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  • Morning Bell: Secretary Duncan's Race to Waste Your Education Dollars

    When Education Secretary Arne Duncan first unveiled his Race to the Top (RttT) program in July of last year, he admitted that “when I was superintendent of the Chicago Public Schools, I did not always welcome calls from the U.S. Department of Education. That’s because the department, from its inception in 1980, has traditionally been a compliance-driven agency.” But, he continued, that was all about to change because his RttT program, funded by $4.35 billion of economic stimulus cash, would be a “competition” that scrutinized “state applications for a coordinated and deep-seated commitment to reform.” He later added: “As I have said many times before, this isn’t just about the money — this is about working together and putting the needs of children ahead of everyone else.”

    Fast forward to this past Tuesday when Secretary Duncan identified the ten recipients of second round RttT funding that did not include the state of New Jersey, which fell just three points shy of the winners circle. The Newark Star-Ledger then revealed that a clerical error cost the state 4.8 points (out of 500 possible) because New Jersey’s application submitted data comparing the 2010 and 2011 state budgets, not the 2008 and 2009 data that the application required. Wednesday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) accepted full responsibility for the error, but also used the incident to launch a trenchant critique of the entire program:

    That’s the stuff that drives people nuts about government and that’s the stuff the Obama administration should answer for. Are you guys just down there checking boxes like mindless drones, or are you thinking? … When the president comes back to New Jersey, he’s going to have to explain to the people of the state of New Jersey why he’s depriving them of $400 million that this application earned because one of his bureaucrats in Washington couldn’t pick up the phone and ask a question, couldn’t go on the Internet and find information.

    Mindless box-checking is just the beginning of RttT’s problems. When Tuesday’s results were announced, the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, was quick to claim that it was Gov. Christie’s failure to get “buy in” from unions on the application that ultimately cost the state millions in federal cash. Specifically, Gov. Christie’s insistence on not caving-in to union demands that he weaken the state’s teacher accountability standards lost him far more points than the clerical error did. And New Jersey was not the only state to lose out because of the Obama administration’s slavish devotion to teacher union votes and cash. Proven education reform leaders like Louisiana and Colorado also lost points and finished out of the money because their state’s chosen reforms threatened union priorities. Meanwhile Hawaii (which the Data Quality Campaign ranked 17th for education data systems, which the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools ranked 34th for the strength of their charter laws, and which got a D- from the National Council on Teacher Quality) finished third and will receive $75 million. Oh, but they had 100% “buy in” from the unions. So much for Secretary Duncan’s claim that RttT was committed to “putting the needs of children ahead of everyone else.”

    As pernicious as teachers union influence has been on RttT, it is merely a symptom of the larger disease that is the top-down government bureaucracy approach to education. Secretary Duncan loves to talk about the “competition” that RttT has inspired among the states. But there is a fundamental difference between the competition for federal government funds and real market competition. When Apple competes for the mobile music industry, it does so by winning over consumers with a better product. When Amazon competes to become the leader in online retail, it does so by serving customers needs better. Not so with RttT.

    As Gov. Christie points out, New Jersey’s RttT application was over 1,000 pages long and took thousands of hours to complete. Instead of states spending their money and manpower to improve schools and educate children, the government asks them to put taxpayer dollars toward constructing massive grant applications. The incentives are all flowing in the wrong direction. Instead of focusing on making children and parents happy by devoting resources to make a better education product, states have been devoting resources to make Washington bureaucrats happy with a better grant application product. Filling out grant applications has never educated a single child anywhere ever. But grant applications are what RttT is all about, and they have made RttT the biggest waste of your education dollars ever.

    Co-authored by Rachel Sheffield.

    Quick Hits:

    • According to Gallup, Iraqis approved more of their own country’s leadership than U.S. leadership in early 2010.
    • According to Rasmussen Reports, voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on all 10 of the important issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports.
    • One of the three terrorist suspects arrested this week by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police once moon-walked across a Montreal stage during an audition for Canadian Idol.
    • A woman with a Mexican flag ran onto the baseball field in San Diego Wednesday night to protest Arizona’s immigration enforcement law while the Arizona Diamondbacks were batting against the San Diego Padres.
    • Bob Shrum, who has worked for Ted Kennedy, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore and John Kerry, is now advising President Obama to permanently cut taxes on capital gains and investment to 15%.
    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    73 Responses to Morning Bell: Secretary Duncan's Race to Waste Your Education Dollars

    1. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      At the Beck Rally -

      After he says =

      I work for MURDOCH AND I HATE OBAMA.

