Mitt Romney backs school vouchers, goes after teachers’ unions, and intends on using different federally-driven programs in his education proposals.

Only 40% of voters in 12 key swing states think favorably of Vice President Joe Biden. Could President Obama even consider replacing him at this stage of the campaign? If the President did make such a bold move, who would be the best candidates? (Additionally, don’t forget to vote for the Republican VP selection today, where Paul Ryan has recently pulled ahead of Marco Rubio.)

Eurozone leaders are trying to figure out what to do with Greece. The small country’s economy is dragging on the EU, but is it actually reasonable for Greece to exit the currency? There is nothing that would back a new national currency, only piles of debt. If Greece does exit the Euro by their doing or the other members of the EU, do not be surprised by hyperinflation following within one year.

Governor Scott Walker appears set to prevail in his recall election, and has saved Wisconsin more than $1 billion, leading Politico to wonder if he is now a ‘GOP hero’. If Walker does indeed win and becomes the face of fighting back against public service unions and Wisconsin also goes for Romney, does it put Scott Walker in future presidential conversations?

Finally, Roger Simon writes: ‘Businessman make lousy presidents’ based on a small amount of qualitative data, including a baseline of “our best modern presidents” defined as: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman.

Comments

  • Raúl Ramírez
  • Raúl Ramírez
  • http://twitter.com/BusyPoorDad William Kone

    As a conservative, I have nothing against vouchers.  I have everything against the Federal Government telling States and Localities how to run their Schools with bribes and handcuffs.

    Again Romney acts just like Obama by saying the Fed Gov has a right to tell local schools how they will do things.  Forget that it is not in the Constitution.  Worse is the rules that come with Fed Gov money have a disproportionate effect on schools.

    My School District gets less than 2% of its funding from the Fed Gov but to keep that the Fed Gov rules control how 34% of the budget is spent and sets subject “goals” for the education program. 

    Romney would be different if he would endorse vouchers and to help them along would end the Department of Education, cutting $77 billion of the budget in one year, and at its current 7.5% growth rate means saving $1,171 billion over ten years. ($1.1 trillion)  And sell it as leaving $77 billion with the states to use as they see fit, and letting parents not DC flunkies choose what your kids get taught and how.

    But then Romney would be a Conservative then and not someone being Obama light.

    • dw

      Yes!!!! Abolish the DOE and move that responsibility to the local school systems.

      • Anonymous

        Exactly right!!!

        Education was more effective when local school boards determined policy for their respective district. Now due to the statism and nationalism of the education system it has become a dog chasing its tail trying to keep up with the regulations and money chasing by the districts. Return power back to local control.

  • http://twitter.com/BusyPoorDad William Kone

    As a conservative, I have nothing against vouchers.  I have everything against the Federal Government telling States and Localities how to run their Schools with bribes and handcuffs.

    Again Romney acts just like Obama by saying the Fed Gov has a right to tell local schools how they will do things.  Forget that it is not in the Constitution.  Worse is the rules that come with Fed Gov money have a disproportionate effect on schools.

    My School District gets less than 2% of its funding from the Fed Gov but to keep that the Fed Gov rules control how 34% of the budget is spent and sets subject “goals” for the education program. 

    Romney would be different if he would endorse vouchers and to help them along would end the Department of Education, cutting $77 billion of the budget in one year, and at its current 7.5% growth rate means saving $1,171 billion over ten years. ($1.1 trillion)  And sell it as leaving $77 billion with the states to use as they see fit, and letting parents not DC flunkies choose what your kids get taught and how.

    But then Romney would be a Conservative then and not someone being Obama light.

    • dw

      Yes!!!! Abolish the DOE and move that responsibility to the local school systems.

      • Anonymous

        Exactly right!!!

        Education was more effective when local school boards determined policy for their respective district. Now due to the statism and nationalism of the education system it has become a dog chasing its tail trying to keep up with the regulations and money chasing by the districts. Return power back to local control.

