October 18, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Asian students should be the smartest, and teachers will expect the least from blacks. That’s the case in Florida, at least, where the Board of Education has agreed to pass a revised plan that outlines new academic goals for students based on race. …
Under the approved strategic revision, 90 percent of Asian students, 88 percent of whites, 81 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of blacks will be expected to read at or above their applicable reading grade levels in future tests. For math scores, they expect 92 percent of Asians, 80 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of blacks to excel, suggesting that some races warrant a lower bar than others.
Patrick Franklin, president and CEO of the Urban League of Palm Beach County, opposes the revision, telling the Sun Sentinel, “All children should be held to high standards and for them to say that for African-Americans the goal is below other students is unacceptable.”
What kind of nonsense is this? Thank you Patrick Franklin for standing up and demanding equal educational expectations for African-American children.
Did Florida just accept the premise of The Bell Curve? Is that where we are today?
Can you imagine someone said, well it’s ok to pay black people less than white people or Asian people? Or that black people only need to work 6 or 7 hours a day instead of 8?
We need to work on treating all peoples equally. Isn’t the goal to try to ignore race — not call it out? This goofiness is only going to set back race relations 20-30 years.
It’s such a stupid idea that one has to wonder why it was put forth and passed…
And while educators are hoping to have higher test scores coming in across the board, race and ethnicity play a deciding factor in what’s expected from Sunshine State students in the years to come.
“Educators” for those that don’t know means “Union Teachers.” These are the people who are fighting to limit any performance based evaluations.
Florida’s Republican governor think this is a dumb idea:
Schools’ expectations should be color blind. As a nation, we have rejected police use of racial profiling on the streets, by what rational do we now accept it from educators in the classroom.
Indeed Governor. Indeed.
The take-away here is that Democrat Teachers’ Unions are racist.
September 20, 2012 § 7 Comments
Save as much money as you can.
Live well below your means.
The pension time-bomb is coming.
One of the most vexing problems for Chicago and its teachers went virtually unmentioned during the strike: The pension fund is about to hit a wall.
The Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund has about $10 billion in assets, but is paying out more than $1 billion in benefits a year — much more than it has been taking in. That has forced it to sell investments, worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year, to pay retired teachers. Experts say the fund could collapse within a few years unless something is done.
“Each day we wait to enact comprehensive pension reform, the problem gets worse,” Quinn said in a statement. “The unfunded liability will grow to more than $92 billion by the end of next fiscal year. Illinois is currently on track to spend more on pensions than education by 2016 and that is unacceptable.
– Pat Quinn
If you think that taxpayers are going to fund your pensions, forget-about it.
If you think you can tax the rich to fund your pensions, forget-about it.
If you think that people are going to move into a community where their property taxes increase by 7% every year in order to fund failing schools, forget-about it.
If you think you’re going to get your COLA every year, forget-about it.
You have two options: Save every nickel and dime you can, or plan to work until you’re in your 70′s.
Illinois has an unfunded pension liability of at least $83 billion, according to state figures. It had 45 percent of what it needed to pay future retiree obligations as of 2010, the lowest among U.S. states, data compiled by Bloomberg show. …
Illinois had about $28 billion of general-obligation debt as of May 8, according to bond documents. The state of about 13 million people plans to sell $50 million of debt next month for technology projects, John Sinsheimer, the state’s director of capital markets, said in an interview.
Illinois’s backlog of unpaid bills has risen to more than $9 billion because of pension costs and falling federal aid, leaving the state “essentially treading water,” Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka said.
$83B + $28B + $9B = $120,000,000,000 in debt. The extra $50 million at 0.42% of the total is a rounding error. It should also be noted that this does not include the City of Chicago (or any other municipality or county debt) which is another $12-16 billion in debt depending on who you ask.
12,869,257 people in the state of Illinois. Every man, woman, and child owed owes $9,324.54 to the state. If you live in Chicago you owe another 5,910.34 locally for total of $15,234.89. (Are you feeling good about your new contract yet?)
I was just looking over the FY2013 Illinois State Budget as prepared by Gov. Quinn. On Pg 37 we’re told that Debt Service is 5.42% of all outlays. That’s over $3.3B per year paying principle and interest on money we borrowed. That’s $3.3B per year we could use to hire police officers, or teachers, or fully fund the pension funds but will instead go to pay for our bad fiscal decisions of the past.
More importantly, total expenditures are $61.0B. That means that if we (a/k/a the State of Illinois) completely stopped operating, fired all the employees, shuttered all the buildings, and spend 100% of the budget on paying off debt we’d be debt free in 2 years.
Oh, I know what you’re going to say… You’re going to tell me all about how the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund is not as underwater as the general state fund. True, but it’s still broke and broken. And there’s no money to fix it.
Then you’re going to say that this is a right guaranteed by the Illinois Constitution. Oh ya? Well where’s the money going to come from? The rich? You wish:
When New Jersey governor Chris Christie heard British Prime Minister David Cameron invite France’s wealthy to decamp to England to escape a proposed 75% tax rate, he felt something akin to déjà vu. Every day top executives of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Merck (MRK), and other companies commute from their homes in Pennsylvania to offices in Christie’s state, saving roughly two-thirds on their state income tax bill — and costing New Jersey’s treasury $50 million, by one estimate.
via Fortune (a/k/a CNN).
