EJUKASHUN 
(July 4, 2007) 

Did you know that American Public School 4th Graders rank third in the world (behind South Korea and Japan), in math and science achievement tests, but by the time they graduate from high school, they rank almost dead last? (According to John Stoessel)

Blame that on class size

Recently, my wife and I dug out our grade school class pictures from the Fifties, and recalled that there were from 28—31 students in our classes. From my 4th Grade Class, I know of three who obtained PhD’s, and Two MD’s. (Another, our high school Valedictorian was Charlton Heston’s niece) 

No teacher’s aides; no guidance counselors; just one teacher. Oh, there was the Principal down the hall, but you never saw him unless you were a troublemaker. 

That meant the principal and I were on a first-name basis. 

Principal: Johnny, why aren’t you in class? 

Me: Oh, hi Ray, just going to the bathroom - How are Marie and the kids? 

I digress. It’s also true that many children check into kindergarten never having picked up a pencil or crayon. What WAS in the classroom back then was discipline, God (I had to play Onward Christian Soldiers , hm hm hm on the piano every time we went to the music room in 1st grade—I survived), and the 3 R’s. 

What went wrong? 

First, Usurpation of States Rights. Today we have the Department of Education, a paean to the teachers unions in exchange for their support of Jimmy Carter during the 1976 Presidential campaign. This mammoth bureaucracy, laden with politically correct resolutions, rules, and laws, has contributed hugely to the shocking decline in American (public) Education - most especially in inner city schools. In most large urban systems, the dropout rate runs to 60%. 6 out of 10. 

“The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the Federal Government from telling states and local authorities what curriculums, operating methods, evaluations, and graduation requirements to use. However, through Goals 2000 Legislation, the Federal role in Education was dramatically increased.

Under Goals 2000, the Feds have circumvented the Constitution by asking States to voluntarily submit their standards to the National Education and Standards Improvement Council (NESIC) for approval. If State standards don’t line up with National Standards on curriculum, operating methods, and graduation requirements, then guess what? No Aid under various Federal programs for school funding.

Second, Poverty: Encouraged by a public welfare system that rewards failure and discourages the family unit (Mom, Dad, Kids, Dog and Cat). An unwed mother can escape her own miserable home life, and become eligible for assistance from the taxpayers as long as the sperm donor remains out of her life. Handouts discourage incentives; the desire to work hard, to be free, and to get ahead that so defined those generations of Americans who came before us. 


Third, Teachers Unions. Union rules imposed upon their members, school boards, and ultimately their students, guarantee that today's inner-city child will fail. We have a shortage of qualified people to teach Science and Math. Why? Because those with degrees in Science and math can get better-paying jobs in the private sector. So, your child "learns" Math or Science from a teacher whose major may have been English or Physical Education. Also, once teachers obtains tenure, it's almost impossible to fire them, regardless of their incompetence. 

Additionally, tenure establishes the right of some teachers to enjoy certain perks and benefits not afforded other teachers with less seniority. While tenure certainly is a basis, absent any other criteria, upon which a teachers rights may be defined, it can be extremely harmful. Tenure affords teachers with seniority first choice as to which schools they may teach in. Thus, the newest and therefore (by definition) least qualified teachers wind up in urban schools that would most benefit from more experienced teachers. 

In Washington DC, it costs about $15,000 per year to educate a student. That's around $300,000 per classroom - and the building and furniture is ALREADY PAID FOR ! !. And they have a dropout rate of 50% ! ! In private schools it costs less than one half of that and even though they take a lot of inner-city kids, they have a dropout rate around 2%

Why? 

Because educators in private schools don't see failure as an option. Parents are required to attend parent-teacher conferences and other school-related activities. Inner city public schools employ teachers who draw heavily from the bottom ranks of college graduation classes. Unable to get better assignments, many of these teachers become disenchanted and their students easily sense their lack of enthusiasm. Private school teachers are given year end reviews usually with input from their students. About 10% are not rehired. 

Who pays for this idiocy? The taxpayer, surely. But it's the inner-city school child who pays for this for a lifetime. Why don't our political leaders do something about it? Democrats and Republicans alike passed the "No Child Left Behind Act," that provided vouchers for tuition for inner city students to attend private schools. When Barack Obama became President, his first act was to cut off funding for vouchers (since rescinded). 

