Education

Obama's Dumbest SOTU Demand: Imprison Kids in Schools Until They're 18

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Last night's State of the Union address, like all these things, will thankfully soon be as forgotten as the next pledge to create a competitiveness council, a war against cellulite, or what-have-you.

But before we forget, let me suggest the absolute dumbest idea (loosely speaking) Barack Obama floated last night was the idea that anything in our sick, sad world would be made better by forcing kids who are bored or uninterested in high school to stay there "until they graduate or turn 18":

We also know that when students don't walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma. When students are not allowed to drop out, they do better. So tonight, I am proposing that every state—every state—requires that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18. (Applause.)

Come on, really. Don't get schooled again, 'Bama!

There's no question that kids who don't graduate high school don't fare well in the world. There's similarly little question that turning schools into even-more obvious holding pens for such kids will accomplish nothing more than driving down whatever education may still happen inside the brick buildings we misidentify as schools.

You needn't be a Michel Foucault fan to agree that K-12 schools and prisons in the developed world share a disturbing number of features. First and foremost, that they are mandatory. And that they strive to be "total institutions" that oversee every aspect of their members (indeed, schools seek greater and greater control over kids' and parents' choices when it comes soda pop and BMI, fer chrissakes). [Update: For another school-prison overlap, read this story about the "grade D" slop served in both places.]

Let's leave aside whether the president of the United States should be so far into the weeds on education standards, which has traditionally been more of a local and state issue. Not long ago, presidents use to bitch and moan about "social promotion," about just passing kids through the system because it's easier than telling that they really need to up their game. Now, Obama is scraping the veneer away from the reality that schools are anything other than tools of social control, a way of keeping an unruly population off the streets. Though he certainly didn't intend to do that, maybe we should thank him for laying bare the essential function of schools.

Sadly, he didn't offer up any path to making schools more interesting to the kids. Here's what he said on that score:

So instead of bashing them, or defending the status quo, let's offer schools a deal. Give them the resources to keep good teachers on the job, and reward the best ones. (Applause.) And in return, grant schools flexibility: to teach with creativity and passion; to stop teaching to the test; and to replace teachers who just aren't helping kids learn. That's a bargain worth making. (Applause.)

This is National School Choice Week, but the only K-12 choice Obama seems interesting in offering is to give schools more money ("resources") to keep "good" teachers around and even "reward" (pay more) the "best ones." That's a great choice, indeed, for educrats: You get more money to pay people and you get exemptions ("flexibility") from having to show results. Does anyone seriously think that will lead to the replacement of teachers who "just aren't helping kids learn?" We been there and done all that, with nothing to show but smaller class sizes, bigger budgets, and worse test scores.

Obama didn't mention the one thing that might make kids more interested in staying in school voluntarily: Letting them and their parents choose among competing alternatives where they want to go. It works pretty damn well in every other aspect of our lives—including higher education—and as Reason's Lisa Snell will tell you, it works pretty damn well in the school districts that are experimenting with it.

Indeed, I can only imagine that if Obama's own kids were trapped inside a traditional Washington, D.C. public school (where results are terrible despite spending upwards of $20,000 per pupil), he wouldn't be skylarking about hiring teachers with "creativity and passion." He'd be screaming bloody murder to get his kids out of a broken system and into one where he and the missus had some say over where his kids were warehoused for 18 years.

Update: Yahoo's unparalleled politics blogger Chris Moody, talks with GOP pols who think kids should be free to drop out of high school. Check it out and follow Moody on the Twitter.

Reason on Education.

Bonus Flashback Video: How Obama Killed a Popular Voucher Program in DC:

Watch Reason.tv's full education playlist here.

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  1. Let’s leave aside whether the president of the United States should be so far into the weeds on education standards, which has traditionally been more of a local and state issue.

    Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush to the rescue!

    1. Also, racism. Anytime the states or local communities seek greater control over something than the federal government, they are only doing it in a thinly veiled attempt to bring back slavery.

      1. “Local government is racist. The more power Congress has, the better.”

        “How does that square with your call for greater D.C. home rule?”

        “Silence, blasphemer.”

        1. You can only be trusted with local gov’t as long as you routinely vote over 75% democrat in every election.

          1. Or as long as you put young human beings on busses for a cumulative 3 hours per day (540 hours per year)

      2. That’s why need to bring back a regime of mandatory volunteerism for disadvantaged urban youth — we could broaden their horizons and their life skills through a mandatory unpaid apprenticeship in an agricultural setting.

        1. worked just fine for us !

        2. You know, if the program works well, then why restrict it to just youth? I can just see it now, generations of urban Americans being blessed with the mandatory opportunity to give something back to their communities and reconnect with the life-giving earth. Wouldn’t it be great?

          1. Now, there are those who say that such a program is a against the principles of economic and personal liberty. I can understand the benefits of introducing some market principles into the system. For example, Congress could establish a clearinghouse for labor credits, so that the operators of agricultural facilities could help fund the important work of the volunteers that are helping them help their communities, at prices determined by market forces.

            1. Wow! Who *are* you, IDP?

          2. Uh, no.

            The last thing I want is for my quiet farming community where people generally mind their own get overrun with the cockroaches that currently inhabit American cities.

        3. That’s why need to bring back a regime of mandatory volunteerism for disadvantaged urban youth — we could broaden their horizons and their life skills through a mandatory unpaid apprenticeship in an agricultural setting.

          Was this not done in medieval Europe?

      3. You know, I miss slavery. It made so much of life’s drudgery simply vanish.

    2. i wish the president would be more into weed

      1. He is. Why are medical marijuana dispensaries raided if not to increase Barry’s personal stash?

        1. Wasnt he into blow?

          1. No, that was Bush. Blow is a drinker’s drug, because it lets you stay up and drink.

  2. one should be able to; take the GED early & graduate if one passes, prove employment to provide for one’s family, enlist in the military where one must study & pass the GED anyway, or become a community organizer…ok, kidding on that last one.

