Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Yestedray, I wrote this post to highlight Gov. Dayton’s juvenile jab at North Dakota. Here’s what he said that caught my attention:

“Every night I dream before I go to sleep of mobilizing the National Guard and annexing North Dakota.” He then quickly followed that statement by saying he’d just been interested in annexing the part of the state will oil, “They can have the rest of it.”

Apparently, North Dakotans don’t care about Gov. Dayton’s juvenile statement. This Gallup poll is telling. This graphic is exceptionally telling:

Gov. Dayton and the DFL should study this graphic before making another childish statement:

North Dakotans are not just satisfied with their economy, however. Across the 50 states, North Dakotans are the most likely to rate their K-12 education as excellent or good, to agree that their schools prepare students to get a good job, and to be satisfied with the education system or schools overall.

I can hear Gov. Dayton, the DFL and the Alliance for a Better Minnesota screaming that this can’t be. In Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s minds, Minnesota is the education state in the Upper Midwest.

What’s most telling, though, is that Dakotans think their air quality is great. The percentage of people that said they were satisfied with their air quality was the highest in the nation. The percentage of people who said that they were satisfied with their water quality was above average nationally.

Gov. Dayton and the metrocentric DFL should take a look at this:

“Oil is a very thick frosting on a very nicely baked cake,” Peterson says. Oil had been found in North Dakota before, but Dalrymple, Peterson, and Al Anderson, North Dakota state commerce commissioner, agree that the volume and velocity of the boom was unexpected. Dalrymple says there were 200,000 barrels a day in 2009, compared with 1 million barrels a day now.

“The rapid evolution of the oil industry was not foreseen,” says Anderson. “We had seen oil booms come and go but now the technology has changed,” Peterson says. “We didn’t realize how much oil was in the ground. We found ways to extract oil that we could never expect.”

In addition to oil, success in agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism are contributing factors to North Dakota’s having the lowest unemployment in the U.S. for the past four years. The state has added 116,000 jobs since 2000, a job-growth increase of 35.6%. Net migration in the state is up 12.7% since 2000. This onrush of new jobs and workers has strained the housing market. North Dakota residents are fully aware of this, as 61% say they are satisfied with the availability of affordable housing in their state, one of the lowest in the nation.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL insist that North Dakota’s economic boom is tied to the Bakken boom. There’s no denying that it’s a huge factor in North Dakota’s economic success. Still, there’s no denying the fact that manufacturing and agriculture play a big role in North Dakota’s economic boom time.

At a time when Gov. Dayton and the DFL are trying to make Minnesota’s economy more metrocentric, they should be looking at the success our neighbors to the west are experiencing.

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After reading this article on school choice, it’s time to highlight the leaders of this generation’s civil rights movement:

“Many of the athletes,” said Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel of the American Federation for Children, “come from humble backgrounds. They know what happened to many of their classmates who couldn’t make it out of failing schools. And they know that athletic skills good enough to play in the NBA and NFL shouldn’t be the only way out of poverty for these kids, as is too often the case.”

The former District councilman added, “That’s why they’re supporting school choice.”

Their new video, “Educational Choice Now,” features Sanders, Olympic gold medal winner and former WNBA star Lisa Leslie, ESPN analyst Jalen Rose, actor Louis Gossett Jr., Fox Sports journalist Stephen A. Smith, Cosby Show actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, gospel duo “Mary Mary,” gold medal swimmer Janet Evans, skateboarder Theotis Beasley, soprano Mary Millben, boxer Laila Ali, Jamie Foxx Show star Garcelle Beauvais and former talk show hostess Kathie Lee Gifford.

“Many young people in America today face a harsh reality. Their fate in life is determined by their ZIP code. For an overwhelming number of African Americans and other minorities, having the wrong ZIP code keeps you from a high school diploma, a college degree, and a future that offers you opportunities that match your talents,” Rose wrote in today’s Orange County Register.

“An athletic scholarship shouldn’t be a child’s best opportunity to receive an education. That’s not right and it’s not fair. Neither luck nor the ability to dribble a basketball should be the only tickets out of an underperforming school. It is well past time that our elected officials enact common sense reform to save a generation of children from a fate they do not deserve,” added Rose, a former player for the Chicago Bulls.

