A real gaffe

In a USA Today interview, Teresa Heinz Kerry said Laura Bush hasn’t held a “real job.”

Well, you know, I don’t know Laura Bush. But she seems to be calm, and she has a sparkle in her eye, which is good. But I don’t know that she’s ever had a real job — I mean, since she’s been grown up. So her experience and her validation comes from important things, but different things. And I’m older, and my validation of what I do and what I believe and my experience is a little bit bigger — because I’m older, and I’ve had different experiences. And it’s not a criticism of her. It’s just, you know, what life is about.

As Kimberly Swygert points out, Laura Bush worked as a public school teacher and school librarian until her marriage at 31. Of course, that’s not as validating as being rich.

Heinz Kerry, who worked as a UN translator before her first marriage at 28, has issued a statement apologizing for forgetting about Laura Bush’s teaching career. It’s an odd slip: Has she really paid so little attention that she doesn’t know the First Lady’s background?

About Joanne

Comments

  1. Hugh Hewitt just mentioned this on his radio show, in conversation with Mark Steyn. Heinz Kerry apparently apologized for her mistake. But Hugh also pointed out that she neglected to mention Laura Bush’s other real job, which is being a mother.

  2. I’d like it if everyone would forget what the First Lady’s background is. I’d like everyone to forget to ask candidates who they’re married to. I’d like America to forget to give a damn about the opinions of someone whose claim to fame is based on an opportunistic marriage. I’d like to forget that First Ladies have any purpose in this nation’s political life. I’d love to vote for a candidate with a wife who said, “I don’t need a cause, I have a life to live,” and would love to have a nation that would let that happen without feeling some sense of disappointment. The whole notion of First Ladies is a stupidly inflated version of Homecoming Queen mixed with Miss America.

    And I don’t care about their children, either.

  3. Teresa Heinz-Kerry… Did she go to the same finishing school as Leona Helmsley?

  4. Mike in Texas says:

    I personally don’t care for Laura Bush and tend to agree with Jon. I wasn’t aware she was actually a teacher but I knew she had been a librarian. As a former educator she needs to have a chat with her husband about how he is ruining education with all of his NCLB and high stakes testing nonsense. It hasn’t worked in Texas (despite what Rod Paige thinks) and it won’t work nation-wide.

    It’s nice to see that being super rich doesn’t prevent you from putting your foot in your mouth though.

  5. Mad Scientist says:

    MiT, if you have not sat down with her and spoke to her one-on-one, then you have little basis to form an opinion of her personally

    What is it with you flaming liberals that you can’t stand the idea of accountability? Really, I want to know.

    Also, if Clinton, Gore, or Kerry proposed the exact same thing, would you be so opposed?

  6. Mike in Texas says:

    Mad Scientist,

    Flaming liberal? I’ve never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in my life.

  7. Mad Scientist says:

    Why do you insist in avoiding the question?

  8. superdestroyer says:

    Jon,

    I think Americans should care about a candidates children as far as where they went to school, where they live and how they were raised.

    A leader can demonstrate no greater form of leadership than in not asking other people to do things that they would not do themselves. John Kerry’s daughters went to private, elite, virtually all white prep schools with non-union teachers. I think that says a lot about the candidate.

    If the public schools are not good enough for a candidate’s for public office children then why are they good enough for everyone else? Would Kerry be as accomodating to the teachers unions if his own children had attended a failing public school?

  9. Mike in Texas says:

    Why do you insist in avoiding the question?

    I’m not avoiding the question, didn’t you see where I said I’ve never voted for a Dem presidential candidate in my life?

    Yes, I would oppose it just as vehemently b/c what is does to our children is wrong.

    For the record, I’m actually quite conservative. I think we need a strong defense, smaller govt. and less federal spending. This whole issue of NCLB is the federal govt. and federal politicians sticking their nose into something that is supposed to be a state and local issue. What makes it especially worse is Bush et. al. have no idea what they’re are talking about.

  10. While I agree with the commenter above who suggested that it might be more to the point to leave spouses and children out of it, that type of criticism has a long if not particularly distinguished history in American politics. Jackson’s political opponents charaterized his wife as a whore (she was divorced). FDR noted that his political opponents had attacked his wife, his son, and his dog.