    1. Yes. In fact, I think that any kid with the motivation to do so should be encouraged to take the GED and graduate as early as possible.

    2. That is a great idea. We should give the GED some teeth and make it hard. Make it a real marker of success. Then let anyone who passes it graduate early and be done with school.

      1. Eliminate the legal requirement to attend school and only impose a requirement to pass a GED-like test.

        1. Or just the first part.

          1. You can talk about the way it should be or you can talk about a stepping stone from the current system.

      2. I’m on (school) board with that.

        Further, anybody who passes can challenge a teacher or administrator of his/her choice to also take the GED, and the person with the higher score gets the job. How’s *that* for “rewarding the best”?

        1. And the loser gets beheaded? That would be awesome.

          1. the wingnutz DO support shria law! allah atabar

            1. WTF is allah atabar?

              1. like akbar but at-a-bar…or i like my allah on the rocks

          2. You went to public school didn’t you Lookie?

        2. We could call it the Students Imparting Teachers’ Humility program.

        3. The more I think about this idea, the more I like it.

  3. This is simply an attempt to eliminate school choice.

    If the states require students to attend public schools then charter schools and vouchers and home schooling will be impossible.

    1. dont believe they’re mutually exclusive.

      1. “Not mutually exclusive” meaning that kids can go to charter schools or home school once they are done serving their daily time at public school.

        1. and after their publicschoolassigned homework, of course.

    2. If the states require students to attend public schools then charter schools and vouchers and home schooling will be impossible.

      ______________________

      Picturing the Elian Gonzalez reduc as thousands of jack-booted federal thuds descend on the homes of home-schooled kids to seize them and ship them off to public “schools.” Ah, freedom, we never knew ye.

    3. I don’t think anyone is proposing that all students should be forced to attend public schools. There is plenty of real stuff to get worked up about with out making shit up. And charter schools are public schools.

      1. School: Prison
        Charter School: Halfway House
        Home schooling: Parole

    4. Ding ding ding!

      I said the same thing. Its just being sold as something different.

      Its just icing on the cake of “Hey, Teachers Unions?! Dont forget, I’m your slave and will do ANYTHING to serve your desires! You want to end school choice and dropouts so you can maintain a steady captive population which demands moar resources every year? DONE!!”

    5. I’m waiting for the day when the left goes off on private schools and proposes making them illegal for supposedly segregating the children of the affluent from the children of the indigent.

      I hope for such entertainment because I can’t afford PPV.

      1. Considering every member of the Ruling Class Left (and Right, and everything in between) in D.C. sends their H.S. kids to Sidwell Friends, I doubt that’s going to happen soon, J_L_B.

        But it would be funny as hell.

        1. They’ll exempt themselves.

        2. I assume if it ever happens, it will start on the Bernie Sanders/Dennis Kucinich fringe, then slowly spread until it’s infected the Nancy Pelosi/Harry Reid area, and finally either force the Blue Dogs into line or out of the party.

  4. Technically, he’s only calling for warehousing kids for 12 years.

    As far as I know. He hasn’t called for mandatory state nurseries and preschools, has he? It wouldn’t surprise me.

    1. I’ve heard rumblings about compulsory Head Start. And the leftists often drool over state-run universal daycare.

      1. I’ve heard the same thing. There are definitely people who want such things mandated.

      2. Ah, yes, the socializing values of the community creche. Where the children never learn to love and depend on individuals, but rather agents of the State.

        1. Agents of the state aren’t individuals?

          1. The original concept was that every couple of weeks creche minders would rotate out precisely so there would be no person-to-person bond. The child would bond with the uniform not the individual wearing it.

      3. There have also also been a few proposals to raise the compulsory age to 21. Combine that with compulsory head start and the government gets your kids from 3 to 21.

    2. He hasn’t called for mandatory state nurseries and preschools, has he?

      …yet

      1. Bev Purdue has, but she also wants elections suspended for the time being.

  5. Also it is not completely hopeless…video games facebook, texting and twitter all offer better education then public schools do.

  6. Dropping out of school is bad.

    Let’s outlaw dropping out of school.

    Bad decisions are bad.

    Let’s outlaw bad decisions.

    Research shows that drive and commitment yield good results.

    Let’s mandate drive and commitment.

    And so forth.

    1. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

      1. the road to hell is paved with freedom and self-ownership

        1. Re: Spoofy Tiny,

          the road to hell is paved with freedom and self-ownership

          For mediocre people like you, perhaps that’s true.

          1. there’s an awlful lotta mediocre peeps OM

            1. there’s an awlful lotta mediocre peeps OM

              Gee maybe somebody should do something to help those poor people. Maybe another federal program?

              Go TEAM!

              1. nah, we just give em a C & send em on their way. who wants to deal w mediocre lil shits a 2d time?

                1. Don’t you fucking DARE mix my beloved and sorely missed Publix, a private grocery store chain in the SE, with public school teachers.

            2. o3|1.25.12 @ 2:00PM|#
              there’s an awlful lotta mediocre peeps OM

        2. no tony, the road to hell is paved with govt intervention. And nothing screams “liberal failure” quite as loudly as the public education system. The sad thing is that our schools were once the envy of the world. Then came unions, the self-esteem movement, and all the other touchy-feeliness that regards achievement as the last task to be tackled.

          1. Self-esteem movement went away 15 years ago. Then came conservative policies which made everything even worst.

            There is nothing touchy-feeling about current public school system. Unions are not responsible for bad results of policies they opposed to (NCLB).

      2. It was also shovel ready and received millions in stimulus money.

        1. You left out a “B,” there.

          1. “It was balso…”

            That doesn’t make any sense…

      3. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

        Let’s outlaw good intentions.

