SOTU - Science and Education

Wednesday, February 01, 2006
The full text of the SOTU can be found here.

Following is an excerpt dealing with science and education:

And to keep America competitive, one commitment is necessary above all: We must continue to lead the world in human talent and creativity. Our greatest advantage in the world has always been our educated, hardworking, ambitious people -- and we're going to keep that edge. Tonight I announce an American Competitiveness Initiative, to encourage innovation throughout our economy, and to give our nation's children a firm grounding in math and science. (Applause.)

First, I propose to double the federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences over the next 10 years. This funding will support the work of America's most creative minds as they explore promising areas such as nanotechnology, supercomputing, and alternative energy sources.

Second, I propose to make permanent the research and development tax credit -- (applause) -- to encourage bolder private-sector initiatives in technology. With more research in both the public and private sectors, we will improve our quality of life -- and ensure that America will lead the world in opportunity and innovation for decades to come. (Applause.)

Third, we need to encourage children to take more math and science, and to make sure those courses are rigorous enough to compete with other nations. We've made a good start in the early grades with the No Child Left Behind Act, which is raising standards and lifting test scores across our country. Tonight I propose to train 70,000 high school teachers to lead advanced-placement courses in math and science, bring 30,000 math and science professionals to teach in classrooms, and give early help to students who struggle with math, so they have a better chance at good, high-wage jobs. If we ensure that America's children succeed in life, they will ensure that America succeeds in the world.


I have some questions concerning the identification of a "problem" and the application of reources to "fix" it.

First, I believe in basic (or pure) research and I understand that an investment by the government in this area may have very positive payoffs. Doubling that investment over ten years implies an annual growth rate of 8%. It doesn't sound like a huge number but I don't see any way that such an increase can be spent in a manner likely to actually double 'results' over ten years. The 'new' scientists available to actually conduct the experiments are already in the leaky educational pipeline - which as the the second portion of the selection notes is leaking badly and in need of replacement - not repair. Increasing the flow while saying that you're going to repair leaks (maybe) over time does not seem to be a particularly rational approach.

The second item is the actual focus of the exercise - making the R & D tax credit permanent. This will be described as a "corporate giveaway" and can be logically construed as such. I don't disapprove of the tax credit because it's one of the few that actually directly achieve the intended purpose in that more research and development actually occurs because of it. A tax credit (rather than a deduction) creates a 50-cent dollar rather than a .70 or .80 cent (maybe) dollar. If the credit is permanent then long term planning comes more strongly into play and permanent programs are strengthened.

The third item is going to meet heavy resistance from the NEA because it enters into the realm of their greatest fear and greatest weakness - measurable outcomes.

I've been thinking about what's going on in public education for a bit. I've been involved in budget and facility planning for an expansion of a pre-school into a primary school for about two years (with a huge milestone passed Sunday last) and I have a fair idea about what actual costs are involved in running a private school. Gaining that knowledge has not improved my perception of public schools one whit.

Recently, Knuck did a pointer piece that led me over to Kitchen Table Math where Carolyn and Catherine are exploring the 'rubber meets the road' aspects of math instruction at the (for the moment) early middle school level. They both have PhD's with Carolyn's field being mathematics. Recently Catherine has been writing about what she perceives as a disparity of treatment and results between boys and girls in education. The subject interested me so I went fishing in a couple of excellent data pools but to no avail. The only definitive statistics in support of Catherine's position are provided in the differences in starting salaries offered to men and women with like grade averages in identical disciplines. Men get the edge but "Why" would be open to dispute. I lean toward efficiency of the market in its valuation of talent but I might be wrong.

