We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I know that you have been volunteering to help with some of the legal matters concerning freedom of speech on campus. But, today I am writing to ask if you know any attorneys working with the issues of student loan fraud as an intentional action or management strategy within the universities themselves. You may by now know that there is a large professional group out there whose sole interest in financial student loans is shifting money to communities of color. These people design corrupt systems within some university systems. Is anything being done about this, and if so can you send me the name of the law firm leading the way?
I agree that 3,4, and 5 are myths. But I just get tired of conservatives - and I am one - believing this other crap.
Racial differences explain nearly all of national, state, and school scores. Anything that ignores that 800-lb gorilla is just crap and should not be linked to. I generally like your stuff Barrister, and the the other posters over here at Maggies's, but this is just getting frustrating about education. What people think should be true, must be true, we can find a few numbers that suggests it's true, gosh darn it let me have my bromides true, turn out not to be true. Odd crap like the Beverly Hills district - yeah, there's a representative sample - compared to Singapore (another representative sample, eh?) is just meaningless. Go to the PISA scores and consider them. You can do the math.
If our schools have sucked so badly for 100 years - and these same arguments have been advanced for that long - how are we still ruling the world?
Assistant VIllage Idiot
AV--I think I can help you refine your sense of the timeline vis a vis American schools. Until 1962 American schools worked through coursework with rigor. A student was required to pass 1 algebra class in order to graduate HS. A student was required to be able to write intelligently about a subject and make a case for their claim, etc.,etc., etc. Here is a timeline for you:
beginning in 1963 that all gradually faded away from our school system. I believe (please correct if the date is wrong) that it would be close to say that America's teacher's unions joined the AFL-CIO in 1978 +/-- God help us because even if we get today's problems resolved America is still in a world of hurt, because beginning with the generation that graduated around 1980 there is no one coming up that can use reason--understands the difference between deductive, inductive reasoning, and so on. Your grandkids will not save this country and your kids will not be able to set it on a strong intelligent path. The only people coming up behind that have a chance in hell of a reasoned life have attended private schools, or most likely have been home schooled.
My sense of the timeline is excellent, thanks. I am 60 and have 5 sons, the last of which (actually a nephew) is just finishing HS. Two were from Romania and had schooling there, playing catch-up here. They have been in public, private, and home schools.
Schools used to be terrible when I was in them, and the data that conservatives use to suggest otherwise consists mostly of reverie, unrepresentative samples, and theories that suggest "it must be so." I saw teachers that were violent. My brother, later a college professor, had a "special" program of sitting in the hall getting in trouble most days because he was fidgety and disruptive in class. I recall vividly children being humiliated in front of the class. We spent hours on penmanship and useless copying.
Dumb stuff is still taught and time wasted these days. It is worse elsewhere, and it doesn't affect the overall education that much. There are schools that are physically dangerous to go to and these are indeed a problem and a shame. But if you send your kid to the best school in the state or a bad school in the next district, so long as it's not abusive, you won't see much difference in the end. That's not opinion. That's data.
Number 3 is one I find annoying. It isn't an either/or situation. Kids need both. School is to teach you how to order your thoughts and get beyond sensory experience. They like to call it trendy things like "critical thinking" etc. In the hard sciences it is called problem solving. To acquire these skills you need nice firm facts to build up and apply your techniques. Memorization can help you lay that foundation but memorization shouldn't be a goal in and of itself.
Learning the multiplication table is necessary but it is only a means to an end. The end goal, which is so often lost, is to learn how to apply the rules of arithmetic to that small subset of "knowledge" to open up a vast universe. Otherwise, the student is limited by their brute ability. But this is hard to test, which has become the purpose of schooling, and doesn't come on a schedule based on age and passive classroom exposure by a lecturing adult. Some students, we call them bright, sometime genius, figure it out on their own. Perhaps they have exposure to an adult who absentmindedly reveals the world beyond what "they need to know" for the class.
Education is one of the largest money-makers in our GDP. I would say we now are dealing with an out of control military/industrial/education complex funded by the taxpayers with healthcare only slightly behind because so much of that cost is hidden behind the dollars spent on the other three.
IMO, our biggest problem is the dumbing down and rewriting of subject matter to accommodate the school population so everyone is EQUAL and all are eligible to attend college on loans. It's getting scary.
(The elephant in the room? The biggest money maker is drugs -- legal and illegal. They make the world go 'round and has for centuries. No formal education necessary.)