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Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks during the 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington February 10, 2011. The CPAC is a project of the American Conservative Union Foundation.  REUTERS/Joshua Roberts    (UNITED STATES - Tags:
Sen. Rand Paul is concerned about education. The Kentucky Republican has taken to the op-ed page of, where else, the Washington Times to express this concern and offer his solution, minus any detail about how it would actually work. That solution, of course, is a radical version of "school choice" the free market.

At the outset, Paul places responsibility for fixing inequality squarely on the schools, writing that "America’s educational system is leaving behind anyone who starts with disadvantages, and that is wrong." As if schools alone can fix the disastrous outcomes of the economic policies Paul and his party push, can reverse the findings of study after study that the biggest factors by far in educational outcomes are things, like poverty, created outside the schools, and that in-school factors are a tiny fraction of educational outcomes. So that's Paul's starting point: America's educational system should do something that there's no real indication can be done on a large scale and fix inequality within the schools, all while Paul and his Republican colleagues in Congress keep doing their damnedest to increase inequality through policy.

Paul's answer: "Let the taxes you pay for education follow each and every student to the school of your choice."

That is just a terribly constructed sentence. The taxes I pay for education should follow every student to the school of my choice? Somehow I don't think that's what he's saying. (But you never know: This is Rand Paul we're talking about here.) Is he saying the taxes each family pays for education should follow that family's kids to the school of that family's choice? More likely, but what would it look like as a policy? Would it be literally the exact taxes that each family pays that go to education that went to their kids? Given that schools are often funded largely through property taxes, that would pose something of a problem for renters. Would people without kids in the schools not pay taxes for education, radically defunding the entire education system?

Later, Paul frames it slightly differently, writing, "Let the taxes Americans pay for education follow every student to the school of his or her family’s choice." So we all pay the same amount of taxes and kids all get the same fraction of the funding (at least within districts; already there's a lot of inequality between districts because of that whole property tax thing)? And then kids whose families can afford or almost afford private school are getting a break on their tuition at said private school, while kids for whom private school was astronomically out of reach find that it is now only extremely out of reach? And, schools have a whole new set of incentives to cheat on tests and otherwise make themselves look better than they really are in the competition for more students? Would people be able to use tax dollars sending their kids to schools that didn't allow gay kids? (Oh, hey, they already do, in Georgia.) Okay, how about black kids? Would there be any kind of oversight of what these schools are teaching beyond "well, someone wants to send their kid there, so good enough"? And it goes without saying that there would be no labor standards beyond things like the minimum wage (which, actually, Paul opposes, so I guess in his dream world you could pay teachers pennies an hour).

But you don't actually need to know quite what he means to know that his conclusion is absurd: "When every child can, like the president’s kids, go to the school of their choice, then will the dreams of our children come true." Forget if they have homes, forget if they have enough food to eat, forget if they have health care. It's all about whether kids can afford to go to Sidwell Friends—which 99.99 percent of those who currently can't still won't under Paul's plan.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:09 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  No, he's a libertarian. He really believes all (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leap Year, roberb7, Just Bob

      the nonsense that he spouts.  He's just blissfully unaware of so much.

      •  Losertarians have a long history of opposition... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mostel26, Just Bob

        ... to public schools. I first heard this in the late 1960's.

        Whenever I got a chance to respond to Ron Paul-ites, my stock response was that I will never support any politician who opposes public education.

        And, since the Roman Catholic Church is a hot topic right now, they also have a long history of opposiing public education in the US. This is documented in Freethinkers by Susan Jacoby. And even in this day and age, they are opposing "integrated" schools in Northern Ireland; see http://www.concordatwatch.eu/...

        •  The reason Catholics have parochial (0+ / 0-)

          schools is because they were not allowed to bring their own Bibles for use in school -- they had to use the Protestant Bible which was missing several books (which the Protestants deemed apocryphal, or not in the accepted canon). Once the schools were told to keep all the Bibles out it became academic, but old habits die hard. At least the Catholics do what they can to make their schools affordable for those who might not be able to attend due to financial issues; most of them offer substantial scholarship assistance.

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by Cali Scribe on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:03:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, this was not about parochial schools (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nautical Knots, Just Bob

            As I wrote, this was documented in Susan Jacoby's book.

            The Catholic leadership was complaining that since they had their own schools, their tax dollars shouldn't be used to fund public ones.

