HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » mbperrin » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 7,672

Journal Archives

Why do you worry about these singular events when a MILLION Americans die

every three years from SMOKING?

50,000 a year killed by drunk drivers.

And so on.

If we gave an actual damn about American citizens and their lives, we'd get drunks off the road and tobacco off the market. But nope.
So please stop waving the bloody shirt about these occasional events that are statistical outliers. No one, government or otherwise, can stop a lone wolf like McVeigh. Period.

Meanwhile, the government is busy with a war on women, on minority voters, on Social Security, and I can't complain about that?

Jefferson was one of the founders of the current government, and he advocated revolution whenever a government becomes oppressive. He said it was the DUTY of the people to change any government, by force is need be, when it treads on the rights of the people. Guess what? As a slave owner, he wasn't exactly a perfect person, either. But his actions are what counted in forming the government. Snowden's actions count now.

If the answer is we can't criticize or expose moral wrongs committed by the government, what was the question?

Until a large longitudinal study is done tracing students' lives and events in those lives,

then we have no correlation to education, and no reason to believe that every child needs the same curriculum.

We already know that every student cannot be taught in the exact same way, so why worry about a uniform curriculum?

Seems to me we should worry about a curriculum that will enable each student to have success in life, whatever that means, and that's the first task: what is success? I suspect it will not be uniform, either.

Meanwhile, by putting all our eggs in one basket with one or another lockstep curriculum model, we know not what we're throwing away.

Two reasons this study will never happen:
1. Costly and time-consuming
2. Results may gore the wrong ox

Just my 2 cents' worth.

Well, seeing as how the Lege is all up in ... a woman's uterus..., I mean in arms,

why not go all the way with this sanctity of life thing?

Seems to me that looking at only fertilized eggs is a limited view of the whole thing.

So I propose a bill that would require all men capable of ejaculation in Texas to either ensure that every sperm has fertilized an egg, OR that any non-joined sperm be preserved cryonically until such time as it will have its turn to do its duty to churn out zygotes.

Documents will have to kept, and if any are spilled beyond recovery, a Form SS-1 (Spilled Sperm #1 Report), must be filled out within 24 hours by any ejaculated male to describe the circumstances regarding the non-recovery of the sperm, how many sperm were estimated to be in the non-recovered group, and what is the general motility of the recovered sperm so that we can see if they were worth crying over.

If the recovered sperm from the same sample show a superior motility rate, the offender must pay a fine for EACH lost sperm, not to exceed $10,000 each, not a total of more than $50 million per incident. This should make men more careful,

BUT if a second spill and non-recovery occurs, the offender will be deemed in contempt of the statute, and must file a Form SS-2 within 24 hours of the spill. The penalty at this point becomes total removal of all body portions which help to create sperm, since these scofflaws have proven they cannot be trusted with precious, precious, potential life!

Some tweaking could be needed, but I think that's pretty much it, in a, uh, nutshell.

I teach high school in Texas. Here are the answers for me.

Has the quality of public education really gone downhill since I was a kid, or is that a myth?

Strictly a myth. When I graduated in 1971 from the same school where I teach now, you needed 17 credits to graduate. There were no calculus classes, no second year chemistry or biology, no physics, no mandatory senior English, even. Now, 26 credits, which must include physics as one science plus three other sciences, 4 years of English, 4 years of math (and calculus is offered), and 4 years of social studies, including economics and government, which were a combined course back when, along the lines of be a good citizen and vote. So many more and much more rigorous classes are being taught and are mandatory for all students to take.

Have kids gotten harder to teach?

My kids, the "regular" kids, are harder to teach because they have poor socialization. Absent parents or working parents cannot sit down to supper and model behaviors for their kids, who get their social norms from their friends, TV, video games, and movies. Very difficult to transfer eating at McDonald's accompanied by screaming kids on the playground into attentive conversation at a fine restaurant or in the classroom. So, socialization, including eye contact, shaking hands, different speech registers and more, are about 1/4 of the curriculum now, and it pays large rewards to do that later in the courses.

Are parents working too hard to help their kids, or to notice if they're failing, let alone get involved with the PTA or pay attention to school board elections?

50% of the adults in my county over the age of 25 do not have a high school diploma. They cannot assist in senior English homework, calculus, physics, economics, Biology II, or most other senior courses. Add to the lack of formal credential the following: 30% of my students live in households where the language spoken is other than English; 87% of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch; half of the seniors work 40 hours a week in addition to attending school so that they can have nicer clothes, something to drive, a personal phone, and other things that adults should, but simply cannot, provide. There is no and never has been a PTA at our high school, and in the last school board elections a few weeks ago, 2200 people voted out of 44,000 registered voters in this county, and those 2200 votes were split among 4 positions. It literally takes more votes to become homecoming queen than to be elected to the school board here.

Are class sizes too big?

Not in the AP and IB program, where we have 6 or 7 students in a section. However, in the regular and inclusion side where I teach, 150 students is the GOAL of the administration for each teacher, but I teach more like 180 each semester (economics and government are one semester courses). There is an internal resegregation of schools that is not race-based, but income-based. Doctors kids, lawyers' kids, university professors' kids attend the small intimate classes of AP and IB, while everyone else functions in a larger enviroment.