All the foregoing leads to a hypothesis that I've developed that is in need of evidentiary support. The hypothesis is that the reduction in meaningful discipline (meaningful = discipline that has a lasting effect) within the classroom and schools has led the educracy to the point where docility is over rewarded in an effort to make life bearable for teachers and administrators. Concurrently, while little Festus is being punished through a grading system, he is also not learning due to his behavior not being corrected. He's suffering a lot more from the C grade that keeps him from advancement than he is from the temporary pain he would feel if his knuckles had been rapped sharply a few times. The only real evidence I can find for this is the number of boys applying to college. That number started dropping in '01 and the drop off continues. The class of '01 entered the educracy in '87-'88 - just about the time when actual discipline had been pretty thoroughly weeded from the classroom.

I would be very interested in thoughts concerning this hypothesis. I don't regard it as being the result of any 'plan' by educrats. One reason being that I am unconvinced that educrats have an actual grasp of cause and effect on a level beyond the most superficial to begin with.

The President isn't going to have much luck in getting math whizzes to teach undisciplined mobs of kids and the idea of elevating 70K teachers to the competency in math required to teach at the AP level is risible on its face. Math competency is a card that is not in their hands and wishing it so won't put it there.

27 comments:

Knucklehead said...

Rick,

I think you are way off in your estimate of '01 as the time when discipline was largely finished as an option in our public schools. My two daughters are well into college now, attended what are generally regarded as quality public schools, and discipline was pretty much outlawed back when they started.

One of the large advantages private school have is the door. For a private school the door can swing in both directions. Meet behavioral criteria or leave.

This can also be accomplished for public schools but only if they are the magnet or charter type of public school. The issue with making the door an educational tool is there must be (legally) another door that opens to let the behavioral problem enter when the other door closes behind them.

Part of what the behavioral issue delivers unto us is VERY insidious. In far too many of our public schools there is not only no reward for excellence on the part of students but there is a strong aura of stigma attached to excellence. Student excellence is most decidedly not kewl and our schools allow it to be so.

There are things the educrats could do to change this and some, of course, fight the good fight. But it is a no win proposition. How to rectify this by methods other than being more "rah-rah" towards educational achievement is very problematic.

I will, however, toss out one idea that is sure to get me hammered (it always does). Remove athletic teams from the public schools - no more sports teams. The loss can easily be filled by club and recreational programs.

How would that help anything? Well, for starters it would eliminate the single biggest area of public school recognition of excellence. I a stroke we'd stop making heroes of school athletes and create a void for recognition of excellence that could be filled by recognizing academic achievement.

Next, have the public education system have an "advanced" level throughout the entire primary and secondary systems. I'd place the percentile at 20 for starters, maybe even 25. Demonstrate 25th percentile achievement and the door is open to you. Fail to maintain the standards necessary and the door opens back the other way. Let those who can and will escape the effects of those who can't or won't.

Jefferson was a big proponent of publicly funded education. His early ideas on this were based on "the tens". Every child got educated at public expense to a certain level (I forget if he thought that should be 3 or 4 or 5 years). At the end of that the top 10% of the class went on to the secondary level of publicly funded education and the same for "higher education".

This would, obviously, be both insufficient for our modern needs and far too draconian to gain public support, but some toned down variation of it might help.

But nothing will help much without fixing the educratic system. Far too much emphasis is placed upon theories of how to teach and not enough on subject matter. On the one hand virtually anyone should be able to take a the course materials and teach freakin' 'rithmetic through 5th or 6th grade.

I've blathered on. Sorry. The matter of public education is a big problem IMO. We do not sufficiently encourage excellence and we are not even remotely anywhere near demanding it.

I think this is because we have converted our public schools from places where we expected to send our children to be educated in the necessary basics. Instead too many of us view our public schools as where we send our children to be socialized. Education is only part of the journey toward socialization. Leave the socialization to be worked out outside of schools and return schools to places where education is done. We are demanding the wrong thing from our schools.

David Thomson said...

“In far too many of our public schools there is not only no reward for excellence on the part of students but there is a strong aura of stigma attached to excellence.”

