Skip to comments.Obama camp hits Romney over class size
Posted on 05/27/2012 5:30:03 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
The Obama campaign blasted presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney Friday for his comments on a visit to an inner-city school that smaller class sizes are not a guarantee of a good education.
Im not sure what universe hes operating in, said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, speaking to reporters on behalf of the presidents reelection campaign. Its clear that Mitt Romney is out of touch with reality.
Mr. Romney visited a charter school in west Philadelphia Thursday and, during a roundtable discussion with teachers, noted that a McKinsey Global Institute study found that class size was not a factor when comparing U.S. student performance with high-achieving countries such as Singapore, South Korea and Finland.
In schools that are the highest-performing in the world, their classroom sizes are about the same as in the United States, Mr. Romney said. So its not the classroom size thats driving the success of those school systems.
The former Massachusetts governor emphasized his belief that parental involvement in two-parent households, coupled with great teachers and administrators, is more important to student achievement than class size.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Of course, a good education requires kids who actually want to learn. And parents who actually care. But no politician will ever go there.
He's right. This week, the Department of Education released the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress, which found that only 12% of high-school seniors have a firm grasp of our nation's history. And consider: Just 2% of those students understand the significance of Brown v. Board of Education.
Mr. McCullough began worrying about the history gap some 20 years ago, when a college sophomore approached him after an appearance at "a very good university in the Midwest." She thanked him for coming and admitted, "Until I heard your talk this morning, I never realized the original 13 colonies were all on the East Coast." Remembering the incident, Mr. McCullough's snow-white eyebrows curl in pain. "I thought, 'What have we been doing so wrong that this obviously bright young woman could get this far and not know that?'
......."History is a source of strength," he says. "It sets higher standards for all of us." But helping to ensure that the next generation measures up, he says, will be a daunting task.
One problem is personnel. "People who come out of college with a degree in education and not a degree in a subject are severely handicapped in their capacity to teach effectively," Mr. McCullough argues. "Because they're often assigned to teach subjects about which they know little or nothing." The great teachers love what they're teaching, he says, and "you can't love something you don't know anymore than you can love someone you don't know."
Another problem is method. "History is often taught in categorieswomen's history, African American history, environmental historyso that many of the students have no sense of chronology. They have no idea what followed what."........
Shocking details of Atlanta cheating scandal
The results confirmed the suspicions and then some: The report said that cheating on 2009 standardized tests in Atlanta Public Schools was widespread and didnt start that year, significant and clear warnings were ignored by top administrators, an environment of fear and intimidation ruled the system, and thousands of students were harmed. The cheating resulted primarily from pressure to meet targets in the data-driven system, it said.
Obamas Budget Kills DCs Successful School Voucher Program, Increases Subsidy on a Car No One Wants to Buy
You trust Never Educate Anyone ( NEA) or Democrats?
Some argue that these changes are benign. Many children who in the past would have had two married parents could have two cohabiting parents instead. Why should the lack of a legal or religious tie affect anyones well-being?
There are three reasons to be concerned about this dramatic shift in family life.".......
Exactly. Case in point would be Trayvon. If he'd wanted to learn, he wouldn't have been skipping school, been on suspension, at his pretty much absent parent's girlfriend's, out scoring some iced tea and skittles in the rain when he was supposed to have been grounded, bashing a guy's head into the sidewalk and ending up six feet under.
Of course, a good education requires kids who actually want to learn. And parents who actually care. But no politician will ever go there.
You are so right about that. And it helps if the teacher knows how to stimulate them to learn, keeps their interest and encourages them. It is a team effort.
That about sums up a great "please 'em all, say nothing" answer.
Smaller class size correlates with *lower* student performance in most studies. Obviously, this is not a cause-effect relationship. Rather, smaller class size is a marker for a system that prioritizes everything *except* teacher competence, student discipline, and administrative accountability.
Public education should stop at the sixth grade. Graduates should know how to read, speak, and write English, they should know arithmetic inside out, and they should know true American history.
Beyond that, private school, pay as you go.
Wow, I actually agree with Mitty!
I attended a Roman Catholic Parish school for First Grade. We had nearly fifty children in that class. The nun who taught our class was a lovely young woman and would tolerate no nonsense.
