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Thread: The Diabolical Genius of the American Public Education System

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    Senior Member Auricomous's Avatar
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    The Diabolical Genius of the American Public Education System

    I wrote this last semester...

    Ignorance Is Strength;
    The Diabolical Genius of the American Public Education System


    It seems as though middle-class Americans have become little more than wage slaves, producers of the global cash crop that is human labor, whose existence revolves around selling the hours of their lives in exchange for their own survival. It is as though they have been socially and behaviorally conditioned to live like consumer cattle and conduits of profit; giving away the majority of their waking lives to work for a company, earning wages that are disproportionate to the cost of living and the value of the life invested in contributing to the company’s success. In many cases the income is barely enough to afford the basic essentials of life, with the remainder of the earnings going to pay the interest on an insurmountable debt owed to a bank for the privilege of living in a house; with little to nothing left to invest significantly toward the prosperity, happiness, freedom and self-sufficiency of the household. While there are many factors that have contributed to the realization of this modern-day indentured servitude, one of the most alarming and detrimental to our future is the deliberate under-education of the majority of American citizens. The American public school system is inadequate and has failed generations of the nation's citizens. (Dobbs, 157)

    American public schools are training the children they educate to be entry-level minimum-wage worker drones, the unquestioning carriers-out of tasks, perfectly obedient in the face of discontent. This is the result of a childhood lifetime spent being taught to memorize formulas and wait to be told the correct answer; rather than critically analyzing, deducing, and truly understanding the subject. Children are the conduits of the nation's future, whose minds must be educated with a rich and eclectic academic curriculum and whose critical and divergent thinking will armor their own personal freedom, prosperity, and ultimately the nation's sovereignty against those who would seek to exploit ignorance and undermine freedom. Critical and divergent thinking are the filters that purify the waters of the fountain of knowledge from which the mind drinks; without it the mind can become poisoned with beliefs, and beliefs are merely the act of accepting someone's word as true without requiring evidence or logic to support it. While they may be good for Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and snake-oil salesmen, beliefs are a bad thing for finding truth, objective problem-solving, gaining confidence in one's convictions, and guarding against those that wish to prey upon the ignorant and trusting. Contribution to the failure of the American public schools are many, among which are the bare-bones curriculums, behavior conditioning, and moral grooming; just a few symptoms of the disease that is the indoctrination of our children into a life of serfdom. The demands of the ticking clock and full-time schedule are as the beating of a slave drum; the public school system and its sister, the corporate employer, are the prison boat on which the American Middle-class is finding itself ceaselessly rowing. (Sullivan, 1-26)

    It has become statistically evident that the primary function of the public education system is not intellectual achievement or academic excellence, but the intentional thought and behavior grooming of American citizens into a nation of peasants. Indeed, the United States academic performance is not what one might expect from the greatest nation in the world. According to a study published in the Winter 2011 edition of the scholarly journal Education Next,

    Maintaining our productivity as a nation depends importantly on developing a highly qualified cadre of scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and other professionals. To realize that objective requires a system of schooling that produces students with advanced math and science skills. To see how well schools in the United States do at producing high-achieving math students, we compared the percentage of U.S. students in the high-school graduating Class of 2009 with advanced skills in mathematics to percentages of similarly high achievers in other countries. Unfortunately, we found that the percentage of students in the U.S. Class of 2009 who were highly accomplished in math is well below that of most countries with which the United States generally compares itself. No fewer than 30 of the 56 other countries that participated in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) math test, including most of the world’s industrialized nations, had a larger percentage of students who scored at the international equivalent of the advanced level on our own National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests. Moreover, while the percentage of students scoring at the advanced level on NAEP varies considerably among the 50 states, not even the best state does well in international comparison. (Hanushek, 11-18)

    This study reflects the impotence of the public education system and its obvious inability to transfer knowledge and unlock in students an understanding of the subjects that, most importantly, promote discerning thinking in addition to enriching a child's intellectual horizons, allowing the conception and application of innovations; serving to improve human life in the United States and advancing civilization as a whole. Potentially, this ideal unfolding of intellectual evolution may never be realized. In an article written by Alexander Heffner for Bloomberg, he states,

    The U.S. isn’t moving fast enough to compete with India, China and other emerging-market countries. Infrastructure and Internet connectivity in America are crumbling wrecks compared with the rest of the industrialized world. While U.S. universities are still considered the world’s best, surveys show American public education to be in dismal condition, plagued with an increasing dropout rate, a dramatic achievement gap in mathematics and science, and a ubiquitous civic illiteracy... According to data collected over the last decade by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a majority of students aren’t proficient in reading, history or math at each of the critical fourth- or eighth-grade benchmarks. Meager teacher pay -- about $150 a week less than comparable occupations, according to the -- explains these student deficiencies. Studies consistently show that starting salaries for teachers in the U.S. are considerably less than in other developed countries. (Heffner)

