Archive for Friday, August 26, 2011

David Booth on improving education: ‘If that means raising taxes … that’s fine’

August 26, 2011


David Booth, after his speech and having his photo taken with supporters and friends, agreed to answer a few questions — including this one posed this week online by gerald_bostock, who noted that Booth had donated $300 million to the business school at the University of Chicago (Booth, by the way, characterizes the money as a “partnership distribution”).

The question: What do you think about Warren Buffett’s recent campaign to have the super rich taxed by the government?

Booth’s response: “Today I’m just going to focus on education. It’s clear, when you look at the data about incomes for high school graduates, what we really have to do is figure out how to educate and train people a lot better. If that means raising taxes, I think that’s fine.

“At the same time, I’ve been around long enough: Leading with raising taxes and hoping that solves problems is not as good a way to proceed as figuring out, ‘Here’s a solution to the problem,’ and now, ‘Here’s the amount of money we need.’

“I’d rather have better work on solutions before we worry about taxes.”


David Holroyd 5 years ago

Is this the Mr. Booth who donates to KU? Mr. Booth, taxes have been raised year after year, so have you not figured out now, it makes no difference how much they are raised, that there is no equation between intelligence and taxes? none!

Jimo 5 years ago

"taxes have been raised year after year"

False. The level of taxation hasn't been so low in your lifetime.

Turn off the Propaganda Channel and become misuninformed.

weeslicket 5 years ago

uh oh. our beloved david booth will have copius lemon wedges thrown at him now.

Dan Eyler 5 years ago

So whats it going to be, higher taxes for K-12 or higher taxes for public universities. We just cant seem to get our heads around the fact that as a nation the public school system is crumbling as a whole. I realize there are exceptions to this but for the most part in public schools students are dropping out at rates of 50-60 percent. You have to be kidding yourselves if you think this is fine. At the rate public schools are failing anything other than a whole sale change in our educational system, we as a country will fail. There is no more money for the current public school apparatus, it simply isn't working. Public schools are like the bank that's to big to fail. So it can only get worse. But on the other hand many would rather keep the system floating rather than look for alternatives that must include a heavily privatized component that shifts tax dollars away from these massive warehouses for kids that cost massive amounts of tax dollars just in upkeep to something that funnels that money to a classroom that can be internet based, church based, home schooled, charter schools but some type of educational system where competition drives down costs. If we could only look past the pride of KU and the beauty of all those buildings with names like Naismith we could reduce the need for so many mammoth educational systems for something less prideful but far more economical and practical. Let those who need the KU experience go to KU but lets create a system that forces KU to compete for those tax dollars. The rest of us can sit back and watch students in droves seek out a good education that is affordable but for the most part far more practical and just as effective in the post graduate job market.

chootspa 5 years ago

Actually, I'd be quite open minded to a privatized approach - if it actually worked. The evidence says it does not. That really makes a lot of sense, since the problem with our education system isn't that there's too little competition but that we're really lousy at educating poor people. Look at the demographics. We have one of the best education systems in the world if you only count rich kids, and that includes rich kids educated in our public school system. Since there's no immediate money to be made in educating poor people, it's doubtful any sort of privatized system would fix it.

Beth Ann Bittlingmayer 5 years ago

I simply can't agree that we have one of the best education systems in the world. The data seems to consistently contradict that.

jafs 5 years ago

"if you only count rich kids"

chootspa 5 years ago

We have one of the best education systems in the world -- if you are rich. The data confirms this. That's the whole reason NCLB came about. We're lousy at educating poor people, members of different races (who are often poor), kids with learning disabilities, etc.

It's not that we have a lousy school system. It's that we have an inconsistent one, and that inconsistency sticks when you take those same students and put them in a private school. Does that mean it's the parents' faults? Perhaps, but it's pretty hard to provide a great learning environment when you're worried about food and shelter. There's probably some cultural and peer-pressure issues at play, too. We can't fix those with vouchers.

