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posted by n1 on Sunday June 18, @11:08PM   Printer-friendly
from the telling-half-the-story dept.

Diane Ravitch, a top public education advocate, reports via AlterNet:

This month, the Public Broadcasting System is broadcasting a "documentary" that tells a one-sided story, the story that [Trump's Secretary of Education] Betsy DeVos herself would tell, based on the work of free-market advocate Andrew Coulson. Author of "Market Education", Coulson narrates "School, Inc.", a three-hour program, which airs this month nationwide in three weekly broadcasts on PBS.

Uninformed viewers who see this slickly produced program will learn about the glories of unregulated schooling, for-profit schools, teachers selling their lessons to students on the Internet. They will learn about the "success" of the free market in schooling in Chile, Sweden, and New Orleans. They will hear about the miraculous charter schools across America, and how public school officials selfishly refuse to encourage the transfer of public funds to private institutions. They will see a glowing portrait of South Korea, where students compete to get the highest possible scores on a college entry test that will define the rest of their lives and where families gladly pay for after-school tutoring programs and online lessons to boost test scores. They will hear that the free market is more innovative than public schools.

What they will not see or hear is the other side of the story. They will not hear scholars discuss the high levels of social segregation in Chile, nor will they learn that the students protesting the free-market schools in the streets are not all "Communists", as Coulson suggests. They will not hear from scholars who blame Sweden's choice system for the collapse of its international test scores. They will not see any reference to Finland, which far outperforms any other European nation on international tests yet has neither vouchers nor charter schools. They may not notice the absence of any students in wheelchairs or any other evidence of students with disabilities in the highly regarded KIPP charter schools. They will not learn that the acclaimed American Indian Model Charter Schools in Oakland does not enroll any American Indians, but has a student body that is 60 percent Asian American in a city where that group is 12.8 percent of the student population. Nor will they see any evidence of greater innovation in voucher schools or charter schools than in properly funded public schools.

[...] This program is paid propaganda. It does not search for the truth. It does not present opposing points of view. It is an advertisement for the demolition of public education and for an unregulated free market in education. PBS might have aired a program that debates these issues, but "School Inc." does not.

It is puzzling that PBS would accept millions of dollars for this lavish and one-sided production from a group of foundations with a singular devotion to the privatization of public services. The decision to air this series is even stranger when you stop to consider that these kinds of anti-government political foundations are likely to advocate for the elimination of public funding for PBS. After all, in a free market of television, where there are so many choices available, why should the federal government pay for a television channel?


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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 18, @11:20PM (17 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 18, @11:20PM (#527631)

    The title, as submitted [soylentnews.org], was
    PBS Runs a Three-Hour Series Glorifying the Anti-Public School DeVos Education Agenda

    The article was meant by the author to be a rebuttal of all the positive spin already present in Lamestream Media for privatizing public education.

    The S/N editor removed the edge from the headline, echoing, yet again, the abundant DeVos-friendly tack in much of corporate media.

    .
    Betsy DeVos is an old-school Reactionary Segregationist.

    DeVos was confirmed in the US Senate February 7 by a 51-50 vote, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the deciding vote. The education secretary is widely seen as a particularly philistine and crude representative of Trump's cabinet of billionaires and multi-millionaires.

    DeVos is married to Dick DeVos, the former CEO of Amway [an old-fashioned pyramid scheme whose business is ostensibly selling the kinds of cleaning products you can get at the supermarket at a lower price].

    Betsy DeVos (whose brother is former US Navy SEAL and founder of Blackwater, Erik Prince) is notorious for her indefatigable opposition to public education. The wealthy, right-wing "school choice advocate" has bragged of her family's efforts to buy favors from politicians, writing in 1997: "My family is the largest single contributor of soft money to the national Republican Party. I have decided ... to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect things in return."

    US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos booed by students at Florida college [wsws.org]

    On [May 10], US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was soundly booed by students while attempting to give the commencement address at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, a historically black university.
    [...]
    DeVos was jeered upon being introduced at the ceremony. Nearly half the audience of 380 students turned their back on the speaker as she made her remarks, which consisted largely of banal calls for students to dedicate themselves to the common good and other standard fare.
    [...]
    DeVos drew widespread criticism in February when she referred to historically black colleges and universities, such as Bethune-Cookman, as "pioneers of school choice." Such institutions were created historically out of harsh necessity, primarily in the former slave states, in response to the segregation of universities and colleges and the exclusion of black students. Whether the comment was intended as a provocation or simply displayed gross ignorance, many saw DeVos's comment as an apology for Jim Crow segregation.

    Bethune-Cookman Had a Reason to Invite Betsy DeVos to Give That Calamitous Commencement Speech [theintercept.com]

    Bethune-Cookman, as it happens, recently formed a new affiliation with a for-profit school under fire for its practices. If the school, Arizona Summit Law School, loses its ability to take federal loans, the school becomes effectively defunct.
    [...]
    Its sister school the Charlotte School of Law was put on probation by the American Bar Association late last year over its consistently low bar-passage rates. In December, the Obama administration blocked the school's ability to accept federal student aid, a potential death knell.
    [...]
    Bethune-Cookman will be forming a scholarship program to send its students to the law school, and will also work together on certain marketing and academic support programs.

    -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by n1 on Sunday June 18, @11:42PM (13 children)

      by n1 (993) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 18, @11:42PM (#527637) Journal

      Yes I changed it, but I didn't change or remove any of the content for your submission.

      I felt the headline itself was needlessly provocative and likely to incite knee-jerk reactions, without actually considering the content of the summary and article.

      I have no dog in this fight, my goal was to frame the story in a way which enables constructive discussion after people read the summary. It may be futile, but that was my intention.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 18, @11:50PM (12 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 18, @11:50PM (#527640)

        Off with his head!

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Ethanol-fueled on Monday June 19, @12:13AM (11 children)

          by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 19, @12:13AM (#527649) Homepage Journal

          Oh you Original Owner. We don't want tards in our public schools. We are about Survival of the fittest.

          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by aristarchus on Monday June 19, @12:23AM (8 children)

            by aristarchus (2645) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 19, @12:23AM (#527655) Journal

            I thought the headline (as modified) must be some kind of joke. Everyone knows there are no positives to DeVos's agenda. Highlighting what does not even exist has to be glorifying, as in straight up propaganda.

            --
            If you could ensure that your submissions are balanced, accurate and unbiased, you might stand a better chance
            • (Score: 5, Insightful) by PartTimeZombie on Monday June 19, @12:50AM (1 child)

              by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday June 19, @12:50AM (#527666)

              No-one does propaganda quite like the US Government.

              When I was a teenager I remember being quite worried about the Soviet Navy, after watching a TV Documentary about how much stronger than the US Navy they were, and how they were beginning to move to a war footing.

              Several years later it came out that the US Navy had lost badly in a funding round against the Airforce, and had created the documentary to scare up some money.p.
              The Soviet Navy was more or less confined to port because of a lack of trained sailors at the time, and didn't have the money to train any new ones anyway. Less than 10 years later the US was giving the Soviets money to help dispose of the broken down nuclear reactors from the broken down Soviet Navy.

              • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Monday June 19, @09:26PM

                by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Monday June 19, @09:26PM (#528160)

                That's an old game in gaining support for funding. It was typical to count every ship the Soviets had, from garbage scows and tugboats on up to aircraft carriers, whether seaworthy, mothballed or not. Then our side would only count ships in action and of course the numbers would pale in comparison. I'm sure the reverse is true, and that sort of thing has probably gone on since the Phoenicians.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @01:33PM (5 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @01:33PM (#527890)

              I wouldn't be so quick to say there are no positives. As a father of a young one, I am horrified at the shit I see happening in public schools to a point where I will most likely have to opt for Catholic School education, at a considerable cost. Allowing us to choose where we send our kids would allow me to ensure they get the kind of education that reflects my moral values. No more "everyone gets a trophy" bullshit, and all the other sensitivity nonsense that has been jammed down the kids throats. The world is not a fucking safe-space.

              When I was growing up in a foreign land, we played with replicas of guns every day. There was no gun hysteria. Everyone of us had romantic notions of defending their country from foreign invasion, and believe me the threat was real then, and it's even more real now. US may think it will never be invaded, that's fine, but I want my children to maintain my more sensible outlook on the entire world, and not be pacified, nor ostracized, by the gun hysterians.

              I will simply not allow my children to be indoctrinated to point of view and group-think I disagree with several hours a day for minimum of 12 years.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @02:52PM (4 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @02:52PM (#527931)

                Belated happy Fathers' day.

                Parent here as well. We're similarly horrified - mostly by the pathetically slow and stunted form of education provided by US schools.

                We're doing homeschooling. We don't get any kind of subsidy, or rebate, or anything like that. We do it anyway. By hourly costs, it's more expensive than most private schools, but we still do it.

                People have called us religious freaks (not true), anti-government freaks (not true), undermining the system (our taxes pay for other kids' education), and a bunch of other nasty names and accusations, when the reality is that we just want a good education for our kids and we're willing to work very hard on that.

                A lot of people are like the proverbial crabs in a bucket, all pulling each other down while trying to climb out. And now they're pissed off that we don't want to be in the same bucket.

                Go figure.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @05:47PM (1 child)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @05:47PM (#528046)

                  Happy Father's Day to you as well!

                  You are doing great work, and I applaud you for taking your child's development so seriously. It is a great commitment, but it will be worthwhile. With subsidy, homeschooling would be a very appealing avenue for me to explore. Hopefully some things will change in the next few years that will make it more appealing to more people.

