Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Sarah Palin's standards

Gov. Sarah Palin's has decided to opt out of an effort to write nationwide education standards in reading and math.

Forty-six states have signed on to the initiative to devise standards for reading and math testing that would let the performance of students in one state be compared with those in another.

The effort is in its development stages, with state and federal education officials, and others, trying to agree on what the core standards should be. Agreeing to adopt the standards is a step for later. Besides Alaska, the other states that have turned away from the effort are Missouri, South Carolina and Texas.

Anchorage School District Superintendent Carol Comeau, who is in charge of nearly half of Alaska's 120,000 public school students, said she was disappointed with the governor's decision. As a parent and educator, she said, she wants to know how Alaska's kids compare.

But other educators said Palin is right to be wary of outside standards being imported to Alaska.

Alaska doesn't compare to other states very well:

• Alaska's dropout rate, at 8 percent, was double the national average in the 2005-2006 school year, according to the latest figures available from the U.S. Department of Education.

• 38 percent of today's ninth-graders will have no high school diploma 10 years from now, according to the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education.

• Alaska ranks 50th, or last, in the number of ninth-graders who will likely have a bachelor's degree in 10 years, according to the commission.

I don't know what Alaska's standards are, but they don't appear to be working. Sarah Palin and the educators who are wary of importing outside standards may escape unfavourable comparisons, but what they're really doing is letting Alaska students down.

Sarah Palin said in a press release:

"Alaska's decision not to participate until after we monitor this is based on our desire to spend our time and public resources to improve instruction in the classroom and to form productive relationships between schools and the communities they serve.

"If this initiative produces useful results, Alaska will remain free to incorporate them in our own standards."

The state education commissioner, Larry LeDoux, said the resources wouldn't necessarily be used now but later when the standards were adopted, when changing curriculum in the state would cost millions of dollars.

"We just don't want to give up everything to the feds," LeDoux said.

The anti-fed brigade don't seem to understand that they're foregoing the opportunity to help set future standards by contributing to the discussion.

Under Sarah Palin, Alaska will continue to reject federal initiatives and Alaskans will pay the price.

The words Sarah Palin put out in early May, when she joined the Republican group National Council for a New America, sound very hollow.

Stapleton said Palin plans to be involved with the group "as long as everyone knows that Alaska always comes first."

What comes first is Sarah Palin's posturing. These days Alaska only comes into the picture to provide the governor with some soundbites...

RECALL Sarah Palin


basheert said...

Let's see now, reading AND math? This from a braindead aging ex-loser beauty queen who probably doesn't even recognize the alphabet?

What does AK expect from this moron? Education? HER?

When you elect someone who does not give a rats as* for her constituents, their health, their education their living conditions - this is what you get.

She is not mentally capable of evaluating any program that even remotely touches on education.

Anonymous said...

The feds...well, GINO certainly has her hands out when it comes to receiving federal monies from
"the feds" until a stipulation is attached to the monies. Only then does she start mentioning Alaska's independence. And that Alaska always comes first, but not its' students.

Does the state receive any monies from the US Dept of Education? And does the state receive additional monies for each student diagnosed with a disability? Does the state receive any additional grants to help build schools, etc.? Bet the answer is absolutely. Then it should be disturbing for a state education commissioner to disrespectfully refer to the US Dept of Education as "the feds."

It should be obvious by the governor and commissioner's reference to "the feds" their resentment for the federal government. Sounds like both are members of the AIP, huh?!

Thanks, Regina, for another great post!

Anonymous said...

Will someone please take this twit and the Alaskans who support her and knock it into their thick heads that Alaska is part of, not apart from, the United States. Every time I hear words to the effect of we don't want no stinkin' outsiders comin' here, I seriously want to deck the speaker. Alaska....you are one State in the United States, not an independent queendom fighting off invaders who, goshgollygeewhiz, abandoned the frontier mentality a long time ago.

BuffaloGal said...

I'm surprised to be saying this but, in theory, I agree with opting out.

But! it's only in theory.

If Alaska is being asked to enter into the discussion while also agreeing to adopt the standards that will eventually be put into place , I'm in full agreement that they should say "not at this time, thank you". I couldn't tell from the piece if they had to agree to adopting the standards if they were going to be engaging in the debate and discussion aspect.

Another question would be whether there would be anything tied to comparing how one state's students do compared to anothers. Would they have funds withheld if you didn't compare favorably to the top percentages? Would they be marked somehow ?

If I were the one with that decision I would absolutely not agree to adopt the standards before knowing what they'd be and, even then, I might still opt out.

However! I have a feeling that my reasons and Gov. Palins might be quite different. (understatement)

Personally, I think our educational system is in need of an entire overhaul and a few new standards aren't going to do anyone much good. Our schooling focus is outdated and detrimental. The emphasis on high math and science is ridiculous. We should be focused on civics, the art of debate, social and community life issues, philosophies, free and critical thinking abilities, etc.

