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Speak Out 3/9/10

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

National bankruptcy

PRESIDENT Obama will run up a deficit this year of 10.6 percent of the nation's gross domestic product. The last time the deficit hit double digits as a percentage of GDP was 1945 when Germany and Japan surrendered. The U.S. won the Cold War without ever running a double-digit deficit. President Reagan bankrupted the Soviet Union, not the United States. President Obama will bankrupt the United States in a short time.

Eating out

WE love to eat out, but when we go to restaurants and end up saying that we would have had a better meal at home for a fraction of the cost, then we have second thoughts about eating out again. Nine times out 10 we are disappointed in the food. There are a few restaurants that always live to a high standard, but they are few and far between.

Small businesses

IF the government were serious about cutting waste, it would start with OSHA. Small businesses cannot succeed with Big Brother breathing down their necks, making up stupid rules no one can follow and slapping hefty fines on contractors already on the verge of bankruptcy. This is not the 1930s. We don't have sweat shops. Contractors are working side by side with their employees. Write your federal legislators and start complaining.

Our commitment

WE, too, have been married 50-plus years. Marriage to us was a commitment to each other and to our God.

Just one meal

I was surprised to read this in the article about school meals: "Since that's the only food they're getting that day, we should make those meals as healthy as possible." Are there children in our area who only eat one meal a day at school and have no other food?

Picking up trash

THANK you to the hospital employee picking up trash and cigarette butts at Southeast Missouri Hospital, We saw the smokers throw the trash on the ground -- and a trash can was 10 feet away, Then you had to pick up the trash and cigarette butts. You did a great job. Thanks.

Race to the top

BASED on what I have read, there should be no surprise in the fact that Missouri lost out in applying for federal Race to the Top funds for significant school improvement. Nowhere in Missouri's application was there a call for abolition of tenure, holding teachers accountable for student test scores and merit pay for the best instructors, three things more or less required in order to be in the running for the money for real school reform. This was too hot a political potato for Missouri bureaucrats and politicians to handle. Chalk up a victory for the opponents of significant reform and, sadly, a loss for Missouri students.

Green Dot

IT'S been one year since the announcement of the Green Dot program. The program was to have reduced the violence in Cape Girardeau according to the university, police chief and mayor. Looking at the police report one wonders about the effect this or any other program has had on crime in the city. The Green Dot program was funded by a grant of $495,820. When grants are given for these type of projects, does anyone check on results? Just where has the money been spent? Is there a Green Dot office with staff, or is it just someone filling out more grant applications? I think the Missourian should do a follow-up to this story.

Lasting marriage

GOOD grief. Someone is critical because a 50-year marriage is termed "marital endurance." I'm telling you, it is. If marriage were easy, everyone would be celebrating 50th wedding anniversaries. Marriage takes work, and most people today just won't work at it. I'll also tell you that you get out what you put in. A good marriage takes lots of work, lots of endurance, lots of patience, lots of sacrifice. And I wouldn't trade my marriage for anything.

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GW Bush had a high deficit but did not include the price of the Irau war in his budget. Just playing with numbers.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 6:36 AM

Eating Out: Well it doesn't sound to me like you enjoy dining out at all! You know, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity... ;-)

Just One Meal: Yes, there are.

Picking Up Trash: Lazy litterbugs drive me crazy.

Green Dot: What in the world is Green Dot?!?

Lasting Marriage: Congratulations to you. Some people are prone to overreaction, and overlook the fact that words can have slightly different connotations for different people.

-- Posted by MusicMaker on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 8:55 AM

Race to the Top...You can thank the teacher's unions. After all, they tighten up the politicians, who in turn do what they are told by the PAC's, unions, etc. What else would you expect from a government run school?

-- Posted by Hawker on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 8:56 AM

The loss of Race to the Top, didn't just have to do with the tenure issue. When you have the cronie possee at DESE writing the initiative maybe the reviewers were tired of seeing all the money spent at the beaucracy level, instead of where it needed to be - in the schools. Plus, no accountabilty for the spending, thus they spend, spend at the top.

