Corporations Want Your Children's Brains

In case you haven't heard, evil corporations are grasping for control of our schools—and our children. At The Daily, Reihan Salam explains that the whole problem is that they already won that battle long, long ago:

Among public school teachers and their advocates, a new phrase is in vogue: corporate education reform.  The conceit is that advocates of choice-based education reform really want to privatize public education, to make a profit off young people and embrace the latest corporate fads. 

But history tells us that today’s public schools are the legacy of corporate fads from the 1900s, when large industrial enterprises were keenly interested in securing a docile workforce that recognized and respected hierarchies. The tinkering, self-starting spirit that had been a necessity in a frontier society was snuffed out by design. We’ve been taught that education is this constricted, standardized and homogenized thing that happens in buildings called schools in between the ringing of school bells.

Just as aging industrial companies angle for tariffs to be protected from more nimble competitors, resistance to corporate education reform is to be expected. But there is an ugly side effect. Industrial-age schools have sapped our ability to learn in the wild.

Read the whole thing

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Just another brick in the Walmart.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Heard today that 1% of the US population works at Walmart. That was probably the offical number, not adjust for illegals.

    But do the math on that. If the us population in 300,000,000, then Walmart has 3,000,000 employees. For such a large chain, that's not unreasonable. And that includes all the support and office jobs, I presume.

  • Mel Allen||

    How about that!

  • Fatty Bolger||

    It's actually 1.4 million in the US (2.1 million worldwide). That's probably around 1% of the US labor force (not the total population).

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Imagine how many more people would be working in North Carolina, if it hadn't been for that mealy-mouthed bunch of fucktards at the NLRB...

  • O2||

    u mean instead of working in washington state.

  • O2retard||

    u mean instead of striking in washington state.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    No, I meant NEW jobs in North Carolina, which won't happen now because the NLRB got its collectivist panties all bunched up into their twats... stOOpid.

  • ||

    "In case you haven't heard, evil corporations are grasping for control of our schools—and our children."

    No one on earth projects more than public school teachers.

    No one.

  • ||

    "The conceit is that advocates of choice-based education reform really want to privatize public education, to make a profit off young people and embrace the latest corporate fads"

    See.

  • ||

    teachers unions have done more harm to America's competitiveness than the most loyal Soviet could have hoped to accomplish. From the advent of the federal Dept of Ed, we have poured bazillions into schools and, not coincidentally, seen a corresponding decline achievement.

  • ||

    quoting this

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The unions have also profited off of students FAR more than any privatized system would.

  • White Indian||

    Privation.
    Private.
    Privilege.

    Are you saying the unions aren't privileged? If not, what's the difference, especially etymologically speaking. 'Cuz there's none practically speaking.

  • Pale savage||

    Privates
    Privy

    Wanna compare? You know where to find me.

  • Xenocles||

    I'm defeating the corporashuns by keeping my kids out of schools.

  • yonemoto||

    teacher's unions are in[CORP]orated too!

  • ||

    Well played.

  • hmm||

    So the Prussian education model is now the fault of corporations...

    Fuck me, is there anything these evil corporations can't do?

  • hmm||

    The model is from the 1800s. I guess the evil corporations can time travel as well. We're doomed!!!

  • jimmy hat||

    WIZARD ALIEN CORPORATIONS!!!!!

  • ||

    Umm, no. The American government designed the public school system to emulate the Prussian style, which was chiefly designed to turn students into good soldiers and workers, citizens loyal to the state, and homogenize the behavior and thinking of the masses. This was not a "corporate fad," but a fascist one.

  • Huffpo User||

    Corporate Fad, Facist Fad,same difference.

  • Jason||

    You might be interested in what a real Fascist has to say about Corporatism in The Coming Corporate State.

  • ||

    The American government designed

    huh?

    before Kennedy the "School system" was actually a shit load of state and local systems.

  • ||

    The state is the state.

  • White Indian||

    Civilization (the City-State) is the State.

  • ||

    ^ Dumb fuck is a dumb fuck.

  • hellee||

    And I know dumb fucks!!

  • ||

    Yup, you're one.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I had the misfortune of attending the Walter P. Chrysler High School. At the time, I thought it was pretty nice of Walter to have donated the school to the city. I never realized it was to create a local labor pool of brain dead zombies who would wither their lives away in the Chrysler plant, pressing a button on a sheet metal stamping press. No wonder I fucking hated school. And of course, the Chrysler plant closed sometime around 1989.

  • anon||

    Wow. Never considered that if someone hadn't donated that school you could quite possibly be a completely ignorant fuck? I mean seriously; most parents are failures at parenting.

    While I disagree with federally funded education, I do think that it's perfectly reasonable for the states to provide some measure of education. Or not. I honestly don't care much either way; as long as I'm not bound by the federal government to contribute to the system.

  • Vegan Fried Chicken||

    Everything is branded. Everything is a sales pitch.

  • Aqua Buddha||

    Hell, we should have let Prussia/Germany win the First World War. They got everything they ultimately wanted and it would have kept Hitler away.

  • Name Nomad||

    Added bonus: no more France. The French probably would have been genocided out of existence if they refused to learn German, too.

  • ||

    The French probably would have been genocided out of existence if they refused to learn German, too.

    Nah...the English have been kicking the shit out of the french since King Henry...and instead of learning German the English learned French and called it English.

  • ||

    Instead of the French learning German the English learned French and renamed it English.

    Fixed.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Which is only true if you don't consider well over 90% of the core words* in English are of Germanic descent.

    Most of our vocabulary is of French origin, yes, but the core of everything we say is still good old German.

    *Core words being defined as the most used 100 words in English.

  • ||

    Got a newsletter?

  • The Great White Indian||

    Attention city-statists, propertarians and plebiscitarians. Little known fact. Freshly rendered lard is perhaps the best anal lube there is. Give it a try, I did!

