1. The Topic of the Month for May 2017 is "Motivationals." Please join the discussion on the Survival Topic of the Month forum.

The Continuing Collapse: April 2010

Discussion in 'Faith and Religion' started by survivalmonkey, Apr 16, 2010.


  1. survivalmonkey

    survivalmonkey Monkey+++

    [​IMG]WELCOME TO THE CONTINUING COLLAPSE!*
    *
    By Bruce N. Shortt, J.D., Ph.D
    *
    Exposing Government Schools: The Youth Ministry of the State Church
    of Secular Humanism*
    *
    *
    April,*Anno Domini 2010
    **
    *
    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies."
    (Groucho Marx)*?*
    "If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner."
    (H.L. Mencken)
    "Surrender is essentially an operation by means of which we set out explaining instead of acting."*
    (Charles Peguy)
    *
    "He who does not bellow the truth when he knows the truth makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers."*
    (Charles Peguy)
    *
    MORDOR ON THE POTOMAC
    *
    *
    A few weeks ago The Continuing Collapse visited our national capital, sometimes known as "Mordor-on-the-Potomac", to discuss education and healthcare issues with our elected minority Orcs and majority Uruk-Hai and their staffs. TCC didn't have a chance to chat with Sauron, but perhaps next time.
    *
    Any visitor to Mordor-On-The-Potomac* and its immediate environs can't help but notice*the staggering opulence, which is made possible by the*veritable Mississippi*of tax dollars and Fed dollars that flow*into Mordor*in nearly unimaginable amounts.**But even more astonishing than amount of stolen wealth in Mordor is the*slowness of the*Orcs to comprehend that the Uruk-Hai*feast on power and will allow no rule or policy consideration to restrain their appetites.
    *
    In the area of education, as TCC has noted, the Uruk-Hai will even throw*their own education special interests*under the bus*in the*pursuit of greater power.
    *
    With "healthcare" out of the way,*a*key*game that is now afoot is increasing Mordor's control of education. No Child Left Behind has not been reauthorized and will be substantially revised, probably with a new name.
    *
    The first*harbinger of Sauron's administration's plan for education was the "curriculum" that was to be used in classrooms across the nation in connection with his beginning of school speech. The second is the Race To The Top ("RTTT") grant initiative, which invites states to grovel before Mordor's wizard of education in order to receive RTTT grants. Bear in mind that RTTT is something of a stopgap to allow the Administration to say it is doing something bold pending reauthorization of NCLB.
    *
    Although RTTT contains a number of distractions such as forcing grant recipient states to eliminate caps on the number of charter schools*and requirements for "performance pay" intended to bring "conservative school reformers" on board, the statist heart of RTTT can be found in its*imposition of*national curriculum standards and tests. In essence, the "lucky winners" of RTTT grants are transferring control of what gets taught in the classroom and what gets tested to Mordor-On-The-Potomac.
    *
    One indication of how important control of curriculum is to Sauron and his Uruk-Hai is the jet-engine-decibel-level shreiking that has been going on over the new Texas history standards. You see, the left has limited influence over the Texas State Board of Education ("SBOE"), and because Texas is such a big market for textbooks, the standards laid down in Texas strongly influence the textbooks used across the nation.
    *
    Because the Texas standards are relatively light on Gramscian/affirmative action history and tell a small amount of truth, the Uruk-Hai left has been bellowing in the MSM about the "fundamentlist" rubes on the SBOE and for the need to have real "experts" in charge of such weighty matters as forming the historical consciousness of our children.
    *
    The attacks on the conservative members of the SBOE range from the usual sneers to outright lies - such as claiming that Thomas Jefferson was removed from the history standards. As is usually the case, the rebuttals to the lies won't get any play in the MSM (TCC hopes that none of its readers rely on the MSM for news) because the MSM is simply the propaganda arm for*Sauron and his*Uruk-Hai.
    *
    In case you are wondering about Jefferson, it is true that*
    Jefferson was removed by the SBOE*from a list of European Enlightenment philosophers.*This should*strike educated people as reasonable because Jefferson was neither European nor an Enlightenment philosopher. Nevertheless, the SBOE standards mention Jefferson overall more than any other historical figure*except George Washington.
    *
    The MSM is also incensed that the SBOE violated many of the anti-Christian taboos of the Uruk-Hai by including Blackstone, John Calvin, Thomas Aquinas, and a tiny bit of the historical influence of Christianity on the*founding of*America*in the standards. But here TCC must point out that the SBOE was far too timid.
    *
    You can't understand early America or the Revolution without understanding a good deal of theology and Christian history, including the English Civil War. After all, it was the British who characterized* the war (somewhat erroneously) as a Presbyterian rebellion or, more accurately, as a replay of the English Civil War. It is also inconvenient for those who would like to rewrite the profound influence of Christianity on the Founding that*the British Prime Minister, Horace Walpole, once quipped about the war*that "Cousin America has run off with*a Presbyterian parson."
    *
    Given that the extensively schooled, but poorly educated,*news readers*of the MSM would in any event*excoriate the SBOE for any deviation from a historical narrative that*Howard Zinn, a liar who made a career of masquerading as an historian, would have approved, the SBOE should have included the whole truth in the standards. If nothing else,*the reaction by the MSM and their Uruk-Hai masters would have been both entertaining and a stimulus to the economy by increasing the MSM's and the*Uruk-Hai's demand for blood pressure medication.*
    *
    No matter, this small act of defiance by the SBOE is something akin to Custer's Last Stand. Sauron has the money and the power to get what he wants - control of what is taught in every classroom. The only solution is to empty the classrooms sufficiently to bankrupt the government school system and bring it further into disrepute.
    *
    *
    DOTH MINE EYES DECEIVE ME?
    (A LIBERAL THINK TANK CASTS DOUBT ON THE ABILITY TO REFORM SCHOOLS)
    *
    *
