War on Education: Is your state short-changing your schools?


CertificationMap.com, the group that tracks what is required to get a teaching certificate in each of the 50 states, also does information graphics from time to time.

Got this one from them today:  A map on how states are spending less on education in 2010 than in 2009.

The map should change dramatically when 2011 is taken into account.  This map shows $15 billion less being spent on schools nationwide.  Texas proposes to cut another $3 billion from spending in Texas alone for 2011.

This is a map of the War on Education in the U.S.  It shows that education, and the U.S., are losing the war.

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Click here for larger version of map, "Is Your State Short-Changing Schools?"

For the blog at CertificationMap.com, there is a call for stories about cutting the funds for education:

Are you a teacher, parent or student who has been short-changed by your school? Send us your story at YourStory@CertificationMap.com by Friday, May 13th. In an effort to remind people that the choices we make now will influence our children tomorrow, we’ll be spending Friday the 13th reposting horror stories that illustrate how failing to make education a priority is ultimately failing our own futures.

As with global warming, we now have denialists in education issues, those who deny the rising tide of mediocrity, and a few who cheer the rise.

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40 Responses to War on Education: Is your state short-changing your schools?

  1. Jim says:

    Sorry about the name-calling, Phil.

    The only name I think I have aimed at an individual is Tom Sowell. And yes, I called him an Uncle Tom.

    I stand by it.

    I don’t expect him to join the Jesse Jackson-Al Sharpton-Cynthia McKinney parade. I have already enumerated the discomfort and frustration they all cause me. I don’t care for their ant-semitism, disrespect for law enforcement or — in Mr. Sharpton’s case, at least — for the refusal to deal candidly with past egregious claims and libel. The whole Tawana Brawley affair should have disqualified Reverend Sharpton from being regarding as a spokesman on anything. (Unless he has offered a mea culpa I am unaware of.)

    None of that changes the fact that Sowell functions as a living, breathing enabler of white racism and black stereotyping. Sowell excuses the racist rantings of his golfing buddies on the far right, rather than challenging them (as a real friend would) to repent. He helps perpetuate stereotypes that end up oddly juxtaposed on Fox “News”.

    Remember those?

    During Hurricane Katrina, Fox almost simultaneously captions pictures of black people ‘LOOTING’ and white people ‘FINDING FOOD’. Sowell cheers. Keyes nods his approval. Justice Thomas maintains a stony silence we could surely accept if offered in the name of blind justice…but beggars belief in the face of unabashed support for the Koch brothers.

    Why?

    I *do* try, Phil, to steer away from calling names. Unless we’re dealing with power brokers and influence peddlers. I hope I haven’t, for example, called Morgan names. I like him. I hate his views. (I like him, in point of fact, because he has the stones to take criticism and come back — with a decent retort. So UNlike a lot of hit & run sorts who pop in here long enough to have their say but not long enough to see the thing through.)

    Anyway…I’m okay with the label I have attached to Dr. Sowell. I certainly do NOT expect him to be in lock step with liberalism — my version of it or someone else’s. But I certain DO expect him to have, just once maybe in the last 20 years, said one or two things in defense of a program that serves the interest of African-Americans or the poor. Instead, he joins the ever-popular mantra of the Libertarian-Anarchist-modern Republican greed train…

    “I’ve got mine boy. Now root, hog or die.”

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  2. Nick K says:

    Correction.

    That should be $250 million dollars. Yep..conservative intelligence on display….spending $250 million+ dollars in order so the Clear Channel CEO can have his pet Formula 1 racing organization.

    And oh wait…that CEO is a major donor of conservative causes.

    Funny how your party just loves to be bought and paid for like prostitutes.

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  3. Nick K says:

    If Texas is run by such intelligent conservatives…then why are those conservatives preparing to spend $25 million dollars a year on Formula 1 racing?

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  4. Nick K says:

    Oh and if you wanted evidence, here’s one for you, Morgan:

    That would be the Michele Bachmann interview where she says that Congress should be investigated for “unAmerican” ideas. Do you really want to pretend that what she was claiming was that liberals are unAmerican? I would call that dividing the country, Morgan. Hell your party cant even stand liberals winning elections which is why its attempting to fix elections in so many states.

    But since your pal Phil wants to claim that my side of the spectrum is dividing the country then he should have no problem in providing evidence. Because I find it cute that you just accepted what he said as established fact.

