Archive for the ‘Michelle Rhee’ Category

Obama’s Schools Will Have To Follow Federal Rules, Like Socialist, Communist Schools

March 13, 2009

Barack Obama, on many issues and topics, is a lesson in good news and bad news.  No issue demonstrates this more clearly than his position education.

Unlike the stimulus and health care issues, which he’s left to the (able?) hands of Nancy Pelosi and her team on the left to write; the Obama White House will write the new education bill.  And the federal government will take a new and all knowing role in the nation’s education system.

This has several troubling elements of hypocricy at least for me:

First, Barack Obama’s two children attend private schools which seem to be doing just fine without the federal government’s rules, regulations and oversight.  And even though Obama favors vouchers for privately educated students and their parents, the District of Columbia is moving toward the elimination of vouchers that permit poor kids to get better educations than the public schools can offer.

DC schools are considered among the worst in the nation, despite the admirable efforts of new Chancellor Michelle Rhee.

And, if the bank bailout is any guide, schools accepting vouchers in the future can expect federal government rules and regulations galore.  There is no free lunch.

Second: Money has rarely equated to better education; just as money and better health care is often just a myth.

DC schools cost the taxpayers more per student than just about any other school system.

Two years ago, the Law School of the University of the District of Columbia spent more per student than any other law school in the nation.  The success rate at passing the bar the first time was the nation’s worst….

Third: Communist and socialist governments take control of two institutions first and formost: education and the media.

Most of the American media is already “swallow Obama” so schools have to be next….

This bring us to what will be taught in Obama’s schools: texbooks controlled by well meaning, politically correct fools are all over the place in America today.  We have lost sight of the facts in our children’s textbooks entirely.

And as CNN’s Lou Dobbs has been pointing out lately, our colleges, once bastions of free speech, have become intolerant fortresses of the left.

A federalized school system will have what kind of teachings in their texts?

Finally: the president used some erronious facts and figures Tuesday in his grand education address — figures in dispute with his own Department of Education as pointed out by NPR.  Why can’t the president used facts to martial evidince like other good lawyers are required to do?  I thought he went to Harvard…..

But the facts make little difference when you want to control what others think…..

All The President’s Men: Where’s The Congressional Oversight?
 Obama on Education: What’s Good For You Is Wrong for Sasha, Malia

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior ... 
He wanted to run the census and now will supervize the writing of a measure to federalize schools. Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, in Washington, January 20, 2009.(Jim Young – UNITED STATES/Reuters)


Christian Science Monitor Editorial Board

Of his three biggest projects, one is clearly closest to President Obama’s heart. On energy and healthcare, he’s leaving it to Congress to fill in the details of his ideals. (They are also the two most likely to falter.) But for education? No detail is being left behind.

His agenda for public schools, laid out in a major speech Tuesday, is bolder than he promised on the campaign trail and reflects his particular interest in urban schools – and perhaps being a parent.

It also signals unilateral action by the US Department of Education that won’t rely on lawmakers, many of whom are beholden to campaign donations from powerful teacher unions.

Mr. Obama will use the carrots and sticks of billions in federal money already allocated for education this year to aim for what he calls “a complete and competitive education” for all Americans.

He wants longer school years and days. He’s asking states to lift the caps on the number of charter schools (in clear defiance of teacher unions). He wants teachers’ pay tied to the success of students. He would push states to toughen standardized tests, while also broadening their scope to include skills such as critical thinking and creativity. And much more.

These reforms would inject a heavier federal hand into local schools, both in mandates and a reliance on money from Washington. Obama has yet to address the wisdom of a nation of 300 million people with diverse educational problems marching to the same federal tune of reform. It won’t be easy to backtrack on a failed reform or stand up to Beltway lobbies relying on this huge influx of spending.

But then, the need to make America competitive in global markets is great. In 8th grade math, for instance, the US has fallen to 9th place in world rankings. The high school dropout rate has tripled in 30 years. Of the 30 fastest-growing occupations, Obama says, half require a college degree. For those students who have gone on to a four-year college in recent years, only 57 percent graduate – and many take six years to do so.

The most difficult reform may be expanding merit pay to more school districts. While it’s best to work with unions to come up with fair ways to judge a teacher’s performance, unions can’t stand in the way of ousting teachers whose talent or enthusiasm doesn’t make the grade. Tenure can no longer protect bad teachers.

In Obama’s call for about half the states to lift their current caps on the number of charter schools, he’s making an important decision for choice in education – especially for poor parents in cities where many charters are doing well with public money.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was well known as Chicago’s school chief for closing down failing schools and letting charter schools show what union-free teaching can do in achieving innovation and excellence. Charters also help put a spotlight on parental responsibility in education, such as making sure students get to school and do their homework.

Just as the US economy is now being held accountable by world markets for its failings, so must US schools now measure up to the higher standards set in many other nations. As Obama says, “The future belongs to the nation that best educates its citizens.”