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Thread: Our Unthinking Destruction of Our Educational System

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarlitNox View Post
    ...nice to meet you too, stranger.

    Geez, you read a sentence or two about my fiance, and you already know, in-depth, about his education, enough to assume he was "failed"?

    He hasn't completed his university yet because he took a few years off after high school to make sure he knew what he wanted to do, as did I. I've never met anybody who has had a hard time understanding him, in his written word. If you can't understand him because he occasionally mixes up similarly-spelled words, that's your problem.

    I'm going to ask you nicely to be a little more respectful when you talk about him to me. No need for all that. (When I say "a little more respectful", I mean don't make assumptions about his education and say his degrees will be a "grievous disservice", it's a tad rude.)
    I said that the system failed him, not that he failed his classes. If he cannot accurately express himself, as you described, then the system obviously did not benefit him to the proper extent.

    I also did not say his degree would be a grievous disservice, I said that if the school does not instruct him properly and simply passes him on pity, that would be a grievous disservice.

    Thanks, though, for ignoring the rest of my post, where I carefully said that children should be taught in a complete and whole manner, tutoring should be freely available, and that standardized tests aren't the end-all, be-all of intelligence determination.

    Maybe if you re-read it instead of knee-jerking about your boyfriend, you'll understand a bit better.
    Last edited by Sequoia; April 11th, 2011 at 09:09 PM.
    "The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star stuff.
    We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."

    Carl Sagan, as quoted by The Symphony of Science

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarlitNox View Post
    But he CAN accurately express himself.
    If he's not using the correct words, he's not accurately expressing himself.

    In that case, don't worry about it, there's no need to pass him on pity when he's plenty able to obtain his degree all by himself.
    I never said he wasn't. If he is, however, getting passed in college level English classes without having a strong grasp of the English language, there is an issue.

    Not damn good? In the fifth grade, I had a twelfth grade reading/comprehension level. Worked hard at it, too.
    I had college-level English skills when I was in elementary school. Doesn't mean jack until you actually enroll in college, test into the highest courses, and start passing them. Which I have done.

    You want a cookie or something?

    Of course I'm "knee-jerking" about it. Did you expect much else to happen when you're belittling somebody I care about?
    I never belittled him. I said people obviously hadn't given him the skills he needs.

    Knee-jerking should be avoided, especially regarding those we care about. If you can't see your partner's weak spots as well as their awesomeness, then you have a problem and an unrealistic relationship.

    Poor writing skills = starting a sentence with "but".
    Ah, I never claimed to be perfect. And I never, ever write like that when it's important, such as in courses or business correspondence. I suppose I let my guard down because I was talking on a forum on the internet. By all means, increase your self-esteem by pointing out a tiny, insignificant, informal, verbatim-type response.

    It was a damn mistake to even bring him up, so let's pretend I didn't.
    Actually, let's just stop this now while it's semi-peaceful, shall we? I highly doubt either of us signed up for MysticWicks to sit here and bicker.

    Sorry for all the misunderstandings, let's end this now please. I'm new around here and want to avoid getting in trouble with the mods, so I'm not going to breathe any more life into this conversation.
    "I'm going to make an entire post dissecting your post and attempting to inflame you by finding an error in your informal post and pointing it out to everyone, but I'm not 'breathing life' into the conversation."

    Nice.
    "The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star stuff.
    We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."

    Carl Sagan, as quoted by The Symphony of Science

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarlitNox View Post
    Same with my fiance. That's the only time he mixes up those words.
    Okay, so if the standardized tests are bad because they catch things like misuse of similar words, but he never does that on standardized tests, then what exactly is the issue, again?

    Can we quit picking apart what the other says now? Honestly, I don't want any enemies on this forum already. I'm sorry I even posted in the first place. Sorry for misunderstandings on my part, sorry if you misunderstood some of my posts, sorry sorry sorry. Now, truce? Please?
    Enemies? You overestimate the situation. It takes a LOT for me to consider someone an "enemy," and I can count on one hand the people who have hurt me enough for me to even consider an extreme word like "enemy."

    I think you were wrong. That doesn't mean I think you're a bad person, or a lesser person, or that I consider you an "enemy" or anything else, for that matter.

    Don't ever be sorry you posted.
    "The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star stuff.
    We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."

    Carl Sagan, as quoted by The Symphony of Science

  4. #14
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Sequoia View Post
    Enemies? You overestimate the situation. It takes a LOT for me to consider someone an "enemy," and I can count on one hand the people who have hurt me enough for me to even consider an extreme word like "enemy."