    Clearly, the nation's youth are not being educated to their fullest capacity or potential. The United States is not a nation of unintelligent people, but due to the social conditioning and academic anorexia of the public educational system, America has become a nation of adults with shocking indifference to the massive absence of general knowledge in math, science, government, and history; information essential to being a free and self-reliant individual, the foundation for a free nation. (Kozol, 27-34; 119-130)

    This social conditioning is meant to raise a docile, unquestioning citizenry and comes in the form of rituals of nationalism without understanding of patriotism, the imposition of a passive “don't rock the boat” morality, the skeletonization of the curriculum, the purposeful lack of emphasizing how important it is to know how the government and economy of the United States works, and the censorship of facts through the Orwellian-double-speak filter of political correctness. Attention to this situation is often diverted by those who benefit from such a bovine society, typically the rich and powerful, with the argument that it is the teachers who are failing the students, big businessmen and politicians who continue to insist that punishing teachers for poor test scores is the solution, even though it has not worked so far. As Diane Ravitch, a respected historian and Research Professor of Education for New York University passionately proclaims in a blog posted by Valerie Strauss for The Washington Post online,
    No, I certainly don't like the status quo. I don't like the attacks on teachers, I don't like the attacks on the educators who work in our schools day in and day out, I don't like the phony solutions that are now put forward that won't improve our schools at all. I am not at all content with the quality of American education in general, and I have expressed my criticisms over many years, long before Bill Gates decided to make education his project. I think American children need not only testing in basic skills, but an education that includes the arts, literature, the sciences, history, geography, civics, foreign languages, economics, and physical education. I don't hear any of the corporate reformers expressing concern about the way standardized testing narrows the curriculum, the way it rewards convergent thinking and punishes divergent thinking, the way it stamps out creativity and originality. I don't hear any of them worried that a generation will grow up ignorant of history and the workings of government. I don't hear any of them putting up $100 million to make sure that every child has the chance to learn to play a musical instrument. All I hear from them is a demand for higher test scores and a demand to tie teachers' evaluations to those test scores. That is not going to improve education. (Strauss)

    The author of several books on the topic, Diane Ravitch goes on to explain in her book, The Language Police, that there is a process of scrutiny and elimination of learning topics and materials based on their risk of offending or upsetting anyone. After these political corrections to the learning materials, or their elimination entirely, children are left with “boring, inane texts about a cotton-candy world bearing no resemblance to what children can access with the click of a remote control or a computer mouse. Sadly, data show that these efforts to sanitize language do not advance learning or bolster test scores, the very reason for banning allegedly insensitive words and topics”. (Ravitch, 112-132)

    The purpose being served by public education indeed seems not to be education, but brainwashing. In Brave New World, a fictional tale of the struggles of being human in a society of dehumanization, Aldous Huxley offers a glimpse into the logic as to what use, if not for academic purposes, this type of thought-pruning might be to anyone. In his fictional yet prophetic novel he writes,
    And that’ put in the Director sententiously, ‘that is the secret of happiness and virtue; liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny. (Huxley, 16)
    Additionally, in Chapter 2, Mr. Huxley writes,
    Till at last the child's mind is these suggestions, and the sum of the suggestions is the child's mind. And not the child's mind only. The adult's mind too-all his life long. The mind that judges and desire and decides-made up of these suggestions. But all these suggestions are our suggestions... Suggestions from the State. (Huxley, 28-29)

    A fictional author is not the only one who notices this dystopian thought-control being implemented in public schools today. In his book The Night is Dark and I Am Far from Home, Jonathan Kozol boldly exclaims,
    The first goal and primary function of the U.S. public school is not to educate good people, but good citizens. It is the function which we call – in enemy nations – ‘state indoctrination.’… In the U.S., in the double talk of Schools of Education, we employ more elegant expressions like ‘the socializing function.
    Kozol continues,
    The words are different. The function is the same: twelve years of mandatory self-dehumanization, self-debilitation, blood-loss. (Kozol, 27)

    Once translated into adulthood, this carefully cultivated, naïve and apathetic mass consciousness is economically devastating for the Middle-Class in America. Children and adults are often told to be grateful for what they have, whenever they bring up any issues of unhappiness or discontent. While being grateful for what you have is a good philosophical practice to appreciate the good things in life, it does little to change things for the better when dealing with the issues that cause malcontent; when you want to be grateful, look down and compare yourself to those less fortunate, however, when you want to makes things better, look up at how much better things can be and strive for them. Gratefulness is beneficial for a buoyant morale, but it does not replace the viscera to independence; resolving issues and improving quality of life. It seems as though the wealthy and powerful corporate moguls of this land and their ilk want Americans to discard the Constitution, and accept an inescapable lot in life of utter servitude, similar to that of medieval peasants or robots, too busy fighting tooth and nail for survival to even notice that the “privilege” of civil rights, liberty, happiness, intellectual pursuits, the owning of property, decision making, and the very sovereignty of the United States has been left to the devices of the untouchable and corrupt emergent ruling class.

