Change Can’t Come Fast Enough

Although the U.S. economy continues to limp along, consumer confidence has hit its highest level since 2001. This index reflects newfound optimism after election of Donald Trump.

Regardless of factory orders tumbling 2.4 percent in November when economists thought it would rise by 2.3 percent, consumer confidence index jumped to 113.7 from a revised 109.4 in November.

According to Morningstar, “The post-election surge in optimism for the economy, jobs and income prospects, as well as for stock prices which reached a 13-year high was most pronounced among older consumers.”

Another economic area that is expected to flourish is in trade. Under the Obama administration, the U.S. trade deficit widened again in November – creating a likely drag on the overall economic growth.

Fortunately, President-elect Donald Trump made trade and trade agreements central issues during his campaign. Mr. Trump, who will take office in one week, has repeatedly criticized free-trade deals and U.S. companies that relocate operations overseas with the goal of shipping goods back to the United States.

Still another area that is expected to see an increase in opportunity is in school choice. Recently, the San Diego Union-Tribune ran two excellent opinion pieces covering the subject.

The first begins with the statement – regardless of their income or background – students with involved parents are more likely to have higher grades and test scores, attend school more regularly, have better social skills, show improved behavior and adapt well to school.

What school choice is and is not is a way to divert public money from public education but to finally allow parents more responsibility in their children’s education. No longer are parents tied to a failing public school.

Charter schools are public schools that families choose for their children as the Union-Tribune reported. They operate with freedom from some of the regulations that are imposed upon district schools. Charter schools are accountable for academic results and upholding the promise made in their charters. Here is where they differ from the normal public school. They must demonstrate performance in the areas of academic achievement, financial management and organizational stability. If a charter does not meet its performance goals, it may be closed. When ever is a public school closed for poor performance? The answer is of course never.

The paper goes on to say in San Diego County, there are limited school-choice programs in comparison to the number of public schools and these choice schools vary widely in terms of who is eligible to participate and how many may attend. In Detroit, with the help of Mr. Trump’s choice to lead the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos, 50 percent of all students attend charter schools. In San Diego only 16 percent of the schools are charter schools.

The article concludes with the statement parental involvement generally equates to increased student success. That involvement should include a parent’s ability to select the school that will educate their child and if a school is not meeting a child’s needs then the parent should have the option to remove their child from the school.

Another Union-Tribune editorial was entitled, “U.C. Tuition Hikes? First Justify Your Administrative Bloat.” This subject should also be front and center in Oklahoma, but is not.

In California, The University of California system is seeking a tuition hike to $11,502 and a 5 percent student fee increase to $1,128. Janet Napolitano is the U.C. president.

The complaint is that in 2000, the U.C. system had 50 percent more faculty than administrators. In 2015, there were 10,539 administrators and managers and only 8,899 faculties. The huge growth is in supervisor staffs of chancellors, deputy chancellors and deans. The question being asked is, “Who are they supervising?”

Education today is nearly 100 percent controlled by former Democrat politicians, a system that rewards their friends and former colleagues. Until this patronage stops there simply will be no money available for our teachers