There's some evidence that we should think earlier - preschools and programs like Head Start to get kids academically ready to start school, but we're busy cutting those programs.

Scott Morgan 5 years ago

A few points. Do our children leave the country, some to never come back for a college education? When comparing our public schools always look for the asterisk by the country we are being compared to.

I'm not sure any other nation educates all children ages 3-21. We do, and when I mean all, I mean all students.

For instance Japan separates students in 8th grade. The good academic students go to high school, the others go to job training.

chootspa 5 years ago

It's an important consideration. Finland educates all students to completion, as does the UK, Canada, Australia and Japan (high school is not mandatory, but 90% complete it). Germany and France tier them off. China (what you were probably meaning when you said Japan) tiers them off so severely that only 35% of the students take the PISA. Technically China now scores the highest on the PISA, but when you weed kids out specifically on test scores, that's what happens.

If we improved our education for the poorest students, we'd actually do really well compared to other countries. Since poverty isn't a measure of intelligence, this is an achievable goal.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

"massive warehouses for kids"

I think every state in the US has cut education, so the massive warehousing occurs, because they are closing schools to save money. The schools teach every child. Are you proposing we don't educate everyone?
Our problem is we try to prepare every child for college. We aren't willing to put money at the high school level to create job training for those who don't want to go to college. We should have vocational training at high school, not in trade schools after high school. A mechanic, plumber etc. should be ready for an on the job apprenticeship right after graduation.

chootspa 5 years ago

While I think there's value to preparing people who don't plan on college for the workforce, that isn't our biggest educational problem. Our problem is that we're wildly inconsistent. There are huge gaps from school to school, state to state, and student to student. We systematically underfund schools in poor and ethnic neighborhoods and send them the least qualified and experienced teachers and then wonder why they fail. We don't give students a strong preschool foundation, and we top it off by making it worse in high school.

This is probably one of the best summaries of the achievement gap problem I've read:

John Hamm 5 years ago

Well let Mr. Booth donate all he wants. It's been a while since I had a child in school and in all honesty I don't see where we're really educating the children now. Heck, they can't add, subtract, etc. without a calculator. Many, if not most, are semi-literate, instead of "new speak" (1984) we have "txt speek" (spelling error intended - that's another problem area). Educators start educating again and I'd support additional money - but not one more red cent wasted on Democratic school waste!

chootspa 5 years ago

It's been a while since you've had a child in school, so you've decided to opine on something without any research. I know for a fact that they still teach kids mental math, they start kids on journaling in Kindergarten, and that most kids are reading chapter books by the end of third grade.

Alceste 5 years ago

As is the norm, chootspa is wrong and has gone off again all half-cocked. is a strong analysis of public education in the USA comparing it to the rest of the world and also on a state by state basis, I might add. Where does Kansas sit in all of these statistics? (The research provided is from Stanford economist Eric Hanushek and two colleagues).

First let's quote: "We’ve known for some time how this story ends nationwide: only 6 percent of U.S. students perform at the advanced-proficiency level in math, a share that lags behind kids in some 30 other countries, from the United Kingdom to Taiwan. But what happens when we break down the results? Do any individual U.S. states wind up near the top?

Incredibly, no."

As is the norm, also, Kansas sits in the back of the bus with a mere 5.2% of it's high school students performing at the advanced level in math proficiency. But our kids here in Lawrence have them a couple of "world class" football Colosseums and our kids sure know how to text and even drive a car at the same time!

Kansas lags behind such titans of world thought as the Russian Federation; Lithuania; Ireland; Poland; Hungry; Slovak Republic; Estonia; Iceland; Slovenia; and on and on and on and on.

It's hard to fix stupid.

chootspa 5 years ago

I missed the part in that article where it said they weren't starting journaling in Kindergarten, doing mental math problems in grade school and reading chapter books by third grade. Oh right, because it wasn't in there. I suspect I've got more familiarity with the current grade school curricula than you do.

