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Banking Collapse Lands on America’s Schools

Posted on Sep 29, 2008
Dept. of Education
flickr.com/mcoughlin

“No Child Left Behind” is written above each of these “little red schoolhouse” entrances at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education building in Washington, D.C.

By Bill Boyarsky

One of the worst casualties of the Iraq war and the Wall Street failures is the U.S. public school system, which is central to the nation’s economic, intellectual and social health. With financial resources being consumed, education cuts are on the way.

We’ll be paying for this for many years. Poorly educated young people will be unable to get good jobs. We’ll lose our intellectual capital. For that, we can thank Wall Street and its anti-regulation political friends. Thank you, John McCain and President George W. Bush. And thank you both for the war.

Sen. Barack Obama has some pretty good ideas about education, but he might as well forget them. His education proposals would cost at least $18 billion in federal funds. When Jim Lehrer, moderator of last week’s presidential campaign debate, asked him what would happen to all his plans in the wake of the Wall Street bailout, he wouldn’t, or couldn’t, answer.

The importance of the question was clear last week when I visited with several high school teachers at Los Angeles High School.

The school is located between the poor neighborhoods east of the city’s downtown and the more affluent neighborhoods toward the west. Its student body of about 3,000 draws from them all. Some come from comfortable homes with professional mothers and fathers. Others live in crowded one-bedroom apartments with two underpaid working-immigrant parents who may or may not speak English.

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I walked through the halls with my friend John Ogden, a veteran Los Angeles High School teacher who had set up my meeting with the teachers. As he greeted a colleague and then a student, I felt that I had entered a community—a complicated one, I knew, but still a community united in a common purpose: education.

Although the Bush administration and Congress took a hands-off attitude toward Wall Street—until the collapse—Washington enthusiastically reached into the classrooms of every public school in the country with the No Child Left Behind Act. This legislation, passed early in the Bush administration with bipartisan support, requires the states to assess students before they receive high school diplomas. Without such testing—in California it is called the California High School Exit Examination—schools could lose federal funding, which amounted to $24.4 billion last year under the No Child Left Behind Act.

The testing is the most controversial feature of No Child Left Behind. The controversy reached into the Los Angeles High School faculty.

Several of the teachers were gathered in a classroom for a faculty meeting on teaching projects. After they finished, I got up and explained that I wanted to talk to them about education for a piece for Truthdig. They were polite but didn’t say much until I raised a question that has always puzzled me in reporting on L.A. public schools: What kind of test scores can be expected from a Hispanic kid with working parents who is trying to do homework in a noisy and overcrowded apartment?

The discussion turned lively. One veteran teacher talked of the obstacles faced by his poor students, who often have to maneuver through gang territory on their way to school.

“Testing has the reek of punishment about it,” he said. “There is something unfair about it. … Is it fair to apply the same standards to parents with little education and who are unable to help their children? … Is it fair to compare that with a Beverly Hills High School student whose parents can offer help? It isn’t fair in my view to apply the same standards.”

A younger teacher disagreed. He said that the tests were good. They required teachers and students to meet standards that will be required of young men and women when they move on from high school. “We have to step up to meet the expectations that the kids in Beverly Hills have,” rather than “give excuses for not knowing what they are supposed to know,” he said. Students should know “you have to move up your game when you go to a university.”

We talked for about an hour. Our discussion covered other controversial areas, such as merit pay for teachers.

I thought they were a dedicated bunch. No matter how they felt about standardized testing, the school’s California High School Exit Examination score was substantially up in the 2007-2008 school year.

But they have been let down by Washington. It imposed the standards but now doesn’t have the money to help school districts finance the classes and extra other programs that will permit the Los Angeles High School children of poor immigrants to compete with their contemporaries in Beverly Hills High School just a few miles away.

They and other public students across the country are real, but unnoticed, victims of the financial crisis. They are another reason why the Wall Street failures and the war are two of the great calamities of our age.



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By DR-Montreal, October 2, 2008 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

“One of the worst casualties of the Iraq war and the Wall Street failures is the U.S. public school system, which is central to the nation’s economic, intellectual and social health.”

Really?
The news I get indicates that the one million and counting innocent dead in Iraq might be mentioned, even in passing, as “one of the worst casualties of the Iraq war.”
Apparently not.
Perhaps some increased educational funding will help in avoiding the next imperial Drang nach Osten.

