Posts Tagged ‘education’

Another Generation Of God Fearing Morons

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

7,000 home schooled kids in Virginia, and their parents don’t have to uphold any educational standard whatsoever.

Meanwhile, teachers in Chicago, like teachers everywhere, are being demonized in an effort to destroy what’s left of unions.

None of these stupidities are actually about trying to educate our kids.

If we were serious about that, we’d immediately start a jobs program for their parents, make the social safety net for the poor much larger, have a year-round school year, and pay teachers the same salaries (or higher) that we pay policemen, firemen, and nurses.

Gorilla says: “Is it any wonder that idiots like McDonnell and Emanuel keep getting elected?”


Stenography: NY Times Edition

Friday, March 11th, 2011

The paper of record twists and turns to avoid telling the truth:

No, Know Nothings don’t actually care about the deficit, and nobody else does either!

No, Know Nothings don’t support public education!

No, Know Nothings don’t have any difficulty at all with cutting off assistance to children, minorities, women, or anyone else who is not wealthy, white, male, and old.

Gorilla says: “We need serious journalism, not time wasting stenography!”


Keepin’ ‘Em Stupid in Texas

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Got $5 billion for some schoolkids in Texas? They need the money desperately!!!

The easiest way to stop this kind of idiocy is to raise taxes, but Texas is full of Know Nothings who would rather destroy their state’s future generations than pay for them!!!

Gorilla says: “To Perry, it’s human: you kids are screwed!!!”


Losing The Future

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

After a SOTU that was entirely devoid of anything meaningful for today’s unemployed and foreclosed, it now appears that young Americans don’t have sufficient grasp of science to “outcompete”.

The vast majority of young Americans lack basic proficiency in science. For those of a non-scientific bent, the same could be said of their skills at reading, writing, and comprehension.

Gorilla says: “A nation of dunces does not produce Einsteins!”


If You Want Better Education…

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Then raise taxes and pay for it!

Many Americans agree that our educational system is terrible.

95% of education is paid for by local taxes, and those communities with the most desirable homes, the highest incomes, and therefore the highest revenue base generally have the best schools.

Most of the “reform” ideas on offer, including those advanced by the Know Nothing Governor of New Jersey, don’t address the money question at all.

Schemes like charter schools and voucher programs, which do not in fact produce better educational outcomes, are little more than thinly disguised mechanisms for the rich to opt out of paying for public schools.

Of course, we’d all like better teachers (so pay teachers more money than bankers and hold them more accountable) and we’d like to give every child an opportunity to get a good education (so provide each child’s parents with better employment opportunities and a stronger social safety net).

But that’s not possible when Americans currently are paying the lowest level of taxes since 1950!

Gorilla says: “What Americans don’t care about is paying for anything, and they care about that far more than they do about any other issue!”


Don’t Forget

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

When discussing the Tea Party’s goals, you can’t separate their desires from their racism.

Rolling back education policies to ensure the poor remain poor and segregated is why all their equality of opportunity rhetoric is so meaningless.

Poverty is not something that can be waved away or isolated by those fortunate enough to have been born to the right parents at the right income level at the right time.

Gorilla says: “Only when we understand that all of life’s a crapshoot will we get past the demonization of the poor by those who should know better!”


Average Is As Average Does

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

How to explain the rise of the far right Know Nothings, the ones who are funded by America’s plutocrats?

Or the ongoing desire of our President to screw his own supporters with a deal that does nothing about unemployment and provides said plutocrats with even more lucre?

Look no further than the NY Times chart on international educational levels:

As a nation, we are breathtakingly average when it comes to our attainments: lousy in math and science, can just about read and write!

Gorilla says: “Exceptionalism means never having to say you’re pig ignorant!”


Flunking The Test

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

A good article in the Times about what happens when educators, public officials, and parents start fiddling with basic educational standards.

It seems that once meaningful standards are in place, reality sets in: the US educational system, particularly the portions that serve poor and minority children, is truly abysmal:

“At the main campus of the Harlem Promise Academy, one of the city’s top-ranked charter schools, proficiency in third-grade math dropped from 100 percent to 56 percent.

“There are two reactions those of us in this business can have,” said Geoffrey Canada, the chief executive of the Harlem Children’s Zone, which operates the school. “One is to complain, and it’s human nature to do that. The other is to say we need to do something dramatically more intensive and powerful to prepare our kids. We are going to look at the mirror and say we have got to do better.”

Of course, when education is considered a “business” by “chief executives”, guess whose interests come first?

In fact, charter schools as a group perform no better than traditional public schools, but somebody’s making a buck on them. When the pass rate was 100%, the same “educators” were patting themselves on the back!

Education in the United States is, and has always been, a function of local funding sources: areas with the wealthiest parents invariably have the best schools, the best teachers, and the best educated students.

But we as a nation don’t seriously address poverty, or unemployment, or income inequality, or the lack of parenting skills, or fire teachers/principals (except in deep recessions), or raise taxes to provide a baseline of funding on which educational achievement for all can be built.

Gorilla thinks education policy can be summed up more or less like this: “First we looked the other way, now we look the other way!”


Education Is So Important…

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

America should lay off hundreds of thousands of teachers, because doing nothing is the cause of economic growth!!!

No, that’s not what the President said, but that is his current education policy.

One wonders when all the bullshit rhetoric on (insert subject here, recently these might include AIDS, education, unemployment) will end, particularly that rhetoric which is unaccompanied by anything like the resources necessary to make the vision thing work.

Gorilla says: “Test scores don’t rise when there’s nobody teaching!”


News Flash: Vouchers Don’t Work

Monday, April 12th, 2010

The studies are in, and the results are clear: voucher programs for students don’t achieve any better results than students get in traditional public schools.

Vouchers don’t work in Milwaukee, famous for its 20 year failed experiment in vouchering, and they don’t work in DC, home to possibly the worst public school system in the country.

And this has been clear from day one, despite the efforts of free-marketeers and right-wing ideologues to suggest that making education profitable makes education better.

Voucher programs enable rich people to avoid paying higher taxes for public schools, while pretending to care about the poor.

Parents love the idea of choice, and those who have money can choose to live where better public schools (and wealthier people) live.

Poor people don’t have that choice, and they don’t do any better when sent miles away to a school predominately populated with rich kids.

Public schools alone can do very little about poverty, missing parents, and the lack of meaningful career opportunities in poor neighborhoods.

Students in voucher programs don’t seem to see any difference between public schools and voucher schools.

The problems with American public education are many: poor teachers, lack of funding for schools with poor students, too much dependence on local property taxes to fund education, inadequate national academic standards, a school year that’s much too short, etc. etc. etc.

None of these problems will be solved by allowing a significant number of parents to stop participating in the public school system, or by pretending that making education work for poorer students requires less money.

Vouchers, charter schools and all the rest are nothing more and nothing less than an attempt by our society to escape responsibility for the proper funding and higher standards that are necessary to revive American’s very low educational standing.

Gorilla says: “Spare the rod and fund the child!”