Saturday, May 16, 2009

Greedy Powerful Unions vs Passive Ignorant Taxpayers

A taxpayer voting for a Democrat is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders. Taxpayers are being taken to the cleaners by public sector unions and legislators.

Too many Americans cast their votes with an incomprehensible ignorance. The public sector unions have ethics and morals I just do not understand perhaps it is best to say they do not have any ethics or morals. I seriously do not understand how these people can take their paychecks week after week and not feel guilty about it. They did not earn their paychecks, their paychecks have been garnered through brute force lobbying, propaganda warfare, the blackmailing of taxpayers and politicians and holding taxpayers hostage through illegal strikes. Wake up taxpayers public sector employees that are to serve you are robbing you and your future generations blind. Who is to blame, greedy unions, unethical legislators and ignorant voters?

The ignorance of so many is destroying the very freedoms on which this country was found. Have we reached the tipping point of no return? When are Americans go to wake up?

The following article appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Unions vs. Taxpayers
Organized labor has become by far the most powerful political force in government.


Across the private sector, workers are swallowing hard as their employers freeze salaries, cancel bonuses, and institute longer work days. America's employees can see for themselves how steeply business has fallen off, which is why many are accepting cost-saving measures with equanimity -- especially compared to workers in France, where riots and plant takeovers have become regular news.

But then there is the U.S. public sector, where the mood seems very European these days. In New Jersey, which faces a $3.3 billion budget deficit, angry state workers have demonstrated in Trenton and taken Gov. Jon Corzine to court over his plan to require unpaid furloughs for public employees. In New York, public-sector unions have hit the airwaves with caustic ads denouncing Gov. David Paterson's promise to lay off state workers if they continue refusing to forgo wage hikes as part of an effort to close a $17.7 billion deficit. In Los Angeles County, where the schools face a budget deficit of nearly $600 million, school employees have balked at a salary freeze and vowed to oppose any layoffs that the board of education says it will have to pursue if workers don't agree to concessions.

Call it a tale of two economies. Private-sector workers -- unionized and nonunion alike -- can largely see that without compromises they may be forced to join unemployment lines. Not so in the public sector.

Government unions used their influence this winter in Washington to ensure that a healthy chunk of the federal stimulus package was sent to states and cities to preserve public jobs. Now they are fighting tenacious and largely successful local battles to safeguard salaries and benefits. Their gains, of course, can only come at the expense of taxpayers, which is one reason why states and cities are approving tens of billions of dollars in tax increases.

It's not as if we haven't seen this coming. When the movement among public-sector workers to unionize began gathering momentum in the 1950s, some critics, including private-sector labor leaders such as George Meany, observed that government is a monopoly not subject to the discipline of the marketplace. Allowing these workers -- many already protected by civil-service law -- to organize and bargain collectively might ultimately give them the power to hold politicians and taxpayers hostage.

It wasn't long before such fears were realized. By the mid-1960s, dozens of cities across America were wracked by teachers' strikes that closed school systems. Groups like New York City's transit workers walked off the job in 1966, bringing business in Gotham to a near halt. The United Federation of Teachers led an illegal strike which closed down New York City schools in 1968.

Widespread ire against strikes by public workers produced legislation in many states outlawing them. That prompted government workers to retreat from the picket lines into the halls of government. In Washington, they organized political action committees, set up sophisticated lobbying efforts, and used their muscle to help elect sympathetic public officials.

Today, public-sector unions sit atop lists of organizations that devote the most money to lobbying and campaign contributions.

In Pennsylvania, a local think tank, the Commonwealth Foundation, counted the resources of the state's teachers union a few years ago. It had 11 regional offices, 275 employees and $66 million in annual dues. In Connecticut, representatives of the teachers union camped outside the legislators' doors in 2005 to keep tabs on school reformers who were calling on these officials to expand school choice.

And in California, unions spent more than $50 million in 2005 to defeat a series of ballot proposals that would have capped growth in the state's budget. Now the state's teachers union is putting its clout behind a ballot initiative, to be voted on next week, that would restore more than $9 billion in educational spending cut from the state's budget.

The results of such efforts are evident in the rich rewards that public-sector employees now enjoy. A study in 2005 by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute estimated that the average public-sector worker earned 46% more in salary and benefits than comparable private-sector workers. The gap has only continued to grow. For example, state and local worker pay and benefits rose 3.1% in the last year, compared to 1.9% in the private sector, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

But the real power of the public sector is showing through in this economic crisis. Some five million private-sector workers have lost their jobs in the last year alone, and their unemployment rate is above 9% according to the BLS. By contrast, public-sector employment has grown in virtually every month of the recession, and the jobless rate for government workers is a mere 2.8%. For anyone who thinks such low unemployment numbers are good news, remember that the bulging public sector must be paid for with revenues that most governments don't currently have. This is one reason for a spate of state and local tax increases, such as $5 billion in tax increases New York state passed in April, and $12 billion in tax increases California's legislature agreed to in February that will only become law if voters pass a series of ballot initiatives next week.

