Fenger Pointing

Becky Fenger | July 23, 2008 Becky Fenger

Guns and grades

While Barack Obama is traipsing around the Middle East and Europe in an attempt to earn foreign policy credentials at warp speed, he is being protected by individuals carrying guns. Yet, he would deny Americans the right to protect themselves, if he had a chance.

We all remember when Obama claimed he didn’t support a ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns, despite answering “yes” on that query on an Independent Voters of Illinois questionnaire. It was tough to outrun his own handwriting. On another questionnaire in the state of Illinois, Obama indicated he wanted to ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons, thus outlawing most rifles and almost all handguns sold in the U.S.

John R. Lott, Jr. is a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland who has done extensive research on gun usage and the effects of same. When Lott introduced himself upon meeting Obama, Barack said, “Oh, you are the gun guy.” When Lott allowed that he was, Barack simply stated, “I don’t believe that people should be able to own guns.” When Lott said that it might be fun for the two of them to talk about it sometime and about Obama’s support of the city of Chicago’s lawsuit again the gun makers, Barack simply grimaced and turned away, Lott reported. There you have it, plain and simple, no matter what Obama says now that he lusts after the Oval Office and realizes that most folks favor gun ownership.

The AIMS test (Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards) was designed to measure knowledge of reading, writing and math of our grade and high school students. It is a “high stakes” test that requires passage before a senior can receive a high school diploma. When administrators didn’t like the miserable scores many of their young charges earned, they decided something must be done.

If you think educators and parents labored to raise performance by getting students to work harder, you would be wrong. Generally, they preferred one of three other solutions: 1) Delaying the implementation of the start time when passage of AIMS was really, really required to graduate, 2) Dumbing down the content of the test, or, 3) Jettisoning AIMS entirely.

If the AIMS test is seriously flawed, it may be time to admit it and quit throwing good money after bad to keep molesting it. And passing legislation to allow “good grades” in required courses to augment a lousy AIMS score only puts more pressure on teachers to inflate grades.

When we allow grade inflation, it dilutes true accomplishment. Now when I see a bumper sticker on a car announcing that the driver’s kid is an Honor Student somewhere, I wonder if that is a result of grading on the curve or true achievement. The achievers are the big losers when standards are lowered.

“If we drill for oil, that’s the end of the Democratic Party.”
~ U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, overheard in Washington D.C. (Well, well. Now that we know it’s that easy, let’s do it.)

“We must get the science right or we shall get the policy wrong. There is no manmade ‘climate crisis’. It is a non-problem. The correct policy approach to a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing.”
~ The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, July 3.

“Today Joe Lieberman owns the honor that most recently belonged to Georgia Senator Zell Miller: He’s many conservatives’ favorite Democrat.”
~ John J. Miller, national political reporter for National Review.