Filed under: Bureaucracy, Domestic Policy, Education, Freedom, History, Media Bias, Regulation, The United States | Tags: Betsy DeVos, Poor Kids in Bad Schools, The Teachers' Unions
I consider myself a sort of expert on the subject of education— Not because I am a graduate of any graduate school of education—I am not.
My mother was a teacher, and quite a good one. I actually was one of her pupils, and she always graded me down to dispel any suggestion of favoritism. My grandmother was a teacher, an aunt was a teacher, and a grandfather was a college president. That doesn’t give me any qualification beyond a general family interest in education.
My expertise comes from 1. being tutored for first grade, 2. attending a small town grade school, 3. attending a one-room country schoolhouse for two years (pump on the front porch, woodshed out back with two separate outhouses) 4. attending an exclusive private girls school run by Episcopal nuns, 5. small town high school, 6. large town high school, 6. exclusive private college, 7. professional art school, 8. a California State College grad school. That should make me some kind of expert, shouldn’t it? I loved the one room schoolhouse. We had a very good teacher, and for science she sent us out into the fields to collect wild flowers and frogs and pollywogs—doesn’t get much better than that.
Betsy DeVos is an excellent candidate for Secretary of Education because she is passionately devoted to the idea that parents should have an important voice in their children’s education, and that charter schools are the best answer we have to give kids trapped in bad public schools a real chance for a good future.
Democrats have been opposed to Mrs. DeVos largely because she has been nominated by Donald Trump, and teachers unions. My expertise in education has noted over the years that all objections to anything in or about the public schools has one answer—they need more money. Even the courts have gotten into the business of ordering states to raise taxes in order to give the public schools more money.
Yet it is clear to anyone who is paying attention—that is not the problem. I suspect that the schools of education teach prospective teachers that if the teachers praise the kids enough in parent meetings, the voters will probably vote for more money. Yet teachers complain that they have to spend their own money for supplies. Hmmn.
Democrats have been complaining about children being excluded from school for bad behavior, and suggesting that it is not right. Racism, sexism, etc. Yet I did see an article that indicates that teachers are increasingly attacked in the classroom by violent kids, yet that is seldom reported.
I have a good longtime friend who is an expert in remedial education, and education policy. At one point she did some studies with convicts in prison, and found that large percentages of them were deficient in the ability to read. Inconclusive, for it would have taken many more studies to come up with verifiable fact, but interesting.
Democrats wanted to turn down Betsy DeVos on the basis that she attended private school and sent her children to private school, therefore she knew nothing about public school. (Actually she probably has a better idea of where public schools are deficient). Interestingly, many of the Democrat Senators who were most vocal in voting against DeVos also exclusively attended private schools. When parents have enough money for private schools, that’s often where their kids go. The two Republicans who voted against DeVos are singularly dependent on funding from the teachers unions.
I am deeply influenced by the fact that President Barack Obama sent his two daughters to the toniest private school in Washington D.C., yet tried hard to eliminate the Opportunity Scholarship program that gave poor black children access to the schools of their choice.
Here are some of the arguments for Betsy DeVos:
- “Progressives: You Can Fight DeVos, but You Can’t Stop School Choice” by Scott Shackford at Reason
- “The Shameful War on Betsy DeVos” by Rich Lowry at Real Clear Politics
- “The foolish Democratic crusade against Betsy DeVos” by Shikha Dalmia at The Week
- “The GOP’s DeVos Doubters: Will Republican hand teachers unions a big victory?” The Wall Street Journal
- “The war on Betsy DeVos is all about the teachers unions” by the New York Post editorial board.
ADDENDUM: Thomas Sowell who just quit commenting returned to discuss the Betsy DeVos confirmation hearings.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, European Union, Free Markets, Freedom, National Security, Politics, The United States, United Kingdom | Tags: Labour's Jeremy Corbyn, Prime Minister Theresa May, The British House of Commons
Jeremy Corbyn, Labour party leader, is neatly put in his place by Prime Minister Theresa May. Nice work!
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Economics, Europe, European Union, Foreign Policy, Free Markets, Freedom, History, Immigration, National Security, Politics, Regulation, Unemployment, United Kingdom | Tags: BREXIT, Prime Minister Theresa May, Trading Partners
The British People voted last year to leave the European Union in a vote that has come to be called “BREXIT” or British exit. Mrs. May said forthrightly that she was not in favor of leaving, but if that is what the British People voted for, that is what she would do.
