Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Standardized Complaints about Common Core...

I do not know much about Common Core.  But, I know that people do not like it.  It reminds me of "Race to the Top," and "No Child Left Behind," in that it is disliked by the Left and Right alike.  I heard Jeb Bush (not a fan) talk about it, and I thought it was a good idea.  He said states and communities would create the standards.  But it never seems that way when the federal government is involved.

I don't have a lot of time these days, but I clicked on this video:


I'm sure Common Core is a problem, as are many federal mandates, and especially in education.  BUT, it bothers me more that the "teacher" can not articulate what she does not like, what about the program she can not work with, etc.  First she describes it as "insane." So the host tries to pull more out of her.  So, she complains that her son "couldn't keep up with where they wanted him to be."  Does Common Core say to leave him behind? Is it "Leave some Children Behind"?  That would probably share the same hatred as Common Core.

I don't know, but clearly this teacher does not know either.  So the host again tries to ask again - How is Common Core changing teaching?  The answer: "It has become very specific, it has certain things that they want us to teach, kindergarten through high school.  They have certain skills that they want kids to have at a certain time, a certain age, a certain grade level…"  HOW DARE THEY! Who the hell do these Common Core people think they are!

As usual, the teacher complains that they are to "teach-to-the-test."  Why?  Does Common Core say HOW she has to teach?  I do not know (I keep saying that, so that somebody does not think I support Common Core).  She also complains about "standardized testing."  Does she prefer "Non-Standardized Testing?"

Again, I don't know anything about Common Core (see, really, I don't) - but I have yet to hear (from friends or smart people) what they do not like about it.  All I have heard, is that it is hard for the students, and it sets standards too high.  Who set these standards?  I can tell you this - Princeton and some other top schools have started to lower their grades, meaning an 'A' at Princeton is more than an 'A' at Harvard.  That sounds like "Better than Common Core" to me.

I think the problem, again, is that NO solution to our education problem, can come from Washington DC, except FREEDOM.  Free the teachers, free the schools, and mandate free choice.

If I were king for a day - I would reduce the Department of Education to a Secretary and his or her secretary.  I would reduce the budget to that person's salary, and traveling expenses.

I guess Common Core is not the solution - but it has been good for one thing - exposing bad teachers.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Save Your Money...

Is a college education important? It used to mean something.

I just killed an hour of my Saturday watching Dan Joseph videos.  It was worth it.  

These people are hopefully getting SOMETHING for their tuition, but lets not call it an "education."

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Higher Learning...

Don't waste your hard earned dollars on college...


Friday, March 7, 2014

When You Just Don't Know...

I love to quote Donald Rumsfeld.  Sometimes "we don't know what we don't know."

Senator Walsh Introduces Bill to Restrict NSA and FBI Snooping

"He (Senator Walsh) said his bill, if passed, would end the secret, mass collection of telephone, bank, credit and Internet-usage records by government agencies such as the NSA and the FBI, which say the records are used in anti-terrorism investigations.

Any request for such records would need approval by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and the requesting agency would have to focus on a specific individual and provide specific facts on why the information is relevant to an investigation of international terrorism or foreign intelligence.

The bill also applies similar restrictions to national security letters, or NSLs, which are used by the FBI to request the same type of records directly from banks, phone companies and credit firms without the knowledge of their customers.

Under the bill, an FBI agent would need judicial approval to send an NSL, and would have to provide specific information on the letter’s target."

After 9/11, there was much talk about the "wall" between "National Security" investigations and "Criminal" investigations.  There was talk about why the FBI and the CIA don't cooperate.  The reason was that - when conducting a criminal investigation, an investigator gathers evidence for use in court.  There are laws, rules and procedures set up for this.  When trying to stop a terrorist, or a spy, you just stop try to stop them (I know, I'm simplifying).  However, federal bureaucracy and too many lawyers created a system in which it was more difficult to conduct a "National Security" type investigation than it was to conduct a "Criminal Investigation."

Nothing, really, has changed.  If 9/11 had not happened, and the FBI was "on" to some of the suspected hijackers - there are more rules, procedures, and laws in place, that it is more difficult now, than it was before.  Remember, none of them were committing crimes, until they committed the ultimate crime.

The law proposed by Senator Walsh seems simple enough, right?  If the government wants the records, they simply have to go to a court and request them.  But if you remember, the NSA collection of phone records, WAS APPROVED by the FISA court regularly, and congress has worked to tighten the existing law with regard to this collection.

Big government should be feared.  The bigger the government the smaller the citizen.  I believe this.

But Senator Walsh does not even know what he doesn't know...

Sunday, March 2, 2014

What is Missing...

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James has an outstanding résumé.
1979 Bachelor of Arts degree in comparative area studies, Duke University, Durham, N.C.
1981 Master’s degree in international affairs, Columbia University, N.Y. 
1983 - 1993, Professional Staff Member, Armed Services Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. 
1993 - 1998, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C. 
1999 - 2000, Vice President of International Operations and Marketing, United Technologies, Washington, D.C. 
2000 - 2001, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Business Executives for National Security, Washington, D.C. 
2002 - 2013, Senior Vice President and Director for Homeland Security; Senior Vice President, C4IT Business Unit General Manager; Executive Vice President, Communications and Government Affairs; President, Technical and Engineering Sector, Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Va.

Anything missing?

Secretary James visited the Air Force Academy.  Notice the comments.

Secretary Lee replaced Secretary Eric Fanning, the first openly gay Secretary of any of the Military Branches (go Air Force!).  Not that there is anything wrong with that, its just that something from his background, too, is missing.  Fanning and Lee are not the first Secretaries of Air Force to never have been in the military…but shouldn't that be the exception, not the rule.  And can't the USAF chip in for a suit...