Bush's education reforms?

[quote=“fred smith”]Why do I like George W.

First to really demand education reform. Have seen charter schools going ahead. Hell even the mayor of Washington DC is supporting them now. Hurray George W.

Thanks for the two tax cuts!!![/quote]
Give me a break… Education reform??? All he did was passing the No Child Left Behind Act… but where’s the money to suppport that? All invested in the war… Educators need additional funding to meet the law… but again… where’s the money?

As for the tax cuts… Hello historic record of deficits… 10 Nobel Prize winning economists have repeatedly warned Bush & Co. about this… but what does he do? Screw the economists… He’s the president with determination…



People love him because white house has the American media by the balls.

Actually, compared to what has not happened over the past 30 to 35 years in educational reform, I would say that things are off to a very good start under Bush. The problem is not more money. The problem is a lack of accountability. Giving children in failing schools an opportunity to take the money and go elsewhere will be the biggest single reform since 1967. Let’s give it some more time. Admittedly this is already a great feat and total defeat of the teacher’s unions but… it has only been three years since Bush was elected. Nothing improved in education for three decades and yet we are supposed to bewail the fact that things are not moving faster. Come on. Be real. One more term in office and let’s see.

The law will survive without him in the office… But I guess that’s not the point of concern here.

The amount of money needed is actually proportionate to how successful the law is enforced. The law requires all teachers to be certified by the state in each of the subjects they teach in. The law also requires that after-school education is made available if a child is failing in school. Furthermore, the law’s definition of a failing school can be easily met if any one of the sub-ethnic groups fails to pass the state standards exam.

Let’s examine… In most rural areas (parts of Alaska came to mind), teachers usually perform in multiple roles: s/he is often the social studies, math and English teacher all rolled into one. And sometimes s/he also teaches students in multiple grades in one classroom due to a very small size school. Asking the teacher to be certified in all of the subjects s/he is teaching in requires additional training and thus funding…

After-school programs for failing students is the same thing… Where’s the money for that? And also, a student failing school often times can be caused by multiple issues: negligent parents, less-than-fortunate up-bringing… etc. It’s not always the school/educator’s fault. For the school/educator to follow up on all these things, they need funding.

Speaking of accountability, you made very valid point. But it’s not always as clean cut as one may think. One scenario is, if the state standards test doesn’t happen until 4th grade, let’s say, but the student’s performance may not be as easily determined until s/he takes the standards test. If the student fails the test at grade 4, is it the 4th grade teacher’s fault that he failed it? What about all the teachers that failed to spot his weaknesses in grades 1-3? What if he transfers to another school and fails there? In terms of ethnic sub-groups, not everybody was born speaking English at home. Should the school be punished for accepting English-as-second language speakers as students?

The list goes on. The Bush administration so far has failed to provide any details to address any of the issues mentioned. the same goes to the budget. While it is true he helped pass one of the largest budget increases for education, the amount of work and logistics involved in implmenting the law fully is largely disproportionate to the money allotted.

I’d say take some of that money he’s planning to give to Iraq and give that to the future leaders of the United States. Yes, Iraqis need the money too. But the American children are the future of this country, not the Iraqi children. (I am not saying it’s not important to give the Iraqi children quality education; but it’s hard to justify giving away money to someone else when your own children are being “left behind”. Bush’s kids won’t have to worry about education. But Joe Schmo in Alaska does.)


Points taken but more money is NOT the answer otherwise why do DC public schools perform so poorly? I worked in inner city schools (public relations) and let me tell you our work was gearing up for one more tax increase as soon as we got the last one. School levies, etc. then get the next one. Always a push to get more and more and more funding. Otherwise, how would we justify our own jobs. The reason public relations works is to show dollar value to the school district no? We were working full time to flood newspapers with stories about poor education, etc and how this would put our children at a disadvantage vis a vis foreign countries. This was all PUBLIC RELATIONS. Until the school choice movement started, we had an open field with getting our stories in the newspaper and NO ONE challenged our findings, our “experts” our “research.” Please remember that in some instances especially business perhaps 70 percent of the stories you read are pr agency placed. I think that for schools and education that number is probably just as high.

