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share save 120 16 Poll Watch: American Public Schools Have Near Record Low Confidence
ikah2lq4m0vjcojhfjmbw Poll Watch: American Public Schools Have Near Record Low Confidence

According to the latest Gallup Poll.
Americans continue to express near record-low confidence in U.S. public schools — holding in the range seen throughout the past few years of tumult for the U.S. economy and state budgets. The 34% who say they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in public schools is unchanged from last year and statistically similar to what Gallup has found since 2005.

The findings are from Gallup’s annual update on confidence in institutions, conducted June 9-12. Nearly all institutions — including public schools — have seen historically low confidence in recent years. This year brought little improvement beyond a slight uptick in confidence in newspapers and television news. Public schools currently rank in the middle of the pack of institutions tested — 8th out of 16 — in the general range of the presidency, U.S. Supreme Court, and medical system. The current rating is down significantly when compared with confidence levels seen throughout the 1970s and at points in the late 1980s, when about half or more Americans expressed confidence in U.S. public schools.

Not really a surprise.

My children were educated primarily in private and religious schools throughout their pre-college days. California public schools, which were excellent when I was a student in the 50′s and 60′s gradually succumbed to the political correctness of the day and their quality of instruction eroded.

The future continues to be in private education as Americans flee the watered-down and politically left driven education in the public schools.

share save 120 16 Poll Watch: American Public Schools Have Near Record Low Confidence
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share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for May 12th on 19:39

These are my links for May 12th from 19:39 to 19:42:

  • The obligatory “still no idea if Mitch Daniels is running for president” post – Remember all those news stories this morning about Mrs. Daniels’s big speech to the Indiana GOP tonight and how it maybe hopefully possibly might finally offer an inkling as to whether the Hoosier Hamlet was ready to jump in?

    Nope:

    At an Indiana GOP dinner featuring first lady Cheri Daniels as keynote speaker, Mitch Daniels spoke for a few minutes — and gave little away about his 2012 plans.

    “This whole business of running for national office … I’m not saying I won’t do it,” he said, talking about how he had planned to go “to some quiet place … [like the] outdoors cable network” after his term as governor was over…

    Cheri Daniels said little that alluded to 2012 in her keynote speech. (Although Daniels fans may want to note that she said: “If Mitch wants me to do something and he thinks the answer’s going to be no, he tells Cindy [Hoye, the executive director of the Indiana State Fair Commission] to ask me.”)

    “Look, just make a decision. It’s time,” grumbled Larry Sabato afterwards.

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    Daniels is running and after the reception he and Cheri received he will soon announce the formation of an exploratory committee.

    Look for it around Memorial Day.

  • Hispanic Students – The Education Crisis Everyone Is Ignoring – Hispanics now constitute 16% of the U.S. population, and the Census Bureau estimates they will account for 30% in 2050. This obviously means the number of Hispanic students in our public schools is increasing as well. From just 2001 to 2008, the percentage of Hispanics in public schools grew from 17% to 21%. In Texas, Hispanics already make up the majority of public school students.

    You'd think those numbers would grab the attention of policymakers and educators and spur action — but you'd be wrong. Our public schools are woefully unprepared to deal with the fastest-growing ethnic group in the U.S. Only 17% of Hispanic fourth-graders score proficient or better on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (a test given to samples of students each year) while 42% of non-Hispanic white students do. Nationally, the high school graduation rate for Hispanics is just 64%, and only 7% of incoming college students are Hispanic, according to the Alliance for Excellent Education.

    These two tectonic issues — our rocketing Hispanic population and the inadequate education of Hispanic students — are on a collision course that could either end in disaster or in another story of successful assimilation in America. The stakes are clear: how we meet this challenge will impact our politics, economy and our society.

    The Hispanic population boom understandably caught some states, communities and educators flat-footed. Places with few, if any, Hispanic students just a few years ago now have sizable populations. This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that in North Carolina 16 of 100 counties are more than 10% Hispanic. Just four were in 2000. In Harrisonburg, Va., a sleepy university town in the Shenandoah Valley, about 40% of students in the city schools are Hispanic English-language learners, a figure that has soared over the past decade.

    Still, the demographic projections are so well known that no one should be surprised.

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    Read it all.

    California is already feeling the budgetary effects and academic performance is very poor.

