Feds spending $119 million to do what parents need to do

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Recently, I read two articles about government-related spending on which I feel compelled to comment.

One article talked about how current high unemployment is affecting the number of teachers hired by schools. The other article told about $119 million in grants from the U.S. government to fight obesity in the United States.

I probably am one of the most politically liberal members of my family, but even I have to speak out against such clear wasteful spending by our government!

What is the great unknown about obesity?

I believe that a very small percentage of obesity is caused by real medical problems, but that the overwhelming numbers of cases are simply because of overeating and a gross lack of exercise! How in the name of common sense can parents and grandparents expect their children to stay in good shape when the “in thing” to do is to stay in front of the television, the computer and the cell phone?

If the government is truly concerned about obesity, then taxpayers’ dollars need to be spent to greatly revive the physical-education part of school life. Our local and national governments are trying to create geniuses out of our children at the expense of little to no physical education!

What happened to the commonsense balance of physical education and mental education that was so prevalent during the 1940s through the 1970s?

The answers to the questions about obesity have very, very commonsense answers. The difficulty is going to be whether parents and grandparents are going to take charge of this greatly growing problem and force their children to get some physical exercise!

Timothy Monroe Bledsoe

North Augusta, S.C.

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longleafpine
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longleafpine 04/01/13 - 02:58 am
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PL 96-88 US Dept of Education

Originated 1977-80 in a Democrat Administration. Enough said.

longleafpine
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longleafpine 04/01/13 - 02:57 am
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BTW

Dept of Energy originated under the same law.

ymnbde
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ymnbde 04/01/13 - 06:09 am
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you're paying for more than just that

in increased health cost... people who don't smoke, who eat properly, and exercise will subsidize the couch sitting potato chip eating jerry springer watching government raised voter herd...
and the government is spending because that is what this government does... spends...

Bodhisattva
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Bodhisattva 04/01/13 - 06:28 am
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What in the heck did creating
Unpublished

What in the heck did creating the Dept. of Education have to do with cutting PE programs? The states and counties are for the most part responsible for education funding and they are the ones responsible for the budget cuts. First came cuts to art and music programs, then drivers ed and phys ed. Do a quick search and you'll find numerous articles on recent Georgia and South Carolinas budget debates and their cuts that effect phys ed. The Fed has tried to improve physical well being by providing grants to improve student nutrition and physical activity and well being. As states like Georgia and South Carolina siphon more and more funding from public education to give to private and charter schools, many of which are operated by for profit entities, the crisis will only worsen.

ymnbde
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ymnbde 04/01/13 - 07:26 am
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hey liberals let's connect some dots

government education is controlled by a few people centralized in Washington. They've made education a vehicle for big government, with a synergistic relationship with the teacher's unions. A kid doesn't have to do homework, and they still pass. they don't have to study, and they still pass. they don't have to know anything and they still pass. So they sit. And they sit. All they can do is just sit sit sit. And the teacher's unions don't care, not one little bit.
And they get fat. They get dumb. And they get lazy.
School choice would let those that want to learn, learn. They can go to a school where kids must study, where kids must do homework, and were kids will learn, or the school fails.
Just like where Obama sends his kids. Just like where the Clintons sent their kid, where the Gore's sent their kid, where every single liberal politician sent their kid. The masses would be allowed the privilege of behaving just like rich folk.
Oh, and bodhivsatta, you'll please notice the cuts you mention did not come at the expense of the education bureuocracy ... it's still there, the main mercenaries in the liberals war on children...

deestafford
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deestafford 04/01/13 - 07:55 am
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Have you ever wondered why

someone like your sorry brother in law can go to DC and work for the feds and all of a sudden he is making rules/regulations for the country as if he is some type of genius? Let's face it, people working for the feds are measured on how well they turn out regulations. Their bosses are measured how the people in the cubicles turn out regulations. The more regulations they promugate to "protect the people" the higher their "efficiency" reports. Nobody gets promoted or incentive bonuses for cutting regulations. They are evaluated like rust evaluates itself...how much it consumes and spreads it destruction.
Someone asked me the other day how did the government survive before the income tax was started. I told them there were various taxes but the key was the feds did not do as much as they do today. They did what they were directed/allowed to do by the Constitution.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 04/01/13 - 08:01 am
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Bodhisattva says........
Unpublished

"The states and counties are for the most part responsible for education funding and they are the ones responsible for the budget cuts."