  7. There’s no question that kids who don’t graduate high school don’t fare well in the world.

    I did OK. Expelled after 10th grade, never did pick up a GED. Managed to score a doctorate, though. High school is a total waste of time in general.

    1. OK, but let’s be honest – you’re very much the exception to the rule. Most of the kids who dropout are teh stupid. And you can’t fix stupid.

      Also, in areas with booming energy economies (coal mining, drilling) the boys pretty much clock time until they’re sixteen, drop out, and immediately start making more than the school principal.

      1. My daughter dropped out do to personal differences with the school leadership.

        She got a GED and an AA, is married, has kids, is working fulltime and making plans to complete her BA.

        1. Good for her.

          I suspect that there’s actually an asymmetric bi-modal distribution of dropouts (think about unequal boobage) with the smaller mound being the smart but nonconforming students and the big mound being the unfortunate not-very-smart kids.

          The net effect of this is that the schools become factories for mediocrity, but we knew that anyway.

      2. but what are they dropping out? Are they smart enough to realize that they’re being patted on the head and not expected to succeed since they’re black? I believe that’s called a self-fulfilling prophecy.

        1. I believe that’s called a self-fulfilling prophecy the soft bigotry of low expectations..

      3. the boys pretty much clock time until they’re sixteen, drop out, and immediately start making more than the school principal.

        Not everyone needs a liberal arts or womyns studies degree to lead a full, happy, life.

        1. No, of course not. Nor is everyone temperamentally suited for a college education.

          I was just pointing out that by forcing those kids to stay in school that they’re robbing them of significant potential income.

          1. I was just pointing out that by forcing those kids to stay in school that they’re robbing them of significant potential income.

            That’s the fucking point.

            The goal is dependence on government for everything, all of the time.

      4. “Most of the kids who dropout are teh stupid. And you can’t fix stupid.”

        Even if that is true, and I don’t think it is, how does forcing them into school solve it?

        Outlaw dropping out, kid ends up a stupid criminal at the cost of three extra years of school to the taxpayer

        Let him drop out, kid ends up a stupid criminal at no extra cost.

        I am taking option B.

        1. If the dropouts stay in, how does that affect the rest of the kids? I imagine a higher proportion of disgruntled students doesn’t improve the environment for education.

          1. See below 😉

          2. It doesn’t. I went to a pretty working class high school and junior high. Junior high was miserable. High school, after the 9th Grade was great. Why? because all of the criminals who didn’t want to be there dropped out.

        2. John, that was just an observation about dropouts and the futility of forcing wannabe dropouts to stay in school.

          Remember that “most” means anything greater than half. I clarified that slightly in response to anecdotal pushback, see my bi-modal comment above. You should like that given what you’ve posted about your prefs.

      5. Most of the kids who dropout are teh stupid. And you can’t fix stupid.

        This is pure conjecture. Also, what is “stupid?”

        1. Why yes, it was speculation, but based on observation. I’m willing to be proved wrong about that, but no time to research that myself now.

          And remember that “most” means half plus one, so there. Also bi-modal.

        2. Stupid starts at one standard deviation below mean intelligence and goes down until you hit full retard.

      6. Maybe in general, but perhaps not on this board. I’m a HS drop out after the 9th grade, and I have a Masters.

        1. Yes, of course I meant “in general.”

          But I’m really impressed by the large number of commenters who beat the system by dropping out of high school then going on to get advanced degrees.

      7. So, basically dropouts are either the exceptional kids who benefit from it, or else they’re complete idiots who would be screwed even if they stayed in school?

  8. President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address again rated at an 8th grade comprehension level on the Flesch-Kincaid readability test ? the third lowest score of any State of the Union address since 1934.

    http://www.politico.com/politi…..12236.html

    1. The only way dumdums like you would understand his message.

      1. Or it’s because he has college students write his speeches.

    2. President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address again rated at an 8th grade comprehension level on the Flesch-Kincaid readability test

      (Applause.)

      1. (Standing Ovation.)

    3. Per Ann Althouse:

      Eric Ostermeier relies on the Flesch-Kincaid test, which calculates the readability of written text, based upon the length of sentences and words. He notes the prevalence of sentences like:

      “There are plenty of ways to get this done. So let’s agree right here, right now: No side issues. No drama. Pass the payroll tax cut without delay.”

      Hey, it would be on an even lower grade level if it weren’t for that colon. You see my point? The punctuation says nothing about the difficulty or ease of the material in a text written for oral delivery. It’s a signal to the speaker, indicating the length of pauses, the degree of flow. But I could just as well have written the previous 2 sentences as one sentence, with a colon in the middle, so quite aside from the oral/written distinction, the Flesch-Kincaid test is a pretty simplistic device to leverage an argument that a text is simplistic.

      1. Meta-simplistic?

  9. Schools need more resources. Are you going to believe those lying funding statistics, or are you going to believe Team Blue?

  10. As a highschool dropout who got his GED ahead of his scheduled graduating class, and has been gainfully employed ever since, allow me to bestow upon Obama a hearty:

    Fuck Off, Slaver.

    1. Slaver? Really? He can’t be a slaver, because *newsflash* he’s black! Silly libertards and their perpetual persecution paranoia!

      1. my bad, I keep forgetting the new revised history where white people never bought black slaves from other black people.

        1. oh noes, not another revisionist civil war thread……nooooooooooooooooooo

          1. revisionist Rum Triangle thread, tyvm.

        2. Ha! I was the first legal eslave owner in the United States…bitches! Just ask John Casor what my race was!

  11. He’s going to solve the problem with the magic of laws!

    1. He has that old Schoolhouse Rock video about how a bill becomes a law playing on an endless loop on TVs throughout the White House.

      1. Simpsons version is better!

        1. …and more accurate.

  12. When students are not allowed to drop out, they do better.

    “I’m telling you, boy, you couldn’t have it better!”
    “Thank you, massa! Thank you!”