            Fortunately, they were told to stuff it.

          •  If money follows kids, then he is not talking only (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Van Buren, BlueEyed In NC

            about for profit elementary schools, but also home schooling, which fails its most elemental test, teaching the kid in question one thing that did not formerly use to be in the curriculum but is now essential when there are two working parents in too many home, save for homes with one parent and one working parent,  how to move in a society not limited to his parents. And to learn things his parents may not want him to learn, because everyone in society now needs to know them.

            School was never designed to replace parents but to educate kids in specific  and essential matters not usually or consistently taught in homes in the days of yore. Reading, writing, basic math, history,science when there came to be enough to teach there. And to make sure by supervising teachers that it was getting done on schedule, and was done by what,in my years, was eighth grade, when a lot of kids left school to go to work and the chance to add to the education was lost for so many if they hadn't gotten it by then. It was never  intended or designed to produce perfect educational equality. But in my day, I was from a broken home from my sixth year, and still went to college and Yale Law and a lot else, all before usual time, and in a high school of four thousand, we had in my year eighteen kids only who were known at the end of their senior year, having gotten that far, that they were going to college, this with a district that included a rich area that I did not live in, and a working class area which I did,and where our household got the cans including one we had donated, which were distributed to the poor at Christmas.

          •  It's no longer so easy for Catholic schools to (0+ / 0-)

            offer financial assistance since most of the school personnel are lay teachers who want to be paid at the same rate as public school teachers. Although most teachers in Catholic schools are still paid a little less than public school teachers, the days of unpaid or slightly paid nuns teaching students are gone since nuns discovered that the hierarchy was doing little or nothing to prepare to support elderly sisters. Many, if not most, orders are now seeking and finding ways inside and outside the church to support themselves.

            The tuition rate for pre-K to grade 8 in my city in NE Oklahoma runs from $3,750/yr in one school to $8,500/yr in another plus various fees minus 5% - 10% discounts for a second and subsequent students. Prices are higher for non-members of the associated Church.

            Some financial assistance is available based on financial need and contributions to Church activities. Many parishes/dioceses have turned over the management of tuition payments and financial assistance to professional companies.

            Needless to say, these rates are not within the means of many Catholic families and many are simply unable to send their children to to Catholic schools. This is especially true for low-income families with children with special needs which are only met within the public school system.

          •  I just read an article that said that there is no (0+ / 0-)

            school on Wednesdays in France because when the govt
            wanted to institute free, universal public ed, the Catholic Church was opposed because up until then they had the monopoly.  So the French govt decided not to have school on Wednesdays so children could go to their Church school on that day for their religious education.  Now the govt wants to keep schools open for at least half a day on Wednesdays.

            I think the Church realized, probably rightly, that keeping children in Catholic Church schools was a very effective way to maintain its power in society.  Look at the power it's lost in a nation such as France.  NOw, the majority do not go to Catholic school even on Wednesday, the Church education day.

            The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

            by helfenburg on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 04:32:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Rand Paul is a Christian Reconstructionist. (0+ / 0-)

            They oppose public schools and promote home schooling instead.
            Christian Reconstructionism -- a political movement to convert the United States -- and eventually the entire earth -- into a theocracy in which dissenters, adulterers, sexually active homosexuals, some sexually active bisexuals, witches, sorcerers, etc. would be exterminated.

            ego sum ergo ego eram

            by glb3 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 09:24:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  They haven't even bothered to read Adam Smith, (4+ / 0-)

          who wrote that publicly-funded universal education was a moral and practical necessity precisely because the conditions of work allowed laboring people too little opportunity for self-development.

          We live in the world's richest and most privileged society, and yet for the last ten years our elites have decided we can no longer afford public education and must divest from it.

          In the future historians will look back upon this and find it not only appalling, but inexplicable. There is no reason for the US to commit cultural suicide by dismantling public education.

      •  Zero Education Funding (0+ / 0-)

        This is functionally equivalent to having zero government funding for education. It is consistent with an absolute libertarian view, but would be rejected as insane if it were not disguised. Of course it is insane, and selfish beyond belief.

  •  Try this instead (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols

    Pick 5 of the worst schools.

    Transfer all the teachers out.

    Open up the teacher jobs and have the pay for the teachers be $200,000 a year and hire the best educated that apply.  Up the schools budget by 150% for computers materials etc.

