Monday, September 25, 2006

Breath Taking News From the Governor

Breath-Taking News From the Governor
(A better title might be "Breath-taking incompetence from the governor)

Governor Huckabee just sent out an e-letter saying , "some startling statistics last year... took my breath away." The fact that these statistics were breath-taking to the governor made me catch my breath as well. You see, the Governor has, for 10 years, been pushing educational reforms (to the tune of $1 billion in just the last three years) but did not know what the college remediation and dropout rates were in Arkansas and the nation. He was shocked to learn that " twenty percent of Arkansas ninth graders do not stay in school until graduation …and more than 50 percent of Arkansas students who go straight to college require remedial courses in both math and English.” For Governor Huckabee's e-letter see this link:

And where did he learn these education facts? At the National Governors Association! Surely all he would have had to do was call up his own appointed ADE director day or night, and Ken James could have told him the state of education in Arkansas. The governor cited the national remediation rate at 42%, which, according to NCES, is the remediation rate for students beginning two-year colleges. NCES says the national rate of remediation among students going to four-year colleges is 28%.1 That is much less than the 51% rate in Arkansas, especially when one considers that Arkansas has been in school improvement mode since 1983!!

This governor, with help from his liberal democrat buddies, has pushed the tax burden in Arkansas up to 4th in the nation to expand the educational reforms, yet he did not even know the college remediation and dropout rates, two of the most basic education facts. See this link for how Arkansans now pay a greater percent of their income in total taxes than 46 other states. I wonder if that fact would take Gov. Huckabee's breath away and just where and when will he will learn about that shocking figure?

The governor apparently didn’t even bother to look at these important remediation and dropout facts as he was pushing all his reforms in order to see where we were when they were begun, so he could see if we have now made progress or not. It is totally astounding that the governor would say he didn't know these things. For rest of this article and even more astounding facts, see this link.


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