What Do You Think?
Blogging the REAL Way: Extreme Wisdom and Real Politics
Blogging is the real way to talk online, and the internet is buzzing with blogs and bloggers.
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Public Education Myths. For instance, Public Education Myth #1 - Higher Spending = Better Education:
Of all of the myths promoted by the Cartel in control of our public education system; and believed by the herd of soccer mom (and their emasculated husbands); is the mistaken belief that more spending equals better results.
Now, this is a topic that has been studied to death. Some studies "prove" that of course spending more money will get you better results, while others show that it doesn't.
Like most of these Public Education Myths, a little application of common sense goes a long way. This is why the Cartel has declared a war on common sense. Kill common sense, and you can convince the electorate of anything.
Ask yourself these questions.
When a teacher 2-3 years from retirement gets large salary increases (for the purposes of gaming a higher pension), how does that help "improve education?"
When that teacher retires and the replacement is used to hire three low salary special education "facilitators" to place disruptive or severely handicapped children in a regular classroom, how does that help "improve education?"
When the state increases taxes to paper over a $17 billion shortfall in the Teacher's Retirement System, how does that help "improve education?"
When a connected building contractor is allowed to submit different bids for the same school renovation project; with differences depending on whether a new school building is approved by referendum or not, how does that help "improve education?"
Answer... None of the above will "improve" education. They are actual examples of legal and illegal corruption. To approve taxes at the state or local level to fund this corruption is to lie to yourself. This is psychologically unhealthy.
The examples above are only the tip of the iceberg, and they are evidence that I'm right about exposing this myth. The fact is that the US spends more than any OECD nation on education and gets much less.
Sooner or later the suburban voters (brainwashed by their union bought PTOs and PTAs) have to realize that the money they are spending isn't getting them what they are paying for.
Now, the excuse most often given when confronted by this incontrovertible evidence of failure is that "schools have to do so much more than they used to."
The only proper response to this nonsense is that this is a lie. Certainly, there are social workers, counselors, and an army of people to administrate the army of over-staffing that are driving "education" costs ever higher.
The sad fact however, is that they aren't DOING ANYTHING to increase the number of neural connections that need to take place in our childrens' heads.
Our children aren't better adjusted, better counseled, or more efficiently taught. They are, in fact, an increasingly functionally illiterate, innumerate, and uncompetitive cadre of complainers.
The fact is you could cut spending on education in the US by a 3rd (from $500 billion to $330 billion or so) and not notice an single reduction in results. It is one of purposes to prove this true in my life time.
Start with mass firings of Psychologists, Special Education hangers on, Social Workers and Assistant Knob Polishers.
Get rid of automatic raises for Education Tissue Paper Degrees and "time served".
Implement Merit Pay
Provide Education Choice for all disadvantaged students, difficult students, and special needs students by tying all monies to the student, not the ficticious concept of the "district."
Kill the beast. For more data, see the links below.
US Education Productivity Slumps
Big Spending - Mediocre Results
It's not going to Teachers
Private School Spending
Other Nations Gaining
Posted by Bruno Behrend at April 13, 2005 07:00 PM
Who is BIG ED?
The Carnival Of Education: Week 11 from The Education Wonks
Extreme Wisdom Search by Category
Will blogging change everything? Possibly. Studies are proving that information does change public behavior:
Thursday, August 5 2004
THE POWER OF TRUTH: In August, 1997, Florida followed Mississippi as the second state in America to win a lawsuit against the tobacco industry. As part of the record $11.3 billion settlement, $200 million was earmarked specifically for an anti-tobacco advertising campaign directed in large part at Florida teens. A small Miami-based agency named Crispin Porter & Bogusky (CPB) won the contract to design and produce the ads.
Until that time, there had been numerous anti-smoking public service announcement (PSA) campaigns , none of which ever had any demonstrable impact on reducing teen smoking.
To the contrary, teen smoking remained as popular as ever and companies like Philip Morris, RJR Reynolds and Brown & Williamson continued to spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually cultivating a cool, teen-friendly image with brands like Marlboro, Kool, and Camel.
Indeed, over the course of their research CPB learned that tobacco marketers had achieved an incredibly powerful influence over teen behavior. They had done this by shrewdly ingratiating their product and brands with the teen audience by playing on teens' sense of invulnerability/immortality and their innate desire to rebel against authority.
With decades worth of adveristing - coupled with the relentless glamorization of cigarettes in movies, magazines and among teen idols - tobacco companies had crafted a product image that was a near-perfect symbol of "coolness" and anti-authoritarianism.
Because of this, teen smoking had become more or less impervious to traditional PSA's. If anything, the preachy "smoking is bad for you" message of public health ads only reinforced the imagery and the emotions tobacco companies were already leveraging to sell their brands to kids.
But Crispin Porter + Bogusky made another critical revelation during their research. They found one thing that cut through all the emotion and psychology of teen consumers. One thing that mattered more than being "cool," that wielded more influence than peer pressure, and that teens disliked even more than being preached to by their parents. The thing teens hated above all was the idea that they were being manipulated and lied to.
