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ccp
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« on: March 30, 2010, 12:10:58 PM »

The new student loan thing makes sense on the face of it. Why not cut out the middleman if it costs more.  Of course the timing couldn't be more perfect for the One when we started witnessing students demonstrating in Kaliforna.

My question is this.  Why is the fed government using taxpayer money to *guarnatee* student loans?
It is bad enough if the student defaults that the taxpayer eats the cost.  I agree it was worse that the gov. would pay the bank for it's loss.  So 75% of the population who does not have a college degree is helping pay for college ed for others?

These loans cannot be good risks or else why couldn't the student get it from the private sector?  I would like to see a better analysis of this but I haven't found one on searching this AM.

***Obama promotes 'overlooked' changes to student loan program
Under the new rules, the government will lend money directly to college students, without the involvement of banks as the "unnecessary middlemen" in what Obama called a "sweetheart deal" that provided them with billions in interest payments.

"Those were billions of dollars that could have been spent helping more of our students attend and complete college," Obama said to an appreciative audience at a community college in Alexandria, Va., just across the river from Washington, D.C.

Critics said in some cases these are the same banks that Obama is pressuring to provide more loans to business people, yet now the government has wiped out part of their operations.

"Americans are looking for jobs and economic growth, not for the government to expand its tentacles even further into their lives and the economy," said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. His office also provided examples of private lenders who will have to cut jobs in light of the new student loan system.

Direct student lending by the government will save the program about $68 billion "in the coming years," Obama said, money that can be put back into higher education.

The new law also caps the repayment of loans at 10 percent of the borrower's discretionary income.

Here's an explanation of the new rules from USA TODAY personal finance columnist Sandra Block.

Obama also planned to sign an updated version of the law, after revisions approved by Senate Democrats last week under the legislative process known as reconciliation.

As he has since passage of the core health care bill on March 21, Obama said the measure will allow millions more Americans obtain insurance and lower costs.

The bill "won't fix every problem in our health care system in one fell swoop," Obama said, "but it does represent some of the toughest insurance reforms in history."

McConnell, who like all Senate Republicans voted against the health care package, said most Americans oppose "this partisan reconciliation bill which hikes taxes even higher in the middle of a recession, and cuts Medicare even deeper for our seniors."

(Posted by David Jackson)***

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ccp
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2010, 11:32:05 AM »

Here in NJ is huge fight between Governor Christie and teachers unions.  I have many patients who are teachers, ex teachers, even a close family memeber who is one.
What Christie is asking of the teachers is clearly NOT unreasonable.  He requests they put of their *annual* 4 to 5 % pay raise (does anyone know of any private sector job that has that?), and contribute 1.5% towards their health care.  The grand total is around $1500 per year.  Teachers union wages are $730/year.
This in the state with the highest porperty taxes in the nation.

Yet the power of the teachers union and how they literally control politicians is on display to amaze all.  They run ads the Christie is ruining education, harming our children and the teachers even have brainwashed out students into going out and marching for them.

I even had a retired teacher tell me she can't stand Christie and how "he is going after teachers". 

I simply don't get this.  They are outraged?  With all their benefits, pensions, health care, reasonably good salaries for a job of 9 months a year and a milliion days off?
It is not like they are facing huge pay cuts.  They think they are entitled to 4-5 % pay raises in economies with 10% unempolyment?

Quite the opposite.  The outrage is not with them.  Can Christie break this?  I sure hope so.  Thank God we have a governor who stands up to this crap. Yet he is sinking in the polls I've heard.  Well they say 1/3 of Jersey residents are on some form of dole.  I guess it is no wonder why teachers forget who works for who.   It is time they be reminded. 

****By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann 05.6.2010 A perfect storm is brewing for the nation’s schools and the teachers’ unions that have them in a stranglehold. Voter anger at the socialist, big government solutions of the Obama Administration and its Democratic lookalikes in state capitals throughout the country is about to combine with massive education funding shortfalls brought on by the unions’ waste of taxpayer money.


