Thursday, October 27, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Protesters are Hypocrites

ACORN Playing Behind Scenes Role in 'Occupy' Movement

This is proof of what many have suspected all along that big government Progressive organizations are heavily intertwined in the Occupy Wall Street protests. This is actully AstroTurf not a grass roots organization. The left is so envious of the real grass roots TEA movement that they are atempting to manufacture their own!
NYCC’s connection to ACORN isn’t a tenuous one: It works from the former ACORN offices in Brooklyn, uses old ACORN office stationery, employs much of the old ACORN staff and, according to several sources, engages in some of the old organization’s controversial techniques to raise money, interest and awareness for the protests.
Sources said NYCC has hired about 100 former ACORN-affiliated staff members from other cities – paying some of them $100 a day - to attend and support Occupy Wall Street. Dozens of New York homeless people recruited from shelters are also being paid to support the protests, at the rate of $10 an hour, the sources said.

Occupy Wall Street kitchen staff protesting fixing food for freeloaders 

The New York city protester kitchen staff is angry about working 18-hour days to provide food for “professional homeless” people and ex-cons masquerading as protesters. I find this ironic because their comrades want hard working Capitalists to give up over 50% of our productivity to be redistributed to less ambitious in the name of social Justice. What is the difference if my hard work is squandered to freeloaders or theirs?

ACORN taking root again amid protests

ACORN’S back -- and it’s occupying Wall Street.
The reincarnation of the defunct New York ACORN chapter -- a group called New York Communities for Change -- is a big supporter of the protesters in Zuccotti Park.
Jon Kest, the former director of New York ACORN, now heads up NYCC, which is located in ACORN’s old headquarters on Nevins Street in Brooklyn. Obama has been and still is closely linked with ACORN and their new re-branded reincarnations. It is amazing how many of their idols and enablers are either crony capitalists and members of the 1%!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Demand Congress Investigate Bankrupt Solyndra 164,671 Letters and Emails Sent So Far

Demand Congress Investigate Bankrupt Solyndra 164,671 Letters and Emails Sent So Far

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Charter Schools and School Vouchers

The best way to transform the 
education monopoly is to create competition.

"On international math, science and reading exams, the United States lags behind countries such as Canada, New Zealand, South Korea and Australia despite the fact we spend far more to educate our children than every other industrialized nation. This failure in education translates into less human capital and innovation, fewer jobs, greater debt, and a growing gap between rich and poor.
But what would happen to learning if children stopped being assigned to schools based on where they live or how much their family earns?
My contention, which is supported by evidence and common sense, is that education would dramatically improve. And that is exactly what Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman said in 1955 when he first proposed separating the government funding of education from the government management of schools.
Instead of running schools, Friedman said, government should allot parents a sum of money so their sons and daughters could apply towards any private, parochial, or public school, leaving it up to parents to choose what schools their children attended. The result, Friedman said, would be a fairer and more effective system of schools.
As the founder and chairman of, I understand how consumers think. They want choices. Some want the newest model. Some want a brand name. All want good value.
That is not what happens in K-12 education, which is the least innovative major industry in America today. Unless you are wealthy enough to move or can afford tuition in a private school, your children are assigned to a school based on their address and taught the same way as 150 years ago. That is, after all, the purpose of a monopoly: to sell an inferior product at high price while resisting innovation. Just because this particular monopoly happens to be owned and managed by government does not change this dynamic.
That’s why Friedman’s idea of school vouchers is so important today. The best way to transform the education monopoly is to create competition. And the only route to competition is to offer parents a choice of schools through vouchers.
When parents have more choice, kids benefit, taxpayers come out ahead, and the best teachers are freed to teach. Parents win because they can pick a school that meets their child’s needs. Taxpayers win because vouchers cost far less than government schools, leaving more capacity and funding for the children who choose to remain in government schools. And teachers win because under a voucher system, a market evolves for the hard-working and talented teachers.
The best news is that we are finally starting to see Friedman’s idea become a reality across America. The Wall Street Journal labeled 2011 the Year of School Choice. Since January, 13 states and localities have enacted 19 programs so parents can select a school that is best for their child. Eleven of these programs expand or improve existing school choice programs, and eight create brand new programs.
This includes the nation’s most expansive school voucher program in Indiana, which in less than two months has become the fastest-growing voucher program ever. More than 3,300 Indiana parents have raced to sign up their children to attend private schools. A whopping 85 percent of them are low-income, proving Friedman right again when he predicted that a universal voucher program would bring the most benefit to the poorest among us.
The simple fact is that Milton Friedman was correct in 1955 when he wrote that vouchers would create “a great widening in the educational opportunities open to our children.” These opportunities are now becoming available throughout this country as parents demand – and get – more school choice."
This is a reprint of an article by Patrick M. Byrne is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, the legacy foundation of Nobel laureate Milton Friedman and his wife Rose. He is also Chairman and CEO of