Are populations more diverse?

Yes, and it's a good thing. My school was an all-white school in 1971, and we now benefit from many students of Mexican descent, students from Asian backgrounds, Pacific Islanders, black students, totaled together are now about 52% of the school, which is a nearly perfect mirror of the community.

In inflation-adjusted dollars, are we spending less per child than we were 50 years ago?

Never mind 50 years ago. LAST year, spending dropped nearly 15% per student with the cuts from the state of Texas. That's in current dollars. This year, about half of the total cut was restored, but with student population increases, it will actually be another 12% cut. So in just two years, we have cut per student spending by 25%.

What factors are actually different now from when they were back when public education was strong (at least, it was strong at my school when I was growing up)? What are the causes of those changes, if any?

When I was growing up, I didn't know anybody who had a mom work outside the home, nor did I know any divorced parents. 1972 was the peak oil production in the history of the US, and we live in the largest domestic oilfield, so wages were good, and I didn't know any kid who had a job of any kind during the school year. Some worked a bit in the summer for the experience, but that was it.
Now, nearly none of my students have a stay at home parent, big bunch are single parent households, and as I mentioned before, nearly half my students work full time.

How does the current system actually work? How are the administrators selected? Where is the union, what role has it played? How are union leaders selected?

The superintendent is selected by the school board, He or she selects all the other administrators based on recommendations from other administrators. Public employees do not have the right to strike nor to negotiate contracts in Texas, so the teacher associations and the one union (AFT) exist really to provide professional liability insurance for legal expenses.

What are the large and small, direct and indirect causes of the problems? We must be courageous in facing all the problems and all their causes, because we can't devise effective solutions until we understand those things.

The big thing is the impoverishment of the US population over the last 40 years - it's led to the financial pressures that wreck marriages, increase dependence on minimum wage jobs for every member of the household since waiting for more training means no electricity this month. This poverty and lack of availability for family leads to peer-led interactions without intermediation, so we have the highest unwed mother rate in Texas, the second highest rate of STDs for school kids, heavy drug use, not just of marijuana or inhalants, but readily available and cheap heroin, cocaine, and other opiates.

What are the real solutions? We do need you to help us identify real solutions, because if you don't offer any, others will.

Money. Money for families to afford family time. Money for students to actually attend class and devote time to school activities and school work. Money for resources to increase the number of teachers, bringing down class sizes. Money for students to have Internet connections or supplies for school projects - many of my students are precluded from the robotics program because the students themselves have to provide more than a thousand dollars worth of supplies each for the class - the district does nothing, because they don't have the money. And they don't.

Hope this helps.

AFP-Texas: Ending CSCOPE a tremendous victory for parents and students


AUSTIN -- Senate Education Chairman Dan Patrick on Monday (May 20) announced an end to the controversial CSCOPE curriculum.
In a press conference at the Capitol, Sen. Patrick said all 20 members of the CSCOPE Board (the Texas Regional Service Center Directors) signed a letter stating they will notify their 875 school district and individual school clients that they cannot use any lesson plans beyond August 31, 2013.

“CSCOPE curriculum content was controversial, but our biggest issue was with the action the Regional Education Service Centers (ESC’s) took to cloak the CSCOPE project in secrecy. ESC’s created a non-profit shell corporation (TESCCC – Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative) which had no employees, no money and no address, but was used as a shield for ESC staff to claim they were not subject to open records or open meetings.

“The Regional Education Service Centers may have agreed to end CSCOPE knowing that they were under intense scrutiny by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott; Lt Gov David Dewhurst was asking for a state audit; and legislative leaders including Senators Patrick, Donna Campbell and Rep. Steve Toth were intent on going through financials and lesson plans and making it all public.

I'm personally glad to see this gone. You had to sign a secrecy agreement not to reveal any content or lesson plans to parents, other teachers, or anyone outside your own department, subject to criminal prosecution. They had something to hide from the first - crappy, unworkable lessons that must have been pulled from free sites, new student teachers, or someplace similar. The whole robotic instruction movement has gotten a black eye. Now maybe districts can use their existing curriculum experts - their teachers - to write plans.

I call BS.

1. "Making a mess on the sofa." What mess? Piss? Poop? Vomit? Muddy paws? Really vague, but I can tell you that a 4 year old animal that is not sick nor injured does not do the first three, and the last one is hardly a capital crime.

2. The owner is in his 20s. This means that he has probably bought into the pit stereotype as a "mean vicious" trophy animal, and has treated the dog as such, hardly the dog's fault.

3. "Swatted" the dog. With what? Hand, bat, club, foot, what? If a dog is puking, pooping, or pissing, why would anyone interrupt that with physical force? Tell you what - burst in on your spouse this afternoon while they're doing any of the above and give them a "simple" swat and see if you get an angry response.