These forces will combine in November, 2010 to force gigantic changes in school financing and governance, leading to the prospect of genuine school choice for the poor and middle class as the rich have always had.

Just as a Republican landslide in November will engulf and extinguish Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, so it will sweep away the party’s power at the state level. State houses in at least ten states are likely to change parties and dozens of legislative chambers will see Republican majorities, many for the first time in decades. The teachers union will be swept from power along with its Democratic allies.

Just as this earthquake is making its way through state capitals, governors will be casting about for ways to meet revenue shortfalls without tax hikes. Top on their list will be the elimination of layers of bureaucracy and of privileges enjoyed by the teacher unions. As a result more and more of the education budget will be spent in the classroom and vastly more will be channeled into education choice programs.

The number of charter schools will likely grow exponentially and programs for vouchers, scholarships, and tax credits for private and parochial schools will be passed in state after state. Given a chance to provide good education for $7,000 per student in alternative schools rather than pay $10,000 per student in dysfunctional public schools, government officials will move rapidly to expand school choice.

To learn more about this coming revolution in education, GO HERE NOW.

Now is the time for every parent and taxpayer to get involved and to push for seismic shifts in education funding and policy. Perfect storms like this don’t come along every year and not even in every lifetime.****





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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2010, 07:06:07 AM »

Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits
By BENEDICT CAREY
Published: September 6, 2010

 
Every September, millions of parents try a kind of psychological witchcraft, to transform their summer-glazed campers into fall students, their video-bugs into bookworms. Advice is cheap and all too familiar: Clear a quiet work space. Stick to a homework schedule. Set goals. Set boundaries. Do not bribe (except in emergencies).


And check out the classroom. Does Junior’s learning style match the new teacher’s approach? Or the school’s philosophy? Maybe the child isn’t “a good fit” for the school.

Such theories have developed in part because of sketchy education research that doesn’t offer clear guidance. Student traits and teaching styles surely interact; so do personalities and at-home rules. The trouble is, no one can predict how.

Yet there are effective approaches to learning, at least for those who are motivated. In recent years, cognitive scientists have shown that a few simple techniques can reliably improve what matters most: how much a student learns from studying.

The findings can help anyone, from a fourth grader doing long division to a retiree taking on a new language. But they directly contradict much of the common wisdom about good study habits, and they have not caught on.

For instance, instead of sticking to one study location, simply alternating the room where a person studies improves retention. So does studying distinct but related skills or concepts in one sitting, rather than focusing intensely on a single thing.

“We have known these principles for some time, and it’s intriguing that schools don’t pick them up, or that people don’t learn them by trial and error,” said Robert A. Bjork, a psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Instead, we walk around with all sorts of unexamined beliefs about what works that are mistaken.”

Take the notion that children have specific learning styles, that some are “visual learners” and others are auditory; some are “left-brain” students, others “right-brain.” In a recent review of the relevant research, published in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a team of psychologists found almost zero support for such ideas. “The contrast between the enormous popularity of the learning-styles approach within education and the lack of credible evidence for its utility is, in our opinion, striking and disturbing,” the researchers concluded.

Ditto for teaching styles, researchers say. Some excellent instructors caper in front of the blackboard like summer-theater Falstaffs; others are reserved to the point of shyness. “We have yet to identify the common threads between teachers who create a constructive learning atmosphere,” said Daniel T. Willingham, a psychologist at the University of Virginia and author of the book “Why Don’t Students Like School?”

But individual learning is another matter, and psychologists have discovered that some of the most hallowed advice on study habits is flat wrong. For instance, many study skills courses insist that students find a specific place, a study room or a quiet corner of the library, to take their work. The research finds just the opposite. In one classic 1978 experiment, psychologists found that college students who studied a list of 40 vocabulary words in two different rooms — one windowless and cluttered, the other modern, with a view on a courtyard — did far better on a test than students who studied the words twice, in the same room. Later studies have confirmed the finding, for a variety of topics.

