The US Needs Education Reform!

Education in the US has gone to complete shit. From common core to no child left behind. Nothing has been working to better the US education system. There are many countries that spend far less per child for education and they are far more intelligent. Education keeps getting cut, yet we don’t spend the most per child we are #4 in the world market. Finland seems to be the place to get the highest level of education in the world. They even have free college.

 

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2011

 

We are the 7th richest nation in the world yet we lag behind everyone in education. We should be the best, we are not even the second best. How can a country like the United States have such horrible education stats and standards?

One reason is America’s repeated failure to invest in education. According to the US News, federal funding for education has fallen drastically. Congress has cut funding for K-12 education by nearly 20 percent since 2011—five times more than overall spending cuts.

Another reason for the lack of quality education is standardized testing. Many schools, across the country, give children so many tests. For example, my children take 4 standardized tests per year. The entire school year the children in Texas are being taught a test. In certain grades if you fail the test they hold you behind unless your teachers agree to pass you ahead.

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In Texas standardized testing is big money the state has a contract for $468 million with Pearson Education to create and grade the STAAR test. According to the Washington Post, Pearson has solicited for test graders on Craigslist. Texas has the worst high school graduation rate of the entire country. No wonder, the kids get overloaded with pointless tests all year. They learn only what is on the test.

In a two-year testing study in city public schools across the nation, it is found that on average a student takes 112 mandatory standardized tests between Pre-K  through 12th grade. It averages about 8 tests per year. The tests alone use 20-25 hours per year. Many of the standardized tests the children take are on the same subjects. The scores end up overlapping.

Statistics show that Finland is by far the best country to live in for a superior education. Not only does Finland spend less per student, than the US does, they also have an exceptional education system.

 

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2014 Education Spending.

In Finland, it is extremely difficult to obtain a job in education, in order to be a teacher you must have your Masters Degree. They only hire the best of the best. The Principal runs the school and normally deals with the budget. The parents and educators decide how the school is run. They have the state, federal, as well as county programs that fund the schools. These programs are a perfect example of checks and balances each of the programs check each other to make sure the students being properly educated.

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Finnish schools have no standardized testing, they have very little homework, the school hours are half that of the students in the US. The kids have 50-minute recess and free lunch.

“The [Finnish] curricula are very much focused on critical thinking and problem solving, project-based learning, and learning to learn,” she said. “There is a lot of collaboration in the classroom.” – Pasi Sahlberg, a Finnish education experience.

That is very different from the way the students are taught in the United States. There are very little debates in schools and no problem solving. Students learning tests is what is happening in America. That is what the country has come down to, let’s test the hell out of you and throw a bunch of bullshit you’ll never need down your throat and send you off in the world broken and half dead.

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The bottom line is if Finland can do it, so can we. We are spending more than many and we should be number one in education. It disgusts me that the United States doesn’t make this a top priority. Instead, you hear getting rid of much-needed programs. The department of education is needed. First, it needs to follow Finlands path, standardized testing does not work! Then we need a whole overhaul on how to best spend the money in the budget and where it is needed most. In Finland they give additional money to poor areas, it obviously does the trick.

 

Texas 60 Year War on Women.

 

There is currently a court case that began in Texas resulting from former Governor Rick Perry signing the  House Bill 2 (HB2) in 2013. The HB2 bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, requires abortion clinics to meet the same standards as hospital-style surgical centers and mandates that a doctor has admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility where he or she performs abortions. As well as many other restrictions. The State Representative Jason Isaac co-signed this bill and ran unopposed in the 2016 primary election. Yipee!

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Pro-choice campaigners Grayson and Tina Currin funny counter-protests against anti-abortion demonstrations

The entire state of Texas has 10 abortion clinics, prior to the good Governors bill Texas had 40 clinics. For reference purposes, California has 522 clinics that perform abortions. California is the most populated state in the US followed by Texas. The current laws in place make it almost impossible for a woman to get an abortion without waiting weeks if not months for an appointment. By the time they are able to get to an appointment they may be passed the 20-week mark. This is breaking a Constitutional right. The doctors have admitted there is no way they will be able to provide abortions to as many women that seek them.

Since the law was enacted there has been a significant decrease in medical abortions (taking a pill). Many women prefer this to avoid a surgical procedure. Unfortunately, with the new Texas law, you need to take each pill in front of a doctor. That is 4 office visits when there are only 10 locations in the entire state. Some women are more than 300 miles away from the nearest clinic, many women who seek abortion do not have the means to travel. This is why many have abortions because they are unable to financially provide. A study is currently being conducted to get numbers on how many at home abortions are happening in Texas, it can and will happen again.

