My View: education crisis is America’s new civil rights crisis

schoolchoiceImagine if today–in 2013–a group of politicians pulled a George Wallace and stood in a doorway blocking certain students from entering a schoolhouse due to their race and/or societal class.

The outcry against such an act would be heard sea to shining sea with shouts of condemnation so loud they would make an 80s rock concert sound like a harpsichord recital.  The politicians behind it would be excoriated and forced out of public life forever–and rightfully so.

Thankfully the bad old days of racial segregation in public schools are long gone, and students of any race, religion and background have full access to public schools.

However, access to the schoolhouse building does not guarantee access to education–that is, the kind of education students need to at the very least be able to provide for themselves and their families as they enter adulthood.

It is no secret that many of our nation’s schools are failing their students.  The statistics speak for themselves.  But a closer look at those figures, as well as basic observation reveals that those suffering the most are pretty much the same who were denied entry to the schoolhouse in the 1960s.

Many would point the finger at income inequality, nuclear family disintegration, prejudicial barriers, historical hardships, or a combination thereof.  I mean, what else could explain that public schools in more affluent white areas outperform their counterparts in minority, less affluent areas and inner cities, especially when in most cases, they receive similar levels of funding from government?

However, asserting those are the reasons for overall education inequality essentially lays the blame on the students and their circumstances rather than on the schools and their administrators and teachers.

School choice has, in my view successfully challenged this axiom, and placed the onus where it belongs: on the schools (and those who operate them).

For years I have been a school choice proponent because I believe that competition among schools and school systems increases quality and efficiency just as it does in the free market.

A few jobs ago, I was the legislative aide to the Florida State Representative that sponsored and shepherded several of Former Governor Jeb Bush’s education reforms through the Florida House of Representatives.  In that capacity, I learned a great deal about school choice and the quantifiable gains students make through it.  But it never really impacted me on a personal level until last month. Continue reading

The Party’s Just Begun

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I’m switching to Democrat–For the People

It is no secret that for at least the past eight years, I have been exposing Charlie Crist as utterly unprincipled, opportunistic, and corrupt.

My belief that he was a menace even compelled me to privately vote against him in the 2006 General Election, which marked the first time I had ever voted for a Democrat in a major election, or perhaps ever.

For the first few years of his administration, I and a small group of principled activists in the Republican Party openly criticized Charlie Crist and his minions like Jim Greer and other bootlickers  for running amok and personally profiting off their mutual mischief and were exiled from our party for doing so.

Our issue was not necessarily Crist’s public policy pursuits–although the disagreements were numerous–or his incessant pandering, or even his countless flip-flops.  Our main objection to Crist was what he was doing with the instrumentalities under his direct control.  That is, the irresponsibility with which he conducted himself as head of Florida state government and titular head of the Republican Party. Continue reading

The Obama Foreign Policy: Doubling Down on Carter’s Double Standard

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This week, the political cinder box that Egypt has been since the 2011 departure of its longtime autocrat president Hosni Mubarak reached a fever pitch.  Having stepped down as a result of the so-called “Arab Spring” demonstrations that spread to Egypt in early 2011, Mubarak was eventually replaced by Mohamed Morsi after the country held its first-ever democratic presidential election in 2012.

Morsi’s ascendance troubled many western observers as he belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood, an oftentimes violent movement with links to terrorist activities that seeks to install Islamic Sharia law as the basis for political and societal affairs. Despite his democratic election and moderate image, he quickly moved to adopt a new constitution, which included enshrining Islamic law. He also vowed to release Omar Abdel-Rahman, the terrorist behind the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing.

In November 2012, Morsi issued a declaration that would have essentially immunized his actions from any legal challenge and would have granted him near unchecked power. This declaration was condemned by organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and it sparked more mass protests and resignations from government officials. Despite limiting and eventually annulling his decree under pressure, mass protests continued and the Egyptian military eventually deposed him in July of this year. Continue reading

10 things Floridians should know about Obamacare

obamacareNote: This article is cross-posted from our friends at FloridaWatchdog.org

By William Patrick | Florida Watchdog

TALLAHASSEE — Like it or not, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is the law of the land.

Besides passing a Democratic-controlled Congress in 2010 and receiving the blessing of President Obama, Chief Justice John Roberts, a Bush 43 nominee, upheld the law last summer when he cast the deciding U.S. Supreme Court vote, 5-4.

That being said, the massive federal health-care overhaul still faces many challenges, not the least of which is the law’s near irreconcilable complexities and consistent unpopularity.

Here’s a look at the top 10 obstacles and concerns Floridians should know about the largest social entitlement since Medicare: Continue reading

Charlie Crist exposes the Louisiana Democratic Party’s hypocrisy

imageLouisiana State Senator Elbert Guillory recently surprised many of his colleagues and political observers when he left the Democrat party, becoming the first black Republican in the Louisiana State Legislature since Reconstruction.

He very eloquently explained his party switch in a YouTube video that has since gone viral. We at Reaganista salute him for what appears to be a principled decision and encourage you to check out his video.

Needless to say, this has not sat well with the Louisiana Democrat Party. Its executive director Stephen Handwerk called Senator Guillory’s decision to switch parties “a craven display of political opportunism,” and called on him to resign his senate seat. They are apparently upset that he he decided to bolt the party under whose banner he ran and made a career for himself.

Sound familiar? Continue reading