Attention, All Teachers!

Last week, I noted that Democrats, Independents and anyone else who cares about public education will vote in the Republican Primary Tuesday if they care anything at all about South Carolina schools. This upset one or two Democratic partisans. Big Deal. Anybody who cares about education in this state would be wasting a vote by picking a Democratic ballot. That goes double for teachers. I’m far from the only one who thinks so. I got this submission from former colleague Sally Huguley — who is also a former speechwriter for Gov. Dick Riley (for you partisans keeping score, he’s a Democrat with a capital "D"), and now one of the top teachers
in Richland Two.

We got it kind of late to be a pre-election op-ed, but I thought I’d give her a sort of guest-post slot. May some of you people who should hear this will pay attention to her. (After all, who am I? I only analyze politics for a freakin’ living.) :


A Voice from The Classroom
Attention, teachers, are you paying attention?
    Teachers spend 180 school days asking for attention, but now it’s time to ask whether the teachers are paying attention, because the outcome of next Tuesday’s primary election will have a lasting impact on the direction of our state’s public schools.
Huguley_2    A recent story by Bill Robinson quoted an education official as saying most teachers aren’t paying attention to the Republican candidates because they usually vote in the Democratic primary.
    Well, fellow educators and all families who support strong public schools, please pay attention, because next week it will be important not just to vote, but to vote in the Republican primary.
    Why? Here are three solid reasons.
    First, political pragmatism.
    Let’s face it, South Carolina is back to being a one-party state. The Republican Party controls the Governor’s Mansion, the State Senate and the House of Representatives. Therefore, it will be critical to have the strongest pro-public education candidates on the Republican ticket in November.
    All the Democrats running for governor and state school superintendent are ardent supporters of strong public education. This is not the case among the Republicans running for these two offices. Out-of-state private school voucher supporters are funneling thousands of dollars into the candidacies of Republicans who back the voucher cause. Look no further than the campaigning couple of Mark Sanford and Karen Floyd.
    The good news is that there are excellent Republican candidates who have rejected the voucher ideologues and strongly support and appreciate the hard work of public school teachers, students and parents.
    This brings me to the second reason: Protect the protectors.
    Last session a courageous group of Republican House members joined with other public schools supporters in the Legislature to defeat the movement to divert public money into private schools. They did this under great political pressure from the Governor’s Office and threats from the voucher crowd.
    The threats proved true, and now some of our most outspoken supporters — Reps. Bill Cotty and Ken Clark in the Midlands, for example — are facing Republican challengers funded by out-of-state voucher interests.
    It is most important that teachers and parents back these candidates in their re-election bids, but the only way to do this is to vote in the Republican primary.
    For Cotty, Clark or others like them to be defeated in the Republican primary because the education crowd did not support them would be not just a victory for public school opponents, but also send a strong signal to other elected officials not to stick up for public education because public education won’t stick up for them.
    Third reason, political leverage.
    With 50,000 certified teachers, another 50,000 certified teachers who currently are not teaching, and thousands upon thousands of retired educators, we should be a political force to be reckoned with. But we’re not, because we either don’t pay attention, or don’t vote in the best interest of our schools and our students.
    Public education opponents are counting on your lack attention next Tuesday. It’s time to show them we’re not only paying attention, but we’re taking names. Vote in the Republican primary. It’s your chance to send a message.

164 thoughts on “Attention, All Teachers!

  1. Lee

    Encouraging Democrats to cross over and sabotage the Republican primary is about as negative an endorsement as one could give Bob Staton.
    It is one step above the way Democrats encourage illegal aliens to vote, or bus mentally retarded people to the polls to vote, with a some assistance in the booth.

  2. Randy E

    I am a teacher who has been paying very close attention. Based on my research, I more concerned about people oversimplifying the issues in education than the issue of choice.
    Where’s the evidence that such choice is as desctructive as opponents make it out? In Ohio, they just started choice and a mere 5% of those eligible took advantage. Milwaukee has had choice for 15 years. If choice so debilitating, why is MPS (Mil Pub Sch) still going strong?
    Meanwhile, there are some huge issues in schools that are sidelined. For example, on the AP exams last year, the passing rate for all white students was in the mid 50s. For black students it was in the mid 20s. This mirrors the disparity in SAT scores. Where’s the discussion on this?
    Students are allowed to pass classes and move on to the next level with a 70 average. A student can earn a 40 in a class with minimal effort. This means a student can learn only half the material and move on (it’s too complicated for teachers to simply raise the level – parental outcry). It’s no wonder the US Dept of Education is considering standardized testing for COLLEGE students because they lack basic skills. Where’s the outcry about that?
    There are hate-mongers who want to paint ALL educators and ALL schools as bad and take advantage of the private choice debate as a forum for this hate. These other issues are brushed aside. Sadly, improving problems I addressed would do alot more to boost education than dealing with choice.

  3. John Warner

    Thank you Randy for a reasoned response.
    Sally’s bio says, “My greatest surprise upon entering the teaching profession is how little teachers, the key implementers of education reform, are consulted when policy changes are proposed.” This is the most important reason we need choice – so the best and brightest teachers can create innovative educational alternatives, particularly targeted at those not well served by the status quo. Accomplishing this is why Milwaukee’s choice program has been so successful. The reaction of the education establishment to hunker down and protect the status quo, epitomized by Sally’s argument to “protect the protectors,” is why we are in the mess we are in today.

  4. Doug

    Is there no depth that The State will not sink to in order to try and sabotage any effort to alter a school system in South Carolina that fails a large percentage of its students?
    Running around like Chicken Little screaming, “The vouchers are falling, the vouchers are falling!!!!” without offering any real solution besides “Spend more money for many more decades”.
    The incessant and over the top scare tactics may work on some people, but those of us who actually pay attention to what is going on in our children’s schools know different.
    Public education includes ALL delivery methods, not just government schools run by a bureacracy with no REAL accountability.
    The local public schools in the Midlands
    are failing between 25 and 40% of the students and have been doing so for decades. Progress is measured in millimeters per millenium and school districts have become more involved with public relations than public education in
    recent years. Every school gets some type of Gold Medal, Red Carpet, blah blah blah, award. Bond referendums are treated as
    coordinated PR campaigns controlled by the
    district offices in conjunction with construction companies.
    I feel very sorry for teachers today. It is an occupation filled with highly trained, committed, intelligent, caring people who are not allowed to demonstrate
    their abilities fully or be rewarded for thier success. Pay is based on years of service and degrees/certifications, not on actual classroom outcomes. That would seem to be a good model for someone working on a loading dock, but for a teacher, it makes no sense.
    Oh yeah… tell Ms. Hughley that the 70’s
    called and they want their eyeglasses back.

  5. Uncle Elmer

    Good for you, Ms. Huguley. What a neat idea – the party that wants my attention and participation needs to work for it by providing the candidate I like! You are clearly an advocate for critical thinking over blind loyalty, and I am proudly going to take your advice and vote for whoever the heck I want to. No matter who they are standing beside.
    I have no doubt some closed minded few will criticize you for this stance, but just remember the words of one of this blog’s greatest defenders of free thinking (written in admonishment to the little minds): “You are obsessed with labeling people, instead of understanding their conception of the social and political issues.”
    God forbid that ever happen around here!
    p.s. Extra credit points to whoever identifies the topic of the post that quote came from. Here’s a hint: irony is really, really great. Extra extra credit if you identify the source!

  6. Randy E

    Doug, I think that was sad commentary topped off with a tinge of Ann Coulter (didn’t you just you compliment teachers and feel sorry for them).
    As I stated, there are hate-mongers who use this choice issue as a club to beat on education. Doug’s disparaging remarks are an example of why educators circle the wagons when reform is discussed. I teach at a school that was awarded some of the honors he unintellibly brushes aside. I take his comments as an affront to my efforts.
    Why must the dialogue on reforming schools devolve into mere playground finger pointing and name calling? Why do some have to dismiss and disparage our schools as a whole, overlooking the good that is happening?
    Does Doug (and others) really believe that private school choice is the panacea for all our education ills? If it were, all 50 states would have copied Milwaukee by now. Let’s address some real problems in education and offer suggestions to fix public education aside from go to private school.

  7. Doug

    If everybody gets an award, the value of the award is minimized. It’s sort of like the trophies they give out for participation in rec league soccer. You can get a dresser-full of them without scoring a goal or winning a game. Please tell me how many children’s educations have been improved by the Red Carpet award — given for basically putting a rug and some fake plants in the school entryway?
    You are mistaken in your assumption that I am opposed to public education. So much so, it is funny. I’ve been a PTO President, run for school board, chaperoned many overnight field trips (just got back from D.C. with a group of 7th graders), taught computer programming classes to fifth graders, read to a pair of first graders weekly, and so on. I have the greatest respect for good TEACHERS — I have no respect for bureacracy or wasted tax dollars nor for the sham called PACT testing that has done more harm than good.
    I’ll give you a small scale example.
    When I was PTO President at a local
    elementary school, we had a budget of
    about $20K from fundraising. Prior
    PTO leaders would require teachers to
    submit receipts for purchases made for
    the classroom and then decide whether to
    pay the teachers back or not. The first
    thing we did after I was elected was
    just give every teacher $200 and trust
    that it would be spent wisely. One of
    the highlights of my time in that role
    was seeing how happy the teachers were
    to get that check — because I knew they
    all were spending more than that out of
    their own pocket. Another example –
    the school principal automatically
    assumed that the PTO should pay
    several thousand dollars from the
    fundraising money for copy machine
    supplies. To me, that was a district
    funding issue — so we spent the money
    instead on 200 books for first graders.
    I’ll give you the names of two dozen
    teachers if you’d like so you can ask
    them if I am a hate monger regarding education. I am not. I just want real accountability and real pay for performance and less public relations and bureacracy.
    I don’t understand the fear that the government school bureacrats have over allowing SOME kids to try something different. If a kid has tested Below
    Basic in English and Math for multiple successive years and yet is passed along, I don’t understand what harm there would be in giving that same kid another option.
    How much worse could it get?

