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The internet will be abuzz with posts shortly.  The excitement was great.  No one knew if it would pass. It did.

Melanie _____.______. Smith (lol)  Girl you did it.  Hats off to a rather well crafted bill designed to make it through.  You earned your bottle of wine tonight.

Bryan Townsend is amazing.. A Patrick Henry when it comes to what is just.  I kept seeing Tony Deluca in that position, knowing full well we would have an entirely different outcome had it been so.

Patty Blevins as should be, worked the background brilliantly.  Knowing what must take place to do these things, she gets a shout, because the quiet ones, are the ones you have to watch… It takes a lot of structure to put on a pageant such as this…

Clothier, Marshall and Bushweiller had tough choices.. out of  a thousand voices in their ear, they chose to hear the right ones.  We are so small standing next to them.

Karen Peterson rocked the house.  “If my happiness somehow demeans or diminishes your marriage, you need to work on your marriage”  certainly seems like it would apply to Senator Venables. That dude has some work to do…..

In this hearing and vote, it becomes very clear.  If you look straight into the heart of America,  each and all the values we grew up under, the Democrats embody.

The evil that also lies in America, is Republican to the core… Never in my lifetime did I expect to see people use God to promote bigotry.  For as the vote was failing, as the house of sticks was crumbling around them, as they worked themselves into a fever pitch to make one last gasp to undo the damage, the clear, unadulterated hatred, the pure crystal of evil burned from underneath their skin.  Hatred. Hatred at all these people was their fuel.

I now know what those brave souls walking across the bridge at Selma saw in the eyes looking back.  I now know what those women in children sleeping in Wounded Knee saw when their tents were slashed open.  I now know what those female slaves in Alabama saw in their overseer’s eyes… I now know what every Southern black African American man saw, when he heard the phrase… Boy, better move a long now, you know you don’t belong here.”

Because I saw it staring back at me on the floor of the Delaware Senate. It was in each of those Republican’s eyes as they got up and tried to embarrass, put down, demonize an innocent  group of people they deemed inferior, beneath them, slovenly, trash.  It was in the eyes of every fake pastor or priest to got up to twist God’s word in such a way as to demean the very one whose words they praise on Sunday.

This is the undercurrent of America we don’t like to talk about. This is the sewage that come with building a society.  This is America’s most horrible accomplishment.  The underbelly of our just laws and our freedom to say or do what we please.  There are people who only gain worth by putting others down, and because they are Americans, they have every right to do so.  Prejudice will continue.

Seeing it in person was unnerving. Seeing it for real made one sick.  We have a real problem in our country, One that must be put down like a poisonous snake… Sure we can live with it.  But one day it will bite us, or even worse. Our children….

But today, we beat them.  Like George Wallace in the schoolyard doorway, they showed America the stinkin oafs they truly are….

The only reason they voted no… was to fuel their hate.  Delaware and America can and need to do much better…

And lastly. Bethany Hall- Long….. Oh my…   it takes great courage to stand up to one’s enemies… It takes even greater courage… to stand up to one’s friends….

I have to go now. I cannot fight back the tears…

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Common Core is being defeated.  Some states like Delaware are doubling down which is about as effective as using children fo stem the Russian Invasions of Berlin.  Most states are abandoning the idea before they lose their investment…..

Common Core is actually uniting various groups once thought completely unmixable, bonding them in opposition to its implementation.  Called “Obamacore” by Conservatives.. Called a “Mistake” by Teachers Unions. Called a “Boondoggle” by state legislators trying to find ways to pay for its cost. Called a “National Disgrace” by Progressives worried over its damage to our international competitiveness. Called a “Tyranny” by the Tea Party, outraged over the complete loss of local control…

One entity still defends it.  Wall Street and those who serve it.

For those of you who don’t know, Common Core was actually developed by our state’s Governors. Jack Markell was a one of the leaders who pushed this. The program was then adopted by Obama and under his secretary of Education, Arne Duncun, all federal money as been tied to its implementation.

In fairness, I like Common Core. It embodies most of the ideas I have stressed since blogging.  However, though it sounds great in theory, I must admit, it is not working.   Our children are being denied a great education because we are teaching remedial math and remedial English over and over again for one reason…. to boost test scores.   The reason for this focus on test scores,is because that is how we determine which schools we will close down, which principals will be forced to resign, and which teachers will be fired.

Obviously in that environment, all a child will learn, is how to take the test, and how to score the most points with their answers.  Nothing of which will help them or help us in the real world when they become our newest generation of the employed….

The problem is not with the principles or aims of Common Core. The problem lies with the tests and their current use as a weapon to hold over people’s heads.  The tests were meant to be used as a tool for analysis…  How much did Johnny know in September. How much does Johnny know in January?  How much will Johnny know in June?  What a great tool if it were honestly applied and not doctored up, contorted, or flagrantly adjusted in order to prevent a horrible outcome that has absolutely nothing to do with each student’s educational needs!

From the American Teachers Union –Randi Weingarten….““The Common Core is in trouble, There is a serious backlash in lots of different ways, on the right and on the left.”

Across the nation states are rushing out tests based on the new standards without preparing teachers and designing new curricula… Here the states are saying… “Take this test you’ve never seen. If you don’t do good, you’ll lose your job.” “Kid, on this test you’ve never seen, you did bad. You can’t graduate despite your 4.0 average.” “Ladies and Gentlemen; parents of this district! Your attention please! We have to close this school because your students, failed this test on stuff they’ve never seen.”

That is why parents are fighting back. 8 moms in Texas have pushed a bill in Texas to roll back the number of tests required to graduate from 15 to 5. Governor Perry will veto it.

That is why one child in five fails the Texas standard tests.

Alabama, Indiana, Georgia and South Dakota have legislation ongoing to pull or modify Common Core Standards.

Kentucky just had a 30-40 point drop in scores because of Common Core. The assessment you took this year was much more rigorous than anything that you’ve had before. It takes three or four years for the teachers and the kids to catch up.

But legislators are not the ground level.. Teachers are. New York put a message board so teachers could comment on issues they were having with Common Core implementation….. Most of the comments are negative.

There is something wrong with the timing of this test. I thought we were testing kids on their ability to really read closely but all they had time to do was rush rush rush. Also what was weird was the passages were not that hard – so it’s not going to look that hard. And the questions weren’t that hard. But the answers were ridiculous. Adults with PhDs wouldn’t have known which were the right answers sometimes – really. But when you have barely a minute to think about it, it really became a test of how much you could rush or how much you could remember off the top of your head….

My sixth grader was in tears after the second day of the test. Didn’t even get to the essay – has NEVER had that happen before. What’s the point of making kids feel this awful about themselves? He’s a good student, now he feels terrible

What’s up with reading four pages of directions to the kids before they start? My English Language Learners were in a daze…

Watched my child do test prep booklets, test prep mornings, test prep afterschool, even test prep Saturdays. Then she didn’t even get to finish the test. Taking her to a bookstore this afternoon to find some real reading..

