Tag Archives: education

School Lunch Price Hikes Coming

School_LunchThanks to the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, school lunches are about to get a price hike.

The HHFKA was touted as a way to include more healthy foods in school lunches from Kindergarten through high school, but it’s proving to be a very expensive measure with unintended consequences.

Wythe County schools in Virginia are telling parents they will need to pay more for their students’ lunches in the next school year. The HHFKA requires that districts charge as much for each meal as is being reimbursed to the district for free and reduced lunch program meals. For Wythe County, that means a 10 cent increase for families not on the program.

According to Dr. Wesley Poole, director of facilities and operations for the district, keeping in compliance with the Act will be difficult as the reimbursement amounts change frequently.

The new law also imposes strict rules on calorie counts and nutritional requirements. In Somerset, Pennsylvania, the Berlin school district has been feeling the affects of smaller meal sizes in order to comply.

“It’s difficult to justify raising prices when we have smaller portions for students,” school board member Terry Metzgar told The Daily American, a local newspaper.

He explained that it’s difficult to find a “happy medium” because all students are not the same size and require different amounts of food at lunchtime.

With rising food costs, many districts have had to resort to smaller portion sizes to meet the new calorie standards.

The Heathy Hunger Free Kids Act, though championed by First Lady Michelle Obama as a method to reduce childhood obesity, is laced with environmental policy, Department of Agriculture initiatives and has strayed very far from the original intended purposes of the school lunch program. Read more here and here.

Every school district in the United States has to comply with the new school lunch standards or risk losing funding for free and reduced lunches.

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Tutoring Program For Colored Only? School Changes Mind.

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Ouch. This doesn’t help race relations.

A Colorado school wanted to offer a bridge program to students who needed academic assistance. But when they sent out advertisements to families the program was listed as only open to minority children. A point which was reiterated by the principal. However, following backlash from parents and the media, the district changed it mind and the program is now open to all students who need help.

A few years ago my daughter was involved as teacher in a bridge program also designed to help minority students transition into college. The first year the program quickly filled with outstanding students (mostly white) who were looking for a jump start at the university. The program wasn’t reaching it’s designated target. But instead of offering the program to only minorities the administration opened it to those with specific academic recommendations from teachers. One wonders if this Colorado district shouldn’t have done the same.

Texas Senators blast pro-socialist teaching curriculum

An electronic system used by more than 70 percent of school districts in Texas has recently come under attack by the state’s Senate Education Committee for promoting socialism and criticizing American values.

The curriculum management system known as CSCOPE is used by teachers in 875 districts to manage their lesson plans while allowing them to customize material for their own specific classrooms.

Some of the ideology promoted in the material, though, is wholly inappropriate and openly endorses anti-American sentiment.

According to reports, numerous witnesses spoke before the Senate committee to explain why Texas students must not be indoctrinated with the leftist lesson plans. One witness described the program as “mind control” while a teacher emotionally testified he quit his job because using the system made him feel like he was “aiding and abetting a crime.”

Other criticism of the program included lack of transparency, as the program’s particulars are not readily available to anyone other than teachers and school administrators. Questionable lesson plans covered various subjects and issues, though one of the most reprehensible forced sixth-graders to design their own socialist flag.

The CSCOPE curriculum encourages students to “notice that socialist and communist countries use symbolism on their flags” while prompting them to come up with their own symbols to use on the flag for a new socialist country. In addition to allegations the curriculum is overly supportive of Islam, the lesson plans also reportedly refer to those involved in the Boston Tea Party as terrorists.

This type of blatant leftist indoctrination deserves no place in any American school and, as a Texan, I am incredibly offended such nonsense has made its way into our great educational system. Such blatant disregard for traditional values combined with the secrecy with which the material is treated just further exposes the left’s ongoing mission.

Those unhappy with America as founded seek to change this nation’s future by systematically brainwashing the next generation in the government-mandated education camps known as the public school system.
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Post Crisis: Overreaction at Schools

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The government, in particular our public schools, sometimes seems to lose common sense especially following a crisis.