    Noticeably, the more trusting and ignorant a mass population, the more impoverished it becomes. Similarly, the more impoverished a society becomes, the less important learning becomes, getting replaced with an instinct for survival.
    As Diane Ravitch passionately explains,
    Here's the sad truth: There is no magic way to reduce the dropout rate. It involves looking at the reasons students leave school, as well as the conditions in which they live. The single biggest correlate with low academic achievement (contrary to the film Waiting for Superman) is poverty. Children who grow up in poverty get less medical care. worse nutrition, less exposure to knowledge and vocabulary, and are more likely to be exposed to childhood diseases, violence, drugs, and abuse. They are more likely to have relatives who are incarcerated. They are more likely to live in economic insecurity, not knowing if there is enough money for a winter coat or food or housing. This affects their academic performance. They tend to have lower attendance and to be sick more than children whose parents are well-off.
    "The United States today has a child poverty rate of over 20%, and it is rising. This is a national scandal. The film compares us to Finland, but doesn't mention that their child poverty rate is under 5%. Mr. Gates, why don't you address the root causes of low academic achievement, which is not 'bad teachers,' but poverty. It won't involve magic, but it would certainly require the best thinking that you can assemble. And if anyone can afford to do it, surely you can.
    I don't mean to suggest that schools as they are now are just fine: They are not. Every school should have a rich and balanced curriculum; many don't. Every child should look forward to coming to school, for his or her favorite studies and activities, but those are the very studies and activities likely to lose out to endless test preparation. Schools need many things: Some need more resources and better conditions for teaching and learning; all need a stable, experienced staff. Teachers need opportunities for intellectual growth and colleagueship. Tests should be used diagnostically, to help students and teachers, not to allocate bonuses and punishments. Teachers, principals, administrators, parents, and local communities should collaborate to create caring communities, and that's happening in many places. I know that none of this is the "magic way" that you are looking for, Mr. Gates, but any educator will tell you that education is a slow, laborious process that requires good teachers, able leadership, willing students, a strong curriculum, and willing students. None of that happens magically. (Strauss)

    It seems as though environmental factors are inseparably braided into the social and economic causes of the diabolical brainwashing machine that the American public education system has become. It is an issue that has become too obvious to ignore. Many scholars, intellectuals, and just Americans agree with this view. (Buchanan; Blumenfeld; Sykes) The curriculum is too scant, the brainwashing is detrimental to a free society, and the impoverishment of most Americans is not only the result, but the catalyst to further Americans toward an intellectual downward-spiral.

    My investigation indicates that something must be done, and I am reminded of a wonderful quote acted out by Peter Finch in the film Network. As the character Beale, Finch erupts,

    I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth; banks are going bust; shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter; punks are running wild in the street, and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat. And we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be! We all know things are bad -- worse than bad -- they're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out any more. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we're living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, "Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials, and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone." Well, I'm not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot. I don't want you to write to your Congressman, because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first, you've got to get mad. You've gotta say, "I'm a human being, goddammit! My life has value!" So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!!" (Network).