                  I love your crab-bucket analogy. It is very apt.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @05:56PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @05:56PM (#528052)

                    Alas, the bucket crabs are not original with me.

                    But they sure as hell explain a lot of lowest common denominator policies and their proponents.

                • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Monday June 19, @05:52PM (1 child)

                  by kaszz (4211) on Monday June 19, @05:52PM (#528049) Journal

                  Hourly cost? so you hire a private teacher from time to time? Is that not deductible on the tax? because as you say otherwise you will be sponsoring the education of other children.

                  Oh.. the bucket crabs. They are f-cking everywhere. But usually they are poor to handle people that are independent and quick movers.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @06:01PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @06:01PM (#528057)

                    No, hourly cost in terms of the value of our time. Both of us are highly educated, and could sell our time that we currently spend on teaching for around $100/hour on the open market. Devoting our time to our children and their education has a realistic cost - but one we have agreed to bear, and one that we are happy to bear.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @01:16AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @01:16AM (#527675)

            We are about Survival of the fittest.

            Uh, yea...

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @04:04AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @04:04AM (#527717)

            Alcoholics are defective, OFF WITH HIS HEAD!

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 18, @11:59PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 18, @11:59PM (#527643)

      Well, we know one thing for sure. Continuing on with the Liberal indoctrination fest that is TODAY'S education system certainly isn't working. Throwing a neverending pile of money at the problem doesn't increase test scores or high school graduation rates either. I'm willing to give Devos a try. Seeing the percentage of educators/school administrators that donate to the Democrat party, I can't help but wonder if there's an ulterior motive to you and your type going nuts about her policies before they even are implemented.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, @12:47AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, @12:47AM (#528814)

        Wonder no more. The ulterior motive is to prevent the americans's alleged system of education from getting significantly worse.

        Charter schools were designed to keep segregation alive [alternet.org]. No superficial appearance of educational excellence can wipe out the racism at its core.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, @05:51PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, @05:51PM (#529599)

          Very misleading. Charter schools were attractive to a wide range of people who wanted no part of the current public failure schools.

          The fact that some racists might have glommed onto the plan for their own reasons doesn't mean the whole scheme is rotten. Don't be fooled by the public education agenda's slanders.

  • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Sunday June 18, @11:22PM

    by aristarchus (2645) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 18, @11:22PM (#527632) Journal

    Pray Betsy does not alter your funding further! And besides, she probably threw in a nice Amway dealership for everyone who used to work for PBS and in education. And you know who her brother is?

    --
    If you could ensure that your submissions are balanced, accurate and unbiased, you might stand a better chance
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 18, @11:25PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 18, @11:25PM (#527633)

    Everyone here is a billionaire self-taught coder, right? Fuck education. Anyone who needs an education is too stupid to be a coder anyway and deserves to be killed by AI. We have too many shit for brains morons in this world. Let them all die.

    Fuck education.
    Fuck the poor.
    Fuck you.
    Got mine.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by frojack on Sunday June 18, @11:29PM (47 children)

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 18, @11:29PM (#527634) Journal

    Normally we do nothing but bash American Education system and its reliance on Lowest Common Denominator Public Schools.
    We cry and lament for alternative solutions. Liberals were first in line demanding change.

    Then Trump campaigns to Abolish the Dept of Education which would allow States to innovate.
    Liberals suddenly rally around the crap schools that they refuse to send their own children to.

    So the Republicans come up with a total revamp of public education.
    Nope, can't have that either. Gotta maintain those warehouse schools exactly as they are for the kids from the wrong side of the tracks.

    Nothing can be allowed to change other than by slow but incessant dumbing down of requirements and a constant barge of political correctness teaching.

     

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @12:18AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @12:18AM (#527653)

      Just send all the children to Trump University.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @01:46PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @01:46PM (#527900)

        HAHAHAHAHA - if I could guaranteed that my kid would become a "failed billionaire" by going to Trump U, I would send them there.

        "Failed billionaire" stupidest thing I ever heard from the left, and that's saying something.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @05:34PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @05:34PM (#528042)

          Well I can guarantee that your child can become a failed billionaire. Just like Trump U., all you have to do is send me some money and I won't actually do anything!
           

          PS: Is your child a billionaire? If not, send me my money, I already succeeded sucker!

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Whoever on Monday June 19, @12:19AM (13 children)

      by Whoever (4524) on Monday June 19, @12:19AM (#527654)

      The problem is that people like DeVos are not interested in replacing public schools with schools that would:
      1. Provide a real educations (they want to replace science with religion).
      2. Provide real education for all (those charter schools will find a way to discriminate).

      Charter schools do not provide a universal answer:
      http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/06/08/charter-schools-accused-of-misuse-of-public-funds-in-livermore-audit/ [eastbaytimes.com]
      The schools could not pay their bills (they were already bailed out once a year ago) and now stand accused of misusing $67M of public money.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by khallow on Monday June 19, @02:03AM (11 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 19, @02:03AM (#527682) Journal

        The problem is that people like DeVos are not interested in replacing public schools with schools that would:

        The people actually going to those schools (and their parents) would be the ones interested. Sure, keep in mind the conflicts of interest, but also keep in mind that there would be a lot of people exercising these choices, and they have more at stake than a few bucks.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Whoever on Monday June 19, @03:43AM (10 children)

          by Whoever (4524) on Monday June 19, @03:43AM (#527711)

          When DeVos and her cohorts have completely destroyed the public schools, parents (other than wealthy parents) won't have a choice.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Sulla on Monday June 19, @04:02AM (2 children)

            by Sulla (5173) on Monday June 19, @04:02AM (#527715) Journal

            New Orleans is doing significantly better education wise after they were rebuilt following Katrina following a similar model.

            PBS propaganda = good when dems do it
            PBS prop = bad when reps do it

            Its always bad, stop only noticing because your guy isnt in power.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @04:54AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @04:54AM (#527734)

              this is pure BS, lot of troubles right now on New Orleans and charter schools are one of them

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 19, @12:45PM (6 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 19, @12:45PM (#527873) Journal

            When DeVos and her cohorts have completely destroyed the public schools, parents (other than wealthy parents) won't have a choice.

            The thing is there are a lot of public schools that need destroying because they've betrayed their students and communities. So sorry, I don't see that as a downside. And I don't buy in the least that there will be a single choice available to parents as a result.

            • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Monday June 19, @02:46PM (5 children)

              by Whoever (4524) on Monday June 19, @02:46PM (#527926)

              The bottom line is that the evidence shows that charter schools do not achieve better results, when other factors are taken into account: such as the ability to exclude disruptive and poor-performing students.

              Even if the public schools are failing, replacing them with charter schools won't solve the problem.

              Do you want your tax dollars to be used to teach kids that evolution is a myth and the world is only 6000 years old? I don't.

              • (Score: 2) by Sulla on Monday June 19, @03:13PM (3 children)

                by Sulla (5173) on Monday June 19, @03:13PM (#527953) Journal

                I don't honestly see the difference between that and our public schools teaching them that there are 5n genders. Seems no matter where they go they will be educated in fairy tales.

                "When other factors are taken into account"
                I would like to see some citations please. Although I imagine this is one of those things where they can always find another factor as long as it protects the teachers union.

                • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @03:25PM (1 child)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @03:25PM (#527957)

                  The "5n" genders are based on actual legitimate science. You would know that if you weren't so mentally tied up in your own fairy tales. I'd post citations but your kind always just makes up some reason to brush aside reality in favor of your personal biases.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @06:10PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @06:10PM (#528066)

                    "based on" "science"

                    Is that like Hollywood basing movies on books?

                    And are you talking about genders, or sexes? Not the same thing. Mind you, there's been consistent (apparently deliberate) confusion of the concepts on the part of the LGBTQA mafia, so I can't really blame people for getting confused.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @04:03PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @04:03PM (#527968)

                  5n? I thought it was more n log n.

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday June 23, @01:08AM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 23, @01:08AM (#529740) Journal

                Even if the public schools are failing, replacing them with charter schools won't solve the problem.

                I note here it will, if your child isn't the disruptive and poor-performing student. I don't see public schools which traditionally can't refuse students that disrupt school for other students, as having the advantage here.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @05:58PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @05:58PM (#528053)

        Right because in your reality there is no way to discriminate in public schools, like say by moving to a different school district where house prices are out of reach for certain demographics.

        And in your reality, where such discrimination does not exist, there is no move to punish the districts that have more affluent demographics for being successful, say with like with some sort of bullshit scheme called Abbot District: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbott_district [wikipedia.org]

        Only charter schools will create this warped reality, in which we are not living now!

        I love your article, $67 million is NOTHING as far as the expenditures of public educations are concerned. Lack of accountability is beyond the pail right now. Charter schools will make the problem more managable, not less, by ensuring there are repercussions to this nonsense. You can get your charter revoked: http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article131843889.html [thestate.com] and that is a BEAUTIFUL thing.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @12:26AM (8 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @12:26AM (#527657)

      The charter schools get to cherry-pick their students and those places look more and more like the all-White schools of 1953.

      ...and, after cherry-picking, less than 20 percent of kids do better, about half do the same, and about a third do worse than in public schools.

      Oh, and they get to expel kids on a whim.
      Even with the extreme filtering. they still suck at educating.
      ...because it isn't about educating kids; it's about breaking unions and extracting wealth.

      If they wanted to actually do better for the kids, they'd be replicating what is already known to work (better teacher:student ratios for starters).

      Additionally, DeVos is a White Supremacist with a fringe Dutch Protestant background who wants to inject her twisted brand of Christianity into schools.