Everyone agrees that we must do as much as possible to stem the gun violence, especially in schools. But what happened to talking to the children and explaining the dangers of weapons in school? Shouldn’t a well educated teacher be able to tell little Johnny or Jane why even pretending to ‘shoot’ someone might be scary to another child? Isn’t this what we hire our educators to do? It should be expected that our teachers use common sense.

But too often we see the knee jerk reaction by school staff. Consider the five year old girl who was talking about her Hello Kitty bubble shooter or the little six year old boy who used his finger as a pretend gun. Or the little boy who made a ‘gun’ out of Lego blocks… Shouldn’t these be, as this president once said, ‘An educable moment’???

Sadly, too often they are not and the children are suspended until public outcry brings some common sense back to school officials.

Just this past week in Arizona a student, who aspires to join the military upon graduation, had a picture of a flag and weapon shown on his computer screen. Once again, rather than using common sense and speaking to the student school staff chose to suspend him.

Yes, really.

I’m a parent. I want my schools safe. But I also want to see some common sense demonstrated by the school officials.

Mother Teresa and the Destruction of Christianity

I am not Catholic but I am an Indian. Having lived in India for more than a decade of my life, I know a thing or two about the poor who continuously struggle with abject poverty and hopelessness every day. Thus, an attack against the character and reputation of Mother Teresa is incomprehensible to me. Yet, the ongoing onslaught against Christianity is hardly surprising at all.

The Atheists Humanists Agnostics (AHA) of Dartmouth College plan to consider Mother Teresa’s character by looking through the lenses of Christopher Hitchens’s Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice. According to Hitchens’s Mother Teresa was anything but “good.”[1] Her love and commitment to the poor was simply a façade. The title of the book itself is a strong indicator of Hitchens’s (err) position. Hitchens uses cheap, vulgar, and double meaning to make his case and it is obvious that his interest is merely in selling his book and bagging the funds. Unfortunately, Dartmouth College students blinded by anti-Christian rhetoric are more than happy to support his pathetic cause. It would be interesting to see how many of them have actually done anything to help the poor in their own communities let alone abroad.

It is easy to cast the stone on a woman, now gone forever, who gave up everything to help those who were in deep need. Perhaps these wonderful atheists should consider taking a trip to India and spend one day doing what Mother Teresa did gladly for most of her life. Life in India is hardly as glamorous as Bollywood would have one believe. For the “enlightened” ones who follow Hitchens and listen to the Deepak Chopras of the world, no, the beaches of Goa do not equate to the slums of Calcutta. The heat in itself is enough to make one insane and that is nothing to say of disease, oppression, congestion, filth, or death.

Of course, the idea would hardly occur to these thinkers since the plight of the poor in India is hardly the objective of their gimmick. Indeed, in this case, their idea is to extend a “healthy debate” sitting atop the cushioned seats of Dartmouth College where they rip Christianity to shreds.  After all, how dare Mother Teresa think she could give up everything, travel halfway around the world, live (and die) in the midst of strangers?  How dare she show compassion and love to the poor, an unfortunate group shunned shamelessly by their own society? Such a notion is apparently inconceivable to these godless students. It is unimportant if the poor in India themselves loved Mother Teresa or were grateful for her service.  What is important is that people should have the freedom to debate, defame and destroy Christianity at any cost.  Yes, we should all listen to these great, godless thinkers of Dartmouth College and follow suit without fail. Right.



[1] “Dartmouth atheists to skewer ‘lying, thieving Albanian dwarf’ Mother Teresa,” The Daily Caller.com, last modified November 19, 2012, http://dailycaller.com/2012/11/19/dartmouth-atheists-to-skewer-lying-thieving-albanian-dwarf-mother-teresa/.

