The private sector will never roll out broadband to the bush

It seems that the tradition of the National Party leader selling out the party’s constituents whenever it conflicts with Liberal Party policy is alive and well.

A National Party think tank came up with the stunningly obvious idea of using T3 proceeds to pay for bush broadband rollouts But John Anderson has nixed the idea – apparently he thinks the private sector can do it better.

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Ah, so that’s the problem with the American education system.

The NY Times has an article on .”>problems with the US education system

The author, Diane Ravitch, points out the following:

It is hardly fair to blame high schools for the poor skills of their entering students. If students start high school without the basic skills needed to read, write and solve mathematics problems, then the governors should focus on strengthening the standards of their states’ junior high schools.

So that’s the problem: the US expects senior high schools to teach grammar school subjects. And Ms Ravitch thinks the solution is to get junior high schools to do it instead…

If a student can not adequately read, write, and perform arithmetic by the end of grammar school (primary school here in Oz), then either keep them there or flag them as a special needs student. Heck, if they can’t do it by grade 4 there’s an issue.

Earlier in the article:

Only a minority of students – whether in 4th, 8th or 12th grade – reach proficiency as measured by the Education Department’s National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Big surprise: if they’re not proficient at grade 4, a student is unlikely to become so in grade 8. This is really simple: if a student starts to slip behind, they need to be caught fast – the longer you leave it, the less likely they’ll ever become proficient.

I must be missing something

Bush is proposing a 2.5 trillion dollar budget. Supposedly, this manages the following:

  • it is the “president’s most austere budget to date”
  • it pushes the US federal budget deficit to “a record $427 billion”, and “is the third straight year the Bush administration will have set, in dollar terms, a deficit high.”

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There’s more to managing an economy than lowering taxest

Interesting article in the New York Times on how GW Bush is looking to reshape the American tax break.
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I’d rather be right than certain

The New York Times has a really interesting article on the faith-based presidency entitled Without a Doubt It covers a lot of the concerns, particularly within the Republican party, that people have about Bush’s willingness to ignore inconvenient facts.
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