The British High Court said the Prime Minister would have to get a vote of the Parliament in order to do so, and on Wednesday they voted to allow Prime Minister Theresa May to start Brexit negotiations with the European Union. The European Union Bill passed with 498 votes to 114. The Bill will still have to go to the House of Lords before becoming law. May has set a March 31 deadline for invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and beginning exit formalities with the European Union.
The Scottish National Party attempted to block the bill before the vote. Forty-seven members of the Labour Party MPs revolted against the Labor Party’s leadership and voted against the bill.
Staying in the single market would require Britain to continue contributing to the Brussels budget, accept EU economic rules and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and admit levels of immigration that have become politically unacceptable. Remainers said these concessions were worth making, but voters disagreed and they must be respected.
Some European countries want to punish Britain, and drive the hardest bargain possible. Mrs. May has argued for a clean break, as that is the only way for London to negotiate its own trade deals with the rest of the world.
The smart play is for both to help the other succeed….The biggest threat to the EU isn’t a Britain that succeeds outside the common market. It is an EU that keeps failing to provide the economic prosperity demanded by its frustrated citizens. What drove Britain from the EU was the Continent’s failure on immigration control, fighting terrorism and delivering jobs and rising incomes.
To put it another way, Mrs. May is telling Britons they’re embarking on another great chapter in self-government. The Brits helped invent the idea, so they know what it takes.
Daniel Hannan is a member of the European Parliament who went to the European Parliament urging the abolition of the place. He said “It’s difficult to begin to understand the imbalance of forces in our recent debate and referendum. Every broadcaster, every political party, every bank, every big corporation, every trade association, every think tank, every EU-funded university, the whole of the establishment was telling us that it was a matter of national survival to stay in the EU. That it would be calamitous for us if we left. And people didn’t believe it. On June 23, they politely disregarded all the advice, all the bullying, all the hectoring, all the threats, and they voted to become a self-governing country again.”
He added “Americans voted Leave in 1776, and from where I’m standing, it seems to have worked out OK for you.”
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Education, Election 2016, Free Markets, Freedom, History, Immigration, National Security, Politics, Progressivism, Regulation, Taxes, The Constitution, The United States, Unemployment | Tags: Bill Whittle Explains, Donald J. Trump, Right Angle
My favorite pastime is not trying to figure out why Democrats, the Left, are doing whatever it is that they are currently doing. I have better things to do, and more pleasant things to pursue. But clear explanations seem important as they continue to go bat s##t crazy. It would seem that the current antics would drive any sane person into Republican arms permanently, but “sane” seems to be the key word.
The idea of requiring every citizen to vote comes up every once in a while, but is dropped because we really don’t want those who do not pay attention, and have no clue about events, to vote. We believe in an informed citizenry, but for the last eight years we have had a press wallowing in their slobbering devotion to the first black president. Even Barack Obama told them in his last days that they weren’t supposed to be sycophants. That’s not how it’s supposed to work.
Victor Davis Hanson says “Everything is in flux in a way not seen since the election of 1932 in which Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoofer. Mainstream Democrats are infuriated. Even Republicans are vexed over the outsider Trump.”
Polls, political pundits and “wise” people, guilty of past partisan-driven false prognostications, remain discredited. Their new creased-brow prophesies of doom for President Trump are about as credible as their past insistence that a “blue wall” would keep him out of the White House.
There. The first explains why they are doing what they are doing, and the second one explains clearly why Donald Trump is insisting on a wall. You’ll be able to explain to your angry family and friends, but they probably won’t be able to hear you, and that’s explained as well.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Domestic Policy, Economics, Free Markets, Freedom, Health Care, Humor, Immigration, Intelligence, Media Bias, News, The United States | Tags: No Place for Adulation, Not Doing Journalism, Sycophantic Press Corps
We have mentioned the disgraceful partisanship of the Washington D.C. press before. The adoration is clearly shown in this mashup from President Obama’s final press conference. If you can’t maintain a skeptical point of view, you’re not doing journalism, but they apparently never learned that in journalism school. Elected politicians are supposed to do what they told us they intended to do. Presidents are imperfect, make mistakes, sometimes very big ones, and sometimes they turn out to be something other than what they claimed. If journalists don’t do their job, it makes it much harder for the rest of us who will probably never meet those politicians in person.