  8. Dave

    Brad, amazing, you are practically encouraging voter fraud and an unethical position to try to protect your anti-voucher agenda. I am surprised at that strategy. What next, get all the Dumocrats to cross over to get a win for McCain when the presidential primaries begin?

  9. Randy E

    Doug: you are not opposed to public education but you make broad overly simplistic statements about our schools?
    You reply to a highly qualified teacher who posts a thoughtful editorial with some cheap retort about her glasses (which would be beneath those 5th graders you chaperone)?
    Here is a FACT for you Doug. All schools do NOT receive the same awards. The Blue Ribbon and Palmetto’s Finest awards go to a very small fraction of the schools. Why don’t you actually research this issue before comparing these awards with some rec league trophy.
    As I wrote in my first post on this thread, such disparaging and simplistic comments are why educators are not always the most welcoming of input. Speaking of which, where is your criticism of the governments who oversee public education and the parents who oversee their students?
    We don’t decide how much money we get in Rich 2, Richland County does. We’re not the ones on the school boards. We don’t set education standards in the legislature. We’re not the ones at home checking homework.
    A parent of one of my HONORS students explained during a conference that her son had been sick for weeks and was too tired after football practice to do his homework. The schools are at fault for that? We need school choice to address this? This is hardly an isolated incident, yet you suggest that all the problems lay with the beauracracy?

  10. Doug

    Thoughtful editorial? Please. It was pure group-think scare tactics. There isn’t a single bit of factual evidence presented.
    Geez… a flippant comment on a person’s GLASSES is a big deal? I make worse comments about myself everyday when I look in the mirror. 🙂
    I think we all know that parents are a big part of the education equation.
    You still haven’t answered my question about what difference it makes for schools to receive those awards… I’ve observed the submission process for one school up close and the amount of “resume padding” that went into the documentation was all I needed to see to form an opinion that it
    was purely a P.R. exercise. And to what end? To pat everyone on the back at the same time the school’s report card ranking dropped from Excellent to Good? To get a nice big plaque while more than half of the teachers left the school over a two year period? Which of those do you think parents considered more meaningful?

  11. Randy E

    Doug, she did NOT disparage others and gave her opinion in a thoughtful manner. If you share your disagreement with her (I did), more power to you. Please spare me the “scare tactics” response though. Let politicians dummy down their messages to sound bites. And you are hardly one to criticize someone for lack of FACTS.
    Regarding the awards, certainly there is padding involved in the presentation of a resume. That is not exclusive to school award processes. Certainly, those resumes for these awards are not a mere work of fiction.
    I was involved in Spring Valley’s process in the mid 90s when we won the national Blue Ribbon. There was some padding but there was also great documentation of some terrific programs and excellence in education. Such a process helps a school establish what’s working well at their school and to take pride in their efforts. It is common in probably most if not all fields to identify excellence. To belittle this as mere backslapping reeks of a lack of “factual evidence” as revealed by your suggestion that “half the teachers leave” and your lack of understanding that report cards and such awards reflect different measures of a school – the awards are far more comprehensive.
    Finally, if your son made fun of someone’s looks in front of you, would you laugh it off as a mere flippant comment? Or, are these rules only for young people and don’t apply to us?

  12. Doug

    I commented on her GLASSES not her looks.
    Do you understand the difference? When I
    saw the picture, I was reminded of the glasses my mother wore back in the 70’s.
    Maybe your resume is padded… mine isn’t.
    The “padding” I witnessed was closer to out and out fraud. Programs that never were implemented were documented as successful.
    Participation rates of parents, etc. in volunteer activities were basically invented. And for what? A plaque?
    I guess I come from a different background where personal pride in ones work is sufficient.
    My fact about “more than half the teachers leaving” is just that – a fact. This is a real world example at a Richland 2 elementary school. A supposed Blue Ribbon and Red Carpet school that has gone through five principals in eight years and has seen more than 50% transition of its teaching staff in the past two years. It’s a fact.
    Let me ask you – when Karen Floyd wins the primary next week and then wins in November, do you really think your job as a teacher will be impacted over the course of the next four years? If she were to implement a limited test plan of some sort of voucher system in some of SC’s failing schools, do you believe there would be a noticeable difference in the quality of education in Richland 2? I just don’t get what anti-choice people are afraid of.

  13. Randy E

    You admit to making a broad judgement of all such award winning schools based on your personal experinece at ONE school? That is your factual evidence to disparage all such awards? I also pointed out you were wrong to connect report cards with such awards.
    I have experience at multiple midlands schools that had won such awards and not one of them had a 50% turnover rate. I challenge you to find one other school, aside from your ONE school, that won a Palmetto Finest or a Blue Ribbon that had such a turnover rate to justify your statement.
    The problem with the school choice issue, which I happen to support, is that many critics of public schools oversimplify the issues. Some, like you, make broad disparaging generalizations of schools based very limited information. They also leave out others that are responsible. Your criticism was leveled squarely at schools yet the government and the parents play a huge role in the outcome of success in education are left out.
    When such irresponsible conclusions are drawn about all schools, how can you expect the educators to then sit at the table of collaboration?
    Regarding your flippant remark, are you suggesting that your son can make jokes about what people wear, their glasses, their hair as long as it’s not their genetic looks? Are you really trying to justify this?

  14. Doug

    I did not say every school that wins the awards has 50% turnover. I questioned the value of those awards in relation to reality.
    There are good schools that don’t get them and there are other schools that know how to fill out the forms the “right” way to get them. And, in the end, it doesn’t make a bit of difference in the classroom.
    Do you find the school report cards useful? Should parents utilize them in evaluating their children’s schools? If not, then would you agree that the report card process might be part of that overall bureacracy that could be eliminated?
    Yes, parents and government also play a
    role in the SC school system failures.
    I agree 100%. There are also lousy teachers and incompetent principals.
    Right? Teachers get VERY touchy when
    you start talking about performance.
    The wagons circle pretty quick.
    I bet you could name 5 teachers at your
    high school who are burnt out or just plain lousy teachers. Why are they still teaching? Because the system protects them.
    Yes, if my son jokingly told me he thought a woman’s glasses looked like his grandmother’s, I would be okay with that.
    If Sally Huguley has a problem with my opinion of her glasses, please let her know I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering I have caused her.
    My son makes fun of my hair (or lack thereof) all the time. I can take it.
    You need to lighten up a bit.

  15. Doug

    Here’s some more facts for you. Check out the Richland Two 2005 report card on After all the statistics comes the textual report from the superintendent. The first sentence of the report notes that Keels Elementary was named a Palmetto’s Finest winner. Okay, that’s great. Now, let’s go look at Keels Elementary’s report card. Wait a second…
    Overall rating: AVERAGE
    Improvement rating: BELOW AVERAGE.
    70% of the students scored BASIC or lower in Math and English. 85% scored BASIC or lower in Science and Social Studies.
    Maybe we should think about reserving accolades like “Palmettos Finest” for schools that are truly the finest.
    Or maybe Keels just had the finest application writers…
    Otherwise, I go back to my rec league soccer analogy… everyone plays, everyone
    gets a trophy.

  16. Randy E

    “Difference for schools to get these awards…get a nice big plaque while half the teachers leave…” That’s a generalization.
    I went into plenty of detail for the purpose of these awards so you can go back and read. Again, your experience with how the process for winning an award at one school may lead you to conclusions about that one school, but doesn’t jusitify a broad conclusion like the one I just quoted from you.
    Your son making an innocent remark to you about someone ele’s glasses or picking on his own father is not the issue here. Spare me the sarcastic “pain and suffering” which again makes light of a rude comment. The question is, would you condone your son making fun of someone he didn’t know with a direct comment to them?
    She doesn’t know you. You had sarcastically disparaged all SC schools in response to her article (I had already communicated to you before that such generalizations are taken as an affront to many teachers) then you finish with some sophmoric retort about her choice of glasses. It didn’t cross your mind that this might be offensive to her, or was your judgement all that mattered?

  17. Randy E

    Doug, I took issue with your claim that such schools have a 50% turnover rate. Look at the quote I cited in the last post. Find another school other than your ONE experience in which that happened. Even if you could find 5 schools like that but the other 100 are not like that then you are still wrong to generalize.
    If you read another previous post, I indicated the difference between the awards and report cards. Let me help you in this area. The Cards are based mostly on PACT scores – a singular measure. The awards go into much greater depth. What the awards will take into account and individuals who only skim the Cards miss is how the school meeting the needs of their particular students.
    Keels have ALMOST ALL of their students on free or reduced lunch – a very low SES level. Lower scores are to be expected in such schools. They have shown adequate yearly progress based on these same scores and their rating improved this past year. PROGRESS! By the way, their teacher retention rate was 89%, higher than the median rate for schools like theirs.

  18. Dave

    I have really long ago come to the conclusion that some citizens have no strongly principled convictions. The reason we have multiple parties is because people group into bodies that believe in one core set of principles versus another set. For an independent to flip and flop from one side to the other is understandable by definition. However, for dyed in the wool democrats to jump sides ONLY in an open primary in order to sabotage the true chosen candidate of the republicans is unethical and un-American. For The State itself to condone that and even promote it is pretty weak and shows a sad lack of ethics. Let’s all remember this when some day soon the democrats have a really strong and dynamic candidate and someone of the GOP persuasion suggests primary jumping as a strategy to stop that candidate. Any bets on the howling, moaning, and outrage from the democrats and The State? Then again, Republicans are succeeding because for the most part they are principled and moral people, so we likely would scoff at the notion.

  19. Doug

    So what does “Finest” mean? Best of the worst? How many Richland 2 parents use the school choice option to select Keels over other elementary schools?

