Tag Archives: education

It’s Academic

25 Feb

In the history of the world there have been many great and prosperous civilizations and they have all failed. And usually at the time of the failing some few folks had all of the money and most other folks had none. They were either Kings or Queens or Popes or Emperors or Czars or Caesars or Pharaohs or whatever and they always invoked the divine right of the gods as the reason for concentrating all of that wealth in the hands of one man or one small circle of family and friends. Eventually the disenfranchised, poor populace grows disinterested and disaffected and the empire succumbs to a force of outsiders who invade and plunder. While the wealthy few run away or hide or are murdered or all 3! Then the new conquerors share in the plunder and even rejoice while sharing, and then the cycle begins anew as the new leaders emerge and invariably begin indulging in their own grandeur until…

Fortunately we no longer have empires such as those in the world today but we still have world leaders who rule with concentrated power and wealth. In the United States however, our president is not among the wealthiest men in the nation and we have no all powerful despot who rules with an iron hand under the divine rights of either religion or lineage but we still have concentrated wealth in the hands of a few and those few are now the business and corporate leaders of the world. Where we once had popes and kings we now have CEOs and corporations (The latter which ironically enough have recently been declared to be persons by our Supreme Court composed of actually real people!) and they have quite a large amount of wealth at their disposal which is growing while the wealth of the common population is shrinking. This is the historical recipe for national disaster. No matter how vast and distant the empire may reach, when the interior rots the empire always withers and dies.

Our public schools represent that interior. They are the nucleus which fuels the fire of freedom and free enterprise. We have built our greatness from the inside out and we look to replenish our strengths and our greatness through the rebirth and reaffirmation of our ideals in our children. In our best of times, We have spread our influence through the free trade and free movement of our citizens and by setting an example of economic wealth that can be earned and shared and experienced by all and not concentrated within a few.

Our public schools must be fortified and not abandoned. They must be embraced and enhanced and empowered in terms of anticipating and responding to technological, social, political, economic, and competitive change. Healthy cultures must always be willing to rethink their most basic assumptions about themselves in order to improve and grow and repair their societies and we must be willing to accept that what our schools need now more than ever is not a cut in spending but rather a renewed effort to spend more on the future and the future generations who will lead us.

Today’s students are willing to work hard but what makes us think that they are going to be willing to work hard for low wages that would suffice a life in China or India or some other-where where they don’t live? America’s corporate leaders and great men of wealth need to stop hoarding and start spreading the wealth. They can begin by first embracing the public schools of this country with largess and generosity and then by raising wages across the middle and poorer classes of society so that the term “working poor” is eradicated from our vocabulary.

Today’s students of the 21st century in America are beginning to notice that it is getting harder and harder to bring the American dream, a dream of studying hard then working hard, and then achieving affluence, into focus and for most of our poorest students that dream is nothing more than a taunting apparition of their hopelessness: a happy meal that they will never be able to afford

Here’s What’s Wrong with College

16 Jan

Here’s  what’s wrong with college…

Pro football coach Jim Harbaugh, was paid 5 million dollars to be the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers until he was fired at the end of this season. He worked for a billion dollar ball club, part of a mufti-billiondollar non-profit network of 32 football teams in America. He, His coaches and players performed in giant stadiums before millions of adoring fans, who paid top dollar to see them play, and they all earned hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars each year because after all this is pro football in the United States in the year 2015. And that is what the market will bear in a democratically free country operating within a capitalist economy.

Now Jim Harbaugh works as the head coach for the University of Michigan football team. He is once again going to be paid 5 million dollars per year to do his work alongside coaches who will also be very well compensated. They will do their coaching in giant stadiums and in front of millions of adoring fans. Their university is part of an incredibly large organization that is worth billions of dollars and they all will profit from money that comes from licensing fees, ticket sales, network television contracts, merchandising, video game sales and monies directly related to the players personalities and likenesses…just like in the pros where he used to work.

Except, unlike the professional SF football players, none of the University of Michigan players will be paid anything! And when Mr. Harbaugh and his coaches look up into the stands at their adoring new fan base, each and every one of the students sitting up in those stands will owe on average 29,000 dollars in student loans to the University of Michigan, (besides having paid for their tickets) part of over 1 trillion dollars owed in total U.S. student loan college debt.

