Pa. Gets A D But School Choice Can Make Teachers Rich

Pennsylvania gets “D” for promoting teacher quality, the National Council on Teacher Quality announced Friday.

The Council  advocates for tougher teacher evaluations and more rigorous teacher preparation.

Most states did as bad or worse.

The Council says Pennsylvania does not require teacher evaluations and tenure decisions to be based on student achievement; makes it too difficult to fire bad teachers; fails to oversee teacher preparation programs; elementary teachers are not well-prepared to teach math; and that the state sets low expectations for what special education teachers should know.

It also says Pennsylvania’s teacher pay and benefits are “inadequate incentives” to attract and retain good teachers.

I’m not sure about the last point but I’m not against a little more carrot for a lot more stick.

Consider this:  Cut the school year from the existing 190 days or so to 120 days and make each child eligible for a $5,000 tax-funded voucher to whatever accredited education facility their parents want per 120-day term

You should not need to be a high school calculus teacher to understand that would make just about any competent educator very rich.

The teacher leaves the public system and starts his or her own office much as a lawyer or doctor might. The office would be a classroom and the clients or patients would be the students. The teacher would have a huge advantage over a doctor or lawyer, however, in that the teacher could see far more than one client at a time. A good one could handle over 30, in fact.

Consider 30 students per class x $5,000 per student = $150,000 per 120 day term = $300,000 per 240 day year minus $50,000 for building rental, insurance, supplies, bookkeeping etc. = $250,000 before taxes.

Pretty sweet.

But the incompetent teachers  are against it so don’t expect it soon.

For those of you concerned about cutting the amount of education per calendar year, don’t be. The plan actually expands it. Re-read what I wrote and do the math.

And the plan might save the Catholic parochial schools.

Choice Is The First Step In Solving Philly’s School Violence

Today’s Philadelphia Inquirer had several stories involving school violence, and with the exception of one rather one-sided whine, all concerned serious incidents involving city schools.

This one, for instance, has girl gangs brawling outside of Bartram High school over comments on Facebook. Their fight ended up with three people — one girl and two boys — getting shot apparently by the boys they brought along. The boys were in critical condition as of this morning.

This one –granted it’s from the Daily News but the Inky had a similar story — concerned a hearing  incidents at Audenried High School in which a mother described how officials failed to discipline a school bully who had broken her son’s ribs, and how a teacher watched helplessly as a group of 20 students barged into her classroom and attacked a girl.

And this is on top of the incidents last December in which parents of Asian students kept their children home because of the unwillingness of officials to act against those attacking them.

If parents were allowed to chose their children’s schools most of these problems would go away. Schools and officials who did not respond to bullying would soon be weeded out because the parents would have the ability to cut off their money simply by  choosing to send their children elsewhere.

This would also apply to incompetent teachers.

The biggest opponents to school vouchers are, in fact, inattentive officials and incompetent teachers.

If the state legislators summed enough courage to oppose the teachers unions and approve school vouchers, parochial schools such as St. Joseph Grade School in Collingdale would be saved, and the kids who want an education in Philly would not have to attend class in fear.

Why The Outrage In Lower Merion?

Why The Outrage In Lower Merion? — Lower Merion fans at a high school basketball game, Tuesday, said some rather nasty things regarding host Upper Darby which brought a response from the Royals side which eventually escalated into some extraordinary ugly and anti-Semitic statements regarding LM, which has a large Jewish population. These ugly statements included things like “We’ll write you letters when you’re in Auschwitz”.

Now, this is not something that should be ignored but since Tuesday the dinosaur media has been tut-tutting over incident and the officials from both schools have been indulging in public hand-wringing and the Lower Merion parents have been calling for the heads of the perpetrators.

All well and good but I remain amazed at the angst aimed at words chanted by ignorant teenagers at a basketball game, especially since all the groups expressing it — dinosaur journalists, school officials, Jewish parents, Lower Merion Township, Pa. — voted overwhelmingly for President Obama.

And President Obama is someone:

–Whose spiritual adviser blamed all the problems in the Mideast — and 9/11 to boot — on Zionism and whose institution bestowed upon Louis Farrakhan, the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award.

–Whose FCC diversity officer called the reign of Hugo Chavez — who appears to be leading a pogrom in Venezuela“really an incredible revolution”

–Who couldn’t bring himself to lend even moral support to opponents of the rabidly anti-Semitic Ahmadinejad regime after they were cheated out of an election. BTW, did you see where Iran just  occupied an Iraqi oil well? What will President Obama do?

You can’t fault people for being fooled which may have been the case last November. By now, however, you would think they would take some of that ire aimed at teenage stupidity and point it at something of consequence.

Why The Outrage In Lower Merion?

So What Does Harrisburg Know About Sex?

So What Does Harrisburg Know About Sex? —, yesterday, reported that state lawmakers were mulling mandatory sex education in public schools. While the story didn’t mention a bill number, HB 1163 was the only one found in a search for “sex education” at the website for the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Granted we might think our elected officials are experts on the matter of sex due to their amazing skill at finding imaginative ways of, well, giving it to us taxpayers, but one is puzzled at why they think it best to place a new mandate on public schools.

Oh yeah, I forgot, silly me. They are good at finding imaginative ways etc.