The brain makes subtle associations between what it is studying and the background sensations it has at the time, the authors say, regardless of whether those perceptions are conscious. It colors the terms of the Versailles Treaty with the wasted fluorescent glow of the dorm study room, say; or the elements of the Marshall Plan with the jade-curtain shade of the willow tree in the backyard. Forcing the brain to make multiple associations with the same material may, in effect, give that information more neural scaffolding.

“What we think is happening here is that, when the outside context is varied, the information is enriched, and this slows down forgetting,” said Dr. Bjork, the senior author of the two-room experiment.

Varying the type of material studied in a single sitting — alternating, for example, among vocabulary, reading and speaking in a new language — seems to leave a deeper impression on the brain than does concentrating on just one skill at a time. Musicians have known this for years, and their practice sessions often include a mix of scales, musical pieces and rhythmic work. Many athletes, too, routinely mix their workouts with strength, speed and skill drills.

The advantages of this approach to studying can be striking, in some topic areas. In a study recently posted online by the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, Doug Rohrer and Kelli Taylor of the University of South Florida taught a group of fourth graders four equations, each to calculate a different dimension of a prism. Half of the children learned by studying repeated examples of one equation, say, calculating the number of prism faces when given the number of sides at the base, then moving on to the next type of calculation, studying repeated examples of that. The other half studied mixed problem sets, which included examples all four types of calculations grouped together. Both groups solved sample problems along the way, as they studied.

===========

(Page 2 of 2)



A day later, the researchers gave all of the students a test on the material, presenting new problems of the same type. The children who had studied mixed sets did twice as well as the others, outscoring them 77 percent to 38 percent. The researchers have found the same in experiments involving adults and younger children.


“When students see a list of problems, all of the same kind, they know the strategy to use before they even read the problem,” said Dr. Rohrer. “That’s like riding a bike with training wheels.” With mixed practice, he added, “each problem is different from the last one, which means kids must learn how to choose the appropriate procedure — just like they had to do on the test.”

These findings extend well beyond math, even to aesthetic intuitive learning. In an experiment published last month in the journal Psychology and Aging, researchers found that college students and adults of retirement age were better able to distinguish the painting styles of 12 unfamiliar artists after viewing mixed collections (assortments, including works from all 12) than after viewing a dozen works from one artist, all together, then moving on to the next painter.

The finding undermines the common assumption that intensive immersion is the best way to really master a particular genre, or type of creative work, said Nate Kornell, a psychologist at Williams College and the lead author of the study. “What seems to be happening in this case is that the brain is picking up deeper patterns when seeing assortments of paintings; it’s picking up what’s similar and what’s different about them,” often subconsciously.

Cognitive scientists do not deny that honest-to-goodness cramming can lead to a better grade on a given exam. But hurriedly jam-packing a brain is akin to speed-packing a cheap suitcase, as most students quickly learn — it holds its new load for a while, then most everything falls out.

“With many students, it’s not like they can’t remember the material” when they move to a more advanced class, said Henry L. Roediger III, a psychologist at Washington University in St. Louis. “It’s like they’ve never seen it before.”

When the neural suitcase is packed carefully and gradually, it holds its contents for far, far longer. An hour of study tonight, an hour on the weekend, another session a week from now: such so-called spacing improves later recall, without requiring students to put in more overall study effort or pay more attention, dozens of studies have found.

No one knows for sure why. It may be that the brain, when it revisits material at a later time, has to relearn some of what it has absorbed before adding new stuff — and that that process is itself self-reinforcing.

“The idea is that forgetting is the friend of learning,” said Dr. Kornell. “When you forget something, it allows you to relearn, and do so effectively, the next time you see it.”

That’s one reason cognitive scientists see testing itself — or practice tests and quizzes — as a powerful tool of learning, rather than merely assessment. The process of retrieving an idea is not like pulling a book from a shelf; it seems to fundamentally alter the way the information is subsequently stored, making it far more accessible in the future.

Dr. Roediger uses the analogy of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in physics, which holds that the act of measuring a property of a particle (position, for example) reduces the accuracy with which you can know another property (momentum, for example): “Testing not only measures knowledge but changes it,” he says — and, happily, in the direction of more certainty, not less.

