Tag Archives: florida

Academic inferiority, its recognition and treatment

One of the reasons that No Child Left Behind is such a wonderful program is that it forces schools to recognize the poor performance of their black and hispanic students.

Before George Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” Act, schools sweep their failure to teach black and hispanic students under the rug. The mandatory testing and requirement for continuous improvements forces schools to come to grip with the particularly awful education that this country provides for too many black and hispanic children, and deal with it.

The compassioniate way to fix the problem is to fix education, to do the hard work to make sure that black and hispanic children are prepared to learn.

The way popular among many school bureaucrats is to deny the problem.

To wit:

Unless you believe that African-American and Latino kids are somehow, as a group, academically inferior to white kids,” Welner said, “then you have to believe there are a lot of kids in those lower-track classes who have the potential for tremendous academic success.”

The way that African-American and Latino kids are somehow, as a group, ‘academically inferior is that schoold don’t educate them. What person believes that blacks and hispanics earn graduate degrees, earn undergradate degrees, or graduate high school at the same rate of whites? Who thinks that blacks and hispanics enter the 12th, 11th, 10th, 9th, 8th, 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, or 1st grades, or kindergarten for that matter, with the same academic advantages as white children?

The context for the above quote is a story, courtesy of Half-Sigma titled “Higher learning: More middle-schoolers leapfrog into advanced classes — but are minorities being left behind?:”

For decades, high-school students have taken community-college courses to dress up their resumes and prepare for college.

Now, competitive middle-schoolers in Florida are flocking to sign up for high-school classes.

For parents and students, it’s a great chance to get ahead. And school districts have something else to brag about: seventh- and eighth-graders completing courses such as Algebra II Honors and biology that had been reserved primarily for ninth- and 10th-graders.

But the nation’s foremost scholars in middle-school education are worried the fast-growing trend is leaving minority children behind. They also question whether the practice is legal because, nationwide, it has tended to result in students being segregated by race.

In Florida, high-school-level classes at middle schools are filled mostly with white kids. That’s the case even at some schools where most of the kids are black or Hispanic, according to an Orlando Sentinel analysis of public records from the Florida Department of Education and school districts.

The trend has sparked a lively debate nationwide between those who say middle-school students aren’t ready to be treated like high-school students and those arguing that the brightest children shouldn’t be held back because minorities aren’t signing up for certain courses.

Some disparities in Central Florida this school year include:

*At Lee Middle School in Orlando, 93 percent of the kids who take high-school geometry and 77 percent who take Earth-Space science are white. Meanwhile, 29 percent of all Lee students are white.

Predictably, the leftists want to criminalize education, both to hold down high-performing kids and hide exposing the fact taht schools leave blacks and hispanics as the low performing kids:

Though officials at the federal Office of Civil Rights wouldn’t speculate about whether local schools have broken any rules, some of the country’s leading scholars say it could be just a matter of time before such disparities trigger an investigation.

George Bush was the greatest President for civil rights that America ever had. While other Presidents either ignored the issue or took the easy way out by puffing their chests and staging worthless shows of force, Bush recognized the crucial role that education plays. George Bush revolutionaized America’s educational system, creating the “No Child Left Behind” framework that forces schools to objective assess students and show continuous improvements.

While leftists, both in this article and elsewhere, want to make American education equally useless to everyone, those who care about our nation’s future want every student to be rigorously educated. Even if the first step in that process is recognizing that we fall short of that goal now.

The Sugar Buyout

My thanks to Eddie of Hidden Unities, for uncovering the worst arguments from around the blogosphere. He brought Andrew Sullivan’s rant to my attention (Sullivan was also wrong on his bizarre flat capital tax, btw), identified Kaplan’s piece on Malthus (also highlighted on Eddie’s blog), and recently shared this criticism of Florida’s buy-out of U.S. Sugar via Google Reader. (The story-behind-the-story is the news that the State of Florida would buy-out part of U.S. Sugar to protect the Everglades.)

