Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 9, 2008 / 10 Tishrei 5769

The Real Obama, Part III

By Thomas Sowell


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | What about those "real issues" that Barack Obama's supporters in the media say we should get back to, whenever some new unsavory fact about his past comes out?


Surely education is a real issue, with American school children consistently scoring below those in other countries, and children in minority communities faring worst of all.


What about Senator Obama's position on this real issue? As with other issues, he has talked one way and acted the opposite way.


The education situation in Obama's home base of Chicago is one of the worst in the nation for the children — and one of the best for the unionized teachers.


Fewer than one-third of Chicago's high-school juniors meet the statewide standards on tests. Only 6 percent of the youngsters who enter Chicago high schools become college graduates by the time they are 25 years old.


The problem is not money: Chicago spends more than $10,000 per student.


Chicago teachers are doing well. A beginning teacher, fresh out of college, earns more than the city's median income and that can rise to more than $100,000 over the years.


FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.

That's for teaching 6 hours a day, 9 months of the year. Moreover, a teacher's income is dependent on seniority and other such factors — and in no way dependent on whether their students are actually learning anything.


Obama has said eloquent and lofty words about education, as he has about other things — for example, how it is "unacceptable in a country as wealthy as ours" that some children "are not getting a decent shot at life" because of the failing schools.


In a predominantly black suburb of Chicago, where the average teacher's salary is $83,000 and one-fourth of the teachers make more than $100,000, Barack Obama noted that the school day ends at 1:30 PM.


In his book "Dreams from My Father," Obama said candidly that black teachers and administrators "defend the status quo with the same skill and vigor as their white counterparts of two decades before."


It is not a question of Obama's not knowing. He has demonstrated conclusively that he knows what is going on.


But, for all his eloquent words, he has voted consistently for the teachers' unions and the status quo.


"I owe those unions," he has said frankly. "When their leaders call, I do my best to call them back right away. I don't consider this corrupting in any way."


Only other politicians' special interests are called "special interests" by Barack Obama, whose world-class ability to rationalize is his most frightening skill.


Even when he verbally endorses the reform idea of merit pay for teachers, he cleverly re-defines merit so that it will be measured by teachers themselves, rather than by "arbitrary tests." In other words, Obama placates critics of the educational status quo by being for merit pay in words, while making those words meaningless, so as not to offend the teachers' unions.


The failings of teachers are only part of the disaster of inner city public schools. Disruptive and violent students can make it impossible for even the best teachers to educate students.


Administrators are reluctant to impose any serious punishment on those students who make it impossible for other students to learn. Partly this is because liberal judges can make it literally a federal case if more minority students are punished than others.


In other words, if black males are punished more often than Asian American females, that can be enough to get the administrators drawn into a legal labyrinth, costing money and time, even if the punishment is eventually upheld.


When a bill was introduced into the Illinois state legislature that would put more teeth into suspensions of misbehaving students, Barack Obama voted against that bill.


A real reformer would want to crack down on both unruly students and unaccountable teachers. A clever politician would speak eloquently, demand "change" — and then vote for the status quo. Obama talks a great game.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR contributor Thomas Sowell's column by clicking here.

Up

Thomas Sowell Archives



© 2006, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles