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  • Morning Bell: Teaching Obama a Lesson on Education

    Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Yet when it comes to education, that’s one lesson the federal government hasn’t learned. Maybe it’s time to put some history teachers on the case. They would have to look no further than President Barack Obama in writing their lesson plan.

    Yesterday the President delivered a commencement speech at a high school in Memphis, Tenn., in recognition for its achievement in his Race to the Top Commencement Challenge, a competition for schools to demonstrate their commitment to preparing students for college. While applauding the students, the President also took time to pat his Administration on the back for its education policy — which amounts to another truckload of spending and further concentration of power over education in Washington:

    Ever since I became President, my Administration has been working hard to make sure that we build on the progress that’s taking place at schools like this. We’ve got to encourage the kind of change that’s led not by Washington, D.C., but by teachers and principals and parents; by entire communities; by ordinary people standing up and demanding a better future for their children.

    In reality, the President’s strategy isn’t about empowering teachers and communities. It’s about increasing the federal government’s authority over schools. The Heritage Foundation’s Lindsey Burke writes:

    Despite his assertion that education change must be led “by teachers and principals and parents” – not by Washington, D.C. – the Obama Administration’s track record on education policy begs the contrary. His Administration has continued the education spending spree, taking it to new heights thanks to a $100 billion bonus provided to the Department of Education through the so-called “stimulus” in 2009.

    Moreover, the President is eager to consolidate more power in Washington by requiring states to comply with national standards as a part of No Child Left Behind reauthorization, driven by the belief that education reform can happen top-down from Washington. President Obama has called for the law’s reauthorization before the start of the next school year.

    There’s another lesson that the Obama Administration could stand to learn. It’s about waste in the federal government — specifically, the Department of Education. According to a Government Accountability Office report, billions of taxpayer dollars are being wasted on redundant programs. In fact, the report found 82 redundant teacher quality programs. And rather than encouraging teachers, as the President claims he’s doing, the Department of Education is regulating them. According to Representative Duncan Hunter (R–CA):

    Currently, the paperwork burden imposed by the Department of Education is larger than that of the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Justice. From 2002 to 2009, the Department of Education’s paperwork burden increased by an estimated 65 percent—an astounding number that continues to grow.

    Fortunately, there’s a move afoot in Congress to yank the long hand of government out of our nation’s schools. Hunter has introduced legislation that would eliminate 43 out of some 80 programs that fall under No Child Left Behind, and Representative John Kline (R-MN), chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, is determined to reduce the federal government’s role in education. That’s good news given that No Child Left Behind is up for reauthorization. Burke explains what’s at stake:

    As the fight of No Child Left Behind reauthorization heats up, federal policymakers have two options: they can continue to repeat the failed policies of the past by trying to dictate education reform from Washington, or they can take steps to reduce the federal footprint and tack a new course. If President Obama is serious about locally-driven education reform, he should follow the lead of conservatives in Congress, who are working to ensure that taxpayer dollars are wisely used and education is serving its most important constituencies-students, parents, and taxpayers-not bureaucrats in Washington.

    It’s always great news when students achieve success, but unfortunately, nationwide, this year’s graduating class is not remarkably different in achievement than the classes that preceded them years ago. The only thing changing about our public schools is the amount of money the federal government is using to control them. It’s time for results measured in achievement, not tax dollars. And yes, Mr. President, those results are proven to be driven best at the local level.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    43 Responses to Morning Bell: Teaching Obama a Lesson on Education

    1. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      5 – 17 – 11 FROM – Ken Jarvis – LVKen7@Gmail.com

      West Texan on May 16th, 2011 at 2:13pm said:

      Ken said “Obama is TRYING to Pay off the Credit Card”. Trouble is he’s doing it with working Americans’ credit card reducing their future savings, buying power and quality-of-life. If you want to support his spending habit, go for it. I don’t care to.

      Thanks West Texan –

      Obama Doesn't WANT to spend the $$$, but HE HAS TO.

      So far, he can NOT GET THE GOP TO HELP.

      The GOP Bitch, and Moan – Look what he is doing.

      But, Look at what the GOP is doing – NOTHING.