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By DR-Montreal, October 2, 2008 at 8:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“One of the worst casualties of the Iraq war and the Wall Street failures is the U.S. public school system, which is central to the nation’s economic, intellectual and social health.”

Really?
The news I get indicates that the one million and counting innocent dead in Iraq might be mentioned, even in passing, as “one of the worst casualties of the Iraq war.”
Apparently not.
Perhaps some increased educational funding will help in avoid the next imperial Drang nach Osten.

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By Blackspeare, October 2, 2008 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

Perhaps education is one area that needs a correction.  Teachers salaries in my area are all out of whack.  You don’t like to deny anybody a good wage, but when productivity doesn’t match the salary——something is wrong.  Now you might think I’m just being cynical, but I can talk from a point of knowledge as my first wife was a teacher in a large city.  She was an adamant unionist who worshiped Albert Shanker.  Shanker, if you don’t know, was the militant president of the UFT who made the union a force to be reckoned with.  He took on the city during a teachers srike and won.  After that the teachers ruled.  My first wife knew exactly how to work the system——nice work if you can get it.  Anyone, after teaching for 5-10 years, has a fairly easy job——they’re in a groove.  I once joking asked one of my kid’s elementary school teachers that it might be time to extend the school day to 5pm.  Without a second to think——like a reflex action——he said, “Well, who’s gonna pay us!”  Maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to be critical——perhaps he had a job after school to supplement his already bloated salary!

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By Leisure Suit Larry, October 2, 2008 at 6:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The money may not be the issue. New Hampshire consistantly spends half what Maine spends per pupil per year, and Maine ALWAYS has lower test scores, and higher drop-out rate. Of course most of New Hampshire is close enough to Massachusetts so one can smel the Ivy.

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By Paul D Lane, October 2, 2008 at 3:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Banking Collapse Lands on America’s Schools…
the photo which accompanies this article is out of date. The red school houses have finally been removed from the Dept of Education building…

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By Outraged, October 1, 2008 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

Re: Taoseno

Your comment: “I mean at the level of asking the forbidden question, “What is education for?” Until we agree on this question, we won’t see much change.”

The purpose of education is to not only make a person aware of truths and controversy, but to give the same, OPTIONS.  It is impossible to make qualitative choices unless one has options.  In order to understand the totality of options available, one needs to be know they exist AND have been taught the necessary skills to acquire the “means to that end” of the options they consider most productive or viable.

Education should NEVER be adopted for the purpose of acquiring “obedient workers”. Since this would be the pinnacle of propaganda and in effect… tyranny.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI5EY5kqiBU

Critical thinking… is the paramount of education.  And information, while rightfully tresured is secondary to critical thinking, since information is only data without CRITICAL THINKING.  Additionally, critical thinking produces truths, which are then brought to fruitation by their thinkers/hearers.

Vote Nader/Gonzales

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By Taoseno, October 1, 2008 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

After spending all of my adult life in public education, I now realize that the system cannot be fixed with ever-changing fads and innovations. What is required is a major systemic change…I mean at the level of asking the forbidden question, “What is education for?” Until we agree on this question, we won’t see much change.

I put much of the blame for our current situation squarely on our schools. After all, its the only institution that ALL of our population experiences for a significant part of our lives.

Neither of the candidates sees education as an issue in this election, so little will be done to improve it in the near future. Yet, it remains one of the most critical issues of our time.

The last 8 years have been a total bust. It will take some our best thinkers to come up with an education policy that re-establishes us as a major presence in the world.

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By KDelphi, October 1, 2008 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

driving bear—What if their parents are crack addicts? What if they are not intelligent? What if the kid has no home at all?

What if, the parents just dont care.

Like I said, kids just need to pick better parents, right?

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By driving bear, October 1, 2008 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

Let take an example from my High school days back in the late 80’s Then the State of Tennessee paid the local school system $ 9.88 per child per school day.
Tennessee state law ( then and now )requires public school students to goto school 180 days per school year. that means that then the state of Tennessee was paying about $ 1800 per year per student. then let both the local and the federal come up with a dollar figure in terms of per child per day. then Add them up to get a total number of dollar’s per child per day.  Then tell parents you have x number of dollars per year for your child’s education. then let the parents have the choice of where to send their kids to school. if they choose public schools fine however if they choose a private school then let the parents receive the X numbers of dollars per year to apply to tuition in a private school.

