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Robert A. 
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Recent Comments

Re: “Arkansas remains below national average in education assessment, with widening racial achievement gap

There are two separate issues:
1. The states test scores compared to the nations test scores and
2. The achievement gap.

Virtually all efforts to improve the states test scores will have the effect of widening the achievement gap. Why is this? As most readers must know, huge amounts of money have been spent in an effort to raise the average test scores of blacks and Latinos. These efforts have failed. Thus, if the goal is to improve test scores, schools need to focus on those students who are most likely to improve. These are the brighter students. This will, of course, have the effect of widening the achievement gap.

As noted by the U.S. News & World Report --
After 50 years, the achievement gap between white and black students has barely narrowed.
There is no correlation between changes in real per-pupil spending over the past quarter century and changes in 4th grade student achievement in reading, providing no reason to believe that increasing school spending will by itself boost student achievement.

Neither the current or previous administrations have had any significant impact on the achievement gap either positive or negative.
If we could close the achievement gap by spending money, there would be no achievement gap.
Improved teaching technologies, highly trained teachers, modern classroom etc. will only widen the gap. These improvements will allow for the brighter students to do better but will have little impact on the less bright students.
The more intelligent students are going to do better in school and because intelligent has a significant genetic component.

Posted by Robert A. on 04/14/2018 at 9:54 PM

Re: “Lining up in Arkansas for the march against violence

When we look into the effectiveness of strict gun control laws, some of us may be a little surprised at what appears to be counterintuitive results.

The states with the strictest gun control laws are:
1 California
2 New Jersey
3 Massachusetts
4 New York
5 Connecticut
6 Hawaii
7 Maryland
8 Rhode Island
9 Illinois
10 Pennsylvania…

I believe that all of these states either have a Democratic governor, legislature or both. And, as we know, some of these states are known to have very dangerous cities. This would include Compton, Camden, Newark, New York City, Baltimore and Chicago (to name a few). These cities have large percentages of blacks and long histories of Democratic control.

Thus, the best way to reduce violence is not through strict gun control laws but, by rather, having cities with few violent people.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Robert A. on 04/13/2018 at 3:56 AM

Re: “Finding solutions

First of all -- my condolences to the authors ancestors for their leaving Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution. I give my condolences because, if they had stayed, they would have enjoyed the many benefits of communism: one political party, planned economy, suppression of dissenting views etc. Instead they had the unfortunate luck of coming to the United States with its freedom of speech, free market, a two-party political system etc.

I am sure that the author ( regrets his misfortune of not growing-up in the USSR. It was a country that was a much better fit for his political, social and economic views.

Although the good old days of the USSR seem to be gone forever, there is still hope. There are several countries that are currently enjoying the many benefits of socialism. The author should seriously consider living in one of these countries for a few months. Venezuela is an excellent choice for a new home. The author would, of course, not live with the president but would, rather, enter the country unannounced and live among the people. After he had been accepted by the people, he can report back to his colleagues in the United States and let them know the wonders of socialism.

As some readers may know, its socialistic government has been praised by many people including a whole slew of celebrities:
Noam Chomsky retired MIT professor
Sean Penn Actor
Oliver Stone Film director
Jesse Jackson Civil rights activist
Michael Moore filmmaker
Jeremy Corbyn leader of the British Labour Party
Diego Maradona Argentinian soccer star
Naomi Campbell British supermodel Naomi Campbell
Joseph Stiglitz economist [and] recipient of a Nobel Laureate
Danny Glover Actor

The only problem that I see with this move is that the joys of the workers paradise would be so wonderful that he would never want to return to the United States. This would be a tremendous loss for us but I believe that he deserves some happiness in his life.

BTW be sure to write.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Robert A. on 04/09/2018 at 2:55 AM

Re: “Pre-K and taxes define race for governor

On pre-K
The apparent support of Democrat Mike Ross and Republican Asa Hutchinson for pre-K is disturbing but not surprising. They are either unaware of the federal governments evaluation of Head Start or dont wont to buck the political forces that are in favor of the program.

As stated in a 2010 federal study, the benefits of access to Head Start at age four are largely absent by 1st grade for the program population as a whole. ( page xxxviii) So how expensive is Head Start? In 2012, a Forbes article reported, Head Start is the nations largest preschool program, serving an estimated 904,000 children. The federal government spends in excess of $7 billion on Head Start annually, for an average cost of about $7,600 per child served.

On taxes
Both candidates are in favor of taxing income. Is this really necessary? There are seven states with no personal income. While on the flip-side, we have California with the max personal income tax. A comparison of 2017 tax rates compiled by the Federation of Tax Administrators ranks California as the top taxer with a 12.3 percent rate, unless you make more than $1 million and have to pay 13.3 percent. Thus, a zero personal income tax and lower taxes, in general, should be a goal of the state government.
It is not exactly a secret that the people and corporations who pay the high taxes are leaving California in droves. Many are going to one on the seven states. Is this what we want for Arkansas?

Other issues not addressed in the article
Illegal Immigrants
Although Arkansas does not have the large number of illegal immigrants that we see in California and some other states, they are still a burden on the Arkansas taxpayer. A few items:
From the 2000 census, Its illegal alien population is estimated at 27,000, according to
The Federation of American Immigration Reform calculated the cost of illegal immigration in the state of Arkansas at $224 million according to 2010 estimates.
Although Arkansas employment of Latinos is high, the state does enforce strict anti-hiring undocumented immigrant laws. According to Legal Match, a first-time offender who hires an illegal immigrant pays a fine of $250 to $2,000. Penalties, including jail time, escalate for repeat offenses.

Non-US citizens should be identified on the drivers license and when their children enroll in public schools. These are opportunity for identifying undocumented aliens and for reducing the states expenses.

The state has a large percentage of its population living in poverty.

The state can reduce poverty by becoming more business friendly. Its Business Tax Climate needs to improve. It overall rank is 38th of the 50 states. And there are probably other things that the state can do to made it a better place for businesses. As the business climate improves, job opportunities will follow.

Even before the increase of these job opportunities, the state needs to cut back on welfare payments and similar freebies to its residents. As the job market improves, virtually all of the welfare-type payments would be eliminated. As a no-brainer, illegal immigrants should not be receiving any of these benefits. If we want to eliminate (or, at greatly reduce) poverty, we dont subsidize poverty. When you subsidize something, you get more of it.

Posted by Robert A. on 02/07/2018 at 5:06 AM


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