Why voucher advocates are allergic to standardized tests

In Pennsylvania, Republican legislators are pushing through a school vouchers bill that would divert increasingly scarce state education dollars to private and parochial schools. The move itself is controversial, but at the moment I’d like to focus on one particular aspect of the debate, as reported by the Hazleton Standard Speaker:

“The panel defeated an amendment by Sen. John Blake, D-22, Archbald, to have choice students who attend a private or parochial school take the Pennsylvania State Standardized Assessment given periodically in public schools. That way there would be an equitable standard to measure academic performance, he added.”

Now why would school-choice advocates reject a proposal to have voucher recipients take the same test as their public-school peers? That seems peculiar. If a private school accepts money from the state, it ought to at least be willing to demonstrate that taxpayers are getting value out of that investment, right? If you want to be good stewards of public money, you need some means of measuring performance.

In addition, since the whole idea behind school choice is, well, choice, it would seem essential to give students in public and private schools the same test, so that parents can try to compare outcomes.

Up in Wisconsin — where public-school students regularly rank among the highest in the nation on the SAT and ACT, Gov. Scott Walker is also proposing to broaden an existing voucher program, as the AP reports:

“Walker is proposing expanding the voucher program that currently is only available to low-income students in Milwaukee. He wants to expand the program to all of Milwaukee County and phase out the low-income qualifying ceiling.

He also wants to do away with a requirement that voucher students take the same statewide achievement tests as students in public schools.”

Hmmm. There it is again: Walker wants to abolish a requirement that schools accepting taxpayer vouchers agree to test its students just as public schools do. And these are not isolated incidents. Voucher advocates often oppose any requirement to subject voucher recipients to standardized testing.

The Milwaukee voucher program, for example, has been in existence since 1990, but the testing requirement was added only in 2006, and even then over the protest of Republican legislators. And now that they and Walker have regained power, they want that provision gone. The question is why.

The editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel solves the mystery:

“Last week, scores released by the state Department of Public Instruction showed that students in Milwaukee’s school choice program performed worse than or about the same as students in Milwaukee Public Schools in math and reading.

A day later, researchers at the University of Arkansas who have been tracking MPS and voucher students since 2005-’06 found that the two are performing roughly the same.”

Oh …. now it makes sense. They don’t want to mandate testing because that testing has demonstrated that students using vouchers are performing no better and perhaps worse than their public-school counterparts.

Again, the data go back only to 2005-2006 because until then, proponents of vouchers in Wisconsin had succeeded in blocking testing of students who used the program. That changed only after a major scandal erupted involving largely unregulated private schools.

As the Christian Science Monitor reported at the time:

“In one of the worst instances, a convicted rapist opened a school, which has since shut down. Reporters from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tried to visit all 115 schools then in the program last year, and found a mixed bag. Nine schools refused to let reporters in, and the paper cited “10 to 15 others where … the overall operation appeared alarming when it came to the basic matter of educating children.”

One school was opened by a woman who said she had a vision from God to start a school, and whose only educational background was as a teacher’s aide. Others had few books or signs of a coherent curriculum. Yet they’ve been able to enroll students.”

And here’s an AP report on Milwaukee voucher schools from that same time frame:

“The schools are required to report virtually nothing about their methods to the state, or to track their students’ performance. Proponents say that frees the schools from onerous bureaucracy. But some say the lack of oversight makes them a prime target for abuse.

At the Mandella Academy for Science and Math, school officials admitted signing up more than 200 students who never showed and then cashing $330,000 in state-issued tuition checks, which the principal used to buy, among other things, Mercedes-Benzes for himself and the assistant principal.

Meanwhile, Alex’s Academics of Excellence received $2.8 million in voucher money over three years before the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the school’s founder, James A. Mitchell, served nearly a decade in prison for a 1971 rape. Unlike their counterparts at public schools, principals and teachers at private schools do not have to undergo criminal background checks.”

Theoretically, the marvels of the free market were supposed to run places such as “Alex’s Academics of Excellence” out of business. Instead, government was forced to intervene, because what happens in theory and what happens in reality are often two different things. But in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, loyalty to theory is once again carrying the day.

