19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Roy A. Ackerman, PhD, EA
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 23:48:05

    Great post- even if I don’t totally agree with you. Roberta Budvietas has a similar post (and cites you). I left my thoughts there… I won’t repeat them here. But, I will guide your readers to get her (similar) take on this issue.



  2. Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A.
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 23:56:05

    I think your site swallowed my comments (censorship?)
    I don’t totally agree- but I am in concert with your theme. We need to train the next middle class (assuming a certain party does not destroy it totally). But, we need to train leaders, too!. They won’t be coming from unless you are satisfied with the current corp of Congresspersons.
    Without repeating what I wrote on Roberta Budviestas’ site (who also quoted you), your readers would do well to compare her conclusions to yours (she’s from NZ)



    • bornstoryteller
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 23:59:10

      your post is the first one. I do not, unless it is attacks and hateful statements, censor. You should “know” that about me.
      Thing is, I have heard so many say what I have felt about a possible conspiracy. It FEELS like there is one.


      • Roberta
        Jul 15, 2011 @ 02:23:38

        Stuart – something in the water today. Whether we agree or disagree with each others point of view, the truth is we need to ask questions about what is happening in schools. And over the years many different people have commented about the PTB (powers that be) have educated to control the masses. How else would the rich get richer. If people learned to ask better questions and say no to others, there would be anarchy and life would be chaotic and we are told that chaos is dangerous.
        Please keep the conversation going and maybe one day enough people will stop the inanity and insanity going on in education. And dare I say – private education has its own prejudices – just look at the bullying that goes on in private schools.

      • bornstoryteller
        Jul 15, 2011 @ 06:39:10

        Roberta: I agree whole heartedly with you and Roy…I just also believe there is something more going on. I’d rather throw it out, as it’s a conversation I’ve heard, read, or been a party to, and see where it sticks.

        Bullying is a MAJOR problem the Private schools: look at Trump: a bully if there ever was one. We always address Bullies with Students, but we Don’t address the bigger problem: Adult Bullies, which starts with POWER. It’s all the Status Game.

        Thank you.

  3. justanotherthoughtonline
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 00:39:29

    I agree with you. I have had heated discussions with friends who buy into the propaganda of these politicians like Bloomberg that it is the teachers who are to blame for poor education and not the myriad of other problems our educational system has been saddled with.

    Another issue with education I am concerned with is the regular loss of state funds for public colleges and universities. In an economy where a college education is fundamental for success our government officials are making it very difficult for students and their families to pay for schools. I believe this is a continuation of the dummying down of America that you speak of in your article.


    • bornstoryteller
      Jul 15, 2011 @ 06:44:03

      Margaret, thank you for bringing up College education as well. It’s an area I don’t talk about a lot, but I have my opinions on it as well (gee, me…opinions..go figure).

      One thing: there are principals and teachers who don’t help the whole matter either, but in this case, I was throwing out something deeper. It’s funny I wrote what I did on Bastille Day. Just realized that.


  4. Thom Brown
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 07:33:01

    What I see in teaching at the college level is that average student is far less ready for college work than two decades ago, perhaps even on decade ago. They expect to be rewarded just for tying rather than for accomplishment. Reading the text before class or even buying the text isn’t necessary in their eyes. They do not know what hard work is nor are they invested in their own education. Consequently they learn very little but expect a degree with honors simply because they paid for it.

    This is a large generalization, and there are still some serious students, thank goodness. There a fewer of them though.


  5. Heidi Zeigler Twitchell
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 09:20:30

    Hmmm… sounds familiar! I seem to have written about this topic recently?! I’m interested to know what your take is on my theory for the motive behind this, as it isn’t the same. While my little article, as discussed, was written with a playful hint of sensationalism, the content was not inaccurate. I’d love to know your thoughts.


    • bornstoryteller
      Jul 15, 2011 @ 21:47:59

      Hi Heidi: well, I DID ask you if I could print it. 🙂 Yes, this has been building up with me too. I agree with what you wrote. I just was really angry at what has been happening, stemming from the Indiana thing and all the other crap going on. Thanks..you know I think highly of you (did you see my defense on LinkedIn?).


  6. Sharon Holzscherer
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 10:39:46

    Power is not just money. Power is marketing. How else do you get Arnie as Governor and Sarah even on the political landscape? The huge advantage now is that so much marketing is free. If you and other teachers are seriously interested in attacking mediocrity then you have to start marketing.

