Sunday, February 15, 2009

While Republicans are busy trying to fix Iowa’s 49th ranked business climate, create quality schools for the productive education of Iowa’s children and preserve Iowa’s traditional freedoms and security, Democrats are even busier finding new ways to enrich their special interest constituencies at the expense of good government and a better society.

One such Democrat outrage is the quietly festering
HF 7. HF 7 is Des Moines ultra liberal Ako Abdul-Samad’s paean to the ISEA/DMEA belief that more educational spending solves all problems in our failing schools. Samad actually wants to take your tax dollars and give those dollars of yours to the very same schools that are so misspending the tax dollars they already get. Even worse, the schools would get your money in the form of completely unaccountable “block grants” with which to develop programs to encourage parents to get involved in their local school districts.

Samad presents the typical liberal argument: the mere recitation of a laudable goal accompanied by a truly ridiculous plan by which to achieve the laudable goal. If the problem is parental apathy-and rest assured that is a major part of our failing educational system that we Republicans cannot ignore if we are to have both good educational politics and policy-then what reasonable person, not invested in the status quo educational system, would think the superior solution to parental apathy would filter the money through the already infirm institutions that help to create that apathy?

Why would not the General Assembly simply provide such incentives that the apathetic parent would have no choice but involvement-the proverbial deal that Momma and Papa Slackoff cannot refuse, so to speak? Let’s start with the following:

Teachers and administrators maintain 4-8 p.m. office hours, Monday to Wednesday, with Thursdays and Fridays reserved for weather related rescheduling, so as to schedule quarterly half hour review meetings with at least one parent of every child.

Provide classroom teachers with a 10% across the board pay raise to fairly compensate the teachers for the additional hours and effort. Pay for the raise by eliminating 5% administrative costs per year for next five years from all schools.

Require at least one parent of every student to attend one quarterly parent teacher conference to be internet scheduled.

Every parent gets $50 per quarter in income tax credits to compensate them for the time it takes them to attend the conference. It’s a sorry but true commentary that far too many parents need bribed to attend their children’s teacher conferences so let’s give ‘em something of tangible value to improve their outlook. Failure to attend is enforced by loss of property tax exemptions (e.g. the valuable homestead exemption that benefits the majority of the parents of Iowa’s students) or the loss of public benefits (e.g. housing, educational or food stamps).

Public benefit recipients, including the parents of IEP children, will also be required to volunteer 4 hours per quarter (12 hours per year) at activities designated by each school as sufficient to satisfy that community service requirement.

Parents whose children have been subjected to school discipline (detention or suspension) will be required to complete specified volunteer activities at the school in which their child experienced the disciplinary event.

Provide additional property and income tax benefits for certified volunteer involvement in the schools for every Iowan.

This plan, of course, requires the government and the people to make the changes necessary to restoring the balance between the educator, the educated and the parent in the middle that pays for the former and is uniquely responsible for the latter. Parents need to make involvement in their children’s lives a much higher priority and involvement in their children’s education is at the apex of that much higher priority.

As long as education is directed by the radical agenda of indoctrination and thought control, fostered and fed by the NEA and their leftist allies in state and local government, we will have continuously declining educational performance. The Dems like Ako Samad always offer more money as a solution, without betraying a trace of the irony that their failed answer declaims. Giving more money to schools to solve problems in the schools is like giving Amy Winehouse more smack so that she can gain weight.

Since we can’t beat something with nothing let’s show the world that bureaucracy isn’t the solution. Now that’s the Republican way.


deace gives obama a reacharound said...

Deace is in favor of the idea. He likes the liberal black guys.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good idea. Glad yer back Sporer.

Anonymous said...

does deace know he has a cyberstalker? This nutbag is all over the blogs obsessed with deace. weird freako stalker. he's the mark klein guy too, isn't he.

Wonder what went wrong with his childhood to be so very obsessed in cyber world to actually stalk people.

he sounds like an actual racist too. just adds more proof that he is clearly deranged.

Do you suppose he masturbates while creating his self-entertaining stalker bytes?

