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Posts Tagged ‘teachers’


Are our school districts/systems, run by educated education professionals, spending your money wisely?  Has the U.S. Department of Education had a positive impact on our kids?  Has too much money gone to support the teachers’ unions’ demands, and bigger government; has too little information gone into the area between the ears of our kids? You be the judge.

 

Many thanks to the brilliant folks at the Cato Institute for the work they have done on so many important issues.  This work was done by Andrew J. Coulson and the complete Cato article can be found at President to Call for Big New Ed. Spending Here’s a Look at How that’s Worked in the Past.  Charts republished with the permission of the Cato Institute.

Let’s start with the U.S. Department of Education, elevated from the Office of Education in 1979.  The Department’s website  states “The Department’s mission is to serve America’s students— to  by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.”  How is this working for you?

It has a $67 Billion budget, over 4,000 employees and distributes another $100 Billion in education support.  By the way, this $167 Billion is derived from tax revenue taken from tax payers in the fifty states and territories.  If this money is left in the states, the states can then collect and use this money as they see fit and not as directed by educators with a progressive bent on how our children should learn.  There are almost 60 million students enrolled in K-12 education in this country.  The elimination of the Department of Education’s operating budget would ensure another $1,100 per student in education funding.  Would you contribute to a charity that had a 40% overhead rate as does the Department of Education?  How much of your district’s budget is spent on U.S. Department of Education compliance?  Add these compliance expenses to the overhead and the amount freed up for students climbs even higher.

The states do not need the U.S. Department of Education; the states’ PhD’s are just as smart as the PhD’s at the Department of Education.  The department has miserably failed its mission because we have an abysmal return on our Federal investment and a relatively zero increase in student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness, as is the mission since 1979.  There is no education excellence in our children.  We need to shut it down and despite numerous tweaks by Congress it is an abject failure and a gargantuan waste of money.

Is money the answer in itself – No!  Much of the money provided to the students has gone to support the teacher unions’ contracts.  We cannot remove a bad teacher, we cannot improve work rules, and the unions even call the shots on how our children are prepared for the future.  Unless you consider socialist propaganda prepared, they are simply not prepared for the future.  We are not making widgets here; these children are the nation’s greatest resource.  They are not a cog in the wheel of a union contract.  The unions have benefited financially from favorable union contracts; have the children benefited?  If you think so, look at the charts again.  Are there good teachers?  Yes of course.  Are these good teachers allowed to innovate, no!

Stop throwing money at the problem and change the paradigm.  We need to focus heavily on English, Math, Sciences, History, and Social Studies above all else.  Yes art and music and others have their place, but the Titanic is sinking, so let’s not rearrange the deck chairs.  First we need a good hard look at the content of the books and then we need to actually teach our kids that passing or failing is important in life.  The real world requires critical thinking skills and believe it or not in non-government or non-academic careers success matters, so why not truly prepare our kids for the future.

Parents who care need to pressure their school boards to become totally transparent.  Put all budgets and salaries online.  Put the progress of each class online.  We need to measure our teachers by testing their classes at the start of the semester/school year and then again at the end of the semester/school year to judge whether the teacher has adequately promoted student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness. Since our children are important and our future lifeblood, we need to compensate our teachers based on quality control.  If they actually deliver student achievement  and prepare these kids for the global economy – pay them well.  General Electric became very successful after Jack Welch instituted a policy that each year the bottom 10% of managers were let go and replaced by new hires – remember this is the real world.  Why shouldn’t this real world accountability be applied to those entrusted to prepare our to children succeed for themselves and for this country?

 

 



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Over the last few years our school children have been taught a new subject.  Let’s call it Capitalism Bad; Socialism Good.  You may not be aware but this socialist almost marxist propaganda has left college campuses and is now finding its way to our middle schools.  The theory and goal behind this video, produced by the “Tides Foundation”—a socialist redistribution driven organization, is to indoctrinate young children during their impressionable years, before they have learned to rationally think and question.

Of course, parents are kept in the dark, by the “all knowing” educators, who have embraced this ideology.  The lead instructional lesson is called The Story of Stuff.  This is a twenty minute video complete with a classroom quiz and related teaching and study material.  The Story of Stuff provides questionable information that is contrary to what is the economic model that has made this country great, capitalism. This video is filled with false statements and half-truths.  The clear intent is to mislead impressionable minds; to convince these minds that the ideology presented is common fact.  This video is clearly propaganda indoctrination.   Here is what that bastion of conservative think, The New York Times, has to say about this video in “A Cautionary Video About America’s ‘Stuff’”  

“…The video is a cheerful but brutal assessment of how much Americans waste, and it has its detractors. But it has been embraced by teachers eager to supplement textbooks that lag behind scientific findings on climate change and pollution. And many children who watch it take it to heart…”

 In a blog of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation called “The Real “Story of Stuff” about Capitalism and the Free Market” you will find a reasonable analysis of “The Story of Stuff”.

 “If you want freedom, peace and prosperity for people all over the globe, you want capitalism. Protestors at the G-20 Summit would have us believe otherwise. So would the creators of the Story of Stuff, an anti-free-market film seen by tens of thousands of school children who now believe capitalism means trashing the earth and stealing resources from poor people.

 It would be good if our schools began teaching intellectually honest economics. But most do not. What if all policymakers understood the connections between peace and personal liberty; prosperity and free markets; justice and risk?…”

 You may want to go to the Evergreen Freedom Foundation website and learn who they are and their mission.  This appears to be a solid and balanced organization.

 The New York Times article states that

 “…Which is one reason ‘The Story of Stuff’, a 20-minute video about the effects of human consumption, has become a sleeper hit in classrooms across the nation.” 

A sleeper hit with whom?  Is it a sleeper hit with parents?  Have parents been told that it would be in the lessons?  The piece states that the government exists to take care of us, well James Madison and the other Founders are rolling over on that statement alone.  It is wrong about how much is spent on defense and how must forest remain.  It even uses a military tank to represent the government—how balanced is that?

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