Alceste 5 years ago

Wonderful! Our school children can blog and keep a journal!

While the Stanford study may not have included reading matters and what not, I rather suspsect were they do to a similar study simply aimed at reading skills, it would produce the same results.

But Kansas kids sure know their "graphic novels"! hahahahahahahahahahahaah

Sit down and shut up. You're in the way.

Beth Ann Bittlingmayer 5 years ago

what you are describing is good but it's not scientific evidence that our public school system is among the top in the world

chootspa 5 years ago

I never claimed it was. I claimed it was one of the best places to educate a rich kid. The PISA Poor kids, non-white kids, and heaven help you if you're both - those kids don't do so well.

To back up my claim with data. I present the 2009 PISA test scores of only the US schools with 10% or less reduced lunch rates compared to other countries:

Country Poverty Rate PISA Score United States <10% 551 Finland 3.4% 536 Netherlands 9.0% 508 Belgium 6.7% 506 Norway 3.6% 503 Switzerland 6.8% 501 France 7.3% 496 Denmark 2.4% 495 Czech Republic 7.2% 478

Look at that! The US is number one. Our number when you include all kids is 500, bumping us to the lower part of the pack. Just the poor kids (more than 75% reduced lunches) and the number is 446 putting us square in the bottom. I don't have the data comparing just the richest top of those countries, but I've seen it, and it's virtually the same. The US is still the best place to educate a rich kid.

Beth Ann Bittlingmayer 5 years ago

The so called "rich" kids you are referring to have many other inputs besides the public school system that might account for their better performance. Your data are also displaying a "neighborhood" effect.

What might also be useful to know is whether or not other countries, such as Poland, which educate "poor" kids better do it with more money. I suspect the answer is no.

It's interesting to note that the exchange students from Europe who come here generally can not even count coursework from US high schools, even AP courses.

chootspa 5 years ago

To be fair, foreign exchange students coming back to the US generally can't count their coursework in Europe, either.

I don't deny that we overspend for our results or that there are many factors at play in our achievement gap beyond what happens in the classroom, but that doesn't mean the answer is less spending. Our school finance structure depends heavily on local property taxes, which mean high income neighborhoods get more funding. They tend to have the most qualified teachers and the highest salaries.

If we directed less of our time into teaching to the test and put more effort into making sure all kids had a solid, high quality preschool education, we'd see some results. That's not the only thing we could do, but it's one of the bigger bangs for the buck.

chootspa 5 years ago

We also need to provide financial incentives for quality teachers and administrators to work at underperforming schools. Today we do the opposite. NCLB ends up worsening the very problem it was designed to remedy.

Beth Ann Bittlingmayer 5 years ago

My son had no problems getting the Lawrence Public Schools to count his time spent in Germany, but our German exchange student could not get his time spent here counted.

I agree that we should not teach to tests and that preschool education is a good bang for the buck, but I also think that our problems run deeper.

chootspa 5 years ago

Germany tiers their students somewhere in middle school and considers completion of secondary school there to be the equivalent of high school and two years of college here. I don't think moving to a German model would actually be a good plan, but we do need to make sure our students have a solid foundation at 12th grade, and right now we don't. If our only goal was test score improvements, we coud go with the Chinese plan. They kick everyone's butts on the PISA score because they only allow 35% of their students to get that far in school.

Our problems do run deeper, and some of the problems won't get fixed by school alone.

Jeff Kilgore 5 years ago

Since it's been awhile since you've been in a public school, then is your opinion really worth much? Read below.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

You don't know too many kids do you. Try volunteering at the schools for awhile. They know more than you did when you went to school.

question4u 5 years ago

It's great that your kids survived long enough to graduate from high school. The philosophy that when something is ailing you should withdraw support from it could have deadly consequences when a child is sick. You were very lucky.