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By KDelphi, October 1, 2008 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

dixierose—I dont think schools should be segregated.

Are you sure you mean a “school for blacks”.

I know that such schools exist here , in Ohio , also (more so, since charter schools). I just dont think its good for our country.

I cannot give data on how much of our tax money was lost to bad and fake charter schools, that were granderfathered in under Taft (who stole $3 million from Workers Comp, and “apologized”—you heardc aobut Noe and rare coins??)

Students have little or no choice. As things get worse economically, parents will have less and less time to spend with their kids. It will be a disaster.

Gawd, we’re paying for some schools to teach the Creatio n Story (and no natural selection—they sure as hell seem to belive it when it comes to the free mkt!!) and Noah’s Atk, with ‘baby dinosaurs”.

This neighborhood voted down a school levy last year—I voted for it, even though I grew up elsewhere, and have never had a relative in the system. There is another one (smaller) coming up.

Actually, funding public schools with property taxes is unconstitutional. But, whats new? Faith based initiatives are, also.

But, since W, the constitution might as well be toilet paper.

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By idixierose, October 1, 2008 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

Public schools are largely funded by state and local property taxes in most states. Here in South Carolina, schools receive about 20% of their funding from the federal govt, and most of that goes toward funding special education and a few other programs.

A great degree of the problems in our schools seems to be caused by an antiintellectual culture among certain classes of people. It’s a challenge to even the best teachers to work with a class full of students with such attitudes.

Consider what happened to Dunbar High School in Washington DC. At one time it was the premier high school in the capitol for blacks.  Today it’s just the opposite.

Too often we blame the teachers, when it’s really the students who have no interest in what is being taught.

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By KDelphi, October 1, 2008 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

I guess kids will just have to be more picky about which parents they choose.

We should ditch, NCLB (No childs behind left), the faith-based initiatives, the “charter schools” (for profit), and refinance the public school system.

Nothing paid for by taxes, and founded for the common good, should be “for profit”. To use them in the same sentence , is a contradiciton in terms.

Dayton Public Schools were pretty bad. Since, all the charter schols have flooded in to collect what they think is rightfully theirs, the schools are almost inoperable. Gov. Strickland is suing some of them, but why let them in in the first place?

If you want a private school—go ahead.Operate it yourself, with your own money.

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By samosamo, October 1, 2008 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

And under lining all of education, the student must want to learn for maximum benefit of being educated, something I didn’t have while I was in school. But, it does not work when a kid is thrown into a place of learning and expected to learn and perform. Unfortunately, it rests on the parents to help the kid to want to learn, to become interested in what things are and how they work and to lean more about everything.
To compound this but not to lighten the burden of a parent, the awful distractions in today’s world that are thrown at kids(tv,radio,iPods,cellphones,etc) to take their attention away from more basic and important things makes it understandable as why a lot of kids don’t perform and are conditioned not to really care because they will just become to expect someone to tell them and give them what they should already know.
No, this country, I think for the most part, has a lot worse educational system than any rankings demonstrate and the other sad thing is, the ‘elite’ that want the control and the money don’t want the kids and people in america to know much except how to stick an iPod or Bluetooth in one’s ear and never really ‘THINK’.
You can put $700,000,000,000.00 dollars in schools but it does not make a kid learn.

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By Jeffrey Hesketh, October 1, 2008 at 11:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve watched the bush admin.try their hardest to dismantle our education system. from the begining, he ran on bringing reform to education. When the state he governed was ranked 48th in education. I could not believe that the people of this country bought this obviously fraudulent interest in public education when he never expressed his views on the positive aspects of public education and tuned his attack on those who would find it difficult to defend themselves. So teachers and the students themselves find they are in the crosshairs of those who support school vouchers/private schools. I also believe the admin.bush/privateers would never fund"no child left behind"unless the legislation had clear wording making public funds available to private schools when the public school offered to students in a particular district was not meeting federal/state/local testing score requirements. Using the same tactics we’ve seen before. In an environment that is rife with fear and uncertainty. Unfortunatly in areas were incomes do not supply a family with enough to live the first thing to suffer is the childrens education. I’ve known this first hand. And with todays technology it’s a must to own a computer to communicate with your childs school never mind the schools requirements of your child. If you don’t own a computer he/she must complete assignments at school this consumes a great deal of time. Children with computers at home are regularly required to wait while thier more economically challenged counterpart catches up thus giving those with the resources a huge advantage. These negative aspects of our underfunded education system are just the fuel the private school advocate needs to start parents believing thier child is being shortchanged. The longer we allow our constitution to be ignored in regards to public education and the focus of future debate steered in the direction of privatizing schools we will never truly focus on what our forefathers wanted. To make certain that the united states offered free and public education to all of it’s citizens and maintain the same with proper funding and leadership immagination to bring this once education minded populace into the twenty first century