  • ||

    Has the real White Indian even made an appearance in the past 2 weeks?

    Come on.

    Emily from that Will Wilkinson is the new punching bag...you are so two weeks ago.

  • Vegan Fried Chicken||

    I am his prophet

  • sevo||

    "Has the real White Indian even made an appearance in the past 2 weeks?"

    Pretty sure s/he has, but some of the spoofs are close enough to fool me.
    Given the 'one-trick-pony' claims and the stupidity of them, I figure WI gets tossed off of sites after some period and then goes searching for new ones. And it's pretty hard to get tossed from R.com.

  • ||

    Industrial-age schools have sapped our ability to learn in the wild.

    I honestly think the internet will be shown to have changed all that.

  • Warty||

    Things like the Khan Academy will go a long way to fix this.

  • hmm||

    I love that guy.

  • ||

    I totally got a badge on the addition quiz.

    500 points!!!!

  • yonemoto||

    dude step up to differential equations, already.

  • ||

    I was thinking of doing that...i can't remember half of the algebra i was taught and i remember none of the calculus.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I would kill a lot of people to have had Khan Academy and online schools back when I was stuck yelling at the suited retards in the high school principal's office that stopping class to pull me out because my hair was too long was waaay fucking more disruptive than my actual hair.

    I guess the more likely alternative is to continue to make sure that my kids never set foot in one of those public drone factories.

  • BakedPenguin||

    They never argued that my long hair was disruptive, however, they said that me doing things like reading my own books (usually Vonnegut) or putting my head down (on my folded arms) in class was disruptive.

    I was being quiet, wasn't interrupting the lesson plan, blah, blah, yet I was disruptive. Yet I still managed to pull A's and B's on the tests. I was also "being disruptive" by skipping class, and got detention - which I also skipped. I was suspended 3 times in my sophomore year for my "disruption".

    I quit high school at 15, only to have some social worker call me to tell me I was too young, and say I needed to come back. I went straight to the dean of students, told him the situation, and I requested another suspension. He was more than happy to comply. I told there would still be another 20 days in the school year. "Just don't show up" he said. No problem.

  • White Indian||

    Hurrah for you, BakedPenguin, way to be "Gone to Croatan!"

    We were taught in elementary school that the first settlements in Roanoke failed; the colonists disappeared, leaving behind them only the cryptic message "Gone To Croatan." Later reports of "grey-eyed Indians" were dismissed as legend. What really happened, the textbook implied, was that the Indians massacred the defenseless settlers. However, "Croatan" was not some Eldorado; it was the name of a neighboring tribe of friendly Indians. Apparently the settlement was simply moved back from the coast into the Great Dismal Swamp and absorbed into the tribe. And the grey-eyed Indians were real--they're still there, and they still call themselves Croatans.

    So--the very first colony in the New World chose to renounce its contract with Prospero (Dee/Raleigh/Empire) and go over to the Wild Men with Caliban. They dropped out. They became "Indians," "went native," opted for chaos over the appalling miseries of serfing for the plutocrats and intellectuals of London.

    As America came into being where once there had been "Turtle Island," Croatan remained embedded in its collective psyche...

    The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism
    By Hakim Bey

  • Almanian||

    Keep bringin' the stoopid, White Injun. I guess I don't need to encourage you - it's all you have.

  • BakedPenguin||

    He'd be disappointed in me, anyway, Almanian. I went on to get a Master's degree (in City-State Privitizin' Studies). Going to a school where they don't give a shit if you show up or not made a huge difference to me. Once I was treated like an adult, I started acting like one.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Oh, and I should have linked to these last night, but the fire water got the best of me. Other posters here (I'm sorry I don't remember who) have previously pointed out Stanford and MIT putting a lot of coursework info online for free.

    For the self-motivated, a college education has never been so easy to obtain.

  • BigT||

    Education may be easy to get, sheepskin still costs big bucks.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Unfortunately it isn't the education that will help and a job; it's the fucking piece of paper that comes after it.

    I could take every course at the local university (University of Kentucky) as a non-degree-seeking student and ace them all, but if I don't have a useless degree, all of it is for naught.

  • BakedPenguin||

    It depends on the discipline. For one example, if you can prove you can program, (code samples, etc.) you can get a programmer's job.

    You certainly won't become an MD this way. However, you can also test out of a lot of classes, through CLEP, and most universities have credit-for-testing programs (or at the least, "you-don't-have-to-take-this-class" testing programs).

  • Dookie Brown||

    "CLEP" sounds like something you need to see the free clinic doctor for.

  • ||

  • Gojira (formerly Jim)||

    I was so profoundly disappointed when I followed that link.

    I expect anything mentioning Khan on this website to obviously be a Star Trek reference of some sort.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    He offers the world order.

  • Gojira||

    And really, who could turn down an offer like that? Esp. since he sounds suspiciously like the Most Interesting Man in the World.

    Come to think of it, maybe they're the same person. TMIMITW is the result of a eugenics experiment, and he'll try to take over the world unless we blast him off in a space capsule.

  • ||

    His is the superior intellect.

  • ||

    i'm laughing at the superior intellect

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    Well done.

    ... Hobbit

  • Mr. Spock||

    Like a team of animals under one whip.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You fled. Why? Were you afraid?

  • ||

    Awesomely awesome. And the real future of education is down that road.

  • Trespassers W||

    Holy shit, that's cool.

  • James T. Kirk||

    KHAN....KHAN!!!!!!

  • James T. Kirk||

    KHAN!!!!!!!!!

  • ||

  • ||

    The stupid is so strong these days. Not sure how we're going to escape it.

    I'd kill to have a for-profit educational option. You can get bits and pieces of that, but the poison that is the public school system corrupts everything around it.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    I love the "vouchers for kids in bad schools, but not for kids in good schools" arguments. Are kids is bad schools more deserving than kids in good schools?