Jeff Kilgore 5 years ago

Most, if not all of the comments posted here make negative comments about our nation's schools and lump the bad in with the good. I'll tell you this: this generation of young people are much better educated than I or my peers were back in the "anything goes" 1970s. Those of you who make derogatory comments about our top 50 to 75 percent of our kids would be lucky if you could figure the math problems they're dealt, or the readings they have to consider. This is not my opinion. I see this walking the halls of our schools daily. Our students will outperform their teachers. I can say without hesitation that our high schools turn out better students year after year. Yes, they text, yes, they play video games, but they're capable in many other ways, both academically and in technology.

I'm writing in support of not only the schools, but the many, many fine young people that attend schools all across Kansas and the US. If you don't think that this is true, go visit the public schools. You'll be in for a surprise,--no, a great surprise.

parrothead8 5 years ago

I'm sure they'd be much more employable with even less education.

HoosierPride 5 years ago

Unemployment is always highest among young people, it doesn't mean that they are dumb it's actually pretty easy to figure out. Since there are so many people looking for work most companies that do hire are able to hire workers with a lot of experience. Most young people fresh out of high school or college don't have any experience and thus lose out to those with 10+ years in a career.

weeslicket 5 years ago

liberty_one: Then why is unemployment so high amongst young people?

because there aren't enough jobs to go around.

weeslicket 5 years ago

yes it does. not enough jobs to go around = enemployment they are unemployed. that does not = they are unemployABLE

geeze liberty one.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

Unemployment is the fault of the employee? Unemployment is the fault of big business that you worship as your god. If you can make 1 person do the job of two, then there's more profit. And you can make that 1 person accept whatever wage you deem to give them, because they live in fear of being the next person laid off. More profit for the clueless investors, more bonus for the executives.

Jimo 5 years ago

"I worship liberty"


No, you worship the "liberty" of people to sign away their liberty and become serfs on feudal plantations.

jhawkinsf 5 years ago

Perhaps as part of their education, we should teach our youngsters to have an entrepreneurial spirit. If they had learned that, they could go out and create their own job, instead of being a slave to some corporation, forever dependent upon the decisions of some corporate CEO. Who ever said there are not enough jobs "out there" are selling our whole society short. There are millions of jobs inside us all. Get in touch with those jobs and you'll get in touch with freedom.

pittstatebb 5 years ago

Youngsters who have not sat behind a desk until 22 or 25 do not have jobs to work in anymore. Those jobs have left our country and are not coming back unless our standard of living is cut in half.

We can disagree about the need for a bachelors degree for many of the current blue collar jobs, but that does not change the current reality.

I tell my high school students to do one of the following:
1. Join the military (but they have become much more selective) 2. Go to a community college/trade school to learn a service/trade 3. Go to a 4 year school and major in a science field (not education, business, phsycology, or any of the other humanities)

PS If you teach in poor KS community like I do, most of my kids have worked their minimum wage job for several years.

You want to fix education, put us on a true dual track system. At sixteen you go to a trade school or you go into a university prep school. Anyone else joins the military. Then the big fix, remove sports from the public/private schools. They become sponsored through AAU/Recreation Commissions (because we are half way there in most metro areas). Of course, this is going to cost more money upfront and thus will never happen (especially in LIAR controlled Kansas).

LIAR = Libertarian Imitating A Republican

pittstatebb 5 years ago

Military does not = war. Similar to guns do not kill people. People who shoot others kill people.

It is unfortunate that many teens have no better choice, but the military can remove them from Ks and give them a chance to break their family cycle of failure.

Armored_One 5 years ago

If public education is doing such a resounding job, why are more and more high school seniors less prepared for college than ever before?

One of my children is a senior this year, and nothing he did in school, in terms of homework, was any more difficult than it was when I was in high school.

The only thing that kids have today that they didn't have in the previous past 20 years is a massively expanded Internet. It didn't exist in anything approaching the form it does today when I was in school, but my generation was better prepared for college.