    Works Cited

    Buchanan, Patrick J. “Dumbing Down of America.” VDare.com. VDARE, 05 Mar. 2007. Web. 16 Nov. 2010. http://www.vdare.com/buchanan/070305_education.htm.
    Blumenfeld, Dr. Samuel L. “Deliberately Dumbing Down of America.” RitalinDeath.com. DEATHFROMRITALIN, 21 Oct. 2010. Web. 16 Nov. 2010. http://www.ritalindeath.com/educatio...ng-us-down.htm.
    Dobbs, Lou. War on the Middle Class. New York: Penguin Books, 2007. Print.
    Frank, Robert H. Falling Behind; How Rising Inequality Harms the Middle Class. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007. Print.
    Frase, Larry E. and William Streshly. Top Ten Myths in Education; Fantasies Americans Love to Believe. Maryland: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2000. Print.
    Hanushek, Eric A., Paul E. Peterson, and Ludger Woessmann. "Teaching Math to the Talented; Which Countries—and States—are Producing High-achieving Students?" Education Next Winter 2011 11.1 (2010): 11-18. EducationNext.org. Hoover Institution at Stanford University, 10 Nov. 2010. Web. 16 Nov. 2010. <http://educationnext.org/teaching-math-to-the-talented/>.
    Heffner, Alexander. "Tea Party Sells U.S. Short in Race to Bottom." Bloomberg - Business & Financial News, Breaking News Headlines. Bloomberg News, 22 Nov. 2010. Web. 09 Dec. 2010. <http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-23/tea-party-sells-u-s-short-in-race-to-bottom-alexander-heffner.html>.
    Hochschild, Jennifer and Nathan Scovronick. The American Dream and the Public Schools. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. Print.
    Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006. Print.
    Kozol, Jonathan. The Night is Dark and I Am Far from Home. New York: Touchstone, 1990.
    Print.
    Network. Dir. Sidney Lumet. Prod. Howard Gottfried. By Paddy Chayefsky. Perf. Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall, and Lee Richardson. United Artists, 1976. DVD.
    Orwell, George. 1984. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984. Print.
    Pizzo, Stephen. “Are 15 to 20 Percent of Americans Genuinely, Provably, and Incurably Stupid? Can We Talk?” Buzzflash.com. BUZZFLASHBLOG, 24 Mar. 2010. Web. 16 Nov. 2010. http://blog.buzzflash.com/contributors/3094.
    Ravitch, Diane. The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn. New York: Knopf, 2003. Print.
    Strauss, Valerie. "The Answer Sheet - Ravitch Answers Gates." Washingtonpost.com. Washington Post, 30 Nov. 2010. Web. 09 Dec. 2010. <http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/diane-ravitch/ravitch-answers-gates.html>.
    Sullivan, Teresa A., Elizabeth Warren, and Jay Lawrence. Westbrook. The Fragile Middle Class: Americans in Debt. New Haven: Yale UP, 2000. Print.
    Sykes, Charles J. Dumbing Down Our Kids. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1995. Print.

  2. #2
    Eala Freia Fresena
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    when you are a teacher how much time do you spend disciplining and how much time do you spend actual teaching?

    In the past the US had as many european schools still have a tripartite school system. Not everybody goes to highschool there, because it is clear not everybody is mentally fit for that.

    In the US you keep them and bring them somehow through that system to the detriment of the intelligent kids who are bored with the little they get, being kicked for being 'smartasses' and so on.

    The many dropouts are most likely kids who realize the high school is not for them, mentally they are not capable of 'getting it'.

    A lot of time and effort is spend for the dumber kids (leave no kid behind) instead of feeding the smarter ones.

    That is my two cents.
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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    Eala Freia Fresena
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    In my county (Yuba, CA) they have advertisments on the streets that 'character counts'.

    Under character they understand the brainwashprogramm and the attitudes they try to program and then test them whether the kids perform according to the brainwashnorm. Whoever is brainwashed well has a good character and gets a reward.

    Kids are not kids anymore, they are little brains which have to be programmed.


    most teachers are liberals/democrats. They stood behind those programs. Now they claim they are the victims of the schoolsystem but their representations asked exactly for that. I have no compassion for them. They created their own hell. From my point of view, let them rot there.

    government schools are dead, they don't perform.
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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    Senior Member Auricomous's Avatar
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    Nice one

    Quote Originally Posted by Ocko View Post
    when you are a teacher how much time do you spend disciplining and how much time do you spend actual teaching?

    In the past the US had as many european schools still have a tripartite school system. Not everybody goes to highschool there, because it is clear not everybody is mentally fit for that.

    In the US you keep them and bring them somehow through that system to the detriment of the intelligent kids who are bored with the little they get, being kicked for being 'smartasses' and so on.

    The many dropouts are most likely kids who realize the high school is not for them, mentally they are not capable of 'getting it'.

    A lot of time and effort is spend for the dumber kids (leave no kid behind) instead of feeding the smarter ones.

    That is my two cents.
    Most of the intelligent kids are told they have "ADHD" and they get so bored with being s much smarter than all the other kids that they get G.E.D.'s just so they can go to college sooner!

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    Senior Member Auricomous's Avatar
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    damn straight

    Quote Originally Posted by Ocko View Post
    In my county (Yuba, CA) they have advertisments on the streets that 'character counts'.

    Under character they understand the brainwashprogramm and the attitudes they try to program and then test them whether the kids perform according to the brainwashnorm. Whoever is brainwashed well has a good character and gets a reward.

