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The Washington Post ran an article that slipped under the radar of excitement generated by HB 165.  Correct me if I’m wrong but I didn’t see it in any of the usual places.

This article ponders a blog post by a Teach For America teachers, who are contributing to the pile of teachers who resign after 2 or 3 years.  After using Teach for America to pay down their college loans, they are going to law school.

It really puts the argument over how best to educate in its proper perspective….  Remember the person advocating for the dissolution of Teach For America is one themselves….

The salient points……

“Consider TFA’s two original missions: first to help understaffed school districts fill teaching positions with talented, energized college graduates, and second to create a broader education advocacy and awareness movement. On both counts, TFA has had an impact, but ironically as TFA continues to grow, in many ways its impact is fading.”

Point One:  The Teachers for America (TFA) now is being used to replace veteran teachers who are being let go because of test scores.  Two:  these teachers do not stay in a  school  Everything they learn over two years goes with them out the door as they exit,   Therefore in two years, again, it is all new recruits learning the ropes and using our students as their guinea pigs.  At this point a veteran teacher would be well into her most effective phase…

There is no way TFA’s are better than veteran teachers.  Perhaps they are a little better than a non-educationally trained substitute hired off the street, but against a veteran teacher, no way.

All of Markell’s investments made into Teachers for America”s seminars, training, summer sessions, go right out the door as that teacher leaves.  The routine goes like this.  A TFA is hired right out of graduation.  They do a 5 week course and get plopped into the most neediest school.  After the first year they do seminars over the summer.  They actually might be rather decent their second year, but too bad, they are gone…  It’s really a waste of money.  Especially when its the veteran teachers are being fired, creating these positions.

TFA’s are thrown into classes far less prepared than current Delaware graduates of Delaware’s teaching schools.  Their five week training program teaches 4 days a week (its summer school), not 5.  The classes are well behaved, and have 10 students per class.  There is no teaching done in the first week.  In all, 16 hours are spent before a class room teaching, with as many adults in the room as children.

Not a typical class experience.

TFA’s follow-up coaching and development of teachers is non existent. Managers of Teacher Leadership and Development (MTLDs)  of first year teacher’s stop by once a month for a half hour pep talk and are out the door as fast as they came in.   Second year it is down to 15 minute observations with  the pep talk being left on a post-it note…. “keep up the good work”…

There IS a lot of development though.  It comes from regular union tenured teachers with pension plans working along side them in the same school, who actually have the knowledge, tools and time to help these teachers survive being thrown to the wolves.

If it was your money…. would you invest in TFA ?     No.

TFA is now massive, with annual expenses (pdf) at $220 million in fiscal year 2011. According to the charity site Give Well, TFA’s budget 2009 budget came to a stunning $38,046 spent per corps member who started teaching; this was a more than twofold increase from 2005. (Corps member spending by TFA does not include corps members’ salaries, which are paid for by their respective school district. School districts also pay TFA a fee for each corps member hired.)

Consider some of the main items in TFA’s budget recruiting and selecting corps members (18%), management and general (9%), alumni support (8%). None of these makes corps members effective teachers. “Corps member development” (39%) and institute training (17%), on the other hand, purportedly do. Reality, as is its wont, is not so simple.

All that said ,the TFA has reached a critical mass on this point. With an “alumni network” of nearly 28,000 it’s difficult to see how pumping in several thousand additional corps members each year won’t lead to diminishing returns. Indeed, when among jobs in education policy, large numbers of TFA alumni are interviewed for a single spot. In the educational world, TFA alumni have become a dime a dozen.

Educational dollars are scarce… It the TFA the best investment we can be doing with what little we have?

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So, you who have put your faith and service into the United States of America, who have sacrificed a lot for principle,  and enlisted or volunteered in the armed forces, are now,  about to get a 20% cut in pay?

  • How will your family live?
  • How will you pay your bills?
  • How long until the Sheriff puts your home up for auction?

And why it this?

Because Republicans don’t want billionaires to pay one more penny per dollar earned on all income OVER a million dollars……...