– Jay Bookman

470 comments Add your comment

GeeMac

April 28th, 2011
9:00 am

Jay, you may want to ask Maureen to put this up over at Schooled, where I’m sure it will get responses. It’s amazing to me, a public school teacher, how increasingly obvious it is that Republicans want to completely dismantle public education.

Cletus

April 28th, 2011
9:00 am

There is a mountain of research data also, including a study done for the Department of Education during the George W. Bush administration, which shows that charter school students do no better than regular public school students on standardized performance tests of this type. Of course, the charter school advocates never seem very eager to talk about this data.

Jay

April 28th, 2011
9:04 am

I think so too, GeeMac. The opening salvo is always “do it for the poor kids in bad urban schools — don’t you want to help them?” But that is cynical exploitation from people who otherwise don’t really seem to care much about poor people in urban areas. The goal is always to use that as a wedge and then expand it, as Walker is now attempting to do in Wisconsin.

UGA1999

April 28th, 2011
9:27 am

Jay…..you believe that having options for your education is a bad thing? Were you forced into which college you wanted to attend?

Left wing management

April 28th, 2011
9:29 am

Neoliberalism unleashed in even more virulent form. If there’s no counteroffensive, we won’t even recognize this society in another decade.

jm

April 28th, 2011
9:31 am

Well I for one agree with the school testing if they get public funds…. and if the test isn’t a good test for one reason or another, then the test needs to be changed.

USinUK

April 28th, 2011
9:32 am

“Neoliberalism unleashed in even more virulent form. If there’s no counteroffensive, we won’t even recognize this society in another decade.”

yep. we’ll all be marvelling at how rubbing sticks together causes FIYAH!!!

(not to mention, we’ll stumble upon the statue of liberty half buried on a beach)

oy.

UGA1999

April 28th, 2011
9:33 am

I know for a fact that most of the teachers hate the CRCT testing that is going on this week.

Jay

April 28th, 2011
9:35 am

People do have options, UGA. They just don’t have taxpayers pay for them.

As to college, I went to Penn State because I could pay in-state tuition and my family was in no position to help financially. I didn’t expect the state of Pennsylvania to pay my tuition to some Ivy League school. I went to the school they provided.

Peadawg

April 28th, 2011
9:35 am

My question is if they are receiving fund directly from the state…how are they a private school? Or are they receiving funds indirectly through kids that choose to go there and use vouchers? If it’s the second, then they are still a private school and shouldn’t be required to give Standardized tests.

Gordon

April 28th, 2011
9:35 am

Where is the correlation between education spending and student performance? In most cases, lousy parents are to blame. But since lots of lousy parents vote, we pretend the problem is not enough money and poor teachers.

Road Scholar

April 28th, 2011
9:36 am

UGA1999: We have choice now w/o vouchers!!!! No one forced you to attend UGA (if you really did) or forced me to attend Tech.We have choices when we buy a car; the only ones we won’t buy is ones that are lemons or ones we can not afford. Right?

Soothsayer

April 28th, 2011
9:37 am

Jay, if they can avoid testing, then the logic and impetus for not having to go to school with “Those People” disappears doesn’t it?

jm

April 28th, 2011
9:37 am

Jay 9:35 – I think a hammer just got dropped.

Doggone/GA

April 28th, 2011
9:37 am

“The opening salvo is always “do it for the poor kids in bad urban schools — don’t you want to help them?””

And MY answer is always: YES, I DO want to help them. I want to see them get the same kind and quality of facilities, and the same amount of money per student as do other “better” schools.

GeeMac

April 28th, 2011
9:38 am

Just making sure I have this straight…Take money from public schools and give to private/charter/parochial via vouchers, but do not require any accountability of the recipients to demonstrate that the money is being used to improve educational outcomes for the students. Meanwhile,continue to pressure public schools to demonstrate accountability through numerous standardized tests so that they can continue to be labeled “failing” so that the conservatives can bolster their argument for vouchers, and thus the vicious circle goes on and on…Is that about right?

Road Scholar

April 28th, 2011
9:38 am

“is” should be “are”! The coffee is slow to act this morning!

