I am sitting in a comfortable gold folding chair inside one of the many ballrooms at the Georgia International Convention Center. The atmosphere is festive, with a three-course dinner being served and children playing a big-band number. The kids are students at a KIPP academy in Atlanta, and they are serenading future teachers on the first night of a four-day-long series of workshops that will introduce us to the complicated language, rituals, and doctrines we will need to adopt as Teach for America "Corps Members." The phrase closing the achievement gap is the cornerstone of TFA´s general philosophy, public-relations messaging,
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Re: Education in America TFA et al. The article was heart rending. But, the comments at the end of it were all so explanatory. Segregation, victimhood, the "hood", self justified cheating, bureaucracy, failed society, justification of violence - there is no program that can ever fix that. Not ever!
I went to an elementary school that was diverse in all ways. Our school was in an older part of town that encompassed an area of mansions and blue collar working neighborhoods. So, we were all thrown in together and got the exact same education.
The kids from the wealthier area did better, but I´m not convinced it´s because they had more money. Let´s be realistic, if you are the child of someone who´s wealthy they either made that money or inherited it from someone else. Which means that there was some genetic intelligence involved. Most of the wealthier kids in my school had parents who were doctors, lawyers, or professors so their parents were also geared towards education.
Kids from the blue collar neighborhood were more likely to have grown up with parents who weren´t as intelligent, and who did not care as much about getting an education. There were exceptions, of course, but as a rule they were more likely to be C students than A students.
I believe that success in school beyond the basics, (all kids should be able to read, write and do basic math), is predicated on the level of innate intelligence, along with a determination to succeed. Race shouldn´t matter, but parental involvement definitely does. However, when it comes right down to it, the genetic component is paramount. If you have a low IQ, the best schools and involved parents can only get you so far. Not everyone is capable of being a rocket scientist.
I think the major problem with public education (in the U.S.), overall, is lack of parental involvement. There is nothing about a public school that requires any involvement by the parents. At most, involvement requires the parents to occasionally sign a few slips of paper and make sure that junior gets out the door before the bus leaves. The school will give them breakfast, lunch and a snack and deposit him back at the corner at 3:45 in the afternoon. What we need to at least try is a full "voucherized" system. Each school-age child in the State would have a voucher which would pay for his education at the school of his parents´ choice. There would be no default assignments. The parents would have to choose which school(s) their children would attend. Parents would get upset if their child could not attend their school of choice. (Watch "Waiting for Superman" to see this in reality.) Schools that fail to recruit and retain pupils would fail and their campuses would be taken over by more successful schools, providing more access to better education.
Another dirty little secret is that TFA´s college campus recruiters are just that, recruiters. They have never taught in the program and they have no earthly idea what it is really like to be a middle class white 22-year-old standing in front of a bunch of thugs, pregnant teenagers, and illegal immigrants in a failing inner city school. TFA also keeps detailed files on all of its corps members so they can have things to throw at them when they complain or question anything. If you go to the media, they launch into character assassination mode. It´s like a cult.
Muncsbrother-in-law did TFA several years ago and he was a great teacher. Of course, 99.9% of his students wanted to grow up to be rappers, have rappers babies, or play in the NBA. Non- TFA teachers and administrators went out of their way to make his job more difficult because TFA teachers consistently out scored them and made them look bad. I worried constantly that some gang member was going to attack him at school, accuse him of some crime he didn´t commit just to ruin our lives for fun, or rob our house. He is no longer a teacher, thank goodness, and I hope we can figure out a way to afford Catholic school.
When I was in high school, I joined the ROTC initially because I was attracted to the uniforms. I figured they would provide an opportunity to escape the constant berating by fellow students owing to my outdated clothing. I was fascinated with the guns and became an excellent marksman, winning several marksmanship awards. I also led a drill team, which was very advanced with the art of disassembling and reassembling military rifles in record time. I advanced through the ranks, eventually becoming the city’s ROTC executive officer and was offered a scholarship to West Point. I gained great respect for
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -Officials at Shaw Air Force Base are trying to determine what to do about a holiday display after a Nativity scene was taken down last week. Air Force spokeswoman Lt. Keavy Rake said Tuesday a Nativity display was set up Friday by a group of volunteers from the base chapel at a small lake on the installation. The site was near where a tree lighting ceremony was scheduled Friday evening. Rake says the Military Religious Freedom Foundation lodged a complaint about the display through the Air Force in Washington. Paul Loebe, spokesman for the foundation, said
Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate will not extend current farm law if Congress can´t agree on a new farm bill before adjourning next week. House leaders have reserved space on their agenda this week for extending the current law until the end of January. Lawmakers fear that milk prices might rise sharply if dairy subsidies expire Jan. 1. The House and Senate have passed separate versions, but with widespread differences over crop subsidies and how much to cut food stamps. House Speaker John Boehner said last week that the House should extend the current law while negotiators seek
WASHINGTON — Majority Democrats in the Senate won approval Tuesday for one of President Barack Obama´s key judicial nominees, the first of his picks to win confirmation since they weakened the chamber´s filibuster rules. Senators voted 56-38 to approve Washington lawyer Patricia Millett to join the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the nation´s second most powerful court. Both sides saw Millett´s appointment as pivotal. It will give Democratic-appointed judges a 5-4 majority over those chosen by Republican presidents for that court, which rules on the legality of White House actions and federal agency regulations. Obama praised
In response to Dylan Byers: MSNBC Is Everything the Left Accuses Fox News of Being: The Byers criticism of MSNBC was interesting and significant because it exists at all, but he´s still praising them with faint damn. He goes out of his way to drag Fox down to their level over and over again; he´s willing to concede that MSNBC might be as bad as Fox, when to any objective observer, there is simply no comparison. MSNBC is a gutter-dwelling performance-art interpretation of a shrieking-loon far left website, not a news channel with a high percentage of left-leaning opinion.