    See what happens after 5 years.

    •  The problem is that free-market solutions (6+ / 0-)

      just aren't.

      Charter and private schools tend to pay administrators more (since they run the place like a business) and teachers less (they are a large cost item).

      My suggestion, keep the teachers that are there, double their current salaries, up the school's budget by 150% and see what happens after 5 years.

      None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

      by achronon on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:36:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And the other thing about charter schools (0+ / 0-)

        (which aren't inherently evil, btw, I know some that are very progressive and serve a key alternative educational function in their communities), they aren't mandated to be a complete across-the-board educational resource in the school district.  

        Translated with one crucial example, charter schools, unless so chartered, aren't required to take on special needs students.  In some districts, that's a huge piece of the budget they're currently struggling with (and one which they have the power to neither decrease numerically nor lower costs on).

      •  Hire enough additional teachers... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bkamr, Mostel26, Van Buren, grimjc, oxfdblue

        ...such that 30-student classrooms can be cut to 15-student classrooms.

        •  Smaller class size (0+ / 0-)

          is one of the most effective measures for increasing achievement for all learners and has years of valid research supporting is use. It is one of the perks that our edubidness overlords choose for their own children. However, it is NOWHERE in Race to the Top bribes or in NCLB mandates.  
          Arne and Jeb wrote a business plan for our public schools not education plans. Rupert Murdoch is giddy over his edu-bidness stock portfolio.

          Bill Gates and  is running around the country claiming we can INCREASE class sizes if we have an extraordinary teacher, teaching.

          BTW, Arne's Press Secretary, Justin Hamilton just left DoEd to work in a senior management position for Rupert 's edu-corp Amplify.

          •  One of the reasons (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BlueEyed In NC

            It's not just the cost of the new teachers you'd need, but the facilities as well.

            I work in a high school with 3350 students.   Almost all classes are capped at 34 and most have between 30 and 34 students.

            If we could make all classes 24 students, that would be awesome.  My principal would do it in a heartbeat because he knows what works.  (He actually was doing it in many math classes, since that is the subject most students have problems with- that has been cut back a bit because of the budget.)

            Anyway, if a NYC teacher has five classes of 34 kids each- that's a 170 students.  Change that to 24 kids times five and its 120 students.  We need a teacher for the other 50 students.  For every two teachers we have now, we'd need one new one.

            Even if the money existed to do that, there is no room in most school buildings to put all those new classes.

            Considering we can't get money for a raise, for supplies, for whatever, who believes that the powers that be are willing to put billions into not just renovating old school buildings, but building brand new ones!?

            •  My large suburban DC district (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              oxfdblue, BlueEyed In NC

              did this in low income elementary schools in the late 1990's.  They changed Kindergarten from half day classes of 25 - 30 students to full day classes capped at 15 students.  First and second grade class sizes were also capped at 15 students.  The thinking was that if we could get all of the students on grade level in the early grades, it would alleviate a lot of problems later.  The changes were phased in over a number of years.  Not only did this involve hiring more teachers (so the system was paying more for salaries and benefits) but also building more physical space.  My school had 10 portable classrooms and eventually built an addition.  Fortunately we had a superintendent who was good at selling this to the taxpayers.

              As a music teacher who sees all of the grade levels, I can tell you that I could get so much more taught in those smaller classes.  The difference was astounding.  Sadly, due to the economy, our class sizes have gone up.  My first grade classes now have about 20-24 students and I'm getting about 30% less of the curriculum taught.

              People who advocate for larger classes simply have no clue as to how things work.

              “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

              by musiclady on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 07:05:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  .... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mostel26

      Some might get better, but if you have students who have multiple problems, firing teachers and replacing them doesn't fix the outside problems of the students.  

      Try paying all teachers a little more and then put some money into trying to combat poverty.  

    •  I can simplify this: (5+ / 0-)

      Pick 5 of the worst schools.

      Notice they are in concentrated poverty areas in an education system that derives ~40% of its funding from local sources.

      Decide that, instead of firing all the teachers and hiring new ones at many times the old teachers' salaries, perhaps reforming the basic funding streams would be a more broad-based and useful approach.

      Anyway:

      http://www.schoolfundingfairness.org/...

      it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

      by Addison on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:34:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why.. (0+ / 0-)

        ...are you firing teachers?