Third graders had to keep rereading and rereading these long answers to find them in the passages. Is that really what we want third graders doing? I’m worried about them poring over these small details forever.

The test wasn’t hard at all but timely. Students couldn’t finish the exam. How can we judge students on an essay when they weren’t able to do the essay because of timing. Common core wasn’t written to test speed reading it was written I believe for deeper comprehension. Its almost as if we set up our students for failure. Also for a company to use text from their books in an exam seems unethical and unfair. Lastly I wonder if the writers of the test should be judged on some of the grammatical errors that occurred in the answers that seemed not to make sense and often times looked like two choices could answer the questions…..

Including questions that were both tedious to interpret and would require the stamina of an Olympic athlete to answer is at best unrealistic, and at worst, cruel. I am also baffled by the decision to include texts that are recommended on the Engage NY website in terms of level of complexity for 7th graders, on a 5th grade exam. Is the message for teachers then that grade-level reading is now inadequate and instead, all students should be reading several grades above their level?…

Is your blood boiling yet? If you have children, I’d be willing to bet it is….

Spend an evening reading what is really going on with Common Core….

Then, do something about it….. Start with calling your Governor….

Lucy Calkins, a professor at Teachers’ College at Columbia University: “I’m a big supporter of the Common Core. I wrote the best-selling book about it,” Calkins said. “But this makes even me question it.”

Eli Broad — the CPA-trained-billionaire-businessman-turned-public-education-reformer — informed Diane Ravitch, a distinguished education expert, about what needs to be done to education in America.  . According to Ravitch, “We talked about school reform for an hour or more, and he told me that what was needed to fix the schools was not all that complicated: A tough manager surrounded by smart graduates of business schools and law schools.

According to Slate quoting Vanity Fair, Eli Broad boasted back in 2006 that he  “plans to virtually take over the Delaware school system in 2007, pending approval from that state’s legislature.” He backed the winning slate of candidates for the local board of education in 1999 and helped hire the superintendent.

Eli Broad trains Superintendents.  Christina School District has been the unfortunate beneficiary of his largess.  Joe Wise, followed by Lillian Lowery, followed by  Marcia Lyles, all are from Eli’s School of Superintendencies….Dr. Joe Wise was selected as a Broad Fellow by Eli Broad Institute for School Boards (2005), was appointed to the Eli Broad Urban Superintendents Academy as a Fellow (2003), and serves on the Broad Academy’s adjunct faculty and advisory committee. Although Broad Superintendents come in highly qualified, they often leave disgracefully. Joe Wise, may have been one of the first. Recently, across this nation many Broad Superintendents have been let go. All trained by the Broad Superintendents Academy: Maria Goodloe-Johnson (class of 2003) of the Seattle school district, LaVonne Sheffield (class of 2002) of the Rockford, Illinois school district, and Jean-Claude Brizard (class of 2008) of the Rochester New York school district. Brizard resigned to take the job as CEO of Chicago schools, but his superintendency in Rochester had been mired in controversy. Another Broad-trained Superintendent recently announced his resignation: Tom Brady (class of 2004) of Providence, Rhode Island, as well as these others from before: Arnold “Woody” Carter (class or 2002), formerly of the Capistrano Unified School District; Thandiwee Peebles,( class of 2002), formerly of the Minneapolis Public School District; and John Q. Porter (class of 2006), formerly of the Oklahoma City Public School District.

Ms. Lillian Lowery (class of 2004), Wise's replacement after supposedly cleaning up Joe Wise's disaster, was put in charge of all Delaware's schools, and now, is in charge of Maryland's. Broad's influence has touched every Delaware Student… and is about to touch all those of Maryland.

Our current head of the Department of Education, Mark Murphy, hails from a group NLNS funded by Eli Broad

If this was a good thing, it would be good.

So, what is the Broad influence?

Here is one take. It is one of the three influencers of education. Along with the Gates Foundation and the Walton's, it exerts a powerful influence, good or bad. It calls itself a venture philanthropy, as in venture capitalist. Meaning it invests in philanthropy expecting to yield a return on its investment. As an example, it can fund a study that says computers will help inner city kids learn, then sell those recommended computers to that school district.

Here is how it infiltrates a school district. Christina School District to be exact…

The Broad Foundation plants one of its elements in a school district, it is then highly likely they will plant another one along with it, so their influence is maximized.

For instance, an element might be:
– The presence of a Broad-trained superintendent
– The placement of Broad Residents into important central office positions
– An "invitation" to participate in a program spawned by the Foundation (such as CRSS's Reform Governance in Action program)
– Offering to provide the district with a free "Performance Management Diagnostic and Planning" experience

The Broad Foundation likes to infiltrate its targets on multiple levels so it can manipulate a wider field and cause the greatest amount of disruption. Venture edu-philanthropists like Gates and Broad proudly call this invasive and destabilizing strategy “investing in a disruptive force.” To these billionaires and their henchmen, causing massive disruption in communities across the nation is not a big deal.

The Broad Foundation has spent nearly $400 million on its mission of “transforming urban K-12 public education through better governance, management, labor relations and competition.”

That sounds nice. So let us look closer….

The signature effort of the Broad Foundation is its investment in its training programs…The Broad Superintendents Academy runs a training program held during six weekends over ten months, after which graduates are placed in large districts as superintendents. Those accepted into the program (“Broad Fellows”) are not required to have a background in-education; many come instead from careers in the military, business, or government. Tuition and travel expenses for participants are paid for by the Broad Center, which also sometimes covers a share of the graduates’ salaries when they are appointed into district leadership positions. The foundation’s website boasts that 43 percent of all large urban superintendent openings were filled by Broad Academy graduates in 2009.

The Broad Superintendents Academy’s weekend training course provides an “alternative” certification process which has come to supplant or override the typical regulations in many states that require that individuals have years of experience as a teacher and principal before being installed as a school district superintendents….

The Broad Residency in Urban Education is a two-year program, during which individuals with MBAs, JDs, etc. in the early stages of their careers are placed in high-level managerial positions in school districts, charter management organizations, or state and federal departments of education. The Broad Center subsidizes approximately 33 percent of each Resident’s salary.

The Broad Foundation founded the New York City Leadership Academy, which trains individuals to serve as principals in the city public schools, several of whose graduates have been accused of financial misconduct, as well as arbitrary and dictatorial treatment of teachers, students and parents. This was recently featured by Delaware’s WDDE reporting on Reshid Walker who is training in Cape Henelopen under the Delaware Leadership Project. DLP is an alternate certification program that this year is preparing six candidates to work as principals or assistant principals at public schools serving high-risk students in Delaware. Alternate Certification means it sidesteps requirements that a principal has to have stepped foot inside a school before. Through four days a week of on-the-job training, and no certification from an accredited college or university, he will soon be in command of your child’s education.