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By Virginia777, October 1, 2008 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

I knew this issue would “bring out the Right” (see driving bear comment).  I have been researching it for 2.5 years, ever since I moved here from New York, and noticed our papers were savagely trouncing our public schools, often on a weekly basis. Every week, that seemed a bit much! and so I looked into it. (Check it out in your town, they are probably “at” it there too)

The Right found very “fertile fields” in the minds of anxious parents. As usual, they used this to the most diabolical means possible - providing the media lots of “dirt” on the public (never private) schools for them to print up. In the age of diminishing staff reporters, that was “good enough” most times. The “campaign” was completely successful.

You do not want to know the rest, its horrible.

But, as usual, the extremists are ALL OVER this issue on their blogs, check out the multitude of blogs over at uber-right-wing FreeRepublic http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/*/index - devoted to public education.

It is time this issue is remembered (and defended) by the Left.

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By jake3988, October 1, 2008 at 9:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Education has ALWAYS been woefully underfunded by the federal government, one of the many reasons (besides the christian right’s attack on science) that we’re falling way behind as a nation.

The only cogent argument I’ve ever gotten for affirmative action is that it’s fair because ‘Their schools suck, give ‘em a break’.  How about… WE FUND THEM?!  Increase the funding for inner city schools and make them actually teachable and we’ll have quality students.

Granted, money isn’t always the answer but it certainly helps to get basic essentials such as some microscopes smile

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By driving bear, September 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm Link to this comment

Because many people are forced to send their kids public schools ,public schools know they have a guaranteed supply of customers and therefore failure is an option for them.

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By driving bear, September 30, 2008 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment

The problem in public schools is not the lack of funding but the lack of competition. For example takes cars, say ford made cars that would not last past 1000 miles , what would happen people would stop buying fords and ford motor co. would go out of business. It should be the same way for schools , it the children at not getting a quality education in public schools then public schools should go out of business.

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By samosamo, September 30, 2008 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

What is this crap. Our schools have been so under funded for so long that is costs parents hundreds of dollars more just to send their children to a public school that is supposed to be free. And now with years of under funding the schools by all our politicians the great w and company are dumping the failure of the rich man incompetency theft bail out fund match on the schools. That is really extortion you know. Those neocon/repubs really are digging deep to maintain the right to rob everyone of us before they are hopefully turned out of office in January 2009. Somebody put these clowns in jail. Damn, this is a disgusting country, politically and intellectually.

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By librochi5, September 30, 2008 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, Mr. Boyarsky, for bringing this issue to the forefront at a time like this. Most people are thinking “save our money, save our economy” and what they don’t realized is that the damage is already being done through programs like NCLB. Your points about the standardized testing creating an uneven playing field are so true. I work with a school district in the state of Washington, where we have mostly Spanish speakers, not just parents, but also kids. And the research has been done; Latino kids, especially those who have grown up speaking only Spanish in the home or come from lower income families, have far less chance of succeeding in schools than their Caucasian peers do.  (For more information on Washington State research on this subject, search for Pre-K Now).

On top of all of this depressing news, that is just one variable of the “at-risk” population that gets virtually screwed with plans like NCLB. There are so many unique kids that have different needs than the next, and creating an across the board, straight standardized test is dangerous if we want our children to succeed.

And how does this relate directly to poverty, some might ask? Well, education is the best and most proven way to break the cycle of generational poverty. We teach our kids well, and they have a better chance of making it in this now financially unstable country.

Thank you again for bringing this up. Our kids need the chance for a better future, and hopefully articles like yours can bring attention to that fact.