    Generally the answer usually I get is something regressive about protecting the public school system. Then a lecture about how great America's schools are.

  • ||

    It helps if you totally ignore what schools were like before the industrial revolution.

    Hint: not bottom-up anarchies of libertarian values.

    True, a lot of kids weren't in school for many years if at all, but we don't live in an agricultural society for the most part (and even agriculture is not as labor-intensive). Our modern urban/suburban service-economy society is not conducive to kids running around with idle hands. Particularly with the apparent libertarian ideal of parents being solely and absolutely responsible for keeping their kids out of trouble with zero help (and possibly considerable resistance) from the surrounding society.

  • ||

    I should add that obviously I support school choice. But the idea of a hierarchical structure in schools being a creation of early-20th century industry is ridiculous.

  • White Indian||

    School bells = factory whistles

    Oh, damn, that is ridiculous.

  • A fan||

    White Indian = Luddite

  • ||

    Particularly with the apparent libertarian ideal of parents being solely and absolutely responsible for keeping their kids out of trouble with zero help (and possibly considerable resistance) from the surrounding society.

    Waaaanh, I made this personal lifestyle choice, and now I have to actually absorb the consequences of it! Hang in there, the waaahmbulance is on its way!

  • ||

    Right on, you tell those people foolish enough to propagate the species what's up.

  • Choctaw||

    Leapin' Lords of Logic!

  • Captain Trips||

    Ask anybody - I don't give a shit about your species.

  • Gojira (formerly Jim)||

    Particularly with the apparent libertarian ideal of parents being solely and absolutely responsible for keeping their kids out of trouble with zero help (and possibly considerable resistance) from the surrounding society.

    Yep, welcome to the zany and unheard-of world in which you are responsible for the consequences of your own decisions. Sucks, I know.

  • nicole||

    Yeah. Also, I don't think we said you had to keep them out of trouble. That's something you want. You just have to take care of them as far as I'm concerned, and if they get in trouble, that's their problem.

  • ||

    "Yep, welcome to the zany and unheard-of world in which you are responsible for the consequences of your own decisions."

    Unless you're a corporate board member.

    Then you just pass the costs off on to others.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Or a government stooge where absolutely nothing happens when you fuck up. Hell, you might even get a promotion or award for fucking up.

  • BakedPenguin||

    They need more funding to fix the fuckups unanticipated problems.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Particularly with the apparent libertarian ideal of parents being solely and absolutely responsible for keeping their kids out of trouble with zero help (and possibly considerable resistance) from the surrounding society.

    Hang around here much, Tulpa? Let me help you out with that:

    ...the apparent libertarian ideal of parents being solely and absolutely responsible for keeping their kids out of trouble with zero only whatever voluntary help (and possibly considerable resistance)they can receive from the surrounding society.
    You know, if you're ever confused about something - like libertarian ideals - feel free to ask. Most of the people in the community here will be glad to help. Some of us won't even insult you.

  • Almanian||

    Being a parent - how does it work?

  • sevo||

    You try to get the government to do it. At others' expense.

  • White Indian||

    Do you like the government's primary entitlement program: privation property land title?

    Wasn't that at the expense of those who died on the Trail of Tears genocide?

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Holy non-sequitur!

  • White Indian||

    Privation property is "at others' expense."

  • Almanian||

    Dumbass. Have fun storming the castle hunting and gathering!

  • Albert Einstein||

    "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."

  • ||

    We’ve been taught that education is this constricted, standardized and homogenized thing...

    Oh, if only that were true. I guess it depends on where you live. If you live in the middle of SmugLatteLiberalville, USA, then public education isn't nearly constricted or standardized enough. It's "inclusive" to the point of being ineffectual, and the clearly-stated goals are not even close to academic excellence, individual achievement, or preparation to be self-sufficient.

    This morning, a co-worker IM'd me to tell me how excited he was that his 11-year-old daughter will be starting junior high at a touchy-feely-Keen-sandaly "alternative school" in Ballard. He sent me the link to the school's website.

    The website made me gag. The 'tards (oh, sorry, I mean, special, autistic, sensitive, vaccination-free, oppositionally-defiant, attention-deficit, precious little snowflakes) are thrown in with everybody else, so the pace of instruction can't go any faster than the dumbest FAS-suffering potted plant in the class. Emphasis is on "teamwork," and individual achievement and competitiveness is "less important." Teachers act as "advisors," "learning is child-led." The school is "committed to fighting racism and the opportunity gap," and "creating a multiculturalist learning and growth environment."

    I was pretty much done after I saw the very detailed list (that included actual brand names) of "approved snacks." Because there might be super-sensitive precious snowflakes with food allergies, no homemade foods are allowed because the ingredients are unknown. Of course, if a kid is caught with a homemade cookie or a packet of string cheese (there are kids with dairy allergies! How dare you!), the kid's sent home.

    What a complete, utter load of horse shit. Guaranteed, of course, to usher in the next generation of helpless little hothouse flowers who can do virtually nothing without government assistance. The next generation of badly-tattooed, 300-lb welfare mommies with chilluns by multiple black spermdonors.

    Meanwhile, kids in China and India, whose parents could care less about fighting racism and mollifying the tards, are in a constricted and standardized school system where they're expected to actually learn shit, and from which they emerge able to kick our asses.

  • ||

    sounds like the ideal training ground for govt drones to staff agencies like the DMV and unemployment office.

  • Spoonman.||

    The next generation of badly-tattooed, 300-lb welfare mommies with chilluns by multiple black spermdonors.

    Why do you have to ruin a perfectly good post with something racist?

  • White Indian||

    It's the Libertarian Propertarian way.

    The higher the melanin content of the skin, the lower the respect for property.

