Jan 5, 2009 at 12:49:45
“Nice article, however..
"These grim statistics would have even surprised Pope John Paul II, who way back in 1996 reaffirmed that the Church accepted evolution, although with some strong caveats, and about 500 years late."
Evolution arose as a serious and controversial theory in the 1800's. The "500 years late" probably refers to the John Paul II's official change of position toward Galileo Galelei, another welcome position change, yet "350 years late" is a better figure regarding Galileo.”
hp blogger Jeff Schweitzer on Jan 5, 2009 at 13:02:45
“I hardly think that Rush Limbaugh can take credit for voters "pranking the system". Voters cross over when there is only one real party race left because voters have brains. As for voting true preference or voting tactically for the weaker candidate, who can really know what each voter was thinking? However, I know that Rush Limbaugh is quick to claim influence over just about everything up to the weather. I'm one of those 22 million listeners and also hear Hannity; creative logic, argument by repetition, and such not provides never-ending entertainment & confirmation that Democrats should not have difficulty winning elections.”
SusaninIN on Jun 6, 2008 at 12:59:47
“I live in Indiana and the night of the primary my 29 year old daughter played softball. EVERYONE on her team stated they voted for Hillary because they want McCain to win in November. They were worried that McCain couldn't win against Obama. What does that say? Since then I've noticed Republicans around here acting very worried and not quite sure what to think.”
I can see the lower forms of media (tabloids and right wing radio talkers) hopping up and down in anticipation thinking, "I can't believe it! Those Democrats might really do it!" I can hear rusty file cabinets hauled up from basements, trucks fanning out to warehouses, armies of sweating clerks organizing The Clinton materials chronologically and by topic, production artists working through film libraries and sketching out ads, and late night arguments about timing and coordination for maximum effect. It is a huge job but one these folks have been looking forward to for a long time..just when they thought all was lost.”
“I believe that Senator Obama's departure from the NCLB-bashing line might remove him from an NEA/AFT endorsement, yet this puts him in the mainstream. NCLB might be hated by education unions (union positions, not necessarily by union members) but NCLB was and remains the popular response to public interest in education. NCLB was and remains for public education, an attempt to save public education by insistence on academic quality in the face of homeschool and private school opt outs. Opting out of public education is not entirely inspired by right-wing religious pressure, as some claim, but by bottom-line concerns over academic preparation for college--which seem to have been ignored by the trendiest of education experiments inflicted on schools in the 1990s.”
tbone99 on Jun 2, 2008 at 20:28:07
“I don't think its popular and even if it is - still wrong. I don't know how many experienced teachers I know who have quit because all professionalism has been removed from their job ( such as knowing what might be the best tactic for individual children) so that they wiill be no more than test technicians.
Some of the best universities are themselves beginnig to abandon reliance on SAT scores as the criteria for admittence. When H.C said she would delete NCLB several people I knew said if there polcies are so close thats a tiebreaker.
Its time for us to admit that NCLB was part of a movement to usher in voucher systems ( ironically who did not have to give tests) break a traditional Dem support system - educators, and to profit people like the Bush family who own testing companies.”
“Really?! This is rather surprising, not the reality I've experienced and what everyone else I know perceives in academia and applied research--perceptions by US citizens and immigrants. It is true that graduate programs seek strong students and, hence, welcome strong foreign students, yet US citizens with fluent English always have a seriously strong advantage when it comes to awarding support in the form of assistantships and fellowships. I recall full classes in which I was the only US citizen in the room aside from a foreign-born instructor, and there was not the slightest bit of resentment I encountered about the fact that I would always have at least an assistantship while the many foreign students were competing for a few. There are seriously strong incentives for US citizens to pursue scientific careers in the US above that available for foreign students--as long as the US citizens are capable, of course.”
“Yes indeed, funding NCLB didn't happen. The war sucked attention and money down the drain. A well-funded NCLB could have been a winner. In particular, raising teacher salaries significantly--at least with inflation-- along with general funding could have prevented this groundswell of indignation over NCLB. General budget shortfalls make NCLB a target, another federal unfunded mandate like IDEAS which is destroying local school budgets more than anything else.
From my direct sampling, NCLB-inspired academic standards themselves are not a huge problem with most teachers and especially not so with experienced teachers. There were certain trendy "reforms" implemented in the 1990s from the top down which did not sit well with experienced teachers because they didn't work.
But, there is yet hope for NCLB. The myriad 100% fantasy goals could be fixed along with constructive funding instead of putative "sanctions". At least in my state, there has been a lot of good resulting from academic content standards, and once-a-year testing is quite a bit less intrusive than any alternative assessment I've seen. One has to directly experience these "alternative assessments" to know the meaning of time-consuming intrusiveness and budget-busting expense.
