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.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, June 27. 2018
Reading that gave me a case of PTSD
Do we need to update Godwin's Law about the probability of comparison to Nazis?
Another Prof argues against stupid speech
Are public schools factories?
The Mommy Effect: Do Women Anticipate the Employment Effects of Motherhood?
Army training will now focus on actual battlefield skills, not social issues
American money flowing back into America
Maxine Waters declares war on democracy
There’s Nothing Wrong with Socialism—as Long as It’s Voluntary
Justice Gorsuch’s Fascinating, Constitutional Dissent In Carpenter (the cell phone privacy case)
Are many American Jews fighting the last war?
Judicial Watch Obtains IRS Documents Revealing McCain’s Subcommittee Staff Director Urged IRS to Engage in “Financially Ruinous” Targeting
Red Hen Owner Resigns As Director Of Volunteer-Organization After Backlash
MEDIA TURNING TRUMP VOTERS INTO PUBLIC ENEMY NO. 1
"Strzok isn’t just any rank-and-file guy spouting off in one ill-advised email. His fingerprints were on every FBI investigation..."
IN SEARCH OF THE ORIGIN of Russia Russia
DOJ Won't Release Top Secret Loretta Lynch Intercepts Suggesting Secret Deal To Rig Clinton Prob
Here's One Unverified File the Feds Won't Leak: About Loretta Lynch
Scott Adams: Republicans Need to Vote Because ‘They’re Coming for You Next’
Illegals are California's most privileged group
Astroturfed “Families Belong Together” June 30 National Protest Sure Looks Like An Open Borders Movement
No One Is Asking What Is Compassionate For The Average American Citizen
Afghanistan isn’t a country — it’s a hole in the map where neighboring countries aren’t.
The migration crisis will shatter Europe
HUNDREDS OF MUSLIM MIGRANTS Storm Croatian Border Screaming “ALLAHU AKBAR!”
Migrants Not Welcome: Austria Deploys Border Police After Asylum Situation Goes "Critical"
Brexit bill becomes law, allowing UK to leave European Union
Turkey's Election: Stockholm Syndrome at Its Worst
More rebellion in Iran
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RE: Jews fighting the last war.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
The immigration battle in Europe is also going on in the U.S. We have no clue how many spies the Chinese and Russians have installed here. We have no idea how many Muslim Jihadists have been "imported". And of course there are the millions of expensive dependent immigrants from shithole countries that we cannot afford to pay for. Thousands of Americans are killed every year by illegal immigrants. This is getting worse and we may not survive it.
Teacher accountability sounds nice, but is probably going to be deeply unfair in practice. Good teachers, bad teachers - it doesn't actually make much difference in student scores. Conservatives assume that of course it just has to matter, but there isn't much evidence for it. There may be slight evidence that the worst students benefit from having better teachers. That's it. We don't hold teachers responsible for how much taller their students grow, for good reason.
An accountability of "This is what the curriculum is. Did you teach it?" would be fair. What would actually be measured and consequated would be things teachers don't actually control or even influence much. The schools that are physically dangerous are probably helped by increasing the safety, but even that is not conclusively demonstrated.
The schools that get in trouble for cheating on scores are precisely those schools with poor students who are required by accreditors and government agencies to "show progress," that is, have your kids test better next year and the year after. They can't, yet the schools are being told they must. It is all becoming rather Soviet: you must have a larger harvest next year comrade! No excuses!
In practice you are right. What you described can be proven. Spend more money, hire better teachers, provide better classrooms and equipment and very little to no change for most students. But it does not have to be that way. The one thing that the tiger moms have taught us, if we are paying attention, is that children have a huge capacity to learn and for that matter all humans at all ages have a huge capacity to learn. They must be motivated AND they must be taught. Not be present in the room where the information is available in books or spoken by the teacher. The must be "taught" by force if necessary but there must be a motivating factor.
There was a general in ancient China who was trying to convince the emperor that through training he could make the army better. The emperor argued that you can't do any better that the ability and intelligence were limiting factors. The general insisted that give him 100 average unmotivated people with the absolute power of life and death over them and he could make them do anything. The emperor was amused and thought he could prove him wrong and so challenged him to take 100 of his girls from his harem and teach them to march in precise military manner. The general agreed to do it. So there they were; the general, the emperor and 100 young female harem girls. The girls were giggling and no responding to commands and acting silly. The general took two of the worst and commanded them to do some specific marching steps and of course they acted up and failed to follow his orders. To which the general drew his sword and chopped off both of their heads. After that the 98 girls who were left were totally motivated and quickly learned to march in perfect formation. The emperor put the General in charge of his army.