        Educational experience based on non-consensual behaviorism is authoritarian mind control.

        by semioticjim on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:03:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not? I don't think I understand your reply. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          semioticjim

          it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

          by Addison on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:18:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Because teachers cost more than internet classes, (0+ / 0-)

          and require classrooms and interactions, rather than the correct content of emails of this and that. Apparently it is already showing up that internet classes for the most part don't work as well as in person classes, especially where kids need that individual interaction, even in college lecture classes with study groups, although they are a whole lot cheaper.

          •  Internet classes aren't actually cheaper. (0+ / 0-)

            I've taught on-line as well as face-time courses at my university. The on-line courses are expensive to set up, require a much larger IT staff, and students are charged an additional fee for them.

            Rather, on-line instruction provides a wonderful opportunity for obscene profit by the software companies (Blackboard/Learn, for example). On-line instruction is expensive for universities and student "consumers", but it's a gold rush for the educational software industry.

      •  Ha ha. You're such a joker, Addison (3+ / 0-)

        Our governor here in Ohio announced he was going to FINALLY fix out broken school funding system. So what did he do? He made last budget's cuts permanent but slightly increased funding to some wealthier districts. Mostly he's shoveling MY tax dollars at the operators of failing for-profit charter school/warehouses that spend $1,000 on education and pocket the rest — or funnel it to Republican politicians as campaign donations.

        For-profit charters should be outlawed. They're all trash, shorting kids on education while getting wealthy on the public's money.

        Jon Husted is a dick.

        by anastasia p on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 11:22:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I like this better: (5+ / 0-)

      Provide heads of families with decent jobs and housing.
      Make sure family members have health care.
      Provide opportunities for pre and post natal care for infants.
      Offer toddlers and pre K children with enriched play and discovery learning environments.
      Make sure children do not suffer anxiety disorders from lack of food.
      Make sure children do not suffer anxiety disorder from child abuse, bullying, threats or intimidation.
      Lower class sizes to 12 in primary grades and 17 in intermediate and secondary level.
      Provide children with enriched multi sensory learning experiences including comprehensive arts learning opportunities.
      Eliminate high stakes standardized testing and all subsequent  non consensual Pavlovian test prep learning experience.
      Implement authentic assessments, portfolios or other alternative assessments.
      Allow students to participate in the decision making processes central to the curriculum they engage in.
      Make sure children are surrounded by expert professional teachers able to implement a variety of approaches to learning including constructivism, whole group learning,  student directed learning, interdisciplinary learning, experiential learning, rhizomatic learning environments and creativity development.

      If these learning conditions are good enough for the one percent then they should be good enough for the rest of the children of the US.

      Why the hell did our Fathers, Mothers, Grandmothers and Grandfathers fight in those damn wars for anyway?

      What we don't need is this.

      Educational experience based on non-consensual behaviorism is authoritarian mind control.

      by semioticjim on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:56:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What? You really think that money makes teachers (5+ / 0-)

      teach better? The "worst schools" are in the worst communities. Places where chaos reigns at home, children are left to raise themselves, nobody reads, conversation is strictly functional, and education is not a priority. Seriously, do you think teachers prevent poor kids from learning? Shit.

      •  I think the idea (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nautical Knots

        is keep good teachers in the classroom by upping their pay.

        Will some of the "bad" teachers also get paid more? Of course. But for the most part even the bad teachers where I work (and there are bad teachers) do have some sort of style that reaches at least part of our student population.

        And, I don't know, having teachers who don't have to work when they're not teaching and can attend more professional development and actually focus on their day job (I really like the idea of no more standardized tests. But those in charge will tell you authentic assessment is just hard to quantify. It's time consuming) might just make those bad teachers better.

        Finally,  we equate earnings with prestige. You gotta admit, when a first year teacher makes $13000 (in 1995) there's not much prestige. It is a profession, after all. You wouldn't want your doctore or lawyer making that kind of money.

  •  It is one of the characteristics of Cons that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    achronon, hnichols, filkertom, Mostel26

    they have a poor grasp of the connection between cause and effect. They cannot distinguish causality from co-incidence and consequence. Effects are consequential to causes, but not all consequences (things happening in a sequence) are causally related.
    Since this logical deficiency seems to be widely shared, lots of people respond positively to people who "think like them."