  13. Give them [the schools] the resources to keep good teachers on the job, and reward the best ones.

    Teachers Union: “And believe me, they’re ALL the best! All of them, bless their little dues-giving hearts!”

    1. ALL of em? I aint votin for old mex as a union officer.

      1. Re: triple asshole,

        union officer.

        “Union officer“? Is that like a Starfleet commander?

  14. Ron Paul’s response to the SOTU:

    “Tonight, President Obama once again showed that he does not represent the fundamental change this country needs. Instead of offering solutions to the problems our country faces, the President was intent on delivering a campaign speech, further dealing in the typical Washington political gamesmanship that has gotten us exactly nowhere close to improving the lives of the American people.

    “In a speech where much of the rhetoric was devoted to job creation, it was strange that President Obama would brag about his job-destroying national health care plan, Obamacare, and the Dodd-Frank bill, which, contrary to the President’s claims, guarantees future taxpayer bailouts of large institutions. Unfortunately, President Obama’s ‘job creation’ policies amount to little more than continuing to allow government bureaucrats to pick winners and losers, which is a recipe for continued economic stagnation.

    “President Obama claims to want an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. Yet he remains committed to the same old system of debt, deficits, bailouts, and cronyism that created our economic problems. The President speaks of giving us energy independence from unstable nations, yet he refuses to allow the type of development needed to achieve this goal, while at the same time his administration hands out favors to the politically connected ? those given to the likes of Solyndra, who fail to produce jobs or energy but succeed in ripping off the taxpayers.

    “Of course, President Obama refuses to even mention the role the Federal Reserve plays in creating an economic system where some are denied a fair shot or even to support my efforts at bringing transparency to the Federal Reserve. Also not mentioned by President Obama is the very crucial need for reining in spending and balancing the federal budget. What is called by some ‘the greatest threat to our national security’ seems not to be of great importance to this President, although I, like many Americans, believe it to be cause for immediate measures, like the $1 trillion in spending cuts that would take place in my first year as President under my Plan to Restore America.

    “In the area of foreign policy and civil liberties, President Obama’s rhetoric may be different, but the substance of his polices – as shown by his administration’s defense of the TSA’s treatment of my son, Senator Rand Paul, is hardly ‘change we can believe in.’ No wonder more and more Americans, especially young people, are rejecting the phony alternatives of Obama and establishment Republicans and embracing my campaign to Restore America Now.”

    1. One of the few GOP reponses that is actually substantive rather than just petty sniping

  15. You get a god damned job before sundown, or I’m shipping you off to military school with that god damned Finklestein shit kid. Son of a bitch!

    1. Dave’s not here, man.

      1. because he dropped out.

  16. And let’s revisit the GED. In Virginia it used to be that you couldn’t take the GED until one full year after dropping out of school. No reason for that except to prop up the public education establishment.

  17. Romney invested in Fannie & Freddie which essentially means Newt was paid with money from Romney for Freddie to ignore the advice Newt was paid to give them. And that Romney’s investment was bailed out by taxpayer funds. Oh the irony!

    Top Romney advisers lobbied for Freddie Mac
    http://tinyurl.com/7gy93b5

    What really happened in the Gingrich ethics case?
    http://tinyurl.com/7bkexma

    1. Romney’s investments are in a blind trust that seeks avenues for making money. F&F probably seemed like a good bet when the housing market was going gangbusters and those entities controlled damn near every home mortgage. And he was among a large number of investors. Newt, meanwhile, was a singular beneficiary of a direct payout in return for advice that was either ignored or was plain wrong.

      1. You miss the point. Romney will lose to Obama and take the GOP down with him. That’s the point. Perception is reality in politics. Do you want higher taxes and such? ROmney motivates the base even less than McCain and will lose.

  18. This isn’t a dumb idea. It’s freaking genius. He just winked at the Teacher’s Unions promising that there’s going to be a national drive to increase student populations which will lead to the hiring and expansion of dues paying members.

    Believe you me, nothing comes out of Obama’s mouth before it’s been carefully weighed and calculated.

    1. Paul|1.25.12 @ 2:05PM|#

      This isn’t a dumb idea. It’s freaking genius. He just winked at the Teacher’s Unions promising that there’s going to be a national drive to increase student populations

      Holy shit, great minds DO think alike.

      Either that, or there’s a glitch in the Matrix.

      I typed almost the same sentence VERBATIM below…’wink’ and all. Wee-eared.

      1. I burned Epi on the same thing in another thread. Dope.

    2. I haven’t surveyed the teachers on my FB (I know, it’s the libertarian curse) about this, but I can see them not being happy about this. Because they can’t just warehouse the otherwise-would-dropout kids by giving them six periods of study. They have to go through the motions of edumucating them.

      A teacher friend complains bitterly about the few random students they dump in his advance-placement history classes. Of course, he’s the first to claim that charter schools get to “pick and choose” students.

  19. What Obama proposes is the exact opposite of what needs to happen. But when your objective isn’t teaching kids but featherbedding for the unions, what should I expect?

  20. So instead of just leaving high school after my junior year to go to college as I did, I would have had to finish a bunch of stupid credits required by the state?

    Note that I entered college with 60 credits or so…

  21. Here’s my solution: Sell the public schools to private entities and give the monies to parents.

    1. lemme guess, ur a parent right?

      1. Lemme guess, ur not?

        1. He’s not….but a fabulous speller….or a teenaged girl who pry herself away from the cellphone.

          1. i aint playin into ur warped fantasies…and i aint wearing that dress

            1. But the other dress is okay? Just not that dress? What, the color not match your eyes?

  22. Obama’s analysis completely ignores the impact to the kids that are actually somewhat motivated to be in school. Nothing is more disruptive to learning that sharing space with an asshole that doesn’t want to be there.