His combative conservatism is a welcome challenge to Bush-era compromises with Democrats.

By Frederick M. Hess
Frederick M. Hess is director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and author of “The Same Thing Over and Over: How School Reformers Get Stuck in Yesterday’s Ideas” (Harvard University Press 2010).
No one knew for sure back in November 2010 what the Tea Party tide that swamped state legislatures and swept rock-ribbed conservatives into governor’s mansions from Tallahassee to Madison would yield. It’s now clear that one of its legacies is the return of principled conservatism to K-12 school reform. And that first became evident in Wisconsin.
State leaders wrestling with gaping budget shortfalls have abandoned a decade-long willingness to embrace me-too education reform, in which the entire playbook amounted to new dollars, more testing, and kind words about charter schools.
Instead, Tea Party-backed officials have challenged collective bargaining, demanded that schools find new efficiencies and insisted that educators be held accountable for their job performance. Wisconsin, thanks to Gov. Scott Walker’s get-tough proposals, became the epicenter of this shift.
Unlike Democratic reformers, who have duck-walked around collective bargaining and teacher benefits, Walker directly challenged the teachers unions. Absent such direct challengers, the unions grew comfortable — and shameless. In his new Brookings Institution volume, “Special Interest: Teachers Unions and America’s Public Schools,” for instance, Stanford University professor Terry Moe points out that the Michigan Education Association has distributed a 40-page instructional manual to its members entitled “Electing Your Own Employer, It’s As Easy As 1, 2, 3.”
What made the Wisconsin standoff so significant? For a decade, Republican thinking on education was dominated by the Bush administration’s big-government conservatism, with its affinity for federally mandated testing, race-based accountability, new spending, and intrusive interventions in “failing” schools.
The Bush agenda made it remarkably easy to reach common ground with school-reform Democrats and progressive groups like The Education Trust. The price was that conservative thought offered little of substance when it came to challenging teachers unions, out-of-control school spending or federal overreach.
The result: The education arena was celebrated by Washington tastemakers as a rare case of healthy bipartisanship.
What this meant, in practice, was that conservatives agreed to sing from the progressive hymnal — pumping more dollars into schools, sidestepping the enormous costs represented by teacher benefits and remaining so intent on closing achievement gaps that they had nothing to say about how to improve schools serving the vast majority of the nation’s children.
For instance, per pupil K-12 spending increased from $7,380 in 2000-01, the first year of the Bush presidency, to $9,683 in 2006-07, the most recent year for which the National Center for Education Statistics has data. That’s a 31% increase in just six years. From 2001 to 2008, federal spending on K-12 schooling rose from $42 billion to $59 billion.
The resurgence of principled small-government conservatism has swept away the Bush-era conventions like so much driftwood. How much have things changed?
House Republicans are concerned not with reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Act but with cutting federal education spending and seeing how many programs they can zero out.
Left-leaning and right-leaning reformers no longer appear to be interchangeable when it comes to collective bargaining, school vouchers or the federal role. The new, combative conservatism is bemoaned as mean-spirited by pundits and CNN anchors who want everyone to sit down and hug it out.
Of course, it was also played as big news that Walker’s efforts would hurt his political opponents. The New York Times editorial page thundered that the governor was seeking to “crush unions” and engage in “destructive game playing.”
Such hand-wringing would be more convincing if these voices had expressed similar concerns when President Obama famously reminded Republicans that “elections have consequences” while promoting health-care and financial legislation that benefited Democratic constituencies and weakened Republican ones.
The winning side always promotes policies that reflect its preferences — and those, not surprisingly, tend to advantage its supporters and disadvantage its opponents. Nothing is new here. Democrats, for example, were pleased and fully aware that passing Medicare would help tame the once virulently anti-D.C. American Medical Association.