Beyond the actual figures you see for school funding (public-government) is that they get huge numbers of grants from foundations etc. which are NOT counted in these totals, but these corporations do it for public relations benefit especially since they can deduct these charitable donations from their TAXES thus reducing the amount of money the federal government would get so these figures do not reflect the reality on the ground. Look at the Gates, Ford foundations, etc and all the money they give that does not get paid in taxes because of charitable giving. I think this tax loophole should be closed. If you care enough give, but otherwise you pay taxes on it.

The biggest factor in my opinion is lack of accountability. The Dept of Education should be scrapped. Each school district should be allowed to set their own standards or don’t you think that states can manage to see if their standards are below those in other places and negatively affecting their performance? After all, if they can do it with taxes and regulations, they sure as hell can manage without federal control when it comes to which books to use and what to focus on. The only thing federal control does is remove the accountability of decision-making one step farther and make it much more concentrated and therefore susceptible to “monetary pressures” from well organized groups like teacher’s unions.

The problem in inner city schools is NOT that funding is inadequate, it is that it is poorly spent on minority encouragement this and Indian Affairs that and bilingual this and DARE (drug reduction with no appreciable accomplishment of its stated goals not even sure what its stated goals are) etc. etc. etc. BECAUSE teachers would rather administer these programs and NOT have to work. This also means that they can take trips to attend seminars in Miami, Hawaii and Phoenix oh in let’s say January and February all at guess whose expense? We all know this goes on but it would be rude to discuss it if you get my drift.

The other thing that I hear from teachers who really do give a damn is that they cannot discipline students with regulations as is. Grab one, hit one, slap one, etc. and you will go to jail or face a law suit. Much better to sit back and let chaos take over the classroom while your black students “act out” because of XXXXXX fill in the excuse of the day poor parenting, white oppression, standards geared and favoring white students, blah blah blah.

In private schools (religious) you act up, you get expelled. And that will happen to a certain percentage but at least the others can learned and not be threatened by bullies. Look at the success of the Catholic schools (and by the way, Buddhists, Jews, Hindis etc all attend these so it is not a problem of separation of church and school). The only ones hyping this are the teachers unions who want to see things remain as they are. there is a hell of a lot of money riding on this kind of stuff and believe me for Liberals who think that Bush is all about corporate interests, they have never taken a close look at the kind of backroom dealing that goes on with teachers unions and labor unions and nongovernmental organizations and environmental groups. It would make a hardened mafioso blush with horrified shame.

Why not let the parents choose and then schools will have to do whatever they can to offer the best education or lose students AND funding. Why not? It is what makes the university system in the US the best in the world.

The ability to choose schools (school choice/charter schools, etc) is just the beginning. The Dept of Education must be phased out and decisions must be returned to local school boards which can determine to the best ability what their schools, children’s needs are. After all why should a central school district in LA be expected to offer the same curriculum as a school in rural Maine? or a beach resort in south Florida? The government is the problem here and NOT the solution. Bush is the first to actually get this right and while he has been distracted (unfortunately) by the various wars, when the BLACK!!! mayor of DC!!! finally comes around to school choice then you know something has worked! And perhaps even some day black school children will get the benefits of a decent education that well meaning (and some not so well meaning) racial agitators looking to protect the rights of the worst 5 percent are holding back the benefits to the other 95 percent.

Fred, Dubya’s record on education is atrocious. So’s his current effort. I hate to say it bro, but you need a holiday of the most distracting kind. Uh, er, or follow Aliens advice - Don’t drink and post.

PS. I apologize for entering into a debate I asked y’all not to start. In my best Tigerman’s nemisis voice, “Dui bu qi”.

fred smith:
So what you are saying is that pupil performance wil increase if:

  1. curriculum based decisions are given back to schools districts
  2. funding should be decided by the choice of parents
  3. schools must be accountable for its performance

I agree with your 2nd point but disagree with the first one.

The lack of curricular standards is what makes this whole “accountability” deal hard to justify. While I agree that local school districts should have some say in what is taught at which time to pupils, how can you make them accountable when there’s no standards to compare the performance with? Just how does a parent know how his/her school adds up to another school outside of the district?

I completely agree that funding is not the only answer to a better education. After all U.S. has invested far more money per pupil than any country in the world; but student performance is still mediocre at best (in comparison to other industrialized nations).
Report: U.S. No. 1 in school spending: Test scores fall in middle of the pack

And yes, holding schools accountable would be a good idea except for the points I mentioned earlier. I am sure there is a middle ground that can be reached. But again, any accountability has to come from a sound and measurable, national (if not simply state-wide) standards.