Anonymous said...

I see Krusty has accepted his latest task from Rants. His junior high slambook is out trashing BVP. He posts most of his own anon comments seemingly in support of the blogger for hire-krusty - yet he thinks we haven't all figured that out. Nick Ryan is Krusty and his blog is all about promoting the Rants gang.

When anyone in the Rants gang gets attacked, Krusty gets all rightous about it...then, goes on to attack anyone Rants tells him to attack.

Knock it off Krusty.

How about you attack Gangstol and Culver and the Unions and the thugs that wants to destroy Iowa instead of your fellow republicans.

Be serious instead of childish. At least BVP seems to be talking about something republican.

What do you talk about? Junior High sneering and nastiness.

Ya did this with Nussle and it caused so much hatred from the folks towards all the nussle people, he lost their support and people didn't vote for him.

why repeat that sad and cynical strategy? Who taught you to do that?

There was a big gap in votes for other republicans and those that voted for Nussle.

Could it be the way the staff acted like they hated the voter? The voter noticed that Nussle hated them.

Here you go again. You'll never learn.

You will need all of the republicans, plus some converts. Why halve your support by using this hate strategy?

It's just childish junior high gang games. How old are you Krusty? You act like a 14 year old girl.

Anonymous said...

I think its hilarious that krusty's anon comments attack the staff - as if whoever it is that posted the anon comment had ever won an election and thus, anyone shold listen to their self-important opinion.

Field staffer? What would the anon know about an effective field staffer? Would that be a Nussle person who was an effective field staffer? Or a failed Romney field staffer? Or a failed McCain field staffer? or a failed Rudy field staffer? or a failed Thompson field staffer?

Or would that be a successful Huckabee field staffer? I'd say Huckabee redefined how to win.

I'll never forget Doug Gross the morning after the caucus.

"well, we knew if the turnout was bigger than the lists I sell, then we would lose. Our key strategy was to limit turnout and suppress other voters so they would be too depressed to turn out. If we tried to expand turnout, that would be bad, because I don't have all those people on my list that I sell."

Huckabee won on issues that turned a massive number of new voters out and Romney lost because the voter suppression strategy just didn't work.

Now, we see Krusty working that stategy again with his latest salvo from Khris.

Attacking the candidate is attacking the voter.

In sales, you never talk down your competitor. It turns off the buyer. That works in politics too.

Don't be stupid Krusty. Add value. Fight against the addiction to be snotty.

Anonymous said...

Krusty predicted Huckabee as the break-out candidate, so your kriticisms are way off base. Check your history.

I hope Will and Ryan take over the Polk GOP so that we don't throw money down the Ako rathole yet again for a race we will never win.

Anonymous said...

Ryan Anderson/Will Rogers for chair/co-chair! Time for a change!

Essential Estrogen said...

Good topic, Ted. Too bad no one seems really interested in discussing it.

If you want the parents to become more involved, there also needs to be outreach to the business community that employs the parents. Unless, of course, you really believe that the only students with IEPs or behavioral problems stem from families with unemployed parents.

Also, please explain to me how it is in the best interest of the child for a parent to lose food stamps or housing for not attending a parent-teacher conference. Are you serious?

Want parents to be more involved with their children and their school district? Make them partners in the education process. Too many school administrators and educators already believe parents are their enemies.

Real life example: I can't write a note that my child should be kept inside during recess for more than two days in a row unless I have a doctor's statement. Not even for my daughter with asthma, who supposedly has a blanket doctor's note. Nope, the school wants a new doctor's note at each incident.

While the school and I should be partnering to keep her in class as much as she is able to be there, I feel like I'm pounding against a brick wall. Whenever I try to argue the point, I get spoken to as if I'm a 1st grader who has no understanding of the word "policy."

Why don't we open some alternative schools that hold classes and tutoring throughout the entire work day? Imagine the blessing that would be for working parents -- to not have to worry about before and after child care, to not be forced into a situation where their pre-teens are unattended before and/or after school. Imagine the extra-curricular classes students would be able to take -- art, drama, music, debate and all the others that are falling to the side because of strict graduation requirements.

