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Archive for the tag “economy”

EDUCATION TEXAS-ANOTHER TESTING PROGRAM FAILURE!

When will educators and politicians admit that every child is not equipped to be a doctor, lawyer or rocket scientists? Likely never, as we will now look for a new magic test that will also fail. We need occupational education for those children that will be welders, technicians, salesperson, beauty operators, etc. Although some programs exist, they are funded by outside donations except our prison system schools. If we train some of these young people, trades they may not have to go to prison to get qualified? If interested, I posted other articles about this subject during the same time frame. You can find these by searching my site.

Except for some minor changes in the first paragraph this article was posted some 19 months ago on May 22,2011.

The new STAAR testing program will be just another untested wild goose chase. After wasting millions on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) testing program, some Texas school districts have captured the costs for TAKS. Based on the factual costs the STAAR program will double the costs of TAKS. Taxpayers will face increased waste of state funds and no improved knowledge for the majority of students.

An article by Hawley Kappes in The Daily News on May 15 revealed some significant facts I wish to share. Teachers now have to teach to pass a test or face possible discipline. With all of the 1265 Texas school districts facing budget cuts, the Clear Creek ISD decided to review all expenditures including the TAKS costs.

The review revealed that $1.3 million costs associated with TAKS, which includes paying substitute teachers who support administering the test, tutoring for students who need additional help and supplies — including sharpened pencils, highlighters, dictionaries and graphing calculators.

This included the salaries of testing coordinators at each high school and deans of instruction at all campuses that ensure teachers are following curriculum guidelines.

Texas provides no funding to cover these costs.

Clear Creek ISD did not capture all cost because some testing aspects were difficult to quantify. Assistant principals at elementary and intermediate schools are responsible for implementing state assessments on their campuses, and it was difficult to assign a dollar amount for the time associated with that work.

The Dickinson ISD reported that the TAKS costs of about $430,000 this year. This includes the salaries of the district’s director of assessment, evaluation and compliance and the testing coordinator at Dickinson High School, plus 30 percent of the salary for an assistant principal at each campus.

The district spends $50,000 a year on extra tutoring for students who need it.

Testing protocol has strict rules that govern the handling of test materials from the time school districts receive the packets until the items are shipped off after testing is finished. Staff members spend time counting test booklets, ensuring no seals have been prematurely broken, keeping the tests locked after hours and training for hypothetical situations that could occur in the testing environment.

Substitutes are needed on testing days to monitor bathrooms and hallways and watch over students if a teacher needs to step out of the classroom. Counselors and testing coordinators spend time identifying if certain students require special test environments, including linguistically assisted testing, which requires a teacher to read questions for students. Most preparation for assessments happens after hours during nights and weekends.

Goodbye TAKS, Hello STAAR

Next year, the state will implement a new State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, which will replace the TAKS as a measure of student performance.

Changes include a four-hour limit on testing periods, expanded accommodations for students with dyslexia and makeup days for all tests. Legislators in Austin still are hashing out details of the STAAR, but the tests will include 12 end-of-course assessments mandated by Senate Bill 1031 in 2007 and new assessments for grades three through eight as required by House Bill 3 in 2009.

STAAR is more individualized to what classes a high school student is taking that year. A student’s course load, instead of his grade level, will determine which tests he will take. The test will measure more of the thinking involved and ability to do more processing of information and divergent thinking.

School district officials are grappling with the increased test days the new state assessment will require. Total testing days will increase from 25 under TAKS to 45 under STAAR.

Freshmen this year were tested for reading and math, but next year will take assessments in English, math, social studies and science. Major curriculum revisions will finish this summer to adjust for the more specialized end-of-course exams. New textbooks also will be necessary for school districts.

Some think it would be better to test students in alternating grades or perhaps staggering subjects for different grades at the elementary level. The amount of testing that’s going to happen is encroaching so much on teachers instruction time with students they do not have time to go that deep into curriculum before the test comes.

A Breakdown of Clear Creek ISD’s TAKS Costs were; High school testing coordinator salaries — $216,310; Deans of instruction — $357,066; Substitutes to help administer the tests — $120,000; Target assistance tutoring — $500,000; Graphing calculators — $83,468; Supplies — $25,000 Dictionaries — $1,600.

STAAR is also unfunded, untested and with budget cuts another method for the state to intensify teacher responsibilities to approach the level of “Kamikaze Pilots.” No wonder Texas has some 60 vacancies for K-12 Superintendents. I recommend that many more update their resumes or look into retirement packages.