Perhaps that does say something for the amount of technological advances and devices available to kids these days. Remove more of them and perhaps they will actually have to study for tests and research reports, like I did.

madcow 5 years ago

We need to pay teachers a competitive salary to draw real talent away from the private sector and into the classroom.

We need to make it easier to get bad teachers out of the classroom.

We need to hold parents accountable for making their children ignorant, stupid brats.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

"We need to make it easier to get bad teachers out of the classroom."

No, we need to specifically define what a "good teacher" is, as well what a "bad teacher" is, and then determine how we can know the difference.

Otherwise, we'll just see administration empowered to fire only those teachers they don't like, often because they are, in fact, good teachers insisting on being allowed to do what good teachers do.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

"You and I may have different definitions of what a good car is,"

You're right. We'd be much better off if rich kids could get a Mercedes education, and everyone else got somewhere between a rusted out Vega and a low-mileage Camry.

Flap Doodle 5 years ago

"Many thanks a good deal for would adore to see you create additional on this theme." English isn't your first language, is it, Mr. Spammy?

tomatogrower 5 years ago

On the other hand, if you had been paying attention in school, you would have proofread better.

Teachers take a test just to get into a school of education. Then they take another test to be certified. If they want to be certified in another area, they must take another test. Not to mention all the tests they take while taking classes. They must have a high GPA to even enter their professional school.

How many tests do you take at your job? Maybe one when you started. Your true test is in how well you do your job. Of course, when you do your job, if you get materials that are defective, you can tell your boss, and he/she will send the defective parts back to whomever made them. Schools get students who have a lousy home life or no home life. Schools get students who have developmental problems. Schools do not send them back to whomever made them. They work hard to do the best they can.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years ago

Taking and passing a test does not a good teacher/student make.

Tange has it right:

"The best teaching is facilitative, serving its own superfluity over the course of the "educational" process."

chootspa 5 years ago

Interesting factoid. Finland, which outperforms the US and almost every other country in the world, is heavily unionized. I think 90% of the teachers there are members of the union, and interestingly enough, they also don't give out a lot of standardized tests.

Alceste 5 years ago

Standardized tests for USA children were made necessary due to the gross disparity in the way public education is funded in the USA: If you're from a "job creator family", you most likely reside in a public school district that properly funds the process. If you're middle class (as if there are any in the USA) or lower, you get what you're given.

Finland's educational system so surpasses the system here in Lawrence, Kansas it's beyond funny. might want to begin traveling or at least accessing the data on the internet rather than just posting on a message board your emotive and self-defeating "rants"! hahahahahahahahahhahaaaa

PS: Alceste is VERY pro Union. What IS a shame is the lack of solidarity the Lawrence teachers' union shows for other working people. They just worried about themselves. The Lawrence, Kansas public school system is a disgrace compared to what it ought to be and could be....rather easily too.......

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years ago

While I may agree with most of your post - there IS a gross disparity in the way public schools are funded, however, the tests, as in "standardized", do not reflect those differences.

Alceste 5 years ago

and I concur, Valkyrie......and why should the standardized testing make several different "standardized tests" depending upon what sector of the Nation your kid goes to school in.

The idea is for it to be ONE STANDARD and ALSO to demonstrate just how jacked up public education is in the USA as a result of "people" like Brownback having control over the processess.

Still, we have our own school board to blame locally.....they're more interested in fancy football fields and other non-sense then they are making certain high school graduates know the 4 r's. Heck, Jethro Bodine is better educated than most kids in Lawrence, Kansas!

chootspa 5 years ago

You might want to spend less time with the ironic ad hominems, Mr Kettle, and consider that you may be posting to someone who not only takes a personal interest in the US education system but has also been a student abroad. Yes, I know I'm harshing your buzz, but I do have an informed opinion on the topic.

