Are Trump and the birthers hypocrites? Racists?

April 28, 2011

You will love this post from Day Riffer:

Looks Like Trump’s Right: How the Hell Did This President Get Into Those Ivy League Schools?


– “The dean looked over Barack’s transcript and college boards and then suggested in a kindly way that he apply to some less competitive colleges in addition to Columbia.”

– “There were no class rankings at his high school, but Barack never made honor roll even one term, unlike 110 boys in his class.”

– “His SAT scores were 566 for the verbal part and 640 for math. Those were far below the median scores for students admitted to his class at Columbia: 668 verbal and 718 math.”

– “At Columbia, Barack Obama distinguished himself primarily as a hard partier, and he managed to be detained by police twice during his university years: once for stealing a Christmas wreath as a fraternity prank and once for trying to tear down the goalposts during a football game at Princeton.”

– “Obama’s transcript at Columbia shows that he was a solid C student. Although a history major, he sampled widely in the social sciences and did poorly in political science and economics while achieving some of his best grades (the equivalent of a B+) in philosophy and anthropology. The transcript indicates that in Obama’s freshman year, the only year for which rankings were available, he was in the twenty-first percentile of his class—meaning that four-fifths of the students were above him. Yet at the same time that he was earning Cs at Columbia, Obama displayed a formidable intelligence in another way. At his induction into the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity, he and others were asked to name all fifty-four pledges in the room. Most were were able to name only five or six. When it was Obama’s turn, he named every single one. Later he rose to become president of DKE, and he was also tapped into Skull and Bones, an elite secret society to which his father had also belonged.”

And then he somehow got into Harvard for graduate school.

Oh, wait.

My bad.

I made a mistake.

Please replace the reference to “high school” with “Andover.”

Please replace “Columbia” with “Yale.”

Please replace “Barack Obama” with “George W. Bush.”



Read more:

Tip of the old scrub brush to Kenny, back from China and “digging deep” in his new studies.

Encore post: Quote of the moment: Education’s rising tide of mediocrity

April 28, 2011

National Commission on Excellence in Education meeting with President Reagan

With Ben Franklin’s bust looking on, National Commission on Excellence in Education met with President Ronald Reagan, in the White House (image from Lawrence-Berkeley Laboratories and Glenn Seaborg)

[2015 update: Here’s something to ponder about wonders of technology in education: If the internet is so good, what happened to the history of the Excellence in Education Commission, and this now-missing photo, above?]

White House, Washington, DC, 1983—Photo courtesy of The White House; Center for Studies in Higher Education, University of California - Berkeley

Secretary of Education Terrel Bell, President Ronald Reagan, David Gardner, White House, Washington, DC, 1983—Photo courtesy of The White House; Center for Studies in Higher Education, University of California – Berkeley (Click photo to link to a list of resources on the commission) (Photo added January 16, 2015)

“Our nation is at risk. The educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity. If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. We have, in effect, been committing an act of unthinking, unilateral educational disarmament. History is not kind to idlers.”

Those warnings, grim and intentionally provocative, were issued last week by the 18-member National Commission on Excellence in Education in a 36-page report called A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform. Headed by University of Utah President David P. Gardner, the NCEE was set up 20 months ago by Secretary of Education Terrel Bell to examine U.S. educational quality.

– Ellie McGrath, “To Stem ‘A Tide of Mediocrity,'” Time, May 9, 1983.

This is an encore post from 2007 — we probably need to repeat this more often.  Milton Goldberg, the executive director of the National Commission on Excellence in Education, and Commission Chairman David P. Gardner probably wrote that paragraph.  It should be engraved over the doors of the administration buildings of every school district in America, I think.

Alas, it’s still true.  It’s more true now, with the full-bore War on Education waged by people like Texas Gov. Rick Perry, aided, sometimes intentionally but sometimes not, by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and people like Michelle Rhee.


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