    1. Ye of short vision:

      We’re not going to stick these in the same existing classrooms. No… there will be an army of special-ed/special-needs/at-risk-youth teachers that will have to be hired. New classrooms– even entirely new schools will be built!

      1. With all of the money that’s left over after hiring new admins for the existing schools.

    2. Disruptive influences will be dealt with. As swiftly and harshly as possible.

  23. I think his subtle message was a wink to Teachers Unions that he wants to END SCHOOL CHOICE eventually, too. Lock em up P.S.000!

    1. something wrong w takin care of constituents?…like boner takin care of billionaires or big oil?

      1. ….like boner takin care of billionaires or big oil.

        God you shouldn’t be away from the house except on a leash…you really are that stupid! How much in campaign cash will Obama be getting from banks for having his AG ram through the mortgage settlement.

        Weak ass progressive you are.

        1. I’m offended, fish. My dog is much better-behaved than O3.

          1. Probably better at written/typed communication too!

        2. sorry fish for busting a nut all over ur billionaire fuk buddies fish.

          1. I have no…err….billionaire fuk buddies triple anus. But then I don’t travel in the same circles as the upper echelons of the democratic party.

      2. I just want to take care of YOUR ass, o3…bend over for daddy, will you?

        1. Real “daddies” don’t ask. Just sayin’

      3. o3|1.25.12 @ 2:14PM|#

        something wrong w takin care of constituents?…like boner takin care of billionaires or big oil?

        Jesus, you gotta love it when liberal shills go, “hey, its OK, because *they do it too!!*

        Basically, you’re acknowledging that there is no difference between partisan liberals or conservatives = it’s just who they choose to crony-cuddle with. And cronyism is fine! It’s just better when TEAM BLUE does it!

        1. ok but we’ll be able to say the same things about libtoidz if they ever take power. >go team purple!

  24. Why do you want Americans not to be educated?
    Idiots.

    1. Hey, my windowless van doesn’t clean itself!

    2. Why do you want Americans that don’t want to be educated to be force into it?
      Idiot.

    3. I’d take someone with an 8th-grade education 100 years ago over someone with a Bachelor’s degree today.

  25. Locking people up in schools who don’t want to be there will be ever so conducive to the eduction of those who do.

    1. ^This. And this is a useful wedge. The soccer moms will go apeshit. They don’t want their little darlings anywhere near the underperforming thugs.

      Oh, and if you think violence and drugs are problems now, just wait till you have an increased population of students who are terminally educated and don’t want to be there.

      1. Soccer players are under-represented among dropouts? I don’t understand how this is supposed to affect soccer moms as opposed to regular moms.

      2. I suspect you’re piss-taking, but will play along. Find the lyrics for “Volvo-Driving Soccer Mom” by Everclear. Get back to me if you have any questions.

    2. “Locking people up in schools who don’t want to be there will be ever so conducive to the eduction of those who do.”

      It’s scarcely more than 22 months. Just put them in solitary.

  26. Must lower the lowest common denominator.

  27. How many people hear something like this and still believe there’s hope for the future of this country? Perhaps at some point all of the children will be so ruined nobody will even be capable of doing anything. Everyone will be so dependent on someone else telling them what to do but there won’t be anyone around to tell them what to do.

    1. They’ll have to rediscover leadership for themselves. It will be like the moment in Anthem when the title character first experiences freedom – giddy and scary.

    2. I’ve heard tell of escapees from North Korea who went back. Couldn’t stand the constant choices. “What do I wear if no one tells me. What do I eat if no one tells me. What do i do…”

  28. I will whole-hearted support any politician who works to give this “No Child Left Behind” crap the boot. We’ve suffered though this shit for years before it went nationwide and it’s very difficult to find any entry-level employees among high school graduates for blue collar jobs here in Texas. They can’t do basic math or spell…forget geography or history…but, damn, they can take the shit outta tests.

    1. You should run a test-taking business instead, duh.

    2. Or perhaps the test was actually “taken” by someone else. See also, Atlanta.

      Nice handle, btw.

  29. I was listening to the SOTU last night driving my BF home from work and at this line I actually gasped out loud. He probably thought I was being a little dramatic since I play the PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE PRISONS FOR INNOCENT CHILDREN line kind of a lot, but really…they are, and he wants to make it two years worse! Awful, awful, awful; I can’t think of anything that was a bigger waste of time (or made me hate other people more) than public school.

    1. So did you come to terms with the fact that he’ll never marry you?

      1. Maybe. Thanks for remembering my inability to not be an ass about this.

        1. Standing up for what you want and will make you happy isn’t being an ass.

          Remember, we’re libertarians.

          1. Oh I meant that not doing that made me an ass. Anyway I could write a whole other book on the subject since my big post. Boring, boring. Thanks again.

  30. They used to have a name for compulsory education past the age of 16, reeducation.

    1. You know who else re-educated the youth of his country to help with The Cause…

          1. Mister Rogers?

  31. Let’s the summarize it the way liberals really mean it: Everything for the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.

    If it’s in the interests of the state, the government can force you to do something. And that’s what creeps me out about Obama, he’s using a nationalist perspective to justify increasing government coercion on citizens because we can’t afford to not “win the future” against foreigners.

    1. L’etat, c’est tout

    2. Careful, or he’ll Other you.

    3. Everything for the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.

      I am so fucking [HARD] rite now.

  32. I’d totally go to high school again. Sign me up!

    1. So would I. I have a recurrent dream where it turns out for some reason my high school diploma is invalid. And thus all of my subsequent diplomas are invalid. So in the dream I am back in high school for one year to ensure all of my diplomas remain valid. And there is one class that I never go to and know I am going to fail because I never went. Strangest dream. And I have it four or five times a year.

      1. I usually just have one where I’m standing at my locker and I can’t remember the combination because it’s been so long since I used it.