CPB took this insight and made it the center of their anti-tobacco advertising campaign which they branded, rather appropriately, TRUTH. Thus CPB changed the paradigm of the anti-smoking message from a preachy public service that most teens could care less about (i.e. "smoking is bad for your health") to a personal affront to the teens themselves (i.e "big tobacco companies are lying to you").
(By the way, If you want to see just how powerful advertising can be when a smart message is married to a brilliant execution, watch this TRUTH spot that aired in movie theatres all across Florida.)
The new CPB ads began undoing decades worth of programming by tobacco companies. When teens eventually bought into the idea that big tobacco was orchestrating a conspiracy to manipulate them into using products that would eventually kill them, their behavior changed rapidly.
The results speak for themselves. So does the reaction of the tobacco companies - all of whom lost a significant amount of control and influence over the single most important demographic capable of ensuring long-term profitability. The campaign was so successful CPB was tapped by The American Legacy Foundation to launch the strategy nationwide.
So what does any of this have to do with politics, you ask? I submit that it has everything to do with politics.
First, this strategy is similar to the ones Democrats are currently using against George W. Bush. Our failure to find large stockpiles of weapons has given the Democrats just enough wiggle room to make the case to the public that Bush lied. Through simple discipline and repetition, the Dems have been making the charge stick - even without a single shred of supporting evidence.
According to a Gallup poll taken July 19-21, over the last 13 months the percentage of people who think Bush misled America on the WMD issue has risen to 45% from 31%. It just goes to show the power of the emotional reaction people have when someone tells them they've been lied to.
Second - and this is the real genesis of this post - I think CPB's experience working to understand and unravel big tobacco's influence on teen behavior is a fitting analogy to the decades-long influence of the Democratic party over African-American voters.
Furthermore I submit that if Republicans are smart, they should employ the same strategy CPB used with the TRUTH campaign to break through the four decades' worth of liberal programming that continues to motivate African-American to blindly vote en masse for Democrats.
The reason I mention all this is because President Bush made a pass at this strategy last week in his speech before the Urban League. Here is what he said:
I'm going to ask African American voters to consider some questions.
Does the Democrat party take African American voters for granted? (Applause.) It's a fair question. I know plenty of politicians assume they have your vote. But do they earn it and do they deserve it? (Applause.) Is it a good thing for the African American community to be represented mainly by one political party? That's a legitimate question. (Applause.) How is it possible to gain political leverage if the party is never forced to compete? (Applause.) Have the traditional solutions of the Democrat party truly served the African American community?
And just like a big tobacco CEO recognizing the potentially devastating effect of questions that - if respectfully asked and honestly answered - could lead to the disintegration of behavior patterns he's spent decades crafting, Al Sharpton took to the stage at the DNC days later to deliver a blistering response.
Sharpton didn't want Bush's questions to go unanswered, nor did he want to run the risk of having African-Americans answer those questions honestly for themselves. So Sharpton did it, in his own divisive way, and claimed it was on behalf of the entire African-American community.
Here is the truth: from tax cuts to small business incentives to social security reform to school choice down through social issues like gay marriage and the belief in faith-based charitable organizations, the values and ideology of the Republican party have a lot to offer African-Americans.
But if Republican outreach to African-Americans is going to be limited to the President asking a few direct questions before black audiences, nothing will change. Against the likes of Kweisi Mfume, Julian Bond, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, that's the equivalent of bringing a pocketknife to a gun fight.
Republicans need to pound this message home - not once every two or four years in the 90 days before an election but every day and everywhere. They should establish a 527 to start communicating to African-Americans and explaining how Republican ideas and policies match their personal interest.
But again, that won't be enough. A thousand positive ads can be nullified by a single Mfume slur appealing to black insecurity and distrust. Republicans need to hit people like Mfume in the mouth - figuratively speaking, of course - and expose them for what they are: divisive hate mongers who serve themselves before the interests of the African-American community.
More importantly - getting back to the Crispin Porter & Bogusky example - Republicans need to shift the political paradigm under which African-Americans operate. They can do this by pointing out, backed by a substantial body of evidence, that the Democratic party has been lying to African-Americans for years.
However well-intentioned the the Democratic party's policies may have been over the last 40 years, as a practical matter the results of those policies have been, for the most part, disastrous for black culture and black families.
And however much good-will the Democratic party may have earned with African-Americans during the Civil Rights movement, the party now uses fear and distrust over racial issues as a primary motivator and a tool to obscure the fact that they're largely a party of failed ideas with nothing new to offer the black community.
With a smart, creative, and no-holds barred communication strategy, Republicans can make a very persuasive argument that many of the Democrats' policies over the last 20-40 years haven't empowered African-Americans but enslaved them again. And not only do Democrats today take African-Americans for granted, but party leaders meet any dissent from liberal orthodoxy with the ruthlessness of fascist dictators - or even, one might go so far as to say, of slave masters. - T. Bevan
Action on Smoking and Health
Real Clear Politics