Monday, March 20, 2006

Legislating Deadly Education

American education is being strangled by bad education law. These laws, often sugar-coated with magnanimous sounding titles, do far more damage to society than anyone can dream.

AREN'T I GOOD? I WILL NOT LEAVE ONE CHILD BEHIND! I MUST BE GOOD.

The most mean-spirited monsters America has ever created hold the levers of power these days. They win elections by convincing their all too eager followers that kids are lazy, distracted, stupid, and unworthy of promotion through the school system. Their sneering animous for teachers, schools, and children rewards them richly with re-election time after time.

You are all supposed to believe that children aren't working hard enough. Oh, and parents are too lazy to control their kids or spend enough time with them or... And kids disrespect authority - they can't read or write or remember everything Conservative Holy Seers like William Bennett DEMAND they know. "Don't know it yet - we have time - we'll repeat it and repeat it and repeat it... YOU MUST KNOW THIS BECAUSE I KNOW THIS"

Oh, yes. These kids need testing till their eyes bleed and their fingers blister. It's all for the good brothers and sisters.

Let's be sure that the CMTs punish all kids not passing and any schools who pass too few. Let's just PUNISH EVERY childhood educational thing we can - it is all corrupt (unlike the Carlyle Group or Halliburton).

Yes, all this testing is for our own good. Where are you if you aren't an absolute clone of the student sitting next to you? We wouldn't want anyone to be different because that would mean SOMEBODY'S exercising illegal individuality!

Forget what you read in the NYTimes. Things like;

Plight Deepens for Black Men, Studies Warn
By ERIK ECKHOLM
Published: March 20, 2006

In response to the worsening situation for young black men, a growing number of programs are placing as much importance on teaching life skills — like parenting, conflict resolution and character building — as they are on teaching job skills.

These were among the recent findings:

The share of young black men without jobs has climbed relentlessly, with only a slight pause during the economic peak of the late 1990's. In 2000, 65 percent of black male high school dropouts in their 20's were jobless — that is, unable to find work, not seeking it or incarcerated. By 2004, the share had grown to 72 percent, compared with 34 percent of white and 19 percent of Hispanic dropouts. Even when high school graduates were included, half of black men in their 20's were jobless in 2004, up from 46 percent in 2000.

Incarceration rates climbed in the 1990's and reached historic highs in the past few years. In 1995, 16 percent of black men in their 20's who did not attend college were in jail or prison; by 2004, 21 percent were incarcerated. By their mid-30's, 6 in 10 black men who had dropped out of school had spent time in prison.

In the inner cities, more than half of all black men do not finish high school.


The tangle of legislation, the mind-numbing emphasis on high-stakes testing, and the neo-nazi enthusiasm for educational conformity to the Bush oligarchy and Orwellian "accountability" practices is paralyzing schools. We can no longer provide even second-world standards of education to our kids. And curriculums are near impossible to change for the better.

In Ashford, school computers are TEN YEARS OLD. In technological terms, we are three generations of technology removed from yesterday. The school owns one smartboard.

EOSmith, similarly, offers far too many programs that beg and cookie-sale their way through the school year. The school needs a new curriculum, up-to-date technology (smartboards, iPOD server, teacher training, curriculum development finances, freedom from idiot-driven legislation, the right to experiment to improve education for our kids no matter what NCLB says, and so on). We need the ability to develop programs tha that inner city students can plug into. We need regional programs that would currently violate even more idiot laws. We need to free ourselves of Texas education and get back to Yankee ingenuity. We need some Hartford insurance companies to sponsor Chinese teachers with insurance and cost-of-living so that the schools and businesses here can learn together.

Connecticut has some of the very poorest cities in the country and we live in a state hell-bent on not graduating our students, not creating alternative prohgrams, not trusting teachers, not promoting individuality, not thinking independently, not exercising its federal autonomy - in short, kissing Bush's ass rather than treating education as a sacred trust. That has got to change.

We don't need one more day of right-wing propaganda about schools, kids, or teachers. Not one. We need relief from bad law, we need federal funding and state funding and we need a moritorium on media jackasses who freely bash our kids, parents, and schools without a fight.

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