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Two other educators, with about the same amount of experience as myself in this field, affirmed that they are looking to get out of teaching.

What is the real reason?

The behavior of the students in Philadelphia public schools has become so irriational, so distractive and disruptive, so insane that they have become essentially uneducable, except in several certain schools where students are selected by difficult criterion and security is maintained fiercely, for example Philadelphia Girls, Masterson and discipline schools such as Boone.

Philadelphia has had a serious problem with stanching the flow of teachers out of the system because of the intensification of these problems, but now with the situation spiralling out of control, it may become a stampeding exodus.

My fiance and I are considering moving to Arizona or someplace similar. I need to change my work life to something that feels productive and has a future. Because education is unimportant to Americans in real truth, and certainly is unimportant to the Government and its true masters (who want a stupid, happy and cheap workforce), there is a massive trend toward scripted education by equally undereducated personnel who will simply read to students and then grade their work.

There will be no intuitive teaching, and this trend, I believe, will evolve into the old prediction of robotized (computerized) classroom instruction in which children will simply be rote-instructed with cheap-labor-essential skills only. They will receive no education that allows them to analyze or critique the actions of government nor any of those above them; they will be obedient slaves from then on, and never be any wiser for it.

Make no mistake about it: Government and its masters consider it a waste and a liability to educate the American People, and they will do anything they can to pervert the educational process in order to create the kind of willing idiot they need to man the service-sector economy as the real jobs continue to be \'farmed out\' to cheap-labor meccas such as India and far Asia. This is going to be the end of American Labor as a social force, unless we can find a way to stop this.

The first problem to be overcome is to get all the idiot suburbanites to believe what we\'re saying; they only seem to believe what they\'re told and have no capacity to listen to anyone else. They just hang their heads out of their SUV\'s and whine about things they\'ve heard someone else say.

So, you see, the strategy has already been effective. We have... the idiots of Middle Management!

The Alienist

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The following comments are for "The Subversion of American Education"
by The Alienist

Subversion of the workforce
Well put. I think "several" and "certain" don't work together as adjectives. Maybe substitute in another contracting adjective for several? Something like "certain select schools" or something similar.

I'd love to see this built up into a slightly bigger piece, contrasting the public schools to the increasing role of the private schools as a means of ensuring the affluent are able to secure positions of power for their offspring.

I think adding that dimension would strengthen the points of your commentary on the public sector, and further strengthen the link between government and the degradation of the public system.

( Posted by: capulet [Member] On: November 24, 2004 )

private schools
The problem is that I've worked in a private school and am a product of private schools - in both cases, Catholic schools (different ones).

I'm unsure that I know enough about other kinds of private schooling to speak with any authority about them, other than, perhaps, military schools since my father, in his last employment before having a stroke, was a nightguard at one.

Catholic schools are experiencing serious degradation in their ability to survive financially and many are being closed. Times are increasingly tougher for private schools all over, except for very exclusive academies. In the case of these schools, the general public does not have access, vouchers or no, because they don't belong to the right social groups, and that will not be overcome. I don't believe that John Q. Public will ever be allowed to attend the same schools as GW Bush did, no matter how much money or however many vouchers falls into his lap.

( Posted by: the alienist [Member] On: November 24, 2004 )

you are right about the state of education in america. I agree with your statements. Education needs to become the most important goal pusued by our goverment and society...there must be something that can be done. persistance is probably the key.


( Posted by: Scryer [Member] On: November 24, 2004 )

In my truthful professional opinion...
...they need to take all the politics out of education, or at least as much of them as possible. We need to get rid of school boards. The school board is one of the most destructive and petty-political institutions in American society. Many of them are led by people who never finished high school and don't value education in the least (and sometimes make no bones about that, either). They're also almost always simply stepping-stones for dirty politicians, too.

Teachers need to run schools, with competent parents cooperating. The politicians and the failed teachers (read: methodologists, who couldn't stay in the classroom so they got out, and now tell everyone else how to teach) need to get the hell out of our hair.

Most of all, people desperately need to start parenting their kids. This is a disaster. It's vastly worse than anyone seems to realize in this country.

It's going to get much worse before it gets better.

( Posted by: The Alienist [Member] On: November 24, 2004 )

Alienist methodologists
Just curious, Alienist. You're always talking about these evil methodologists -- what are they? I'm not clear on that. Do you mean people who actually study educational practice, psychology, and philosophy and refine educational techniques on the basis of sound reasoning and data? That's the sort of people I have in mind when I see that word, but I don't think they're the same people as your targets.

I ask because I'm in the field!

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: November 24, 2004 )

...I do mean them.

Why do I say this? Because of the dozens of methodologists I've run into in Philly, I've only been impressed with several.

Whom do you work for? What methodology are you pushing?

( Posted by: the alienist [Member] On: November 25, 2004 )

Well expressed
My mother used to be a teacher back in the 80's. She said every year she would watch her students as though they were a horror film. They became more rude, and less educated. Many refused to learn in order to "fit in" with others. This trend led to her leaving the workforce in 2001.