        1. Moreover, the never-go-to class and the locker are as distantly separated as possible.

      2. I’ve had the driving around campus looking for the classroom dream, as well as the never attending class until the last day dream.

      3. I still occasionally have a weird dream (which I started having in college, over 10 years ago) where I realize I have not been attending a chemistry class that I never took in real life. That and forgetting my schedule for working at the language lab.

        1. Mine is like an English class. And I keep not going because I don’t want to face the fact that I haven’t gone. It is a metaphor for something.

          1. My recurring dream revolves around the dance team and what we can’t seem to find are our clothes.

      4. Did you ever have the one where you’re standing on top of a pyramid in sun-god robes while naked women throw pickle slices at you?

        1. No, I don’t dream that I actually do that on vacation every year. But it is not pickles it is pieces of cherizo and fine Italian cold cuts.

          1. but, pickles go great with sausage and cold cuts.

      5. Still no Billy Madison reference? I am disappoint.

        1. O’Doyle Rules!

      6. I have the same dream, except about law school. Even worse, once I get back to campus, my mailbox is crammed with all of the unpaid utility bills since I left.

  33. The Ugly Truth Behind School Choice
    http://www.salon.com/2012/01/2…..ol_choice/

    1. Opening sentence = drink!

    2. Seriously? “The Koch brothers support it, boogy boogy boogy!!!!” is not an effective argument against it.

    3. Holy shit. We should never try anything new because it might not be 100% successful immediately.

    4. Access to opportunity is replaced with demands for universal “excellence” and “achievement,” in which teachers are punished for student “failure.” This pits parents against teachers, and it ultimately sidelines already marginalized children of immigrant families, poor children and/or children of color.

      Paging Barfman. Barfman, please pick up the bile-colored courtesy phone…

      1. How the fuck does school choice “sidelines already marginalized children of immigrant families, poor children and/or children of color”?

        Unless one accepts the premise that immigrant children, poor children, and/or children of color are inherently dumber and/or lazier than whites that statement makes no sense. WTF?

      2. The article is the worst sort of hack job. Starts off by saying The Evil Kochs(tm) support this, so it must be wrong, goes on for another couple of paragraphs of guilt-by-association before getting to the merits. All she has is the weak sauce of imagined racism.

        The comments are pathetic – one commenter whined about how a Catholic school wouldn’t take her Autistic child because “it would cut into their profits.”

        And Salon is one of the “better” opinion journals.

        We are so *(&^%$#@!

    5. They want to dismantle public education altogether and run schools as businesses, judged as “successes” or “failures” based on abstract data taken from high-stakes standardized test scores.

      I thought the point of running them as businesses was so that successes and failures could be based on…whether they succeeded or failed as a business.

      I must be confused about the free market or something.

  34. Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.

    Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a Bolshevik forever.

    -Vladimir Lenin

    Lenin was a pussy. He only wanted the children for 8 years. Imagine what you could with 13?

    1. Lenin was a pussy.

      Hardly…but apparently an avowed communist thought he could do this more efficiently than todays government indoctrination proponents!

      Hey Tony…it seem you and triple anus aren’t just socialist/communists you’re shitty socialist/communists.

      TEAM BLUE needs to draft more talented players!

  35. “When students are not allowed to drop out, they do better.”

    Whoa! Did Obama just turn the observ’n that students who do not drop out do better, into an inference that students who are made to not drop out will do better? I strongly doubt that one! I think you’d see them do at least as badly as they would’ve otherwise.

    turning schools into even-more obvious holding pens for such kids will accomplish nothing more than driving down whatever education may still happen inside the brick buildings we misidentify as schools.

    No, it’ll also improve unemployment statistics.

    1. Hey, you know what? People who drive Porsches tend to be happier and more successful than people who don’t. The government should mandate that every American who’s unemployed buy a Porsche! Problem solved!

      1. Serious Man

        I am interested in subscribing to your newsletter.

    2. No, the government should give everyone a free Porsche.

      /socialist

  36. What am I, chopped liver?

    1. The State Is God.

      (happy now?)

  37. Outrage of the Week: Mom HANDCUFFED for Tardy Kids

    Apparently Virginia is trying to get a head start on this thing. Since nine years ago, in MA, I was arrested, jailed for two nights, and stripped of custody of my three children for allowing them to exceed the approved maximum number of absences from school, this does not shock me as much as it might someone else. I did eventually prevail on the custody issue, and while one of my kids did choose to drop out at 16, all three of them are successful, self-supporting young adults whose career and/or academic accomplishments are certainly above average, especially compared to other products of the local government schools. I taught them something the schools apparently neglect, which is that being self-sufficient means that you own yourself and your decisions are your own.

    1. You wrecker! Don’t think you can cost the state of Massachusetts its daily per pupil federal funding because you’re useless slacker spawn aren’t feeling well! There are rules you know!

    2. Makes me wonder what if Ben Franklin and Alex Hamilton had to be in school… humph!

      1. Well, apparently I was some sort of troublemaker whose children did not have the proper deference for authority. As a result, among other things I was held to be at fault for absences resulting from a school-imposed suspension for allowing my then-13-year-old son to dye his hair blue and not forcing him to remove the color when the school claimed he was violating their dress code. I pointed out to them that their standard for haircolor– that it not be “unnatural” or “distracting”– should equally apply to olive-skinned girls with hair bleached white-blonde and that at any rate it was his hair, not mine, so I was not the proper person to be making the hair color decision; they didn’t seem to appreciate my logic, and that was just one of many incidents.

        1. Haircolor retort – brilliant. Sure that went over well.

          1. It was pretty fucking funny– they couldn’t seem to wrap their heads around the fact that a mere parent would question their legitimacy as rule-makers for the “school community.” They actually completely ignored the substance of my argument because they thought the only response necessary was to keep telling me what page of the school handbook dealt with the dress code.