  20. Randy E

    Doug, you are reinforcing my point. Compare the socio-economic status of the parents at Keels VS Lonnie B Nelson (80% subsidized meals vs 25%). You know first hand the importance of parental involvement and how strong the level of involvement is at the elementary school level. Based on this, are you really expecting the PACT scores to be the same?
    As I explained before, Palmetto’s Finest and the Blue Ribbon awards evaluate how well a school addresses the needs of their particular students. Hence, it’s clearly not contradictory to have Keels and Nelson both win the same award.
    The report cards are a two-edged sword. They give parents lots of useful information – a step towards better accountability. But the entire evaluation is based on a single score.
    The bottom line is these awards are not mere rec league trophies. Making sweeping judgements based on the actions of a single school is ill-conceived. There are problems in education that need to be addressed, but I don’t see how they’ll be solved by simply bashing away at schools in general.

  21. Doug

    I’m not bashing schools. I am bashing the education bureacracy that focuses on public relations over making real changes in teaching kids who are at a serious disadvantage.
    What you are saying is that we should set a lower bar for schools with a higher percentage of low-income students. And that it is valid to recognize achieving much lower standards as representative of “Palmetto’s Finest” schools. I’m sure all those kids who will score below basic yet are passed along from grade to grade will have plenty of time to come back to admire the plaque after they drop out.
    Many of these kids are facing a crisis at
    home and in the school. Our education establishment is unwilling to address this crisis with real hard choices and real change in how the kids are taught.
    Why not make it a policy that no student will be promoted if they do not score at least basic on both the English and Math exams? Otherwise, what purpose do the PACT tests serve?

  22. Randy E

    Doug, when you belittle an award (“no better than a rec league trophy”) that represents the work of TEACHERS and reflects the school then you are bashing them.
    The students at the lower SES (socio-economic status) as a whole are going to have lower test scores. It’s unrealistic and even unfair to claim that a school made up of low SES students should have the exact same scores overall as a school made up of high SES students without extra help.
    Would you expect a doctor working with very sick patients to have the exact same results as one with mostly healthy patients? Would you expect a lawyer with the most difficult cases to have the exact same results as one with the easier cases?
    This is the very reason we measure progress and evaluate a school based on how they serve the needs of their particular students. BUT, we must have the same standards. This is where reform comes in. The $64k question, how do we elevate these students. I suggest that these schools which are full of mostly low SES students need extra resources. Before the right wing capitalism solves everything crowd starts chirping, let me say the resources invovle more than money. Get extra tutors for those schools. Allow them some flexibility to create programs to provide extra help.
    This is where the discussion should be. Not on choice or bashing our schools, but on identifying the specific in the classroom problems and problem-solving.

  23. Lee

    The basic problem is that schools are handed money based on how many seats are filled, not on how many children can read, do fractions, and pass the exit exam.
    As pointed out many times, the poor rural districts get loads of state money to equalize spending per pupil. They still fail to produce much results, so they sue for more money.
    It is time for the administrators to come out of hiding, explain by the last 116 fad programs failed, and why anyone should believe the will not waste the next helicopter load of money that is scattered over Marlboro County.

  24. Lee

    Don’t you understand that all these awards are not for results, but for trying, and for good intentions of the administrators and consultants.
    They have low expectations for most students, so they can’t withold awards from people just because they are achieving at half the levels of others with the same IQs.
    And those poor children during the Depression who grew up and designed all those airplanes, ships and rockets can’t be compared. They had unfair advantages, like married parents and discipline. Their one-room school houses with chalboards and pencils were not as distracting as today’s high-tech multicultural learning centers.

  25. Randy E

    Let’s keep this thread flowing. I posted a challenge to pin point some areas for reform. Please read my previous post a couple spots above.

  26. Doug

    Here’s some ideas for low SES students who test at Below Basic (mandatory) or Basic
    (parent’s choice to participate) in
    elementary and middle schools:
    1) Mandatory year round school
    2) Very limited curriculum – no foreign language, no typing, one elective for 30
    minutes per day (art, music, or PE).
    Three hours of communication (reading, writing, speaking) and one hour of math,
    science, civics.
    3) Daily reading and writing assignments.
    Every single day. In school since we
    can’t expect parental support.
    4) Use technology to drill, drill, drill
    on basic math, vocabulary, and reading
    comprehension every day.
    5) Pay teachers a bonus for every child who
    moves up from Below Basic to Basic. And
    double it if they move to Proficient.
    Other ideas:
    If we can’t drop PACT entirely (and replace it with national tests), drop the social studies and science PACT tests. I’m sure the English and Math scores correlate to those results pretty closely. It’s just more data that isn’t used.
    Open regional vocational high schools. There are plenty of great examples
    out there – although you may have to look (horrors) “Up North” to find them.

  27. Randy E

    DAANNGGG! Doug, those are some great ideas. Thanks. I think this is where the discussion should be.
    In your PTO meetings, were ideas like this discussed? Did you discuss these any where else?
    There will be a faction that will descry your focus on the 3Rs. Pragmatically, I believe we have to prioritize. If people don’t like cutting art, music etc. then year-round or summer schooling would give them the extra attention on the basics for those that are lacking.

  28. mark

    I always vote for the best candiate, regardless of party. I really want to see change in this state, and I care about education and effectiveness in government. I would have to agree with Brad on this one. Although I would normally cast a ballot in the Democratic primary, I’m going to cast a vote for Lovelace and Staton. That’s how I beleive I can best advance education through my vote.

  29. Lee

    Mandatory year round school is not necessary.
    It is just a way to increase the incomes of some teachers. Many teachers will tell you that we have more than enough days now, if they cut out the junk, and that many teachers will quit, rather than teach year round. One reason they became teachers was to not work 12 months a year.

  30. Randy E

    Mark, I read up on the dem candidate, Rex. He’s offering up the same old stereotypical democratic stance to win the teacher vote. This is one teacher he lost for his lack of a vision of improving the schools.

  31. Aaron

    Randy; as someone who’s interested in going into teaching and has a firm grip of politics, your argument holds a healthy merit. I am genuinely concerned that people like Doug, Dave and Lee cannot begin to conceive how one test evaluates a school but there is absolutely no context involved.
    Teachers work harder and harder these days and these people seem to think they do nothing, it’s disgusting and offensive.
    I’d strongly suggest a social studies or logic class to them, but I am afraid they’d reject them for being “liberal”.

  32. Dave

    Aaron, indoctrination camps for conservatives, I think that has been done in Cuba, Vietnam, USSR, etc. No thanks. Anyway, I have a lot of respect for teachers who work in a system where liberals run the show and these liberals will not allow proper discipline to be applied or reward excellent performance. That is not the teacher’s fault. You won’t hear me denigrating teachers for the most part unless I know a specific person. It is the bureaucracy of the system that is holding back progress and a failure to admit or even recognize that unless reform starts in the home, tweaking programs in the schools wont work.

  33. Lee

    Aaron has the normal childish world view of a student under the spell of classroom propaganda. He is unable to understand a criticism of broad and system problems in the architectures and mismanagement of public education in any terms except an egocentric view as “attacking the teachers”.
    That is exactly as the educrats like it: using “the teachers” and “the children” as shields for their own failure.

  34. Aaron

    If you think an objective education is “indoctrination”, then I guess you’ve already bought into the something like fascism-nazism jingo of neo-conservativism. I guess facts no longer come from the brain or logic, but from the gut.
    Liberals do not “run the show”. This is a blatant fiction. How can they run a show in:
    A) A country with a conservative President, SC, and Congress
    B) A state with a conservative governor and conservative government?
    That is the kind of logic I find baffling. I would say you might have an argument if we had, within the last month, had conservatives in power. But as long as I have been in SC and from before it, conservativism has been dominant. No, the schools don’t work because SC is a *conservative* state, not for *liberal*.
    Bureaucracy is supported by both parties; they both expand and expand the government. Bush’s government has done so as much as Clinton’s. Maybe you are a “classic conservative” (i.e. a classic Millsian liberal), but on these grounds you should hate Bush and the current “conservatives” for perverting your message and corrupting the name.
    But I haven’t seen that.
    I don’t know what “classroom propaganda” is, exactly. I do know that the argument Dave produced was inherently flawed on a variety of logical grounds – for example, taking a universal out of a singular, a (lame) personal attack and appeals to mockery that have no basis in any logic or fact.
    Propaganda hates logic and supports logical fallacy and error (we see it in the former USSR, Nazi Germany and definitely during election campaigns). I certainly think the system is inherently messed up, but your arguments are not where it is messed up nor do they even make sense to a critical mind.
    “Educrats” – man, the pithy and empty phrases people will churn out to avoid intelligent analysis.

  35. tammy

    I agree Brad. And thank you for caring about SC public schools. Unfortunately I don’t have thousands of dollars (or friends with tons of cash–we all work in education for crying out loud) to sink into my candidates wallets like Floyd and Sanford.
    Someone called crossover voting VOTER FRAUD? Please. We’re simply joining you in your own game.
    All I got is my little bitty vote. Don’t think I will waste it in the Dem primary.
    🙂 t

  36. Randy E

    Aaron, great point about who’s running the show. The legislature, local county councils and local school boards control the agenda, set policy, and control funding (and oversight of spending).
    For example, Richland 1 and 2 get their funding from Richland County Council. These members are elected officials who answer to the voters. If the citizens of Richland County are so disturbed by the spending, they should vote in like-minded council members and school board members.

  37. Lee

    Richland County Council is gerrymandered to create black seats, to create some GOP districts and leave a few Democrat districts.
    District 1 has enough money to pay $1,000,000 cash severance packages to a superintendant, and hire admin cronies as consultants at $8,000 a week.

  38. Lee

    And if Democrats want more spending, they should vote in their people by sabotaging the GOP primary, voting in both primaries, voting twice, carrying drunks and the mentally retarded to the polls, and encouraging illegal aliens to vote…. according to Brad Warthen, Sally Huguley, and Democrat candidates.

  39. Randy E

    As I was “saying” there are government bodies (county council, school boards, state legislature) that oversee the spending and the agenda of our school systems. They oversee the educators. How does accountability skip over this layer?

  40. Aaron

    Because democrats are all evil… or something.
    If in doubt, go to emotive, nonsensical issues to “energize” your “base”.

