Making The Case For More Government Education Programs

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

KOIN News provided this gem as seen in Oregon before a scheduled Monday demonstration by militia groups.



[sic] semper tyrannis

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

24 thoughts on “Making The Case For More Government Education Programs”

  1. There is a role for govt. However, unions often pay bribes to politicians to protect their members. Although we have an increasing number of instances of crazy and unstable commercial airline pilots, the pilot’s union has fought routine psych testing. Many people die so crazy, unstable, union rat pilots can draw a big salary.

  2. This is almost as good as the Tea Party types who had signs saying KEEP YOUR GOVERNMENT HANDS OFF MY MEDICARE! I would bet Nick would be holding that sign along with his supposed students.

  3. Olly,
    Thanks for your encouragement! You managed to write yet another post wherein you contribute absolutely nothing of value to the discussion. How very consistent of you.

  4. The teaching of civics left the curriculum when the teacher’s union and Education Industry took over public education. “Keep ’em barefoot and pregnant” being the operative motto. I always incorporated civics into my lessons when I taught history. There were a few others who did this as well. But, we were a distinct minority.

  5. Why in the world would any reasonable person who cares about education make it so hard to fire a bad teacher? Fight against meritocracy and only reward years of service? A bad education puts kids on a shaky foundation forever. Education is the way out from gang- and crime-infested neighborhoods…the way out from going nowhere. And there are people who sincerely believe that we must make firing bad teachers really hard???

    When we parents went to info night at the local charter school, there was a standing ovation when the principal stated that there was no tenure. Here in CA, we have laws against unlawful termination.

    Why were we so thrilled? Because there were some infamously bad teachers in the local schools.

    You do not libel garbage when you say it stinks. And anyone, of any political party, who criticizes this inexplicable effort to keep bad or poor performing teachers in the classroom are justified.

    Whose kid gets to ruin their future by being stuck with the bad teacher who is going to turn them off of education? Who’s going to cause them to fall behind?

    And why are all the public and charter schools so starved for funds? I well recall when voters thought the state lottery was going to be the panacea for education funding. But since it’s government run, it contributes a mere 1% of school budgets.

    I like how they do it in Breda, I believe. Education funds are tied to students, who can go wherever their parents choose to drive them. Schools compete for those kids, who represent funding. There is intense pressure to excel, because students are shopping around for the best education. You’d better believe bad teachers are not tolerated, because they can spell the end for the school.

    Kids come first.

  6. I’m proud of you phillyT. You waited for about 2/3 of your post before you indicted the Republican party. Keep up that kind of effort and before you know it you will have developed some rational objectivity.

    Well done!

  7. Let’s blame the teachers!

    They work long hours.
    They are underpaid.
    They buy materials and supplies out of their own pockets.
    They deal with dangerous, drugged-out parents.
    Their classrooms are overcrowded.
    They are expected to be nurses, therapists, teachers, disciplinarians, and miracle workers.
    They have to deal with incompetent administrators
    Many of their kids are screwed up from fetal alcohol syndrome, ADHD, childhood psychoses and more, and they mix them in with the other students.
    The private schools and charter schools cherry pick the good students and dump the bad students back into the public school systems, often keeping the dollar-per-student allotments for themselves.
    School funding allotments are corrupt, racist and political.
    School boards are regularly infiltrated by radical christian fundamentalists who want to teach creationism and read the bible at school.
    The Republican party has turned into a professional know-nothing clan, who attract the lowest common denominator voters by mocking the “educated elite”, denying science, and supporting destructive voucher programs.

    I know there are some bad teachers out there. and we need to be able to weed them out. But parents who don’t read to their children and politicians who make hay out of teacher bashing have done more harm than a bad teacher ever could.

  8. Two letter r and one letter n don’t make it right. Those who can: do. Those who can’t do: teach. Those who can’t teach: teach teachers.

  9. When addressing education in high school and beyond there are two essential—prime—elements.
    1. Critical thinking
    2. Grammar

    First grammar….to be concise and accurate in expression in support of critical thinking.

    Higher education includes learning how/where to find things. But this element is secondary to the essentials.

    An example of half-ass critical thinking is the use of percentages.

    E.g. Suppose one reads that deaths from exposure rose 50% above last year. Sounds like we need to drop everything and fix a big problem.