 

There is no other reason you are taking a 20% cut in pay for serving your nation in the most patriotic fashion….

You just got bumped by millionaires….  Thanks to the Republican Party of the United States of America……

So, how do you feel now?

 

 

Mitt... You dirty man.
Image Courtesy of Mitt Romney, Debate Number Two.

Jobs Grow Better When All Republicans are Gone

Here is the problem… The red on top of the line must equal the red on the bottom line before we can go forward. Currently there is now more red on the top of the line. We are indeed better off than we were four years ago. More of us are working…… 325,000 more of us incidentally.

This shows a more disturbing trend. This document does not go far enough back into the Bush administration files, but if one does follow, one sees red below the line all the way back to when Clinton handed off the reins to Bush. That was the last time we had red above the line until we (whoo hoo) just happened to vote for the greatest president in our lifetimes and his accompanying party, the Democratic one…

The Capitalist Party (formerly called the Republicans) don’t really care about jobs. As Capitalist’s (formerly called Republican’s) they care about earnings per dollar. Jobs are a side effect, but when too many people impact their earnings per dollar, they get rid of them. When unions impact their earnings per dollar, they get rid of them. when the Chinese impact their earnings per dollar, they run to them, ignoring the slave conditions those human beings must endure in order to line the Capitalist’s (formerly known as Republican’s) pockets….

When can Capitalist’s (formerly called Republicans) grow jobs? Only when they build a new plant here in the USA. Once it gets built, they have no use for the builders. they have no use for the opening team, they have no use for those extras needed to fill in when someone quits. Once it gets built, they fire people. They like to “fire people Romney says”. (yeah, I know, I’m disingenuous).

If one looks back over the economic data from WWII one sees job growth steady until Ronald Reagan (benefit of doubt given to Nixon_Ford because of oil embargo).. As soon as Reagan got elected, we entered a horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible recession. People got termed left and right. Democrats in Congress were persuaded to lower taxes because of the economy. We had one year of growth. 2006, and then the slide. The 2008 tax law (a low 28% top marginal rate), immediately sucked out and flattened growth and sent it on a skid; we entered the worst recession until Bill Clinton raised taxes and instantly, we began our climb out. It was instantaneous as anyone who foolishly bet on the stock market against Bill Clinton, can well attest. Taxes on the wealthy are the most awesome thing ever created by mankind. The climb continued, America reached new heights of prosperity, and growth seemed like an endless proposition… That is, until the Bush tax cut. Growth stopped. Construction got laid off. And we began our descent. During the Bush years our descent was modified by a housing bubble the Capitalists (formerly called Republicans) created; we borrowed against their newly increased estimated value to survive and keep our Clintonian Standard of Living; it was also blunted by two trillion dollar wars, (imagine being given a credit card with unlimited balance on it; “whoo hoo, livin’ it up, baby” spoken in Donviti style).) As soon as the Capitalist (formerly known as Republicans) were kicked out, the debt became due.

Bottom line, is on the chart above, Capitalists (formerly called Republicans) had a job slump in negative numbers stretching back across the time spans of two of these charts added on to the right.

So when Mitt Romney accuses our Commander in Chief, SURE YOU GREW JOBS, BUT YOU DIDN’T GROW JOBS FAST ENOUGH, one has to point out how his own policies under George W. Bush, did nothing to grow jobs either…. In fact, Mitt Romney’s policies, cost America jobs. (See the evidence in the red below the line in the graph above).

But if you don’t already know that Capitalist’s (formerly called Republicans) economic policy is nothing more than a smokescreen for getting all the money out of your pocket and into theirs, then you aren’t reading this blog… There are still dumb people out there who still believe in Republican values; they just can’t read….

If you do read this, it can be assumed that you already know that every single economic fact ever truthfully told, shows that if you take money out of the middle class, your economy fails. It doesn’t matter if you are a Capitalist (formerly known as Republican)… or a Communist. If you take money out of the middle class, your economy falls….

