"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

"These states don't need a bailout--they need a boot up the backside"

This is a great discussion regarding the $26 Billion school bailout:


Stimulus packages don't work. They are debt ridden and unsustainable. They are bribes with strings attached. When the Federal government sends a state money, it tells the state how to spend it. It rewards bad fiscal behavior and creates more strings. The "daddy state" wants Missouri to roll over and become so dependent on the Federal government we'll never be able to sever this unhealthy and unconstitutional relationship.

This is NOT what the founders intended. The Federal government was NEVER given educational control. With control comes power. And with power comes more control. Government growth and control. Now where else are we seeing this in action? Perhaps in health care? Does anyone else sense a pattern? Take the health care issues in respect to consitutionality and unfunded mandates, substitute the word "education" and it's the same Washington vision. It's government control, overreach, more regulation, and bigger spending. It has NOTHING to do with education. It's to protect the NEA. It will NOT increase student achievement.

Missouri needs a boot to the backside to stand up and act fiscally and constitutionally responsible in this education bailout. Contact your legislator and tell him/her "no more funding from the Federal government." In fact, email this post to your legislator. The judge and Palin explain the issue quite eloquently.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ray Bonneville's advice to the States--"There's a Price to Pay"

Courtesy of Ray Bonneville, blues/country singer...here is a clip of his song "There's a Price to Pay". Check out the lyrics and images. Perfect analogy for the newest Obama bailout:



The question you have to ask is "why does the government want control of our schools, which is constitutionally a STATE right"? Answer:


A convergence on Jefferson City AND YOUR STATE LEGISLATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES is the next step. Our legislature can refuse this money. This money does not get us out of debt (one billion dollars is projected for next year). This is not the answer to our money woes. This puts Missouri further into the red.

Tell our legislators NO. We are tired of paying off special interests. We are tired of giving our teachers raises in a severe recession and overpaying superintendents. WE CAN'T DO IT ANYMORE.

Question: How would they spin this in Economics 101? Perhaps we should audit an Econ course in our high schools. If THIS is what is being taught to our high school students, we are indeed on the road to financial ruin with no return. Teaching our children it's permissible to sell off principles for special interests AND circumvent the Constitution. Go back and listen to Ray Bonneville again. Watch the images. That's the new United States.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kirkwood School District receives advice from The Moody Blues: "No More Lies"

There are citizens in the Kirkwood School District vehemently opposed to the district's two upcoming bond proposals. The two proposals total $48 million--one is for a $15 million aquatic center; the other is for $33 million to expand kindergarten rooms so children can attend their home elementary school for that grade level. Mind you, the state mandates half day kindergarten be offered, NOT full day. Half day students are accommodated in two of the district's five elementary schools. There are some full day classes offered at a fee. Here is a copy of the proposals in a previous blog:


This district believes children should be able to attend full day kindergarten at each elementary school. The bond issue will build 4 kindergarten classes at the three elementary schools that currently do not have room for these rooms. But wait! If you (the taxpayer) vote for the proposal, the district will throw in a bonus offer! All grade levels will have an additional classroom added, bringing the total of additional classrooms at these schools to NINE rooms. Other improvements will occur such as new gymnasiums. Looking at the drafts, it appears these schools almost double in square footage.

When the district official was queried on where the teachers were going to come from and how they were to be paid to fill these new classrooms (Kirkwood is currently deficit spending), the official, in all seriousness, said, "We're not going to staff these rooms". What? This is the district's response to a question about spending money for teachers we don't currently have? So the next question is, "why are you building these rooms if they are not needed"? Doesn't that seem common sense to you?

We didn't get a firm answer to that question, other than the classrooms "may not end up being regular classrooms, they could be used for resource rooms or for other reasons". Okay. Digest that train of thought. Maybe you don't really need an additional classroom for each grade level. Maybe the district just names the classrooms with those names because it doesn't know exactly what it needs. That sounds convoluted. But regardless, if the district insists it needs kindergarten rooms because it doesn't have any...and THEN says it isn't going to hire any kindergarten teachers...I believe that is untrue. What the district really may be saying is it can't staff the rooms at the current operating levy, so wait until it builds the rooms and then it will come to you for yet another tax increase. And while the district is building the kindergarten rooms it allegedly needs, but can't afford to staff, it will just go ahead and add to the architect's draft five extra classrooms that it won't staff, but will have to furnish and maintain. Why is the district spending millions on space it doesn't need?

This is a district that is not anticipating much of an increase OR decrease in student enrollment. This is a district that is land locked, so future home development will only be infill construction. This is a district that gives its teachers 4.5% pay increases in a time of severe recession.

I think I have the answer on why the district is insisting on this unwise spending:


The Kirkwood School Board is a microcosm of the federal government. It is begging to be bailed out by the taxpayers for its reckless spending. Kirkwood does not need an aquatic center and it does not need extra classrooms for a district with a stagnant student population. Ed Morrissey writes in his piece, "The real solution is to get states to act responsibly on their own". Not only do Kirkwood School District residents have to worry about the STATE to act responsibly, they have to worry about the local school DISTRICT to make sound fiduciary decisions. KSD residents should be very worried.

I would suggest KSD residents present the board with this musical offering from the Moody Blues, "No More Lies".


Better yet, tell your neighbors to vote against these wasteful and sneaky proposals. The district states these proposals will NOT result in higher taxes. That's not entirely true. Residents will eventually encounter a tax increase if these propoals pass. The operating levy will need to be raised to support the physical buildings. For physical buildings we don't need. No more lies.

Monday, August 9, 2010

"Carpetbaggers" and "Charlatans" just might be better than the Current Public School Administrators

There is a sentence in this NY Times article that contained the descriptive words of people/institutions trying to fix education: "carpetbaggers" and "charlatans". Who deserves those titles? Those pesky charter schools and other individuals who are diverting from the time tested (and failed) union teachers and the Department of Education over that last 40 years:


Imagine that. The New York Times doesn't want to spend Race to the Top money on trying new school structures and instructive techniques. I do not want to support charter schools who have not done the job they contracted out to do; however, it does no good for the taxpayers to acquiesce state control of education and throw more money at public education for the same failing results they've seen over the last four decades.

As I understand it, parents don't have to send a child to a charter school. The parents choose the school over a public school. If a charter school is shown to be under performing or failing, the charter is revoked and the school is closed. Why can't this be applied to failing public schools as well?

Now that would be reform worth supporting.
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