    One has to wonder where the next generation of California taxpayers are going to come from when very few of the "new" Hispanic majority have the skills or education to work at any high paying jobs.

    California high tech businesses are already moaning about easing VISA restrictions for foreign students to remain in the USA after they finish their educations because there are not sufficient numbers of indigenous highly educated workers.

    The fact is any illegal immigrant amnesty is going to guarantee the Mexican border is secure so that this same dilemma will not present itself again – America will be overrun by the third world if it does.

share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for May 12th on 19:39
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share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for May 3rd on 08:17

These are my links for May 3rd from 08:17 to 08:28:

  • Budget Cuts In California Red Districts Could Make Sense – Last week, Treasurer Lockyer and Senate President Pro Tem Steinberg each called for targeted cuts in Republican districts.  They were both non-specific, but the clear target was to both shake the trees for a few Republican votes and to make voters in the district hold their leaders accountable.  The generality of the threat made it political rather than policy.
    But that's not Peter Schrag's style.  Schrag, the longtime columnist for the Sacramento Bee and author of several books on California governance, knows his policy.  So, rather than just saying cutting in red districts, he has some ideas with specifics.

    The obvious first question: are these serious ideas or just threats? And to what extent could the legislature's Democratic majority do it even if they wanted to? But in some instances, targeting Republican districts might be good policy even if it's not unequivocally good politics.
    The most obvious example is the state's costly class-size reduction program (CSR). Ever since Gov. Pete Wilson, in a blatantly political maneuver intended to punish the teacher unions, arm-twisted the legislature into the hasty adoption of CSR in grades K-3 some fifteen years ago, there have been serious doubts about its effectiveness. … Nonetheless, despite the program's erosion under the budget pressures of the past couple of years, it still costs the state over a billion dollars a year. CSR probably shouldn't be abandoned, but it should be focused on the low income students and English learners who most need the additional attention and who, according to most research, are the most likely to benefit.

    That change of focus would hit affluent Republican districts harder than those represented by Democrats, but it would almost certainly be the more effective use of resources that conservatives always demand. (CPR)

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    The class size expenditure was worthless when initiated 15 years ago and is ripe for some cuts.

    California has spent too much on a failed education system and instead would have been better served with a break up of failed school districts and a voucher system such as what Indiana just adopted.

    So, Democrat legislators, cut away but I know you won't.

  • San Diego case hits right note on redevelopment – The timing could not have been more perfect – or more ironic.

    As the Legislature mulls Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to abolish local redevelopment activities, a San Diego judge has issued a denunciation of one redevelopment agency for running rough- shod over private property owners in its zeal to underwrite a big condominium.

    National City, a suburb of San Diego, wanted to seize their property under eminent domain to facilitate construction of a 24-story condominium building. To make the seizure legal, the city declared the property to be blighted and needing to be cleared for new construction.

    Taking property in that way was given broad clearance by the U.S. Supreme Court in its now-famous – or infamous – Kelo decision having to do with a similar case in Connecticut. But to exercise that power, National City still had to meet the state's requirement that it prove blight.

    One property owner, the Community Youth Athletic Center, resisted and challenged the city's blight designation. The center, which gives boxing lessons to underprivileged youth, received support from groups opposed to the broad exercise of eminent domain. And San Diego Superior Court Judge Steven Denton sided with the gymnasium as well.

    Last month, Denton issued a 50-page ruling that found National City's claim of blight to be bogus. "Because most or all of the conditions cited as showing dilapidation or deterioration are minor maintenance issues, the court cannot determine with reasonable certainty the existence or extent of buildings rendered unsafe to dilapidation or deterioration," he wrote.

    Dana Berliner, a lawyer for the Virginia-based Institute for Justice, an anti-eminent domain organization that backed the Community Youth Athletic Center, put it this way: "Their blight designation was a total sham."

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    Jerry Brown is correct about redevelopment in California.

    Most of what I have seen is local developers getting rich at the expense of California taxpayers with local government capturing tax revenue that ordinarily go to the state of California.

    Look at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza and Thousand Oaks City Hall. This area was considered blighted?

    The auditorium ha sucked up all of the Redevelopment Agency funds and Thousand Oaks Blvd. remains well – the same.

    The California Legislature and the Governor should either amended the redevelopment law or abolish them all together.

share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for May 3rd on 08:17
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