K-12 Lobby Panic…

The K-12 crowd is in a tizzy about what President-elect Obama has in store for education policy.   But, since everyone reads the same exit polls, perhaps it’s worth considering why President Obama wouldn’t decide to focus a lot more on higher ed than K-12? 

Couple of reasons that’s not a bad strategy:  There are a slew of good secretary picks who really aren’t K-12 types and sidestep all of the political challenges there, it’s a good way to appeal to some voters he will want to do better with in 2012 especially as Bush hatred recedes and, hopefully, the economy improves, K-12 accountability isn’t that popular among those voters anymore anyway, and focusing on college costs is one of those great back-door ways to pump some dollars toward the middle class and low-income Americans and into the economy.  And, it’s not as though the college aid crowd doesn’t have some ideas on that front

8 thoughts on “K-12 Lobby Panic…

  1. Michael Robbins

    One of the biggest cheers during Obama’s acceptance speech was when he said:

    “I’ll invest in early childhood education. I’ll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries, and give them more support. And in exchange, I’ll ask for higher standards and more accountability.

    And we will keep our promise to every young American: If you commit to serving your community or our country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.”

    Let’s put a priority on reauthorization of the National Service Trust Act – with a dramatic increase in the post-service education award. It would benefit K-12 education (think of all those K-12-focused AmeriCorps programs and service-learning programs) and make college more affordable for those who serve.

  2. Reason

    Michael Robbins,

    I won’t serve your socialist designs because I have dignity and a conscience. Please refund my tax dollars and my liberty, thank you.

    What is that you say? Your idea is so righteous that you can force everyone to live by it? It’s ‘voluntary mandatory service’?

    What kind of slavery are you foisting on me? My liberty is more important than your stupid idea. I will meet your violence with a solid defense, Mr. Robbins. You can count on that

  3. JJ Baskin

    Uhm, Reason, I think you have gone rogue on your “dignity” (defined as a the quality of being worthy of esteem or respect) when you insult others. Dignity is predicated on civility. Your response is more appropriate for another forum with a lot more people who sign their blogs anonymously.

    If Mr. Robbin’s idea is the wrong idea, at least he floated one. If you don’t fully understand his idea, ask for clarification. If you have your own ideas to improve education and the country then share them. If you believe in your ideas, then provide your name and not a moniker. Then lets discuss these ideas in a civil manner or please retire to one of the many white noise blogs on the Internet that are a better match for your post above.

  4. Reason

    JJ Baskin,

    The state control of lives has gone far enough. The real effront is Mr. Robbins’s proposal. Taxation in any form is akin to slavery. To force an individual to pay for heinous programs like Americorps is adding insult to injury. Yet, this new movement to conscript government labor, in all its guises, takes the cake of involuntary servitude. You arrogant socialists, democrats, communitarians, central planners or whatever you label yourselves should read the Declaration of Independence.

    I do not go into your wallet without asking. I don’t snuff your conscience in the name of some bureaucratic program. But you do.

    It is civil to defend liberty and, if necessary, to abolish the oppressor.

  5. Donna McDowell

    Let’s hope that our new President will look closely at NCLB. In an economy that is already impacting public school budgets, AYP requirements of NCLB drain important resources from teaching and learning toward low level test prep drills. As we approach 2014, more and more schools will fail to make the required proficiency rates until finally, in 2014, virtually no schools will achieve the one hundred perfect proficiency required in every sub-group. Clearly the bill’s drafters never heard of regression to the mean. We know now what the real motivation was behind the law (vouchers). Ironically, as the public schools continue to operate under the egregious burdens of NCLB, the private schools continue to offer their curricula of high level liberal arts, science, math, and arts courses for the affluent and very rich. Remember the “Matthew Effect” — the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I am hopeful that our new President will choose an Education Secretary who realizes that the public schools cannot fix everything, that parents must help their children in the quest for learning, and that poverty and lack of health care are factors that impede learning.

  6. Randy E

    “taxation in any form is akin to slavery” – Reason. I guess this individual doesn’t use streets, traffic lights, wouldn’t call emergency services, doesn’t support our troops or even believe that we need a military etc.

    This will be my only acknowledgement of this blogger, Reason.

    JJ, the exhange of service for education is not only a win-win, it elevates our society. I like this more than Pell Grants.

    Donna, I believe Obama is focusing on early childhood for the very factors you identify. McCain offered “vouchers” and nothing else. NCLB has some merits in terms of accountability but as an unfunded mandate, the negatives may outweigh the positives.

    Sadly, Obama has education 5th on his priority list. After cleaning up after the elephant in the circus, he can focus more on such investment.

  7. Reason

    Randy E,

    All services currently deemed public ought to be provided for privately. Food is a necessity for sustaining life and even higher on the scale of needs. Would you then want to socialize all farms, distributors, super-markets, convenience stores, restaurants, coops, internet mail-order dot.coms and etc.?

    To describe a government program as an “exchange of service for education” perverts the idea of 1) exchange, 2) volunteerism, 3) education and 4) government.

    1) If the government tells a kid what to do then it owns the kid to that extent. If it forces other people to pay for the service that the kid supposedly delivers and the kid’s education – then it owns the taxed as well. This serfdom like situation should seem alarming enough. But I am setting up the point that the government cannot trade with itself, cannot exchange with itself anymore than you can trade one cheerio for another in the bowl you are enjoying. The government lacks the means for evaluating the efficacy of its ‘exchanges’ without a market, without real exchange based on private property and prices.

    2) When one is forced to serve it is not a conscious choice, not volunteering. Government vitiates the consciences of both the server and the tax payer.

    3) Education is a deeply personal thing that happens between teacher and student. What you and the educrats have in mind when you use the word is schooling.

    4) Government is the negation of liberty, whether you believe it to be the appropriate means of ‘society’ or not. Voluntary is not a word that can be associated with its workings. Try not paying taxes and find out.

  8. AJ McCreary

    You all have some interesing comments. I want to bring it to peoples attention to let time show us what is going to happen and ask people to please be patient! Early education is a huge issue but I strongly believe Obama will address it, he has to small children and considering his background I think he has the general publics best interest in mind unlike other political leaders.

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