Let's talk wasted money at DESE by the DESE "leadership possee"... hmmm make two more regional centers in the state - buy equipment and supplies, staff it, now close them down. Send people to Lake of the Ozarks for two day to five day meetings when you could use a State of Missouri University building for no cost... hmmmm hey wait cutting edge educators - why not have a Webinar? That's right no hotel at the lake, no food costs, sit at your office and participate. Hmmmm.

I think it is funny that the last people standing at DESE are the ones who DON'T teach!!!

As far as teachers that are tenured but not working... look at their examples in leadership. Why are you so shocked? Do all teachers teach the best and give a hoot, nope. Do most teachers, I believe they do.

Next time, quit letting the croni possee do it alone and ask TEACHERS and DISTRICT ADMINISTRATORS to participate on the committee. You may be shocked to find that the people at district level actually know a thing or two about teaching.

Want to know what the people working for DESE make? Go to the online State of Missouri Bluebook on the Treasurer's webpage.

Why are retired teachers, now working for DESE, pulling in two incomes, making more with one of those incomes than a teache in the classroom doing the most important work of all. Please - when teachers and students have the equipment they need, don't have to literally sell pencils for a dime in classrooms, then you will see change.

-- Posted by livinglife on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 9:24 AM

There are more kids than you can possible imagine that get no other food than the food provided at school.

It is heartbreaking to see a child at lunch on Friday knowing that will be their last meal until breakfast on Monday.

It happens everyday...

-- Posted by dancediva on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 9:47 AM


what does DESE stand for , what is it short for ?

-- Posted by ..Rick on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 10:30 AM


Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

-- Posted by Rocket_Surgeon on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 10:53 AM


ain't seen ya in awhile..

are ya okay or what ?

-- Posted by ..Rick on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 12:12 PM

Rick, I'm fine, thanks for asking. I just haven't had alot to say. How are you doin'?

-- Posted by Turnip on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 12:44 PM

Hawker, public schools are run by people. Members of the community, many of whom have children in the very schools they serve. Most are terrific people. The government standards are indeed stifling and restrictive, but it is an unfortunate reality.

I suppose you prefer parochial schools that can be choosy about who they allow to attend, and send the culls (those that can't pay and can't perform to their standards) and the mentally and physically challenged, to public school for those extra services. Oh well, what else would you expect from a private school?

-- Posted by slim_pickens on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 2:01 PM


i'm doin about half ..

i'm glad to hear ur okay ! ☺

i was just being nosey cause ya haven't been around much....

-- Posted by ..Rick on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 2:37 PM

The Race to the Top initiative for MO was crafted by the Dept of Secondary and Elementary Ed folks at the top. The ones who haven't been in classrooms for years. The ones that really enjoy the fruits of your taxes.

The Race to the Top initiative is available for download at www.dese.mo.gov You can do a simple search to see what the gov't was looking for in a proposal.

Should teachers be accountable, absolutely. I totally agree. But let me tell you about merit pay. I used to be for it because I work my behind off. But now... not so sure and here's why.

If you pay teachers based on student scores, do you think that all teachers will administer the test fairly? This is not a win-win situation for the honest teacher or the student.

Administrators need to job target teachers that aren't doing their jobs. Plain and simple. Set up assessment performance systems. Ask teachers to track student progress. If teachers don't do it, then they are not performing their job plain and simple. Even a union would have a hard time defending that.

But... back to the real problem money spent at the level beyond your school district. Start asking questions. Ask questions about DESE activities that go on at Lake of the Ozark and in Jefferson City at the Plaza Hotel. I think you would be shocked to find out people attend the same workshops over and over, hearing the same speakers. Nothing wrong with the speakers, but bring them to a venue that serves teachers. You can serve a lot of teachers at one time! When did retiring from education as an administrator and then going to work for DESE become the mother-lode of dual incomes, travel, eating off the taxpayers and shopping at the Lake?

Do I have an axe to grind -you bet. I teach in a poor district, with kids who can't afford supplies. I buy my own materials. Our district spends our money wisely. It burns me up that we can't serve our students when I know for a fact the kind of spending that really goes on. I'm sick and tired of it. When did the American student become the bottom of the barrel in our own ed dept's eyes.

-- Posted by livinglife on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 6:02 PM

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