    The Brookings Institution has always stood ready to supply public policy rhetoric for the left. In an unaccountable recent fit of candor, however,*Brookings released a study that says what many "non-experts" have known all along: Nobody knows how to fix our broken government schools.
    *
    ...The study suggests that people who say we know how to make failing schools into successful ones but merely lack the will to do so are selling snake oil. In fact, successful turnaround stories are marked by idiosyncratic circumstances. The science of turnarounds is weak and devoid of practical, effective strategies for educators to employ. Examples of largescale, system-wide turnarounds are nonexistent. A lot of work needs to be done before the odds of turning around failing schools begin to tip in a favorable direction...
    http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2010/0317_education_loveless.aspx*For the entire report,
    go here: http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Fi...ducation_loveless/0317_education_loveless.pdf *
    *
    Here is a hint for the Brookings policy analysts who don't know what to do about fixing education: End education by government. The model is the mistake.
    *
    *
    *
    *JUST LEAVE IT TO THE "EXPERTS"
    *
    Our soi-disant "education experts" control the textbook industry, and they are one of the reasons why Brookings can't identify a way to turn around government schools. How so? Here is a small example:
    *
    Five times three equals five.
    *
    Second-graders at 79 Sacramento-area schools can find that equation in their new math books.
    Other students using the math series are being asked to count the flies in the playground – only there's no picture of a playground on the page.
    *
    These are just a few of the errors in the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill math series that two area school districts – Sacramento City Unified and Folsom Cordova – started using this year in kindergarten through sixth-grade classrooms.
    *
    Among the others: lesson plans that don't connect to homework assignments; tests that don't match textbook lessons; student texts that don't parallel teachers' books; and mistakes in the answer keys.
    Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/04/01/2648009/sacramento-area-districts-deal.html#ixzz0jyzkQKlm
    *
    In case you are tempted to "snark" in the general direction of California, you ought to know that Macmillan/McGraw-Hill is huge and is almost undoubtedly selling math textbooks in your state. Moreover, these sorts of errors are the least of the problems with the math*textbooks chosen by our highly trained education professionals: i.e. YouTube- Math Education: An Inconvenient Truth
    *
    *
    FAILING TO QUALIFY FOR RTTT FUNDS: THE CALIFORNIA EDUCATION ESTABLISHMENT WON'T GIVE UP WITHOUT A FIGHT
    *
    Remember, Sauron's primary goal is getting control of what is taught in every classroom. Preserving the perks and power of certain elements of the education special interests*are secondary and, if need be, expendible, if necessary to achieve curricular control.
    *
    Here we have a story discussing the ongoing collapse of California's government schools and the push-back by California's highly trained education professionals against being used as a sacrifice to bring the Diane Ravitches and Chester Finns of the world into Sauron's education coalition.
    *
    The depth of California's educational crisis was underscored a few weeks ago when new nationwide test results placed the state's fourth- and eighth-graders at or near the bottom in basic academic skills.
    *
    The dismal academic rankings were released just after California failed to qualify for one of the Obama administration's Race to the Top education improvement grants even though it had hurriedly made school governance changes, albeit after some nasty political infighting.
    The political climate was so divisive that California could not muster the required level of support for Obama-style reform from school districts, teachers and unions to qualify for a grant. And the atmosphere remains so toxic that California may not even apply in subsequent rounds.
    *
    After its brief foray into the quicksand of pedagogic policy, the Capitol is returning to a more familiar political battleground – money.
    *
    Unions and other elements of the education establishment that were hostile to the reforms pushed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger with White House support are again chanting their fundamental mantra – that real improvement in California's sorry academic performance requires more money...
    *
    While thousands of words were spoken, Deborah Hearne, a non-teaching employee of West Sacramento's Washington Unified School District, tersely summed up their message: "Give us the money. That's the only solution."
    *
    The problem, of course, is that there's no money to give. The state budget is a zero-sum game, and the sum has been shrinking as the worst recession since the Great Depression hammers the state, even with the temporary tax increases enacted last year.
    *
    Polls tell us that the voting public values public education and doesn't want it to suffer further. But neither is there any appetite among voters for the broad new taxes that would be needed to avoid big school cuts, especially if the taxes would fall on them.
    It's a Gordian knot, and no one has a knife sharp enough to sever it.
    Read more:
    http://www.sacbee.com/2010/04/07/2660270/dan-walters-californias-school.html?pageNum=3&&mi_pluck_action=page_nav#Comments_Container#ixzz0kQbM6FPn
    *
    Did you notice the humble, sacrificial tone of Deborah Hearne? "GIVE US THE MONEY!" And, dear reader, if you are institutionalizing your children in Caesar's schools, YOU are giving them the money.*
    *
    *
    SPEAKING OF "MORE MONEY"
    *
    *
    Here we have the uplifting story of exactly what nearly unlimited money can do for a school district.
    *
    This one is worth the time to read - it just might immunize you against the claim that*education reform and more money are somehow related.
    *
    Kansas City was held up as a national example of bold thinking when it tried to integrate its schools by making them better than the suburban districts where many kids were moving. The result was one school with an Olympic-sized swimming pool and another with recording studios.
    *
    Now it's on the brink of bankruptcy and considering another bold move: closing nearly half its schools to stay afloat.
    *
    Schools officials say the cuts are necessary to keep the district from plowing through what little is left of the $2 billion it received as part of a groundbreaking desegregation case.