The Texas Education Agency and the legislature do not have a clue on the damage and waste they have enacted by law. If someone would capture the costs for all 1265 Texas school districts, it might attract attention for the voters to care? The largest Texas school district, Windom, is exempted from TAKS and STAAR as it covers the Texas prison system.   CB

Federal Reserve System

Recently I have had questions related to the Federal Reserve and the covert side of the financial world. This was published in April 2012 and a Part 2 was published about three days later. I will re-post them both and another one this week and if this captures your interest I will go a notch deeper and re-post some articles I wrote about Tavistock which might perk your interest?  C Brewer

My very close friend, Phil Sizer, has been trying to educate me about the Federal Reserve System for several years. I have read some books and several articles and it is one of the most mystifying subjects I ever tried to understand. I found on eHow.com an article written by Joseph Nicholson that provided me with some history to share. I still lack the knowledge to fully comprehend how this agency, more covert than the CIA, ever came to exists. What really intrigues me is that Congress has no conception of what, why or how they operate. I hope this posting will generate some interest in a lot of Americans to make sure their Congresspersons can explain it before the vote in November. As the news media has never tried to report on the FED, I certainly intend to ask my Representative to explain it to me.  C Brewer

A central bank of the United States has been a covert operation since its inception. Opposition to the bank was the issue that created the Democratic Party. This was the beginning of the modern two party political systems we have today. Since its inception in the early 20th century, the Federal Reserve has steadily assumed more control over U.S. monetary policy and the economy. Progressives had never tried to make giant leaps in change until President Obama started the blitz the day he was sworn in. Progressive’s who created and continue to support a central bank cite Constitutional authority under the “necessary and proper” clause of Article I.

Alexander Hamilton used this when the Bank of the United States was established under his tenure as Treasury secretary in the administration of President Washington. The creation of the central bank was vigorously opposed by then-Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who said that “banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.” The 20-year charter of the first bank expired in 1811. Five years later a second Bank was created and the struggle to dissolve the bank was the central focus of Andrew Jackson’s populist two-term presidency.

The Federal Reserve System, or (Fed), was created by act of Congress in 1913. The reason was prompted by a banking crisis in 1907. At that time, the dollar was tied to a gold standard. This made it more difficult for the government to borrow money and accumulate budget deficits. The conservative financial interests of that time desired a flexible currency that could fluctuate in value as needed. The central banking concept had proven to be very unpopular in the previous century. Then the banking interests devised a relatively decentralized banking system to oversee a more elastic currency. Woodrow Wilson, who signed the act into law and said a few years later, “I have unwittingly ruined my country … Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be … one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world.”

The power of the Fed over the U.S. economy became more powerful in the 1920’s. New York Fed President Benjamin Strong began the use of open market operations which is a term that refers to the Fed’s ability to purchase U.S. Treasury notes and bonds with fiat banking units, resulting in the increased supply of money in circulation. This started what was known as the Roaring ’20s, a period of financial prosperity and a stock market boom. When reality of the funny money became overt, the banks withdrew the liquidity of the money supply, the stock market crashed and set off the chain of events that resulted in the Great Depression.

During the Depression, Congress passed a myriad of bank changes. The Glass-Steagall Act required U.S. Treasuries as collateral for Federal Reserve lending. This established a limit on the Fed’s power to create money. Congress, in 1935, created the Federal Open Market Committee. This separated the Department of the Treasury and the Fed, and gave the Fed sole power over open market operations and therefore the money supply. Congress, after World War II added the maintenance of maximum employment to the Fed’s mandate. In 1956, the Fed was granted authority to regulate bank holding companies, businesses that own more than one private bank. The Humphrey-Hawkins Act, in 1978, required the Fed chairman to report money policy and goals to Congress twice annually.

In opposition to the first central bank, Thomas Jefferson stated, “If the American people ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that grow up around them, will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.” In the late 1970s, this prediction came true with double-digit inflation that nearly destroyed America. Congress had removed the dollar from the gold standard a few years earlier which was provided the bankers’ dream for an elastic currency. Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, by raising interest rates and controlling open market operations, gradually removed the financial burdens that had nearly ruined America.

Two months into the tenure of Volcker’s successor, Alan Greenspan, the stock market crashed again. Chairman Greenspan asserted the Fed’s role as “lender of last resort,” promising liquidity, and was able to revive confidence in the U.S. economy. Under Greenspan’s rule, during the Clinton administration, the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed. Banks entered a new 1920s-like era of speculation. The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, again forced Greenspan to act. He lowered the Fed’s benchmark interest rate to 1 percent, stimulating an economic expansion that ultimately ended with the bursting of the housing market bubble in 2007. Greenspan, however, retired prior to the collapse, leaving the emergency to his successor, Ben Bernanke, who was ultimately forced to drop rates to 0 and to accept less credit-worthy collateral for Fed funds.