    In short; racialist science is properly not an act of aggression or a cover for oppression of one group over another, but, on the contrary, an operation in defense of private property against assaults by aggressors. ~Murray Rothbard

  • robert||

    I was thinking the same thing.

  • White Indian||

    helpless little hothouse flowers who can do virtually nothing without government assistance

    Oh, you mean those privileged few who get privation property land title with the government's first entitlement program?

    How many people did you have to kill and drive away for that? And the occupation still goes on....

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    My ancestors were PROPerty.

    Oddly, I don't blame libertarians or abolitionists for that.

  • Almanian||

    None. Next question.

  • White Indian||

    Trail of Tears = "None" to Almanian. It's so convenient to avoid the history of the genocidal city-State.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    How do you feel about the Mongols under Genghis Khan, W.I.?

  • White Indian||

    Pastoralism did not appear until the agricultural revolution, and Pastoralists are always (save for one exception) an alternative edge society to civilization, yet closely associated and trading with the "cultured."

    Think of them as outsider gangs of civilizations rejects. The ones who run away.

    Lecture Notes on Pastoralism
    by Eric Alden Smith
    Department of Anthropology
    University of Washington
    http://courses.washington.edu/anth457/pastoral.htm

    Civilization gets all the pastoralist raids it deserves. It's gonna swing that way again. The "edge, alternative" barbarians are at the gates, and angry.

    P.S. The Great Wall of China was built to keep peasants in civilization, and from running away to a better equestrian existence raiding and eating meat instead of stooping over working wheat fields.

  • Chinaman||

    Haha! You're an idiot. Nice made-up rationale on the wall, lound eyes!

  • Rampaging Hordes||

    Indeed, they could not get out to join us as slaves, or dinner.

  • Almanian||

    Derp - my ancesters weren't involved in that. Next...

  • ||

    Trails of Tears? Not so much guilt. What does make me feel guilty is how my ancestors wiped out the Neanderthals. Really nasty business that. It makes me want to life in caves and wear furs. Oh, wait! I am not an imbecile, so of course it doesn't make me feel guilty!

  • ranting ranter||

    The conceit is that advocates of choice-based education reform really want to privatize public education, to make a profit off young people and embrace the latest corporate fads."

    Young people are too important to leave to the greedy capitalist system. They're like healthcare. We should only rely on the market for unimportant things. Such as food clothing and shelter, apparently. I guess we'll get to those in time.

    Seriously, when you find yourself arguing with the socialists about whether the "agenda" and "greed" they claim exists really does, you've already given up the argument. The whole damn point about everything that works and that is lacking in everything that fails is COMPETITION. None of the other mind games and emotional bullshit matters.

  • ||

    We should only rely on the market for unimportant things. Such as food clothing and shelter, apparently. I guess we'll get to those in time.

    Farm subsidies at an all-time high (food), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac manipulating markets to increase home values and ownership rates to unsustainable levels (shelter) and inequitable tariff systems on textiles (clothing).

    Yeah, they ain't even giving the free market those anymore.

  • ranting ranter||

    True my little parody of the liberal-that's-totally-not-a-communist-how-dare-you-suggest-that, uses their definition of "free market", as any level of govt intervention, control , and micromanagement short of complete nationalization.

  • CE||

    Here's an idea: Let parents decide how to educate their children, and which school to send them to, if any. Let for-profit corporations and non-profit organizations offer educational programs as they see fit, and let parents choose between them. Stop forcing everyone to pay for to "educate" everyone else's children, and stop worrying about "our" competitiveness.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    If Americans aren't competitive, they'll be bought by China. And, in a free market setting, I would entirely support that.

  • Vegan Fried Chicken||

    For-Profit schools will advertise better than non-profit ones, so how will we know who is better?

    Perhaps we shouldn't be turning our children into affluenza afflicted consumerists before they turn 6.

  • oncogenesis||

    Who's this "we"?

  • ||

    if you want to find the weakest students on any college campus, go to the School/College of Ed.

  • ||

    Sad, but factually indisputable. Lowest SAT/ACT scores in college are in the Ed. dept. Dumbest people I ever met were in Ed.

    The lowest of the low go into Primary/Early Childhood Education, where kids absorb the most and learn the best. *sigh*

    In defense of some of them, the science and math teachers are as bright as anyone else in college...not pure math and science majors, but anyone else.

  • EcoDude||

    +1e256

    As a college prof, THIS is exactly what the problem is...

  • ||

    A lot of colleges don't have one. NY for instance requires teachers to have a real major.

  • Spoonman.||

    Cornell had a Department of Education until this school year.

    Naturally it was the worst department at Cornell by light-years.

  • ||

    NJ as well, at least to teach middle or high school subject matter. If you want to teach English above grade 5, you have to have an English degree and an ed degree.

    Not all ed majors are necessarily stupid - I don't think I'm stupid. But I'm definitely not very compliant with standards and policy at all times. I see a lot of problems with the system but there are good teachers out there who really care about firing kids up to learn. A good teacher should almost be able to be a background guide rather than a forceful leader. A child who is stimulated to discover will do so, but schools do lots of things that restrict this natural curiosity at an alarming rate:

    1) grouping by age, not ability
    2) not allowing kids to be mentors to each other (unless you count torMENTOR to be a form of influence)
    3) being slaves to curriculum that dictates the facts and tastes gov't thinks kids "should" know/have, rather than finding out what kids want/need to know and what they like
    4) over-structured days and too much homework
    5) differentiated instruction doesn't seem to be working the way most people hoped. Inclusion, when done with a skilled and ever-present inclusion teacher who works alongside the regular classroom teacher, is a good way to go for special ed kids. I worked with a fantastic inclusion teacher who provided first rate, hands-on help for the slower kids (not dumber, just a bit slower) and she really helped them feel confident and successful in a way I couldn't because I was busy with the 25 other kids in class. And I know it's a failing of mine that I couldn't serve 100% of them perfectly.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    If you want to teach English above grade 5, you have to have an English degree and an ed degree.