College football is almost exactly the same product with almost exactly the same access to profit that professional football enjoys So who gets the money that would otherwise make EVERYONE in the professional football arena rich? (including the fans who have to be pretty well off to afford the ticket prices) And why does college tuition keep getting more and more expensive every year for college students… at a rate 4 times that of inflation?!

Anyone? …(No offense to coach Harbaugh. I know he’s just doing his job)

Just When You Thought We Couldn’t Get Any Dumber…or…Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

21 Nov

In just one year, the percentage of Americans who don’t believe in climate change has actually gone up 7%! Now almost 1 in 4 Americans thinks that climate change is just a big hoax… even though over 97% of all scientists who have written about global warming and its causes agree that its human caused.  And The other 3% don’t deny it, they simply haven’t stated their position as to its cause one way or the other.

So 23% of Americans (laymen) still don’t believe in climate change despite what facts and statements scientists (the experts) show and tell them… But if you’ve ever been a teacher you know that this is nothing new and why testing is a big waste of time. If all of these scientists, who completely agree on the facts, were teachers in today’s public schools, they would be facing pay cuts and possible unemployment because their students (in this case 23% of the public) just don’t listen to them and/or believe in what they have to say…no matter how hard they try…and as a result wouldn’t be able to pass a test on the facts…leaving a passing rate of 77% …or in public school terminology…total failure!

So do we need better trained scientists? Higher science standards? Free market Charter science academies? More rigor in our de ri·gueur?… In order to get more people to learn and accept the truth? Research (the polls) have shown that if you’re one of the 23% who does not believe in global warming then you’re not very likely to change your mind no matter what evidence you are confronted with, or how many times you are polled…It still gets cold in the winter and hot in the summer and that’s about all of the science and data on climate change you need to know.

Hey teachers! Does this ring any bells?

A 2012 poll from the Pew Research Center found that even though 97% of all scientists agree that humans are causing the spike in global warming, less than half of all Americans thought scientists agreed so completely. And why do So many Americans think that the scientists are still split about what’s causing all of this warming?

Well, The media has assisted in this public misconception, because most of their climate stories are always “balanced” with a “skeptic” perspective making those few scientists who might be in disagreement seem like half! So by trying to balance their stories by showing both sides of the debate (even though there is really only one side and no debate at all) the media has actually created a completely unbalanced perception of reality. As a result, people believe scientists are still split about what’s causing global warming.

So why can’t people learn? Duh…it’s the television! That damn stupid TV!

But then again, any teacher (let alone scientist) could have told you that!

Moral of the story? Take a day when you can and just Call in sick and go to the beach, cause this old world is still gonna blow a gasket…whether you or those other 23% believe in the facts or not…(which of course you won’t)

And that’s the fact Jack!

Are You Still Alive?

20 Nov

Well, you shouldn’t be…at least according to Fox news. We should all be either dead or infected with the Ebola virus, and on death’s door by now. But Fox News is staying on top of the story…There is even an Ebola Outbreak map (http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014-ebola-outbreak-map) where you can go to follow the death and destruction as it happens live! (or dead… depending on your perspective) I kid you not.

So far the score is Africa 14,475: The United States 5….at least last time I checked.

You can also go here (http://www.foxnews.com/live-coverage/tracking-ebola)…if you want to actually follow the plague live, in color and up to the minute… and see how you and your friends… and Fox are doing.

Fox is also staying on top of the possibility of whether terrorists could use Ebola to deliberately infect and wreak psychological havoc on our unsuspecting population. After all…”all you need is a bag of vomit.”

And now Fox’s medical experts want to know why the President and his Ebola czar aren’t saying more about this epidemic (Is it another conspiracy?)…and why aren’t we doing more to help Africa??? And our volunteers who are there? Is that the same Africa that Fox News wanted quarantined and wanted volunteers who went in there…to stay there?

Remember when shouting “Fire” in a crowded theater was against the law…and NOT freedom of speech?

In the meantime, if you want to remain reasonably healthy in America this Fall, go get a Flu shot…and go for a walk instead of watching TV…just don’t go walking in Missouri if you are a brown person…

Happiness IS a warm gun

21 Oct

Well, the gun advocates were right! If you allow people to have more guns and more freedom to use them in public places, the world will become a safer place.