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By Virginia777, September 30, 2008 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

Thank you so much, Mr. Boyarsky, for bringing up this important issue. Public Education has been so “screwed” by the Bush administration. NCLB has been placed, like a set of “handcuffs” on our schools and worse, on our students - guaranteeing their failure at its worst.

Now they have even savaged its future funding, not that they ever cared much for it. Plenty of right-wing extremist (and Christian fundamentalist) groups (and individuals) have actively worked for the demise of public education.

Check out the “work” of conservative Peyton Wolcott whose website documents abusive, “scandalous” tabloid media attacks on public education. The media (conservative and otherwise) has done PLENTY to damage the reputation of public education. Her site is billed “The Nation’s 1st & Only Conservative Public Education Commentary”: http://www.peytonwolcott.com/

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By Donovan, September 30, 2008 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“For that, we can thank Wall Street and its anti-regulation political friends. Thank you, John McCain and President George W. Bush.”

You can’t reliably believe the notions or arguments of someone who has a skewed view, regardless of which way it’s skewed.  So blaming everything on the Republicans is just as asinine as blaming the Democrats.

FYI: they’re all crooks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RZVw3no2A4

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By Big B, September 30, 2008 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

Eddie,
Up to date books, with modern accurate information will of course be better than old cheap books with dated info.
A classroom with a qualified teacher, certified in the subject they are teaching would go a long way.
A school not falling down around the children’s ears with asbestos and old lead paint, will produce better smarter children.
Do not delude yourself into thinking it’s not about the money. It’s always about the money. Most americans I am sure would like to have the time and disposable income to educate their children at home. But since this is america, and almost half the children are being raised in single parent homes, it makes home schooling with any quality, nearly impossible.
I would share this with you. We have two local school districts, one lower middle class rural, the other upper middle class suburban. Both schools are mostly whites. Both have above average test scores for tenth graders. this is where the similarities end. The rural school, with a small and lower income tax base does not have AP courses for it’s students. They used to bus the kids taking AP classes to the nearest school for their AP classes, but no more. The cost became prohibitive. Needless to say, the upper middle class district, with twice the houshold incomes, and three times the property values, has AP courses availiable to tenth graders and up. They have new schools, new facilites, computers in every classroom, after school tudoring programs, and actual chemicals for chemical classes.
The rural school last year spent $2200 per student.
The suburban school spent $11000 per student.
The suburban kids scored an average of 1230 on their sat’s(old format)
The rural kids, without access to advanced classes, scored 1050.
25% of the rural kids went college.
92% of the suburban kids went to college.(it should be 100%)
The kids in these school districts have learned one valuable social lesson about america, that inequity starts young.
Yes I agree, it should not soley be about the money, but the statistics tell a different story.
It is how and where you spend your money.
But you do have to have it to spend.

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By yellowbird2525, September 30, 2008 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

in 2007 at the American Idol contest a school was being given $ to get library books; yes folks: they had never ever had library books in their school. NOW: why do folks THINK we are “free”? we have had “everything”? LOOK at Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, England, etc etc etc: OUR COUNTRY has NOTHING to show for all it’s taxes except for fat pocketbooks for politicians, their friends, the Pentagon & of course the “corporations” who had been allowed by corrupt politicians & twisted judges to steal health, & wealth, for all people except themselves. How can you be a “nation” of law, when the laws are set aside by the “lawmakers”? How can they be prosecuted when they themselves have set up & appointed the law keepers? it is not just Bush: it has been going on for years folks: Bush Sr tried to get the NAU & NAFTA (rep); Dem Clinton DID: Bush JR gave about 1/2 a hundred million $ to illegal give citizenship papers to millions while “claiming” Homeland Security etc all “very worried” about illegals & terrorists etc. ALL LIES: the “bailout” the CRIMINAL & FRAUD PREDATORY interest rates & loans, the deliberate stealing & breaking laws on Wall ST all condoned by our lawless leaders; ((((oh, they are going to give “free” college tuition to all the “illegals”; just NOT to Christians or regular citizens; all kinds of gold folks: just NOT for YOU to see/hear/know about; fooling you is so darn easy, isn’t it. YOU think YOU are “free”; haven’t even wakened to the fact that you are enslaved: to individual & Corp greed.

