"America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within."
--Joseph Stalin

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Facts about Texas education and Rick Perry the left don't want you to know

Here is an extensive response to all the attacks against Texas education and Perry's record on it from Free Republic.

I don't know who hates Gov. Rick Perry more, teacher unions, trial lawyers or the EPA.

Gov. Rick Perry said "no" to competing in "Race to the Top." Texas Knows Best How to Educate Our Students

But Rep. Shelia Jackson-Lee and her Democratic Party wanted Perry's signature so the "money would flow to our schools within days."

Gov. Perry sued for Texas' money (without Washington telling us how to spend it) -- And won! Promise Kept.

Mona Charen: NRO Beware those 'radical' ideas -- Good opinion piece on Perry and education – Reagan simplicity that works

Chris Christie article -- Even Democrats are now alarmed about the state of education in this country but its too late because the GOP owns this issue.

UCLA: "Gov. Rick Perry’s ‘Seven Breakthrough Solutions’ would make for bad business, undermine meaning of a university"

Perry Draws Flak for Plan to Run Universities Like Businesses ……..”Perry, who has been governor since 2000, has filled state boards and commissions with those who share his vision and has launched a public attack on college costs.

“A bold, Texas-style solution,” the governor said in an address to the Legislature. “I’m challenging our institutions of higher education to develop bachelor’s degrees that cost no more than $10,000, including textbooks.”

The amount is about a quarter of what students at the University of Texas and Texas A&M pay for tuition and books. An organization formed to fight the changes, Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education, counts among its members power Republicans such as TRT Holdings Chief Executive Robert Rowling, who gave $1 million to the conservative “super PAC” American Crossroads. Handling media for the group former George W. Bush adviser Karen Hughes, the Post reported.

Nonetheless, some of Perry’s higher-education ideas could be catching on elsewhere. Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he was passing on a list of higher education reform ideas from Texas known as the “Seven Breakthrough Solutions” to candidates for the Florida university and college boards of trustees, the Post reported.

Perry creates online university Gov. Rick Perry announced Wednesday that Texas is getting a branch of Western Governors University, a private, nonprofit school whose online model dovetails with Perry's emphasis on flexibility and affordability in higher education.

An executive order issued by Perry calls on the state's education and workforce agencies to help Western Governors establish WGU Texas.

[Texas Education Agency] TEA to lay off 178 workers [Thousands of pink slips for state workers]

[Rick] Scott Promotes Controversial Education Reforms [Rick Perry has championed] “Gov. Rick Scott has begun discreetly promoting the same changes to the higher education system that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has championed. The proposals include some of the same reforms pushed by conservatives in K-12 schools: merit pay for professors, tenure reform, and generally a much greater emphasis on measurement of whether professors are turning out students that meet certain goals.

The attempt in Texas has caused something of an identity crisis in that states higher education community, with opponents saying what needs to be reformed is Perry's control over university policies.<<<

Florida might reject $100 million [Fed] grant to educate children [tied to Obamacare]

Perry's education record distinctly different from Bush's

Higher Education Coalition attack on [Texas Gov. Rick] Perry raises eyebrows

[Texas Education Agency] TEA to lay off 178 workers [Thousands of pink slips for state workers]

Gov. Perry: Veterans’ Experiences, Skills are Valuable to Our Workforce "The knowledge and skills our veterans bring back from service are an important, and all too often untapped, resource for our communities," Gov. Perry said. "While we can never fully thank them for their service to our nation, I'm proud to sign this important bill, which helps veterans and military service members transition to civilian life by applying their skills and experience to help them graduate more quickly and save money on tuition."

A cry in the black education wilderness - LINKS to education, leftists and race.

Rick Perry Leads the Way on Higher-Ed Reform
First, runaway college costs are an important “kitchen table” issue for American families. After the economic woes of the past decade, many families are wondering how they are going to afford to send their kids to college (the yearly cost of attending an in-state four-year public college now tops $16,000 per year).

Second, like our public schools, America’s colleges are woefully underperforming. The authors of the recently published book Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses found that 45 percent of college students show no improvement in critical skills after two years in college. Troubling statistics are forcing many families to question whether investing time and money in college is really worth it, particularly since many college graduates are struggling to find employment and appear to have gained few marketable skills.

Third, colleges are creating a heavy burden for taxpayers. According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, higher-ed spending accounts for approximately 10 percent of state spending. And federal subsidies for higher education (including grants, loans, tax credits, and direct payments to schools) amount to well over $100 billion annually.

Fourth, colleges have long been an intellectual driver of progressivism in American life. I am sure I am not the only person who found my undergraduate and graduate school years to have been a tiring indoctrination in leftist ideas. It is surely no coincidence that young American voters are more included to vote for the Left after this indoctrination.

For too long, the Right has neglected the need to challenge and reform American higher education. But in the current political climate, reforming colleges and universities (as well as our student-aid policies) is an eminently winnable fight — and one that would yield big gains for students and taxpayers.

Conservative leaders around the country should follow Rick Perry’s lead.
LA Times story that underscores reasons for Perry’s 7 Solutions push:

Take back the liberal arts - Too often, liberal arts courses aren't attuned to undergraduates looking for a broader understanding of the world but toward professor's narrow interests.
………”Amherst once had a college-wide course called "Evolution of the Earth and Man," team taught by faculty from geology through genetics. It was exactly the sort of thing that drew people into the sciences. However, that offering no longer exists. Such classes don't earn points for the professors who plan them. Instead, they are expected to be doing research that will lead to tenure or higher ranks, which often means they are concentrating on ever more obscure topics.

An American Mathematical Society study of introductory courses found that only 11% were taught by regular faculty. Professors making their mark in "orbit structure of diffeomorphims of manifolds" feel their talents would be wasted teaching Math 101. But they might mull Albert Einstein's words to young researchers: "You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother."

There are still colleges where the contents of the bottles match the labels. But they tend to be more modest schools, ones that don't expect their faculties to make national reputations in research. Occidental College in Los Angeles is such a school, as is Hendrix College in Arkansas and the new Quest University Canada in British Columbia. And there are excellent dedicated liberal arts colleges within affordable public systems. New College of Florida and St. Mary's College of Maryland are two; also Arizona State University's Barrett honors college and Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York, which waives tuition for students who maintain a 3.5 grade-point average.

As high school students and their parents consider college options, they might want to take a careful look at catalogs and course descriptions. In higher education these days, it's buyer beware.”

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