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Why does the GOP and the Tea Party want to abolish the Department of Education?

Under President George W. Bush, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) increased the Department of Education’s (DOE) budget from $46 Billion to $60 Billion (In 2012, the budget reached $68.1 Billion). For a comparison, under Bush, the Department of Defense (DOD) budget went from $308.9 Billion in 2001 to $729.6 Billion in 2008—an increase of $420.7 Billion compared to the $14 Billion increase for the DOE.

Meanwhile, in 2012, the federal deficit was $1.327 Trillion and the Interest on the debt was $224.8 Billion.

But the GOP wants to save money by abolishing the DOE while increasing the budget for the DOD. I’m confused because this makes no sense, and I wonder what the real reason is. What are they not telling us?

The NCLBA was enacted due to an act of Congress, and Congress represents the fifty states. The NCLBA gave the DOE more responsibilities to monitor public education in all fifty states.

When congress voted and authorized the NCLBA that gave the DOE more responsibility and more funding on May 23, 2001, the House of Representatives voted 384 – 45,  and the Senate voted 91 – 8 in favor of the act.

In 2001, the 107th Congress had a Senate that was split 50-50 and the House of Representatives had 221 Republicans to 212 Democrats.

In truth, it was an imperfect bill incapable of solving the challenges of public education in part because it put the blame and responsibility on the shoulders of teachers and none on parents and students.

In 2001, the Republican Party held majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate with a GOP president in the White House.

If you were to read the history of the DOE, you would discover it was created in 1867 to collect information on schools and teaching that would help the States establish effective school systems. Over the last 145 years, this goal of gathering information on what works in education continues. Source: ed.gov

In fact, in 1867, in the 40th Congress, the GOP held a vast majority in both Houses: 42 to 11 in the Senate and 143 to 49 in the House.

As you have now learned, the GOP, as the majority, created the DOE in 1867, and played a crucial role increasing its responsibility in 2001, so why has the Republican Party in recent years set a goal to abolish the DOE?

Think Progress.org reported, “As recently as 1996, the Republican Party platform declared, ‘The Federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved in school curricula or to control jobs in the market place. This is why we will abolish the Department of Education.’ … Now, a new wave of Republicans (along with many old hard-line conservatives) are trying to number its days once again.” …

“A comprehensive review of the voting records and statements of Republican incumbents and candidates finds that there are 111 GOPers (Republicans) who support shutting down the Department of Education,” Think Progress said.

Yet, in 145 years, the Supreme Court of the United States has never questioned the Constitutionality of the DOE and the mandate it was given by more than one act of Congress.

For a comparison, the federal government only had 2.8 million civilian employees in 2010 and 25.6% of federal civilian employees worked for the DOD while only about two tenths of one percent (0.17%) work for the DOE. In addition, the DOE’s share of the federal budget is 5%, while the DOD’s budget has increased to about 55% of the federal pie.

If the DOE were abolished, public education in the US would lose its eyes and ears, and abolishing the DOE would do nothing to stem the tide of the national debt. It would literally be a drop in the ocean.

In addition, public education in the US is often compared as inferior to Finland’s schools that are ranked as one of the best public educational systems in the world. Compared to the top thirty-three ranked countries for 2009, Finland was 2nd in Reading, 1st in Math, and 1st in Science. The US was ranked 33rd, 27th, and 22nd respectively.

If we want to learn something from Finland, it helps to know that in the Finnish Government, the Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for developing educational, science, sport and youth policies and international cooperation in these fields. The Ministry also allows the teachers’ union a role in decision making on duties, conditions of work, salary scales and instruction time. However, in the US, teachers are often not part of the decision making process and teachers’ unions are under constant attack and criticism.

It is obvious that as long as the US has fifty different educational systems each based on conflicting political and religious agendas, then the US educational system will never compete equally with countries such as Finland. If we are to compete with Finland, we must learn from what they do–not just compare rankings and blame our teachers and teachers’ unions.