What gives here? I thought all Liberals were for lifting people out of poverty, and what better way than by improving education. It's simple: Liberals are beholden to the Teachers' Unions, and inner-city kids get thrown under the school bus. So what needs to be done? First, have a locksmith change the locks at the Department of Education, and place the education of our children back into State and Local hands. Second, pressure (through legislation) school boards and unions to allow for higher pay for Math and Science teachers. Third, mandate (through legislation) that teachers be required to take literacy and competency tests annually; you fail, you're out. Fourth, give all kids vouchers to attend the school of their choice. Is it fair for inner city kids to be destined to a life of poverty because the teacher unions can dictate where they must get their education? Finally, there are millions of well-educated retirees who would be only to glad to tutor or mentor underachieving students or those with single parents - we just need to ask for their help.

But as a former Education Major, I have sympathy for the Teacher Union cause. When I attended school, teachers, while the best educated people in our society (when only 10% of Americans possessed a college degree) were poorly paid. That's not right. Without the Unions, they would have stayed that way. In fact, for all the publicity over the power of the Teachers' Unions, teachers' salaries still are nothing to rave over. What is needed is more reasonable dialogue on BOTH sides in deciding such matters as compensation, working conditions, teacher competency, and educational solutions - and neither politicians nor U.S. Presidents (party first) can be the final solution. 

Oct. 3, 2010 Fox News Sunday: It's official: You are a right winger if you want to close down the Department of Education - according to Juan Williams. This without any explanation - we're just supposed to accept the premise (unless you are a right-winger, I guess). If Mr. Williams would permit me: Before the Department of Education was born in 1979 under President Carter, American public school students could read and write - now, they, like . . . ya know . . the stu' - dents' . . an gonna do so good, like . . ya know. 

I grew up and attended public schools in Michigan, during the 50's. Curricula and everything else were determined by the local school board, parents, and teachers; and we received a good education. Now curricula are set by some bureaucrats in the Department of Education in Washington; who probably couldn't find Lansing on a map. And students are failing.

Update, August 7, 2011 - Headline Ft. Myers News-Press: “Schools up effort in STEM education.” Apparently President Obama wants to provide funding for his STEM program that would provide 1,000 new teachers and (countless) bureaucrats to encourage students to take more advanced Applied Science courses. Like New Math, Open Classrooms, and Effort-Based grading, progressives have (yet again) failed to see the forest for the trees.

Students don’t need encouragement from Washington Bureaucrats. They need competent teachers.




EDUCATION
EDUCATION
EDUCATION
ISN'T THIS JUST PRECIOUS
(February 1, 2010)

Education update: President Obama announced today that George Bushes' "No Child Left Behind" program is dead. In a long-promised debt repayment to the Teachers' Unions that put him in office, the Obama Administration is throwing children, most especially urban black school children, under the bus. 

The No Child bill mandated that all schools must improve the test scores of school kids each year until 2014, when all public schools must have shown an improvement or their students must be provided a free education at a better school or even a private school.

No Child strongly suggested that teachers be trained in and proficient in the curriculum they teach,  that their performance be reviewed, and that incompetent teachers be dismissed (as they are annually in private schools).

Sorry kids, you lose. The unions have spoken. 

African-Americans should not vote.
ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP(S)

Can anyone explain to me why a person with marginal scholastic achievement, can obtain a free college education, while  the majority of students have to pay their own way ?

Ivy League Schools don't provide athletic scholarships (although they sure can afford it). If you want to play sports at Princeton, you need to sign up for morning classes, and expect to study when your team is on the road.

Oh, I see. Because God made them taller and faster than ordinary (smarter?) students.

I would have assumed that places of higher learning would favor those who attend their university to futher their education. Instead they put a premium on college athletes, and the rest of the student body (along with alumni and meager ticket sales) picks up the costs.
ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIPS AND STUDENT LOANS
(August 10, 2008)

It now costs about $50,000 per year to send a student to an Ivy League School; $40,000 to Duke, Georgetown, or George Washington University. 

Why?

Progressives.

At colleges like Columbia, Princeton, Swarthmore, Bard, Williams, class sizes are small, most under 20 students. Let's say, 18 average. At $50,000 per student, thats $900,000. 

The professor makes about $100,000, and teaches 10 hours a week (whew !) = $150,000 per professor per student

If a train leaves the station at 2:00 PM going 50 mph . . . . .  . 

I hope my math is correct. After all, I might not be as good at math as, say, all those smart politicians who attended Columbia or Princeton.

Anyway, that's $900,000 tuition and $150,000 for teacher. Where does the rest go? Hmmm. Three students can rent a three bedroom, two bath home, with pool and wine seller, (Oops, Freudian slip) for about $2,100.00 per month. Butler extra. That's $700.00  per student @ 8 months = $5,600.00.