      What else is there to say?

      LVKen7@Gmail.com

    2. Ronald J. Sakowski says:

      States that believe in the U.S. Constitution had better start to adhere to the provisions of the 10th Amendment and solve their own problems or risk being totally co-opted by Arne Duncan's Department of Education and its "social justice" mantra.

    3. Alan Harris, Centenn says:

      The power of the purse always means accompanying control. The federal government has no "spare money" and should not be funding projects like this at all. Gov. Christie should spend NJ money on education, not completing grant applications and without the federal funds will not be beholding to them. I am relieved that Co. was not chosen and is not under any further federal obligation. Co. is therefore less responsible for the massive federal debt.

    4. Earl Clopton,Salem,I says:

      I think that this is a showcase example of why the Department of Education should be eliminated immediately.It should never have been brought into being in the first place.It gives the Government access to dumb down our students.It is an utter waste of $100 Billion dollars or more per year.Whenever the Government gets it's hands into something the quality immediately begins to fall.No one has the wellfare of the children more at heart than the parents and local teachers.

    5. Patricia says:

      I have just filled in a rather long comment regarding this morning bell and my thinking about Arnie Duncan who is more of a politician than an educator. When I attempted to send the comment, your system asked for my email address which was filled in initially. But I still got an argument. I am somewhat technically challenged, but do send comments and letter all the time. But for some reason I always have problems with Heritage.

      Since my comments do not seem to pass your muster, I am pretty sure I will not be joining Heritage again.

    6. Mike, Oklahoma says:

      States competing for money from God, oops, I meant Uncle Sam. Who is broke by the way. Why are my tax dollars from Oklahoma funding a program in Hawaii? When does the insanity finally stop?

    7. Earl Beam says:

      The real outrage should be directed on a broader basis to the whole governmental process whereby, the Dept of Education borrows $4.35 BN dollars from the Chinese which becomes a taxpayer liability (either that or they take $4.35Bn directly from taxpayers) and sets up a process where those same taxpayers are forced to grovel at the feet of the DOE bureaucrats to get their state money back. And once they get the grants back, they have to continue to grovel by implementing procedures that the DOE bureaucrats force on the states. Then politics enters the decision-making process and those states that are supportive of the Obama administration, surprisingly end up as recipients of the grants. This is a game that every state should refuse to sanction – the money would best be left in the states in the first place. People should fear a huge DOE political machine when they hear it is concerned about our children's education. That is a charade.

    8. Richard Cancemi, Arl says:

      Nothing about this administration is about the betterment of America and its citizens. Everythingthey do is about the instituting of Socialism as the country's form of government and as far as education goes, all they want to do is install Andy Stern's ssocialist unions and use the schools to indoctrinate rather than educate.

      I hope the American people will use the November elections as a start to turn the USA back to our Founding principles and away from the abominations of Obama!

    9. Chuck O'Reilly says:

      I have three questions:

      1) How many people does the US Dept. of Education employee? (Answer: 5,000)

      2) How many students does the US Dept of Education teach? (Answer: None.)

      3) How much money would we save if the Dept of Education was eliminated? We would have saved over $150 Billion if the Dept of Education had been eliminated.

    10. Paul Terry Stone says:

      When will they ever learn that more money doesn't solve every problem. In this case more discipline will go a long way.In the 1950's and 1960's when I went to school, we had less money per student and more discipline. We learned more based on what my first cousin, who was a teacher until this year,tells me.

    11. ED SITTON, TENNESSEE says:

      Just another classic example of the Obamessiah paying back the NEA for all it's support in the past, and a downpayment for their support in 2012. God knows, he's gonna' need it. What a bunch of slimeball crooks.

    12. Mike New Jersey says:

      More importantly why did Christie waste our time and money on this program anyway. He is supposed to be opposed to this typre of thing.

      http://madmike59.wordpress.com/2010/08/26/does-go

      My thoughts

    13. Robert says:

      New Jersey can fill out a hundred more applications and they will still be denied

      (wrongfully) because they elected a "Republican" Governor who at least appears to be cutting spending. He should be asserting his Constitutional rights to remove onerous federal mandates that have ruined his state. Republicans in DC have had ample opportunities to remove or reduce the Department of Education, and they did nothing! Same story with HUD, Energy and Health and "Human Services."