So how does one put money back into the Middle Class? It’s one word but I’ll say it twelve times, one for each term it has been in effect: Democrats, democrats, democrats, democrats, democrats, democrats, democrats, democrats, democrats, democrats, democrats, democrats…..

That is how one puts money back onto the middle class and grows one’s nation and ones economy…

Don’t take my word for it. Look at the chart above! And just imagine how wonderful it would be if we had not had a Capitalist (formerly known as Republican) House of Representatives intent on tubing the economy just to make Obama looked bad? Imagine how great our results would now be, if they had. instead chosen to help America get back up on its economic feet, instead of kickin’ our ass with their pointy cowboy boots, while we were down?

One word leads to more jobs and Economic Growth. Democrats.

(Courtesy of Delaware Liberal’s Hot & On Top Reporting)

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that 5,600 Delaware residents will benefit from $1.8 million in rebates from insurance companies this summer, because of the Affordable Care Act’s 80/20 rule. These rebates will average $351 for the 5,300 Delaware families covered by a policy.

Obamacare is working!  Obamacare is saving people money.  They were at the mercy of insurance companies before.  Now, they have $1.8 million in their pocket.

It is not because of Republicans!.. They are the ones taking money out of your pocket, handing it to the insurance companies, and saying “don’t forget about that campaign contribution in October.”

No one can trust Republicans unless you are making more then 10 million a year. No one.

So when they say the first thing they want to do in January is repeal Obamacare,  and now you can see why.

That want insurance campaign contributions… and that is all.  They don’t give a fuck about you.

Only Democrats can right the wrongs… Do what you know you must.  Swear on a stack of Bibles, never, never,  never, never vote for a squirmy, sluggish, beetle-infested, putrid, maggotty, caterpillerish, centipedific, millipederishes, multi-lensed eyeballed, appendage ringed mouthed, stinger-embedded, infectious bacterial infested, food coveting, ooze secreting, spontaneously defecating  insect who swears allegiance to the Republican Party….

Spray them with insecticide instead…..

(Wow, what a great demo idea for the Republican National Convention……)

Sometimes after reading truth like this, you just want to walk into a room of thronging with roaches, pretend they’re Republicans and squish them each and every one ………

Call it temporary insanity but let’s pretend, let’s just say, …that at one moment in time, if I chose to donate my youth out for my country, to be compensated back in the form of low pay; to completely and unjudgingly offer my fate up to the will of bureaucrats, all for the loss of my own self esteem, all for unending stretches of boredom, sparsed with interludes of a few intense seconds, that fortunately thorough my reactions and training, enabled me to continue living as I do today………….

I could reasonably be expected to be honored for that service to my nation, right?

In a perfect world, that is….

One would think, that in a perfect world, as needs were being debated across the universe of public funding, that a hierarchy resembling this, would sort of be the guideline, if not the rule?

National Heroes…..

over

We, The People…..

over

LLC corporations….

After all, if it weren’t for us, there’s a good chance those LLC. corporations wouldn’t be able to do business in a free and prosperous society, you would think?….

One would think, that if one of these heroes needed medical care, with the tremendous amounts of money being thrown away by our government daily, in the forms of corporate tax breaks enabling corporations to make “record breaking profits”…. that they would be put at the top of the list.. don’t you think?

Sorry, CEO… your operation will have to wait… We have a veteran who is in dire need ahead of you….

In a perfect world….

One would think, that a voucher system would be in place, or a blank check, where any veteran could walk into any hospital, and get immediate, necessary medical attention, have his prescriptions filled as a privilege for his service, and that the bill would be willing be paid by those with monetary resources more than adequate for their own needs?

One would think, (right?)… that it would be CEO’s, those who give pink slips so they can break profit records, those who cut benefits so they can break profit records, those who don’t invest in America so they can break record profits, ….who should be the ones finding themselves regulated to CEO hospitals, where they would then have to settle in on a waiting list for the next opening to occur, where they had to endure budget cutbacks and go without life-saving medicine because there was no money left in the CEO fund, perhaps because it had all gone to Veterans to pay THEIR expenses?

In a perfect world…..

