Reforms by Obama and Ayers a Flop

Obama’s only claim to have executive experience qualifying him for high government office came before being in elected office according to a claim in a 2000 televised debate during a failed campaign to unseat incumbent Democratic Congressman Bobby Rush.  Of that experience, Obama said: “I have chaired major philanthropic efforts on the city, like the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) that gave $50 million to prompt school-reform efforts throughout the city.”

It was an impressive line on anyone’s resume. It was also a flop.

According to an article in IBD,

In 1998-99, just 36% of the Annenberg school students in grades three through eight were reading at or above national norms compared with 35% in Chicago schools citywide. In math, the results were similar. Some 43% of Annenberg students were at or above national norms versus 42% for non-Annenberg students.

High school graduation rates for both groups of students were the same at 40%. The Annenberg schools edged out Chicago schools in dropout rates — 35% to 36%. As the report said, there were no signs of improvement that warranted the expenditure of $160 million.

The CAC did not improve the schools, and in some ways made things worse. The executive summary also notes: “Classroom behavior, students’ sense of self-efficacy, and social competence were weaker in 2001 than before the Challenge.”

The report stated: “In 2001, students in Annenberg schools were somewhat less inclined than in 1994 to respect each other, work well together and help each other learn.” Neither student attitudes nor student achievements were aided by Obama’s efforts.

The comprehensive report on the results of efforts by Obama and Ayers goes on to say

When Obama collected the endorsement of the American Federation of Teachers, he told the teachers that support for alternatives to the monopoly amounted to “tired rhetoric about vouchers and school choice” even though efforts like the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship, unlike those of the CAC, have produced stunning improvements.

Not being left behind are Obama’s daughters, who attend the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. There the tuition ranges from $15,528 for kindergarten to $20,445 for high school. When asked about it during last year’s YouTube debate, Sen. Obama responded that it was “the best option” for his children.

They had a choice Obama would deny others.

Chicago’s children were still being left behind | Right Voices.

Obama's Education Plan

I am not a fan of many of Senator Barack Obama bid for election or his policy ideas. However, at first glance, his plan on education has a great deal of merit.

“Barack Obama promised Tuesday to double funding for charter schools, pay teachers based on performance and replace those who aren’t up to the job, embracing education proposals normally more popular with Republican candidates.

The Democratic presidential nominee says both parties must work together to improve education in a pitch to independent voters in this presidential election swing state, where the fight over education reform has been the focus of a longtime partisan battle. It was the first of two days that Obama was spending on education policy.”

Stumble the rest of the story.

Can Anyone Fix Public Education?

The public school system in New Mexico is broken. Politics, infighting, cronyism, mismanagement and incompetence have capsized the vessel. The latest report reveals that almost 70% of schools in Albuquerque failed to meet progress standards.

Officials in state and local government blamed everyone and everything for the problem. I will not repeat their tired refrains. One telling comment surfaced from a local administrator however. “More students were required to test at grade level this year” she said.

Reign in your incredulity and read it again. MORE students… AT grade level. Amazing. It is difficult for me to set the sarcasm aside for even a sentence.

The 2005 testing required that 50% of students score at grade level or higher. Daily, there are teachers, parents and politicians calling this standard outrageous. I agree. Requiring a standard that low is outrageous.

BTW, no one is New Mexico is offering a solution, just blame. Republicans and Democrats blame each other. Poor and rich blame each other. Hispanics and Anglos blame each other.

In the meantime, my wife realized she had received too much change after a purchase at a local store. She tried to return the extra funds. A manager was called. For ten minutes, the manager and cashier tried to do the math to return three dollars. Since they could not do the simple math, it was a fiasco.

Thought for the day. “If we want to make real change in education, it will require real change.”