For once you are absolutely right. That in itself is a very good reason to do away with the unconstitutional Dept. of Ed. The federal government doesn't have that power under the constitution in the first place, and they have demonstrated they are inept at the job, so why fight to keep it in place?

Bodhisattva
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Bodhisattva 04/01/13 - 08:03 am
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Try talking to some teachers
Unpublished

Try talking to some teachers and see if they pass students who don't do squat.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 04/01/13 - 08:18 am
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And you expect they would
Unpublished

And you expect they would admit their wrong-doing. Makes sense. Ignore all facts such as the fact that students are allowed to graduate without being able to read. Why let facts get in the way of defending yet another failed government program?

seenitB4
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seenitB4 04/01/13 - 08:26 am
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What a crock --119 million you say..

And this my friends is what is wrong with the USA today....

Common sense left the building a looong time ago...but we will do away with smaller control towers at suburb airports...yeh...right....next week we will have a study that will prove if you stand in traffic you more than likely will get hit by an 18 wheeler.....

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 04/01/13 - 08:39 am
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Dahreese....are THESE
Unpublished

Dahreese....are THESE teachers passing students that don't meet standards? If they are, then the standards clearly need to be raised!

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/8/bloomberg-lauds-education...

(I apologize if these verifiable facts offend anyone. Feel free to click the "thumbs down" if you are offended by the posting of such facts.)

chascushman
6653
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chascushman 04/01/13 - 09:20 am
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“Try talking to some teachers
Unpublished

“Try talking to some teachers and see if they pass students who don't do squat.”
Bodhisattva, Yeah I read about them in the Atlanta paper last week.

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 04/01/13 - 09:41 am
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I concur with the letter writer

Obesity is not a mystery; when energy in > energy out, the overage is stored. Some have lower metabolic rates than others, but the physics still apply; those people just can't eat as much as their friends who have hotter running engines.

Now to the thrust of the letter; what responsibility does the school system have in this? I think 30 minutes/day of vigorous exercise should be required in order to replace the loss of burned calories a child would normally have if not sitting in a classroom all day. The only exceptions would be for student athletes or those medically excused.

The school systems should not make available any snacks, drinks, or lunches that are not balanced in nutrition. If a kid wants to bring a ham and cheese sandwich loaded with mayonnaise and saturated fat, that is between him and his mama/daddy; but the school can't provide the same unhealthy lunch.

Health education. I think the schools are well within their responsibility to provide heath education starting in 1st grade. A lot of parents are as clueless about healthy lifestyles as they are about trigonometry; so we owe it to our children to educate them about healthy living just as we teach them algebra and trig.

Do we need feds to lead the charge? No, not any more than we need them to dictate any other curriculum.

dichotomy
34360
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dichotomy 04/01/13 - 09:41 am
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We had standards. They could

We had standards. They could not meet them. So the "educators" got a waiver and they invented a new "subjective" evaluation system.....with no standards to meet. Having "standards" to meet put them under enough pressure to cause organized cheating. How dare we demand that our kids actually be taught to read, write, and do basic math, AND PROVE IT, BEFORE they hand them a diploma. So now THEY will evaluate THIER performance and your kids will still graduate dumb as a rock while THEY tell you everything is hunky dory.

I don't care if the feds or the local school districts are in charge and I don't care how much money you throw at "education"......nothing will change until we reinstitute absolute DISCIPLINE in the classroom, rethink "mainstreaming", and have a way to evaluate teachers and fire the large number of incompetent ones we have in the system today.