  41. Ready to Hurl

    Lee spews:
    …voting in both primaries, voting twice, carrying drunks and the mentally retarded to the polls, and encouraging illegal aliens to vote
    Any time that you want to substantiate these baseless allegations, Lee, we’re all eyes. Until you offer proof then you’ll be known as a blowhard liar.
    BTW, proof would mean legal convictions; NOT spin, propaganda and ignorant drivel from the likes of Drudge, FNC, Ann Coulter, Free Republic or the National Review.
    Here are some examples:
    REPUBLICAN Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham said Monday he is resigning from Congress after pleading guilty to taking more than $2 million in bribes in a criminal conspiracy involving at least three defense contractors.
    REPUBLICAN Charles McGee, executive director of the New Hampshire REPUBLICAN Party and REPUBLICAN National Committee regional political director James Tobin and GOP consultant Allen Raymond– have been found guilty of criminally violating federal communications law. [To throw the 2002 NH election for governor.]
    Upcoming example:
    REPUBLICAN Tom DeLay resigned as U.S. House majority leader on Wednesday after a Texas grand jury indicted him and two associates on charges of conspiracy in fundraising. DeLay is the first leader of the House of Representatives to be indicted while in office in at least a century, according to congressional historians.

  42. Randy E

    All socialist lies propogated by the liberal media, America haters, and Law Enforcement which is apparently in the hands of liberals who want criminals in the streets killing us.

  43. Wally A

    I’m having a hard time understanding how anyone can reasonably claim that a Democrat choosing to vote in the Republican primary is fraud. In this state at this time, the Republican candidate is virtually guaranteed to win in a statewide election in the absence of a popular Democratic incumbent. If they can’t vote in the Republican primary, it’s just as if they can’t vote at all.

  44. Randy E

    Wally, the person who made that claim also suggested that the democrats get legislation passed using stealth tactics. Just look for the person who posts claims about our schools being propaganda machines for socialists (aka liberals aka not neocons). If you encounter him, don’t make eye contact and key your keypad very still and maybe he won’t write to you.

  45. Lee

    Wally, can you understand how voting in both primaries is fraud?
    Can you understand how encouraging illegal aliens from Mexico to vote Democrat is fraud?

  46. Lee

    Democrat Caught Advising Illegal Aliens to Vote
    (AP) June 05, 2006 04:15 PM EST
    In the midst of a heated congressional race in California, the Democrat Party candidate
    was heard advising a crowd she knew were illegal aliens to vote and work for her
    Democrat Francine Busby supports the bipartisan immigration reform plan that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) helped hammer out with Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA. Busby believes that the amnesty serves as the heart of the legislation approved by the Senate last week.
    For that, Busby has been hammered by her Republican opponent, who opposes attempts to offer legal status to any illegal immigrant in the United States.

  47. Lee

    The illiberals don’t have many arrows in their quiver, and it doesn’t take them long to start with smearing the critics of government waste, and calling them Nazis.
    Most modern liberals are so unschooled in the history of their beliefs, that they are unaware how many of their ideas and tactics come from the Nazi and Leninist forms of socialism.
    That is why Hitler and Lenin considered liberals and moderates to be “useful idiots” in the advancement of socialism.

  48. Randy E

    As a democrat and a public school teacher, I will vote for Staton in the primary because I believe in what he proposes and in his effort to generate a detailed plan. At the moment, I am completely unimpressed with the democratic candidate, Jim Rex because of his lack of vision and of details. I may very well end up voting for Rex if he comes up with a plan that involves more than the standard stereotypical educator “happy talk” he offers now on his website.
    This is a clear example of the validity of cross over voting that Brad encouraged. The republicans serve democratic citizens as well. Have the neocons in here devolved to the point that they believe party affiliation pertains to public service as well? President Bush is my president as too. Because I disagree with him doesn’t mean I hate him nor does it mean he shouldn’t answer to me as well as his base.
    If I wanted to sabotage the GOP, I’d actually vote for Floyd because Staton poses much greater opposition for Rex. With Floyd, Rex can cater his “vision” and platform to be anti-voucher (which is probably why he’s waiting to share his “vision”). Brad didn’t endorse the sabotage candidate, Brad endorsed the education candidate.

  49. Aaron

    “The illiberals don’t have many arrows in their quiver, and it doesn’t take them long to start with smearing the critics of government waste, and calling them Nazis.”
    You’re missing the analogy. I merely pointed out the logic of supporting any group because they “won” does not mean there is any *moral* justification. After all, the same argument could be applied to the Soviets or Nazis – if anything, Doug is defending them, I’m merely pointing out the flaw in the idea.
    “Most modern liberals are so unschooled in the history of their beliefs, that they are unaware how many of their ideas and tactics come from the Nazi and Leninist forms of socialism.”
    No, I’m not. As a socialist I’m much more aware of the history of the ideal, beyond that of your narrow-minded Stalin-Lenin concept. I bet you couldn’t distinguish the utopian socialists from the revisionist socialists.
    “That is why Hitler and Lenin considered liberals and moderates to be “useful idiots” in the advancement of socialism.”
    Considering “liberalism” i its truest sense means anybody believing in a free market, you’re right. People like you were considered idiots by Lenin and Hitler, but for entirely different reasons on their parts.

  50. Lee

    Lenin and Stalin recognized genuine classical liberals like myself as their pure ideological enemies.
    Most modern liberals had, by the 1920s, grown weary of trying to convince the people of the benefits of reforms, and had joined forces with the less violent socialists, to force their vision upon the masses. The New Deal was the greatest attempt at socialist revolution since Lincoln brought in the Forty-niner communists from Germany. Liberals at the New York Times proclaimed Hitler as a man of vision, and the Democrats aped his programs.
    All the Democratic Party has today is the decayed remnant of those failed programs, maintained by the remnant of Marxist hippies in expensive suits, such as Al Gore, John Kerry, Pelosi, and the Clintons.
    Schizophrenics like Ralph Nader operate out of the old Communist Party USA headquarters, while refusing to reveal his $2,000,000 portfolio of blue chip stocks to the Federal Election Commission. John Kerry flies around on a Gulfstream jet preaching to the rabble about how they should drive hybrid cars, instead of the GMC Yukon that chauffeurs him between his Beacon Hill townhouse and Alden yacht.

  51. Lee

    Thank God for the neocons who do as they say. Of course, you can’t believe the liberal American hating media that reported (and showed video of) Dennis Hastert driving off in a hybrid from a photo-op at a gas station only to change over to a giant SUV a block away.
    Or the misinformation about Bush and us neocons deriding “nation-building” and then building the nation of Iraq. Atleast we’re controlling spending (despite the propoganda of the socialist media).
    Or the lies about us claiming to go into Iraq because of WMD then using Sadam as the reason for being in Iraq, without mentioning WMD.

  52. Dave

    Randy – yes, you don’t hate Bush but you are a more open minded and fair blogger. RTH, Bud, Bill, Mary and others actually do hate Bush and every single thing he does or does not do. There are a lot of haters out there, unfortunately. As I noted before, Ann Coulter and Bill Maher are friends, I think the history of this country allows us to disagree very strongly without hate. We are not Columbia, Chile, or Venezuela, and hopefully never will be.

  53. bud

    Actually Dave, we ARE Columbia (but not Colombia).
    I wouldn’t say I hate George W. Bush. I just think he’s a failure as a president. I do think he’s dishonest and not very bright. He actually might be fun to go bike riding or have a beer with. But as a president he’s a complete and utter failure. And statistically the country is worse off for it.

  54. bud

    As for education, Doug may be on to something in his 5 point proposal. I would just add it’s probably a good idea to have a different curriculum for advanced students as compared to those who are average and below. I think the brightest students can handle a ton of electives. Also, I think we’ve gone overboard with homework in recent years. Drill, drill, drill may be okay in the classroom but too much will turn the kids off. Let’s try to make it fun.

  55. Aaron

    I am certainly against a limitation of a curriculum, unless there’s some clarification on the part. Science does not generate open minds, it is the limiting and narrow-minded methodology to not give kids any useful tools for actual social and cultural interaction. However, the communication aspect would be wonderful.
    “The New Deal was the greatest attempt at socialist revolution since Lincoln brought in the Forty-niner communists from Germany. Liberals at the New York Times proclaimed Hitler as a man of vision, and the Democrats aped his programs.”
    That’s nothing like a socialist revolution; this shows your clear idiocy and lack of context of history. Look at Russia. That is a “socialist revolution”. Complete overhaul of everything, from top to bottom. The New Deal was, at best, centrist. Coming out of the 19th century it looks left wing, but Roosevelt didn’t nationalize any industry or service as far as I can remember.
    And yes, Hitler was initially applauded by everyone, including right wingers like Chamberlain in Britain.
    “All the Democratic Party has today is the decayed remnant of those failed programs, maintained by the remnant of Marxist hippies in expensive suits, such as Al Gore, John Kerry, Pelosi, and the Clintons. ”
    America’s greatest growth spurt came from… after the New Deal. The quality of life has dropped for the average person since… Reagan.
    Government services are always a positive, but obviously people who abuse the system are not.
    “Thank God for the neocons who do as they say.”
    Usually after they’re taken to court though, considering how corrupt they all are.
    “Of course, you can’t believe the liberal American hating media that reported (and showed video of) Dennis Hastert driving off in a hybrid from a photo-op at a gas station only to change over to a giant SUV a block away. ”
    I seriously think if you went to any other country on the planet, to centrist or center-left nations like those of Western Europe, your head would implode. The American media is notoriously conservative, bordering on propaganda on media like FOX News, and that’s just the reporting.
    “Or the lies about us claiming to go into Iraq because of WMD then using Sadam as the reason for being in Iraq, without mentioning WMD.”
    Methinks the Daily Show did (and still does) a wonderful occasional segment showing what Republicans said and now say, and basically… they said it was for WMDs.
    I don’t hate Bush. I think the man is far too far out of his depth and has lost any faculty of critical thought, but I do think what he does is what he thinks is right because he genuinely wants to help America. Unfortunately, his entire reign has been compromise and failure.

