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Sunday, October 4, 2009

another so called change

Another So-Called Change

Excuse me for saying it, Mr. President, but you’re beginning to remind me of the ubiquitous soccer mom, her day filled with frenetic activity from before dawn until after sunset.

She runs the kids to school, after school activities; she shops; cleans; attends PTA; volunteers, all while packing in a dozen other obligations. All these responsibilities stretch her thinner than a politicians’ promise.

And whether she likes it or not, she is well aware than many of her obligations suffer from lack of attention.

You’re doing the same.

By taking on too much, cap and trade, stimulus, health, immigration, Olympics, and education, there is no way you can devote the requisite energy and attention to them all.

Sure, you were voted in because many wanted change. In their eagerness to make their lives better, they grasped at straws, and you were the straw they grabbed. So desperate, they never thought to ask what kind of change you had in mind.

Mr. President, you are attempting to change too much, too fast. What do you think all the fuss is about? And no, it isn’t because we’re a mob, savages, Nazis, un-American, non-Democrats, or uncooperative. Just because we disagree doesn’t mean we uncooperative. It simply means eighty percent of us want to be heard and not have our opinions simply dismissed as you so curtly did with that steely-eyed remark in August, "I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don’t mind cleaning up after them, but don’t do a lot of talking.”

And now you plan on drastically changing education in America. As in all your various agendas, your team resorts to half-truths and outright fabrications to support your premises.

Since you’re from Chicago, it is no surprise you select people you know from that area to fill positions. That’s the way the political game is played. We all know that. Still, your choice of Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education is puzzling. Either it was simply a political payback or a coin toss. It couldn’t have been his accomplishments as CEO of Chicago Schools

Greatschools, a nation wide non-profit organization that provides K-12 information about all private, public, and charter schools, ranked Chicago schools as a 4 out of 10 while rating Nederland and Port Neches as sevens and eights. A sobering comparison, huh?

After eight years as CEO, Duncan couldn’t even get the district to a passing score, and yet you’re listening to him about how to better American education?

Get real, Mr. President.

According to the Associated Press, Duncan explained his rationale for wanting longer school days by saying ‘Young people in other countries are going to school twenty-five, thirty percent longer than our students here.” He added to the AP. “I want to just level the playing field.”

Sounds noble, you think?

Mr. President, that’s just another of the many fabrications to make your position look good.

In fact, according to the AP, U.S. kids spend more hours in school (1,146 instructional hours yearly) than kids in Asian schools that outscore us in math and science.

True, Japan and Hong Kong, said the AP, have longer school years by up to twenty days, but only spend 1,005-1,013 instructional hours yearly.
Don’t misunderstand. More time would help, but let’s be realistic about what is done and how it is achieved.

I can’t believe you’re taking the word of a man who couldn’t get his own district above a forty percent ranking. No, it had to be a political payoff.

And for Pete’s sake, either tell your people to stop making up data or be perceptive enough to figure out when they’re blowing smoke rings.

rconwell@gt.rr.com
www.kentconwell.blogspot.com

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