In one of his own experiments, Dr. Roediger and Jeffrey Karpicke, also of Washington University, had college students study science passages from a reading comprehension test, in short study periods. When students studied the same material twice, in back-to-back sessions, they did very well on a test given immediately afterward, then began to forget the material.

But if they studied the passage just once and did a practice test in the second session, they did very well on one test two days later, and another given a week later.

“Testing has such bad connotation; people think of standardized testing or teaching to the test,” Dr. Roediger said. “Maybe we need to call it something else, but this is one of the most powerful learning tools we have.”

Of course, one reason the thought of testing tightens people’s stomachs is that tests are so often hard. Paradoxically, it is just this difficulty that makes them such effective study tools, research suggests. The harder it is to remember something, the harder it is to later forget. This effect, which researchers call “desirable difficulty,” is evident in daily life. The name of the actor who played Linc in “The Mod Squad”? Francie’s brother in “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”? The name of the co-discoverer, with Newton, of calculus?

The more mental sweat it takes to dig it out, the more securely it will be subsequently anchored.

None of which is to suggest that these techniques — alternating study environments, mixing content, spacing study sessions, self-testing or all the above — will turn a grade-A slacker into a grade-A student. Motivation matters. So do impressing friends, making the hockey team and finding the nerve to text the cute student in social studies.

“In lab experiments, you’re able to control for all factors except the one you’re studying,” said Dr. Willingham. “Not true in the classroom, in real life. All of these things are interacting at the same time.”

But at the very least, the cognitive techniques give parents and students, young and old, something many did not have before: a study plan based on evidence, not schoolyard folk wisdom, or empty theorizing.
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G M
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2010, 10:27:30 AM »

http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerkimball/2010/09/05/back-to-school/?singlepage=true

http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson/rule-by-professors/?singlepage=true

Two important articles on our leftist academia.
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ccp
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2010, 09:53:19 AM »

From the Economist:

Declining by degree
Will America’s universities go the way of its car companies?
Sep 2nd 2010

FIFTY years ago, in the glorious age of three-martini lunches and all-smoking offices, America’s car companies were universally admired. Everybody wanted to know the secrets of their success. How did they churn out dazzling new models every year? How did they manage so many people so successfully (General Motors was then the biggest private-sector employer in the world)? And how did they keep their customers so happy?

Today the world is equally in awe of American universities. They dominate global rankings: on the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy’s list of the world’s best universities, 17 of the top 20 are American, and 35 of the top 50. They employ 70% of living Nobel prizewinners in science and economics and produce a disproportionate share of the world’s most-cited articles in academic journals. Everyone wants to know their secret recipe.

Which raises a mischievous question. Could America’s universities go the way of its car companies? On the face of it, this seems highly unlikely. Student enrolments are higher than ever this year, as Americans who cannot find jobs linger or return to education. Cambridge, Massachusetts, shows no outward sign of becoming Detroit. Yet there are serious questions about America’s ivory towers.

Two right-wing think-tanks, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Goldwater Institute, have both produced damning reports about America’s university system. Two left-wing academics, Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus, have published an even more damning book: “Higher Education? How Colleges are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids and What We Can Do About It”. And US News & World Report, a centrist magazine, says in its annual survey of American colleges that: “If colleges were businesses, they would be ripe for hostile takeovers, complete with serious cost-cutting and painful reorganisations.”

College fees have for decades risen faster than Americans’ ability to pay them. Median household income has grown by a factor of 6.5 in the past 40 years, but the cost of attending a state college has increased by a factor of 15 for in-state students and 24 for out-of-state students. The cost of attending a private college has increased by a factor of more than 13 (a year in the Ivy League will set you back $38,000, excluding bed and board). Academic inflation makes medical inflation look modest by comparison.

As costs soar, diligence is tumbling. In 1961 full-time students in four-year colleges spent 24 hours a week studying; that has fallen to 14, estimates the AEI. Drop-out and deferment rates are also hair-curling: only 40% of students graduate in four years.