Therefore, why are hard-line conservative types taking aim at the DOE in the US? (For example: think of the Tea Party that was founded and supported in large part by two of the four Koch brothers and the Wal-Mart, Walton family that has pushed hard for voucher schools. This list also includes fundamentalist, evangelical, born again Christians that want the schools to teach creationism instead of evolution and science.)

What is the political agenda of these factions of the Republican Party? Why do these factions in the GOP want to cripple and blind the public education system in the United States leaving it fractured in fifty different pieces? What will these hard-line conservatives and capitalists gain if they succeed?

The answer may be found, in part, from these facts: In the US, there are about 16,000 school districts and approximately 49 million students attending more than 98,000 public schools and 28,000 private schools. To pay for this, the fifty states raise (mostly through local and state taxes) and spend almost one trillion dollars annually for public and private funded education. The budget of the DOE represents about 6.8% of that total. The DOE is the guard dog that gathers information on education in all fifty states and reports to Congress and the president what it learns. If any states or school districts are found to be in violation of laws enacted by the Congress, then the President of the United States is duty bound by his or her oath of office to protect and defend those laws.

Discover the National Debt info-graphic by president 1945 – 2012

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

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What the Numbers say about Creating Jobs in America – Part 4/4

The first thing to learn is that the “tax cuts under President G. W. Bush did not spur investment.

“Job growth during the Bush years was one-seventh that of the Clinton years. Nixon and Ford did better than Bush on jobs. Wages fell during the last administration (Bush’s last four years in office). Average incomes fell. The number of Americans in poverty, as officially measured, hit a 16-year high last year of 43.6 million, though a National Academy of Sciences study says that the real poverty figure is closer to 51 million. Food banks are swamped. Foreclosure signs are everywhere. Americans and their governments are drowning in debt.” Source: Tax.com

Meanwhile, the GOP and their supporters such as conservative talk radio hosts like Dennis Prager continue to repeat the myth and the lie that increasing taxes on the wealthiest American will cause job losses in the United States.

To discover the truth, one must learn where the wealthiest Americans put their money.

Professor G. William Domhoff of UC Santa Cruz says, “In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2007, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers)… However, for purposes of studying the wealth distribution, economists define wealth in terms of marketable assets, such as real estate, stocks, and bonds.” Source: Who Rules America?

Since when did investments in real estate, stocks and bonds create jobs? To create a job, a product must be produced and people  must buy that product be it dinner at a local restaurant, clothing at a retail store such as Target or Costco, gasoline to fill a car’s tank, buying groceries so families may eat, buying laptops, iPads, flat screen TVs, DVDs, taking vacations, etc.

In fact, capital investment for new and improved products and services that creates jobs mostly comes from the profits of established businesses and large corporations with money to reinvest. Development money represented about 30% of the economy while 70% of the driving force of economic growth comes from consumer spending, which means when retired teachers spend their monthly check from retirement funds such as CalSTRS, they are supporting and creating jobs.

At 6:02 PM on February 26, 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau’s U.S. & World Population Clocks reported that the U.S. population was 313,087,369 people.

The wealthiest one percent of Americans equals 3.1 million people that control 34.6% of the nation’s privately held wealth, which is mostly invested in real estate, stocks and bonds. The next 19% (59.5 million people) has 50.5% of the wealth.  That leaves 250 million people with 15% of the wealth supporting most of the jobs in the United States.

After all, who buys more gasoline, drives more cars, eats more food, takes more medication, wears more clothes, uses more electricity and natural gas for heating and cooling homes, watches more TVs, uses more computers, logs onto the Internet in larger numbers, etc?

SELECT ONE ANSWER

A. The wealthy 1% equaling 3.1 million people

B. The next wealthiest 19% equaling 59.5 million people

C. The 250 million people earning and spending 15% of the total wealth in America

Remember, individuals and families do not become wealthy spending money on consumer items. Wealth is invested and saved and sits somewhere growing more wealth. Most jobs are created by people that spend money on consumer items.

