Women outraged at failing public schools. Are you?

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 9, 2008
Contact: Matthew Sheaff

Matthew.Sheaff@strongamericanschools.org

NEW POLL: STRONG MAJORITY OF WOMEN IN MISSOURI AND OHIO EXPRESS OUTRAGE AT FAILING PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Women see a strong connection between basic education skills –reading, math and science – and children’s economic success

Washington, DC — As ED in 08 continues its campaign to raise awareness about the economic impact of America’s failing schools, a new poll, released today, shows that over 80 percent of women in Missouri and Ohio define themselves as angry when informed of facts about American students slipping behind their international peers in achievement tests and graduation rates. Women’s reaction to the education gap between schools in the United States and schools in other industrialized nations show there is significant interest in the need for education reform.

Across both Missouri and Ohio, those polled believe shortcomings in American schools will jeopardize the economic well-being of their children. Seventy-five percent of respondents say that American children’s inability to read at their grade level will have a dramatic impact on the economic future of the nation’s children. In addition, over 95 percent of women fear this educational failure will have an impact on their children’s economic future.

“Americans want to give their children a competitive edge over students across the globe,” say ED in 08 Executive Director Marc Lampkin. “They recognize the quality of the nation’s schools must improve to ensure economic prosperity is passed onto future generations.”

Other Key Findings in this poll include:

* Three-fourths of respondents would like to see the federal government have at least some responsibility in urging higher academic expectations for schools and students.

* While registered voters in Missouri and Ohio react very angrily when they hear about our nation’s education shortfalls, few have knowledge of them - with about one-fourth knowing U.S. students rank in the bottom 10 in math and science compared to 30 other industrialized nations.

* Even with low knowledge of the details of the nation’s shortfalls, already nine in 10 registered voters say changes are needed in the U.S. education system.

The poll was sponsored by ED in 08 and conducted by Dutko Research. Results are based on a public opinion survey of 601 registered voters in Missouri and 600 registered voters in Ohio. Respondents were randomly selected and contacted by telephone. The margin of error for each survey is +/-4.0%.

Results of the poll can be found at www.EDin08.com.

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Well, as I learned today at the mayor's news conference about America in Bloom, one of the judges said the existence of "green space" helps kids to become better students. She also claimed that green space reduces crime.

Although she failed to say how and why greenery is conducive to learning she did mention that's what the statistics say.

The problem is that nobody from the media asked her the source of those statistics. She said it very enthusiastically in a cheerleading fashion because she apparently hopes and wishes to believe that greenery can solve some of the problems of our society.

I'm not saying greenery is not a nice thing to have or that it is unnecessary, because it is nice and it is necessary. Quite remarkably, some of it is even edible --some of it can increase the chances for baby making opportunities and flowers help comfort those who mourn the loss of a loved one.

But the mayor just doesn't seem to get it. For the mayor to ask anyone from the audience who thinks plants and flowers are not nice or not important to step up to the podium and say so, shows that our mayor doesn't have any clue why Toledoans are making such a big deal over plants and flowers. Nobody is against flowers, not one person. People are against the improper emphasis on them..

When individuals have a house with a leaky basement, it would be unwise to plant flowers before repairing the basement, so why wouldn't it be just as foolish for the city of Toledo who not only has a "leaky basement", but "leaky windows", a "leaky roof", "termites", you name it, to become so fixated on flowers rather than getting its house in order first?

For this flower contest judge to make such a stupendous claim that students learn better because there's green foliage near the school and those who have a proclivity to commit crimes choose not to because they'd rather look at plants is naive to say the least. Then to expect people to believe this without some kind of disclaimer or an invitation to verfiy the info, struck me as disingenuous.

Can you imagine how well it would go over for someone to say to people that your son wouldn't be in prison if the city only had more green space or that your daughter might be alive today if only the city had enough flowers?

thanks

"Rick Popiolek, a Realtor with the Danbury Co., said he has seen many people leave Toledo in favor of the suburbs.

"Most of those moving do so because of the better schools," Mr. Popiolek said. "Not that Toledo schools are bad, but other schools are more desirable."

Toledo Public Schools Superintendent John Foley acknowledged that schools are a priority for families, but maintained the district is making progress.

"As you look at population shifts, look at lost housing as we tear houses down and don't replace them," Mr. Foley said.

The city strives to tear down 300 nuisance properties a year - some of which are multifamily dwellings."

http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080710/NEWS16/807100341

The administration can plant posies and pansies in the empty lots that are left behind, instead of looking for places to plant tens of thousands of dollars to beautify an intersection.

The empty lots usually end up in the city inventory and sit idle and vacant and unproductive.

http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080710/NEWS16/807100341

I've heard some say that the inception of "no chlld left behind', was the downward spiral of our education system - that schools get more funding because of it, and conform the education to ensure the funding keeps coming in. I don't know enough about it to voice an opinion on it. What I do think this country needs, is more & consistent discipline, and the requireing of being accountable for one's actions - by the parents & teachers, with the parents & teachers presenting a united front to the child. Thirty years ago (or less), kids just would never behave or talk to teachers (or parents) the way they do today, and if a kid got in trouble at school, there was double hell to pay at home for it. Today it seems more & more parents are catering to the kids (not my child!), or look for excuses for the behavior (bad teacher, attention, add, adhd, depressed, unfair grading system, racial inequality, etc.). Not saying there's a connection, but honestly, I have seen more misbehaving kids in the last 10 years, then ever before in my life - there never would have been kids behaving like on that Super nanny tv show, now, there's an entire market that addresses bad parenting & bratty kids.

The typical answer is to throw more money into the system, or build new & better schools, buy more up to date textbooks (how much does history, math, basic science, etc. really change in 10 years?). Teachers get blasted for asking for pay raises, but most people could not DO what they do, or as well. They have to deal with kids whose parents are indifferent, too busy, tired, angry - it's a wonder some of these kids have made it as far as they have. I'd be curious to see a comparison of parenting skills - comparing the USA, to other countries who far surpass us in education (Japan, Germany, etc. - we are near the bottom of the list on this one, and yet, we spend more than any other country on schools, education, etc.).

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