Environmental Protection Agency employees received light punishments for “employee integrity” violations and avoided prosecution when crimes allegedly occurred, according to the agency’s inspector general. The IG revealed a list of employee integrity violations that included assault, illegal possession of a weapon, and efforts to solicit improper personal payments from agency contractors, among other violations. Many received light punishments for the offenses, including ethics counseling, short leaves of absence, and informal discussions with supervisors. One employee was sentenced to 18 months of probation for attempting to carry a knife, stashed in one of his shoes, onto a plane. Despite the criminal prosecution, the
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is spending an additional $55 million to “bolster” the healthcare workforce, as Obamacare contributes to shortages in the industry. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced last week that her agency will provide over 270 grants “from diversity to dentistry” to address worker shortages in the healthcare industry. The funding includes $45.4 million to support the nursing workforce, $5.2 million of which will go towards “improving nursing diversity.” The grants also provide $2.4 million for training of doctoral-level psychologists to “address the behavioral health needs of vulnerable and underserved populations,” and $3 million to support
Office Depot said Tuesday it has chosen Boca Raton, Fla. for its new headquarters over Naperville. Office Depot completed its merger with Naperville-based OfficeMax last month, but the pair hadn´t yet announced where the combined company would be based. The companies asked for tax breaks from both states. Illinois lawmakers adjourned last week before making a decision. Last month, the company named Roland Smith, the former head of the U.S. unit of supermarkets operator Delhaize Group, as its new CEO, hoping to tap into his turnaround and integration background. The company said the evaluation of its headquarters selection was based
The most influential think tank in Washington is getting a new address: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Metaphorically speaking, of course. But The Center for American Progress has so many contributors, fellows, and staffers who already work there they may as well make it offical and change the address on their business cards. This is especially true now that the founder and chairman of the board of CAP, John Podesta, is going to work for Obama. New York Times: President Obama, after a rocky year that leaves him at the lowest ebb of his presidency, is bringing into his White House circle the longtime
WASHINGTON- Democratic Representative Mel Watt´s nomination to lead the agency that regulates taxpayer-owned mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac cleared a procedural hurdle in the U.S. Senate, putting it on course for final approval likely later on Tuesday. President Barack Obama nominated Watt in May to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, but Republicans had blocked a final vote. Last month, however, Senate Democrats changed the rules to allow nominees like Watt to overcome filibusters with a simple majority in the 100-seat chamber. Previously, it took 60 votes.
The generous mystery tipper who has been leaving waiters and waitresses across the country thousands of dollars in "Tips for Jesus" — and stamped with the @tipsforjesus handle — was identified by a New York City waiter as Jack Selby, former PayPal vice president. Aruj Dhawan, a waiter at Bo´s Kitchen, told the New York Post that Selby and two other patrons gave him a $1,000 tip on a $111.05 bill. "As I was about to drop the check off, one of the men said they would ‘make my night.’ They called me over, gave me the check," Dhawan told
General Motors GM -0.22% CEO Dan Akerson and the GM board have selected product chief Mary Barra to succeed him, the company said today, and Akerson is retiring in January. The move will make 33-year GM veteran Barra the first woman to lead a global automaker. Arguably, it will make her the highest-profile female CEO in the world. It also set in motion a cascade of other management changes in the biggest re-set of the automaker’s leadership since the 2009 U.S.-government bailout. But all the moves were internal. Akerson accelerated the timing of his exit by several months because of
On his way to the podium at the memorial ceremony for former South African president Nelson Mandela, President Obama walked down the line of dignitaries, greeting other leaders there to pay their respects. Among the hands shaken: that of Cuban leader Raul Castro. Obama neither made a special effort to shake Castro’s hand nor to avoid him. A snub might have been awkward: In his speech, Obama praised Mandela’s “greatest gift” as “his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that can be invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by
The Obama State Department has finally released a second round of photos revealing the harrowing devastation wrought by a terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012. The new photographs depict rampant damage to the consulate. They show charred walls, smoldering fires, Arabic graffiti defacing exterior walls, and scattered debris throughout. The extent of the damage would lead any reasonably serious person to conclude that this was a cold, calculated attack, carefully coordinated to mark the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. Unfortunately for the American people, the Obama-Clinton-Rice cabal that led to the Benghazi cover-up was
A black fashion student says he was brutally attacked by a gang of Hasidic men who shouted anti-gay slurs at him while he was walking through Williamsburg after a night of partying, the Daily News has learned. Taj Patterson, 22, was headed home to Fort Greene around 4:30 a.m. on Dec. 1 when he says more than a dozen ultra-Orthodox Jewish men began assaulting him on Flushing Ave. and yelling, “Stay down, f----t!”