    14. John E. Walters, San says:

      It is well beyond time to dismantle the Department of Education. We need to be about the business of leaving the money our citizens send to Washington as taxes in their pockets and leaving it to the Local and State governments to fund Education. There is no justification for sending our dollars to Washington so that a percentage can be skimmed before the funds are then redistributed to the States based on political agendas. It's about EDUCATION people…not political points and power.

    15. Russell says:

      I thought this administration was all about transparency and saving the planet from the ravages of careless human beings. Over 1000 pages long for each state seems to be quite the waste of trees for such an administration that blames all of us for killing the planet just by exhaling; and also makes the audit of such a process very murky to see if it is truly about the children or if there is a bunch of garbage buried in all those pages that have nothing to do with the students at all. This really seems to be just a really bad joke with no real intention to serve the purpose it was intended to like just about every other initiative this administration has pushed upon us. Clever names and surrounding us with major spin to back it up does not make us buy into it when there is no real substance, it just winds up making us feel like vomiting.

    16. MJ says:

      This is just typical. Look at all the grant money out there. Where does everyone think it comes from? The states. Just how much do you think NJ gives to the Feds. Can you imagine if they kept it all to themselves. But having lived in NJ for sooooo many years I think they deserve it. With all the social welfare programs and the pathetic unions it's time to say adios. Many of us are wising up and bailing. You know it's time that the states stood up to the federal govt get rid of the Dept of Ed period. The gov is just a joke with all the bureaucracy. People just live to make sure a box is checked and then pass it on to someone else to make sure it's signed.

    17. Mary.... WI says:

      I'm not a fan of unions and never will be. They are a demanding group of people. I realize some employees aren't thrilled with the idea of having to belong to a union in order to be employeed.

      We are all paying for union members benefits in one way or another.

      The two unions I abhor the most are teachers unions and nurses unions. It's wrong to be able to strike because demands aren't met……children left without teachers and patient's left without nursing care.

      This administration is catering to unions without any regard as to how union demands affect the lives of the American people and their pocketbooks.

    18. Mike Rios-Longview, says:

      And the Obama Pelosi lie lives on. I seem to keep hearing how this so called stimulus was going to create jobs. All that it has done has once again perpetuates the infamous government red tape that is choking the life right out of common sense. What in God's dear name was in the mind of the voters who elected this crowd? Surely they didn't have the future good of America in mind.

      What has happened to my America?

    19. Norm Klevens says:

      My belief is that Obama has his hand in everything including the education dept. New Jersey's new Republican chief executive is the reason for New Jersey's losing. HA, with Ms Lingle, a democrat wins 75 million dollars.and New Jersey with its Republican governor does not win, even though its record is better. A clerical error, resulting in inserting one page in a 3,000 page document stating '10 to '11 where records for '08 to '09 were supposed to be, was used by the Obama administration to exclude NJ 's entry. I am not saying that HA did not deserve a prize, but NJ student achieved results were better and isn't that what its suppose to be about ? Of the stimulus porkulus bill money that has been spent, to date, 2/3rds or 3/4ths went to states with democrat governors. [It is realized Republican governors declined some money as they did not like the strings attached to accepting it.] When closing of auto dealerships occurred, owners who donated to democrats in the '08 election were left open, while owners with Republican party ties were losers, even though many of them were more profitable than the remaining dealerships. Obama meets with Charlie Christ a recent Benedict Arnold from the Republican Party in a walk on the beach, while denying help to LA, MS and AL, also on the gulf coast during the BP explosion aftermath. [Jones Act for the unions denied foreign skimmers and berms that were Jindl requested] The unions received extensive ownership of GM and Chrysler while the bond holders were deemed "greedy" and their stock was relinquished. Does anyone care to ask where Senators Laughtenburg and Menendez are on the RTtt and why he is not intervening on behalf of the sate they represent ?There is a pattern here and the RTtt is yet another show of favoritism by Obama. The irony in this instance is that the students in NJ will be the ultimate losers of over $400 million, money that state sent the federal government in the first place and money that cash strapped state, which is another victim of democrat policies, will not have to spend in the classroom.