This is the inevitable result of doctrinal egalitarianism. If we are all suppose to be equal---then those above the norm must be damaged. I hate to admit this, for instance, but Shaq O’Neal would kick the crap out of me on a basketball court. What can be done to to alleviate my plight? Society could spend billions of dollars to turn me into a bionic man, but not much would be accomplished. A swinging baseball bat, however, directed at O’Neal’s kneecaps should sufficient resolve the matter. Or, we could guilt trip the basketball superstar into letting me score on him.

Knucklehead said...

Here's an OUCH! moment deliverd by John Stossel at RCP>

Rick Ballard said...

Knuck,

Sorry for the lack of clarity wrt the class of '01. My point was that they entered the educracy as kindergartners in '87-'88 - when the transition from a disciplined classroom to what we have today that began in the mid-late '60s was actually complete. The class of '01 is actually 'first fruit' of the maturing system. Rather adequate proof of the true value of "theoretical" educational and (societal) theory concerning the potential damage to children caused by 'traumatic' disciplinary methods.

I agree with you on school team sports as long as the PE program is retained. PE - especially early morning PE that resembles PT in nature is an excellent way to burn off little Festus and Festucina's natural excess physical energy and let them settle down to study and hopefully learn.

Knucklehead said...

DT,

It really is almost that bad. And it is the educational establishment and parents who fight against changing it. Lil' Johnny should not be embarrassed by the existence of achievement higher than he is able or willing to reach. And kids being very adept at sensing this sort of thing, they jump right on the bandwagon.

When I mention the following the standard response seems to be that I am bitter about. That is not the case. It ultimately cost my daughters nothing because they were among the few who would not let such things bother them for long. Readers, such as we have, will have to take my word for it - the following does not come from bitterness.

I sat through the vast majority of the varous awards ceremonies that out on by the schools my kids attended. Years of them. I have sat hour upon hour while some way was found to make some award or other to the virtually the entire student population. Perfect attendence awards out the whazzoo. President's Physical fitness awards for the most amazing things from situps to hanging from a bar. To keep things lively during the show, shows. Song and dance routines.

Not that these weren't cute and entertaining. During almost every single one of these events, if one paid attention or had a child on the list to be visited, there would be a small cadre of faculty wandering throughout the audience finding certain students or parents and whispering to them. These were the math and science type awards being "handed out". There was never time on the crowded program to call those kids up to the stage.

Does this stop those who insist on achieving from doing so? Of course not. But like most of these sorts of things what it does is pick at the margins. For two or three years kids compete in the math contests and such, then they refuse to bother.

Do twenty-five situps in a minute, or never miss class, or hang from a pipe for 90 seconds and the principle will call you on stage and everyone will cheer you and mom and dad will have some video for the collection. Win, place, or show in the math contest or the spelling bee or some other academic challenge and someone will sneak up to you, whisper, and hand you a piece of paper or, worse yet, give it to you tomorrow if you drop by the office.

I figured this was a problem peculiar to my school system so I'd periodically mention it to parents with kids in other school systems and, other than the private schools, it seems to be the norm.

There's a problem there.

Knucklehead said...

How many people would have some idea of which kids made all conference or all county or all state or whatever for the major school sports activities near them. One can easily monitor the local paper for such things - easily.

How many people even know the Congressional Award exists let alone what local yutes mighta got one?

MeaninglessHotAir said...

David,

One aspect of humanity I have noticed is that, while people generally have no problem admitting that someone else can run faster or jump higher than they can, they will resist mightily the idea that someone else is smarter than they are. This is so deeply embedded and so ubiquitous that I believe it must be a survival characteristic. That makes it very hard to give out math and science awards, etc. That might make the other kids feel bad.

In any case, I would hate for our country to become like Europe, with intelligence tests at age 12 to determine your future from then on out. I very much like the fact that our country is the Land of Second Chances, and that people can always succeed given enough motivation, no matter where they started in the talent pool.

Knucklehead said...