The fact is that retired public and private sector workers do more to support and create jobs than the one percent of America’s wealthiest that gained the most tax breaks under President G. W. Bush and are still benefiting from those tax cuts.

Did you you know that there are more than 27 million small businesses in the US and that between 60 and 80% of all new jobs created in America can be attributed to small businesses. Source: Get Busy Media.com

However, where did the money come from to start those small businesses? It wasn’t from the wealthy with their money invested in real estate, stocks and bonds.

In fact, in an average ten-year period, 71% of small businesses fail (more than 50% fail in the first five years). Knowing that fact, do you believe the wealthy 1% will invest money in such risky ventures, which explains why the wealthy invests their money in real estate, stocks and bonds—not small businesses with a high risk of failure. Source: Small Biz Trends.com

In fact, Peter Delevett writing for Silicon Valley.com reported, “The trends suggest venture firms are increasingly shying away from companies in the “seed” stage of life. During the second quarter of 2010, for instance, the U.S. venture industry’s average seed investment was $6.8 million, according to the National Venture Capital Association. The following quarter, that number had fallen to $3.5 million.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says, “Job openings result from the relationship between the population, labor force, and demand for goods and services… In addition, changes in the demand for goods and services influence which industries expand or contract. Industries respond by hiring the workers necessary to produce goods and provide services.”

It is also worth noting “that President Obama and Democrats created more jobs in 2012 than George W. Bush did in his eight year reign of economic malfeasance.” Source: Politicus USA.com

Therefore, it is a myth, a lie, that keeping taxes low for the richest Americans creates jobs. Instead, those that have regular jobs and retired Americans are the ones that support and create jobs by spending most or all of what they earn.

In addition, according to seven recent experiments, “The ‘upper class,’ as defined by the study, were more likely to break the law while driving, take candy from children, lie in negotiation, cheat to increase their odds of winning a prize and endorse unethical behavior at work, researchers reported today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Source: Elizabeth Lopatto writing for Bloomberg

If these seven studies are true, why do we reward the wealthiest one to twenty percent with lower taxes when, at most, they only support 100,000 jobs, which is due to consumer spending—not job creation. In fact, the wealthy tend to hoard money while the rest of us spend it on food, clothing, gasoline, etc.

Return to What the Numbers say about Creating Jobs in America – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column.

 

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What the Numbers say about Creating Jobs in America – Part 2/4

It is a tragedy how fast most Americans forget the root causes of the current financial challenges in America.

Three lawmakers, all Republicans, introduced the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act to the U.S. Senate.  During the debate in the House or Representatives, a democrat from Michigan argued that the bill would result in banks becoming “too big to fail” (sound familiar). At first, most democrats were against the bill but eventually, due to compromises, the effort of corporate lobbyists and deal making, many democrats were won over to vote for it.

Keep in mind that the Republicans won a majority position in both houses of Congress in the elections of 1994, and controlled both houses until 2006—except the Senate for most of 2001 and 2002, when the Democrats held the majority in that one House of Congress.

Therefore, in 1999, Republicans were the majority in both houses of congress. When the final Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act passed in the Senate, the vote was 90 to 8 (92%) and in the House 362 to 57 (86.3%)

Even if President Clinton had wanted to veto it, which he didn’t, he wouldn’t have succeeded since a two-thirds majority vote (66%) in both Houses of Congress is required to override a presidential veto. Since the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act arrived at the White House for President Clinton to sign with more than a two-thirds majority vote in favor, there wasn’t much he could have done if he had wanted to.

Then, during the Bush years (2001 – 2009), the United States launched three expensive wars: The Iraq War—based on false claims of Weapons of Mass Destruction—the war in Afghanistan, which was mostly neglected under Bush, and the global war on terrorism.

Due to these wars and the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, the national debt exploded.

