As the broadcast network evening newscasts filed reports this week on the teacher cheating scandal in Atlanta, Georgia, ABC’s World News on its Wednesday show went furthest in seeming to sympathize with the teachers who cheated as correspondent Steve Osunami highlighted complaints about No Child Left Behind’s emphasis on standardized tests to judge teacher performance.
After recounting details of the cheating scandal, in which as many as 178 teachers and principals in Atlanta erased and changed some of the answers on student tests to improve test score statistics for their schools, Osunsami asserted that "everyone here is pointing the finger at No Child Left Behind," and undermined the complaints of parents angry about the scandal:
In an exclusive interview with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer played a clip of a woman attacking the Republican as hypocritical for sending his children to private school while cutting funding for public schools. Lauer agreed with her premise: "I thought it was a fair question."
Lauer sympathized with the woman and argued: "...what she was asking you was – she clearly sends her kids to public schools and she's saying, 'Governor, I understand you send your kids to private schools, but is it possible, though, then you don't understand how these cuts are going to affect families,' like her's on a daily basis. Why isn't it a fair question?"
MSNBC’s Ed Schultz on Tuesday badly mispronounced the last name of Constitutional lawyer and conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly.
Rather deliciously, this occurred in a segment wherein the pompous, know-it-all host was once again mocking the intellectual capacity of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
It's an old saw in journalism that there's no such thing as a dumb question.
On her MSNBC show June 16, Rachel Maddow demonstrated how this belief doesn't have much validity, if it ever did.
Maddow was reporting on a Detroit public high school, Catherine Ferguson Academy, that narrowly missed closing due to budget cuts when a charter school company intervened at the 11th hour (video after page break) --
Now we have Roxanne Martino, a Chicago-area member of the University of Notre Dame's Board of Trustees, who resigned Wednesday after serving less than two months. The Cardinal Newman Society noted that Martino had made $27,150 in political contributions to Emily's List over a 12-year period. Her claim, relayed through the board's chairman and the university's president, is that she "didn't realize any of the organizations she supported also promoted abortion rights." Uh, Roxanne -- Emily's List has only one mission: "electing pro-choice Democratic women to office."
Appearing on MSNBC today, Newsweek senior writer Andrew Romano attributed the findings of his magazine's study showing Americans don't understand basic facts about U.S. history to the country's lack of a top-down federal government-imposed curriculum.
When daytime anchor Thomas Roberts asked Romano to explain the significance of the survey, the Daily Beast scribe indicted federalism: "Another reason why we don’t do well is because we don’t have a kind of centralized curriculum in our schools. Everyone in different states kind of learns different things. And that definitely contributes to it as well."
House Republicans are pushing back against Obama administration efforts to promote healthier lunches, saying the Agriculture Department should rewrite rules it issued in January meant to make school meals healthier. They say the new rules are too costly.
The bill, approved by the House Appropriations Committee late Tuesday, also questions a government proposal to curb marketing of unhealthy foods to children and urges the Food and Drug Administration to limit rules requiring calorie counts be posted on menus.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told CNSNews.com on Wednesday that the administration's new $500 million early learning initiative is designed to deal with children from birth onward to prevent such problems as 5-year olds who "can't sit still" in a kindergarten classroom.
“You really need to look at the range of issues, because if a 5-year-old can’t sit still, it is unlikely that they can do well in a kindergarten class, and it has to be the whole range of issues that go into healthy child development,” Sebelius said during a telephone news conference on Wednesday to announce the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge.
Redwood Heights Elementary School in Oakland, CA has joined the chorus of those wishing to mainstream “gender-bending” by enacting a program this week that, according to a press release, tells kindergarteners “there are more than two genders.”
The kindergarten through fifth grade school hosted a 2-day program for students titled, “Gender Spectrum Diversity Training,” in which single-sex Hawaiian geckos and transgender clownfish were brought in to teach children that “there are different ways to be boys. There are different ways to be girls,” according to Redwood Heights principal Sara Stone. Students received gender diversity training as they learned about “boy snakes that act ‘girly’.”
At the top of NBC's Nightly News on Wednesday, anchor Brian Williams teased a story on charter public schools: "In our 'Education Nation' report tonight, the agonizing lottery for kids and their families to get into the best schools, but are they the best schools?" He later declared that families "put everything on the line for a coveted spot in a charter school, but do these schools really deliver?"