    ...the district's fortunes are so bleak that Superintendent John Covington has said diplomas given to many graduates "aren't worth the paper they're printed on."...
    *
    *The city used gobs of cash to improve facilities, but boosting lagging test scores and stemming the exodus of students were more elusive...
    *
    The latest possible solution for Kansas City is the plan Covington submitted to the school board last week that called for closing 29 out of 61 schools to eliminate a projected $50 million budget shortfall. Covington also has said he wants to cut about 700 of the district's 3,000 jobs, including 285 teachers... The proposal has stunned the community.
    *
    This year alone officials expect to overspend the $316 million budget by $15 million and if nothing changes, the district will be in the red by 2011.
    It wasn't supposed to be this way.
    Kansas City appeared headed for a recovery when a federal judge in 1985 declared the district was unconstitutionally segregated. To boost test scores, integrate the schools and repair decrepit classrooms, the state was ordered to spend about $2 billion to address the problems.
    The district went on a buying spree that included a six-lane indoor track and a mock court complete with a judge's chamber and jury deliberation room. But student achievement remained low, and the anticipated flood of students from the suburbs turned out to be more like a trickle. Court supervision of the desegregation case ended in 2003.
    And to this day, the district continues to lose students. In the late 1960s enrollment peaked at 75,000, dropped to 35,000 a decade ago and now sits at just under 18,000...
    At the height of spending in 1991-92, Kansas City invested more than $11,700 per student — more than double that year's national average of $5,001, according to U.S. Census figures. Today, the district spends an average of $15,158 on each student, compared to a national average of $9,666 in 2006-07, the latest figures available.
    Nationwide public districts are closing schools to better cope with a recession that has eaten away at academic budgets. In rapidly shrinking Detroit, 29 schools closed before classes began this fall, leaving the district with 172 schools. Washington, D.C. closed 23 of its schools in 2008 because of under-enrollment; last year only three were closed.
    But proportionally, Kansas City's potential closures are striking in scope.
    "That is huge," said Dan Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators. "I have not heard of a reduction of that size anywhere else. That is incredibly large."
    Although Kansas City is still running the buildings, many schools have an empty feel. Several classrooms sit vacant, many hallways are sparse with students and some teachers have a dozen or fewer students.
    Amid the turmoil, Missouri State Auditor Susan Montee's office is auditing the district's books from the past two years to get a better idea of where the money went.
    Covington has faulted previous school leaders for failing to act as enrollment shrunk. Past administrators proposed closures, but the plans were either scaled back or scrapped entirely after community protests.
    The community is no less passionate this time. Public hearings on the plan have been filled with hundreds of parents, students and community members holding signs and chanting in protest.
    Angry parents said kids are being punished for the district's failures. They raised concerns about overcrowding, although board officials say the average class size is only expected to increase by a few students..."?http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/03/07/national/a101707S80.DTL#ixzz0hYbCRimt**
    *
    Did you notice the incompetence and fraud themes woven throughout the story? Why be shocked? If our highly trained education professionals have to cheat on accountability tests at every opportunity and fail to teach, why should anyone*be surprised that they can't*manage large organizations successfully?
    THE CONTINUING COLLAPSE OF GOVERNMENT*SCHOOLS IS CREATING VERY ANGRY HIGHLY TRAINED EDUCATION PROFESSIONALS