    For me the interesting aspect of THK’s comment is that it reflects her image of Laura Bush as a pampered, coupon-clipping dilettante as opposed to holding a normal, down-to-earth job like teacher or librarian. Or mother and homemaker. Interesting, that.

  11. Andy Freeman says:

    > This whole issue of NCLB is the federal govt. and federal politicians sticking their nose into something that is supposed to be a state and local issue.

    Federal money comes with federal strings, and that’s a good thing.

    If you don’t like the strings, don’t take the money.

    Here’s where we find out that it is really about the money.

  12. mike from oregon says:

    SD – you don’t make sense (to me). You say, ” John Kerry’s daughters went to private, elite, virtually all white prep schools with non-union teachers.” Which of course, is true.

    Then you say, “If the public schools are not good enough for a candidate’s for public office children then why are they good enough for everyone else? Would Kerry be as accomodating to the teachers unions if his own children had attended a failing public school?”

    And I don’t see the connection. Bottom line is that public education sucks compared to private education. Kerry sucks up to the liberal, public school teachers, unions, systems, to get votes. He promises them money, money and more money complete with what they are use to, which is no accountability.

    Kerry is so much worse than Bush (in every way IMHO) that he continually promises everything to everybody and has yet to figure out where all that money is coming from.

    I don’t understand your point – yes, if Kerry’s kids had come from a failing public school his views MIGHT be different (although he’ll do anything for votes, so I don’t know) but they didn’t, nor does most anyone who can afford better and cares for their kids. Vouchers are the way to go – Vote for Bush.

  13. Mike in Texas says:

    If you don’t like the strings, don’t take the money.

    Actually, Andy, there are already 5 states who refuse to accept federal money rather than buckle under NCLB and there are 6 states who refuse to comply with some parts of it.

    http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2004/10/01/02nclb.h16.html

  14. On SNL (I think I remember this correctly) they had a skit about the presidential debates which had Kerry saying:

    “President Bush calls me a flip-flopper. I am not a flip-flopper. I am a panderer. I think the American people want a president who knows the difference.”

    I saw THK on Charlie Rose’s program and was fairly impressed. Then, I have seen her elsewhere and have been revolted by her comments – either stupid or blatant pandering.

    MiT wrote:

    “As a former educator she needs to have a chat with her husband about how he is ruining education with all of his NCLB and high stakes testing nonsense.”

    Ruining? How much worse could it get? I’m not going to defend NCLB, but it does try to set and enforce some minimal standards, which is better than before. If a state chooses to use fuzzy or inappropriate tests, that’s one thing, but please don’t argue against accountability.

    I prefer full vouchers and charter schools. I think Kerry will water down the NCLB(less accountability), restrict charter schools and fight against any and all use of vouchers. The affluent get accountability and choice and the poor do not. I thought Democrats were supposed to be the champions of the poor. I guess I’m not a Democrat anymore.

  15. superdestroyer says:

    mike from oregon

    John Kerry’s daughters attended Phillip Academy Andover. The first question that should be asked of Kerry is what would you propose to make public education more like Phillip Academy and less like Anacostia High School.

    Yet, the media seems to skip by the hypocracy of a “liberal” democrat who mouths the words about diversity, providing a good education, and supporting teachers at the same time that his own familiy does not concern itself with diversity, worrying about the compentency of his daughter’s teachers, or whether his daughters teachers are unionized.

    As far as charters, there are way too many workability issues for it to ever work. You are telling people that vouchers will get their children into Phillips Academy when all it will do is get their children into the christian school at the end of the block.

  16. Mike in Texas wrote

    Actually, Andy, there are already 5 states who refuse to accept federal money rather than buckle under NCLB and there are 6 states who refuse to comply with some parts of it.

    So that would mean that 39 states accept the federal money and comply with all aspects of NCLB?

    I can see why the NEA is so worried about the NCLB. You know what they say, “Money talks…..”

  17. superdestroyer (what the hell’s that about?) wrote:

    As far as charters, there are way too many workability issues for it to ever work.

    There are 3,000 charters, nation-wide. When do those “workability issues” raise their ugly heads?

    You are telling people that vouchers will get their children into Phillips Academy when all it will do is get their children into the christian school at the end of the block.