Introducing a report by education correspondent Rehema Ellis, Williams touted her examining "the questions being raised about whether charter schools are truly better schools." After detailing anxious parents hoping their children would win a lottery to attend a charter school outside of Atlanta, Ellis warned: "For all the excitement around charter schools, there is also growing concern that, overall, they may not be the answer for what ails America's public schools."
CBS's Cynthia Bowers trumpeted the inauguration of incoming Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday's Early Show, highlighting how the former Obama chief of staff went "weeding in a community garden. He called it...weeding out corruption." Bowers also acclaimed the legacy of former mayor and "family man" Richard M. Daley, despite referencing the poor high school graduation in the city.
In a moment of respite from its typically liberal proclivities, MSNBC's "Morning Joe" tuned in to "Squawk Box" on May 12 to chat with the 11-year-old daughter of a CNBC anchor who co-authored a book about "defending our kids from the liberal assault on capitalism."
"Although I am an environmentalist, in this argument I support the business side," wrote Blake Kernen, daughter of CNBC's Joe Kernen, in response to a question on a homework assignment that Blake said was biased against the free market. "I agree that limiting the amount of emissions a company can release would hurt a business ... If a company was told to limit its production, it would make less goods, reducing the money it makes. If a company cannot make money, it cannot employ a lot of workers!"
CNN's Deborah Feyerick took the offensive Tuesday and emphasized the negative effects of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's cuts to education funding. Feyerick highlighted the plight of an illiterate kindergartner from a "high risk" neighborhood as an example of student who could be affected by budget cuts. The segment ran during the 8 a.m. EDT hour of Tuesday's "American Morning" on CNN.
CNN featured a young girl from a "high risk" school district, who needs a literacy tutor to ensure she can read at her classmates' level. CNN then aired Trenton Public School superintendent Raymond Broach's dour reaction to the $12 million cut from the district's budget last year. "You've just made that race for some learners almost next to impossible," he told CNN.
Not even the light sections of the New York Times Sunday paper offer an escape from politics. In “Social Q’s,” his Sunday Styles column on modern etiquette, Philip Galanes got political when answering a question from Amanda from Grand Island, N.Y., criticizing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for teacher bashing during his recent battle to reduce the influence of public-sector unions.
Q: I asked one of my professors if he would write a letter of recommendation for an internship I was applying for. He did, and I thanked him. And I got it. Am I supposed to thank him again? I don’t know the protocol.
Imagine if a Tea Party backer by some miracle got to teach on a college campus, and began describing ways to, oh, I don't know, keep opposing politicians from conducting business, hack into their computers and destroy data, and make their staffs feel threatened. How long would that class last, and how long would it be before it became a national news story?
Well, Publius at Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com reports that " the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) sponsored two college courses: Introduction to Labor Studies and Labor Politics and Society, to be taught simultaneously through a video conference between to two campuses." Publius asserts, with video proof, that the courses really really are "How-to College Course(s) in Violent Union Tactics."
The two must-see BigGov posts are here and here. Direct links to the videos and brief descriptions follow the jump:
It's a liberal cliche to ask conservatives why they "hate" the poor, minorities or personal freedom, so it's not surprising that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker endured that question in YouTube chat, Wednesday. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel highlighted "Fuzzy Duck," who inquired via Twitter, "Why do you hate education?"
In the video, Walker began, "Today we've got another question from Twitter and it comes from someone with the name @FuzzyDuck from Madison." (There's just something amusing about the nature of social media: Not many governors have reason to utter the name "Fuzzy Duck.")
The average American, as parent, student and taxpayer, has little idea of the academic rot at so many of our colleges. Save for a tiny handful of the nation's colleges, what distinguishes one college from another is the magnitude of that rot.
One of the best sources of information about our colleges is the New York City-based Manhattan Institute's quarterly Web magazine, Minding the Campus, edited by John Leo, former columnist for U.S. News & World Report.
The Democratic mayor of Washington, D.C., Vincent Gray, distinguished himself last week by getting arrested in an act of "civil disobedience" reminiscent of the '60s. The mayor, six council members and more than 40 other protesters were detained by Capitol police for blocking the street to oppose the congressional budget deal that deprived D.C. of federal funds for abortions.
They were also protesting a mandate under the same agreement that revives a popular school choice program, the "Opportunity Scholarship Program," which allows poor children in failing schools an opportunity to attend schools they and their parents believe will give them the best possible education. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan had pulled the plug on the Bush-era program after pressure from the teacher's union which, in a reversal of Bush's "No Child Left Behind," behaves as if no child in a failing school should be let out.
Last Friday the Maryland House of Delegates passed a bill granting in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. The bill had already cleared the state senate and Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has said he will sign the bill.
