Friday, March 18, 2011

"News and Notes"

1)  I watched '60 minutes' last night; they had an interesting story about the special TEP school in NYC.  The school, using only public school funding, pays their teachers $125,000 per year, by performance only.  No tenure.  All the kids are black and Hispanic from depressed neighborhoods.  No fancy buildings; the school teaches out of trailers.  Instead of vice principles and paying district administrators they allocate the money to teachers who perform. 

Even the liberal Katy Couric, who covered the story was impressed.  She brought out one fascinating fact about the failure of public schools today; the impossibility of getting rid of under performing teachers in the public school system.  She cited that, of 55,000 New York Public school teachers only 7 have been terminated in the past five years.  This, despite the failure of the schools to educate children.

2) The news out of Wisconsin today is that unions are rushing to negotiate with school districts before the new law barring them from collective bargaining goes into effect.  They want to lock in plush pay and benefits packages before the laws bar them from doing so.

3) Is the U.S. energy policy doomed?  Just weeks before the BP oil spill Obama had agreed to expand drilling.  Then BP makes drilling look really ugly and all new oil drilling comes to a screeching halt.  Then, just as Obama and Congress begin discussing building more nuclear plants, after a 30 year halt, the Japan disaster occurs.  As all of this is going on the Middle East erupts in chaos.  Maybe T. Boone Pickens will get his natural gas initiative looked at with more enthusiasm now.  We're the "Saudi Arabia" of natural gas, owning the largest reserves in the world.  Pickens wants to convert all the nation's trucking to natural gas and begin converting/manufacturing cars to run on natural gas as well. 

4) Iran seems to be taking a smirking enjoyment in promoting chaos in Iraq, Bahrain and eastern Saudi Arabia.  Perhaps those smirks will turn to frowns as Iranians witness the revolutionary fervor elsewhere in the region and decide they too are tired of iron-fisted leaders.  Stand by. 

5) Congress continues to dawdle on completing a 2011 budget.  The Dems controlled both houses last year and were supposed to have had a budget out by last October.  However, with the impending November elections they calculated that voters wouldn't be too pleased to see  a whopping $3.75 trillion dollar budget for 2011 with a $1.75 trillion dollar deficit.  It appears the only ones in Congress taking the deficit seriously are the small band of Tea Party candidates elected to congress in November.  The main stream Republican proposal to cut costs encompasses a mere $61 billion in cuts while the Dems offer a tiny $6 billion dollar proposal; this is chump change out of a total $3.75 trillion dollar budget!, no one is serious in Congress these days.

6) Citizens might want to read Dick Morris' "Revolt".  You can learn alot about how to take back your country.

7) In Phoenix this week we had our normal "hit and run" accidents that occur here daily; several occur every week here, the most heart-rending this week was the hit and run of a young boy who died.  Illegals drive without license or insurance here so they hit and maim and kill pedestrians here frequently, then run away because they'll be arrested, cited for driving without license and insurance, and be deported.  Hitting and running away solves their immediate problem.


PinkPuppyPoliticalWatchDog said...

Way off on the teacher salaries:

Fact check.

A Modest Scribler said...

You didn't read the article carefully enough; the $125,000 dollar salary to teachers is indeed being paid at the TEP school. (Go to CBS 60 minutes site for confirmation.

I never indicated the average teacher's salary was $125,000; I was citing the specific teacher salary for these teachers. The trade off is they don't get tenure and are judge closely for performance.