I'm delighted that Senator Obama has not taken the simple-minded, expedient approach of bashing NCLB in order to gain the education union endorsement. Education is not a simple issue and simply about whatever the education unions want, and he has addressed most of it well.”
House votes May 23, 2001
-Democrats 197 yea, 10 nea
-Republicans 186 yea, 34 nea
Senate votes June 14, 2001
-91 yea, 8 nea (6 Republican neas and 2 Democrat neas)
For those who can remember, congress enacted NCLB in response to several specific, nation-spanning concerns over public education which had grown in the 1990s. NCLB was not designed to serve the interests of education employees--which is obvious--but to serve the public's interest in having strong education. As to why NCLB came about, Senator Byrd's 1997 "Rainforest Math" speech is illuminating:
“This program was passed when the Bush facade of reaching across the aisle strategy was still the plan. It was early in his first term.
The bottom line is that the Republican controlled Congress failed to follow up on their lofty plans by FUNDING it properly. They did this through two methods: first, create enormous hurdles for school districts to qualify - take a look at the enormous RFP that districts had to fill out and all the pre-conditions they had to qualify for; and second, they out and out did not allocate the funds.
As for the Democratic involvement, well, all I can say is that they were duped. They signed on in good faith and Bush tricked them.
As for Kennedy "writing" the NCLB, there is a huge difference between editing it to make it less onerous and writing it. I see the Republican apologists are still defending their actions, or in this case, non action. They are all talk and no action, except to go to an unjustified war. You never hear anything but excuses for WMD. It was this war, and the money spent on it, that has caused public education to be in serious crisis. Anything these hyenas are spouting is pure, unadulterated bullshit.”
“NCLB is not a BUSH program, never was. The president supported it, of course, and his wife (a former teacher) sure did. Education need not be a partisan issue as much as a motivated few would peg it. The record:
House votes May 23, 2001
-Democrats 197 yea, 10 nea
-Republicans 186 yea, 34 nea
Senate votes June 14, 2001
91 yea, 8 nea (6 Republican neas and 2 Democrat neas)
The core problem has long been lack of funding which dried up shortly after NCLB was approved by congress and before it was implemented in early 2002. The other side of the problem has been the education establishment itself (unions for worker protection and a particular ideology held by education academic) which opposed key aspects of NCLB from the start.
A constructive view of NCLB by the education unions and academics would sure help. 100% goals are fantasies if noble, and some language ("sanctions", "failure") should be changed. Standards and testing remain important, however, as is public reporting.
The bottom line is that NCLB is intended to serve the public, and it appears to me that my own legislators at the state and federal level thought of nothing else but public service. Their motives (bipartisan without question) were excellent in 2001, and funding can sure help make it more successful now.
This one-sided demonization of NCLB by education unions has got to be surprising to Democrats who thought (correctly) that NCLB serves the public interest. It still does.”
WASanford on May 31, 2008 at 23:42:42
“RedDogBear you are right on! On May 22nd The New York Daily News reported that the 8th grade class in intermediate School 318 in the South Bronx refused to take a three hour long practice exam. They presented signed petitions which listed grievances to the school principle.
Here's what one of the leaders,of the protest, Tatiana Nelson, 13, said "They don't even count toward our grades. The school system's just treating us like test dummies for the companies that make the exams." If our 13 year old students have caught on to the game, what in the hell is wrong with our teachers, school administrators, and legislators?
It's way past time for a redo on NCLB, it's nothing less than colossal scam and our kids are paying for it big time!”
RedDogBear on May 31, 2008 at 19:51:05
“NCLB is a scam designed to funnel money into large educational testing firms with political clout such as McGraw Hill and away from students and teachers. Its a scam and its based on educational pseudo-science. The goal of education is to get students to learn and think. Testing is a tool but NCLB makes it an end in itself. Teachers and up being forced to teach to the test and are forced to adhere to rigid educational processes that bore the students even more than the teachers. It should be scrapped completely. My guess is that anyone here who supports it is either a right wing idealogue or in some way makes $$ from it or both.”
“Repealing/overhauling NCLB is very high on the NEA and AFT agendas, and eliminating testing is close to the top. AFT endorsed Hillary Clinton, not NEA; I belong to both, and I see their talking points above and everywhere else when education employees complain about NCLB.
No, not all teachers and education employees are against NCLB. I'm not, I know many others not opposed in principle to NCLB, and I've not heard deep hostility about anything but weak funding. NCLB + inadequate funding is the problem. I've not heard of any school in my region dropping arts, humaities, PE, or anything else because of NCLB. It is the funding.