MHA,

...they will resist mightily the idea that someone else is smarter than they are.

The running faster or jumping higher stuff is demonstrable and repeatable.

The smarter stuff is more difficult. The kids know full well who can ace the math or chem test and who can't. So immediately the excuses come out: not good at math, or better things to do than study, or no desire to be a chemist or whatever. Parents often encourage this. Cs in math are just fine 'cause, well, they weren't good in math and they're plenty smart enough to make a living.

On the one hand that is true but on the other it doesn't help us develop the engineers and scientists and doctors and such that we all know we need. We just assume those are natural callings to the priesthood or whatever.

But we don't do anything to encourage and support a generalized competiveness of intellect at any young age. Kids are forever comparing themselves. Well, Jimmy can jump higher but I can run faster or farther or lift heavier stuff or whatever. We accept the demonstrable as fact. If we spent some effort encouraging the demonstrable measures of intellect perhaps we could bring some form of yuteful honor to kids comparing themselves along the lines of, well, Jimmy's smarter at math than I am but I kick his butt at chemistry or spelling or poetry or whatever.

Re: the second chance stuff... That's all well and good and we shouldn't remove this from our society but we are pushing far too many kids into needing the second chance because we don't do much to encourage them to make a whole lot of the first one.

CF said...

Rick, How can we up the math abilities of the kids with ed school grads? I don't see it. They can't even manage budgets.

Now, a diabolical evil capitalist would some up with Math for Shoppers and Math War game videos and sell them for big bucks.

You know, you have X bucks to buy your wardrobe for the next school year and to have a homecoming party..etc

And the marauders of Planet Zongo are approaching. Your computer screen is down. To kill them and go to the next level---

Just a thought. Have your girl call my girl.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

cf,

How to fix math education? That's a topic near and dear to my heart. I've won teaching awards at colleges across the country. But the sad fact is that ultimately you really need to teach yourself. If you don't have the oomph to study, you won't really learn. Learning math is to a great extent like learning to play the piano: you have to sit down and do it to learn it. Playing a video game about playing the piano isn't the same as playing the piano.

So it comes down to motivation, which means it's a sales job. Why would someone "buy into" doing their math homework? They have to have an incentive. A big part of the problem we have is that there is no incentive for our high school students. They can goof off endlessly, never open a math book (I never did) and there are no consequences.

While a good teacher can't help a bad student, a bad teacher can ruin a good student. My son is presently in high school physics in Salt Lake. He has a bad teacher (who can't solve the problems himself) and a bad textbook. That's a really bad combination. He is interested in physics, likes the concepts, and is willing to work and do his homework, but he's rapidly losing interest because when he gets stuck he can't get any help and the book is unreadable.

Unreadable books which don't teach is a huge part of the problem. If you read KTM you discover that there's a huge movement afoot to get rid of math within the math curriculum and replace it with English. I guess this is because so many students who were good at English have been made to feel bad in math. Instead of doing math, they now have the students come in and write about "their favorite number". When I see this, I realize this country is going down the tubes.

How's your Mandarin?

Knucklehead said...

cf,

Rick mentioned, and provided the link for, Kitchen Table Math. Catherine Johnson was one of the founders there and, from what little I know of her, probably the tornado like force that created the place.

She was the first to admit that in order to teach her son math (because the school clearly wasn't doing it) she was going to have to learn math. Like so many of us she managed to escape doing so to that point. To accomplish that she had to figure out the best methods for learning it and the best methods for teaching it.

It has been very instructive to check in on that process over time. Along the way they've had many interesting discussions of not only capabilities, and mathematics, and methodology but also how family and expectations play into learning.

We have to fix not only the problem of subject matter expertise but also the problem of bogus teaching methodologies. We also have to fix our expectations and demands. Failure is an option but it is a very expensive one. We are not going to get any improvement until we expect and demand improvements.

Rick Ballard said...

