Date: Jan 26, 2013 10:30 PM
Author: GS Chandy
Subject: Re: Rotten to the Core: War on Academic Standards

Kirby Urner posted  Jan 27, 2013 12:21 AM (GSC's remarks interspersed):
> On Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 11:30 AM, Clyde Greeno @
> MALEI <> wrote:

> > A strawman war!
> >

> I've come mostly to Clyde's view on CCSS, which is
> that having states
> churn about all this is fairly innocuous and is a
> fine excuse to
> create at least a few positions that pay, even if
> most are part time.

It may be innocuous if your public school education systems are everything - or nearly everything - you (i.e. you US citizens) want them to be. Or maybe not, if AGW and other such dire things are actually happening.

It's definitely NOT innocuous if there happens to be grave dissatisfaction, as it appears there is, with the education system (whether or not AGW, etc., are real).
> In contrast to how much it costs to keep a standing
> army sitting
> around the world mostly doing nothing useful beyond
> keeping said army
> fed, sheltered and in uniform, it's relatively
> affordable to have
> civilian adults commute or, better, telecommute, to
> day jobs where
> they argue about "y = mx + b" and the other memes
> (dots, nodes) they
> want to see included in public school curricula,
> perhaps out of
> nostalgia or because it's what some of the beacon
> schools have been
> doing.

We certainly do need to think seriously (which we evidently aren't doing) about what you (the USA) and we others (India; Pakistan; China; other nations) should do about our 'defence' forces. Surely we can find more productive means of putting our peoples to work? Yes, even having them put on business suits and perform some 'make-work jobs' would be more productive. (That's my personal opinion; there are many who'd disagree with me).

[But there IS so much productive work begging to be done which is NOT at all being done! We really do need to 're-set our minds' on a whole number of issues: in particular, see remarks below about the "ignorant, jingoist yahoos" in our respective populaces!].
> As I posted to another list on this same topic
> recently:
> "The standards committees are mostly busy work for
> people who need
> some kind of income based on what little they learned
> in school (not a
> whole lot in most cases). We must indulge our fellow
> Americans in
> their busy work because that's a way to stay self
> respecting, to don
> business dress and pilot an automobile to a place
> called an office."

See above.
> Like the military (costly doing nothing, more costly
> wreaking havoc),
> the rest of government is very much a jobs program
> and local
> governments are seeing a rationale for getting
> together with
> educationists and performing innocuous activities
> that don't even
> bring them into much contact with the kids (in which
> case more
> fingerprinting would be required, at least in
> Oregon). Once you're
> "finished" with school you're expected to "work" (is
> how the thinking
> seems to go) and here's "work" that requires knowing
> little more than
> one "learned" already, so a perfect fit. The same
> familiar schooling
> continues but now with a pay check and more meetings.
> We're adults,
> yippee. Now you've got mouths to feed, bills to pay.
> As readers here know, I regard the education most
> Americans get as
> laughably out of date and the end product is dorky
> and scarcely
> competent (hence the huge military / prison
> population and the paid
> jobs those provide).

See above. And also below.
> Sweden and Finland: different
> animals. Lots of
> diverse opportunities on this planet. If you want
> your kids to get a
> good education, there's always home school +
> distance.

I've seen some excellent 'products' of home schooling. However, the parents of those home school children had 'what it takes' to do a good job of home schooling. Not all of us are thus equipped, financially, intellectually, morally.

Hence, public school. I think there is no way out but to take up projects like "To ensure that we put in place effective (/reasonably effective) public school systems". This is definitely THE most urgent need in India (out of a whole lot of most urgent needs, in my view) - and it seems to be the need in the USA as well. Such societal projects are, indeed, rather more difficult to accomplish than "schooling my child effectively" - but we do need to take up such challenges.

There are many, MANY such challenges, and the need is getting desperate in a whole lot of cases.
> Unfortunately,
> mostly the public schools are for losers these days
> and we'd like to
> rescue more kids from the fates of their parents
> (ignorant jingoist
> yahoos a lot of 'em -- way too many of 'em).

Well, effective public school systems would, over time at least, surely have the outcome of reducing the proportion of "ignorant, jingoist yahoos" in the respective populations of each country (where such public school systems are put in place). This is as urgent a need in my country (India) as it is in yours - though our 'ignorance' and 'jingoism' in India are qualitatively different from yours in the USA.

(An aside: that there are so many in my country whom I consider to be "ignorant, jingoist yahoos" is surely one indicator that I've not done effectively what I should be doing. That there are so many in your country whom you consider to be "ignorant, jingoist yahoos" seems to be an indicator that you've not done effectively the things you should be doing in yours).

Whatever be the nature of our respective yahoos, it should really take no more than a couple of years - given that we enter into an effective mode of discussing our complex problems and issues - to resolve the most contentious issues relating to the public school education system, as noted at .
> That's work for a lot of people too (rescuing the
> kids), even if not
> in government.

Yes, indeed. Rescuing our kids from becoming "ignorant, jingoist yahoos" is truly the most important societal task we have ahead - and if we accomplish that to a reasonable degree, we should be successful in practically everything else we may undertake.
> The private sector has its place.

Yes, indeed. But it certainly has to do it (i.e., getting involved with education) rather more effectively than it is currently doing in the USA - and MUCH more effectively than it is currently doing in India.

I note that there are indeed several truly worthy examples in India of young people - generally not having access to much in the way of funding, etc - getting most productively (and effectively) involved in projects to improve our educational systems in various ways: such efforts need to be multiplied across the huge mass of our educational systems in India. No doubt there are other such very worthy projects ongoing in the USA as well.


Message was edited by: GS Chandy

Message was edited by: GS Chandy

Message was edited by: GS Chandy