Home > Blatant Stupidity, Edumacashun. > “Hope” is NOT a plan…

“Hope” is NOT a plan…


As the good folks of Georgia are finding out.

Let me start off by making a couple of things clear, or at least trying to.

  • Every dollar spent by the federal government on “education” in any form is a dollar wasted. The return on investment is ZERO. That includes money for “studies”; money spent on (not invested in) bricks and mortar at the federal, state or local level; money targeted to “improve” specific schools; federal block grants to the states; every crying dime of money spent propping up student loans and every nickle of Pell Grants.
  • Most of the money poured into state colleges and universities is perfectly good cash that could be used for something that is useful.

OK, so now you should know where I’m coming from on the subject of education in general.  If you’re not clear, reread the above points until you are.  If you’re still having a problem understanding, Google “higher education bubble” by clicking the link and read at least five of the articles.  That brings us to the subject for today, the State of Georgia.  The Legislature passed and some Governor or another signed a bill a while back – 1993 to be exact – creating the Georgia Hope Scholarship Program. The point of this program, according to the politicians who wrote it and passed it, was to help good high school students in Georgia attend college and to attend “for free”. [Insert screed here re: ain’t no fricking free lunch!]  The bottom line with the program is that if you graduate from high school with a “B” average you get as much as $6,000 per year toward your college costs.  According to the article in the New York Times

A majority of freshmen in Georgia have grades good enough to qualify for Hope, which covers tuition, some books and fees — but not housing costs — at any Georgia university or technical school.

My first instinct with that line is “Huh?”  [scratch, scratch, scratch] “A MAJORITY?”  Now since I’m old and have managed to acquire a reasonable – cynical, but reasonable – understanding of human nature, let me point something out that you may also have already figured out.

  • Politicians promise parents “free” school for their kids.
  • Politicians “pay” for the program with proceeds from state sanctioned gambling (lottery), typically played by those who can least afford it.
  • Parents then exert tremendous pressure to achieve specified grades to qualify for “$$$Free Money$$$” (thank you JD Hayworth) on their kids.  Oops, make that their kids TEACHERS.  Teachers, reacting to a point of pain that they perceive can be easily remedied, practice “Grade Inflation” (note, link requires strong stomach or alcohol).
  • More kiddos that the politicians “thought” (any references to “politicians” and “thinking” at 908 Straight St! are very strained and generally used for comedic effect) magically qualify for the program.
  • Costs of the program spiral upwards. Is there any other direction?
  • A “crisis” eventually ensues.
  • The New York Times and whatever the local paper of the same ilk get hysterical. Cut to appropriate response for such hysterical behavior.

So, is this program a waste of money?  Yeah, it is.  Some anecdotal evidence from the same NYT article…

ATHENS, Ga. — Students here at the University of Georgia have a name for some of the fancy cars parked in the lots around campus. They call them Hopemobiles. But there may soon be fewer of them.

The cars are gifts from parents who find themselves with extra cash because their children decided to take advantage of a cherished state perk — the Hope scholarship.
[…]
And even though as many as two-thirds of Hope students let their college grades slip so much that they no longer qualify — “I’ve lost Hope,” they joke when it happens — Georgia still gives away more financial aid per student than any other state.

If The Times would like to do some research, they might also check to see how many Hope recipients are also taking out Federally Subsidized Title IV Student Loans, and just where that money is going.

“Free Money” from the government, doled out in large parcels, may buy some votes for a time.  Oh heck, it WILL buy votes for a time, but that time may well be coming to an end.  In addition, the idea that everybody “needs” a college education or that a college education will provide certain benefits may also be coming to an end.  We, as a nation, need to step back and take a deep breath and understand that we’ve been sold a bill of goods by the education establishment and in the process of thinking that college for all is either good or worthy, the establishment has dumbed-down the process so that those who aren’t prepared for or simply aren’t able to do “the work” of real academics won’t get their feelings hurt.  The result is a second rate education, on it”s way to becoming a third rate education, is available to all at a staggering cost.  And that cost is not just the student loan balances that people leave school with, nor is it the tremendously high cost of state and federal subsidies for educational institutions that graduate students who can’t communicate in standard English, can’t write in a form that’s doesn’t look like a text message and who have “degrees” that don’t qualify them to do much more than find out if a customer wants fries with his lunch.  The cost of college-for-all is the proliferation of degree programs that have the words “studies” or “science” in them that prepare their graduates for nothing more challenging than going to grad school to get an “advanced degree” in the same crap which will qualify said “student” to do nothing more challenging than teach college level courses to other simple minded fools.

It’s time to take a hard look at our colleges and universities and, as with most things, get back to basics.  Degree programs should offer the student the opportunity to be exposed to real knowledge not pap or pop culture.  The emphasis of universities should be to graduate students who have mastered difficult academic material, not to hand out worthless diplomas so students and parents will feel good about a supposed “accomplishment” that will show itself to be near worthless in a very short time.

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  1. Westie
    January 15, 2011 at 4:12 am

    Great info 908….never realized how messed up GA Ed is….bet it is the same here in SC with the ‘hopen’ lotto deal….money for nothing for the politicos to dole out.

  2. aesthete
    February 9, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    In more positive education news, Indiana has passed a bill expanding its charter school program, and killing some funding for regular public schools: http://www.indystar.com/article/20110209/NEWS05/102090324/1001/entertainment/Teachers-speak-up-House-passes-charter-school-bill

    I like the comment from Daniels. Not quite Christie, but no blather about how union people are good people who just want the best for our children, etc: “As always, the union’s demand is more money, no change. Their priority is their organization, not the young people of Indiana. Their special interest domination of education policy from the local level to the Statehouse has hurt Indiana children for too long, and this year change must finally come.”