  • Whodat

    Oddly enough, “vouchers” is one of the few places where I strongly disagree with most
    of my conservative brethren.  Vouchers allow people to run from a problem rather
    than fixing it.  To wit: a school is bad.  So, we offer vouchers so the kids that can get
    away, who have the parents who can drive them or somehow can work out going to
    a school farther away, do so.  What is left behind?  A bad school filled with bad kids
    and good kids who could not leave for logistics reasons.  Why not give the really bad
    kids a place in a boot camp/technical school and let them learn a trade under a
    controlled environment?  That would leave the good kids to learn.  Why not get tough
    about drugs?  Why not get tough about everything?  Why not teach life skills rather
    than the endless crap which will never have any meaning to an inner-city kid?

    Vouchers only help those who can use them, but they do not help the others or the school
    left behind or the rest of us who have to pay for prisons, but can’t find a plumber!

    • https://twitter.com/#!/PD_Scott Scott A. Robinson, Editor

      I couldn’t disagree with you more. Vouchers create a competitive environment. Can you image how much a school would improve if it had to improve to keep funding by being a popular consumer choice? Poor schools would be shut down. Good schools would expand. The consolidation would result in a net savings and kids would be better off. However, how you administer a voucher program makes all the difference. For it to work as effectively as possible, a child would necessarily have a voucher worth the total amount of tax money allocated to the child, not a partial amount. The voucher should be available to use at any school, public or private. Use at a private school actually saves the state money, as it does not have to maintain facilities or as many long-term pension plans. Of course, this brings us to unions and the ability of public schools, or I should say lack of ability, to have any flexibility in the labor force (you can’t just fire teachers, which also creates a vacuum where is it difficult to hire good teachers).

      Anyway, I’ve been working on a post about his very subject for a bit, and this is merely a sampling of my thoughts.

      • Whodat

         In general, I do not think schools are bad because of bad teachers or bad principals.  I think they are bad because of bad and disruptive students who
        have no home environment, are welfare ghetto people, drug infested losers.
        and, because of edu-nazis who set guidelines from doo-fuss-land.  Our T.E.A.
        here in Texas is a prime example of the Tower of Babel.  Our local school
        district has discretion over spending of only 10% to 15% of their budget, the
        majority is dictated by commie, socialist, weirdo mis-fits in Austin.  That is where a major part of our problem is, and with trying to educate loser kids who should not be in “school” where there are books.

        • https://twitter.com/#!/PD_Scott Scott A. Robinson, Editor

          We pulled our kids out of school in South Carolina because the schools and no goals and no direction. This was also my personal experience of K-12 in Idaho. No teacher could tell us here in SC what skills the students were expected to acquire at the end of the school year. Why was this? Because they didn’t have to. The schools knew you were stuck sending your kids there if you couldn’t (and most people can’t) afford to send your kids to a private school. We had quite the opposite experience in Georgia schools. You could give me a largest voucher in the world, and I would have left my kids in the same elementary they were in. But this is the exception, rather than the rule.

          The public school system is a near monopoly with no real incentive to innovate, improve, or save money. This is only compounded by the fact that once a teacher has tenure, they have no real incentive to innovate, improve, or be exceptional.

    • Steve M.

      And Whodat, strangely enough, Vouchers are one of the few places I strongly agree with your conservative bretheren. Enough so that Romney’s support of vouchers combined with the President’s refusal to back down on the HHS Contraception/Abortion/Sterilization coverage mandate has me considering voting for the dark side.
      As long as bussing is available, I think getting kids into the school that is best for them is the best way to produce the strongest, smartest generation. Private schools (whether charter, religious, military, or non-religious) have repeatedly shown they do, at very least, an equitable job education children and in most cases a far superior job.
      Of course, I’m probably biased having spent 17 years in Catholic schools, my wife-to-be currently works in development for a Catholic school and I tend to make my charitable donations to a variety of Catholic education charities. So take my opinion for what it is.

      • Anonymous

        Come to the dark side. We have cookies.

        • Anonymous

          …..and even a few kookies.

          • dw

            Don’t be so hard on yourself, Brian… ;-)

            • Anonymous

              “it takes one to know one”
              “I know you are but what am I?”

              Couldn’t think of any other comebacks. I give that round to DW.

      • Anonymous

        As a public school teacher I completely agree with Steve and vouchers.