Alceste 5 years ago

Well, two weeks in Tijuana is hardly being a "student abroad", but I suspect KU would give you course credit.

And, if you've taken "personal interest in the US education system, how is it that you're such a defendent of the "status quo"?

Oh....and Unions ain't the problem; although it is some of the Union members that are, along with hack politicians and politicos and community hand wringers. I won't even go into the feminization of boys in our public school system.....and it's particularly rampant right here in River City....

chootspa 5 years ago

This polyglot loves his/her anonymity too much to give out details, but you're way off in your guesses.

I'm not in favor of the status quo, but that doesn't mean I like to remodel my houses by burning them down.

Feminization of boys? Seriously, you do need help. Please find it.

Alceste 5 years ago

Moi? ; ; ; ; etc., etc., etc., etc.

Sometimes you just have to burn the village in order to save the village. Viet Nam taught us this blunt reality.

Sit down and shut up, please. You're in the way of change and progess. Apologists are not needed in these here parts.....there are plenty of ' um already......

chootspa 5 years ago

I hope the rest of your post is meant to be ironic, because you sure did a great job of picking a metaphor that actually disproves your point.

Alceste 5 years ago

The AAUW, clearly a misandristic operation, fails to address the issue of the feminization of boys by way of the public school system. The "discussion" isn't about who scores bests on tests at this moment, it's about imposing behavior expectations on young men.

The fluff surronding elementary eductation (self esteem; "feelings"; "self image", blah, blah, blah) and the other self-indulgent woo woo has taken over teaching the 3r's: reading, ritin', rithmitic. We got a bunch of milk toasty, but ever so sensitive babies being turned out of them joints with a degree of self-entitlement so large and high it's doomed to failure.

And what's this you're prattling on about chooie.....that "the system" ought to only educate the wealthy children and leave the "special ed" types out in the cold?

Alceste 5 years ago

"The widening gender gap in academic achievement is real. It threatens the future of millions of American boys. Boys do not need to be rescued from their masculinity. But they are not getting the help they need. In the climate of disapproval in which boys now exist, programs designed to aid them have a very low priority. This must change. We should repudiate the partisanship that currently clouds the issues surrounding sex differences in the schools. We should call for balance, objective information, fair treatment, and a concerted national effort to get boys back on track. That means we can no longer allow the partisans of girls to write the rules." Christina Hoff Sommers

The W. H. Brady Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

chootspa 5 years ago

A) You've got an observation that people are using soundbyte ready but completely untested theories to explain. They may simply be declaring that umbrellas cause rain. There are no cohort studies with different methodologies to compare outcomes, and they haven't tested the null hypothesis. Why is it that Finland has an even higher percentage of women teachers and yet does not have this same alleged achievement gap?

B) Strawman argument. I've said nothing of the sort.

Have a nice day and be sure to tip your therapist.

Alceste 5 years ago

Once again, you're not reading:

".....we can no longer allow the partisans of girls to write the rules." Misandrist.

chootspa 5 years ago

Actually, I'm both reading and understanding what I read. I cannot say the same for you. That quote is an opinion based on insufficient evidence. Your use of it is an appeal to authority.

Alceste 5 years ago

As is the norm, so much silly hand-wringing from the apologists of a bankrupt system: Let's work with facts, shall we? ("No Child Left Behind" Atlantic Monthly; December 2010) is a strong analysis of public education in the USA comparing it to the rest of the world and also on a state by state basis, I might add. Where does Kansas sit in all of these statistics? (The research provided is from Stanford economist Eric Hanushek and two colleagues).

First let's quote: "We’ve known for some time how this story ends nationwide: only 6 percent of U.S. students perform at the advanced-proficiency level in math, a share that lags behind kids in some 30 other countries, from the United Kingdom to Taiwan. But what happens when we break down the results? Do any individual U.S. states wind up near the top?

Incredibly, no."