"That's all well and good and we shouldn't remove this from our society but we are pushing far too many kids into needing the second chance because we don't do much to encourage them to make a whole lot of the first one."

Lots of them can't make much of the first one because they don't have base skills on "good choice" vs "bad choice" inculcated at home prior to entry. I have a good deal of sympathy with the educrats on this one. If little Festus arrives in kindergarten with his mind full of encouraging mush that's based upon his parents having "reasoned" with him to "enable him to make rational decisions on his own" - at the age of 5 - then his teachers face a Sisyphean task that is further complicated by the fact that the same parents without parenting skills who "reason" with 5 year olds would have a heart attack if little Festus took a rap on the knuckles in 2nd grade to get his mind back on the subject.

So lil Festus gets a second chance (good) and a third chance (less good) and a fourth chance (bad) and becomes a ball that his classmates have to drag around on a chain for 12 years. And when lil Festus emerges from the sanitarium with his certificate of completion in his hand he finds that the market doesn't value the certificate as it once did - because too many duds like Festus are clutching them in undisciplined hands. And when Festus does get hired he finds that bosses might give second chances but they don't give third chances. Perhaps he notices - or perhaps, at that point, his time is spent "reasoning" with a 5 year old of his own while he takes another cash advance on the credit card that he hopes will carry him through to another job.

Clarice,

I haven't examined curricula to an extent that makes criticism a worthwhile endeavor but what I've seen is not at all impressive.

Of course, I still shudder thinking about the fifth grade "If a train leaves LA at 10AM going 50 miles an hour and another leaves NY traveling at the same speed, what time is it in El Paso?" didn't really help me much in getting excited about math.

You're absolutely correct about the educracy - the "Math is hard" slogan was developed with them in mind.

CF said...

I don't know where to begin on this topic.
Teacher education--there should be no bachelor's degrees in education.Teachers whould have degrees in real subjects and then learn teaching skills,

Accreditation is a ed school bonanza--everywhere stupid requirements which only can be met by taking mind boggling courses at local colleges sharply reduces the already small pool of capable teachers. In D.C. you cannot teach calculus withoug having passed a local course in remedial reading.

Textbooks, years ago Ms Tuchman had a series in the New Yorker about the appalling way history textbooks (and other soc studies books were written). They are intended to satisfy a braod swath of school systems and therefore have become idiotic, unconnected trips.

Ditto with science books--where hundreds of glaring errors escape attention because the committees which pass on them never even read them.

Getting more math and science teachers--Years ago when we were trying to figure out what to do with all those suddenly unemployed Soviet scientists, I proposed they be brought here on special visas to prepare teachers for teaching math and science--they do it well as do the Israelis and Chinese.
When my son was in private school, he went to one which used texts fromm around the world. I want you to know that the early math books from Barcelona and Buenos Aires, teach algebraic and geometry concepts with elementary math at the earliest ages without the kids even realizing it. And every concept is taught by several different methods (visual/word/ etc) so that no matter how a child learns he can get the concept.

Next time you're abroad--or if you have friends abroad--try to get your hands on some of those books to see what I mean.Maybe there's money in getting permission to reprint and translating them.

Knucklehead said...

Rick,

There's absolutely no doubt of this:

Lots of them can't make much of the first one because they don't have base skills on "good choice" vs "bad choice" inculcated at home prior to entry. I have a good deal of sympathy with the educrats on this one.

I also have sympathy with the educrats here. A huge part of the reason the Math Is Hard constituency is growing by such large leaps and bounds is because so many parents are abject fools.

It doesn't help to try and scoop the mush of little Festus' head and fill it with something more concrete if Mom and Dad prefer mush.

But the schools are doing their fair share of mush pumping. Yes, parents are a huge part of the problem but nobody is telling them, "Heh, we're gonna push your brat. If you don't support that fine, that's your decision, and we'll let him suck on the mush pump if that's what you want, but don't come here whining about that he isn't in the rigorous program. The kids who can handle the rigor are there and if you're little Festus should so much as look at one of them cross-eyed we're stuffing his sorry little ass into the rubber coated classroom. Thanks for your time, have a nice life."