UGA1999

April 28th, 2011
9:38 am

Jay…..Hmmmmm…..so this is funny coming from the left that they are not asking for assistance or government help.

I believe the education of our youth is vital to the growth and prosperity of this county. Regardless of leadership in Washington. If a parent feels that the government schools are failing (which they are) why not offer them an option?

Jay

April 28th, 2011
9:41 am

Poor parenting is a big part of the problem, Gordon. Only thing is, I don’t know how to fix that, do you? Stripping people of access to family planning, as the attack on Planned Parenthood attempts to do, would only make that problem worse.

Schools have to deal with the children we send them, and with the parents of those children as well. It’s in everybody’s interest to help those kids overcome the disinterest and worse of their parents, and schools are the only place where that can happen.

jm

April 28th, 2011
9:42 am

good news…. in particular the last bit in relation to deferred compensation

Anyone interested in the extent to which Wall Street pay has changed in recent years should read the most recent column by the WSJ’s Dennis Berman.

Berman sat down with an anonymous Wall Street “paymaster” and got a blow-by-blow of compensation for median mid-career i-bankers pre- and post-crisis. As one would expect there are a lot of moving parts — total comp has come down, bonuses have come down and salaries have gone up.

But if you crunch the numbers a step further, you come up with two telling data points: 36% and 49%. Those figures represent the share of total compensation that is deferred. Back in the salad days of 2007, slightly more than one-third of pay didn’t vest for at least a year. Now, almost half of all wages fall into that category.

In most cases, if a banker leaves before those payouts come due, they forfeit that money. As Berman points out, that has a “chilling” effect on how Wall Street workers think about career moves and how banks and brokerages think about hiring.

In other words, whether bankers earn more or less these days is a bit of a moot question. Banking is, and will continue to be, a lucrative profession.

What’s more notable is that the war for talent on Wall Street has slowly switched from an arms race — marked by ever-increasing bonus bombs — to something more subtle and strategic.

jm

April 28th, 2011
9:43 am

Jay

April 28th, 2011
9:43 am

Well put, GeeMac. By jove I think you’ve got it!

Road Scholar

April 28th, 2011
9:43 am

UGA1999: “feel”? And what role should the parents play to better the education of their child and other attendees and the school they attend?I agree with you about the betterment of the children’s education, but teachers are not just baby sitters, they have to be “assisted” by the parents! How about setting goals, creating expectations, rewarding good behavior and disciplining their child? I’ll even throw in setting a good example.

jm

April 28th, 2011
9:44 am

Jay 9:41 – “Students selected to attend the Griffin school are enrolled in the free, all-day preschool. Children in another group aren’t enrolled in the school, while their guardians take courses at a “parenting academy” and receive cash or scholarships valued at up to $7,000 annually as a reward. “

UGA1999

April 28th, 2011
9:44 am

Jay…..so your resolution to poor parenting is to kill more babies???? WOW

The only way to create a better future for all children is educations.

GeeMac

April 28th, 2011
9:44 am

UGA1999 – Not all government schools are failing. Poverty is the problem. And consistent cuts to education funding has created impoverished schools, mostly in already impoverished communities. Money is not the only answer, and taxpayers should expect a decent return on their investment, but schools alone cannot overcome neglectful parenting.

jm

April 28th, 2011
9:45 am

Jay 9:43 / Geemac – I disagree. I think that is certainly the agenda of some Republicans. Not all of them. And I don’t know the split and I can’t hazard a guess (and neither can anyone else).

Jay

April 28th, 2011
9:46 am

That’s great, jm. I hope that shows results. I think schools ought to offer, for example, classes to teach new parents how to read to their children, and give them books to do so. If you as a parent haven’t grown up in an environment in which that happens, you have no role model and no idea how important it can be, even if you want to do the right thing.

TaxPayer

April 28th, 2011
9:46 am

Well, the Republicans are sure enough continuing to educate me. Where do they draw their lines or do they.

Jay

April 28th, 2011
9:47 am

Contraception, UGA.

So much for trying to have a civil discussion, huh?

UGA1999

April 28th, 2011
9:48 am

GeeMac….I guess that depends on your definition of “failing”. Poverty may be part of the problem but the root cause always goes back to education. Neglectful parenting can be tied to many more issues than just education as well.