As is the norm, also, Kansas sits in the back of the bus with a mere 5.2% of it's high school students performing at the advanced level in math proficiency. But our kids here in Lawrence have them a couple of "world class" football Colosseums and our kids sure know how to text and even drive a car at the same time!

Kansas lags behind such titans of world thought as the Russian Federation; Lithuania; Ireland; Poland; Hungry; Slovak Republic; Estonia; Iceland; Slovenia; and on and on and on and on.

It's hard to fix stupid.

Carol Bowen 5 years ago

"Football Colosseums". Clever choice of words. Sums up the situation. Chuckle.

Flap Doodle 5 years ago

Give generously, citizens. The education industry needs more money to throw at problems.

Peter Macfarlane 5 years ago

Spare me the facts, I have my own opinions!

And if you don't like that one:

Men with faulty parachutes often jump to conclusions

Scott Tichenor 5 years ago

The red wingnuts in this state are all against any kind of taxes or government support... that is, until it benefits THEM. Then get out of the way because the high-pitched crying is intolerable. Yet they turn a blind eye to the corporate welfare in the hundreds of millions that are doled out to the Koch Brothers and their ilk each year. What's the matter with Kansas? Let me count the ways.

Dan Eyler 5 years ago

There you go again with those darn Koch brothers. You know those two guys who have invested millions in Kansas and employee 50,000 Americans in one capacity or another, all with a living wage, none on welfare. I'm not sure what more we can ask of the guys.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

We can ask them to stop taking subsidies from the government. It would only make a small dent in the their profits. How much of the money is their ethanol production that should have gone to loans, not hand outs, but loans to homeowners making their houses more energy efficient?

George Lippencott 5 years ago

Mr. Booth said

“At the same time, I’ve been around long enough: Leading with raising taxes and hoping that solves problems is not as good a way to proceed as figuring out, ‘Here’s a solution to the problem,’ and now, ‘Here’s the amount of money we need.’

Where did the headline come from - I guess the LJW already has the solution sought by Mr. Booth and is ready for the money to implement it. Want to share the good ideas? Could the solution be something other than funding?

pittstatebb 5 years ago

"Could the solution be something other than funding?" Yes and no. We need to change how we teach, what we teach and to whom we teach it. Of course this means changing how we prepare future teachers and reteaching current teachers, and this cost money.

We also need a dual track education system that eliminates school districts from funding sports programs. Instead of privatizing education, lets privatize sports. The countries that better us, that is what they do. School is for school not for sports/social. If you do not want a university prep education, at 16 you go to a trade school and learn a trade.

Alceste 5 years ago in that $500,000.00 valued house and being on what you call a "fixed income" must really eat away at your very marrow......

Given the reality the check you and your better half get each and every month (as documented by your own posts on this very web site) was generated from "public service work", one is compelled to wonder "Did Moderate ever take on the system and it's wanton stupidity, or was Moderatae a Good German Soldier and simply followed orders?

The suggestion is: There was ample opportunity to make changes from within when you were working......did you make use of your status to make CHANGE....or did you just go along for the ride?

George Lippencott 5 years ago

Many changes and none you will ever know about!!!

Alceste 5 years ago

Ah ah! Your income stream done did increased or you were able to limit your wants and needs and get rid of that hooch! hahahahahhahahahaha.......but you stil ain't livin' like a regular're still living fat and large and opining on how "poor" you is. What a hoot!!!!!!! hahahahhahahahhahahah!@!!!!

Alceste 5 years ago

Nope. You're struggling with making adjustments as you're compelled to "down size" your life style. You'll never reall get there, either as the entitlements you were afforded during your working days done did eroded and shall continue to erode......said erosion being caused by your very own buddies! Alceste is quite comfortable in Alceste's lifestyle....

Alceste 5 years ago

Speculate? Oh goodness my good man....Alceste is fully liquid.....there is no point in speculation.