    Voucher proponents aren’t offering pie-in-the-sky as inducement. They don’t have to. All you need to tell people, specifically parents, is that with charters you don’t need a permission slip from a credentialed expert to do what’s best for your kid.

  18. superdestroyer says:

    Allen,

    The proponents of vouchers are selling pie in the sky. They always state that parents can send their children where they want to send them when using vouchers. In reality, with a voucher plan, parents can send their children to a school where the children are accepted. That is a huge difference between the promise and the reality.
    In virtually all large cities, the “good” private schools have admission criteria, examinations, and waiting lists. They are not going to admit more students just because they students have a voucher in their hand.

    Using vouchers middle class and blue collar families will be left out of the choices in private schools open to the children of John Edwards or John Kerry. The choices will be the catholic school in the center of town or the local christian high school.

    Ask yourself what would be easier, to have the local christian high school up to the level of Sidwell Friends or Phillips Academy or to bring up the local public high school to the level of Thomas Jefferson in Fairfax Virginia or Whitney High School in Cerritos California.

    As far as my screen name, when I was a kid, the superdestroyer was the first wrestler I remember who wore a mask and came from “parts unknown.” It has been my internet handle since 1995.

  19. Mike in Texas says:

    So that would mean that 39 states accept the federal money and comply with all aspects of NCLB?

    So far, but there will be more as soon as the educrats realize the devil they have by the horns.

  20. Hey Mike in Texas,

    I’m not crazy about NCLB but what is the alternative. More money with no strings attached. I would rather the Feds get out of the education business altogether but that’s not going to happen. At least this way there is some accountability.

    Would a business pay for continuing education for employees if they never passed a test or got a certification. I doubt it.

    Testing is the only way to see if the kids are learning.

  21. superdestroyer wrote:

    “The proponents of vouchers are selling pie in the sky. They always state that parents can send their children where they want to send them when using vouchers. In reality, with a voucher plan, parents can send their children to a school where the children are accepted. That is a huge difference between the promise and the reality.”

    I’ve never heard of that promise, but vouchers and charter schools start a process of offering choice for parents who have no choice. There seems to be plenty of people willing to set up charter schools. There would be many more if the teaching establishment didn’t fight them so much. There are no guarantees about charter schools and vouchers, but what choice do poor parents have now? None. You seem to want to keep it that way because you’ve decided that they won’t work.

    “Ask yourself what would be easier, to have the local christian high school up to the level of Sidwell Friends or Phillips Academy or to bring up the local public high school to the level of Thomas Jefferson in Fairfax Virginia or Whitney High School in Cerritos California.”

    This is a false choice. See the Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School (www.amsacs.org) in Massachusetts. This is an easier way, but the educational establishment fought it tooth and nail. Many of the problems in public schools are rooted in progressive teaching philosophies that offer no opportunities for those willing to work. It is extremely unlikely that these philosophies will change as you seem to expect. They haven’t already and no forces exist to make those changes. Also, what about grades K-8 and why do you seem to think that private schools are all about religion? Also, you didn’t address Allen’s question:

    “There are 3,000 charters, nation-wide. When do those “workability issues” raise their ugly heads?”

    You seem too eager to dismiss vouchers and charter schools and replace them with just improving existing public schools. You don’t want to give parents choice and you don’t specify any mechanism for how the public schools will improve.

  22. No states have refused to comply with NCLB, though some are seeking waivers from portions of the law. (Compliance on teacher qualifications is dubious because the law is loosely written.) Some school districts that receive very little federal funding, because they have few low-income children, have opted out. The cost of compliance is more than the federal funding.

  23. superdestroyer…Demand has a way of creating its own supply. Imagine that there were only one government-supported auto company, which makes generally lousy cars and gives them to people free. Or you can buy a car on your own from an independent manufaturer–but, since only fairly wealthy people can afford to do this (remember, they are already paying taxes to support the government car company), the only cars that are privately available are Jaguars and Ferraris.

    Now imagine that the government will give you a “car voucher” if you choose, in place of the government car. Don’t you think that new manufacturers, and new product lines from existing manufacturers, would spring up quickly?

