Saturday, February 24, 2007

Apple CEO lambasts teacher unions.

Our friend Pete the Finance Guy forwarded us the following information. A similar article can also be found on the Star-Telegram website.

The "Issues and Insights" page of Investors Business Daily, February 26 edition carried an excellent piece, which opened with:

"Steve Jobs recently addressed a forum on education reform in Austin TX. Jobs could contain his tough diagnosis no longer", according to the editorial:

" 'I believe what is wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way,' Jobs charged. "This unionization and lifetime employment of K-12 teachers is off-the charts crazy."

The editorial continues:

"It was what you'd call a throat-clearing moment. Absorbing Job's comment, the room erupted into applause, even as another panelist, competitor Michael Dell, sat politely nearby. Assessing his impolitic outburst, Jobs grinned: "Apple just lost some business in this state, I'm sure."

"Maybe more than that. The Associated Press carried the story across the fruited plain. In teachers' lounges throughout the 50 states, iPod earplugs popped onto slumped shoulders as tenured pedagogues pondered life without their precious Macs.

"Jobs said a little more on the subject, comparing school principals to corporate CEOs: "What kind of person could you get to run a small business if you told them that when they came in they couldn't get rid of people that they thought weren't any good?" He answered himself to uproarious applause: "Not really great ones because if you're really smart, you go, 'I can't win.'"

"It took the estimable Dell seconds to seize some good will:

"Unions were created," Dell argued, "because the employer was treating his employees unfairly and that was not good. So now you have these enterprises where they take good care of their people. The employees won, they do really well and succeed."

"Dell vaguely prescribed a shot of competitive spirit to be imbibed by the school principals' employment market. So the longtime Jobs-Dell rivalry now rises from the respective merits of their products to the historic debate over organized labor's contributions-or lack thereof-to our economic health.

"It's a debate worth reviving, as has been discovered by the academic blogosphere, where one commentator even accused Jobs of abandoning corporate responsibility to Apple's shareholders by alienating such a large market for his computers.

"It's hard to know if Jobs intended such bluntness beforehand, but that kind of impromptu bravery should be saluted. Apple's chief has struggled lately with his own set of compensation issues, enough to have interested regulators, so he could be charged with diversionary bravado.

"But he adds his vision to other critics -- futurist Alvin Toffler and Microsoft's Bill Gates come to mind -- who've called for replacing government schools as we know them with a system friendlier to market principles.

"Jobs may be overenthusiastic about the prospect of scrapping textbooks for online, Wikipedia-like educational content. But he does grasp, tatter than most unionized and tenured end majors, the mental cybernetices of learning.

"His ideas are at least dynamic, theirs static. He's now advanced the revolution, deserving cheers far beyond that Texas auditorium."

Quote of the Day

" 'I believe what is wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way. "This unionization and lifetime employment of K-12 teachers is off-the charts crazy." Steve Jobs

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Compulsory Education

Quote of the Day

Friedrich Engels, who in an 1847 draft of the Manifesto called "Principles of Communism" wrote as one of its tenets:
"Education of all children, from the moment they can leave their mother's care, in national establishments at national cost."

Jim and I attended the State Education Forums in Plymouth and Manchester. We are currently viewing the video of the Education Forum in Nashua. We also plan to attend the forums in Dover and Claremont.

One thing that is clear is that many educrats believe in the tenet rewritten by Friedrich Engels who drafted part of the Manifesto called "Principles of Communism." Many of the educrats are requesting that "Adequate Education" include kindergarten. Our legislators are also pushing to increase the age of education which at best enables educrats to maintain their entitlement programs at worst waste taxpayers dollars and prohibits students from progressing on to college at an earlier age as well as forces some to be in a learning environment they do not want to be in.

BACKGROUND From the Home School Legal Defense Association
"According to the 2005 NAEP test scores, children from states that have low compulsory attendance ages (5-6) did not score any higher than children from the other states, and in some subjects their average was actually lower.

Many education experts have concluded that beginning a child's formal education too early may actually result in burnout and poor scholastic performance later.

A report published February 6, 2007 by the Goldwater Institute examines Stanford 9 test scores and finds Arizona kindergarten programs initially improve learning but have no measurable impact on reading, math, or language arts test scores by fifth grade.

The data show that students in schools with all-day kindergarten programs have statistically significant higher 3rd-grade test scores, but there is no impact on 5th-grade scores. This finding is consistent with previous research. Forcing children into school early delivers short-term benefits at best.

Another significant impact of expanding mandatory schooling is the inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom space and teachers to accommodate the additional students compelled to attend public schools. When California raised the age of compulsory attendance, unwilling students were so disruptive that new schools had to be built just to handle them and their behavior problems, all at the expense of the taxpayer."

For more information on compulsory attendance age legislation visit the Home School Legal Defense Association website.

The Legislators appear to be genuinely interested in hearing how the voters and residents of New Hampshire want to define an "adequate education." Written comments to define "adequacy" are welcome to be submitted at

Thank you for standing with us in this fight for freedom.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The New Hampshire Advantage Coalition

Yesterday we had the pleasure of meeting Tammy Simmons of The New Hampshire Advantage Coalition at the Education Forum in Manchester.

