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Wed Feb 13, 2013, 07:53 AM

 

And the ongoing assault on public education will continue.

Rather than admitting the failure that initiatives such as NCLB and RTTT have become, Obama announced last night that he is going to be doubling down on the assault on public education.

"And four years ago, we started Race to the Top ó a competition that convinced almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards, all for about 1 percent of what we spend on education each year. Tonight, Iím announcing a new challenge to redesign Americaís high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. And weíll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering and math ó the skills todayís employers are looking for to fill the jobs that are there right now and will be there in the future."

First of all, RTTT hasn't "convinced almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards," it has forced virtually each and every teacher to teach to those damn tests, to one degree or another. Comm arts has become nothing more that year long test prep, math and science, the same. Social studies is, sadly, being ignored. I look at the curriculum currently being taught in schools, compare it to what I grew up with nearly forty years ago, and realize that it is seriously lacking.

AP classes today are now what the regular curriculum was when I was in school. There is so much that is not being taught to today's students because if it isn't on the test, it isn't being taught.

This is borne out by the fact that colleges are facing a crisis with their incoming freshmen. More and more are showing up at college unequipped to perform at even the most basic of college level. Remedial classes are expanding, meaning that incoming freshmen have to spend a year or more simply getting up to college speed. With RTTT and other such programs, we have dumbed down almost an entire generation.

But now that madness is going to doubled down on. Now the president wants to partner big business with public schools, essentially making a lot of schools into company schools, teaching no more than what is needed to work in menial jobs. Public education is being transformed into an extended job training program, and away from a true, comprehensive education.

For years now, the emphasis, and money, has been on math and science, and it is going to continue down that path. A true shame, because a lot of kids simply aren't cut out for careers in math and science. They are history buffs, or english freaks, kids who want to write, or investigate the past, not deal with equations and such. It is a joy to watch an entire class of sixth graders embrace things like Shakespeare's Hamlet, or historical research. These kids are finding opportunities to experience such joy ever more scarce, and apparently they will become scarcer in the future.

When will we wake up to the madness that we're creating? When will we look at high school grads and realize that we've done them a huge disservice? These are the people who are supposed to inherit and run the world when we're old and unable, and with this ongoing destruction of public education, they simply won't have the tools. If we continue down this path of destruction, by the time we realize that we've made a mistake, it will be too late, generations of adults simply won't have the tools needed to help them reach their full potential.

Are there problems with education, certainly. But the "solutions" that have been applied by this and the previous administration have simply made things worse. It is time to come up with real solutions to those problems, not competitions for federal money. Otherwise, we're all going to lose, now and in the future.

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Reply And the ongoing assault on public education will continue. (Original post)
MadHound Feb 2013 OP
Pholus Feb 2013 #1
MadHound Feb 2013 #2
Initech Feb 2013 #17
LWolf Feb 2013 #3
MadHound Feb 2013 #4
raouldukelives Feb 2013 #5
KoKo Feb 2013 #6
ProSense Feb 2013 #7
MadHound Feb 2013 #9
ProSense Feb 2013 #11
MadHound Feb 2013 #15
ProSense Feb 2013 #19
MadHound Feb 2013 #21
liberal_at_heart Feb 2013 #22
yurbud Feb 2013 #27
daleanime Feb 2013 #10
ProSense Feb 2013 #14
daleanime Feb 2013 #23
ProSense Feb 2013 #24
MadHound Feb 2013 #25
midnight Feb 2013 #8
octoberlib Feb 2013 #12
Floyd_Gondolli Feb 2013 #13
liberal_at_heart Feb 2013 #16
madfloridian Feb 2013 #18
yurbud Feb 2013 #20
liberal_at_heart Feb 2013 #26
JaneyVee Feb 2013 #28
liberal_at_heart Feb 2013 #30
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #32
yurbud Feb 2013 #29
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #31

Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 08:10 AM

1. I think WE know what's wrong....

But we're not profiting from it so we can be honest.