    That seems moronic. What in middle school English, or high school English for that matter, requires something can be learned only while getting an English degree or an Ed major?

    over-structured days and too much homework

    What's the right amount of homework?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    None.

  • ||

    exactly.

  • ||

    I'm sorry, but slower=dumber in any real sense of the word.
    Look, I may sound like a dick, but while that "slower" kid is still figuring out question 4 out of 10 on a math test, I've moved on to my science work...or am forced to wait, bored to death, on him so as not to upset him because he still gets it, just not as fast.

    That's his problem, not mine, and I shouldn't have to learn at the pace of the least capable kid in the class because eventually he understands what I understood in half the time.

  • ||

    Hence the inclusion teacher who would pull those kids aside and work with them while the rest of the class moved on.

    Differentiated instruction is supposed to target every kid in class w/o any one child being singled out for either being super or being slow.

    It's difficult to execute and assess whether or not you are doing DI correctly. When you have a teacher in the room who helps some while others move on, it lessens the pressure on everyone.

    The thing with an inclusion teacher is, s/he is supposed to be there for all kids, IEP or not, and has to be certified in the subject s/he is "co-teaching" (called that so the kids don't know which teacher is which) AND in Ed AND have a Special Ed certificate.

    Some people are doing good work out there.

    And, yeah, slower does sometimes = dumber. I'm a bit slow with math but I don't think that qualifies me as outright dumb. I don't know that, if I were in HS today, I would have an IEP for math and math-related subjects or not.

    Also, I have never known of an instance where a profoundly mentally retarded/disabled, autistic, Downs syndrome or FAS child was mainstreamed. It might happen and probably does, but they are different from dyslexics/dysgraphics and kids with hearing or vision problems or who just need extra help. Asperger's is a bit different and sometimes those kids are mainstreamed if they are high-functioning enough. My cousin J. is an Aspy and was in a regular public school until this year (7th grade) when the other kids in his school, formerly his friends, turned on him for his awkward social habits and uber-smarts.

    There is more to learning stuff than ability. Lots of school environments are good and others are hell-holes where the kids are so evil to each other that it's hard to get any learning done.

  • BakedPenguin||

    1) grouping by age, not ability

    YES! One of the things I hate about K-12 education is the continuing "grade" system. Not as in A, B, C, D, F, but 8 yo = "3rd grade". Teach subjects, not cohorts.

    2) not allowing kids to be mentors to each other (unless you count torMENTOR to be a form of influence)

    Funny that with all of the bogus "self-esteem" crap they've promulgated, doing something that might actually raise self-esteem in kids didn't cross their minds. (I don't think self-esteem is BS, just most of the things schools have done to "raise" it).

    3) being slaves to curriculum that dictates the facts and tastes gov't thinks kids "should" know/have, rather than finding out what kids want/need to know and what they like

    Madbiker, are you referring to basic, fundamental knowledge (3 R's), or crap that comes long after these skills have been acquired?

    4) over-structured days and too much homework

    See this Wired article (on Khan Academy) for how one teacher changed "homework".

    5) differentiated instruction doesn't seem to be working the way most people hoped. Inclusion, when done with a skilled and ever-present inclusion teacher who works alongside the regular classroom teacher, is a good way to go for special ed kids. I worked with a fantastic inclusion teacher who provided first rate, hands-on help for the slower kids (not dumber, just a bit slower) and she really helped them feel confident and successful in a way I couldn't because I was busy with the 25 other kids in class. And I know it's a failing of mine that I couldn't serve 100% of them perfectly.

    First, to the bold part - no, it's a failing of those who administer your school. Including ex ed kids, while potentially very beneficial, comes with a great deal more responsibility for the teacher, and should only be done when it benefits all the students. If the teacher needs to stop class for the ex ed students, they are going to feel even more like outcasts than if they had their own class.

    Sorry for the tl;dr, everyone.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Montessori FTW!!

  • ||

    BP: the "3Rs" are the critical foundation for everything else. I think by 6th or 8th grade kids might be able to do more self directed learning.

    When I was in 8th grade and into high school, I felt drilled-to-death by homework on stuff I had already mastered. It was pointless and caused my ultimate demise in HS. I didn't want to do the HW, so I didn't, and suffered because of it. Always aced tests and wrote great papers, but HW grades pulled my average down to C level. If I was smart I would have just done it, but I was too stubborn and thickheaded to put up with what I thought was BS.

    STill am, apparently

  • BakedPenguin||

    Madbiker - I understand completely. I can see a place for homework, but I agree it's pointless if the students already knows the subject.

    Your point about school environment (in a previous post) is spot on, sadly. Schools where the atmosphere resembles a documentary on predators and prey aren't going to be good learning environments. Of course, my memories of school admins was that they were more likely to punish a kid who didn't respect their authoritah than one who was tormenting other students.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I had this same problem, but I started in 3rd grade or so.

    Our grades were given in the Academic/Effort/Conduct format. Ever since 3rd or 4th grade, when I was beginning to realize, even if only unconsciously, that I was being fucked by the system I would earn grades that were something like C3D. I never did homework (EVER) which brought down both my academic and effort grades, and I would receive a D or F in conduct because when I was finished with classwork (long before most others in the class most of the time), I would try and talk to others.

    They either never caught on or never cared that I would not do any homework and talk in class not because I didn't care or that I couldn't do it, but because I WAS FUCKING BORED BY SOME WEAK ASS PUBLIC SCHOOLING.

  • BigT||

    BP: "Schools where the atmosphere resembles a documentary on predators and prey aren't going to be good learning environments. "

    Too much can be harmful, but it's a dog eat dog world, and kids need to learn that not everyone is their friend.