January 20, 2009 we were introduced to President Obama and “Change”. What he has done to finish the Socialist dreams of all Progressive’s, will be laughed at by historians for many years. He fully understands that to achieve these dreams, it will require America to go bankrupt. He nearly made it in three years but enough people woke up and slowed the train wreck down and will require another four years to finish the job. What scares me is he looks like he can mesmerize enough women to join his welfare legions to pull this off.

Thanks Phil, I will continue to read and share facts about this covert operation.  CB

ETHICS- A FORGOTTEN VALUE

These past three years have been very revealing on the advantages and power of our elected and appointed individuals. They proved many times again that members of Congress, the Executive and the Judicial branches are not required to abide with the laws of the land like all other citizens.

Baseball players are convicted of lying under oath but our Attorney General, other Justice Department officers and members of Congress are immune.

Obama can just outright lie about anything and be supported by MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, NPR daily. Well nearly daily as he does play golf and suffers long vacations while worrying about the middle class. History will prove he never resided in the middle class, much less have the foggiest idea what it means. It is really a moot point, as he will have eliminated middle class in one term.

Barbara Walters as convicted and served time for illegally using inside information to make money in the stock market. While “Queen” Polosi was in power and espousing ethics of this type being unacceptable, both she and her successor, John Boehner, were doing the same thing. We will probably never know how many other people in government have done this and the sad part is they still can, and without fear of prosecution.

The Obama White House staff and the Democratic National Committee have re-invented the scope of “propaganda”. If they can’t find a crisis to use to divide the American people and promote insurrection, they make one up. They have surpassed anyone in history in distortion.

It does not take a genius to see that Obama has expanded the Chicago magic of winning elections. Now we even have southern states like South Carolina who have been trained to resurrect the dead for each election cycle. Another new way to win elections was introduced by Obama and ACORN in 2008 and ignored by the progressive media. They developed a way to give life to animated characters like Mickey Mouse and have him vote in nearly every state.

We have members of Congress and a Secretary of the Treasury who admitted they could not understand the tax codes and evaded taxes. The Treasury Secretary was confirmed by our Democratic Senate to be responsible and enforce the laws that require that everyone else must understand and comply with our tax codes. No one was even charged with breaking the law and all are still in power. One, Charles Rangel, was actually re-elected in 2010.

I wonder how many of our University Professors have and still use these examples to brain wash our youth to these advantages of political power? There seems to be an abundance of over educated young people currently demonstrating the advantages of doing nothing and operating with immunity from our laws. With the support and encouragement of Time magazine, the mainstream media, even Obama and the Democratic Party they have destroyed property, the freedom of others, and disrupted commerce. Sadly this waste is happening at a time when America should be 100% focused on creating jobs.

Ethics demonstrated by the leadership in Washington will be valuable to the “occupiers” when they mature, if they ever mature. They will be ready to serve in Congress or work for the government and actually have living experience on how to lie, cheat, distort, steal, revive the dead, evade taxes and breathe life into Mickey. They wont need a degree and waste the time being brain washed by the professors.

The future looks bleak for those who actually want to be educated, abide by our laws and contribute to keeping America free. The war they have to win is with other Americans. Hum mm, seems like Lincoln faced similar pressures in our history and made everyone free.

CB 

OBAMA’S CLASS WARFARE-HIS ONLY CHANCE TO WIN!

GET READY TO DO SOMETHING!

President Obama and his progressive administration have utilized every controversial issue they could dream up or find to convince the American people to support their goal to divide this country and bankrupt the Republic. They have created situations to just focus on dire consequences and their solutions have wrecked the world’s economy. In less than three years they have wiped out our savings of millions of retired Americans and forced the next generation’s to have to work until they die. The legislation they have passed, demanding that “we have to pass this now – or else!” has set the stage for the end of the free enterprise hopes for our young people who elected him. The youth that created his power still do not understand they have ruined the American dream for themselves.

Today Obama announced yet another way to reinforce his bid for re-election by new taxes on the people who create jobs and wealth for many. This just elevates class warfare to the next level by brain washing the young and everyone, including the illegal aliens, who depend on handouts to survive now. Obama is obsessed with the mission to destroy America. Should he be elected for another term America is destined to have bankruptcy and a European Socialist future, which is his dream. Just read his own books to see his objectives.

Follow the “facts” of what has already happened in less than three years. Now we have “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009”. This stimulus monster was quickly passed by the Democratic controlled House and Senate without sufficient debate in order to keep the unemployment rate from rising above 8%. Currently unemployment is at 9.1%, and over 17% when you consider those who stopped looking for work or are working part-time. What actually happened was that we wasted $800 billion of tax payer money to pay government workers salaries for a year and some obvious government-funded “Green” business failures. This law did not provide any self-sustaining employment and our economy is tanking again and robbing retired Americans of their life savings.