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Response to Pholus (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 08:33 AM

2. And the move is indeed to make profit off of public education,

 

Corporations simply can't stand to see that big pot of money out there being wasted on public education. They want their cut.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:17 PM

17. Yup this. Corporate profits have invaded every aspect of public discourse.

This is the real problem in our society when profit matters over people.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 08:49 AM

3. Yes.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 09:38 AM

4. kick n/t

 

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 09:50 AM

5. The distinction between fact regurgitation and education has been blurred.

Personal enrichment & enlightenment has to take a back seat to the needs of business. Studies show when populations are more keenly aware of the activities of the 1% it only causes PR problems and possibly unrest down the road. Not good for quarterly reports.
Make them just smart enough to pull the lever and get the treat, anything else is just asking for trouble.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:05 AM

6. Recommend...

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$'s....is what it's about.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:24 AM

7. You know, I don't think

"But now that madness is going to doubled down on. Now the president wants to partner big business with public schools, essentially making a lot of schools into company schools, teaching no more than what is needed to work in menial jobs. Public education is being transformed into an extended job training program, and away from a true, comprehensive education. "

...people have any idea what the President actually said. Where did he mention that he "wants to partner big business with public schools, essentially making a lot of schools into company schools"? He was talking about upgrading the infrastructure. The education portion of his speech was focused on universal pre-school, apprenticeships (anyone know anything about schools like Brooklyn Technical HS, one of the top high schools in NY, knows this is long overdue) and reducing college tuition.

<...>

So tonight, I propose a ďFix-It-FirstĒ program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country. (Applause.) And to make sure taxpayers donít shoulder the whole burden, Iím also proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most: modern ports to move our goods, modern pipelines to withstand a storm, modern schools worthy of our children. (Applause.) Letís prove that thereís no better place to do business than here in the United States of America, and letís start right away. We can get this done.

And part of our rebuilding effort must also involve our housing sector. The good news is our housing market is finally healing from the collapse of 2007. Home prices are rising at the fastest pace in six years. Home purchases are up nearly 50 percent, and construction is expanding again.

But even with mortgage rates near a 50-year low, too many families with solid credit who want to buy a home are being rejected. Too many families who never missed a payment and want to refinance are being told no. Thatís holding our entire economy back. We need to fix it.

Right now, thereís a bill in this Congress that would give every responsible homeowner in America the chance to save $3,000 a year by refinancing at todayís rates. Democrats and Republicans have supported it before, so what are we waiting for? Take a vote, and send me that bill. (Applause.) Why would we be against that? (Applause.) Why would that be a partisan issue, helping folks refinance? Right now, overlapping regulations keep responsible young families from buying their first home. Whatís holding us back? Letís streamline the process, and help our economy grow.

These initiatives in manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, housing -- all these things will help entrepreneurs and small business owners expand and create new jobs. But none of it will matter unless we also equip our citizens with the skills and training to fill those jobs. (Applause.)

And that has to start at the earliest possible age. Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road. But today, fewer than 3 in 10 four year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program. Most middle-class parents canít afford a few hundred bucks a week for a private preschool. And for poor kids who need help the most, this lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives. So tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America. (Applause.) That's something we should be able to do.

Every dollar we invest in high-quality early childhood education can save more than seven dollars later on -- by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime. In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, form more stable families of their own. We know this works. So letís do what works and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Letís give our kids that chance. (Applause.)

Letís also make sure that a high school diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job. Right now, countries like Germany focus on graduating their high school students with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges. So those German kids, they're ready for a job when they graduate high school. They've been trained for the jobs that are there. Now at schools like P-Tech in Brooklyn, a collaboration between New York Public Schools and City University of New York and IBM, students will graduate with a high school diploma and an associate's degree in computers or engineering.
We need to give every American student opportunities like this. (Applause.)

And four years ago, we started Race to the Top -- a competition that convinced almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards, all for about 1 percent of what we spend on education each year. Tonight, Iím announcing a new challenge to redesign Americaís high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. And weíll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering and math -- the skills todayís employers are looking for to fill the jobs that are there right now and will be there in the future.

Now, even with better high schools, most young people will need some higher education. Itís a simple fact the more education youíve got, the more likely you are to have a good job and work your way into the middle class. But today, skyrocketing costs price too many young people out of a higher education, or saddle them with unsustainable debt.

Through tax credits, grants and better loans, weíve made college more affordable for millions of students and families over the last few years. But taxpayers canít keep on subsidizing higher and higher and higher costs for higher education. Colleges must do their part to keep costs down, and itís our job to make sure that they do. (Applause.)