Also the reasoning behind the Roman military punishment of decimation.
I don't know what's more impressive; that you think that way - that fanciful, preachy, rightist, pie-in-the-sky bravado tacitly against a system millions of rightists like you never lifted a finger to reform into your fantasy because they were too busy enabling every brick of its institution - or that you actually wrote all that in some apparent righteous earnestness. All the odder since you're the room temperature statist who attacks others when they protest or expose Leviathan.
Huh! I can read the words but it makes no sense. Are you a computer program just putting together words into a sentence or do you simply lack the ability to say anything cognitive? I assume it was an insult but everything you write is an insult to someone. Do you have any idea what you were trying to communicate to me???
I like your little game, authoritarian rightist. More, please.
Media Turning Trump Voters into Public Enemy No. 1: This is why they are called "the enemedia".
Schools will improve when we stop "busing". I know how savage that sounds. I used to think busing was the solution to racism. It is not. We need to take the money we spend on buses, driver, liability insurance, maintenance, etc. take all that money and put it into brick/mortar schools in poor communities. Schools that offer three meals a day. Schools that reward teachers for "actually" teaching. Have you seen today's teachers in the classroom? What a joke! Education will also improve when we don't allow students to have their cell phones in the classroom.I have been in so many classrooms, where half the students are looking over the other half's shoulders trying to share text, or selfie, or ??? Sorry AV-success may not be measured, but diligent effort in the classroom can be monitored.
Busing is a bad idea. It's better for children to attend a local school where their friends live close by. It's easier for parents to attend sporting and other events at the school if they don't have to travel. Speaking from experience.
Another debacle we escaped was Obama's plan to force all neighborhoods to reflect national race breakdowns.
The proposed regulations by Obama would have forced cities to control construction and provision of housing so as a result, all neighborhoods would be "integrated" by percentages of ethnic groups.
Thus, for example, you could potentially be sued by the federal or local governments if you didn't sell your home to a government pre-determined ethnic group to assure "diversity." Fair housing laws already prohibit discrimination (which is fine) but this would have taken it much further.
Thankfully, all this communist crap was scrapped by Ben Carson when he came in.
As I said: "This is the curriculum. Did you teach it?" But that won't be what they are held accountable for.
Imposed busing, to move children from their local school to another some distance away to satisfy the god of "equality" is wrong. However, busing by choice can be positive.
We live a block away from a local school. However, we chose - partly for heritage reasons - to have our children in French immersion classes from preschool on (this is Canada). So our children never did attend the local school. The nearest they came to going "local" was when they attended the French immersion junior high down the hill and a bit from us.
Also, I come from a small town background, where the rural kids were routinely bused in. Further, not every option was available in every school; the "vocational technical" boys (translated: those headed for apprenticeships at the local smelter) were bused to a larger school down the road.
And I live in a province with large rural areas - buses are a fact of life for those kids. Back when my mother went to school, it was by horse and buggy (at least for the girls, suspect the boys went by horseback), and there was a boundary set beyond which the farmers didn't have to send their children. Grandad's farm was on the boundary, but he would have sent everyone in anyway. Next farm over was beyond the boundary, and that man decreed his daughters could learn all they needed to at home; forget book learning. Times have changed, but the difficulty of getting children to school still obtains in the rural areas.
Busing happens; the positive or negative depends on the situation.
If you really want to improve education put cameras in the classrooms! It really is that simple. Record how often Miss Sally heads down the hall during class, or maybe she's just sitting there at her desk balancing her personal checkbook while the kids who are supposed to be reading are really just texting each other. Let's see how many minutes of every hour Miss Sally stands and delivers ! Students and teachers can improve from today's status quo.
Note: The LA teacher's union destroyed the Garfield Calculus classes and forced Jaime Escalante to move elsewhere to work.
If you really want to improve education charge the parents for the cost. If they have nothing then require that they work 40 hours a week for their children's education. If the children do well. learn quickly and are attentive in class charge less. If the children are lax and or disruptive charge more. Require that the parents must attend a weekly meeting together and discuss goals and accomplishments. Parents who fail to meet these minimum responsiblities will spend weekends in jail.