In a perfect world, veterans would need no freebies…. They would not need welfare, or a pension, or a humble stipend to eke an existence… They would be working, contributing to society, in any way they could… If they had no legs, they would be outfitted at corporate’s expense, so that would not be an issue… If they had no arms, they could be outfitted at corporate’s expense so that was not an issue. If they had psychological damage, (and who wouldn’t?) they could be treated at corporate’s expense… so that was not an issue.

If they were so badly damaged that they create an efficiency drain on society, they could be honored for their sacrifice, and a useful voluntary capacity could be created to honor that commitment once made so long ago… Perhaps speaking about serving one’s country in every class, in every school, in every county? Can you think of any better civic’s lesson?

There’s a lot that can be done…

The problem is that veterans are deemed as just another expense…. Because to corporate America, that is just what they are… An expense, an obligation to be met that gets in the way of their making more money…

Unfortunately, our Congress is owned by Corporate America….

What should and does need to happen, is this relationship needs to be exposed. We need to call them out on it…

Republicans and Democrats are both complicit in allowing corporate raiders this unprecedented power. But Republicans are the symbol of Corporate America. Republicans are the ones who championed the Corporate Takeover. Republicans are the ones who dismanteled the safeguards that had been put in place to prevent that takeover from happening. That is why they need to go. Disappear… Whoever is left, the remainder, most likely after seeing the elimination of a large majority of their peers, will think twice before following their Dark Lord, now a soul less wanderer eking existence.. ……

In a perfect world…

Unfortunately, today we need to contend with obscene amounts of money saying Corporate is Good; Government Fairness is Bad….

But we have our lives telling us the opposite… It will take courage and strong will, to override all the overload of sensory data being pipelined into our soul, but we still have hearts, and those hearts are attuned to what makes America special. great, and the best place to live on this earth….

WE can still dream….

And those dreams should include a perfect world… one we CAN make happen, at least for those without whom we would not have the freedom, the resources, the nation, we have today….

Here’s to a perfect world?

The following is what the Vision Committee of Occupy Wall Street struck up as their vision statement….

We Envision: [1] a truly free, democratic, and just society; [2] where we, the people, come together and solve our problems by consensus; [3] where people are encouraged to take personal and collective responsibility and participate in decision making; [4] where we learn to live in harmony and embrace principles of toleration and respect for diversity and the differing views of others; [5] where we secure the civil and human rights of all from violation by tyrannical forces and unjust governments; [6] where political and economic institutions work to benefit all, not just the privileged few; [7] where we provide full and free education to everyone, not merely to get jobs but to grow and flourish as human beings; [8] where we value human needs over monetary gain, to ensure decent standards of living without which effective democracy is impossible; [9] where we work together to protect the global environment to ensure that future generations will have safe and clean air, water and food supplies, and will be able to enjoy the beauty and bounty of nature that past generations have enjoyed.

It’s not practical.

Take the first line:

We Envision: [1] a truly free, democratic, and just society; [2] where we, the people, come together and solve our problems by consensus….

“Where we the people, come together.” Ok, how many people will you get together and where? 25, in a library side room? 40, in a Union Hall? 120 in a fire hall? 300, in the county building’s auditorium? 7000, in Frawley Stadium (hope it doesn’t rain)? 140,000 in Dover Raceway (fifteenth largest stadium in the world) and then what, where do the rest of our 307 million conglomerate?

Perhaps one could do it on-line. But how do we know that result is real, and not hacked? No, there is a reason that a representative system is best. For one, you just have to argue good sense into a few heads at a time, not millions who aren’t getting all the details of the argument.

Secondarily, as recently portrayed within the Occupy Movement, it often takes sooooo long for pure democracy to reach a consensus. and as illustrated by Occupy Oakland when they tried to throw out a trouble maker. There it was possible for him to stack the group in open meetings and thwart the necessary and significant change. Can you imagine what Republicans would do if we were discussing all policy in open forums and having everyone vote upon them? It takes one bad apple to ruin things in a pure democracy, and the Republicans are much larger than a party of one.

