An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
Archive for 5 April 2012
Smart Girl Politics! Don’t let the feminazis dominate the ‘conversation’!
There are more of us than there are of them! Our voice is just as important, if not MORE so, than theirs!
Color me SHOCKED! /snark
Beware the Taxmageddon
Brace yourself. In a mere 271 days, you and your fellow Americans will be hit with a tax hike the likes of which this country has never seen. The Washington Post aptly called the unprecedented $494 billion tax hike “Taxmageddon,” and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke described it as a “massive fiscal cliff.” Whatever your preferred imagery, it’s a really big deal.
Despite all the warnings, President Barack Obama has kept his silence while Congress has made no apparent effort to prevent this impending calamity to families and the economy. The prevailing wisdom is that “something will get done” in a lame duck session of Congress after the election. But why wait? And why after the election?
Here’s why you should be worried. For starters, remember that this is the same President who in 2009 promised, “if your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime.” That’s a vow he’s broken, and in 2013, things are going to get even worse if this year Obama doesn’t lead and Congress doesn’t act. Katy, bar the door, there’s big trouble in store.
The CFR’s “task force” has announced that the failure of tax-funded K-12 education is the #1 threat to America’s position in the world.
The United States’ failure to educate its students leaves them unprepared to compete and threatens the country’s ability to thrive in a global economy and maintain its leadership role, finds a new Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)–sponsored Independent Task Force report on U.S. Education Reform and National Security.
“Educational failure puts the United States’ future economic prosperity, global position, and physical safety at risk,” warns the Task Force, chaired by Joel I. Klein, former head of New York City public schools, and Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. secretary of state. The country “will not be able to keep pace—much less lead—globally unless it moves to fix the problems it has allowed to fester for too long,” argues the Task Force.
The report notes that while the United States invests more in K-12 public education than many other developed countries, its students are ill prepared to compete with their global peers. According to the results of the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), an international assessment that measures the performance of 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics, and science every three years, U.S. students rank fourteenth in reading, twenty-fifth in math, and seventeenth in science compared to students in other industrialized countries.
This sounds bad. It is bad. The problem is, all this has been known for years. Nothing changes except cost per student, which rises. Reform after reform is proposed. A few are begun. The performance of the students falls. The cost per student rises.
I’m going to HAVE to slip in a “WE TOLD YOU SO!” here. What those on the right have known for years, has been confirmed over and over. This report is just one more confirmation! The cost of education continues to skyrocket, yet the quality continues to plummet. There is no one answer, but there is a BIG one at the forefront!
Here are some data on student performance.
- More than 25 percent of students fail to graduate from high school in four years; for African-American and Hispanic students, this number is approaching 40 percent.
- In civics, only a quarter of U.S. students are proficient or better on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
- Although the United States is a nation of immigrants, roughly eight in ten Americans speak only English and a decreasing number of schools are teaching foreign languages.
- A recent report by ACT, the not-for-profit testing organization, found that only 22 percent of U.S. high school students met “college ready” standards in all of their core subjects; these figures are even lower for African-American and Hispanic students.
- The College Board reported that even among college-bound seniors, only 43 percent met college-ready standards, meaning that more college students need to take remedial courses.
These are national over all averages. Of course, there are some schools, school districts, that exceed expectations, but those are becoming fewer and farther between. Do you ever ask yourself why? I did, many years ago, and after some majoy reading, investigating on my own, I figured it out. Those school districts that are at the bottom, and usually wholly ‘owned’ by the unions. Yet, in those same districts, taxes keep rising due to the cost of ‘education’. It’s not the education of the student that is so expensive these days….it’s the cost of putting a union hack teacher in the classroom. You aren’t paying for books, desks, needed supplies for your kids. No, you are paying for fat benefit packages, the type of package that will continue to pay the so called ‘teacher’ until the day he, or she, dies.