The Patient Protection and Affordability Act of 2010, Obamacare, was crammed through the Democratic controlled House and Senate against overwhelming protests by the American people. This ideologically designed legislation accomplished 2,700 pages of legal language and the creation of 159 new government bureaucracies. If you read my blog, “OBAMACARE-AMERICANS READ THIS, IF YOU CARE!” that was posted last week you should be scared and it will help you understand the uncertainty for why employers are canceling the health care insurance for their employees. Obama and his team did include a gimmick to assure the vote of the young people. They have no worry about having to buy insurance until they turn 27. What they do not know that if dad and/or moms insurance is cancelled they will be up the same creek and have to paddle alone. They should have changed the voting age to 27. If that had been in place in 2008, John McCain would be President today. Although he would have likely made the same moves it would have been slower. Republican progressives, like Bush and McCain operate at a slower pace.

Next came the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, this was the last piece of panic legislation passed by the Democratic controlled House and Senate before the November  2010 election. It was done so fast they are still drafting new regulations that no one has seen. The shift of power changing the House to Republican control can’t stop this debacle. Our nation’s banking system is now in turmoil by the uncertainty of what these regulations will contain.

The jobs bill that Obama is promoting is really Stimulus bill #2. This legislation will shift more federal money to the states to pay the wages of state and municipal workers, primarily teachers, as did the original stimulus bill. What money is earmarked for infrastructure projects will require years planning and permitting before the actual work will happen. The states will by-pass logic and common sense to make sure they can prop up the unions with inept projects. This money will keep mostly unionized teachers and construction professionals on someone’s payroll.  At best only some short-term relief and no self-sustaining employment will occur.  When the money is again wasted all will be back where we started.

The crisis mode of change has been slowed down but I am certain that Obama has new events planned that will rock America into re-electing him and gaining majority control of the House. Class warfare is his only hope and the republican candidates are becoming rabid in slaughtering each other. By the election next year the war-weary republican nominee will have been so damaged by his own party, Obama will not even have to spend his billion dollar hope chest. The republicans have never been the smartest apple on the political tree. They have let issues like abortion evenly divide themselves. They have no idea how to woo the independent voter or wield power when they do have a majority.  

American people, it is time to say “Let’s start over”! This Republic was not created in a panic mode. It took many years to design the most stable society ever to appear on this earth, history proves this. The founding fathers did not just react, they acted on principle and perceptive understanding of what would follow. Today we need leadership and broad strategic thinking, free of ideology and political charades. Obama is not capable of leading sane people. Beware of his salesmanship and con-man capability. Remember with his fife he successfully brain washed his band of supporters blindly into electing him President. If he can energize the same people again he will march them over the cliff like the Pied Piper led the rats. The catch is he will have a parachute and Chicago politicians to lavish his retirement. What shape will you be in by 2016?

C Brewer

SAVE FOR THE FUTURE, WHY?

 

My father lost all of his savings when the banks failed in the 1930’s. Never the less he taught me to aim my sights on saving for my future. There was no social security when I was born in 1930. I got my card in 1938 when I helped a blind man in a news stand at 8 years old. Americans then and now who planned for social security to provide their retirement income are mentally imbalanced.

We did not have much when I grew up but neither did our neighbors. It took me most of my life to accumulate enough savings to retire in 1994 and I have deeply enjoyed my last 17+ years. When the economy in 2008/2009 tanked it wiped out some 30% of my savings. When the second wave hit a few weeks ago I had been able to regain about 80% of my losses and the axe fell again.

Having more than my share of children and grand children to advise like my father, I also urged them to avoid some of the bells and whistles and save for their future. Nothing could be worse for me than have to rely on my heirs to get me through old age. I imagine I am not alone in my feelings. I never had to support my parents and they made it to 83 and 94 by themselves. My dad never owned his own home or a plot of land but he was happy. When my mother died at 94 she has enough resources to cover her funeral with little to spare. No one ever left me anything and nothing was expected.

When the economic downturn came I got calls from my children for advice on protecting their savings as some had followed my advice. They were aware that my savings had been depleted and expected council on what to do.

Looking back on traveling all over the world to be successful, including over 2500 nights in hotels the last ten years I worked. This work was in 32 countries and 49 states and countless flights from 9 to 16 hours in the air. I have suddenly decided my decision to provide for my retirement was possibly flawed. In addition to losing some 25% of my savings value, inflation has diminished my buying power significantly. Why?

