Don't Mock The Lady (Obama supporter w/the free phone)Submitted by mdefarge on Fri, 09/28/2012 - 19:47
It made me sad and also embarrassed for the Daily Paul to read some of the comments at the post: Lady supports Obama b/c he gave her a phone. "He gave us a phone he will do more." At issue was this video clip.
Fault Obama for trying to buy votes. Fault today's welfare system. Fault today's education system. Don't mock the lady. She was just grateful to have been given a free phone. And for those who alluded to socialism, do you think that woman took an Economics course or otherwise studied comparative economic or political systems? I know someone better-educated and very successful who, regarding the current Middle East debacle and prospect of WWIII, sent me an email ranting, "Kill the savages." Talk about ignorance. And meanwhile, this poorly educated woman is out there on the street trying to promote her man she sees as good, actively participating in the process. This other individual devotes himself to sports in his free time; although, on second thought, given what his views are, I guess that's a good thing.
It's obvious that the woman is poorly educated. There’s no need to highlight that fact. Think it might impinge on her ability to find employment? Can you think of a job for this woman with missing teeth and an inability to express herself very well? (I’m talking about a job that would still be here in America.) The cruel irony is that it's since LIBERALS took over America's education system that it's gone down the tubes - with African-Americans, in particular, affected by the negative consequences. Wake up, BLACK AMERICA! Wake up, AMERICA! Everyone is affected, both directly and/or indirectly.
Circumstances have gotten so bad that it could very well be the downfall of this nation. It's not just my personal opinion. It was the conclusion of "Tough Choices or Tough Times: The Report of the New Commission On the Skills of the American Workforce," published in 2007 by the National Center On Education And The Economy. It was prepared by a bi-partisan commission of "luminaries" from various walks of life including education, labor, and private business. If you’re interested, see who they are/read the Executive Summary here. It's "must reading" for anyone concerned about this country's future with respect to JOBS. Bottom line, they conclude that education today is fraught with so many problems, it warrants the dismantling of the whole system and starting from scratch. http://www.skillscommissi...
But the ECONOMY isn't the only area affected by the current set of circumstances. The situation is so dire as to have become an issue of NATIONAL SECURITY. Not that I necessarily agree with their recommendations, but that's the (obvious) conclusion of a more recent task force co-chaired by Condoleezza Rice and Joel Klein. Their analysis, published as "U.S. Education Reform and National Security" is available at http://www.cfr.org/united... Or check out the highlights in this Forbes article: http://www.forbes.com/sit...
And forgetting the level of skills of those who DO graduate high school, a full third of Americans don't even get that far. "A recent report from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) entitled "ONE THIRD OF A NATION" is one in a series of sobering assessments which underline the extent of the problem. For the nation as a whole, only about two-thirds of all students who enter 9th grade graduate with a regular diploma four years later. Among poor, black, and Latino youngsters, the likelihood that they will graduate is even smaller. In 2004, according to a report co-authored by the Urban Institute and the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, ONLY 50 PERCENT OF BLACK STUDENTS, 51 PERCENT OF NATIVE AMERICANS, AND 53% OF HISPANICS GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL. Among African-American, Hispanic, and Native American males, the rates are even lower. The public schools are intended as a ladder of opportunity..." [Emphasis mine.] What are the opportunities for 50% of blacks? 51% of native Americans? The largest-growing segment of the population, 53% of Hispanics? A third of all Americans? http://www.pew-partnershi...
Academically speaking, between the poor quality of education and the low graduation rate, America is at the BOTTOM OF THE BARREL compared to other industrialized nations, especially in math and science (where we rank 23rd and 31st, respectively) - that is, the subjects that everyone says is critical in our "technological age." Read: with a disappearing job market on account of, well, whatever you believe the cause (the money system, outsourcing, regulations, taxes, etc.), of the jobs that remain or new jobs created, that's where they'll be, related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, otherwise known as STEM fields. http://www.cnn.com/2012/0...
Education is the responsibility of states - and I have no problem with FIRING everyone in the DOE. But regardless of one's political views, this IS a NATIONAL crisis. And NO presidential candidate has adequately addressed it. Whether or not one supports this idea, sorry to say but the solution is NOT a Band-Aid approach such as "vouchers." And NOR, Mssrs. Gingrich and Gates, is it more technology in classrooms at earlier and earlier grade levels including now kindergarten. Proven successful, technology-free private Waldorf K-8 elementary schools (worldwide) have proven just the opposite to be true. And NOR is it more money thrown at the problem. ALREADY the U.S. spends more per student than EVERY OTHER COUNTRY except Switzerland. http://mercatus.org/publi...)