The most plausible explanation is that professors are not particularly interested in students’ welfare. Promotion and tenure depend on published research, not good teaching. Professors strike an implicit bargain with their students: we will give you light workloads and inflated grades so long as you leave us alone to do our research. Mr Hacker and Ms Dreifus point out that senior professors in Ivy League universities now get sabbaticals every third year rather than every seventh. This year 20 of Harvard’s 48 history professors will be on leave.

America’s commitment to research is one of the glories of its higher-education system. But for how long? The supply of papers that apply gender theory to literary criticism remains ample. But there is evidence of diminishing returns in an area perhaps more vital to the country’s economic dynamism: science and technology. The Kauffman Foundation, which studies entrepreneurship, argues that the productivity of federal funding for R&D, in terms of patents and licences, has been falling for some years. Funding is spread too thinly. It would yield better results if concentrated on centres of excellence, but fashionable chatter about the “knowledge economy” stirs every congressional backwoodsman to stick his fingers into the university pie.

The Goldwater Institute points to a third poison to add to rising prices and declining productivity: administrative bloat. Between 1993 and 2007 spending on university bureaucrats at America’s 198 leading universities rose much faster than spending on teaching faculty. Administration costs at elite private universities rose even faster than at public ones. For example, Harvard increased its administrative spending per student by 300%. In some universities, such as Arizona State University, almost half the full-time employees are administrators. Nearly all university presidents conduct themselves like corporate titans, with salaries, perks and entourages to match.


At least the Naval Academy is free

Given the size and competitiveness of America’s higher-education system, you might expect these problems to be self-correcting. Why don’t some universities compete by hiring teaching superstars? And why don’t others slash prices? The big problem is that high-status institutions such as universities tend to compete with each other on academic reputation (which is enhanced by star professors) and bling (luxurious dormitories and fancy sports stadiums) rather than value for money. This starts at the top: Yale would never dream of competing with Harvard on price. But it also extends to second-division universities: George Washington University has made itself fashionable by charging students more and spending lavishly on its facilities.

This luxury model is unlikely to survive what is turning into a prolonged economic downturn. Parents are much less willing to take on debt than they were and much more willing to look abroad for better deals. The internet also poses a growing threat to what Bill Gates calls “place-based colleges”. Online, you can listen to the world’s best lecturers for next to nothing.

America’s universities lost their way badly in the era of easy money. If they do not find it again, they may go the way of GM.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2011, 11:56:35 AM »

The Directorate of Indoctrination
Leftist Academic Apparatchiks
"Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." --George Washington from his Farewell Address, 1796
It's the end of the school year, so Barack Hussein Obama is including commencement speech whistle stops on his 2012 campaign itinerary.

In Memphis, where Obama delivered one such speech to budding sycophants at Booker T. Washington high school, he asserted, "My administration has been working hard to make sure that we ... encourage the kind of change that's led not by Washington, DC, but by teachers and principals and parents..." (Notice the order in which he lists the agents of change: "teachers and principals and parents.")

Of course, "the kind of change" led by socialist unions in government schools across the nation is already in lock step with what "Washington, DC" dictates. They're both bent upon churning out legions of useful idiots necessary to ensure incremental implementation of Democratic Socialism. Of incremental implementation, Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev once said, "We can't expect the American people to jump from capitalism to communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have communism."

I must note here that there are thousands of outstanding teachers who do not subscribe to Leftist efforts to "fundamentally transform the United States of America" via student indoctrination, partisan and sectarian curricula, and a liberal worldview. However, I must also note that, unfortunately, these brave souls are the rare exception to what was once the rule.

Prior to latter-20th century, outstanding teachers dominated public schools.

Historically, establishment of most private and public academic institutions for the young was, first and foremost, for the purpose of reading the Bible. Indeed, most Christian denominations established schools, colleges and universities to train clergy.