            The mindset of these people was just so beyond my comprehension; I remember one of many meetings I was summoned to with the truant officer, juvenile probation officer, and a social worker/child services investigator. The social worker said “well of course we all agree on how important public school attendance is for socialization” and I said no, we didn’t all agree. And all of them thought I just must have misunderstood, because I guess in their world no other opinion is conceivable, so each of them kept repeating variations on that statement, using the tone of exaggerated patience you might use with a stubborn four year old. It was like they thought that if they said it enough times, I’d just go “oh yeah, of course, I don’t know what I was thinking.” And when I didn’t, they had nothing, since all 3 kids tested well above grade level in all subjects, and anyway they just didn’t believe any other opinion was possible.

  38. Is the libertarian stance on this the following:

    – Eliminate public schools and make everyone pay for their own kids to go to schools put up by the free market

    – Have absolutely no mandates that children even need to go to schools.

    It must be mandated that in order to be a libertarian you must have been born to middle-to-upper-middle class parents.

    The honest/non-prostitute/non-criminal single mom who changes bed-pans at the nursing home and has several other jobs will probably not spend a penny on sending her kids to schools. The libertarians I guess view this positively as we’ll have even more people changing bed pans.

    1. First, the public school system is a monopoly forcefully applied. If we wish to opt out, we have to leave our money behind.

      Second, the unions, government money, and lack of competition all drive up the cost of education.

      Currently private schools can only be afforded by people who can afford to pay TWICE.

      1. Who should be in charge of public education?

        Giant corporate interests!
        WELCOME TO SNOW CRASH

      2. Lewis and Derivative, you’re both forgetting religious schools which are sometimes subsidized by the denomination (at least for members) and are generally non-profit or not-for-profit corps.

        1. Ok, and if someone wants to send their kids there, do they get their tax money back?

    2. Yes.

      What do you have against poor people?
      What do you have against people changing bed pans?

      If you were on the paycheck-writing side you would see the advantage of an uneducated population. But no, you want to steal my money and give it to this women’s kids?

      1. but the woman is NOT a prostitute. Didn’t you get that part?

    3. You’re also ignoring philanthropy and charity. See Enoch Pratt Free Library for an example of philanthropy. I’d happily voluntarily contribute for (merit-based) scholarship funds for poor kids if I wasn’t forced to pay for a failed education system.

    4. Re: Strawbrain,

      – Eliminate public schools and make everyone pay for their own kids to go to schools put up by the free market

      Yes. Just like everyone pays for their own kids’ food, clothes, shoes and comic books.

      – Have absolutely no mandates that children even need to go to schools.

      None – unless you want to repeal the 13th Amendment.

      It must be mandated that in order to be a libertarian you must have been born to middle-to-upper-middle class parents.

      Now that’s a strawman – albeit a very clumsy one at that.

      The honest/non-prostitute/non-criminal single mom who changes bed-pans at the nursing home and has several other jobs will probably not spend a penny on sending her kids to schools.

      She will probably not be a single mom at all, especially in light of the fact that nobody will be giving her free things.

      1. She will probably still have kids, as poor people do all over the world. They just won’t go to school.

        And as per libertarians, this is just fine…We need ditch diggers.

        Besides, why pay $12,000 a year for 12 years in school for a child when we can pay over $40,000 a year for 10 years in prison.

  39. A comment I made during the SOTU re: turning Schools into Prisons:

    “Now we can be like Egypt!”

    1. How long before he starts calling them “re-education camps”?

      1. They can only be re-education camps when someone knows something that has to be un-taught and replaced with worship of the totalitarian state.

        Unfortunately, most students and teachers are already there, and its just a matter of making sure the Gulag gets sufficient resources and that the walls are high enough.

        Step #, eliminate competition.

        1. haha, I was just thinking about my 11th grade history test on the Robber Barrons…

  40. So will the 17 and 18 year olds be learning petroleum engineering or will they be taking modern ethnic studies?

  41. No mention of the debt crisis, inflation, Fast & Furious, Brian Terry, Keystone XL, or the cost of ObamaCare premiums….last night’s State of the Union was pathetic and completely unrestricted by the truth.

    J Robert Giles

    http://jrobertgiles.blogspot.c…..ntial.html

  42. School is for girls.

  43. I’m watching “The Cartel” on Netflix now, and these people want MORE public schools?

    1. Oh great a netflix documentary.

  44. Love this; How Obama Killed a Popular Voucher Program in DC.

    Ron Paul voted against the same bill, why doesn’t it say How Ron Paul Killed a Popular Voucher Program in DC.

    A round of koolaid for my Paulinistas!

    1. Ron Paul’s opposition to school choice stems from his opposition to the government’s role in education, arguing that federal voucher programs are “little more than another tax-funded welfare program establishing an entitlement to a private school education.” He consistently voted against voucher programs, including a 1998 school voucher program for D.C. public school students and a 2003 bill for a DC voucher program.

      Instead, Paul supported education tax breaks and introduced the Family Education Freedom Act (H.R. 612) that provides all parents with a tax credit of up to $3,000, available to parents who choose to send their children to public, private, or home school. While Paul’s sentiment is understandable, it doesn’t change the fact that his votes are a direct impediment to achieving high-quality school choice. By voting against school choice programs, Paul is aligning himself with Democrats and the National Education Association in opposing progress towards achieving a truly competitive, market-based education system.

      Little more complicated than that.

      http://www.clubforgrowth.org/w…..137&id=921

  45. State of the Union address…will thankfully soon be forgotten

    Let’s comment anyway!

  46. Want to thank all of you, for your Powerfull stand against Oboma & His Corrupted political partners.
    But

    there is so much more we can do. Being aggressive and focusing on the facts and truth is only the first step.

    We musT follow Up with more details standing by our convictions and dont back down.