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  5. Nick K says:

    Oh and Morgan, you live in a delusional world where you think that your party is god and is never ever wrong and never does anything stupid. And you have convinced yourself, in your delusional world, that your lack of morality is actually an abundance of morality. Up is down in your world and black is white in your world.

    You are a pathetic paranoid waste of a human being.

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  6. Nick K says:

    Morgan writes:
    Nick lives in, as I said, a miniscule universe in which every imaginable problem can be soundly addressed by gathering all the Republicans, putting them in a big rocket ship and shooting it into the sun.

    If you substituted your name for mine and Republicans for Democrats you’d be explaining your operating credo.

    And do you really want me to go and find the evidence to back what I said, Morgan? Do you really want to play that game?

    Lets see. There’s your party blaming latinos for various problems. Then there is your party blaming blacks or women or unions or well..liberals in general and especially anyone your party can paint as “socialist” which is more or less, in your party’s view, everyone who disagrees with it. Oh yes..and your party blaming homosexuals too. Your party, Morgan, practices dividing the country like its the thing that’s going to get your party in God’s graces.

    And lets recall your attempt to blame all of Islam for 9-11. Gee…what did you think you were doing when you were trying to argue that a certain group of people shouldn’t be allowed to build a mosque on a certain piece of land because you and others said so?

    And oh yeah…your party trying to paint the President as secretly a Muslim. Gee..I wonder how you can explain that as not attempting to divide the country.

    Don’t play games, Morgan, you don’t have the honesty to win.

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  7. Nick K says:

    Ed writes:
    What _______ Studies programs are you talking about, in which schools, in which states?

    judging from the context, I’d say he’s talking about classes like latino studies, asian studies or such. You know….the classes that fail to teach we whites are oh so special and are the best of all the ethnicities.

    We’re a multicutural country, Phil, get used to it.

    But I find it funny a member of a party that constantly paints everything as “us vs them” in some fashion is kvetching about divisions in this country.

    Hm…I seem to recall a certain political party in another country also painted everything as “us versus them.” And they also spouted that some ethnic group or another was to blame for that country’s problems…..

    Republicans: Proving that failing to learn from history indeed dooms you to repeat it.

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  8. Kindly don’t whine about supposed dividing of this country when your side of the fence, Phil, has been dividing this country into various us versus them for decades.

    Phil, Nick. Nick, Phil.

    Nick lives in, as I said, a miniscule universe in which every imaginable problem can be soundly addressed by gathering all the Republicans, putting them in a big rocket ship and shooting it into the sun.

    Here, though…as Ed might say (and he won’t)…Nick has not provided evidence to support his claims.

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  9. Ed Darrell says:

    Does funding correlate to quality? Now there’s a good question to ponder. Is there a point of diminishing returns? Do the returns ever go negative?

    Yes. If the parents are rich and college graduates, their children have a dramatically higher chance of being successful academically.

    See here, for example (is there a single argument from Sowell that is not destroyed by these figures?):

    http://www.texastribune.org/texas-education/public-education/is-poverty-the-key-factor-in-student-outcomes/

    We know how to fix that, but the Republicans prefer tax cuts for oil companies over jobs for Americans.

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  10. Ed Darrell says:

    where we’re affluent enough to send herds of students through classes and programs entitled “__________ Studies”, most of which cultivate division and resentment, and none of which help us “compete with the Chinese”, and such classes and programs are extending downward into secondary education, taking time away from teaching things that actually would help us compete with the Chinese.

    Right.

    Except in Texas, where any such program is being cut out. And California. (Our two biggest states.)

    And New York, Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Ohio, and Utah, and Colorado . . .

    Hmmm. Now that I think about it, I can’t think of any education program that even comes close to that claim. Do you have examples to back up that claim?

    What _______ Studies programs are you talking about, in which schools, in which states?

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  11. Nick K says:

    Phil writes:
    I just can’t help but notice how freely the name-calling flows from the left when directed at someone they disagree with, especially minorities they disagree with — whom they consider ingrates … and in the case of Sowell – a recovered Marxist – apostates or traitors.

    And yet you conveniently ignore the fact that just as much if not more name calling comes from the right side of the fence when they encounter someone who they disagree with. Gee..what do you think your party is doing every time utters the word “socialist”?

