Education: 2014 Archives

HOW LIBERALS' POLICIES HAVE DAMAGED THE ECONOMY AND HURT THE POOR

To end the year, we present some practical and compelling thinking about the need for conservatives to seize the initiative if the country is to be saved. Liberal fascism has restricted our freedoms and impaired our economy with unnecessary heavy handed intervention. Liberal policies have killed human initiative and worsened the condition of the poor, particularly that of black Americans.

Dr. Thomas Sowell grew up poor in Harlem, dropped out of high school, but graduated from Harvard and acquired a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago. He attributes his success to perseverance.

Dr. Sowell's columns are read widely in newspapers all over the country and online. He is now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford. Peter Robinson interviews Dr. Sowell on the occasion of the publication of his Fifth Edition of his best-selling book "Basic Economics." You won't find a better or more enjoyable 50 minutes of education than this.

Click in the lower right corner for full screen and Escape to return to the smaller size.

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CONDOLEEZA RICE AND SENATOR TIM SCOTT -- HELP YOUNG BLACKS SUCCEED.

Condoleezza Rice condemned Democrats for playing the race card in this month's elections, calling it "appalling."

She also addresses the habit of too many blacks to make outcasts of blacks who try to improve themselves and "don't act black enough." Quarterback Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks is the most recent example, being accused of acting white by his fellow black teammates. To his credit, Charles Barkley spoke up in Wilson's defense and blasted those blacks who peddle such "crap."

Such talk does a great deal of damage to young black people, who wind up preferring jive talk and baseball caps worn backwards to fitting in at school and working hard to get ahead.


What a role model Condi Rice is for young blacks, if they will only heed her. They need to be encouraged to believe that the same if not better opportunities lie ahead for them that were there for her when she was growing up in the segregated South.

It starts with the right kind of education. And too much of public school education is effectively controlled by public teachers unions whose first priority is themselves, not the students. Competition in choice through vouchers is the beginning of the answer, as Senator Tim Scott champions.

High on the Republican agenda in 2015 should be increasing school choice and other opportunities for the poor to advance themselves.

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DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS BETRAYED AFRICAN-AMERICAN YOUTH.

WSJ Ferguson.jpg
We've seen Ferguson before, in Detroit, 1967.

Obama's economy, overburdened with regulations, has sputtered and stalled, resulting in high unemployment in black neighborhoods. But even if there were jobs, "Just 5% of African-American students meet the ACT's college readiness benchmark in all four subject areas: English, reading, math and science." The unholy alliance between the Democratic Party and public teachers' unions has produced "crumbling" inner city school systems. The result, no skills, no jobs. No jobs, no skills, The Democrats have betrayed their most loyal voting block, African-American voters.

Ferguson, USA

50 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a Ferguson doesn't need to happen.
By Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal

It has been 50 years since Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Across that half century, the condition of inner-city black life in America has consumed immeasurable amounts of the nation's public and private spending, litigation, academic study, cultural output and opinion. And yet everything about Ferguson is familiar.

A poor neighborhood has erupted over a police killing, protesters are in the streets, civil-rights leaders are everywhere, local businesses have been looted and cameramen are recording the most familiar image of all—young black men in a state of rage. Eventually Ferguson will subside as a daily news story, and then life in this small town in the middle of the country will return to being what it was.

We've seen these pictures before: the urban in riot in Detroit, 1967. AP
What we are seeing in Ferguson occurred on a larger scale in Detroit and Newark in 1967, in the Watts section of Los Angeles in 1965, and in a neighborhood called Hough on the east side of Cleveland in 1966. Some argue that Detroit and Newark never recovered.

We will leave it to others to plumb the riddles of whether racism and injustice create the Fergusons of America. A question more open to the possibility of an answer is: Why don't more young guys in places like Ferguson have a job to occupy their days?

The short answer is, they don't work because there is no work. And anyway, who would hire them? President Barack Obama explained all this in February when he announced the "My Brother's Keeper" Initiative.

"As a black student," Mr. Obama said, "you are far less likely than a white student to be able to read proficiently by the time you are in fourth grade. By the time you reach high school, you're far more likely to have been suspended or expelled." And the future? "Fewer young black and Latino men participate in the labor force compared to young white men. And all of this translates into higher unemployment rates and poverty rates as adults." All indisputable.

The goal of "My Brother's Keeper," Mr. Obama said, is to find out "what works," and then build on what works.

But we know what works. The build-out is simply waiting for a head contractor to get the job done.

When the president announced this initiative in February, the progressive website Think Progress produced an article that includes one eye-popping chart. Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it shows the unemployment rate for black youth from 2007-2012. In November 2009 it hit 49.1%. It has declined to about 35%, but remains twice the rate for young whites.

The article also noted the massive shortfall in educational preparedness: "Just 5% of African-American students meet the ACT's college readiness benchmark in all four subject areas: English, reading, math and science."

Connect the dots: What younger black men need is a decent job and the education necessary to get and hold that job. Absent that, normal life is impossible, for them or for their neighborhoods.

More dots: Last August, the Pew Research Center published a report, also documenting that the "black unemployment rate is consistently twice that of whites." Gaze, however, at Pew's chart of unemployment by race based on seasonally adjusted Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 1954 to 2013. It reveals what works.

Peak unemployment for all blacks hit 19.5% in 1983, after a deep recession. Then it plummeted, to about 11%. These were the boom years of the Reagan presidency, when economic growth hit 7% in 1984 and averaged 3.6%. Following a recession in the early 1990s, that strong-growth trend continued during Bill Clinton's presidency, and black unemployment fell further, below 10%.

The postrecession growth rate for the first five years of the Obama presidency was below 2%, and joblessness for young black men is unprecedented. Something, obviously, isn't working.

Good growth is half of what works. Without a functional education, holding a job, or improving on the one you've got, is nearly impossible. Ferguson's school system, the Washington Post's visiting reporters noted Tuesday, "is crumbling."

The decline of inner-city public schools is the greatest, most bitterly ironic social tragedy in the 50 years since passage of the liberating civil-rights acts. But what works here is no longer an unsolvable mystery. It is the alternatives that emerged to the defunct public system—charters schools and voucher-supported parochial schools. Over the past 20 years, these options, born in desperation, have forced their way into the schools mix. Freed of politicized, sludge-like central bureaucracies, they've proven they can teach kids and send them into the workforce.

Economic growth is nonpartisan. But inner-city public education is totally partisan. Democratic politicians made a Faustian bargain with the teachers unions, and the souls carried away have been the black children in those doomed schools.

What America's Fergusons need—from L.A. to Detroit to New York—is a president, and a party, obsessed with growth and messianic about giving a kid what he needs to hold the job that growth provides. Maybe by the 100th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.


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GENERAL McRAVEN'S "LESSONS FOR LIFE" A MUST READ

General William H. McRaven gave a memorable commencement address at the University of Texas this spring that deserves to be read and reread: "Life Lessons From Navy SEAL Training."

SEALs Lessons for Life - commencement address U Texas McRaven.pdf

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WE ARE THE PARTY OF LINCOLN.
WE STAND FOR FREEDOM AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL.



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