Yes it’s that vaunted new age of Obama, folks. You remember; the one where we were all going to walk into the sunset, hand-in-hand, being all nice to each other because politics had gotten “too divisive”? You know, that new tone that the Democrats insisted that the ascendancy of Obmaa meant for the country. Yeah, the one where Obama and his administration underlings simply lie outright about Republicans and where Democrat Congresscritters tell Tea Partiers that they can “go straight to hell.” Yeah… THAT new tone.
Let’s start with the always loquacious Maxine Waters. This queen of ignorance was pretending to act all bold and everything by saying she refused to be intimidated by the Tea Party movement. In her eloquent, lady-like manner she said, “This is a tough game. You can’t be intimidated. You can’t be frightened. And as far as I’m concerned, the ‘tea party’ can go straight to hell.”
Potty mouth Waters, of course, is as disingenuous as ever. If her extremist, left-wing, anti-American values party hadn’t used its left-wing wrecking ball enough during Obama’s residency thus far it’s because of their own failure, not that of “The Tea Party.”
After all, for most of Obama’s regime, he and his Euro-like party controlled the entire edifice of the federal government. Every branch and every office of the federal government was controlled by the far, far left. So that she’s whining now about the influence of those millions of Americans who have had enough of the Eurozone-lite that the Obama administration tried to force upon them is quite silly. But it is a snapshot of how desperate the far left is in this country. They feel it all slipping away.
The left expected to wander into Washington and destroy all aspects of Americanism and replace that with their paean to an updated Marxism writ large. But the far left has failed miserably to get its agenda ramrodded through. In fact, the far left’s main socialist policy, Obamacare, seemed to eat up all its power and political capital leaving little else for the rest of its anti-American, anti-capitalist agenda.
So, with all that failure — from the left’s point of view, anyway — there is only one solution: Start lying. And, to take up that black banner, comes Obama’s Sec. of Education Arne Duncan. In his zeal to attack a contender for Obama’s job, Duncan unleashed an entire panoply of lies against the education record of the State of Texas in order to make Texas Governor Rick Perry look bad.
Duncan disgorged all sorts of lies about Texas, and easily checked lies at that. Not very smart for the Sec. of Education, I’d say. But Rodger Jones of the Dallas Morning News took a few moments to correct Duncan/Obama’s lies this weekend just the same.
In one instance, Duncan claimed that there has been a “massive increase in class size” in Texas implying that Perry’s budget cuts was hurting Texas kid’s education. But this is simply a straight out lie. In fact, it is an easily checked fact that Texas has a class size of 22 students to one teacher mandated by law and that this has been a law in place during Perry’s entire stint in office! In fact, some class sizes in Texas went down during Perry’s tenure.
Then there is the lie that Texas student’s test scores during Perry’s tenure are worse than that of the rest of the country. This is also an easily checkable statistic and once looked into one finds that the claim is simply not true.
As Rodger Jones says, this is all obviously a political hatchet job.
Duncan should be ashamed for letting a political grudge interfere with the serious business of educating kids. He apparently can’t get over the fact that Perry didn’t want to play his Race to the Top game. OK, the governor was political there, too, but don’t smear the state of education in Texas in response. Ugh.
The head of the Texas Education Agency, Robert Scott, also fired off a letter to Sec. Duncan disabusing him of his lies.
Here is that letter:
I have read your recent comments criticizing Texas public education, and I am disappointed that you have never raised your concerns during any of our personal conversations. If you had, I may have been able to correct any misunderstanding you have about Texas public schools and the efforts of the 333,000 teachers and the 4.8 million students who have been striving to meet increasing standards and graduation requirements.
Your pity is misplaced and demeans the hard work that is taking place in schools across Texas. Texas students are doing very well and in many cases outperforming their national peers. Since you appear to be misinformed about the achievements of Texas educators and students I would ask that you consider the following information:
– In 2009, Texas ranked 7th in a 26 state comparison of the only states reporting four-year on-time graduation rates. That year Texas’ on-time graduation rate was 80.6%. The Texas on-time graduation rate for 2010 is now 84.3%, an amazing 3.7 percentage point increase in a single year on the dropout indicator that you are now requiring all states to report to the Department.
– Texas is ranked 13th in Ed Week’s Quality Counts report. Quality Counts gave Texas an “A” in “Standards, Assessment and Accountability,” and an “A” in “Transitions and Alignment” of the Texas system with college and career readiness. This year’s graduating class is the first to graduate under Texas’ required 4×4 graduation requirements (four years of math, science, English language arts and social studies) and we are already seeing great things from the class of 2011.
– The Texas class of 2011 posted a record-high math score on the ACT college entrance exam. The Texas average math score was 21.5 and was higher than the national average of 21.1. ACT scores from 2007 to 2011 showed increases in all four subjects.
– The 2009 NAEP Science results were impressive, as well. Texas’ African American eighth-grade students earned the highest score in the nation and our Hispanic eighth-grade students were eighth. Only eighth-grade students attending the Department of Defense schools scored higher than Texas’ white students who were tied with white students in Massachusetts. On the fourth-grade test, Texas’ African American students out-performed their peers in every state accept Virginia and those students attending Department of Defense Schools. Texas’ fourth-grade white students were ranked third behind only Virginia and Massachusetts.
– We are also a leader in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. Texas has established 59 STEM schools, 7 STEM professional development centers and is a leading state in creating a national STEM network of states that want to pursue STEM education reform. Texas’ STEM reform began in 2005, long before your administration decided to model this and other aspects of your reform agenda on the efforts that have been taking place in Texas for nearly a decade.
Finally, I’m not sure where you are getting your information regarding class sizes in Texas public schools. Texas is experiencing a four-year trend of class sizes getting smaller across the board in both elementary grades and in core subjects in high school. If you would like to see the actual data, I would be more than happy to provide it for you.
As you can see, Texas has a strong record, and I am proud of the accomplishments of Texas educators and students. It is clear that they have risen to the challenge of higher standards and expectations placed before them.
Rather than simply talking about education reform, Texas policy makers, educators and students have delivered. I look forward to seeing the student performance results of your efforts to centralize more control of public education in Washington, D.C.
Commissioner of Education
Sadly, neither Maxine Waters, Obama, nor Arne Duncan cares much about the truth. After all, they have a country to downgrade.