Universities charge more.

Another train leaves the station at 3:10 PM (to Yuma) going 70 mph . . . . 

So, it costs a student $50,000 to attend school:

It costs the school (per student):

$  8,333.33   Professor  ( $150,000/18 students ) .
$  5,600.00   Room       ( Without butler ) 
$  2,800.00   Board       ( Beer and recreational narcotics extra )

?    (Bus service, Emergency medical [like for O.D.'s], etc.

Come on. There's over $30,000 left after tuition is paid. What do they do with the rest? Most Ivy League schools have a war chest in the Billions - from alumni donations. They could provide a free education, if they wished (ohohohohohohoho).

WHY DO WE CARE ?

We care because costs at less prestigious universities (except community colleges) are proportionately comparable. While the tuition in, say, state universities, are a lot lower, the classrooms are a lot more crowded (go Spartans); more students are crammed into student housing, and the price of porno films is higher than on an Ivy League campus. The University still has a lot left over. What do they do with the largesse?

Well, there are the athletes who get a free ride, and because of 'Progressives' on Capitol Hill, even the LaCrosse players get a free ride. Then there are the teach-ins: Progressive Propaganda events - place and professorial time. Lobbyists hired to represent university interests (like keeping other universities from opening a competing medical school). NCAA Dues and costs; advertising; left-wing campus newspapers; campus bookstore to compete with those private bookstores in town; lawyers; coffee houses to hear Peter, Paul, and Mary (well, Peter) and Joan Baez sing the praises of puffing on Che Guevera; speakers like Jayne Fonda, Michael Moore, Kanye West, Al Gore and a host of other left wing multi-millionaires to tell how you should give up your fun and extravagant life styles in the name of . . . hmm . . who knows.

All paid for by student tuition.

Not to mention the salaries of an overeducated - bloated University bureaucracy (who spend considerable time trying the keep their underpaid hourly workers from unionizing). And so it goes.

YOUR POINT?

If Universities were forced to compete in the marketplace, the price of an education would be a lot lower; and students would be a lot better educated, and prepared to compete out in the real world. But they do not have to compete. Progressives have made competing unnecessary;

1. Professors teach 10 hours a week and earn in the (nice) neighborhood of $100,000 a year.
2. Administrators earn upwards of $150,000 per year plus generous benefits and retirement plans.
3. The Football coach makes $3,000,000 and up.
4. The Basketball coach makes $2,000,000 and up.
5. The Athletic Director makes $350,000 and up.
6. The maintenance people make peanuts.

First, universities could bring these costs and hundreds into line with the private sector, but why should they? If they need a new $30 million dollar Hockey Rink, the taxpayers will pay - because the Progressives will provide it, and come campaign and election time, Progressives will pour on the support. 

Second, if students need financial support, the college might grant them financial aide, and lending institutions will give them (unsecured) loans, paid for by the taxpayers. After all, Progressives say, they are an investment in our future. Not, apparently, the kind of investment that a Soldier,  Electrician,  Plumber, Roofer, Policeman, or Fireman (who go to work to pay for all of this student largesse) make in 'our future.'

The next time your toilet runs over on a Sunday, call a college professor (if he's not on a paid sabbatical).

Bottom line. Universities spend money like Oprah Winfrey on crack, and the Progressive politicians just pour taxpayers money into student loans and government grants. The cycle is dumped onto increased tuition costs.

What a racket. 



School choice ? Assigned by bureaucrats. 

eva muskovitz v bad education

pres doesn't believe vouchers are long-term answer (gibbs).

Teacher unions

100 steps to fire teacher  Get stoessels graph (thur. feb 18


This page was last updated: April 26, 2016
YOU'RE HIRED

Some years ago we placed an ad in the Miami Herald to hire associates for my Miami Book Store (The Book Company, Inc.) A professor at the University of Miami, with a PhD in Literature filled out an application. I happened to be in town, noticed his application, and always interested in hiring smart people (there are so few of us), called him in for an interview - with every intention of hiring him.

In walks the professor, beard, corduroy jacket with the requisite elbow patches, and we talk. Looks good to me, ready to sign on?

"Umm, this isn't, like, a real job is it? inquired he. You know, I just help people and take their money, like that, right?"

"No, it's work. That's why they call it a job," retorted I. 

"Ummm, ok."

