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  • Crocodile Tears for Texas from the Department of Education

    “I feel very, very badly for the children there,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan this week. No, he wasn’t talking about underprivileged children in South America, malnourished kids in Africa, or children in war-ravished regions throughout the world. No, the Secretary was referring to children in Texas. According to Bloomberg News:

    Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Texas’ school system “has really struggled” under Gov. Rick Perry…and the states’ substandard schools do a disservice to children. “Far too few of their high school graduates are actually prepared to go on to college. I feel very, very badly for children there.”

    Perhaps Duncan is upset with Texas for rejecting Race to the Top, or for state leaders guarding their state’s educational authority by rejecting national standards, or for questioning the Obama Administration’s continued executive overreach.

    Examining the state’s current academic standing relative to the rest of the country makes one wonder why Duncan feels “very, very badly” for the children in Texas in particular.

    There is a lot of room for improvement in the Lone Star State, but Texas students are more or less comparable with the rest of the country. In reading, 28 percent of 4th graders in Texas are proficient (compared to 32 percent nationally), and 38 percent of 4th graders rank proficient in math (compared to 38 percent nationally).

    While Texas is on par with the national average in math and is only slightly lower than the national average in reading, for some reason the state has caused deep anguish for Duncan. Yet Duncan shed no tears over Washington, D.C.—a city education researcher Jay Greene refers to as a “pool of failure.”

    The Secretary did not feel “very, very badly” for the poor children trapped in the most dangerous and underperforming schools in his backyard in Washington, D.C., last year. He did not object to Senator Richard Durbin’s (D–IL) effort to end the city’s highly successful voucher program, which was helping low-income children attend a private school of their choice that better met their needs and kept them safe. He and President Obama stood idly by while the vouchers were being phased out.

    Thankfully, because of the efforts of Speaker John Boehner (R–OH), the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program has been restored and expanded.

    Duncan does not feel “very, very badly” for the children in the D.C. Public School system that ranks at the bottom of all states in terms of academic achievement and first in school violence. No, he feels “very, very badly” for children in Texas.

    Unfortunately, as Professor Greene noted in recent remarks in Boston, there are more of what he identifies as “pools of failure” than of “pockets of excellence.” According to Greene, 68 percent of districts across the United States are below the 50th percentile in mathematics achievement. In more than half of states, no more than three districts have average student math performance that would place students in the upper third of math achievement in international comparisons.

    This culture of mediocrity has emerged during a half-century of federal intervention into schools that has left parents and taxpayers with less ownership of their local schools. Duncan should feel “very, very badly” for children across the country who are trapped in schools that don’t meet their needs. While 200,000 children in 18 states and D.C. have access to private school choice options, many more are in schools that are underperforming, assigned to them by zip code.

    He should also feel “very, very badly” for the Obama Administration’s desire to perpetuate the failed status quo, thinking that this time Washington will get it right, after decades of intervening into local schools to no avail. Moreover, he should feel “very, very badly” about circumventing Congress and rewriting No Child Left Behind from the executive branch, granting condition-based waivers to states from the onerous provisions of NCLB on the condition that they adopt the Administration’s preferred policies.

    But don’t mess with Texas. The Lone Star State’s education policies are not the problem.

    The Bloomberg article noted:

    Perry has been an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama’s education policies. Perry declined to participate in Obama’s Race to the Top initiative that awards federal grants in exchange for adopting national standards, saying the program “smacks of a federal takeover of public schools.”

    “Perry said participating ‘could very well lead to the ‘dumbing down’ of the rigorous standards we’ve worked so hard to enact.’”

    There’s plenty to worry about within the American education system. Texas shouldn’t be at the top of the Secretary’s list.

    Posted in Education, Featured, Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    19 Responses to Crocodile Tears for Texas from the Department of Education

    1. Bobbie says:

      we pray for all those Americans still fooled by these demonic democrats!! God Bless Texas for staying out of giving into this federal take-over of the minds of America's youth!!!! Federal education TEACHES subjects that come NATURALLY!!! Like sexual preference for one!! and all sorts of things that are learned through ones own individual life's experience.

      Anything that interferes with personal beliefs and upbringing, should not be included anywhere in PUBLIC EDUCATION!! To include these, makes it private! The kids need basic standards taught only BUT public education FAILED that expectation! Clean up the basic standards ONLY!! AND WITH ACCOUNTABILITY! KEEP THE FEDS OUT!!

    2. Kevin says:

      For a guy who heads the Department of Education, a unit of government which is useless, redundant and should have been closed long ago, this man has a lot of useless, redundant and stupid things to say about Texas. The Department of Education was a fraud when it was instituted by that oh so successful President, JImmy "Rabbit adultery in his Heart" Carter, has continued to be a fraud over all these years, and is a fraud today. Kill the Department and fire all the useless 30,000 employees of that Department. It will help education, the budget deficit and our mental health.

    3. West Texan says:

      Lindsey said " … Texas students are more or less comparable with the rest of the country." I couldn't agree more. And Secretary Duncan's indoctrination department contributes most to today's low standards. The country would be far better if the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) was eliminated altogether. It's nothing but a waste of everyone's time and money. Not to mention how the DOE completely undermines federalism.