    With massive budget deficits looming in almost every state, the sacred cow - government schools - is beginning to look more and more like a source of hamburger. In this case, pensions for future teachers and other tax eaters were given a whack by the Illinois legislature.
    Here we have the anger of Illinois' highly trained education professionals**expressed in their very own words (isn't that just precious...).
    Today, everyone in public education, in fact everyone working in public service, is angry. Last night, literally in the dark of night, the Illinois State Legislature decimated pensions for future public employees – for teachers, ESPs, university employees, public works personnel, child care workers, social workers – for more than 70 percent of those working in public employment....In short, now is the time to demand passage of House Bill 174. HB 174 is the bill that increases personal and corporate income tax to a level comparable with other states, expands the sales tax to 39 consumer services and reduces the dependency on local real estate taxes to fund vital local services. It is also the first step toward moving us from regressive taxation to progressive taxation....
    *
    Of course, UNITY is what is central to the idea of unions.* Teachers, ESPs, university employees, public works personnel, child care workers, social workers and others are all our union brothers and sisters. As was first stated*more*than*100 years ago by the Haymarket martyrs who were fighting the same powers here in Illinois:
    “An injury to one, is an injury to all.”
    Unity for real change is how we can create a strategic response to channel our anger from yesterday.
    http://illinoiseducationassociation.org/blogs/sos/now-is-the-time-to-use-anger-strategically/

    *
    *AND THEY'RE ANGRY IN FLORIDA, TOO
    *
    The unions say that they'll undo this legislative slight to their dignity by changing the composition of the legislature, and it isn't hard to believe that they will succeed.