Needless to say, he wasn't hired.
Deflating Self-Esteem's Role in Society's Ills 
(JULY 9, 2008)



By ERICA GOODE 


Low self-esteem is to blame for a host of social ills, from poor academic performance and marital discord to violent crime and drug abuse. Or so goes the gospel, as written over the last several decades by social scientists, self-help book authors and the California Task Force to Promote Self-Esteem and Personal and Social Responsibility, a panel created in 1986 by the California Legislature to conduct a three-year study of the topic. 

Recently, however, some psychologists have begun debunking the notion that a poor self-image is the malady behind most of society's complaints - and bolstering self-esteem its cure. "D" students, it turns out, think as highly of themselves as valedictorians, and serial rapists are no more likely to ooze with insecurities than doctors or bank managers. 

At the same time, high self-esteem, studies show, offers no immunity against bad behavior. Research by Dr. Brad J. Bushman of Iowa State University and Dr. Roy F. Baumeister of Case Western Reserve University finds that some people with high self-regard are actually more likely to lash out aggressively when criticized than those with low-self esteem. The list of groups - neo-Nazis, street toughs, school bullies - who combine preening self-satisfaction with violence belies the power of one to ameliorate the other. 

"I think we had a great deal of optimism that high self-esteem would cause all sorts of positive consequences, and that if we raised self-esteem people would do better in life," Dr. Baumeister said. "Mostly, the data have not borne that out." 

In an extensive review of studies, for example, Dr. Nicholas Emler, a social psychologist at the London School of Economics, found no clear link between low self-esteem and delinquency, violence against others, teenage smoking, drug use or racism, though a poor self-image was one of several factors contributing to self-destructive behaviors like suicide, eating disorders and teenage pregnancy. 

High self-esteem, on the other hand, was positively correlated with racist attitudes, drunken driving and other risky behaviors, Dr. Emler found in his 2001 review. Though academic success or failure had some effect on self-esteem, students with high self-esteem were likely to explain away their failures with excuses, while those with low self-esteem discounted their successes as flukes. 

Not that feeling good about oneself is entirely without benefit. People with high self-esteem are happier and show more initiative than those with low self-regard, Dr. Baumeister noted. But when it comes to whether people use that initiative for good or for ill, or whether they succeed or fail in many different areas of life, research indicates that psychological factors other than self-esteem are far more important. 

For example, in the studies Dr. Bushman and Dr. Baumeister carried out on aggression, they found that it was narcissism, self-love that includes a conviction of one's superiority, rather than a positive self-image per se, that led people to retaliate aggressively when their self-esteem was threatened. 

In one study, each subject was asked to write an essay that was then criticized by a partner, really a confederate of the researchers. Then the subjects were given a chance to get back at their partners by pushing a button and blasting them with a high-decibel noise. People who scored high on scales of self-esteem were in general no more likely to take advantage of the opportunity than those with low self-esteem. But those who also scored high on narcissism turned up the volume and leaned on the button. 

In another study, the researchers gave tests of self-esteem and narcissism to 63 men serving prison sentences for rape, murder, assault or armed robbery in Massachusetts and California. They compared the prisoners' scores to those found in other studies for groups of men the same age, including Vietnam veterans, college students, dentists, recreational dart throwers and problem drinkers. The violent offenders, Dr. Bushman said, did not differ from the other men in self-esteem. But they scored much higher than the other men on narcissism. (A third group of prisoners, in Minnesota, showed no significant differences in either self-esteem or in narcissism, an anomalous result the researchers hope to explain through further research.) 

Many experts believe that such findings offer a persuasive rebuttal to the claims of the so-called self-esteem movement. But the accretion of evidence has done little to dampen the enthusiasm of therapists, child-rearing experts and school administrators. Many secondary schools include self-esteem building in their curriculums. Self-help books offer strategies - from hypnosis to dieting - for increasing self-confidence and self-worth. 

J. D. Hawkins, president of the National Association for Self-Esteem, based in Normal, Ill., said that despite the new research his group held that a positive self-image was important and that self-esteem building exercises were effective. "For 37 years I've worked with kids and I've proved that those kinds of things work," Mr. Hawkins said. But he added that any conception of self-esteem had to include taking responsibility for one's actions and contributing to society. "If you are not personally and socially responsible, then your self-worth is built on a false reality and, therefore, it's not healthy," Mr. Hawkins said. 

A preoccupation with self-esteem may be inevitable in a society where self-worth is often defined by a diploma from Harvard, a Size 4 dress or a mansion in Southampton. Dr. Jennifer Crocker, a psychologist at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, argues that the frantic pursuit of self-worth through external trappings exacts a social and personal toll. "The pursuit of self-esteem has short-term benefits but long-term costs," she has written, "ultimately diverting people from fulfilling their fundamental human needs for competence, relatedness and autonomy and leading to poor self-regulation and mental and physical health." 