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by julian on Monday June 19, @02:50AM

        by julian (6003) on Monday June 19, @02:50AM (#527698)

        those places look more and more like the all-White schools of 1953.

        To them, that's a feature, not a bug. They don't want non-whites and non-Christians to get any social or infrastructure investment. Hell, there are people in this very comment section who have said as much. It's not even a secret.

        This is why I feel Devos is the most dangerous person in the Trump administration. She is pure evil.

      • (Score: 0, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @05:31AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @05:31AM (#527745)

        You have got to be kidding me.

        The teacher:student ratio is not proven, beyond the most broken examples, to be a key thing. To offer my own anecdotal experience, I graduated from a high school with fantastic results (measured nationally), where the typical class was well over 30, with some in the 40s. It had a lot more to do with good teachers, strict discipline, and a strong academic community that valued education.

        But sure, what the hell, let's close our eyes, cherry-pick evidence and swallow uncritically the idea that what we need is MOAR TEECHRZ. Immediately we run into several problems. The first is that hiring teachers is tough. The pay sucks, the qualifications required for advancement are a weird combination of silly and demanding, the theoretical hours required are easy, but the functionally expected additional hours range from long to punishing, the career track is micromanaged by union, and the working environment is straitjacketed. The cream of the crop laugh hysterically, then go off to design electronics, do kidney surgery or trade stocks. Or something, anything else. You're then left with a vanishingly small minority of people who are truly devoted educators, and a vast majority of time-servers who had few realistic alternatives. If you want to hire more, you'll have to offer massively higher pay - and then you'll have to pay all the incumbents more so that they don't get butthurt. This on top of the fact that the USA has the most expensive pre-tertiary educational system per capita in the entire world. (OK, if you cherry-pick your numbers and add certain kinds of vocational training and so on you can make Switzerland look more expensive. I'm sure that will make it easier to pay for MOAR TEECHRZ.)

        But let's pretend you have all the cash. Money is no object. You can, and will, pay enough to tempt quants off Wall Street to train the next generation's genius mathematicians. No class is over 10 students. What now? Have you filled every kid with a hunger for learning? Excuse me while I laugh so hard I wet myself, because that's not even a trick question. Wait, wait, here's another good one: have you instilled a decent disciplinary regime in the school, or are we still caught between the detention, suspension and expulsion (and arrest! Yay school cops!) anti-educational choices? Hahaha, I know, crazy, right? Never happen. Let's see, have you filled all the parents with zeal for their kids' educations and future? Man, I kill me!

        Real talk: There is such a thing as throwing good money after bad, and doubling down on a failing system that already has such rich resources thrown at it makes no sense at all. Betsy de Vos could be wrong, wrong, wrong on every conceivable level and at least she would be trying to get us out of this terrible hole we're in. Your recommendation looks a lot like: "Shit, we're in a hole. Dig, boys, dig for your lives!"

        It's worth pointing out that despite all the money poured into our educational system, teachers don't make all that much. This isn't because we have so many teachers, proportionally, but because we have a terribly wasteful administrative system. This has been covered on Soylent before, but it also bears a surprising resemblance to the story we had recently about the US being bad at infrastructure. Death by bureaucracy. Or, at least, bankruptcy by bureaucracy.

        What's your solution for that?

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Monday June 19, @10:58AM

          by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 19, @10:58AM (#527848) Journal

          It's worth pointing out that despite all the money poured into our educational system, teachers don't make all that much. This isn't because we have so many teachers, proportionally, but because we have a terribly wasteful administrative system. This has been covered on Soylent before, but it also bears a surprising resemblance to the story we had recently about the US being bad at infrastructure. Death by bureaucracy. Or, at least, bankruptcy by bureaucracy.

          It's more than just bureaucracy, though I agree that's execrable. Broken schools are an excellent way to squeeze more money out of overworked parents. "Our schools are failing! The future is in jeopardy. Won't someone please think of the children!" So the taxpayers acquiesce to another levy to raise billions of dollars to "fix" the broken education system. Strangely, however, the billions are never spent on upgrading the schools or improving education. It gets quietly siphoned away in a thousand ways, or sits in escrow collecting interest that gets quietly siphoned away. If the parents continue to yell loudly enough, a few cents on those dollars get spent to put something new and shiny into a few schools. Where the white kids go. The immigrants and poors get nothing.

          And so it goes, for decades. Everyone, Republican and Democrat, is in on it. So, yeah, teacher unions don't help at all, but they're the cladding on a rotten core.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @09:55PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @09:55PM (#528172)

        Mostly you got it wrong, but "about breaking unions" and "teacher:student ratios" isn't far off the mark.

        The unions decided to make an enemy out of the republican party. Oops. Why the surprise when the party fights back? What did you expect? You thought it would be just fine to have a money pipeline that goes from the taxpayers to the democratic party via union dues? No, a private tax is not OK. No, politicians getting kickbacks is not OK.

        People pay taxes, part of that goes to schools, the teachers get paid with a cut going to the union, and the union "donates" exclusively to democrats. The democrats then legislate to give the union advantages. Union members aren't all democrats; some are pissed. In any case, this is corrupt.

        Public schools may need to die in order to put an end to this corrupt money pipeline. Teachers helped create this disaster; you reap what you sow. Next time, stay out of politics, or at least don't blatantly favor one side in all things.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @02:09AM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @02:09AM (#528291)

          The unions decided to make an enemy out of the republican party

          That took zero effort.
          You have it completely backwards.
          The GOP has been anti-worker and pro-ownership for over a century.

          the union "donates" exclusively to democrats.

          Why would you give money to an entity which has voted against you for your entire lifetime?
          Why support the party that put through Taft-Hartley and has made no indication they want to change any of it?
          Why support the party that has gotten Right-to-Work (For Less) legislation passed in 28 states (and isn't finished with their efforts)?

          Are you just plain stupid?

          N.B. Giving money to the Donkeys and their Rightward drift since 1972 has been pretty stupid too.

          The democrats then legislate to give the union advantages

          Pffff. Cite an example of reciprocation in the last 4 decades.
          Donkey elites take the money then spit on Working Class people.

          The Donkey elites have been Neoliberal for a long time.
          If rank-and-file Democrats would get active in their party and replace those folks who only cater to executive-suite people, maybe things would change.

          I wouldn't be surprised if the Berniecrats split off and form a Peoples Party before 2020.
          There are also lots of folks who just stayed home on Election Day who appear to like the idea.

          ...and folks who are smart and want worker-friendly politics, -currently- support the Green Party.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @02:22PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @02:22PM (#528449)

            Here's a heads-up: there's a huge divide between the unions and the workers that they represent.

            Ever noticed how many of the staunch, grizzled workers wiped the sweat from their brows, the grease from their hands and voted for Trump?

            Maybe it wasn't so a hundred years ago, but these days it's a growing divide, and more and more workers are abandoning unions at the first opportunity.

            So ... yeah. I guess the donkeys get to rejustify their existence to a fragmenting workers' community. The unions do as well.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @07:20PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @07:20PM (#528669)

              ...and how's that going for them?

              Most people of that ilk were woting -against- Neoliberal Hillary.
              A bunch more didn't cast a vote because they thought what both the GOP and the Donkeys had to offer sucked.

              Too bad Donkey elites stacked the deck against Bernie.
              If that hadn't happened, we'd be talking about President Sanders (who would have gotten those folks' votes).

              ...and after Bernie got stabbed in the back by "his own", those lazy Rust Belt folks didn't make the effort to discover JILL STEIN, who was still on the ballot in almost every state (and could be written in in the rest), and whose platform had major overlap with Bernie's.

              a huge divide between the unions and the workers

              Again, lazy people who don't get involved and CAMPAIGN and VOTE for better representation.
              A union is a democracy; One worker==One vote.

              -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, @01:47PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, @01:47PM (#529488)

                ... and here we have again, the blaming of the proletariat because the poor, deluded, benighted (oh, and lazy too!) fellows just don't get it.

                If only they would trust the guidance of the intelligentsia who are so much smarter and better-informed (and diligent!) than they are, then we'd have good government!

                They are just too ignorant, or (dare I say it) stupid (bless their little hearts!) to "discover" a nationally advertised candidate with a widely published set of policies. Or maybe they just could not comprehend how her ostensibly anti-industrial policy was really all for their benefit!

                Oh, well. That really highlights the problem: we need a new proletariat. The old one is broken. Until then, they just need to be disenfranchised, so that they stop voting against their own class interests (what rubes).

                Seriously, as a blue collar worker myself, your kind of sneering condescension is very hard to interpret as anything but hostile. So find the nearest available powerwasher and stick it into your left ear until the shit pours out of the right. The world will thank you.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by RedBear on Monday June 19, @02:07AM (1 child)

      by RedBear (1734) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 19, @02:07AM (#527683)

      Normally we do nothing but bash American Education system and its reliance on Lowest Common Denominator Public Schools.
      We cry and lament for alternative solutions. Liberals were first in line demanding change.
      Then Trump campaigns to Abolish the Dept of Education which would allow States to innovate.
      Liberals suddenly rally around the crap schools that they refuse to send their own children to.
      So the Republicans come up with a total revamp of public education.
      Nope, can't have that either. Gotta maintain those warehouse schools exactly as they are for the kids from the wrong side of the tracks.
      Nothing can be allowed to change other than by slow but incessant dumbing down of requirements and a constant barge of political correctness teaching.

      False assumption identified: Liberals are all wealthy "elites" who send their kids to private schools.