    Of course, it may not be necessary for the unions*to go to all that trouble, because*Florida's Orc governor may well hand the unions at least a partial victory as the price of getting union support for his bid*to become a Senator. Nevertheless, it is always entertaining to observe leaders of the teachers' unions behaving like enraged bonabos.
    *
    In the wee hours of Friday morning, long after most of us were asleep, Florida's lawmakers made dramatic changes to their state's education system. They took reform to a new level.
    *
    The most significant piece of legislation eliminates tenure protection for teachers. Newly hired teachers would work on an annual contract that can be renewed each year. The bill also does away with lockstep annual raises. Teachers' pay no longer would be bumped based simply on how long they've worked, and how many graduate degrees they've obtained. Instead, their pay would depend on the achievement of their students. The more improvement their students make in the classroom, the more money teachers take home. Already tenured teachers keep their job protection.
    *
    The legislature's move has teachers unions up in arms. Andy Ford, the president of the Florida Education Association, told Education Week that his group would work to shake up the make-up of the legislature. "We're looking toward the November elections, where we'd repeal and reform the legislation, if we can change some seats in the Senate and the House," Ford said...
    *
    Now lawmakers there have pushed through wholesale changes in the way teachers are evaluated and rewarded for their work.
    *
    Gov. Charlie Crist, who initially indicated he would sign the bill, is waffling. Crist, who is running in a Republican primary for the U.S. Senate against Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, told reporters on Friday that he hasn't decided if he will sign the legislation. Top lawmakers could wind up negotiating some changes with the governor.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-florida-20100412,0,157630.story
    *
    *
    AND THEY'RE ALSO MAD IN GEORGIA...
    *
    Here we have a story that should really be about how highly trained education professionals use "astroturfing".
    *
    DEKALB COUNTY, GA-- Parents and students are expected to show up Monday evening at theDekalb County School Board meeting to further protest the possible closing of four schools.

    All campuses are on the south side of the county: Gresham Park, Kelley Lake, Knollwood and Peachcrest Elementary schools.
    *
    The school district has said the closures will help curb the current $115 million deficit saving an estimatd*$2.2 million.
    *
    On April 2nd, members of a citizens' review task force*charged with deciding what schools to close stunned*the audience by voting 8-to-7*to do nothing and send the controversial matter back to the school district.
    http://www.11alive.com/rss/rss_story.aspx?storyid=142723
    *
    WHAT ARE*OUR HIGHLY TRAINED EDUCATION PROFESSIONALS*TRYING TO PROTECT?
    *
    *
    Lest any of TCC's readers have failed to be fully innoculated against the "We are underpaid and underfunded" RINO rhetorical virus, TCC is providing the following excerpt from a Mackinac Center article about*how highly trained education professionals are compensated in a not terribly affluent Michigan school district. *Given some adjustment*upward or downward*for cost of living, your district is not likely to be all that much different.
    *
    Nearly every aspect of a teacher's job falls under the rules of a union contract. The following is an analysis of the current collective bargaining agreement for teachers and a few other employee groups in the East Lansing School District. The district employs about 220 teachers and enrolls 3,400 students. Of its $34 million operating budget (excluding capital and debt services expenditures), about 70 percent goes towards paying employees covered by this contract....The average teacher salary in East Lansing according to the Michigan Department of Education was $62,562 in 2008.

    East Lansing school employees are not required to make any contribution to the cost of the health insurance fringe benefit the district provides. Family premiums cost the district $15,243 per employee, while the average health insurance family premium in Michigan is $11,300. Plus, teachers choosing not to enroll district's medical plan get a monthly $300 "cash-in-lieu" payment.

    The contract also covers working conditions, such as the minimum number of hours teachers must be at school. Teachers are required to be at school for 31 hours per week and may not have more than 25 hours and 25 minutes of "pupil contact." Based on their 183-day annual work schedule, this amounts to 1,135 hours per year. The national average for all professions is 1,792 hours over the span of about 250 work days annually.

    School employees are entitled to a lifetime pension when they retire, and are also are given lifetime health benefits.