I go to the grocery store and stand behind fully able people use food stamps, yet they have I phones, nice clothes, a decent car and usually with a handicapped parking permit. I have paid income taxes all of my life to support their lifestyles. Why?

I watch my children scrape by to make sure their kids get more education by borrowing and I have helped some of my grand children get student loans as a co-signer. Then I study how Pell grants and reduced tuition is available for those who will not work and a President and many in Congress who are proposing that the government pay to educate illegal aliens for a path to citizenship. Why?

I do not know how other successful Americans feel about busting their buns to share the wealth but I am mad as hell. Watching the politicians discover new ways to rob us of our savings to support people who won’t work is not the American dream I told my kids to seek.

I feel that our Congress and President have an obligation to serve all Americans. They pamper the very people that keep them in power by buying their votes. They spend more money finding dead people to vote for them than they do to actually help anybody.

I suppose I should tell my family to just spend all you have and when you are out of money the government will take care of you. Kids get free meals, families get free food stamps, free healthcare and free education if you do not have any resources. If this is the American way then I am glad my days are nearly over. The progressives have ruined this great country and the majority of the people really do not even care. Why? There is no longer the incentive to be successful as Washington will find a way to take your savings one way or another. Why should anyone save for the future if they have to share with those who refuse to even try to be successful? Home ownership savings have been destroyed for the next several generations by greedy politicians.

I encourage anyone to challenge my positions with facts. I hope someone out there can tell me what to tell my children about investing for their future. My good friend, Tadpole, told me to invest in gold. Those who put their life savings in gold will have their savings wiped out; it’s just a matter of time. The people will awaken someday and demand that Congress and the President stop the ill fated path to a Socialist Democracy. Decent people will always hopefully desire to have a better life without using someone else’s money.

C Brewer

TAXES-WILL THIS WILL BALANCE THE BUDGET?

 

I believe this will be the bi-partisan solution soon.  CB

Current European tax rates:
 
United Kingdom     
  Income Tax:  50%    
    VAT:  17.5%   TOTAL:  67.5%
 France      
  Income Tax:  40%    
    VAT:  19.6%   TOTAL:  59.6%
 Greece      
  Income Tax:  40%    
    VAT:  25%      TOTAL:  65%
Spain      
  Income Tax:  45%    
   VAT:  16%      TOTAL:  61%
Portugal    
  Income Tax:  42%    
    VAT:  20%      TOTAL:  62%
Sweden      
  Income Tax:  55%    
    VAT:  25%      TOTAL:  80%
Norway      
  Income Tax:  54.3%    
    VAT:  25%      TOTAL:  79.3%
Netherlands      
  Income Tax:  52%    
    VAT:  19%      TOTAL:  71%
 Denmark      
  Income Tax:  58%    
    VAT:  25%      TOTAL:  83%
 Finland    
  Income Tax:  53%    
    VAT:  22%      TOTAL:  75%

 

If you’ve started to wonder what the real costs of socialism will be when fully implemented take a look at these taxes. As you digest these mind-boggling figures, keep in mind that in spite of these astronomical tax rates, these countries are still not financing their social welfare programs exclusively with tax revenues! They are deeply mired in public debt of gargantuan proportions.  Greece has reached the point where it’s debt is so huge it is in imminent danger of defaulting. That is the reason the European economic community has intervened to bail them out.  If you’re following the financial news, you know Spain and Portugal are right behind Greece .

 

The United States is now heading right down the same path. The VAT tax (Value Added Tax) in the table is the national sales tax that Europeans pay. Stay tuned because that is exactly what you can expect to see the administration proposing. The initial percentage in the United States isn’t going to be anywhere near the outrageous numbers you now see in Europe. Guess what… the current outrageous numbers in Europe didn’t start out as outrageous either. They started out as miniscule, around the 1% or 2% where they will likely start out in the United States. Magically, however, they ran up over the years to where they are now. Expect the same thing here.


It is the very notion that with hard work and perseverance,

anybody can get ahead economically here in the USA . Do you think that can ever happen with tax rates between 60% and 80%?  Think again. With the government taking that percentage of your money, your life will be exactly like life in Europe. You will never be able to buy a home. You will never buy a car. You will never send your children to college.

Let’s not shuffle the battle cry of the socialists under the rug either. It’s always the same cry. Equalize income. Spread the wealth to the poor (whoever they are). Level the economic playing field.  Accomplish that and everything will be rosy. It’s time to take a really hard look at reality.  Greece is a perfect example. Despite the socialism system that has ruled this country for decades, with a 65% tax rate, they are drowning in public debt, would have defaulted without hundreds of  billions in bailout money from the EU, and still. . .  20% of their population lives in poverty. What has all that socialism money bought, besides ultimate power for the politicians running the show? Do you think these people are “free”? 

