Sept 18, 21 “Free College”

Free College.

What an idea!  First off if something is of no charge it has been proven beyond any doubt that people do not value it. There is no question many jobs today require education beyond secondary school. The question is how to fund.

Thankfully one of the best things about our system today is that education is not government provided, people can choose from multiple private and public offerings to meet their goals. Our current secondary, government education has failed the most needy of children as documented by the results based on testing.  OK,OK let’s not teach to a test but lets’ be sure the kids with a high school diploma can perform to the expectations of an employer. Those results have been sliding for decades. If Congress does put a funding plan in place for further education, it WILL begin to governmentalize those who provide it, thus repeating a failing system that we see today in secondary education.

The alternative is to first take loans away from the Feds, put back in the private sector with controls, but give funds for deserving kids who may not qualify for a loan. Second, forgiving student debt provides an out and takes away responsibility from the person committing to a loan. Typical of the progressive attitude, create a problem then bail out those it affects. Student loan debt under Obama skyrocketed, graduations did not go up, now Biden wants to bail out those folks. College cost followed along, more money chasing slow increases in capacity. OF course the overwhelmingly progressive faculty are in support. Insane.

AEI has a a great article on the issue.

Why can’t we look at the data before enacting a policy. This is like India, throw money away to get votes.


An Education Horror Show

The title is from a July 8, 2109 WSJ Opinion piece.

The NEA held its’ annual meeting recently with Democrat Presidential hopefuls parading, promising more money, more, more–except results. Money has gone up lots in 30 years and results have gone down. Did the NEA say, what is working, are we spending our money in such ways that the kids are improving? Nope.

They also didn’t talk about Providence, R.I., a bastion of progressive thinking in a state that leans progressive. A 93 page review by Johns Hopkins was brutal. “Very little visible student learning was going on in the majority of classrooms and schools we visited-most especially in the middle and high schools.” Policies discourage discipline. Grossly incompetent teachers stay on. Evergreen contracts. $18,000 per student in spending.

“This is government failure, underwritten by union power.”

The kids, our future are the victims.

We must create competition to government schools!

Paying Bad Teachers NOT TO WORK

The title is from the WSJ, it talks about teachers in NYC who have been rejected by all the schools they applied to after being moved out of their job, for whatever reasons. They are in the Absent Teacher Reserve, what a euphemism!  NYC spends $150 million, $150,000,000, a year for those 850 teachers to not work because no one will hire them (2016-17 school year data).

The two school unions spent tens of millions dollars in the last presidential election, over 90% to democrats. Let me think about this. Politicians set salaries and other funding, the teachers then spend money on those politicians’ elections. Sounds just great. I think that all politicians should solicit funds from those companies they regulate. NO WAIT! That is a conflict of interests, the democrats say. No kidding!

A solution. Teacher unions are forbidden by law to contribute to political campaigns. Public corporations are now allowed to contribute to political campaigns and the left has gone nuts saying how this will destroy democracy. They have just been allowed to do what unions, both public and private, have always been allowed to do. The difference in my mind is our tax dollars fund the teacher unions through tax funded wages. USSteel, among others, just got Trump to impose duties on metals.  Lobbying is part of our system, but that money didn’t come from my tax dollars.

This same logic applies the the unions for government employees. No political campaign funding.  Or, it must be fifty-fifty.

Alabama has failing schools, just like all states, especially blue states. Yet, the union has spend tens of millions of dollars resisting charter schools. NUTS! STUPID! If a public school is failing, close it, put it our for bid to an accredited charter organization and then reopen in the same building next school year. Then when a teacher is lousy, fire them! Look what it took to fire VA officials who have been caught in negligence, yet the union forced the VA to rehire.

Our kids are the future. Yet, we have been falling down the scale of competency when compared to our economic competitors for three decades. Our current system has to change. The power lies with those refusing to admit failure in results, at the expense of our kids.

Senator Warren. In favor of school vouchers. 2003

In “Notable & Quotable” from 2/6/17 WSJ. “The Two-Income Trap: Why are Middle-Class Parent Are (Still) Going Broke,” a book by Elizabeth Warren and Anielia Tyagi.

“A well designed voucher program would fit the bill neatly. A taxpayer funded voucher that paid the entire cost of education a child would open a range of opportunities to all children…Fully funded vouchers would relieve parents from the terrible choice of leaving kids in lousy schools or bankrupting themselves to escape those schools.”

