Chronicling the ongoing battle between conservative and liberal ideals

For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them - Proverbs 1:32

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On Education.

Let’s say you were in need of some serious cash. You needed $2000.00. What if that money I gave you was to improve a necessary part of your life? You assured me that $2000.00 dollars would be more than adequate, so I gave you the money. Then the following year came and your problems were still there. You insisted it was because I did not give you enough. So I gave you $4000.00 dollars. You assured me that would be more than enough. You came back again the same time a year later, with the same problems. What would you do if you were me?

In 2002 the government paid out more than $7,000 dollars per student in secondary schools. Next year that number will be even higher. Academically, we are still behind many countries that spend less on a per student basis.

The Department of Education states that about 22.5 billion dollars were spent on education in 2000. Now with the “No Children Left behind” Policy, expenditures will be up 26.5 billion. Yet problems in our public schools persist and will continue.


To help you understand some of the current public education system problems, let me illustrate them by paraphrasing statistics published by the US Department of Education.

The USA ranks 15th in a study of reading and literacy. 15th! Yet the U.S. spends more on secondary education than almost all others.

We have a drop out rate of 1 out every 10 students.

Public schools provide way more opportunities and programs for children than private schools and spend more money per student than a parent would, paying tuition for a typical private school. Yet private schools do 10% better on test scores in Science, Math and Reading.

Private School teachers feel that they have a lot more say in establishing curriculum, setting student performance standards, setting discipline policy, and evaluating other teachers.

And finally only 32% percent of 4th graders read at a 4th grade level. The remaining 68% are comprised mostly of minority children and those that live in poverty.

Starting to get the picture? So, what’s happening in our public schools that contribute to these sorry statistics?

Possible causes.

CNN reported earlier in 2003 that a Kansas City public school teacher, Christine Pelton, gave her students a project report to complete. She prefaced that each report must be original, that the project makes up 50% of their total grade, and that if they were caught cheating or plagiarizing, they would receive a failing grade, and in doing so would also fail the class and would have to repeat it. When the students handed the project in she found that 28 students did indeed plagiarize, so she failed them. The students were mad, the parents of the students were mad, and the community did not back the teacher. She quit when the Kansas State Board of Education forced her to change their grades to passing.

I know a teacher in the Zeeland, MI. public school system. She told me that they removed parts of the curriculum to increase the schools overall score. It seemed that a certain part of the curriculum was to difficult for students to grasp. Now the students will no longer be taught how to diagram a sentence or identify parts of speech.

Newsmax reports that schools in West Palm Beach county Florida will now be able to have 77% wrong on a test and pass. In fact 50% is an A. I suppose as a child I wouldn’t have minded, but aren’t adults supposed to know better?

Today we live in a society that will not back moral teachers. We remove difficult obstacles in the name of fairness, dumb down our requirements so that all can pass, remove parts of curriculum to make the schools “look” smarter, and channel money to schools who need it less than others. Will additional tax dollars solve these problems? I highly doubt it.

Possible solutions.

One possible solution would be school vouchers. Vouchers are tax dollars (about $2000.00 to $5000.00) given to parents of kids who are in a failing school. These vouchers are then used by the parent to send there child to a private school of their choice. Opponents say that this will pull money from schools that ultimately need it and will increase the chance of that schools failure. But as I’ve mentioned before, every year every school is given more money per student. And still no improvement. This brings up a difficult question for those that oppose vouchers: Are you more concerned with money or the students education? If we are more concerned with their education, why wouldn’t we do everything to move them to a more successful school?

"failing schools" would only be the first step. Ultimately I believe that if a parent wishes to teach their own child they should receive that voucher for purchasing school curriculum and materials. Home schooling your child should be a perfectly acceptable form of teaching your child and should be encouraged by the state and federal government.

A second possible solution, and I believe this to be the most important, is parental involvement. People who spend their own money on educating their children have a large vested interest in the successful completion of each grade. Not everyone can afford a private school education, but every parent can be involved. Parents can defend teachers like Christine Pelton, discipline their kids when they cheat, and demand a more inclusive curriculum. We should not be afraid to leave a child behind if they refuse to learn. To promote them when they are not ready only serves to exacerbate the problem.


No additional amount of money is required to solve the problems in our schools. If we could get parents to be active, and provide choices for those children that are in failing schools, remove programs that do not promote academic learning, and promote absolute accountability. we could be moving in direction that benefits every child.

The TalkRADIOForecast for today:

Dick Clarke defends himself on Meet the Press with Tim Russert. Heres the transcript.

Drudge reporting on the dollars that Clarke will earn from his book deal.

NO THANKS, MR. CLARKE - from the 9/11 families

Dick Cheney fires back at Dick Clarke. Heres the transcript.

Kerry obviously know no bounds. Kerry quotes scripture in church. You won't believe what he says.

A Test of Kerry's Faith - The candidate's policies are at odds with church canon. Will there be a price to pay?

Kerry's Other War Record - His antiwar activities deserve more scrutiny from the press.

And now a word from the peaceful religion of Islam: Hamas says ``God declared war'' against Bush.

And the French keep hitting themselves with and ugly stick: French lawyer 'to defend Saddam'

This is bad. This is real bad. Court Opens Door To Searches Without Warrants

Thats should be enough for now.


posted by: Brian Scott

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