> I also hope you can see why I think Kirby's > question, > > "How will an education like that help a future > president of the United States?" > > is essentially meaningless. I find it highly > improbable, not to say risible, that a teacher or > student in the 8th grade (or 10th or 12th), or Kirby > today, can know what a future president may or may > not find helpful. A rigorous education in the arts > and sciences is the best anyone can possibly do > against an uncertain future. > > Questions and comments are welcome. > > Haim
But in what way are you providing anything rigorous? You basically cut back to a serfdom style system, in which public support of higher learning stops at a cliff sometime when one is too young to vote. After that, these future parents will be too dumb to vote wisely, and will take instruction from various television gods, who presumably had more privileged, privately funded educations.
Private industry is notably absent from your model (which probably means you think it's holding all the strings er cards). You rush to the universities when a K12 curriculum is on the drawing boards. Why? Don't you think industry is lightyears ahead of academia in many important fields?
And academia has leadings in other dimensions.
That's why we need public/private collaborations ala my Project Renaissance proposal, i.e. lots of R&D farms where young people show up and learn to become effective using various newfangled tools.
They test drive, learn new skills, kind of like in the military, in the sense of providing access to a stash of (sometimes irrelevant) toys.
Corporations want to bring good things to life, for sale, to consumers. Focus groups need more than just sales pitches (candidate TV commercials) though. They need access to "try before we buy" experiences, and when it comes to programmable dwelling machines, just an hour or two may not be enough for a serious evaluation. What does Consumer Reports say about dwelling machines?
We won't get any real GRUNCH-funded BuckyWorks if we don't envision how the field testing will work (I have one obvious partial answer: factor in reality television).
Let me hit the ball back to you and ask for some believable utopian science fiction wherein a future president *did* manage to rise from the publicly educated rank and file described in your feat of social engineering above.
It could be short. More like accounting.
In your subjunctive scenario, is it that public support stops at fourth grade, or is that the optional forward track through secondary school (which everyone with survival sense would take, if obligated to use public funding in the first place -- unless you have a decent military option and/or civilian public service option, which I didn't see anywhere in your computer model) is also publicly funded?
In other words, is it that public funding remains an option *through* high school, and just that you expect more 4th graders to become dropouts, maybe take up cigs and Budweiser (with TV gods role modeling).
So presumably there's a savings here somewhere? A savings to whom? Aren't you just externalizing the cost of providing for a growing gangland of juvenile delinquent good old boy adults ala West Side Story and aren't those social costs real? The health care costs of a McDonald's centric diet are staggering, as 'Supersize Me' amply documents.
Some public schools are actually fighting back against this 'Fast Food Nation' trend, and assigning 'Chew in This' as required reading (lobbying groups are welcome to publish their counterintelligence at private industry expense). Kids get the message: the profit motive is sufficient for many people to factor your future welfare out of their accounts (they try to externalize their costs to taxpayers, say by underfunding pensions, in a mad dash to make off with quick unearned profits, and no public scrutiny).
Take that to heart kids. Not all adults prioritize your value the way parents do. So learn to fight for your inalienable rights as a human being -- to food, education, health care and shelter. Let you public schools help you do this -- even to the point of training you in civil disobedience, should the USA come under concerted attack by an enemy, either from within or from without.
Or Haim is this where your relatively through-the- roof-funded police force comes in, to defend of all those gated, barbed-wire-protected, high property value private industry funded communities that grew up in the wake of some now dead democracy? Fascism wins. People in sports stadia, observed from TV blimps, shout "Haim!" and kick a knee up in unison. Lots of black leather.
After Rome fell, and the Goths moved in, many Romans didn't really "get it" that their empire was over, that the dark ages had begun, per the later accepted accounting with their Fall of Rome stories.
Actually, the fall started with the transition from democracy to empire (many scholars have concluded this).
The USA was architected, very deliberately, to avoid repeating this ancient Roman mistake. Democracy could have worked, if only we'd had stronger branches of government, a more informed citizenry and so on and so forth. A new experiment was born (1776 and all that), also in reaction to the English monarchy (a quasi- descendent of misbegotten Caesarian programming in some respects (no, I'm not blaming everything on Julius (a weak-minded citizenry craves a dictator to do their thinking for them))).
However, I must say, in a lot of ways your official policy proposals do reflect a disturbing status quo. Kids already run amuk, practicing with cigs and alcohol early, older adults having forgotten anything relevant to teach them or fill their time with, other than commercials for what appear to be unattainable lifestyles (everyone seems so smart on those cop and lawyer shows, yet school teachers seem hell bent on preparing us to be stupid, easily trapped criminals, future occupants of a sprawling penal system, manned by Herr Haim's police).
And as in your distopia, we see not many presidential candidates anywhere, because the class system behind a broken public system is by definition not the USA's, in the sense of "premise" or "underpinning."
If it's ugly and fascist, it's just not our USA brand (so stop with the pretend flag waving already?). That's the commitment, even if this means we have to create a government in exile at the South Pole or something. We'd sooner let the penguins run it sooner than we'd turn it over to fascists or racists -- or religious fanatics incapable of appreciating the value of neutral, secular, civilian institutions, not hostage to any one particular culture, ethnicity, or cosmology (we appreciate the value of sophisticated instrumentation, even if its look and feel is somewhat alien -- just give us some time to reverse engineer).
In principle, the USA gives its highly diverse progeny lots of opportunities to assist in steering the ship of state -- a kind of virtual reality experience that presidents especially enjoy.
But to steer well, we/they need to know a lot, develop skills and experience. Which is where our public education system comes in.
Can you prove to me the society you describe is in any way consistent with any legal entity called "the USA" having some real power in the world.
According to my accounts, so long as the USA *does* have any real power, any gutting of its public education system as a route to future careers in public service, must be effectively protected against.
Any serious democracy must make control over it's own education be a part critical of its own self-propagation and survival strategy. So yes, it makes sense that our democracy's enemies would attack this jugular. It also makes sense that our Pentagon Math would help detect and repel this offensive maneuver.
Our military knows a bright future is possible, and that the USA has a lot of positive contributions still to make on the world stage. And our military, like our civilian agencies, needs a way to recruit for its vision, to portray itself in a positive light to potential wannabees.
Being the arm of some fascist imperial state hellbent on world domination just isn't a part of this army's vision though (if that's your trip, try some other army).
Military recruiters visiting our public schools are working to make that clear.