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The untold story of accountability and security!

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As Americans with funny names "Abdelaziz" included and not so funny ones "Miller, Smith and Newcomer" ponder over the choice of their next representative, we have a dilemma.

Over the last six years we have been reminded continuously that our choice is between our country's national security and our well being. War on terror VS privacy rights, strong arm forces or additional spending on health care, education, and social security programs.

I beg to differ, isn't security and all the above part of why we elect our government?

Are we not entitled to an administration that is capable of providing all the above for the price we pay from our hard earned money?

If the answer is positive and I suspect it must be, then we have to examine the record. Verify what we achieved over the last six years. Hold our representatives to the standards we are held to in our jobs and family life every day of the week.


Did our government with all its defined branches deliver on their campaign promises?


To answer this question, I have to address the multiple dimensions that defined the job of a federal government, nothing is more appropriate than using the White House web site.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/

On the left side of the home page under the title 'Issues' you will find that our government takes responsibility for Education, Energy, Health Care, Homeland Security, Hurricanes, Immigration, Jobs and Economy.

The list is clearly long and as our government takes its job seriously I have to do the same. So I will cover two issues per article for a total of four articles dedicated for our government score card in the last six years.

Wonderful, so for few seconds let us together examine where we are on each of the first two issues (Education) and (Energy). To be fair to our government and give it the benefit of the doubt I will start with the government point of view, followed by some of our most respectable thinkers and then leave it to you to judge for yourself!

"No Child Left behind (NCLB) benefits and empowers children, parents, teachers, and schools. America is challenging the soft bigotry of low expectations; ending the shuffling of children through the system; and building an education system that prepares children for the demands of the global economy. The Administration is raising expectations and increasing accountability; giving local authorities more flexibility with Federal funds; requiring curricula based on proven methods of successful teaching; and giving parents options when schools fail".

As we can see from the previous excerpt provided by the white house, the NCLB is the core of the administration's plan for education. So what is the score card?

The National Education Association has filed a lawsuit against the federal government demanding that President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act receive full funding. The NEA, plaintiffs in the lawsuit include nine school districts from Michigan, Texas and Vermont; nine NEA state affiliates Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, Texas, Utah and Vermont and the local affiliate in Reading, Penn.

The plaintiffs claim that since the law's enactment in 2002, there has been a $27 billion funding shortfall in what Congress was supposed to provide schools to meet the law's regulations. That has left the states responsible for the law's requirements, and responsible for a large portion of the funding.
The funding shortage directly conflicts with language in the law, which says states will not suffer an undue financial burden in connection with compliance.

Cost studies in Ohio and Texas estimate that the price of the regulations to state taxpayers could run as high as $1.5 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively, according to the NEA filing.
Here is some additional links that addresses the status and problems of the NCLB program.
http://www.okea.org/news/focus/neaseeksfullfunding.htm
http://www.aft.org/topics/nclb/downloads/aypresearch.pdf#search=%22nclb%20wrong%22
http://www.cea.org/nclb/index.cfm


Energy has been in the mind of each of us as the price of gas skyrocketed over the last year and half. The political pundits has many convincing reasons for why we are paying what we are paying, but let us ignore all these reasons and listen to our president as he educates us on energy.

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I am an Egyptian American born in Alexandria. I immigrated to the US in the late eighties, during this time lived in many places in US and Europe. I work as an IT manager and love it. I love to travel, it makes me feel young, and it awakes in me (more...)
 
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