    20. jim smith, yonkers, says:

      The nobama regime uses massive sized, 1000 page minimum text to create laws, issue grant applications and deny restitution on grievance claims. This tactic, along with side stepping patriotism, the flag, organized religion, military service and other institutions are the nobama credo. No wonder one in four Americans believes he's a muslim. It may go higher. Stay tuned.

    21. Carol says:

      Why am I not surprised at those criminal thugs??? The criminal in the oval office has nothing but Chicago criminals in his administration. American people had better wake up and clean house in November 2010 and 2012.

    22. Ohio Mom says:

      Well you see OHIO got the 400 Million that should have gone to NJ. Guess what we have a Democrat Gov and NJ has a Republican Gov. It's all politics and too bad for the children.

    23. Linda L. Stillman, R says:

      IS THIS TRUE!!!!

      http://wHow could this be.

      YOU HAVE GOT LISTEN TO THIS AND PASS TO EVERYONE

      Obama ADMITS he is NOT a CITIZEN – READ BEFORE THIS IS PULLED

      This is one that EVERY United States citizen needs to see and hear. Some

      from Obama's own mouth!

      UNBELIEVABLE !!!!! WHY HAS HE NOT BEEN IMPEACHED

      THE AMAZING PART OF THIS TRAVESTY IS AMERICANS CONTINUE ALLOWING

      THEMSELVES TO BE RULED BY AN ILLEGAL ALIEN.

      Watch it before its pulled!

      IF NOTHING ELSE, WATCH the FIRST 40 SECONDS!!!!!!!!!!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwhKuunp8D8&fe

      ww.youtube.com/watch?v=MwhKuunp8D8&feature=player_embedded

    24. KC - New Mexico says:

      RttT is just another example of how our government has wasted tax payer money. In my enchantment state, New Mexico, our “Education Governor”, has also not been able to improve our schools – in fact our schools in comparison to others in the nation have become worse. The education system is broken and has been for many years. This is not a democrat or republican issue but it is an issue of survival. Our students today can’t read, write, or compute simple math. Yet, our education unions want more money thrown at the issue without requiring accountability. As an ex-teacher (many years ago) I never joined the union and to this day I do not support what they represent. As a manager, unions are not necessary as long as the organization practices and demands solid people management. This is where leadership becomes accountable for the outcome. Leadership should be accountable for its employee performance and resulting output of the product or service. Unions just get in the way of progress and true improvement.

      If the education secretary really wanted to make change in our nation’s education system, break the current system and start over from step one. Bring in the real leaders in this country (not politicians!) and rebuild the education system. Bring in the leaders from various industries and leaders from various proven school systems. Develop and education system – then work on the logistical and inter process actions that are needed. This is not as hard as it sounds – we in successful companies who manage large elements do this all the time. But it does take someone who wants to drive significant change, no Band-Aids, but real systemic change.

    25. Chuck Mayo, Californ says:

      Of course it's for the teachers' unions, the students don't vote!

    26. John S. Dallas, III says:

      Sorry, but you have way over-complicated the issue. Its very simple . . . the "federal" government should have no role to play whatsoever in educating our children. Education priorities and funding should be driven by local county and state governments only.

    27. Will Cheesman. Austi says:

      Sec. Duncan and his stupid competition must go.

    28. Bobtx2us, Spring, TX says:

      Just another reason to Un-fund the Dept of Ed & dismantle it. All it does is suck up taxpayers' money with absolutlely nothing to show for it. I could say the same thing about our Dept of Energy.

    29. jlo, Montana says:

      Wouldn't it be nice if the federal government also had to compete for the tax dollars it receives from citizens and corporations? What if we could decide how our taxes are spent based on competitive proposals to provide the best services at the lowest cost to taxpayers? Maybe that would force our goverment to begin negotiating with its own bloated employee unions to cut red tape, control costs, and improve the level of service we receive.

    30. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      Still don't get it! Duncan is their to do Obama biding. To add one more nail in

      our economical system's coffin. Duncan is their because Obama wants him

      their.