( Posted by: DrBlack [Member] On: November 27, 2004 )

Methodology and Failure
It didn't look like Viper was trying to be sarcastic with his question, Alienist, and I believe that there are a great many readers who may not understand the various methodologies which get lobbed about the average American class room. Taking the time to put detail to his question just might help inform a few of those middle class citizens who are always hanging their heads out their SUV windows, whining about things they've heard someone else say.

Truth is, I don't think anyone, these days, can argue with the notion that America's schools are crumbling. What we argue about, unfortunately, is what needs to be done.

Not enough is heard from teachers themselves. We hear a lot from experts and others, but not the individuals who put time in classrooms.

In the 2002 election, the Floridian Democratic contender against Jeb Bush campaigned on a platform of smaller class room size. Polls showed this swayed a significant number of voter's opinions. Jeb Bush countered with what that measure would cost the state -- and won. The saddest footnote to that story is that no one asked what it would have cost individual taxpayers to give the children of Florida a better education. Why is less than $100 a year too much to ask in return for youths better prepared to face a modern world, democracy and our most recent version of capitolism?

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: November 28, 2004 )

People just don't want to listen...
...because there's a lot of contradictory noise.

There are several kinds of people who are in the education picture who are, usually inadvertently, part of the problem.

Methodologists, politicians, even union leaders.

In the last category - as pro-union as I am, I'm not impressed with the teacher's unions, either AFT or NEA. The NEA in particular is part of the methodology scam because in their scramble to try to make teaching look more like the other licensed professions they're walking themselves into a lot of gobbledygook double-talk with the methodologists, making themselves part of the politico's accountability scheme. The ideas they're all coming up with don't work. They play musical chairs with these every few years. None of the methodologies is ever anything more than a rewrite of ones we've seen before, and they never last.

>In the 2002 election, the Floridian Democratic >contender against Jeb Bush campaigned on a >platform of smaller class room size. Polls showed >this swayed a significant number of voter's >opinions. Jeb Bush countered with what that >measure would cost the state -- and won.

There's evidence that Jeb Bush cheated against Janet Reno the same way he helped his brother, but there's also this.

It's proof that Republicans really want to sabotage the education system so they'll have a lot of cheap, stupid workers they can kick around with impunity.

( Posted by: the alienist [Member] On: November 28, 2004 )

I wasn't trying to be sarcastic, indeed.

If, by methodologists, you mean those people who spend their lives learning as much as they can about the psychology and philosophy of education, analyzing data and policy, then coming up with methods/techniques/strategies that they test, scientifically, to see if they work before recommending them to others, then your antipathy is misguided.

Most of the "methodologists" I know DO teach. A LOT. That's what they love. They, like me, divide their time between teaching and educational development. There's a lot of resistance among teachers to the notion that they don't know what they're doing. Many teachers are good (within the narrow limits of ill-governed and frankly idiotic systems), and many aren't. Generally, the ones who are already good are the ones who are most receptive to new and better ideas. That's sad because they're not the ones we need to reach.

On the other hand, if you're talking about the people who devise standardized tests, texts, and the like for governments, then you're right on the money. Most of those people don't teach and have little interest in finding out what works in education. They're out to make money and they do that by appeasing governments and special interests who, in turn, are trying to appease an ill-informed populace. The "real" educational developers (your "methodologists") can't stand them. They cheapen our profession.

Yet the government whores are winning out. Citizens and governments, despite what they may say, aren't all that interested in making informed decisions when it comes to education. They're less concerned with "How can we make sure students are learning deeply, broadly, and critically with maximum retention and understanding, developing both skills and knowledge?" than with "How can we make sure students are scoring high enough on standardized tests so that we can maintain our funding level?"

What I'm hoping you'll realize is this: Most "methodologists" do not kowtow to any government, most spend a lot of time teaching, most use tried-and-true scientific methods and reliable data to devise effective methodologies that are tested and refined, and most have a genuine desire to improve educational system in their own nations and others.

And most, like me, are teachers who wanted to improve their own practice in order to enhance the education of their students. That's the motivation, and that's the reality.

Please don't paint everyone with such a broad brush.

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: November 28, 2004 )

I've known examples of both types as you describe them. In Philadelphia, we get mostly the latter, meaning the government whores.

I apologize for my 'broad brush' but this is a serious problem here in Philly.

( Posted by: The Alienist [Member] On: November 28, 2004 )

That's a hit on the head of the nail
"As a result of high crime rates and the lack of a trained (or trainable) workforce, companies have relocated..."

TRAINABLE! Americans are becoming unteachable due to deeply instilled, sociopathic behaviors and defects from neglect and poverty. The family structure is destroyed and now the people are destroyed and getting worse. They can now not be taught, and later cannot be trained.

That's right where the bosses want them, in a position where it will be justifiable to them to extinguish people once the Republicans attain the power they really want by smashing the Constitution.

They're on their way there right now.

( Posted by: the alienist [Member] On: January 25, 2005 )

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