They’re not.  They are slaves to their economic “system.” Instead of spreading the wealth around, spread this around, it might wake some people up for a change. 


 

EDUCATION IN TEXAS-ARE PRISONS THE PLACE TO PREPARE PEOPLE FOR THE FUTURE?

 

 

When “Perry’s Posse” announced a $9,000,000,000.00 cut in education funding for the next two years, they woke me up. The more I discover and read, the more problems both designed and ignored, rear their ugly heads. When they announced the possible elimination of $128 million in education funding for the prison system in mid-March, some people went ballistic.

Just discovering we had a prison educational program was news to me. After spending several hours reading some 600 pages of reports, charts, results and opinions, I will try to summarize my thoughts. Before I do, let me clearly state that I am not an enemy of educating anyone. I began my education experience at age 6, graduated high school at age 16, and finally completed my formal education with a Masters Degree at age 46, all in Texas. I have been a life member of the PTA for over 44 years and I love children.

Prison education is managed by the Windom School District. They have some 1300 employees at 90 prisons. They have existed for 41 years and the largest of Texas 1265 school districts. They currently have some 77,000 students. The district has 67 principals and librarians are paid $54,000 annually. Figures are from a March 17th article in the Austin American Statesman. I omitted their biased commentary.

Should you desire to pursue the following facts and figures, you can read the entire 2008-2009 Annual performance report and the 2010-2014 Strategic Plans on the Windom website.

Goals of the district include; (1) reduce recidivism; (2) reduce the costs of confinement or imprisonment; (3) increase the success of former inmates to behave in positive ways during confinement; and (4) provide an incentive to inmates to behave in positive ways during confinement or imprisonment.

I have previously written that the word “behave” is totally different today than when I was in K-12. If the 150,000 inmates in the Texas prisons were made to behave when in K-12 they possibly would not be in prison today?

The district provides 28 full-length Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. I will summarize it with Automotive, Building Trades, Business, Computers, Culinary, Custodial, Heating/AC, Horticulture, Personal and Family Development, Truck Driving, Welding. They also offer advanced College Credit Vocational courses in 25 subjects, most in the same categories as the CTE programs.

Degrees and certificates awarded during the 2008-2009 academic year included the following

Associate Degrees…………………………………………………….382

Bachelor’s Degrees………………………………………………………36

Master’s Degrees…………………………………………………………11

2-year College Vocational Credit (CVC) Certificates.…. 1,717

2-year CVC Non-Credit Certificates………………………………198

2-year College Workforce Non-Credit………………………….1,310

In FY-2009 the Windom School District had revenues of $78,423,339.00 and expenditures of $76,136,551.00. The state provided $59,425,788 in revenue. The remaining revenue came from interest $91,294, Federal pass through $1,847,535, continuing education $2,694,308, Federal grant $2,020,618, contract $4,253,803, Project Rio $3,647,569, other $34,888, operating transfer-in $129,989, and carry forward $4,277,547. If you have questions, ask your State Senator or State Representative what these spooky descriptions mean. I was intrigued with “carry forward”. I asked them several questions two weeks ago and I did get a reply from my State Representative, Wayne Christian, on March 23. I have received no response from Robert Nichols my State Senator. I will share some interesting feedback from some educators on Mr. Christian’s response next week. Some of his figures are misleading and incorrect.

Our entire American education system is misdirected and one of the primary reasons we have so many people in our prisons. Most other industrialized nations have understood that education that prepares all students as equals in the language, arts, math, science, history and humanities is a disaster. They evaluate all students after the 8th grade and prepare the ones who struggle with options. Similar to the Texas prison program, they offer training in the trades during high school free. In America we force the disadvantaged, both academically and financially, to pay at a trade school or get it free in prison.

I am working on an article that will reveal the state financial inequity at the local level. I watch our Sabine County high school graduates forced to leave this rural area and their families as there are limited opportunities for any career.

EDUCATION CHECK LIST

 

Let me encourage everyone who reads this blog to visit http://kyleolson.org to follow the best author on education I have ever read. You will always find a link on my blog to his site. The following checklist was created by Mr. Olson with the capability to use nationwide. The list includes specific questions for the “parents”, “taxpayers” and all “elected officials. Apparently he omitted “non-taxpayers”, people who refuse to work, as they really do not care so long as they get their freebies. Exceptions exist for the unfortunate that cannot work because of physical limitations, those in mental institutions, and those who belong in a mental institution and inmates.

Checklist

Parents

  • Look at all of your schooling options.
  • Get to know your teacher.
  • Find out: Does your child attend a student-focused school?
    • Is the staff more worried about pay and benefits than putting your kids first?
  • If your neighborhood school is ineffective, demand options from community and elected leaders.

