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Read a Post for Sarah Palin and the Assault on Merit
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lack of merit

Posted By: Susan Williams on September 30, 2008
Have you ever read what our founding fathers wrote? Do the Federalist Papers ring a bell? I've read a lot of their essays, personal letters, newspaper columns . . . they were great writers! They had huge vocabularies and the grammar skills to handle complicated thoughts. Their language skills were far beyond what it takes to spout today's "sound bites" and memes, like Obama does constantly. They could analyze and rebut the opinions of others, and express their own very persuasively. They were very well-educated, well-reasoned people. And because their disciplined minds could parse through ideas so well, they avoided the confusion and error that less-disciplined minds fall prey to, and so they were able to come up with our fabulous system of government based on law. I'm sure they're spinning in their graves over the decline in writing and thinking skills today, and how our inability to think and communicate clearly and correctly is endangering our country on every front.

And guess what? Most of them were homeschooled. Yeah, Baby: think about it.

W: well, he went to Harvard and Yale and is said to have a genius-level IQ and a photographic memory. I admire him and always have. I'm never for fighting wars in other countries when we technically weren't invaded, although the 9/11 situation was close to that, but I still get the shivers remembering Saddam Hussein feeding guys who bad-mouthed him to the DOGS and stuff like that. Of COURSE America had to get rid of him. What if we would have gotten rid of Hitler a decade before we finally did? How many tens of millions of people would've been saved? I have quite a few friends who have fought for us over in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, and they all say we were right to go over there.

Obama and education: he would destroy our public schools because he believes in more spending and more government, while the evidence is clear that more spending and more government are the very things that are making our students LESS literate and LESS numerate. Case in point: study what happened to inner-city Kansas City schools after a judge ordered an extra billion be spent on them: they actually got WORSE and lost their accreditation. That's what would happen to our already beleaguered urban schools. There would be an enormous exodus out of public schools in all quarters to avoid the social engineering and dumbing down of Obama's union-backed policies, which are basically to spend, spend, spend and regulate, regulate, regulate.

Example: Obama blasted McCain for voting against that federal bill in '01 that would have paid for 100,000 new teachers, as if McCain was a cheapo who wanted to short-change our short-handed schools. HAH! Our schools are hardly short-handed: classroom teachers make up just one-third of the employee list of our local grade school. It's the non-teaching, non-classroom employee and all those non-teaching, non-classroom expenses -- which Obama wants to INCREASE, not CUT -- that are causing the horrendous increases in school spending.

Actually, McCain's position protected the teaching profession a lot better than Obama's on that issue. Those 100,000 new teachers would have been less qualified and less experienced than the ones we had in place, who are struggling enough as it is. So having all those new teachers would dragged down the public's perception of teacher value and cost-effectiveness, diminishing the chances for pay increases for all teachers. Remember, a rising tide lifts all boats, and if you lower the tide, everybody sinks lower. Even worse, having all those additional federally-funded teachers in our schools would have increased the federal government's control of local classrooms, further undermining the authority of locally-elected school boards.

Obama's position is the same as the union's -- they claim that more spending will bring more educational quality. But that is patently false. In the last 50 years, the number of American pupils has increased by 50% -- but the number of teachers has increased by 300% and school spending is also up by 300%, after adjusting for inflation. We don't need smaller class sizes and still more mediocre teachers who aren't paid very well because there are so many of them. That's going the opposite way in cost-effectiveness that we need to go. We can have big classes and actually cut spending, especially on special ed, which is crammed with kids with reading disabilities that they weren't born with, but which were imposed on them by mediocre teachers using costly but ineffective teaching methods and curricula. What we need are really good teachers with good communication skills (reading, writing and math competence as measured by pre-employment standardized tests!) who are paid whatever the local school boards want to pay them. I want to see the freedom for a school board to pay a fantastic high-school physics teacher twice as much as a so-so kindergarten teacher, if they think that's best for their district. Since Obama is so pro-union, there's no way that would happen in an Obama administration. But McCain stands much more for educational opportunity and freedom, and his policies give me much more hope for improvement for kids.

Just as another example of Obama's horrible education policies, he is for free government preschool for all -- which ruined the Soviet Union's educational system several decades ago. And he has said that Head Start is ducky, while there's not a shred of evidence that the tens of billions of dollars we've blown on Head Start does those kids a bit of good after the first couple of grades of school. In fact, disadvantaged kids who have been in Head Start programs actually do WORSE, on down the road, than disadvantaged kids who were in other kinds of preschool programs, including faith-based preschools and NO preschools at all.

That's because MORE money and MORE government do NOT translate into better educational quality. But Obama thinks they do. And that's why if he's elected, it would be disastrous for our schools and our kids.
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 Lack of merit by ANN Hansen on September 26, 2008
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