    ...The union contract also includes bonus pay for additional duties. Teachers get $29.64 per hour for teaching summer school, $30 per hour for being a "mentor teacher" and $23.29 per hour for helping to develop curriculum. Teachers can also earn extra cash by participating in an extracurricular activity, like coaching, band, drama, yearbook, debate and many others.**
    http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/12484
    *
    Not bad for a group of people who, collectively, can't teach as effectively as our great-grandmothers did with high school degrees or, perhaps, a two year normal school degree....or, for that matter, who can't come close to teaching as effectively as a homeschool mom without a high school diploma.
    *
    *
    FLIGHT OF LITTLE REVENUE UNITS (aka "Students")*IMPERILS LAUSD FINANCES
    *
    *
    It shouldn't be necessary any longer to point out that the government education system is first and foremost about money. For slow learners, however, here is yet another report that confirms the obvious. In this case, all of Ramon Cortines' horses and all of Cortines' men*couldn't round up the escapees....and now the budget hole is getting deeper...
    *
    The Los Angeles Unified School District this week backed down from a controversial proposal to slash the number of students it lets transfer to other districts.Supt. Ramon C. Cortines said Tuesday that most students who attend schools outside of the district can continue to do so next year, a retreat from a recent, more restrictive policy that provoked an outcry from parents, other school districts and some members of his own Board of Education.
    *
    But this is only a tactical withdrawal. Cortines will be back with a new plan in the fall. The reason is simple: money.
    *
    LA Unified “released” 12,200 students last year. If 80% returned to L.A. Unified, the megadistrict would get $51 million in per-pupil state funding, the Los Angeles Times said, reducing a $640 million shortfall.
    *
    Cortines said he will “assess, among other things, why families are rejecting L.A. Unified for what they consider better options.”
    *
    What possible reasons could families have? Maybe it’s L.A. Unified’s dismal test scores, or the inability to fire grossly incompetent or abusive teachers.In the past decade, LAUSD officials spent $3.5 million trying to fire just seven of the district’s 33,000 teachers for poor classroom performance — and only four were fired, during legal struggles that wore on, on average, for five years each.
    *
    Rather than improve the schools and weed out bad instructors to make families want to stay, L.A. Unified and the teachers union would prefer to run the district like a prison, preventing parents and children from escaping to better schools.
    *
    Cortines and the teachers unions recently teamed up to eviscerate a new round of charter schools, shutting out several leading operators. Such schools offer a way to escape L.A. Unified without technically leaving the district.
    http://blogs.investors.com/capitalh...politicsinvesting/1660-escape-from-la-unified
    *
    *
    *
    SAURON KNOWS WHAT YOUR DISTRICT NEEDS: AFFIRMATIVE ACTION DISCIPLINE...
    *
    *
    Below we have a story describing the new frontier of civil rights: Affirmative Action Discipline. Yes, you can always trust Mordor-On-The-Potomac to come up with educational innovations that, while they may make no sense, certainly make the lives of our highly trained education professionals and their inmates*interesting.
    **
    WASHINGTON—The Obama administration plans to crack down on civil-rights infractions in school districts and university systems, including alleged disparities in the disciplining of white and black students.
    *
    The campaign will essentially put an enforcement stick behind the carrot of the administration's $4.35 billion Race to the Top program, which holds out the promise of extra federal funding if states revamp their education policies. While Race to the Top will reward school reforms, the civil-rights push will emphasize the potential to punish offending schools.
    *
    States found to be violating laws designed to assure equal treatment in education could, in extreme cases, face litigation or a withholding of federal school funding, U.S. education officials said. They portrayed the move as an effort to make up for years of lax enforcement under the previous administration...African-American students without disabilities are more than three times as likely to be expelled as their white peers," Mr. Duncan plans to point out in his speech...Ms. Ali said the department planned to pursue a number of what are known as "disparate impact cases," in which districts can be found to have violated civil-rights laws even without deliberate intent.
    *http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052748704706304575107653593000486.html **
    *
    To maintain the sort of Stalinist equality Mordor-On-The-Potomac envisions, perhaps our highly trained education professionals will maintain disciplinary balance by singling out students at random for punishment*from among student groups with better behavior. Alternatively, a certain number of misbehaving students from poorly behaved groups could be chosen at random to be exempted from punishment.
    *
    There are lots of ways to make the numbers work for Sauron and the Uruk-Hai, and TCC suspects that there will be a bull market*for "discipline equity" consultants.
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    "THERE ARE THREE KINDS OF LIES: LIES, DAMN LIES, AND STATISTICS"
    (Generally attributed to Benjamin Disraeli)
    *
    Not long ago the lovely Laura Ingraham interviewed
    Andres A. Alonso, Ed. D.,*CEO of the Baltimore schools, to discuss how Baltimore schools are now*using money bribes*to*get the*little revenue units to do their work. Demonstrating the squid-like evasive skills one expects to be found in someone who has ascended*to the top*ranks of highly trained education professionals, Dr. Alonso*brushed aside any moral or principled concerns about the bribes by simply asserting that he was getting results, and that's all that matters. After all, it is all "for the children."*
    *
    One obvious question was never asked:*What is the impact of the bribe policy on the character and expections*of the students and where*will the policy*lead?
    *