The next lesson we are likely to learn is that voter revolts against new taxes are no longer effective because of the might that these public- sector groups now wield. The tax-cut uprising of the late 1970s began in California with Proposition 13 capping property taxes. It then spread to more than a dozen states before it became a national movement that helped elect Ronald Reagan. The next tax revolt, during the recession of the early 1990s, helped sink officials like New Jersey Gov. James Florio and produced ballot propositions in places like Colorado that capped spending or made tax increases more difficult.

Now powerful and savvy, public unions have moved effectively to quash antitax movements. In New Jersey, public unions derailed a taxpayer revolt in 2005 by using their legislative clout to water down a bill that would have created a state constitutional convention to enact property-tax reform. Meanwhile, under pressure from unions, state legislatures in places like Florida have been tightening rules and requirements for passing voter initiatives and referenda -- blunting a favorite tool of antitax groups.

In states like Iowa where public unionization rates are still low government workers have had to accept concessions. But allies of the unions in Washington are working to rectify that situation with union-friendly legislation like the card check bill, which will make organizing much easier.

In the private sector such efforts will still be subject to the demands of the marketplace. Employers who are too generous with pay and benefits will be punished. In the public sector, however, more union members means more voters. And more voters means more dollars for political campaigns to elect sympathetic politicians who will enact higher taxes to foot the bill for the upward arc of government spending on workers. That will be the pattern for the indefinite future unless taxpayers find a way to roll back the enormous power public workers have acquired.

Mr. Malanga is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Updated Cost Per Pupil vs CPI Graph

The above chart is Cost Per Pupil vs. the CPI for fiscal years ending 1998-2008. The information was obtained from the New Hampshire Department of Education's website. We used the Department of Labor's CPI calculator to obtain CPI information.


Croydon Per Pupil Spending Reached $15,397.60

According to the New Hampshire Department of Education The Cost Per Pupil By District for the 2007-2008 fiscal year reached $15,397.60 for Croydon students.
Cost per Pupil is based on current expenditures as reported on each school district’s Annual Financial Report (DOE-25). The amount spent during the 2006-2007 school year was $12465.75 the current figure is an increase of $2931.85 or 23%.

On March 25th we reported the per pupil spending vs CPI for the fiscal years ending in 1998 - 2007 we will update that chart with the latest figures as time permits.


Click on image to enlarge.
Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Please do not Forget the School Board Meeting Tonight.

School Board Meeting tonight at the Croydon School. Please attend and let your voice be heard.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Words from a Russian for you to read. Why this man can see it so clearly and so many American's can not is beyond my realm of understanding. The following article appears in Pravda. Please share this with all your friends and family.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

American capitalism gone with a whimper

It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their "right" to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our "democracy". Pride blind the foolish.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different "branches and denominations" were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the "winning" side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the "winning" side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America's short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?

These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more then a whimper to their masters.

Then came Barack Obama's command that GM's (General Motor) president step down from leadership of his company. That is correct, dear reader, in the land of "pure" free markets, the American president now has the power, the self given power, to fire CEOs and we can assume other employees of private companies, at will. Come hither, go dither, the centurion commands his minions.

So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a "bold" move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and UK's Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our "wise" Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride.

Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper...but a "freeman" whimper.

So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democratically controlled Congress of America is working on passing a new regulation that would give the American Treasury department the power to set "fair" maximum salaries, evaluate performance and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses? Senator Barney Franks, a social pervert basking in his homosexuality (of course, amongst the modern, enlightened American societal norm, as well as that of the general West, homosexuality is not only not a looked down upon life choice, but is often praised as a virtue) and his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort. He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive.

The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible. In other words, divest while there is still value left.

The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.

Megan McArdle on Politicians Who are Betraying Our Children

Hat Tip Educational Intelligence Agency.

Megan McArdle, economics blogger for Atlantic Monthly. "And that I think that there is probably a special place in hell reserved for politicians who betray our nation's most helpless children for the benefit of a sullen and recalcitrant teacher's union. There they spend all eternity explaining to their victims why they couldn't possibly have risked their precious babies' future in the public school system, yet felt perfectly free to fling other peoples' children into it by the thousands." (May 8 Assymetrical Information)

I have to say I agree with her and I also hope there is room for anyone who opposes educational freedom.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Educational Freedom is a Civil Rights Issue

The following article was sent to me by Bruno Behrend of Extreme Wisdom. Last year in a survey Croydon residents overwhelmingly supported school choice by a near 2 to 1 margin. Residents and nonresidents with clear conflicts of interest are actively trying to fight Croydon residents civil right to educational freedom and their desire to have school choice.

Croydon students are doing poorly on standardized tests, results revealed that 66.7% of students scored proficient or above in reading while 41.7% of the students scored proficient in mathematics. According to the most recent NECAP test results, 31%, 20%, and 78% of 11th grade Newport students scored in the "proficient" level in writing, mathematics, and reading respectively. Croydon School and Newport Schools are failing to educate our students this is a civil rights issue we must give parents a choice as to where to educate their children. We simply cannot force these children to stay in school systems that are failing to educate them. How these children are educated will affect them for the rest of their lives. If parents think that Newport and Croydon schools are so wonderful they will keep them in said schools but the school board should not hold parents hostage and force them to keep their children in a failing system.