The Broad Institute for School Boards provides three training programs for elected school board members and non-Broad-trained superintendents conducted in partnership with the Center for Reform of School Systems (CRSS). The Institute trains new board members at a one-week summer residential setting…The Broad Foundation underwrites 80 percent of all program costs through a grant to CRSS.

The Broad Foundation also supports a broad range of pro-charter school advocacy groups, as well as alternative training programs for non-educators who want to work as teachers and principals (Teach for America, New Leaders for New Schools). In addition, the foundation offers free diagnostic “audits” to school districts, along with recommendations aligned with its policy preferences. It produces a number of guides and toolkits for school districts, including a “School Closure Guide,” based on the experiences of Broad-trained administrators involved in closing schools in Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Miami-Dade County, Oakland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Seattle…..

Closing public schools to open opportunities for charters seems to be it’s prime directive. Although not officially enshrined as such, it does seem to be the consistent pattern of each of its graduates.

The foundation provided start-up funding for Parent Revolution (formerly the Los Angeles Parent Union), the group which developed the “Parent Trigger” legislation, designed to encourage the conversion of public schools to charter schools. Broad has also has given large amounts of money to Education Reform Now, a pro-charter school advocacy organization…

Eli Broad has said he “expects to be a major contributor” to Students First, former D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s organization that advocates for the expansion of charters, vouchers, and an end to seniority protections for teachers. The pro-Rhee biography, The Bee Eater, was subsidized by the Broad Foundation as is mentioned on the book jacket.

Of course, there are campaign contributions (you will need to type in Broad, Eli) to facilitate the corporatizing of education… A quick look certifies that his coverage is a who’s who across party lines in Congress. Obviously there will be support for Charters streaming down from the top lines of government.

Ok, so how does all of this affect Delaware’s public school’s families?….
One of the tenets of his philosophy taught to his graduates, is to produce system change by “investing in a disruptive force.” Continual reorganizations, firings of staff, and experimentation to create chaos or “churn” is believed to be productive and beneficial, as it weakens the ability of communities to resist change.

A hallmark of the Broad-style leadership is closing existing schools rather than attempting to improve them, increasing class size, opening charter schools, imposing high-stakes test-based accountability systems on teachers and students, and implementing of pay for performance schemes. The brusque and often punitive management style of Broad-trained leaders has frequently alienated parents and teachers and sparked protests. A long laundry list of Broad Supertendants run out of town can be found here, near the bottom. But you can get an idea of what to expect, from just this one: Robert Bobb (class of 2005), the Emergency Financial Manager of the Detroit Public Schools, recently sent layoff notices to every one of the district’s 5,466 salaried employees, including all its teachers, and said that nearly a third of the district’s schools would be closed or turned over to private charter operators. At a recent town hall which Bobb had called so he could go over his plan, angry students, parents, and teachers drove him from the meeting. He was escorted out by his six bodyguards….

Disruption and chaos indeed…..

Delaware is fortunate to have a large parenting network of watch dogs who communicate well with legislators. Whereas the Christina District has had a rough go with Broad graduates, the rest of the state has so far been unscathed…..
Without the oversight being provided by parents and teachers watchdog organizations, the fate of Delaware’s students might be that of Philadelphia, Chicago, or Detroit.

if you are a parent or know one, you probably feel this way as well. Parents Across America considers Broad’s influence to be inherently undemocratic, as it disenfranchises parents and other stakeholders in an effort to privatize our public schools and imposes corporate-style policies without our consent. We strongly oppose allowing our nation’s education policy to be driven by billionaires who have no education expertise, who do not send their own children to public schools, and whose particular biases and policy preferences are damaging our children’s ability to receive a quality education.

In fact, this entire philosophy of forcing change upon children, strikes every parent as coming from those types of people we all run across, … who hate children…. “Someone smack that kid who’s crying.”

Amen And Amen.

Here is a copy of Markell’s State of the State speech. i wanted to take his speech and break it down, piece by piece, and analyze it.

Bear with me. If your are following along or wrote this speech, I am only concerning myself with the part under the headline: A Great Economy Demands Great Schools

The impetus seems to be on: providing a world class education…. That sounds great and when I heard it first, I cheered it on. But now if you pressed me I couldn’t define it. How does one determine a world class level for education? Especially nations where many different languages are spoken? Some nations require many languages in their curriculum. They succeed but at a cost to high math scores. Some nations do well on math scores. They fail on creativity and ethics. We will soon be competing with the world for jobs. So do we model our education on Finland? On India? On China? or do we stick with Belgium, Netherlands, England, France and Switzerland? Or do we use the methods of Brazil?

Anyone who has traveled globally knows exactly what I’m talking about. There are so many methods being used across the globe, that using the term “world class education”, could describe situations different as the interior of Mali and downtown Sydney….

So then before beginning, we must ask for a clearer definition of “world class”…

Moving on.

Let’s make this about the children, not the adults. For my part, I speak on this issue not only as a governor, but as a father. When it comes to decisions about education, our kids deserve our total focus and commitment.

Now here is the biggest bone of contention right now. Based on feedback from a) parents, b) teachers, c) administrators, and d) students, these new changes we are undertaking are not helping children. They are putting them further behind.

Now I don’t mean to be nasty or put anyone down. There was a lot of evidence presented to us that implied a “get tough” attitude on poor schools improved test scores. But instead, the reality was not what we were told. One of the great examples that led to this program being rolled out nationwide, was the success of Atlanta’s inner city. We were told a miracle had taken place. Inner city children were rapidly learning. Alas, .. we were fooled, there was just widespread cheating going on. They didn’t learn anything after all.

Michelle Rhee has been campaigning for cracking down on inner city schools. But allegations of cheating occurred during her reign as controller of DC’s schools. Test scores that climbed magnificently, while the children have no idea how to do the problems when the meet them again in the next grade.

Texas was the granddaddy of them all. The great scores of Texas’s inner city youth, so great they compelled the “leave no child behind ” mandate across America (look at Texas we were told), whose many parts were reincorporated into Race to The Top.– all those great scores were faked. Texas dropped on knowledge vis a vis with other states despite higher test scores. We were given false results and the whole nation pursued a program that did not work the first time, or the second….

It appears that none of these programs actually do what is wanted: which is to help the children.

And what does work? Human relationships. A love bond between teacher and student. A teacher teaches her best because that is what she was born to do. A child learns his best, because he wants the teacher to be proud of them.

Can we put that into an institutionalized setting? I don’t know. But I think most baby boomers had that growing up. So, it can be done, but how to return to that setting in todays modern time, will take some experimentation…

Moving on.

