How’s that “education reform” working for ya America?
(Image via Wikimedia Commons)
July 16, 2014 at 9:04 AM
I predict Republicans will start hating on the U.K. now, like they did during the French Fries/American Fries crisis:
Many people who value science education are hoping the US takes note of the UK’s good example, but that seems unlikely considering that the UK appears to have taken note of the US’s bad example. Lawmakers in the UK probably realized that if they didn’t make it absolutely clear that creationism wasn’t allowed today, then tomorrow they’d be discussing the need for language banning the teaching of Loch Ness Monsterism.
If the U.S. banned the teaching of creationism,or more realistically, increased funding for teaching — I know it’s a bad word — SCIENCE, we might get off the Loch Ness Monster thing.
June 19, 2014 at 7:23 PM
I think this is one of, if not the, most important and urgent issues of our time:
The health of a democracy is dependent on an educated citizenry. Political illiteracy is the manure for the flourishing of political appeals based on sheer ignorance.
So let me introduce you to House Majority Speaker Eric Cantor’s Republican Party vanquisher David Brat (R-VI). First thing you need to know about this far right-wing political upstart is he’s a university professor, which means it’s highly probable he’s not an idiot. He also identifies with the Tea Party strain of conservatism, which, paradoxically, means it’s likely he is, indeed, an idiot. And by idiot, I mean wholly ignorant of U.S. history and constitutionality.
In fact, in his victory speech delivered last week to his supporters, Brat demonstrated that he sits among the majority of Americans when it comes to political and cultural illiteracy.
“I wish to restore America to its Judeo-Christian roots,” declared Brat. “God acted through people on my behalf.”
Ignoring the self-delusion of the latter part of the above text, Brat now joins no less than 200 million Americans, according to a number of polls, who believe the U.S. Constitution and our laws are based on Judeo-Christian values. On any given Sunday you will hear Christian-right politicians claim absurdly that U.S. laws are based on the Bible. Spoiler alert: they’re dead wrong. The Constitution’s secular provisions came into being thanks to the Founding Fathers, who shared a deep suspicion of both organized religion and the supernatural. The Constitution was framed with a conscious omission of any mention of God and a prohibition of all religious tests for public office. Moreover, the First Amendment’s declaration that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” embodied the founders’ view that religion has no place in the political domain.
That not a single major media outlet bothered to correct Brat’s ignorance represents America’s continual decline in American civic and cultural literacy.
The nation’s collective ignorance as it pertains to cultural and civic literacy paves the way for extremist politicians to convince the public of the validity of extreme positions.
June 18, 2014 at 10:36 AM
(Image via Wikipedia)
Hey parents, the corporatocracy is tracking your kid — big time — beginning in kindergarten:
The NSA has nothing on the ed tech startup known as Knewton.
The data analytics firm has peered into the brains of more than 4 million students across the country. By monitoring every mouse click, every keystroke, every split-second hesitation as children work through digital textbooks, Knewton is able to find out not just what individual kids know, but how they think. It can tell who has trouble focusing on science before lunch — and who will struggle with fractions next Thursday.
Even as Congress moves to rein in the National Security Agency, private-sector data mining has galloped forward — perhaps nowhere faster than in education. Both Republicans and Democrats have embraced the practice. And the Obama administration has encouraged it, even relaxing federal privacy law to allow school districts to share student data more widely.
June 2, 2014 at 5:26 PM
This is what happens to the tax system when it’s permissible for corporate lobbyists to throw megabucks at people who are supposed to represent, ah, We the People. Hardscrabble teachers’ (and other) unions crawl on their hands and knees in an attempt to be heard but they aren’t. They don’t have the
(Image via Wikipedia)
This is so wrong:
May 10, 2014 at 7:11 PM
Why is this a surprise? Taxpayer dollars should fund public schools, not so-called “charter schools.” Anyone can set up a “charter school” and suck up our tax dollars to fund it, or their a lavish lifestyle.
Public money for public schools. Period. If someone wants to open a “charter school,” fine. Come up with the money on your own.
Release: “A new report released today reveals that fraudulent charter operators in 15 states are responsible for losing, misusing or wasting over $100 million in taxpayer money.”
Summary: “Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste, Fraud And Abuse,” authored by the Center for Popular Democracy and Integrity in Education, echoes a warning from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of the Inspector General. The report draws upon news reports, criminal complaints and more to detail how, in just 15 of the 42 states that have charter schools, charter operators have used school funds illegally to buy personal luxuries for themselves, support their other businesses, and more. The report also includes recommendations for policymakers on how they can address the problem of rampant fraud, waste and abuse in the charter school industry. Both organizations recommend pausing charter expansion until these problems are addressed.
May 6, 2014 at 6:34 PM
Here are some of the questions “illegal immigrants” have to answer before they’re given U.S. citizenship.
Would you pass?
April 26, 2014 at 9:11 PM