By DR. LARRY MOSES
No one asked me but… Roger Clemens pitched another shut out, this one against the federal government.
For five years while the country has been fighting a major recession, people have been losing their investments, jobs have been disappearing, and pensions have deteriorated, our federal government has been aggressively pursuing Mr. Clemens because they believed he lied to a Congressional investigating committee. The government contends that when Clemens claims he was injected with B12, not steroids, he was lying to Congress. What started out as an investigation of steroid use in baseball turned into charges of lying to Congress and obstructing the Congressional procedure.
While Clemens was found not guilty of all six counts brought against him, I truly believe that the jurors did not think he had not lied, but they just really didn’t care. I believe they felt that if he was obstructing Congress, he is to be praised.
Obstructing that bunch is a blessing for the American people. Congress has lost so much integrity that the people seem to believe that to lie to them is no longer a crime. Since the government continually lies to the people, it seems only fair the people should be allowed to lie to the government.
While I don’t doubt that Clemens used performance enhancing drugs and lied about it to Congress, I don’t believe Congress should have been wasting its time on such a mundane issue. Those who used performance enhancing drugs in athletics should be punished by their own governing bodies.
At the time the players were committing these acts, they were not against the regulations of Major League Baseball.
Now those who know me know I am a baseball fan and don’t believe that those who cheat with performance enhancing drugs should be honored along with those who don’t. But it surely does not raise to the level of a national emergency. Those who admitted the usage; as well as those who have denied it but are obviously lying; should never enter the Hall of Fame, no matter how good their stats are.
The most amazing thing is that now Senator Reid and Senator McCain are calling for an investigation of a boxing match whose results they question.
Excuse me, Mr. Reid: I don’t care if the fight was fixed. What I want you to fix is our economy, work on that, please.
No one asked me but… Every time I think there is nothing more to say about the ineptitude of the Clark County School Board, I am proved wrong. I have been following the district attempt to salvage the educational programs at three “turn-a-round” high schools in Las Vegas.
You may well remember that those schools were forced to let all of their teachers and administrators go and start over with a new administration that was not allowed to rehire more than half of the original staff. This rather drastic action was taken because the schools had failed to make “Adequate Yearly Progress”, whatever that may be, for three years in a row. Beyond the staffing changes, the district poured over $2 million extra into the facilities and another extra million into the operations of these schools. We have yet to see the results, though I am sure there will be some improvement.
This is all written to preface the latest decision of the Board in dealing with underperforming schools.
About ten years ago, EdisonLearning, a New York-based for-profit educational management company, was hired to “turn-a-round” six underperforming elementary schools in the Clark County School District. The district has spent as much as $1300 extra per student at the various Edison schools.
What have they gained by this? Nothing. Not a single one of the Edison schools have met the federal guidelines that the schools run by district personnel must meet. After eleven years of for-profit education at the seven Edison schools, only half of the students are on grade level in English. Proficiency rates for mathematics are between 44 and 76 percent and tese rates fall to 18 to 44 percent in writing.
None of the Edison schools met the federal No Child Left Behind’s standards last year. Ronnow Elementary School, an Edison school, has not met the standard for eight years. In comparison, five out of the seven district schools with similar student populations met the standards.
This may be the greatest indictment of privatization of public education one will ever see. The district gave a private company a ton more money to do the job and they failed to produce. Had these schools been run by the district, entire staffs and administrations would have been let go. However, in this case the private company received a contract renewal.
What was the rationale for extending a two year $7.6 million contract to EdisonLearning? The parents, students, teachers, and administrators like the program.
Well, so did the parents, students, teachers, and administrators at Chaparral High School. But that didn’t save their school from a complete overhaul.
The majority of the school board members voted in favor of the extension of contract with the explanation that Edison needs a chance to improve. Excuse me! They had eleven years and millions of extra dollars to improve. Now we are going to give them millions more above the cost of the regular students in Clark County School District to continue their failed programs?
For probably the only time in my life, I agree with Board Member Carolyn Edwards who said, “I’m not sure why we would continue the contract”, as she voted against the extension.
The much-maligned teachers and administrators who were removed from the “turn-a-round” schools must surely be shaking their head wondering why they were thrown under the bus while a private company is continually rewarded for their lack of performance.
No one asked me but…Did anyone else do a second take at Governor Sandoval’s statement that he was going to save the state five million dollars by consolidate two state programs for retraining the unemployed. The saving will come from laying off 83 state employees. At least there will be a consolidated program to retrain them. Folks you can’t make this stuff up.
Thought of the week… Sometimes I’m confused by what I think is really obvious. But what I think is really obvious obviously isn’t obvious. – Michael Stipe