Hmmmm, I guess the senator has evolved her thinking some.  Betsy DeVos is proposing vouchers as one of her primary policy offerings in the next four years. Senator Warren voted against Ms. DeVos.

Yale, Calhoun College

Yale has renamed Calhoun College Grace Hopper College. Mr. Calhoun was a white “supremacist” according to Peter Salovey, president of the University. Mr. Calhoun owned slaves.

According the WSJ article, “Yale’s Inconsistency Name-Dropping” by Roger Kimball, other colleges namesakes did also. Timothy Dwight, Benjamin Silliman, Ezra Stiles, John Davenport, Johnathon Edwards all owned slaves, all have colleges names after them.

Now the big one, Elihu Yale, who gave 800 pounds to help start the college also owned slaves, and according to history accounts treated them poorly, hung a stable boy for stealing a horse,  and was fired from a post in India for corruption. The same history books tell of Calhoun’s kind treatment.

None of us are without sin. I hope one day a grandchild of mine gets into Yale, and my wife and I are providing the funds, and we convince our kids to tell Yale to stuff it. What a waste of time and money, $46,000 a year in just tuition, ouch.

Cory Booker, this is amazing!

From “Notables and Quotable” in the WSJ.

2012. Cory Booker speaking to a conference of American Federation for Children, the organization Betsy DeVos ran.

“I cannot ever stand up and stand against a parent having options, because I benefited from my parents having options. And when people tell me they’re against school choice whether its’ the Opportunity Scholarship Act, or CHARTER (my emphasis) schools, I look at them and say:”As soon as you’re telling me you’re willing to send your kid to a failing school in my city, or in Camden or Trenton, then Ill be with you.”

“I’m going to out there fighting for my president, but he does not send his kids to DC schools.  I got a governor in the statehouse, he does not send his kids to public schools. I could all the way down to city council people in Newark, that do not send their kids–so what have we created? A system that if you’re connected, elected, have wealth and privilege you get freedom in the county? And now you want to deny to my community? No. I am  going to fight for the freedom and the liberty and the choice and the options of my  people, in the same way you will defend that right for yourself.”

When the chairperson of the organization he gave that speech to came up for a vote as Education Secretary Senator Booker voted against, AGAINST (my emphasis) her.

I guess, as the progressives say, he has evolved in his views. Like former president Obama on gay marriage, or Clinton on everything. A conservative, let’s say President Trump changes his views on an issue, say abortion. He is ________ you fill in the blanks.  He certainly hasn’t evolved per our media.


Cory Booker, a Hypocrite, and Potential Democrat Candidate

The article below from National Review online says it all about the hoopla over Betsy DeVos.  All of you folks who have to put up with lousy schools remember this when he runs for president in 2020.

School choice, competition will help.


