Education

Ben Carson, U.S. Secretary Of Education?

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*SNORE* ZZZzzzZZZzzz…”Oh shit, is this mic still on?”

Can you say that with a straight face? I couldn’t even type out that headline without laughing. Unfortunately, this isn’t a laughing matter, although I will try to get as much tasteless humor from it as possible.

Donald Trump, current GOP frontrunner, has apparently returned Ben Carson’s endorsement in kind, by stating that Carson would help him with “education issues”. What issues? Learning to talk above a 4th grade level? Oh wait…Trump means OUR education issues. Well, considering the majority of Americans think he’s qualified to be the commander in chief of our country, I would be inclined to agree.

Ben Carson, however, has some issues of his own:

-He believes in the theory of creationism, as opposed to evolution. Evolution is generally the agreed upon hypothesis in any learning environment outside of Trump University and “Sunday school”.

-Speaking of schools, Carson said that “The best education is the education that is closest to home, and I’ve found that for instance home-schoolers do the best, private schoolers next best, charter schoolers next best, and public schoolers worst.” On what metrics is Carson basing this on? The fact that HE went to public school?

-Carson wrote in his book “America The Beautiful” that Americans were better educated in the 1830’s than they are now. If Carson is basing this statement on Facebook news comments, then yes I agree. Unfortunately, if he’s basing this statement on literacy, and primary, secondary, and higher education enrollment and graduation statistics, then it’s not true.

One thing Carson IS good at: surgical procedures. If the whole Trump trainwreck actually derails sometime this year, maybe Carson can develop an exploratory procedure which would involve removing Trump’s head from his ass.

 

Mitch Albom writes yet another insufferable article for the Detroit Free Press

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Mitch Albom, of “Tuesdays With Morrie” fame and other pseudo-Christian lowest denomination schlock, wrote an article for the Detroit Free Press sticking up for Leigh Arthur, a South Carolina high school teacher who left naked pictures of herself on her cell phone. One of her students got ahold of her phone when she left it unattended on top of her desk in her classroom, and the student accessed the pictures and sent them to his classmates.

Incredibly, Albom thinks the teacher is completely faultless. Here are the facts of the story:

-Arthur was a computer programming teacher, which makes her inability to password-protect her cell phone even more astounding.

-Arthur had let her students on her cellphone previously. For what reason is still unclear, but I’m guessing it wasn’t anything school related.

-Arthur left the phone on top of her desk when she left the classroom.

-Arthur admits that the pictures were easily accessible on her phone. She was quoted as saying “(the student) had to hit my apps button, and then open my gallery”, as if this was an incredibly devious and intricate operation.

Albom made a terrible analogy, basically saying that if the phone were a car, the student would be charged with joyriding even if the student had permission to drive the car previously. Well, if that car was left in front of the student while running with the keys in the ignition, that would be considered a mitigating factor in any court system.

It just astounds me that someone such as Albom, who shoves his faith down Metro Detroit’s collective throats, would stick up for a teacher who left nude pictures of herself in an easily accessible area. What if he had a student in Arthur’s classroom? Would he be OK with his child being exposed to his teacher’s naked pictures? Instead of blaming this generation’s children, he should take a hard look in the mirror (but not too hard, as his toupee might fall off). Kids have been going through teachers’ desks as long as there have been schools, and this situation is no different than if Arthur had left a photo album with nude pictures on top of her desk. The fact that she left it on top of her desk, as opposed to putting it inside of her desk (or, actually taking the phone with her!) makes her even more at fault. If this teacher would have been male, and it would have been a female student that found the pictures, I guarantee that Albom wouldn’t have stuck up for the teacher. No matter the gender, what the teacher did was inexcusable.

The kid should obviously be punished, but to excuse Arthur’s actions is hypocritical and morally reprehensible. She violated any reasonable teacher’s contract by bringing in an unlocked and unattended cell phone with nude pictures of herself, and that irresponsibility should be punished accordingly.

Kid gets kicked out of school for clock, gets invited to Public Enemy concert

Ahmed Mohammed, the precocious teenager who built a clock from scratch took apart a digital clock, mounted the exposed electronics to a briefcase, and ran around showing off his brand new “invention”, got temporarily kicked out of school on suspicions of having built a bomb. Of course, the liberal vulture victims came out in full force, crying about racism (Mohammed is of Middle Eastern descent), without asking themselves why a kid would run around school showing off this contraption to begin with. I’m no bomb or electronics expert, and even I can acknowledge the similarities of looks between capacitors and blasting caps, and power sources and plastic explosives.

