"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Here we go again.

A new report, part of the shock and awe campaign being waged against public education, teacher unions and anyone who can still think critically and ask questions, is being brought to us by Condoleezza Rice and Joel Klein. The nation's security is at risk if the nation's public schools don't improve. Excuse me while I throw up.

With education budgets being slashed to the bone across the country: more money being spent on a failed policy of testing and filling in the bubbles, a dysfunctional Congress and Republican party that is more interested in preventing women from getting birth control and outlawing pornography; two wars that have bankrupted the country while sending service men and women to do three and four tours of duty; Wall Street crimes that have brought down the standard of living and left cities and towns broke; a crumbling infrastructure and a widening gap between rich and poor; one in five children now living in poverty; this time the lie is so big that anyone with the slightest bit of sanity and intelligence can see through the propaganda.

Yet, that doesn't stop people like Joel Klein and his henchmen and women who will stop at nothing to get their greedy hands in the corporate takeover jar as they privatize public education with fear mongering.
The biggest threat to our national security at this point is the continued attack on education, intelligence, creativity and freedom perpetuated by liars and crooks who have way too much power and need to be called out and exposed as evil, destructive liars who have no shame.

Education woes linked to national security

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's security and economic prosperity are at risk if America's schools don't improve, warns a task force led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Joel Klein, the former chancellor of New York City's school system.

The report, obtained by The Associated Press, cautions that far too many schools fail to adequately prepare students. "The dominant power of the 21st century will depend on human capital," it said. "The failure to produce that capital will undermine American security."

The task force said the State Department and U.S. intelligence agencies face critical shortfalls in the number of foreign language speakers, and that fields such as science, defense and aerospace are at particular risk because a shortage of skilled workers is expected to worsen as baby boomers retire.

According to the panel, 75 percent of young adults don't qualify to serve in the military because they are physically unfit, have criminal records or inadequate levels of education. That's in part because 1 in 4 students fails to graduate from high school in four years, and a high school diploma or the equivalent is needed to join the military. But another 30 percent of high school graduates don't do well enough in math, science and English on an aptitude test to serve in the military, the report said.

The task force, consisting of 30 members with backgrounds in areas such as education and foreign affairs, was organized by the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based research and policy organization focused on international issues. The report was scheduled to be released Tuesday.

Too many Americans are deficient in both global awareness and knowledge that is "essential for understanding America's allies and its adversaries," the report concludes.

"Leaving large swaths of the population unprepared also threatens to divide Americans and undermines the country's cohesion, confidence, and ability to serve as a global leader," the report said.

Rice and Klein said in interviews that they are encouraged by efforts to improve schools such as the adoption of "common core" standards set in reading and math in a vast majority of states and the Obama administration's "Race to the Top" competition, in which states compete for federal money in exchange for more meaningful teacher evaluations.

But, they added, the pace to improve America's schools must accelerate.

"The rest of the world is not sitting by while we, in a rather deliberate fashion, reform the education system," Rice said.

Klein said he hopes the findings will prompt discussions beyond the education community that engage those in the defense and foreign policy establishments about how to improve schools.

"I don't think people have really thought about the national security implications and the inability to have people who speak the requisite languages who can staff a volunteer military, the kind of morale and human conviction you need to hold a country together. I don't think people have thought about it in those terms," Klein said.

The panel makes three main recommendations:

—Adopt and expand the common core initiative to include skill sets critical to national security such as science, technology and foreign languages;

—Structural changes to provide students with more choices in where they can go to school, so many students aren't stuck in underperforming schools;

—A national security readiness audit, prepared by governors working with the federal government, that can be used to judge whether schools are meeting national expectations in education.

Not all panel members agreed with all the task force findings. One dissenting opinion said a proposed national audit will only increase the pressure to focus on standardized tests and that money would be better used to improve the neediest school districts. That opinion was issued by Carole Artigiani, founder of Global Kids Inc., and agreed to by Stephen Walt, an international affairs professor at Harvard, and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.

Weingarten, in another dissent, said that some elements of the report undermine schools, and that school choice options such as vouchers and charters, which use public funds but are run by a third party, have not proven to be sustainable or to improve schools. Artigiani and Walt supported that argument.

In an interview, Weingarten said it doesn't make sense to provide an "opt-out" option with school choice, when public schools should be strengthened instead.

Council on Foreign Relations: http://www.cfr.org/


  1. Anonymous4:23 PM

    I actually agree with headline. No,I'm not worried about Middle-Eastern-terrorists, or any other security threat the government wants to use to create fear. I feel threatened by this attempt to accelerate a government controlled, government directed, common core knowledge base.

    Where's Bob Dylan when we need him? It's time for another hard rain to fall.


  2. Yes this is very true. It was so sad to hear that this is really happening. Also, some laws of a republican party are not so agreeable but there;s nothing we can do because it is how they run their government.

  3. Anonymous3:08 PM

    Here's what I say to Rice and Klein's recommendations:

    1) If students cannot meet state standards, what makes them think that they will suddenly meet national standards. I have seen the common core standards and they are very similar to the state standards; changing the title is not going to all of a sudden produce proficient learners.

    2) So, all students will be given an opportunity to choose academic institutions, so they're not "stuck" in underperforming schools? First of all, someone is always, inevitably, left behind - that's the problem now with charter schools; they can't service EVERYONE, so they conduct a "lottery" system. Also, what happens to these "underperforming schools"? We leave them to fail while we spend more money on new schools and charter schools instead of channeling that money to improving the "underperfroming schools." Abandoning these schools promotes apathy, which leads to misconduct.

    Finally ...

    3) What kind of audit? Aren't schools audited now? As a public school teacher working in a school that hasn't met AYP in 10 years, I see representatives of the state visiting us 2, 3 times a year. And, now President Obama is considering this "Race to the Top" competition that allocates funding according to teacher evaluations? This is absolutely ludicrous! What's to stop any state from fabricating results? How is the federal government going to regulate this? They can barely regulate funding now as it is.