This is something Republicans should tout in their outreach to minority communities. Tommy Thompson was the first governor to implement school choice in his state, with John Engler following close behind. Meanwhile, David Obey is just one of the Democrats who hate school choice:

Last week, the Democrat-controlled House passed a spending bill that spells the end, after the 2009-10 school year, of the federally funded program that enables poor students to attend private schools with scholarships of up to $7,500. A statement signed by Mr. Obey as Appropriations Committee chairman that accompanied the $410 billion spending package directs D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee to “promptly take steps to minimize potential disruption and ensure smooth transition” for students forced back into the public schools.

It’s time for these inner city families to tell Democrats they either start supporting school choice or these minorities will start supporting the people who support school choice.

This isn’t a political issue to these families. It’s a matter of life and death. I applaud Deion Sanders, Vivica Fox, Jalen Rose and all the others who support the school choice movement. If these celebrities are willing to work with GOP legislators at the state level, I’m positive they’ll receive an enthusiastic reception.

It’s important, though, for Republicans to highlight the fact that this isn’t about politics. They need to tell minority communities that it’s a moral issue with them, too. It’s about this old cliche: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Doing the right thing for the right reasons is always the smart thing to do. These celebrities have earned that praise.

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Greg Riegstad’s LTE is short because he accepted the task of explaining why Zach Dorholt deserves re-election:

Zach Dorholt deserves re-election to the Minnesota House of Representatives.

After years of gridlock in our state government, this last session made real progress. The Legislature made a real commitment to education, reduced taxes for the middle class, and turned the budget deficit to a surplus.

The second paragraph is utterly laughable. First, the DFL spent more money on education. That isn’t the same as saying that they “made a real commitment to education.” Dorholt was the vice-chair of the Higher Ed Committee. As vice-chair of the committee, Dorholt didn’t pay attention to the corruption within MnSCU. Clarence Hightower, then-chairman of the MnSCU Board of Trustees, negotiated a contract renewal with MnSCU Chancellor Steve Rosenstone.

What’s stunning is that the House Higher Ed Committee did’t even know that it’d been negotiated. The other thing that’s stunnning is that Hightower negotiated the contract extension before giving Rosenstone a performance review.

During the 2014 ‘Unsession’, the House Higher Ed Committee met 4 times, twice to hear bonding presentations, once to hear about a supplemental appropriation and another time to move a bill onto the General Register. Noticeably missing are any oversight hearings.

Thanks to Mssrs. Pelowski and Dorholt, $2,000,000 was quietly spent on a consulting firm that prefered to “work in the background.” Saying that oversight wasn’t a priority for Mssrs. Pelowski and Dorholt is understatement.

Second, the DFL promised property tax relief. That won’t happen because school districts are raising property taxes. A tiny percentage of people will see the property tax relief that the DFL promised.

Third, saying that they started with a deficit and turned it into a surplus isn’t an accomplishment. Thanks to the fiscal restraint of the GOP legislature, the deficit was $624,000,000. When the DFL controlled the legislature from 2007-2010, the deficits were more than $5,000,000,000.

Fourth, what the DFL isn’t telling people is that they spent one-time money on ongoing expenses. The surplus that they’re bragging about doesn’t exist.

Let’s also remind people of some other things that this “working group” accomplished. They spent $90,000,000 on a plush office building that’ll be used 4 months a year. They spent it on that instead of using that money to fix Minnesota’s roads and bridges. That money could’ve fixed ton of roads. Instead, Mr. Dorholt chose to spend it on his friends in the Senate.

Mr. Dorholt also voted to raise taxes and fees by $2,500,000,000. Then he voted to reduce that tax increase by $300,000,000, which he’s now calling a tax cut. The taxes he raised has sent companies scurrying from Minnesota.

We can’t afford more of Zach Dorholt’s accomplishments. That’s why he needs to be replaced by Jim Knoblach.

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Tim Pugmire’s article on the Senate Office Building highlights the DFL’s misplaced priorities and the DFL’s campaign year spin:

A recent KSTP poll found the public disapproval of the building at 68 percent. The four Republicans trying to unseat Dayton are making it a campaign issue, and so are their allies. The group Americans for Prosperity highlighted the issue in a new radio ad slamming Dayton.

“Let’s not forget that he spent $90 million for a brand new office building for state Senators…and new offices for himself too,” an announcer says in the ad. “So, Mark Dayton is building places for politicians while we struggle to make ends meet.”

Here’s House Majority Leader Erin Murphy’s spin on the DFL’s disaster:

“It’s not coming up for Minnesotans. It’s not coming up as I’m talking to our members, and they’re out door knocking already,” said Murphy, DFL-St. Paul. “So, I understand that the Republicans think it’s an issue that they can use to drive division, and they will spend their time talking about that. “We’re going to spend our time talking about the future of Minnesota.”