Class size has nothing to do with how well children learn.
My nephew attended a Roman Catholic Parish school where the teachers were all civilians and classes never exceeded thirty-two children.
I had to teach him to read phonetically. I had to teach him math. By the 6th grade he had failing grades. I took him out of the school and home taught him.
Within 28 months he was reading, writing, comprehending and doing math on a college entrance level. Turns out he has an IQ of 167. Some children should never be in an institution of learning. In our case, his mind was too busy and he learned better and quicker when alone.
Of course he was right and still is. He is remembered for that statement and held in derision for it, by leftists everywhere. That and the fact that he misspelled "potato".
Compare a simple misspelling, to Biden and his utter ignorance about anything and everything and yet Biden is held in high esteem by the left as a, "great statesman. Sickening isn't it?
Remember the GREAT SHAPE Chicago schools were in when Obama left Illinois? Man, those were stellar examples of public education.
I attended a Catholic elementary school in the ‘50’s. Every year from 1st to 8th grade there were 50 students in my classes. I have no patience for this whining about class size.
Obama SHOULD fire back at Romney—after all, what’s the class size in the public schools the Obama daughters attend!?
Wait, never mind...
Someone today who would be targeted as ADD with suggested drug intervention to make him acceptable for the classroom.
1) Students who have an interest and aptitude in learning.
2) Parents who help kids learn.
3) Good teachers.
(distant 4th): class size.
Smaller class size = more unionized teachers = more campaign cash for Democrats
“Reduction of class size has one major effect - a need for more classrooms and therefore more teachers who are union members.”
That’s right; as people here in NJ are demonstrating, if you have a million excuses why public schools don’t work then let’s just keep the non-functioning system as cheap as possible for those who pay the bill.
A lot of non-tenured teachers in NJ were laid off due to Governor Christie’s property tax cap, and they won’t be replaced for a long time due to their tenured comrades’ refusal to grant concessions. A lot of cops and firemen were cut loose as well (weaker unions).
The non-effect of class size as a variable for educational success is a well-documented FACT, attested to by many studies. The is in the exact same class as the Democrats castigating Reagan for saying that trees contribute to smog (which they do).
1. Mitt is pushing a two parent houshold. Even if the parents aren't in the same house, two parents not arguing and putting the student in the middle would be nice for a change!
2. Great teachers: Because of the unions, it's impossible to weed out the lazy teachers. The kids are (and going back to the parents, the kids whose parents aren't involved in school at all are the kids that end up with these teachers)
3. Prental involvement: Kids cannot learn everything during school hours. The student that has the support of one or more parents in completing homework or projects furthers the chance of that student's better understanding of the subject matter.
I thought Mitt actually summed it up nicely in much fewer words than I could have. JMO
A bad teacher cannot teach 2 kids much less 20.
In my public school, 40 some-odd years ago, we had between 35 and 40 kids in my elementary school classes. Our teachers handled them quite nicely. Sometime after that, these 35 to 40 kids who were assigned to a classroom became too difficult to handle for one teacher.
Logic tells me they need to figure out what changed and work on that.
Also, I didn’t go to college, but aren’t there sometimes classes held in small auditoriums with a couple hundred students or more? So, obama - what’s up with that??
We uh need to make sure that the er local resources be plowed back into the coffers of the um NEA just to make sure we uh have enough resources to er continue Hope and Change.
All this means nothing. When Communist China decided to adopt free market reforms and established good relations with US, they sent a group of students in their mid 20’s and early 30’s to study in the US before the embarked on reforms. One group is well publicized as techies and engineers, the other group less publicized was tasked to determine how a nation that began as coastal colonies in 1776 and by 1945 became a world power. This group was instructed to clear their minds of all the past Communist teachings that the US is a decadent nation and any pre notions. One of the profound conclusions was the key to US rise to world power was nonentanglement and concentrating on economic/financial development which would form the foundation to support US technical innovation and later the technologies will support US rise in military power and dominance. Interesting note, the students did not mention freedom and liberty. The study group closest acknowledgement is the fact the US decentralized decision making to the lowest level and that China needed a strong rule of law to insure political/legal stability. Today the Communist Party of China refuses to deal with this issue head on and still suffers from lack of political freedom and official accountability for abuse and corruption.