Taxpayers

  • Know your school board.
    • Who did the union endorse in the last election?
    • Are they calling for tax increases or spending reform?
    • If you’re a taxpayer, parent or Tea Party group, interview candidates and hold them accountable.
    • If you don’t like what’s happening, run for the school board. Contact American Majority for training. (link to americanmajority.org)
  • Look into how your public school is spending YOUR money. It’s not their money – it’s your money.
  • Demand to know what is going on in contract negotiations.

Elected Officials

  • Give parents options.
    • Empower parents so they can escape failing schools.
    • Consider a Parent Trigger law, as California’s Parent Revolution [3] did.
    • Stand with U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) in believing that students trapped in failing schools should be rescued immediately, by any means necessary, and not wait for bureaucrats to tinker with the system.
    • Increase transparency.
    • Post financial data on your website.
    • Be forthcoming about teacher effectiveness.
  • Reform/Eliminate tenure and “last hired/first fired” policies
  • End the conflict of interest and money-making schemes by organized labor that distractions and create unnecessary fights in our communities.

We must each do what we can to fix the education system.  Clearly those involved can’t be trusted to do it or they would have by now.

Thank you Kyle Olson.

PUBLIC SERVICE UNIONS & DEMOCRATS

 

I created this blog for people who rely upon the main stream media for news on current events. The lack of honest reporting by the media is a shame because an afflicted moron understands you can’t keep printing more money to fund programs that are disasters. Sharing facts and history will hopefully wake up enough voters to stop the runaway train wreck.   

Wisconsin’s looming $3.6 billion 2012/13 budget deficit has thankfully generated nationwide concerns for why we have unionized tax paid employees. It is a fact that private sector taxpayers who fund these unions are demanding that Washington operate with a “balanced Budget”, just like the States have to do by law. 

Wisconsin appears close to imposing economic common sense on the state’s public employee unions by capping their wages, increasing contributions to healthcare/pension plans and eliminating collective bargaining.

Most vocal among Wisconsin’s 300,000 public employee union members are protesters from the 98,000-member teacher’s union. They are now paid, on average, more than $75,000 in wages and benefits. Wisconsin parents should be protesting against these teachers, who are motivated more by tenured job security, than improving student performance.

The latest federal education data reveals less than 40 percent of 8th grade students in the state’s government schools meet basic requirements for math and reading performance. The fact is the state spends more per student ($10,791) than any other Midwest state. In Milwaukee, the average teacher compensation package exceeds $100,000, the graduation rate is under 50 percent and for black children it is below 35 percent. I can’t find a plan to improve this dismal performance to evaluate.

Please read the next sentence slowly.” Government unions face no competition, so there is no impetus to produce or perform at a higher level. To call government union negotiations “bargaining” is insane! 

[Public-sector] unions are government organized as an interest group to lobby itself to grow. Unions use dues extracted from members to elect politicians who favor the unions. Governments are not expected to make a profit, but they need to understand the process. Government sits on both sides of the table in cozy ‘negotiations’ with unions. I assume that you are aware that the politicians I refer to are 99% democrats.

During the 2010 election cycle, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees spent $87.5 million in union dues for the sole purpose of electing Democrats. More millions more went to “advocacy campaigns” that skirt the law to promote Leftist candidates. I don’t get a warm fuzzy feeling this helped the taxpayer.

Our business genius, Barack Hussein Obama, whose most vociferous support comes from unions, offered this predictable partisanship: “Some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where they are just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain, generally, seems like more of an assault on unions.” The federal prisons are full of individuals convicted of fraud but Congress, over the years, has legalized graft for themselves and the union supporters.

The government union game hasn’t always been rigged. Government unions didn’t even exist until 1959, when the state of Wisconsin granted public employees “collective bargaining rights.”  Even Franklin Roosevelt understood that permitting government employees to establish unions constituted a corruption of public trust.

Since 1960 the Democrat Party has supported government unions with even more vigor than its support for non-government unions, and consequently, ignored the best interest of the people with their own self-interests. Today 24 states grant “collective bargaining rights” to government employee unions, and the resulting breach of public trust is evident in each of those states, particularly in education. My state, Texas, is a “Right to Work” state where union membership is not mandated. A future blog will explain how Texas teachers contribute to and run their own retirement system. 

In 1979, Jimmy Carter re-established the U.S. Department of Education. The department’s mission was, ostensibly, to promote student achievement in preparation for global competitiveness. Yet, since its formation 32 years ago, student achievement compared to other nations has declined.  In fact, the Department of Education reported that American students when rated with the 32 largest industrial nations ranked 17th in math, 21st in science and 32nd in reading. Wow, what an improvement.