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 04/01/13 - 09:48 am
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How many exercised to this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=af2j59zzX3Q

You are telling your age if you remember it. ;)

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 04/01/13 - 09:57 am
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On dichotomy's point

I am very close to someone in the Columbia County school system. They are looking to get out and perhaps teach at a private school for less money.

WHOA you say! Bailing out of ColCo, one of the most popular systems in the state?

Yup. After just 3 or so years they are fed up.

1. No support from administration when dealing with problem children.

2. Very weak parental involvement or support. Most only show up to defend little Johnny when his grades are poor.

3. An administrative atmosphere that allows teachers to get by with a minimum rather than challenging them to excel or move on.

ColCo ain't all that and a bag of chips apparently.

KSL
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KSL 04/01/13 - 01:18 pm
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A man completely without shame

Obama has spent recklessly, increased the debt 6 trillion, so far, presented no budget, indulged himself, family and friends, and he has the nerve to sign this proclamation and make this speech:

http://minutemennews.com/2013/04/obama-proclaims-april-the-month-to-teac...

longleafpine
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longleafpine 04/01/13 - 04:20 pm
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PL 96-88

The decline in phys ed programs began after this law was passed. Our school has been in steady decline since that time.

burninater
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burninater 04/01/13 - 04:55 pm
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I love facts. I love facts so

I love facts. I love facts so much that when I hear something surprising, I take the time to find the evidence for surprising claims.

Take, for instance, the big buzz item that 80% of NYC grads can't read. That's a stunner. So I looked at the evidence.

Turns out, the REAL CUNY statement was that 80% of CUNY COMMUNITY COLLEGE APPLICANTS were not performing at COLLEGE LEVEL in reading, AND/OR writing, AND/OR math. What's more, 4-year CUNY college applicants that need additional work to reach college prep level are REQUIRED to attend the COMMUNITY COLLEGE. So this sample population of CUNY community college applicants is by default skewed with a concentration of those that need remedial work.

In addition, the majority of remediation needed was for MATH, not due to illilteracy.

Here's an article that actually took the time to determine what really was a fact.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/reedin_and_witin_KcnwYLfkhr6Mqecc2fQ7oO

When claimed "fact" is so far from the actual truth, as in this case, it is mind-boggling that so many people are willing to swallow false claims without actually checking their veracity. With the amount of information at our fingertips, there is just no excuse to let others lead you around with these types of fase claims.

KSL
134306
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KSL 04/01/13 - 05:04 pm
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One fact that cannot be denied

There has been a dumbing down of public school students over the decades.

ymnbde
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ymnbde 04/01/13 - 05:35 pm
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burninator your facts aren't facts

what exactly are you saying? that ny schools are really good? that only 79% can't read or do simple high school math? 75%? are you saying the statistics you mention are acceptable? Because they aren't
Exactly what are you defending? A students right to be uneducated?
Colleges all over the country, yes, right here in the csra no matter what you call the school, are getting kids from guvmint run high schools that are unprepared for college level work.
And that is a fact.
Donchajesluvit?

burninater
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burninater 04/01/13 - 06:00 pm
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Sorry ymnbde, I should have

Sorry ymnbde, I should have clarified that I was responding to an 8:39am link above, that claimed as a fact that 80% of NYC high school grads are illiterate, which is blatantly false.

Addressing problems is a good thing, but we first need to verify that the problems we think need addressing actually exist.

By far, we are failing to prepare kids in math and science -- but a study by ACT showed that only 25% of students were unprepared in all four of their focuses of reading, writing, math, and science. 60% were deficient in two of the four, most being math and science.

http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/high-school-notes/2012/08/22/high-...

It's hard to recruit STEM-proficient teachers, because contrary to some nonsense you hear, teachers are overworked and underpaid. Someone with Science and Math training has little motivation to go into K-12 teaching.

It also doesn't help that outside of the STEM community, there exists a strong culture of contempt for science and math in much of America.