    2. MJF, CT says:

      As I have stated before, our Cities have a Board of Education, our States have a Department of Education. Why in heaven's name do we need a Federal Department of Education? Washington DC doesn't have a clue how to handle the education in Bangor, ME as opposed to Sacramento, CA or Huntsville, AL. Washington just makes general demands that are useless to everyone. We need to get the Federal Government out of the Education business!

    3. Pat, San Antonio says:

      Since Arne Duncan and Obama have taken over the "management" of the school systems in all the states, education is flat lining. They need to keep their ideas to themselves and let the experts run the schools. We are going to turn out some poorly educated, very politically liberal kids from our schools that will be followers not leaders. I am appalled at what they are teaching in schools these days.

    4. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      I would applaud BHO IF the kids were learning a good basic education. Most today DO NOT howto write in longhand, they can type on a computer, they also do not know basic American History, geography, or proper grammer. Iasked a sith grader if she knew how to diagram a sentence, she looked at me with a blank stare and said what's that. I know college grads that cannot figure the square footage. I realize that texting etc is the NEW WAY, but they need a good foundation, this is missing as we pay more attention to giving tribute to different races and nationalitites instead of featuring that we SHOULD be encouraging ONE U. S. of AMERICA and it's abilities.

    5. laurie says:

      Dump the DOE…..it is a another big nail in America's coffin. Cut it off before it destroys us completely. Hurry!

    6. Frank says:

      The Federal Dept. of Education is both Unconstitutional and a failed idea that never accomplished it's purpose, which was to improve education in the USA. Instead hundreds of billions were spent for nothing. Time to defund it and let the states & locals truly take charge again.

    7. B. Eric, Syosset N.Y says:

      Education is a State issue Please show me where in the constitution does it say that the federal govt's role is to regulate education. Other than the various military acadmy's the fed has no role in higher education so why should they be involved. Look to the 10th ammendment.

    8. ThomNJ says:

      "Maybe it's time to put some history teachers on the case." – pretty soon, we won't have any decent ones at the rate we are NOT teaching our history to our children. I have 20-ish nieces and nephews who did not know that George Washington turned down the offer by some to be king among a lot of other things about our past. How does that old saying go? "Those who don't learn history are doomed to repeat it". Couple that with a lying POTUS who maintains that islam has always been a part of America, and nothing bodes well if that will be our path.

      I agree with Laurie – dump the Dept of Education. It should never have been established in the first place – we had the most well-read populace in place in the world long before that was ever created.

    9. S. Allen, Pleasanton says:

      We need to get the federal government out of the schools. Their No Child Left Behind has harmed the children. Teachers now teach to the lowest common demoninator while the future leaders of our country, those who excel are left to teach themselves. Advancement programs are being cut because we need to make sure everyone passes "a Test". Let the school districts dictate what is taught and how it is taught. Make the teachers accountable, pay for performance. Help our children to be successful. Unfortunately, in California most our of school money goes to teach the illiegals. What a system.

    10. Doc Hilliard, SoCal says:

      From observation of Mr Obama's past actions there is no way at all he will learn a lesson, or anything else under the sun, from his own failures. Sociopaths never learn from their failures.

    11. Habriu; Wa says:

      "say one thing do the opposite" that the Obama way!

    12. Betty Peters, Kinsey says:

      I fully concur with this article. Although its proponents repeatedly said —almost as if chanting a mantra–"the Common Core State Standards Initiative is "state led" not "federal" or "national," the truth is only a small percentage of people in the states actually knew what it was. Indeed, CCSSI should more truthfully be termed "vendor led" with US Dept of Education assistance.

      I appreciate Heritage's coverage of this very important issue, one which for the most part to this day has not been covered by the media.. The average American is still in the dark and that includes local school board members and educators. However, vendors are busy hustling their wares, now labeled "CCSS compliant.".