(sorry... the rant began to take over)

Y'know - it seems like Alaska has a unique opportunity to create something bold and amazing. It's still has so much room to grow and freedoms to do so. They are in a position that IS different than the lower 48. If only that opportunity was being used wisely. :: sigh ::

FEDUP!!! said...

OF COURSE she can't have Alaskan students be objectively compared to the rest of the nation! She knows very well, how bad the state of education is in Alaska - if she would accept FEDERAL (!!!) standards, the students (and her mirror, Bristol...) OFFICIALLY would be the dunces of the nation!

(Interesting wv: waywome...)

Lisabeth said...

Look at the states that have opted out. They are states with the worst education and governors. Mark Sanford, Rick Perry and Sarah Palin. Three dumb black sheep. I don't know enough about Missouri to comment.

The United States used to have one of the best education systems in the world. Not anymore. I feel sorry for kids in Alaska who might be bright enough that with good education they could go on to the college of their choice. You do really need a college degree more and more.
I guess I don't understand this anti education stance. Do you notice that many Republicans/conservatives don't value and even cut down education!

Can any of you even imagine the changes Sarah Palin would want to make if she was ever elected president? It is a very very scary picture! That is why we have to keep up with everything she does and her hypocrisy! Thanks for writing this up Regina!!!

onejrkitty said...

Palin's own education (at least that is what she would call it) and that of her children, obviously is not a big concern to her so why should she think others care about education.

After all, Alaskan student compare quite unfavorably with there rest of the states, so why should Palin want to publicize that fact.

Besides, it makes her feel all maverickey inside to be in the same small crowd as Perry of Texas.

I think what Palin is demonstrating her, both in action and words, is her AIP foundation.

Remember that the convention speaker for '08, the concention Palin gave such a welcoming speech for and which included the words, "keep up the good work" suggest that the way to " get our foot in the door, get a seat at the table, is to INFILTRATE A MAJOR POLITICAL PARTY."

That is exactly what Palin has done and she DOES SEE ALASKA AS A QUEENDOM APART FROM THE "UNITED STATES."

I strongly suspect her choice of rhetoric is exactly to create a separation in lanaguage ( and therefore in thinking) of Alaska being NOT part of the United states and to view the "feds" as adversaries!

She is going to get worse. She continues to get away with slapping us all in the face wit her unethical and/or illegal actions-- she has made the legislators bend over for her and they continue to do so because they don't have the balls to even ask her to use some vaseline.

Our failure of our legislators--WHOSE JOB IS TO PROVIDE CHECKS AND BALANCES FOR THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH--should become more of a focus for Alaskans.


A good man, but when the going gets really tough, he wimped out.


sandra said...

It does seem as if she is doing everything she can to separate Alaska from the rest of the country. At another site her changes in the state budget and in federal earmarks requested has been dropping each year. If this is so, it will increase the independence of Alaska. She may be aiming to take the oil and gas and leave.

KaJo said...

"Every time I hear words to the effect of we don't want no stinkin' outsiders comin' here, I seriously want to deck the speaker."No kidding, especially when you consider there's a 99.44% chance that "we don't want no stinkin' outsiders coming here" was probably said by someone who was once an outsider themselves, or is the 1st or 2nd generation descendant of one. Just as hypocritical as Palin (who's really an outsider) herself.

The other 0.56% chance is that the remark came from a First Nation person, and I really couldn't blame them for wanting Alaska to exist without ANY "outsiders".

basheert said...

In all honesty, if SP is a product of education in Alaska at all, they are desperately in need of help.

She is probably one of the stupidest individuals I've ever seen or heard of. Literally.

It took her SIX schools to get a degree in journalism? Did they pass her to get rid of her? She certainly has NO intellect, NO curiousity, NO verbal skills.

She is definitely the worst of the worst trailer trash. She makes my d-i-l look SMART.

Anonymous said...

Palin is following the repub pack......she's resisting "anything" Obama is doing.

She's also pandering to her evangelical groupies, home schooling is very popular with them, they don't like or trust the public education system, so Palin takes a wait and see approach instead of being a REAL leader by getting involved to better public education.

She makes me sick.

Anonymous said...

BTW, this is a voluntary thing. With no strings attached if one participates.

FEDUP!!! said...

OF COURSE she is against education! Uneducated people are easier to be manipulated, are easier to become Sheeple. The more educated a person is, the more likely he/she will educate him/herself about an issue, and from all different sources. HER sheeple (and the GOPs...) only get their news from her anointed orifice and Faux Noise. You can *try* to educate them by showing them concrete evidence to the contrary, and STILL they will not believe you - unless THEIR source of news admits to the same evidence.

indy_girl said...

What Sarah could have said:

"Alaska's decision then not to participate until after we monitor this if God so blesses us also is based on a desperate need to reduce the number of abstinent pregnant teengers dropping out and progress our educational standards up to at least the level of Mississippi and Alabama there."