The following article appears in the New York Times.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

The Harlem Miracle

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Published: May 7, 2009

The fight against poverty produces great programs but disappointing results. You go visit an inner-city school, job-training program or community youth center and you meet incredible people doing wonderful things. Then you look at the results from the serious evaluations and you find that these inspiring places are only producing incremental gains.

That’s why I was startled when I received an e-mail message from Roland Fryer, a meticulous Harvard economist. It included this sentence: “The attached study has changed my life as a scientist.”

Fryer and his colleague Will Dobbie have just finished a rigorous assessment of the charter schools operated by the Harlem Children’s Zone. They compared students in these schools to students in New York City as a whole and to comparable students who entered the lottery to get into the Harlem Children’s Zone schools, but weren’t selected.

They found that the Harlem Children’s Zone schools produced “enormous” gains. The typical student entered the charter middle school, Promise Academy, in sixth grade and scored in the 39th percentile among New York City students in math. By the eighth grade, the typical student in the school was in the 74th percentile. The typical student entered the school scoring in the 39th percentile in English Language Arts (verbal ability). By eighth grade, the typical student was in the 53rd percentile.

Forgive some academic jargon, but the most common education reform ideas — reducing class size, raising teacher pay, enrolling kids in Head Start — produce gains of about 0.1 or 0.2 or 0.3 standard deviations. If you study policy, those are the sorts of improvements you live with every day. Promise Academy produced gains of 1.3 and 1.4 standard deviations. That’s off the charts. In math, Promise Academy eliminated the achievement gap between its black students and the city average for white students.

Let me repeat that. It eliminated the black-white achievement gap. “The results changed my life as a researcher because I am no longer interested in marginal changes,” Fryer wrote in a subsequent e-mail. What Geoffrey Canada, Harlem Children’s Zone’s founder and president, has done is “the equivalent of curing cancer for these kids. It’s amazing. It should be celebrated. But it almost doesn’t matter if we stop there. We don’t have a way to replicate his cure, and we need one since so many of our kids are dying — literally and figuratively.”

These results are powerful evidence in a long-running debate. Some experts, mostly surrounding the education establishment, argue that schools alone can’t produce big changes. The problems are in society, and you have to work on broader issues like economic inequality. Reformers, on the other hand, have argued that school-based approaches can produce big results. The Harlem Children’s Zone results suggest the reformers are right. The Promise Academy does provide health and psychological services, but it helps kids who aren’t even involved in the other programs the organization offers.

To my mind, the results also vindicate an emerging model for low-income students. Over the past decade, dozens of charter and independent schools, like Promise Academy, have become no excuses schools. The basic theory is that middle-class kids enter adolescence with certain working models in their heads: what I can achieve; how to control impulses; how to work hard. Many kids from poorer, disorganized homes don’t have these internalized models. The schools create a disciplined, orderly and demanding counterculture to inculcate middle-class values.

To understand the culture in these schools, I’d recommend “Whatever It Takes,” a gripping account of Harlem Children’s Zone by my Times colleague Paul Tough, and “Sweating the Small Stuff,” a superb survey of these sorts of schools by David Whitman.

Basically, the no excuses schools pay meticulous attention to behavior and attitudes. They teach students how to look at the person who is talking, how to shake hands. These schools are academically rigorous and college-focused. Promise Academy students who are performing below grade level spent twice as much time in school as other students in New York City. Students who are performing at grade level spend 50 percent more time in school.

They also smash the normal bureaucratic strictures that bind leaders in regular schools. Promise Academy went through a tumultuous period as Canada searched for the right teachers. Nearly half of the teachers did not return for the 2005-2006 school year. A third didn’t return for the 2006-2007 year. Assessments are rigorous. Standardized tests are woven into the fabric of school life.

The approach works. Ever since welfare reform, we have had success with intrusive government programs that combine paternalistic leadership, sufficient funding and a ferocious commitment to traditional, middle-class values. We may have found a remedy for the achievement gap. Which city is going to take up the challenge? Omaha? Chicago?Yours?

"When you read the study I just referenced, you start to realize that busting the cap on charters is a moral imperative on the order of the civil rights movement. Let me take that one step further, to stand in the way of more charters is immoral, and it is time to start to calling into question the moral legitimacy of any politician standing in the way of rapid charterization." Bruno Behrend

Sunday, May 10, 2009

School Board Meeting This Wednesday

There is a school board meeting this Wednesday. It is important that people attend this meeting, let the school board know you are watching how they spend your tax dollars.

You have little control how the state and the federal government spends your money but you do have direct access and some control over how our school board spends our money.

With our President and Congress spending so recklessly don't let the school board get away with wasting one penny.

Today our national debt stands at about 11.2 trillion dollars, our national budget deficit stands at 625 billion dollars, over 13 million people are unemployed and these numbers are growing by the minutes. Control locally and vote out incumbents and any legislator who votes for deficit spending or adding more debt to our government.

I find nothing funny about how our government is recklessly spending and throwing massive debt upon our children and grandchildren so just what is President Obama smiling about in the picture?

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.