      Those who have a higher education level, regardless of financial class, tend to lean politically liberal. Those who are wealthy tend to lean politically conservative. Those who are religious fundamentalists also tend to lean politically conservative. It is primarily the wealthy and religious fundamentalist groups who want to send their children to private or charter schools where they can be taught creationism as a science, and the school can discriminate against various types of social groups that conservatives tend to look down upon. Charter schools are simply a modern reimplementation of segregation.

      --
      ¯\_ʕ◔.◔ʔ_/¯ LOL. I dunno. I'm just a bear.
      ... Peace out. Got bear stuff to do. 彡ʕ⌐■.■ʔ
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @06:04AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @06:04AM (#527761)

        I dunno, I live around a lot of blue folks who scrimp and save to get their kids out of public schools - or if they're not that flush, they move like maniacs to get that good school district love.

        Not a lot of Hillary voters around me willingly putting their kids into those troubled inner-city schools. The gentrifiers tend to skip out once they have kids, in my experience. Even know a few homeschoolers.

        False assumption identified: it's all about elites, instead of general blue conduct.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hash14 on Monday June 19, @04:28AM (6 children)

      by hash14 (1102) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 19, @04:28AM (#527728)

      Normally we do nothing but bash American Education system and its reliance on Lowest Common Denominator Public Schools.
      We cry and lament for alternative solutions. Liberals were first in line demanding change.

      It's one thing to call for change. It's quite another to change your public schooling system into an infested cesspool of billionaire corruption.

      Nobody will argue with the fact that the US has about the worst education system of the developed world. Improvement is needed, but it's obvious that this will push it in the opposite direction.

      Then Trump campaigns to Abolish the Dept of Education which would allow States to innovate.

      They're not going to "innovate", they're going to use it as an excuse to indoctrinate Christianity and private interests into students.

      So the Republicans come up with a total revamp of public education.

      Sure, and while they're at it, the US could "revamp" its medical system by abolishing hospitals and replacing them with alternative medicine scams. It doesn't mean that it's going to do any good.

      If the US wants to have an education system, they can look to how Europeans do it. In Europe, they're not doing any of the things that the current US education department is suggesting. And the US will have to fix its culture of anti-intellectualism while they're at it. So it's probably never going to happen.

      --
      In developed societies, "copyright infringement" is merely the sharing and partaking in culture.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @05:35AM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @05:35AM (#527747)

        Then Trump campaigns to Abolish the Dept of Education which would allow States to innovate.

        They're not going to "innovate", they're going to use it as an excuse to indoctrinate Christianity and private interests into students.

        Really. The states of, oh, say, Massachusetts and California are just champing at the bit to "indoctrinate Christianity and private interests into students".

        Citation needed.

        • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday June 19, @11:58AM (3 children)

          by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 19, @11:58AM (#527860) Homepage

          No, but the states of Ohio, Alabama, Mississippi, Kansas, Florida, and a lot of other places are doing everything they can to include private profit motive and sometimes religious nutjobs into their public education system. Should the kids living in those areas be condemned to an even worse education than they're already getting solely so some jerks with political connections can get rich?

          Another aspect of the efforts to "reform" schools is that teachers are quitting at unprecedented rates, to the point where the average teacher lasts less than a decade in their career and many schools are having a hard time finding qualified teachers. Not surprising, really, when their pay is lousy for a profession all but requiring a master's degree, and the power structures above them are doing everything in their power to make their jobs impossible e.g. demanding that they spend over 50% of their classroom time running standardized tests.

          --
          If you act on pie in the sky, you're likely to get pie in the face.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @01:22PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @01:22PM (#527884)

            OK, so let's unwrap this a bit.

            The states of *insert list here* want to do things that you don't like. Presumably, these states have voters that are quite often parents. I suppose it's possible that a sinister conspiracy of shadow government social architects from the secret american reactionary society are going to somehow pull a fast one and enforce plans that nobody wants, but I'm going to bet that parents will, when possible, vote in the perceived interests of their children and, when that doesn't work, move to more apparently desirable districts. You know, what they do now.

            Enforcing a view on what constitutes a good education has a history of being unpopular, and in fact widely reviled. In fact, it has become less popular, not more, over time. So I don't think that your plan for a federally mandated educational standard has a lot of legs. You do realise that people are giving up all sorts of things to homeschool, and that's a growing trend, right?

            But, you know, best of luck with that.

            As for teacher retention issues, I fully agree with you, which is another reason I don't think that the federally enforced education thing is working out all that great.

            We've been doing it a while, you know. There's a track record - not a good one, but there is one.

            • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday June 21, @04:00PM (1 child)

              by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 21, @04:00PM (#529069) Homepage

              It's not just that I don't like them. What I'm opposed to is:
              1. Public money that is intended for the education of students going to line the pockets of politically connected people instead. Corruption is always a bad way to spend public money, since the public has nothing to show for it.
              2. The re-introduction of Christian religious practices into publicly funded schools. This was found repeatedly to be unconstitutional back in 1963.

              Both of these are happening right now in the states I mentioned.

              "Just move elsewhere" isn't always a viable option, either, for two reasons: 1. A lot of people live in the districts they live in because that's where they can afford to live, and they might not even be able to afford to move if they wanted to. 2. If everywhere else is doing the same kinds of things, then there's no way to get away from the improper behavior.

              Lastly, I don't care about federal educational standards being popular, so much as I care about them being effective and teach the truth. There are numerous questions of fact in which majority opinion is strongly opposed to what all experts in the field have long known to be true, and in those cases majority opinion should not matter one bit. For example, I don't care that lots of Americans would like to keep kids ignorant of the theory of evolution, what the Confederacy was fighting for in the Civil War, or the basic beliefs of Islam, because ignorance is never a proper goal of an educational institution of any kind.

              As far as the home-school trend goes, a lot of that is being driven by a goal of including religious belief systems and other unproven dogmas into education and keeping kids ignorant of that which opposes those beliefs. Which again, I do not support, especially with government funding, because ignorance should not be a goal of education.

              --
              If you act on pie in the sky, you're likely to get pie in the face.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, @04:27AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, @04:27AM (#529362)

                I don't think anybody here is arguing for corruption. If you know of corruption, please alert the appropriate authorities, and campaign against the corrupt. Thank you.

                I don't think that anybody here is arguing for christian religious practices in schools. If you know of such practices, please alert the appropriate social pressure groups and bring them the evidence so that they can fight it in court. Thank you.

                If there are people who are saddened by these developments, you should be able to make them your political allies if they cannot move elsewhere. Use this alliance to improve education, and we shall all ultimately benefit. Thank you.

                The problem you have with federal educational standards is rather more complex, because of certain assumptions that have not been proven to be correct by lived experience. Federal educational standards have not actually developed a great track record of being effective (rather the reverse, in some notorious recent cases), and analysis of expert opinion for the purposes of creating a curriculum (something with which I have plenty of experience in the real world) is a lot more fraught than you seem to think. On top of that, who do you think controls the federal level of this sort of thing, other than politicians and bureaucrats? Not only that, but they are the worst kind because they are very, very far removed from the people affected by their decisions. Arguing for federal control of education is like arguing for federal control of parking fines; a distant, largely unaccountable elite make choices that directly affect local concerns. Again, the more it happens the more you find pressure groups fighting back against it, with every tool in their arsenal including parochial schools, charter schools, private schools, homeschooling and in the case of immigrants, sending their kids overseas to get a better education in boarding schools.

                When people in their hundreds of thousands are doing their damndest to undo what the feds dictate, at great personal expense and sacrifice, you're looking at a failed public policy and you need to stop it and figure out something more likely to work.

                I know one homeschooler with a religious background. The guy's jewish, and he lives in a community without a jewish school or anything similar. That's it.

                I do however know a bunch of homeschoolers who are professors, professionals and otherwise surprisingly left-leaning suburbanites. Many of them are in the tech industry. They're teaching their kids as fast and hard as they can. Their collective's math expert is an actual professor of mathematics, for example. So your cliche needs some updating.

                And, just to add some spice to that particular sauce, homeschooling has won in the courts. Repeatedly. It's here to stay, and the worse the federal influence, the more it's likely to develop.

                But hey, best of luck turning that clock back.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @06:11PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @06:11PM (#528068)

        This is a silly Strawman you got there.

        I would not want Christian beliefs taught to anyone who cannot appreciate them.

        At the same time I come from a country where Catholicism is taught in public schools along side of history and evolutionary biology, and it is far from a backwater shit-hole. As a matter of fact it is a wonderful place to live, and I can see no harm in teaching religious beliefs to children if it is part of their cultural heritage. I may believe in a higher being, but my belief in such an entity does not come from study of Catholicism, it comes from my study of Computer Science. I was very skeptical in my youth, and I took everything I learned in Catechism with a large slab of salt. Still I could not deny that the people of faith were very decent folk, and ones that I should emulate.

        Finally, Catholic schools have been operating in the US for a long time, and the world has not come to an end. And the only anti-intellectualism I can see today is coming from the left with their Feelz before Realz bullshit. So don't worry, if your kid hers that Jesus rode a raptor 6000 years ago, it will not scar them for life. But if your kid is hammered with Inter-sectional Racism and some other bullshit, "zhe" will end up with Phd in "Trans-African Social Struggles", shit for brains, and exactly 0 job prospects.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by AnonTechie on Monday June 19, @08:19AM (1 child)

      by AnonTechie (2275) on Monday June 19, @08:19AM (#527809) Journal

      Read something interesting related to this discussion. I do not know who wrote it but it is insightful:

      One of the University lecturers wrote an expressive message to his students at the doctorate, masters and bachelors level and placed it at the college entrance in the university in south Africa.

      And this is the message " Collapsing any Nation does not require use of Atomic bombs or the use of Long range missiles. But it requires lowering the quality of Education and allowing cheating in the exams by the students.

