Archive for the ‘Cappuccino Machines’ Category

“America becoming the nation of the unemployed” — Schools to Blame?

January 8, 2009

Without a long-term plan for investment in science and technology that stresses innovation and jobs, America will be the nation of the unemployed,  Norman Augustine, retired Chairman of Lockheed Martin told Congressional leaders Wednesday, January 7, 2009.

He said that government spending often only yields short-term jobs and when the global economy is jump started “those new long-term jobs won’t be here.”

“We need a companion effort to these [short-term job] proposals that addresses long-term job creation,” said Augustine. “What replaces them when the jobs run out? Investments in science and technology are likely to underpin any advancement in our country, helping to solve the energy problem, and creating new jobs.”

Augustine said the needed structural reforms could come from a complete overhaul of our schools and a renewal of science and technology in the classroom.

“This is not a short term economic ill we are facing.”

He said that almost 90% of American science teachers lack a degree in a science study area….

Mr. Augutine appeared before the  House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, Chaired by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Augustine often tells Congress what members don’t care to hear.  We recall him saying once, “By the time of the United States tricentennial, there will be more government workers than workers.”

We used the word Cappuccino in the headline just to get your attention and to make the point that often American schools spend their resources on all the wrong things.  Schools need to be geared toward excellence without further catering to the slowest students.  This is a national and not a local issue anywhere in our opinion: and Mr. Augustine told Congress that yesterday…

Anter yesterday’s hearing, House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio said, “We cannot borrow and spend our way back to prosperity when we’re already running an annual deficit of more than one trillion dollars.  I was pleased to hear the president-elect say yesterday that we need to stop just talking about our national debt and actively confront it.”

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

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Related:
http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/07/news/economy/steerin
g_committee_forum/index.htm?postversion=2009010712

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Related:
 America’s Future? Grim Reality Unless Major Changes Are Adopted
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U.S. Students Failing International Science Measures

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School Lacks Toilet Paper, Light Bulbs

A Detroit elementary school is asking for donations of toilet paper and light bulbs to keep their school functioning.

The principal of the Academy of Americas sent a letter to staff, parents and partners asking for donations of items “that are of the utmost importance for proper school functioning and most importantly for student health and safety.”

In the letter, Principal Naomi Khalil cited budget constraints within the district as the reason why the school could no longer stock the items.

The district is grappling with a more than $400 million budget deficit and is on the verge of being assigned an emergency financial manager by the state.

Read the rest:
http://www.clickondetroit.com/new
s/18430596/detail.html

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School System Spent $67,000 On Cappuccino Machines

Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago public school bureaucrats skirted competitive bidding rules to buy 30 cappuccino/espresso machines for $67,000, with most of the machines going unused because the schools they were ordered for had not asked for them, according to a report by the CPS Office of Inspector General.

That was just one example of questionable CPS actions detailed in the inspector general’s 2008 annual report. Others included high school staffers changing grades to pump up transcripts of student athletes and workers at a restricted-enrollment grade school falsifying addresses to get relatives admitted.

In the case of the cappuccino machines, central office administrators split the order among 21 vocational schools to avoid competitive bidding required for purchases over $10,000. As a result CPS paid about $12,000 too much, according to Inspector General James Sullivan. “We were able to find the same machines cheaper online,” he said.

“We also look at it as a waste of money because the schools didn’t even know they were getting the equipment, schools didn’t know how to use the machines and weren’t prepared to implement them into the curriculum,” Sullivan said.

CPS spokesman Michael Vaughn said CPS plans to change its purchasing policy so that competitive bidding kicks in when a vendor accumulates $10,000 worth of orders, no matter how many schools are involved. One person was fired and disciplinary action is pending against three others, he said.

Read the rest:
http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/
1365268,CST-NWS-inspect07.article