Tag Archives: Grade

526 economists, including 5 Nobel prize winners, grade Romney and Obama plans

Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor Force Participation Rate

From the Daily Caller:

The 526 economists — including Nobel laureates Gary Becker, Robert Lucas, Robert Mundell, Edward Prescott, and Myron Scholes — point to six facets of Romney’s economic approach that they see as beneficial to future economic success.

  • Reduce marginal tax rates on business and wage incomes and broaden the tax base to increase investment, jobs, and living standards.
  • End the exploding federal debt by controlling the growth of spending so federal spending does not exceed 20 percent of the economy.
  • Restructure regulation to end “too big to fail,” improve credit availability to entrepreneurs and small businesses, and increase regulatory accountability, and ensure that all regulations pass rigorous benefit-cost tests.
  • Improve our Social Security and Medicare programs by reducing their growth to sustainable levels, ensuring their viability over the long term, and protecting those in or near retirement.
  • Reform our healthcare system to harness market forces and thereby reduce costs and increase quality, empowering patients and doctors, rather than the federal bureaucracy.
  • Promote energy policies that increase domestic production, enlarge the use of all western hemisphere resources, encourage the use of new technologies, end wasteful subsidies, and rely more on market forces and less on government planners.

Seven of the signatories are from Harvard University and five from Columbia University — two of President Barack Obama’s alma maters.

The economists’ statement of support pillories Obama’s economic record, claiming that his expansion of the federal government has resulted in “anemic economic recovery and high unemployment,” which will continue if his future plans are implemented.

Among the Obama policies with which the 526 economists take issue include:

  • Relied on short-term “stimulus” programs, which provided little sustainable lift to the economy, and enacted and proposed significant tax increases for all Americans.
  • Offered no plan to reduce federal spending and stop the growth of the debt-to-GDP ratio.
  • Failed to propose Social Security reform and offered a Medicare proposal that relies on a panel of bureaucrats to set prices, quantities, and qualities of healthcare services.
  • Favored a large expansion of economic regulation across many sectors, with little regard for proper cost-benefit analysis and with a disturbing degree of favoritism toward special interests.
  • Enacted health care legislation that centralizes health care decisions and increases the power of the federal bureaucracy to impose one-size-fits-all solutions on patients and doctors, and creates greater incentives for waste.
  • Favored expansion of one-size-fits-all federal rulemaking, with an erosion of the ability of state and local governments to make decisions appropriate for their particular circumstances.

We can’t afford four more years of incompetence and failure. We need to ask ourselves what economists like Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams would do. And they wouldn’t give Obama four more years. We need a change.

Education reform in India and in Bobby Jindal’s Louisiana

India is focused on education reform
India is focused on education reform

Consider this article from the Philadelphia Bulletin.

Excerpt:

In 2007, the School Choice Campaign, a New Delhi-based education think tank, designed, funded, and implemented a pilot school choice program in the city. The program randomly selected students to be offered a school tuition voucher, which was taken up by 63 percent of students selected. The money could be used at any qualifying private school.

India’s teacher unions have fought the privately funded program tooth-and-nail. “They fight vouchers [because] they will enable students to leave the malfunctioning government schools and make the teachers redundant,” says Jan S. Rao, director of the School Choice Campaign in Delhi. “It is already happening in urban areas. In Delhi there are schools with more teachers than students, since the students have left.”

Oxford economist Francis Teal examined the effect of teacher unions on academic performance in India for a 2008 study. “We thus have in this data clear evidence that unions raise cost and reduce student achievement,” he bluntly states.

[…]For leaders of India’s education choice movement, the success of this trial is only the beginning. They will not be satisfied, says Dr. Parth J. Shah, president of India’s Centre for Civil Society, until “the Delhi government immediately adopts funding all new government schools on a per-pupil basis through vouchers.” That is already the national strategy in Sweden and Chile.

If I ever go totally crazy and just do whatever I want to do, then I’m moving to Chile. Just to see what it would be like. I’d like to move to India, but I’m told that there are a lot of mosquitoes, and the roads aren’t good. But that could change.

What about Louisiana?

Bobby and Supriya Jindal

Well, Louisiana has an Indian-American Republican Governor – his name is Bobby Jindal, and he is very enthusiastic about education reform. What has he done to make education reform work better?

Consider this study done by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. (H/T Independent Women’s Forum)

Excerpt:

The charter environment thrives in New Orleans. Louisiana state law places no cap on the number of schools that can operate, and it provides for adequate funding of both charters and authorizers. The Louisiana Charter School Start-Up fund also provides zero-interest loans for charter schools to use for facilities-an element of charter funding that many states ignore. New Orleans leads the country in its percentage of students in charters at 57 percent.

That’s right – Louisiana is number one in education reform!

And there’s more:

Every city that receives a D or an F in this analysis is in a collective-bargaining state. Meanwhile, two-thirds of the top nine scorers (cities receiving a B) are located in right-to-work states.  All of the cities located in right-to-work states included in this study received a B or C, and none received a D or F.

Right-to-work means that a teacher can work without having to join a union! And that means that they can be fired if they can’t perform – but if they can perform, then they make more money! So they have an incentive to work harder and to make their students learn more – there is no safe job for them if they underperform.

Is South Carolina next? South Carolina has an Indian-American Republican Nikki Haley running for governor, so they’re probably next for major education reforms. I’m being silly, but you have to wonder… is there something about the Indian culture that makes them take education more seriously?