In a series of studies, the most recent appearing in the current Journal of Social Issues, Dr. Crocker finds that people who pin their self-esteem on academic performance, good looks, the approval of bosses, friends or family members or other societally sanctioned yardsticks are at higher risk for a variety of problems, including academic difficulties, relationship conflicts, aggression and increased use of drugs or alcohol. 

In a study of 642 college freshmen, Dr. Crocker found that most students scored high on a commonly used measure of self-esteem. But those who based their views of themselves on things like academic competence, outdoing others in competition, physical appearance or other people's approval were more likely to have difficulties several months later. The freshmen who based their self-regard heavily on academic performance, for example, reported more stress and more conflicts with professors and teaching assistants than did their peers. They spent more time studying than other students but did no better in their classes. 

The freshmen who were invested in appearing attractive, on the other hand, reported more aggressiveness, anger and hostility than others, more alcohol and drug use and more symptoms of eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, Dr. Crocker found. They also became more depressed as the year wore on. 

The externally driven students were slightly more likely than others to have low self-esteem, but the correlation was small, Dr. Crocker said. "In analysis after analysis, external contingencies of self-worth, such as appearance, were associated with more problems of all types during their freshman year," Dr. Crocker wrote of the college students in the journal article. 

In contrast, students who judged themselves by more internal measures like virtue or religious faith seemed to fare better. They were less likely to show anger and aggression and more restrained in their use of alcohol and drugs. 

But Dr. Crocker said it was possible that even these freshmen found their pursuit of self-esteem problematic. On a checklist of "daily hassles," for example, they were more likely to note feelings of loneliness, suggesting, she said, that their devotion to moral strictures was experienced as off-putting by others. 

An obsession with external markers of self-worth, Dr. Crocker believes, leads to self-absorption. As an example, she cited a study, carried out with a graduate student, Lora Park, in which college freshmen who based their self-esteem on academic achievement were given a test and then either told that they had failed or given no feedback. They were then asked to talk to a partner about a personal problem the partner was having. 

Afterward, the freshmen who failed the test rated themselves as "preoccupied" during their discussion with their partner. Their partners, in turn, reported that they did not like the freshmen very much and would not want to share personal problems with them again. 

The correction for such an exclusive focus on the self cannot be found in self-esteem classes that encourage children to believe that they are special and that their personal success and happiness are paramount, Dr. Crocker and other experts argue. "Not everything is about `me,' " she said. "There are sometimes bigger things that we should be concerned about." 

Yet more old-fashioned strategies for making one's way in the world, like learning self-control, resisting temptation or persisting in the face of failure have received little study, in part because the attention to self-esteem has been so pervasive. "My bottom line is that self-esteem isn't really worth the effort," Dr. Baumeister said. "Self-control is much more powerful." 



This article originally appeared in the "N.Y. TIMES" Oct 1 2002.


To Be 6 Again!  

A man was sitting on the edge of the bed, watching his wife, who was looking at herself in the mirror.  Since her birthday was not far off he asked what she'd like to have for her birthday.

'I'd like to be six again', she replied, still looking in the mirror.

On the morning of her Birthday, he arose early, made her a nice big bowl of Lucky Charms, and then took her to Six Flags theme park.  What a day!  He put her on every ride in the park; the Death Slide, the Wall of Fear, the Screaming Roller Coaster, everything there was.

Five hours later they staggered out of the theme park.  Her head was reeling and her stomach felt upside down.  He then took her to a McDonald's where he ordered her a Happy Meal with extra fries and a chocolate shake.

Then it was off to a movie, popcorn, a soda pop, and her favorite candy, M&M's.  What a fabulous adventure!

Finally she wobbled home with her husband and collapsed into bed exhausted. 

He leaned over his wife with a big smile and lovingly asked, 'Well Dear, what was it like being six again?'

Her eyes slowly opened and her expression suddenly changed.

'I meant my dress size, you  retard!!!!'

The moral of the story: Even when a man is listening, he is gonna get it wrong.
HARVARDTHINK
(May 7, 2009)



         In recent political campaigns we have heard, ad nauseum, how the candidate has come up with “new ideas” to solve this problem or that, and to make this a better country in which to live. Short on specifics we soon learn (or should have learned) that the newly-elected candidate’s “new ideas” are really old ideas swathed in new language - and nothing has been improved. But adjectives do not a great idea make - it takes a creative mind to think beyond the orthodoxy of a University education to see a need and to think outside the box to fulfill that need.