    31. Martin Bullock, Stil says:

      The RttT program seems inherently wrong – why does the DoE just identify an area of education that needs assistance, such as text books, class size, or whatever; and apply the available funds to that specific area of the nations education programs. Earmark the funds to the states – kinda like Congress does!

      Competition in education is at the local level, not the national level or even state level. The competition should be based on the achievement level of the student and the ability of the student to meet their future goals/wants/needs/desires.

      I contend that it takes at least five years before a individual can be fully aware of the quality of education he or she received; and usually that perception is based on the character of the individuals in the schools attended, rather than the content of instruction.

    32. toledofan says:

      Isn't it just amazing and pathetic at the same time to see how partisan this White House has become and how they actually react negatively to the people of America. What state you come from and who governs it shouldn't matter, we're all citizens with the same governemnt in Washington, so we thought. But, I guess, the real issue becomes money and what the education system has turned into and what it's turning out. A lot of acedemics and bureaucrats are getting rich and the number of kids leaving schools not being able to read or write is astonishing. The dropout rate is out of sight, but, life goes on; fill out the forms do as big daddy government says, do what we say because we know best. What a bunch of puke.

    33. Jerry Kearns, Maine says:

      Check out Maine's application, full of mispelled words and gammatical errors.

    34. Bob Wilson says:

      Isn't it interesting that the awards ratios of blue states to red voting states seem to be predominately blue. And that states like SC and WVA that need all the help they can get are dismissed because their forms did not meet the Feds standards.

      Isn't this the Chicago way?

    35. Carol CA says:

      There are none so blind as those that will not see. While biblical in origin this idiom is used when people refuse to accept facts presented to them "None so deaf as those who will not hear.

      This means that the Democrats are Deaf, Dumb And Blind.

    36. Randall Holland, Ari says:

      Eliminate the US Department of Education, turn over education to the states and local school boards along with the money.

    37. Gene Adamusik, Wilmi says:

      As usual, the Heritage Foundation hits the mark. I would like to take this opportunity to express an opinion that is ignored. Our pupllic educational system continues to isolate the "haves" from the "have nots" which is so highlighted in New Jersey. It sickens me to hear about the daily violent deaths that take place in Chicogo and Detroit and other major cities. Our governments, state and federal, need to join together to establish a "SUIRGE" program to overhaul the educational system in the USA. Without a professionally managed sensable program the USA will continue to fall behind in the world rankings.

    38. Peter, Arizona says:

      With 400 million dollars as the prize, seems like New Jersey should have invested a little more time in checking the accuracy of its application. It was a competition, meaning there will be winners and losers. NJ chose to compete, knew what the rules were, failed to pay close enough attention to all the details and lost. Small details sometimes have large consequences. For want of a nail, etc.

    39. Russell Sebring Fl. says:

      ?Congress has given unions special privileges, exempt from the monopoly laws that other businesses have to adhered to. Another problem is that politicians or despots use human nature to promise government largess to propel themselves into power. When the takers outnumber the givers, is the reason were are in the situation we are in today.

    40. Mike, Chicago says:

      I just heard on the radio that parents are paying more and more for school fees. However, some parents don't pay anything because they'e so called "disadvantaged" or low income. This is discriminatory. The parents that pay these fees are the ones that pay the majority of the taxes as well. Make all parents pay fees and no more earned income tax credit.

    41. Henry says:

      Arnie, is a big joke. Our teachers unions that keep pushing for more, more, more. Get Washington out of the school system. Get money out of education. Our school books that change every year, is all about money. School books are a major cost to education. Why should schools be charged $100 for one book in grammer school? Our school system could use the same books for twenty years. Nothing changes enough to change each year.

      The teachers unions are the big problem along with nuts like Arnie, the obamba scam.

    42. Dennis Georgia says:

      Teachers and unions do not mix. The unions that the teachers belong to are the cause of less education and more money. The grants that obama touts gives controll to the "guvment" and the unions. Our children need an education, leave it up to the states to fund and improve education. Throw the unions out, let the teachers teach, give them dicipline in the schools, the children have very little at home. The parents need to be involved with their children. I am well aware that you can not make anyone learn, they have to want to learn. I told my daughter whne she was in school, I can not make you learn, but I can make it where you will be quiet and let those that want to learn learn. Today most parents are afraid of thier children, afraid to discipline them. The teachers and the "guvment" have all brain washed them, they believe that parents have no say in what they do, where they do it and how they do it. We must take our children back from "guvment" controll. We need to get them to the point where they want to learn and be sucessful in life. STOP DEPENDING ON THE "GUVMENT" FOR OUR NEEDS AND WANTS.