Left wing management

April 28th, 2011
9:49 am

Buon giorno, USinUK!

Gordon: ” In most cases, lousy parents are to blame. But since lots of lousy parents vote, we pretend the problem is not enough money and poor teachers.”

But, Gordon, you’ve fallen prey to another error: namely, the notion that because not all our problems are due to lack of money, i.e. some are cultural, societal, that THEREFORE the solution can’t consist of providing more money. That’s a false conclusion.

Gordon

April 28th, 2011
9:49 am

Jay,

No, I don’t know how to fix poor parenting. But I do think we can stop pretending that more money and expansion of the federal government’s role in education will do it. It hasn’t, and it won’t.

The first thing we could do is tell the truth about what the problem really is. How about actually paying people to NOT have kids?

UGA1999

April 28th, 2011
9:49 am

Jay…..I have NO issue with contraception. We actually agree. But you made no mention of contraception in your post…only planned parenthood and the rights issues with it. The right does not have an issue with contraception, as a matter of fact we believe it that philosophy as much if not more than the left.

jm

April 28th, 2011
9:49 am

Jay 9:46 – agreed.

Normal

April 28th, 2011
9:51 am

UGA1999,
You called me a moron downstairs for my opinion, so it’s my turn to ask..is your Nom de Blog the year you flunked out?

Jay

April 28th, 2011
9:51 am

Most of what Planned Parenthood does is contraception and women’s reproductive health, UGA, and ALL of what it does with federal money falls into that category.

jm

April 28th, 2011
9:51 am

One perspective in regards to the real crux of the problem and the solution.

U.S. Teachers Are Failing, So Are Their Critics: Chris Farrell

http://noir.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=adGpo5bfDHn0

Adam

April 28th, 2011
9:52 am

I don’t agree that standardized testing should be used as a sole or primary method to measure educational performance in many cases. For example, math might not be your thing as a student, maybe it never will be. Standardized tests marginalize students who would otherwise excel in more abstract and non-quantifiable areas. However that’s really not a reason to allow schools to exist that provide no feedback on education whatsoever. There has to be more to it. Statistics are fine and all that, but rarely do standardized tests really mean much other than test taking capabilities.

But I do agree with the rest of your piece, highlighting private school abuse and how the free market promotes abuse rather than solves it.

stands for decibels

April 28th, 2011
9:53 am

Lil' Barry Bailout

April 28th, 2011
9:54 am

In Pennsylvania, Republican legislators are pushing through…
——

If your only source of news was Jay’s column, you’d think the only party doing anything anywhere was Republicans. Apparently the Democrats are the do-nothing party.

getalife

April 28th, 2011
9:55 am

The gop attack education because lets face it.

They get the uneducated votes.

The dumber the people, the more votes they get.

I mean who in their right mind would vote to steal their own Medicare in another privatization scam.

jm

April 28th, 2011
9:55 am

In regards to the last bloomberg article. I’m going to knock it out in the private sector for 10 more years (at least). Then I’ll consider teaching.

My stepfather (who was a principal) asked me the other day: how much is enough? Well, I don’t come at the world from the same perspective, but I do think teaching would be something to seriously consider after having done pretty well (if).

Of course, turning someone such as myself loose in a high school economics or math class might terrify the liberal teaching establishment. :)

Adam

April 28th, 2011
9:55 am

Did we really just turn the debate to Planned Parenthood (90%, #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement) in ONE PAGE?

(ir)Rational

April 28th, 2011
9:55 am

I simply want to know how accurate standardized tests are at measuring a student’s achievements and progress? Giving standardized tests, at least when I was in school, pushed the teachers into only teach the test. Even the best teachers I had would only focus on the test. It didn’t always help either. There were some people who were very smart who couldn’t take a test like that, and some that were not so smart that could take the tests well and it showed them being much better students than they were. Maybe the problem isn’t vouchers, government schools, private schools, or charter schools, but the standardized tests themselves.