    Phil writes:
    affluent enough to send herds of students through classes and programs entitled “__________ Studies”, most of which cultivate division and resentment, and none of which help us “compete with the Chinese”, and such classes and programs are extending downward into secondary education,

    Yes because God forbid that we learn things about cultures that aren’t from Europe or about people that *gasp* aren’t white. It’s far better to be ignorant about what motivates other people and the differences in their cultures just like our former President who didn’t know there is a difference between Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims.

    Kindly don’t whine about supposed dividing of this country when your side of the fence, Phil, has been dividing this country into various us versus them for decades. Look in the mirror the next time you bother to be concerned with whats dividing this country.

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  12. philmon says:

    Sowell is the law school guy; Williams is the economics guy.

    Actually, they’re both economics guys.

    Consequently, a rational person might note that his criticism is absolutely unrelated to the chart in the lead post here.

    Mmmm, careful with that word “absolutely”

    Even reputable colleges are increasingly teaching things that students should have learned in high school. — Sowell

    Granted, his criticism is aimed mainly at curriculum choices in post secondary education, but he is also talking about the larger cultural picture, where we’re affluent enough to send herds of students through classes and programs entitled “__________ Studies”, most of which cultivate division and resentment, and none of which help us “compete with the Chinese”, and such classes and programs are extending downward into secondary education, taking time away from teaching things that actually would help us compete with the Chinese. If that’s even really what we want to do. I suppose we have to for the time being since we owe them so much money. Such is the position of sharecroppers. Hopefully we will eventually be able to buy our way out of it.

    If education has slipped to mediocre levels, a valid line of questioning might be … when did that start? What have we been doing since then? Has it helped? Is there a correlation between what we’ve been doing and the results? Why might this be? These are the kinds of questions Sowell asks and attempts to answer — using actual data to back up his theories (if you read his books – there’s typically little room for this in a column).

    Does funding correlate to quality? Now there’s a good question to ponder. Is there a point of diminishing returns? Do the returns ever go negative?

    I just can’t help but notice how freely the name-calling flows from the left when directed at someone they disagree with, especially minorities they disagree with — whom they consider ingrates … and in the case of Sowell – a recovered Marxist – apostates or traitors.

    This is the root of the left’s contempt. Sowell and Williams refuse to read from the left’s script. So in order to avoid being considered racist by the standards to which they hold the right (any criticism directed toward anyone from a blessed “victim class”), they do what they always do. Revise the data. Re-define them as white men in disguise. “Uncle Toms”. Problem solved.

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  13. Ed Darrell says:

    I suppose I should be more embarrassed at having substituted Walter Williams for Thomas Sowell in a previous answer (you can find it below).

    I suppose I would be more embarrassed, were there something to be embarrassed about. For each man, generally one may take the position of most thinking African Americans, or the consensus of America’s black population, and one may safely assume that Williams and Sowell will both take the opposite view. I find it almost as difficult to read each of them as it is to read a creationist tract — no point can be maintained for more than about 10 minutes without their telling a shining, steaming, stinking whopper of a falsehood.

    Sowell is the law school guy; Williams is the economics guy. Have they ever had a signficant disagreement between them?

    Like

  14. Ed Darrell says:

    [...] says Jim. Yup, I got sucked into another one. And, I have every confidence there are hundreds of thousands, [...]

    There is also the issue of the bait and switch. Sowell is quite vague about which end of education he’s talking about in his criticism, but his criticism is all aimed at higher education, college, university and post-secondary trade schools. Consequently, a rational person might note that his criticism is absolutely unrelated to the chart in the lead post here.

    There is some high irony there. Morgan uses Sowell’s complaints about higher education as if they applied to elementary and secondary education — but higher education is that area where the free market model is in full swing, even including government-sponsored schools.

    So the criticism Sowell has is that in a free market, students choose courses of which he does not approve. Morgan’s criticism is that elementary and secondary education is not a free market, though it’s unclear whether Morgan understands that Sowell’s criticism is misaimed here.

    In the end, neither of them can offer a better alternative. In both higher education and elementary and secondary education, the U.S. model is still the best in the world, even with its significant failings. We compete, across the board including all the kids living in poverty and special education kids, against nations who cream off the top students for college and higher education.

    Sure, all of our students on average lag behind other nations’ best students. We should not forget, either, the truth that in almost any field, the top 10% of Chinese university students outnumbers all U.S. students in the same field. That is particularly spooky when we consider engineering.