 

Poll: Education Trumps Immigration among Top-Tier Issues for Latino Voters

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School choice receives strong support from likely voters in key 2012 battleground states

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WASHINGTON, May 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Education ranks behind only the economy and jobs as the most important consideration among likely Latino voters in five battleground states, according to a survey released today by the American Federation for Children (AFC) and the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options (HCREO).

The poll results revealed that improving K-12 education—and not issues related to immigration—is the second-most important issue in the minds of Latino respondents, and education ranks in a near-statistical tie as the second most important issue among all likely voters.

Voters in five states—Arizona, Florida, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Nevada—were surveyed by the Democratic-leaning polling firm Beck Research on a host of education and other issues that will prove critical to deciding the 2012 presidential election. A majority (58 percent) of Latinos surveyed expressed a desire to hear more from both presidential campaigns on how the candidates will improve education, and large proportions of respondents also voiced strong support for a host of private school choice initiatives, including vouchers, scholarship tax credit programs, education savings accounts, and special needs scholarship programs.

“The support for making education a fundamental part of the campaign discourse over the next six months is remarkably strong across demographic, geographic, and ideological lines,” said Kevin P. Chavous, a senior advisor to the American Federation for Children. “The message to the candidates is clear: expanding educational options for parents, and education reform generally, should be a priority in 2012.  It not only makes good political sense, but it’s the right thing to do, too.”

A total of 85 percent of voters and 91 percent of Latinos think vouchers and scholarship tax credit programs should be available in some form, while majorities of likely voters and Latinos also support specific school choice proposals as well. Support is especially high for special needs scholarship programs, which are favored by 74 percent of voters and an astounding 80 percent of Latino voters.

Latino respondents particularly supported arguments in favor of school choice because of the immediate help it provides to children from low-income families, and their positive effect on graduation rates, academic achievement, and parental satisfaction.

“No voting bloc is more important to this election than Latinos, and it’s clear that education is among the most important issues,” said Julio Fuentes, president and CEO of HCREO. “Latino families want their children to have a chance to prosper, and that opportunity best exists through access to a quality education.”

In a campaign season dominated by talk of the economy, more than half (53 percent) of Latino voters also cited education as central to improving our country’s economic situation.

The Beck Research survey interviewed a total of 1,050 likely November voters, including an oversample of 300 Latinos. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.6 percent.

Political Spin in the Classroom- How it’s Hurting America

Teachers go hyperbolic, again.

Benjamin Franklin once said “The good education of youth has been esteemed by wise men in all ages, as the surest foundation of the happiness both of private families and of common-wealths,”

He and the rest of the Founders recognized that the continuation of liberty is in the hands of an educated electorate. When the people are uninformed, they can be manipulated and enslaved- case in point- the feudalist system in the Middle Ages.

So, if the education of the public, and particularly young people, is crucial in a free society, the role of the teacher is perhaps one of the most important. They influence the individual at a crucial age- when they are discovering the world and learning to think for themselves. By opening the young mind to the wonders of society and humanity, a good professor can inspire passion in a student to succeed and change the world. And that is a truly beautiful thing.

But what happens when the teacher misuses their position? What happens when the teacher uses their position to push a private agenda, poisoning the student’s mind through malicious lies?

Given the trust and importance placed in public educators, is this duplicity not a betrayal of the free society they are supposed to be preserving?

I have spent many lectures fighting back tears of anger as my professors malign everything I believe in, mocking the conservative way of thinking, lying about the goals of an opposing party, snickering at anyone who has the guts to stand up and try to defend what they believe in. Can there be anything more despicable than a professor who uses their position to put down young people who are just learning to stand up for themselves? Yes, freedom of speech is crucial to public dialogue, and teachers have a right to their opinion, but do those opinions have a place in the classroom, especially when they are used it to be divisive and to bully?

And what about the lies? How many students take what their teachers say at face value, as they should be able to, and live in the manufactured reality of political spin? Shouldn’t we be able to place trust in our educators? Is it any wonder then, when the classroom is used as a propaganda platform, that the right wing is so unabashedly maligned in the public dialogue?