Perhaps the public in Minnesota is a bit less hostile to the idea of academic standards and objective testing because we have seen these touted "alternative assessments" implemented in the form of The Profile of Learning, a trendy "research based" fiasco that was hated almost equally by teachers and the public. In comparison, standards + once-a-year testing is is clear (based on concrete academic standards), useful (results are actually used by teachers and schools), and does not create a workload. I'm not aware of NCLB promoters who think that the point of an education is to pass tests, that a passing score defines a sufficient education, or that arts, humanities, and PE are uneeded frills. Testing is a constructive measurement proven to be useful toward improving education.”
“Actually, the NEA has not defined Senator Obama's education policies because the NEA endorsed someone else, and Senator Obama has already formed education positions that education unions oppose. This is good because NEA education positions do not necessarily coincide with the education needs of the public, and the public already knows this. It is a fact that unions look out for their member interests first and foremost; why should members pay union dues otherwise? Education unions do provide campaign workers, but their endorsements are not strong selling point for voters.outside of education.
NCLB is a strong bi-partisan law, and none of the so-called NCLB sanctions for poor school performance penalize students & parents. On the contrary, most of the NCLB "sanctions" are nothing else but direct benefits for students and parents. Only do education folks view it as punishment to permit students to choose their own school or provide funding for supplemental instruction. Parents probably don't view it as punishment that their kids receive special attention when they fail a test, say, a test of literacy. Tests are not punishments! Testing is to inform the public and help ensure that schools align curriculum with standards. The best schools use test results to improve their instruction.”
hcbuck on May 30, 2008 at 22:50:08
“Tests may not be complete punishment, but teachers who have to alter their curriculum and not teach subjects for students to learn, but teach for them to pass the tests is a waste of resources.
I work in Education (educational service agencies) and grew up with parents who are teachers and later administrators. I have seen firsthand how NCLB has changed the way that teachers have to teach their students - and it is not good.
It needs to be majorly revamped or it needs to be completely replaced.
You can't expect a president who is poorly educated to care ANYTHING about education.”
dadw5boys on May 30, 2008 at 19:44:27
“Well test scores or not. Only teach the basic 's and thats what they will know.”
justShareandbeNice on May 30, 2008 at 17:07:32
“First of all, the post by Greenland doesn't even mention the NEA.
Second, if the NEA didn't endorse Obama and you have a problem with the NEA, then....? I don't get your point.
I haven't done the research on this in terms of Obama/McCain, but my husband is a high school teacher and I am a former teacher and I can tell you that basically no one in the PROFESSION supports NCLB, union member or otherwise.
I saw the writing on the wall on that one years and years ago, the push towards a test-based education started before NCLB, in various states, with national encouragment (in fact, I think maybe Clinton was either nuetral or a supporter,, not sure). Of course, they dressed it up and called it "accountablity" and so forth.
Really, it was/is a cunning plan to further weaken public schools by not allowing schools with poor test scores (read: schools with poor students) to succeed. It was a set-up that a well-educated 5th grader could see through.
Your comment that the tests are not "punishments" (read: a cunning plan to screw schools based on their student populations instead of the use of best-practice teaching methods backed by years of research) is bullshit. If you think the feds created this system in order to allow parents to be informed, then you are profoundly naive about the intentions of the privatization movement over the last 30 yrs.
Get an education, Tedmn!”
midwesthousewife on May 30, 2008 at 16:46:49
“Yes, but in order to ensure that students do well on the test, schools have dropped everything extra out of the curriculum and only emphasize the test material, thereby creating a very limited educational experience--not the well-rounded one that Obama was talking about. Not all students learn the same way or through the identical material, so diversity in subject matter and approach is vaIuable. I read somewhere a few years ago that student scores were showing effects since NCLB--maybe not on the reading and math but in other ways. Fostering creative thinking is every bit as essential to ensuring a high quality work force as reading, writing, and arithmetic.”
“This primary was set up with rules for a reason. Rules make a race in which the winner is the one crossing the finish line first, period. This is transparent, worthy of public participation and interest. To ignore/rewrite rules once the winner is almost over the finish line is to say that it was less a race than a beauty pageant of some sort.
Everyone knew the rules from the start and worked to win the race accordingly. My caucus vote and participation doesn't count anything at all to some now, yet, at caucus time, we knew the rules which would result in pledged delegates, and turnout was a record high even if known to be a mere fraction of turnout for an ordinary primary or general election.
If the sum of primary votes was known to be the only factor, then the sum of primary votes would have been the goal from the beginning. It was not. Every state would have run a primary had it been known that the sum of primary votes was important and, perhaps if convenient, more important than winning delegates. Every state would have tried to be first and ignored rules had it been known that rules would simply be broken to reward the breakers with additional attention and influence.”
JimR on May 30, 2008 at 12:10:09
“In the Super Bowl, the Patriots had 22 first downs, and the Giants had only 17. So according to Clintonian logic, I guess the Patriots won the Super Bowl!”