I don’t follow Floridian environmental news to comment on the purchase itself. The mix of positives and negatives on a deal like this is complicated, and I defer to Floridians for informed comment. Still, this piece presents the worst imaginably argument against the buy-out. Author James Gibney complains:

Environmentalists are swooning over the agreement, which could restart the natural flow of water from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay. But don’t break out your plastic pink flamingos just yet. The deal smells worse than the stinkiest of the sulfate-contaminated wetlands it’s supposed to revive, continuing one of the longest-running rip-offs in the history of the republic.

Under the proposed agreement, Florida will pay U.S. Sugar Corp. $350 per share for its land and facilities. That’s about 20 percent more than the $293-per-share private offer U.S. Sugar received three years ago. More damningly, it is well above the highest “fair market value” price of $204 per share that the trustee of the company’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan was offering workers who retired. Republican Governor Charlie Crist, who engineered the deal, wasn’t particularly eager to talk about how the state came up with the $1.7 billion valuation. Doubtless the $30,000 that U.S. Sugar and its subsidiaries chipped in for his inauguration, and the $600,000 that it and other sugar companies gave to his campaign, had nothing to do with his calculations.

The entire argument boils down to this: U. S. Sugar has large negative externalities, and is politically powerful.

Well, obviously. Why else would there be a serious buy-out proposal? Has anyone proposed buying-out and shutting down Microsoft, Google, or some company with large positive externalities? Has anyone proposed buying-out drunk drivers, or some other disempowered minority?

Buy-outs are a method for increasing the general welfare by identifying processes of the economy that are harmful, and inducing the stakeholders of those processes to abandon their efforts. I first became aware of them during the Tobacco Buyout, which likewise reduced negative externalities by working with stakeholders.

Buyouts are alternatives to rule by fiat, where the government passes a law or promulgates a regulation that would simply end the externality-generating processes. This can be the case if the potential victim of the fiat is able to fend of political attacks, such as the tobacco farmers or U.S. Sugar.

Whether the everglades deal is good or bad, the hit-piece against it is bizarre.

Elisabet Sunde: Sexual Predator

Elizabeth Sunde? Elisabeth Sunde? Elisabet Sunde?

The minor details of the case keep changing. Is her name ? , as the Orange County Clerk of Courts maintains? Perhaps ?

“Elizabeth Sunde”

Is her age 19? 26?

Whatever it is, she deserves twenty years in prison, and she’ll probably get a fine.

Elizabeth Sunde, 26 (09.26.86), 8037 Gables Commons Drive #127, told investigators that she was approached by five or six “French men” in her apartment…

First, what we do know about her. She was born on September 26, 1986. She’s 5 foot 4 and 140 pounds. Her address was:

Elisabet Sunde
8037 Gables Commons Drive #127
The Commons
Orlando, FL 32821


And she used switchboard, (407) 560-2280, for incoming calls.

She was booked on March 3rd, 2006, and currently resides in cell B-FD-4. Her address at Orange County Incarcerationshas been

Elisabet Sunde
06009224 B-FD-4
P.O. Box 4970
Orlando, FL 32802-4970

Sickeningly, if I’m reading her inmate record, correctly, she can be out with only $500 bond.

She’s a slut. That’s clear. She had sex with four men. From the videotaped evidence she enjoyed it.

Much, much worse (Elisabet’s private life, after all, is her own) is that she cried rape. Some people believed her. Fortunately, skepticism and video-taped evidence won the day.

For attempting to ruin the lives of several young men, almost nothing will happen.

The most horrible part is the lack of punishment she’s facing. If we are to believe the Orlando Sentinel‘s account, she’s been charged with of breaking Florida State Statue 837.05(1)

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), whoever knowingly gives false information to any law enforcement officer concerning the alleged commission of any crime, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

And Florida State Statute 837.06

False official statements.–Whoever knowingly makes a false statement in writing with the intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of his or her official duty shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

Misdemeanors. She may get more from getting arrested while carrying marijuana.

A fellow blogger makes a good point:

Women who make false charges of rape should face the same harsh penalties as a man accused of rape, and she should have to register as a sex offender. She should also have to inform every man she dates or has sexual relations with that she has made a false charge of rape in the past; if she fails to do so it would mean a mandatory life sentence without parole.

Elisabet Sunde is a sexual predator. The law should treat her like one.

Just like Sharon Irons should be.