    Indeed, since this deficit seems unrelated to memory functions, it is quite possible for individuals to enjoy educational success, if the education is regurgitation-based. On the other hand, if processing information is required, they do poorly and conclude that the educators must be flawed. After all, their memory is impeccable.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:21:17 AM PST

    •  What can you expect from folks who (3+ / 0-)

      think that science is just a bunch of theories, and hell, anybody can have a theory?

      None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

      by achronon on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:37:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I expect nothing, but apparently our (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hnichols, achronon

        President expects to talk some sense into them.

        I think that's his youth speaking. He's still to accept that some deficits cannot be corrected, especially not with words.

        Are the Cons particularly sensitive to deficits because their own senses are somehow deficient?
        We know, for example, that people lacking a sense of rhythm don't like dancing. People deficient in a sense of place, who get lost a lot, prefer not to go out. etc.

        Really, this deficit phobia is quite irrational, especially when we consider that it is a self-created fiction. A public corporation which creates its own currency cannot run out, especially now that its created in electronic form. Might as well claim there aren't enough 'a's to go around.

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:58:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Who Disagrees With Him? Nobody In Power nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:25:05 AM PST

  •  Privatized Means Families Will Pay For Rich Kids (5+ / 0-)

    education.  Rich families want us the tax payers to pay for thier richy rich schools.  My husband and I went to public schools and so did my children, and they all have good jobs.  No, Ayn Randist Rand Paul the answer is not to give tax payer money to those who are the top 1 percenters.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:28:43 AM PST

  •  Wisconsin is being voucherized. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, spacecadet1, verso2

    The state budget that was released this week contains a huge increase in the number of cities to be voucherized (sending kids and tax dollars from public schools into private schools), including a proposal for a statewide special needs voucher program that's even worse than the one that failed to pass last year.

    Here is what Milton Friedman had to say about vouchers in an astonishingly honest WaPo interview in 1995.  The title of the report as republished by the Cato Institute is:

    Public Schools: Make Them Private

    Lots of awful stuff in here, but here's something that gets at the heart of it (emphasis is mine):

    Vouchers are not an end in themselves; they are a means to make a transition from a government to a market system. The deterioration of our school system and the stratification arising out of the new industrial revolution have made privatization of education far more urgent and important than it was 40 years ago.

    Vouchers can promote rapid privatization only if they create a large demand for private schools to constitute a real incentive for entrepreneurs to enter the industry. That requires first that the voucher be universal, available to all who are now entitled to send their children to government schools, and second that the voucher, though less than the government now spends per pupil on education, be large enough to cover the costs of a private profit-making school offering a high-quality education. If that is achieved there will in addition be a substantial number of families that will be willing and able to supplement the voucher in order to get an even higher quality of education. As in all cases, the innovations in the "luxury" product will soon spread to the basic product.

    For this image to be realized, it is essential that no conditions be attached to the acceptance of vouchers that interfere with the freedom of private enterprises to experiment, to explore and to innovate.

    This is what it's ALL ABOUT, folks.

    If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. - Bishop Desmond Tutu

    by AnnieJo on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:55:09 AM PST

    •  If parents get to decide to have their tax dollars (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nautical Knots

      follow their children, then I want to decide where my tax dollars will go (and NOT go) even though it's been several decades since I've had children in school. I want my money funding secular public schools where science is taught as fact. I don't want one dime of my property tax money supporting the teaching of intelligent design. Maybe I should start calling science my religion to get equal consideration for my POV.

      The older I become, the more it comes home to me that I want good public schools now more than ever. I want schools good enough to keep kids interested and attending. The last thing I want is school dropouts wandering around looking for easy targets (me!) for picking up a few extra dollars on a grocery store parking lot. What I do want is a well-educated citizenry motivated to vote and accept civic ressponsibility in a thoughtful way.

  •  Colbert called-out Sen. Paul on 2 counts last nite (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, wintergreen8694, Mostel26

    For one: How can a freaking Senator be taken-in by a joke, re: Chuck Hagel and "Friends of Hamas"????

    WTF??!! Doesn't he have a staff? Do they know about 'teh google'?

    AND, secondly,

    the Libertarian/Tea Party push to privatize everything clearly fails when it comes to privatized PRISONS!

    Who could have possibly guessed that so-called 'privatized prisons' - which earn their money from the government- would run amok?