IAN TUTTLE February 8, 2017 4:43 PM @IPTUTTLE

Booker has suddenly discovered that he’s against school choice after a career spent promoting it. Cory Booker should think about consulting a physician. He seems to be suffering a severe case of amnesia. Last month, Booker became the first senator in history to testify against a colleague in a Cabinet confirmation hearing — in this case, Alabama senator Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general. When he was not holding back righteous tears, Booker warned that Sessions would fail to “aggressively pursue the congressional mandate of civil rights, equal rights, and justice for all,” and that he would not “bring hope and healing to our country.” Besides being a novel assessment of the duties of an attorney general, Booker’s testimony was somewhat undermined by his own comments from eleven months earlier, when he declared himself “blessed and honored to have partnered with Senator Sessions” to award the Congressional Gold Medal to participants in the 1965 Voting Rights March from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. This week, Senator Booker apparently had another memory lapse. On Tuesday, New Jersey’s junior senator cast his vote against education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos. “I’m frustrated and deeply saddened” by DeVos’s confirmation, Booker wrote on Facebook, continuing mournfully: Somewhere in America, right now, there is a child who is wondering if this country stands up for them. They are probably enduring some things I never had to endure. They are probably worried about their safety. They are probably being put in a situation where they are questioning their worth. They probably feel alone and isolated. . . .  To all those worried about their civil rights, about having equal access and opportunity to an education, please know: even if Betsy DeVos doesn’t see it as her role as a federal leader to work for your rights, equality or freedom from bullying or harassment, know that I and many others will always fight for you. Booker’s concerns about DeVos are odd — considering that he’s spent much of his career as an ardent school-choice advocate, and a supporter of . . . Betsy DeVos. In 2006, Booker was elected mayor of Newark, New Jersey’s largest city and home to its largest school system, which currently serves more than 35,000 students. In July 1995, the state had taken control of Newark’s public schools, citing gross malpractice. State officials published a 1,700-page report detailing questionable expenditures, collapsing facilities, dismal student performance, and more — in short, a long chronicle of corruption and mismanagement. Ten years on, the situation had improved little, if at all. Booker saw an opportunity in the school-choice movement. He encouraged using taxpayer funds to establish and strengthen already-existing public charter schools, as well as private and religious schools, and traveled the country soliciting help. He was a powerful advocate. In early 2009, Oprah Winfrey gave more than $1.5 million to five local nonprofits, among them a public charter school and a Catholic school; a year and a half later, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg gave the school system an extraordinary $100 million gift. Republican governor Chris Christie, finding in Booker’s education policy much to like, permitted the mayor more control over Newark’s school system than the state had permitted his predecessors. Although Booker’s efforts met with aggressive resistance from certain quarters, many Newark residents seized on the opportunity to exit the city’s traditional public schools. Currently, 14,000 students are enrolled in the city’s 20 charter schools, and enrollment has tripled in the last five years. According to a report from the Newark Education Success Board (a nine-member panel created by Christie and current Newark mayor Ras Baraka), published in August, 42 percent of Newark families selected a charter school as their first choice. A 2013 poll of 500 Newark residents found that 71 percent favored expanding the city’s charter-school system. Predictably, all of this incensed — and continues to rankle — the Newark Teachers Union, which during Booker’s 2010 reelection bid backed his unsuccessful opponent. (They have found a friendlier ear in Baraka, a fierce charter-school opponent.) Commenting on Booker’s vote against DeVos, union president John Abeignon said he was “kind of surprised,” adding: “He’s a strong advocate for school choice,” Abeigon said. “We never saw him much as a supporter of traditional public schools and don’t see him as one now.” Until this week, Booker might have described himself similarly. In fact, he was unequivocal about his position during his second mayoral term: I cannot ever stand up and stand against a parent having options, because I benefited from my parents having options. And when people tell me they’re against school choice, whether it’s the Opportunity Scholarship Act or charter schools, I look at them and say: “As soon as you’re telling me you’re willing to send your kid to a failing school in my city, or in Camden or Trenton, then I’ll be with you.” . . . I am going to fight for the freedom and the liberty and the choice and the options of my people, in the same way you will defend that right for yourself. As it happens, those remarks were delivered in 2012, at a conference of the American Federation for Children — the school-reform group founded, and at the time chaired, by Betsy DeVos. That was not Booker’s only association with the group. He spoke to AFC’s Policy Summit just last year. The senator is planning a run for the presidency in 2020, and he needs to make nice with the teachers’ unions. How it is that the woman Cory Booker viewed as an ally less than a year ago is now a threat to children’s “safety” is no particular mystery. The senator is planning a run for the presidency in 2020, and he needs to make nice with the teachers’ unions, whose outsized influence in the Democratic party is the only plausible explanation for the unprecedented anathema heaped on DeVos since her nomination was announced. (Indeed, even two union-reliant Republicans — Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Susan Collins — bowed to the unions’ demands.) That his opposition to DeVos was out of keeping with his own education-policy vision Booker rationalized away by repairing to that all-purpose excuse, “civil rights.” In fact, school choice is disproportionately popular among minority groups. AFC surveyed 1,100 likely voters in January 2016: 70 percent supported school choice, defined as “giv[ing] parents the right to use the tax dollars associated with their child’s education to send their child to the public or private school which better serves their needs.” Among African Americans and Latinos, the number was 76 percent. A poll commissioned last year by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools showed similar levels of support. Having concerned himself with these issues for some time, Booker is no doubt aware of these facts, and he didn’t forget them on Tuesday. He ignored them, and many of his constituents, and his principles. Booker’s lamentations in the wake of the vote are so much theater. What he did this week, he didn’t do for the kids. — Ian Tuttle is the Thomas L. Rhodes Fellow at the National Review Institute.

