Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Very Funny, Funny of the Day

Hat tip Lennie Jarratt of the Sam Adams Alliance and Education Matters.

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

Woman in a Hot Air Balloon

A woman in a hot-air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

"She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be a Republican."

"I am," replied the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically
correct. But I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still
lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me."

The man smiled and responded, "You must be an Obama Democrat."

"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"

"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where you are going. You've risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now it's my fault."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Politics That Block Reform

The internet is a great source of education for drop-outs, others who are not challenged by public schools and homeschoolers. In the article below that appears in the Wall Street Journal, the author suggests that technology will liberate people from the grips of the teachers unions. I truly hope the author is correct, but under the current administration I do not know if it will be possible. I think the grip of the teacher unions will get tighter and stronger unless America wakes-up. We have a President and Congress plowing head strong into liberal fascism and socialism. Let us hope the author in the article below is correct and I am wrong. Wake-up America!

Even here in little old Croydon we have school board members pandering to the teachers rather than representing the voters and taxpayers that elected them to their seats.

The following piece appears at Wall Street

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

The Cyber Way to Knowledge
Since labor costs keep rising, school districts will naturally turn to technology as a way to get more for less.


Every three years, the Program for International Student Assessment ranks the education levels of 15-year-olds around the world. The most recent test, in 2006, brought back results from 30 industrialized nations that were hardly inspiring for U.S. teachers and parents. American students' science scores lagged behind those of their counterparts in 20 countries, including Finland, Japan, Germany and Belgium. The numbers from the math test were even worse: The U.S. came in 25th. The "rising tide of mediocrity" in American schools -- famously so described in 1983 by a government report called "A Nation at Risk" -- would now appear to be about chin-high.

In response to "A Nation at Risk," Terry Moe and John Chubb in 1990 published "Politics, Markets and America's Schools," which identified special-interest groups -- mainly teachers unions -- as the culprits in preventing the reforms urged in the report. Now Messrs. Moe and Chubb have returned to the subject with "Liberating Learning," a more optimistic sequel. The authors believe there exists a magic bullet that is capable of shattering the unions' political power and, at last, bringing the sort of reform and excellence to U.S. K-12 education that might make U.S. students competitive with Finnish teenagers. The ammunition? Technology.

Mr. Moe is an academic researcher at the Hoover Institution; Mr. Chubb, an executive with Chris Whittle's for-profit education venture, Edison Learning. They think that technology -- particularly online education -- holds two potentially dramatic benefits. One is simply a general improvement in education as students from "anywhere -- poor inner cities, remote rural areas, even at home" gain access to high-caliber instruction. More important, the authors say, is technology's ability to destroy the political barriers that prevent education reform.

Despite much public rhetoric about the urgent need to improve American education, despite the investment of billions of dollars in schools, little progress has been achieved. Why? Messrs. Moe and Chubb blame the "politics of blocking" -- the thwarting of such simple reforms as paying teachers for performance. Many states prohibit even gathering data that link individual teachers to the test scores of their students.

Liberating Learning
By Terry M. Moe and John E. Chubb
(Jossey-Bass, 214 pages, $24.95)

Technology, the authors say, may enable the circumvention of political blocking. They make their point forcefully, with copious and surprising examples. In 1995, for instance, Midland, Pa., a declining steel town on the Ohio border, launched the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. Today the online school serves 8,000 students throughout the state. And the classes aren't just digital correspondence courses -- there are textbooks and live educators, including "synchronous teachers," who work with students through instant messaging, voice and interactive whiteboards while the kids are engaged with their lessons online. Advisers are required to communicate with students' families at least once a week by email and once every two weeks by phone.

As for results, even though the school's demographics are average or even below average, Cyber was rated as having made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in No Child Left Behind, hitting all 21 educational targets. By contrast, barely half of Pennsylvania's bricks-and-mortar schools received the AYP rating. On SAT tests, Cyber students scored 97 points higher than the state average.

Messrs. Moe and Chubb report that there are 190 cyber charter schools today in 25 states, up from 57 such schools in 13 states in 2002-03. Many of the new cyber charters are managed by two for-profit companies, K12 and Connections Academy. Meanwhile, some students in traditional schools are taking individual courses online, and companies such as Educomp, based in India, are tutoring U.S. students after school hours.

Teachers unions, of course, are appalled. They know that "the new computer-based approaches to learning simply require far fewer teachers per student -- perhaps half as many, and possibly fewer than that," Messrs. Moe and Chubb write. Online charter schools employ two or three teachers per 100 students; the average public school employs 6.8 per 100. Technology also disperses teachers geographically (making them elusive for union organizers); lets in private-sector players who aren't members of the guild; and enables outsourcing to foreign countries. For unions, technology is poison.

Despite encouraging signs for online education, "blocking" tactics have so far largely succeeded. Technology's inroads into K-12 education are "small and difficult to notice," the authors acknowledge. But they predict that an onslaught is coming. One reason: the pile of data being collected because of the accountability-in-education movement, codified by No Child Left Behind. "Better information is destined to change politics," Messrs. Moe and Chubb say. "Above all, it puts a spotlight on schools and districts that are performing poorly."

The authors also believe that, by allowing the door to be cracked open with online schools, the unions won't be able to shut it. With the encouragement of students' parents, millions of children will rush in, overcoming current union-imposed enrollment caps. Since labor costs keep rising, school districts, hard-pressed for funds, will naturally turn to technology as a way to get more for less. Mostly, though, Messrs. Moe and Chubb are determinists who believe that the political problem will be solved because it has to be. They make a good case, but hardly an air-tight one. "Technology," they write, "is transforming nearly every aspect of American social life, and will keep transforming it in the decades ahead."

