Chad’s Morning Brief for 02.06.13
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of February 6, 2013. Give Chad your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11 am.
1. Vouchers (link)
This is a great article from Michelle Rhee, a Democrat, about her split with the Dems over vouchers. Here is a portion of that article about when she realized what vouchers could mean for kids and parents.
The outreach I did about the Opportunity Scholarships was part of a countless number of meetings I had with parents over the course of my time in D.C. Many of those parents were young mothers who came to me looking for answers. Although they were different in many ways, they often came with the same goal: better schooling opportunities for their children. Usually mothers would request meetings with me during the school selection process that takes place each January and February.
The typical mom would come to the meeting armed with data and talking points. For example:
“I currently live in Southeast,” she would say. “Our house is zoned to the local elementary school. I have done quite a bit of research into the school and was shocked to find that only 20 percent of the children are operating at grade-level proficiency. That means my child has an 80 percent likelihood of failure. That’s simply not acceptable for me and my family.”
Absolutely right, I would think.
“But we didn’t get in. I was devastated. So now I don’t know what to do. I went to DCPS. My parents went to DCPS. I believe in public schools, but I simply can’t send my child to the local school. Can you help me?"
It was a painful experience for me, each and every time. My instinct was always to tell the mother that I’d let her kid into Mann or Key and make the school make room for one more child. But honestly, it just wasn’t doable. Or fair. There were so many parents who visited me with these requests and so many more who were on waiting lists for those schools who had followed all of the rules.
Oh, I could have found a spot for them at another D.C. public school, perhaps marginally better than their home school. But that wasn’t what they wanted. They were looking for the exact same thing that I wanted for my two girls: the best school possible.
Who am I, I thought, to deny this mom and her child an opportunity for a better school, even if that meant help with a seventy-five-hundred-dollar voucher? If they got a voucher, and her child could attend a really good Catholic school, perhaps, why would I stand in the way—especially since I don’t have a high-quality DCPS alternative?
I just couldn’t look mother after mother in the eye and deny their children the opportunity I wanted for my own children. It would have required me to say, “Gee, I’m sorry, you’re just going to have to suck it up. I know your elementary school is a failing school, and your child will probably not learn how to read, but I really need five more years to fix the system. And while I’m fixing the system, I need you and your neighbors to be really patient. Hang in there with me. Things will get better. I promise.”
If someone said that to me, I’d have said, “You may need more time to fix the system but my kid doesn’t have time. She has only one chance to attend first grade, and if she can’t learn to read by the end of first grade, her chances for success in life will be compromised. So with all due respect—heck no!”
After my listening tour of families, and hearing so many parents plead for an immediate solution to their desire for a quality education, I came out in favor of the voucher program. People went nuts. Democrats chastised me for going against the party, but the most vocal detractors were my biggest supporters.
Here’s the question we Democrats need to ask ourselves: Are we beholden to the public school system at any cost, or are we beholden to the public school child at any cost? My loyalty and my duty will always be to the children.
Take some time and read this article by clicking on the link above. In my opinion, it shows that if educators really are all about the children, then they should have no problem with vouchers. Vouchers can help kids succeed. Isn't that the point? Or is the point to just throw more money at failing schools and hope for the best?
2. Obama and Taxes (link)
President Obama is ready to raise taxes again. Surprise!
President Barack Obama called for a new round of tax increases to offset the looming budget sequester and help close the annual $1 trillion deficit.
The tax increase is needed to keep the economic recovery going, Obama claimed, even though the economy apparently contracted by 0.1 percent during the last three months of 2012.
“While it’s critical for us to cut wasteful spending, we can’t just cut our way to prosperity,” he said a midday appearance in the White House press room.
“These modest reforms in our social insurance programs have to go hand-in-hand with a process of tax reform, so that the wealthiest individuals and corporations can’t take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most Americans,” he said.
“There’s no reason why we should keep them at a time when we’re trying to cut down on our deficit,” he claimed.
GOP officials quickly slammed Obama’s proposed tax increase.
“The President’s proposal is nothing more than another tax hike to pay for more Washington spending. That is not what America needs,” said a statement from Michigan Republican Rep. Dave Camp, the chairman of the House tax-writing committee.
Nothing surprising here. President Obama is going to continue to try and raise taxes while making no real push to cut spending.
3. Illegal Immigrants (link)
Illegal Immigrants could be the latest term that is wrong to say. According to the Washington Times, Rep. John Conyers warned his colleagues not to use the term.
Opening the first immigration hearing of the new Congress, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee warned his colleagues not to use the term "illegal immigrant" as the debate goes on.
"I hope no one uses the term illegal immigrants here today. Our citizens are not — the people in this country are not illegal. They are are out of status. They are new Americans that are immigrants," said Rep. John Conyers Jr., Michigan Democrat.
As Congress begins the immigration debate, both sides are preparing for an emotionally charged fight, and language will be one of the battlegrounds.
Many immigrant-rights advocates object to the terms "illegal" and "alien," saying that people cannot be deemed illegal, and that the word "alien" makes them sound inhuman. They argue the better terms are "undocumented migrants."
Many newspapers, including The Washington Times, use the phrase "illegal immigrant," deeming it the most accurate description.
But defenders of the term "alien" argue that an immigrant is someone who arrived here legally, while an alien is any foreigner — therefore an "illegal alien" is the proper description for those who are here outside of the law.
Academics, searching for a more neutral term, have recently begun using "unauthorized migrants" as their phrase of choice.
Give me a freakin' break! This political correct BS is just stupid. Illegal immigrants, illegal aliens, who cares what you call them. Only those on the left are concerned about how people can't be illegal. Yes they can!
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