I’m sort of going off topic with this paragraph, but I saw “Act of Valor,” which is about the Navy Seals and the CIA fighting the global war on terror. I recommend “Act of Valor”. The acting may be a bit stiff but that is not the point. The realism makes this movie worth watching. This is no Rambo or Mission Impossible. “Act of Valor” is closer to the reality and what America’s Navy Seals face as they fight to protect America. Politicians and corporate lobbyists might be corrupt and greedy for power and money, but America’s men and women mostly from the working class serve in the military out of patriotism.

Back on topic—President G. W. Bush, with help from the GOP majority in both Houses of Congress, lowered taxes for the wealthiest Americans (the lowest rate in almost 80 years—the last time the rate was this low was before the Great Depression and experts say this contributed to that economic collapse).

On February 9, 2012, the official debt of the US government had reached $15.4 trillion—an increase of $5.9 trillion since President Obama moved into the White House. While the GOP blames Obama for that debt during an election year, we must not lose focus on how much Obama inherited when he was elected president.

According to the Huffington Post, lowering taxes for the wealthy costs the U.S. Treasure $11.6 million every hour.

Total, the cost of the Bush tax cut for the top 5% of income earners since 2001 is more than one trillion dollars, which is about $100 billion annually. Source: Cost of Tax Cuts.com

Interest from the national debt, which President Obama inherited from Presidents Reagan, H. W. Bush and G. W. Bush is about $400 billion annually. Source: US Debt Clock.org

On top of that $500 billion annually, the wars G. W. Bush started has cost more than $1.3 trillion since 2001—that’s another $130 billion. Source: Cost of War.com

However, the cost was more than just money. According to the Congressional Budget Office, since combat is being financed with borrowed money, the price tag for these wars is not over, and if Bush had not gone to war over false claims of weapons of mass destruction  in Iraq, 4,482 Americans would not have been killed; more than 32,000 would not have been wounded (medical care for these wounded combat veterans will costs hundreds of millions in the decades to come); about 114,000 Iraqi civilians would still be alive and Iraq has cost more than $800 billion so far.

In addition, CalSTRS probably would still be funded close to 100%, as it was in 2001, for future obligations to its 856,360 members, while the 429,600 active members paid about $3 billion dollars into the retirement fund in 2011—money taken from monthly paychecks of working educators.

Continued on March 1, 2012 in What the Numbers say about Creating Jobs in America – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column.

 

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The Finland-Singapore Solution to Public Education in the U.S. – Part 3/3

When it was discovered that the Whole Language approach to teaching reading failed, instead of admitting they were wrong, the idealists behind the theory blamed America’s public school teachers.

To punish those teachers, what followed was a movement for school choice designed to allow parents to select the school their children attends. Although voters have rejected this theory in many states, the fanatics behind this movement refuse to surrender.

The next debacle was when President G. W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act into law, which ignored reality while blaming teachers again for the failure of a theory that many teachers were against but were forced to implement.

The Singapore element to the solution of this educational fiasco in the United States may be found in Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind, which says, “Meritocracy is a basic political ideology and a fundamental principle in Singapore’s education system, which aims to identify and groom bright young students for positions of leadership. The system places a great emphasis on academic performance in grading students and granting their admission to special programmes and universities.

“As for discipline in Singapore’s schools, corporal punishment is legal (for male students only), and fully encouraged by the government in order to maintain strict discipline.”

In addition, Singapore has a law that makes it a criminal offense for parents of children that cut school.

To learn more of the details behind the success of Singapore’s public schools, I suggest you see SG Box.com’s post about Singapore Education.

Unless the United States is willing to trust teachers and implement some of what Finland and Singapore have done, education in the US will continue to flounder regardless of laws such as No Child Left behind or failed theories such as Whole Language.

However, implementing these changes will not be easy, because idealists are often fanatics that refuse to surrender.

One well know example of this type of idealistic movement is Al Qaeda—the fanatical Islamic terrorists responsible for 9/11.