        Money should be attached to the child in the form of a scholarship, not the school. As Stossel pointed out, the government does not tell us what grocery store to shop at because of our zip code. Education should be about doing what is in the best interest of the children, not the schools. All public schools would not close down, they would have to compete and offer an educational program that truly serves the students. Somehow “profit” has become a bad word, yet, the most of our best and most efficient practices are done for profit. In order for businesses of any kind to turn a profit they have to offer a product or service that people want. Why should a quality education be any different? Why should Steve’s family have to pay for taxes that support education but not receive the benefits for their own child? 

        ps… I could tell from Steve’s many posts that he is too smart to remain liberal for too long.

        • Anonymous

          The Union would like to have a word with you… in private.

          • Anonymous

            Ahhh….yes. The glorious People’s Union. I understand why many teachers join the union even when they disagree with the politics of the union. The union is an insurance policy. As a teacher one is always at risk of unfounded allegations and the eduacracy will throw you under the bus faster than Barack Obama. The unions do serve to defend teachers when nobody else will. Unfortunately, that too often is the case for bad teachers also, but they too have paid their dues and the union owes them representation. But, it is a “teacher’s union”. Too pretend that the union is there for kids is absurd, it is not. To be honest, I am not there for the kids either. I know it is politically incorrect to say and teachers love to pat themselves on the back while they pretend they teach because “they love the children”, but, the ones who say that are the first to whine about their pay. I teach not for the kids, I teach for me. I like it. I am good at. Unlike Jason who writes books, or Whodat who is a poet, scratch golfer, and skilled home owners association politician, I found the one thing to do for a living I enjoy and and good at. I get three months off every summer to refill the gas tank and by August I am ready to return for another round. Do I like my students? Most of them. Do I love them? No. I wish them well and hope I can provide them with something that may be make them better citizens and better adults. Vouchers ( I prefer calling them scholarships) is about empowering parents and students, not the teachers, the schools, or the educrats.

            • Gururussell

              Get out of my head!!!!  OK, Brian, for all of our sniping back and forth, I gotta say…we’ve got a whole lot in common.  (Scary, isn’t it?)

              I agree with pretty much everything you just said.  I hate the teacher’s union, yet wouldn’t teach without my membership.  I teach for the same reasons you stated, and feel the same about my students.

              I will say this about our Alabama teachers’ union.  The head guy pretty much ran the state (more power than the governor) for a long time.  Alabama, though the reddest of red states, has always had a Dem majority in the state House until 2010, when the GOP took over.  They have overplayed their hand with several new laws and policies aimed at giving “payback” to the teachers’ union.  Almost (not quite) driving me to vote Dem on the state level next time.  (A conservative Alabama Dem is more conservative than 80% of other states’ GOP members).

              Anyway…very much agree with your post.

              • Anonymous

                I, too, have almost pulled the lever for a Dem because of the way the state GOP overplays its hand on certain policies. In my district they are obsessed with “holding teachers accountable” yet their accountability tool is a joke and highly inaccurate. I had students miss 2 questions on the 58 question state exam and my district’s accountability tool said my students had “negative growth”….Really??? Yet, local Republicans live by it.

                Glad you agree, Gary.  Is it politically incorrect to say such things? Seriously. Is there anything more annoying than whiny teachers who act like their taking one for the team by being teachers? I absolutely hate the fake disingenuous pats on the back that teachers want from others and that they all too often do to themselves. Pleeeaassse. And the “we love the children” crap is absurd. Show me a job where I can work M-F, weekends off, every holiday, 2 weeks at Xmas, Spring Break, and three months off in summer, and pay me what I make now…Ill apply!!! Of course, if we were authors like Jason we could make my own schedules. Right?

                Lora Ingrham wrote a book called “Sing and Shut Up” Perhaps we should co-write a book called “Teach and Shut Up”

                The snipping back and forth is all in good fun. Keeps the blood flowing.

                You are right. Teaching without that membership is absolutely dumb.