        By contrasting the different effects that universities, and their close affiliations with church and governments, had in the 17th and 18th centuries on the advancement of new ideas and discoveries, as compared with those advances made by private organizations, such as “The Royal Society and other parliaments of scientists , with their academies in London, Florence, Rome, Berlin, and elsewhere,” whose aim was to increase knowledge, Daniel Boorstin, in his book, "The Discoverers" cites the tendency of early governments and the Catholic Church to hoard and protect new information. 

       Governments declared that most new discoveries were state secrets - that sharing with other countries was detrimental to their own interests. The Catholic Church viewed new scientific theories in light of the teachings of the Gospels in the Bible. Papal censure either led many scientists to alter their findings or actually to inhibit their open-mindedness, a prerequisite to the search for truth.

      Universities contributed little to the advancement of new thinking. Boorstin says “Europe’s ancient institutions of learning, colleges and universities, had been founded not to discover the new, but to transmit a heritage.” (The Discoverers). Some things haven’t changed. Ask your selves: Where did Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Wayne Huizenga, and John Sawyer obtain their get their knowledge? Harvard?

      Now we are facing another presidential campaign, with the same old problems with a gaggle of university academics poised to step up and fix everything (with their new ideas, no doubt). MBA’s, PhD’s, Juris Doctor’s all (Except Sarh Palin and Mike Huckabee). That Universities in the 17th and 18th centuries taught a lot of things that were simply inaccurate, is excusable only because time and new discoveries have changed thinking, but it is inexcusable that 21st Century Universities continue to discourage original thinking and innovative new ideas.

      Bill Gates hasn’t an MBA. George Romney never went to college. 

WHAT'S WRONG?

      How do we solve our problems when we ave the same one-dimensional lawyers running things, under the same underlying principles and false economic (?) that got us here in the first place? It is not a fact that we need to create more jobs - if those facts assume old principles - like opening more Starbucks, will create jobs. Why do we think like this? Because our politicians, bereft of any skills except for lawyering and politicking, hired “experts” and consultants who have been trained by and suscribe to the same educational institutes whose false economic principles got us into this mess in the first place. 

      So should we, as Sean Hannity would suggest, continue to give tax breaks (capital gains) to those who will not create net jobs.

      Lately we have heard how the ‘private sector’ has recently “created jobs.” But the unemployment rate remains the same. Two facts, one obvious, one not, come into play. One: As our population increases, jobs must be created just to keep up with the demand. Two: New job hires are calculated as the employee becomes hired . But the long-term loss of a similar job, created by a saturation in the market, shows up later when the competition in a saturated market starts laying off people, or closes the business altogether. 

       We need leaders who not only understand this principle, but also know what needs to be done to solve the problem. In this instance, it is not creating jobs, it is creating NEW JOBS. While some politicians, most or all of whom never have created a single job, or ever have met a payroll, may see promise in pie-in-the-sky job creation as “Green Jobs” , the answer to new jobs is to bring the old jobs back to America. Manufacturing jobs.

 HARVARDTHINK

      One of the by-products of the Vietnam War protests was the advent of the elitist, college-educated, young adults who thought they were smarter than the rest of us (after all they managed to dodge the draft), To avoid military service, these types were able to extend their draft-exempt status by enrolling in graduate school and then into the various PhD programs. Then upon earning their doctorate, they were beyond the maximum draft age of 26.

      As many if not all of these new PhD's were rather lazy to begin with, and had obtained (by now) useless doctorates in such disciplines as Art History, Political Science, and Black Studies, what to do to earn a living? 

      Those who can do, do; those who can't do, do do." Sawyer

      So off to academia in the late 60's and 70's they went on to fill the jobs formerly occupied by retiring WW II veterans, leaping ahead of those who only possessed a Masters' Degree - hereto the usual requirement for college teaching tenure. Which, by the way (Laura Ingraham) explains why so many college professors are anti-war left-wingers, and answers the academic question "why are there so few tenured women professors. Women didn't have to avoid the draft. In turn, these professors wound up teaching in prestigous Ivy League Business Schools (Wharton at Penn and the Kennedy School at Harvard come to mind ) inculcating a whole new generation of students to the concept that they were the elite; knew everything there was to know; and justified in looking out for number one.

      These new disciples were taught HARVARDTHINK. Bright and energetic, but with few if any moral values or life experiences, they learned business skills not necessarily taught at other, 'lesser' graduate business schools. In fact they were taught, as previously mentioned, by yesterday's draft dodger, who felt he owed allegiance to no one but himself.