    Sowell, of course, isn’t concerned with competing with the Chinese. He’s only concerned with digging at liberals.

    And so we see the poverty of though from conservatives in education. They have no competing model to offer, all they can do is carp about what exists.

    The carping wouldn’t be so bad were they carping to expand democracy, by they carp against greater democracy. Or it would be fine if they carped against lower standards, but they don’t do that, either.

    Carping for carping’s sake. They are pissing in the soup, and calling it cooking.

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  15. Nick K says:

    House you should quit getting sucked into beleiving right wing bulls–t then.

    Like

  16. Jim says:

    Woo Hoo!

    I’ve just been promoted from being Ed’s flunky to being his lackey! This is exciting.

    Ed, does this come with a bump in pay or at least a hearty handshake?

    Jim

    Like

  17. [...] says Jim. Yup, I got sucked into another one. And, I have every confidence there are hundreds of thousands, [...]

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  18. Jim says:

    Hi Morgan!

    Thanks for the quick response.

    First, you’re absolutely right that I did not deal with the content of Sowell’s absurd rant. I thought Ed debnunked it decently. Others will surely chime in, too. You know, actual professionals who know about public education because they teach. Not armchair cowards like Sowell.

    More, I felt obliged to point out his lack of accuracy and reliability. If he is incapable of speaking the truth about the President, about race, about history or about the homeless…his remarks about public education should be equally suspect.

    Or are you in the habit of accepting what pathological liars put forward as truth?

    Second, let me respond to your challenge on the whole “Uncle Tom” characterization. I didn’t just write that without thinking…which makes my epithet either more heinous, or more apt. See, I was initially reluctant to go there.

    But the more I have read of Sowell and the more I have read ON Sowell…particularly from African-American scholars and psychologists, it’s pretty clear. The man IS an Uncle Tom.

    That’s what you call a black man who actively works and advocates to the detriment of his own race. Sowell is black. And he clearly hates black people. It’s a rare phenomenon. But it exists.

    I completely understand why any person — black or white — would be uncomortable with the “usual suspects” who are touted as representatives of the black race. Limousine liberals like Jesse Jackson, anti-semites like Cynthia McKinney and pseudo-clergy like Al “Tawana Brawley” Sharpton are understandably offensive and worrisome. Not just to conservatives, either. I *get* why a conservative black columnist like Sowell would want to disassociate himself from that bunch.

    But in offering blanket condemnations of poor people and the homeless…in perpetuating racial stereotypes about welfare recipients, criminals and drug users…and in serially siding with those most diametrically opposed to ANY legislation that might help African Americans out of poverty or might give them equal standing with the majority: Sorry, that’s what you call an Uncle Tom.

    Why is he this way? My guess is greed. Sowell knows he lacks the heft of a Cornel West or the erudition of a Barack Obama. Better to be a big fish in a little pond. He sells more books this way. And he has all those lovely white people just hanging on every word he says.

    People like you, Morgan.

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  19. Know what I notice, Jim?

    Not a single thing you mentioned about Dr. Sowell, including the racist stuff, has anything whatsoever to do with the content of his remarks.

    Even Lazy Ed went so far as to dispense the ritual bromide “he doesn’t even bother to offer experimental support for his claims.” A cursory review of the linked article will confirm Ed’s incorrect, and before we do that we already know he’s been disingenuous, what he really means to say is “I’ll find some excuse to derogate this person because I don’t like where he’s going with his argument.”

    But at least our host made the effort to address the content. Your impressive little screed there is nothing but rationalizing why Dr. Sowell’s on your “don’t read this person” list — why we should all leave our umbrellas at home if Sowell is the one telling us it’s raining. Is that the way mature, responsible, thinking people behave?

    And “Uncle Tom Sowell.” Oh, my. Nothing prejudiced about that, when your side’s the one that’s doing it, huh. Thanks for letting it all hang out there, Jim.

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  20. Jim says:

    Good evening, Morgan!

    Thank you so much for bring Uncle Tom Sowell into the discussion. It helps us to know where you find these wonderful nuggets of crazy from.

    Sowell is, admittedly, a favorite of many on the extreme right…Republicans, Anarcho-Libertarians and a few self-loathing African-American Conservatives like Allen West and Alan Keyes.

    He’s your go-to guy on all things economic, I presume?

    Oh my, let’s just hit a few of the high points from Uncle Tom’s illustrious career as the house lawn jockey for the radical right.