You don’t understand the Laffer Curve.
The study, by the anti-tax group Change Maryland, says that a net 31,000 residents left the state between 2007 and 2010, the tenure of a “millionaire’s tax” pushed through by Gov. Martin O’Malley. The tax, which expired in 2010, in imposed a rate of 6.25 percent on incomes of more than $1 million a year.
The Change Maryland study found that the tax cost Maryland $1.7 billion in lost tax revenues. A county-by-county analysis by Change Maryland also found that the state’s wealthiest counties also had some of the largest population outflows.
You’re confused how a state and raise taxes and lose revenue. It happens all the time. I wrote a piece about cigarette taxes in Cook County; raised taxes, lost revenue.
The more you tax something the less of it you get.
You tax income, you get less income. You tax babies, you get less babies.
Even the left-loving Bono (of U2 fame) moves his wealth around to avoid taxes.
In Illinois, if we quadrupled the state income tax on those with adjusted gross income over $500k it would take over 13 years just to get current state pension liabilities square. This would not cover the additional debt of Chicago Teachers, Chicago Police & Fire, or any of the billions and billions of general debt.
So take your 16% raise and start saving. Save like your life depends on it. Because it does.
June 30, 2012 § Leave a Comment
For the second year in a row, Chicago Public School officials under Mayor Rahm Emanuel will raise property taxes for schools to the maximum allowed by law, yielding the cash-strapped system $41 million.
The 1.5 percent increase should cost the average homeowner $28 a year, school officials said Wednesday.
via Chicago Sun-Times.
Well isn’t this interesting. We’ll see if CPS teachers, a/k/a the CTU, want to strike this year. I suppose homeowners won’t be getting their second installment of their tax bills until after the election (it always works that way.) So they won’t see just how much money goes to
CTU CPS from their outrageous property taxes unless the strike goes into November. … Dare to dream.
June 19, 2012 § Leave a Comment
A new report being issued today — see the bottom of this post — from the Pew Center on the States says that Illinois once again ranks 50th of the 50 states in assets relative to liabilities.
But while Illinois’ absolute position did not sink — a mathematical impossibility — its relative position did erode, as the shortfall in terms of dollars here worsened faster than it did on average in other, better-positioned states. …
Illinois “is on an unsustainable course,” said David Draine, the chief author of the report by the Washington, D.C.-based public policy and research group. …
According to the report, Illinois as of the end of fiscal 2010, the latest year for which national figures are available, ranked dead last of the 50 states, having on hand only 45 percent of the assets needed to pay $139 billion in accrued pension liabilities.
The report concerns the state’s five retirement funds, covering state workers, teachers who work outside of Chicago, professors in the University of Illinois system, judges and members of the General Assembly.
The total unfunded liability as of the end of fiscal 2010 — that was June 30, 2010 — was $75.73 billion, somewhat less than the current $83 billion figure cited earlier this year by the Legislature’s economic watchdog unit.
Public sector unions need to understand the reality. Retirees are in serious danger of not getting paid what they are owed. Default is becoming a more and more real possibility.
Heck! These numbers don’t even include the Chicago Teacher’s Union. So the situation is even worse.
March 30, 2012 § 1 Comment
Having absolutely no logic to defend their position:
With a 90-day deadline on negotiations with the teachers union having passed, Chicago Public Schools can implement a teacher evaluation system that will see student performance count for 25 percent of an elementary school teacher’s assessment, a figure that will rise to 40 percent in five years.
The Chicago Teachers Union has opposed such significant weight on student performance, but even at its highest the CPS proposal for student performance is less than the 50 percent used in states such as Colorado, Tennessee and Ohio.
via Chicago Tribune.
So we’re still going to be behind other states, but yet CTU is still fighting it:
“We don’t disagree on every aspect, but we don’t agree on the plan as a whole,” said CTU’s lead negotiator, Carol Caref. Currently, teachers are evaluated using a checklist that both principals and teachers have called useless.
I see, the current system sucks and everyone knows it’s worthless but whatever you do, don’t include student performance in any new evaluation method.
Caref said the union thinks having student performance count for 40 percent is too high because of concerns about the test data’s reliability. He said the union believes it’s a mistake to implement a new evaluation system without first trying it on a pilot basis to identify any problems.
Ya, problems like it may show that teachers that suck have been given the green light to continue to not educate children year after year after year. That would be a problem for the Union.
Big win for the children though.
CTU can’t die soon enough. CPS has completely failed generations of students nearly entirely as a result of CTU pushing it’s significant weight around. Can’t evaluate teachers… shear nonsense.
CPS lost it’s moral imperative years ago. We as a people owe it to our children to build a competitive network of schools which give parents a real choice — a voice — in their children’s education.
If we’re really all in this together, then All Schools are Public Schools.