Freedom and liberty is the US strength but it means nothing if the financial system is deep in debt. As long as the US is in debt, and the people refuses to address this issue head on. Only fiscal conservatives understand this issue, but the moderates may balk when austerity is carried out. In other words, politically the debt is so large it may be politically impossible to resolve except thru currency devaluation and inflation. I think the US future is already determined by the Federal Reserve, US banks and world banks to inflate their way out of debt. Read about Brazil after World War 2. Many Americans do not realize that Brazil had a large middle class just like post WW2 US. Except the Brazilian blew their opportunity by taking on too many foreign debts and in the early 1970’s and inflating their way out of debt. By 2000 Brazil’s debt is mostly inflated away and now she is emerging as one of the premier BRIC nations. But her middle class has dwindle to a small number while her poor has swelled. I anticipate the US will go the way of Brazil, unless there is a courageous politician who will do the right thing accepting public ire and losing re election. That is not likely unless the US has a dictator. So all these teachers can argue all they want, they do not realize that the US days of public plenty is over and they face inflation that will dwindle the buying power of their income and savings. For the rest of us, start prepping, and buy hard assets to preserve your savings from the coming inflation and savings for possible deflation. Most important, avoid debt. If inflation goes out of control and the US gov resets the currency (banks do not reset the loan amount), you are financially screwed. Read what happen in Mexico during the 1990’s and Argentina recently. More important when the system goes, all promises and contracts will be broken by gov to the citizen and major financial institutions to their customers.
I am certainly not a Romneybot but it is clear here that Mitt Romney is NOT the one who is “out of touch with reality”. He is absolutely right and the truth is that we are turning out college graduates who may know a lot about things that did not exist fifty years ago but still could not pass the HIGH SCHOOL final exam from a public school in South Carolina of fifty years ago. In many cases they could not even pass the test to ENTER that high school as it existed then. Obama and many others think they can improve upon the work of those who founded this nation but in terms of classical education I don’t believe any of them could sit in the same class with Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison and the rest. Anything they know that the founders did not know is probably something that came into existence very recently.
But they “feel” that smaller classes will be better “for the kids” and if you don’t agree, then you are a dooty head. So there.
Factors such as parental support may be the **ONLY** factor! Prussian-model schools may be contributing **nothing** to the child's education except to send home a very expensive curriculum for the parents and the child to follow IN THE HOME. Why?
Anecdotally, I have noticed that there is **no** difference in the amount of formal (at the kitchen table IN THE HOME) study time between academically successful homeschoolers and those children institutionalized for their education. Both sets of families ( home and institutionally schooled children) share similar home habits of regular sleep and meal times, control of electronics, and value for educational outings and trips and both are spending about the same amount of time IN THE HOME in studying.
So?....How do we know if so-called “good” schools are “good”?
Answer: We don't! NO STUDIES HAVE EVER BEEN DONE TO SHOW THE EFFECTS OF ***AFTERSCHOOLING**** ON SCHOOL STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES!!!!
Yes, I am shouting and jumping up and down!
1) We spend up to a quarter of million dollars per child for 13 years of government schooling and no one knows if these schools actually teach anything or if the **REAL** work is done IN THE HOME by the parents and the child, himself.
2) Parents seek out so-called “good” government schools, and then burden and **exhaust** themselves with high mortgages, long commutes to work, and often placing both parents in the workforce in an effort to secure a “good” government education that NO ONE knows works! In fact, have both parents in the workforce, exhausted, and spending hours commuting in car actually steals time needed for the AFTERSCHOOLING that is the **real** education.
3) Think of the lost productivity and creativity to our nation of workers and the environmental destruction due to those who commute long distances to secure a so-called “good” government school for their children. All this loss, for a government school program that has **never** measured **afterschooling** and may be utterly ineffective. Perhaps the only thing government schools do is send home a curriculum for parents and children to follow. The real work is done IN THE HOME!
( Not proof read. I am in a hurry.)
They're getting the best edjukashun that J Wright, and the race pimps can give them.