              • Gururussell

                Brian, this article is about a year old, but if you didn’t see it, it is definitely worth the read…

                http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/06/living/teachers-want-to-tell-parents/index.html

  • Whodat

    Oddly enough, “vouchers” is one of the few places where I strongly disagree with most
    of my conservative brethren.  Vouchers allow people to run from a problem rather
    than fixing it.  To wit: a school is bad.  So, we offer vouchers so the kids that can get
    away, who have the parents who can drive them or somehow can work out going to
    a school farther away, do so.  What is left behind?  A bad school filled with bad kids
    and good kids who could not leave for logistics reasons.  Why not give the really bad
    kids a place in a boot camp/technical school and let them learn a trade under a
    controlled environment?  That would leave the good kids to learn.  Why not get tough
    about drugs?  Why not get tough about everything?  Why not teach life skills rather
    than the endless crap which will never have any meaning to an inner-city kid?

    Vouchers only help those who can use them, but they do not help the others or the school
    left behind or the rest of us who have to pay for prisons, but can’t find a plumber!

    • https://twitter.com/#!/PD_Scott Scott A. Robinson

      I couldn’t disagree with you more. Vouchers create a competitive environment. Can you image how much a school would improve if it had to improve to keep funding by being a popular consumer choice? Poor schools would be shut down. Good schools would expand. The consolidation would result in a net savings and kids would be better off. However, how you administer a voucher program makes all the difference. For it to work as effectively as possible, a child would necessarily have a voucher worth the total amount of tax money allocated to the child, not a partial amount. The voucher should be available to use at any school, public or private. Use at a private school actually saves the state money, as it does not have to maintain facilities or as many long-term pension plans. Of course, this brings us to unions and the ability of public schools, or I should say lack of ability, to have any flexibility in the labor force (you can’t just fire teachers, which also creates a vacuum where is it difficult to hire good teachers).

      Anyway, I’ve been working on a post about his very subject for a bit, and this is merely a sampling of my thoughts.

      • Whodat

         In general, I do not think schools are bad because of bad teachers or bad principals.  I think they are bad because of bad and disruptive students who
        have no home environment, are welfare ghetto people, drug infested losers.
        and, because of edu-nazis who set guidelines from doo-fuss-land.  Our T.E.A.
        here in Texas is a prime example of the Tower of Babel.  Our local school
        district has discretion over spending of only 10% to 15% of their budget, the
        majority is dictated by commie, socialist, weirdo mis-fits in Austin.  That is where a major part of our problem is, and with trying to educate loser kids who should not be in “school” where there are books.

        • https://twitter.com/#!/PD_Scott Scott A. Robinson

          We pulled our kids out of school in South Carolina because the schools and no goals and no direction. This was also my personal experience of K-12 in Idaho. No teacher could tell us here in SC what skills the students were expected to acquire at the end of the school year. Why was this? Because they didn’t have to. The schools knew you were stuck sending your kids there if you couldn’t (and most people can’t) afford to send your kids to a private school. We had quite the opposite experience in Georgia schools. You could give me a largest voucher in the world, and I would have left my kids in the same elementary they were in. But this is the exception, rather than the rule.

          The public school system is a near monopoly with no real incentive to innovate, improve, or save money. This is only compounded by the fact that once a teacher has tenure, they have no real incentive to innovate, improve, or be exceptional.

    • Steve M.

      And Whodat, strangely enough, Vouchers are one of the few places I strongly agree with your conservative bretheren. Enough so that Romney’s support of vouchers combined with the President’s refusal to back down on the HHS Contraception/Abortion/Sterilization coverage mandate has me considering voting for the dark side.
      As long as bussing is available, I think getting kids into the school that is best for them is the best way to produce the strongest, smartest generation. Private schools (whether charter, religious, military, or non-religious) have repeatedly shown they do, at very least, an equitable job education children and in most cases a far superior job.
      Of course, I’m probably biased having spent 17 years in Catholic schools, my wife-to-be currently works in development for a Catholic school and I tend to make my charitable donations to a variety of Catholic education charities. So take my opinion for what it is.

      • Anonymous

        Come to the dark side. We have cookies.

        • Anonymous

          …..and even a few kookies.

          • dw

            Don’t be so hard on yourself, Brian… ;-)

            • Anonymous

              “it takes one to know one”
              “I know you are but what am I?”

              Couldn’t think of any other comebacks. I give that round to DW.