Taxpayer advocates including The New Hampshire Advantage Coalition lobbied on the courts ruling to define an "adequate education", their activities were acknowledge by the Union Leader in the following article.

Tax foes lobby on schools ruling
State House Bureau Chief

CONCORD – Broad-based tax opponents called on lawmakers yesterday to reject state Supreme Court rulings that call for a definition of an adequate education by June 30.

Leaders of the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition said complying with the court's orders will force the state to adopt a sales or income tax to raise more money for public schools.

""The best course of actions would be for the Legislature not to give in to the court's demand," NHAC executive director Tammy Simmons said. She estimated the cost that will be put upon the state at $2 billion. Current state aid is in the $850 million range, including funds raised by the statewide property tax.

Members of the group argued that the court overstepped its constitutional authority in ordering the Legislature to act.

"Now's the time to call the court's bluff," said Rep. Gregory Sorg, R-Franconia.

But other members of the New Hampshire House from both parties said the state needs to act to avoid more court intervention in the long-running Claremont school funding case. "There is no way to back away from the position. We have to adopt something," said Rep. David Hess, R-Hooksett.

He and other Republicans argue that the state should define adequacy and put a funding plan in place at the same time.

"There is an inextricable connection between costing and a definition," Rep.

Neal Kurk, R-Weare, said.

Rep. Kimberley Casey, D-East Kingston, who serves on the House Education Committee with Hess, said that ignoring the court will not work.

"Should we do nothing? If we do nothing, just watch property taxes continue to rise and really hurt the New Hampshire advantage we have," she said. "If the state is going to give any money at all to schools, we need to know what we're paying for, so defining adequacy is a necessary exercise right now." Gov. John Lynch wants to adopt a definition of adequacy now and figure out the cost later. He also plans to propose a constitutional amendment to give the state flexibility in allocating aid among school districts.

NHAC director Gardner Goldsmith argued that it is impossible to objectively define a subjective notion like adequacy. He also said any definition needs to have a cost attached.

"States who adopted standards to gauge student performance without any idea of the cost ended up with more lawsuits and higher taxes," he said.

NHAC officials said they plans to launch a series of community forums at the local level, and to publicize their opposition to the court's orders.

Quote of the day.

There is, in fact, only one solution: the state, the government, the laws must not in any way concern themselves with schooling or education. Public funds must not be used for such purposes. The rearing and instruction of youth must be left entirely to parents and to private associations and institutions. Ludwig Von Mises

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

State Education Forums

State Education Forums are being held across the State to discuss the definition of an "adequate education" with the Legislators on the Education Committee. Videos of the meeting can be found on the NH Outlook website.

The Legislators appear to be genuinely interested in hearing how the voters and residents of New Hampshire want to define an "adequate education." Written comments to define "adequacy" are welcome to be submitted at

The remaining forums are in DOVER on Monday, March 5, 6:30 - 8 p.m., Dover City Hall Auditorium, 268 Central Ave. and CLAREMONT on Monday, March 12, 6:30 - 8 p.m., Maple Avenue Elementary School, 210 Maple Ave. Please take the time to have your voices heard by our legislators.

We were very pleased to hear a number of people encouraging the legislators to include choice as part of the solution as well as defining an "adequate education" in such a way that will stop the education establishment from bringing forth further lawsuits.

The quote of the Day goes out to all the educrats at the forum pleading to the legislators to include them in the definition of an "adequate education." It was clearly a graveling session by some to maintain the educrats entitlement programs.

Quote of the Day

If it is wrong for you to take money from someone else who earned it, to take their money by force for your own needs, then it is certainly just as wrong for you to demand that the government step forward and do this dirty work for you.

Neal Boortz

Monday, February 19, 2007

Lynch's big budget: More spending, more taxes

Our government and schools having a spending problem and not a funding problem. The more taxes/fees that get poured into the system the more difficult it will be in the future to fight tax and fee increases because more individuals will be feeding off the public trough. At the current rate of spending perpetual tax increases will be needed unless spending is controlled. It is time to contact your legislators and tell them to curb spending before we reach a point of no return.

The following editorial appeared in Sunday's Union Leader.

Lynch's big budget: More spending, more taxes

Announcing his record $10.2 billion budget last week, Gov. John Lynch said it "uses taxpayer dollars wisely to meet state government's most fundamental responsibilities."

If it did that, he wouldn't need to raise taxes and fees by roughly $111 million and raise millions more by expanding state lottery games, hiring more tax auditors and auctioning off moose hunting permits.

And whom does the governor tax? The poor!

He would raise $92 million by again hiking the cigarette tax, which falls mostly on low-income families. He'd raise another $4 million by creating a $30 scratch ticket for the state lottery, again taking money from low-income residents.