Built upon four cornerstones that stand on their own:

• Improving student readiness by holding them to high standards.

• Effectively using student data to drive classroom results.

• Ensuring teacher quality.

• Turning around persistently low-performing schools.

Holding students to higher standards. The worst possible thing one can do to a child, is force him to give up. Raising standards without raising the curve, does exactly that. An A student who strives to keep up his grade average, gives up when all he gets are C’s. What’s the point. A C student who dutifully studies to keep a passing grade, gives up when all he gets are F’s… In both cases they were doing all they could do. Society considers them good students. But the same test they took last year, is now graded higher. If one got a 5 at a score of 900, now it takes 950 to get the same. If one got a 3 at the score of 750, now it takes an 800 to achieve the same….
This in no way helps students. All it does is demoralize those who get shuffled downward by the curb.

We just had Delaware Women fall out of the final 16. We are all proud. But what if we arbitrarily changed the rules? What if we said, the final 8 will be determined not by whom was beaten by whom, but by the total number of baskets their team shot across the entire tournament. Suddenly a team that scored in the 80’s instead of the 50’s, goes forward, even though they’d been beaten in the first round by a team with fewer tournament points. Suddenly Delaware’s great run means very little. We are a loser like everyone else. “Oh, you should have tried harder to make baskets” they all say. I wonder who returns back to their home court with their heads high. I wonder who tries harder the next year. I wonder which teams recruit only guards with very high three point kill rates?

Higher standards do not work. They just mean fewer people can reach them. The do nothing for the top few elite who will be above 950 anyways. They ruin lives for everyone else… Higher standards on tests hurt our children. There is nothing wrong with what we are teaching now. The problem is that we are not teaching what we are teaching well enough so those on the bottom get it. Teaching even more, will do nothing to elevate the bottom. It will do nothing to put more into the top. All it will do, is make children think they are failures and give up….

Second. Using student data to drive classroom results. There have been cartoons this year showing students taking tests and the administrators joking that firing the teachers and just testing every school day could save them money. There is some sense to using technology to help students. However, theoretically, if tests are given 2 hours each day, how much instruction does that bite into? 10 hours a week? 40 hours a month? 360 hours a year? That last total is the equivalent at a 6 hour day, of 60 days spent taking tests. Remember, we are only talking about 2 hours a day, which in High School, is pretty accurate. Under which scenario does one learn new things better? During instruction? Or taking tests… ummm a? b? c? or d? On the other hand, the new software integrating parents, students, and teachers on the same page as grades get posted on a daily basis, is a godsend. Putting parents into the mix is rather helpful in creating a positive learning experience for each child.

Third. Ensuring teacher quality. This is a noble goal. But one of the great mysteries of Ancient Greece was that the Spartans who were rigorously disciplined and toughened to the highest order, almost always lost to the Athenians who were dilettantes in comparison. Imposing structure erases creativity. There is a tendency among government types to make all state employees into solders. That means drill Sergent techniques; it means battlefield toughening. In a military application, those techniques are necessary because in battle the mind gets blown; training has to take over. The only equivalent in a class room to such an experience, is if a student puts a gun to a teacher’s head… Our techniques are jeopardizing the sole proven tactic of transferring knowledge. A positive bond between teacher and student…. an understanding that success depends solely on the amount of knowledge downloaded from one to the other.

Here is where our education is facing its biggest problem… We are using the wrong tests to determine if a teacher should stay or go. We are putting teachers into a spot where they must cheat or fail. Since all up the ladder are accountable for the results that teacher brings, they do not insist with too much effort, that cheating does not occur. The best way to have a measurment of a student’s progress, is to remove teacher accountability from the testing. If a teacher keeps her job anyways, she does not have to cheat to get good results. Our results are accurate as to what a student knows or does not know. Of course, once we know exactly what a student does not know, we can rectify it.

Getting rid of all standardized testing is not the answer. Removing job safety concerns from these tests, is the answer. Ontario has done this. The tests are tools, opening a window into the soul of each child, and a teacher can then, fill in the blanks that got missed somewhere down the line…. Ontario, is probably the best in North America, to show real growth in their children across the board.

Turning around low performing schools. This is easy to do… Logically, focus on what works. A loving teacher and student relationship. To achieve that in a higher need school, you need more teachers. The ideal number would be eleven students for one teacher. If using the test scores, we were able to group students based off their scores into groups of eleven, so the average deviation between scores was 50 or 100 points, great headway could be made. For example in a grade of two hundred twenty students, twenty teachers would be needed. Using the bell curve the lowest eleven would be in one class, the second lowest eleven in another, as well as the highest eleven in another class, the second highest eleven in another, and so on. Those in the middle on the cusp of the curve, would probably be within one or two points of each other. But the beauty is that classes would be homogenized around their standard ability. A teacher wouldn’t be answering a top students question, when the person right next to him, had no clue what was even asked. They also wouldn’t cover a basic idea, thirty times until the student gets it, boring the top student next to him into giving up….

Testing is not the answer. Testing is a tool. Teachers are the answer. Teachers are not tools….

A student who can barely read or do math, does not need to be guessing at a physics problem far above his level. Likewise, for a physics student to answer a question of what is 2 +2 =__, is equally a wasted effort…. And this is where we err. Thinking that tests and corporate programs we buy into, can make that low performing student, suddenly get excited by a physics problem far above his grade level, and suddenly decided to become a math whiz. Reality fails to work that way….

Moving on.

But it is not enough to set high standards. Our students have to meet them. To do so, Delaware will use its rich data system and new assessment to support decision-making in the classroom. Good use of the data will make teachers and schools more effective. Parents and students will be able to use this information to demand that schools deliver.

Exactly what I said. But don’t use it to get rid of teachers or all we will get is teaching to the test and more cheating. The kids will learn how to take tests; not learn anything about the subject matter.

To that end, we will work with our institutions of higher education to establish teacher residency programs. We will develop a pipeline for strong principals by establishing leadership preparation programs. And we must better compensate teachers who produce results in our most challenging schools.

This sounds good and I find no fault with it’s aims. However your compensation packages are not effective. Being corporate hounds, monetary incentives are the first motivator one thinks of. I did the same. However, interaction with teachers, students and parents, has led me to believe there are better rewards. Teachers did not sign up to teach as a career for money. In public schools, I don’t think you can find one who is there to get rich. Talk to any teacher, and once they trust you, you understand they are there because they love to teach… THAT is what moves them. THAT is what moved each of our mentors that stick out from our early educational days. They love to teach. So the best way to motivate teachers is not with compensation, but, in making them teach even better by giving them more resources than they have now.

