Monday, September 27, 2010

Obama Responds to the Movie "Waiting for 'Superman'" (7:40) and Whether His Daughters Would Get Good Education at DC Skools (17:27)


At 9/27/2010 6:57 PM, Blogger bix1951 said...

Why must we be the best? So what if some other developed countries have better students.
I think things are pretty good. Good enough.
Would you rather get the highest test scores or just be the happiest person?
We should stop running everyone down and instead look for the good.
All the comnplaining usually ends with the words,
"Now give us the money."
How about, "Thanks for this beautiful world."

At 9/27/2010 7:04 PM, Blogger W.E. Heasley said...

DC “Skools”. Very nice.

The word “skools” can clearly be solved by merely spending more money. You see, education is a function of a bloated unionized system that requires plenty of handsome pensions.

The formula is: >E$ = >u + >p.

The results of applying the above formula is for all to see: “skools“.

At 9/27/2010 7:44 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

isn't this the same guy who shut down the DC voucher system while claiming that the schools needed to keep their brightest students to benefit the rest?

funny how his view seems to change when his own kids are concerned.

At 9/27/2010 8:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dems have been experimenting and owning the public education system since the 60's. They are owned by the unions. For this reason, Dems are unable to reform the education system in this country. Their results have failed and their intentions are corrupt. The formula is the same... union, bring us your votes and we will bring you the money.

Dems are unserious and should never be allow to govern during serious times.

At 9/28/2010 3:46 AM, Blogger Don Culo said...

"Dems have been experimenting and owning the public education system since the 60's."


That is right, as soon as we can get a Republican president and Republican controlled congress, we republicans will fix the schools !!!!

Unfortunately the democrats control everything !!!!

At 9/28/2010 7:44 AM, Blogger Eric H said...

"isn't this the same guy who shut down the DC voucher system while claiming that the schools needed to keep their brightest students to benefit the rest?"

Yes, and Arne Duncan. But what you have to acknowledge was the Common Core State Standards were not yet being rammed down state throats (and sold to us as "voluntary" and "created by the governors") via the carrot of Race to the Trough money. The entire country (public education K-12)is about to be standardized. Charters are a required part of the plan (even though they were bad two years ago). Teacher accountability is another carrot, but this thing has full cooperation of the NEA, Bill Gates, Bill Frist (SCORE), etc. It is just more big business, and I'm not sure that Superman isn't propaganda to help usher it in.

IOW, how does a federally-standardized charter school with all direction coming from DC sound?

At 9/28/2010 7:51 AM, Blogger Eric H said...


"Historically teachers were predominantly women and as a consequence they were paid less profession-wide."

I can't believe Prof. Perry let the gender gap claim slip by.

At 9/28/2010 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how good most schools could be for $30,000 per year per student and extra $$ for busing and books. In addition, the student-to-teacher ratio ranges from 16-1 to 13-1 depending on the grade level. (Source: Sidwell Friends)

Throw in involved and educated parents, a pleasing environment of superstucture, and an administrative support system that attracts a large applicant pool to hire the best from. I don't think with those factors it would matter if the school is unionized or non-unionized because it is almost destined to succeed.

At 9/28/2010 8:44 AM, Blogger morganovich said...


there is no correlation worldwide or in the US between expenditure per student and quality of education. DC expenditure is already about the highest in the nation.

finland went from the bottom of europe to the top without spending any more money (they just gave principals autonomy) .

$30k would make no difference.

we already spend nearly $13k per student.

that's $260k per class of 20.

if you can't provide education for that (especially as most schools have free real estate), you are incompetent. funding is not the issue.

At 9/28/2010 8:58 AM, Blogger W.E. Heasley said...

morganovich said...

“there is no correlation worldwide or in the US between expenditure per student and quality of education. DC expenditure is already about the highest in the nation.”

The Detroit school (skool) system one ups D.C.. They spend a ton of money, their graduation rate is abysmal. And the current literacy rate (the result of long term educational results) in Detroit is now on par with the third world. Very nice.

At 9/28/2010 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Money does matter. At least the ability and willingness to pay that much. The best indicator of student success is parent success. I doubt if many Sidwell Friend parents are unsuccessful or that Sidwell Friends accepts disabled students.

If you want to compare Sidwell friends to public schools you need to either give all the public schools as much money as Sidwell Friends receives per student or reduce Sidwell Friends down to the funding of public schools per student and accept any and all students. You can't really say money is not a factor unless you control for the difference first. I will agree that it is more important how the money is spent than how much it is.

I still believe parental involvement, the pupil-to-teacher ratio, and the amount of school support for teachers is much more important than whether the school teachers are unionized or not.

At 9/28/2010 9:17 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"isn't this the same guy who shut down the DC voucher system while claiming that the schools needed to keep their brightest students to benefit the rest?"

Yep, one of his first acts as President. Poor kids who were attending the same school as his own kids were kicked to the curb. Education is nice. $$ from union thugs is much better.

At 9/28/2010 11:04 AM, Blogger Eric H said...


DC IS spending $30k per student. They are the pilot project for 100% federally controlled public education (since they are not a state). The same system people want their children out of. Coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

At 9/28/2010 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

eric, speaking of DC public schools, "The same system people want their children out of."