  56. Randy E

    Bud, you highlight a couple interesting points from Doug.
    We use the cookie cutter approach to put out students with similar education backgrounds, which obviously fails terribly. For some students, we need to focus on getting them a solid foundation on the basics. Others can move on to a more comprehensive program, getting into more depth in more areas.
    Think about this. The valedictorian at a top level high school who has 15 hours of AP credit and is accepted into Harvard will get the same diploma as a student with a 1.8 gpa who took all low level classes. Many of these students barely pass many or most of their classes which indicates they didn’t learn very much.
    It’s not PC to talk this way, but we won’t move forward until such issues are addressed.

  57. Aaron

    Both Randy and Lee are right. The British system doesn’t ever give you a diploma for graduating, instead you take exams in each separate subject, at 16 and optionally if you want an extra two years at 18.
    Instead of saying you graduated, you say what kind of grades you got which is the same around the country.
    Would it be that hard to implement a system like this?

  58. Doug

    Many posts ago, Randy asked if I attempted to pursue gathering information from parents when I was a PTO president at an elementary school.
    At the risk of once again being accused of oversimplification, let me tell you that my personal experience led me to believe that the school (via the principal) was uninterested in hearing ideas from parents.
    I first attempted to set up a website polling application for parents to respond to various questions that came from the PTO board to gather feedback. That lasted about a week before the principal strongly
    urged me to shut it down because it was not officially endorsed by the district office.
    How the district office would or should have any authority over what PTO’s could do was never explained to my satisfaction. The principal also did not like the fact that parents were going beyond the polling website to come in and speak to him/her about the topics under discussion. It was definitely a control issue. Since I had three kids at the school at the time as well as my wife working there, I had to abandon the website.
    Next, we attempted to collect information from parents on when they thought the school calendar should begin. We did that with a flyer sent home with the students. The results were overwhelmingly (80%) in favor of a late August start date. So, being the naive fool that I am, I thought I would take that information to the school board at one of their bi-weekly meetings. Brought along handouts with the data and charts… made my presentation… and then…. NOTHING. No response from any of the board members. Not
    even a “thank you for that information” I was left to conclude that the school board and the district administration really didn’t care what parents thought about the issue. They were already going to start the school year as early as possible to get as many days in before PACT as they could.
    So, if I seem a little cynical about just how open the school systems are to real change, it’s based on personal experience.

  59. Aaron

    “The 1.8 GPA student should have been idenfified and remediated long before the 12th grade.”
    Why would it even matter when all that really is important is the quality of education the student has when he leaves?
    “So, if I seem a little cynical about just how open the school systems are to real change, it’s based on personal experience. ”
    Nobody here thinks the system is perfect, Doug, we just strongly disagree on how bad it is, what is good in it, and how we would fix it.

  60. Doug

    >Nobody here thinks the system is perfect,
    >Doug, we just strongly disagree on how bad it
    >is, what is good in it, and how we would fix >it.
    I’m waiting to see ACTION versus continued discussion. What is so difficult about seeing a problem and coming up with different solutions to solve it? Doing the same thing year over year is not going to change anything.
    Is every kid who tested Below Basic had bird flu, we’d see a very rapid response. Well, why not treat the situation as a crisis and respond accordingly?

  61. Aaron

    “Is every kid who tested Below Basic had bird flu, we’d see a very rapid response. Well, why not treat the situation as a crisis and respond accordingly? ”
    If it is a crisis, how do you know your answer won’t double or triple it? Reminds me of the Black Death – people used to believe that by sweet-smelling pouches you couldn’t catch the airborne disease.
    Action is all well and good, but what action?
    “The educrats need some more grant money to study the problem.”
    Again with the pithy emptiness of Lee.

  62. Randy E

    Doug, that is some interesting information. You have highlighted some of the problems in education. There is a structure and there are some individuals who aren’t interested in helpful ideas as much the particular ideas they want.
    It occurs to me that the PTOs, if utilized properly, would be the way for educators and parents to work together. Again, the powers that be might not want that.
    How was the suvey for start date conducted? Was this for an elementary school?
    The start date issue gets many educators in hs up in arms. Our students will have to take final exams after winter break. They will likely finish the regular course content the last week of school in December, then spend a week reviewing for an exam the 2nd week in January. Doug, do you have students that have had to take final exams like that? It’s not fair. Some will make the ivory tower argument that students should remember what they learned. No one remembers everything!
    Also, I will have 2 less weeks to prepare students for the AP exams. Again, critics will decry that other states have later starts. The bottom line is will are students do worse because of this decision?

  63. Lee

    Doug, you are learning the truth – that government schools just pay lip service to parental involvement, but really only want you to shut up and write checks. They are the experts and they need you to stop trying to raise children who belong to the state.

  64. Lee

    Doug, I have been involved in one school and I asked two teachers what it’s like in our SC schools and I volunteer to bring supplies to the school. I have it all figured out. Schools are designed to revive communism and indoctrinate our kids. They are teaching our kids to let killers on the street and support illegals who are mostly Hispanics who commit 96.8% of the crime in this country. They want to give our hard earned tax payer money to the single mothers who should get a job and stop having babies. Welcome aboard Doug.

  65. Doug

    I guess I’m in ivory tower.
    My thought is that if the kids are really learning something (i.e. for lifetime application), they shouldn’t forget it after three weeks. Or am I expecting too
    much? I still know many of the facts and skills I was taught in high school.
    Yes, it was an elementary school survey with a high response rate (200+ out of
    a population of 600 students).
    I could give you many more anecdotes of what happens when you try and buck the system. They tend to tailor one’s perspective on the situation.

  66. Randy E

    Doug, I experienced the same thing as a teacher at other schools. Not all administrators are like that. If you had a sit down with our principal you’d be impressed.
    Regarding the exam, let me pose this situation: your son finishes chapter 8 in algebra on Oct 5. His teacher waits until Oct 26 to test him on the material with no review. You would think that is perfectly fair? Another question, does your son have to study for tests or did you ever have to? I’ll bet the answer is yes, but if it’s review of material you already covered you should have remembered it all. I bet I could give you one of my high school tests and you will have forgotten atleast some of the material.
    Your survey, despite the response rate, is an example of voluntary response which is loaded with potential bias. To make it valid, you need to take a random sample of households.

  67. Lee

    If parents don’t care enough to respond to a poll, why should their opinion be sought on an issue? How valid or worthwhile is their answer likely to be? No very.
    Doug did this the right way.

  68. Randy E

    Doug, if you want accurate information on the beliefs of the parents (as I assume you and most of us do), you’d have to use a random sample.

  69. Ready to Hurl

    Lee spews:
    That is why Hitler and Lenin considered liberals and moderates to be “useful idiots” in the advancement of socialism.

    From Wikipedia
    The term is purported to have been coined by Vladimir Lenin to describe those western reporters and travellers who would endorse the Soviet Union and its policies in the West. However, no reference to a communist sympathizer or political leftist as a “useful idiot” was made in the United States until 1948, and not until decades later would the attempts to attribute the phrase to Lenin be made (after 1948, when the phrase was used in a New York Times article in relation to Italian politics, it was not mentioned again in print until 1961 [1]). Lenin never wrote it in any published document, no one has claimed to have heard him say it first hand, and it contradicts the opinions expressed in Lenin’s published documents in reference to the Comintern.

    Now, who is the idiot?

  70. Randy E

    RtH, you may as well let a monkey type your post because you’ll get the same response.
    You check out the WIS polling results thus far?

  71. Randy E

    Ok, this is the teachers thread. Let’s hear some ideas about improving education aside from dismissing schools as “socialist entities” and the education system is run by incompetents.

  72. Lee

    Wikipedia is malarky, written by anyone, who may just be making it up for gullible Googlers like RTH. It may be too politically incorrect for modern liberals, but they can learn of Hitler’s contempt for liberals, small businessmen and others by reading it directly in Mein Kampf.
    Randy, ask a marketing expert why a your random sample of parents who don’t really care will not yield a worthwhile answer. This is the improper application of a random sample.

  73. Ready to Hurl

    Wow, Lee, now you’re a “marketing expert?”
    I thought that you were some kind of engineering know-it-all.
    I’m not a “marketing expert” but it doesn’t take an “expert” to determine that a sample of self-chosen survey respondents will not yield a statistically representative result.
    Didn’t you take any stats in your engineering education? Oh, wait, I bet those nefarious, socialist teachers were just “indoctrinating” you. It’s a good thing that you ignored them.

  74. Ready to Hurl

    Yep, Randy, it looks like Brad’s insidious plot to sabotage the Republican primary has suceeded: Floyd will probably win the primary due to devious cross-over Democratic voters determined to expose how inimical the GOP is to public education.
    I took a peek at Floyd’s website and found some interesting reading. Her endorsement of vouchers is disguised as “Improving Educational Options in South Carolina.” She says “It is simply not correct to claim that there is no data to support the benefits of school choice– there is a great deal of research that supports this premise.”
    Unfortunately, her sources for this “research” are simply wingnut think tanks like the Manhattan Institute, the Heritage Foundation, Center for Education Reform, Home School Legal Defense Association and Jay P. Greene’s book, Education Myths.
    Greene’s book, in particular, should make great reading for SC educators. He contends that teachers are paid on par with other professionals like lawyers and accountants. He figures teachers’ hourly salaries are comparable since they only work seven-hour days for nine months out of the year.

  75. Randy E

    RtH, Good observations about Floyd (and about the misinformation about statistics offered by other sources).
    On her website she also offers up private management for low achieving schools. Her program is based on the Diverse Educator Model (something like that) which is used in the Philadelphia School System and has been around for only 3 1/2 years. That’s not very much time to analyze the program and I have concerns about using a big city model for our rural areas.
    I give her credit, she has researched and came up with detailed plans which can’t be said for 3 of the republican and the one democratic candidate.
    Here’s what I find very sad about the situation. The race between her and Rex, the dem, will focus almost exclusively on using private schools and private management. All the big issues in the classroom will be unaddressed.
    I respect Brad’s analysis and appreciate his information, but I think he dropped the ball making choice the primary issue in the state super race.