[3] where people are encouraged to take personal and collective responsibility and participate in decision making;

I’m sorry, I’d like to be at the meeting, but I have to work.. or I have to watch my kids, or I have this Dr.’s appointment made months ago, or my kid’s starting in the game tonight, or I have to volunteer at the food bank, or I have to see a movie and report on it for school, or I have to get my finances in order,….

How many of us make meetings now? How will it be any different in our future? Sorry honey, no sex tonight. I have to go vote on whether we raise country revenues by 33 million or 32 and 3/4 million… It’s very important you know.

[4] where we learn to live in harmony and embrace principles of toleration and respect for diversity and the differing views of others;

Forget it! There is no way I’ll sit in the same room while a corporate fat cat whines about the fact that he’s losing money….. He should be in jail. After all he’s done to ruin America? Why should I tolerate and respect his views? Ain’t happening….

[5] where we secure the civil and human rights of all from violation by tyrannical forces and unjust governments;

Define unjust governments: What happens if my government blocks my Internet access because I downloaded a free copy of Roger and Me? Wouldn’t that be unjust?

[6] where political and economic institutions work to benefit all, not just the privileged few;

If unions support and elect a candidate, don’t they, then having the inside ear, become the privileged few? If churches can bend the inside ear of their candidate, don’t they get to include themselves among the privileged few? When Mayor Barry got reelected, didn’t crack dealers consider themselves the privileged few? Whoever wins an election, or helps win an election, becomes the privileged few. Whether he’s a small town operator, or owns a wealthy conglomerate, if he has the ear, he gets his way… Currently, it’s the one percent that has control. But that can change in an instant.

[7] where we provide full and free education to everyone, not merely to get jobs but to grow and flourish as human beings.

We do that: the concept of high school is broken; it doesn’t work.

[8] where we value human needs over monetary gain, to ensure decent standards of living without which effective democracy is impossible;

We did that with the Great Society. We pumped welfare money into black and Appalachian neighborhoods and wound up creating dependent societies who could not function without welfare money. Unemployment never dropped, because there was no incentive. Why work when you could live for free? No matter how much we pumped in, their standard of living still sucked.

[9] where we work together to protect the global environment to ensure that future generations will have safe and clean air, water and food supplies, and will be able to enjoy the beauty and bounty of nature that past generations have enjoyed.

Build a city? or preserve open space? People always will win over animals.

Although these are thoroughly impractical, they are nice platitudes. They would be nice standards to place in a Miss Manners Guide to Congress, at least as a guide on how Congress should act civilly among themselves to in turn represent the greatness of what they do, and the respect of whom they represent.

But they are impractical in a real world. Only one person could sabotage a meeting under these guidelines. The assumption behind these platitudes is that everyone want what’s best for America.

That is a lie. We saw Republicans sell America down the river last summer solely to help their party’s chances November 2012. You and I got dissed; they get elected (and then dis us up even more… )

A group of insurance adjusters were commenting about the job security that Hurricane Irene had given them.

“I’ve got a huge, new pile of claims laying on my desk, every morning when I come in…” said one…

“It’s actually kind of fun” said another… “Deny, Deny, Deny… I can be done by noon…”

“Isn’t that wrong?” asked someone not in the insurance business?

“No, number one rule, is always deny the first time. They can always appeal…”

Ring a bell?

The story goes that Warren Buffet, rather worried about his investments early 2008, wanted to talk to God… God told him to use his phone and he’d send him the bill… He got and paid the $333 million dollar charge. His investments flourished, too… That would be the end of the story, except he was down in Sussex County recently, following up first hand on a corporate case being processed out of Georgetown… once again, he asked God for the right to call, and agreed to accept the charges… When he got his bill, he was fuming… He was only charged 25 cents… “God”, he said, “you ripped me off on that first call, big time!”… God said, “Warren, don’t you get it? In Sussex County, that’s a local call…”

Local call or not, Sussex County is weighing in on whether to say a prayer before County meetings or to not… Here are a few takes on that policy: one, two, three, four……

As someone who grew up where prayers were always said before football games and county meetings, it isn’t a big deal…… That is, as long as everyone agrees it isn’t a big deal. You don’t see prayers before meetings conducted in New York.