That’s what’s known as whistling past the graveyard. Rep. Murphy wishes this wasn’t an issue. Unfortunately for her and the DFL, wishing won’t make it so. It’s an issue because it’s another instance where the legislature ignored the will of the people.

The DFL can spin this all it wants. The numbers tell the tale. People understand that it’s wrong to spend $90,000,000 on a building that’ll be used 3-5 months a year.

This issue ties into another issue that’ll hurt the DFL, which is that they increased spending by $6,000,000,000 this biennium over the 2012-13 biennium. It’s right for Minnesotans to ask what they got for that spending. The answer is simple.

They didn’t get much. There’s still a mega-sized achievement gap in K-12 education. Incompetence is the rule, not the exception, in the MnSCU system. Iconic companies are leaving Minnesota. MNsure is still a mess. MNsure didn’t work when it launched. What’s worse is that it won’t be fixed this fall, either.

In short, the DFL spent money foolishly and in record amounts. What’s worse is that the DFL specialized in growing incompetence, not prosperity. As a result, Minnesotans paid higher taxes without getting a benefit.

As such, the Senate Office Building is the perfect symbol of what happens when the DFL controls the levers of the state government.

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The McFadden vs. Franken matchup for Minnesota’s Senate seat will be a fight about who offers the working poor and the middle class. Predictably, the DFL will say that Franken has fought for the middle class every day he’s been in the Senate. In fact, they’ll say that about about all of their elected officials.

It’s verifiable truth that Mike McFadden has lifted more minority students out of poverty than Franken and all of the DFL politicians in DC combined. He did that through his work with the Cristo Rey school system.

Anyone that’s heard Mike McFadden talk about Cristo Rey, which I have, knows that the Alliance for a Better Minnesota’s attack of him as “an out of touch rich guy” is plain BS. You can’t listen to Mike talk about how “78% of the kids that graduate go onto college and the rest go into the military” without seeing him beam with satisfaction knowing that those kids and their families have been changed forever.

Compare that with Franken talking about “investing in education.” That’s politician-speak for “spend money on the teachers unions.” It’s more mantra than anything else. When Franken talks about education, he talks with the passion of a man watching paint dry. It’s a box he checks. It isn’t something he’s passionate about.

That’s quite the contrast. The supposedly out-of-touch-rich-white-guy is passionate about helping underprivileged minority kids but the guy who’s supposedly fighting for the middle class sounds bored when talking about education.

Figuring out who’s most likely to help kids lift themselves out of poverty isn’t difficult. The toughest part is being willing to admit that the facts are the facts.

As for the candidate who’d best fight for the middle class, consider how little Franken has done to lift the people in Virginia, Hibbing, Chisholm and Eveleth from their current crisis. Their current crisis is getting environmental organizations like Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness and Conservation Minnesota off the miners’ backs so they can make a living.

Sen. Franken told the Ely Echo that he’s talked with the United States Forest Service as if that’ll solve the miners’ crisis. The permitting process for PolyMet started 9 years ago. It’s cost PolyMet over $150,000,000. Mike McFadden will fight for regulatory and permitting reform so PolyMet can become a reality, so that mining jobs can be created.

The question is whether talking with a government bureaucrat, aka the Franken method, is more effective than passing laws that put those bureaucrats on notice that they’d better start helping people. Personally, I think the McFadden method is most likely to help the Iron Range faster.

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Earlier this week, I wrote about Gov. Kasich’s Office of Workforce Transformation, aka OWT, in this post. I wrote about it because it made tons of sense from a policy standpoint. Here’s a little refresher on Gov. Kasich’s OWT initiative:

Marketing Ohio’s In-Demand Jobs
Update in-demand jobs data regularly
Market in-demand jobs to students, job seekers, business and local workforce

Align Training Programs to Ohio’s Workforce Needs (Implementation)
Increase career pathway opportunities in our education system, from K-J (Kindergarten to Job)
Increase experiential learning opportunities
Expand and enhance career tech opportunities

Unify and Align State’s Workforce Programs
Improve support of businesses struggling to find workers
Prioritize veterans as a ready workforce by providing support to transitioning veterans and marketing opportunities to veterans and businesses

In other words, Ohio put together a policy that measures achievement while meeting Ohio’s workforce needs. In short, Gov. Kasich’s OWT initiative insists on institutional accountability and individual productivity. Ohio isn’t the only state that’s implementing policies that deliver excellence. Tennessee is moving in that direction, too. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission put together this report explaining why they scrapped Tennessee’s enrollment-based funding formula and implemented an outcomes-based funding formula. Jaimie Merisotis, the CEO of the Lumina Foundation, cites these important statistics about Tennessee’s community college system:

[Tennessee] now uses an outcomes based formula which accounts for 70% of higher education funding. Outcomes based funding drives postsecondary programs that produce graduates that are employable for the workforce.