    For example, will it occur to the little revenue units that the school system has a lot of money and that they ought to be paid*far more than "chump change" currently on offer? How about a living wage? They are, after all, engaged in a "full-time" job.
    *
    Should they strike to enforce their demands? How about a work stoppage or a work slow down? Should the students form a collective bargaining unit? If so, would it be recognized by the NLRB? What will it do to the relationship between highly trained education professionals and little revenue units when the "revenue units" become direct revenue consumers in competition with highly trained education professionals? So many questions....
    *
    But, of course, another question altogether is whether*Dr. Alonso's*claims about what "works" are to be believed. Virtually any claim of success by the education establishment proves upon scrutiny to be questionable, a distortion, or an outright lie. This came*up in the interview when*Dr. Alonso*was effectively forced to admit that the*official dropout number for Baltimore*- 6% -*was a preposterous lie (50%+ is more like it).
    *
    Unfortunately, in spite of the exposure of the dropout rate lie, *Miss Ingraham seemed all to willing to accept*Dr. ALonso's*claim that bribery was working out well with the students.
    *
    Lest you think TCC is being too cynical, we shall now examine the unraveling of the New York education miracle so that you, Dear Reader, can understand how "success stories" are manufactured by our highly trained education professionals.
    *
    Once upon a time, with much fanfare,*the Prince of New York City, the Right Honorable Michael Bloomberg, declared that he was going to fix New York City's schools. Reformers flocked to the City, reform blossomed, and, after slaying many dragons,*the Prince and*his retainers*were able to announce that test scores had risen dramatically and that*they, unlike their unworthy predecessors, were now to be considered paladins of school reform and social justice.
    *
    Unfortunately, someone actually looked at the tests involved and discovered not only that gains*resulted from making the tests easier, but that for some of the tests students can earn a "pass" by*guessing on the multiple choice questions without answering any of the questions that require written answers.
    **
    Despite Mayor Bloomberg's plan to end "social promotion," sixth-graders can score high enough on state English exams to move to the next grade - just by guessing.
    *
    The number of correct answers needed to score a Level 2 to get promoted has sunk so low that a student can guess on the multiple choice section and leave the rest of the test blank.
    In seventh grade, students who guess need just one extra right answer to make the cut.
    "The issue of the reliability of the test scores as measures of student growth needs to be addressed," Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said.
    *
    "We understand we need to raise the bar, and we're going to."
    The number of sixth-graders scoring the bottom Level 1 dropped from 10% in 2006, when twice as many points were required, to 0.2% this year.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local...ized_tests_being_passed_just_by_guessing.html*
    *
    Here is this amusing tale in a bit more detail...
    *
    Diana Seneschal found 2 tests that writing ABCD passed: This is disturbing. Surely it isn’t possible to get a 2—and thus a promotion to the next grade—by just guessing! Or is it?
    *
    To find out, I conducted a little experiment....Now follow along with me as I reproduce the experiment. My question was: is it possible to get a 2 by just guessing?
    *
    I first tried my experiment with the sixth grade ELA test. I “guessed” all the answers on the multiple-choice portion and left the written portions blank. Or, rather, I didn’t “guess,” but filled in the answers as follows: A, B, C, D, A, B, C, D, and so on, all the way through the 26 questions. I didn’t read one of them.
    *
    Now, of course I got a zero on the written portions, but let’s see if I got enough points on the multiple-choice questions alone. To find out, I first consulted the scoring key. The total number of possible raw points is 39: 26 for the multiple-choice questions, and 13 for the written portions I scored myself. Remember that I answered A, B, C, D, A, B, C, D, etc. According to the key, I earned 12 points.
    *
    Now I went to the raw to scale score conversion chart to calculate my scale score (if you are following along, be sure to click on the “Grade 6” tab at the bottom of the chart). According to this chart, my scale score was 622.
    *
    From here I consulted the “Definitions of Performance Levels for the 2009 Grades 3-8 English Language Arts Tests.” According to this table, a sixth grader needs a scale score of 598-649 in order to attain level 2. My score fell within that range, so I got a 2 without looking at a single test question or writing a single word.
    *
    I thought to myself: What if the sixth grade ELA test were a fluke? I tried the same experiment with the seventh grade math test.
    *
    Again, I only worried about the multiple-choice questions. Actually I didn’t worry about them at all; I simply answered them A, B, C, D, A, B, C, D, as I had done with the sixth-grade ELA test. There were thirty such questions.
    *
    I then went to the scoring key. I scored 11 raw points. According to the raw score to scale score conversion chart, this gave me a scale score of 616 (be sure to scroll down to the 7th grade chart). Is that enough for a 2? I consulted the “Definitions of Performance Levels for the 2009 Grades 3-8 Mathematics Tests.” A seventh grader needs a scale score of 611-649 on the math test to get a 2. So I got a 2 without solving a single math problem, or even looking at one.
    While this approach does not result in a 2 for all the tests, it comes a bit too close for comfort, and another guessing system might work. A fifth grader told me that his father had told him, “Just mark ‘C’ for all of the answers, and you will pass.” On the fifth grade ELA test, this would indeed have resulted in a 2.
    *
    Yes, it is possible to guess your way to promotion. You may not even have to look at the questions or write a word on the written sections. It may not be called social promotion, but it amounts to the same thing: You do not need to know or understand much to move along.
    http://gothamschools.org/2009/08/17/guessing-my-way-to-promotion/