Liberal government in Ontario to introduce more explicit sex education in schools

Story from the left-wing Globe and Mail.

Excerpt:

The days of euphemisms and innuendo in Ontario’s classrooms are numbered, with the province set to roll out a new sex education curriculum next fall built on clear and explicit language that has raised objections from conservative parent groups.

The revision, outlined in 208 pages that were quietly posted on the Ministry of Education’s website in January, will for the first time teach Grade 3 pupils about such topics as sexual identity and orientation, and introduce terms like “anal intercourse” and “vaginal lubrication” to children in Grades 6 and 7. The new curriculum begins in Grade 1 with lessons about the proper names of body parts.

And the response from Liberal party Premier (governor) Dalton McGuinty?

The Premier stood by the curriculum, saying he has confidence in the judgment of school principals and teachers to present the information in a thoughtful and responsible manner. If sex education is not taught in the classroom, he added, students could get information from potentially uninformed sources, such as their friends.

“If we can provide it in a format and in a venue over which we have some control … why wouldn’t we recognize that we live in an information age and why wouldn’t we try to present this information in a thoughtful and responsible and open way,” Mr. McGuinty said.

Yes, if the teachers don’t teach the kids about sex, then the children could hear about it from their know-nothing religious fanatic parents. The horror!

More details:

Some of the most controversial changes are in the Grade 3 curriculum. In a discussion on human development and showing respect for people’s differences, for example, teachers are invited to discuss “invisible differences,” including gender identity and sexual orientation, in an effort to reflect the fact that more and more students have same-sex parents.

[…]In another key change, the topic of puberty will be introduced in Grade 4, a year earlier than in the old curriculum, in recognition of the fact that many children reach puberty at younger ages. The description of physical changes is also more explicit in the new version, including the development of breasts and body hair.

Ontario is the province that also boasts one of the worst Human Rights Commissions, as well as taxpayer-funded in vitro fertilization, abortions and sex changes. The new curriculum has no opt-out mechanism for concerned parents. Ontario parents will pay for the indoctrination of children and their vulnerable children will learn about sex using materials from the extreme left.

About Ontario schools

About Quebec schools

How do homeschooled students perform compared to public school students?

Here’s an amazing study sent to me by the amazing Miss Marprelate.

Excerpt:

Drawing from 15 independent testing services, the Progress Report 2009: Homeschool Academic Achievement and Demographics included 11,739 homeschooled students from all 50 states who took three well-known tests—California Achievement Test, Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and Stanford Achievement Test for the 2007–08 academic year. The Progress Report is the most comprehensive homeschool academic study ever completed.

The linked article reports on the raw scores of homeschooled students vs public school students.

And for the homeschooled students, it also analyzes how certain factors affect the scores:

  • household income
  • parent’s education level
  • parental teaching certification
  • parental spending on education
  • state government regulation

Please click through and get ready to be impressed!

How educrats sacrifice academic excellence for self-esteem

UPDATE: Welcome Post-Darwinist readers! Thanks for the link Denyse! For more on the failures of educrats to focus on teaching young people instead of building up their self-esteem, please see Denyse’s post on the subject.

UPDATE: Welcome visitors from Blazing Cat Fur! One of my favorite Canadian blogs! Please take a look around, as I cover a number of issues of importance to Canadians, including health care, education, free trade, tax policy and of course FREE SPEECH! The Wintery Knight is a HUGE fan of PM Stephen Harper, MP Maurice Vellacott, MP Jason Kenney, Ezra Levant, Mark Steyn and MPP Lisa MacLeod.

My friend Richard sent me this:


Apparently, it has come to the point where students may not be given a zero grade for handing in assignments late, or a zero for not showing up the remake test/assignment. Below is a link to a petition a HS teacher in Ottawa has set up to reassess this policy. Please sign it. The last thing we need is to raise a generation of kids that have no concept of deadlines and consequences. That would be the end of our workforce.

The petition is here.


Excerpt from the petition content:

According to the Ontario Ministry of Education policies, if a student misses a test (whether they skip class or are sick) or if they cheat then the evaluation is not valid and they must not be given a zero. The student must have an opportunity to be re-evaluated on the material. Assignments can have a due date but if the student does not hand it in on the due date a zero cannot be assigned. The student must be allowed to hand in the assignment late without being penalized.

In the past teachers would go out of their way to make sure they evaluated students, but when given an opportunity to be re-evaluated, the student had to turn up. Now you can offer the student a chance to be re-evaluated, and if they don’t turn up they still cannot get a zero. Assignments can be handed in at any time during the year. If the whole class is doing the same assignment, the teacher can receive the finished assignments any time between the due date and the end of the year. If the teacher marks the assignments as he/she gets them and returns them as they are marked, then anyone who has not handed in an assignment can, if they are so inclined, copy an assignment that has been marked and turn it in as their own work. The only way around this is not returning the assignments until all of the students have submitted their work, but this delays essential feedback to the students. Teachers have to be able to indicate to students that a zero may given on missed evaluations and give penalty marks for work not done on time.

We cannot succeed in a global economy when those in charge of educating our children fail to teach them the kinds of skills they will need to take on the demanding jobs of the future. This is just another area of life where things have gotten so politically correct that we have forgotten the purpose of school: to gain knowledge! I urge you to consider signing the petition.

UPDATE: I found this story featuring Caroline Orchard in the Ottawa Citizen. And a panel discussion transcript. MP3 audio of an interview with Caroline Orchard from 580 CFRA, the news talk radio station in Ottawa.