Haim posted Sep 7, 2012 9:01 AM (GSC's comments interspersed): > Robert Hansen Posted: Sep 6, 2012 6:36 PM > > >My position is that the issues currently affecting > >student performance are not addressable by > educators. > >They are extracurricular. People are starting to see > > >that and connect the havoc to that. > > Bob, > > You are much too kind to the educators. While it > it may be true that, ultimately, it is not in their > power to erase The Gap, specific practices by the > educators certainly make things worse. Take, for > example, the Whole Language method of reading > instruction, so beloved of educators. For children > like your son, who go home everyday to literate > parents with an active interest in their education, > Whole Language does little or no harm. For the child > who actually depends on the school to learn reading, > Whole Language is a disaster from which he may never > recover. > While it is true enough that medieval practices by 'educators' can make things a lot worse for their students, it is also true that effective education can certainly help make things much better, can help bridge many societal Gaps that exist. (Not all, for sure). We have been seeing it happen all the time here in India. Not fast enough by any means for those who had been beaten down for generations by 'the system' - but it has been happening. It has been happening in the USA too, I understand, despite the frenzied resistance from such as firstname.lastname@example.org and others we've been hearing from here. > > Just the same with fuzzy math. Fuzzy math does > oes not matter to your son because he has you. Too > bad for the child who actually has to learn math in > school. > > So, whether it is Whole Langue or Fuzzy Math or > or Inventive Spelling, etc., these are practices that > can only "exasperate" :) The Gap. These practices > exasperate me too. > > The problem, quite simply, is that The Prime > ime Directive is unattainable. > Haim's 'Prime Directive' ("PUT THE EDUCATION MAFIA IN JAIL!") is certainly unattainable, primarily because neither Haim nor anyone else knows who this 'Education Mafia' is, what it comprises of. However, I agree that people looting the educational systems of a nation should certainly be dealt with most severely.
As to Haim's claim that the ("Education Mafia's") 'Prime Directive' is "REDUCE THE GAP!" - I have seen no such thing in the documents I've studied from the teachers' Unions, the National Education Association (which Haim claims is a prominent member), President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, their two charming daughters - or from anyone else. Of course, it is true that I've not studied all the documents put out by people/organizations whom Haim disapproves of - so it would be most useful if Haim would take the trouble of pinpointing: a) Who is this 'Education Mafia'; and b) Where and when have they issued this 'Prime Directive' that seems to drive him crazy. > > The Education Mafia > learned very early on that if they teach an academic > curriculum, potentially severe Gaps must arise. > I'm happy enough to observe that real 'Gaps' between blacks and whites in US society have steadily been diminishing over the years since I was in the USA (1961-64). For instance, my first year in the USA - at the graduate school at Brandeis University - that was the year I believe was very big for the 'Freedom Rides'. (It has been my great regret that I did not go on one of them, though I was invited and some of my friends did go). Those days, for instance, a black US President was simply inconceivable - today, it not even taken as very much out of the normal course of events! Undoubtedly, many of the 'Gaps' have not diminished at the rate that blacks might desire; undoubtedly there is a long way to go.
But, to my mind, one thing is for sure: you in the USA have done considerably better to enable 'civil rights' for blacks than we in India have done for our underprivileged here.
Doubtless this is a matter of some distaste for many; possibly Haim; definitely email@example.com. All I can say is, "Too bad for you - there is simply nothing you can do to change the course of history, regardless what you try". firstname.lastname@example.org may put up as many distasteful diatribes as he likes on his amazing website "The Father's Manifesto" - but things will only change worldwide in the direction of more truly multicultural societies; in the direction of reducing 'gaps' between people of various cultures. (As a public service - and to bring some laughs, perhaps, to a far too long and too-serious posting thus far, I provide a link to email@example.com's amazing website, "The Father's Manifesto" - http://fathersmanifesto.net/ ). > > Consequently, whether by intent or by a long, > , semi-Darwinian process, academic content has been > leeched out of the schools. But, this can only make > matters worse because of parents like you. Parents > like you mitigate the harm to their own children. > Too bad for children who actually depend upon the > e schools for their education. > Whatever the "consequently" you wish to put up, Haim, many 'Gaps' ARE reducing, and they will reduce even more and faster in the years to come than they have in the years past. There is nothing you can do about it. The educators, if they understand the societal trends, should try and promote healthy trends, demote the unhealthy trends and ideas they see in society (a good number of which have been aired here). Attached herewith is a PowerPoint presentation describing a practical 'mind-tool' that could help very significantly to enhance worthy and positive trends, demote unhealthy trends. As a highly positive recommendation of this tool, I observe that Haim, Robert Hansen and firstname.lastname@example.org have strongly disapproved in the past of this approach to problem solving that I'm suggesting. > > Bob, I thought you made an excellent earlier point > int regarding The Prime Directive. Some years ago > the Education Mafia had some low hanging fruit to > pick: get children into school and keep them there. > That fruit has long since been picked. Since then, > , the Education Mafia have been severely abusing the > statistics, and still they have not been able to > narrow The Gap. > > Precisely because we know the Education Mafia > fia abuse the statistics, I have long maintained > that, bad as the numbers are (and they are very bad), > reality is very much worse. > We've seen a fair bit of "abuse of statistics" from you, Haim - and huge abuses of statistics from email@example.com. > > > Haim > Shovel ready? What shovel ready? > GSC ("Still Shoveling Away!")