Top 7 for the Week of September 14, 2012

This week, Ashley and I talked about:

  1. Chicago Teachers Union Demands 30% Raise for 15% Proficiency
  2. Stupid California Bans Food … Or Something
  3. What’s going on with Israel, Egypt, & Saudi Arabia? Do We Have Any Allies Left?
  4. Recovery! Wait, What Recovery?
  5. Freedom of Speech Outrages Foreign Muslims, Incites Riots & Murder
  6. This Is Not What We Meant By ‘Never Forget’
  7. Fall TV is Starting!
Plus we have an epic rant, a superhero Dude of the Week, and a crappy joke that you’ll never want to tell at parties.
Happy listening!

Listen to internet radio with Top 7 on Blog Talk Radio

Teachers or iPads: Which Does Your Child’s Classroom Need More?

Remember the good ol’ days, when kindergartners learned to read and write and add numbers together without the aid of an iPad? It seems like only yesterday …

A public school proposal in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, to purchase 150 iPads for 5-year-olds to use in class is causing some parents to question if this is the best use of already limited funds.

Catherine Adair has children in school at Briggs Elementary. She tells FOX 25, “We have no Vice Principal. We have a very bare bones staff. I don’t think kindergartners having iPads is the best expenditure of taxpayer money.”

iPads are an awesome bit of technology. I love mine. My kids love it too, and I’ve stocked it with a number of fun learning apps for them. But it is a perk, not a necessity, and I didn’t ask taxpayers to fund it, and no teachers lost their jobs at its expense.

It would be wonderful to live in a world where educational funding knew no limits, and we could have a realistic discussion about the benefits of providing iPads to short people who include ‘nose-picking’ on their list of favorite activities. But there is a finite amount of money to be spent on the future of our country, and iPads shouldn’t be in the budget.

Read the rest at The Stir

California Lawmakers Care More About Gay Awareness Than the Three R’s

California State Senator Mark Leno has introduced a bill in the legislature that would make it mandatory for public school teachers in that state toteach their students about lesbiangaybisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful Education Act, or SB48, on Tuesday, and supporters say it will help prevent bullying of gay students by their classmates.

Bullied straight students are apparently S.O.L.

Seriously, what is wrong with disciplining kids for bullying for any reason? Are we now going to distinguish between regular bullying and hate bullying? Oh wait, it seems that teachers aren’t always allowed to discipline their students for bad behavior. Just ask Professor Frank Rybicki of Valdosta State University, who was arrested for battery after closing a student’s laptop when she refused to stop web surfing during class.

Read the rest at The Stir

The Vicious Cycle of Ineptitude in Education

Our education system is a mess, and there is no one thing to blame. Which makes things difficult, because fixing something with several broken parts is more difficult than fixing something with only one or two breaks.

Teachers in Wisconsin have abandoned their classrooms to protest paying a small portion of their medical and retirement benefits to fix the state budget. In New York, teachers guilty of “excessive lateness or absence, sexual misconduct with a student, physical abuse, incompetence, or use of drugs or alcohol” are kept away from the students in rubber rooms, but kept on the payroll. Los Angeles teachers fight to keep their ratings from being publicized. Half the schools in Detroit are shutting down, putting the high school student to teacher ratio at sixty-to-one.

Meanwhile, our kids aren’t getting any smarter. The majority of our kids don’t have a solid grasp onscience, have trouble with history and social studies, and don’t have the math skills to compete on an international level.

And parents? Parents all want to believe their little darlings are the brightest, bestest, and prettiest of all, and any teacher that fails to recognize that must be incompetent. It seems that self-esteem is more important these days than an actual education.

Read more at The Stir

Mom Jailed for Trying to Get Her Kid In a Better School

Raising our kids is probably the most important thing we moms will ever do in our lives. One of the biggest decisions we will ever make for our children is how they will beeducated.

We have a lot more options these days than our own parents did. Charter schools are popping up all over the country, and homeschooling is now seen as a viableeducation option. Of course, there are always private schools, but many parents can’t afford the expensive price tag that comes along with them.