And the best way to get teachers to teach better is to limit their classes to 11 students… Whoever can achieve that goal first, will be the top educator in the world. Business will flock to that location just to absorb the talent of that labor pool…

If we are serious about education, we need to invest in more teachers, more schools, more infrastructure, and get our class sizes down to 11 students per teacher….

Only then, when every student doesn’t want to let either their peers or their teacher down, will we begin the resurrection of our educational system.

But, some people still don’t get it.

“We are requiring that new teachers show appropriate levels of student growth before receiving tenure. In addition, we have adopted a robust evaluation system under which teachers whose students do not show satisfactory levels of growth cannot be rated “effective.” Teachers whose students do show satisfactory levels of growth cannot be rated “ineffective.” We will also improve teacher preparation programs by linking teacher performance to the schools from which they graduated.”

It is still all about the test. This has to change….

But having world class schools does not alone ensure that all our children will get a world-class education. For that, we need an increase in parent’s engagement with their children’s education.

Parents need to realize the tests are hurting their kids. Across America this season, as tests are being rolled out in state after state, it is the parents who vote, who are asking their legislators the tough question. How does this test help my kid? When asked, the legislators agree with them that tests don’t.

Education has gotten worse since we went to standardized testing. Parents in Delaware need to increase their engagement with Delaware’s legislators and appeal to Governor Markell with their concerns.

My concern started because a little girl who loved English last year, who is in Common Core this year, says this year she has learned absolutely nothing… Nothing new.

When you think of the great United States of America and all the hopes, dreams, and visions it once held…. that is just so sad. So sad.

Teaching The Corporate Way

As someone who has given and taken myriads of academic tests, there is a standard rule. Don’t concentrate on the topic; concentrate on the tester. Meaning that if you know how a test is graded, you can outsmart it.

Here are some examples… First , math.

There are many reasons why students equipped with all the necessary math knowledge don’t always score well on the SAT math section, but the main one is unfamiliarity with the exam. Just like any teacher, the Collegeboard employs several tricks to throw students off and reward those who have studied more and have paid closer attention to the details of the exam.

Questions that may not actually be that tough, but a scary graph or new technique will have several students saying “I’ll skip this one and come back to it later…”. If there is a very tricky or intimidating problem towards the beginning or middle, odds are that the question itself is pretty simple, but Collegeboard is attempting to frighten you away from the question.

Since often the underlying math concepts aren’t too challenging in and of themselves, Collegeboard often employs confusing / tricky language to get students to solve for the wrong variable, pick a related (but incorrect) answer choice, or miss out on a crucial piece of information…

The impulse is to start “doing math” as quickly as you can in this timed environment, but unfortunately the Collegeboard knows this and they will trick you if you don’t manage your time to thoroughly read the question and understand what is being asked.

On the Written, here are how you beat the robot scorers….

“Use “plethora”, and “myriad” and 5 other big words.. Don’t be concerned if you are using them incorrectly.
Add a quotation in the fifth paragraph. Don’t worry if it doesn’t fit.
Fill both pages, content doesn’t matter, length does.”

Why? The readers grading these essays have to grade 30-40 test per hour. They are given one and a half to two minutes to appraise and grade your two page 5 paragraph article.

MIT did a test. They wrote the best essay ever…. Highest score, .. .. Now read it. It makes no sense.

This, my friends and fellow countrymen, is what testing is doing to our educational system….

The profit return on testing is close to 85% … The costs are minimal, some paper, some ink, some graders, and you charge $100 per test.

And let’s not even get into the part where the tests are graded wrong, AND WHEN EXPOSED ARE NOT CORRECTED.

That is why it is being force fed. If you give a school a failing grade, they will buy more tests to test themselves out of their hole…..

Education is not about student achievement anymore.

Look,….. for a blogger to be outraged at another blogger is just silly. Oh, you can whine and moan, and say you’d never stoop to a certain level, but when it comes down to it. a blogger blogs because he wants the world to know his perspective on things….

If a blogger is a sweet guy, he has a sweet perspective and his blogs are nice…

If a blogger is smart, and has a special insight on human nature, his blogs tend to be…. insightful….

If a blogger is an odious asshole, someone you’d leave the room before he even entered just because his face looks like a pile of excrement, and his complexion is the color of a vaginal infection, then his blogs will smell like shit and decayed sperm.

You judge the blogger by the blog.

So, since I’m slow on the uptake of this one, (Steve Newton alerted me… and I was slow to pick up the kickoff… sort of enjoying the first bouncing pigskin of the season.) I’ll defer to Steve and then comment….

So, let us judge this blog Steve points us to in an insightful way, shall we? And perhaps we can gain insight as to the type of a person controlling this particular blog’s content.

WOULD THE PROSECUTOR PLEASE ADDRESS THE COURT AND NOW PRESENT THE CHARGES AGAINST KENNY RIVERA…. (these are lifted from the blog)

Hi, your honor. I’m Evan Queitish. Here are the charges I’m bringing,… proving Kenny Rivera is a communist and implying he is unfit for office.

1) Mr. Rivera is the worst kind of teacher, a history teacher fresh out of the UD school of advanced Progressive policies who loves his union. gRRRR.

2) He has a progressive (read: Communist) pedigree and again… a teacher…. gRRRR.

3) His wife is a (sweet young woman)…. gRRRR.

4) He goes to church, not just to attend services, BUT HE EVEN GOES TO SECRET GET-TOGETHERS TO STUDY THE LORD’S WORD!!!!!!!!!

5) He once decried Capitalism always turned out to be oppressive, and as the world today certainly shows (as well as the history of the world up to 1932), unfettered capitalism does not work as an effective model.

6) He implied the Nation of God, our beloved Israel, actually had and fostered communes. Oh the horror.

7) There are only, only, only six degrees of separation between Kenny and Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez….

8) Kenny is not a true believer of the Biblical Worldview because he once mentioned on YouTube that teachers have to dig out of their own pockets to cover at least the minimum of supplies needed in their classrooms.

9) Through his association with Mike Matthews, Sam Lathem, and Frederica Jenner, Kenny is a communist. (And yes, we are totally ignoring his association with me, those in our group, our church the LoCC, and it’s Pastor, Pastor Steve, which could just as well imply that since Kenny associates with those who worship Christ, by such association he could also be a Christian and therefore not a communist.).. But by his association with only these three people, Kenny is a communist.

IS THAT ALL THE CHARGES EVAN?

Yes…

WOULD THE DEFENSE LIKE TO ANSWER THESE CHARGES?

Yes your honor. We submit that these charges be dropped since they are based on a fallacy of reasoning. And any charge based on a fallacy, by rule of law, is to be immediately dismissed.

THE DEFENSE MAY NOW PROCEED.

“Your Honor,”

“In his charge, Evan Queitish, makes this statement that defines his Deistic statehood argument……”

“The concept that God created everything and therefore government should be subservient to Him, is sometimes hard for us to swallow but an important point nonetheless.”