We need to get to the source and root out the problem. And I'm with the "Tough Choices" group: it's time to START OVER. For those, including commenters on the original DP post, who resent paying for other people's living expenses or who are political idealists – or those motivated by the principle “give them a fish, they'll eat for a day, teach them to fish, they'll eat for a lifetime,” the onus is on them/us to help educate others as to how desperately we need genuine, meaningful reform. And blacks and Hispanics in particular need to be enlightened as to those responsible for the current MESS that would reduce some to fawning over a president and political party for giving them a one-time free phone - while continuing to preclude them from hope to be able to afford their own phone and that "more" they expect.
Here's an idea. Get a copy of "No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning," by Abigail Thernstrom and Stephan Thernstrom. Probably not coincidentally, Abigail Therstrom was a member of the Massachusetts State Board of Education and a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights - Massachusetts which has actually made some inroads. Get two copies, one for your local superintendent of schools and the other for your local chapter of the NAACP. Of course, everything is relative. As an article in The Atlantic points out:
"Compare US education data to the rest of the world.
Stanford economist Eric Hanushek and two colleagues recently conducted an experiment to answer just such questions, ranking American states and foreign countries side by side. Like our recruiter, they looked specifically at the best and brightest in each place—the kids most likely to get good jobs in the future—using scores on standardized math tests as a proxy for educational achievement.
We’ve known for some time how this story ends nationwide: only 6 percent of U.S. students perform at the advanced-proficiency level in math [Did you catch that? SIX PERCENT], a share that lags behind kids in some 30 other countries, from the United Kingdom to Taiwan. But what happens when we break down the results? Do any individual U.S. states wind up near the top?
Incredibly, no. Even if we treat each state as its own country, not a single one makes it into the top dozen contenders on the list. The best performer is Massachusetts, ringing in at No. 17. Minnesota also makes it into the upper-middle tier, followed by Vermont, New Jersey, and Washington. And down it goes from there, all the way to Mississippi, whose students—by this measure at least—might as well be attending school in Thailand or Serbia." http://www.theatlantic.co...
Hey, just for fun, check out how your state ranks in the scheme of things! http://www.theatlantic.co... I can at least boast that my state is on a par with the (pathetic) U.S. average.
I support leaving education as the responsibility of the states, as per the Constitution. (I do not, however, support the direction of the National Governors' Association towards adopting a national curriculum, or perhaps better stated, global curriculum. I'm all for national sovereignty and also the 50 experiments idea.) Nonetheless, given the sobering facts, whether concern for the loss of human potential and the effect on real life children, or regarding the solvency of this nation with respect to the economy, or analyzing the situation as to implications on our national security, it's necessary that the President of the United States be fully aware of the situation and willing and able to provide some much-needed leadership in the matter.
In debates, Romney will no doubt be touting where Massachusetts is #1 in the U.S. (failing to mention that our #1 state is behind Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Finland, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Japan, Canada, Macao-China, Australia, Germany, and Austria). He'll likely also talk about "accountability" (failing to mention that more testing and all the rote drilling that teachers now do is not the same as genuine learning and developing traits that auger well for a child’s success). And Obama will talk about racial inequities and social justice (failing to mention that it was the progressives who reduced our once-fine system to shambles). He'll likely find one success story to highlight in terms of its dramatic "improvement" - and it's easy to tout high gains, statistically, if you're starting from a low a baseline! (failing to mention that, nationally, SAT scores just dropped... that is, just dropped again; or that "so called" reforms to close the racial divide haven't worked. http://www.insidehighered...). NO candidate will have any substantive ideas for what the United States can and must do to turn the situation around. What is needed is drastic reform, starting tomorrow.
So please, don't mock the lady, who is among millions in her situation who've been made promises and feels as she does. I'm somewhat reminded of the movie Bullworth when, freed to tell the truth, the senator addresses the black community and explains that the unfulfilled promises had just been campaign rhetoric designed to get their vote. (The clip is on YouTube, "A politician actually gives an "honest speech" for a change!" Viewer discretion advised.) When they express outrage, he laughs. "What are you going to do, vote Republican?" The same can be said for promises regarding education and mostly meaningless, drop-in-the-bucket reforms.
Whether for your children's or grandchildren's sake or for the country's sake as a whole, get yourself better educated on the far-reaching implications of our failed public school system. Then help to spread awareness. Just as the Republican Party has learned it can no longer take for granted the votes of more free-thinking libertarian-oriented conservatives, a more free-thinking black community must make it clear to Democrats that their votes can no longer be taken for granted. The video clip I'm looking forward to seeing is one in which that lady and others like her with the same conviction will speaking out to say, "Our vote can NOT be bought with a free phone. We deserve and demand better."