70% of Tennessee’s community college students graduate. 80% of community college graduates get jobs.

Here’s some insight into how THEC put the plan together:

THEC convened a Formula Review Committee to discuss and debate the new formula design.

  1. The Committee included representatives from higher education and state government.
  2. Meetings each month in spring and summer 2010.
  3. Throughout the process, THEC consulted outside experts.

That’s one step in the process. Here’s another part of the process:

Formula Review Committee (FRC)

  1. Broad membership
  2. Multiple formal FRC meetings
  3. Explicit institutional feedback and input
  4. Regional town halls
  5. Staff background briefings with UT, TBR, Constitutional officers and legislative members
  6. External consultant input

In short, they employed the right process in arriving at a policy that apparently is working.

Ohio and Tennessee should be applauded for their insistence on accountability and productivity. It tells me that they’re using the taxpayers’ money wisely.

MnSCU’s Charting the Future initiative is an inferior model compared with Ohio’s and Tennessee’s models. Based on this information, CtF is built on the wrong foundation:

The current model creates competition among colleges and universities for continuing education and customized training opportunities. This internal competition hinders our ability to meet the growing competition from private training providers, for-profit higher education, corporate training departments and industry associations.

A system that’s built on the premise of collaboration instead of competition is missing the point. What if the plan that’s put into place doesn’t work? Then all of the schools suffer a setback, which costs money and time. That’s exactly the wrong method. Instead, MnSCU should establish a set of goals for their universities, community colleges and tech colleges to meet, then let those campuses establish a plan to meet those goals.

By establishing that process, each university, tech and community college is judged based on their results. Each school is responsible for achieving excellence. That implements the principles of competition, productivity and accountability into the system.

That’s the only method that will work in the 21st Century.

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Lord knows I’ve criticized Juan Williams for his beliefs that the Benghazi and IRS scandals are all about politics. I stand by those criticisms. Just about the time that I’m ready to dismiss Williams, he writes an article like this one that makes me realize that there’s more to Juan Williams than the political creature we see on TV.

If there’s a place where conservatives should join forces with Juan Williams, it’s on the subject of education. Here’s why:

Last week, 60 years after the Supreme Court ruled racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional with its 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, a group called “Journey for Justice Alliance” sent civil rights complaints to the Justice and Education departments. The group argued that too many failing public schools in black neighborhoods are being closed and replaced with charter schools.

You read that right.

When it comes to reforming the education system, Juan Williams sounds like the staunchest conservative imaginable. Here’s proof:

This attack on charter schools comes a week after the House, in a rare bipartisan vote, approved a bill to put more federal dollars into expanding charter schools. The House Education and the Workforce Committee bill was written by its Republican chairman, John Kline of Minnesota, and supported by its ranking Democrat, George Miller of California.

Kline told reporters that Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education, supports the bill and will urge Senate Democrats to pass it. In a Congress politically paralyzed over efforts to update the Bush administration’s plan for improving public school performance, No Child Left Behind, the charter school bill is the first sign of a breakthrough.

It’s time for conservatives to start highlighting their commitment to beefing up funding for alternatives to government schools.

It’s been said that education is the civil rights movement of the 21st Century. Whether it is or isn’t is something I’ll let others decide. I’ll just highlight another part of Juan’s article:

Thurgood Marshall, the lawyer who won the Brown case and later became a Supreme Court justice, told me as I was writing his biography that the case was not really about having black and white children sitting next to each other. Its true purpose was to make sure that predominantly white and segregationist school officials would put maximum resources into giving every child, black or white, a chance to get a good education.

But now people described as liberal “activists” are filing complaints against closing bad neighborhood schools. They put more value on having a bad neighborhood school than getting a child into an excellent school. The charge that some charter schools are no better than the neighborhood schools being closed ignores the truth that some charter schools have produced better results. Also, parents have the choice to pull their children out of charter schools that do not help their children.

