(12 Reasons Barack Obama is One of the Greatest Presidents Ever, by Matthew Lynch)
“He is for education. Obama has always been an advocate for education, making it a top priority during his administration. Believing education is what brings about the strength of a nation, Obama has set a goal for the U.S. to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. He has increased federal funding and doubled the amount of grant money allocated to students seeking a higher education to cover rising tuition costs. During his presidency, Obama also passed the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans and the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics to ensure equal education for people of color.” – Matthew Lynch
It really doesn’t matter how many people we have graduating . . . if the standards are low. The “United States already spends far more than any other developed nation on its students’ education each year,” yet our students continue to score at embarrassingly dismal levels worldwide. In fact, in some places many of our high school graduates are leaving the hallowed halls of 9th-12th grade unable to adequately READ.
Mr. Obama is merely continuing on in a trend we’ve had for several years—spend, spend, spend, . . . and complain about how disenfranchised so many students are. Meanwhile, countries that spend far less than we do, and with far fewer resources, are somehow managing to score higher across the board. New spending isn’t the answer . . . better curricula (state by state) and better teachers are the solution.
Incidentally, we do have a new national curriculum in our midst. Aside from the disastrous policy that is a “national” curriculum, (translation: no school choice), standards are lowered and stretched in this format. Listen to Amanda August, Grayslake D46 Curriculum Director as she explains the focus of Common Core Math: click here. The video shows that according to Common Core standards, if a student computes 3×4 as 11, for example, that student will still receive a passing grade on the question if he or she can effectively explain how he or she arrived at that conclusion.
Someone in the video asks about whether or not students would be corrected in their error, to which Ms. August responds emphatically,
“Oh absolutely! Absolutely. We want our students to compute correctly, but the emphasis is really moving more towards the explanation, and the how and the why, and can I really talk through the procedures that I went through to get this answer, and not just knowing that it’s 12, but why is it 12? How do I know that?”
By all means, students shouldn’t just memorize that 3×4 = 12 and be done with it. I can remember as a child being taught with wooden blocks and other visuals to help me create a mental picture of the equation’s components in my head. We did this before we went on to memorizing the multiplication tables. It’s called teaching the child the fundamentals of math before the complexities kick in.
If we’re saying we want students to compute correctly . . . giving them a passing grade for a decent story about how he or she got to the answer isn’t going to instill the need to compute correctly. Frankly, if we want them to “compute correctly,” no story about how one derived 11 from 3 times 4 should ever be acceptable. We have a grade system for a reason—to measure the progress of a child in the trajectory of learning, and to incentivize the child to improve (especially when participation in various extra-curricular activities is tied to maintaining good grades) Math is not subjective . . . yet it’s being made as such, for if the student arrived at 11, they are not computing correctly and thus not correctly learning the fundamentals of mathematics. Beyond math, Common Core’s portrayal of history is lacking and weak at best, and even at times outright misleading. Certain Common Core reading list recommendations (when the kiddies aren’t busy reading the “EPA’s “Recommended Levels of Insulation,” or the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s “FedViews”) include Cristina Garcia’s sexually explicit “Dreaming in Cuban” and Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye;” both of which are rife with pornographic and even pedophilic sex scenes.
The President is fully behind this curriculum. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for my future kids to be educated in manner so void of human decency . . . of common sense . . . of truth.
While I hope EVERYONE has a chance to get the education they want, to insinuate (as Mr. Lynch has) that our nation’s minorities were—up until the presidency of Barack Obama—devoid of opportunities to go to college is simply misleading.
Minorities are already given preference in the world of higher education. From scholarships to entrance quotas, if you’re a minority and you’re trying to get into higher education, the likelihood is that you will, or that there will be more opportunities for you to try. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not trivializing the struggles that some people have, particularly the struggles of minorities in low-income neighborhoods that often battle even to finish grade school or high school. That said, Lynch’s commentary again makes it look as though Barack Obama’s presidency has opened the door for minorities to enter higher education en masse, when in fact the yellow brick road to college (again, scholarships, entrance quotas, etc.) comes in increasingly more varieties for minorities than it does for those of us born into a typical Ward and June Cleaver “white” middle class family. The same goes, frankly, for job placement as well. I know—not only did I attend college, but I work in corporate America.
While the President is lauded for ensuring equal opportunities in education for minorities, where is he on the scores of men and women—perfectly qualified candidates—who are discriminated against every day in academia and in the workforce, in the name of “diversity?” In today’s world, if two equally qualified candidates present themselves at a college or a job interview, the likelihood that the minority candidate will be hired is far greater, considering the affirmative action “diversity quotas” many institutions and places of business have self-imposed.
I’ll never forget listen to the story of a family friend’s child who began the arduous process of applying for acceptance into the Air Force academy. This person was an outstanding student, an accomplished athlete and a person of great moral character. Just the kind of person I’d like to see behind the controls of our country’s finest planes in the finest military in the world. When it came down to brass tax, however, this individual was denied entrance, but not because the application hadn’t been stellar. To their credit, someone at the academy told this applicant that, simply put, the academy hadn’t filled their “diversity quota” for that application season. Our friend’s child happens to be white . . . and also a boy. He lost out at a dream thanks to his inability to add “diversity” to that year’s class. Where is the president on the fairness of that case, and the scores of other cases just like it every year?
Sneak Preview of Day 12: Entertainer-In-Chief