    13. Jim Patterson, Dulut says:

      Ever notice how quite a few teachers send their kids to private schools? Seems to show their lack of confidence in the product they are producing. Even Prezbo, great leader of more money for public schools won't even send his kids to public schools and neither did Bill and Hilary Clinton. If private schools were "outlawed" where would the liberal elite send their children? LOL

    14. osw,CA says:

      Education was taken over by socialists many years ago for the express purpose of destroying this nation. A very successful move to date but hopefully many are waking up and contacting their representatives in Washington, in their state capitols and local educational districts. This is where we must begin to rebuild our country. Check out: http://www.textbookcheck.com/ to see how information has been twisted for the express purpose of demoralizing and dividing our citizenry.

      This movement has nothing to do with political party though the Democrat Party seems to have the most who believe in the American Socialist platform, simply, big government. They believe the "common man" is too stupid to have primary control over his life therefore an elite group of innately more intelligent people must be in control. To ensure this was the case the "government" had to "dumb down" the people.

    15. Jeff, Fountain Hills says:

      Duncan Hunter and Mr. Kline obviously are aware of the true situation, but then at this point in time , who isn't among those paying attention?

      I would like to know how many bills either of those two have introduced in congress to abolish the Dept. of Education and end federal interference in our schools? How many bills have they introduced to limit or reduce federal involvement there?

      Republicans are just wonderful analysts and usually know what's right and what to do and they'll talk and posture endlessly on their points. Why then don't they just get off their butts, stop talking and actually do something? Introduce legislation to get the federal government out of education!

    16. mike hutchings says:

      how about this for empowerment….

      let teachers teach… not to a test….

      but to what for each is best…

      let them not teach… all thier students need to know…

      for who forges that cookie cutter then used…

      who determines every need….

      who would shape each mind….

      what hand so far removed….

      that each problem needs a rule…

      and each rule a ruler…

      to keep it all between the lines….

      critical thinkers need not apply…

    17. toledofan says:

      The Department of Education has turned into a bloated bureaucratic nightmare. It's amazing to me that we've allowed this Department to dictate so much and have so much influence on what our kids read and learn. The political correctness they preach is just appaling and clearly shows how disfunctional our kids are becoming because of it. It's amazing to me to think my grandfather immigrated from Poland, had (5) kids, owned two houses, was an accomplished tool and die maker, spoke four languages, could tell you where every country was on the globe and never went past the 8th grade. I wonder how some of the industrialists or inventors went so far with so little formal education or without having a Department of Education, stange isn't it?

    18. B. Eric, Syosset N.Y says:

      For ThomNJ. Histoy teachers? The overwhelming majority of them are indoctrinating their students in the world view that the US is an imperial power that steals wealth from the poor to enrich the wealthy. That we use the majority of the world's resources and doom the planet to rising oceans and global warming. As a result the average college graduate has no idea what foreign country is to our north or south. The average history instructor doesn't know the first thing about the truth of the forming of this gov't, and or it's stated purpose.

    19. HLK, Kansas says:

      Another example of failure to understand the problem on the part of obama. Lowering standards to accomodate the weak does not strengthern our nation. No Child Left Behind is an abomination, and any attempt to renew the program is a grave mistake. Obama is dangerous to our way of life. Left unchecked he will destroy our country. Osama Bin Laden was not as dangerous to our nation as obama is. If obama is not stopped we may never recover.

    20. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      No Child Left Behind is a Boondoggle! It is a Contest with a fixed winner! The loser States get to spend lots of Money qualifying, and applying for this 'contest' so you can argue more money is wasted in the 'go along to get along' but that is Money Taken Away From The Kids! Waste! Obama does Waste by Policy! "Waste more! Waste more! No! You still are not Wasting Enough Money! Bad Arizona! Bad, bad Texas! You Conservatives don't get anything!" Pay the States to destroy their own educational systems!

      There is a really strong argument on the Right Wing for the Restoration of the Constitution. Roll Back the entire Progressive Communist experiment! It was (and is) a Crime Against Humanity! To bring down the only System that ever conquered Poverty? I am that kind of extremist who says massive Human Experimentation on Americans is ATROCITY! And Treason! "They did it lawfully." No sir! They stole election with massive disinformation, timely misinformation and Black Operations upon loyal Americans! (Clinton was the first Black Ops President!) It is a big confirmation to see Fox News covering the Indoctrination of Kids in our Schools!

