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.....watching Morning Joe, on comes one of those absurd commercials where they repeat some silly talking point. This time? "How can we expect children to compete when they do not get the support at home. How do we expect children to keep up with others that have a home support network?"

This reference is to one of Lawrence O'Donnell's excellent MSNBC "Lean Forwards." As a career teacher, I'd answer his rhetorical question with a resounding "We Can't." Unless you've been a teacher in an urban school, you really have no idea how many kids these days are on Autopilot. Why they are consists of a multitude of reasons. Some are a result of outright negligence. Others stem from indifference borne of the notion that the schools are tax-funded babysitters. The lack of communication within many families is simply astounding. I had times during open house when a parent asked when report cards would come out. When I said they came out last week, I didn't see or hear a lot of shock, amazement, or anger. I heard reactions like, "Oh, really?" without any followup questions, without any discussion why, and especially without a faint whiff of downright remorse.

Lawrence's concern about education extends internationally (Africa) in the form of his KIND Fund (Kids in Need of Desks) that's raised $4.7M since last December in a partnership with UNICEF. He reportedly makes $1.1M from MSNBC and I'm sure he's replaced some of his mouth with some of his money.

My favorite O'Donnell education "Lean Forward" is the one about the GI Bill, in which he credits the bill as giving his father the means to go to college and earn enough to be able to send him and his 4 siblings to college later. Politifact criticized him for his line "....and the critics (of the bill) called it 'welfare'." O'Donnell replied that if he had used words like "dole" and "relief" that "no one under 70 would have known what I was talking about."

Yep, that evil GI Bill....absolutely the hallmark of America's Takers...
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