“The 22nd amendment was written so that it specifically did not apply any limitation to Truman, the one exception. Truman could have ran for president as many times as he wished though it is fairly clear that he was done in 1953.”
bgregs on May 20, 2008 at 08:00:55
“Yup, you're right, I hadn't read it all the way when I posted, and it's been so long since I HAD read it that I completely forgot that point! Thank you for the correction!”
“It has been rummaged through, and it is deadly, but it has been saved for the right time. A NY senate race destined for a Democrat win is not the right time. This is not baggage of flag pins and innuendo. This is rich stuff. Experienced Democrats have to remember something about it. What else dominated the news in the late 1990s?”
“It is difficult for me to believe that these polls and figures favoring Senator Clinton could last if she were the nominee. Republican silence about Clinton scandals would dissapear instantly if she were to get the nomination--which has been the Republican ace in the hole for years. Polls ask people who have forgotten the baggage, and baggage is just about all the Republicans have to work with this election since they are crushed on real issues for about 99% of Americans.”
PioneerKing on May 17, 2008 at 23:36:05
“that baggage Hillary claims has been rummaged through holds some pretty interesting dirty linen that the Clintons have collected in the last 9 years and the republicans will certainly bring out if Hillary is nominated and if she is not they will simply hold it to use during her senate re-election campaign.”
“Talking with enemies is the most crucial function of diplomacy, and the US routinely assigned the most talented diplomats to work with its most serious opponents. I'm sure glad Truman through Reagan were willing to talk with the USSR which had indeed pledged to change the US government to their own form. I remember bomb shelters and in-school training on how to survive a nuclear war. It didn't happen, and I appreciate it. It doesn't surprise me at all that the hottest critics of ordinary diplomacy have no idea of what they are talking about, and I suspect that they don't want to know either.”
“Those opposed to a Democratic presidency might have to go low to have a chance, perhaps very, very low. The thing is, I'm not sure that a slime campaign will actually work against Obama. If flag pins, sound bites, the fact of being born, and acquaintance are all they really got, the high road of reason and meaningful issues could work well enough.
However, I remember exactly what the Clinton's baggage is. I can't help it. It seemed at the time like there was nothing else on the news for years except Clinton scandals, and scandals with lots of meat to them. Seven years ago voters knew too, and this is why Bill Clinton was not out there campaigning hard for Gore. People forget, and Democrats are not reminding anyone if they can help it.
As for the right wing attack artists, this disciplined, strategical silence over the Clinton's baggage would end the day after she appears on the ticket, and I'm sure that key nuggets could wait till a week or two just before voting. A ticket with Hillary Clinton on it is the dream ticket for Republicans. This is unfair in many ways for Senator Clinton, but I can't feel sorry for The Clintons. They have had everything already.”
disgustedbyitall on May 16, 2008 at 09:40:06
“Sure, the Dems harbor a lot of fears about jeopardizing November if they don't put them both on the ticket. A McCain presidency would be a disaster.
On the other hand, as I perceive it anyway, that so many people have come out to vote for--and donate to--Obama is that he represents a sharp break with Washington. I'm not going venture into the minefield of discussing whether or not that's fact or propaganda; one thing I've learned about politicians is that they always break your heart. It's just who they are.
But is it really wise to risk all those people--I count myself among them--who would likely stay home if the original message is compromised? I despise the Beltway crowd. They're everything that's wrong with this country--the division, the corruption, the animosity, the belligerence, the bellicosity... Why would I vote for a ticket to return another one of them to, if not the White House, then second fiddle, to help increase the chance of a return to politics as usual when she eventually runs again? Ain't gonna happen...”
“Unfortunately for some Democrats, Senator McCain's brief education plan is sound and appeals to the sensible public. Republicans are cheap about public education these days, but, in this case, a cheap NCLB is actually quite a bit better than a "progressive education" with infinite funding. In fact, No Child Left behind (NCLB) is not widely despised by the public even though education unions have spent a great deal of energy and money disparaging NCLB.
Check out the sad history of Minnesota's Profile of Learning, a decidedly progressive assessment project designed with input from every education employee in the state. As a consequence, NCLB along with once-per-year objective testing was welcomed by the public as well as a significant number of teachers.
Check out precise details of what these proposed progressive assessments are, and you will generally find them to be vastly more intrusive on class time, incredibly more expensive for schools and time-consuming for teachers, and ultimately lacking ability to define key aspects of curriculum and deliver objective results.
Senator Obama ought to welcome discussion of education because his education ideas (both in his books and on his campaign website) are entirely sensible and aimed at serving the public and not just education unions--except for an odd diatribe against "fill in the bubble" testing.”