This is troubling but it is not news to me, I have become aware in the past ten years just how little real education is represented by the “sheepskins” that have become so common. I have spoken to recent graduates of our local university who have majored in history and found them about as well qualified in history as I am in nuclear physics or brain surgery. I would estimate that the average eighth grade dropout of sixty years ago knew far more about history than these history majors with their bachelor degrees. I have been told many times in the past that a history degree is worthless unless you intend to teach history but based on what I now know it would seem that TEACHING HISTORY is one of the things for which these graduates are LEAST qualified. They would struggle to pass a fifth grade history test from my era.
Whether class size is 20, 25 or 30 matters little if the school maintains good discipline and parents support the school. If the kids are undisciplined and teachers have no way to address the situation, a class of 10 or 15 won’t work.
Class size has some significance, but it’s another one of those factors the left has elevated to an importance far beyond what it merits. Just another of the phony, “spend more money” justifications.
Yes, it is amazing! Isn't it? An 18 year old in government high school can't possibly learn in a class with more than 20 students, but then graduates and a mere 12 weeks later is able to learn in lecture hall hall with 100 or more students. Wow! What an amazing quantum leap in maturity during those 12 week between high school and college! It must be a hormonal growth spurt. ( Heavy sarcasm!)
Also....When my homeschooled kids were in community college ( beginning at ages 13, 12, and 13) I noticed that the community college was amazingly effective at teaching remedial courses to high school illiterates and innumerates. Hm?....
The college could teach reading and arithmetic and bring these kids up to college level in about 2 years,...but...just 12 weeks earlier the government high school couldn't. Why is that? A mere 12 weeks between high school and college can make that much of a difference? Please remember these kids still lived in the same crummy dysfunctional families, still worked part-time jobs, still had the same friends...BUT...the community college could teach them to read and do math but the high school couldn't.
If you cut class size in half you will need twice as many teachers. Although the unions will love skimming off twice as much money, how good would those new teachers be? If you assume that currently the best possible people are teaching now, that means the new teachers would necessarily be worse than the current batch. Would students really be helped with smaller classes but worse teachers?
Probably because everyone there wanted to be there and wanted to learn, rather than seeing school as a socialization period with someone in the front just yammering away, or even worse, seeing school as a twelve year prison. Separate those kids out and suddenly education becomes much better for the rest and not much worse for the troublemakers.
Yes, it makes no nevermind that Obama’s children attend the prestigious Sidwell Friends school...I’m sure that they have it just as bad on teacher-student ratios as DC public schools...
If I were Romney’s campain, any time they bring it up in future just respond with “Sidwell Friends,” and say nothing further. Hypocrites.
smaller classes = more teachers = bigger union.
“Smaller class size = more unionized teachers = more campaign cash for Democrats”
If anything it will be easier to indoctrinate.
We had between 38 and 48 kids inour classes at the Catholic school I attended grades 1 thru 8. I remember 1 or 2 that failed a grade. But then, we had married parents that actually gave a damn.
When I attended Catholic school in the early-mid 60’s we actually had class rooms which included one full class and half of another, i.e 4th grade and half the 5th with the other half of the 5th in with the 6th graders. We were short on teachers and money so you made do. We all got out of there with a good basic education.
He was tested twice. Found negative for ADD/ADHD.
So its not the classroom size thats driving the success of those school systems.
In California the teachers union demanded that class size have no more then (20) students pre class.
In Los Angeles alone the drop out rate is 65%,and the ones that finish school read at the ninth grade level.
If he’d remained, they probably would have tested him a 3rd time!
You miss the obvious. Those even in community college want to be there.
I think you are missing the obvious.
The desire to learn didn't just spring up like a pimple on the face over the 12 week summer break between high school graduation and matriculation in high school. These illiterates and innumerates wanted to learn while in high school.
The high school had, and has, children who **want** to learn but our government K-12 schools are failing miserably at the job. I suspect two reasons:
1) The government schools are allowing disruption.
2) The community college is using **effective** teaching methods and the high schools are not.
Smaller class sizes correlate with more dues-paying members of teacher unions.
It also correlates with a need for more classrooms, which allows the school board to allocate building contracts to their favored donors and/or useless brothers-in-law.