      Candidate Obama did not say he was helped by certifiable Enemies Of The State! (His whole life!) Obama didn't say "We have 'taken over' the Democratic Party and we are seeking Totalitarian Government!" The Constitution doesn't say we have Misrepresentative Government! Understand, the Demo-crats were abusing the Primary Selection Process to select 'candidates' in a spoils system of the Chicago Gangsters. They have packed the Government with Constitutional Disestablishmentarians! But you CAN filter out the bad guys if you could see them through the prism of Over Kill. American Children are victims of this Waste, a crazy unworkable 'education' and a crushing Indoctrination besides! It is a Crime Against Humanity what Progressives have done to our Children! That's why I say Abolish the Dept of Education! They force the States to fail!

    21. BOB, New York says:

      The department of misinformation (DOE for short) and most of the Department of Homeland Security should be done away with. Both are a waste engine for the TAXPAYER'S money, and the Department of Homeland Security in particular is a third layer of redundant redundancy.

      I am in favor of the Supreme Court saying the czars Obama uses instead of the traditional established support of the Cabinet and the Defense and Intelligence agencies should come to an end, as there is no basis under the Constitution for the power these individuals weild in regulating everything under the sun. This is the largest abuse of executive power since Nixon and the Watergate incident. Why are we on the hook for all of this additional expense when most of it is unlawful? Blame Obama, Pelosi, Reid and their allies because they set this all in motion. If we were in a financial crisis when these crooks assumed the offices they held, they compounded it by everything that they have done since.

      The House leadership changed parties in the last election yet we are still plagued by Cruella Pelosi. She waves her wand as if she was not deposed by Boehner, and for some reason he seems unable to put her in her place. With the current crop of Republican leadership there will be no return to sanity as even in majority they seem unable to stop liberal destruction – case in point the recent budget debacle.

      In my opinion this whole government is impotent to relieve the suffering of the people because it serves them not to fix the problems. The real message to glean from all of this is that the people in Washington will not do what is needed to save us from financial ruin because it will cut into their overfeeding from the public trough. As long as we put pigs in charge of the feed we will continue to have to work to sustain their every increasing fat.

      To believe we can trust any establishment politicians to do what is right for the people is to believe in fiction and foolishly so. With the current system in place with it's integrated corruption it will be impossible for the people to regain control of the situation. That is what you get when you have a bunch of lawyers making the rules for the rest of us to live by.

      It has been said that moral corruption led to the decline and fall of the Romans, and so fare we have been proving that to be precisely correct.

    22. Sue Marie Detroit says:

      Great Article. So glad I educated my children in the private sector. My children were not indoctrinated they were educated. They were taught how to think not what to think. I gladly pay to educate others with my tax dollars to help improve their lives and the state of our nation. Not to support forced union memberships and create of a generation of socialist's useful idiots.

    23. Dennis, East Greenwi says:

      Having taught for the last fifteen years, I agree with your commentary. The Federal Government has no business in education. It is best left to the local cities and towns to do what is best for their children. Getting the Federal Government out of Education would eliminate the mandates that are driving up local taxes. We need to get back to excellence in education not graduating as many bodies as possible. I believe that local educators can and would do a much better job of administering their local school districts. The Federal Government needs to be out of the mix. It is not the Federal Governments job to worry about education on the local level. I know of nowhere in the Constitution that indicates the Federal Government has to provide an education for every child! Let's get back to reality and teach children what they need to be successful!

    24. Robert, North Richla says:

      While these bills help, I agree with the first group of comments that the Department of Education should be eliminated. We can offer relocation, early retirement and severance packages to many of the employees over the next two years – and still save almost $100 billion. One of our local districts, Fort Worth ISD, is a model of corruption, waste and poor performance. Of the $9400 spent per student, only $5000 goes toward classroom education. The Superintendent is rewarded for this excellence with a pay package worth over $ 400,000 per year. She is so awesome she has a support staff of over 1500 people. And at Fort Worth ISD only 46% of the staff are teachers! I guess it takes a lot of people to decide which sex education software to purchase – or which consultant writes the best lesson plans.

    25. Don Ruane says:

      Has the newly elected Congress tried to stop any of the Madness of the Obama administration?