    43. Norm Klevens says:

      This is about the students; not the partisan grumbling hack that posts here everyday, wants to know why every news outlet is not an NBC affiliate, likes to use cap ital letters and cannot even spell his own name out all the way. Fox News and its owner has nothing to do with making decisions that affect students; they report the decisions made by the president. Its not about either political party or its supporters winning or losing – its about the students who will retain America's position in the world; hopefully a better place then we live in today. It is isn't about a one page error or even spelling. Just how much time should be invested in filling out a 3,000 page document ? The decisions are made by the president for his own benefit and thereby the unions are the key and not the students and not a spell check attribute . An intrusive federal government, like Obama's crew, should stay out of education, what we eat, what we drive and where we go on vacations – they do not help anyone but their own constituents.

    44. PippN, Severna Park says:

      "Are you guys just down there checking boxes like mindless drones . . . ?" Duh!

    45. Henry says:

      This by and of itself should be enough to impeach this so called president of this UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. We know all the blacks and mexicans voted for this dimwit, any white person that voted for the dimwit should be expelled form our great country.

      Obambba and mechell thinks they are the worlds give to mankind. They are two lazy blacks that got elected by the democrats, because he was black. (Period)

      They left wing media nuts have hid everything from the AMERICAN TAX PAYERS about this african.

      I lost my job to a black five years ago. Why? affrimative action. Each time I put in for a job, guess what , a black is hired.

      Why did obambba's auntie come to AMERICA? ( FREE HOUSING, FREE FOOD, FREE HEALTH, )

      Why is half of mexico and and all the other countries risking their lives to come to AMERICA? Would it be all the freebies form the AMERICAN WORKING WHITE TAX PAYERS?

      I would suggest obambba and mechell and any other person white , black, hispanic, native , whatever go to another UNITED NATIONS country.

      You know what they can do with the united nations.

    46. bjoc, florida says:

      Tom Coburn's website tells us that their are 69 different government agencies responsible for some funding of early childhood eeducation. How can we change this? Keep pointing out the abuses in our system!

    47. DANNY, HERMANN says:

      Being the simple minded person that I am, I tend to think in big pictures rather than overanalyzing things. One phrase stands out in my mind on this issue spoke by one of our founding fathers (can't remember who because I said I'm simple minded) is: A government that is big enough to give you everything that you want, is a government that is big enough to take everything away.

      In this case, our government is denying one state over another based on unfair principles. When are we going to figure out that the problem is not all that hard to figure out. Vote the crooks out and elect a small, honest governmnet!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If we don't have enough common sense left in this country to get that done, then I have to say we deserve what we get.

    48. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      For those who post "mind reading statements" such as "Glen Beck hates Obama" I have some insight for you – we know about the techniques used to demonize and marginalize those who speak out against the agenda of the left. We know about the Frankfurt School at Columbia University and the origins of your techniques. Its not going to work for you much longer.

      I know I don't hate Obama – I just absolutey oppose his agenda for what it will do for our children and grandchildren. Obama is most likely very sincere in his beliefs – its just that they are not mine. My guess is that Glen Beck feels the same way but that is for him to say, not us.

    49. Teresa Berg says:

      The Dept. of Ed. should never have been formed. We need to end Federal involvement in our children's education. Let's forget about getting as much $$'s from the gov. as we can–our children are too important to be bought and sold!!

    50. Charlotte O'Har says:

      Washington needs to stay out of education. A local and state issue, it is not listed as an express power in our Constitution.

      More money poured into education is not going to solve the problem. Our local district, Olathe School District, is spending over $13,000.00 per student. We send our youngest daughter to a private Christian school with a cost of $5,000.00 per year. Our school offers music, sports, has a library and with classroom size of 9-13. Olathe School District's cost per student is 250% higher and they offer less for more as classroom size was stated to be up to 32 at the last budget hearing Aug. 23, 2010.

    51. Hilda Morris, Richmo says:

      If DoE had taken NJ out of order, then there would have been calls (as there already are…..see pp 2 &Y 3 of this article) to take other states out of order.