4. Then when the immature and perhaps cruel owner sees that his imaginary world is untrue and that abused animals will defend themselves, what is his loving reaction? First a steak knife and then Euthanasia. I sure hope this stupid couple never has children, and they should never be allowed to own an animal again of any kind.

5. So, in short, an incapable, stupid owner mistreats an animal until finally, as we all would, the end comes and defense is attempted, and then the animal is put down and somehow the stupid owner is seen as a victim, and the "bad dog" got his due.

I will bet a hundred dollar bill that dog fighting goes on within ten minutes of that place, and I'll bet that stupid couple knew about it, and wished to participate, or did.

I do hope "Stubby Finger" never wants to own another animal, because I'm sure that he will not be banned, seeing as how stupid many people are about this topic.

Actually, a few facts need to be added.

This is an 18 year old sophomore, two years behind age level, one year because he dropped out, the other year apparently due to failing enough classes. His mother teaches in another district. One would suppose that because he came back, he has some internal motivation. But apparently, he thinks it is someone else's job to provide that for him.

Duncanville High School is a huge school and is rated Academically Acceptable by the state of Texas, which is a lot harder than people might think for a large school with a big minority enrollment and extensive free and reduced lunch students.

The teacher he's picking on is a Ms. Phung, who not only has her school web page up to date, she also has a youTube channel and a Pinterest site for her students to access for help anytime 24/7. She's in her 40s, been teaching a couple of decades, and teaches 5 classes of World History, a 10th grade class with two of those sections being inclusion classes, which means anything from special ed students to those on criminal probation, suspension from another school, 504 students which could include autistic, wheelchair-bound, deaf, or otherwise physically challenged students.

She also teaches an Asian studies class.

So the school has a good rating on state assessments, she obviously teaches multi-modally, he's in a class full of 15 year olds while he's 18, yeah, I'll just write him up as wanting some attention and having picked up some jargon from mom, all to cover up his embarassment at being so far behind where he should be.

I have a MAEd, so anytime a student actually challenges me on methods, I ask them if they have had fillings installed in their teeth or any other dental work, extractions, anything? When they say yes, then I remind them that they were there all along while the dentists worked on them, and so they wouldn't mind extracting or filling their own tooth next time, would they?

Protests. Then I have to point out the obvious: simply being around an educated practitioner does not mean that you can do any part of their job, that you are a consumer, and when consumers go against professional advice, they cut their toes off underneath lawn mowers, they poison themselves by leaving raw chicken on the counter, and they shoot themselves in the foot trying a quick draw.

Ms. Phung will be lucky she doesn't get fired, because teachers are lowest on the totem poles at schools, just a little below the janitorial staff, pretty far under the cafeteria staff, and only a speck to administration and central office personnel.

And that's too bad. Because then they can get a newbie who will need three years just to be able to have confidence that they are calling on children in a non-gendered, non-ethnic sequence, never mind all the rest of it.

I've noticed that cycle in our town for the last decade.

We're supposedly in a "boom", but what I see is great business in restaurants and stores on the 1st-3rd, and 15-17th, paydays. Then I see many many garage sales on the week between - the 10th and 20th, and what people sell are things like headboards, their dryer, not the washer, the dishwasher, electronics, things not absolutely needed.

Big lines at Redbox and all the video rental stores are out of business. Only two movie theaters left. 85% of the kids in the high school where I teach qualify for free or reduced lunches.

Young women with two or three small children walking carrying their bags from the Dollar Store, no car of their own, and very limited bus service here. For shopping, it goes to the mall, but these folks are not going to the mall.

Yes, when you're poor, everything takes longer, costs more, and is not as good as you wanted it to be.

The root problem is the monetization of housing.

For centuries, even thousands of years, the purpose of a house was to provide shelter for a family group. You built it and lived in it, and passed it along to those that followed.

Then we invented home financing, where bankers make more money than builders from the same house.
Where people are told that their home is not a shelter, but a financial asset to borrow money against. The money and interest paid back suck money out of the rest of the economy.
Where people are told that they must obtain larger and more expensive housing by trading their old houses and taking out ever-larger loans. This means that bankers make multiples more than builders.

Then, when housing can't be paid for, the families are evicted, and the properties are bundled into other financial transactions, making more money for banks and financial gamblers and hedgers.

So you end up not with communities made up of family-owned, generationally-passed shelters, and people free to spend their money for real things, not interest and fees, but instead a landscape of shadow entities propelled by interest and fees, "protected" by hedges and US government guarantees to banks, while real people have no place to live, because they do not have the entry ticket.

One ticket used to be enough for generations, now each family needs many tickets during a single life to try to stay covered. Any accident, bump, or glitch, and families are out. Banks win either way, and so millions of perfectly good housing units stand empty while millions of perfectly good people are homeless.

Homes are not and never were intended to be investments nor financial tools of any kind. They keep you covered from the weather and safe from environmental intrusion. That's all.

Will no one rid Texas of this turbulent idiot?

No peoples or states could possibly deserve having Perry as their governor.

Flood? ok
Fire from heaven? dramatic
Pillar of salt? permanent

Perry? Lord Lord hear the cries of thy people!
Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next »