Feb 20, 2013

Education Reform, Republicans should be ashamed!

As I watched the debate of education reform, I expected some things to get challenged by opponents on the Republican side of the aisle; however, it turned out to be a my way republican party standing and to heck with what you think would improve a bill that does nothing anyways to help the schools or the children. At any rate, I was plain disgusted with the lack of bipartisan effort to come to compromise on these amendments, while it was only mentioned once that they would work with the other party on one amendment. The rest the gentleman from Woodbury did nothing but convince his party to resist on all of the amendments, and challenge the germane of other amendments. Listening to the spoken nay and ayes towards suspending the rules it was hard to tell who had it, yet right away it was always the nays that have it so that it could be still debated.

I felt bad for all the hard work the democrats did to get informed and make meaningful amendments that were simply tossed out. At the beginning of the debate for Mental Health Appropriations, all was going well there was I admit good debate, but that soon lost its flavor as republicans dug into their trench, acting as if there is some casualty that will occur, and is necessary in the transition to the regional instead of by county. They wanted 11.6 million dollars and stood firmly to it, even though they know thousands (up to 1,000 in one county, children 700 and adults near 300) would go without services and no funding for that county.

I agree with the closing statement concerning the disgust in the behavior of our elected officials, and I expect so much better from them. Are we doing the right thing to let down the Iowans who need the funds, and if these regions have left-over funds why not disperse it to places that need it, and that was not even talked about. The fact that the DHHS of Iowa, and the state cannot even arrive at the same numbers, only a start for reorganization is troubling. I think the democrats did a great deal of leg work on their end, but unfortunately it came down to a wasted session, with both bickering, and nonsense from the republican side.

No doubt in the near future as the house gets the Education bill back from the senate, the gloves will come off, and a boxing match will ensue over what is added or taken away through the senate process. As constituents, I think I would rather support the democrats who are fighting to gain some momentum for schools, education that makes sense, and even the governor was spat in the face on his proposals, and all of them common sense.

The creativity in my opinion, is constantly being stripped from schools as we teach to the test, employ technology to assist students, and turn out children that are unable to enter the workforce. Most college instructor know newer out of school students are performing poorly in math, I have seen this in class.

Are we going the wrong direction, well it was mentioned several times we may be doing just that. Compared to Finland taking absolutely no assessments, and our country adding assessments more and more, which I know from college hurt minorities, because those tests are far from perfect. Sure you can gauge the white population pretty effectively, check for deficits, etc. but putting stock into assessment of IQ, etc. doesn't tell you a whole lot except how a child is doing at one point in time.

Finland doesn't do assessments, so we cannot even compare our children to that country, because the only basis we have to compare is educational achievement, and I didn't hear a lot about their curriculum.

The topic of teachers pay will not likely succeed at the 35,000 that was requested, as new teachers get a hiring bonus to help with college debt, which means they get paid more than the most tenured and highest performing teachers.

Since only Rep. Hunter and the Representative from Woodbury are the only ones who seem to speak for their party line, I wonder next time will you offer your support to help with the amendments, or are we so entrenched in partisan politics, that it is the republican way or no way at all. Representative Hunter, the thousands impacted by Mental Illness may be nothing to you, which you made blatantly apparent, but it is meaningful to them and their families for support in the communities.

I remember not to long ago, the sandy hook shooting on the news, and other tragedies, but with the Republican side so entrenched, they seem to struggle with this issue, when we have the ability to fund our system of Mental Health here in Iowa appropriately.

I normally do not favor a party, but the democrats Mascher, Steckman, Wood, and others fought hard to get change accomplished for both education and Mental Health. In my opinion, the only ones fighting for Iowans at this point is the Democrats. I encourage Iowans to watch what is going on in the house, its a real eye-opener.