    1. Sowell has repeatedly compared President Obama to Adolph Hitler. How is this helpful to any conversation about where we wish to take America in the years to come? Hitler was a right wing extremist. (And oh yes please — let’s DO have the argument that he was a leftist. I win that one hands down every time.) Obama is, ideologically, center-left…though for reasons I cannot fully divine, he governs center-right. Still scratching my head over that one. Hitler had his political opponents murdered, marginalized or placed in concentration camps. Obama has them over for dinner and holds regular meetings with them in the Oval Office. Hitler presided over a campaign of racial extermination. Would you or Mr. Sowell care to show us who President Obama is slaughtering by the millions? I’d settle for one or two names, even. Hitler invaded and occupied countries that had not attacked Germany. Obama? He’s getting us out of one country we had no business invading. Perhaps not quickly enough, but he’s made some progress. Sowell is proven to be made of fail and hate on this count.

    But perhaps that just an outlier. What else has Uncle Tom in his little bag of tricks? In several of his columns, Sowell decried a plan to help high school students spruce up their college applications. The plan called for students to volunteer in service to their communities. In exchange, colleges and universities would take that service into consideration when reviewing their applications. Did Sowell ask whether the plan was pragmatic or functional? No! Such an argument might have been fair-minded. Instead, he went straight to the predictably pathetic fallback line for all crazed conservatives: Hating on poor people. See, Tom became apoplectic over the prospect of high school students working in homeless shelters and free clinics. Why? Well, quoting Uncle Tom, “they would be feeding people who refuse to work”. The vast majority of our homeless do not refuse to work. Ask Second Harvest. Visit your local shelter. Speak with the Indiana Commission on Housing and Homeless Issues. Or Bread for the World. The people who deal with the homeless on a 24/7 basis will tell you most homeless either WANT desperately to have a job or cannot possibly hold a job because of physical or mental illness. No small number of them are Vietnam, Desert Storm and Iraq-Afghanistan veterans who have served this country with valor and courage. A tragic and shocking number of them are, like Sowell, African-American.

    But for Uncle Tom Sowell…they are just lazy bums. He’s wrong, of course. There is no sociological, theological or demographic science backing him up. But Sowell has never cared much for science or accuracy. He DOES care for lining his pockets with the proceeds from his books and speaking engagements.

    Sowell has even stated, in print, that his hero — Rush Limbaugh has never made a single racist statement in his entire broadcasting career. Really? Calling an African-American caller “Willie” and telling him to “take the bone out of your nose” is not racist? (We can have THAT discussion if you want, too. I love that topic. It’s another one so easy for our side we don’t have to break a sweat.)

    Sowell has called John Kerry, a decorated war hero, a cut & run coward. He has referred to Senator Max Cleland (a man who lost 3 limbs in Vietnam) as an appeaser of terrorists. Just what was Uncle Tom doing during the Korean War? Well, I give him credit. He did serve in uniform. God bless him for that. And not everyone can or should serve on the front lines. But Sowell was stateside, training U.S. Army Photographers. That’s a pretty comfy wartime gig for a guy who likes to call decorated combat veterans cowards and appeasers.

    Sowell, who holds a blistering hatred and particular loathing for President Obama has written columns calling Obama “soft on terrorists” and a “turn tail and run” Commander in Chief.

    Tell that to the Somali pirates Obama ordered eliminated shortly after coming into office…pirates the previous President refused to do anything about. Or for that matter, tell that to Osama bin Laden.

    You really need to find a better guru, Morgan. You’re a lot smarter than this. I realize they’re dead now. But Bill Safire or Bill Buckley might be a safer, smarter bet. These tin-foil hat morons like Glenn Beck and self-loathing black conservatives like Sowell are not serving you well.

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  21. Nick K says:

    Oh and considering that most libertarians claim they believe government’s only role is defending the country…yeah you may want to acknowledge that libertarian you quote more then likely thinks the public school system shouldn’t exist.

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  22. Nick K says:

    Morgan I have a simple question for you.

    We should listen to libertarians and go with their view of things…why?

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  23. Nick K says:

    Morgan writes:
    Simply acknowledging a word describes something that is good, is not the be-all and end-all for recognizing the beneficial solution to a problem. Simply demanding that more money be routed to something that is described by that word, is not a beneficial solution to a problem…and all persons opposed to routing money toward things described by that word, might not actually be engaged in an effort of making the problem worse.