Today's Baltimore Sun devoted sympathetic front-page coverage to illegal immigrants who now "celebrate the approval of in-state tuition for Maryland students regardless of immigration status."
"I want to be a part," blared the front-page headline to Nick Madigan's A-1 story. Below the headline is a picture of "Missael, an illegal immigrant from Mexico who lives in East Baltimore."
It may be laziness, or it may be failure to recognize reality, but the Associated Press's official tally of the Wisconsin Supreme Court race carried at JSOnline (but note the AP-based URL) still shows Democrat JoAnne Kloppenburg with a 204-vote lead over incumbent David Prosser, and hasn't been updated since Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.
This failure to update has occurred despite the following statement made at the 3:00 mark of the video (HT Hot Air) showing Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus explaining why over 14,000 country votes were not originally reported to the Badger State's Government Accountability Board (GAB), which oversees state elections, at a late Thursday press conference:
These numbers will be reflected in my official results, canvass report, that was submitted to the Government Accountability Board.
Ms. Nickolaus mixed up tenses, but it seems pretty clear that by using the word "official" she is saying that the GAB now has the results, and that they should be reflected in any official reports.
Accordingly, yours truly has updated the AP's non-current scoreboard with the Waukesha County correction and a couple of smaller ones:
HOUSTON -- On the day of the NCAA men's basketball final, the Supreme Court handed down a decision that is likely to produce champions for generations to come.
By a 5-4 vote, the majority upheld an Arizona tax-credit program that, writes David Savage of the L.A. Times, gives taxpayers a "dollar-for-dollar tax credit, up to $500 per person or $1,000 for a couple, for those who donate to organizations that in turn pay tuition for students attending private and parochial schools." The minority contends this violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The majority opinion, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, maintains that since such donations are with pre-tax dollars, the government never has the money, and thus, "there is no such connection between dissenting taxpayer and alleged establishment."
On Monday's Morning Edition, NPR's David Schaper slanted towards a professor and his allies in academia who object to a recent open records request into his e-mails from the Wisconsin GOP, playing five sound bites from them versus only two from a non-Republican source who thought their concerns were overblown. One of the professor's allies labeled the request a "contemporary version of McCarthyism."
Host Renee Montagne introduced Schaper's report by putting the issue in the context of the continuing debate over state employees' collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin:
Appearing on Tuesday's CBS Early Show, Newsweek senior writer Andrew Romano touted a survey in the magazine's latest issue showing that 38% of Americans failed the U.S. citizenship test and claimed to know the cause: "One of the big ones is income inequality in the United States. We're one of the most in-equal societies in the developed world."
Romano argued to co-host Erica Hill: "When people don't have a lot of money, there's a difficulty getting a good education, there's a lack of opportunity and a lack of knowledge. That's one of the reasons why we don't do as well as northern European countries, sometimes on these surveys." Hill observed: "So it's really a question of access." Romano replied: "It is. It's a big problem."
Last week, my main point was that liberals couldn't care less about changing anything in public schools because they are producing exactly what liberals want. And that biased programming will deepen in the minds and hearts of America's young people unless we patriots stand up in every community, resist those progressive tides and demand alternatives.
There are ways to improve national academic imbalances. In Part 2 here, I give seven ways to counter that torrent of progressivism. Among the list of correctives that have been proved to work are the following:
Apparently lacking any problems of graver concern in the D.C. area, today's Washington Post Metro section devoted front page real estate to young college women "Suffraging in silence."*
"On many college campuses," the subheader explains, "student government remains dominated by men, echoing gender gaps in state and national politics."
"For the past decade, women have outpaced men on key measures of college success," staff writer Jenna Johnson noted. "They attend college and graduate at higher rates, according to several studies, and they tend to earn higher grades."
But alas, lamented Johnson, "on many campuses, student government is dominated by men, echoing gender gaps in state and national politics."
A few paragraphs later, however, Johnson noted that one reason is collegiate women tend to gravitate towards investing time and energy into extracurricular clubs that follow their interests:
Less than two weeks into his new gig anchoring the 3 p.m. Eastern hour at MSNBC, Martin Bashir has already called the Tea Party "disingenuous," hailed Obama's response to the crisis in Libya, and supported raising taxes on the rich.
This afternoon Bashir added another item to that liberal laundry list.
While President Barack Obama was delivering a speech on education reform in Boston, the former ABC "Nightline" anchor seized on the opportunity to advance the fallacious narrative that Republican governors across the country are trying to vilify public school teachers.