The nation's oldest academic institution, Harvard University, was established in 1636 and named for Puritan minister John Harvard. A 1643 college brochure identified Harvard's purpose: "To advance Learning and perpetuate it to Posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate Ministry to the Churches." Harvard alumnus John Adams (class of 1755) wrote in 1776, "It is the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons, to worship the SUPREME BEING, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe." In his Dissertation on Canon and Feudal Law, Adams wrote, "Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right, from the frame of their nature, to knowledge, as their great creator, who does nothing in vain, has given them understandings, and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge; I mean, of the characters and conduct of their rulers."

Yale, the nation's third oldest academic institution, was established in 1701 by royal charter "wherein Youth may be instructed in the Arts and Sciences [and] through the blessing of Almighty God may be fitted for Publick employment both in Church and Civil State." Yale alumnus Noah Webster (class of 1778), wrote in the forward of his 1828 Webster's American Dictionary, "In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed. ... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people."

Princeton was founded by "New Light" Presbyterians of the Great Awakening for the purpose of training their ministers. Jonathan Dickinson, a Presbyterian minister and leader of the Great Awakening of the 1730s, was the school's co-founder and first president. Princeton alumnus James Madison (class of 1771) observed, "The belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities impressed with it."

Virginia's College of William and Mary, founded in 1693, was Anglican. Baptists founded Rhode Island College, now Brown University, in 1764. Congregationalists established Dartmouth College in 1769 to extend Christianity to native populations.

Founder Benjamin Rush wrote, "[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments."

But teaching reliance upon Essential Liberty as "endowed by our Creator," in support of Rule of Law as affirmed by "the Law of Nature and nature's God" and as outlined in our Declaration of Independence, is in direct opposition to those who would advocate for tyrannical rule of men.

Benjamin Franklin asserted, "A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins."

The importance of government education as a tool for denying Rule of Law has been advocated by generations of tyrants. In order to achieve totalitarianism, they must undertake to expel God from the academy.

Karl Marx wrote, "The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother's care, shall be in state institutions at state expense." His student Vladimir Ilyich Lenin concurred, "Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted." As Josef Stalin understood, "Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed."

Leftists also understand that the earlier socialist indoctrination is applied, the greater its force, and the greater the likelihood it will stick.

Obama promised in his inaugural speech that he would "transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age." It was a promise that he'd previously fleshed out in "The Audacity of Hope," the second of his self-congratulatory autobiographies: "It's time to redesign our schools -- not just for the sake of working parents, but also to help prepare our children for a more competitive world. Countless studies confirm the educational benefits of strong preschool programs, which is why even families which have a parent at home often seek them out."

Likewise, its sunrise-to-sunset year-round application could provide further assurance of successful indoctrination. "The same goes for longer school days, summer school, and after school programs," writes Obama.

To that end, according to the Communist Party Education Workers Congress, "We must create out of the younger generation a generation of Communists. We must turn children, who can be shaped like wax, into real, good Communists. ... We must remove the children from the crude influence of their families. We must take them over and, to speak frankly, nationalize them. From the first days of their lives they will be under the healthy influence of Communist children's nurseries and schools. There they will grow up to be real Communists."

Of course, the Left's indoctrination agenda has been subject to exposure since its inception.

Benjamin Disraeli, the conservative 19th-century British prime minister, noted, "Wherever is found what is called a paternal government, there is found state education. It has been discovered that the best way to insure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery." His contemporary, John Stuart Mill, warned, "A general State education is a mere contrivance for molding people to be exactly like one another; and as the mold in which it casts them is that which pleases the dominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, an aristocracy, or a majority of the existing generation; in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by a natural tendency to one over the body."

The great 18th-century philosopher Edmund Burke observed, "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." Indeed, that delusion is dependent on erasing the knowledge of the past, as 20th-century philosopher George Santayana concluded, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

In the words of Thomas Jefferson, "If a nation expects to be ignorant -- and free -- in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."

Caveat emptor, my fellow Patriots! The ultimate objective of Leftist Apparatchiks in the Democrats' dumbed-down Directorate of Indoctrination is to disenfranchise Liberty.