    How the fuck do privatized prison corporations who dodge regulations, lobby for less regulation, lobby for harsher penalties, abuse their inmates.....

    How the fuck do they make us 'more free'?

    If that's the Libertarian dream of freedom, then the invisible hand of the market is jammed up someones ass.

    draw a window on the wall to remind you of the silkrain that makes things grow - Yoko Ono

    by quinn on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:04:04 AM PST

  •  A Conservative Approach to Improving Schools (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694

    The Conservative Approach to improving Student performance in schools is to kick out the under-performing students.  Once, the under-performing students, all the students with failing grades, the ones who present problems for the teachers, are removed, then we can test the remaining students.

    What do you think?  I bet the remaining students'   test scores will be improved!  Voila!  Conservative theory tested and proved!

    Let's get rid of the bad students, let them clean the toilets and then we can concentrate on teaching the rich kid's better.

    Primogeniture - let's restore it as the first law of conservative America!

    Snark! Snark!

    "Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" Will Rogers offering advice to the Republican Party.

    by NM Ray on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:26:32 AM PST

    •  Fire the bad students? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nautical Knots

      I suppose that makes sense to those hoping to profit from schools.

      -- We are just regular people informed on issues

      by mike101 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:24:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Seriously, though (0+ / 0-)

      the majority of the kids in any given class inevitably lose quite a bit because their teachers must give a disproportionate amount of energy and attention in managing the few disruptive students.

      If you ask a bunch of teachers, particularly at the high school level, whether they couldn't use a LOT more back-up from their school's administration and also from the parents, I don't think too many would say no.

      Non-mandatory classes or populations are a joy to teach, and mandatory ones are a penance.  Sometimes I have to wonder if we're just doing it all wrong.  

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:34:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Privatization about destroying unions (0+ / 0-)

    Not all people who support "choice", i.e., charter schools and privatization are of the same ilk, but the fact is that many see it not as a way to improve education, but to profitize our public schools, at the expense of teachers and kids.

    And, make no mistake, the right knows that teacher and other public employee unions are the last, strongest bulwark of organized labor, and privatization is a way to attack labor, the democrats, and to complete the job stripping working people of their rights and their voice. And yes, to these righties, paying teachers much less would be just fine.

  •  it'd be nice if he knew something about (4+ / 0-)

    public finance, but his ideological brand seems quite clueless about what a free(sic) market for educational services might really look like since it would require even more government and even less equality considering the problems of district level financing formulas. Charter schools are the gateway to even further market inequality and inefficiency

    Public charter schools should be an option in providing school choice. Charter schools are independent schools that are allowed the freedom to be more innovative than traditional public schools, while being held accountable for improved student achievement.

    Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ Now with more SNAP: Saturday hate mail-a-palooza End of a series

    by annieli on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:16:15 PM PST

  •  Rand who? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    51percent, Nautical Knots

    I expect the Ron Paul Personality Cult to die out now that its guru is happily collecting his government retirement check and his grand successor is a moran.

  •  More projection. And lying. Typical Repub. (5+ / 0-)
    "America’s educational system is leaving behind anyone who starts with disadvantages, and that is wrong."

    -- We are just regular people informed on issues

    by mike101 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:26:47 PM PST

  •  IMPORTANT QUESTION .... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    justiceputnam, Leap Year

    is that really HIS hair or is it a separate animal?

    Women are 51% of the population yet are represented in congress by barely 17%! Until our representation reflects the population, we risk sliding backwards .....

    by 51percent on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:26:55 PM PST

  •  Why is the guy from Eraserhead... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    51percent

    ... at the podium with that Aqua Buddha?

    A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

    by justiceputnam on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:27:34 PM PST

  •  Indeed. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp

    Yes.

    Maybe we should tie education accessibility to the parents' employers, while we're at it -- it's worked so well for health care.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:28:20 PM PST

  •  Seriously, I mean come on - (0+ / 0-)

    there is just something so odd about his look. I think his feeds his hair kibbles for dinner.
    How do we get him into the FoxNews pundit retirement program?

    Women are 51% of the population yet are represented in congress by barely 17%! Until our representation reflects the population, we risk sliding backwards .....

    by 51percent on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:30:00 PM PST

  •  Rand Paul wants (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leap Year, Nautical Knots

    every child to be able to go to a school as good as the one the Obama children go to, funded by tax dollars?

