The aim of education should be autonomous students. On this site I’ll be writing quite a bit about Jean Piaget, Constance Kamii, John Dewey, constructivist classrooms, progressive education, developmental pedagogy, student choices and individual learning plans, and some entirely different ways of looking at “school.”
The Myth of the American Test Scores. How often have you heard that American high school student’s test scores in math and science rate somewhere below Albania? American schools are worse than Kirgizstan? Good story. Controversial. Sells curriculum. Lots of curriculum. The only problem with the narrative is that it is so misleading to be certainly false. What is true is that American schools need a lot of work. The feds, the economy, but the story is not what you think it is.
Standardized testing may well be the biggest fraud perpetrated on the American public. Just like the search for “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” Standardized Testing has been shoved on the American people against the advice of the experts, has cost an unbelievable amount of money, shifted a lot of tax dollars into the hands of a few cronies, and has brought public education to the brink of ruin.
When you consider the recent Suffolk University/USA Today Poll http://www.suffolk.edu/offices/52955.html you realize that the VAST majority of Americans support Barack Obama.I know that, you know that, and you can be absolutely sure that the Republicans (and the Democrats for that matter) know it better than anyone.
With the Campaign Cash Cows spending hundreds of millions of dollars on their candidates and partisan issues they are going to do everything they can to minimize the risk in their investment. There are good number crunchers on both sides and they can see the “writing on the wall“: More voters equals more Democrat votes. If everyone in our country voted, it would be the end of the current phase of Neo-Conservatism. But knowing this, the most important strategy for all Republicans is to suppress voting in both subtle and overt ways.
The only–and I do mean ONLY–way the Republicans can possibly remain in power is to make absolutely sure that millions and millions of eligible voters don’t vote. Knowing this, they believe that any means necessary justifies any and all ends. Sound like an ominous warning? It would appear that the suppression strategy sessions are long concluded and that it is all being fully implemented–or did anyone really think the voter suppression efforts in nearly 20 states were a coincidence?
Are you proud of the fact that you have become the Party of Mean?
The Party of Insensitive?
The Party of Greed?
The Party of Whatever-Rich-White-Billionaires-Want-is-Good-For-Me-Too?
I can see how the Republican leadership likes this position. They don’t care about the middle class and the poor. In fact, they want a growing class of poor and working class people in America. It benefits them greatly. But Republican workers, do you like being a serf? Why bring back the party that ended the American Dream? When one looks at the current Republican Platform, it is the George Bush Platform resurrected.
Romney/Ryan will raise your taxes while lowering their own, take away your guarantee of medical care, ship your jobs overseas, take your pensions and put them in their own pockets, deregulate banks and oil companies, and we will all suffer for it. Can any Republican honestly say that the Repubs are good for the country? Or will you just tell me why you hate Obama?
Compare what they do, compare the policies critically and tell me the Republican platform is good for you.
That word, socialism, is thrown around so carelessly that it has certainly lost all meaning in American politics.
Do I believe in the safety net that Reagan praised in his first inauguration?
Do I believe in an investment in American infrastructure such as Eisenhower’s interstate highway system?
Do I believe that all Americans should have access to medical care because it makes us a stronger nation?
Do I believe that the government should regulate businesses that would lie, cheat, steal and ruin our environment in the name of obscene profits?
Do I believe that we should be taking care of children and elderly and infirmed people who are less fortunate than I am?
These views would put me in good standing with the Founding Fathers and most Republicans before the Tea Party made them pander to their far right base. As for being better off when we share the wealth–of course we would be better off if we did.
America has always stood for that independent spirit that has contributed to our greatness. But America has also always stood for pulling together as a nation to raise everyone’s opportunities. America still leads the world in many things, but not in happiness or satisfaction or peace. Funny thing is that the more a nation finds a way to combine regulated capitalism with socially beneficial policies, the happier their citizens are–and the less they go to war.