The best way to deal with America’s fanatics is to remove the public schools from the political system and trust the teachers to do whatever it takes to teach America’s youth.

Return to The Finland-Singapore Solution to Public Education in the U.S. – Part 2 or start with Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Needs versus Education – What comes first? – Part 2/5

On August 8, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education posted a press release saying, Obama Administration Proceeds with Reform of No Child Left Behind Failing Congressional Inaction.

“With the new school year fast approaching and still no bill to reform the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind, the Obama administration will provide a process for states to seek relief from key provisions of the law, provided that they are willing to embrace education reform.

“The administration’s proposal for fixing NCLB calls for college-and career-ready standards, more great teachers and principals, robust use of data, and a more flexible and targeted accountability system based on measuring annual student growth.”

However, the causes of many students not achieving benchmarks set by the NCLB Act have not been recognized yet.  The last time the federal government attempted to address these problems was President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, which failed because you cannot engineer utopia, and it cannot be ordered into existence either.

 

In fact, Sheldon Danziger, a professor of public policy at the University of Michigan, says, “the poverty rate has remained steady since the 1970s and today, Americans have allowed poverty to fall off the national agenda.”

In fact, LBJ’s War on Poverty cost $6.6 trillion over a thirty-year period ($220 billion per year avg) and much of the effort was wasteful and corrupt.” Source: In These Times

What LBJ attempted to do with his War On Poverty was no different than what President G. W. Bush did when he signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act, which is another impossible attempt to engineer society, but this time the public school and teachers are being held responsible.

According to World Hunger.org, “36.3 million people (in the United States)—including 13 million children—live in households that experience hunger or the risk of hunger; some people in these households frequently skip meals or eat too little, sometimes going without food for a whole day and 9.6 million people, including 3 million children, live in these homes.”

Are America’s public school teachers supposed to feed these children too?

Continued on August 16, 2011, in Needs versus Education – What comes first? – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 

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Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 8/9

There are many reasons why “nonviolent civil disobedience” is acceptable when it comes to No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

One example is latchkey children. According to the U.S. Census, 15% were home alone before school, 76% after school and 9% at night. Presumably, the 9% have parents who work night shifts.

In fact, most homework is supposed to be done after school when 76% of children are often alone without proper adult supervision.

Without parental supervision, we have many American children that avoid homework, reading assignments and studying. Instead, many of these children spend more than 10 hours a day dividing the time watching TV, social networking on sites such as Facebook. playing video games, listening to music, or sending text messages to friends, etc.

And who is blamed when these children fail to meet NCLB benchmarks? public school teachers and their unions

Then there is poor nutrition, which affects a child’s ability to learn, and too much sugar consumption has been found to lower the immune system and affect short-term memory causing memory problems in addition to mood swings.  If a child’s memory is compromised, how is he or she supposed to do well on a standardized test or remember what teachers taught in US history, English, math and science?

And who is blamed when these children fail to meet NCLB benchmarks? public school teachers and their unions

Poverty also has a huge impact on a child’s ability to learn.

The National Center for Children in Poverty says nearly 15 million children in the United States – 21% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level – $22,050 a year for a family of four.

Combine poverty, latch key children, poor nutrition and sugar consumption, and the challenge become almost insurmountable. Even the greatest teachers and the best lessons may not be able to overcome all of these challenges.


Street Gangs South L.A. Bloods and Crips – Impact on Education

However, who is blamed when these children fail to meet NCLB benchmarks? public school teachers and their unions

Even in China, with its Confucian influenced culture and deep respect for teachers and education, poverty plays a role in children completing school or dropping out. The drop our rate in rural China often reaches 70%, where most of China’s poverty and/or lower incomes may be found. In India, the crushing 40% severe poverty rate has resulted in a country with about 40% illiteracy.

However, unlike the U.S., which makes scapegoats of its teachers and their labor unions, China is struggling to solve this challenge instead of looking for idealistic, Pollyanna solutions.