“Mr Queitish makes this the central argument of his case. God created everything and all things, including government, are subservient to God…”

“MR QUEITISH: IS THAT A FAIR ASSESSMENT OF WHAT YOU SAID?”

“Absolutely your honor…. Government is subservient to God.”

Your Honor, as Mr. Queitish has just said, Government is subservient to God… If so, then it must follow that whatever Christian’s believe, government should be made with that in mind. If Christians believe in small government, it should be small. IF Christians believe in no taxes, there should not be tax. If Christians believe in getting rid of unions, they should be gotten rid of. I believe if I understood Mr. Queitish correctly, he would not have problems with these scenarios?

“That is correct your honor…”

So, the argument that Even Queitish insists upon, is, that Christians who reverently believe in their values, should have the right to insist those values be also reflected in which ever governments they serve under… I believe Mr. Queitish would have no qualms with this reasoning….

Your Honor, that is correct….

And so, if a Christian believes in something God tells him to do, he is obligated to work to make that government reflect the vision that God has given him… is that not correct?

Absolutely; he is commanded by God to do so…..

So, that were God to tell a Christian that capitalism is not working and God then commands that Christian start a commune, is that Christian also obligated to then work to make his government reflect this vision that God has given him? Is that not correct?

Perhaps.

Would Mr. Queitish also concur, that the root of Christianity, comes as does the word from Christ? And would Mr. Queitish also concur that same Christ to be the Son of God?

Why, yes your honor.

Is Mr. Queitish familiar with the gospel according to Matthew, chapter 19; versus 16 to 30?

Not off the top of my head, but I’ve probably heard them before.

With your honor’s permission, I will no enter as evidence, a passage of Matthew 19: versus 16 to 30. Would Mr. Queitish please honor the court with his reading of the Holy Word?

Certainly: 16 Now a man came to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”

18 “Which ones?” the man inquired.

Jesus replied, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,” and “love your neighbor as yourself.”

20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said, “What do I still lack?”

21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Mr. Queitish, you are familiar with this passage, are you not?

Yes, your honor.

And you accept the notion of the Trinity, that Jesus is part of God, and God is part of Jesus, so when Jesus speaks, God also is speaking. Am I correct in assuming you too share that belief.

Your honor, I am proud to publicly share that belief.

Can you, Evan Quetish, please tell the court what must happen, for this man to get to heaven?

He.. He…. he…. must……. give…up….. his….. worldly….. possessions…. and give…. them…. to…. the ….poor… to follow….. Jesus….

You are correct Sir…

Mr. Evan Queitish has just confirmed that God says the only way this man could get to heaven would be to sell all he had and give to the poor…

Is Mr. Queitish familiar with the rules of an commune? Ie that they give up everything they own, and work for the greater good of their community?

Yes.

And is what Jesus specifically says, which Mr. Queitish expressly said just a moment before hand, that was the same as coming from God’s mouth himself… exactly what people do in a commune?

Uhhh,

ANSWER YES OR NO, MR QUEITISH. YOU ARE UNDER OATH.

Yes.

So, boiling everything down, isn’t the Christian who starts a commune probably a better Christian, at least in God’s eyes, than the person who takes money from other people?

Yes.

And as Evan Queitish previously stated, isn’t it a Christians duty to make his sovereign government reflect the vision that God has laid out before him?

Yes, I did say that.

And as Evan Queitish previously stated, isn’t Communism a belief extolling the absence of God, so that if Kenny here happens to state that he believes in Matthew 19: 16-30, which Evan previously admitted himself, was uttered from the mouth of God, doesn’t his following of Christ’s word to the letter, make him then a non-communist?

You honor, the defense requests that this case be dismissed on insufficient evidence, and that new charges of communism and blasphemy be subsequently filed for Mr Evan Queitish, who, is promoting a concept of government that Jesus himself condemned, and who has just charged my client Kenny, to be a communist when he is actually a much better Christian than Evan Queitish ever could be, that is… if we can believe these words spoken by God himself….

MOTION ACCEPTED. CASE DISMISSED ON A FALLACY OF REASONING. KENNY, YOU ARE FREE TO GO. WILL THE BAILIFF AND PROSECUTOR PLEASE STEP FORWARD AND ESCORT EVAN QUEITISH TO THE HOLDING CELL WHILE CHARGES ARE FILED.

Wait, wait..NOOOOO … what are the charges?

PRIMARILY: IMPERSONATING AN AMERICAN…… SUBSEQUENTLY BY MAKING FALSE AND ACCUSATORY STATEMENTS…. BY MAKING UNCHRISTIAN-LIKE STATEMENTS…. BY LIABLE…. BY PRESSING FALSE CHARGES…. BY BREAKING VOWS OF CONFIDENCE UTTERED IN RELIGIOUS CONFINEMENT…. BY SLANDERING SAM LATHAM, MIKE MATTHEWS, ERICA JENNER, ALL WHO SEEM MORE IN LINE WITH JESUS’S TEACHING THAN THE CRAP YOU POSTED….

YOU ARE HEREBY JUDGED, BY THE POPULACE OF AMERICA, AS BEING UNFIT FOR OFFICE, IMMORAL, CREEPY, VISCOUS, UNPRINCIPLED, UNWELCOMED BY SOCIETY, AND A SILLY JOKE OF A MAN. A CLOWN. A FOOL. A SIMPLETON. SOMEONE WHO CONDEMNS ANOTHER THROUGH MEANS OF A CHRISTIAN ARGUMENT WITHOUT EVEN REFERENCING THE BIBLE. EVERYTHING YOU SAY FROM HEREON INTO THE FUTURE, WILL NOW, FOREVER BE JUDGED BECAUSE OF YOUR ACTIONS, FROM THIS PERSPECTIVE.

MAY GOD HAVE MERCY UPON YOU.

If an EMP went off right now, what would happen? Let’s say it was caused naturally, and not from an earthly application… Just stop for a second and imagine if in one split second, all electronics got fried…

What could you do? You would initially do just what you do when the power goes out. You would get up, open the door, look at all your neighbors opening the door looking back at you, say a few words, and go back into wait for the power to come on…

You might get suspicious when your cell phone wouldn’t turn on, or not being primed to consider what the possibilities were, you might just think your battery picked that interlude to die…. You might likewise get suspicious when your car wouldn’t show life. You might curse your luck that the power went off, your cellphone battery died, and your car now needs a new battery, all in the same afternoon… You couldn’t get a hold of anyone to help, and so you walk over to your neighbor. He’s out back trying to get his generator started. It won’t work either. He’s mad as hell and is taking it back to Lowes where he bought it.. and he finds his Ford Pickup battery has died too… Oh the terrible luck …

So you walk to the store and see no one is open, everything is temporarily closed until the power kicks back on….