Medical abortions have dropped 70% which is a huge number. A significant increase in second-trimester abortions have been reported, since the new law was enacted. The lack of access to abortions and longer wait times are to blame for this increase. Complications can occur during an abortion as with any medical procedure or medication. There is a higher risk of complications the longer you wait to have the procedure done. The purpose the Republicans claimed they enacted these laws was to make sure abortions were done safely. Waiting to have a simple procedure done that could be done in a few minutes is not helping anyone. In fact, this bill is more costly for the woman and the providers. It makes it very inconvenient for all involved which seems to be the lawmakers agenda.

In 1973 Roe Vs. Wade made it to the Supreme Court. Roe, a single pregnant woman in Texas wanted an abortion. Wade, the Dallas County District Attorney. Roe could not afford to travel to a different state to have an abortion performed safely. The laws in Texas made it impossible for a woman to have a safe, clinical abortion with a licensed physician. Roe claimed Texas statutes were unconstitutional and she was protected by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendment. She appealed decisions of the district court on behalf of herself and all women in the same predicament. A doctor and a couple came forward in the claim stating similar issues. The doctor had court cases pending for performing abortions in Texas.

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Justice Blackmun

Texas urges that, apart from the Fourteenth Amendment, life begins at conception and is present throughout pregnancy, and that, therefore, the State has a compelling interest in protecting that life from and after conception. We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer. [p160]- Justice Blackmun (delevering the opinion of the court) Roe Vs. Wade

A district court ruled that the Texas statute was indeed unconstitutional and a violation of the 9th amendment. The problem was it did nothing for abortions. It was basically a slap in the face and the reason why it was appealed to the Supreme Court. The same issues that were happening in the 1970s are again happening in the Supreme Court today, and again it is the state of Texas.

The principal thrust of appellant’s attack on the Texas statutes is that they improperly invade a right, said to be possessed by the pregnant woman, to choose to terminate her pregnancy. Appellant would discover this right in the concept of personal “liberty” embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause; or in personal, marital, familial, and sexual privacy said to be protected by the Bill of Rights or its penumbras, see Griswold v. Connecticut,381 U.S. 479 (1965); Eisenstadt v. Baird,405 U.S. 438 (1972); id. at 460 (WHITE, J., concurring in result); or among those rights reserved to the people by the Ninth Amendment, Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. at 486 (Goldberg, J., concurring).-Justice Blackmun (delevering the opinion of the court)Roe Vs. Wade

This decision changed history for millions of women. Prior to this court case in many places in the US women were having unsafe home abortions. The court decision on Roe Vs. Wade is a long but a very interesting read. It goes into the history of abortion and shows that it has been around and available prior to Geek and Roman times. The Justice was very clear from the beginning, this case is not about feelings it is about the Constitution and the question asking are Texas laws preventing American Citizens from their right.

All this, together with our observation, supra, that, throughout the major portion of the 19th century, prevailing legal abortion practices were far freer than they are today, persuades us that the word “person,” as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn…..

It should be sufficient to note briefly the wide divergence of thinking on this most sensitive and difficult question. There has always been strong support for the view that life does not begin until live’ birth. This was the belief of the Stoics. [n56] It appears to be the predominant, though not the unanimous, attitude of the Jewish faith. [n57] It may be taken to represent also the position of a large segment of the Protestant community, insofar as that can be ascertained; organized groups that have taken a formal position on the abortion issue have generally regarded abortion as a matter for the conscience of the individual and her family. [n58] As we have noted, the common law found greater significance in quickening. Physician and their scientific colleagues have regarded that event with less interest and have tended to focus either upon conception, upon live birth, or upon the interim point at which the fetus becomes “viable,” that is, potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid. [n59] Viability is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks. [n60] The Aristotelian theory of “mediate animation,” that held sway throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in Europe, continued to be official Roman Catholic dogma until the 19th century, despite opposition to this “ensoulment” theory from those in the Church who would recognize the existence of life from [p161] the moment of conception. [n61] The latter is now, of course, the official belief of the Catholic Church.-Justice Blackburn (reciting the decision of the court) Roe Vs. Wade

 

It was decided. The Court ruled 7–2 that a right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion, but that this right must be balanced against the state’s two legitimate interests in regulating abortions: protecting women’s health and protecting the potentiality of human life.