    So..how is starving/cutting public education going to make things better? How is helping a chosen few public school students by using tax money to send them to private schools, which may or may not be better then the public schools, going to help all the kids? How do you educate a populace of 300+ million people without a public education system, Morgan?

    Morgan writes:
    Simply demanding that more money be routed to something that is described by that word, is not a beneficial solution to a problem

    And yet your party demands that more money be routed to tax cut after tax cut after tax cut after tax cut and yet we all know that is not a beneficial solution to the problem your side keeps on claiming that it solves. After all..we have the last 10 years to prove that tax cuts simply don’t help.

    This isn’t about throwing ever more money at the public education system, Morgan. This is about spending more on it..spending that money more wisely and not using the public school system and its employees as political punching bags and scapegoats to deflect attention from problems that your party caused. (If you’re wondering I’m referring to I point you to Governor Walker creating a budget deficit in Wisconsin via tax cuts where there would have been a budget surplus if he hadn’t given out those tax cuts and then blaming it on the teachers union.)

    We need a world class education system, Morgan, and your party doesn’t have the answers.

    So yeah..you may be right. Not all those who oppose public education funding being increased may be trying to make it worse.

    BUT FOR DAMN SURE THEY’RE NOT TRYING TO MAKE IT BETTER.

    Since nothing your side comes up with on this issue at all improves things then you and your side should get the hell out of the way and let those of us who actually give a damn fix the problems.

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  24. Ed Darrell says:

    [Quoting Walter Williams Thomas Sowell from somewhere:] Unfortunately, an increasing proportion of American education, whether in the schools or in the colleges and universities, is closer to the baton twirling end of the spectrum than toward the nuclear physics end. Even reputable colleges are increasingly teaching things that students should have learned in high school.

    Williams Sowell should know, with all of his work much closer to the baton twirling than the nuclear physics. One clue that he’s asea about the issue is that he raises the continuum without acknowledging where he is on it. No doubt he thinks his stuff is closer to nuclear physics — but he doesn’t even bother to offer experimental support for his claims.

    Simply acknowledging a word describes something that is good, is not the be-all and end-all for recognizing the beneficial solution to a problem. Simply demanding that more money be routed to something that is described by that word, is not a beneficial solution to a problem…and all persons opposed to routing money toward things described by that word, might not actually be engaged in an effort of making the problem worse.

    Sniping at a good thing government does does not make that good thing bad, either. Our educational system is still the standard to reach for in most of the world. While it appears to have failed Williams greatly in his reasoning faculties, he has still been able to get an economics degree and feed his family. Even when education fails, it makes things better for those it educates, even poorly.

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  25. Government is the one and only thing that can bring people together in this country?

    I’d ask for clarification, but this subject is overly complex and cannot fit in the Universe of Nick. Which is to say, it concerns a problem that cannot be solved by filling a rocket ship with all Republicans and shooting it into the sun. Actually, most things in real life are too complicated for this universe.

    Dr. Sowell seems to have a good command of what’s going on…

    One of the sad and dangerous signs of our times is how many people are enthralled by words, without bothering to look at the realities behind those words.

    One of those words that many people seldom look behind is “education.” But education can cover anything from courses on nuclear physics to courses on baton twirling.

    Unfortunately, an increasing proportion of American education, whether in the schools or in the colleges and universities, is closer to the baton twirling end of the spectrum than toward the nuclear physics end. Even reputable colleges are increasingly teaching things that students should have learned in high school.

    Simply acknowledging a word describes something that is good, is not the be-all and end-all for recognizing the beneficial solution to a problem. Simply demanding that more money be routed to something that is described by that word, is not a beneficial solution to a problem…and all persons opposed to routing money toward things described by that word, might not actually be engaged in an effort of making the problem worse.

    It’s a big, complicated world. As the scatter diagram shows us — there are many factors involved in whether children are getting the education they need, besides how much money is being thrown at the e-word. Incidentally, my adopted home-state spends much more per pupil than Texas does, but Texas fares slightly better.

    I wonder if Nick is a testament to increased spending on education? I eagerly await his buckshot reply to this post. Don’t tell me, let me guess: It’s a small broadsheet of Republican shenanigans.