As much as I'd like to launch into a discussion regarding family planning and its impact on education, this comment is too long already.

The Real Sporer said...

Esse Estro:

No, everyone needs to be involved and that involvement should be a priority. Hence, we as a society need to create incentives for involvement and disincentives to apathy. The business community isn’t responsible for parental involvement-parents are. I don’t know anyone that couldn’t get two hours off work once every three months, and I’ll bet you don’t know anyone like that either.

Remember, in Sporer world those conferences would be scheduled in both the afternoon and early evening and each parent would have the whole quarter in which to have the conference (well, probably half the quarter since meetings early in the quarter wouldn’t be productive.)

Also, I’d have no problem with state law requiring employers to provide every employee two hours off without pay (if necessary) per quarter to attend parent teacher conferences.

The larger point is for the parent to understand that parent teacher conferences are a major social obligation that everyone else expects parents to do. Since I have to pay to educate little Johnny Rotten his parents are sure as hell going to be more invested in his success than am I. The conference is more important than golf league, Fox News at 5 or sitting on the coach smoked out and eating welfare cheese so parents need to plan accordingly. We need your children to be educated and you, Mom and Pop Slackoff, are going to help.

Your second paragraph misses the point. We need to stop focusing on what’s best for the children and start focusing on what’s best for all of society and then determine where the children’s needs fit into that larger social scheme. I repeat, we need the children to be educated so as to be competent, respectful and functional citizens of a democracy-which requires more of schools and parents than we are now getting.

The important objective is involving parents in education and, given the apathy about which professional educators so often complain, it is apparent that some degree of coercion is necessary.
The best coercion is the loss of economic benefits (BTW-I notice you weren’t concerned about property owners losing tax deductions, class warfare in action?) because it costs the taxpayer almost nothing, and actually saves money. Don’t you think that almost every parent, and believe me, in my line of work I see some very bad parents, would attend the conferences before losing their welfare or housing, or even property tax exemption, etc… ?

Moreover, if someone chose to lose housing or food for their children because they couldn’t spare one hour per quarter then perhaps that is a family that the DHS paternalist fascists should investigate for removal.

Your third paragraph is an indictment of the educational system and the self assured “experts” who run it. You or I could enter a school, fire 10%of the labor force and improve education.

Schools don’t want parental involvement they want only mindless and uncritical approval from parents that accompanies some chaperoning. As soon as a parent starts to ask questions they are labeled a crank or a trouble maker and driven away.

Your real life example perfectly represents the mindlessness of much of the educational establishment. Why can you not produce one note at the start of the year, a secretary at the school district puts that note in a computer file and then emails it to the grade school teacher responsible for recess? We don’t need to spend more money to solve that problem, just create some accountability in the education establishment. Businesses manage much more complex data than that, or that schools in general manage, much less expensively and more efficiently. Of course most businesses (and I won’t go off on my anti-big business bad customer service rant) have an incentive to create a warm and pleasant feeling about their good or service.

Educational bureaucrats don’t give the proverbial rat’s ass about how you feel they treat you because they can never be held accountable for hassling a taxpaying parent, much less punished or fired for hassling a customer.

We don’t need alternative schools, we need to run the ones we have with a little better sense. Why not open the buildings at 6:30 a.m. and keep them open until 6:30 p.m. and provide free child care to every kid in the school? One administrator has to get there early and another one stays late. I’ll bet you could find enough parental volunteers and/or the parents doing volunteer work to satisfy the community service requirements I described, to staff such a program. I’ll even bet you’d find quite a few motivated teachers who really want to educate that might spend some time helping with such a program (although not at the expense of parent meetings) or maybe sponsoring more extra-curriculurs and clubs. Let’s try and use the people and facilities we have before we build/establish/experiment new buildings and entire educational models.

Believe me sister, the posts are never too long here as long as they are intelligently discussing real issues and not just exchanging personal slams. The love of debate is ultimately why this old debate nerd blogs.