Unions understand the strategic impact of the battle now underway in Wisconsin. “If we lose in Wisconsin, it’s going to be a domino effect,” proclaimed Teamster John Hennelly. “This is just the opening salvo in a war.” Democrats also know this battle is critical to the perpetuation of political dynasties.

Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA), who decried our nation’s heated political rhetoric in the wake of the Tucson shootings, had this advice for the union protesters, “I’m proud to be here with people who understand that it’s more than just sending an email to get you going. Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary.” I guess Obama’s plea for civility was only directed to the tea party?

Hopefully the new House majority in Washington and all 24 States without right-to-work laws will take a cue from happenings in Wisconsin and stop the flow of money to maintain government employee union benefit programs.

Everyone take a deep look at who actually benefits from Obama/Reid/Polosi “shovel ready” projects.

HEALTHCARE TRAIN WRECK-MEDICAID

Let me share some information concerning out of control healthcare costs. Every American should understand that “Medicaid” is the most abused program ever created by our Congressional idiots. The current issue concerning proof of citizenship being debated in Arizona is a smoke screen for Washington to hide behind as a rights issue. Ignoring the real causes of the skyrocketing costs of healthcare makes my blood boil. I listen to the doctors say verifying citizenship before service in an emergency room(ER) is wrong. They get well paid for providing ER service and likely do not accept Medicaid in their own private practice. It is now hard to find any doctor in the large cities that accept Medicaid or Medicare. This forces indigent people to go to the ER’s for routine healthcare. All business training insists that service without compensation is the fastest path to bankruptcy. The use of emergency rooms for non-critical doctor visits is destroying our healthcare system.

In addition to the government forcing people to go to the ER for routine service another fraud is happening. This involves the people who misuse our emergency rooms to avoid having to pay a doctor for a routine office call. Our Washington welfare mentality actually encourages some to use the ER rather than visiting a doctor in their office. I am “NOT” suggesting we deny anyone the right to go to an emergency room for critical help.

I have only been in two emergency rooms in my 80 years. One was when my wife fell in the early evening after our doctor’s office was closed. Her fall required stitches and our local hospital did a great job in sewing her up. My only personal visit was June 10, 2010 when I awoke at 4am with severe intestinal pain in my right lower abdomen that was self diagnosed as appendicitis. Again the local hospital, after extensive tests proved my diagnosis was in error and I had suffered a case of diverticulitis. So far this has reoccurred twice since with a trip to the doctor rather than another $4,000+ trip to the ER.

The point I desire to make is that on both occasions the desire to discover whether we were paying customers and with proper identification was equally as swift as the treatment we received. Did this upset me, no it is just common sense business practice that I have encountered with my trips to any medical facility over my entire lifetime. This is true at a doctor’s, dentist’s, specialist office, hospital or any other health care provider. They have the right to know how they are to be paid.

With the knowledge that they will not be served without proof of payment, every freeloader in America disrupts normal emergency services with routine, non emergency, trips to the ER’s of America. Folks this is not rocket science and it happens 24/7 across this nation that is broke.

I recently visited with someone in one of America’s largest cities that works in an emergency room. I am certain what I am going to describe are actual facts that happen thousands of time every day. “A well dressed woman brought in a child for ER treatment. She had a designer handbag, cell phone and expensive accessories in plain view. When the doctor told her that the child had a cold and needed to be given over the counter medication, she went ballistic demanding that the doctor provide a prescription. Her reasoning shared with the doctor was that without a written prescription she could not get the medication free as she had no insurance”.

Now let us look at this example of this event. Should the doctor refuse the demand what will happen? His next contact would be with a probable law suit for the refusal to provide ER service. I have five doctors in my immediate family and know what malpractice insurance costs. Lawyers have forced the medical industry to waste trillions and are the primary reason we face run-away costs for healthcare. To be fair, I also have two lawyers and another half way through law school in my family. Thank God they do not prey on healthcare to make a living.

I challenge everyone that reads this posting to go to the local emergency room for a couple of hours and just observe and ask questions. If this does not convince you that the Congress must address fixing Medicaid, passing tort reform and controlling the illegal’s, you are an idiot like the ones who designed Medicaid.

Nothing will happen until enough people who have to pay for this debacle rise up and scream at the top of their lungs. I encourage you to send a copy of this post to your Congressman and your State Representative/Senator to prove me wrong with facts. I will do this also. If just one Representative or Senator will look into this situation and force the media to get involved, something might happen.

If Congress or the States ignore this waste, we the people, have the ultimate power to use the ballot box again to demand common sense.

C Brewer

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