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longride 04-20-2009 04:43 PM

Why we are in BIG trouble
 
I just read this. Doesn't say much about the collective IQ of the country.

"To bring an umbrella or not to bring an umbrella? That's the perennial question on those days where the chance of rain is less than 100 percent.

But only half the population understands what a precipitation forecast means well enough to make a fully informed answer, a new study finds.

If, for example, a forecast calls for a 20 percent chance of rain, many people think it means that it will rain over 20 percent of the area covered by the forecast. Others think it will rain for 20 percent of the time, said Susan Joslyn, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Washington who conducted the study. "

Looks like the forecast is for 51% stupidity tomorrow increasing to 100% soon. Sheesh!

Barbara 04-20-2009 04:52 PM

Hi Guys,

I guess I might make an enemy or two, but I blame the NEA, and their state organizations. When teachers are responsible for their product, like any other worker, then we might get high-school graduates who can construct a complete sentence, and perhaps even conjugate a verb.

On second thought, it'll never happen. Once the government got involved in public education, that was the beginning of the end. :rolleyes:

Home-schooling is the rational answer, in my opinion.

acecycleins 04-20-2009 05:12 PM

The NEA is the single most dangerous entity in the USA. Worse than Teamsters, worse than liberals with IRS oversight, worse than splinter cells. Funny thing is that we send our little soldiers off to camp everyday believing that teachers are doing something to enlighten them. Vouchers are the only way to save the kids. IT'S FOR THE KIDS!!!!

Kenneth_Moore 04-20-2009 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Barbara (Post 210984)
Hi Guys,

I guess I might make an enemy or two, but I blame the NEA, and their state organizations. When teachers are responsible for their product, like any other worker, then we might get high-school graduates who can construct a complete sentence, and perhaps even conjugate a verb.

On second thought, it'll never happen. Once the government got involved in public education, that was the beginning of the end. :rolleyes:

Home-schooling is the rational answer, in my opinion.

You'd never be my enemy, but I completely disagree with you.

Before the government was involved in education, most children went to work when they were physically large enough to do so. The work might have been on a family farm if they were lucky, or in a sweatshop, meat packing plant, or factory if they weren't. In most nations, that's still how life is.

The education system is a reflection of the community that surrounds us. My son goes to a public elementary school, and I'm extremely impressed with the results. He reads well, he has an excellent vocabulary, and he's a hell of lot better at math than I was at his age. Every day he fills out his planner, and his teacher and I stay in touch via the planner, emails, or conferences. The school has several community events each year that I really look forward to. Because I'm a single parent, I take advantage of their after-care program from 2 to about 5:30. The first few hours are when he does his homework, then there are activities till I pick him up. The truth is, his "workday" is longer than mine; his is 7:30 to 5:30, mine is 8 to 5. The teachers: for the most part from what I've seen...they work their butts off. They've got a damn difficult job, especially for the money they make. And a lot of them put their own money into the classrooms for supplies and extras.

Sure, there are schools that are nightmares in my county. But the problem is at least 50% the parents, not just the system or the teachers. When the community looks at the school as a place to dump off the kids and not part of their responsibility too, then the result is a holding pen that might as well be "day jail." But even the worst schools have programs for the kids whose families really care and want to get their kid an education.

I despise the trend toward private schools, which only serve to further segregate our society by income. My High School had the town's richest kids and the poorest kids, from riverside mansions to trailer parks, in the same classrooms, gyms, and cafeterias. Of course there were cliques and different levels, but we were all together. And a really bright kid I knew from whose Dad was an alcoholic living in a trailer park got a scholarship through the guidance counselor at that public school. Last time I heard, he was the business manager of a big plastics factory in New Jersey. When the wealthier parents pull their kids and their support out of the public school system, it just makes our society worse, not better. School should be an equalizing influence in our communities; that has been a great tradition in Amercia. In fact, educational opportunity is frequently considered a keystone of "American Exceptionalism."

Home schooling? What percentage of families have a parent at home these days? Not many, most parents work. Let alone a parent qualified to teach math, science, history etc. I'm a pretty bright guy, but I have no idea how to teach a ten year old, any more than I know how to fill a cavity or repair an automatic transmission. I might be able to do a mediocre job at it, but teaching takes a lot of education. And teachers have to continue their education throughout their career to maintain their certification. How many professions require that? Some, but not a lot.

Look at the best America has produced in sports, politics, science, arts, engineering throughout history. The vast majority of them came from public schools. If you don't like the way your schools are being run, get involved. We have parent groups who lobby the school board, help fund special events and programs, meet with the school adminstrators and teachers. We have a real influence on what our school is like and the results it produces. Nothing is stopping any other community from doing the same thing.

