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  • Morning Bell: What Works for Teachers Unions

    Speaking to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on March 10, President Barack Obama said of his Secretary of Education Arne Duncan:

    Secretary Duncan will use only one test when deciding what ideas to support with your precious tax dollars: It’s not whether an idea is liberal or conservative, but whether it works.

    If the above statement can be taken as a promise that the Obama administration would support any education reform that “works”, then the Obama administration already broke that promise last week when they sent letters to 200 low-income families announcing that the Department of Education was rescinding scholarships previously awarded through the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.

    Secretary Duncan’s decision to take scholarship money away from low-income families came just days after the Department of Education released a study showing that students participating in the Opportunity Scholarship program had statistically significant better reading scores than students who applied to the program but were not offered a scholarship. The students that were in the program the longest showed notable improvement reading at levels approximately 1.5 to 2 full school years ahead of the sample group.

    The data is in. School choice works. And it significantly lower costs. Opportunity Scholarships offered through the program are worth $7,500. Since the participating private schools cannot charge scholarship students more than the amount of their scholarships, that amount is still less than half of the $15,315 that D.C. taxpayers spent per pupil in the 2004–05 school year.

    So why is the Obama administration, an administration supposedly committed to education and “what works”, ripping scholarship money away from low-income students? Former mayor Anthony Williams, a Democrat, and former D.C. Council member Kevin Chavous, a Democrat, write in today’s Washington Post:

    These naysayers — many of whom are fellow Democrats — see vouchers as a tool to destroy the public education system. Their rhetoric and ire are largely fueled by those special-interest groups that are more dedicated to the adults working in the education system than to making certain every child is properly educated.

    The Washington Post editorial board got a bit more specific about who these “adults working in the education system” are:

    Congressional Democrats who receive ample campaign contributions from the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers laid the trap with budget language that placed the program on the block. And now comes Mr. Duncan with the sword.

    Make no mistake; the Obama administration and Secretary Duncan are intimately familiar with the benefits of school choice. Growing up in Hawaii, President Obama attended a private school. Growing up first in Chicago, and now in Washington, Obama’s two daughters attended and still attend a private school. Growing up in Chicago, Secretary Duncan attended a private school. And when he moved to D.C. Secretary Duncan chose to live in Arlington, where good schools for his children are assumed.

    When it comes to their own educations and their own children, it is very clear that the Obama administration knows what works. For the rest of American families, however, the Obama administration seems content to put unions first.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    16 Responses to Morning Bell: What Works for Teachers Unions

    1. Nelia, Fountain Hill says:

      "Do as I say, not as I do" appears to be a platitude common to our Washington D.C. governing body. The scope of that truism is miles wide as applied to every facet of our being. Education is only the tip of the iceberg. The privileged few now in control have no real concern for history, truth or preserving anything that made us the most successful, envied nation on the planet.

    2. Andrew says:

      They don't want the kids to get too educated. It makes it hard to indoctrinate them into touchy, feely liberalism if they know what is going on.

      Home school and vouchers for private/charter schools should be the norm.

      And we need to get the unions out of government.

    3. Richard cancemi says:

      I believe Obama is pathologically incapable of telling the truth! I do not recall his ever saying what he means and meaning what he says!

      Smart people are less likely to be manipulated so, out go the school vouchers. Also part of his "soul" has been bought by the teachers union. The other parts are owned by various special interest groups and finally his puppet-master(s).

    4. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Sounds like the Soviet's double living standards of the politburo elite and the peasantry. It's the Communist way. Of course, all this on the backs of taxpayers.

    5. Becky, Pinconning, M says:

      Of course it's about the adults, that's why it is called a teacher's union, and not a student's union, etc. School choice is really a form of soft unionization by parents and students that the unions recognize as the threat it is. When we get serious about education, we will discover there is already enough money and people available, if only there were the opportunities to use it creatively.

    6. michael hutchings says:

      IF YOU GO BACK TO THE LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY WHEN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM WAS FORMULATED IT WAS DESIGNED TO IDENTIFY TROUBLEMAKERS AND MARK THEM OUT OR ABSORB THEM.

      NOTHING ABOUT THAT HAS CHANGED BECAUSE LETS US REALLY GET HISTORIC FOR A MOMENT. THE NORTH EAST ESTABLISHMENT WON THE CIVIL WAR.

      THAT VICTORY TRUMPED STATES RIGHTS AND OPENED THE DOOR FOR THE RISE OF FEDERALISM. THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM WAS A REACTION TO THE BROAD BASED SCHOOLING IN GERMANY THAT MADE HER A POWER.

      I AM NOT GOING TO GO FURTHER INTO HISTORY BUT I WANT TO PUT INTO PERSPECTIVE WHAT WE THINK OF AS A FAILING PUBLIC EDUCATION SECTOR AND WHAT THE BIG BOSS MEN BACK EAST WOULD CONSIDER FAILURE.