Only it won’t come on… ever.. I mean ever… Well at least in your life time…

Why? simply put, every electrical component, every magnet, every fuse, every connector, will have to be replaced from your house to the nearest power plant. .. Even if somewhere a power plant opened, and produced, that would leak all over the country unless someone actually got up and cut the wires to keep that power from dissipating and becoming too weak to do any good…

So new power plants would have to be built. New wires strung, new transformers built, forget about the ones on the shelf for emergencies, they’re shot too. Everything would need to be rebuilt from scratch…

And we would have no access to the information that told us how to rebuild….

This is how civilizations disappear rather quickly.. They become so specialized, that no one can put everything back together. It mimics the Tower of Babel accounting.. “There once was a great civilization, that evaporated instantly” is how most scholars view the accounting of that story today…

To survive, you would have no heat.. unless you had either a fireplace of wood stove. Everything else is electrical unless your unit dates back before 1990…. You would have no transportation. You couldn’t buy a working car. The first cars to be made would have to be created from scratch, at a factory, that unfortunately had no power.

Your world would shrink to where you could walk. There would be no news, unless someone walked to tell you what they saw in Wilmington. And what someone from Philadelphia had told them when they had walked from there, and rumors that had been told from those who had walked from New York, and from New Jersey, and up south from Washington and Baltimore…

Was any of America working? NO one knew… Once a military fighter roared overhead, and it was the first sound heard since the event, and all raced outside to cheer… But that was it.. Hope was that someone, somewhere out there, was in charge, and was working to make our lives return to normal…

But years went by…. Most people moved from the cities. Many died of disease, and starvation, and life became involved of defending oneself and ones property from those that wanted to take it… To live, you really had to sell yourself to an Overlord, who was intimidating enough that no one moved into your neighborhood because of him.. Most of what you made, he took as payment for protecting you. It included your children.

The once great civilization, was erased. No one knew about Rome. No one knew about Babylon. No one knew about Greece… unless it was from the old Bibles kept in decorative cabinets. Some books existed, but most had been burned to keep warm that first winter…
Just like that… Our huge skyscrapers, began to fall, one by one, each time covering the streets with an overbearing dust cloud.

Nature began to reclaim her own. The ice caps grew back. The seas lowered. The flora and fauna multiplied as people perished. The children heard stories, about the world being round, and names like China and Japan that could be found on old artifacts. But, without any reinforcement, they gradually faded from all knowledge…

The question I want to raise is this. Is our education system as it stands now, capable of continuing civilization as we know it, in and if, such a natural event were to occur? Or non natural event?

Do we currently teach enough basics so anyone can build a computer, build a electronics kit, and repair cars, generators, home electrical appliances, were such an event to occur?

It is not hard; the hard part is that no one knows how to do it.

If everyone knew simple basic electricity, and how things worked, we’d have power in some places within a week, and withing three months, we’d be 50% back to normal. We would be back to normal within three years.

Our current educational system is teaching us the wrong things…. We are focused on the wrong items. We test for the wrong items. We do not teach the basic knowledge our life needs right now…

It should be: A: fixing your phone/ and or computer.
B: fixing your generator.
C: fixing your vehicle.

This knowledge is vital for national security. It needs to be taught to every man, woman, and child… 3 x 6 equaling 18 doesn’t do much.. Nor does Black History Month, or proper English Grammer, or American History, or Economics, or ………….

Our first grade needs to begin…. “Ok, kids…. this is a 1… this is a 0…… All of life revolves around those two numbers…”

It’s clear as day.

When you have no engine in your car, you have to put one in… When banks aren’t lending, when the private sector is incapable of spending, the government has to..

It is called deficit spending. It’s been done before. Whereas we suffered a horrible Great Depression, Sweden emerged from theirs in 1934 by using just such a Keynesian approach towards deficit spending. While America suffered through dust bowls, “Grapes of Wrath”, Hoovervilles, soup kitchens, and one out of every four workers unemployed, Sweden was thriving and its citizens were living quite comfortably.

America finally… five years later, had no choice but to follow suit after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. We too spent money we didn’t have and guess what? From 1939 to 1941, U.S. manufacturing shot up a phenomenal 50 percent!

So what happens to those people who have no choice but to work, when the government gives them a job? They spend…. soon,… more people have to work… who spend… so even more people have to work,… who spend … so even more people than the more people spending money previously, have to work. … and they spend.

Republicans clamor we need more jobs… Mike Castle even hands out a giant check he voted against! LOL.. But they are all lined up against the very engine that brought us out of The Great Depression… How silly is that?

They say… we’ll owe sooooooooooooooo much money… Hello…Excuse me? Uhhh, have you ever bought a … house? Don’t you personally owe soooooooooooooooo much money? A $200,000 dollar house cost over $455,000 by the time the last payment is made. But…… how long would it take you, forced to spend more than you currently make just to live, to save $200,000 cash just to buy that house outright?

Right…. you couldn’t…

The same principal applies to economics. If you need to spend money for jobs right now…. and don’t have it… when and where will those jobs come from?

They won’t. Duh.

Therefore when Bonini says “Delaware spends more per person than any other state, excluding Alaska and Hawaii…” and that “the No. 1 employer in Delaware is the state itself, and the number of people employed by the state has doubled in the past 12 years” … right now we should be grateful… not troubled. Because we too are making some of that money those people are spending.

When he says…. “Tough economic times have prompted people to get involved in the political process,” it’s hilarious…. Especially when you look at this… on the Republican side… THEY ARE ALMOST ALL MILLIONAIRES…. (C’mon… It’s Delaware… Even if you’re Republican you gotta laugh)…

But, when he says … “The fact that people are making tough economic decisions in their personal family lives is bringing attention to the fact that the government is not,” it shows he doesn’t understand government’s role in the economy. It unfortunately shows us all that he doesn’t either read, or understand, American history.

And… that is what makes him a dangerous person to put in as our State Treasurer. He’s a great guy, and I certainly wish him well, but now is just not right time for someone who does not understand deficit spending to be running our state’s Treasury. Thirty years from now… based on my best estimates…that will be his time.

Duffy is God’s answer to a prayer.. I miss the old days of blogging when we were debating principals instead of people… Duffy has stuck to the old line of debating principals with facts, and that is what makes him special in the eyes of bloggers everywhere…

Since the passing of Steve Newton, he has been the only one to challenge me in any argument, and usually some pretty good stuff comes out of both sides during the exchange… I have respected that.. Cause once again, opinions mean dick. Facts are what we steer by.. It is my hope that in responding to his challenge that an answer may make itself apparent.. Who knows? It may not come from me… But if I’m the catalyst for bringing it out in the open, then… none of this was in vain..