Still with this one you would think that they would have figured  that we, their masters, had caught on to this game. Sex education is sold as a means of curtailing unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, yet in  just about every place where it has been instituted those problems increase.

And with revelations of Alfred Kinsey’s motives and the rise of social conservatism which led to success being found in doing the opposite of what Kinsey crowd advocated — even the stupid bill itself recognizes that there have been state and national declines in teenage pregnancy and STDs — it is mind-boggling that this is even being talked about.

So What Does Harrisburg Know About Sex?

Philly Schools Are Better Than Detroit’s (And Fresno’s)

The good news is that public schools in Philadelphia seem to be doing better than those in Detroit.

And Fresno, too.

Philly was one of 18 cities to voluntarily participate in the
Trial Urban District Assessment, a special administration of the
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test.  It’s average score for fourth graders was 222 compared with
239 for the national average and 244 for Pennsylvania fourth graders
who take the NAEP exam annually, and 265 for eighth graders compared
with 282 for the national average and 288 for Pennsylvania.

Here’s a link to the NAEP results.

Before you write off Philly schools as failures remember that their purpose is not to provide an education for children but to provide jobs for Democrats.

The district is a resounding success.

So, Who Attacked The South Philly Asians?

This CBS3.Com story describing how Asian kids are the subject of race-based attacks at South Philadelphia High School — the alma mater of Mario Lanza, Al Martino and Larry Fine — is going around the word via a link to the Drudge Report and what is glaringly unclear in it?

No where does is it  spelled out who exactly are the racist anti-Asian attackers.

The story quotes one unidentified student as saying “It was blacks and whites and they saw the Asians at the school, it all started with an argument.”

Well, that certainly explains it.

South Philly High, for the record, is 66 percent black, 19 percent Asian, 10 percent white and 5 percent Hispanic.

One wouldn’t think that rednecks in pickups are behind this.

And today’s  Philadelphia Inquirer confirms this in  a long story regarding the matter on the front of today’s B section in which, in the seventh paragraph, they courageously, for them I suppose, mention “fights” between African American and Asian students.

Attacks, assaults, racist bullying or ethnic intimidation were not used to describe the turmoil but “fights”.

Martin Luther King Jr. had a wonderful dream of a color-blind society and in order for this dream to come true black racism and black ethnic intimidation is going to have to be just as intolerable and treated just as harshly as that of whites.

This means it must be condemned without any qualification or hesitation by church leaders, by politicians, by the dinosaur media and by the blacks themselves, most of whom are rather decent people.

It Looks Like Charter Schools Work

The Philadelphia Archdiocese announced today that it will be closing Cardinal Dougherty and Northeast Catholic high schools in the city due to declining enrollment.

Apparently, the biggest reason for it is due to the success of publicly funded charter schools in the city.

Hey, here’s an idea let’s turn all the city’s schools into charter schools. Tens of millions in dollars will be saved and tens of hundreds more children will learn to read and right.

We can do the same for the suburbs. Make it so the very-well paid central office gang has to actually do some labor.

Daily Times Perplexed About Concern For Obama Speech

Today’s editorial in the Delaware County Daily Times was an expression of perplexion and strange outrage at the many parents concerned that President Obama’s Sept. 8 address to the nation’s 7th through 12 graders is going to be more of an exercise in building a Third-World type personality cult rather than an inspiration for youngsters to learn.

Here are some questions the Department of Education is suggesting teachers ask their students as a classroom activity with regard to the speech.

Why does President Obama want to speak with us today?     

 How will he inspire us?    

How will he challenge us?   

What might he say?  

Do you remember any other historic moments when the president spoke to the  


What was the impact?    

Seems pretty Obama-centric. What happened to the stuff about “question authority”? It seems to have fallen out of fashion. 
The theme for the “last Kennedy brother” as some have called Obama, is ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Obama.
Only a Maoist wouldn’t find it creepy.

Facing Jail For Praying In The USA

Pace High School Principal Frank Lay and school athletic director Robert Freeman face up to 6 months in jail and a $5,000 fine for offering a mealtime prayer at the school in Florida. They are accused of breaching the conditions of a lawsuit settlement reached last year with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Pray for these brave and decent men and pray that America gets it common sense back.

Also work to pull the teeth of the totalitarians who wrap themselves in the flag and the mantel of civil liberties. The ACLU is anti-liberty.


Facing Jail For Praying In The USA

Agora Cyber Charter School

The Agora Cyber Charter School based in Devon is fighting in three different judicial arenas to keep its charter that the Pennsylvania Department of Education is trying to revoke. Agora Cyber Charter School

It has filed lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg and Chester County Common Pleas Court to stop the state, which is accusing the school of hanky-panky by contracting management services in violation of its charter including $2.8 million to Cynwyd Group LLC which is controlled by the school’s founder,  Dorothy June Brown.

The school, which opened in 2005,  serves 4,400 students statewide on a $41 million budget.

Even if the hanky-panky turns out to be true that $9,318 per student price will still beat Marple Newtown at $17,142 ($60 million for 3,500 students); Garnet Valley at $17,021 ($80 million for 4,700 students); William Penn at $15,716 ($86 million for 5,472 students) and every other public school in the area.

 Agora Cyber Charter School
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