Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Important Message: Your Child's Future

What is the most important message I can share with you on the last day of early voting? It is this:

Our children need the very best eduction we can give them to help them through the difficult years ahead.

Robert Canright is the only PISD candidate who understands this problem and has a plan to help your children prosper in difficult times.

This chart shows in red and blue the average household expense and income by decade. The difference is the disposable income. The data shows the average American household cannot afford to own a home! There is not enough disposable income to pay for house repairs. When the government and banks pushed loans onto people to buy houses they could not afford, an economic meltdown was predictable.

The real threat is the trend. From the 1980's through the present expenses outpace income. Your children, and mine, will be drowning in red ink. I have read a story of a physician who borrowed $250,000 to become a doctor. After having trouble getting employment, the debt grew to $700,000. The doctor said she would not finish paying off her debt until she is 70 years old and will never be able to buy a house. This is the threat facing your children: that heavy debt from a college education and a lack of jobs for your child will drive your children into crushing debt by the power of compounding interest. There is no relief from college debt by bankruptcy!

Our economy is going insane! College will become a place of economic doom instead of opportunity. Wall Street is becoming an engine for wealth destruction, not wealth creation.

There is no longer one American economy. There are three: the Wall Street economy, the middle-class economy, and the poor-person's economy. Only the Wall Street economy is growing, but it is growing by taking away from the middle-class and the poor.

I am the only candidate with a vision to guide our children to a brighter future: the Texas Ascendant Campaign. We start by fixing the curriculum and spending problems in the PISD. Then we use the vision of Texas Ascendant as a goal for educating our children to succeed in difficult times.

You can see the above chart in larger format on my website. You will also see I have analyzed the spending at PISD and found it out of control.

I am the only candidate who has looked at the money issues. If you believe in fiscal responsibility, if you care about your children, then you should vote for Robert Canright.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

27 Years of Failure

The last chart on my website has this bullet under the column "Reform Education:" 27 years of failure. By this I am referring to the 27 years that have passed since the publication in April 1987 of A Nation At Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform. This report was famous for lines such as these:

"... the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people."

"If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war."

"Each generation of Americans has outstripped its parents in education, in literacy, and in economic attainment. For the first time in the history of our country, the educational skills of one generation will not surpass, will not equal, will not even approach, those of their parents."

I have typed these lines from my copy of this report, purchased 27 years ago and saved these many years because I love education and wanted to see how this report would compare to our nation's results after some decades have passed.

After 27 years of failure and mountains of money spent for naught, we should all be very skeptical of the educational establishment that has led us in circles.

It is time we take our schools back. The Board of Trustees in Plano have served as boosters, but have allowed our district to be mismanaged. I can now understand why America cannot fix its schools: because the nation's school boards are full of lap-dogs instead of watch-dogs, and Plano is no different.

Vote for Robert Canright and I will be a watch-dog, alert to problems, and vocal about fixing them.

See me speak at the Conservative Hispanic Society/LULAC Forum.
My watch said I had 30 seconds remaining when they buzzed me, so I didn't finish my last chart.
You can see me talk to that last chart here.

Robert Canright
Candidate for Place 1
Every registered voter can vote for me -- there are no geographic zones for the school board seats.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Robert Canright Runs for PISD Board Because He Cares

Plano is a great city with great kids. I care about the kids in Plano, which is why I run for the school board, Place 1.

In Round Rock two years ago, after a great Plano Senior High football playoff game, I noticed a car full of teenagers that was not leaving the parking lot. I drove over, with my family, and asked if everything was okay. It turned out they had a flat tire.

The boys said they knew how to change a tire, but I parked the car and asked them to show me. Well, they were missing the crank they needed to jack their car up. I loaned them my crank, and then discovered they did not really know how to change a tire.

I changed their flat tire for them, told them their spare was low on air and they needed to get more air in the spare. I had my daughter get their phone number and check on them to make sure they made it safely to a gas station to get their tire inflated.

I love my children, but I care about all the children of Plano. I want all the children of Plano to get the best education we can provide them so they can live full and prosperous lives.

We do need to make changes in Plano to give our children the best education. I am willing to work to help make those changes just as surely as I am willing to change your child's car tire if needed, but I need your help. You need to vote for me on election day, and call and email your friends to get them to vote on Saturday, May 8.

Thank you,
Robert Canright

PS: I have voiced the opinion elsewhere that I believe continuing the Candy Cane Lawsuit is a waste of time and money, reflecting poorly on the district's reputation. I have caught some flack from some people because I have not gotten into the details of the case and voiced opinions on the details. There are a number of details. However, as seen by one comment, at least one good person has assumed that I have voiced an opinion on one of the details, but I have not.

There is some complexity to the legal issues and I will let the lawyers speak to the details. I simply question whether the Plano ISD should persist down this road.

Professional photography by Alisha Downs from Beyond Exposure

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Robert Canright on Plano Math

I have often heard parents express shock at the deficiencies in Plano's mathematics curriculum for elementary school and middle school. People want to know my opinion of Connected Math.