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By Leisure Suit Larry, September 30, 2008 at 10:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is EXACTLY this type of partisan back-biting which got us to where we are.  Looks like the lemming press and their cousins in government are about to plunge ... yet again ... into the doom & gloom which Americans hate.

Bush and McCain deserve blame for Wall street excesses… no denying that. BUT   Carter deregulated the banks, allowed them to do what they do so well… make big money taking big risks while capitalizing profit and socializing loss.

I remember well living in a little mill town and having our one bank leave.  not enough profit, thaat left most of us with the option of paying the supermarket to cash our paychecks, or driving to the next town (20 miles) and opening a bank account which paid no interest, and charged a monthly fee. Of course no one gave a damn because we were just poor mill-workers, and the Democrats were the “working-man’s party”

Clue one:

The working Person has no party in these United States.

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By Bboy57, September 30, 2008 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

The Neo-Cons could care less about equality. They are all about selective elitism. They won’t be happy until the whole universe is subject to these ideologues!

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By Eddie, September 30, 2008 at 9:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow, how ironic, after writing the below post my son, home schooled in the 4th grade, just walked into the room to read me his book report(draft)on George Washing Carver: Its worth posting.

George Washington Carver was born July 12, 1861 at Diamond Grove Missouri. His father, who was a slave, died when he was just a boy. At age 10 he traveled to Neosho Missouri to attend a one room school house. There his art teacher encouraged him to study plants…....


What if parents decided their childs education is the #1 priority. What if parents partner with schools to make them ALL safe and make decipline a top priority. What if we all TURN OFF THE TV, radio, etc. SAY NO TO EASY CREDIT FOR A BIG SCREEN. What if? I don’t buy into the woe is me. It will pull your spirits down, like I tell my children. A new pretty school with shiny things is not going make kids smart.

BIG B says(and YES you can draw a corilation between how much you spend and the quality of the product. After all, which is the better car, the 30 thousand dollar one, or the 8 thousand dollar?)

PLEASE RETHINK THIS ANALOGY, HEREIN LIES A PROBLEM. WHY IS IT BETTER? MAYBE THE $8000 car IS PERFECT FOR YOUR USE AND IT MEETS YOUR NEEDS. YOU HAVE BEEN BRAINWASHED BY ADVERTISERS. MORE EXPENSIVE BOOKS ARE NOT GOING TO MAKE YOU SMARTER OR SOMEHOW MAGICALLY WANT TO LEARN. YOUR PUTTING THE BURDON ON OBJECTS AND BLAMING OTHERS AND NOT ONES SELF.

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By nestoffour, September 30, 2008 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

my husband is art teacher at a public school.

do you want to know what his supplies budget is, for the whole year, for 500+ students?
 
are you ready?

one hundred dollars!

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By troublesum, September 30, 2008 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

How does the “shock doctrine” play out in regard to education?  Privitize education from kindergarten to college because we can’t afford it?

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 30, 2008 at 7:30 am Link to this comment

What!  Are you stupid?  Schools?  It’s the whole goddamn infrastructure!  Get a F’n grip!  Schools, hiways, bridges, roads, water quality, sewage, transportation, civil rights, library’s, health care, courts, police, and on and on and on.
You have just been shown the way to get what you want; flood your “ELECTED” representatives with the things you “DEMAND” they do for you!!!
You are everything for them….make damn sure they remember that!

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By felicity, September 30, 2008 at 7:17 am Link to this comment

There is a cult within the Republican Party that has been working assiduously through the years to take education out of the public sector and put it into the private sector - it’s called the voucher system.

Going the voter route has been unsuccessful; starving the public system might work. 

Prayer in school, the teaching of creationism are but two of their wants.  Public school policies are ‘perverted’ by that pesky thing called the Constitution which seems hell-bent on keeping church and state separate, whereas private schools will not be under that stricture having only to satisfy the educational standards needed to be accredited.

The voucher system boils down to public money funding private schools.  It also guarantees that those children whose parents cannot pay the difference between voucher money and the tuition of the private school will be forced to attend under-funded, derelict schools - trying to survive on the scraps that fall under the table.

These cult members are not going to go quietly into the night and the rest of us must be continually alert to their diabolical machinations.