  24. superdestroyer says:

    Steve,

    Yes, I am very dismissive of vouchers. After living in a city where over 1/3 of the children attended private schools, I can tell you private schools are just not the answer that the pro-voucher claim. Private schools punish newcomers to an area due to long lead time for admission, can cherry pick students (athletes and the rich), and if you look at this months Washingtonian Magazine, private schools actually cost more than competing public schools (upper middle class kids compared to upper middle class kids) without producing any better results. All vouchers will do is massively increase the demand for seats in private schools without adding any seats to the type of schools that parents want to send their children to. Thus, the next time I (or about 20% of all Americans who relocate every year) move to a new area, they are back down at the bottom of the list for the few good schools while their kids sit in a desk as the local Christian high school.

    Charters have many of the same problems as private schools. New comers to a city will be left out, every school in an area will be different and maybe the only one with a seat will be on the other side of town, the methods of admission will vary from area to area such as random choosing versus mandatory parental involvement, and the connected elite in a city with get the good seats while everyone else gets the seats at Marion Barry Magnet School.

  25. Mike in Texas says:

    Joanne Jacobs wrote

    The cost of compliance is more than the federal funding.

    Then why do you so vehemently defend it????

    BTW, did you follow the link I posted. Teacher magazine says 5 states have opted out all together, 6 are refusing to comply with some parts and nearly every other state is requesting waiver. Does that sound like a well-written, well thought law????

  26. Andy Freeman says:

    > 5 states have opted out all together, 6 are refusing to comply with some parts and nearly every other state is requesting waiver. Does that sound like a well-written, well thought law????

    The “evidence” is irrelevant to the question. The fact that someone doesn’t like something does not suggest that said something is not well written or well thought out. Dislike merely means that someone doesn’t like it.

    However, we’ve seen MiT use student measurements to evaluate teachers when said measurements put teachers in a good light. The above shows that MiT believes that programs that states accept are good.

    As I’ve said, I thought much more highly of the public schools before I paid attention to what their advocates wrote.

  27. Mike that chart in Teacher Magazine is misleading. Here’s an NEA story saying that legislation has been proposed in some states to opt out of NCLB; the legislation hasn’t passed.

    Districts with high-income students aren’t eligible for much federal funding. In those districts, the cost of compliance with NCLB may exceed the funding. In most districts, federal funding exceeds the cost of compliance.

  28. superdestroyer,

    Vouchers and charter schools provide no guarantees, but you haven’t presented a mechanism by which public schools will improve. Supply will meet demand over time if the money follows the child. A large demand for private schools would indicate that the public schools are not meeting parents’ expectations.

    Your main complaint seems to focus on supply not meeting demand. On one hand, you say that a lot of parents would love to have their kids go to a private school, but, because there won’t be enough seats, you don’t want to give anyone that choice.

    “…and if you look at this months Washingtonian Magazine, private schools actually cost more than competing public schools (upper middle class kids compared to upper middle class kids) without producing any better results. ”

    Well, in our area, many private schools cost less and produce much better results. If, however, this article’s results are true, then there shouldn’t be a demand for private school vouchers, unless you think that parents can’t tell the difference. Imagine all of those stupid private school parents wasting their money when they could get the same results at some public school for free. By-the-way, Some of the better public schools are not local schools and can pick and choose their students.

    It sounds like this was a very narrow comparison between upper middle class schools. What about lower class kids? They just get crap and no choice to boot. You are using a very narrow study to justify a position that affects everyone.

    You do realize that vouchers and charter schools do not prevent the regular public schools from competing and improving. Now, that is a mechanism and it works for all class levels!

  29. superdestroyer says:

    Steve,

    Vouchers and charters would turn today’s primary and secondary education into the same system that exists today for universities. Thus, to take your points,

    1. The demand for a Harvard like education greatly exceeds the supply. Yet, is the educational market creating new Harvards to meet the demand? No, because the barriers of creating another Harvard are non-monetary. The same would exist for Private Schools. The best, elite ones would greatly exceed the cost of public schools and would greatly exceed the cost of any vouchers. So much for Parnets “deciding” where their children go.

    2. Comparing public schools and private schools is much harder than you seem to claim. Just like comparing public and private universities is very hard to do. Public schools have to report data on test scores and performance. Private schools do not. Yet, when Washingtonian Magazine polled over 20 private schools on their performance, half of the schools refused to release test performance statistics and the out of the others, only two had median SAT scores above the levels achieved by at least 10 public high schools in the Washington, DC area. Before you claim that the private schools perform better with less, I hope you have looked at the numbers instead of just anecdotal evidence.