When Roe Vs Wade hit the Supreme Court abortion was already legal in 18 states. The affirmation of the Supreme Court made it legal in all states. In the 1970s, the minorities suffered the most. Abortion may have been legal in many of these states, but not everyone had a way to get to places where it was legal. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in 1972 alone, 130,000 women obtained illegal or self-induced procedures, 39 of whom died. Furthermore, from 1972 to 1974, the mortality rate due to illegal abortion for nonwhite women was 12 times that for white women.

In 1992, a similar case was seen in the Supreme Court regarding a women’s constitutional right to abortion, Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

The Casey decision said states may not place undue burdens on the constitutional right to abortion before fetal viability. Undue burdens, it said, included “unnecessary health regulations that have the purpose or effect of pres

1975 Finns Photo Pro-life Picket 75KB

Prior to the 19th-century, abortion was not considered a crime. The people nor the Catholic Church regarded or acknowledged life prior to birth. Today this is a huge issue, yet for thousands of years, it was never a problem. When Abortion Was A Crime

Today we are fighting this ridiculous claim again. Roe Vs. Wade disallowed many states and federal restrictions with its ruling any changes to that can be permanent trouble for women in the United States. It was fought in 1992, seems every 20 years or so someone decides women shouldn’t have free will.

This law is being fought in front of the Supreme Court yet again, Texas is the state that constantly seems to be fighting the Constitution. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of these abortion restrictions this will not only affect Texas but 11 other states that have also adopted these harsh laws and restrictions.

According to the Supreme Court ruling in 1973, every woman has the right to a safe and legal abortion. Our lawmakers have different ideas. There are only 8 Justices currently sitting on the Supreme Court. 4 of the Justices are Republicans and 4 of the Justices are Democrats. Unless they allow President Obama to appoint a Justice and a vote it may be a dead end. Justice Kennedy who is likely to be the deciding vote is trying to delay the vote as he is asking the Texas courts to do more fact finding.

The Republicans have said they won’t even consider voting or having a hearing  on any nominee that President Obama chooses. Republicans are trying to change the Constitution yet again.

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When someone asks me to describe a Republican politician I say “Watch a dog chase their tail in a circle” that’s what they do chase their tails going in circles until something breaks. They focus on a few insane components of legislation anything that makes life hard on your average person and they dig deep and rub it in. To add salt to the wound most of the last 97 bills that passed the house were regarding blocking other bills, war, energy companies, and homeland security.

Texas has been infringing women’s Constitutional rights for 60 years actually a lot longer, this has been going on prior to Supreme Court cases. It’s time to fight back in a bigger way. Abortion is a right of every American woman. Any laws that block an Americans rights should not be tolerated. Women need to stand up for themselves yet again. It’s like the civil rights movement never happened. Our future generations deserve to have a choice and their Constitutional rights protected. As an American, we should all do what we can. If someone was fighting for more gun control in the Supreme Court, Texas lawmakers would be quoting the Constitution. They only read part of the Constitution, it seems it was too much to read and they stopped at the Second Amendment.

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If you would like to help in supporting Pro-Choice please go to the NARAL website, it is a great site you can take action by signing petitions or sign up to volunteer. It has a lot of information on the site, and it explains what being pro-choice is all about.

Pro-Choice America-Take Action

 

Speaker Boehner Shows Intelligent Side

 

The U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner has decided to listen to the Tea Party constituents once again. In a press conference this morning he decided he wanted to extend the Bush tax cuts until next year. For anyone who does not know what I am talking about this is basically giving everyone including the wealthy tax cuts for the next fiscal year. Incredible this man did not even listen to the public. Correct me if I am wrong but there was an election just days ago and Obama won. This should be a case open and shut as far as legislation is concerned. The American people obviously want what Obama promised and part of that promise was not to extend these tax cuts.

When President George W Bush proposed these tax cuts he was making an idiotic mistake that cost our country millions in tax revenue. Some may say that we deserve this tax break we need it in order to survive. This is pure baloney, we do not need more tax breaks we need a better economy. When our economy broke several years ago it was a domino effect all over the world. Asia is the only continent on our planet that is flourishing right now. Considering the United States is less than favorable in Asia this is not a good thing.