  76. Ready to Hurl

    Floyd is clever, all right. However most of her cleverness is in applying a layer of soft soap to the regressive right wing agenda proposed by those “think tanks.” Her “research” has been prepackaged by the reactionary billionares who fund the Manhattan Institute et al.
    The creation and lavish funding of these agenda-marketing organizations is where the reactionary right has undercut the liberal/left for 40 years. Floyd really didn’t have to come up with much original thinking. Most of what she did was adopt the wingnut’s Trojan-Horse attack-plans to destroy public education. The right has been repackaging threadbare attacks on education for eager consumption of gullible dolts like Lee and Dave.
    “Intelligent Design,” for instance, is just creationism newly-clothed as a supposed scientific concept.

  77. Randy E

    RtH, I want to build on your perspective. I think the problem is oversimplifying the choice and design issues.
    I actually support choice on the basis of religious freedom. If I want my child to have an education grounded in religious faith, I believe I should have the right to use atleast some of my tax dollars earmarked for education towards the private school.
    Unfortunately, the debate has centered on private schools (mostly religious based) as an alternative to the public schools. The main purpose for the religious private schools is RELIGION not reform. Such alternatives should be charter schools.
    As a result, we have the entire reform debate centered on a public vs private school when the idea is to offer alternatives. I bet many who oppose vouchers would be willing to support such alternatives if they were incorporated in the public school system as has already happened.
    Similarly, I believe intelligent design has a place in education, but not as a scientific concept. The purpose of the science curriculum is SCIENCE – scientific inquiry. If intelligent design can not be addressed with scientific inquiry, then it’s not appropriate to treat it as science.
    On the other hand, if we want our young people to develop critical thought, they should be given the details. Creationism/intelligent design is infused into our American society and history (In God We Trust etc.) and therefore should be taught in a critical manner.

  78. Lee

    Students might want to learn why Charles Darwin was a believer in the theory of “intelligent design” until a few years before his death.

  79. Lee

    I don’t claim to be a marketing expert, but can refer you to a few, for some help in understanding why a random sample of the wrong population of student parents is not as good as Doug’s polling method.

  80. Huh?

    Lee, you are full of crap (as usual).
    These same marketing experts you supposedly know will tell you that the whole point of a sample survey to is to generate a representative sample of the population. Randomness is the foundation for inferential statistics for which sample surveys are an example. That’s why these online polls are bogus, no randomness.
    If you want to know the preference of the population of parents at this school, you take a RANDOM sample from this population. YOU don’t ASSume the ones that give a crap are the ones that reply.
    Your warped explanation you pulled out of your butt is another example of how you continually make up crap and post it on this site. Why do you think some many people respond to you with the phrase “Lee you are full of crap?” Spare us the waste of time and actually look up some evidence and facts.

  81. Lee

    “Huh?” is a good blog handle for posting such nonsense.
    Try to explain why you should use a random survey that seeks the opinions of parents who don’t care about the education issue and haven’t thought about it until you asked. They just skew the results randomly away from what the interested and dedicated parents want.
    A smart poll about Lexus automobiles doesn’t randomly quiz people on the street; it selects a target population of potential customers who would like to buy a Lexus or other nice automobile as the starting point.

  82. Huh?

    Lee, you are full of crap.
    First, how do you know the parents don’t care? You haven’t surveyed them yet. Again YOU can’t ASSume they don’t care because they didn’t respond. There are other possible reasons too DUH! If Doug wanted to conduct a vote, then you count only the ballots that were submitted. This was a POLL!
    Second, you don’t select a target population, you select a sample from the population. Lexus clearly is interested in potential customers (target population). They would take a random sample from this population for the survey. It’s a fundamental principle for inferential statistics. LOOK IT UP!
    Ann Landers conducted a poll of parents asking them if they would have children if they had a choice to it all over again. 75% said NO! Using your “logic” this would make sense. A scientific poll was conducted as a follow up and the results were the exact opposite. Why? Because her sampling method did not have RANDOMNESS. LOOK IT UP!
    You are so full of crap, your eyes must be brown! If you can see past all that brown, LOOK SOMETHING UP!

  83. Lee

    I am guessing the parents who won’t bother to come to a parental meeting or a PTO meeting and pick up Doug’s poll don’t care very much.
    Since 70% of black children have only one or no parents, I know those biological parents don’t care.
    Do you think they care enough to be hunted down and asked for input?

  84. Doug

    Couple points about the poll:
    It was never intended to be a scientific sampling. It was intended to give an oportunity for parents to respond to an issue that directly affects them.
    Recognizing that it was not a scientific, isn’t there some degree of “randomness” built into the process since a) not all the surveys would make it home b) not all surveys that made it home would be read and c) not all surveys that were read would be returned either due to apathy or any other reason.
    Parents were also given an opporunity to discuss the results at an open PTO meeting.
    There was very little support for the current calendar. This is where I completely agree with Lee – parents who
    take an active interest in the education
    of their children SHOULD have more say in
    the process than those who don’t care.
    The bottom line is that the people who took the time to respond overwhelmingly felt the school calendar should start in late August.

  85. Randy E

    Doug, what you conducted was a vote and not a sample survey, don’t confuse the two. Suggesting that 80% of parents prefer the late start is completely inaccurate – we are debating education issues, and this is actually a topic taught in the stats classes.
    Here’s a possibility: many parents who prefer an earlier start and didn’t respond may have felt the debate on late start was decided by the legislature so there was no point to address it. Mean while, those that prefer the late start are fired up about this issue hence more likely to respond.
    BTW, another problem in surveys in an understanding of the issues and how they are phrased. Often, people in those situations have a limited understanding of the issues. If you explained to parents the problems with taking exams after winter break and the reduced time for AP exams, you’d have some changed attitudes.
    Speaking of which, you never did respond to my question about memory. Do you remember all your high school material now? Did you or your son ever have to study for a test, or had you remembered everything and didn’t need to study? I bet you and your son had to study because there is some memory loss. If so, how much memory loss is there over a 4 week period?

  86. Lee

    And this is a good examples of “the experts” paralyzed by quibbling over which wrong way to do it, while the interested parents already have it done.

  87. Huh?

    “Since 70% of black children have only one or no parents, I know those biological parents don’t care.
    Do you think they care enough to be hunted down and asked for input?” – LEE
    “the majority of Hispancis are illegal aliens” – LEE

  88. Lee

    FACTUAL data always looks ugly to the liberals who operate off ignorance and their own racial prejudice.
    Try to pick one of those facts and explain it away. Good luck.

  89. Doug

    The survey was done five years ago, not
    recently – so your argument regarding the recent legislation is invalid. Also, it
    was an elementary school, so the issue regarding the supposed “memory loss” over
    winter break was also not relevant. Luckily, most of the elementary age children remember how to read and do math over the break.
    Sorry, I don’t agree at all with your
    “memory loss” argument. If you are teaching geometry and the students forget the Pythagorean after a month, there are going to be a lot more problems down the
    road. I would expect my son to study
    for whatever material was going to be on
    the test, regardless of when it was taught.
    Hey, I haven’t had to find the hypotenuse
    of a triangle since 1979, and I could still do it. Because I learned it.

  90. Lee

    Students, and teachers, have a hard time learning and retaining knowledge, because of they don’t use the skills as much as previous generations did.
    My parents, and I, grew up using geometry to build houses, lay out gardens, and survey fields. It is not just something you saw one time in a book. It is real, and remembered.

  91. Randy E

    Doug: there are still plenty of possible reasons you can have undercoverage of certain subsets of your population. I simply gave some possibilities out of many. Again, if you wanted a vote then you did the right thing. If you truely wanted to determine the parents attitude, you have skewed data – which is taught in basic stats classes.
    As far as memory goes, I asked if you remember EVERYTHING. You are being selective in your response – citing the ability to remember how to read or to remember a single formula does not address the question put to you, it’s a cop out.
    You were certainly taught the quadratic formula. Please cite it from memory. While you are at it, cite the formula for the law of cosines aka cosine law. I’ll be more than willing to meet you and administer a short test from a regular geometry class and really test that memory.
    Why does your son need to study if he remembers everything? There’s is absolutely no reason for him to study if he remembers everything.

  92. Huh?

    SSSuuurrreee Brown Eyes, you were building houses from looking at a geometry book one time.
    I do believe you read that someone used geometry to build houses and you took their story as your own.
    You are full of crap.

  93. Huh?

    Simple insults, like the racist remarks you’ve made on here?
    How many different people on here have said you are full of crap? Go ahead and guess, which is how you generate your other statistics.

  94. Doug

    You said students would get a week to review
    for the test. Give me a week and I could pass
    the same test. And if I had spent 15 weeks prior to that taking a class with regular homework, quizzes, and tests, I think I could do fine, even with a three week winter break (complete with eggnog and other Yuletimne cheer).
    I never said I (nor my son) could retain everything forever.
    But your line of questioning reminded me of a recent experience. My son just graduated from high school. He was accepted at USC and as part of the enrollment process had to take both a math placement and language placement exam.
    Math was no problem because he just finished up pre-calc. Language however was a concern. He took Latin in 7-9th grade and had done nothing else since. So he spent a day or so reviewing what materials he did have. The result? He got a good enough score that he doesn’t have to take a language in college. So, even after three years (not three weeks) something must have stuck.
    Another example – when my son was taking the SAT’s, I bought a book that had ten sample tests. Just for fun (okay, not fun), I took a complete SAT. Mind you, I have been out of college since 1983. The results were about what I would have expected – my Verbal score went from 600 to 740 and my Math score went from 680 to 600.
    I would expect in another 20 years to see the math score drop another 100 points.
    But whatever score I did get was a result of my high school education. Nothing more.
    Also, I wonder how all these other schools that start at Labor Day or later are able to deal with the winter break conundrum? I grew up in Massachusetts and we never started school until the Wednesday after Labor Day. Our first semester high school exams were always in January. Let’s see — a quick check on the web finds that the SAT scores for the ENTIRE STATE of Massachusetts in 2004 averaged 1041 total, 30 points higher than any school in Richland 2. Please do not start a down the rathole of low income, number tested, etc. — the point is that many states (probably most) are able to handle a winter break.

