Tag: Florida

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There is probably no body of water in Florida that doesn’t have alligators in it. It’s just a fact of life. So I celebrated the story of this 10-year old girl: Lifeguards say Ossa was wading waist-deep in water, about 30 feet from shore, when an 8-foot-9-inch alligator clamped down on her leg. The young […]

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Hurricane Matthew: Get Prepared Today

 

Hurricane Matthew Track Latest Hurricane Matthew tracking model from the National Hurricane Center.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is preparing the state for a direct hit by Hurricane Matthew in some form. The storm is supposed to head up the East Coast. It stayed stationary over poor Haiti and could pick up more steam.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is urging all residents to prepare for the worst ahead of a possible Hurricane Matthew hit. “It’s never too early to evacuate,” he said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Show a Little Class, Anderson Cooper

 
Cooper Bondi
CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviewing Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

I am no expert on the fine art of social dynamics. Nonetheless, it seems pretty clear that in times of great national stress, such as the carnage in Orlando, our impulses should be to unite a nation reeling from its wounds. But evidently that simple message of compassion and good sense never reached Anderson Cooper of CNN, who has found himself embroiled in a controversy over his interview with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi that turned into a stern lecture about her role in the litigation of same sex marriage in Florida that ended two years ago.

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On Wednesday, Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic wrote that Obama realizes and grapples with the fact that American civilians are sometimes ‘collateral damage’ when dealing with that-which-should-not-be-named. On Thursday, James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal rebutted semantically that ‘collateral damage’ is the incorrect term because any American civilian victims are the ‘intended target.’ At least Taranto uses the term […]

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There’s No Such Thing as a “Public” School

 

shutterstock_356921591Perhaps the most pervasive myth about our nation’s education system is the notion that “public schools have to take all children.” Last year, when criticizing charter schools that she claimed, “don’t take the hardest-to-teach kids,” Hillary Clinton quipped, “And so the public schools are often in a no-win situation, because they do, thankfully, take everybody.” In fact, they do not. At best, so-called “public” schools have to take all children in a particular geographic area, although they can (and do) expel children based on their behavior. They are more appropriately termed “district schools” because they serve residents of a particular district, not the public at large. Privately owned shopping malls are more “public” than district schools.

This wouldn’t be a serious problem if every district school offered a quality education but, in fact, they do not. Rather, the quality of education that the district schools provide tends to be highly correlated with the income levels of the residents of those districts. As Lindsey Burke of the Heritage Foundation and I noted last year, our housing-based system of allocating education leads to severe inequities:

There is a strong correlation between these housing prices and school performance. In nearly all D.C. neighborhoods where the median three-bedroom home costs $460,000 or less, the percentage of students at the zoned public school scoring proficient or advanced in reading was less than 45 percent. Children from families that could only afford homes under $300,000 are almost entirely assigned to the worst-performing schools in the District, in which math and reading proficiency rates are in the teens.

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Yesterday, as I ate dinner at a roadside cafe, I watched as the television news featured tweets from Colorado locals. The response to the latest Islamist terrorist attack, this time in Florida, proceeded with the regularity of an obsessive-compulsive routine: the pollyannas tweeted hashtag virtue signals in lieu of any substantive action, the news outlets […]

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On Religious Liberty, the Bathroom Wars, and Educational Choice

 

shutterstock_112057673Every now and then, Thomas Sowell writes a column titled “Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene” where he offers up gems like “Stupid people can cause problems, but it usually takes brilliant people to create a real catastrophe.”

I’m no Thomas Sowell, but here are a few of my own (much less pithy or clever) random thoughts the passing education policy scene:

Montana Department of Revenue: Religious Families Need Not Apply

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Randy Weivoda and I are both planning meetups for the weekend of Oct. 4-5. His is in Duluth, mine is in LA. Rob Long is threatening to plan one soon in D.C., and there will also be one on Nov. 8 in Ft. Lauderdale with Barkha Herman. So now that we’ve got most of the […]

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The Risk of Crist

 

Tonight as the sun sets in Pensacola, Charlie Crist will be the Democratic nominee for Governor of Florida. Yes, there’s a kind of pro-forma primary going on between Charlie and the hapless State Senator Nan Rich, a grating South Florida liberal of the Bella Abzug stripe, but everyone knows it isn’t serious. Crist has been the de facto nominee for over a year, plodding along in his faux-shucks way.

In essence, it isn’t about Crist the candidate. It’s about the Democratic Party. It’s a window into the deep, desperate soul of a state party looking for a foothold back into power. They know Crist is lying to them, and they love it. They know he’s playing them for patsies, and they’re lined up around the block to kiss his manorexic backside.

Teachers Union Sues to End Scholarships for Special Needs Kids

 

Julie Kleffel is a Florida mom who only wants what’s best for her daughter. Like most seven-year-olds, Faith has learned to read, write and do basic math. She’s also on a swim team and enjoys long-distance running. These accomplishments are all the more impressive since Faith was born with Down syndrome.

After a local preschool didn’t offer the special attention Faith required, her mom decided to homeschool. Her education is now specialized to ensure she gets the one-on-one teaching and speech therapy required.