Copyright © 2012 Lisa Harbatkin
…that it’s just a month to the election, and that teachers and their unions are seriously important to the Democrats. Especially in a presidential election year.
So Duncan told an audience at the National Press Club, the Washington Post reported on October 2, that he wants to be nice to teachers and their unions, and that he’s getting at least some of the message on the problems with programs like Obama’s Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind, passed under Bush in 2001. He knows, he said, that “some educators feel overwhelmed” by the changes being implemented.
Duncan said that he knows teachers support accountability, but that he also understands that the demands made of them are not always “in a way that is respectful and fair,” reporter Lyndsey Layton wrote. It’s time, Duncan said, “to set aside the tired debates pitting reformers against unions — we have to discard the ugly and divisive rhetoric of blame.” He agrees, Duncan said, that evaluations based on a single test score are not the way to go.
Uh-huh. Wow. Guess we’ll see….
The Washington Post article is at http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/arne-duncan-tries-to-smooth-relations-with-teachers/2012/10/02/04881100-0ccc-11e2-a310-2363842b7057_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines.
Most kids are in school 5 days a week, 9 mohnts a year. Not only does he want the school day longer, he wants kids in school 6 days a week, 11 mohnts a year. That scares me.Have you talked to a school-aged kid lately? They’re blithering idiots. I was talking with the 13-year old sister of a friend the other day about the politics and history of America (a subject that she has some interest in) and was shocked at how incredibly ignorant she actually was about American history and politics. Why she was so incredibly ignorant about US politics and history became clear at one point during the conversation – which was when she told me that she never learned any of the things that I told her from her teachers. And what were some of those things that I had told her? Well, they weren’t state secrets. They were historical facts:- Washington owned slaves (something that she didn’t know) and chose not to free them when he had many opportunities to do so (such as when he was in Philadelphia after the Attorney General told him that his slaves might have the opportunity to free themselves under a PA state law allowing them their freedom after being in the state for 6 continuous mohnts, at which point he sent them back to Mt. Vernon so as to deprive them of that opportunity);- That there was a massive slave revolt against the French in Haiti, where slavery existed in a particularly heinous form, which, along with the American and French revolutions, was one of the single most important political events in world history of that time (Haiti was the most important colony in the New World, producing more sugar than all the British Caribbean islands put together and accounting for 40% of France’s overseas trade; the loss of it was an important factor in Napoleon’s decision to sell the Louisiana territory to the US) and for which Washington sent hundreds of thousands of dollars (a huge amount at that time, but trivial in comparison to the US’s debt to France) to France as part of the effort to aid the French in quelling the revolt for fear that blacks in the US might get a bright idea;- Northern and western states like Oregon, California, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio had Black Codes, some of which were written into their state constitutions, that, among other things: forbade blacks from entering the state; required, as a prerequisite for living in their state, that they provide papers showing proof of their freedom and post a bond with a price as high as $1,000 (an obscene amount for blacks in those days) as a guarantee of their good behavior; forbade them from owning real estate, entering into contracts, or bringing lawsuits; forbade them from testifying in cases where white men were parties; forbade them from being a part of militias; forbade them from marrying; and forbade them from attending the same schools of whites.These were all things that she should have known as 5th and 6th grade was when the local school system teaches Revolutionary-era and early American history. These are all things that significantly changed her views about what she was taught in her school and is causing her to question virtually everything else that she’s been taught in her classes by the court historians and court socialist studies teachers. I have, much to her mother’s and history and socialist studies teachers’ chagrin, become her de facto history and socialist studies tutor.Should kids spend more time in school? I certainly don’t think that they need to be spending more time in their history and socialist studies classes. I don’t think that I’d even object to those classes being dropped altogether. Those programs are simply being used as indoctrination tools, IMO. What’s more, those classes are already being taught in colleges. Schools could make much better use of the time (like by teaching arts, maths, and sciences) that they’re spending on indoctrinating kids into believing that early America was a time of wonderfulness where pink unicorns had free reign and where everyone was happy, happy, happy.