Case in point: Prominent feminist video game critic Anita Sarkeesian, was planning on appearing at a speaking engagement at Utah State University last Wednesday to discuss the portrayal of women in video games, but the University received an anonymous Email that threatened “The deadliest school shooting in American History” if her appearance and speech were not canceled.

The Email even went on to describe the nature of the attack and stated:

“If you do not cancel her talk, a Montreal Massacre style attack will be carried out against the attendees, as well as students and staff at the nearby Women’s Center. I have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs.”

Ms. Sarkeesian however had decided to go ahead with her presentation because she always receives similar threats whenever she plans a speaking engagement… that is until she was informed by Utah University’s campus security that Utah’s concealed carry laws meant it would be possible for guns to be present at the University’s speaking event.

Utah has an Open Carry law and permits the concealed carry of loaded weapons with a permit and in Utah a person may carry firearms into banks, bars, public universities, and state parks… and with a permit, a person may also carry those weapons into public schools…but Utah does not require concealed carry permit holders to notify police officers of their permit or possession of firearms…even when stopped by police officers.

So how would anyone know if there were a person or persons in the audience with concealed weapons who might be potential mass murders as opposed to law abiding avengers in waiting? In light of that simple dilemma, Ms. Sarkeesian decided not to try and find out and so she canceled her speaking engagement and everyone stayed home…where they were safe and at least knew who had the guns.

Sounds like a perfect solution wouldn’t you say?

What’s In a Name?

9 Sep

The High School in which I was a teacher for 31 years always offered a course in the study of The Holocaust. The town in which the high school was located had a long and rich history that included many Jewish residents and visitors and so this particular course touched upon a subject that was both near and dear to the hearts of those who lived and worked and taught within the town.

But of course the importance of teaching such a course was to instruct all of the students and residents of the town that such a horrible atrocity could never be forgotten and that this monstrous injustice could occur somewhere else and at some other time to any group of people and anywhere within our world where people did not remain vigilant or were willing to forget or disbelieve that humans could ever treat other humans with such cold cruelty.

And of course the corner stone of the course, if you will, was always the phrase: “Never forget”. We must never forget what happened in the Germany of WWII lest an atrocity of similar horror happen again.

And so over the years the course was taught, and as fate would have it, over the years our classes, students and public school community gradually changed complexion until one day I was listening in when a young African American student, looking a bit bored with the lecture, raised his hand and said, “Who cares about this. What about slavery?” as many of the other students of color began to mutter their agreement.

And I will never forget what the teacher’s response was…and this is going to sound like I’m making it up although I swear to you, on my honor, that I am not…

The teacher’s response was: “Son, that was a long time ago. You’re going to have to forget about that and move on with your life or you’ll end up going nowhere.”

And that is why The Washington Redskins need to change their name! And Daniel Snyder, the Washington team’s owner, should know better…especially than to say to USA Today and the world…”We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”

Because Never is a word you use…when you forget.

 

Apocalyptic Apptitude

8 Aug

 

Today I received this Email message from a Republican website.

Dear Patriot,

There is a huge, hushed-up conspiracy that will wipe out 281 Million Americans in the next 6 months.The media has been forbidden to report anything about it. But at this very moment, the final part of this sinister agenda is being carried out…

…and this will bring God’s Judgement onto America.

But for 37 dollars you can buy the book that will explain how to survive it! And of course this disaster is going to happen because of President Obama and his sinister administration…

But seriously, why would you buy this man’s book or believe that the information in his book could help you survive over 90% of America’s population being wiped out! And why is he so avidly trying to sell books to raise money for a future where money will be useless? Hmmmmmmmm? NOT TO MENTION: 90% of America’s population is going to be wiped out!!! With only Republicans like you left???

It just begs the question: Who will do the cleanup???…Doesn’t it?

I used to love watching Jimmy Swaggart and Tammy Fay and Jim Bakker raise all of that money by trying to help other folks get into heaven. You’d send them all of your hard earned money to help ensure your future in paradise and they’d spend all of that same money on earthly desires like cheap whores, mascara and jewelry…and hardly anyone ever saw the irony.

This is where I like to think that a good education comes in handy. Read! Think! Question! Observe! Think critically!

And even if you consider yourself to be more of a spiritual person rather than an erudite one, and would rather ask yourself what Jesus would do, then by all means be my guest…Jesus may sacrifice himself to save your immortal soul but he would never, never, ever …ask you for money for a book on how he was going to do it.

Now would he?

 

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