The Department of Education’s Back To School Bus Tour has become a fixture of Arne Duncan’s PR campaign for the government’s role in our nation’s schools. Bureaucrats aren’t known for being shy about what they are after and even though Duncan’s bus tour has been edging south, this year’s stops are suspicious, given what is on the president’s fall agenda.
How do you make something expensive affordable for everyone? The government tried to make buying a house affordable. That hasn’t worked out so well. We are about to find out what happens when we try to make health care affordable, even if it means giving it away. Can the White House create affordable colleges with threats of government control over higher education budgets?
The state of the economy is still being used to prove that our schools are an embarrassment compared to other countries. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan remains adamant that we need to better prepare our teaching professionals to train students for jobs the June employment numbers show are still in short supply. Washington’s solution is to train our teachers to teach:
While there are many good teacher education programs in this country, far too many of the programs that prepare our teachers are inadequate.
Illinois pensions are not doing teachers any favors, at least not until they retire. The failure of state government to solve the pension catastrophe has created a PR conundrum for teachers who will be blamed for the enormity of their promised benefits. No matter what caused the retirement funding crisis, Illinois pensions have turned the public eye to the recipients and made them into bad teachers.
What a relief. It turns out that Americans are not stupid, after all. Despite warnings that we are falling behind, of half-bright preschool kids and non-STEM teachers who can’t teach the skills to help us snag those jobs of the future, new figures show that we still beat most of our foreign-born friends and neighbors when it comes to education.
Seizing student loans from the banks just wasn’t enough. The government takeover of the student loan business was the opening salvo in the Obama administration’s college affordability crisis (see: Republicans Bear the Guilt for Student Loan Interest Bailout), a way to continue punishing banks while paving the way to clamping down on colleges so they can serve the president’s plans for our economy.
Does the Obama-Duncan plan for public education spending do enough for rich kids? The prolonged economic slump that will define the Obama presidency slammed the door on opportunity for poor and low income Americans. The education budget has become a greater part of the social safety net with grants, welfare, and handouts camouflaged as education funding.
What an embarrassment for teachers who do justice to their profession when fellow educators display their disrespect for this country by donning red shirts that summon Chairman Mao as they take to the streets in displays of civil disobedience. Thankfully, the new Chicago teacher protests over school closings spared us the sea of communist red we witnessed during last fall’s teachers’ strike.