  • BakedPenguin||

    If it's just cliques being cliquey, you're right, and that's too bad. If kids avoid class because they're afraid of getting black eyes, etc., that's another matter.

  • ||

    NY for instance requires teachers to have a real major.


    In New York those intending to be elementary teachers tend to major in psychology or sociology which is only slightly more rigorous than education and just as useless.

  • ||

    Back in my first attempt at college I knew a really smart girl who was an Elementary Education major. We used to always ask her what the hell she was doing taking classes on bulletin boards and scrap booking, when she could do something else. She said she really wanted to teach kids and that was it.

    It always struck me that any public school should have hired her, as is, before she took a single class because their chances of getting someone that smart and hard working to teach their young kids was otherwise essentially zero.

  • ||

    WTF? "Chalkboards"?
    What an out-of-touch cunt.
    Schools need reform? Duh.
    Schools need smelly vaginas like turd-shitter? No.

  • Choctaw||

    drop your meds in the toilet again?

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    This is Jamie Kelly. This is who he is.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Jamie just gets stressed out from his job as a UN peace negotiator, and needs to blow off steam.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    You deserve some sort of award for this one, BP.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Thx, Art - and PROPs to you for yours upthread...

  • Almanian||

    The tinkering, self-starting spirit that had been a necessity in a frontier society was snuffed out by design.

    Unfortunately, the stultifying, throttling hand of the Edukation Sy[STEM] isn't perfect yet. Witness Jobs, Gates, Corky Coker, Dell, Jesse James, that Segway dude...

    There are others. We try harder...

  • ||

    Not to pick nits, Almanian, but didn't Jesse James leave a lovely woman for a crew of trashy whores that leave slug trails whenever they sit down? And compared to Arlen Ness, his bikes are shit anyway.

    And didn't the Segway guy drive one of his creations off a cliff?*

    *may be attributed to just testing the proverbial waters, if you know what I mean.

  • Zeb||

    Dean Kamen (the segway guy) didn't drive off a cliff. It was a large owner of the company that was created to market the segway.

  • Almanian||

    All true. So?

    The point was, they created bidnesses/products.

    And Arlen Ness' bikes are overwrought garbage wagons like ALL choppers Beautifully contructed, but garbage wagons all.

  • Unskooled Indian||

    Turning out graduates with no skills, with no survival value, and with no choice but to work or starve* are not flaws of the system, they are features of the system.

    Schooling: The Hidden Agenda
    Daniel Quinn
    www.ishmael.com/Education/Writ.....ling.shtml

    * “You’ll know you’re among the people of your culture if the food is all owned, if it’s all under lock and key. But food was once no more owned than the air or the sunshine are owned. No other culture in history has ever put food under lock and key—and putting it there is the cornerstone of your economy, because if the food wasn’t under lock and key, who would work? If it’s all owned, if you want some, you’ll have to buy it.” ~Daniel Quinn

  • ||

    Anybody intimidated by the length (or formatting) of this article, skim down to the paragraph beginning:
    Granted that the schools do a poor job of preparing children...

    The meat of the article really begins there.

  • ||

    You read that shit? Don't feed the anarcho-primitivist troll please.

  • ||

  • sevo||

    For a mind-numbing experience probably equal to WI's referenced screeds, try "The City in History" (Mumford; also not recommended. One of the few books I couldn't complete).
    The guy rants for pages on the evils of cities and how people "shouldn't" live in them; almost like cities were forced upon humanity by some alien enterprise. While it's unstated, it's also obvious how the 'should' would come about.
    Now the guy is proclaimed as one of the best social critics of the era (by others who share his views), and is supposedly intelligent, but *never once* addresses the question of why people CHOOSE to live in a city.
    As a third-party asshole (see: WI), he KNOWS what people should want and simply doesn't accept that people will trade off a good for a bad in a ratio that pleases them.
    He also spent many years ripping Levittown as a post-war horror, while thousands voted with their money to live there.
    Marginal utility was probably a totally foreign concept to him (see:WI).

  • White Indian||

    Weird how self-styled "libertarians" come in so often on the side of "Authoritarian Technics." Now we know why sevo no likum Mumford.

    The inventors of nuclear bombs, space rockets, and computers are the pyramid builders of our own age: psychologically inflated by a similar myth of unqualified power, boasting through their science of their increasing omnipotence, if not omniscience, moved by obsessions and compulsions no less irrational than those of earlier absolute systems: particularly the notion that the system itself must be expanded, at whatever eventual cost to life.

    Authoritarian and Democratic Technics
    Lewis Mumford
    http://www.primitivism.com/mumford.htm

  • Almanian||

    computers

    I snorted.

  • White Indian||

    Keep laughing.

    They could start telling us what to do. They could alter us into cyborgs (part man, part machine). Or they could eliminate us completely.

    Ouch.

    So, which would you rather be: controlled, altered or deleted?

    Smart computers poised for world domination
    www.northjersey.com/community/.....ation.html

  • Choctaw||

    This was obviously written by a replicant.

  • Almanian||

    I am, thanks.

  • A fan||

    WI - altered via prefrontal lobotomy.

  • ||

    Implementing the Prussian system may not have been the work of corporations, but it certainly benefited them.
    Now the fact that the public education system doesn't work is to their benefit as well: they no longer need skilled workers capable, they need low-wage unskilled labor. Our public education system produces that perfectly well. And, they all work part-time to boot. Kids spend 100% of their income every month--often chasing the latest marketing craze or fad--they are the ideal consumer.

  • sevo||

    "Now the fact that the public education system doesn't work is to their benefit as well: they no longer need skilled workers capable, they need low-wage unskilled labor."