    3. You seem to believe that parents make private school choices strictly on academics. Do people make college choices strictly for academic reasons? I would argue that many other, non-academic, factors affect parent choice. Those factors can include racial factors, religious views, desire for single sex, or athletics. Are you claiming that all of the private christian academies that exist in places like Nashville are there because parents wanted better academics.

    4. I consider the comparison of how education reforms affect the same demographic group across all choices the best comparison. Much like comparing public private universities who have similar student bodies. such comparisons are better than what too many people do these days of comparing upper middle class whites in private schools or home schooling to poor urban blacks.

    The bottom line is that voucher proponents are massively over promising instead of being honest about what would happen. Under your models, 10 new Harvards would be opening every year.

  30. Mike in Texas says:

    Joanne Jacobs wrote

    Mike that chart in Teacher Magazine is misleading.

    Here is what the legend says for the chart:

    States requesting waivers, revisions, or exclusions 21

    States requesting increase in federal funding: 18

    States refusing to comply with all or part of NCLB: 6

    States that prohibit spending of state money on NCLB mandates: 5

    In other words, every single state has some kind of problem with the law, be it provisions or lack of funding, every single state.

    Joanne has now twice stated in these posts the cost of implementing the program for most district is more than schools receive in federal funding.

    In short, it is a poorly conceived and written law (remember every single state has a problem with it) that is underfunded for “most” school districts. But yet people think its improving education.

    Allan, we haven’t had a good arguement in awhile. I’m glad to see you haven’t lost your skill at distorting the words of people who don’t agree with you.

  31. superdestroyer wrote:

    >”The bottom line is that voucher proponents are massively over promising instead of being honest about what would happen. Under your models, 10 new Harvards would be opening every year.”

    I am not overpromising anything and my “model” doesn’t say that. Do you really think that the demand for private schools has little to do with academics? Even if a choice is based solely on educational philosophy, who are you to overrule the parents? Is it OK for the affluent to make this choice, but not the poor? You are arguing that because vouchers and charter schools are not a perfect solution, then let’s not have them at all. I think you just don’t want choice. I have seen some pretty weird charter school charters, but parents don’t have to send their kids there. If a parent does not like a public school for whatever reason, you do not want to give them choice. Twenty five percent of the kids in our town go to schools other than the public school. The vast majority of the parents make the change for academic reasons. This is not anecdotal. All you have to do is put the two curricula side-by-side.

    The latest trick being used to fight charter schools is to say that because a public school is rated well in the mandatory state testing (no matter how pathetically poor that standard is), then the town should not have THEIR money follow the child to the charter school. There is no attempt to even try and compare the two schools academically. I find this hard to understand because the town’s charter school costs are a separate line item of the budget; separate from the official school budget. My guess is that they fear that charter schools will siphon off many students and the public schools will have to downsize and deal with the fallout. For private schools right now, it’s easy to dismiss the parents as elitist.

    The bottom line is that you don’t want to give parents any choice and you still provide no mechanism for improving public schools. Do you think, because of the Washingtonian Magazine article, that everything is equal and OK academically? At least vouchers and charter schools do something, and they force the public schools to compete. You offer nothing. You do not want choice.

  32. Mike in Texas: Are you implying that you’d approve if the intent or actual effect of NCLB is to end federal funding of schools by disqualifying them all, or making qualification more burdensome than the money is worth? I might agree with that, although I prefer politics to be less sneaky.

  33. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Teresa and I agree that all you teachers should get real jobs.

  34. Andy Freeman says:

    > Allan, we haven’t had a good arguement in awhile. I’m glad to see you haven’t lost your skill at distorting the words of people who don’t agree with you.

    If MiT is referring to my comments, note that he didn’t point out the distortion.

    In one case, my comment quotes the relevant writings by MiT, so it’s easy to see whether or not I did.

    In the other I didn’t, but does MiT really want me to link to the posting where he used student measurements to evaluate teacher performance?

  35. Mike in Texas says:

    MarkM,

    Actually I believe the purpose of NCLB is to label every public school in the US as failing (see the AYP goals by the year 2014) so that the religious groups and rich businessman can get their hands on billions of taxpayer dollars.