    26. Jim Brown-NV says:

      Rather than scratching the DOE, let's start at the top with BHO and work our way down thru his staff etc. until we arrive at Congress and then get rid of them based on their "nay" votes on the previous. That's the only way we can get this spending spree under control.

    27. Jim Kughler says:

      Great, more Obama bashers–big help you are!

      Who started the "No child left behind" program anyway? How many members of Congress have had CENTURIES to solve our education problems. How well does your State government run your schools and where would they be WITHOUT Federal Funding?

      Come on people, stop bashing for politics sake and blaming "government intervention" for your inability to help with a solution– and start making some intelligent suggestions.

      You're teaching our next generation how to simply point fingers and not use their heads and TRY to make our system work with whatever we've got to work with!

    28. John Roane, Sarasota says:

      Maybe it would be better to prepare students for life not just college. Think about it. If that is too difficult answer this: Is it more important to a society of 320 million to have neurosurgeons or cabbage collators? Which could the masses do without easiest? Think about it which do you really need more of?

    29. Martha Mitchell, Toc says:

      Take education away from the Federal Govenment? AMEN!

    30. Martha Mitchell, Toc says:

      Take education out of the Federal Government? AMEN!

    31. Jane of Ohio says:

      1. Vote out the Obama administration in 2012.

      2. Get rid of the Department of Education.

      3. Get the union out of education.


    32. Roger S., Mass. says:

      No way you're going to teach that prig a lesson on anything. On the contrary, if you're not careful, he will teach you (and all of US) a lesson: on Power Politics! Which is what he's been busily working on all along.

      "Divide and Conquer" is not only a mantra to manage the electorate; it can be used just as (if not, more) effectively, on the issues. Motto: Raise a new issue every day, forcing the opposition to deal with it, while keeping to the main thrust which is to use the resulting confusion to push most of your main points through a "dumbed-down" population likely to fall for slick rhetoric! (It worked before; why not again?!)

      That said, "No Child Left Behind" can only work if (and only if) no child is allowed to get ahead. NCLB is all about "equality of results", which is impossible, but that's how that always works. Always! Given this fact, a Federal DOE is a complete waste of effort — money! It can have no purpose than to steal from the most able so as to give to the most unable — while collecting a juicy "management fee" along the way. (That "fee" is its real purpose!) And, come to think, that's how all of these programs coming from Big Gov work, are supposed to work, have always worked! As it were, Government manufacturing the problems (real or imagined) so that it can charge US for "solving" them!

      My questions: When are Conservatives going to realize that it's useless to try to "negotiate the fine print" with Leviathan, while permitting "him" unimpeded advance along his main line? When are we going to accept the painful fact that this WH has at heart no one's best interests except its own? That BO's rhetoric is just "nice talk" for the "plebes", aka a lot of hot air, but his actions tell quite a different tale? That in light of this FACT it is useless to infer, in the interest of "civility", good intentions where there are none !?

    33. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Obama gets an "F" on education. Educating Obama's a useless task and an exercise

      in futility. He's NOT ready to learn.

    34. azwayne says:

      Time to judge ACTIONS. What has Congress done to correct the idiocies of this administration? Have executive orders still flown, has our deficit been reduced, has our budget declined? How's unemployment doing? Has wall street paid back any worthwhile real dollars or TARP, where is the Stimulus money? Do they have a problem correcting mistakes. We don't need NEW actions till some of the old have been corrected. How many departments and agencies would we be better off without? I could easily name couple hundred. The sooner closed the more money saved. I don't see much information out of DC of any real actions. Election is still 18 months away we don't need hour by hour crap filling every page. Is there a real journalist available worth watching and listening to.?

    35. Linda, Louisiana says:

      You can give up trying to teach Obama anything. Remember, "he knows it all." Always big I and little YOU. I can't think of one thing good that Obana has done. Not even the death of Bin Laden. Regardless of what he said, he had nothing to do with it – THANK GOODNESS. He nearly botched it as it was. To hear him talk, "I DID IT ALL."