      The patient dies in the hands of the doctor who passed his exams through cheating.

      And the buildings collapse in the hands of an engineer who passed his exams through cheating.

      And the money is lost in the hands of an accountant who passed his exams through cheating.

      And humanity dies in the hands of a religious scholar who passed his exams through cheating.

      And justice is lost in the hands of a judge who passed his exams through cheating.

      And ignorance is rampant in the minds of children who are under the care of a teacher who passed exams through cheating.

      The collapse of education is the collapse of the Nation"

      http://www.wazua.co.ke/forum.aspx?g=posts&t=35336 [wazua.co.ke]

      --
      Albert Einstein - "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @06:19PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @06:19PM (#528070)

        All true, but the collapse of the educational institutions is way on the way in the U.S., started with Affirmative Action (Which is a backdoor to Marxist ideology, starts off with Equality of Opportunity and turns quickly into Equality of Outcome). Look at the Liberal Schools in most top universities. The shit coming out of them is UNREAL. I feel like my diploma is losing value with every Patel in the Masters program who cheats on their exam (and there are 25 out of 30 students who do this).

        On a sad note, South Africa is done as a nation. Incoming Zimbabwe within 10 years. There will be war, there will be famine, there will be an International intervention to disarm their nuclear arsenal, after which point no one will want anything to do with that country, and it will revert to a tribal society of hunters, who will most likely hunt each-other. I just hope Europe takes in those poor White refugees before they all become victims of the current genocide.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @03:18PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @03:18PM (#527954)

      "The Liberals" wanted change to better our schools not to defund them and run the education system into the ground so that the private sector fat cats can pilfer yet another aspect of our society to funnel cash into their pockets while jacking up the cost of education out of the reach of the poor. But nice try trying to flip the blame onto "duh libtards, herpaderp" as is the standard fare these days.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @04:28PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @04:28PM (#527987)

        Right.

        You know, there's a lot of confusion about the term "Liberal" especially since americans mean something different by it from what the rest of the world means, so let's be more precise: progressives. People who are motivated to change society by the measure of progress, which is basically victorian/edwardian shorthand for science and technology. Not generally a bad idea - stopping cholera epidemics is a benefit of public health advances.

        The progressives want to (and here I'm basing my commentary on their observed conduct, more than their rhetoric) have an educational system where everybody gets a basic education, and nobody has an exceptional education (apparently because that would be unfair) and where alternative educational systems are stamped out (because that would encourage educational deviance and withdrawal of resources from their ideal educational system) and where their values are instilled in the children (because that's how you get the next generation of voters).

        That's an interesting take on "better our schools" and not one that is calculated to receive quite universal, uncritical acclaim.

        How exactly fat cats are supposed to pilfer cash from people through the educational system any more than they already are (teachers' unions being among the fattest and cattiest around) isn't made clear. Perhaps it's because the problem isn't the fat cats or the pilfering, but which fat cats.

        And as for "jacking up the cost of education out of the reach of the poor" I don't know if you've taken a good look around recently, but you get things like homeschooling collectives that cost little besides time in some of the most impoverished rural areas of the country. It's progressives who want to stamp those out. Because *mumblemumble* religious freaks *mumblemumble*.

        The biggest panic I've seen from progressives is the same reason that police hate vigilantes: when a community is so despairing of the police that vigilantes are accepted, it undermines the credibility of the police. Homeschooling collectives are utterly despised by the educational establishment because they appear to undermine the entrenched educational establishment. What both the police and the bureaucrats miss is the fact that these are not attacks on their existence so much as symptoms of their failure.

        I know, this probably bums you out, so let me leave you with this: "duh libtards, herpaderp"

        There, feel better?

    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Monday June 19, @07:15PM

      by HiThere (866) on Monday June 19, @07:15PM (#528094)

      Just because one approach is terrible doesn't make every alternative better.

      I haven't been able to come up with a good approach, but this doesn't mean I can't see certain flaws in other approaches. Homeschooling is horrible for those families that aren't wealthy enough to survive with only one parent holding down a full time job. Tracking is horrible for those who are slow at acquiring one skill in the early part of the curriculum. Et multitudinous cetera. It's reasonable to argue about which approach has a better mean result, or a better mode of the result, or a better median result, but none of that matters unless you can agree on what you mean by better. They systems that are best at producing those skilled at taking multiple choice tests tend to be terrible at producing those that do well on essay questions...and conversely. And neither of those captures actual creative solutions to problems. But you can identify systems that produce bad results on all nine (3 measures by 3 statistics), and if you argue in favor of one of them you are rightly suspected of having a hidden agenda.

      --
      Put not your faith in princes.
    • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Monday June 19, @09:31PM (5 children)

      by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Monday June 19, @09:31PM (#528164)

      Please. If you pretend that the drive towards private schools is anything other than an attempt to put that vast sum of education money into private hands where any sort of accountability is gone you are hopelessly naive. There is no interest in educating the public behind this effort.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, @02:07PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, @02:07PM (#529499)

        What if members of the public want to avail themselves of private schools? Are they Bad People(tm) who must be Stopped(tm) before they Ruin Everything(tm) in their Headlong Rush(tm) to Utter Selfishness(tm)?

        Just maybe this is all part of a big picture push of people away from public schools that, despite the biggest national torrent of money in the world, are obviously, pitifully terrible value? Just maybe the politicians are responding to people who've been screaming about it for decades, who are doing everything in their power to get a better outcome?

        No, no, must be unaccountable corrupt elites extracting the precious vital fluids of hapless victims for the Illuminati.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23, @08:18AM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23, @08:18AM (#529898)

          What if members of the public want to avail themselves of private schools? Are they Bad People(tm) who must be Stopped(tm) before they Ruin Everything(tm) in their Headlong Rush(tm) to Utter Selfishness(tm)?

          Well, yes. If there is a problem with public schools in your area evading it is not a long term solution. If our public education system is falling behind the rest of the world, maybe we should be looking at what other nations are doing right and using what will work here to better our schools rather than racing to the bottom while profit whores feast on our education dollars.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23, @01:36PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23, @01:36PM (#530006)

            Wow, OK. That's a pretty radical position: outlaw private schools.

            I think you may find that this is not legally feasible in the USA, for pretty much the same reasons that homeschooling can't be banned (although it can be regulated).

            In fact, the worse the public school system gets, the less people want to send their children there.

            I propose the alternative analysis, that the success and popularity of alternative schooling solutions should be taken as a barometer of the perceived failures of the public school system, and thus as a spur to those bureaucrats who are concerned with its success.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03, @09:17PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03, @09:17PM (#534584)

              Wow, OK. That's a pretty radical position: outlaw private schools.

              Who said anything about outlawing private schools?

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10, @10:25PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10, @10:25PM (#537356)

                Who said anything about outlawing private schools?

                Good question. Let's see. Original question:

                What if members of the public want to avail themselves of private schools? Are they Bad
                People(tm) who must be Stopped(tm) before they Ruin Everything(tm) in their Headlong Rush(tm) to Utter Selfishness(tm)?

                The response:

                Well, yes. If there is a problem with public schools in your area evading it is not a long term solution. If our public education system is falling behind the rest of the world, maybe we should be looking at what other nations are doing right and using what will work here to better our schools rather than racing to the bottom while profit whores feast on our education dollars.

                OK, so that was wordy, and you didn't want to read it all, so let's break it down.

                Summarised original question:

                Must people be prevented from sending their kids to public schools?

                Summarised response:

                Yes, public schools're bad, mmkay? Plus, profit whores feasting on education dollars.

                So the question now arises, how on earth that does not construe a public policy recommendation against public schools? Or are we into telling people that they are bad, bad, bad, wicked, NAUGHTY people for doing what they want to do, and they're feeding EVIL profit-whoring vampire squids, but it's really cool because we're not actually banning anything?

                Explanations deserved.

    • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Monday June 19, @09:34PM

      by meustrus (4961) <meustrusNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday June 19, @09:34PM (#528166)

      If you really want states to innovate, the states need money. And none of this federal grant nonsense. The states should have much more money than the federal government, not less, to implement their local agendas.

      Start by repealing the 16th amendment [wikipedia.org]. End the practice of federal control of state budgets resulting from the federal income tax. Force the IRS to disburse the proceeds of all direct taxes directly to the states, apportioned according to the census, as the founding fathers intended.

      Without doing this, asking the states to innovate on anything, including education, is asking them to slash already severely diminished budgets.

      --
      If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative.
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by VLM on Sunday June 18, @11:42PM (20 children)

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 18, @11:42PM (#527638)

    They will not hear from scholars who blame Sweden's choice system for the collapse of its international test scores.

    LOL. The cause is politically incorrect so they can't intelligently discuss it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Sweden#Immigration [wikipedia.org]

    As of 2016, Statistics Sweden reported that around 2,320,000 or 23.2% of the inhabitants of Sweden were from a foreign background

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_Sweden#Education [wikipedia.org]

    Ethnic Swedes have "collapsed" in their primary school qualification tests from 92 percent to 91 percent.

    The population of youth has replaced ethnic Swedes with immigrant children some races of which barely achieve 50 percent passing rates.

    So as the population replaces itself via anti-white racism, the test scores "collapse".

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by aristarchus on Monday June 19, @12:13AM (2 children)

      by aristarchus (2645) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 19, @12:13AM (#527648) Journal

      via anti-white racism,

      VLM has gone Quisling!