    There is power in numbers (since I think the US is still a democracy?!). The more you can get on your side the better your chances of achieving change. This means that you must move beyond teachers and academicians and appeal to the mediocre masses who are the result of this wonderful education system. It is our job to educate so let’s do our job.

    First, remember that everything is perception and perspective. If you go into a public pool and there are 100 people in it and then half leave, you will think it is not crowded. If you enter that same pool and there are 25 people in it and then 25 more arrive, you will think it is crowded. All perspective. Politicians know this. We need to use their weapons.

    Why do parents not support increased funding for schools? Two things are at play here. One – check out almost any press story about failing students, failing education, failing globally and the blame is either overtly or through implication laid at the feet of teachers. Why? Teachers need to keep their jobs so they will just take it and keep quiet. The powers that be will not take responsibility (really! did you think they would?!) So, according to the press, which is objective and never wrong (a bit of sarcasm there), teachers are to blame for the whole mess. Why would we give them more money? They are just wasting it! Two – teachers have the easiest job in the world. They only work from 9 to 3:30. They get Christmas (2 weeks), March Break (1-2 weeks), and summer (8-10 weeks) off. They don’t work weekends. They have benefits and a pension plan to die for. And they get all their lesson plans and everything from a fixed and preplanned curriculum. Why should they be paid more?

    Honestly this is what the public thinks. If we want to change their opinion we need to educate them. We need a marketing strategy to counter the mud slinging. We need to describe a teacher’s job. We need to let them into our classrooms. Into our schools. We need to be open about budgets. How much money we actually get for our classrooms and supplies. How much is spent on bureaucracy.

    Educators get bad press. It is up to us to change it.

    As an aside, to answer Thom Brown’s comment about college students, they are what we make them. We pass them regardless of their achievement. We bounce them from subject to subject without connecting them together or giving them relevancy to their lives. We teach them apathy. We weaken them through kindness by telling them that they can do anything. And if they can’t we will make accommodations. And they are perfect as they are. We make them. We should not blame them.


  7. mumuGB
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 11:57:35

    The problem is exactly the same on the other side of the pond. We use to have grammar schools here. They were free, but very selective and they provided an opportunity for a good education to some able kids.
    They don’t exist anymore, and the state education is going from bad to worse. Maybe bringing back some selection would help?


  8. Joy
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 14:09:30

    Well written, Stu! I suppose this is why theorists such as Marx will continue to make sense. Obviously, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie continue to exist. It is a vicious cycle. Our institutions make the people the way they are and vice versa. This is not to say the cycle cannot be broken though. Political will can always make a difference. There is just no space for apathy or believing that someone else will do it for us.


  9. josie
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 17:34:12

    A point of view I hadn’t heard before, plus I don’t live in the States anyway. I agree with what Thom says re College students. I believe we have too many subjects in the curriculum, basic literacy skills aren’t given enough emphasis and technology has not made education any better. Just because there’s a spellcheck doesn’t mean the kids will get it right. For us a lot of this comes back to parents too who don’t seem to be concerned about how their kids succeed (or not) in school. Their children are in school so they no longer need to take any responsibility. And the students themselves want instant gratification. A lot of the senior kids I teach have part-time jobs and a huge disposable income, and that’s all they’re interested in. Again, a generalisation but true for a large percentage. I must go and read what Roberta says too.
    josie x


  10. Damyanti
    Jul 16, 2011 @ 08:56:52

    Love the discussion here, Stuart, and it is eerie how your post strikes true even in my part of the world.


  11. Penelope J.
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 00:28:47

    Couldn’t agree more! Wish I could stand up on your soapbox and shout along with you, but education is not my mission. However, it does coincide closely with what you have to say about there being a deliberate plan for mediocrity in education in order to separate the elite from the peons – I call them modern-day serfs. You have the lords/nobles e.g. Trump, Bloomberg and you have the “working poor”, the underpaid or part-timers (often holding down 2-3 jobs). When I became one of America’s working poor and worked the phones, I was exposed to this underbelly and the way the powerful dominate, manipulate, rule, and ruin them, or send them as cannon fodder to wage wars much the same way that medieval lords used their serfs. And of course, let’s not get on the subject of the serfs electing and reelecting, by foul means rather than fair, a dumb, rich man’s – with great connections – kid with a bought Ivy League education to the position of the most powerful man on earth. No wonder we’re losing our leadership status to the Chinese.


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