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  26. Ed Darrell says:

    5: The residents of Pima County, Arizona are so fed up with the antics of their state’s Republican leaders that they are considering attempting to secede from Arizona and become the United State’s 51st state.

    Tucson always has been a bastion of sanity in Arizona — home of the Udalls, for example. When I lived in Tucson, the University of Arizona had just completed building a new library. The library came in under budget, and university officials used the leftover money to buy furnishings for the place — shelves for the books, study carrels, tables for students, etc.

    The legislature back in the 1970s, already dominated by yahoos from Phoenix with degrees from Arizona State, took exception to the use of the money, and passed a law forbidding the University of Arizona from occupying the library with furniture purchased from the surplus construction funds. So for about two years the library stood empty and unused.

    But the kicker? When they didn’t turn on the air conditioning in the building, the windows started popping out in the heat. To keep the campus safe, and preserve the building, it had to be cooled (and heated), while it was empty. In those two years the costs of air conditioning probably far outweighed the cost of the disputed furnishings . . .

    Not everybody in Arizona is crazy, but there are enough crazies to taint the desert.

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  27. Nick K says:

    And further Republican’s antics:

    1: Florida is proposing to cut its unemployment benefits, already 47th worst in the nation, so they can give out corporate tax cuts.

    2: A Minnesota Republican has proposed that the state of Minnesota start printing an “alternative currency to the US dollar.”

    3: The same Minnesota Republican has proposed that a person who, for example, lives in Saint Michael but owns a cabin in Nisswa that person should get to vote in municipal elections in both. I would point out that Saint Michael and Nisswa are a drive of two and a half hours apart.

    4: The Republican leader of the Minnesota House has proposed asking the US Congress (meaning the House) for a US Constitutional amendment to let the states nullify federal law on whim. So far the Minnesota Republican party has come up with 8 proposed amendments to the state constitution and one amendment to the federal constitution.

    5: The residents of Pima County, Arizona are so fed up with the antics of their state’s Republican leaders that they are considering attempting to secede from Arizona and become the United State’s 51st state.

    6: The Minnesota Republican party has proposed that Minnesota allow public tax money be used for school vouchers for private schools. This despite these two facts: 1: most private schools in Minnesota are religious and 2: the state constitution specifically forbids tax money being used for religious schools.

    7: The Minnesota legislature, controlled by Republicans, have come up with an redistricting plan that divides Minnesota’s 8 congressional districts so that Republicans have 4 safe seats, Democrats have 3 safe seats and there is 1 swing state. Which means the Republicans are attempting to ensure that for the next 10 years, at least, the best the Democrats can do with Minnesota congressional seats is tie the number of Republican seats. When the Democrats objected one Republican leader said that Republicans were elected into control of the legislature and that “elections have consequences.” Apparently the Republicans have forgotten that a Democrat won the governor’s election so apparently they think “elections have consequences” only applies when it favors them.

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  28. Nick K says:

    Correction. That should “the one and only thing that can bring people together in this country.”

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  29. Nick K says:

    Well it also explains why they have such an abject irrational hatred of government.

    What is the one thing in this country that can bring everyone together?

    Government. They absolutely hate that idea.

    Like

  30. Jim says:

    Nick, Ed…

    I am not convinced conservatives…particularly the Ayn Rand disciples who call themselves Libertarians and Tea Party Republicans…want to destroy America.

    They only want to destroy AmericanS. Certain ones. Those not like them, or so they believe.

    Of course, the ultimate truth is that in destroying AmericanS we end up destroying America entire. For WE are America. All of us. Not just a few of us. We fought a revolution over that notion and endured a Civil War we thought would slay that beast once and for all.

    Still, it lives. Shamefully and disgracefully in the guise of current Republican and Libertarian politics. I’ve said it before. The irony just screams. The very people who most desperately wish to prevent the schools from teaching scientific Darwinism are simultaneously the same people embracing social Darwinism as a replacement for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the founding documents of our nation.

    What pathetic, lonely people.

    Like

  31. Nick K says:

    I love how conservatives so love to claim that the United States is the best country on earth….but they’re so convinced that it can’t do a damn thing for its people.

    For example Morgan’s position can be summed up as:

    I say I love this country but everything I want is with the aim of destroying it.

    Like

  32. Ed Darrell says:

    Some conservatives are so out of touch that they think the nation is broke, and they wish to avoid accountability for irresponsible cuts to important government programs and functions, such as education.