      FAILURE TO THEM IS LOSS OF CONTROL AND A REAL LIFE EDUCATION AND NOT A INDOCTRINATION IN HOW TO SIT AND BE GOOD AND NOT CAUSE TROUBLE.

      I SWEAR THAT ONE DAY WE WILL HAVE TO MOUNT OUR HORSES AND MEET THEM IN THE MEADOW AND HASH OUT THE MAGNA CARTA AGAIN AND START FROM THERE.

      THIS IS NOT REPUBLICIAN OR DEMOCRAT. THE TWO TERMS FORM THE PREMISE OF DEBATE TO CHANNEL ITS DIRECTION AND STEER IT TO SAfE WATERS. SAfe FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT ANYWAY.

      I DO NOT ACCEPT THE PREMISE THAT THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO AN ISSUE BECAUSE THE MODERATOR SAYS SO.

      THE EDUCATION SYSTEM TO THE ESTABLISHMENT IS DOING ITS JOB OF CREATING A PLIANT POOL OF LABOR THAT CAN BE LEAD AROUND BY THE NOSE WITH STATED CONDITIONS AND CATCH ALL SLOGANS THAT STIMULATE A PREDICTABLE RESPONSE ON EITHER SIDE OF THE TWO OFFICIAL POSITIONS.

      I THINK I LOST ANY ONE WHO MIGHT READ THIS WHEN I MENTIONED HISTORY SO I THINK I WILL TAKE A NAP AND REST UP FOR THE TEA PARTY.

      GEE, WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT WORKING AMERICANS WOULD BE DEMONSTRATING AND THE FREAKS WOULD BE IN CHARGE AND PEERING NERVIOUSLY FROM THE WINDOWS OF THE PALACE.

    7. Ron, Derry NH says:

      Obama has the three great skills of political communication, Lying, pandering and disconnectedness.

      He is the epitome of self serving political ambition taking the country into the depths of communism with no remorse, shame or apology.

      Once the depression is created by the devalued currency, from overt spending is fully engaged, I can only imagine how many more will flock to his way. Meanwhile he is building his base of allies at the working classes expense.

      When is America going to start fighting for it's life??

      Communism is the cancer perpetuated by intellects to makes servants of all men to the will of the powerful disguised as an equalizer and yet it yields the opposite.

      We are in trouble, but the emperor has many a mouth willing to suck the nipple of governments milk called servitude, in exchange for group dominance over another.

      This is no change this is amplified corruption against lady liberty!!

      Independence is being bartered off along with liberty to win a seat of loyalty to the new King. Hurray for the age old quest and good bye the grand experiment of liberty and freedom. Some of us will miss you others are just too ignorant and too willing to be sheepafide.

      It is America's turn to see if it can realize national disaster as others have before, and others have allowed before, and suffer the error of misjudged character and the consequences of accepting the apple from the serpent.

    8. ella quinn kinston n says:

      If you watch Sean H. you will see people like Bob Beckle who will see no wrong with obama at all.They will not turn against his adminstration no matter what he does.

    9. PansyLu says:

      We need to overhaul the schools:

      Streamline, consolidate and lay off at least ½ of the administration. Lower the superintendents’ salary to that of the average principal. More money should go to the classrooms than anywhere else – right now over 80% of the money spent on education in Oregon does not make it to the classroom and the 20% that does make it there includes teachers’ salaries – this is deplorable.

      The current public schools cater to the lowest common denominator and don’t provide an adequate education for any ability level. I’d give each family a voucher equal to the amount that the government pays for their kids to go to public school, then let the parents decide where to send their kids, including home school and private school options.

      I would standardize the public schools across the states and starting in middle school create magnet schools for sports and fitness, performing arts, math and science, social science, special needs, and non-traditional (learn at your own pace, home school support, and online classes). That way if a family moves they could go from one magnet school in one state to another magnet school in another state and the student wouldn't be too far ahead or behind.

    10. Mike Sheahen, Hickor says:

      Our Founding Fathers agreed that nothing is more convenient and easy to mislead by and to tyrants and tyranny than an ignorant (or "dumbed-down") people, including "educated fools", as they clearly pointed out such threats a number of times, and in more ways than one, such as when Thomas Jefferson said "Present a problem to a ploughman (plowman) and a professor; the former will solve it at least as well, and often better than the latter because he has not been led astray by artificial rules".

      Thus also, our Founding Fathers also agreed that the greatest threat from within against our freedoms and our republic is misinformation by those who would have us deny or forget the lessons of history against those who would misinform and mislead into their tyranny of government control through not only their government elitist and statist agenda as it opposes our founding principles and documents (including our Constitution) but also their insistence upon their dealing against the timeless principles in our founding documents as if such as our Constitution is conveniently manipulatable or transient for them, and must even be "remedied" by them, as in such as how a President named Obama said it must be "remedied".