What I shall own is that when you posted I MAY have mistook your remarks that you DID "take on the man" (I'll believe it when I see it.....a bird Colonel having the courage to ask questions? Never heard of such a thing....EXCEPT for the bird colonel that was later shown the door.....) with other unrelated matters.

Carry on in your $500k valued home....I know it's a challenge and that you and yours are hooo.....

Carol Bowen 5 years ago

Realign priorities. De-emphasize football Colosseums. Focus on a more productive education for the college and vocational training.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

Veteran teacher responds to letter’s criticism regarding pay raise etc etc etc = quite interesting!

As for the suggestion from David Booth about raising taxes let's think.

It is the reckless money managers in Topeka and USD 497 that create the problems. There are plenty of tax dollars collected to run the school districts.

In USD 497 the district blows $20 million on a never ending sports projects INSTEAD of applying OUR tax dollars to the $16.5 million elementary school building maintenance projects. Some of the rehab needs have been on the books for 10 years of more yet simply neglected. This Mr Booth is reckless money management indeed.

Then we have Topeka legislators who believe they are the education elite who decided to begin killing public education slowly but surely by a method known as defunding then claiming the system is not working. What a load of crap.

Then comes No Child Left Behind. Another unfunded load of crap aimed at killing public education set up by the idiots of our time aka the bogus republican party.

Mr Booth with all due respect it is not lack of tax dollars it is lack of integrity and smart fiscal management of existing tax dollars. More taxes under the Brownback admin will not guide the tax dollars into our public school districts simply because republican leadership desire to kill public education.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

Mr Booth,

Teacher Salary Support

Would you favor a sales tax increase to provide more money for Lawrence teacher salaries?

Of course the state forbids such a tool unless Lawrence could launder the money in another fashion yet funneling the money to OUR teachers.

This money would need to be managed by taxpayers or written in stone that this money is strictly dedicated to teacher salaries. Too many elected officials simply cannot be trusted to do the right thing.

Flap Doodle 5 years ago

Would you rely on an 8 year old poll to be a reliable guide to current public opinion?

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

Facilities and Maintenance

Let's take a look at New York Elementary. A new Gym was added to that school less than 10 years ago which required a fair number of tax dollars. Closing that school demonstrates little respect for how tax dollars are spent.

How should the school district pay for a $16.5 million maintenance backlog in elementary schools? 61% = over a period of time 31% do a bond issue

At $7.5 million USD 497 tax dollars a year in capital outlay funds this maintenance could be accomplished in two years without raising taxes or borrowing money. This tax money and more is collected annually and locally.

In fact USD 497 2011 Facilities and Maintenance Capital Outlay Priorities suggests $6,440,000 could be spent which includes :

Cordley Deerfield East Heights Hillcrest Kennedy Langston Hughes(replacing floor throughout this new school building?) Centennial New York Pinckney Prairie Park Quail Run Schwegler Sunflower Wakarusa Woodlawn

No money will be saved building new schools. Two new bigger schools will cost at least $20 million. It is better to fix what we have and do it right. This way more children can walk and bike to school and the parents homes will not lose 10% more in property value due to the closing of a neighborhood school.

Centerville 5 years ago

The KNEA is keeping accomplished private sector people out. They have a bogus program with some sort of feel-good title that puports to encourage it. Actually, it is so full of Catch-22 barricades that it's almost impossible for, say, a practicing engineer to start teaching in any field related to his expertise.

Maxandwillie 5 years ago

Comparing the US, which tests EVERY kid with other nations who only test a percentage is not a fair comparison. We have our issues, but we still strive to teach ALL kids and test them as well. The other countries which are better than us in testing don't do that.

chootspa 5 years ago

Technically nobody tests all the students, including the US, since the PISA just uses a statistical sampling. It's a test for 15 year olds in school. There are some countries where underperforming students would have already graduated or left school (China, Germany), but Finland isn't one of them. They still score better, as do several other countries that do not use a tiered system.

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