    I think you were wrong. That doesn't mean I think you're a bad person, or a lesser person, or that I consider you an "enemy" or anything else, for that matter.
    That's good to hear :D
    Sorry, people have tattooed "enemy" on my forehead over smaller things, so I am kinda... idk, "flinchy" about it. :3


    Quote Originally Posted by Sequoia View Post
    Don't ever be sorry you posted.
    :3 Thank you

  5. #15
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    whew!

    ok, who wants some cocoa? :D


  6. #16
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    Well, I'm drinking coffee, so hopefully that means I'll be a little less of a jumpy b-tch in the future...
    "The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star stuff.
    We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."

    Carl Sagan, as quoted by The Symphony of Science

  7. #17
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    I think the destruction of our educational system is a symptom rather than a issue to itself. The truth is that American culture is getting weaker by the day. It's a decaying society.

    And in most cases it seems like the same pattern. We don't expect people to act to a given standard. And for those who still insist that the standard should mean something, they tend to be called elitest.

    Art is putting a cross in urine (I don't object for religious reasons) -- it takes no thought to make, and no thought to understand. Compared to some of the old masters (Michelangelo or Rembrandt or Da Vinci) it's not even to the standard of a kid scribbling with crayons. Music -- well it's really more about showmanship and shock. Lady Gaga is probably the biggest offender, but just about any pop-singer honestly isn't all that good. In fact, if you've ever heard some of them sing live, you'll thank the gods for auto-tune.

    Education -- as you say, there are practically no standards. I'm pretty shocked at what people graduate from junior high school not knowing (and some get college degrees without knowing). They don't know the 3 branches of American government, the number of states in the union, when the American Civil war took place, and so on. As far as reading and writing, it's bad. People graduate from high school not knowing how to do basic research, how to cite sources (or even that they should). They can't tell the difference between a scholarly source and a quack source. They aren't able to express themselves in writing -- simple mistakes in grammar and spelling make a lot of texts unreadable. Not that an occasional error can't slip through, but if there's a mistake on every line, I can't follow the argument. And well, most Americans, even college grads wouldn't know a logical fallacy if it walked up and mooned them.

    Manners again much the same -- if you read manuals of manners from 100 years ago, we're not even close. We used to know how to behave in theaters to not disturb other patrons. We used to know how to dress properly and that it wasn't acceptable to leave the house in what amounts to pajamas. We used to send thank you notes. Heck we used to understand that we were not entitled to go around and make everyone else uncomfortable just because it makes us feel good. We used to know about please and thank you. People older than us used to be sir and ma'am -- now even calling them Mr. or Mrs. is too stuffy.

    Work is now supposed to be entertaining, and be what gives you passion. Work is work. It pays for you to eat. If it can give you happiness as well, that's nice, but that's not always possible. No trash collector gets thrills picking up garbage. No job on earth is going to be 100% fun all the time. You still need to work, and you owe it to the boss to work your butt off. That's how it works. I get tired of teens and young adults that think they only need to come to work when they feel like it and that merely showing up is good enough. It's not -- you need to work at work, that's why it's called work.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post
    A nation that destroys its systems of education, degrades its public information, guts its public libraries and turns its airwaves into vehicles for cheap, mindless amusement becomes deaf, dumb and blind. It prizes test scores above critical thinking and literacy. It celebrates rote vocational training and the singular, amoral skill of making money. It churns out stunted human products, lacking the capacity and vocabulary to challenge the assumptions and structures of the corporate state. It funnels them into a caste system of drones and systems managers. It transforms a democratic state into a feudal system of corporate masters and serfs.
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/...+the+Headlines

    Why I do believe you have hit on something here, but it is a hit and a miss...