So tonight, I ask Congress to change the Higher Education Act so that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid. (Applause.) And tomorrow, my administration will release a new ďCollege ScorecardĒ that parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria -- where you can get the most bang for your educational buck.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/12/remarks-president-state-union-address


Brooklyn Tech has been a mixed academic-apprenticeship school forever. Students in those programs graduated with the skills that allowed them to go directly into a trade.

<...>

In 1918, Dr. Albert L. Colston, chair of the Math Department at Manual Training High School, recommended establishing a technical high school for Brooklyn boys. His plan envisioned a heavy concentration of math, science, and drafting courses with parallel paths leading either to college or to a technical career in industry. By 1922, Dr. Colston's concept was approved by the Board of Education, and Brooklyn Technical High School opened in a converted warehouse at 49 Flatbush Avenue Extension, with 2,400 students. This location, in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge, is the reason the school seal bears that bridge's image, rather than the more obvious symbol for the borough, the Brooklyn Bridge. Brooklyn Tech would occupy one more location before settling into its site at 29 Fort Greene Place, for which the groundbreaking was held in 1930.

Early academics

Atypical for American high schools, Brooklyn Tech uses a system of college-style majors. The curriculum consists of two years of general studies with a technical and engineering emphasis, followed by two years of a student-chosen major.

The curriculum remained largely unchanged until the end of Dr. Colston's 20-year term as principal in 1942. Upon his retirement, Tech was led briefly by acting principal Ralph Breiling, who was succeeded by Principal Harold Taylor in 1944. Tech's modernization would come under Principal William Pabst, who assumed stewardship in 1946 after serving as chair of the Electrical Department. Pabst created new majors and refined older ones, allowing students to select science and engineering preparatory majors including Aeronautical, Architecture, Chemical, Civil, Electrical (later including Electronics and Broadcast), Industrial Design, Mechanical, Structural, and Arts and Sciences. A general College Preparatory curriculum, would be added later.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooklyn_Technical_High_School#Original_plan

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Response to ProSense (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:35 AM

9. This is what I am referring to,

 

"Tonight, Iím announcing a new challenge to redesign Americaís high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. And weíll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering and math ó the skills todayís employers are looking for to fill the jobs that are there right now and will be there in the future."

Now then, our history with mixing public education and big business has not gone really well. At the minimum, the corporate partner has used this as an opportunity to recruit new lifelong consumers. But apparently, this is going to give the corporations more power and influence, which will lead to corporate curriculum. "American Express funds "Academies of Travel & Tourism" for four New York City public schools where "students study geography and foreign cultures in preparation for employment in the tourist business."
http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=3028

Note, this is from 1998, it has only gotten worse since then.

Looking at Brooklyn Tech, the one that immediately strikes you is the distinct lack of humanities classes. Yes, you've got a "Social Science Research" major and a few other individual classes, but other than that, the humanities is distinctly lacking. Where is the writing and other comm arts? Hell, I went a public high school thirty five years ago and was taking college level lit and creative writing classes. I see none of that here. (Oh, and would you please stop using Wiki as a reference. Wiki is not an acceptable source in middle school research, and it shouldn't be acceptable in the world at large, for numerous reasons, including bias and accuracy. It is a bad and lazy habit of yours that you need to break).

Sorry, but this initiative has disaster written all over, much like NCLB and RTTT.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:49 AM

11. That is

"Tonight, Iím announcing a new challenge to redesign Americaís high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. And weíll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering and math ó the skills todayís employers are looking for to fill the jobs that are there right now and will be there in the future."

...about apprenticeships. Still, after pointing that out, it's interesting that you turn your criticism on Brooklyn Tech.

Now then, our history with mixing public education and big business has not gone really well. At the minimum, the corporate partner has used this as an opportunity to recruit new lifelong consumers. But apparently, this is going to give the corporations more power and influence, which will lead to corporate curriculum. "American Express funds "Academies of Travel & Tourism" for four New York City public schools where "students study geography and foreign cultures in preparation for employment in the tourist business."
http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=3028

Note, this is from 1998, it has only gotten worse since then.