  95. Randy E

    Massachusetts had mandatory education more than a century before the agrarian South Carolina. That justification is called confounding – incorrectly identify a cause and effect relationship by not addressing lurking factors. In the NE, many start school in SEPTEMBER so exams are in late January, not immediately after the break.
    You started the “I don’t forget anything” business. By admitting the need to review, you admit that there is some memory loss…thank you very much.

  96. Doug

    Just to make sure I wasn’t mistaken, I went back and reviewed my responses to this post. At no point did I ever state that
    “I don’t forget anything” The only statement even close to that was:
    >My thought is that if the kids are really
    >learning something (i.e. for lifetime
    >application), they shouldn’t forget it
    >after three weeks. Or am I expecting too
    >much? I still know many of the facts and >skills I was taught in high school.
    That’s a whole lot different than “I don’t forget anything”. If you can show me where I said that, please do. Otherwise, I stand by my original statement and my belief that a three week break should not
    be difficult to overcome. Or do we need to wait another century before South Carolinians will be up to the challenge?
    I definitely am “confounded” by your reasoning. Are you saying you would not have a problem with starting school in September (as many parents would like) because then you’d have enough review time
    after the break? Fine with me.
    The high school argument is really a smokescreen anyway. The prime motivation for the earlier start date has always been the need for elementary and middle schools to get in as many days prior to the mandated PACT testing date — which is a whole other issue. For the current calendar, the PACT dates are too early.
    No real classroom instruction occurs from the week prior to PACT until the end of the school year. This year it was 17 days lost.

  97. Doug

    Did a little more research. Here’s a link to an article from January 2006 in a Florida newspaper regarding a group that favors a statewide school start date of
    the week before Labor Day.
    Here’s the money quote:
    >Touting myriad benefits, including more
    >quality time for families and cash savings
    >for school districts, the group Save Our
    >Summers paid for a poll of 400 Floridians
    >that showed 74 percent support a state-set
    >start date of one week before Labor Day.
    Gee, the poll of 400 people produced results with 5% of our PTO vote/survey/poll. What a shocker!
    If you read the article, you’ll see all the same arguments: more time before manadatory testing, winter break, etc.
    FYI, Jeb Bush supports the bill that was passed in March by the FL legislature.
    Do a search on “school start dates” and you will find a nationwide response by parents to school districts moving the start dates back.

  98. Doug

    It keeps getting better and better. Here’s a link to a “South Carolina Public School Opinion Survey” conducted by The Coastal Center for Economic and Community Development
    at Coastal Carolina University in 2004.
    What were the results? 898 responses showing 45% of parents preferred the latest start date (after Labor Day) and 34% chose August 20 to Labor Day. Hmm… 79% total.
    Guess our PTO survey was just plain dumb luck.

  99. Randy E

    Doug, speaking of going back and reading what was written; I did not dispute that there are more parents who prefer late start. I disputed your “survey” method and offered possibilities as to how it could be faulty. Do a google search and find “random samples” or “sample surveys” and you’ll find a mirror of what I explained.
    Regarding the memory issue. You chimed in with memory of a single formula but backed off when I asked for more.
    My point regarding memory is this: I don’t see how you or anyone else can dispute that there would be more memory loss after 3 weeks compared to a day, especially when the 3 weeks does not include time spent on the content. For some it’s greater than for others.
    Given that, are students as a whole better off taking exams immediately after finishing a course or 3 weeks and a holiday break after taking a course? Clearly, it’s the former (spare me there shouldn’t be any difference, that’s why we have a thing called “reminders” in our society, people forget stuff).
    Your have repeatedly disparaged schools as a whole for decisions we make. This late start (late exams) issue involves a decision, for educators at the hs level atleast, between giving exams before the break or after and between having 2 less weeks for ap exams or the time we have now. And now you criticize educators for wanting what’s better for students?
    It’s not a comparison issue between SC and Mass. We are making a decision for SC alone. Two weeks less preparation for an AP exam is significant. Allowing students to take exams before the break is a big deal. If you don’t believe it, take a survey of parents of hs students and ask for their preference.

  100. Lee

    Should we even have AP exams and exemption from college classes? Why?
    Until the late 1970s, one fundamental feature of a liberal education was every student taking the same core curriculum. In college, the brightest freshmen took “Honors” classes. The next tier took “Star” classes, and the bulk of freshmen just took English, Calculus, Biology, American History, Chemistry and a foreign language.
    Today, most college students have their own experience, outside an academic culture. Only in the hard sciences, engineering and architecture do they share a common core of classes for at least 2 years.

  101. Huh?

    Why do we reward students for taking and mastering college level courses with college credit? Hmmm…good point. We should hold them back from striving to reach loftier academic heights.

  102. Lee

    Maybe if you ever go to college, someday you will understand that getting out of courses is not a benefit to you.

  103. Huh?

    Brown Eyes, you are full of crap.
    Let’s investigate this ignorant statement you just made.
    Current AP plan: take college courses, be challenged to think and learn at a higher level, get college credit, save money in college (some students exempt a semester of college and which is worth $10,000+).
    Lee’s fantasy plan pulled from his butt: take lower level class, do not be challenged, do not get college credit.

  104. Lee

    … take college AP-level courses in high school…
    … take Honors level courses in college instead of just exempting the ordinary courses.
    Just a history lesson on how it used to be, back when college was more than a job training thing.

  105. Huh?

    Lee, you are full of crap.
    Maybe some survivalist cult in Montana and a repressed engineer in Michigan think it’s bad for students to take AP classes.
    Birds of a feather…

  106. Ready to Hurl

    Jeez, Lee, maybe you and “Huh?” ought to trade nicknames. He’s really got you talking out of your butt. (Nothing new but this exchange has to be a classic.)
    Firstly, what evidence do you have that higher ed is any more “job training” than in the “golden age” of Lee’s college experience?
    Secondly, on what possible basis can you assume that a high school student taking an AP class for college credit simply won’t move on to the next level of difficulty when he/she enters college?
    Thirdly, maybe you ought to take some remedial logic courses. For example, saying that most illegal aliens are Hispanic doesn’t make the converse true.

  107. Lee

    You folks have a difficult time thinking outside the way public school taught you. It wasn’t always done that way.
    Why is it you people are unable to encounter any new information without acting so insecure and threatened? Maybe you need to just lurk for a while, instead of all this reflexive hate posting.

  108. Huh?

    Brown Eyes,
    Hate posting? Racist postings are worse.
    New information? Like the crap you post each time your fingers touch a keyboard?
    Lee, ask 10 adults, who are not in a padded cell on your hall, if they’d choose AP classes or not if their student had a choice. Anyone that understands what AP classes are would laugh in your face.

  109. Lee

    Boy, your inability to discuss the issues on on a factual and reasoned basis has really made you hostile. What is it that so frightens you?
    If you plan on running all the decent people out of here as a cure for your intellectual impotence, forget it. You need more than self-help.

  110. Ready to Hurl

    You folks have a difficult time thinking outside the way public school taught you. It wasn’t always done that way.
    Lee, you’re such an easy mark. LOL
    I attended a private, college prep school from ninth through twelfth grades. The school was generally considered to be the best academic school in a southern city of 150,000 (in comparison to the public schools, a few other private schools and several parochial schools). It wasn’t (overtly) a seg academy.
    I doubt that I was “indoctrinated” or my thinking abilities crippled in first through eighth grades.
    Nice try at the ad hominem evasion of my questions, though.

  111. Lee

    The mark of good indoctrination is the victim having no clue.
    The symptoms are the hostility toward new (or old) ways of thinking about social constructs, marked by personal invective as a substitute for discussing things objectively.

  112. Huh?

    Brown Eyes, I’m not here to address any issues other than the full of crap statements you post on here.
    And to point out your racist comments.

  113. Lee

    Huh? sounds like the sort of racist often found among “liberals”, using brownshirt tactics to shout down factual data that he doesn’t want to hear. His idea of “address the issues” is shouting insults to drown out reasoned discussion of the problems created by his ilk.

  114. Huh?

    Brown Eyes, your concept of a “reasoned discussion” is to pull facts out of your butt as a large number of people have echoed on this site.
    Your misguided concept of a racist explains why you don’t understand that your unsubstantiated characterization of blacks and Hispancis is prejudicial and racist.

  115. Lee

    Those were not my “characterizations” of the disintegration of the black family and the rampant crime wave from Mexico.
    Those were the conclusions of the very liberal Brookings Insitution, and a federal report on illegal aliens.
    If you think factual reality is “racist”, you are surrounded by a lot more “racism” than you can deal with.

  116. Huh?

    “Since 70% of black children have only one or no parents, I know those biological parents don’t care.” – Lee
    Deriving that conclusion from this particular data is laughable and clearly prejudicial.
    Your continued defense of such a statement simply reinforces your racist position. BTW, I can’t handle any racism which is I am calling you out.

  117. Lee

    I merel state the facts about the disintegration of the black family under liberalism.
    You seem to want to defend that disintegration, but are unable to do so directly. All you can muster is some sputtering insults. Try again to defend the sorry “home life” of black children in SC.

  118. Ready to Hurl

    The symptoms are the hostility toward new (or old) ways of thinking about social constructs, marked by personal invective as a substitute for discussing things objectively.
    So, Lee, when exactly do you think that I was “indoctrinated.” And, exactly what was I indoctrinated with?
    Please be specific. You know nothing about me other than what I’ve written on this blog. I can’t wait to see what you pull out of your butt this time around.
    Your description of indoctrination seems to apply more accurately to Ann Coulter than myself.
    I used to be the civic-minded liberal that Paul DeMarco seems to crave. You know, the poor sap that’s willing to play nice while continually being insulted and threatened by wingnuts such as you and Dave. However, demagogues like Rove, Limbaugh, Malkin, Coulter, Hannity et al poisoned the well of public discourse. I no longer feel compelled to give you the benefit of the doubt. I won’t pretend that you actually have the welfare of America at heart but are just “misguided.” I call you and your ideas ignorant, racist and illogical because otherwise some uninformed reader might actually think that you should be taken with more than a grain of salt.
    I do take seriously the blitzkrieg on our liberties and form of govenment by you, Bush, Scalia, Cheney, Alito and their many minions. I’m just the forerunner of the backlash that will build when the effects of reactionary, rightwing judges and policies start becoming apparent.