      --
      If you could ensure that your submissions are balanced, accurate and unbiased, you might stand a better chance
      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @12:48AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @12:48AM (#527664)

        Sorry to break your reality. But this is what is going on in many European countries right now.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by aristarchus on Monday June 19, @01:08AM

          by aristarchus (2645) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 19, @01:08AM (#527671) Journal

          But this is what is going on in many European countries right now.

          What? They are being taken over by puppet Nazi-supporting coups? Why haven't I heard of this? LePen lost! The UKlowIQ party lost! Shirley you are mistaken.

          Of course, Quisling was Norwegian, like Anders. Maybe that is the problem you are having?

          --
          If you could ensure that your submissions are balanced, accurate and unbiased, you might stand a better chance
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @12:45AM (15 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @12:45AM (#527661)

      So as the population replaces itself via anti-white racism, the test scores "collapse".

      I don't know what to call it but anti-white racism doesn't fit. I look at it as white guilt manipulated by extremist liberal propaganda. "Look at those starving children in the armpits of the world while you stuff your faces with haute cuisine! Why not share by letting them come flooding in so they can eat!" Otherwise I see no logical explanation for Europe's cultural and social suicide. It makes no sense. It was a solution looking for a problem that wound up becoming one.

      This isn't racism, this is simple logic. Even in America, the Hispanics share religion and similar values. But the foreign Muslim and the European are so far separated that it boggles the mind. Sure, Muslims can reform. But that happens after a generation or two COMBINED with cultural isolation. Once you have hundreds of thousands or millions lumping together they DO NOT CHANGE. They don't adapt because there is no need to adapt when the host nation has adapted to the foreigners. How does it benefit the foreigner if their host nation is no different than their homeland? What did they gain? Freedom? Freedom to do what exactly? Maintain the status quo of their homelands?

      But for the life of me I cant figure out why. Why let in so many so quickly? What problem did Europe have that mass immigration was going to solve? What did they possibly think was going to happen when you allow millions of uneducated, alien peoples flood in and take over entire towns and cities? What is Europe's end game here? Seriously. I have yet to hear a good explanation.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @12:47AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @12:47AM (#527662)
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @01:05AM (10 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @01:05AM (#527669)

        You've been consuming crap media.

        The vast majority of people are not radical.
        That's the reason the word "radical" stands out.

        ...and if USA's population was to magically be converted to 100 percent recent immigrants, the crime rate would plummet.

        immigrants are actually less likely to commit crimes than the native-born population [google.com]

        cities with historically high immigration levels are especially likely to enjoy reduced crime rates as a result of their immigrant populations [google.com]

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @01:57AM (9 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @01:57AM (#527681)

          This has nothing to do with radical anything. This has to do with burdening the native peoples and social systems with a deluge of foreigners.

          Your first link is broken and points to nothing. Your second link pulls up multiple articles which are all published during February of this year (2017) which all reference the same study from 2015: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15377938.2016.1261057?af=R&journalCode=wecj20& [tandfonline.com]

          You're going to have to do better than that.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @02:37AM (8 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @02:37AM (#527694)

            Everyone in the Western Hemisphere is an immigrant or is descended from immigrants.
            White people didn't show up till a little over 500 years ago--at which point they started to oppress and murder the folks who had been here thousands of years.

            ...and the Iroquois, as an example, were more civilized than the Europeans who invaded and occupied their land.

            ...and a bunch of USAians are descended from criminals who were "transported" in order to get rid of them.

            Thinking that your shit don't stink makes you look like a fool.

            Your first link is broken

            WFM. 2 hits and more filtered as duped content.
            You're not in the USA?
            Court Rejects Arizona Sheriff's Unfounded Stereotype That Immigrants Are Criminals [thinkprogress.org]

            You're going to have to do better than that

            You first.
            Show me a legit study that proves different.

            -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @06:33PM (7 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @06:33PM (#528074)

              Take your "Wee Wuz Kangs" nonsense somewhere else. The idea that any civilization was more advanced than Europeans is ludicrous. China might have been more advanced in the past, but 500 years ago it was all European nations that were the most advanced by leaps.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @09:24PM (6 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @09:24PM (#528158)

                Europeans had superior weaponry but their social systems have been exploitive and predatory for millenia.

                Tribal life in North America, in particular, The Five Nations, was cooperative.
                The Iroquois, specifically, had a governmental system where the women made the decisions.
                Moms guiding the path a society takes makes for a better society.
                Guys tend to screw up things.

                -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @05:11AM (5 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @05:11AM (#528338)

                  Whoa, whoa there, buddy.

                  First off, tribal life in North America was sometimes cooperative. At other times it was red, ravening war complete with mutilations, annihilations and your general rape and pillage.

                  And as for women making decisions, I'll allow that I've known some very level-headed, far-sighted women. I've also known some batshit crazy women I wouldn't want anywhere near the levers of power. Or hell, near the levers of powertools. Especially chainsaws.

                  If you're going to make any kind of case for limited access to power, how about making it more based on some measure of merit over and above ovary count?

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @05:28AM (4 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @05:28AM (#528344)

                    I'll stick with months of pregnancy as the best metric.
                    Having a person emerge from your body tends to make you have a better appreciation for what happens to that person.

                    I've seen far too many muscle-headed testosterone-driven nincompoops to want to have them in charge.

                    powertools. Especially chainsaws

                    Pretty sure they didn't have those back then.

                    -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @02:35PM (2 children)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @02:35PM (#528458)

                      Commies are sexists. Who knew?

                      No, seriously, months of pregnancy? That's your metric for civic virtue? Sucks for the infertile. Mother Nature and Gewg have decided that you're not good enough for a vote!

                      ... it's hard to even parody, it's so silly.

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @07:31PM (1 child)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @07:31PM (#528672)

                        It worked and worked well for centuries.

                        After you've given birth, we'll talk.

                        sexists

                        After I've also heard you condemning patriarchies, we'll talk.
                        Until then, I'll consider you to be among the muscle-headed testosterone-driven nincompoops.

                        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

                        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23, @05:42AM

                          by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23, @05:42AM (#529859)

                          Feudalism worked, and worked well, for centuries, in multiple different societies across human history. Patriarchal feudalism, even.

                          That doesn't mean it's something to advocate.

                          Oh, and what the hell, since I'm here, I'll go on the record: sexism bad. Patriarchy bad. Still doesn't mean that matriarchy is worth anything more than patriarchy. Just because fire hurts doesn't mean ice doesn't as well.

                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday June 23, @04:00AM

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 23, @04:00AM (#529814) Journal

                      I'll stick with months of pregnancy as the best metric. Having a person emerge from your body tends to make you have a better appreciation for what happens to that person.

                      And the obvious rebuttal here is "Think of the children" [wikipedia.org]. There have been plenty of stupid things done for the cause of protecting kids (including in no particular order, racism, war on drug, book burnings, getting scared into groupthink, and being tough on victimless crimes. The main problem here is that while you might get a better appreciation for what happens to another person, society is more than you and your kid(s). That connection to your child is a massive conflict of interest.

                      And given the number of screwed up mothers out there, I don't see that having children helps that much. If you can learn from experience and aren't given to a variety of dodgy hysterias and delusions, then sure, you could be a good leader. But that would be the case whether or not you have children.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @03:46AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @03:46AM (#527713)

        You lost me when you forgot that Mexicans don't speak their evil Spanish instead of Murican.

        But maybe this is a positive. The alt-right cares about LGBT issues, and now they've come to appreciate the contributions of Hispanics to the USA. Are you going to suggest next that bilingual education in the USA is something we should do? I understand that's pretty much a given in Germany at least, trilingual actually iirc.

        Hmm... new European and American nationalism that embraces diversity while embracing our shared culture.

        I may yet go to the dark side. If only you were being sincere.

      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday June 19, @12:03PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 19, @12:03PM (#527861)

        Looking at establishment political values, I am WAY holier than thou if I go on twitter or otherwise shitpost in support of immigration as an individual.

        As an individual, I'm rewarded for my "defection" and the damage is microscopic. As a group, that belief system destroys entire countries and cultures.

      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday June 21, @04:25PM

        by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 21, @04:25PM (#529085) Homepage

        "Look at those starving children in the armpits of the world while you stuff your faces with haute cuisine! Why not share by letting them come flooding in so they can eat!"

        Yeah, they want other people to be able to eat. Those monsters!

        Otherwise I see no logical explanation for Europe's cultural and social suicide.

        Are you saying that Germany isn't German? Because I've been to Germany, and guess what, they're still culturally and socially German. It's easy enough to explain: There are about 81 million Germans right now. About 74 million of them are European, and 66 million of them are from "purely" German descent. If you add in another million, say, Syrians, you don't change that dynamic in any significant way. There are a lot of Turks in Germany and have been for decades, for instance, but just like various US immigrant groups what's happened is that they've been incorporated into the larger German society: For instance, it's easy to find good falafel in Germany in much the same way it's easy to find good dim sum in California.

        But the foreign Muslim and the European are so far separated that it boggles the mind.

        Except that they aren't separated at all: There have been substantial European Muslim populations for centuries, most prominently in the Balkans, Sicily, Spain, and the Caucusus. Also, if you count Russia, then the various Tatar groups are mostly Muslim, and some of those groups also moved into Poland, Lithuania, and Belarus.

        --
        If you act on pie in the sky, you're likely to get pie in the face.
    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Monday June 19, @06:25PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday June 19, @06:25PM (#528072) Journal

      That collapse started in 2000 and had already begun recovering by 2015. [thelocal.se]

      I have a hard time believing that the immigrant population in 2016 is responsible...