    Some conservatives cheer every assault on education and knowledge, every assault on culture and learning.

    Some conservatives could have used a good public education.

    If you want to see a completely unwarranted assumption and completely ungrounded leap to a conclusion not supported by the facts, see this.

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  33. [...] in education, some teachers are so out of touch they haven’t noticed there’s a recession going on and government tax income took a big [...]

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  34. [...] in education, some teachers are so out of touch they haven’t noticed there’s a recession going on and government tax income took a big [...]

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  35. Jim says:

    My property taxes will quadruple as I move from low-tax Indiana to high-tax Illinois. Dreading it? On the contrary. I am looking forward to it. I have lived in such a low-tax paradise that I cannot conceive of sending my daughter to a public school. Our district in particular is unsafe, with virtually all the district’s money being spent at predominantly white schools and virtually none at the schools my daughter would attend — where the population is 60% African American. When I asked a school board member about this disparity (he, curiously, homeschooled his children) he said, “Those people ruin everything you give them”. I inquired, “What people?” With a wink and a nod, he made it clear he was referring to human beings who happen to be black. And then he launched into some sort of truly pitiful story about how black kids beat him up when he was a teenager. The mind reels.

    So we’ll be sending dear daughter to public schools in Plainfield, Illinois. Some of the best in the nation. I wonder why? Could it be because the high taxes support the schools? All they’ve done in Indiana, from what I have observed, is look for one way after another to cut taxes AND support for public education. You get what you pay for.

    A relative of mine recently asked why my wife’s company would move to suburban Chicago of all places. Taxes are so high! And Indiana is a paradise when it comes to low taxes, especially on business. That’s a very good question.

    One of the biggest challenges facing my wife’s company is attracting bright, young and highly skilled engineers. Six figure salaries help a little. But the cream of the crop are looking for jobs elsewhere. Gee whiz. Why not in Fort Wayne, Indiana…where taxes are so wonderfully low? Funny thing. It turns out those highly educated engineers want their children to be highly educated too. Go figure! Chicago’s western suburbs — Wheaton, Naperville, Plainfield, Oswego, Batavia, Lisle — these areas are noted for exceptional public education.

    Curiously, my wife’s company has lots of interested applicants for these jobs…many with impressive resumes.

    Isn’t it funny how taxation actually works FOR the people? And even FOR business?

    It’s hardly a panacea. And there are roads, bridges, airports, libraries, public safety agencies and parks to share the loot with. Still, this company is going to be hiring Americans with awesome skill sets — many of them with young families. Just one more way we promot the general welfare. Amazing how that works.

    Like

  36. Nick K says:

    The Republicans also conveniently ignore the fact that the reason that some states have such lower taxes then other states is that the states with the lower taxes are being subsidized by the other states via the federal government.

    But leave it to Morgan to fully believe that you can have a world class economy on the cheap.

    Like

  37. My, look at Minnesota. The Republicans seek to emulate lower-performing states and in Minnesota we once boasted of our education.

    Like

  38. Well, let’s see. If you evaluate the entire situation inextricably welded to the non-negotiable premise that each additional dollar invested in K-12 education yields a positive result, I can see how it would be “irrelevant” to consider scenarios in which this might not be the case. On the other hand, if we’re willing to be reasonable and broad-minded about this, the scatter diagram opens new possibilities for us to consider.

    In fact, if you sign on to the idea that graduation rate is a valid metric, then it provides solid support to the notion that there may be other factors involved apart from how much tax money is sunk in. Once one takes that seriously, it has a deleterious effect on nearly all of the writings about public education in Texas that I see on this blog, so I can see how you might not like this.

    Now to be even-handed about it, there are many other ways to measure the success of the educational institutions besides graduation rates. It is a complicated issue. But not so complicated that I can simply write off the experience when Calvin Coolidge is mentioned around a solid A+ high school sophomore and his reaction is “who’s that??”

    So just consider this to be my “[citation needed]” bolted on to the end of every implication made here — and there have been a great many — that educational performance in a state’s K-12 public school system, is tied to the number of dollars that state throws at the task. This one part of your many arguments would benefit from improved support.

    Do you have some meaningful disagreement with that last point?

    Like

  39. Ed Darrell says:

    Irrelevant to this discussion, don’t you think, Morgan?

    The scatter plot reveals nothing about year-over-year results from the same state, nor does it suggest anything at all about education quality.

    Like

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