USinUK

April 28th, 2011
9:56 am

LWM – bonjour!

okay, after last night’s storms … and today’s education (and, evidently, contraceptive) political storms, I give you a dose of cuteness

http://www.buzzfeed.com/burnred/cute-corgis-want-to-watch-the-royal-wedding-281t

UGA1999

April 28th, 2011
9:57 am

So Jay again…are we discussing contraceptives are abortion? Just say it….dont beat around the bush.

jm

April 28th, 2011
9:57 am

Adam 9:52 – standardized testing works just fine for Asia and Europe which are both kicking our tails academically. If you have a better solution, or a model and tool to read all the neurons in a high schooler’s brain, then I think there’s a business opportunity out there for you.

Gordon

April 28th, 2011
9:58 am

Jay,

I agree with your sentiments on wanting to improve parenting by offering classes, but the problem is this: if a person had the desire to attend such a class, 95% of the problem would have already been solved. The problem for most of the poor isn’t lack of information on how to be better parents, it is the lack of desire. I know how cynical that sounds, but my wife works as a school nurse in a public school and she has just seen to much to pretend any longer. I understand that the problem is passed down from generation to generation and I am no better than they are (I would be the same if raised in the same environment), but that doesn’t change the situation. Parental accountability is what is missing here – not lack of resources.

poison pen

April 28th, 2011
9:58 am

Doggone/GA

April 28th, 2011
9:37 am
“The opening salvo is always “do it for the poor kids in bad urban schools — don’t you want to help them?””

And MY answer is always: YES, I DO want to help them. I want to see them get the same kind and quality of facilities, and the same amount of money per student as do other “better” schools.

Darn, I must of not had enough coffee, I’m agreeing with Doggone again.

Adam

April 28th, 2011
9:59 am

jm: I am liking your posts today. Good article, and I think it may actually be a good idea. As for teaching, I gree with you generally, but I am concerned that in 10 years our educational system will have been gutted and hacked at so much that there’s no longer any point.

jm

April 28th, 2011
9:59 am

KIPP info

Ivy Leaguers’ Class for Poor Becomes ‘Platinum’ Charter Schools
http://noir.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=afQOvU9A45vA

Normal

April 28th, 2011
9:59 am

Just got the email and I did my part. Donated to the 2012 Barak Obama Re-election Fund. Gives me the warm fuzzies and makes me feel like an American! Yeah baby!

St Simons - we're on Island time

April 28th, 2011
9:59 am

if they want to dismantle public education, which is the Republican goal here of course, dismantle Meddycare, dismantle the Army to private Blackwaters, dismantle the social safety net, why don’t they just secede as a group, and get off the roads & out of libraries (haha nevermind about the libraries)

Jay

April 28th, 2011
10:00 am

I agree, Gordon. So how do we address that?

We either do it through the parents, the kids or both. But not addressing it isn’t an option, given the consequences to the individuals involved and to the whole country.

carlosgvv

April 28th, 2011
10:00 am

The Republican philosophy is to make conditions as favorable to Business as possible so that Business will funnel some of their profits to the Republican election and re-election funds. You may be sure that money is the bottom line explanation for Republican behavior here.

Left wing management

April 28th, 2011
10:00 am

The problems with our education system are really not all that complicated, and they are easily brought to light by a simple comparison of our society’s approach towards education with a society with a superior approach: e.g. Finland. There, it’s not at all uncommon for bright and high-achieving young people to aspire to careers in education. (Something similar is the case in Germany, a country that’s always been our superior in cultural and educational sphere, a fact we used to realize, and thus benefited from.) Teachers are unionized in Finland, it goes without saying, which also helps ensure stability and prestige, and quality. But obviously the other major factor is the “homogeneity” factor of that culture as compared with ours, which presents us with real opportunities but also huge challenges.

By the way, Diane Ravitch, one of the most keen critic of US education, will appear on NPR’s Fresh Air today.

Lil' Barry Bailout

April 28th, 2011
10:00 am

Maybe the poor could meet us halfway and at least read their “People” magazine to their kids.