I've seen the struggle to get rigorous education for those willing and able and talked to the folks trying to get it done. There are educrats on the right side of this but the one's I've talked to tell me that it is their fellow educrats who toss the most obstacles into their path.

Not only are some of the educrats bound and determined to pump mush but they are equally bound and determined to make sure nobody escapes the mush pump. It is frightenng to behold. They do not want kids to escape because they need the ones whose heads can't be filled with mush to bulk up their average numbers. They are willfully using the achievers to try and hide the mush.

It is disgraceful. They believe they own our children.

You brought back a fond (only in retrospect) memory. My mom physically delivered me to my first grade teacher on the first day of school. When I say physically I mean by the ear. I expected to ride the bus to school but Mom had dad drives us down. As we approached the building she grabbed hold of my ear, figured out which teacher was mine, and handed me to her with instructions that if I caused her any trouble to deal with me as she saw fit and then call her so she could torture my sorry butt when I got home. No kidding.

I don't know that it made any huge difference to my education but I do know that it made it perfectly clear to me that I wasn't going to get away with any blame the teacher nonsense. But back then teachers weren't mired in mush. You learned arithmetic by doing it. What had to be memorized you memorized. Phonics wasn't something taught by a private company to recover kids who can't read - that's how everyone learned to read. And if you couldn't read worth diddley you were danged embarassed when your turn to read aloud came. For some of us it was nothing more than not wanting to sound like that dope Billy that pushed us to learn to read until the love of reading could take hold.

We were embarassed, rather than Kewl and Coddled, if we didn't learn. As is amply demonstrated by... well, never mind who, there is apparently no embarassment associated with being a dope anymore.

Knucklehead said...

BTW, my wife was very fond of asking the kids, when they came home from school, "Well, did you learn anything today or did they just store you for the day?" The girls would always give her a perfectly straight answer. Sometimes they'd talk about what they learned and sometimes they just describe the warehouse.

terrye said...

Sometimes I wonder if schools were consolidated to improve education or get better basketball teams...whatever the reason it is near impossible to put thousands of teenagers in a building and hope to maintain discipline. Especially when the parents refuse to allow anyone to give little Johnny a bad time.

I have friends who sent their kids to a Christian school. I thought it was a mistake. I thought the teachers were not well educated enough, the curriculum was not broad enough...and I was wrong. Those kids did not only keep up, they are ahead.

A couple of years ago someone sent me an 8th grade test from about 1900. I was shocked. It was hard. Really... the math was tough and the student was also tested on English grammar and geography. If I can find that I will post it.

But after seeing that I realized that those teachers might not have been PhD's and the resources were limited, but the students were really challenged.

I am not good at math. I blame it on my poor father who is not here to defend himself.

He used to lean over my shoulder when I was doing my homework and yell at me. I loved him dearly, but he was a math tyrant. To this day I fell like I am going to break out in hives when I have to do long division.

Knucklehead said...

Oh, BTW, Rick, I apologize for misreading your post re: '01 the first time around. I should have realized you couldn't be off by nearly 20 years.

Rick Ballard said...

Knuck - S'OK - Lots of tims I don rit two gud so I nevir tak a fence wen sum1 doesn't cathc whatever I thought my point was supposed to be.

Terrye,

The Christian pre-school that I'm involved with interviews parents prior to allowing a child to enroll. If the parent doesn't 'measure up' the kid never darkens the door - something unthinkable in public schools. Qualification for scholarships (to pre-school) is also determined by parent's attitude as well as need. 'Course they're not told that.