This week is National School Choice Week, so there’s been a lot of talk in the blogosphere about different educational paths for our kids. Unfortunately, there still aren’t a ton of viable options out there for parents to choose from. Waiting lists for charter schools (if they’re even available) are notoriously long, private school may be financially out of reach, and homeschooling simply isn’t an option for some families. These limitations leave most kids at whatever public school they’re zoned for, no matter how crappy it is.

We’ve all known kids that have gotten transfers to different schools, and if your town was anything like my town growing up, there were a number of people that used a friend’s or relative’s address to claim residency in a better school district than their own.

One such Ohio woman was convicted of grand theft and sent to jail for using her father’s address toclaim residency in a top school district.

[Kelley] Williams-Bolar decided four years ago to send her daughters to a highly ranked school in neighboring Copley-Fairlawn School District.

But it wasn’t her Akron district of residence, so her children were ineligible to attend school there, even though her father lived within the district’s boundaries.

While her children are no longer attending schools in the Copley-Fairlawn District, school officials said she was cheating because her daughters received a quality education without paying taxes to fund it.

I was under the impression that schools were mostly funded by the state, so I didn’t really understand the ‘cheating’ aspect of it. Wouldn’t the school get extra money due to the kids’ attendance? Why then, would they complain?

Read the rest at The Stir

School Choice Will Improve Education

Next week, January 23-29, is School Choice Week. What is school choice?

School choice isn’t about raising oneeducational model above all others. It’s not about doing away with public schools. It’s about making them better, and giving families the freedom to choose the school — public, private, charter, religious, secular — that will help their children learn and grow. Above all, it’s about reforming the system so that every parent has the freedom to choose the education that’s best for their individual child.

It’s about putting parents in control of their children’seducation and their future. When did we decide that families should be limited to the specific school their neighborhood was zoned for?

Our public education system is a mess, and the U.S. is falling further behind other developed countries. Something is obviously broken, and we have a responsibility as parents to figure out what it is and how to fix it.

Is money the problem? Is a lack of funds preventing schools from academically challenging our kids? If this were the case, public schools in the DC district would be churning out little Einsteins and Curies, as they spend nearly $25,000 per studentFunding doesn’t seem to be the issue.

Read the rest at The Stir

Organizing for America’s Alinsky Love Affair

Organizing for America, which can be found at www.BarackObama.com, is “the successor organization to Obama for America, is building on the movement that elected President Obama by empowering communities across the country to bring about our agenda of change.”

On the surface, it looks good.  What’s wrong with encouraging people, especially young people, to become more involved with the political process, to donate their time and talent to serve the community?  Nothing, of course.  Unless it’s just a tool to spread progressive propaganda like “the government knows better than you do” and “rich people are stealing from you.”  On a side note, I’ll never understand why people get upset about CEOs making millions but not Kobe Bryant.

Those crazy kooks over at OFA are busy recruiting high school students in government schools to become part of the team that will transform America.  To help spread the word that health care is a right, not a service, that fetus’s aren’t babies, and that bankrupting energy companies is a good idea.  You know, to really be a part of sumpin’ special.

Remember, this is a partisan organization to promote liberal/socialist ideals, and they’re recruiting teenagers in their high school government classes.  Not at lunch in the quad, not after school in the office, but right in the classroom.  If that isn’t unsettling enough for you, wait until you check out the recommended reading list. On it is Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, a book dedicated to Satan and containing such gems as:

“The third rule of ethics of means and ends is that in war the end justifies almost any means….”

and:

And so the guided questioning goes on without anyone losing face or being left out of the decision-making. Every weakness of every proposed tactic is probed by questions…. Is this manipulation? Certainly….”

and:

“An organizer working in and for an open society is in an ideological dilemma to begin with, he does not have a fixed truth-truth to him is relative and changing; everything to him is relative and changing…. To the extent that he is free from the shackles of dogma, he can respond to the realities of the widely different situations….”

and:

“A Marxist begins with his prime truth that all evils are caused by the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists. From this he logically proceeds to the revolution to end capitalism, then into the third stage of reorganization into a new social order of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and finally the last stage — the political paradise of communism.”

Unbelievable.