KSL
134306
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KSL 04/01/13 - 06:58 pm
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burn, why is that re

"It's hard to recruit STEM-proficient teachers, because contrary to some nonsense you hear, teachers are overworked and underpaid. Someone with Science and Math training has little motivation to go into K-12 teaching.

It also doesn't help that outside of the STEM community, there exists a strong culture of contempt for science and math in much of America."

Could it be that PC has gradually been allowed to take over common sense dealing with problem children? Good teachers have never made enough for it to be the reason they go into teaching. They used to teach because they wanted to impart knowledge. I have known many great teachers to leave the public schools for private where they made less money and had no benefits.

burninater
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burninater 04/01/13 - 07:41 pm
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Could it be that PC has

Could it be that PC has gradually been allowed to take over common sense dealing with problem children?
-------
KSL, I'm not sure what type of non-PC discipline you're talking about, but all through my schooling I never saw a teacher use techniques that wouldn't be considered PC now, and classrooms were totally under control.

One factor that people overlook is that a lot of the underperforming kids are trying to go to college that wouldn't have in the past. There have always been kids that graduated high school and weren't considered "college material". Now, people suddenly think high schools are a failure just because those kids are applying to colleges when they didn't before, and the colleges are saying they need a little more work? Also, the amount of math and science kids are expected to know is far greater than it was in earlier generations -- and this is where we're primarily struggling. It used to be that kids didn't see calculus until college, for example. Now, a lot of colleges would raise their eyebrows at a prospective STEM undergrad who didn't have at least one, if not two years of calc by high school graduation.

People are quick to claim that low performance must equal systemic decay, but there is a strong case that it is in part a result of the bar being raised.

burninater
9680
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burninater 04/01/13 - 08:01 pm
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I'll tell you one thing that

I'll tell you one thing that is certainly different.

Kids act up, they acted up in my day, and my parents have their share of stories. Discipline was a private matter between the school, the kids, and the parents. It was never something that the local paper felt like it should broadcast to the town in a regular roundup of "look how horrible children and the world is this week". Is the AC reporting of school discipline something that's always been done around here, or is it part of the new media trend of reporting everything bad about everyone, whenever possible?

KSL
134306
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KSL 04/01/13 - 08:01 pm
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The very same people who have

The very same people who have no trouble with the lifestyle the Obamas enjoy want to tax the heck out of people who actually do something to make the money they make. Unbelievable! And incredibly stupid.

KSL
134306
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KSL 04/01/13 - 08:07 pm
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2
Science maybe just because of the advances,

But not math and the rules of the English language. My mother has continued her maths skills all of these years. Were you taught how to do cube roots in the 8th grade? Before calculators?

KSL
134306
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KSL 04/01/13 - 08:23 pm
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2
I don't know old you are

But a number of young males were corrected in the "cloak room" or older, sent to the principal's office. They had a second dose when they got home. I should say, the number was small. If you misbehaved in school, you nit only endured the primary punishment, you were shunned by the rest of the students. We would not hang out with anyone who misbehaved.

Illegitimate birthrate was almost totally non-existent, as was readily available birth control. Who knew teenagers could control themselves to that extent? Who knew?

burninater
9680
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burninater 04/01/13 - 08:20 pm
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I don't remember whether we

I don't remember whether we did cube roots by hand or not, but we had no calculators in math class.

Still, just because something was done in the past, doesn't mean that the world is lesser for not doing it now.

burninater
9680
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burninater 04/01/13 - 08:34 pm
2
0
Illegitimate birthrate was

Illegitimate birthrate was almost totally non-existent, as was readily available birth control. Who knew teenagers could control themselves to that extent? Who knew?
--------
Would it surprise you to know that the current teen birth rate is the lowest it has been since the mid-1940's?

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db89.pdf

The all-time high teen birth rate was in 1957, and less than half the rate difference is accounted for by the legalization of abortion. I'm not sure that impressions of self-control reflect the larger actuality.

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