Sunday, November 24, 2013

Two Videos, Two Lessons . . .

The first video is by M.J.McDermott, a meteorologist for Channel 13 in Seattle, entitled "Elementary School Math, An Inconvenient Truth." Ms. McDermott does a good job explaining multiplication and division algorithms, comparing the tried-and-true algorithms most of us post-40 year-olds  learned with new algorithms being used in schools today.  Pay close attention to her revelation near the end of the video of comments made in the teacher's manuals by the book publishers.

The second video is by Karen Bracken affiliated with Tenesee Against Common Core, entitled "Common Core - Subversive Threat to Education." In this hour-long presentation she explains the historical context of Common Core, who is behind it, and its links or potential links to the United Nations, eugenics, and the UN's concept of "sustainability." Before dismissing this as an attack on the current administration, look at the "Who's who" revealed at 0:19:20.  Some names may surprise you (and, perhaps, you will no longer be surprised why Republicans often attack the Tea Party).

And before you dismiss the second video as a wild conspiracy theory, go back to the first video and ask yourself why students are studying inefficient algorithms that are never mastered, and then told to use a calculator?

After watching the second video, you will know the answer.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Honesty . . .

"We all knew. . ."
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

So if you all knew, Ms. Gillibrand, that a promise was being made that could not be kept, why the silence?

Since no one was listening to Republicans, why did the Democrats go along with the lie that was being perpetrated?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Did Our Sheriffs Really Write This Drivel?

OD: GUEST VIEW: New preschool plan can boost pre-K, cut crime By ROBERT MACIOL, CHRISTOPHER FARBER and ALLEN RILEY
We’re talking about children as young as 4 years old who don’t have the opportunity to participate in high-quality preschool. As a result, many start school without the pre-literacy and pre-math skills that form the foundation for academic success, and with behavioral issues that make it difficult for them to interact well with other kids in the classroom. Many then struggle in the early grades and continue to fall behind and eventually drop out of school before turning to crime. . . . Participation in high-quality preschool puts kids on a different path. . . . [emphasis supplied]
I don't know about you, but this does not sound like anything our sheriffs wrote . . . but I could be wrong.  The language used sounds suspiciously similar to that in Congressman Hanna's announcement a few days ago.

But that is not the interesting part.  

The sheriffs cite a slickly-produced report called "I'm The Guy You Pay Later"  which makes the simple argument to pay for preschool education now or pay to incarcerate people later.  The report comes from a group calling itself Fight Crime: Invest in Kids .

 Who funds this "national, bipartisan, non-profit, anti-crime organization?"
"Major funding for Fight Crime: Invest in Kids is provided by: Alliance for Early Success • The California Education Policy Fund • The California Endowment • The California Wellness Foundation • Annie E. Casey Foundation • Robert Sterling Clark Foundation • Early Childhood Investment Corporation • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation • The Grable Foundation • Grand Victoria Foundation • The George Gund Foundation • Hagedorn Foundation • Irving Harris Foundation • Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation • W.K. Kellogg Foundation • The Kresge Foundation • McCormick Foundation • Ohio Children’s Foundation • The David and Lucile Packard Foundation • William Penn Foundation • The Pew Charitable Trusts • Pritzker Early Childhood Foundation • Rauch Foundation • Dr. Scholl Foundation • W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation."
Of course, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation stands out because it is one of the key players behind the "Common Core."  We are all just finding out how "well-researched" that was!  This seems to be more of the same.  How clever, though, to get local law enforcement behind extending federal control over our schools.

It's not about education or crime-prevention, folks. It's about cradle-to-grave federal control over your children. . . or should I say control by our national elites.

It's too bad that our local sheriffs seemed to have been sucked into this power play.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Spending OUR Money -- to Advance THEIR Agendas . . .

Two articles in tonight's OD on very different subjects have something in common:

Mohawk Valley Water Authority receives $112,500 to do study
The Mohawk Valley Water Authority has received more than $100,000 in order to study water in western Mohawk Valley. . . . The authority received $112,500 total for the study through the Local Government Efficiency grants administered by the New York Department of State.
MVWA is a water purveyor, it is not a regional planning organization. MVWA is also a "power broker" in the region, using its base of rate payers in Utica and environs to give a gift of public water to those in outlying areas that MVWA and the regional elite deem worthy, enriching chosen developers at existing water users' expense.  Empirically MVWA has an agenda to expand its sphere of influence, regardless of the negative impacts of the sprawl it induces (an inefficient distribution of urbanization and lowered population densities that mandate increased per capita costs (more taxes and more fees) at various jurisdictional levels to support expanding areas of infrastructure and services).

Water is where Nature put it and it is still where it always has been. Local water supplies were studied to the nth degree back in 1968 (when our regional population was booming and water scarcity was looming) and a plan was crafted by Oneida and Herkimer Counties, in conjunction with the NYS Department of Health, which specified which localities would get water from which resources. Any studies of water needs today should be done by these same entities.

Money given to MVWA "to study water in western Mohawk Valley" is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house: it will undoubtedly produce a report to justify whatever agenda MVWA has.

Hanna sponsor of bill to increase preschool funding
. . . the Strong Start for America’s Children Act would give children and families nationwide better access to affordable high-quality early learning programs such as Head Start and preschool. . . “By focusing on early education, we can begin to break the back of intergenerational poverty, producing more taxpayers and a more competitive America through a better-educated, growing middle class,” Hanna said in a news release. “One in four children starts their life in poverty. This bill will help ensure their lives do not end in poverty."
The problem with Mr. Hanna's position is that he assumes lots of facts that are not in evidence. What is "affordable" and "high quality" to Progressives like Mr. Hanna likely will be something else to the everyday taxpayer.  After years of spending money on "Head Start," at best the results have been equivocal, as explained in a recent Washington Post article which is clearly sympathetic to the program.  So why do we continue with such programs when they do not produce material, easily recognized and lasting positive results?

Such programs, like all the spending on "Race to the Top"  to implement the "Common Core" 'standards,' are there to advance a Federal Agenda. . . . which is not education but control over the minds and hearts of the next generation. This is evidenced by the "rollout" of "Common Core" and the content of modules to be used in classrooms. It has long been accepted that power over education was left by our Founding Fathers to the States. . . . but the Feds have used the power of the purse (OUR tax money) to advance national education policies which have, thus far, produced disastrous results.

Mr. Hanna, who likes to paint himself as a fiscal conservative, is anything but . . . and his sponsorship of this bill is sponsorship of more federal intrusion into our everyday lives.

11/14 Update: National Review Online: Don't Look to the Feds for Pre-School Jennifer Garner's star power boosts Rep. Richard Hanna's early childhood education bill