    That damn hippy communist

  •  Another scam to funnel taxpayer funds to GOP pals (4+ / 0-)

    Like prisons, faux Universities, defense contractors, etc., etc., etc., the teabaggers have a pathological need to tax and spend on their 1% friends...

  •  Charter schools are a great concept but (5+ / 0-)

    a significant portion of our (local) public school budget goes to the local charter school, and we have to provide transportation from all over town - turns out we can't change our bus schedule to save money b/c we have to keep the charter school's schedule.  
    The per-pupil cost and related expenses  ends up reducing the per-pupil money available for public schools...

    Women are 51% of the population yet are represented in congress by barely 17%! Until our representation reflects the population, we risk sliding backwards .....

    by 51percent on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:37:50 PM PST

  •  My child, as a special education student, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    51percent, Nautical Knots

    probably consumes more than the average allocation of tax dollars to educate. Should I take the actual or average cost to the school of my choice?

    You can put your shoes in the oven, but it won't make them biscuits.

    by quetzalmom on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:08:03 PM PST

    •  the sending school (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quetzalmom

      Has to pay the special ed costs regardless of where .... there might be caveats for certain choices depending on circumstances, but at least in our state, unles it truly is a private school, the sending school pays.

      Women are 51% of the population yet are represented in congress by barely 17%! Until our representation reflects the population, we risk sliding backwards .....

      by 51percent on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 10:06:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No. This is a massive new welfare program (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26, RJDixon74135, lgmcp

    paid for with MY sky-high property taxes. I don't pay them to hand families much better off than I will ever be a welfare check to help pay their brat's tuition at a fancy private school, which tons of kids in this community attend. I don't have children so why should I be on the hook for this? This is radically unjust in property-tax communities where we pay for COMMUNITY schools. I've said this a million times but once you go with the "money follows child" packet-of-money model, then those with no children should either pay no property taxes or get a rebate equal to the amount of the welfare check that's following each child.

    If Rand Paul wants to eliminate schools, and only have kids whose families can afford it get schooling, he should just say so. It's not very libertarian of him to want to issue welfare checks to pay for it.

    Jon Husted is a dick.

    by anastasia p on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 11:19:20 PM PST

  •  Test (3+ / 0-)

    As a test let him pick a few schools in his own district and run them privately for seven to ten years and  at the end of that test the that pay for it would be surveyed.

    What a stupid idea, our schools are great the only-thing that holding them back is the stupid failure No child left behind law that has been screwing schools and students for the last 13 years.

    Any time a government agency is privatized it becomes an utter failure, that ends up costing four times as much for half the product. Mr.Paul you unlike your father are a lying scumbag that needs to be kicked out of office ASAP, its people like you that are killing this once great country, just so you can get kickbacks and make money off the hard work of others.

    Mr.Paul you are a filthy scumbag, that should be kicked out of the USA.          

    •  We've been privatizing schools for decades (0+ / 0-)

      already - more so in some districts than in others, but I have yet to hear or read of the report that says that private schools have greatly superceded the success of public schools.  On the contrary, they seem to end up about the same or in many cases worse.  

      It's not the schools.  Could someone suggest to Mr. Paul that the schools reflect society's inequality?  They may perpetuate it and for some people they've probably been a pathway to a new class.  But then it's not all about moving into a new class.  Human development, human achievement in life, it's all a bit more complicated than class membership.  Countries with great success in public ed as measured by test scores, if you think a test score tells you everything you need to know, probably have social democratic political systems in which children have for decades grown up with adequate nutrition, health care, housing, educated parents, etc.  It doesn't happen in a week or a year or even a decade.  It's the commitment of generations to lift the population up.

      The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

      by helfenburg on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 04:39:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mutual Exclusivity (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nautical Knots, Desert Rose

    Cruz, Paul, and Issa to mention a few, prove that you can go to an Ivy League School and still be white trash. "Detruitus blanc" si vous-voulez!

  •  This is SHOCKING! (0+ / 0-)

    I didn't know Rand Paul could read OR write! I guess public education worked for him?

    Follow me on Twitter! @guileofthegods

    by Guile Of The Gods on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 04:44:50 AM PST

  •  Paul won't use the word vouchers (0+ / 0-)

    because the public is against them. The edu-profiteers have adopted "choice" to mask the real meaning of voucherizing our public schools. Paul is channeling Jeb Bush, Michelle Rhee, Bloomberg, Rahm, Duncan, and the billionaire boys club who are selling off our public schools, one inner city at a time.

