Sunday, May 12, 2013

Hero in a Classroom

Jeff Bliss was clandestinely taped as he responded to his history teacher telling him to "stop bitching" about a testing anomaly.  The video went viral.

In the following follow-up video apparently created by students, Jeff Bliss reveals himself as what Joseph Campbell might call one of the thousands of faces of the hero.

 There is a nobility in his words and a humility of heart that separates this student from those who suffer in silence.  Like Jeff, Americans must demand an immediate dissolution of the Federal Department of Education.  It has become a festering shit-hole of bad educational policy and educational totalitarianist doctrine.

The NCLB and RTTT laws need to be repealed to correct the plight of the public schools.  No amount of local correction can save public schools poisoned by over a decade of Bush/Obama ghetto-ization strategies.

Bliss is just telling us what educators already know, we need radical change - top down.  Eliminate the Department of Education, it's a failed bureaucracy.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

STEM as Propaganda

There's a great article in School Matters that revisits the phony rhetoric that surrounds the STEM and Race to the Top educational programs.

Gerald Bracey's work still shines; "Another recent article by In These Times entitled Study Demolishes the Myth That U.S. Workers Lack Skills further puts the lie to the notion that U.S. workers are lacking in the education or skills department. The piece, which discusses a paper by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Professor Marc Levine, contains powerful quotes like: "There are still three unemployed people for every possible job opening."
The article proper enumerates the points of Levine’s report, only the headings of which are reproduced here.
  • False: The skills of the workforce somehow dropped sharply between 2007 and 2009.
  • False: There is a vast pool of high-skilled jobs waiting to be filled.
  • False: Employers are trying in vain to attract skilled workers.
  • False: Understaffed employers must make do with the skilled workers they have.
  • False: New high-skill jobs have been created.
  • False: Workers with advanced degrees are more highly sought-after.
  • False: The American job market will increasingly demand higher-skilled workers.
Globalization has allowed the ownership class to increasingly pit workers against each other in ways the Robber Barons could have only dreamed of. When workers compete, their boses win! A major part of the impetus behind corporate education reform is the same momentum that's created a job market were workers are increasingly expected to work harder and harder for less and less, while being required to have ever more education and training (at their own expense, of course). Nearly all of Silicon Valley's plutocratic elites' whining about a skills shortage is part and parcel a cry to drive down wages and squeeze ever more profit out of workers who are expected to "lean in.""

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Odious Student Debt

The Guardian Media Group has launched a student debt network.


"Recent figures paint a dramatic picture: According to the Federal Reserve, student debt in the US is approaching $1tn – a number disputed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which says that milestone has already been reached.
Join our source network, and you'll help us tell a more nuanced and personal story of debt. We want to hear about the choices and sacrifices and complex situations that you've been facing. What are you sacrificing in order to pay down your debt? Is it a career? A location? What financial services companies are targeting you – and with what offers?
We want to know how it affects you in the short-term, mid-term and long-term. What do you worry about most? Which lending companies are most predatory? We're curious what decisions you've made, and what decisions you will or won't even approach because you're in debt."
A meme that is traversing Facebook comes from this image;

IMO, Chomsky is scratching the surface of how distorted the system is making the society.  The results of the Guardian network studies will be an interesting read.

by Frank Krasicki