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Summary from 2006 initial budget documents:
The administration is requesting $56 billion for the Department of Education, a reduction of a half billion dollars, or 0.9 percent, from the current spending plan -- which would be the first cut in overall federal education spending in a decade.

The budget would eliminate the Perkins loan program, which provides low-interest loans to low- and middle-income college students. The budget also would end Perkins loan forgiveness for members of the armed services and Peace Corps volunteers. The budget would redirect those savings to increase spending on Pell Grants, which provide college grants to low-income students and raise the maximum award $100 to $4,150 -- the first of five annual Pell increases planned by the White House.

In all, 48 education programs would be terminated, including those providing college-readiness training to low-income high school students and federal vocational education initiatives that the White House said are not performing well or duplicate other federal efforts.

Some of the savings would be used to increase spending in several programs, including $1.5 billion to extend federal No Child Left Behind testing and accountability requirements into the nation's high schools. The federal Title I program for poor children would increase by 4.7 percent, or $603 million, to $13.3 billion, and funding for disabled students would increase $508 million to $11.1 billion.
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So they are "cutting" the budget for the department by 0.9%.  Cutting in Washington means "cutting from what I thought I was going to get", rather than cutting from a base spending level.  And this is an initial document that starts the process off for the 2006 budget--not the final document.  I just don't have the time, but hasn't the real increase year to year for Dept of Education been pretty big increases--I mean real year to year increases.

I think we'd better wait and see what happens, unless of course you're in the government and need to fight for the head start program.

However, my overall impression is that our educational results in the country have been degrading over the last 20 years.  This may be a time to look at new and innovative solutions, rather than just throwing good money after bad, into systems that are entrenched teaching beaurocracies.  I'd like to see some new experimental schooling programs, analyze the results of some pilots, and maybe make some changes based on the results.  It seems to me that the Bush/Kennedy program of at least trying to hold schools accountable for their results seems logical, under the circumstances.  But i'm no expert in this area.  You mention "but when the results come in and implementation does not change", and specifically talk about education.  Yet the government is trying to change education--throwing more money at it over the last 5 years, and recommending accountability and new approaches.  Seems like this should fit with your thinking--ie. they're doing the right thing, reacting to systems that are failing and changing them.

by wchurchill on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 04:26:51 AM EST
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entrenched teaching beaurocracies.

  1.  The producers, i.e. the teachers, not the consumers, i.e. the students and their parents, determine the result/outcome.  The customers are not the final arbiter, like they are in other industries (electronics, shoes, food, banking, real estate, etc.)  So you have a perfect socialist model doomed for failure.  

  2. The bureaucrats (teachers in this instance) get paid their salary and have a life-time employment, whether the students learn to read or write.  There is no incentive to produce better product/service, i.e. educated children, because your job or your income does not depend on your work result.

(You can fire a teacher only if the teacher murders or rapes a student.  Another socialist paradise).

  1.  Homeschoolers have higher academic achievements than private school students, who in turn, do much better than socialist school students.  

  2.  
Public schools no place for teachers' kids
In Washington (28 percent), Baltimore (35 percent) and 16 other major cities, the figure is more than 1 in 4. In some cities, nearly half of the children of public school teachers have abandoned public schools
by ilg37c on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 08:02:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(You can fire a teacher only if the teacher murders or rapes a student.  Another socialist paradise).

You just can't help it, can you?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 08:44:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
maybe it's a kind of ideological Tourettism?

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...
by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 05:08:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(1)  I challenge you to provide any evidence where a teacher in a socialist school has been fired, because he/she is incompetent!

(2)  I taught in a state-owned school, deep in the ghetto.  No incompetent teacher was ever fired.  The teachers union was so powerful and the teachers had tenure, that even if the teacher turned on the TV or showed a video every day or let the kids do whatever they want, the teacher still kept the job.

by ilg37c on Tue Oct 18th, 2005 at 12:10:01 AM EST
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I taught in the friggin' University of California. Tenures professors generally didn't give a shit about teaching. I agree it is next to impossible get a bad professor fired. But... the junior faculty, hired lecturers and teaching assistants live under the dictatorship of student evaluations, and pressure from the department itself to make the department look good. This means, the only criterion of quality is "did everyone get an A?". The students can actually get rid of the weaker and younger (hence usually more dedicated and idealistic) among their teachers just because they were held to a standard for the first time in their lives.

So, it's screwed up all around, but again, it's not a matter of socialism, it's a matter of pecking order. And young, non-cynical teachers are at the bottom of the pecking order, just below the school dropout.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 18th, 2005 at 04:21:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  2. The bureaucrats (teachers in this instance) get paid their salary and have a life-time employment, whether the students learn to read or write.  There is no incentive to produce better product/service, i.e. educated children, because your job or your income does not depend on your work result.

(You can fire a teacher only if the teacher murders or rapes a student.  Another socialist paradise).

You see, in settings where the teacher can be fired for student discontent or poor results, nobody other than the teacher cares whether the students actually learn something, only the grades (from the students' point of view) and the standarized test results (from the school's/parents' point of view). So the quality of education steadily deteriorates and teachers steadily become more cynical. A teacher trying to hold his/her students to standards (even fair standards taking into account the course content and allowing for the prerequisites that many students don't have) is asking for a world of trouble.

By the way, private schools do well because they are able to throw out or refuse admission to students with academic or discipline problems. The "socialist schools" are forced to work with every student. So the student pools are not comparable at all, not even after correcting for income differences.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 08:57:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No Child Left Behind is part of the problem:  A program better designed to undermine public education would be hard to design.  So cutting funding from programs that work to fund NCLB is an example of two cuts for the price of one.  

Cute titles don't matter, what the program does is what matters.  NCLB is a perfect example of when you should infer intentions from effects.  

I am beginning to suspect you are toying with me.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Fri Oct 14th, 2005 at 12:44:05 AM EST
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