    Check out who is buying school board elections for the privatizers in LA, CA:
    http://dianeravitch.net/...
    and Bridgeport, CN
    http://jonathanpelto.com/...

    all with bipartisan support of Democratic & Republican mayors, governors, Congress, and the President.

  •  Shorter Ron Paul (0+ / 0-)

    "Let's get rid of teachers' unions, and replace all the teachers with private-sector teachers who don't have any benefits."

    Because that's what Ron Paul is all about. No pensions, no healthcare, no anything.

    Every day's another chance to stick it to the man. - dls

    by The Raven on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:35:35 AM PST

  •  Rand Paul represents everything that is wrong (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roberb7, Major Kong

    with America right now.

    No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.--Lily Tomlin

    by Desert Rose on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:43:16 AM PST

  •  He doesn't know the first thing about financing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roberb7, Major Kong

    Most of these people wouldn't know a school budget if it hit them in the face.

    I live in a median house in a smallish but otherwise pretty average school district in a Northeastern state. In round numbers, the cost of public school in my district is about $10,000 per student per year. That's actual budgets and actual expenditures, and our schools, like most others, are living close to the bone.

    As I said, I own a median house for my area. My property taxes are about $4500 per year. Where does the shortfall come from? It comes from the property taxes of the people here who no longer have kids.

    These "my taxes pay for schooling my kids" morons have no goddamn idea what/who pays for schooling their kids or how much it costs.

  •  It is time to stop blaming teachers and schools (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    Glen The Plumber

    for what is a problem with the home life.  As was pointed out above, the worst performing schools are in the worst neighborhoods.  The two issues go hand in hand.  It used to be said that 90% of the learning was done outside of school and in the home and I think that this is basically true.  

    It has become expected for schools and teachers to take on a role that used to belong to the parents.  At the same time the ability to require and enforce discipline in schools was taken away from the teachers.   When things started going south, the push became to hold the teachers accountable for the student's performance.  The whole situation is a complete fubar.  

    We also have a problem that as a nation we are not spending sufficient resources on those students who will succeed and get ahead.  Instead we're too focused on bringing up the bottom.  As a result, nations like China and India are continuing to pull ahead of the USA while our economy declines and our jobs continue to go overseas.

  •  Chris Hayes nailed it in his book (0+ / 0-)

    "Twilight of the Elites".

    One of his main points is that society dumps all its collective concern (and guilt) over extreme inequality onto the educational system, which can't possibly compensate for the sins of the rest of the culture. When it fails to deliver, we say that education is broken.

    His broader point is that elites are self-perpetuating and self-reinforcing. He captures it brilliantly in his "Iron Law of Meritocracy":

    "…eventually the inequality produced by a meritocratic system will grow large enough to subvert the mechanisms of mobility. Unequal outcomes make equal opportunity impossible. … Those who are able to climb up the ladder will find ways to pull it up after them, or to selectively lower it down to allow their friends, allies, and kin to scramble up. In other words: 'Whoever says meritocracy says oligarchy'."
    The only solution, Hayes argues, is to also pay attention to equality of outcomes: make society more redistributive to make sure that those at the bottom really do have a chance to express their talents and energies.

    What is valued is practiced. What is not valued is not practiced. -- Plato

    by RobLewis on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 01:12:17 PM PST

  •  If we ignore them, perhaps they will go away. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dkosdan

    why must we re-hash every absurd comment made by the likes of Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Michelle Bachman, Alan West and the endless cast of fools with little or no political future. it just encourages them.

  •  ayn rand paul (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dkosdan

    and the rest of the gop want to privatize education so america can be as stupid as them and their supporters, its a big stretch but they are intent on dumbing down america to their ignorant level.

  •  is that why charter school teachers jump ship (0+ / 0-)

    to public schools, for better pay and a good union job? As a corollary, it is the market that lures teachers out of impoverished districts to wealthier ones. The poverty trap is political, one of resource allocation. The Market creates inequality, that's a given, in order to have a more equitable outcome we would have to act as responsible citizens to make it right.

    "O you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union" - Woody Guthrie from Union Maid

    by dkosdan on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:25:59 AM PST

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