Why I like to debate Duffy is simple.. Neither side, he or I, is concretely set in their opinions… We accept it when the other side makes sense… I usually go into such debates having no idea where they’ll end up… I hope the rest of you enjoy the ride as welI….

That said..

Duffy leads: Wall Street’s problems were caused by Fannie and Freddie loaning money to people they knew couldn’t pay and moreover, forcing banks to lend money to people who couldn’t pay. That was not deregulation but misregulation

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate.

First off, the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was developed for, and locked in on, urban developmental areas and had no part of the subprime boom, which primarily occurred out in western desert regions where owning 4 to 5 investment homes was normal… Those homes were overwhelmingly funded by loan originators NOT SUBJECT to the act… We all know the crises was not because people couldn’t afford a payment on their house. It came about, because with no occupants, people could not afford the payments of 4 to 5 houses….. Instead of one loan per borrower turning up in default; four to five were.
Investment Homes lead forclosures not inner city Residences

Second off, The housing bubble reached its point of maximum inflation in 2005.
The Housing Bubble Starts to Dive in 2005
Courtesy of NYT

Third off, During those exact same years, Fannie and Freddie were sidelined by Congressional pressure, and saw a sharp drop in their share of loans secured by the Feds… Follow the dotted line on the very bottom of the graph…
Freddie and Fannie on the lowest line
Courtesy of NYT

Fourth off; During those exact same years, private secures, like Delaware’s own AIG, grabbed the lions share of the market.
Private, not Public Insurers Caused the Crash
Courtesy of NYT

Remember these graphs for later on when I discuss the results of deregulation, versus regulation… But like it or not, these graphs conclusively show that private insurers, who thanks to Marie Evans, we now know were deregulated by Phil Gramm in the 2000 Omnibus Bill, were the primary cause of the worlds financial collapse.. Probably put best by these words of AIG’s spokesperson, who when asked why they didn’t have sufficient funds to cover losses, said point blank, “We were deregulated. We were no laws requiring us to keep any funds, ..so we spent it…”

Duffy leads: The loosely regulated hedge funds escaped this mess largely unscathed. Why? They can’t count on a bailout like the big banks. The Too Big To Fail banks were counting on a bailout (not unlike the S&L bailouts which started on the Republican’s watch) and they got them.

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. I agree that the hedge funds did survive better than the banks. Not because of bailouts, but because they sold short during the crises and made billions while firms closed and people got thrown out of work. There is nothing wrong with that; I did the same. In fact close readers may remember my warnings that the crises was impending almost a year earlier. Very close readers may remember my telling them exactly when to sell, and at what point the stock market would rebound… I must say: I called it rather well. 🙂

“Hedge funds were not in my understanding, at fault in the credit crisis,” said David Ruder, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. “At the most what they did was to sell securities when some of their investments were declining and they needed to have liquid funds. They were not the architects of these problems.”

De regulated hedge funds are not the issue… De-regulated, excessively leveraged, mortgage securities, are a different story however… They, not the banks that held them, are the cause of the crises…Years from now, when academics search for causes of the stock market crash of 2008, they will focus on the pivotal role of mortgage-backed securities. These exotic financial instruments allowed a downturn in U.S. home prices to morph into a contagion that brought down Bear Stearns a year ago this month – and more recently have brought the global banking system to its knees.

Where you err is when you state that banks too big to fail, assumed they would be bailed out… By implication, you say imply they failed from squandering money, and wanted the bailouts.. But your tax dollars didn’t flow directly to the bottom line.

The roughly $200 billion the Treasury Department has handed out to battered banks was swapped for a special class of stock that pays a 5 percent dividend (rising to 9 percent after five years.) As of April 15, the Treasury had collected about $2.5 billion in dividend payments on its investment.

So in that sense, the bailout money represents an expense for banks. That’s one reason a number of banks have said they want to give the money back as soon as possible.

You say big banks were counting on a bailout, and they got them? That didn’t happen to these banks. New Mexico, Georgia, and Florida each lost a bank just last Friday. That brings to 8, the number of banks failed in June. Unfortunately if a bank is failing, it can’t bet on itself to fail, as can a hedge fund.

Duffy leads: Banks have successfully lobbied to get their losses absorbed by taxpayers and gains are kept private. How nice for them. They felt comfortable making insane gambles because they knew they’d be bailed out. Most of them were right. Also remember that it was Bill Clinton who tore down the wall between retail and investment banking. The idea was to give banks more stability as they typically perform as exact opposites in bull and bear markets. (FWIW, I think that was a good idea and I can tell you first hand that two of the Fortune 100 banks I worked for were carried by retail banking in bear years. They may not have had bonuses those years but they didn’t have layoffs either)

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. The idea is that the banks made bad decisions knowing taxpayers would bail them out is the issue that is inaccurate. For the record, I have no qualms that it was the Clinton legacy who tore down the wall between banks and investment banking. Like you, I feel it was a good idea to do so… Again the problem was not primarily with banks making loans to people who could not pay.. Although, it was as late as October 2009, when I was made aware of one private Bank in Denver still exaggerating income to make loans look good enough on paper to get approval of securitization. What caused the collapse was the leveraging of those loans as securities, so that as the housing market became overextended, and the ARM jumped past the low cost opening years, the damage was 100 times worse because of leveraging. What made the collapse criminal, was that the insurance most financial institutions had bought from AIG, to cover such an improbable event, had already spent by that companies executives, out on bonuses to themselves. What made it doubly criminal, was that when they received government dollars through a taxpayer bailout, those same executives assumed it was to first go towards paying their bonuses again. However, very recent events may give some cover to the argument that some collusion was implicit in the bailing out of Goldman Sacs and AIG… Basically, once bailed out, AIG paid Goldman Sacs for shares twice as much as they were worth. The documents also indicate that regulators ignored recommendations from their own advisers to force the banks to accept losses on their A.I.G. deals and instead paid the banks in full for the contracts.

Thanks to Mike Matthews for updating us on this controversial topic. From his direct and unfiltered account, it is obvious that more people feel compelled to support human rights, then feel the need to sequester them… Unfortunately the minority opinion has more votes in the committee hearing the merits of this bill..

Again, a minority of bigots have held up progress on the issue of human rights.. Today, those bigots are:

Senator Tony DeLuca: District 11 Newark Southeast

Thurman Adams: District 19 Bridgeville

Nancy Cook: District 15 Kenton

Gary Simpson: District 18 Milford

In a sense of fairness, if I misjudged your motives, you are certainly welcome to offer the explanation of your vote to keep this important bill off the floor of the Senate…. It is so easy to do, that even one of your staffers can do it for you….

But be forewarned, failure to offer your counter argument here on these pages, will in the realm of public opinion, only serve to solidify the charges made herein against you….

Actually I didn’t make them… Your own actions on May 13th, at 2:40 pm did that for you.