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American Education in Crisis

The U.S. educational system is currently going through a crisis.    College cost has ballooned over the past three decades and it now becomes unaffordable to most college students.    The K-12 system doesn't fare better.   American teachers are being laid off and replaced by foreign teachers imported via the H-1B program that Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren is so fond of.    Worse, she is pandering to corporate America who is looking for cheap labor.    Her H-1B program is being exploited by the Gulen movement, a Turkish Islamic organization that is outlawed in its original country Turkey because of its undemocratic intentions.    The New York Times wrote a detailed article about how this group is able to exploit the H-1B program to import Turkish teachers into the U.S. to replace American teachers and how it is used to indoctrinate American students regarding the Gulen movement at American taxpayers' expense.    She is selling our children's future out to corporate interests in order to receive political contributions from them.    Her greed undermines the American educational system and takes job opportunity away from our American teachers.

I think there are many things that can be done to improve the American educational system.   We do have many excellent primary schools in high-income areas.    The schools that have problems are the inner city schools and schools in district that have a high percentage of English as a second language students and low-income students whose families don't stress the importance of education at home and provide the necessary environment for the students to prosper educationally.

National Public Radio just comes out with an article with the latest statistics on school funding.     From the map, you can see the school districts in Zoe Lofgren's area has one of the lowest funding per student in the entire United States of America (it's 33% less funding than average) and we are in one of the most expensive places to live.     If you take the living cost into account, the real number is much worse than the 33% less funding per student on average.     We are in Silicon Valley, considered by many as one of the richest, but we are doing much worse than some of the poorest states in America.    

The data tells me that there are too many students in the district with the amount of funding available.    My nieces and nephews attend schools in her district and they have special needs, and there is practically nothing available to help them because there is no funding for it.    Yet, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren supports the illegal child migrants that are flooding the American poor districts like San Jose.    By doing so, she is depriving American students of resources that help them to succeed.   She is throwing American children in her district under the bus in order to pander to a particular group of people.

My position is that I will push for something similar in Germany in which refugee allocation is based on the available resources of the districts which means in the U.S. richer school districts have to take in many more illegal child migrants than much poorer school districts like San Jose.     And if the U.S. government wants to send these children to the poorer school districts, they need to pay for the cost.    

Another issue is that I don't think the teaching profession is attractive enough to recruit the best people to the profession.   Unlike many countries, teaching is a high-stress, low pay, and low prestige profession in the U.S.    I used to teach at Evergreen Valley College as a college instructor.    I taught the class for fun because I already had an engineering job at the time, but I can sympathize with other college instructors.     The pay is low and it's a non-living wage in Silicon Valley.  It's actually a country-wide phenomenon as colleges from community colleges up to the prestigious University of California now rely mostly on instructors who have no tenure and who need to teach multiple course loads at multiple colleges just to survive .    The New York Times wrote extensively about the low-pay and high-stress that educators face. 

Educational professionals shouldn't have to deal with these indignities.  My mother taught middle school in Vietnam and she was able to support a middle-class lifestyle in Vietnam.    My grandfather was also an educator and he had a lot of prestige and he was able to make a comfortable living in Vietnam.   Why the educators in the U.S.A, the world's richest country, are not paid a living wage is a national embarrassment.     Despite all of the obstacles, I think our American teachers are doing an admirable job.    Can we do better?   Sure, I think the American educational system needs a major reform.    Perhaps we can learn from Finland whose educational reform has transformed the country from one of the average to one of the best in the world by paying its educators more and treat them with more respect and dignity.

I also think that the U.S. focuses too much on preparing students for college.   What about those students who choose not to go to college?    It seems to me like we are throwing their future away.   In country such as Germany, they have an excellent vocational programs for such students.   The programs are a partnership between the government and business in which the students get paid working part-time for businesses and receiving on-the-job training while going to school at the same time.    Even without a college education, the students are able to earn decent wages and have a career.   We need to have a program like that in the U.S.


I am not the only one who believes Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren is terrible. These are the voices from Americans across the nation who expressed their views about her on the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Hill, San Jose Mercuy News, etc. in the comment sections of the articles that mentioned her name:

carloseg at 6:45 AM June 20, 2011 It is baffling to me that anybody would vote for Lofgren considering she spends all her time in office diverting resources from CA taxpayers to illegal immigrants. When taxpayers in her district begin to complain about over-crowded and under-funded schools I hope they can take comfort in that what Lofgren takes from their children means that an illegal immigrants child is getting a free education.

budlite6 at 2:44 PM June 20, 2011 Wow, do I get to choose which laws to obey? Maybe, we just need to send Zoe a bill for the unfunded social costs of illegal immigrants. I hope that her credit is good since LA County alone loses about $1 billion per year and the US loses much more. Enforce our immigration laws and many of the state & local budget problems go away. Consider the numbers for a moment. Average money spent per child in the US for K-12 is about $10k/year (according to 2006 -2007 school census). Property taxes paid by illegal immigrants, through rent, do not even come close to repaying this cost. These students are more likely to receive ESL training and free meals. The one million students mentioned in the article cost the US taxpayer $10 billion from education alone for each year they were in K-12. The college costs should be similar or greater. This does not include the emergency room, childbirth, welfare, & Medicaid costs. I place the blame on the employers who shift or shaft the costs to the taxpayer for their “low cost labor”. I sympathize with the illegal immigrant’s issues, but the US cannot afford to subsidize the world. Neither Republican nor Democrat Party leaders have any credibility on dealing with this issue. The Republicans do have the average party members watching them to minimize backroom deals.

EdGuthrie at 8:52 PM April 22, 2011 maybe the "congresswoman" should run for office in Mexico since that is who she thinks she represents. what is her point anyway? she is mad because the program is not optional? here is a thought, maybe just maybe she could think about what is best for, oh I don't know. Americans! does she know that a United States representative is supposed to represent United States citizens interests? what do they call what she is again? oh yeah traitor thats right.


 New Jersey 20 December 2014

I feel very sympathetic to Mr. Vianna's plea--heavy teaching load, underprepared students--however he's one of the lucky professors who works full time. Close to 70% of classes at community colleges are taught by part time instructors, paid as little as $2,000 or $2,500 per three credit course per semester. If Mr. Vianna's income isn't great, he also receives benefits, while his many adjunct colleagues, who teach four or five courses a semester, have to pay for their own health insurance out of their meager incomes. Pay part time instructors at community colleges better, and a lot more students would graduate a lot faster.


 Westchester County, NY 21 December 2014

I am at a 4 year institution, but see many of the same types of students. The problem is, higher education outside of the few elite schools has become the institution of last resort, the place where we are expected to fix all the ills of the broken K12 system. And we are now expected to do it in four years flat, and will be rated on this.

It is shameful that professors who work with these students have to cope with heavy teaching loads, low salaries, and are still expected to publish and get grants. And as colleges increasingly turn to a contingent labor force, the few remaining fulltimers then also have to pick up the advising that isn't being done by adjuncts, the curriculum development, and all the other tasks involved in running a program. That isn't possible in anything approaching a normal workweek. I have seen many professors simply burn out - they leave for industry, or take early retirement, or simply give up.

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