Gov. Lynch needs this revenue not to maintain state services, but to increase spending. He hikes general fund spending -- that's the portion paid for out of your state taxes -- by 15 percent. The total budget, including federal spending, grows by 9 percent, well above the rate of inflation.

And although he says he does this "to meet state government's most fundamental responsibilities," he does not. He puts $12 million into LCHIP, fully funding the popular land and historic conservation program (which we also like very much), while only partially funding the waiting list for people needing developmental disabilities services.

By contrast, Health and Human Services Commissioner John Stephen's proposed budget would eliminate the developmental disabilities wait list in two years, ensuring that everyone who needs those services gets them. Lynch opts to spend some of that money elsewhere and cut the wait list only by half. No doubt parents of children with developmental disabilities will be interested to find that Gov. Lynch would rather fund tourism advertising and land purchases than fully fund services for the disabled.

Gov. Lynch has always said that he would run a frugal and efficient state government. Instead, he's proposed four straight years of tax hikes and spending increases.

The worst part? This time around, he's got a Legislature even more eager than he is to tax and spend.

Quote of the day
"Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery." Calvin Coolidge

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Lynch's adequacy will require an income tax

The following article appeared in the Concord Monitor.

Now is the time for all readers to take heed to Mr. Mosca words below and contact your representatives and senators. Adequate education must be defined by parents and not legislators.

Lynch's adequacy will require an income tax

By Edward c. Mosca
For the Monitor
February 17. 2007 8:00AM

John Lynch claims he wants to define an adequate education first, and then have a discussion as to its cost. Don't believe him. He already has a good idea of what his definition will cost, and he knows how he wants to fund it.
The problem we face is that the cost is in excess of $2 billion, which means we're looking at an income tax if Lynch then doesn't get his targeted-aid constitutional amendment passed. To borrow a phrase from Al Gore, Lynch's approach to education funding is a risky scheme.

Lynch has proposed making the state's existing school approval standards and curriculum frameworks the starting point for defining an adequate education. The standards and frameworks are voluminous, covering in excruciating detail every aspect of the operation of the public schools from curriculum, class size and teacher qualifications to janitorial services.

This means that what it has cost us to pay for the public schools should give us a good idea of the minimum cost of Lynch's definition. In 2004-05, the most current school year for which data is available, the cost was about $2.2 billion.

No wonder Lynch wants to put off discussing the cost of his definition.

While Lynch doesn't want to talk about cost yet, his definition says that the resources needed to provide that education will vary from school to school based on students' needs, requiring more resources in districts with greater challenges. This signals that Lynch is going to bring back the funding scheme he proposed in 2005.
In a nutshell, that scheme was based on a per-pupil cost of an adequate education of $8,290. Each town was formulaically assigned a measure of risk, which was simply the percentage of the $8,290 that was to be funded by the state.

For example, Allenstown's measure of risk was .5733, which meant the state would have paid 57.33 percent, or about $4,753 per pupil in that town. The remainder of the per-pupil cost, $3,357, would have been paid for with local property taxes.

Londonderry, in contrast, was assigned a .1465 measure of risk, which meant it would have received only $1,215 of state funding per pupil. It would have had to pay for $7,075 of adequacy's per-pupil cost with local property taxes. Substitute an updated per-pupil cost of an adequate education, say between $9,000 and $10,000, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what Lynch's 2007 education funding scheme will look like.

This explains why Lynch intends to offer a narrow constitutional amendment to allow the state to target aid before he unveils his funding scheme. Towns like Londonderry would not support his amendment if they knew how poorly they would fare under his funding scheme compared with towns like Allenstown.

The problem with Lynch's approach is that it puts the cart before the horse. If his definition is passed but his targeted aid amendment fails either in the Legislature or at the ballot box, we will be forced to choose between increasing state taxes by more than $2 billion to comply with Claremont and confronting the Supreme Court.

The best course would be if the Legislature did not define an adequate education. Let the court be the one to tell the people of New Hampshire that their constitutional right to an adequate education comes with a $2 billion income tax string attached. Then we'll have a true idea of just how popular the right to an adequate education is with the voters.

Given that Democrats and Republicans-in-name-only make up a plurality of the Legislature, that obviously is not going to happen. What conservatives need to do is to make it clear that a vote for Lynch's definition of an adequate education is a vote for an income tax because there is no guarantee that Lynch's targeted aid amendment will pass.

Conservatives also should not allow themselves to be stampeded into voting for a constitutional amendment. They need to take a long, hard look at Lynch's targeted aid amendment and oppose any amendment that writes any aspect of the misbegotten Claremont decisions into the constitution. Such an amendment will make a bad situation worse.

(Edward C. Mosca is a Manchester lawyer.)


New Hampshire is taking step backwards promoting an income tax. A recent article from the Wall Street Article titled Rich States Poor States reports how income taxes cost jobs and has a negative impact on the economy of the State.

Quote of the day.

" What conservatives need to do is to make it clear that a vote for Lynch's definition of an adequate education is a vote for an income tax because there is no guarantee that Lynch's targeted aid amendment will pass." Edward C. Mosca