(ir)Rational

April 28th, 2011
10:01 am

So, I wrote my last comment without even reading the column, being able to guess pretty much what the column would say. After I posted, I went back and read it, and found that I was correct. I would offer the hypothesis that perhaps the students going to the private and parochial schools aren’t doing better on the standardized tests because their teachers are teaching them the material they should be learning and not just what is on the test. Of course I have no evidence to support this, but you have no evidence to show where it isn’t true. And of course, without reading I knew the hypothesis Jay would propose – Republicans and more free market solutions bad – Democrats and more government interference good.

Peadawg

April 28th, 2011
10:02 am

Hey carlos,

I’m still waiting on an answer to my question downstairs: Is there any scientific evidence that God does NOT exist? Not theories, PROOF. Cold hard FACTS?

jm

April 28th, 2011
10:03 am

KIPP proves that “it is absolutely possible for poor minority kids to achieve at the highest level,” Rhee said.

She cited a KIPP school in Washington where, she said, 90 percent of students are performing on grade level, compared with 10 percent at a regular public school six blocks away.

“Same neighborhood, same challenges, same kids with those wildly different outcomes,” Rhee said.

http://noir.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=afQOvU9A45vA

stands for decibels

April 28th, 2011
10:03 am

standardized testing works just fine for Asia and Europe which are both kicking our tails academically.

Any info about whether those nations allow individual provinces/states to adopt their own testing standards, which can’t provide an apples:apples comparison for parents who might want to see how their state/province stacks up against a neighboring state/province, the way we do here in the US under NCLB?

Because that’s always been one of my major beefs with NCLB, which I’ve probably shared here before–standardized testing’s good-or-evilness is a separate issue… But if you won’t have one national standard test, I don’t really see the point of federal legislation on this issue. Didn’t in 2001, don’t now.

poison pen

April 28th, 2011
10:03 am

getalife

April 28th, 2011
9:55 am
The gop attack education because lets face it.

They get the uneducated votes.

The dumber the people, the more votes they get.

I mean who in their right mind would vote to steal their own Medicare in another privatization scam.

Getalife, please show us the data for dumb people voting Repub, I wouls like to see a side by side chart, please show us.

I think Bush worked with Kennedy to help with better education in our country, something you obviously forgot.

(ir)Rational

April 28th, 2011
10:04 am

jm – Don’t go confusing the libs with the facts. Also, Rhee might not be the best source for that type of information as she was apparently involved in the same type of crap that was going on in APS.

Normal

April 28th, 2011
10:04 am

Peadawg, Is there any proof He does exist? And don’t tell me the Bible tells me so.

Adam

April 28th, 2011
10:04 am

jm: standardized testing is fine as long as it is not your holy frail for educational performance. That ignores the human element in favor of drone drudgery. You can bet the countries kicking our butts care about the HUMAN aspect of their children. That’s the point I was trying to make. It shouldn’t be the only measure of a student.

UGA1999

April 28th, 2011
10:04 am

Carlos…..and the goal of the left is to funnel as much of the public sector tax revenue is funneled to low income and low educated votes…Hince welfare and medicare. The are pimping their votes. Great job.

This is exactly why the left will not enfore immigration laws and is suing a state for enforcing federal immigration policy. They want the hispanic vote. They are selling their public duty for votes. Great job!

UGA1999

April 28th, 2011
10:05 am

Normal…..DING DING DING!

jm

April 28th, 2011
10:06 am

sfd 10:03 – there’s a consortium of states (over 25) working on developing an uniform testing program between their states. It may be way more than 25 now….

Normal

April 28th, 2011
10:07 am

UGA1999

Normal…..DING DING DING!

??? Havin’ a mental short circuit???

Sean

April 28th, 2011
10:07 am

Just like from the Wizard of OZ… “Dont look behing the curtain! Voucher are all powerfull.”

Peadawg

April 28th, 2011
10:07 am

“Is there any proof He does exist? And don’t tell me the Bible tells me so.”

Nope there is NO scientific evidence that says He does exist, it’s called faith. Feel free to answer my question as well. I’d be interested in seeing the concrete evidence (not theories) that says God does NOT exist.

jm

April 28th, 2011
10:08 am

sfd

A consortium of 31 states led by Susan Gendron, Maine’s former education commissioner, has won a $160 million federal award to remake standardized testing, the U.S. Department of Education said Thursday.

The SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium, of which Maine is a member, won a portion of $350 million in federal funds allocated to bankroll the development of new standardized tests for students.

The award came as part of the federal Race to the Top education competition, which awarded $4 billion to states to support education reforms.

The SMARTER group was one of two to win Race to the Top testing awards. The other winning consortium, which claimed $170 million, has 26 member states including California, Florida and Massachusetts.

http://www.pressherald.com/news/consortium-wins-grant-for-testing_2010-09-03.html

UGA1999

April 28th, 2011
10:09 am

Normal…feeling fine….you?

carlosgvv

April 28th, 2011
10:09 am

UGA1999

I have said many times that America is the only country that would allow 12 million plus illegals to come in and stay. I have also said they should ALL be deported and the cost borne by the countries they came from. If these countries won’t pay, cut off their foreign aid. Do you agree?

stands for decibels

April 28th, 2011
10:10 am

jm @ 10.06, thanks for that info. I think I found the consortium of which you speak…

http://www.k12.wa.us/smarter/

(surprise surprise, GA’s not part of it.)

Jay

April 28th, 2011
10:10 am

I’m pretty sure Georgia, as part of the Race to the Top effort, is part of that effort as well, jm.

UGA1999

April 28th, 2011
10:10 am

Carlos….agreed, but just because we believe it doesnt mean the government will enforce it. As a matter of fact the federal government is suing states so that they WILL NOT enforce the federal law. Great job Obama.

(ir)Rational

April 28th, 2011
10:11 am

How about we don’t have a conversation about religion on a political blog? That way we can stick with things that we know for sure do/don’t exist, and don’t have to piss each other off in new ways. I mean, we piss each other off enough without having to throw religion into the mix.

Adam

April 28th, 2011
10:11 am

In science, you are supposed to work towards proof by attempting to disprove something. God cannot be applied to science, because that is an abstract concept that has no testable evidence. Therefore, can we drop the subject? Believe what you want to so long as it doesn’t lead you to hate please.

Where's My Party?

April 28th, 2011
10:12 am

(ir)……Excellent, excellent post at 10:01.

RW-(the original)

April 28th, 2011
10:12 am

Jay
April 28th, 2011
9:58 am

irRational, that’s a legitimate debate.

I think we need standardized tests; the question is how much weight we give them and to what use we put them.

There you go, Jay B. I thought I’d do the heavy lifting and bring that comment up here where it probably belongs for you. No thanks necessary. :-)

stands for decibels

April 28th, 2011
10:13 am

jm, again, thanks.

note to self: always hit “refresh” before “submit”

jm

April 28th, 2011
10:13 am

sfd / Jay

GA is part of a different consortium

“The SMARTER group was one of two to win Race to the Top testing awards. The other winning consortium, which claimed $170 million, has 26 member states including California, Florida and Massachusetts.”

I think GA must be part of the second consortium….

Doggone/GA

April 28th, 2011
10:14 am

“How about we don’t have a conversation about religion on a political blog? ”

How about – if you don’t like how Jay runs HIS blog, you start your OWN and then YOU can set the rules.

Normal

April 28th, 2011
10:15 am

Peadawg,
I have no problem believing in a “God”. In fact, there is enough that has happened out there to imply there is a “Higher Power”. My problem is with “Religion”. Religion is man made and because so, it is flawed. Religion inhibits. No Religion is good for mankind.

It’s your right to believe what you want, but please do the polite thing and keep it to yourself.

carlosgvv

April 28th, 2011
10:15 am

Peadawg

God can neither be scientificlly proved or disproved. If you are a true believer I can only assume your teachers in school were so browbeat by fundamentalist parents and school boards that they were afraid to teach you the difference between faith and fact. Of course, you could easily learn this by just looking in the dictionary, but I know you won’t. You would rather have the comfort of your delusional religious world.

jm

April 28th, 2011
10:15 am

GA Consortium

http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/09/by_james_vaznis_2.html

Massachusetts is among 11 entities leading the 26-state consortium. The other leaders, known as governing states, are Arizona, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.