True, but what drives the adoption of technology is the appeal of improved productivity. Since politicians ultimately control schools, the question is whether the promise of improved student productivity can overcome another powerful incentive for office-holders: the election-time productivity of unions that help politicians get into office and stay there.

Mr. Glassman, former under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, is president of World Growth, a nonprofit economic development organization.
Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A15

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Representation That America Needs

The following piece was sent to Glenn Beck and read on the air. This woman's sentiments so strongly expressed how I feel about the current state of our Country that I wanted to share it with my readers. Please share it with friends and family and send a copy to your representatives.

I thought this was written by a man but it was written by a 53 year old woman who was a democrat up until the last election. Corrected at 6:52 p.m.
Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Well, these are briefly my views and issues for which I seek representation:

One, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I'm not a racist. This isn't to be confused with legal immigration.

Two, the TARP bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.

Three: Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.

Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.

Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don't you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!

Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations. Why don't you start there.

Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census over with our taxpayer money. I don't trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.

Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why ‑‑ what do you have against shareholders making a profit?

Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.

Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Sink or swim like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead, we'll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. Have you ever ripped off a Band‑Aid? We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.

Eleven, transparency and accountability. How about it? No, really, how about it? Let's have it. Let's say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please try ‑‑ please stop manipulating and trying to appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me.

Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now.

Take a breath. Listen to the people. Let's just slow down and get some input from some nonpoliticians on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed reading our bills into law. I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I'm busy. I'm busy. I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.

I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course. What happened? You are very far off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not. It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance. Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you should expect that I should trust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot. There is such urgency and recklessness in all of the recent spending.

From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us. We want our voice back. You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on you to bring our concerns to Washington. Our president often knows all the right buzzword is unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don't want your overpriced words. Stop treating us like we're morons.

We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are coming. We will be heard and we will be represented. You think we're so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work , pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone and we are now looking up at you. You have awakened us, the patriotic spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office. We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn't ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us when he will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.

Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don't care. Political parties are meaningless to us. Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution and that is all that matters to us now. We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back. We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired. Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them. Because we will get you fired and they will not save you. If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are. If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one by one. We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent? Listen. Because we are coming. We the people are coming.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Global Warming? - No!

We have no power over the sun. Global warming? - No Climate Change? - No Fewer sun spots on the sun this year? Yes! We can not control the environment the earth has been going through periods of heating and cooling for billions of years long before man came along. Stop drinking the Al Gore kool aid mix. June 15th in NJ? - Yes!

Please stop teaching junk science to America's children in public schools.


Teachers Are Not Suffering During This Economic Downtown

These are your tax dollars being used against you folks. Sure is a heck of a lot of money not being used in classrooms. The following information was sent to me via the Education Intelligence Agency.

"The budget was put together prior to reaching a tentative contract with NEA's staff union, but it already provided for salary/benefit expenditures of more than $118 million for a staff of 555.

The proposed 2009-10 NEA budget forecasts $355.8 million in revenue, an increase of $10 million over this year. The headlines warn us of massive teacher layoffs across the nation, but NEA modified its projection of new teacher members upward. Originally expecting an increase of 5,000 new teacher members for 2009-10, the latest proposed budget now predicts 7,000 new teacher members.

Nevertheless, virtually every NEA program will receive more funding, and spending on salaries and benefits for employees will increase 7.7%, even though the union is funding five fewer positions than in 2008-09."

Read more about it at the Education Intelligence Agency.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Tea Party

What: Festival
Host: New Hampshire Liberty Alliance
Start Time: Wednesday, June 24 at 12:00pm
End Time: Wednesday, June 24 at 2:00pm
Where: State House Concord

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Will President Obama Nationalize Public Education?

What would happen to our little red schoolhouse if President Obama nationalizes public education? My guess is we would be forced into Newport or another school district? Anyone else want to venture a guess? What teeny tiny local control we had would be gone in a flash and the cost of public education in America will skyrocket.

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

The following article appears on American

Nationalizing Public Education Comes After Health Care
By Lee Cary

After Congress passes a national health care plan, nationalizing public education will be next.

John Naisbitt, author of Megatrends (1988), said something to the effect that Ronald Reagan wasn't leading the (conservative) parade; he was riding the horse that was leading the parade.

Barack Obama is leading the progressive parade, and his wagon is hitched to a team of horses that includes a compliant Democrat Congress, well-funded liberal think tanks, a shill media, and the collective mindset of a progressive movement active since the early 20th Century.

The Great Depression chaos gave FDR the opportunity to dramatically alter the nation's socio-political landscape. Likewise, the implosion of the credit market in 2008 gave the Obama administration the chaos needed to cram down its progressive initiatives with breathtaking speed.

The Republicans have neither the votes nor the collective will to turn back the tide of Obama-style change that represents a mix of socialist and fascist economic policies not new to the planet, but new in their current intensity in America. The Democrats are playing hardball; the Republicans are lobbing mush pounders.

Though not yet in great numbers, some who voted for Obama are now being heard to say that they didn't vote for what's happening. Those confessions illustrate their failure to do due diligence on the candidate of their choice. His intentions were clearly laid out in his campaign documents and in many of his non-primetime speeches.

Click on the this link to read the full story.