From the convention: Condoleezza Rice talks educational ‘crisis’

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joined a long list of politicians—including both Mitt Romney and President Obama—describing education as the “civil rights issue of our day” in her speech at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night.

“We need to give parents greater choice—particularly poor parents—whose kids, very often minorities, are trapped in failing neighborhood schools,” she said. “If we do anything else we condemn generations to joblessness and hopelessness.”

Describing the “crisis in K-12 education” as a “threat to the very fabric of who we are,” Rice spoke of the need to get great teachers into schools as well as to expect more from students. “We need to have high standards for our kids because self-esteem comes from achievement and not lax standards and false praise,” she said.

Outside of Rice’s speech, education was mentioned only peripherally during a night focused again on America’s economy. When education did come up, most speakers addressed college—its rising costs and the job prospects for its graduates.

“College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring at their faded Obama posters,” Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan said.

He echoed earlier statements of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in describing the “recent college grad facing up to the painful reality that the only door open to her after four years of study and a pile of debt is her parents’.”

Michelle Voorheis, a family-business owner interviewed “backstage” at the convention, spoke of her financial worries, which were amplified by the fact that she just sent a son off to college.

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) also spoke personally.  “I was the first in my family to graduate from college,” she said. “So I know how important that is to the American dream.”

POSTED BY ON August 30, 2012

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[...] Condoleezza Rice joins list of speakers talking about education as “civil rights issue of our day.” Education Week, The Hechinger Report [...]


It’s frustrating to continuously hear and read about what’s wrong with education. We keep paying people a lot of $, renaming initiatives,while the reality states that NOTHING IS REALLY BEING DONE!! We need to be honest about the educational situation. Positive emphasis on educating children begins @ home. Without the inspiration of parents setting the groundwork, this problem will NEVER change. Yes. Great teachers are important as well as the people in City Hall being realistic about the truth of what is important and works. We can talk about this from Mayor to Mayor, Governor to Governor, administrator to administrator, teacher to teacher, parent to parent, student to student. The real work begins at home with children coming prepared with the essential foundation of what is needed when they walk through those school doors the very first day of school. There must be follow-up from parents in directing their children about the importance of coming to school prepared each day and focusing on their education instead of the blame of poor teaching.

I remember my parents telling me that my only job was to get as much out of my school experience, never blame anyone else for my problems, and to learn to walk through the obstacles of living on this earth. Building character was a life lesson that was reiterated throughout my childhood.

As time went on, I noticed that the system took on aspects that were never part of the way schools were run back in the day. The onus MUST be given back to parents to do their job, teachers to do their job, etc. The schools have become a one stop shopping experience where EVERYTHING is expected to be done. Then, when something goes wrong, the finger is pointed at the school system. WHAT HAVE WE DONE? Please, the only way this can be rectified for real is to be truthful about what has gone wrong and fix it. Unless we do this, we will continue to go in circles, our students will live with mixed messages, and they too will become finger pointers at the system.


Amy is correct.

What you will never hear from politicians are there are children who can’t/won’t learn and parents who can’t/won’t support their children and their efforts. Until human attributes such as desire, drive and personalities can be mandated into approved compliance, all the babble about “globally competitive, educational equity, education is a civil right” etc. etc. represents billions of dollars wasted on a utopian impossible dream.

Government systems are not our nannies and cannot make students learn who don’t want to learn or who just can’t. No Race to the Top or Common Core mandates or ESEA waivers can “make” students successful.

It’s up to each individual student to make that decision to be successful. Treating all schools as “failing”, all students as “victims”, and all teachers as “ineffective” is gibberish and counter-productive to providing an appropriate education. Public education as we know needs to fail because it is nothing but a centralized bureaucratic nightmare.

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