    And that's the reason they spend lobbying money to import skilled workers?
    Wrong aisle; tin-foil hats are on aisle 6.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Since it hasn't been mentioned yet, kudos to Kate for the corporate zombies!! headline.

  • heller-skeller||

    You read that shit? Don't feed the anarcho-primitivist troll please.

    LOL Just like Obama, the scolding, censoring, don't read that shit, authoritah figyah.

    "These are not opinions to be debated, these are facts to be dealt with."--President Barack Obama, in a 4 June 2009 speech in Cario, Egypt; on those who doubt the Official Explanation of what happened in the United States on 9/11/2001

    If anybody needs to maintain the illusion that poking yourself with insulin needles four times a day, 16% of people in the richest nation in the world are depressed, and working half the week to pay for a car and stuff so you can go to work to pay for the car and stuff is all progress, listen to heller.

  • Vegan Fried Chicken||

    say no to affluenza!

  • Vegan Fried Chicken||

    say no to affluenza!

  • ||

  • ||

    Get off the computer you hypocritical moron.

  • hellee||

    Without WI I'd be the dumbest clown in town. Thanks, pal!

  • Almanian||

    Dude, I read Walden, too. It was interesting, but bullshit then, and your new version is still bullshit.

    I like watching you struggle, though. It's cute.

  • Zero entitlement? Hypocrite?||

    zero entitlement

    Do you support the primary entitlement program of Big Government, i.e., Privation Property Land Title?

    Get off the computer you hypocritical moron.

    Did you drive on public roads today? Pay taxes this year? Contribute to SS or Medicare? Attend public school? Get any mail?

  • ||

    All paid for. Nice tu quoque though.

  • ||

    And libertarians aren't against paying taxes, they are against forcing people to pay taxes. Moron.

  • White Indian||

    if you don't pay your taxes, men with guns will show up at your house

    I've heard that before. Maybe you haven't. So what voluntary taxes are there? Oh, Harry Reid says, the Income Tax. Gotcha, heller. LOL

  • ||

    Being forced to pay taxes doesn't make me a hypocrite. God, you are the dumbest fuck I have ever had the pleasure of destroying completely.

  • hellee||

    I am a hypocrite for more significant reasons.

  • ||

    You're still a fucking hypocrite. Get off the computer moron.

  • ||

    Did you drive on public roads today? Pay taxes this year? Contribute to SS or Medicare? Attend public school? Get any mail?

    No, because I live in a gated community on private roads. Yes, under threat of imprisonment. Yes, under threat of imprisonment. No, and my kids only attend public school because a judge will not allow me to pay for their private school because my ex-wife doesn't want her step-kids to feel "cheated. I haven't checked my mail today, however I did get a Saturday delivery via FedEx because my customer wanted to ensure delivery today, and the USPS cannot guarantee their work.

  • ||

    I see heller's return has also drawn back his mortal anemone.

  • Vegan Fried Chicken||

    *nutpunch*

  • ||

    I don't think that word means what you think it means...

  • ||

    "heller's return"

    It's the beginning of the school year, so he had to leave is mom's basement.

  • ||

    Turn off the phone bitch puddin

  • Ha!||

    Funny every time!

  • ||

    Turn off the phone bitch puddin

  • hellee||

    Turn off the phone bitch puddin

  • hellee||

    Turn off the phone bitch puddin

    Turn off the phone bitch puddin

    Turn off the phone bitch puddin

    Turn off the phone bitch puddin

  • Hannibal Lecter, CEO||

    A union rep once tried to collectively bargain with me, I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

  • Jesus||

    Take eat, this is my body.

  • A fan||

    Quite a feat getting Jews to eat flesh and drink blood.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The chalkboard should read "I must not question federal rule".

  • Heller's Word Games on Taxes||

    And libertarians aren't against paying taxes, they are against forcing people to pay taxes. ~heller (a microbiologist who asserts nuclear bombs are a result of biological evolution)

    Libertarians tell me taxes are forced, like theft or rape. Otherwise, they wouldn't be called "taxes." Do you consider it a voluntary "tax" to pay for a hamburger at McDonald's? Electric bill? IRS bill?

    But don't worry, the Federal Government is playing your same word game, heller.

    Income Tax is "voluntary" in this nation.

    So you pay taxes, voluntarily, right? LOL

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I was going to come up with a well-reasoned response to this, but it is the worst kind of sophistry, so I won't even give it the dignity.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    White Idiot isn't even trying anymore.

  • Harry Reid||

    You don't have a well-reasoned response, thus the pompous bluff. Which puts you in the "worst kind of sophistry" category.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Bah ha ha, is that what you think?

    And you don't think human developments are an indirect result of biological evolution?

  • White Indian||

    So you think human developments such as communism, socialism, genocide, the Democratic Party, HuffPo and Joe Biden's humor are an indirect result of biological evolution?

    P.S. I've got an unused Epistemology coloring book whenever you sign up for that level of study.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I'm talking about technological developments, dum-dum. Political ideologies are more like a lateral extension of basic human cultural development and don't develop the same way as technology does.

  • White Indian||

    Evolution (biological evolution) and "psychosocial evolution" are analogous, or "indirect," as you say.

    However, science, political technique, material technique are all part of psychosocial evolution, not just "toys and stuff."

    I'm dinging "heller" because when we argued about this, he played the "credentialed authoritah card" by stating he was a microbiologist, thus revealing his confusion between biological evolution and analogous concepts like psychosocial evolution.

    Like I said before, Darwin didn't write On the Origins of the Species and other Analogies.

  • Communism...||

    ...and its derivatives (socialism, communitarianism), are certainly the result of brain-damaged people.

    Like White Indian.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Yes, it's an anlogous concept. However, you are being pedantic.

  • White Indian||

    Pedantic? It's vestigial libertarianism.

  • ||

    Referring to one's own knowledge on a subject is called arguing, dumb fuck.