    But 50% of what? If the prior year had 10 deaths and this year had 15, then it makes sense, in a way, to say it rose 50%. But critical thinking would ask what the true ratios are.

    If 10 out of 100,000 (.010%) died in the prior year and 15 (.015%) in the current year, the difference is actually .005%. That is not to say that the deaths are not tragic in and of themselves. But does a designated funding line (revenue–taxes?) need to be increased 50% to fix the problem? Probably not. However, it does depend on the actual funds.

    In my opinion, too many people buy into half-baked statistics or assumptions. One reason may well be that it takes too much effort to track down the reality.

    A real world proposal was made just a few years ago. A corporate board was petitioned to divest all funds from the top 20 of the top 200 carbon consuming companies. The petition specified the listing found within a report. The petition almost passed in a manner similar to the ACA health plan….pass it so we can read it. It was deferred and most went home with the warm fuzzies as its passage was all but assured.

    Except upon further investigation, it was determined that the list was a compilation of those companies which held the most carbon RESERVES, and over 85% were Chinese/Asian/Russian “State run” entities. And, the listing was composed of 2 separate lists of 100 companies. One list was oil, and the other was coal/natural gas. The corporate entity held not one share in those companies like Gazprom (Russia). On a humorous note… Outer Mongolia was also on the list

    But the headlines would have been glorious.

    The reality? A waste of time, money and paper because the screening committee did not do due diligence. The lists within the report were only the measurements of resources still in the ground. None of the sponsoring group had actually perused the detail and narrative referenced within the report’s listing(s).

    So again…the arts of critical thinking and grammar should always be key components in every course.

    Way back in the day, I had a roommate who used “irregardless” in a physics report…and was awarded an F for the paper. The prof. told him that a college upperclassman should know just how important grammar is to his career. By the nature of its use, it is a word. However, it is self-negating and “a sign of ignorance.” The syllabus clearly stated that an F would be assigned if the Webster rule is violated during open book assignments and tests.

    Misuse of the first person pronoun—(I and me) in prepositional phrases and as the object of the verb “to be”— is another red flag.

    ( note to self: insert Mr Gump’s typical closing to an observation or Mr. Burns directive to his wife at the end of their show.)

  10. Vocal school: the school day is an hour longer. The children sing together for half an hour in the morning and then again half an hour in the afternoon.

    The results: in this inner city school standardized math test scores went front 20th percentile to 80th percentile.

    Part of the 9 muses?

  11. Return to teaching Christian principles along with the perennialist education philosophy in public schools and we’ll see a rise in test scores and a decrease in crime.

  12. Justice Holmes – that’s not at all what it’s about. Check out the link above. It’s pretty sad. Whatever the Bundys are demanding is irrelevant to the actual local issue and the ranchers who have been harmed.

    One of my family members is a rather well known ecologist. He once told me that the key to real environmental change is to create partnerships with landowners. An adversarial relationship fails in the long run. Landowners may dispose of an endangered species if they see it, for example, if its presence mean they will lose everything they own. What happened in Oregon is an example of what not to do, on several levels.

  13. Isn’t the public education system grand?

    Here is a link to the allegations about what’s behind the initial protest, which was legitimate:

    It involved government land snatching, deliberate flooding of ranchers’ homes and property who refused to sell, mismanagement of a wildlife preserve, and other blunders. They even made the ranchers sign a document stipulating that if they ever sold out, it had to be to the government.

    The Bundy crew completely ruined a legitimate protest. No one’s going to hear about the issues, just the armed Occupiers. The locals don’t want them there.

  14. Government tyranny ..making someone pay a user fee for pasturing their cows.

  15. All “educations” are truncated. Some more quickly than others. Some by time. Some by money. Some by ideology. How does one educate people to be lifelong self-learners and not mere parrots of what they think they learned when they were twenty-something years of age?

  16. If “education” is providing information, that’s not enough. Maybe more individualized education using computer learning can better identify individual aptitudes and maximize those abilities.

  17. Proper education, which includes teaching people how to think (as opposed to teaching them to believe what you believe), is the key to the future success of our country. By that standard, we are in trouble.

    Our children will face problems we cannot imagine. (But first we have to survive Donald Trump.)

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