    Kids are not kids anymore, they are little brains which have to be programmed.


    most teachers are liberals/democrats. They stood behind those programs. Now they claim they are the victims of the schoolsystem but their representations asked exactly for that. I have no compassion for them. They created their own hell. From my point of view, let them rot there.

    government schools are dead, they don't perform.
    Yep, they don't care about developing a child's intelligence so they can become intellectuals, leaders, scientists, and innovators... they merely are concerned with socially conditioning docile and compliant citizens

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    Senior Member The Hungry Hun's Avatar
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    I'm soon to be training for teaching. I really hope we elect a president who will fix this broken system; among many others. Specializing in history, I hope my profession will be secure for a future in preferably private setting like a private school but now I'm getting so pessimistic about my whole career choice

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    Quote Originally Posted by Auricomous View Post
    Most of the intelligent kids are told they have "ADHD" and they get so bored with being s much smarter than all the other kids that they get G.E.D.'s just so they can go to college sooner!
    Exactly, I admittedly have a rather poor GPA, I just couldn't sit there and continually complete the "busy" work that we were assigned. So much of the work that we were given was under the auspices of "You need to practice this to understand it". Now that would be fine, except they specifically budget homework to teach us, why do I go to school if most of my learning is done at home? I don't think GPA is a good judge of how intelligent someone is, or if they should enter a certain college, GPA is just a way of showing that you are happy to complete irrelevant and droll work. So what is my GPA was a 3.0 if I earned about a 2300 on the SAT? Excluding the fact that honours and AP classes do not add to your GPA, so someone getting a B in basic English earns the same points to their GPA as someone getting a B in Advanced Placement English Composition. The concept of "highschool" truly is a waste, almost all of it is useless if you are to go straight into the labour service, and the rest of it they simply reteach in college. I honestly think the American education system is biased in favour of work over knowledge.
    Ein Kampf, Ein Sieg! Fur Prussia!

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    Senior Member Ediruc's Avatar
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    I think the educational, in an unexpected way, has become more of a eugenics program for intelligence and creativity. Those who are stupid and non-imaginative may achieve grade-wise, but they just end up becoming the backbone for the corporate cut-throat world to slave drive on. Those who aren't, however, may not earn the best of grades, but they are creative, imaginative, and intelligent, could manage to see through the bull that is our society and educational system and go on to achieve more-so better than the first I mentioned.

    A good example would be those people going on to be artists, musicians, writers, ect... being creative, using their talents to get somewhere in life, doing what they like. It's sorting out those who are aware and those who aren't aware of reality. Albeit, some of these talented people end up also putting aside their creative abilities and focusing the task of just feeding and clothing themselves with minimal wage jobs, because a corporate world told them they weren't going to get anywhere with their talents. Instead corporations publish crap like Twilight, Harry Potter, and other crap books with no imagination. Instead the corporate world promotes "musicians" like 50 Cent, Eminem, Justin Bieber, and other crap artists, who aren't even really artists and don't deserve nor understand why they gained that fame and money in the first place. Instead the corporate world promotes crap movies. They promote crap food. They promote garbage. All because in our world, the negatives outweigh the positives. The public are treated like cattle, wallowing in their own waste and eating what food eats -- crap. We live in a universally negative existence.

    Yeah, it sucks.

  9. #9
    Senior Member beowulf wodenson's Avatar
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    Education in America has been on a steady decline since the forced integration of negroes with white students by the U.S. government in the "civil rights" era, and the commensurate "dumbing-down" of educational standards that these on-average less-intelligent blacks required to pass.
    Despite billions in tax dollars thrown at the "education gap" between the races, and myriad mandates imposed by D.C., the disparity in academic achievement has not appreciably narrowed, and follows a typical hierarchy of achievement.
    A "one size fits all" centralized control imposed upon American education by the (unconstitutional) federal Dept. of Education does not work, demonstrated well by the "No Child Left Behind" fiasco and most other schemes imposed by the dept. bureaucracy in D.C. It usually results in greatly increased costs and burdens placed on school districts to achieve whatever new standards the politicians and bureaucrats have dreamed up in D.C. or the state capital.
    America on average had a much better and rigorous system of education before the "civil rights" forced integration and later creation of the Dept of Education.
    Education should be as locally-run as possible, by the community school district and parents, not by a pack of politicians and bureaucrats imposing unrealistic and often politically-correct artificial standards and controls from D.C.
    Of course, like the States, local school districts are extremely dependent on tax $$ handouts from D.C. and the accompanying purse-string control that goes with it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Gall Óglach's Avatar
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    I'll bet there is very strong correalation between discipline an academic performance.

    There's a reason Imperial Germany had the most Nobel prizes, and why China is going to overtake the now weak and decadent west.

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