Another kid was actually kicked out of school recently for wearing a clock. This wasn’t a digital clock, but a large analog dial clock such as the one Flavor Flav (Public Enemy and countless reality shows) popularized in the late 1980’s. Jeremy Smith, the student, released this statement:

“So I walked into school wearing this clock, and my throwback Public Enemy shirt and Zubaz pants. Of course, the security guard noticed me and sent me to the principal’s office, where I was then told I was to remain expelled indefinitely due to my school’s No Tolerance policy.”

But this story does have a happy ending: Flavor Flav heard about this travesty, and invited the boy and his friends to a Public Enemy concert. Flav released a statement of his own: (more…)

U.S. SCHOOL DISTRICTS ARE FINALLY CATCHING UP TO CHINA

Why is this textbook titled “The Americans”, when all of the people on the cover of this book are from the U.S.? America constitutes TWO continents. No wonder our kids are getting terrible educations…

 

Our school districts have been under fire for many years now, namely because we are failing at teaching our kids, especially when compared to other countries. The STEM model (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) has been in vogue lately, to try to catch our students up to the students in countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea, whose students have traditionally been strong in the STEM disciplines. In the United States, where most high school students know more about Michael Moore than they do about Moore’s Law , this is certainly a lofty goal.

Now, we have already implemented one of the key methods of Chinese education: learning by rote repetition. Despite this being a method of improving memory more than actual comprehension (and which has been increasingly discounted by many prominent educators because it doesn’t allow for critical thinking skills), this method has been used by school districts who are bound to increasingly inflexible curriculums that are reliant on state and federal testing in order to receive state and federal funding.

But…a school district in Colorado has now figured out the OTHER great Chinese method: teach our naive kids exactly what WE feel they need to know. In true communist (or fascist) fashion, the Jefferson County school district in Colorado is now proposing the educational emphasis on the “good” parts of U.S. history, while de-emphasizing all the inconvienient truths that have helped to shape our nation.

Julie Williams, a recently elected Jefferson County school board member, proposed the district’s review of history, stating that she hoped for a greater emphasis on the “positive aspects” of the country, including patriotism, respect for authority and a free-market economy. She also asked that teachers avoid material that would encourage “civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.”

If this sounds good to you, keep in mind that countries like China already do this. In fact, they dedicate a considerable amount of time in worshipping studying the Communist ideal, while completely ignoring such things as the Tiananmen Square massacre and the continued persecution of Tibet.

The U.S. was built on civil disobedience. If it wasn’t for civil disobedience, we would still potentially have no rights for our working class, for voters, for minorities, for women, and other protections that we now take for granted. Introducing curriculum like this would create a slippery slope that is alternately ridiculous and frightening. What would be next for Jefferson County? Refusing to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day (a federal holiday), because he was known for civil disobedience?

Luckily, the student body of the Jefferson County school district (and, apparently, a lot of the staff) have protested this, even skipping school in order to protest. The younger generation gets marginalized and bad-mouthed so much nowadays, but let’s face it: with the cost of higher education skyrocketing as well as the overall cost of living, you can’t blame them for being jaded and disenfranchised. Our future generation simply will not have the same opportunities that the older generation had, due to the level of greed of the major corporations and Wall Street, and the baby boomer generation who took advantage of all the opportunities that they were given without giving the same opportunities to their children and grandchildren. Sure, college is still an option, except it costs over 700% more to go to college than it did in the 1980’s. And there are no guaranteed jobs once you do get that degree, but there will be probably be a massive amount of student loan debt.

So why make our educational system worse than it already is? Our kids don’t need clueless and self-serving school boards butting in with their own ideological curriculums, we don’t need prayer in school (remember the First Amendment and the Supreme Court’s various rulings on the separation of church and state? I remember being taught it!), and we don’t need bloated school administrations who can’t even do their own jobs without having to hire outside consultants to hold their collective hands.

And we sure as hell don’t need to be like China. Our kids are unique, and this nation of ours was built on a combination of a determined working class, and an enlightened creative class that introduced many innovations. We also have had many bad chapters in our history (the way we treated/still treat the Native Americans; MKULTRA and other federally sanctioned human experimentation; the history of slavery and indentured servitude of Africans, Asians, and European immigrants; etc.) and it is just as important, if not more so, that our children learn about these things too.

“Those who do not remember the past, are doomed to repeat it.” -George Santayana