      That pretty much covers all such misinformers and misleaders of all types and degrees, such as not only Leftist politicians but also their willing accomplices including, but not limited to, those in academia who show how they pledge their allegiance to teacher's unions with such a Leftist agenda instead of actually daring to properly educate and help parents guide.

      This is of course revealed by various things including, but not limited to, both the documented facts and figures and the anecdotal evidence which show U.S. students and graduates at or near the bottom in both test scores and more.

      The thing of it is, especially to those of us who truly know our true history, that our Founding Fathers did everything they could to warn us and ensure us, through our founding documents, against misinformation and under education by such as those on the Left who would have us surrender our individual and corporate freedoms, and so deny and forget the lessons of history against such an agenda for government control and so be destined to repeat history yet again.

      All of that for the Left's "siren song onto the rocks of lost freedom" through growing and expanding government control through such as their government elitist and statist agenda as it opposes our founding principles and documents.

      Such Leftist antics and machinations, as in this case of education, thus tend to point out why the Left is so hypocritically and inconsistently insistent upon their dealing against the timeless principles in our founding documents, all as if such as our Constitution is conveniently manipulatable or transient for them, and must even be "remedied" by them, as in such as how Obama and even Secretary Duncan would hypocritically and inconsistently "remedy" such things.

    11. Dave Schraub, Indian says:

      Kudos to michael hutchings, I have been preaching history forever. The liberals have rewritin history, and corrupted everything, the truth has been replaced with abstract and untruths. I also will be at the tea party but in Indy. I will be holding the sign, that says " Liberal democrats are domestic terrorist" and " I'm not anti american government, I'm anti socialist government" and " Congress is like a dirty diaper, they need changed often, and for the same reason" courtesy of MARK TWAIN

    12. Ron Thompson, Albuq says:

      The culmination of the years the Democratic party and unions teamed up to "dumb down" our society, is now paying off with the election of Obama, Not to mention the actions of the Senate and Congress all plays in the dumbing down society. With the Unions dictating the agenda or syllabus's for the education world they successfully integrated the lossing of history, dropping the math skills, destroying competition, since of achievement, in general teaching everything except what students need to know about the Constitution and the way the government works. Thus the socialist attitude of people. That is one of the reasons that private schools are discouraged, and spat upon. they can't get their mind numbing agenda in there.

    13. Lance DeCuir, Eureka says:

      Isn't it interesting that the elitests like President Obama and the Democrats, and even elitists Replicans practice shool choice for their own shildren, but do not want to let those who can't afford the same luxury have the same opportunity. I read a paper on the Florida school choice program that clearly demonstrates that groups lke African-Americans and Hispanics support their program as it stands because it allows them to send their kids to whatever school they want and that the results show that those who participate do better.

    14. Ken in Santa Barbara says:

      Interesting thoughts from a a very select group of people. You've found out that something hasn't worked thru a seemingly meddlesome and misguided government and the only thing you see is that it is likely the fault of people who don't think or share the exact same thinking as you.

      The purpose of some who wade into this ineffective e-rag is to try to extract as much thought and consideration from the major view points to try to see what can be accomplished if there is a pooling. I do not wish to disconnect from those who have tried to see the issue from both sides, I apologize if I come on that way.

      I see little that builds here and much that will keep unlike thinking apart, a sort of constantly attempting to tear apart opposition.

      Education is central to the evolution of any country. It requires paying teachers better and taking care of all of our families to ensure we as a collective are able to take part in the building of a better America. You cannot separate education into wealthy education and poor education. Excuse me….It shouldn't be done however it seems some think it should be that way.

      The middle class is struggling right now and we are being made to fight amongst ourselves and fight for scraps and fight about our general welfare. I pity the fools that think that somehow we as a race are going to be congratulated and remembered for how we took care of the well to do (wealthy if you please).

      Continue to bicker and whine about what you call socialism and liberalism while you ignore the fact that we are as driven no herded and drawn as if ringed through the nose by "our" elected. They want you and I to support and bow to business and it's generous and sharing love for everyone. That my misguided humans is corporatism which by common and accepted standards is Fascism. We aren't supposed to see that and only a heretic would say that business runs this country.

      Why is it that we quibble amongst ourselves looking to hurt those who want the exact same thing. Try looking at it as if there is a possibility that we are fighting amongst ourselves because that keeps our minds off of the facts and the truth.

      Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things was so funny to me when I was young. It still is but I see a wisdom in it's underlying message. Try to see if there isn't more to life than trying to pick a fight with your neighbor. He doesn't want to see you robbed and while he may be trying to keep up or pass you he doesn't really want to see you hurt. Your neighbors aren't to blame…. Look further. It's a much bigger picture. It's not just one party putting the hurt on.

      I love the Tea Parties and the irony of them. If only that energy were put to a better and more common ground. I'm glad that you can have them and it makes you happy.

    15. Pingback: Democrats to Poor Schoolchildren: “No Good Education for You!”

    16. Pingback: Morning Bell: Don’t Do to Health Care What President Obama Did to DC School Children | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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