Just this week I was looking at Connected Math material and feeling sorry for kids having to suffer through this program. The thought crossed my mind this week that Connected Math probably contributes to children dropping out of school. Connected Math is frustrating even for children who are good at math; it must be very discouraging for children who struggle with math.

For your convenience, here are links to articles I've written about math in Plano:
May 2, 2009 The Dumbing Down Disease
April 18, 2009 Dumbing Down and Connected Math
April 16, 2009 Plano's Secret: the Tutoring Industry
April 11, 2009 Elementary School Math Problems
May 6, 2008 Let's Improve Math at Plano ISD

Robert Canright

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why Move PISD Problems to County Level?

Two PISD Board members stand on their record to run for the Collin County Commissioners’ Court, yet the record of the PISD Board of Trustees leaves much to be desired: (1) the Board has a long record of ignoring the concerns of parents, (2) the Board does not represent the Plano community, and (3) the Board has a long history of making excuses for poor performance.

From the recent frustration over school feeder realignments to the bitter battle ten years ago over Connected Math, the Board of Trustees has only made a pretense of listening to parents. Additionally, the PISD Board and Administration have developed a reputation both here in Plano and across the state for appearing to be anti-Christian. The Plano community is not anti-Christian, so the Board and Administration misrepresent our community. After the PISD lawyers won in Circuit Court in the Candy Cane lawsuit, my daughter called me from Lubbock and asked why people in Lubbock would think she was persecuted for her Christianity in Plano. This lawsuit made us look bad across the state, and we can thank the Board for this.

Last year I demonstrated that our neighbors outperformed us in the TAKS tests at lower cost. The same is true this year.

Furthermore, the TEA data prove that Plano has always done worse than our neighbors.

We see Plano has many more struggling schools than our neighbors: Allen, Frisco, and Richardson. (I define a struggling school as one that is TEA rated Acceptable or Unacceptable.) Plano does have many outstanding students, fine teachers and principals, but problems with our curriculum hurt many students. The Board makes excuses for poor management, which is why the problem has gone on for so long.

Do you citizens of Plano want to take problems of this type and move them to the county level? Do you want to be ignored? Do you want your costs to increase while performance goes down? I do not think so.

I am certain Duncan Webb and John Muns believe they have done a fine job. They were consistently re-elected. However, re-election is not a sign of approval but a lack of interest by the public along with a system of elections designed to maintain control of the Board by a small but well organized group. The at-large system of representation allows a small group of voters from one part of town to dominate the entire town. Geographic districts would allow real representation. That elections are won by a plurality instead of a majority means the winner of an election might be rejected by the majority of voters. For example, in last year’s election Barbara Hinton won after being rejected by 58% of the voters; in 2008 Skip Jenkins won after being rejected by 52% of the voters. No one can say Barbara Hinton or Skip Jenkins represent the citizens of Plano when the majority of voters rejected them. The Board of Trustees does not represent the citizens of Plano, nor does it serve the interests of all the children of Plano. The Board and Administration focus on the cream of the crop, who commendably achieve high SAT scores and impressive numbers of National Merit Scholarships. The average student, however, would be better served by the neighboring ISDs.

I hope this spirited election for the Collin County Commissioners’ Court will bring more interest to the Plano ISD elections. Voters in the past had no way of knowing there were problems within the Plano ISD because newspapers kept silent. The citizens of Plano were lulled into complacency. But the internet now provides us with the free flow of information we need to be informed voters. An informed and active electorate is the backbone of democracy. Let us all do our part and vote in all elections, not just the big ones.

Robert Canright

If you want to see the charts in bigger format, you can go to the Plano Crowd blog. You'll have to join the blog site to see the post. The charts are also available in JPEG format at these links: Chart 1 and Chart 2

Sunday, February 21, 2010

On the Resignation of Senator Bayh

Evan Bayh, a U.S. Senator from Indiana resigned recently. His exact words, from the New York Times, Sunday 2/21/10, are:

"Challenges of historic import threaten America's future. Action on the deficit, economy, energy, health care and much more is imperative, yet our legislative institutions fail to act. Congress must be reformed."

I've been saying for years that we need better leaders for a better future.

Senator Evan Bayh is the son of Senator Birch Bayh. He has been around this level of politics for a long time and has seen the Senate deteriorate. Now he's given up, and we need to heed the warning and take action.

We need to educate our children to become the generation of leaders America needs. The plan I call Texas Ascendant is a road map to build a stronger Texas so we can build a stronger America.

If anyone can turn America around, it will be Texans. And the turning point should start here in Plano.

Robert Canright

Saturday, February 20, 2010

2010: I Do Plan to Run

I have been receiving emails asking if I plan to run in the 2010 election for the Plano ISD Board of Trustees. Yes, I do plan to run. I have not yet updated my web site and I have not yet made a choice regarding which place to file for.

If you are not familiar with our system, the seats on the board of trustees are numbered. They are called "places," but "seat" would be more accurate. We have an at-large system so everyone in the city of Plano can vote for any place and I am free to choose whichever place appeals to me. I have not yet made my choice.

Thank you for your interest and encouragement.

Robert Canright