Barbara 04-20-2009 10:10 PM

Hi Kenneth,

Hard to argue with rational statements, so I won't try. I will stipulate to most of what you stated, with the addendum that I honestly believe that the problem began when "school" became not a privilege, but almost a punishment. I remember when the farm kids in the small eastern Oregon town where I grew up had to stay home to help with a harvest, and on a personal level, I was "Volunteer of the year" at my son's grade school, years ago.

I guess I can boil it down to personal experience; back when the community supported the school, here where I live we had a "Consolidated School", one fairly small school which was the amalgamation of several really small country schools. We had no deficit, and we had no local levy measures. We were one of the first districts in the state to offer computer courses, and our kids were above average through grade 8. (We have no high school, and send our kids to the high school in town.)

Then--insofar as I can see--along came the Fed. It dangled money, but not quite enough, and it stipulated courses and standards, many of which were lower than our local ones, but different and ones which must be met. To augment the Federal funds for mandated programs, we now have a levy every election, and there is a big drug problem.

Having said that, at length, I agree that parental involvement is essential. Without that, there is no check on teacher competency, nor is there interest in the result; the graduates. Where we probably differ a bit is that I feel that education should be earned, and if a kid is going to school because that's where he can sell lots of drugs, he should be removed. If he is going to avoid having to go get a job, he shouldn't be allowed to take up valuable classroom space. In a way, I guess I can draw an analogy to foreign aid: first, it is welcome and appreciated. Next it is expected. Finally it is deemed a right, and demanded, at which point it is no longer of value. I think that's the trend, and it saddens me, because I believe that a local school or district can be a great leveling force, and a focal point for a community.

Have I a solution? No. Does anyone? I surely hope so, but I've yet to hear it. My step-son home-schools his children. Both he and his wife work, and they are able to stagger their hours to have one parent home with the kids. Their two children are over two years ahead of their age "norm" for public schools. On that experience I base my support for home-schooling, thus proving you correct in your affirmation of the importance of parents---I couldn't agree more!

I do know that dialog can only help, and should be encouraged....that's a start.

ZorroRider 04-20-2009 10:32 PM

Barbara I think you will fit right in here. I was wrong.

I was also wrong about George Bush II. He was one of the greatest President's in US history.

longride 04-21-2009 04:33 AM

"I despise the trend toward private schools, which only serve to further segregate our society by income. "

If your son went to the public schools I went to, you would have gotten him the hell out of there pronto. It's easy to stay when there aren't daily gang fights in 5th grade and kids aren't getting beat with baseball bats in the classroom, and the new kids that show up getting their ass beat the first day of class just because. I made sure my son and daughter didn't have to deal with that, and I would have done whatever it took to be sure of that.

SonnyRides 04-21-2009 05:17 AM

This topic has more danger zones than an Easter egg hunt in a mine field.

seruzawa 04-21-2009 05:20 AM

The wife of a co-worker is getting a degree in English. He's been making fun of her reading assignments. Apparently at the University the English majors don't read Steinbeck or Cooper or Shakespeare any more. But they do get a lot of radical feminist and environmentalist reading assignments.

My own experience is mixed. My son did okay in public schools. My daughter had trouble and the school's "solution" was to try for force her onto the meth-derivative amphetamine, ritalin. I had her in private school within the week. She met full public high school graduation requirements by the time she was 15. BTW the private school I put her in believes that there is no such thing as ADHD and they have successfully handled every child they get that supposedly has ADHD and without using drugs.

After that I became more involved in public education. Working with a non-profit group we managed to put some brakes on the insane practice of drugging children and got rid of a "quiet time" box that the special needs teachers were locking "unruly" special needs children into. If a parent tried locking their children into such a box that parent would be in prison for child abuse. But when the Salt Lake City School district teachers do it it's perfectly fine.

Locally every school district spends more payroll dollars on administrative expenses than on teachers. That should explain most of what anyone needs to know about the schools. Then when you read about a kid being suspended for making a pistol with his fingers or bringing a plastic bread knife in his backpack to spread peanut butter on his sandwich you know that many of the schools are run by nutters.

longride 04-21-2009 05:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SonnyRides (Post 211003)
This topic has more danger zones than an Easter egg hunt in a mine field.

It's pretty much what we do here. Motorcycles and hot topics keep things rolling. By the way, did you see how that Miss USA contestant lost the event because she had the audacity to say that she believed that marriage should be between a man and a woman? The gay judge then proceeded to call her a dumb biotch on his web site. Good thing there is such a tolerant attitude from the gay population toward opinions that don't agree with theirs.


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