Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More School?

"[President] Obama says American kids spend too little time in school, putting them at a disadvantage with other students around the globe."

"'Our school calendar is based upon the agrarian economy and not too many of our kids are working the fields today', Education Secretary Arne Duncan said."

"Obama and Duncan say kids in the United States need more school because kids in other nations have more school."

"Kids in the U.S. spend more hours in school (1,146 instructional hours per year) than do kids in the Asian countries that persistently outscore the U.S. on math and science tests — Singapore (903), Taiwan (1,050), Japan (1,005) and Hong Kong (1,013). That is despite the fact that Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong have longer school years (190 to 201 days) than does the U.S. (180 days)."
-- More school: Obama would curtail summer vacation

There is much that could be said about this, but the first two that jump out at me is that the reasoning is sloppy and that it's not the federal government's business anyway.


Adrian Neal said...

NOWHERE in the Constitution does the federal government have the power to regulate, enforce,etc. education. The 9th Amendment specifically states that the powers not given to the federal gov't. belong to the states.

How far we have come! (Constitutionally, that is, to where Presidents and Congress no longer realize that their power is limited)

R. L. Vaughn said...

That's exactly right. And, in addition to your statement in parentheses, I'm not sure they even care whether their power is limited!

As to the sloppy reasoning, it is self-evident in the fact that we already go to school longer than some students who score better than we do. I also wonder if that is really an "apples to apples" comparison on the test scores. For example, do those countries try to educate every kid and his dog, or do those test scores represent students who are left after the lower performers have already been weeded out?

But all that doesn't matter as far as the 9th amendment is concerned. The federal government needs to get out of education. They weren't given that power (and they're not all that good at it either).

Anonymous said...

The problem is not the Constitution! Everyone is overlooking that the education of school teachers/officials was far less 30-70 years ago than it is today; and the resources available 30-70 years ago were far less than it is today. What makes the difference? The difference is made up of more than one factor: Federal Government has handed out money to the states with strings attached demanding things be done the Federal way if the money is accepted, and the state politicians greedily grabbed the Federal money to use manily to put their cronies on the payroll; teachers seeing the flood of Federal money being used carelessly by high up state officials, have become complacent about teaching and want more of the Federal money for themselves; "civil rights" have been swamped upon the state school systems, along as one of the "strings" of the Federal money, and the teachers had rather give Johnny a "social promotion" than put up with confrontations with the parents who yell "discrimmination" at every opportunity; along with the Federal money comes the parents who see multiple new programs instituted with Federal money that are available to them free whether they need them or not while they "go get their nails done", e.g., child care, pre-school, kinder care, after school care, etc.; some parents avoiding their responsibility as parents and blame the school system for any thing that goes wrong with their children, when the parents do not demand their children to study and behave at school, do their homework, and set their sights on things higher than the latest pop fad or mimicing degrading drama on Oprah, Dr. Phil, etc.
When you see the drastic dynamics between those 70 years ago and those today we can see that individual responsibility has in a great sense given away to communal blame: "someone else is always to blame", and "don't blame me, I had the child, now it is your responsibilty for all that happens to my child after birth"....
God bless, Hoyt D. F. Sparks, SL

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid we haven't seen anything yet, as the government gradually impedes upon our liberties.

I am reminded that in some states, lawmakers have defined what religious worship is. Who is to say that one person's definition of religious worship may not be different than another?

I cannot remember where i heard this, but recall a few years ago of a state official wanting to make a law requiring all drivers to turn their headlights on when it rains. I realize this and other measures such as wearing seatbelts are good measures in many circumstances, but to make it law? Look at the pattern closely.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sparks, you are correct. It takes very little effort to bring a child into the world.A whole lot more afterwards. The government has a requirement for just about everything now such as licensing, training, etc. How about a parental license?

R. L. Vaughn said...

Brother Hoyt, I agree that the Constitution is not the problem. My point there was that a strict interpretation of the Constitution doesn't indicate the Federal government was ever granted the power to enter into the school/education business.

And you are right that in the past they did a lot more with a lot less.