering to the bottom feeders and start pushing the best and brightest, otherwise the race to the bottom will result in our country becoming a third world mess. I do not care the race, religion, or ethnic origin of the next Steve Jobs, I just want to make sure there is a next Steve Jobs! For the record, Steve Jobs was an ethnic Arab.

Solutions

August 30th, 2012
3:01 pm

Bernie – In the old days you speak of DeKalb County had the highest achieving schools in the state of Georgia. Now look at the mess….

Pluto

August 30th, 2012
3:03 pm

@ Bernie…Those same 1950’s republicans that were yelling and screaming last night were some of the same people yelling,screaming, cursing and Beating the many African Americans who were just trying to register to vote in Birmingham in 1964.

I believe that those whom you speak were Democrats. My how things have changed.

Entitlement Society

August 30th, 2012
3:04 pm

@ Dr. Henson – Right on! I completely agree. If you don’t like the system, either fix it or get out, but stop whining. In my case, we have to opt for the latter, as our children are in school now and the problems aren’t going to be fixed overnight (nor during their school years) no matter what level of fanatic volunteerism and involvement I have tried. Two parents can’t fix a broken school system like APS in order to confidently send their children there in hope of garnering a solid education. Been there, tried that.

Bernie

August 30th, 2012
3:06 pm

Solutions @ 3:01 pm – You are right …at that time they were 100% WHITE! No African Americans attended or allowed. If any African American person were on ANY street in Dekalb County after 6pm you were subject to a SEVERE BEATING, ARREST, 30days in JAIL, and a very STIFF FINE!…..Ahhh The good ole DAYS!

That really did not change until the very late 1960’s too! Not very long ago at ALL!

When America was Pure,Christian and God Fearing…..

I remember WELL…..

katherine

August 30th, 2012
3:08 pm

Bernie – the people doing the oppressing and beating may have been Republican or Democrat – who knows? However, if you will review the history of that era, you may be surprised to learn that the Democrats had almost total control of the Southern states. So it’s a decent bet that the people you are referring to were Democrats, since that was the party in power.

Solutions

August 30th, 2012
3:10 pm

From the ajc.com – The top ten scoring schools on the ACT in Georgia:

Top ten schools in Georgia:
Fulton County, Chattahoochee High School, 25.2
Cobb County, George Walton Comp High School, 25.1
Fulton County, Riverwood High School, 25
Fulton County, Milton High School, 24.6
Fulton County, Northview High School , 24.6
Savannah-Chatham County, Savannah Arts Academy, 24.5
Cobb County, Alan C Pope High School, 24.3
Forsyth County, South Forsyth High School, 24.1
Cobb County, Lassiter High School, 24
Fayette County, Starrs Mill High School, 24
Metro District averages:
Atlanta Public Schools , 17.8
Cherokee County , 22
Clayton County , 17.3
Cobb County , 22.1
Decatur City Schools , 21.7
DeKalb County , 18.5
Fayette County , 22.5
Forsyth County , 23.1
Fulton County , 22.2
Gwinnett County , 22.1
Marietta City Schools , 21.7
National average , 21.1
State average , 20.6

Bernie

August 30th, 2012
3:10 pm

Pluto @ 3:03 pm – You too are also correct! at that time today’s Rebulicans called themselves DIXIECRATS!

A very lovely bunch of endearing and warm people, whom Condi loves so much! Just thinking of them and their actions really warms my heart and makes me want to run out and join them this very day.

Jessica

August 30th, 2012
3:11 pm

@Bernie, is that supposed to shock me? We have all seen how African Americans (in general) treat any of their own who a) get ahead based on merit, and b) advocate personal achievement and responsibility as the path to success. Instead of celebrating their accomplishments and carefully considering their ideas, their community responds with curses and hate. What does this teach your children?
What I don’t understand is WHY you are so loyal to a political ideology that works to keep black people poor, uneducated and dependent. Why are you attacking this woman for thinking that YOU should get to choose where YOUR children go to school? Why don’t you oppose the politicians who want to force you to send your kid to one specific school, no matter how horrible it is? Why don’t you stand up to teachers’ unions, who want to make sure that your kid’s teacher is never fired for doing a lousy job or rewarded for doing an excellent one? Your loyalty is misplaced, and your kids deserve better than that. All kids do.

shav

August 30th, 2012
3:16 pm

my mom was a substitute teacher for a while and I could not believe some of the sexual stuff that goes on in middle school, some of it during class… there is no discipline in our schools with plenty of blame to go around.

Solutions

August 30th, 2012
3:19 pm

Entitlement Society – I have posted the top 10 scoring high schools in Georgia on the ACT for you, good luck in finding the right schools.

Bernie

August 30th, 2012
3:19 pm

I remember The Fox Theater. If you were African American you could never enter at that Grand and Beautiful Front entrance that still stands. You purchased your ticket after waiting of any white person who wanted a ticket. even if they came up after you.
You were not allowed to use any of the Restroom facilities. You had to hold it OR!
You had to bring and sneak in your own snacks and hope not to be caught!

Your purchased your ticket and go to the side street to the rear entrance that had a long stairwell that too still stands today. That led to the “Crow’s Nest” entrance and you had a option of the LAST TWO ROWS ONLY! forget seeing anything! but many were glad to have even that chance.

ahhhh! such lovely memories!

Another comment

August 30th, 2012
3:19 pm

I went to college will a former RNC Chair and DNC chair. The RNC chair was a big time Democrat from Penn. in college. Funny thing was in 1983 when ED could not secure a job working for a democrate from Penn. So he took a job working for a Republican Congressman. Ed is only a Republican because he needed a job. Every time I see him on one of the talking head shows I just want to puke. He is the same Ed that was friends with Tim of Tim and Tim was at the party celebrating their adoption of a black child, from DC Forster care. He was friends with all these gay and lesbians from college, the same people he wants to deny now. It makes my skin crawl.

Yet on the other hand I see how wonderfully my other classmate Mayor Mitch, Landrue has reacted in the face of another tragic storm . Yet bumble jindal who wasted money with his dirt berms that we’re worth list try’s to hog the media. Mitch is out in the trenches getting things done just being the Mitch I met freshman year.

Bernie

August 30th, 2012
3:29 pm

Jessica @ 3:11 pm – Shock! Never! I am the one who is shocked and surprised to see the return of those same hateful policies return along of denying of the right to vote under the false guise of removing FRAUD!

Also the slow creep to back to segregation under the guise of charter schools, with limited seating…then slowly back to Full segregation with issuance of school vouchers. A plan and a trick to fool the white Liberal Intelligentsia with a plan to insure we go back to the separation of the RACES in the educational system in America.

These are old recycled games of the South…they are just putting a happy face on it with a little political correctness to make you, your neighbors and the rest of Georgia along with the Federal courts think otherwise. However the GOAL remains the same.

I must give hand to Today’s Republicans they have done a great JOB of getting these things done. Condi’s resounding endorsement further pushes the plan forward.

Bernie

August 30th, 2012
3:39 pm

Jessica @ 3:11 pm – I would Love to have to ask those same questions to the Mayor of ATLANTA the Honorable Kasim Reed. Just this week Gov.Deal’s denial of the medicaid expansion.

The city of Atlanta has the highest concentration of Medicaid recipients. This population consist primarily of CHILDREN, minors if you will. Now we ALL heard from the Mayor continuously on the T-SPLOST issue. But nothing on the decision of denial of medicaid expansion. A service that goes directly to the healthcare of thousands of Atlanta’s children that go to school and home SICK with All of our children who are exposed to the very same illnesses. I TOO struggle with the same frustrations and questions as you and many here as well.

Bernie

August 30th, 2012
3:42 pm

Jessica @ 3:11 pm – The other answer to your question. when you only have 2 parties and one is OUTRIGHT OFFENSIVE and hostile with political rhetoric and will say it to your face and act on that offensive behavior.

Which Political Party would you choose? Think about it! This group only represents
15% of the population. In layman’s terms…The POOCH IS SCREWED!

Denise McGill

August 30th, 2012
3:52 pm

The moment she opened her mouth and began speaking the first thing that came to mind is- why wasn’t she preaching this same speech to her boss/friend GW Bush when he established “No Child Left Behind? 16 years ago” Seems to me that this current speech is 16 years too late with irreparable damage- Has everyone forgotten that marvelous masterpiece and solution?

SGaDawgette

August 30th, 2012
3:53 pm

I have despaired of ever seeing meaningful education discussion on this blog. I suppose this is where we now are in this country, unable to discuss ANYTHING without dragging race or political affiliation into it and with even a modest degree of common courtesy. I am saddened and disgusted by much of the vitriol I continue to read on these blogs. Is this really where we are as a country?