And perhaps the most crucial question, what does this mean for the future of our country? When students are lied to, taught not to think for themselves, and believe in the absolute evil of a certain way of thinking, how can a free society survive? This is where education becomes a national security issue. This is what the Founders warned about. The teacher has the power to shape the destiny of the next generation. And when they use their position to indoctrinate rather than promote critical thought, teach them to be guided by the opinions of others- that is when the next generation becomes slaves to the government, rather than the masters of it.

Teachers suffering from memory loss

Albert Shanker inventor of the assembly line compensation model for teachers.

It’s been a busy week on the education front in Virginia. The General Assembly, concerned about academics and discipline, defeated the “Tebow” bill that would have allowed homeschoolers to try out for high school athletic teams.

And Assembly also defeated a tenure reform bill that would have made it easier to fire incompetent teachers mostly because of the fear that educators might be dismissed for personality conflicts with their boss. An outrageous state of affairs as former Washington Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth can personally attest.

So it was more than a little ironic when the day before local teachers were scheduled to hold a Saturday ‘grade–in’ at Wegmans grocery store to protest a budget that lacks a raise for next year; one of those homeschooled, academically–challenged, discipline problems the General Assembly is so worried about won the county spelling bee.

Lori Anne Madison took the crown at the 34th annual bee by spelling “vaquero,” which is quite an accomplishment for a 6–year–old since the word is not even English.

(It also makes me wonder if spelling bees held in Mexico City ever ask anyone to spell “cowboy?”)

Meanwhile, back at Wegmans, public school teachers were grading papers and preparing lesson plans among the arugula to demonstrate to a cheap, penny–pinching public all the work they do outside the classroom.

As Jim Livingston, a board member of the Prince William Education Assn. said, “The grade–in is designed so that the public can see that there is a lot more in the daily life of a professional educator than just 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., or 7 to 2.”

Livingston had also better hope the public doesn’t do the math, because both of those number sets only add up to a seven–hour work day (including lunch), which is at least an hour shorter than the work day of most taxpayers.

In addition to grading papers by the light reflected off the sneeze guards, county teachers are also “working to rule,” which means they will no longer come in early to help students or stay after school for extracurricular activities unless they are paid for the extra time.

This labor action only serves to prove teacher’s memories are as short as that of their students.

Let’s step outside the ivory tower of academia and examine what’s been going on in what I call Taxpayer World. Nationally unemployment for taxpayers is between 8 and 9 percent, unless you count those who have given up looking for work entirely, which puts the figure in double digits.

During the past four years approximately 300,000 public school employees lost their jobs outside of Prince William County where I live and, according to school board Chairman Milton C. Johns, those jobs are not coming back.

Yet here not one school employee lost their job or was forced to take an unpaid furlough. What’s more, last year when county government employees took a 5 percent hit in their paycheck to cover costs passed down to the local level from the state, teachers did not lose a penny and were even given a small bonus that did not affect their base pay. But somehow being sheltered from a recession that’s hammering taxpayers — no layoffs, no furloughs, no pay cuts and a one–time bonus — equals unhappiness.

It also indicates students aren’t the only ones with unrealistically high self–esteem.

Chairman Johns solution to this impasse is to give the school board taxing authority. This would be like putting beavers in charge of the dam–building budget. Right now a disgruntled school board gets 56.75 percent of the county’s general revenue, which is more than in Fairfax County, Alexandria, Arlington County and Loudoun County.

Prince William spent $12,650 per student in 2009 and 85 percent of that expenditure goes to personnel costs. In the state as a whole, between 2002 and 2009 per–pupil spending increased 44 percent.

So don’t talk to me about cuts in education spending. Teachers refer to themselves as “professionals” yet they cling to an assembly–line compensation regime and refuse to accept professional responsibility or establish measurable benchmarks for student’s education.

In keeping with my family’s innate sense of bad timing, my son has finally decided grades are important during a year in which teachers work–to–rule. Fortunately, the teacher in the class where he as the most trouble continues to stay after school to work with him and consequently his grade is improving.