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By troublesum, September 30, 2008 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

Republicans have been wanting to get rid of the education department anyway.  They want an end to federal assistence for education.  Grover Norquist the republican ideaologist says that we should do away with universal public education.  According to him the idea of public education came out of Soviet Russia (meaning after 1918).  In fact, it had its origin in 19th century Germany.  The idea is that educated people are harder to control so if we did away with education we would have a nation of very docile people who always do as they are told.  Eventually we wouldn’t have a democracy anymore which is the real goal.  “It would be a heck-of-a-lot easier if this were a dictatorship…”

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By Big B, September 30, 2008 at 6:36 am Link to this comment

skulz

treasonous scum is as apt a description as I have heard of this mess.
Why is it only treason when a spy sells info? As we have learned over the last 40 years, you can harm a nation through incompetance as well.

The public schools in PA are funded primarily by a local property tax. This system is set up to fail poorer areas. When you base what is spent on your students on the value of the property in your district you will ultimatly create a two, or even three tiered education system with poor, inner city schools being the worse off, with rural areas falling just above them. The only children that are currently receiving an adequete education are in our most priviledged upper middle class suburbs.(and YES you can draw a corilation between how much you spend and the quality of the product. After all, which is the better car, the 30 thousand dollar one, or the 8 thousand dollar?)

When you look at it, we are only fully educating the leadership class. It seems that in over 200 years we have not distanced ourselves from the European serfdoms from which we sprang. Only through equality in our education system will we ever hope to achieve equality as a nation.

But that has never been the goal, has it?

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By Jim Yell, September 30, 2008 at 6:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The problem with schools isn’t just something that has happened due to the collapse of the economy. It has been a long time in the making and is the fault of both the right and the left.

The dumbing down of teaching is certainly a process that should be blamed on the Left. The abandonment of making schools work is certainly a process that rests largely upon the right from the more affluent sending kids to private schools to the insertion of religous division into the classroom of public schools.

We can’t afford to sacrifice education to a failed attempt at inclusiveness. We have to realize that there is a portion of the students who do not want to learn and making subjects less demanding is not going to make these students learn it is going to slow down the ones that do want to learn.

Let education be about learning and find other ways to teach inclusiveness. Do not let tax money for education be wasted in encouraging well placed families to withdraw there students from Public Schools it just encourages division.

As far as shortage of money it was bound to happen because of the false economy that the Republicans have encouraged with deregulation which encourages business to ignore the true cost of production and has had them for decades putting money that should be used for opporations into their pockets as profit. Stupid.

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By martin weiss, September 30, 2008 at 6:09 am Link to this comment

Schools produce liberals and dissenters who refuse to kill for Mr. Megabucks and refuse to accept minimum wages. Schools create innovations that will bring down vested interests like big oil, big pharma, big banking, big agriculture. Schools complicate life by discovering poisons big industries have to dump in order to stay profitable.
Worst of all, schools create Democrats.

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By skulz fontaine, September 30, 2008 at 6:02 am Link to this comment

Wall Street MUST collapse under the weight of it’s own corruption. It is NOT the duty of the American people to bail these treasonous scum out from under the catastrophe they’ve wrought on themselves. LET WALL STREET COLLAPSE. Then take the CEO’s and the CFO’s and the bankers and the congressmen/women that have listened to these vermin and line them up on the National Mall and break out a good guillotine. Samurai CHOP!!! It’s a sad and sorry story that American children are dependent on Wall Street for education. That being said, look at what Amerika got stuck with from the last two presidential elections. President Dumb-ass and Dark Cheney. Yup, we’s screwed! Start the REVOLUTION!!!

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By Frank Nelson, September 30, 2008 at 5:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The problem is corruption. Too many of the people serving in congress have lived the high life on the power of your money.

Corruption is the problem and you should stop with the partisan attacks. Finger the right people and clean up the system.

Remember this guy….?

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZjhiODMwNDA0ZGEwMGI3ZGExOGFjYmIzNzQzZjhjYjc=

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By Marc Schlee, September 30, 2008 at 5:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fascism is like cancer. 

If you don’t destroy every trace it comes back.

You either kill it, or it kills you.

No deals, no amnesty, no pardons.

Pursue the Bush administration beyond January 20 until they are brought to justice.

FREE AMERICA

REVOLUTIONARY (DIRECT) DEMOCRACY

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