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Unintended Consequences, Anyone? Initial Thoughts on the State of the Union Address

Posted on January 26 2011 1:23 am
Mary Leverett served honorably in the USMC, and in the U.S. Naval Reserve {Desert Shield/Desert Storm vet}, spent 9 years as a federal civil servant, & now lives in the Houston area with her husband.
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Remember when No Child Left Behind had most social engineers all atwitter?

It seems that Øbama is intent on denigrating and disparaging ANY positive or pseudo-positive efforts by the Bush administration. During his State of the Union address Tuesday night, he announced plans to “replace No Child Left Behind with a law that is more flexible and focused on what’s best for our kids.”  The law would be modeled after his “Race to the Top” initiative.  But both Race to the Top and NCLB fail to take into account the glorious differences in abilities that make up our crazy quilt of an American population.

These programs would work well, were all children cut from the same pattern. But each individual has differing levels of competency in various areas. Do we really want Jenny Cheerleader pursuing a medical career, despite abysmal grades in math & the sciences, because she thinks it would be “kewl”? Do we want Tom Running Back pursuing an accounting degree, when he failed business math in high school? Not saying the kids couldn’t overcome their shortcomings, but wouldn’t the monies for their educations be better spent were Jenny to focus on interior design, and Tom on construction?

One of the most wonderful American concepts is the ability to find one’s own niche where one is competently comfortable. YES, breaking out of niches is good, too, but first and foremost, one must have a niche to break FROM. Jenny and Tom could get most of their undergraduate courses out of the way, pursue interior design and construction for about 5 years, and THEN pursue post-graduate work, with gravitas and real world experiences behind them.

For the past 30+ years, we’ve been inundated with the theory that, win, lose or draw, our children’s egos MUST be massaged. The über-progressives seem to believe that lying to kids about the ‘real world’–“shielding” them from the reality that, if someone wins, someone else loses–has done a disservice to the vast majority of American kids. Believe it or not, kids are not nearly as fragile as many would have us believe; one can say “Good effort!” even if that effort wasn’t effective.

Teachers must be allowed to reinstate discipline (no, that ISN’T a dirty word; it’s derived from the word “disciple”, of which one would think ‘The Won’ would be in favor); ineffectual, spineless individuals who cannot muster the fortitude to instruct, rather than babysit, must go. Want to see scores/grades improve? Get some former USMC Drill Instructors in the classrooms!

In addition to his tone-deafness on education, Øbama wants to penalize oil companies yet again. What he fails to acknowledge, and his minions fail to tell him, is that by penalizing the oil companies, he’s penalizing everyone, with the possible exception of the Amish. Don’t know about the rest of the country, but here near Houston, it’s getting up close to $3.00/gallon. Granted, it was worse just after hurricanes Katrina & Ike, but not by that much.

The ‘cost of living’ is not going down, it isn’t even staying steady–it’s on a one-way trip to the stratosphere; gas and home heating oil prices going up will NOT help. Filling kids’ heads with unrealistic expectations is just as bad, if not worse.

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