Just A Teacher

August 30th, 2012
3:54 pm

I also believe that this speech is full of platitudes with very little substance. However, you need only look at the proposals being put out by Republicans throughout the country to see the contempt for public education which they hold. Paul Ryan’s home state was all over the news last year because of drastic cuts to teachers’ salaries which resulted in massive protests at the state capital and a failed recall vote of its governor. In our state, the Republican dominated legislature has cut funding so dramatically that many school systems are facing economic ruin even with shortened school years and elimination of teaching positions. All of this is happening in Georgia at the same time as those legislators promote creating an expensive new government agency to promote charter schools and have traveled around the state telling private school parents how to fudge their tax returns in order to receive free tuition to private schools.

I am not thrilled with the Democratic Party either, but I have paid attention to issues involving education and they seem much more committed to the educational community, both the teachers AND the students.

Old Physics Teacher

August 30th, 2012
4:02 pm

Pluto: I hear you man! I worked retail for 20 years before i stepped in “to make a difference.” I used to be a business man. I used to vote Republican. I still wish Nixon was alive. I’d vote for him today. I care about Watergate; I do. That was a stupid mistake. Nevertheless, Nixon was a great leader. Johnson was… well… let’s just say a lot of problems we’re facing today are due directly to Lindon’s stupidity. But he meant well. Both men had visions for our nation; they both meant well.

The problem with the politicians today is they both play to their bases (read extremes there). Neither party has a vision for our nation. Both are venal and self-serving. Obama says one thing and then rolls over trying to get the Republicans to join in and gives away EVERYTHING and gets nothing in return, because their admitted objective is to make his a “one-term presidency.” On the other hand, the Republicans have the goal of taking care of the “job creators.” Well, the “job creators” don’t create jobs!! They just line their pockets with more money and get wealthier and wealthier. Frankly, their goals are good, but their actions do just the opposite of their goals. I can’t believe they don’t know that. The only option I have to believe is they don’t care about me and mine.

You’re right, the Democrats don’t either. Their avowed goals are excellent. They just don’t have the guts to do it. They want everyone to love them. I don’t think Pelosi is a dictatorial you-know-what. I think she’s a spineless wimp. They had a “mandate” to fix things when Obama went in. Tthey should have taken the bull (Republicans) by the horns AND FIXED THINGS. Or if they couldn’t, put the spotlight directly on the specific Republicans who were holding things up. Putting a spotlight on the “bad guys” gets them to run away from the light. They didn’t. They’re gutless wimps.

But what is my choice? For the Democrats, it’s wussy Obama with the wussy Democrats; “Let’s all learn to work together and sing kumbaya.” For the Republicans, it’s wussy Romney with the dangerously crazy republican House: What position do you want me to take to get your vote? And I’ll then vote to take care of the rich, and to heck with the middle class” I’ll still take Obama; of the two, he’s less dangerous.

Where’s Adlai Stevenson when you really need him?

DeKalb Teacher

August 30th, 2012
4:13 pm

I think the Republicans are trying to represent the tax payers. DeKalb millage rate is almost 24 mills. DeKalb admin is gorging on all that money. The teachers and children are left out in the cold. No amount of money is going to fix what ails DeKalb schools.

TwoWingsSameBird

August 30th, 2012
4:22 pm

The fact is, all I see and read in this comment section are people confused about what’s really going on. Do any of you actually think that the poor state of our nation’s education wasn’t planned? It’s a tool for oppression. Two parties, same machine. These people don’t care about our children, so stop fooling yourselves. Stop buying so much crap from all the brightly lit stores so you can afford to stay home and teach your kids or send them to a good school. The power the government has is only what we give it.

jarvis

August 30th, 2012
4:35 pm

Increase the stature of the profession? Make an education degree more difficult.

dc

August 30th, 2012
4:50 pm

I hope more teachers come on here and state things like “There are 6 causes for low test scores and teachers are not one of the causes”…..because if teachers can’t help students improve test scores, then why the heck do we pay for them? Please…..keep making points like that, and blaming parents and others, basically throwing your hands up in the air and giving up.

Then….maybe….finally, folks will see how our monolithic bureaucratic schools are failing both their students and the good teachers, and finally support alternatives that actually educate children, and help them be successful in life.