So interesting that when President Obama does exactly what the Republicans have asked for, they attack him for that very thing. For instance:
He has taken $700 billion of waste and abuse out of Medicare and they attack him for “cutting Medicare“.
He included the Individual Mandate in the Affordable Care Act, a Republican proposal, and they have attacked him for it.
He has made an ambitious attempt at deporting the illegal aliens who have committed crimes in our country while making accomodations for those who are contributing to American society in a positive way. Exactly what both Repubs and Dems have been trying to address for decades. And they attack him for it.
He has cut taxes for small business owners. And they attack him for it.
He has reached across the aisle consistently to forge deals only to have the Eric Cantors of the world insist on betraying any deals that were made in the name of bipartisanship. And they attack him for it. One must conclude that this is not even remotely about policies that even they believe in. It is about power.
In a better world you can’t just make stuff up, but in this world, unfortunately, you can. Lies produce positive results, if the polls are to be believed. Romney and Ryan and their campaign strategists are hardly to blame for this.
The real blame needs to be placed squarely on the shoulders of the Conservative voter.
We have all heard the saying, “All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing“. (or something close to that) Until the Republican-Conservative-Evangelical-TeaParty folks start demanding honesty, they will get exactly what they deserve. Yet they seem to believe that the ends (getting rid of the ‘Un-American” President, as they call him) justifies any means at all-including the wholesale abandonment of all ethics and morals.
With this kind of campaigning the soul of America gets diminished further and further and America becomes closer and closer to a third world country.
1. I am the Lord thy God. Even though the Constitution says so, no other beliefs except those in me shall be respected.
2. Thou shalt have no other Gods–except the acquisition of great wealth–before me.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain–except during campaign season.
4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, so be sure to watch the Sunday morning Fox programs.
5. Thou shalt not kill, unless it is in a war where obscene profits are possible.
6. Thou shalt not commit adultry. This does not apply to Republican Senators.
7. Thou shalt not steal small amounts of money. If you are going to steal, make sure you steal millions and preferably billions. You are our job creators.
8. Thou shalt not bear false witness. Unless all the polling tells you it will work.
9. and 10. Thou shalt not covet. Remember, we never covet but you should refer back to #7.
I think it must be getting tougher and tougher for a lot of you who really believe in the conservative ideology to keep supporting Romney. I’m not trying to get you to admit here that you have suddenly seen the light and switched sides. I know that isn’t going to happen.
But come on, you have to admit that this is one fumbling, bumbling campaign. I expect he’ll get better at it eventually. I don’t know if it’s him or maybe his advisors but after 10 years of running for president one might think he’d run a sharper campaign. Don’t you think so? Be honest with yourself now. You don’t have to respond here. You can keep it to yourself.
Listening to talk radio the other day I caught the tail end of an interview with a Florida Republican lobbyist who happens to be African American and who has supported the voter ID laws–until the day he showed up to vote in the primary and forgot to bring his wallet. He was with his wife, who had both of their Voter ID cards with her, but he did not have the required SECOND piece of ID. At that point he came to the realization that this law was indeed going to make voting much more difficult for many.
Suddenly, and we can argue forever about why he didn’t figure it out sooner, he realized that a large number of people will show up to vote who have not heard about the changes, or had lost their wallet and ID and did not have the time and opportunity to replace it, who couldn’t get the ID for one reason or another, or had simply forgotten to bring it. Once it actually affected him, he became much more sympathetic to the plight of others. This plan to reduce the number of voters was designed years ago; it is an integral strategy for an ever decreasing white population to find a way to remain in power; and the claims of innocence regarding racism on this issue are hogwash. Republican designs on voter suppression have been openly strategized and are now being implemented.
This is the plan. You know it and I know it.
What makes me the most irritated are the Republicans who know that this is true but don’t have the backbone to admit that this is their strategy. But then the wink-wink-we-don’t-know-what-you’re-talking-about strategy is all part of the new Republican version of Don’ Tell/Don’t Tell!
BTW, Mitt, what about those tax returns.