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Mark Alexander
Publisher, The Patriot Post

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2011, 06:22:35 AM »

By STEPHANIE BANCHERO and LAURA MECKLER

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is threatening to use the power of his position to alter key elements of No Child Left Behind if Congress doesn't renew and upgrade the education law before the next school year begins.

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Associated Press
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, right, takes questions from first graders as Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., listens during a visit to Dayton's Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary School in May.

Mr. Duncan is promising to waive specific requirements of the law in exchange for states agreeing to adopt other efforts he has championed, such as linking teacher evaluations to student achievement, expanding charter schools and overhauling the lowest-performing schools. Effectively, he's warning Congress that if it doesn't overhaul the nine-year-old law, he'll bypass lawmakers to get his way.

"Principals, superintendents and children cannot wait forever for the legislative process to work itself out," Mr. Duncan said in a conference call with reporters. "As it exists now, No Child Left Behind is creating a slow-motion train wreck for children, parents and teachers."

No Child Left Behind, President George W. Bush's signature domestic achievement, has been up for renewal since 2007. Congress has so far extended it on a year-by-year basis.

The law requires states to test students in math and reading and punishes schools that fall short of score objectives set by the states. The law has been widely criticized for labeling too many schools as failures, narrowing the school curriculum and prodding states to water down standardized tests.

Mr. Obama and Mr. Duncan have aggressively pushed Congress to overhaul the law and, until recently, it was expected to be one of the few bipartisan achievements this year. But Republicans have begun to push back, especially tea-party Republicans who want to reduce the federal government's role in K-12 schools.

Mr. Duncan's pledge to use the waiver process didn't sit well with two Congressmen working to renew the law.

"Given the bipartisan commitment in Congress to fixing No Child Left Behind, it seems premature at this point to take steps outside the legislative process that would address NCLB's problems in a temporary and piecemeal way," Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the Senate education committee, said in a statement.

Rep. John Kline, Republican chairman of the House education committee, has said he feels no urgency to move a bill, despite Mr. Duncan's pressure. "He'd like to get this done before they go back to school in September. We're not going to do that," he said in a May interview with the Wall Street Journal. He said he hopes to have the matter settled in 2011, partly because it's more difficult to pass ambitious legislation during a presidential election year.

Mr. Kline is particularly hostile to Race to the Top, Mr. Obama's pet program that provides competitive funding for states that embrace the education changes he favors. The president has repeatedly cited this as a key to his administration's success in education and a blueprint in reauthorizing No Child Left Behind.

Jennifer Allen, Mr. Kline's spokeswoman, said the Congressman didn't know details of Mr. Duncan's recent waiver promise, but said, "Chairman Kline remains concerned about any initiative–including waivers–that would allow the secretary to pick winners and losers in the nation's education system."

Mr. Kline said his committee would pass legislation in small pieces so that members, particularly newly elected ones, can understand it.

The law as it stands gives the education secretary broad authority to waive certain provisions. Mr. Duncan wouldn't offer specifics on which provisions are under consideration, but said he's opposed to one that currently punishes schools for not reaching high, specified goals, even as they make dramatic improvement. He also said he might offer states flexibility on how they can spend federal education money.

Mr. Duncan said individual states could apply for waivers and he might approve them in exchange for agreements to embrace other education changes. States that already have adopted reforms favored by the administration also would be considered.

"There is zero intent here to abandon accountability," Mr. Duncan said. "In fact, ideally, this flexibility would be in exchange for courage and reform."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2011, 06:13:01 PM »

Read below how William Ayers, unrepentant Weather Underground domestic terrorist, is actually Vice President for Curriculum Studies at the American Educational Research Association (AARA), the nation's largest organization of Education school professors and researchers.  And you think it's an accident that our public school teachers are being taught to teach our school children anti-capitalist, anti-American, pro-Socialist ideas, including that America is a racist, sexist, oppressive nation?:


www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=7655&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+fpmdtn+%28FrontPage+Magazine+%C2%BB+Discover+the+Networks%29
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G M
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2011, 06:27:40 PM »

Imagine where Timmy McVeigh would be in academia, were he only a leftist......
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