  119. Lee

    This may come as a blow to your weak ego, but I don’t care to discuss who, what, when, where or how you acquired your narrow view of the world.
    At least your realize that being liberals are poor saps. The answer isn’t to gravitate towards disillusionment and socialism. The liberals of the 1930s did that and created fascism.

  120. Huh?

    “Try again to defend the sorry ‘home life’ of black children in SC.” – Lee
    “Since 70% of black children have only one or no parents, I know those biological parents don’t care.” – Lee
    Lee, you are adding to your archive of racist statements.
    BTW braniac, fascists are on the right side of the spectrum. Look in a mirror.

  121. Huh?

    I think connecting rate of single black parents with abandonment of the kids then suggesting they don’t care about the kids is racist.
    What about white single parents? You left them out, so they do care about their kids?
    Lee, you are a racist.

  122. Doug

    I made several comments in this post regarding my concern over a trend in public education becoming more focused on “public relations” in the past decade or so. Sunday’s front page of The State gave a perfect example.
    The Richland One school district has just rolled out their new “branding” campaign complete with a slogan: “Discover the Urban Advantage”
    Apparently, the school district feels the best way to solve its problems is to overcome them through marketing campaigns designed to influence homebuyers coming to the Midlands to choose Richland One over other local school districts that actually
    do have positive results and good schools.
    The facts show that Richland One has been rated an AVERAGE school district for the past five years with Improvement Ratings
    ranging from Below Average to Average.
    The number of 10th grade high school students who passed the HSAP exam dropped from 62% to 53% in 2005. Approximately 40% of the African American students in the elementary and middle schools scored Below Basic on the PACT exams.
    Here’s a quote from the article:
    Newly named Richland 1 2006-07 Teacher of the Year Ilona Sunday praised the idea of “Discover the Urban Advantage.”
    “Establishing a districtwide slogan is imperative,” Sunday said. “It can only help to increase public confidence and to positively impact public perception.”

  123. Randy E

    Doug, I agree with you here and I don’t like to do that in public (jk).
    Rich 1 is a very political entity even compared to education in general. Decisions are often made, it appears, for the public relations value as opposed to the educational value.
    I think the district should set their goals, have an honest evaluation of where they stand, and establish an open and honest plan for getting them from the present situation to the future goals. This would be better than establishing P.R. that makes them appear alot better than they are.
    It won’t happen. They’ll continue, as a whole, to dog paddle through mediocre improvements. Many or most parents will continue to move to the suburban schools. Many teachers will continue to “move up” to Rich 2, Lex 5, Lex 1.

  124. Lee

    Calling us “racist” for posting data they never read is why liberals remain ignorant and impotent in social issues. When their racial mindset is obsessed with blacks, they ignore the data on family disintegration of whites, Hispanics and others, just quickly looking for an excuse to dismiss scholarly research.

  125. Lee

    All the schools should be looking at the details of why urban schools Hand and Dreher outperform schools with students from suburbia, and rural schools like Lower Richland.
    Schools should not have relationships with real estate brokers, nor waste their money on PR campaigns to cure backroom real estate deals.

  126. Huh?

    Lee, the crap is seeping from your ears.
    Why don’t you worry less about the relationships of realtors and worry more about your racist perception of blacks and Hispanics. Pointing the finger at “liberals” is a smoke screen for your reprehensible racist attitude and beliefs about minorities.

  127. Huh?

    I simply take issue with your multiple racist statements. You are the one that looks to race as the source of many of our problems.

  128. Ready to Hurl

    Heh, heh. You’re a hoot, Lee.
    I don’t care to discuss who, what, when, where or how you acquired your narrow view of the world.
    To recap: you allege that only people “indoctrinated” by the public school system could hold views such as mine. I prove you factually wrong by pointing out my private school education.
    Having been proven, once again, factually challenged, you refuse to elaborate on how I was “indoctrinated” or what doctrine I was “indoctrinated” with.
    At least you’re clever enough to cut your losses when you’re getting roundly bested.
    In the future, I suggest that you take Mark Twain’s advice: “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

  129. Lee

    I say that all students are indoctrinated, whether their school is run by their parents, their church or the government. Just realize that your government education had a political purpose, RTH.
    Now try to discuss some new (to you) social constructs for integrating honors students with the general student body, without becoming so defensive of the status quo, which will surely be changed by some new educrat initiative in a few years.

  130. Huh?

    Hurl, Lee avoided such indoctrination by being home schooled in a bunker in the deep woods of Montana.
    His take on what’s good for students is clouded by his racist views that most Hispanics are illegal aliens and all single black parents “don’t care” about their kids. He threw in his conclusion that these kids suffer from child abuse as well simply because they are black and from single parent homes.

  131. Lee

    FACT: 54% of illegal aliens (not “immigrants”) are Mexican. Another 37% are from Central and South America, for 91% total illegal aliens being Hispanic. (Source: INS, US Census, and others, posted on another thread in detail.)
    It is obvious that shutting down the Mexican border would solve almost all our illegal alien trafficking.

  132. Huh?

    Your statement was the majority of Hispanics are illegal aliens.
    Your data indicates the majority of illegals are Hispanic.
    Did you try to twist your conclusion (reflecting your racist perspective) or was it mere incompetence?

  133. Lee

    The data shows that the vast majority of Hispanics in America who are not citizens, are not here legally, either. There are 21,000,000 illegal aliens here, and 18,000,000 of them are Hispanic. Stop them, and you solve 90% of the problem.

  134. Ready to Hurl

    I say that all students are indoctrinated, whether their school is run by their parents, their church or the government. Just realize that your government education had a political purpose, RTH.
    Blind squirrels CAN find an acorn, now and then!
    I agree with your analysis but I’m afraid that you attribute some ridiculously diabolical “indoctrination” to the first eight years of my education in “government schools.”
    I just remember being taught to wait my turn, share, don’t beat up girls,– wait, that’s it! My socialist/communist teachers (all middle class, white and native southern) cleverly laid the foundation for my conversion to Marxism/Leninism by encouraging sharing!
    It’s all clear now, Lee. My sixth grade teacher probably chanted hypnotically “From each according to his abilities to each according to his needs” while I was mesmerized by her bodacioius ta-tas…

  135. Huh?

    Lee, you racist dirt bag. Munch on these statistics.
    “Hispanics continue to be the largest minority group at 42.7 million.”
    “There are 21,000,000 illegal aliens here, and 18,000,000 of them are Hispanic.” – Lee
    “the majority of Hispanics are illegal aliens” – Lee
    18/42.7 < 50% and that's with YOUR high end estimate of illegals. Your racist statement has been proven false. Your racism continues to be proven true. Let's see you hate your way out of this.

  136. Lee

    So you don’t understand percentages and fractions.
    If you don’t think the Hispanic illegal aliens are the main problem, who is the problem and how do we stop them?
    At the rate Hispanics are coming to American illegally, they will soon number 47,000,000 and 24,000,000 of them will be illegal…. a majority of them.

  137. Huh?

    Lee, you full of crap racist. You stated that “most Hispanics are illegal.” I gave you the stats that show you are wrong.

  138. Lee

    I am the only one bringing facts to this conversation, and it’s way more than you statists can handle.

  139. Lee

    A statist is someone whose solution to most social problems is to have the state take control, and not give up control to individuals, private groups or the church.
    Statists, for example, refuse to accept private schools, and parental choice as solutions to education problems. Their solutions focus on more spending on government schools with the most problems.

  140. Ready to Hurl

    Am I a “statist” if I think that the government should also conduct national defense through the armed forces?
    Lee, you act as if “the state” is some entity imposed upon us by alien beings. Did you read the U.S. Constitution in your “government school?” It begins “We the people…” thus signifying that the power of the government is derived from the governed.
    Educating the populace is essential to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”
    Taking tax dollars from non-sectarian public school and subsidizing religious indoctrination breaches the wall of mutual protection between church and state.
    If I were a “statist” then I’d be enthusiastic about giving the “state” entre to religious insitutions. After all, you don’t think that tax dollars will come free of strings, do you?

  141. Lee

    Your all-or-nothing subterfuge is a red herring. You don’t have to be a total communist to be statist.
    Just try to think in terms of not using the state to “solve” any problems. It will hurt for a while, but you will be a better person for it.

  142. Ready to Hurl

    I’m not sure what “subterfuge” you’re imagining.
    Are you implying that public schools really wouldn’t be damaged too much? Would that be because only families who were eight grand short of the maybe twelve grand tuition of a private/parochial school would be able truly afford this “choice?”
    To be clear, I’m not arguing that there are not problems with public schools that should be addressed. But, like so many “reforms” that the rightwing has proposed under Dear Leader, the proposed solution is really just a Trojan horse for destroying the subject. See the “Clear Skies Bill” allowing more air pollution; and, the “Healthy Forests Bill” encouraging cutting down forests.

  143. Lee

    So why don’t YOU address the problems you see with public schools, instead of dismissing every critic and new idea with your personal attacks? Warning: It may require some effort on your part.

  144. Ready to Hurl

    I don’t “dismiss every critic and new idea.”
    I dismiss and attack people who try to destroy the system with non-stop, partisan-agenda-driven criticism and then want to replace it with a system which will indoctrinate students with their ideology. I’m especially contemptuous of people who’re either too dumb or too hippocritical to admit their ultimate goal. People irritate me when they pretend to want to “reform” the system and really just want to subvert it.
    Actually, I have been mulling over what reforms are needed. I’ll let you know soon enough.

  145. Lee

    Good idea… wait until you have an idea rather than posting insults out of frustration, at those who have lots of ideas.
    If your idea involves a larger role for government, more spending and higher taxes, work on it some more.


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