Then there is the 800,000 strong American street gang culture, which is very anti education. Street gangs in the US are into drugs and violence that influence the learning environment in US schools due to poor behavior and bad attitudes.

In 2001, the US Senate was split evenly between Democrats (50) and Republicans (50) and conservatives held a majority in the House of Representatives while G. W. Bush, a neoconservative, evangelical, born-again Christian President, ruled the country from the White House. Due to this alone, it is not surprising that NCLB became a law in 2001 that in 2010 identifies millions of teachers and more than 50 thousand public schools as failures, because public education was set up to fail due to the language of the NCLB Act.

Democrats voted for NCLB because they naively believed that teachers were capable of overcoming all of the challenges mentioned in this series, while it is obvious conservatives wanted to set the schools up for failure so private school vouchers would win support from the public.

That leads to the conclusion that shows why nonviolent civil disobedience, such as changing answers on standardized tests or helping students to select correct answers or refusing to cooperate with the federal government as several states have done, is an acceptable way to protest the poorly designed, misleading NCLB Act.

There is more than one historical precedent for civil disobedience for unreasonable and unrealistic laws such as NCLB, which will be revealed in Part 9.

Continued on August 8, 2011, in Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 9 or return to Part 7

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 6/9

The first sign of nonviolent “civil disobedience” was when the media reported teachers either changing answers on standardized tests or helping students select the correct answers to raise scores.

The reason for this “civil disobedience” is that the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Law set a goal of having 100 percent of students proficient (according to each state’s standards) in math and reading by 2014.

However, the teachers/educators that helped change answers are not alone in their nonviolent “civil disobedience”.

Another example, according to Christine Armario and Jessie L. Bonner of The Associated Press (July 2011), reported that three states plan to defy the No Child Left Behind benchmarks.

AP said, “Idaho will no longer raise the benchmarks that public schools have to meet under No Child Left Behind, nor will it punish the schools that do not meet these higher testing goals, said Tom Luna, the state’s superintendent of public schools.”

“Montana and South Dakota are also rejecting the latest No Child Left Behind targets,” AP said, “while Kentucky is seeking a waiver that would allow the state to use a different method to measure whether students are making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) under the program.

“And more states could follow in seeking relief from the federal requirements,” the AP reported.

Mr. Morally Correct (quoted in Part 1 of this series) wrote, “Every teacher working in a substandard school should have quit after discovering they could not educate students for whatever reason including the students’ refusal to learn.”

According to an April 28, 2011 report by the Center on Education Policy (CEP), 38% of U.S. public schools failed to make AYP in 2010. There are more than 132 thousand public schools in the US, which means 50,000 are failing according to the NCLB law. Since there are about 5 million teachers that means about 2 million should quit according to Mr. Morally Correct and abandon the students in their school that are meeting the goals of the NCLB Act since some students in every school make the effort to learn and keep up.

In addition, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies found that only 32 percent of the general population rates the NCLB law positively, which makes Mr. Morally Correct a member of the minority opinion with almost 70% of Americans disagreeing with him.

President George W. Bush brought us the NCLB Act when he signed it into law.  He also brought us the Iraq War based on false claims of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) hidden in Iraq.

American military casualties (physical wounds) number more than 33,000 with another 320,000 veterans with brain injuries in addition to several thousand killed in action.  Iraqi civilian deaths, which are difficult to track, range from estimates of 100,000 to more than a million depending on the source, and about 3.4 million have been displaced from their homes

Then there was the 2008 global financial crises President G. W. Bush brought the US, which is estimated to have cost $40 trillion in global losses ($20 trillion in the US) and tens of millions of lost jobs around the world (for example – 9 million in the US and 20 million in China).

President G. W. Bush also doubled the National Debt from about $5 trillion to more than $10 trillion.

Continued on August 6, 2011, in Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 7 or return to Part 5

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

Will the NCLB Act go down in history as President George W. Bush’s fourth major failure in judgement?

Continued on August 6, 2011, in Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 7 or return to Part 5

 

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