Friday, October 01, 2010

Compare & Contrast

President Obama interviewed in Rolling Stone:
When I talk to Democrats around the country, I tell them, "Guys, wake up here. We have accomplished an incredible amount in the most adverse circumstances imaginable." . . . The Recovery Act alone represented the largest investment in research and development in our history, the largest investment in infrastructure since Dwight Eisenhower, the largest investment in education -- and that was combined, by the way, with the kind of education reform that we hadn't seen in this country in 30 years.
Jonah Goldberg on The Corner:
[T]o listen to the debate this week, you would think this is all a bipartisan problem because Republicans share the blame for refusing to fund schools enough.

There are two problems with this canard. 1) Bush and the GOP congress massively increased education spending and 2) the problems with our education system have almost nothing to do with how much money we spend.

We’re constantly told about all of these countries allegedly beating us in the classroom. Does anyone really think they’re doing better than us because they spend more? Really?

In the last few presidential elections I’ve heard more from Democrats -- by far -- complaining about leaky school roofs, cracking paint, and the need for more computers in the classroom than I’ve heard about the fact it’s easier to find and train a brontosaurus than it is to fire a horrible teacher. Do we really think China and India are spending 20-30K per pupil on their new crop of math whizzes?

In 2008-2009, the District of Columbia spent $1.3 billion dollars on 45,858 students. That is slightly less than the entire GDP of Belize. [NOfP note: it's also, on a per-pupil basis, only slightly less than the annual tuition at Harvard--so why don't we just give First Graders scholarships there?] In 2007, 8 percent of DC eighth graders were able to do math at the eighth grade level. Clearly what’s needed is more money!. . .

And yet when you listen to these endless seminars and interviews on NBC and its various platforms, I never seem to hear Matt Lauer or David Gregory ask "Isn’t the education crisis a failure of liberalism?" After all, liberals insist all social problems can be reduced to root causes. Well, they’ve been in charge of the roots for generations and look at the mess they’ve made. Look at it.
I don't blame the President for sending his children to private school. But I do fault him for killing the vouchers that were kids' only hope.

(via reader Warren)

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