Sunday, November 9, 2008

Secretary of Education thoughts

First from Bill....

Regarding my favorite for Secretary of Education, I think Colin Powell would be a terrific choice. My reasons include:

(1) His name has been mentioned, and therefore there is some chance he would accept if offered, and may actually be interested in the job.

(2) He is a registered Republican, and therefore he may take seriously the very strong recommendations regarding early algebra preparation which was made by the presidents National Math Panel under Bush (nobody else is, including the present DOE).

(3) His children are doubtless partially the products of the Department of Defense School System, and although the present DOD elementary school standards seemed to have been fuzzed up, it used to be that the DOD dependents schools were the closest to a Singapore type school system of anything run by a North American entity, and showed exemplary success in educating the children of parents who represented large minority percentages, and who mostly were not college educated themselves.

(4) I believe his foundation is focused on education issues.

(5) Since he is a registered Republican, the DOE would be a good location for Obama to place a Republican in order to have a mixed cabinet.

(6) He, of all possible candidates, is likely to care little about maintaining good relations with the various corrupt “stakeholders” in the education-industria l complex, including schools of education, textbook publishers, teachers unions, etc. He is more likely to be impervious to pressure from the various fuzzy persons who have been mentioned in connection with Obama’s education advisers.


Next from Mike ..........

Please think deeply about what I’m going to say.

We should not recommend or endorse anyone for the Secretary of Education. We should ask Senator Obama to dissolve the U.S. Dept. of Education. It is (as presently constituted & administered) an illegal organization, perpetrating criminal coercion on the sovereign states of the United States . The federal government itself realizes and admits this, and has pointed to the 10th amendment as the limiting principle in law. The only way that it can “compel” the states to comply with federal education reform laws is with “voluntary compliance.” This supposedly “voluntary compliance” is not voluntary at all, as it involves the federal government coercing the states by making receipt of federal dollars conditional on compliance. These “federal dollars” are our dollars, and the federal government has no legitimate authority to use them as a “coercive carrot” in the domain of public education.

..... reform mathematics is not the disease, but rather a symptom of the disease known as education reform. This will never go away as long as the federal government is permitted to continue its coercive social engineering through “education reform.”

... start thinking “out-of-the-box.” If Obama did dissolve the Dept. of Ed (which he won’t), think of both the freedom and accountability this would give Dorn to make the changes needed in WA State. We will never achieve our goals as long as authority & accountability rest in Washington D.C.


From Niki:

I agree totally with Mike's remarks that the federal department of education
should be abolished. The money spent there would be welcomed by states. I
would go further and say all parents should be issued vouchers to choose any
school, public or private. Those public schools that don't get chosen would
be closed. That old business model would be applied about "satisfying your
customers" in order to stay in business.

The public education system doesn't need to be reformed. It needs to be
transformed in every state according to that state's needs and mission
without interference from federal officials. If Louisiana wants to produce
dummies, for example, that's fine. Their business climate will suffer and
people will move to states that are producing capable learners. (On the
subject of transformation, the whole military system was transformed in the
past eight years (with great resistance by many entrenched souls), but
theirs is not a "democracy." They did battle politics. They didn't have to
battle unions, though.)

Since such transformation is unlikely to happen in the present political
climate of expanding federal government, I suggest the following questions
be considered/answered before recommending Colin Powell or anyone else:

1) Are we choosing someone who can be a "politician" and thus knows how to
maneuver within federal circles? Are we looking for a competent manager or a
real leader?

2) How well versed is the proposed Ed Sec in the "troubles" within
education "reform" today? If you were to ask him/her, "What three issues do
you see that need to be addressed immediately? ", would you get spin, a
litany of reformists' claims about "critical thinking" learners for the 21st
century, or would it be serious and thoughtful responses?

3) What is this person's philosophy about vocational education, charter
schools, vouchers, merit pay, teacher preparation (including alternative
programs), testing, etc.?

4) What, therefore, is his "vision" about the role of the fed govt in
public education? private education?

5) Can he/she name five persons or groups s/he would use for resources
and insight? Wouldn't this give us our own insight about his/her "direction"
and "support system" that s/he'll need as the leader?



Anonymous said...

I am waiting to see who Obama, an expert in constitutional law, chooses to lead the Department of Justice. If there is a Department searching for a soul it is Justice. Obama needs a person to lead that has guts and a backbone.

This recession will do more to clean up waste and fraud than the $11 billion per month the US is spending on its 'police action' in Iraq.

A student of mine just had his 18 year old sister blown up in Baghdad. She was newly married and she'd been in Iraq for a week. We've got no business sending 18 year old's into a combat zone. Its our kids who are paying the price for this devils work.

Bush and fellow bigots (including Bergeson, McCune, and Griffin) had best go live in Antarctica with their Atlantean friends and the Sasquatch Neanderthal.

Anonymous said...

"Washington schools are probabilities, not possibilities and I did it in 12 years." - TB