We have had applications on file from licensed public school teachers wanting to leave the public school system since the expansion project was first mentioned two years ago. In fact, we have at least eight apps for four slots plus an app from a public school principal who desperately wants out. We will offer about 80% of the public school salary and no benefits (our hires are all from dual income families with coverage provided by the spouse).

Think that one through for a bit to get a full understanding of what a totally screwed up system the educrats ( and doofus parents) have created.

I have sympathy with you on the math bit - I managed to arrive in the 7th grade with good fundamentals but in the year that pre-algebra was first taught using "New Math" techniques. The teacher stumbled and I fell and didn't regain my feet until my junior year in college. I'm still pissed about that because I really like math and statistics.

Buddy Larsen said...

Google News has this Forbes article pointed out--good details on the SOTU outline:

(Malcolm Forbes: "If you don't know what you want to do, you can't do it."

Knucklehead said...

Fortunately for my daughters my wife is a tyrrant who accepts no backtalk. The girls would come home with some whacky way to do simple 'ritmatic and she'd say, "They want you to do it how? Well that's just stoopid. Here, do it this way. Much easier."

For years I'd come home from work and get a math problem shoved in my face, "Here! Do this problem."

So I'd do it.

"There, see! I told you! My method is so much easier even your father can do it!"

So the girls would do it Mom's way and, apparently, the teachers, who had met her on welcome back to school day, knew better than to mess with her.

chuck said...

A couple of years ago someone sent me an 8th grade test from about 1900. I was shocked. It was hard.

Old textbooks aren't bad, either. We could do worse than throwing out the current batch and using the old ones. In some subjects it would be no loss at all -- arithmetic, reading, and chemistry come to mind. On the other hand, history and geography would need an update.

To this day I fell like I am going to break out in hives when I have to do long division.

I knew a fellow from Afghanistan who said his dad would threaten to kill him for low grades -- and that it was a credible threat. He could hardly study for nerves until he got to the US. There is discipline and then there is abject terror.

Knucklehead said...

Just saw this laugher on Drudge by way of Best of the Web.

Sen. John Kerry claimed this morning on NBC TODAY that 53% of America's children do not graduate from high school -- a claim that raised eyebrows in the NBC control room, sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT...

Kerry's 53% claim conflicts with a recent press release from the U.S. Census Bureau: "High School Graduation Rates Reach All-Time High"

And the Census Bureau's own website states: 85.9 Percent Of Americans Aged 20-24 Are High School Graduates. (U.S. Census Bureau Website, www.census.gov , Accessed 2/1/06)
.

Whether or not the Bush Administration's attempts to improve the quality of our schools will prove to be useful or yet another failure, at least his isn't as stupidly ill-informed as the Junior Joke from Mass. What a spud.

And, BTW, Senator Kerry-Heinz, you might wanna oughta have a chat with some of the folks in your state gubmint about after school programs. Idunno about your assbackwards state, Senator, but mine seems to have figured out how to pull it off.

Buddy Larsen said...

That guy is a piece of work, idn't he. His behavior is almost forgivible on grounds of dullardness.

Buddy Larsen said...

'forgivable'. The grounds of dullardness are vasty.

Knucklehead said...

Buddy,

Imagine being one of his staff? How many times a week do you think their faces fall and their shoulders slump and they start looking at one another and asking, "What did he just say?!? Where did he get that?!? Did you give him that?!?"

"Comeon, dude, I'm not stupid. Why would I tell him something that stupid? He makes this shit up! I keep telling you guys he just. makes. up. stupid. shit. And then he'll come in here and hammer at us for not telling him that way more than 53% of Americans graduate from HS. Like we're supposed to know that he's gonna get a twig up his ass about how many people graduate HS and just go off and make up some stupid shit. I gotta find another job."

"Yeah, me too."

"I ain't going back to delivering pizzas. No way."

Buddy Larsen said...

Har! Don't we wish that was 'parody'? (*sob*)

Buddy Larsen said...

remember during the campaign all those pics of him riding a bike?