John Boehner is a Tea Party puppet, the Tea Party picks and chooses what they want based on their bank accounts and Boehner complies.  If it will put more money in their already full pockets they are all for it. This is why the Tea Party makes me thoroughly sick, they can care less about the middle class like they would want you to believe. This is all based on their actions, not their talk. The day following Obama’s tremendous win over Mitt Romney Mr. Speaker went on live television saying he would compromise. Today he has flip-flopped over to the other side. This is sounding like a Star Wars movie. He says that raising tax revenue with make job creation that much harder. This is all news to me and anyone else listening. President Obama would like tax rates as they were when President Bill Clinton was in office, at that time our country flourished as it should. So tell me Mr. Speaker why exactly will this lower job creation? Jobs were at the highest this country has seen in many years while President Clinton was in office. I would love to see their spreadsheets showing the bullshit that spews from their mouths.

Luckily there are far less Tea Party winners during this election. It looks as though some people woke up and realized they were being had by the very party they backed. The Tea Party is full of far-fetched promises and outright lies. It is as if you are believing Fox News they are pretty much one in the same. Fox News caters to the Tea Party since most of the members contribute far too much money to that ludicrous television station. The majority of people that I personally know are aware how full of crap Fox News is, but there are still a few people I know taken by the idiots they watch on there. Some of the women look a little like Stepford wives, I wouldn’t be surprised if those women on that newtwork were robots after hearing some of the obscure, moronic things coming out of their mouths. It could also be that they are brainwashed by that evil station.

I’m just going to call this one Foxy Bimbos

I am quite sure Michelle Bachmann was very perturbed by the result of the election. She is a smart one and below is a very good example of how less than intelligent this woman really is. There is obviously a problem with the state that elected her, I won’t say names…This is an old video but it is off of a CNN newscast.

Michelle Bachmann shows her intelligent side Bottom line is the Tea Party has so many very different outlooks on life it looks like they are completely mindless. The best part of this video is that she was the response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address via The Tea Party. Way to put up the smartest candidate! Someone really messed up there.

In other news….Gay Marriage and Marijuana won some states over this election period…not to the President…legalizing Marijuana would be in your best interest it would generate far more revenue than you can imagine. I am quite sure someone has showed you a graph of how much it could potentially generate.

Mob Busts the Union Falls

Is it a coincidence that 127 mobsters were arrested mid-January in New York and New Jersey; the very next month New Jersey, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Rhode Island are busting down Unions? Six different crime families were indicted on several different charges including; extortion, racketeering, drug trafficking, money laundering, arson, and five counts of murder. Mob take downs are not unusual in the 80’s this happened as well, you may be familiar with the movie ‘Goodfellas’ that is an actual true story. This however is one of the biggest take downs in crime syndicate history. The crime families have connections with the Unions all over the country. It is not an unknown fact that the mob runs the Union silently. In states that have mob ties like Illinois with the Chicago mob, they are not busting down Unions, there also has not been any mob arrests in Chicago. It is also known that this is a ploy to take down the Democratic party underhandedly by getting rid of the Unions. This just not just take care of the Democratic party it will take down the middle class. The end of collective bargaining is a terrible way to do this. Not only will people work for lower pay, which many are already, this country will become a country like China. Chinese work hard, long hours, for little pay. That is what this can do to the country if this happens in these few states. Law makers will see to it that no one in this country will make a decent wage again. The Republican Party is busting Unions for their own political gain, making sure that no Democrat will be elected or re-elected again.

You may argue that Mob run Unions are a bad thing, not a good thing. I will tell you that the criminal element, while it may not be a great thing, what do you think the politicians are? Politicians are anything but ethical, it has been proven over and over again. The mob at least does not hide the fact that they are criminals. Getting the mob out of the way is an extremely tactful way to ensure Union busting. Tell me who are the real criminals in this game. Law enforcement knows what the mob is up to; it seems very corrupt that these major players were arrested weeks before this Union busting started. Unions are something workers need, without Unions majority of middle, working class Americans will not survive. My question to these Union busters is this, Where is your compassion for the working people of this country? Without the working class Unions you would not have a nice big mansion to go home to. If a non-union company built your house, it might be falling apart right now.

This has not been a news story at all, it is questionable that anyone has thought of this or it is a major cover up. Mob ties to the Union are something that has been around since Al Capone, and it has not stopped. People have said the mob is dead; always remember just because you do not see something in front of you does not mean it does not exist. One can not say the Union is corrupt with out looking at the Politicians as well. Unions help people end of story. Legislators like to hurt the little guy every time; it is the same with major corporations. I would take working for the mob over a politician any day of the week. At least they will pay a decent wage. Politicians are trying to take collective bargaining rights away from the people. Any sane working class person should be against this, even if you believe public employees sometimes make more money then they should. Always remember these people earned their pay and their right to protest.