Where are you now New York or somewhere close if my memory serves me correctlly.

I disagree with all three points and agree with the fourth.

  1. I’ve seen Olmos, Phiffer, Beluchi, and Dangerfield working the schools. all responsibility is on the individual educator. From motivation of her/his peers to attainment, against all odds, of the cheerleading trophy by the student body.

Ha, ha just kidding.

This is about why people like Bush. Move to an education thread please.


Was in NYC; moved to San Jose 3 months ago (which explained my disappearance from the forum) due to company relocation.

You’re right… fred smith and I SHOULD start another threat on this, I guess…

What’s to like about Bush? Hmm… He proves that even D+ students and former DUIs CAN be a president… hah hah hah… Anything can happen in this great country!

Actually Bush went to Yale and Harvard. Gore never finished his law degree. Too bad for that smart smart Gore and how lucky for that dumb, lazy, stupid Bush etc.

Well the choice and lack of standards works for universities and colleges and works for companies when choosing where to relocate or locate etc etc. so I think it can be done. Parents will have to get more involved. Those who do not may result in their children getting inferior educations but that happens already so nothing to be lost, everything to be gained. George W. should never have dumped more money to get Ted Kennedy’s support down this rathole, but the more choice the better and this is the best and most choice we have had so I am very pleased with Bush’s efforts though much more needs to be done.

“Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”
-Douglas Adams

As far as vouchers and funding chosen by parents, the schools that have poor resources because they are in areas where people are stingy or just don’t have the money to dedicate to education are going to lose out without even having a fair chance. The state of Ohio has had the federal courts look at its methods of funding and find out how the system could be so unbalanced that some schools have computers with internet access at a ratio of 5 children per computer, have a multitude of foreign languages such as French, Spanish, German, Japanese, and Mandarin, and music programs that include new band uniforms every 5 years and brand new musical equipment while schools in the same state have leaking roofs, unremoved asbestos, and are using the same textbooks from 25 years ago with teachers who are overdue for retirement, but the schools cannot afford to hire new teachers at the rate that many of them expect. How could a test fairly assess children from school districts like that if they don’t even have the funding for updated geography books? Do you think charters are going to give these schools the money that they need? Do you think that if the parents of children in these schools would choose to keep sending their kids there if a chance to go to a well-finded school opened up?

Have you ever heard of centralized bussing? My sophomore year in high school, because of a lack of necessary tax levies passing, they cut most of the school bus lines for secondary grades and set up bus stops to service students in a 1-mile radius. Most of the kids affected by this were not the rich kids who had parents who could either drop them off at school or had cars of their own, but the ones whose parents didn’t have cars, worked hours that did not match school hours, or families that were too poor to have cars to offer to their kids. I cannot tell you how if infuriated me to first live over a mile away from school and have to walk in the snow while watching the Catholic and Christian schools who also used our state-run buses, drop their students off at their doors. Did giving these kids a choice of schools help improve the quality of our curriculum? No, actually it made it worse because parents did open enrollment to other districts that had more money and our school lost even more funding.

Careful IManiou:

Let’s not go getting this into a class war.

First, how do you know the funds at your school were being well spent? I saw shitloads go down the drain for minority encouragement this that and the other. I saw a black teacher (elementary school) who could not even spell take up valuable hours in our public relations dept to write grants (we wrote them) for writing courses for Black teachers and she was the one teaching them!!! This was in St. Paul Minnesota, one of the states that squanders the most on education and sensitivity this and that and drugs this or that and Indian this or that and you name it the taxpayers funded it but did it solve the problem no. Sad to say but ultimately educational achievement has to be driven at least 50 percent by student interest and intellect. Teachers can only do so much but such “programs” are only there for giving teachers who do not want to teach a comfortable Out while leaving the schools that much more short of funding.

So while I sympathize with your individual predicament. The problem is not getting more money to these schools. It’s sort of like foreign aid, the more you give… well look at who gets the most aid and who has failed to progress the most? It is the same.

But it is a class war. Vouchers favour the rich.