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Sunday June 18, @11:57PM (2 children)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Sunday June 18, @11:57PM (#527642) Journal

    The PBS News Hour often invites 2 or 3 experts on opposing sides of some issue on to the show to do a debate. And sometimes the debates are a farce because the issue is artificial or settled, and one side is clearly wrong. The "expert" they end up having to turn to for the weak side has nothing convincing to say, no good arguments to support their position. All they can do is try to fake it with propaganda, pull out all the stock moves that have become tiresomely familiar, such as the "doubt is our product" technique of claiming no one really knows for sure and the science isn't settled. Sometimes the other side can tangle them in their own contradictions and hypocrisies

    One of these debates some years ago was over copyright, and the 2 positions were even stronger copyright protection vs. the protection we have now is about the right amount, it just needs a little tweaking. There was no one to represent the idea that we need to reduce copyright. Pathetic.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @01:37AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @01:37AM (#527679)

      Surely you're not criticizing "The Liberal Media". Heh.

      Yeah, I weaned myself off of TeeVee "news" in the early years of the century.
      By the time of the NTSC-ATSC switchover, I was down to PBS, watching maybe 3 NewsHour segments per week--and most of those got shut off before they were finished.

      Sad.

      Wouldn't it be great if the corporate "underwriters" of "Public" Broadcasting would allow folks to appear of the likes of Ralph Nader (consumer rights), Sidney Wolfe MD (medicines), Noam Chomsky (peace), Amory Lovins (energy), Chris Hedges (militarism & democracy), etc?

      Ralph has a longer list. [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [counterpunch.org]

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Monday June 19, @03:44AM

        by kaszz (4211) on Monday June 19, @03:44AM (#527712) Journal

        It would be great. It's called Youtube channels etc.
        Broadcast TV is for dinosaurs by now.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by AthanasiusKircher on Monday June 19, @12:08AM (20 children)

    by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Monday June 19, @12:08AM (#527646) Journal

    I actually don't have a problem with PBS running something like this. Admittedly, I haven't seen it, but I assume it's something along the lines of previous documentaries talking about problems in public schools and alternatives that sometimes do better -- I'm thinking of documentaries like Waiting for "Superman" [wikipedia.org] or The Lottery [wikipedia.org], both of which came out in 2010. (The former got a lot of positive reviews from prominent critics.)

    But then PBS should go to the next step, and run a documentary on why charter schools don't always work and other possibilities for reforming public schools. And then they should invite Betsy DeVos and Diane Ravitch, as well as other experts -- to duke it out a la Bill Buckley vs. Gore Vidal. Have every segment from each documentary follow up with a response by the other side and some legitimate debate.

    As someone who taught both in public and private schools (though not a charter school), my sense of this debate is that there are problems to all approaches. Public schools often have a lot of entrenched bureaucracy that can get in the way of education, and they often haven't managed to respond well to inner-city crisis schools. Charter schools often let business decisions similarly get in the way of education, and important things get cut there to satisfy a bottom line. Pro-charter school pieces usually showcase some of the best success stories -- and there are lots of them -- while ignoring the disasters. (There are plenty of public school success stories too where they've turned things around in tough situations.) Overall, it seems average performance at each (looked at all public vs. all charter) is similar. But there are also significant problems of selection bias in trying to make comparisons: in many cases, students are lotteried into inner-city charter schools, and the parents and kids who get there made a deliberate choice to look for better education, whereas public schools have to take EVERYONE, regardless of whether the families give a damn about education or not. But that doesn't completely take away from many successful stories at charter schools either.

    On the other hand, there are significant other issues here -- special interests among businesses that would like to undertake more school contracts with more flexible terms than public schools often can offer. And then there are those who express interest in "private schools" merely for a religious agenda: they just want to get that darn evolution out of the curriculum and offer more religion classes!

    But overall I think these issues deserve a public debate. And PBS is perhaps a better forum than most. But it should be a debate, not just airing a one-sided documentary without context.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @12:31AM (19 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @12:31AM (#527660)

      Yet more cherry-picked data. [google.com]

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Monday June 19, @02:55AM (18 children)

        by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Monday June 19, @02:55AM (#527700) Journal

        I believe I said that: "Pro-charter school pieces usually showcase some of the best success stories -- and there are lots of them -- while ignoring the disasters."

        There were lots of problems with that film. What is real about that film is that a lot of Americans are looking at their local public school and are frustrated enough that they're willing to try ANYTHING else. That's a real issue. Charter schools may not be the answer (and I don't think there's good statistical evidence that they are "better" overall), but I think getting a discussion and debate going about what could be improved and what options there are to do so is critical.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @04:11AM (15 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @04:11AM (#527720)

          If that was true, they'd immediately improve the teacher:student ratio.
          It's the #1 most effective measure, proven time and again.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @06:12AM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @06:12AM (#527765)

            So what are you proposing? Force every six figure administrator to teach classes? Or halve their salaries to hire more teachers?

            Or what? Who's paying for this? Or will there be teaching conscription? How is this going to work?

            Numbers. Details. Specifics.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @07:18AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @07:18AM (#527791)

              Force every six figure administrator to teach classes?

              They aren't able to.

              I was just reading another of Ravitch's articles. [commondreams.org]
              A retired teacher with 30 years experience had to go back to work where she ran into the Teach For America bunch.

              I joined a staff of over 50 teachers in a K-6 school with mostly young teachers (less than 10 years experience), TFA teachers, administrators with NO teaching experience and no teacher’s license

              ...and those administrators are clearly overpaid.
              It's rare when I see a USAian biz/org with an organizational chart that isn't top-heavy with bodies and WRT salaries.

              Specifics

              There are examples around the globe of people succeeding at every single thing imaginable.
              "USAian Exceptionalism", however, keeps those ideas from ever being implemented here.

              Paying workers a living wage, not overpaying executives, and better teacher:student ratios are among those.

              -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @01:35PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @01:35PM (#527891)

                Does not answer the question.

                Where are you proposing to get the resources to do this? How will those people be paid? Simply blandly asserting that it should be done does not constitute a plan.

          • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Monday June 19, @02:51PM (11 children)

            by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Monday June 19, @02:51PM (#527929) Journal

            I was mostly referencing PARENTS and families who are looking at a local public school and are willing to "try anything else," e.g., some sort of lottery into another type of school, even if that option may not offer the best answer. Most parents don't have the ability to force their local public school to change teacher ratios. They may be able to go to a schoolboard meeting and fight against overpaid administrators or whatever.

            But the thing is -- while reducing administrators/administration salary may help somewhat, you're not going to magically make a better student-teacher ratio appear with the funds that exist. You do realize that there are significant teacher shortages in many parts of the U.S., particularly for science and math teachers? We're looking at least 60,000 classrooms [washingtonpost.com] that don't have a permanent teacher as-is and that number is getting worse. And you know where teachers don't want to teach if they have a choice? Inner city schools, schools with known problems, schools that have high at-risk student populations.

            That's how I ended up teaching high school for a couple years. I had finished my undergrad and was considering grad school options and thinking about other career options, and I heard a news report on the first day of school saying that 1800 teaching positions were unfilled on the first day of school in the state I was living in at that time. That's not 1800 "unqualified" teachers without certification or an appropriate degree or whatever -- that was 1800 classrooms that opened on the first day of the school year with a "substitute" teacher in the classroom. They simply couldn't find people, even people to put in under a so-called "emergency permit" where they weren't certified but were committed to become certified within a few years. I walked in and got hired in the first job I interviewed for -- even though I wasn't certified and had no classroom experience. I was teaching algebra II and geometry, and the previous teacher had quit in the first few weeks of the school year out of frustration that her algebra II students didn't know basic algebra I. Why? Because most of them had a substitute teacher the whole year, so they didn't learn anything. The teacher I replaced wanted to force the students to do remedial work or modify the curriculum, but she was told the students had officially "passed" algebra I, so they couldn't be required to do that. So she quit. And the district managed to find some "warm bodies" to actually fill their classrooms, but around the same time they hired me, they hired a psychology major teach "general math" to high school kids in the room next to me. My impression is those kids didn't learn any math the whole year -- but that was the best that school could find that year.

            Those are the realities. Educated people -- particularly with math and science backgrounds -- can find much more lucrative jobs. Why would they teach?

            So yeah, it's all well and good to say "Just improve student-teacher ratio!" How? Where are you getting these magical teachers? Oh, and something close to 50% of teachers leave the profession within 5 years. Attrition is horrible. Again, it's easy to say "Just get more teachers." And I don't disagree that's one of the most effective improvements you can often do. But where do you get them? How do you get them to stay? How do you pay for them?

            • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Monday June 19, @03:10PM (10 children)

              by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Monday June 19, @03:10PM (#527948) Journal

              And just to be clear, I had better career options at that time too. The ONLY reason I chose to do what I did was because I was shocked at the state of education and the numbers of unfilled positions, and I wanted to "do something" about it myself. So, I sacrificed a better salary for a few years and "gave back" to the public school system that had educated me. (Not literally my public school, but you get my point.)

              That's the kind of stuff the U.S. is relying on now for teachers -- people who voluntarily sacrifice a better career to become a teacher. Oh, and also people too stupid to find a better career. And believe me when I emphasize the "too stupid" thing. I admired a lot of my colleagues for their dedication as teachers, but I went through a certification program and had to sit through classes with these people. I know exactly the level and ability of those who were aspiring to teach high school math and science. There were some good, intelligent people who often were early retirees from tech jobs who wanted to "give back" -- they actually knew stuff. The younger folks were mostly those who barely made it through their science or math degree programs in college. I vividly remember in my science certification classes when we were required to do a "lesson" for the rest of the certification folks. I remember one person -- who had a science degree! -- attempt to do a lesson on basic vectors, and had no clue what he was talking about. I remember another who tried to teach how do some basic physics problem about velocity, acceleration, and distance/time stuff, and fumbled repeatedly along the way. (These were prepared lessons.)