The only real question is whether Walker’s proposals are sound, sensible and good for Wisconsin. For critics to dodge that question by suggesting that policies conferring political benefit are illegitimate is disingenuous at best. Yet by failing to talk bluntly about this reality or about the fact that curtailing collective bargaining is not geared to the short-term fiscal situation but to putting the state on firmer footing going forward, Walker managed to make it look like he was the one engaging in doubletalk.
The Democrats For Education Reform, or DFER, spent the spring crying crocodile tears about the overreaching by uncouth Republican governors. DFER is an organization founded by reform-minded Democrats who wanted to challenge both their party’s spineless orthodoxy and the teacher unions on education reform.
The thing is, DFER’s leaders are serious about school reform but, first and foremost, they are Democrats. So, when Republican reformers like Walker went after collective bargaining and state spending with guns blazing, DFER couldn’t resist a priceless opportunity to steal a page from the old Clinton playbook and triangulate like mad. DFER president Joe Williams penned a very public letter that touched all the bases: decrying wild-eyed Republicans, defending unions and positioning DFER as the voice of wisdom and pragmatism.
Williams wrote, “How do we [at DFER] keep the political focus on providing a quality education for all students at a time when some Republican leaders appear to be primarily salivating at the chance to whack a significant political opponent?” He took pains to point out that, unlike the evil Republicans, “We believe that teacher unions have a crucial voice that should be heard in education debates.” In fact, “we’re kind of creeped out by some of what we are seeing and hearing these days in the Heartland.”
So much for the vaunted bipartisanship of education reform. Turns out that DFER is all for bipartisanship on things like teacher evaluation and pay, so long as Republicans support new spending, don’t mess with the unions and take care to respect progressive priorities. Indeed, Williams bemoans the Wisconsin dispute as a distraction from talk about teacher evaluation and school improvement.
It’s not that the DFER stance is unreasonable. It’s a sensible stance for progressives interested in both school reform and Democratic electoral prospects. What’s peculiar is the befuddlement that conservative reformers might disagree with the DFER party line when it comes to collective bargaining or government spending.
The public debate in the past decade has been impoverished by the dearth of tough-minded conservatives willing to talk bluntly about public sector reform. It’s healthy to have those folks back in the mix, and unfortunate that DFER is so eager to score political points rather than seek common ground on school reform.
It’s not yet clear who emerged victorious from the sparring over Walker’s proposals this spring, though it’s clear that Democratic reformers were thrilled by the chance to do a little fence-mending with the teacher unions. The long-term winner, though, is the American people — who get to trade the stale, banal orthodoxies of the Bush years for a bracing debate about how to organize the public sector in the 21st century.
It’s hard to think of a debate that’s more urgent, or more relevant to reforming our nation’s public schools.

On average, America spends $13,000 annually per child.

A Picture Is Worth $300 Billion

"Over the past 40 years," Andrew Coulson of the Cato Institute writes, "public school employment has risen 10 times faster than enrollment. There are 9 percent more students today, but nearly twice as many public school employees."

Money Is Not What Schools Need  Competition is the answer. by John Stossel September 16, 2010. This excellent article explains how we need to expand the school voucher and school charters systems as competition is the key to a better education system for all.

The Bankrupt Agenda of the Save Our Schools Movement

True progressives would embrace school choice, not teachers' unions. Shikha Dalmia | August 16, 2011

Crazy Like a Fox: One Principal's Triumph in the Inner City 

A great book written by Dr. Ben Chavis (Author) is a book that you must read. As Dr. Chavis gets it, he has proven how you can improve over our current failed monopolistic public education system.Chavis is particularly sensitive to how students present themselves. He's aware that young people, especially minorities, are judged by their appearance. The school mandates a simple uniform of khaki pants and white shirts, and pants must be worn around the students' waists, not "hangin' off their butts."

Charters Hold Key to Saving State Big Education Dollars by Andrew J. Coulson