What people need is adequate clear information and the right to choose. I don’t see much of that. As far as Bush ruining education, I’d have to say things are not getting any worse than under any other president. This has been an issue for every president. The problem is students don’t vote, but senior citizens do. Which is why we have Seniors living in retirement communities in $100,000+ homes and not paying a dime to the local school district in the form of property taxes like everyone else.

The level of information and the level of opaqueness at most school boards would put the most corrupt asian corporations to shame and teach them a few pointers. Has anybody asked or answered the question, “What are we suppose to get for our money?” and “How are we going to make it happen?” Money is not the issue, how it is spent and used is. Surprising to find blacks and Republicans on the same side for once. Is it so bad to hold school adminstrators accountable?

Also we have to remember in the US everybody gets tested, not just the smart people like other countries. We also have a more dynamic advanced business and legal enviroment. Hence the richest man in the world is a university drop out. I think we need to gte back to treating no student worse than any other student.

Keep Bush out of it, this is a problem with a long history.


Well Bush did cut the education budget didn’t he? (Sorry, this is just memory, please correct me if I’m wrong). He certainly cut taxes, and that’s where the money for education comes from. Or does it all come from sponsored McDonald’s lunches these days?



No it is not a class war because 70 percent of poor Blacks support vouchers as well. The only ones that do not are teacher’s unions so you really have to wonder who is more concerned about their children.

Bush raised the education dept budget substantially to the total squealing of individuals like me. I guess you will have to take my word for it but I did a lot of work with school budgeting for a public school system and I have to say to the best of my ability that I would guess 40 to 60 percent could be cut no problem. That would be for minority encouragement shit and Indian affairs and bilingual stuff and drug programs. Why? Are these programs not good? No but they are not core to learning and many are poorly administered plum posts that just get bigger and bigger every year while failing to identify much less meet any of their stated goals.

As to Chodofu’s comment. I would seriously question whether he has any understanding of the educational situation in the United States today. How it could worsen dramatically under Bush when it has received the same funding increases that it always gets just shows how much the media is slanted to the liberal view on education and that Bush is immediately labeled as anti-education despite ponying up more money to the Dept of Education than Clinton. So sorry, get your facts right. Also, why are the newspapers not screaming about accountability? They certainly do when it comes to justifying CEO salaries and packages to Grasso’s great consternation. And quite rightly so. But why not do the same, investigate to the same degree, come up with alternative plans just like they do when it comes to corporations? tax writeoffs for the wealthy, etc.? How is this different? And who can prove to me that more money necessarily guarantees a better education?

This level of arguing is what really puts me off of forumosa. Here we have a Bush-hating Kiwi explaining how Bush cut the education budget(unsupported assertion) and then had the gall to say that vouchers favor the rich(again unsupported assertion). I expect better from you, Brian. I daresay that you have become a hater. I would expect such comments from ignorant people, I never imagined it would be you.

First off, Bush didn’t cut the education budget. He’s trying to get the money to be spent in more effective ways. There’s a great deal wrong with a sufficient number of schools for there to be serious misgivings about how the money is currently being used. I mean how can Washington DC have 25%+ of the students coming out of its schools be illiterate when it has one of the highest cash per pupil in the US. Why must poor people(especially minorities) be stuck in a cycle of poverty due to the inefficiency and corruption that schools in their neighborhoods indulge in. Why should they NOT have the choice to choose what school to send their child to even if it is a religious school?

Rich people don’t have problems with their schools, vouchers are a non issue for them. The price of tuition would actually raise and the difference being equal to the voucher price if vouchers are used. The money that the state and federal gov’ts give to the school would be taken away and have to be reearned by having parents choose to have their kids go to that school and putting their vouchers forth for that purpose. Rich people gain nothing.

What the F#@# is wrong with being rich anyway? God damn, you would think you were raised in some third world country where your either one of th 1-3% rich people or the 97-99% of poor people who serve them.

Drop the Karl Marx and Naomi Klein knee-jerk rhetoric and start thinking things through before you post. I daresay that you should read up on the topic at hand. I mean how is that blacks and republicans are on the same side of an issue when 88% of blacks vote democrat.


  1. Bush did pass a major budget increase for education; but f*ck the American people if he had tried as hard as he did for the budget to reconstruct Iraq.

  2. The NCLB Act he signed into law was monumental. It requires a lot more resources to put in place and support the measures cited in the law. My arguement simply was, has his administration even stopped and pondered if the money he allotted was going to be enough? As educators (not so much teacher’s unions) and school districts are beginning to find out, it aint.

  3. The success/failer of voucher program remains to be seen. I agree parents and students do and should have the right to choose schools. But as mentioned, poor child performance does not only reflect how the teacher/school is doing, it reflects family and other social and education system concerns as well (e.g. how can the entire State of GA/AL [or whatever] be doing so poorly compared to others)

  4. Standards can and should be achieved accross different states. A good point was made about the U.S. college entrance system. But what the colleges do have the previledge of is some sort of standards measurement tools like SAT, ACT and (eropean countries, IB) others. None of that is technically established for primary and 2ndary education. If I wanted to transfer my child from MA to CA, how do I know if he’s up to speed in the eyes of CA educators other than looking at the curriculum charts (with which it doesn’t help much)? There must be some kind of exam, test, or placement test that allows any school to benchmark their students like they do in college (I havne’t given much thought about how this could be done. So please criticise away and “brainstorm”).

Again, I must protest.

This myth that more money will help education in the US or the public school system is false. I saw it with my own eyes. The money was wasted on programs not inclass expenses. Ask anyone in the business. Then there needs to be accountability for students who act out and disrupt classes. They need to be sent to “tough love” schools not allowed to fuck with everyone else, bullying and threatening etc. So by nature of the money argument (which I helped promote in pr at the public school by the way: Don’t you care about the future? Sad children’s faces in poster or ad) would you also argue that more money guarantees you a better hotel, restaurant, bottle of wine, car, clothes, etc.? Or would you say it pays to shop around OR would you say that while everyone would like a Ferrari, a Fiat does the trick of getting you where you are going? So can we afford the ridiculous sums that would not deliver really more (transportation) than a simpler, cheaper variety?

Anyone wanting to transfer from Massachusetts to California can take a test if that need be the case. As is, there is no standard. Every school is different with grade inflation and teachers determining who passes and why. So please do not pretend this is something that will only occur with vouchers. Besides, there are regular testing periods (before at least every three years) called the Iowa Basics tests. So go to the last one and based on that transfer away. This would not be the problem you pretend it would.

Bulaien cannot be American hence his very simplistic class views of education in America. More money will not help. 72 to 75 percent of poor DC blacks support vouchers because they are fucking fed up with the system which does not deliver results. It was only against overwhelming support like this that the mayor of DC (black) could face down the teachers unions and such (also mostly black) so this is not a Republican Democrat issue per se but more distantly an issue that has become one since teachers tend to vote democrat in wide margins and their unions support the democratic party 100 percent.

What I said was:

So I was being a bit hasty, but in no way was I “explaining how Bush cut the education budget”. I made it pretty clear that I wasn’t sure about it.

Re: vouchers, I do know what I’m talking about here. Vouchers do favour the rich. I’ve read many articles about this in education journals in the past. Sorry, no links, they were journals by education and policy professionals, not online things (this was some time ago). I expect that if you do some research you will find this ‘assertion’ to be supported.

I didn’t say there’s anything wrong with being rich, but yes I am very much against favouring the rich. Tax the rich I say - tax them hard. I’m talking about the very rich though, the top 0.5%, not the middle class.



Well check yourself in for a session with a good psychiatrist about why you have this zero sum game mentality when it comes to the rich. Who cares how much money they have? how does that affect you?

You do NOT know what you are talking about when it comes to vouchers. They do not benefit rich people. Think about it. Rich people can send their children wherever they want. Why would they need vouchers? Vouchers are for giving money to poor people to be able to choose which schools to send their children to by virtue of the fact that the amount spent on public schools per pupil is as ridiculously high as that for the best private schools (nearly) in the United States. They get a portion (only) of the money that the tax paying citizen has paid to go to the school of their choice.

Admit it. You have not read any articles on vouchers or if you have, you have colored it with your class-conscious views or read them only cursorily. I know this issue very very well so don’t attempt to talk to me about vouchers. I worked in the industry and I know it through and through. Where are you from anyway, northern England? Leave the chip off your shoulder. America is not the class-based society that England is so these types of resentments have absolutely no place in discussions of America. Thanks.