      Do we conservataives believe in a rule of law or a rule of men? "Blind" peer review is not perfect, but it's fair.

      Do you REALLY want Duncan making decisions based on peersonal whim?

      And why do we hate him so, if he's for charter schools?

    52. Hilda Morris, Richmo says:

      P.S.

      Since when have conservatives become whiners because they lose? Did anyone ever wonder what state would have been out of the running if NJ had been favored? Or do we decide that NJ should have won because it has a Republican governor that we want to promote.

      That's not MY Republican Party. I never voted for whiners and cheaters.

      Man-up, fellow Republicans, or you're going to lose lifelong Republicans like me. If our leaders want to make politics a test of character, then maybe we should start by SHOWING some.

    53. Tom K says:

      these people have no business in the states education systems,they are the very reason our kids don't have a clue…

    54. craig says:

      Just goes to prove that the whole Obama regime is nothing more than a bunch of pre programmed robotic idiots. Just hope the electorate wakes up and flushes this whole bunch out in November. Would be great if we could get big majorities of Republicans in both house and Senate, then impeach Obama ASAP then get rid of Obamacare, Amnesty, Cap and Trade and bailouts and get the country off the fast track to a Socialist dictatorship and back on the road to prosperity and freedom!

    55. Nick,NY says:

      So much about,"for the children".How bout it Nancy.

      Drape some New Jersey schoolkids over yourself, you showboat .

      Take that big gavel and tell Jersey schoolkids what your machine just denied them.

      Don't tell me this isn't agenda driven.

    56. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Governor Christie of New Jersey, sent in a 1.000+ page application for Race to the Top funds, and lost out because of a clerical error. What organization is so boneheaded, so retarded, that it can't give New Jersey a second chance? I don't

      know. The federal government, maybe?

    57. Mike Sheahen, Hickor says:

      The Statist power and money-grabbing agenda, antics, and machinations of so-called "Progressive" politicians, in both major and other parties, and their accomplices, including Duncan and his complicit spendthrift antics, continues to show that it is not about the following, or any of their other claims.

      It is not about real education, along with not being about "the environment", certainly not "fairness and justice"…"social", "economic", and any other…and definitely not about so-called "hope" and "change"…most evidently and obviously not for the better.

      In actual deed and results it is being made only too painfully evident and obvious to most of us, the people, that their agenda is instead about more of the same power and money-grabbing, now as if "on steroids" in a hell-bent hurry for as much "anything goes", "the end justifies the means", "whatever it takes" Statist/Leftist government dependence promoting, government dependant (including dependant voter) creating, demagoguing, pandering, freedom, resource, and security-robbing, unethical, immoral, indoctrinating, disinforming, misinforming, ignorant, intolerant, reckless, and destructive power, as fast as possible…all to make as many people as possible as dependant upon them and their successors of the same mind as possible…and thus get and keep themselves in ever more power…at the expense of the people (including, by the way, the environment), and woe be unto anybody and anything (including our Constitution and first 10 Amendments) who dares dissent and cite evidence and facts which prove false their claims to the contrary!

    58. Babs CA says:

      I was an Evaluator of Federally Funded Programs in the worst District in NYC. I along with four other Evaluators proved that all the Title I thru Title X were a waste and that was in the mid seventies. GET THE FEDS OUT OF EDUCATION–IT SHOULD BE LOCAL AND STATE.

      ELIMINATE THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION–ALL OF IT! ! !

    59. Virginia Roth, Buffa says:

      How much does it cost a state to fill out this 1000 page application? Where did the money come from to create this monstrosity? Where did the award money come from? Wouldn't it be grand if all 50 states sent Arne an email letting him know that they had done the right thing by putting all that paper in the recycle bin?

    60. Pingback: Cant Sleep | Hot Music Shop

    61. Charles Curran says:

      RR tried to shut down the DOE. Maybe the next Congress should give it another try.

    62. Chester White says:

      He later added: “As I have said many times before, this isn’t just about the money — this is about working together and putting the needs of children ahead of everyone else.”

      B*llshit, Duncan, you d*mn liar.

      If this were the case, you'd tell the teachers' unions to get stuffed. Repeatedly and publicly.