    Oboma has NOT brought CHANGE, In fact ~! ~ THE ONLY real THING needing CHANGE !….Was Barack Hussein Obama II.

    HIMSELF

    Barack Hussein Obama II ( Who hates American Values ) who is A ” SELF PROCLAIMED Enemy” ~of responsible, Morally Conscious HARD WORKING Americans.

    oBOMAS Irresponsible & DRUG MAFIA and reckless supporters KNOW~ that Barack Hussein Obama II, WILL FORCE YOU to paY THEM, out of your PockeT .{ FOR all of their UNCHECKED Vices and THRILLS/

    { All on YOU | /

    At your COST & Sacrifice

    …This UN~CHANGABLE fraud, has done His VERY BEST to Inspire VIOLENCE. For THESE ARE OBAMAS Very OWN WORDS.. saying ………To his supporters.

    Saying “Get ready for hand-to-hand combat with your Fellow Americans”

    ? Obama has ALSO DECLARED to his Supporters….”I want all Americans to get in each others faces!? Obama demands !

    “You bring a knife to a fight pal, we’ll bring a gun” ?

    THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. /and ANGER VIOLENCE and more taxes….. THIS IS OBAMAS Change for america

    /”Hit Back Twice As Hard”. He commands !*Obama on the private sector: ~~ “We talk to these folks?~ / so I know whose a*$ to KICK.” OBOMA wants to KICK your a*$ /

    Shouting THAT Republican victory would mean ~ “hand to hand combat”

    HE IS EXPECTING people to be on Edge and BORDERLINE killing MODE, VIOLENT / and STAND up for their immoral CAUSES

    THIS IS WHAT HE LIVES FOR ./ ./ ./ THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. !

    * Obama Tells democrats: ” I’m itching for a fight.” !

    ….PLEASE…. go to reXes NEW WebsiTe ~ ! Oboma *( Just like Adolf Hitler~~\oBOMA~~~ Demands ! — [ THE FINAL SOLUTION – for Un~Wanted Children

    Barak Obama is A MURDERER .~Torturing UNWANTED babys on DEATH ROE

    CLICK HERE http://obomlnation.webstarts.com/index.html

    OBAMA TAKES a little NEW BORN innocent child. BORN. ALIVE sTabS it iN the head SUCKs ITS BRAINS OUT.

    This is just to wrong and horrible. Please stand for Loving Children and the USA

  47. Want to thank all of you, for your Powerfull stand against Oboma & His Corrupted political partners.
    But

    there is so much more we can do. Being aggressive and focusing on the facts and truth is only the first step.

    We musT follow Up with more details standing by our convictions and dont back down.

    Oboma has NOT brought CHANGE, In fact ~! ~ THE ONLY real THING needing CHANGE !….Was Barack Hussein Obama II.

    HIMSELF

    Barack Hussein Obama II ( Who hates American Values ) who is A ” SELF PROCLAIMED Enemy” ~of responsible, Morally Conscious HARD WORKING Americans.

    oBOMAS Irresponsible & DRUG MAFIA and reckless supporters KNOW~ that Barack Hussein Obama II, WILL FORCE YOU to paY THEM, out of your PockeT .{ FOR all of their UNCHECKED Vices and THRILLS/

    { All on YOU | /

    At your COST & Sacrifice

    …This UN~CHANGABLE fraud, has done His VERY BEST to Inspire VIOLENCE. For THESE ARE OBAMAS Very OWN WORDS.. saying ………To his supporters.

    Saying “Get ready for hand-to-hand combat with your Fellow Americans”

    ? Obama has ALSO DECLARED to his Supporters….”I want all Americans to get in each others faces!? Obama demands !

    “You bring a knife to a fight pal, we’ll bring a gun” ?

    THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. /and ANGER VIOLENCE and more taxes….. THIS IS OBAMAS Change for america

    /”Hit Back Twice As Hard”. He commands !*Obama on the private sector: ~~ “We talk to these folks?~ / so I know whose a*$ to KICK.” OBOMA wants to KICK your a*$ /

    Shouting THAT Republican victory would mean ~ “hand to hand combat”

    HE IS EXPECTING people to be on Edge and BORDERLINE killing MODE, VIOLENT / and STAND up for their immoral CAUSES

    THIS IS WHAT HE LIVES FOR ./ ./ ./ THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. !

    * Obama Tells democrats: ” I’m itching for a fight.” !

    ….PLEASE…. go to reXes NEW WebsiTe ~ ! Oboma *( Just like Adolf Hitler~~\oBOMA~~~ Demands ! — [ THE FINAL SOLUTION – for Un~Wanted Children

    Barak Obama is A MURDERER .~Torturing UNWANTED babys on DEATH ROE

    CLICK HERE http://obomlnation.webstarts.com/index.html

    OBAMA TAKES a little NEW BORN innocent child. BORN. ALIVE sTabS it iN the head SUCKs ITS BRAINS OUT.

    This is just to wrong and horrible. Please stand for Loving Children and the USA

  48. “He’d be screaming bloody murder to get his kids out of a broken system and into one where he and the missus had some say over where his kids were warehoused for 18 years.”

    Newborns are attending kindergarten now ?

    1. At that age, the term is “daycare.”

  49. The main reason kids who drop out of school don’t do well is because it’s not socially acceptable to do so. Many gifted kids, who don’t get the education they need b/c gifted schools are few and damn expensive, drop out. Their resume looks like shit so no one hires them.

    If education was doing its job, there would be no need for regulation to force kids into schools. Learning is fun – kids do all sorts of learning outside of school – it just doesn’t always add up to the arbitrary standards of the educrats.

  50. Let’s not forget that the empty-suit-in-chief also floated the idea of “national service” when he was running against hillary. Kind of like the draft, except that your involuntary servitude wouldn’t necessarily be in the military.

    Why is our first black president so big on reviving slavery? Is it a revenge thing?

    -jcr

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