In the 1950s, white-hot bigotry existed on a widespread basis. Racism still exists but nothing like what existed in the 1950s. Conservatives should join forces with thoughtful liberals like Juan Williams in making charter schools the education movement of the 21st Century.

First and most importantly, it’s the morally right thing to do. Second, creating competition will force the teachers’ unions to decide whether they’d rather become irrelevant or whether they’d prefer becoming part of the solution. When Juan Williams criticizes the teachers unions, it’s time for conservatives to join with him in creating an alternative to government schools.

There are now minority parents and civil right groups being used as props by teachers’ unions to oppose school choice by calling efforts to close failing neighborhood schools the “new Jim Crow.”

It’s time to expose the race hustlers as not being interested in improving people’s lives. They’re in it to make a fast buck for themselves. Race hustlers like Mssrs. Sharpton and Jackson should be put out of business ASAP.

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The RealClearPolitics average of polls appears to indicate that Gov. John Kasich is well-positioned for re-election:

Kasich 45%, Fitzgerald 38%

Kasich 46%, Fitzgerald 36%

Magellan Strategies
Kasich 47%, Fitzgerald 41%

Each of these polls are large samples of likely voters, which means they’re highly predictive. While it’d be foolish for Gov. Kasich to assume he’ll win re-election with this polling, it isn’t foolish to think he’s well-positioned for re-election.

That isn’t good news for Democrats in 2016.

If Gov. Kasich wins re-election, he’ll immediately become a frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination. Here’s the bio Gov. Kasich could tout in a White House bid: popular governor in an important swing state, strong job creation record as governor, reformer, former chairman of the House Budget Committee.

That last title is especially important because then-Chairman Kasich authored the budget blueprint that caused 5 straight federal budget surpluses while creating 22,000,000 jobs in 8 years.

Another thing Gov. Kasich has going for him is his blue collar background. He loves telling the story about how his father was a postal carrier in the quintessential blue collar city of Youngstown, OH. FYI- Gov. Kasich was born in McKees Rocks, PA.

One thing that Gov. Kasich will undoubtedly highlight is his Office of Workforce Transformation, which “identifies businesses’ most urgent job needs,” then “aligns the skill needs of employers with the training offerings of the education system.”

In other words, Gov. Kasich has taken a proactive approach to prevent longterm unemployment by helping people acquire the skills they need to transition into a new career. That isn’t just smart resource management. It’s the right policy from a moral standpoint.

This is smart resource management, too:

Ohio’s workforce development efforts are spread out across 91 programs in 13 agencies. We are committed to moving reforms to create more efficient, responsive and effective services for employers and workers. With better alignment, we will reduce redundancy, fragmentation and lack of coordination to improve the state and local programs that fuel our workforce system.

Too often, bureaucracies specialize in fragmentation and poor coordination in their attempt to help people. Apparently, that isn’t a problem with the Kasich administration.

We’re still 5+ months from election day, which is dozens of political lifetimes away. Still, there’s no question that Gov. Kasich is well-positioned for re-election.

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If someone would’ve told you that the New York chapter of the NAACP and a hardline progressive mayor were siding with the teachers unions in preventing minority students from getting a good education, you’d think it was something from the Onion. Sadly, it isn’t:

On March 17, 19 parents who send their children to Success Academy, a Harlem charter school, filed suit in federal court to stop New York Mayor Bill de Blasio from denying them previously arranged space in a public school building. Without space, their children and 173 others will not be able to continue at Success Academy this fall.

School bullying is a problem nationwide, but in New York the bullies are de Blasio and his pals — state NAACP President Hazel Dukes and teachers unions. Their targets are middle-school kids, 97 percent of them minorities, and 80 percent eligible for lunch assistance.

This shameful behavior is brought to you by the Bigot Wing of the Democratic Party. Don’t confuse these bigots with well-intentioned liberals like Juan Williams. They’re galaxies apart when it comes to education reform.

Juan Williams is fighting for education reforms that give every student the opportunity to live the American Dream. Part of his fight involves limiting teachers unions’ influence on educational opportunities, especially for minorities.

Consider what another Success Academy called Bronx 2 is doing to educate minority students. In that charter school, 97 percent of students passed state exams in mathematics, and 77 percent passed English. In math, the school ranks third in the state, besting schools in well-heeled suburbs. Bronx 2 shares space with a district public school, where kids under the thumb of the union and city bureaucrats, are failing. Only 3 percent passed the state English test. Same building, but a world of difference. Which school is giving kids their civil rights? Not the one Dukes and de Blasio are defending.