              These are the people who are aspiring to be teachers. Many of them are dedicated to kids and will try their best. But even among the few math/science folks you can attract to teaching, simply putting more of those people who barely made it through a science degree in a classroom is unlikely to improve education.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @10:12PM (9 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @10:12PM (#528180)

                LeBron James makes $30.96M/yr to throw a ball through a hoop.

                There are also people who live lavish lives whose most difficult task in life to date is walking to the mailbox to collect a dividend check.

                ...meanwhile, the people charged with molding the next generation of citizens are paid peanuts when compared with someone with similar levels of education and training.

                USA truly has a screwed-up set of values.

                ...and this goes back to Reconstruction and Jim Crow, when education funding _could_ have been made a statewide or nationwide thing but was instead left as a -local- matter.
                This allowed for increasingly-effective segregation and a multi-generational lack of upward socioeconomic mobility, where the impoverished (Black) areas wouldn't have sufficient revenues to provide an education equal to what the more affluent (White) kids got^W get.

                -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @12:36AM (8 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @12:36AM (#528246)

                  "LeBron James makes $30.96M/yr to throw a ball through a hoop."

                  Not quite true. If he does it in a basement off the grid, nobody cares. He does it live on TV against determined opposition while crowds cheer. The man's an entertainer. I'm not a sportsball fan, but at least I recognise that millions of people nationwide have an interest in the big guy shooting hoops. If he can turn that into a career shooting hoops and getting rich? More power to him.

                  As for all the people collecting dividends, if they decided en masse to withdraw from all markets and live off their seed corn, we'd have a really big problem. Now, you may not like the notion of private property that enables them to do so ...

                  (Can I hear a "Property is theft, man!" from the crowd?)

                  ... but until you come up with a better scheme for resolving conflicts of interest with respect to access to assets, this is what we have.

                  And it has worked so well, on balance, compared to every single other system tried, that any claims to a better plan will have to withstand substantial scrutiny before getting widespread implementation.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @02:30AM (7 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @02:30AM (#528295)

                    The Panic of 1837 (which lasted until 1842)
                    The Long Depression 1873 - 1896
                    The Great Depression (with a 25 percent unemployment rate)
                    The Bush-Obama-Trump Depression 2007 - ???? (with a non-participation rate[1] of 23 percent that's not changing--not to mention poverty-wage McJobs replacing manufacturing jobs, which have been offshored)

                    [1] That used to be called the unemployment rate before Slick Willie queered the counting method.

                    ...and don't forget the recessions that have occurred every few years between the giant failures.

                    Your definition of "has worked so well" is vastly different than mine.

                    -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @05:21AM (6 children)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @05:21AM (#528342)

                      If you're going to quote, quote the relevant section.

                      "And it has worked so well, on balance, compared to every single other system tried..."

                      Go on. Show me any other approach to asset access conflict management that has outperformed the concept of ownership - private ownership, at that - in terms of fostering societal advancement and standards of living. Or, hell, even matched it.

                      Best candidate I've been able to find from history in terms of creating wealth (and it wasn't even close) is feudalism under certain conditions. But I await your carefully-researched answer. And no, cooperatives that base their regime on private ownership of assets like Mondragon are part of the system you despise in that sense, not a contraindication.

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @05:53AM (5 children)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @05:53AM (#528348)

                        You could say the same thing about feudal economies and the slave economies which they replaced.
                        Those are anachronisms, as is Capitalism, which was the next thing tried.

                        Now that Capitalism has demonstrated what an unstable, exploitive, dead-end-for-most system it is, the next logical step is an egalitarian system without exploitation.
                        The term "Socialism" has a nice ring to it.

                        Show me

                        Mondragon and the thousands of (Socialist) worker-owned cooperatives across the planet are doing just fine.
                        Collective ownership of the means of production by the workers.
                        Decisions made democratically: One worker==One vote.
                        (Not Oligarchy.)

                        You seem to want to put words in my mouth advocating top-down State Capitalism.
                        I have said numerous times before that I am opposed to that.

                        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

                        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @02:39PM (4 children)

                          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @02:39PM (#528459)

                          Cooperatives depend upon conflict resolution with respect to access to assets same as anyone else. If they're doing it within the framework of private ownership, regardless of cooperative figleaves, it's not an argument against private ownership.

                          In fact, technically, it's an argument for private ownership because of the way that you can use it to emulate other structures.

                          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @07:37PM (3 children)

                            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, @07:37PM (#528676)

                            When you have presented an example of a co-op voting to send their jobs overseas, we'll have something to talk about.

                            -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

                            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, @02:21PM (2 children)

                              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, @02:21PM (#529505)

                              So you're OK with private ownership as long as it supports nice, virtuous cooperatives.

                              Fair enough.

                              This also allows for the accumulation of capital. In fact, people working for cooperatives can accumulate their pay, invest it in side jobs or their family's activities or whatever, and potentially end up filthy, stinking rich capitalist pigs.

                              In fact, those same capitalist exploitation skeksis can even use them to found other cooperatives. For shame!

                              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, @07:04PM (1 child)

                                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, @07:04PM (#529620)

                                The system that I advocate only values labor.
                                Someone sitting on his ass, waiting for a dividend check plays no part in it.

                                In a Socialist system, (Group) Entrepreneurship by The Workers has value.
                                Idle Capitalists who attempt to profit via exploiting the labor of others are unnecessary.
                                There are tons of examples globally.

                                Your attempt to draw parallels between bottom-up collective ownership and top-down concentrated wealth and power are an old trick of The Oligarchs.
                                That doesn't hold water.
                                The 2 aren't anything alike on any real level.
                                Unless a system empowers The Workers and adds stability to the community, it's still the same old exploitive thing.

                                -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

                                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23, @05:33AM

                                  by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23, @05:33AM (#529853)

                                  Good try at avoiding the point.

                                  Conflict of interest with respect to access to assets. Decided how? Cooperatives such as Mondragon use the system of private ownership. You have yet to propose another, unless "The system that I advocate only values labor." means something that is as yet unclear.

                                  Private ownership allows for the creation of cooperatives. Case in point: your favourite Mondragon.

                                  And, quite frankly, if only valuing labour means that a bunch of people can suddenly decide that they don't like what I do, and remove all access to assets from me, well, I've lived in that society before. It sucked immense dick. I left it.

                                  Anyway, the good news is that the bulk of people in the world don't really seem to agree with you, so I guess you'll have to keep grabbing at that golden apple.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @05:53AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @05:53AM (#527754)

          A lot of parents are NOT doing a good job and are looking to blame everybody else. It may not be their fault because both parents work and then come home and do not want to spend as much of their time actually parenting. They do not give classes on parenting... they should have public schools offer free night classes on parenting! (but few parents would go... those likely going would be doing fine already.) I know teachers and I lived in this culture. I've watched the breakdown.

          Culture - the whole thing is messed up. No creativity or critical thinking skills exist in most children today. It used to be different. sooner or later more science will back up the reality that boredom fosters creativity and imagination - you can't directly teach those (more like situational exposure) and they are valuable... generations of studies show that kind of thinking boosts results in all other subjects. It is the only reason art and music remained all this time... but they are gutting and transforming those to take away the benefits so they will be "proven" worthless as well as simply lose funding for "important" topics (which are on the standard tests.)

          Attention span and memorizing-- almost dead. goldfish are beating the kids (a specific test but still makes a great point.)

          Teachers are not respected. Including great ones. It's been corporate in many ways for a long time-- old teachers who are miracle workers (I knew one who was nationally recognized) are OLD and expensive so their lives are made a living hell so they retire... to save money. Like many corporations do (cheaper to make you quit) and at least some union protections keep them from just be fired due to age like the dozens of other techniques HR can use in the private sector. Oh, I have a relative who ran a charter without union teachers and they DID fire people based on money. They too care only about standard TESTS. Teachers who change lives even save lives-- do not count towards test scores. Hell, if the kid isn't on a college bound path that harms the high school and they will screw over those kids simply because they produce harmful stats... when those kids go on to make more money at stable ("uneducated") jobs that do not get out sourced. Meanwhile we do not have high demand for STEM.... go read IEEE's report on it. Same with coders... it's BS.

          PBS is being attached on multiple fronts. stuff like this happens too often and it also cuts down on support and credibility for PBS at the same time their funding is being attacked as well. Think tanks do nothing but plan such things. Hell, I know their education plans because I have an insider who told me it. The GOP will bash schools while giving them money for political points and promote reforms that weaken them--- because public education is too popular they have to wreck it to replace it. That is their plan. Distract and prevent real reforms and promote dysfunction at every turn-- while "supporting" it with money (and every bad string that can be attached.)

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @06:39AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @06:39AM (#527774)

            I have an alternative interpretation of "The GOP will bash schools while giving them money for political points and promote reforms that weaken them--- because public education is too popular they have to wreck it to replace it."

            You see, this is kind of complex, but basically the parties are coalitions. The GOP is made up of a huge number of groups, including evangelicals (a fading, but not spent, force), libertarians (who mostly hate the evangelicals, actually), Rockefeller republicans, Sagebrush republicans and more.

            Not all of these are opposed to public schools. In fact, most of them are not. They probably don't agree with you about what public schools should look like (for instance, evangelicals are usually fine with upliftment programmes, but want to see corporal punishment back) but that doesn't mean that they want to destroy anything.

            Just because there is a forest doesn't mean that individual trees don't deserve the occasional glance.

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