Maybe they should take them ALL out of DC public schools and send them to Sidwell Friends. If Sidwell Friends' success suffers afterwards, what would that tell you? Do we have a cause-and-effect confusion of the problem here?

At 9/28/2010 6:12 PM, Blogger Eric H said...

"If Sidwell Friends' success suffers afterwards, what would that tell you?"

It would doubly prove you are wrong about the money. But the unions can't admit that those unqualified, uncertified parents are really necessary for success - and God forbid they try to do it themselves with no NEA nanny.

I can't understand why public systems aren't more interested in private and charter schools that do as well academically for a fraction of the money. Many of those public charters were only allowed to exist because they took the worst public school students (by lottery of course) and only given 60% or so of the public funds (Don't know where the other 40% that should have followed the student "disappears" to by the way). In other words, it was the only arrangement the unions would accept, because they expected failure and the ability to say "see, we told you it wouldn't work, so outlaw those public charters"...except sometimes it is succeeding, despite the odds and for less money. So, if anything, that is what needs to be investigated by the government school system - not even more money-throwing what-ifs.

Personally, I think $30k/year for K-12 is a huge waste of money, no matter who is paying it.

At 9/28/2010 7:56 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Hey Walt G I'm wondering how different the parenting is between kids going to DC public schools and kids going to Sid Friends?

Could the problem be something other than money?

At 9/29/2010 1:33 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Obama has already revealed his preference for private school. So did Clinton and Gore.

George W. Bush sent his kids to public schools.

The majority of public school teachers send their kids to private school. What does that tell you?

Walt, money doesn't matter. Study after study has shown educational output is not correlated to per student spending, after controlling for other factors. You are correct that parental success is significant, but we can hardly change that. But having been an educator, I can tell you that the best teacher can't turn a crappy student into a motivated learner, and good students can get a quality education from the worst schools. It's the middle 80% of students who benefit the most from teacher quality.

The NEA always steps in the way of any meaningful reforms. They put their own interests ahead of students and parents and use kids as human shields for budget cuts.

Most private schools educate kids at a fraction of the cost of public school students. Sidwell is for limousine liberals.

At 9/29/2010 3:27 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I think things are pretty good. Good enough."

Well, bix, if we as taxpayers are to spend $150k for a child's K-12 education, (and whether we should do so is a separate question not addressed here) then we should expect to get the product we paid for, not just a 'happy person'. With a 30% dropout rate and graduates who need remedial courses to prepare them for college, we are being swindled. So no, things aren't good enough.

At 9/29/2010 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The NEA always steps in the way of any meaningful reforms."

I hear that a lot; however, I don't usually see a list of those reforms. Are you talking about doing more work for less compensation? I can see where that would be a problem. I don't think teachers fight the biggest problems of excess class size, lack of administrative support, or lack of parental involvement.

Again, I am not saying the teachers' unions can't do a better job, but I am saying I don't believe they are the biggest problem. I find very few people that work in well-run organizations wake up everyday and figure out a way to screw off. Give people what they need to do their job, and most of them will be excellent employees. Any place with a lot of "bad" employees has something functionally wrong somewhere else.

It's easy to follow the crowd and bash unions. They are unpopular and people get votes and sell newspapers, magazines, and air-time doing so. It's much more difficult to dig in and solve the biggest problems. What do you want to do, follow the crowd or solve problems?

At 9/29/2010 9:35 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Again, I am not saying the teachers' unions can't do a better job, but I am saying I don't believe they are the biggest problem"...

I agree Walt G since the numbers being thrown around for costs per student beggars the imagination...

Consider this 2+ year old article (has links): How Much Does DC Spend Per Student in Their Government Schools?

At 9/29/2010 3:30 PM, Blogger Eric H said...

"What do you want to do, follow the crowd or solve problems?"

I can only speak for my house. We refuse to ask our neighbors to fork over $8500 per child per year to educate our children under threat of losing their real property via tax liens. That is what our local government schools say they spend per pupil. Several private schools in the area at close to half price of the public ones, but we aren't using them.

Our children are our responsibility to house, clothe, feed, transport, provide medical care for and yes, educate. NEA gives lip service to wanting parents involved, but not this involved (just read their resolutions), because our model means no union dues - which are priority #1. We still pay the 51% of our local property and sales taxes that go to K-12 government schools. 45% of our total state tax revenue goes to government schools. 75-80% of that is salaries for people who work 9 months per year and have the health care plans you cannot afford plus pensions plus 401k matching funds.

The major difference in DC vs. Sidwell regarding money is that in only one instance can the customer change schools and that 30 grand goes with them. The other has no incentive to perform, because the money will be there no matter what.

At 10/03/2010 8:29 PM, Blogger Chris Matheson said...

There are numerous parochial schools providing a fine education to students in Michigan at an approximate cost of $4000 per student--nearly $3000 less than what the traditional public school student is worth to their local district. This is not an issue of money, but there is no doubt that wiser use of the money allocated would make a difference.

Standards at most urban public schools are abysmally low and this, combined with the sense of apathy toward education in these areas, is the heart of the problem. If public education were held to the same standards of accountability other businesses must meet, it would have went belly up quite some time ago. Charters in an of themselves are not necessarily the answer, but they are a step in the right direction. Opening up public education to market forces will raise the standard of education in our country, but it will take time.


Post a Comment

<< Home