    63. John Greene New Jers says:

      That $ 400 Million dollars was money that the Federal Government doesn't have. It is time that the states take back their sovereignty and we do away with the Department of Education.

      As part of a National Budget there should be X dollars allocated to each child attending K-12 in the country. The money should be allocated to the States to distribute to the Parents or Guardians of the children to spend for the children's education in a VOUCHER.

      That would guarantee economical distribution of the funds and competition to provide quality education.

    64. Drew Page, IL says:

      So, Mr. Duncan, Mr. Obama and the NEA want to put the interests of children first. That's swell. I wonder what today's children will think about the debt and taxes they will inherit resulting from the actions of this cast of characters. Of course they will be either retired or dead by then, with the exception of the NEA, who will still be there demanding higher salaries, benefits and pensions, all FOR THE CHILDREN of course.

    65. Pingback: Instapundit » Blog Archive » HERITAGE: Secretary Duncan’s Race to Waste Your Education Dollars. Why not just shut down the De…

    66. Dan, Minnesota says:

      After a 20-year career as a software developer, I am now studying to be a teacher. Mostly I hate the idea that I'll likely be required to join a union in order to work. HOWEVER…there is a silver lining. I will not only be able to help counteract some of the indoctrination that is happening in my local school, but I'll get to vote on all the ridiculous issues that the union considers, and possibly even speak against stupidity.

      I can hardly wait until my first union meeting. They're not going to like me very much, I don't think. Heh.

    67. John Hasley, Perrysb says:

      Just for clarification, is this the Arne Duncan whom Senator Obama tried to keep from being involved in his daughters' education while in Chicago, or the Arne Duncan whom President Obama tried to keep from being involved in his daughters' education while in Washington, D.C.?

    68. Larry in Hawaii says:

      The states that got money are not the "usual suspects". One of the (many) criteria for the money was the willingness to allow more charter schools! Lingle, the governor of Hawaii, is a Republican…Christie acknowledges that NJ screwed up. Finally, Washington DC got money, in part because the innovative schools chief there, Michelle Rhee, got the unions to agree to merit pay and the right to fire deadbeat "teachers".

      Holding money over union heads is one way to force them to the table and it's working.

    69. Colleen Owens, VA says:

      Why is the Governor of NJ looking to suckle at the Federal Govt teat? It's pretty hypocritical of these Republican governors that run on fiscal responsibility and then lobby for federal dollars. We can't break this cycle until the Republicans have the spine to quit relying on federal funds to balance state budgets. Quit taking the money and we wouldn't have to follow the money sucking, bureaucracy feeding regulations imposed because of the strings attached!

    70. Libby W. Swad says:

      I serve on the SC State Board of Education and I was one of only three others who voted against accepting the "Common Core Standards" for the Federal Government. These standards had to be accepted to qualify for RttT.

      It is frankly, ridiculous, to think SC could or would ever win this money. Remember, we are a "right to work state"and there was that pesky little Civil War thing, too.

      The president said states could not longer get "Head Start" money for underpriviledged children, it they did not accept Federal Standards…….and that is all I needed to hear…………

      Let's keep education where the Constitution said it should be, with the states and quit clamoring for federal dollars…..

    71. Scott, DC says:

      simpletons …

      Eliminating the U.S Education Department (ED) will not simply put $150B+ back in the hands of taxpayers. The feds pay for huge portions of teachers (through Title I) and state assessments not to mention Pell Grants, aid for students with disabilities, and a host of other related services. States and districts would have to make up those funds and where do you suppose those would come from? That's right state and local taxes.

      Simple answers like "do away with DOE (really? you want to get rid of the Department of Energy?) are easy to say but harder – and frankly impossible – to do.

    72. lola, ny says:

      The federal government must be cut out of the picture entirely when it comes to education–yes, abolish the Department of Education completely. We can't afford it anymore. There's no reason why state money should flow through the hands of DC apparatchiks to take what they please and then "award" what remains to favored states and special interests. Federal government should also get out of the student loan business. States can't print their own money, and therefore have to be more fiscally responsible in their spending, and lending, or suffer the consequences.

      And get rid of the Department of Energy too. We can't afford it anymore. Just two of the federal departments that need to go.

    73. Pingback: July – Dec 2010 Browseworthy Stories Archive « Clear Thinking

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