I’d love hearing Mayor de Blasio’s explanation on why he’s insisting that minority students’ only educational option is for failing schools. Smart policymakers would notice Bronx 2′s successes and do everything possible to expand those opportunities for minority students. Shouldn’t the NAACP be insisting that minority students be given the opportunity to excel in charter schools.

Instead, they’re being held back. The NAACP and Mayor de Blasio should be ashamed of themselves. Additionally, they should be required to meet face-to-face with these parents and students to explain why they’re being this hard-hearted.

Politically speaking, this is a fantastic opportunity for conservative school choice activists to explain why they’re for expanding choice options. From a human standpoint, it’s the perfect opportunity to explain why expanding educational options is a moral imperative.

Get ready for the bullies. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sued to stop school choice in New Orleans, arguing that it was getting in the way of the federal government’s 1975 court-ordered desegregation plan. When parents protested that they wanted to be the ones choosing their kids’ schools, not the Department of Justice, Holder’s lawyers told the court that parents lacked the standing to make their views known.

If anyone has standing in their child’s education, it’s parents. And parents in New Orleans said that racial balance was less important to them than being able to choose a school that educates their child. Ultimately, Holder had to give up.

Ultimately, this fight is about punching bullies like Eric Holder, Bill de Blasio and the NAACP in the nose. Negotiating with bullies doesn’t work. Inflicting pain does. That’s why the heroes in this fight are the parents and the activists who defiantly stand with them because it’s the right thing to do.

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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s passion for school choice is eloquently laid out in Gov. Jindal’s op-ed. First, Gov. Jindal makes the case against the status quo:

In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio has embarked on a systematic campaign to destroy the city’s burgeoning charter school movement. He’s diverting more than $200 million in funding marked for charter schools, and has also thrown hundreds of students out of their promised school buildings. He has also declared his intent to nullify arrangements that allow charters to locate in existing public schools rent-free.

The mayor’s open warfare against Eva Moskowitz, who founded a network of 22 charter schools, has all the markings of a petulant tyrant holding low-income students hostage. De Blasio has said, “There’s no way in hell Eva Moskowitz should get free rent” — as if the 6,700 students in the charter schools she runs were a mere afterthought in his personal vendetta against a fellow Democrat.

Last May, he told a teachers-union forum that Moskowitz “has to stop being tolerated, enabled, supported.” Yes, by all means, let’s not “tolerate” someone behind a movement to empower parents and students with more — and better — education choices. This woman who is making it possible for low-income kids to have an equal opportunity for a quality education must be stopped.

Gov. Jindal gets it. He’s consistently talked about school choice in the context of giving students a shot at the American Dream. He’s even got a history of fighting for his policies:

In Louisiana, we know a thing or two about government authorities meddling in parents’ right to choose the schools that are best for their children. President Obama’s Justice Department filed a lawsuit trying to impede our program that gives parents of low-income students in failing schools an opportunity to attend a better school. Fully nine in 10 students participating in the program are minorities, yet the Justice Department seeks to block the program on the grounds that it would lead to racial segregation. The lawsuit would be funny if it weren’t so sad — and if the lives of so many young African-American children weren’t at stake.

President Obama’s Justice Department filed their lawsuit to placate their allies in the teachers union. That’s the same reason why Mayor de Blasio is implementing his anti-choice policies in NYC. It’s shameful that President Obama and Mayor de Blasio worry more about placating their special interest allies than they worry about doing what’s right for the nation.

In that respect, President Obama and Mayor de Blasio are showing their anti-American stripes. If they cared about making life better for everyone, they wouldn’t be attempting to implement these misguided policies.

Thankfully, people are standing up for themselves and their families rather than just caving in the face of the Left’s peer pressure.

Gov. Jindal understands this, which is why I think he’s the favorite to be the GOP presidential nominee. It isn’t thatI haven’t notice that other polls show Christie or Bush or Rand Paul leading or near the top. It’s that Gov. Jindal has a lengthy history of domestic policy successes without angering the GOP’s conservative base.

Gov. Jindal has championed school choice. He’s pushed tax reform. Those are definitely issues conservatives will positively respond to. Most importantly, he hasn’t hugged President Obama like Gov. Christie and he hasn’t been a foreign policy pacifist like Sen. Paul.

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