She certainly deserves a raise. On the other hand, the middle school math teacher who decided to essentially retire during the school year instead of waiting for June deserved to be fired.

My advice for teachers is if you want to be paid like professionals, agree to be evaluated individually just like professionals.

Democrats vote to keep a minority in the shadows

There is an underground society in today’s America. These invisible people pay taxes just like the rest of us, but are ostracized because of their background. The promise of America is denied them.  Instead they lead a clannish, insular existance, suspicious of the authorities and on the fringes of mainstream life.

Often driving by some remote area, you may catch a glimpse of them playing soccer on dusty, over–used public fields, far away from well–groomed high school athletic facilities.

But in spite of being marginalized by a judgmental, intolerant society, they never lost hope. They believed in working through the system for justice. And finally, there came a chance to emerge from the shadows — a golden opportunity to finally join the rest of America and enjoy the rights of a full–fledged citizen.

But an 8–7 block vote by Democrats in a Virginia Senate committee defeated the “Tebow” bill and again denied homeschooled children the chance to try out for high school football and other athletic teams.

Sen. Harry B. Blevins (R–Virginia Education Association), a former cog in the education–industrial complex, was personally responsible for the tie–breaking vote that meant homeschooled children would be forced to play ballerina ball for yet another season.

Teacher’s association and Virginia sports league officials voiced two primary reasons for opposing the bill and, in keeping with typical Democrat discourse, both reasons were false. But these people will do or say anything to retain the government monopoly on indoctrinating children.

The first was public school students are subject to more stringent academic requirements than the homeschoolers. I know “football,” “stringent” and “academic” are not three words you normally encounter in the same sentence, but be that as it may, the facts are otherwise.

Homeschooled children are tested by the state every year and must meet set achievement levels. In fact, Progress Report 2009 — a study that surveyed 11,739 homeschooled students tested by 15 independent testing services — found that homeschooled students on the average scored 37 percentile points above public school students on standardized achievement tests.

Once they get to college homeschooled students have a better freshman GPA (3.41) than other freshmen (3.12) and graduate at higher rates.

The second objection was homeschooled students might represent potential discipline problems. This, too, is rich. Granted it was a long time ago, but every team I ever played on had a coach and if the coach didn’t like your attitude you were not a member of the team for long.

Democrats who voted against the bill no doubt wondered why Virginia homeschooled children can’t act like those quaint Amish folks: stay out of the limelight, avoid fossil fuels and make sustainable furniture.

The only bright spot in the entire debate was, for possibly the first time in history, a leader of the Democrat party went on record stating the choices people make have consequences with which they must be prepared to live. Senate Minority Leader Richard Saslaw declared, “Every single parent who chooses to home-school their kid knows what the ground rules are. Parents know that choice, and they know what the ramifications are.”

This will be a real news bulletin to liberal protected groups like Occupy, unwed mothers, illegal aliens, foreclosed homeowners, drug addicts and the homeless.

But Saslaw has not entirely joined the Personal Responsibility Caucus. He also said if the bill passed it would not be the end of demands. “It’s the camel’s nose under the tent,” he claimed. This indicates confusion on Saslaw’s part. Homeschooling advocates weren’t asking for player quotas to be established — the standard liberal Democrat remedy — they only wanted the opportunity to compete.

If the youngster isn’t good enough, he doesn’t make the team. Unless, of course, the coach wants to stash a couple of homeschoolers on the bench to raise the team’s overall GPA.

The education establishment views the homeschooling movement as a mortal threat. If Ma and Pa Kettle spend only $500 per year and produce students who, on the average, outscore public school students supported by nearly $10,000 each year — including money from homeschooling parents — sooner or later taxpayers may start asking pointed questions.

Besides, just because a family buys a few books for their own home the authorities can’t ban them from public libraries. The same principle should apply to high school athletics.