      Plain old economics wouldn't do, of course. If you wanted to learn accounting, or tax avoidance, you could go to Michigan State or the University of Texas. At Harvard you learned about arbitrage, debt swaps, hedge funds, and derivatives, all schemes to make money on Wall Street and other concepts way over the heads of Congressional oversight from Miami of Ohio, the University of Oklahoma, and Florida State grads.

     Harvard gave us GREED. 

     When the House of Cards these geniuses carved for themselves out of our economy inevitably collapsed, to whom did our intrepid leaders turn for solutions? The same Ivy League jerks who were part of the problem in the first place. Politicians like Chris Dodd, Barack Obama, George Bush, and Wall Street swells like Timothy Geithner (see: 'Geithner Happens"), John Corzine, Ben Bernanke, etc. All Harvard Smart and Life Stupid.

      So these Ivy League geniuses concocted expensive bailouts, stimulus plans, takeovers, home mortgage refinancing schemes,  structured bankruptcies, and a host of other untried schemes that were disastrous failures, eschewing common-sense advice from those without Ivy League credentials, even if some of the rest of us do possess life experiences they never had.

      What does President Obama do? He blames it all on the rich who aren't paying their fair share.

BLUE COLLAR JOBS

        The second byproduct of draft dodging professors was the decline of good blue-collar manufacturing jobs. The new elites' greatest fear in life was having to carry a lunch pail to work. This attitude carried over by their acolytes who literally eliminated skilled labor education from our secondary schools. It was more important that everyone should be prepared to go to college. Of course many people simply are not cut out for college work, as indeed many are not cut out to be plumbers, electricians, machinists, or draftsmen. 

        On any given weekend in most big cities it is almost impossible to get a plumber to come out to unplug your toilet, while the help wanted  ads in the local newspapers are being scoured by scores of unemployed computer programmers and Art History majors. Lacking skilled workers to design and forge hi-tech machinery; skilled assembly workers and electricians, mechanics, and other skilled workers, manufacturers took their operations  (and jobs) overseas. 

       Now liberal politicians tell us the government needs to "invest in infrastructure" to create more jobs, while equally uninformed conservatives tell us we need to cut capital gains taxes to allow private small businesses to create mor jobs. Baloney. We have enough Starbucks and Border Books. We need to bring manufacturing jobs back to the USA. To do this we need to think outside the box.

       Elsewhere in these pages, I have made my case (click here) or (click here): ELIMINATE CORPORATE INCOME TAXES. American goods would be cheaper; companies could operate with considerably less regulation; capital gains taxes would be irrelevant; the IRS would be out of businesses' hair; lobbyist would be out of a job; American business would have little incentive to locate elsewhere - America is the largest consumer market in the world - by far.

     Anyway, this is a Democracy (please, Glenn Beck - we know it's a Republic) and we no longer can afford to let book smart and life stupid Harvard types run it for us.



MELVIN BLEDSOE'S SON GOES TO COLLEGE.

A model son, good student, Christian, good athlete went to college, and converted to Islam. He went to Yemen, spent time with radicals, and came back to the U.S.

Then he (allegedly) killed two Army Recruiters in cold blood. 

Another proud product of left-wing university indoctrination.
CHARLOTTE COUNTY SCHOOLS
(Typical - not the exception)

Public School students in the USA rank 4th lowest in the World in test scores.

So why do we read this headline in the Charlotte Sun?: “More scores show slips.” (say that five times fast).

Almost four-in-ten students cannot pass Science and Math courses that they had just finished taking. School Superintendent, Doug Whittaker, opines “Our task is to continue to do the best we can with the students we have.” By implication, it’s the dumb students’ fault that they fail. But, he notes brightly that our students are doing much better in History. I’m relieved.

What went wrong? 

First, Usurpation of States Rights. Today we have the Department of Education, a paean to the teachers unions in exchange for their support of Jimmy Carter during the 1976 Presidential campaign. This mammoth bureaucracy, laden with politically correct resolutions, rules, and laws, has contributed hugely to the shocking decline in American (public) Education. Through proposed “Common Core” Legislation, the Federal role in Education would even be increased dramatically. 

Second, Poverty, encouraged by a public welfare system that rewards failure and discourages the family unit (Mom, Dad, Kids, Dog and Cat) likely plays some part in student performance in Charlotte County - but really, 40% ?