Looking at Brooklyn Tech, the one that immediately strikes you is the distinct lack of humanities classes. Yes, you've got a "Social Science Research" major and a few other individual classes, but other than that, the humanities is distinctly lacking. Where is the writing and other comm arts? Hell, I went a public high school thirty five years ago and was taking college level lit and creative writing classes. I see none of that here. (Oh, and would you please stop using Wiki as a reference. Wiki is not an acceptable source in middle school research, and it shouldn't be acceptable in the world at large, for numerous reasons, including bias and accuracy. It is a bad and lazy habit of yours that you need to break).

Sorry, but this initiative has disaster written all over, much like NCLB and RTTT.

The school has extensive humanities programs for all students, required at the freshman and sophomore levels for all students and even at the junior and senior level for students who do chose an apprenticeship program. It has intensive college prep programs, including pre-medical, for students who are not in apprenticeship programs.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #11)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:14 PM

15. No, that was not referring to apprenticeships,

 

If you have any information about such, I would surely appreciate seeing it.

No, this about pairing each school with a corporate "sponsor", the better to train students to be good little corporate drones.

Furthermore, note what Obama has placed emphasis on, "and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering and math." Again, not every student is cut out for those fields. What about placing an emphasis on English as well, or Social Sciences.

Finally, this is simply a continuation of already failed strategy, namely having schools "compete" for resources, much like is done under RTTT. That essentially means that suburban schools, who already have a wonderful funding base and access to a lot of resources, are going to be outclassing both inner city schools and rural schools.

Such a competition model under both NCLB and RTTT has proven a failure, we are turning out more and more high school graduates who are not ready for college, trade schools, or the real world. But somehow the competition model is supposed to work now

Instead of pitting one school against another for money and resources, how about we fully fund each and every school, provide all of them with the resources they need. How about we put actual educators in charge of making decisions about education, from the school board level all the way up to Secretary of Education.

Those are the kind of changes we need, not competition between schools.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:23 PM

19. High schools

"Furthermore, note what Obama has placed emphasis on, "and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering and math." Again, not every student is cut out for those fields. What about placing an emphasis on English as well, or Social Sciences."

...including Brooklyn Tech, already place an emphasis on English and Social Sciences.

"not every student is cut out for those fields"?

What does that have to do with providing training in those fields for those who want it? Not everyone wants to go to college.

You seem to be arguing against apprenticeships. You do know that route to a skill was around long before Obama, right?

A big part of the problem is that this path was cut off to many people who it could have benefited.


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Response to ProSense (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:31 PM

21. So you want to revert our education policy to the eighteenth century when apprenticeships flourished

 

Is that what you want? Sorry, but apprenticeships are an education model that is of limited value in the modern world.

But what I'm mainly arguing against, and which you have not addressed, is this administration's education model that is based upon schools competing for resources. For money under RTTT, now under this new initiative, competition for partnerships and resources.

Why not just fully fund and resource all schools rather than forcing competition upon them?

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Response to ProSense (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:32 PM

22. money in, money out

If they put money into science and technology they are going to want results, profit. That means they are going to be pushing as many kids to go into these fields as possible even if they are not good at them. These colleges and businesses they are going to be partnering with are going to want large numbers of kids coming to them so they can make a profit. If they don't see the number of kids majoring in math and science they want they will push kids into it. It already happens with advanced classes and more and more with regular classes. Schools want to look good so they can get federal money. The way they look good is by giving the statistics the government is looking for. One way schools do this is by pushing kids into advanced classes who aren't ready for them. Another way is by pushing special education students like mine into regular classes before they are ready. I am a parent of a senior in high school who has taken advanced classes and a parent of a special needs child in middle school. I know these pressures. I live them everyday. I see your point and it would be a valid point if federal money were not tied to school performance. Hell, even standardized tests are not bad in and of themselves. They do provide good data to see where kids need help. The problem becomes that schools are under tremendous pressure to make these kids improve or lose funding. I'm not against apprenticeships, but tying federal funding directly to how many kids major in math and science is a disaster waiting to happen.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 02:46 PM

27. and unfortunately, corporate involvement in public schools is usually far more short-sighted

they aren't even thinking about producing menial laborers or loyal consumers--they just want to siphon off some of our tax dollars that are supposed to pay for public education and directing them into corporate profits.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:42 AM

10. Considering how its worked so far....

getting corps more involved in running our nation is just another knife in the back of the workers.