In the last week we’ve seen Democrats all over the country support Sandra Fluke — Queen of the Prophylactic — and her desire to play footsie on the taxpayer dime. It seems only fair that homeschooled children be allowed to play football on the taxpayer’s teams.

President’s Budget Proposal Fails to Fund D.C. Voucher Program

President ObamaWASHINGTON, February 13, 2012  — President Barack Obama’s newly-released federal budget would not provide funding to the highly-successful D.C. voucher program, despite an agreement signed by the president last year that reauthorized the program.

The American Federation —the nation’s voice for school choice—strongly decries the president’s failure to provide funding to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), which currently provides scholarships to more than 1,600 children from low-income families across the nation’s capital to attend the private schools of their parents’ choice.

Though the OSP is in little danger of going unfunded—Congress is charged with appropriating funds, and House Speaker John Boehner is an ardent defender of the program—the move by President Obama is effectively a reneging on the promise he made last April in a budget agreement he signed that helped avert a government shutdown.

“The president says he’s for education reform, but his actions continually aim to send low-income and minority students back to schools that are failing them academically, are unsafe, or are otherwise not meeting their needs,” said AFC senior advisor Kevin P. Chavous, a former D.C. Councilman. “This latest hypocrisy is just the most recent instance in which the president has stood in the way of students who are improving test scores and graduating in higher numbers.”

Since barring new students from entering the program in 2009, Obama has made numerous statements expressing support for reform that have contradicted his actions regarding the OSP. In 2010, President Obama publicly stated that he would not send his daughters to D.C. public schools, despite actively working to bar low-income families from having that choice.

And while the president rightly discusses the nation’s severe dropout crisis—as he did in last month’s State of the Union address—he’s unwilling to support the OSP, where students’ 91 percent graduation rate is 21 percentage points higher than those who applied but couldn’t get a scholarship. And according to the Institute of Education Sciences—the primary research arm of the U.S. Department of Education—the OSP has the second highest achievement impact of any of the programs it has studied so far.

Since the program’s inception in 2004, more than 10,000 families have applied to participate in the OSP. Four years of studies from Georgetown University and the University of Arkansas have shown overwhelming parental satisfaction, and 74 percent of D.C. residents polled a year ago supported reauthorization.  More than 520 applications were submitted at a signup event for the program on Saturday, hosted by the D.C. Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation.

“By any reasonable measure, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program has been an overwhelming success,” Chavous said. “President Obama wouldn’t be where he is today without a private school scholarship. He needs to stop playing politics and do what’s right for kids.”

President's Budget Proposal Fails to Fund D.C. Voucher Program

President ObamaWASHINGTON, February 13, 2012  — President Barack Obama’s newly-released federal budget would not provide funding to the highly-successful D.C. voucher program, despite an agreement signed by the president last year that reauthorized the program.

The American Federation —the nation’s voice for school choice—strongly decries the president’s failure to provide funding to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), which currently provides scholarships to more than 1,600 children from low-income families across the nation’s capital to attend the private schools of their parents’ choice.

Though the OSP is in little danger of going unfunded—Congress is charged with appropriating funds, and House Speaker John Boehner is an ardent defender of the program—the move by President Obama is effectively a reneging on the promise he made last April in a budget agreement he signed that helped avert a government shutdown.

“The president says he’s for education reform, but his actions continually aim to send low-income and minority students back to schools that are failing them academically, are unsafe, or are otherwise not meeting their needs,” said AFC senior advisor Kevin P. Chavous, a former D.C. Councilman. “This latest hypocrisy is just the most recent instance in which the president has stood in the way of students who are improving test scores and graduating in higher numbers.”

Since barring new students from entering the program in 2009, Obama has made numerous statements expressing support for reform that have contradicted his actions regarding the OSP. In 2010, President Obama publicly stated that he would not send his daughters to D.C. public schools, despite actively working to bar low-income families from having that choice.