    Allen, you go right ahead, and I’ll pull up all of the posts where you distort my words or put your own spin on them.

  36. Mike in Texas wrote:

    Allan, we haven’t had a good arguement in awhile. I’m glad to see you haven’t lost your skill at distorting the words of people who don’t agree with you.

    Go ahead, knock yourself out but all I did was observe that if eleven states aren’t excited about having their K-12 education system held accountable for their performance that means that at least 39 states are willing to toe the line to get the federal bucks. To that you replied:

    So far, but there will be more as soon as the educrats realize the devil they have by the horns.

    Yeah, but it’ll require that they give up those juicy, federal dollars. Or rather, it’ll require that the state teacher’s unions exert enough control over the state legislatures that they can get them to forgoe those federal dollars. Talk about putting a price-tag on self-interest! With the NCLB we’ll be able to calculate to the penny what the teacher’s unions are costing the states.

    I can just see the state politician’s calculation: NCLB money in one hand, teacher’s union pressure in the other……NCLB money in one hand, teacher’s union pressure in the other……what to do? What….to….do?

    Actually I believe the purpose of NCLB is to label every public school in the US as failing so that the religious groups and rich businessman can get their hands on billions of taxpayer dollars.

    Does this conspiracy have a name, Mike? It may be a subsidiary of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy or it might be an independent group of perfidious conservatives. Hard to tell. There are so many of us.

    Even though I’m a member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy I didn’t see the NCLB on our list of painfully tortuous plots to subvert justice in the pursuit of filthy profits. Maybe I missed it.

    In any case, now that you’ve uncovered the truth, we’ll have to send some Men in Black, in their Black Helicopters, to take care of you. Pack some warm clothes.

    Allen, you go right ahead, and I’ll pull up all of the posts where you distort my words or put your own spin on them.

    Well thanks Mike. Some of that Texas hospitality I suppose.

    But since you were kind enough to make your predictions with regard to the NCLB, I’ll return the favor by making some predictions about the direction public education will take in the U.S. over the medium term.

    -Charters will proliferate, and be successful, even though they operate with significantly less per-pupil funding then district-based schools.

    -At some point in the not-too-distant future, some politician will notice that charters operate at lower funding levels then district schools and will engineer the conversion of a big-city school district to charters.

    -The money saved will be divided up among other recipients of government largesse in manner reminiscent of a shark feeding-frenzy. The roads’ll get fixed, jails will be built, garbage will get picked up, state parks will get new bathrooms and more cops and fireman will be hired. Everybody wins!

    Well, almost everybody.

    -The NEA will do its best to stop the spread of charterization but now they’ll be fighting the entire menagerie of political carnivores, not just a few political neophytes and clueless parents. They’ll lose.

    -An entire state will go charter, throwing off enough savings to provide every state resident with a round trip airline ticket and a three-day pass to Disneyworld. They won’t get airline tickets or Disneyworld passes of course but it’ll be a lot of money nonetheless. There might even be enough for a tax cut…..(slaps forehead) what was I thinking?

    -In right-to-work states teachers salaries rise as competing schools seek to enhance their performance on standardized tests. In closed-shop states scores stagnate as do teacher’s salaries.

    So Mike, how’m I doing? Like my predictions?

  37. superdestroyer says:

    Steve, you keep repeating that vouchers equal choice but you keep avoiding how to explain how parents will choose among a variety of schools in cities were all of the good private schools have waiting lists. My main objection is that vouchers will spike demand for the good private schools while virtually killing the public schools. Under a voucher system the public schools will be like the open admission community colleges in California, virtually worthless and the last resort of the desperate. So what does that leave the middle class kids, sitting in the coverted sunday school class room at the local Christian Academy. What vouchers will do is kill the good suburban public high schools but leave the poor urban schools in place. Is that what you want?

    And yes, many people orginally sent their kids to private schools for other than academic reasons in virtually all of the old south. What we have their today are very few good public schools because the people who would care about education have long abandoned them. Now you can claim that academics are the reason for private school because the upper classes just do not care about the public schools near them in states like Mississippi or in places like the District of Columbia. Do you want the entire country’s school system to be like the District because that is what you will get with a voucher program.

  38. MiT wrote:
    “Actually I believe the purpose of NCLB is to label every public school in the US as failing (see the AYP goals by the year 2014) so that the religious groups and rich businessman can get their hands on billions of taxpayer dollars.”