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Response to daleanime (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:55 AM

14. Well,

Considering how its worked so far...

getting corps more involved in running our nation is just another knife in the back of the workers.

...I can tell you, the HS I cited produced graduates who, even in the 1970s, were able to get high-wage jobs right out of HS. Many of them were doing better than their peers who chose the college route.

Given what college costs are and the fact that higher education is being taken over by corporations, I see the Brooklyn Tech model as a great alternative. Much better than high school grads and college students being forced to work at Wal-Mart.

So you can rant about stabbing workers in the back, but I don't see better skilled HS graduates who can command higher wages as something to oppose.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #14)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:34 PM

23. So if you have money you can have a voice in this nation.....

We don't make them(corps) pay a fair share, so let's give them more control over unimportant stuff like which roads get repaired, whether a bridge gets replaced or not, and what type of education is marketable(please don't get me started on that-you might see a full scale rant from me) in the hope that we'll get some table scraps.


Since raygun corp influence has gone up, while the quality of life for the middle class, the working class, and the poor has gone down. So please tell me how this is a good thing to even think about giving them a greater voice.

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Response to daleanime (Reply #23)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:42 PM

24. What the hell are you talking about?

We don't make them(corps) pay a fair share, so let's give them more control over unimportant stuff like which roads get repaired, whether a bridge gets replaced or not, and what type of education is marketable(please don't get me started on that-you might see a full scale rant from me) in the hope that we'll get some table scraps.

Who the hell do you think is repairing the roads right now?

Go ahead rant about "marketable" education, and then explain the high cost of college, which I went to decades before Obama became President.



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Response to ProSense (Reply #24)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:58 PM

25. ? n/t

 

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:48 AM

8. K&R

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:51 AM

12. Applying a corporate model to the public education system,

which is a civic institution doesn't work. Also , liberal arts classes teach you to think critically and communicate effectively. I helped a friend out by volunteering at a day long marketing conference and a well -known marketing consultant said the most important skill in marketing is to know how to write. Even engineering students need these classes to be well-rounded. Arrrgh, this drives me crazy.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:51 AM

13. Tea Party loons starting to affect bond issues

 

Several school districts in my area saw bond issues defeated and several more won only narrow victories last night because of Tea Party whackadoos. These are districts that had no trouble getting these bond issues passed less than a decade ago.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:17 PM

16. parents will drive the change

When government does nothing the people do something. I think we will see a large number of people either homeschooling or creating other alternatives. When enough people start doing something different then and only then will government take notice. There are millions of us parents who will not sacrifice our children to the profit god that all of our corporations and politicians worship at. We will find the best soultion for our own child no matter what the politicians are doing, and when they see enough people doing something differently they will change.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:22 PM

18. Exactly. He is calling for more of the same, expanding to high schools. Testing, more testing.

We must have more testing to be sure they are ready to make big business happy.

Race to the Top and NCLB are why schools are failing and being closed. That business "partnership" is no partnership at all...they need the schools to fail to be reopened on their terms.

What is called for is more of what has been going on for the last 4 years. He and Arne have not heard a word teachers and parents have said. Heck, even students are protesting RTTT now.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:27 PM

20. the "solution" doesn't have to be effective as long as the right palms are greased

and the right people profit.

and by profit, I mean literally.

The education of our children is clearly secondary to Wall Street commoditizing and profiting from another part of the commons.

Expect to pay for air in the near future.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 02:44 PM

26. kick

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 02:47 PM

28. This may actually help Unionism. People taking trade courses could lead to union resurgence.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 02:49 PM

30. the people funding this Race to the Top will not allow that to happen

This whole thing has been orchestrated by the 1% to turn education into a profit machine. Are they really going to allow their profit machine to turn into unions.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 02:57 PM

32. not when corporations run the trade schools, it won't. the us used to have a wonderful network

 

of *public* trade schools and technical colleges.

they have been systematically defunded and turned into certificate programs for low-skill jobs like 'culinary assistant'.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 02:47 PM

29. How do you create workers who can think outside the box after 12 years of nothing but filling it in?

How many questions in life present A-E answers?

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 02:55 PM

31. kr. obama's discussion of rttt in sotu was laughable pr-talk.

 

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