And while the president rightly discusses the nation’s severe dropout crisis—as he did in last month’s State of the Union address—he’s unwilling to support the OSP, where students’ 91 percent graduation rate is 21 percentage points higher than those who applied but couldn’t get a scholarship. And according to the Institute of Education Sciences—the primary research arm of the U.S. Department of Education—the OSP has the second highest achievement impact of any of the programs it has studied so far.

Since the program’s inception in 2004, more than 10,000 families have applied to participate in the OSP. Four years of studies from Georgetown University and the University of Arkansas have shown overwhelming parental satisfaction, and 74 percent of D.C. residents polled a year ago supported reauthorization.  More than 520 applications were submitted at a signup event for the program on Saturday, hosted by the D.C. Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation.

“By any reasonable measure, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program has been an overwhelming success,” Chavous said. “President Obama wouldn’t be where he is today without a private school scholarship. He needs to stop playing politics and do what’s right for kids.”

Father Government: Federalizing Childcare

Even though she was evicted from her position as Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) is still trying to tell us how to run our own houses. Her latest frightful commitment to the American people is that if the Democrats are re-elected in 2012 “we will do to childcare what we did to healthcare.” As if that’s a good thing.

The list of all that could go wrong in a country that provides free childcare is lengthy, but modeling such a program after Obamacare would be even more disastrous. Imagine a world where all parents are mandated to go back to work after having children, where it would be criminal to stay at home and raise your child yourself. Sounds a little like a piece of dystopian literature, doesn’t it?

This is not a new idea for Democrats. In fact, it’s one that began a very long time ago with free government education. K-12 morphed into government-funded pre-K programs, and now has evolved into the government wanting unfettered access to the minds of our children from birth. The Democrats, especially, want to indoctrinate our children to believe that Government is the true parent of all people in this country.

The concept of free “public” (read: government-funded) education for all originates in the famed Marxist document, the Manifesto of the Communist Party. This should raise the first flag. The Manifesto further decries one of its basic tenets as, “Abolition of the family!” Isn’t that precisely what the Democrats are working towards with the latest anti-family idea? On merit, yes, it is a better idea to have an educated population than an uneducated one. As an educator by trade, I cannot dispute that intellectual fact. I challenge the notion, however, that the government should be in charge of it. Competition drives excellence, and government control of anything quells competition.

Practically, free childcare for all does seem to fill a need that exists for all parents. This is where it is likely to gain public support. It’s not easy to make the decision to spend $1,000 a month from a $2,000 paycheck (after federal taxes, of course) for someone to keep our children all day while we work. For many, the financial equation just doesn’t make sense. As a result, many choose to forgo their career for a while and stay home with their children, and they make financial sacrifices until their children are school-aged. Others choose to stay home and raise their young children because they actually want to.

I know it may surprise some on the left, but there are people who have children because they actually planned a two-parent family and want to nourish that family by doing the hard work themselves. They want to work hard to provide for their spouse and children. They want to choose the best pediatricians to treat their babies when they’re sick. They want to save money and build a nest-egg that can be passed on to their children and grandchildren. They want to build a family business, despite the fact that it will require 80-hour work weeks. They want their children involved in the business, so they can teach them sound fiscal principles.

They want the government to get out of their way, so they can do these things that will make their lives meaningful. These family-centric Americans are perfectly willing to accept the personal responsibility for their decisions, even the failure that sometimes comes with autonomy.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the percent of the population that wants Father Government to be their provider. Can’t feed your children? Never fear, Father Government will come to the rescue. Lost your job and tired of looking for a new one? Don’t bother, because you can still have a car, a TV, a cell phone, even a home thanks to Father Government.

Personal responsibility seems to be the antithesis of how government operates. Even big corporations (i.e., General Motors and Solyndra) can now rely on the government to keep them from failing. Failure is ok, people. It builds character. Teach your children this. Teach them that once they reach voting age the only person they should expect to rely on when it comes to feeding, clothing and providing shelter for them is THEM. We need to stop asking what else our country can do for us, and begin recognizing all that we are perfectly capable of doing for ourselves.

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