      • Anonymous

        As a public school teacher I completely agree with Steve and vouchers.

        Money should be attached to the child in the form of a scholarship, not the school. As Stossel pointed out, the government does not tell us what grocery store to shop at because of our zip code. Education should be about doing what is in the best interest of the children, not the schools. All public schools would not close down, they would have to compete and offer an educational program that truly serves the students. Somehow “profit” has become a bad word, yet, the most of our best and most efficient practices are done for profit. In order for businesses of any kind to turn a profit they have to offer a product or service that people want. Why should a quality education be any different? Why should Steve’s family have to pay for taxes that support education but not receive the benefits for their own child? 

        ps… I could tell from Steve’s many posts that he is too smart to remain liberal for too long.

        • Anonymous

          The Union would like to have a word with you… in private.

          • Anonymous

            Ahhh….yes. The glorious People’s Union. I understand why many teachers join the union even when they disagree with the politics of the union. The union is an insurance policy. As a teacher one is always at risk of unfounded allegations and the eduacracy will throw you under the bus faster than Barack Obama. The unions do serve to defend teachers when nobody else will. Unfortunately, that too often is the case for bad teachers also, but they too have paid their dues and the union owes them representation. But, it is a “teacher’s union”. Too pretend that the union is there for kids is absurd, it is not. To be honest, I am not there for the kids either. I know it is politically incorrect to say and teachers love to pat themselves on the back while they pretend they teach because “they love the children”, but, the ones who say that are the first to whine about their pay. I teach not for the kids, I teach for me. I like it. I am good at. Unlike Jason who writes books, or Whodat who is a poet, scratch golfer, and skilled home owners association politician, I found the one thing to do for a living I enjoy and and good at. I get three months off every summer to refill the gas tank and by August I am ready to return for another round. Do I like my students? Most of them. Do I love them? No. I wish them well and hope I can provide them with something that may be make them better citizens and better adults. Vouchers ( I prefer calling them scholarships) is about empowering parents and students, not the teachers, the schools, or the educrats.

            • Gururussell

              Get out of my head!!!!  OK, Brian, for all of our sniping back and forth, I gotta say…we’ve got a whole lot in common.  (Scary, isn’t it?)

              I agree with pretty much everything you just said.  I hate the teacher’s union, yet wouldn’t teach without my membership.  I teach for the same reasons you stated, and feel the same about my students.

              I will say this about our Alabama teachers’ union.  The head guy pretty much ran the state (more power than the governor) for a long time.  Alabama, though the reddest of red states, has always had a Dem majority in the state House until 2010, when the GOP took over.  They have overplayed their hand with several new laws and policies aimed at giving “payback” to the teachers’ union.  Almost (not quite) driving me to vote Dem on the state level next time.  (A conservative Alabama Dem is more conservative than 80% of other states’ GOP members).

              Anyway…very much agree with your post.

              • Anonymous

                I, too, have almost pulled the lever for a Dem because of the way the state GOP overplays its hand on certain policies. In my district they are obsessed with “holding teachers accountable” yet their accountability tool is a joke and highly inaccurate. I had students miss 2 questions on the 58 question state exam and my district’s accountability tool said my students had “negative growth”….Really??? Yet, local Republicans live by it.

                Glad you agree, Gary.  Is it politically incorrect to say such things? Seriously. Is there anything more annoying than whiny teachers who act like their taking one for the team by being teachers? I absolutely hate the fake disingenuous pats on the back that teachers want from others and that they all too often do to themselves. Pleeeaassse. And the “we love the children” crap is absurd. Show me a job where I can work M-F, weekends off, every holiday, 2 weeks at Xmas, Spring Break, and three months off in summer, and pay me what I make now…Ill apply!!! Of course, if we were authors like Jason we could make my own schedules. Right?

                Lora Ingrham wrote a book called “Sing and Shut Up” Perhaps we should co-write a book called “Teach and Shut Up”

                The snipping back and forth is all in good fun. Keeps the blood flowing.

                You are right. Teaching without that membership is absolutely dumb.

              • Gururussell

                Brian, this article is about a year old, but if you didn’t see it, it is definitely worth the read…

                http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/06/living/teachers-want-to-tell-parents/index.html