The remaining consortium members are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

St Simons - we're on Island time

April 28th, 2011
10:15 am

None of this current crop of Republicans could make it on an island. (on this blog jm could, he has a conscience). On the island, you learn quick, its hammered home, that we’re All In This Together. This every-man-for-himself disease will make us extinct. You know, back when I lived in Atlanta, Atlanta was an “island” if you will, in a sea (the South) of cringe-worthy-can’t-look-away-car-wreck of backwardness.

Think about it. We’re all in this together. You know its true.

Peadawg

April 28th, 2011
10:16 am

(ir) Rational and Adam,

I’m just trying to make a point to carlos, who said there’s no proof that God exists. Yet there’s no proof that God does not exists either. Nobody’s forcing you to read my posts…please feel free to skip over them if you please.

Gordon

April 28th, 2011
10:16 am

Parental Accountability:

1) Say out loud that parents are the main part of the problem. Not bad schools or bad teachers or lack of money. That doesn’t mean there aren’t bad teachers (just like in every profession), or places where more money could be used, but stop the myth that those are the biggest problems.

2) Force parents by law to attend parent/teacher meetings, given sufficient notice.

3) Force parents by law to keep their contact information up to date. My wife, the nurse, can’t even get in touch with a large number of parents. It is not because they don’t have phones.

4) As I mentioned earlier, actually reward people for not having children. Below a certain income level and between certain ages, you get money back each year.

5) Allow states to try different things. See what works and what doesn’t.

Jay, you are exactly right that not addressing it is an option. But when what you have been doing has not been working, you try something new. We get so little from people because we expect so little but the stakes are VERY high. These are people and they can be saved.

Normal

April 28th, 2011
10:16 am

Feeling fine…

F-reaked out
I-nsecure
N-eurotic
E-motional…

Feelin’ fine? Sorry to hear it…

USinUK

April 28th, 2011
10:17 am

peadawg – short answer – you can’t prove a negative.

Left wing management

April 28th, 2011
10:17 am

Adam: “In science, you are supposed to work towards proof by attempting to disprove something. God cannot be applied to science, because that is an abstract concept that has no testable evidence”

Actually, Descartes, one of the founding figures of modern science, would have disagreed. For him, God remains very much in the picture as the ultimate guarantor and support of all truth, scientific or otherwise. For example, if 2 + 2 = 4, it’s because God willed it so. And as a corollary, 2 + 2 = 4 could cease to be true at any time should God will it otherwise.

Adam

April 28th, 2011
10:17 am

I admit surprise at so many southern states being in that consortium. Crossing my fingers that it helps our educational system for the better.

Doggone/GA

April 28th, 2011
10:19 am

“It’s your right to believe what you want, but please do the polite thing and keep it to yourself.”

And I don’t think there’s any need to do that. We’ve had some very interesting, RESPECTFUL discussions about religion here…many times.

Peadawg

April 28th, 2011
10:19 am

“Peadawg

God can neither be scientificlly proved or disproved. ”

That’s my point, carlos. Believe what you want, but there’s 0, ZERO, proof that he does NOT exist. Unless you can find proof, then please refrain from your ignorant comments about me being delusional.

Adam

April 28th, 2011
10:20 am

LWM: maybe he would argue that, but even he would agree that is belief, not science.

stands for decibels

April 28th, 2011
10:22 am

I think GA must be part of the second consortium….

Anyone know the actual name of this group? I’m not having any luck googling “race to the top”, and I’d like to know just what my state’s up to.

(an official apology for my catty comment @ 10.10 is riding on it, folks.)

Southern Comfort (aka The Man)

April 28th, 2011
10:22 am

believe the education of our youth is vital to the growth and prosperity of this county. Regardless of leadership in Washington. If a parent feels that the government schools are failing (which they are) why not offer them an option?

They already have several options. They may not like them, but the options are there.

#1 Move to a better school district

#2 Enroll your child in a private/charter school, and pay for it yourself.

#3 Actually spend time to rear your child and help him/her with school work yourself.

Vouchers are nothing but another form of unnecessary government spending. I pay property taxes to ensure Henry Co. has the necessary funding to do their job. I’m not paying my taxes to put your Josh into private school. If you want him there, then pay for it.

Vouchers = Welfare.