Read more at:

Vietnam edges out U.S. kids in math and science

The Economist, 8/6/16, “Good Afternoon, Vietnam.” This article in the Finance section of the edition was talking about how Vietnam has benefited from the Asian economic growth through many good decisions of the government, as well as being on China’s southern border.

One of the those decisions is education. They spend more than most countries in their situation and, “15 years-olds beat those in America and Britain in maths and science.”

The Dems, under pressure have strengthened their plank for the election to push charter schools out of competing with public schools, Black Lives Matter, the NAACP and the teacher union power is evident.  Interestingly two organizations opposed the move, “Other groups have pushed back. Both the Democrats for Education Reform and the Black Alliance for Educational Options challenged the NAACP moratorium, and the latter’s president, Jacqueline Cooper, called the resolution “ill-conceived and based on lies and distortions about the work of charter schools.”” This from the article noted below.

AEI just came out with a study of Charter Schools concerning whether they cherry pick kids, they don’t, HRC was booed at a teachers organization by talking about giving charter schools an opportunity.

It is so obvious that we as a country refuse to address the issue of the downward trend of our public education results. Competition is the key. Choice is the key. Try something new. Shake off the control of the special interests that refuse to admit the problem to protect their jobs and benefits.

We are screwing our next generation, wake up America.

PC University, Formerly Yale

Yale University is one of many places where political correctness rules the roost. Elihu Yale ( gave the money to establish a college in Connecticut which was later named in his honor.

Well, Elihu was employed by the East India Company and used his position to enrich himself at the company’s expense, and happens to have gained further wealth in the slave trade.  He was fired, went back to England to live out his life in comfort.

So, the PC crowd wants to rename the University, pull statues down, rename buildings, etc., etc.

My question, who today can look back and say their ancestors were without questionable histories. None of us. Some certainly are better than others, but we are all at fault. That is part of being human. We mess up, we don’t protest when our basic nature says something is wrong.

The error the PC crowd is making is to not acknowledge the facts of the case and recognize we are able to learn from our mistakes and become better people. The Africans who were complicit in the slave trade, where is the condemnation. The American natives who took slaves from other tribes regularly, and Caucasians when they arrived. Slavery is as old as our written history, until, in the late 19th century, we decided it wasn’t good and outlawed it. Today there are still folks who use their faith to justify slavery, but thank God they are few and far between.

I am sure the PC crowd goes to the Frick art gallery in NY to view the amazing works of art contained there, I have been to see the “Woman in Gold”, the painting featured in the recent movie of the same name. Well Mr. Henry Frick ran Carnegie’s steel business and was notorious for violence against workers, many were killed. Mr. Carnegie gave millions to establish libraries in the U.S. so citizens can learn, be part of the government. I am sure the PC crowd uses those libraries. Bill Gates has been cited as a very tough boss, implemented policies that reduced competition in the software business. His foundation has done wonderful work.  Hillary Clinton has sold her office for money donated to the Bill and Hillary “charity.” The Hill and Bill organization has done much good. Trump has gone bankrupt but also donated millions. Romney has created companies, hired thousands, fired many but gives away 20% of his income every year. Will Smith advocates “cleansing” the U.S. of Trump supporters while pumping his new movie in Dubai, a place that suppresses women and jails homosexuals.

By covering up we don’t learn. Keep the name, create a place where our human failings generate learning that brings us closer together over time, that would be heaven on earth. Instead of protesting for changing the name, use the name to educate, recognizing we are the same as Elihu in many ways.  All are fallen.

School Choice, Indiana style

Governor Mike Pence has been a leader introducing school choice, with the established education lobby vociferously opposed, duh!  Results?

33,000 kids are now enrolled in the programs. 60% of students in Indiana qualify for vouchers, the largest in the country. The $4800 cap has been removed. Court battles have been won by the governor.

The results of our current model of educating our youth show how we do it today are failing. We have been sliding down the scale compared to other advanced countries. Denmark has installed “project based learning” and it seems to be working. They learned that from us. We don’t use the methods.

Disruption and experiments are needed to reverse the trend in results.

See the WSJ, Allysia Finley, “Pence on School Choice”, July 20, 2016.