    4. Edgar says:

      But the children of Texas who aren't prepared to go on into higher education make excellent slaves to the nations slave labor force and more dependent on the welfare system to sustain them for the rest of their lives with no hope of or for anything. That's the way our whole American system has become since the end of WWII and the end of the Great Depression. This whole economic crisis we are facing didn't happen overnight, nor did it happen in the last ten years. And it will take more than politician bickering and arguing to get us out of this mess, which also will not happen overnight with the diversity that is present in our current society.

      • Joel D says:

        Your comment seems to indicate that if a person doesn't go to college ("higher education"), therefore they are useless and only qualified to be welfare cases and slaves. That is incorrect and downright offensive to those of us who have no degree but are still productive, contributing members of society. We have a great education from a wide variety of different sources, and use that education to better ourselves, our families, employers, and communities. We just don't have a piece of paper or a bunch of letters behind our names to show off to those who are impressed only with credentials. Don't equate a degree with an education.

        • Bobbie says:

          couldn't agree with you more, Joel. with the push of today's higher education in free colleges is only a push to further reiterate grade school indoctrination. Then they get a degree out of it!!!!! Then a job they're clueless to but as long as that degree is their's, no accountability necessary!! Mostly Immigrants and people the government labels "minority" are the ones who get the false sense of intelligence through these government run free colleges. only cheating themselves with a piece of paper they couldn't live up to costing plenty everywhere. Government run colleges promote socialism, an extension of government run grade school and not relevant to education at the level it's being sold! Government making it for an easier transition to take over the American way and replace with whatever. the more people government manipulates to stand with government the easier it will be…
          It is however, being interrupted at every point possible.
          The mind is a terrible thing to waste!!!! SAVE THE CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!

      • West Texan says:

        Texas welfare is not as easily available and/or profitable as the Golden State's. Guess where Texans head for those vittles? If you said the People's Republic of California, you're right!.

    5. robin says:

      I sincerely believe that leaders in the Federal government have way less interest in educating our kids than in indoctrinating them with liberal progressive propaganda. An educated citizenship is more difficult to control and to herd than are poorly educated non thinkers who look to be taken care of by the government. Promote the nanny state in order to grow the government. That seems to be the goal – pure and simple. Back before the education system was co-opted by the Federal government, teachers focused on reading, writing, and 'rithmetic. Students who learned these three basic skills well were enabled to pursue anything else. without these skills, students are extremely limited in what they are able to accomplish. I think this is by design and not a coincidental happenstance of governmental intrusion into our education system. An illiterate populace is sad but useful to a very aggressive attempt by the government to take over. Why is history not taught as it occurred but is rather being re-written? Why is a thorough course in government with a focus on the Constitution no longer being required for all American students? Why is failing a grade all but non-existent? And the list goes on. all these questions can be answered by one theme – keep the voters ill-informed, dumb, and needy.

    6. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      Maybe Duncan would feel "very badly" for D.C. students if the Mayor of D.C. was railing against Obama and his DOE and running for the GOP nomination.

    7. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Do we not recognize the pattern yet? Regardless of anything else, whoever disagrees with any Obama
      policy, the attacks dogs are released to destroy. They continue to use distortions and outright lies without
      one thought of honesty or honor. This is what you father's Democrat Party has become under Obama.

    8. Roger Bemis says:

      Sounds like Duncan is playing politics to me!

    9. Larry Welch says:

      Thank you, Lindsey Burke, for an excellent report!

    10. Chris says:

      The education sec is one of the radicals who cannot stand any diversion from their formulas – they especially hate success that deviates from their unionized monopolies preaching their versions of 'education.'

      God Bless Texas – let them lead the way back to liberty from the Obamanots.

    11. Betsy Anderson says:

      Another one of Obama's idiots in a position of power! Mr. Duncan, I believe that you meant to say that you feel very, very BAD. You're using incorrect grammar! You may want to look up the difference!

    12. Betsy says:

      Mr. Duncan, your grammar is incorrect. You need to look up the difference between "bad" and "badly" when you're expressing a feeling. You're in charge of our U.S. Department of Education? God help us!

    13. DWSchmidt says:

      Perhaps Mr. Duncan would like to compare and contrast HIS record as head of the Chicago school system with that of Rick Perry's Texas. Oh, wait, I bet he wouldn't. Check the following from the CATO Institute.

    14. appraiserman says:

      Arne did not get to indoctrinate the Texas children. Nor my CA children, we chose private parochial school and all four love to learn, love their school, all are very well mannered and respectful. As are the vast majority of children at their schools. The older children are very conservative minded and surprise their teachers during discussions. They have common sense which is the best defense against liberalism, follow it far enough and anyone can see if FAILS everywhere and every time. That is the problem with the so called smartest people in the world, the ones we have been waiting for, absolutely no common sense, a lack of morals and a lack of compassion, despite owning it in the media. Destroying people’s lives to get ahead in politics is not compassion it is EVIL.

    15. Helen Rockwell says:

      Maybe Arne Duncan should reconsider the quality of his own education since he doesn't know when to dus the adjetive "bad" and the adverb "badly." The adjective describes emotions; the adverb modifies the VERB to illustrate an action.

    16. Dale Emde says:

      Well all you folks complaining can solve this quickly by getting Ron Paul elected president. Dept of Ed is one he wishes to close as well as many others. What a quick way to reduce government! And expense!

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