Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Carrie Russo's photo

Carrie Russo, San Pedro Special Education Examiner | Examiner.com | http://exm.nr/w5R03r

January 16, 2012 - According to recent Gallup polls available at http://bit.ly/wy4Pjb/ (and below)  education is far from being a top concern of US citizens in the upcoming elections. When the Gallup polls posed the question "What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?" a mere 3% of respondents pointed toward education.

Why is it that in a country that is failing to provide quality education to its youth through its public institutions, citizens are not concerned with politician's stances on improving or reforming our educational system? Educational law holds states to the depressing standard of having to provide a "free and appropriate education" and for students with special learning needs this standard is met if "some educational benefit" is gained.

The United States continues to allow their youth to enter adulthood without quality education. According to the 2011 International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), and as reverberated by the National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS), between 21-24% of adults in America performed at the lowest of three literacy scales: document literacy, prose literacy, and quantitative literacy.

National Center for Special Education Research had its budget reduced by 20 million dollars last April. In California, Governor Jerry Brown continues to cut funding in education, announcing a $248 million cut in state education budget. Los Angeles Unified School District's Superintendent Deasy is threatening a lawsuit, telling CBS2 'There's this consistent disinvestment in public education, but I think what we've reached now is a new low, where we just simply are not going to tolerate not caring about kids any longer.' Californian parents are in an uproar as transportation to their children's schools is at risk, which poses a threat to LAUSD's ability to provide the minimal "free and appropriate education."

The time has come to demand quality education for our citizens; it is time to make education a key issue in politics.

    • Carrie Russo is a third year college student at University of Phoenix focusing her studies on Business Management. Carrie is the mother of two...Read full bio

●● smf's 2¢: OK, !

● – The Republican presidential candidates seem to be fighting over who will eliminate the US Department of Education – and by extension the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), Title One, Special Ed Support, No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, Common Core Standards and the Secretary of Education – first!

● – Former LAUSD Superintendent Roy Romer led a charge for a focus on education last time in his ED IN O8 Campaign – but that effort was bought+paid-for/co-opted+sidelined by the forces of ®eform. See Romer campaigning HERE alongside Prince Georges County Superintendent John Deasy, Broad Academy Class of ‘06, before Deasy joined the Gates Foundation.

● – San Pedro Examiner Carrie Russo misses a point – and the message: ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL. There is a special L.A. City Council election in San Pedro today, pitting a first-time-candidate/former LAPD officer against an experienced former LAUSD School Board member turned L.A. Community College Trustee turned Assemblyperson.

  • Is this a battle of Youth+Ambition v. Old Age+TrickeryExperience??
  • Maybe the minimal-turnout-electorate’s importance of Public Safety is being contrasted with Public Education?
  • Or perhaps it’s a referendum on the trustworthiness of LAUSD and the LACCD and the California Sate Assembly?

Stay tuned.


U.S. Satisfaction Up Slightly at Start of 2012, to 18%

Percentage satisfied is lower than in January of other presidential election years

by Jeffrey M. Jones,  Gallup.com |  http://bit.ly/wy4Pjb

January 11, 2012 PRINCETON, NJ -- Eighteen percent of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the United States today, a slight improvement from the latter half of 2011, when satisfaction levels ranged from 11% to 16%.

In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time? Recent trend (January 2011-January 2012)

Though improved, the current figure remains well below 39%, which is the historical average satisfaction rating. Gallup first asked this question, its version of the "right track"/"wrong track" measure, in 1979.

Satisfaction has been consistently below average since 2005, spanning the last years of the Bush administration and the first years of the Obama administration. Satisfaction has not been as high as 40% since July 2005 and has not been at or above 50% since January 2004.

Satisfaction is one of several key measures, along with presidential approval and economic confidence, that help predict election outcomes. When Americans are largely dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country, incumbents and incumbent political parties are vulnerable to defeat.

Gallup has never found satisfaction lower in January of a presidential election year than it is now, though in several years -- including 1992, 1996, and 2008 -- satisfaction was relatively low. Of these years, only in 1996 did satisfaction improve over the course of the year, to 39%, a level high enough to help incumbent Bill Clinton win re-election.

Satisfaction levels also improved during 1988, but in other election years they declined at least slightly.

Satisfaction With Way Things Are Going in U.S., Initial and Final Pre-Election Measurements in Recent Presidential Election Years

Economic Concerns Continue to Be Cited as Most Important Problem

Americans' economic angst is likely a major reason for their lower satisfaction with national conditions. Gallup's monthly update on the most important problem facing the country finds 66% mentioning some economic issue, though that percentage remains a bit lower than what Gallup measured as recently as November (76%).

The health of the economy in general (31%) and jobs or unemployment (26%) continue to rank as the top two specific issues Americans most often cite. Dissatisfaction with government is next, at 15%. The only other issues to receive at least 5% mention are the federal budget deficit and healthcare.

What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today? [OPEN-ENDED] January 2012 results

The economy in general overtook the war in Iraq as the most important problem in 2008, and has ranked first or second on the list every month since; the economy and jobs have occupied the top two positions each month since December 2009.


Americans remain largely dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States, though they are a bit more positive now than they have been in recent months. Their slightly more positive outlook may be a result of their slightly greater optimism about the economy.

Whether satisfaction continues to climb will be a key factor in determining President Obama's re-election fate. If it improves significantly, as it did in 1996, he may be a safe bet for a second term. But if it stays low, he could join Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush as one-term presidents denied a second term during a struggling economy.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 5-8, 2012, with a random sample of 1,011 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample includes a minimum quota of 400 cell phone respondents and 600 landline respondents per 1,000 national adults, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents by region. Landline telephone numbers are chosen at random among listed telephone numbers. Cell phone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, adults in the household, and phone status (cell phone only/landline only/both, cell phone mostly, and having an unlisted landline number). Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2011 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized population living in U.S. telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

View methodology, full question results, and trend data.

For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit www.gallup.com.

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