Third, Teachers Unions (I belonged to 3) impose upon their members, school boards, and ultimately their students, a guarantee that today's school children will fail. Teacher tenure mandates that ALL teachers be paid according to seniority, We have a shortage of qualified people to teach Science and Math. Why? Because those with Science and Math degrees can get better-paying jobs in the private sector. But you can’t offer higher pay for teachers with degrees in those fields. Does anyone think that a University pays a professor with an MD Degree the same as a Professor of Women’s Issues ? Which of the two do you think worked harder to obtain their degrees ? (If you still are mulling this over, you likely are in the elite Charlotte County 40 % category). So, your child "learns" Math or Science from a teacher whose major may have been English or Physical Education. How many Science and Math teachers in the Charlotte School system possess History or Literature degrees. Also, once a teacher obtains tenure, it's almost impossible to fire them, unless they become an ax-murderer (which actually happened in Miami), regardless of their incompetence. 

In Charlotte County, it costs about $12,000 per year to educate a student. That's around $240,000 per classroom - and the building and furniture is ALREADY PAID FOR ! ! And they have a dropout rate of 30% ! ! In private schools it costs less than one half of that and even though they have larger classes and enroll a lot of inner-city kids, they have a dropout rate around 2%. Why? Because educators in private schools don't see failure as an option. Parents are required to attend parent-teacher conferences and other school-related activities and private school teachers are given year end reviews usually with input from their students. About 10% are not rehired. 

Who pays for this idiocy? The taxpayer, surely. But it's the public school child who must pays for a lifetime. Why don't our political leaders do something about it? Democrats and Republicans alike passed the "No Child Left Behind Act," that provided vouchers for tuition for inner city students to attend private schools. 

What gives here? It's simple: Liberals are beholden to the Teachers' Unions, and many low-income public school kids get thrown under the school bus. So what needs to be done? 

First, have a locksmith change the locks at the Department of Education, and place the education of our children back into State and Local hands, and in the mostly-capable hands of the teachers.

Second, pressure (through legislation) school boards and unions to allow for higher pay for Math and Science teachers. 

Third, mandate (through legislation) that teachers be required to take literacy and competency tests annually; They fail, they’re out. 

Fourth, give all kids vouchers to attend the school of their choice. Is it fair for inner city kids to be destined to a life of poverty because the teacher unions can dictate where they must get their education? 

Fifth, there are millions of well-educated retirees, many ex-teachers, here in SW Florida, who would be only too glad to tutor or mentor underachieving students or those with single parents - we just need to ask for their help.

Finally, adopt the revolutionary Sawyer Objective Solutions (S.O.S.) to meld our 19th Century public education system from into the 21st Century. See: http://www.sawyer2014.com/EDUCATION.html

As a former Education Major, I have sympathy for the Teachers’ Unions. When I attended school, teachers were the best-educated people in our society (when only 10% of Americans possessed a college degree), but poorly paid. That's unfair. Without the Unions, they would have stayed that way. In fact, for all the publicity over the power of the Teachers' Unions, teachers' salaries still are nothing to rave over. What is needed is more reasonable dialogue on ALL sides in deciding such matters as compensation, working conditions, teacher competency, and educational solutions - and neither politicians nor U.S. Presidents (party first) will be the final solution. 

And, oh yeah, turn the Department of Education building into a 7 - Eleven.







OUTSIDE THE BOX ?
(Jan 29, 2015)


The Ultra-Modern University of Phoenix football stadium is home to the Arizona Cardinals and Fiesta Bowl. Quickly! How many football games did the University of Phoenix win last year?
That’s a trick question-they don’t have a football team. In fact, most of their classes and degrees are taught and conferred via the Internet. So if 21st Century technology works for privately-held education providers, why do we teach our public school kids essentially as we did in the late 19th Century?
Charlotte Public Schools already offer online classes. For students without special needs, why not teach all classes over the Internet? Two-way cameras would allow teachers and students to interact from home, eliminating the need for costly schools, and expensive transportation systems, leaving more time for online classroom activity.
Charlotte County spends about $12,000 to educate each student. The cost of a laptop ($500) and internet connections for each student ($400 per year) pales in comparison. With many retired school teachers in the area who would be more than willing to volunteer or get paid part time to tutor students, more personal attention would benefit those with special needs. 
Drugs and violence in schools would be a concern of the past. 
Sport and Social venues would still exist. Clubs, could be held in less-formal, more private locations. Counselors could see more students. Hours could be flexible to accommodate working parents and teachers who might prefer non-standard hours. 
Traffic would be alleviated. Kids would be safer
Time to think outside the box?