Not because New Yorkers are heathens, but because in New York, you have a multiplicity of religions, so praying a prayer from one of them, is a slap in the face for all others…

Why it’s even an issue in Sussex County is because the Positive Growth Alliance, has been building condo’s like ants, and lots of people who did not grow up in Sussex County, now live there. Many have different ideas of religion than those who’ve always been there all their lives…

If everyone believe in the same version of God as does David Anderson, then of course, duh, why are we even arguing about it… Of course we’re going to pray to God to guide us through this meeting.. That’s what He’s for!

Suddenly, thanks to Rich Collins and the Positive Growth Alliance, we have tons of people who do object to having David Anderson’s version of God, one who dislikes Homosexuals, and one who casts pox on Democrats, one who believes married people should have sex only when they have children, one who believes sex between animals is immoral, one who believes taxes are caused by the devil, one who believes that nature was made to bulldoze and pave with a combination of petroleum and gravel. … one who believes that oil companies have the divine right to pollute oceans, one who believes that animals were made for us to kill. … one who believes a national religious holiday should fall on the first day of deer season.. one who believes pick up trucks and baseball caps are proof that homosexuality is a sin,… on who believes killing someone with a gun is not a sin, but taking that gun away for the safety of others is…

(yes, I’m having fun and talking tongue in cheek)…

The point I’m making is that Sussex County is changing; and it is changing mostly thanks to Rich Collins and the Positive Growth Alliance.

Can you make new citizens join the current religion? If so, then by all means, just like the days of old, they will see no qualms in having a tiny prayer before the meeting.

But if they don’t want to join that religion, then, to force one group of religious people to impose their prayers on others, is not American…In fact, it’s kinda creepy…

If in an effort to show fairness, the Sussex County decided they would do prayers from all religions in alphabetical order, when they came to “B” and hit Buddahism, giving an Buddahist prayer before the session, most of those in the audience would be saying WTF! This is our nation, why do we have to listen to such crap…

Which is… exactly what those Buddahists think, who have opened a business in Millsboro, and have come before the county to ask for a variance on something or other that is in their antiqued code….

So… If it is unnatural for a Baptist to suffer a Buddahist prayer, it is equally unnatural for a Buddahist to sit through a Baptist prayer…

It’s not about one religion being right and the other wrong. It’s about who the citizens are that make up Sussex County. If you want to blame anyone over this controversy, the blame solely lies with those who built up Sussex County and brought in all these new people to begin with… Now that they are here, we have to make Sussex County as fair to them as New York, is fair to us, when we take our business up there……

Positive Growth, huh? Depends on your version of positive I guess………….

Shout to Democratic leadership…

Whereas the Republican’s hand picked another loser, the Democrats established an open forum.  Anyone who wanted to sign up to run could.  Two did.  They both had been campaigning for awhile.

Each had an opening statement.  Each competed in a thirty minute question and answer session.  Each had a closing speech.

Dunn went first.  Dunn finished last.  All logistics for a win were in his favor.  He fell short.

Tim Sheldon will be the Democrat’s pick for President of  New County Council.  He won by convincing more Democratic committee members  that he would make a better candidate for that position.

He had a stronger  grasp of facts,  he was  precise on his implementations, and came across  less of a generalist than Bill Dunn.   Bill Dunn is a great candidate.  And will be in the future.  But even supporters of Dunn agree,  although his performance would have done well against Paul Clark, against Tim  he fell a little short.  Tim came in better prepared.

Yesterday was Tim Sheldon’s day,  and it was clear to see, that come election time,  all hands can  come together in support of Tim Sheldon’s effort to lead.

That’s a lot better than can be said about having to grovel for the blessing of one man, as Republicans have to do in this state.

As the  Democratic Party is to the United States:   Delaware’s “Official” Republican Party is to  the Soviet Union.