    Wow! Hyperbole, I suppose. Which is better, the above, with accountability, or educrats and teachers unions with a monopoly? At least everyone now knows exactly where you are coming from. By the way 1, I buy a lot of very nice products from rich businessmen and women. That’s why we have a capitalistic society, not a communist one. By the way 2, three quarters of my property tax and some of my federal tax dollars over the last twenty five years have gone to public schools. I am a taxpayer. Don’t you think I can expect at least either accountability or choice? If you don’t want either of these, then how do you think public schools will improve?

  39. superdestroyer wrote:

    “Under a voucher system the public schools will be like the open admission community colleges in California, virtually worthless and the last resort of the desperate.”

    Could be, but what do you have now? Many public schools are already “virtually worthless” for all kids and you give no plausible ways to improve them. Do you think that more students will be going to worthless schools with the use of vouchers and charters?

    I also think you are overly pessimistic about charter schools and voucher systems. I see lots of interest around the country for starting charter schools. There would be many more if the education establishment didn’t fight them so much.

    I understand the risks involved with vouchers and charters, but there are also large risks with the status quo.

  40. Mike in Texas says:

    Allen wrote:

    -The money saved will be divided up among other recipients of government largesse in manner reminiscent of a shark feeding-frenzy. The roads’ll get fixed, jails will be built, garbage will get picked up, state parks will get new bathrooms and more cops and fireman will be hired. Everybody wins!

    Good one! We all know how efficient the federal govt is at spending money wisely.

  41. Mike in Texas wrote:

    We all know how efficient the federal govt is at spending money wisely.

    Compared to what?….your average school district?

    Bwahahaha!!!

    By the way Mike, what do you think is liable to happen when the realization starts to sink in that schools can be run for a bunch less as charters then they can be as district-base schools, hmmmm?

  42. Andy Freeman says:

    I note that MiT still hasn’t bothered to show how his writings have been distorted. (As those “distortions” are almost always accompanied by said writings, yet MiT’s defenses don’t bother….)

    I claimed that MiT was willing to use student performance measurements to evaluate teachers when the evaluations supported his argument. (The point being that if performance measurements are appropriate when they support his position, he can’t complain when they’re used to support someone else’s.)

    Here’s the link to the posting where he made the comment quoted below.

    In a comment on http://www.joannejacobs.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/5115 , Mit wrote

    > Evertson, Hawley, and Zlotnik’s (1985) review of the research that attempted to link teacher SAT scores to either student achievement or principal ratings of teacher performance similarly found no relation-ship. The only shred of evidence for a teacher’sACT score and its influence on student achieve-ment is Ferguson’s and Ladd’s (1996) widely cited study of 30,000 primary school teachers in Alabama. A one standard deviation difference in a teacher’s ACT score generates a .1 standard deviation difference in fourth-grade students’ reading score. There was no effect for teachers’ACT scores on students’ math achievement.

  43. Michelle Dulak Thomson says:

    superdestroyer,

    The demand for a Harvard like education greatly exceeds the supply. Yet, is the educational market creating new Harvards to meet the demand? No, because the barriers of creating another Harvard are non-monetary.

    Damn right they are. As a matter of fact, you can get a “Harvard-like education,” in terms of the quality of the teaching at least, at hundreds of universities, some of them much, much less expensive. Anyone who has been inside a few job searches at a top university (I have, at UC/Berkeley) knows people who were short-listed for jobs there, weren’t hired, and ended up taking offers from much less “prestigious” schools. The teacher second in line for a Harvard position might be at Cal State Hayward right now.

    If you want a Harvard-like level of instruction, you can get it all over the place. What you can’t get everywhere is the Harvard cachet. And there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about that, because “goods of position” are pretty much limited in quantity by definition. (And there is the problem that as long as the cachet exists, the best students will do everything they can to get into the “best” schools, and the quality of the student body does make a difference.)

  44. What’s more enlightening about MiT’s comments is that there are a multitude of unfunded Federal “mandates” in education, totaling far more than the costs of NCLB – but its NCLB that MiT condemns.