    But yeah I'm sure your constant misrepresentation of my words is really convincing people that you are not a complete retard. No, actually it isn't, and everyone here is laughing at you.

  • Ha!||

    Your own narcissism is funny too, in a sad way.

  • ||

    Turn off the phone bitch puddin

  • sevo||

    "No, actually it isn't, and everyone here is laughing at you."

    Or just plain tired of the act.

  • A fan||

    "P.S. I've got an unused Epistemology coloring book whenever you sign up for that level of study."

    More coloring books! Try episiotomy; more fun.

  • Avoid Malthusian Consequences||

    Even if we wanted to, which most people don't, we can't go back to being hunter gatherers. We've outbreeded the earth's capacity to provide for us though foraging, and agriculture is the only thing that keeps us from mass starvation.

    But we can still learn a lot from Hunter Gatherers. Their careful work in the forests shows us that permaculture-based fruit forests and other sustainable agriculture systems have the capacity to provide for us while healing the earth.

    Hunter Gatherers And The Golden Age Of Man
    http://www.raw-food-health.net.....erers.html

  • ||

    Are we really gonna go through this exercise again this weekend?

    Cmon, people. I've been working a lot lately, and I can't get on as much as I'd like during the week. Having to wade through this Great White Dope's comments and our collective ability to ignore it means that I can't enjoy H&R as much as I'd like.

    I swear, either stop responding to him or I will start up with my limericks again.

  • Dance!||

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It is amazing how someone who purports to hate "material" stuff so much, spends so much time on a computer...

  • tarran||

    He's white, and an Indian. He hates civilization, but spends most of his time typing on a computer.

    He won't read for understanding. He demands everyone read a few textbooks that he consider holy writ.

    He is a man of contradictions.

    He is ... the most uninteresting man in the world.

    He doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, it's made with cholera tainted water.

  • White Indian||

    He's white, and Fibertarian. He hates the State, but spends most of his time defending the City-State from White Indian.

    He won't read for understanding. He demands everyone read a few textbooks that he consider holy writ.

    He is a man of contradictions.

    He is ... the most uninteresting man in the world.

    He doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, it's in Somalia. And now you have cholera.

    REGULATION VACATION CELEBRATION!
    PublicServiceAdmin
    391,326 views (way more than R.com gets)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QDv4sYwjO0

  • *yawn*||

  • ||

    Raw fruitarianism is a fine path to malnutrition.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21519781

  • ||

    Have you heard of the guy named White Injun?
    Well he comes on a thread and starts whingin'
    He wants to live in a hut.
    The fucker's a nut.
    When he comes on a thread, I start twingin'.

  • Warty||

    BakedPenguin mentioned above that Stanford and MIT are making a lot of courses available online for free. Those of you who know are good at computer should sign up for Thrun and Norvig's AI class. They literally wrote the book on the subject.

  • White Indian||

    Thrun and Norvig's WI class.

    ?! It's like I'm a turing machine or something.

  • White Indian||

    People, don't confuse foraging societies with pastoralism.

    Pastoralism did not appear until the agricultural revolution, and Pastoralists are always (save for one exception) an alternative edge society to civilization, yet closely associated and trading with the "cultured."

    Think of them as outsider gangs of civilizations rejects. The ones who run away.

    Lecture Notes on Pastoralism
    by Eric Alden Smith
    Department of Anthropology
    University of Washington
    http://courses.washington.edu/anth457/pastoral.htm

    P.S. The Great Wall of China was built to keep peasants in civilization, and from running away to a better equestrian existence raiding and eating meat instead of stooping over working wheat fields.

    P.P.S.
    Civilization gets all the pastoralist raids it deserves. It's gonna swing that way again. The "edge, alternative" barbarians are at the gates, and angry. Watch out, you're not as innocent as you think.

    The Return of the Barbarian
    by Venkat | March 10, 2011
    http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2011.....barbarian/

  • *yawn*||

  • sevo||

    "It's gonna swing that way again."
    http://www.homedepot.com/Bath-.....cm_mmc=SEM|THD|D26Toilets|GGL|General&skwcid=TC|14700|toilets||S|e|15632745575

  • ||

    LOL!

  • White Indian||

    Please fuck me in the ass and call me Tonto!

  • 8================D O||

    TONTO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pale savage||

    Oooooohhhhhhh, more!!! Me squaw now!

  • Mr. Mark||

    Certainly, the overall performance of America's government-run public schools is so horrible that it is easy to suspect some sort of conspiracy. However, remember the kinds of folks we're talking about - they ASPIRE to conspiracies, but I doubt they are competent to actually form and maintain them.

    Instead, the dirty dealing is not so secretive...teachers' unions seek to increase their membership, administrators and bureaucrats seek to increase their budgets in order to dispense more funds in return for influence and favors, and the entire racket screeches in protest at the slightest hint of holding public schools accountable for educational performance.

    Universal school voucher programs are the only available solutions of which I am aware. (Of course, the teachers' unions and the politicians and judges who pander to them FREAK OUT whenever this notion is discussed. That, by the way, reinforces my confidence in the high value of getting universal school vouchers introduced.)

    As a side note, the federal government needs to get out of civilian education - but that should be obvious from a reading of the constitution...

  • sevo||

    "teachers' unions seek to increase their membership, administrators and bureaucrats seek to increase their budgets in order to dispense more funds in return for influence and favors, and the entire racket screeches in protest at the slightest hint of holding public schools accountable for educational performance."

    Yes, but *CORPORASHUNZ*! What about CORPORASHUNZ?!?!?
    Propaganda is soooo easy.........

  • Almanian||

    Witless Injun - worst characted ever. Destroyer of threads.

    I promise not to feed it any more.

  • sevo||

    I'll join you.

  • From the Land of Snowe||

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