A “presidential selfie” featuring President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service began making the rounds this morning, but it’s the person not included in the frame who caught everyone’s attention: As anyone with two eyes and a Twitter account has noticed, Michelle Obama does not appear amused. Of course, though a picture says a thousand words, not all of those words are necessarily true. FLOTUS might not have even known the photo was taking place. Or she could disapprove of funeral selfies. Either way.
Just how much do many Hollywood liberals hate conservatives? In an interview with Playboy, Ben Affleck said, "When I watch a guy [on film] I know is a big Republican, part of me thinks, I probably wouldn’t like this person if I met him": PLAYBOY: You developed a political profile campaigning for presidential candidates Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama. How did that come about? AFFLECK: I grew up in a house with a mother who was a teacher and a Freedom Rider—very left-wing Democrats living in a heterogeneous working-class neighborhood. I picked up a lot of those values there, and I
MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry opened her program over the weekend with a commentary about the Affordable Care Act’s colloquial moniker: “Obamacare.” She said that the word was originally created as a “derogatory term,” designed by white men as a way to delegitimize President Barack Obama and his achievement. However, she said that the term will soon be synonymous with all of Obama’s accomplishments and she urged her audience to use the term with pride. “I want to talk today about a controversial word. It’s a word that has been with us for years, and like it or not, it’s indelibly
Barack Obama has arrived in South Africa to lead the American delegation at a memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg. But his party is reportedly stuck in traffic and he is said to have arrived late at the stadium for the ceremony. [Snip] But Mr Clinton, Mr Carter and his wife Rosalynn have all traveled separately to the event. According to reports, Mr Obama and his delegation are stuck in a lines of traffic caused by tens of thousands of people making their way to the event. Mr Obama is among the foreign leaders who
President Obama, former president George W. Bush and their wives departed Washington Monday morning on Air Force One on their way to a memorial service in South Africa for Nelson Mandela. The president and first lady Michelle Obama are being accompanied by Mr. Bush, former first lady Laura Bush and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on the flight to Johannesburg. A four-hour memorial service will be held on Tuesday for South Africa’s first black president. Mr. Mandela, the anti-apartheid revolutionary, died on Thursday at age 95. Former President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea are traveling separately to South Africa. Former President
President Obama will make remarks on Nelson Mandela´s legacy during a memorial service Tuesday for the late South African freedom fighter, officials said Monday. "We do expect President Obama to speak as part of the program," said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications. The president and first lady Michelle Obama departed Monday for Johannesburg, where a Mandela memorial service will be held in a soccer stadium. Obama, who will also spend time with the Mandela family, is not scheduled to hold any bilateral meetings with foreign leaders while in South Africa, Rhodes said. Rhodes also said the
All three networks on Monday morning highlighted the appearance of the Obamas at the Kennedy Center Honors, but only ABC fawned over "fashion win" of First Lady. Lara Spencer enthused that " one of the stars of the show was Michelle Obama." An excited Spencer explained that Mrs. Obama looked "absolutely ravishing in a flowing teal gown as she accompanied President Obama." The co-host declared, "Another big fashion win for the First Lady. CBS This Morning offered a full report on the various performers who were honored, but co-anchor Charlie Rose avoided ABC´s superlatives.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell believes the United States should have a socialized, single-payer healthcare system similar to those in Canada and Europe. “I think universal health care is one of the things we should really be focused on, and I hope that will happen,” Powell reportedly said last week. “Whether it’s Obamacare, or son of Obamacare, I don’t care. As long as we get it done.” The Puget Sound Business Journal reported Powell´s remarks at the Prostate Cancer Survivors Celebration Breakfast at the University of Washington´s Cancer Research Center. Powell, the Republican who supported Barack Obama during the last two presidential
Say goodbye to the 60-watt incandescent bulb. This year manufacturers started phasing out 100w and 75w bulbs. On January 1 it will become illegal to import or manufacture traditional 60w and 40w bulbs too. Time to stock up? Not so fast. First, check out Cree’s energy-sipping new 75-watt replacement bulb. I used to be outraged over the federal government’s draconian moves to outlaw traditional lightbulbs. For 100 years we’ve lived and thrived under the warm glow of incandescent lightbulbs. Aside from the fact that 90% of the electricity used by the bulbs is radiated in the form of heat rather than