  45. Mike in Texas says:

    Allen,

    I remember that discussion well. It was about teachers supposedly having lower SAT and ACT scores than the rest of professionals. However, if you read the article closely it was about prospecitve teachers, high school seniors who say they are going into education, not actual teachers themselves. I posted the quote to show you had to read a little more deeply to get at the truth, no where does it say I’m willing to use them to evaluate teaches.

  46. Mike in Texas says:

    Andy,

    I can’t remember claiming school districts handle money wisely either. My school district, which is considered one of the best around, claim budget shortfalls have forced it to eliminate Music classes for Primary and Elementary students, while at the same time we are adding a half million dollar addition to the districts $3.5 million gym, which is never used for practice (there are 2 other gyms for that), only for games.

  47. Andy Freeman says:

    > posted the quote to show you had to read a little more deeply to get at the truth,

    MiT truth was that teachers with low test scores produced students with as good test scores. MiT concluded that those teachers were as good because their students performed as well.

    > no where does it say I’m willing to use them to evaluate teaches.

    Except that, as I’ve shown, MiT does do so when it supports a position that he likes.

  48. Andy Freeman says:

    > I can’t remember claiming school districts handle money wisely either.

    Yet, MiT supports the public school monopoly.

  49. Mike in Texas wrote:

    I can’t remember claiming school districts handle money wisely either.

    Well, I guess that just leaves charters then, doesn’t it?

    My school district, which is considered one of the best around, claim budget shortfalls have forced it to eliminate Music classes….

    How many administrators got the axe while all this shortfalling was going on? How many assistant administrators equals one Music class? If you add up all the expense account money, per diems, transportation expenses and seminar fees does that keep one Music class in business?

    Oh, and Mike, you put Andy’s name on your response to my post and my name on on your response to Andy’s post. Try to pay attention.

  50. Mike in Texas says:

    How many administrators got the axe while all this shortfalling was going on?

    Not a one.

    How many assistant administrators equals one Music class?

    My guess would be one would equal the two Music teachers we lost.

  51. Wanna guess what would happen if a charter school hung onto an assistant administrator while canning two music teachers? And to preclude the obvious response, we already know what’ll happen when a district-based school dumps a music teacher and not an administrator – nothing.

    So, what’s to lose, from a parent’s point of view, from a teacher’s point of view, from society’s point of view, of aggresively dissolving school districts in favor of charters?

  52. Mike in Texas says:

    Allen,

    You’re naive if you think things like that won’t go on in charter schools. Here in Texas we have charter schools whose real purpose is to produce powerhouse football teams. Do you think any of them would think twice about cutting Music Education if it was taking money away from athletics?

    Several years ago my district sent out a questionaire to parents asking for their input on how to make the school district better. The overwhelming majority thought establishing a football team was exactly what we needed (we are currently one of the few districts in Texas without one). Very few asked for increased academics.

  53. You really don’t get it, do you, Mike?

    They aren’t your kids. You just have a limited amount of responsibility for them for part of a day, a couple of days a week.

    You are not the proper person to make decisions about their futures. That’s what parents are for and if the choices they make for their kids, including emphasizing athletics over scholastics, doesn’t meet with your approval then not only is that just too bad but the proper outcome has occurred.

    You’re just a hired hand Mike. You ought not to have any more input into the decisions about any childs future then the guy hired to put a roof on the house has in deciding how much money ought to be spent on that job.

    You may have all sorts of expertise but you don’t have to live with the results. You can just walk away. A parent can’t.

  54. Mike in Texas says:

    Allen wrote:

    They aren’t your kids. You just have a limited amount of responsibility for them for part of a day, a couple of days a week.

    Hmm, I guess that’s why there’s this PARENT ACCOUNTABILITY talk and all this standerdized testing to determine how well parents are doing their jobs.

    YOU are the one who doesn’t get it. There is plenty of research that shows the greatest indicator of a child’s future success is the parent’s socioeconomic status. If anyone helps to break that icious cycle it will be teachers, not some politician in Washington, DC looking to pad his reelection coiffures.

  55. Mike in Texas says:

    You ought not to have any more input into the decisions about any childs future then the guy hired to put a roof on the house has in deciding how much money ought to be spent on that job.

    Did you just equate teachers with roofers??? Unbelieveable. I’m beginning to believe you don’t have children of your own, as a parent would want someone who cares more about their child than someone who sees them as a source of income.