    First, let me object to the title. The destruction of our educational system is anything but unthinking. There is a clear and well formulated plan in motion to destroy the American Way. Indeed, for the most part the plan is a raging success. You see, the powers that be, the American aristocracy, those born into wealth, power, and privilege felt threatened by the social changes that swept through the US in the late 50's to the early 70's. They examined the social structure carefully and came to a simple conclusion, education is the cause of social disorder. When people are educated, they understand their situation, their world, and they have opinions as to how things should be. When they have opinions they express them, and of course the weak will of representatives, those who are actually capable of making changes on a grand scale, is easily manipulated.
    They have loaded the political system with their own, and through careful (and not so careful, look at Wisconsin...) manipulations they have successfully removed all substance from the educational system, turning the schools into factories for soldiers, laborers, and merchants that ask no questions, because they have not been given the ability to think for themselves.
    Oh, yes, their plan has had a few setbacks... The internet was an invention I think no one saw coming. The growth and development of a self sustaining theocratic movement within the US was probably not intended. I am almost positive that the aristocracy did not intend to have a "tea party" that has lasted so long...
    But the plan is still on track, the destruction of public education is almost complete. Complete control over the wealth and production capacity of the United States is within reach for the obscenely wealthy minority in America today.
    Why? Because they can. Heck... If you knew you could control the entire world (or at least the good parts) within forty years, wouldn't you?

    Second... What is to be done? It's all well and good to blame tests and politicians, but seriously, what are you going to do about it? The testing and process is just a tool, it was made "broke" so that you would blame it, rather then blaming those in power. If you don't like the teaching standard, teach something else, start a public school in your own community that educates properly, or uses methods that work. IF you cant do that, then support it when others try. Baring all of that, educate on your own time, on your own dime (as I realize most educators already do, thanks to de-funding) and BE the change you want to see.

    As for me... Rome is burning, grab the marshmallows.
    Last edited by Corr; August 9th, 2011 at 04:11 AM. Reason: damn public education... spelling grammar and other issues...
    What am I reading? I don't know yet, you haven't asked a question! Open for readings, but just for fun.

  9. #19
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    I'm just playing devil's advocate here to join in on the conversation... but what if..

    the issue is not the education per se.. (type, mode, testing, etc) or even how we're approaching education...

    What if the issue is our perception of what everyone should be? We're assuming everyone should know how to cite properly, research correctly, etc. Skills not meant for my hair dresser, trash collector or even the construction worker who built my house. All of which, I would be lost without.

    Is it really the perception that everyone MUST be able to do those things? Somewhere we got it in our heads that EVERYONE must go to college, everyone must do this or that...
    to be some set standard of successful? Children are required to learn MORE than ever. Not only are they required to learn the same biology our parents learned, but the entire topic of Genetics wasn't even discussed... now they have to understand it, practice punnett squares to predict offspring results, be able to label its chemical structure, understand how its replicated.. etc..When I was in high school (late 90's)..most of us ended our senior year with Calculus.. 40 years ago.. my parents had to take up to Algebra (now a freshman/8th grade course). They're expected more than ever to learn MORE information simply because there is MORE to know.

    Yet.. not all of them need to know it. So, is our perception off?
    Or.. to be really trippy... will we reach a point where there is so much information known.. that it would be impossible to expect our children to learn all of it well, and therefore be FORCED to categorize them to their strengths and abandon the rest? Are we seeing the beginnings of that? :P Fun to think about it.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarlitNox View Post
    Test scores and writing/spelling ability is an unfair way to judge someone's "smarts". The English language contradicts itself too much for that.
    No, it doesn't. No more so than most other languages. It is, however, poorly taught as a written language in the US, frequently by English teachers who have no idea how to treat it as a language rather than a vehicle for literature.

    Regarding the larger question of the American educational system and our society's interaction with that system, I'm something of an optimist. Yes, there are always individual cases of school districts being gutted (Louisiana, I'm looking in your direction). But in general, I've seen little to convince me that students are graduating high school today with an ability to write, think, and evaluate that is significantly less developed than that of previous generations. What I DO see is more and more of those students being admitted to college, where their lack of knowledge and abilities is thrown under a spotlight which is encompassing more and more of the student body as that student body grows.

    75 years ago, studying at the university level was not a birthright of the middle class. 150 years ago, it was barely even a birthright of the extremely wealthy. 500 years ago it was the domain of the best and brightest that the Church could scrounge up. Today, state universities are berated, derided, and accused of institutional racism and classism if they don't accept tens of thousands of students that probably don't have the necessary skills to take introductory classes and, worse, don't really WANT to be in college for any particular reason other than that it's expected, or will eventually get them a slightly larger salary simply by dint of that degree's existence. Universities used to teach students who had dedicated themselves to a field of study they loved. Today they teach idiots, layabouts, NFL hopefuls, and the entitled suburban masses, and we all turn around and wonder why there're suddenly a load of people who "pass" their entrance exams and turn out to be intellectual midgets.
    Last edited by Tiberias; August 13th, 2011 at 01:16 PM.
    JFGI

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