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The best defense against authoritarian government is an educated population.
The Founding Fathers of the United States believed this, at least on the surface, because they made sure public education, funded by taxation, was instituted in the Constitution.
In vast contrast, the present administration, which in the past has compared itself to the Founding Fathers, clearly has NO regard for public education. If it did care about this extremely important and very American institution, and natural organ of democracy, public schools would be receiving an inundation of aid and a flood of honest expertise instead of the incredibly, deliberately destructive 'No Child Left Behind' program.
This propagandic, politicizing contrivance has done at least as much damage to America's public schools as the decedent 'Outcomes-Based Education' psuedomethodology and Jean Piaget TOGETHER. By politicizing public schools from the top down - again - and placing virtually all the pressure upon already beleaguered schoolteachers instead of finding constructive, positive and effective solutions to the education crisis, America's current misleadership commits willful sabotage.
Democrats are not much less guilty than Republicans on this issue, so let the partisanship slide here. The fact that the powerful and political in Washington, D.C. consistently resort to high-priced private education regardless of Elephant or Donkey makes this clear. The wealthy, in general, hold in contempt the public right to a free quality education for children.
We know Who. The two remaining questions are: How and Why?
The method generally chosen for abusing the education system is that of malign neglect. Whlie some communities have a vocal enough constituency to protect the quality of their schools from malign neglect and excessive government meddling, traditionally troubled schools such as those in the inner cities are routinely beaten up by... malign neglect via institutional racism, mainly, but also the implementation of repeated reinventions of ineffective methodologies and chiefly one other factor.
That other factor is the controversial element of standardized testing an dthe highly politicized atmosphere it creates by pitting against each other people who should be working closely together: administrators vs teachers, district officers vs administrators, district vs parents, parents vs teachers.
The many methodological programs that have been revolving through public schools, especially in the inner city, generally seem to have a short shelf life. They may succeed in some ways but eventually implode in the long run because of their inability to handle all issues at once, because they uniformly seem to have as many bad ideas for some issues as good ideas for others.
The standardized testing issue has many things in common with the methodology problem. There are many competing 'brands' of standardized tests. Each tries to provide a secure test with measurable results whose analysis can provide focus upon problems, yet also that the kids can pass.
Each competing test developer charges a great deal for providing systems individualized for the education benchmarks for each district, as well as the scoring and analysis; thus this facet of the educational environment in America is truly a profit-motivated industry. So of course are some of the methodologists, but many of those are not-for-profit corporations. Still, to continue to receive grants and to be paid their salaries, the professionals who operate these not-for-profits must sell their systems to school districts and get results. Thus, there is a motivation not entirely dissimilar to profit motive: survival.
Education, in the intense, boiler-maker heat of its presently highly political atmosphere, has become truly dog-eat-dog, as if it were an inudstry of competing computer or software manuracturers. Pointedly, the product in question is NOT the students. The product is the system, and this is proof positive that the politicians and the present leaders of America's education system are not focused on helping the Nation's children but on their own survival and profit, which is the crux of the strategy of the rich: no effective free public education, if any at all, less competition for power from people outside their accepted loop, and more complacent Pavlovian wage-slaves to work retail and service at a pittance with no benefits and no union representation.
If anyone needs proof of this, there's always the Walton family's powerful and financially committed support of the destructive voucher system. They need to see free public schooling dissolved because they want more uneducated, desperate people to work at all those new Wal-Marts they're building everywhere.

The Alienist

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The following comments are for "Wealthy Politicians Hate Working Class Children"
by The Alienist

shared sentiments
While you have expressed yourself thoroughly and I can find so much agreement in your arguments, it pains me to say that you have not put as much effort into writing this as is evident in past postings. A little revision could have brought some of your points into sharper focus.

( Posted by: brickhouse [Member] On: September 23, 2004 )

Religion is the Opiate of the masses
wasn't it Marx that said that?
I agree with him. in my opinion "education & knowledge is the liberator of the masses"

( Posted by: DieBaronHobskewward [Member] On: September 23, 2004 )

...what wasn't clear? I tried my best to elucidate about each point. I discussed the methodology sabotage and the overtesting. I discussed the questionable motivations.

What's lacking, exactly?

( Posted by: the alienist [Member] On: September 23, 2004 )

clear on being clear
Alienist, I did feel that you were clear and coherent; it was mostly the mechanics of the writing. I am basing this on some absolutely stellar pieces you have written in the past, and this piece seems to have been rushed a bit. Am I wrong? A thousand pardons, if so. I am as guilty as anyone for going straight off the keyboard. Can I point to anything specific? No. Most of the time, it seems, your witing is as seemless and smooth as a marble. This time it was still a marble, but not as smooth. Sorry to be so cryptic.

( Posted by: brickhouse [Member] On: September 24, 2004 )

public ed
Dude, there is nothing in the US Constitution about public education. Go back and read it.

( Posted by: pigeontoe [Member] On: October 27, 2004 )

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