      We do not need a federal Department of Education. Each state, each local entity can handle it on education programs. Obama is just feathering his nest a little more. If anything, we need a system of information exchange, somewhat like the Migrant Education Program, whereas a child's education accomplishments can be transferred whereever the child re-locates.

    36. michael j mudrak car says:

      It is just madness that we take any reference to God or creator out of our school systems and then teach sexual preference to young students who are inquisitive

      enough to try any thing.I say put prayer back in our schools and let parents teach sex education. I have been in stores when there has been a power failure and the teller a

      high school student couldnt add or subtract any transactions.

    37. Dexter60, San Franci says:

      According to the mission statement of the Department of Socialist Industries, education is the sole property of the state as is everything else, but most important for the continuation of failed policies and practices until the money runs out.

      With current technology we may then be reduced to selling somewhat used body parts and materials for making lampshades and rope-soled shoes (once the buds have been removed). By order of the President.

      Now, isn't that so much better than actually doing something?

      Once the money runs out, reality is the best (perhaps the only) teacher; certainly not history or someone with a PhD in Creative Writing, no matter what they choose to call it..

    38. Dr. Henry D. Sinopol says:

      Barry O. & his comrads want only to keep people in ignorance…just like the black leaders have done so skillfully all these years with people of color.

    39. Lee-White Tanks AZ says:

      Unfortunately what the Department of Education and Obama and Bush's various programs are all about is treating the symptoms not the disease.

      The Disease is within the teachers, the administrations and the parents. The root cause of the horrible outcomes being experienced in our schools today is in the mindset of the people that have direct responsibility for the educational experience of the student, ie our kids.

      The PC (Political Correctness) steeped universities and colleges are part of the Disease

      The advent of Unionism and collectivist influence on teachers and administrators is part of the Disease

      The control of Textbooks is part of the Disease

      People like Bill Ayers having anything to do with the education of young minds is blatantly part of the Disease.

      Continued attack on any religious activity or symbolism (including the US Flag) on school campuses is part of the Disease

      The Parents are victims of the same educational system that we know to be a failure yet are not taking the lead in real change as such they are part of the Disease.

      The Disease is everywhere throughout the Education System. The resulting rot is a stinking mess that begs a major overhaul. This overhaul will be every bit as tumultuous and far reaching as the present budgetary changes necessary to retain the US as we have known it,

      A good start would be a blanket defunding of the Department of Education and send the funds to the states with the warning to clean up their act or this thing could come back with a vengeance, at the federal level with an even great stench attached.

    40. TC, Arlington, TX says:

      Obama's idea of education: BRAINWASH! Rather than teaching good quality education, teach them to "do not question me just do as you are told!!"

    41. A. Terranova, Ormond says:

      The American people are being used to create an educational system that is completely and totally controlled by the federal government through regulation, indoctrination and compliance. Students are not being thought to think but propagandized into regurgitating all the Marxist/socialist/fascist ideology of the early 1900s from the Bolshevik Revolution to Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Hitler, who was a National Socialist, into the 21st century with its "progressive" perversion of history. We did not "steal" land from Mexico and neither did the Israelis "steal" land from Palestine. New Spain, as it was called, was land claimed by the Spaniards in hopes that it would extend into North America. The Spaniards were unable to defeat the French, the Dutch but mostly the English. Consequently "New Spain was frozen where it had first taken hold." (Alistair Cooke's, America, p. 42.) In the case of Israel, the prophet Abraham was given the Promised Land (Canaan) by God. This land was given in perpetuity to Abraham and he was told by God that he (Abraham) would be the father of many nations. The land in question is present day Israel, Lebanon, the West Bank of Jordan and substantial portions of Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. (Genesis 17:7-8)

    42. David Bess, Carson C says:

      Shut down the federal department of "education". It has become the department of indoctranation preaching the liberal message os socialism.

      The greatest control of our schools, K-12, should lie with the local school boards and the parents that control them. Any power given to any governing agency above that is a waste of money and a hinderance to real education.

    43. Ed Gallagher says:

      What needs to be done is the total defunding of the Dept. of Education and then its elimination from the Federal Government. The current crop of democrats in the House and the Senate are proof that the legislation creating the department and the assumptions of success for the department were in error.

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