    This is the best part, though: “The budget he proposed to the legislature would give schools no more money than they got last year, while the charter school bill will spread that money over more facilities.

    And, they argued, the bill could force property tax increases as it requires districts to share some of their transportation funds with charter schools, or bus those students directly.

    In addition, the bill requires school districts to let charter schools lease or buy buildings if less than 10 percent of the building is used for student instruction; lets parents initiate the process to convert a traditional school to a charter if 51 percent of them support it; and gives students attending online virtual schools 90 percent of the statewide average per-pupil funding that now goes to traditional schools.”

    They say that like those are bad things. Feature, not bug.

  3. brittanicus01
    February 27, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    States should are striving to set-up their own immigration laws now, when it became more discernible that the Federal government was not living up to its own policies or completing the border fence amongst other things. Arizona was the first to distinguish this, as their great State was first to be overrun by non-English speaking aliens scrambling for support from Public services. In Contrast is the Sanctuary State of California; while the Grand Canyon State never had the financial resources to honor the unfunded federal mandates. Foreign nationals slipped through the border bringing their unborn babies with them, to become a major burden on frontier States, because the courts had said we must monetary pander to anybody who steps on our soil. That’s why the Border States schools are heavily populated with the offspring of illegal aliens, relieving their own countries from educating them; bringing even more poverty to America.

    In border States and throughout the country these unfunded mandate laws, establishing that emergency rooms must give health treatment to anybody who walks through the doors regardless whether they can pay or not. over these years 60 hospitals and clinics closed their doors, because of insufficient funds to cover the enormous costs in California and Nevada. Judges in the last decade have warned the California prison system that they needed to alleviate overcrowding, which is full of illegal alien gangs and some of the most dangerous criminals spawned from the Hispanic countries. Southwestern States have been crippled by the unparalleled migration costing legal citizens and permanent residents hundreds of billions of dollars every year. The new arrivals are nothing like 20th century immigrants coming through Ellis Island, NY or Galveston, Texas as no Social Services existed back then.

    Today–impoverished illegal aliens are gutting the welfare system; bringing record numbers of deadly criminals and terrorist from further afield. Business interests in many States have purchased their own politicians, so the border still remains open to some extent. This is predominately indicated with silent corruption of underfunding the 2006 Secure Fencing Act within months of being enacted. Many radical organizations have been successful in keeping the border open and over-stretching the limited resources of US agents patrolling this war zone, has become an incessant nightmare. Continually harassed by rock throwing thugs or guns aimed at our relentless border protectors; now have been overrun by drug cartels that kill without conscience. The border region once a place of desolate enjoyment, with the sound of high winging birds is now no place for American environmentalist or outdoors persons as large areas of territory are covered with the remnants of human waste, garbage heaps, the dregs left by illegal nationals slipping through barriers in open places; barricaded with just a few strands of rusty barbed wire or in locations where no fence exists.

    There is no quick fix to this silent invasion that has taken at least two decades, to bring millions of foreigners across our borders or arriving by jet with no intentions of returning to Europe, Asia other continents. Now we must go the distance by joining the TEA Party. We can hold both the Democrats-Liberals and Republicans accountable for the years of abandonment, spending taxpayers money on millions of foreign nationals instead of our infrastructure and the well being of real Americans of every color, race or religion. Arizona’s political leadership finally devoured enough rhetoric from the powers in Washington, stating that the destitute, uneducated was for the greater good of each States economies; except that illegal aliens was just eroding the safety-net and prospective retirement for senior Americans.We will always need degreed profession people, but we are not here to satisfy the indigent of other countries with our dollars.

    Finally, one decent State not mired in political regression or union interference has seen the light. The fact that unions have quietly been catering to illegal immigrants in our midst, so to fortify their dwindling numbers have allowed membership. Assessing their rising financial damage Arizona State Senator Pierce and his Republican retinue authored their own immigration laws, as the federal government just refused to do so. Now undaunted by being sued by Obama’s Department of Justice Czar in the Washington, has shown other States that the DOJ is a lost cause. Arizona has been a mentor for all States who have been less aggressive. As the political statesman in Washington mull over their own paramount issues, like funding two foreign wars and the satellite military bases, along with the monolithic spending to satisfy the industrial base and bailouts financial institutions.

    States less qualified to handle large flows of illegal immigrants, have tested their leadership by enacting its own enforcement laws, such as Utah, Georgia, Texas and many other States in far corners of the US. Those States that remains indifferent to The People’s need for relief from supporting illegal foreign families, will be doomed to higher taxes, spiraling crime and the attenuate of their states treasuries. Every State that wants to defend and protect its legal inhabitants needs to mandate nationwide policing laws E-Verify, 287 (G) and Secure Communities to safeguard America’s people. The only answer to businesses hiring illegal alien labor, is to lock the employers-up and throw away the key? We need a felony wrap for any illegal alien who steps across the border and take away their freedom. Sen. Harry Reid was returned to power because Nevada is deluged with illegal aliens and It’s my opinion fraudulently used the absentee ballots in the election. States are just recognizing that VOTER FRAUD is alive and well in many States, without the feds stepping in and insisting on 2 forms of government ID, before you vote.

    NO copyright, ever. Distribute freely.

  1. January 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm

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