    *
    Any time a highly trained educational professional like Dr. Alonso declares in sonorous tones*that "studies show..." or that "We have found..." you can bet your lunch money that what follows isn't really true. The talented Miss Ingraham needs to be a little tougher.
    *
    *
    *
    **THE EYE OF SAURON'S "SAFE SCHOOLS CZAR" IS ON YOUR CHILDREN
    *
    You don't believe it? Well, here he is - Sauron's sodomite-in-chief*- the man every parent who has rendered his children to Caesar has put*in charge of making sure that your children are taught the correct understanding of human sexuality and marriage....Kevin Jennings.
    *****************
    *But don't worry. Yes,*Kevin Jennings*and his helpers are promoting sexual deviancy and promiscuity to government schooled children from kindergarten through the university level, but they are doing it responsibly. Why, just recently a call has gone out in Connecticut for a program*requring mandatory testing of 8th graders for loathsome diseases.*
    Sexually transmitted diseases is a topic that many people don't like to talk about, especially with teenagers. But, the director of the regional health department in New London is calling for the mandatory testing of teenagers from eighth-grade through 12th-grade students in New London and Groton.
    The hope is that other shoreline communities will follow suit and begin testing their teenagers as well...The plan also includes a requirement that every student get involved in some sort of after-school program and mandatory testing of all students for STDs beginning in eighth grade.
    Channel 3 Eyewitness News Reporter Heather Hegedus asked Salsbury if he believed it was a bit too radical for some communities.
    *
    Salsbury said, "I think some people may see it as that, but that's simply because of the sensitivity that surrounds adolescent sexual activity in our society."..
    http://www.wfsb.com/health/22787319/detail.html
    *
    *By the way, if you are wondering whether your school district is participating in the new Jennings inspired government school Day of Fasting and Humiliation, popularly known as the "Day of Silence", don't bother asking your district whether the district*sponsors it.*The administrative highly trained education professionals have learned how to handle the public relations side of this issue.
    *
    Of course they don't sponsor*the Day of Silence*or give it official sanction - how could you ask such a question? On the other hand, do they allow it by not taking*action against teachers*who fail to speak in class*or who use the day to propagandize for acceptance of the sodomite lifestyle? Do they discipline students for refusing to respond to teachers? Well, that, you see,*is an entirely different matter...but just remember, they don't "sponsor" it.*
    *
    *
    Finally, there are some bright spots. Dr. Ed Young, for example,*who has one of the largest congregations in the country, recently gave a sermon in which he described the Christian roots of education in America and*described how the government schools have become an aggressively anti-Christian institution that is fraught with problems.
    *
    Dr. Young stopped short of asking his congregants to remove their children from government schools, but the message was forceful enough that some of the highly trained education professionals in the service ostentatiously walked out. Very few pastors have this kind of courage.
    *
    Unfortunately, the majority of pastors are Saruman-like creatures who tacitly give their allegiance to Mordor, Sauron, and the Uruk-Hai, all the while denying it.
    *
    *
    That's a wrap for this edition of The Continuing Collapse. So, TCC bids you a fond adieu and asks you to:??REMEMBER:
    *?1. Feel free to circulate The Continuing Collapse. ?*?
    2. If you aren't hearing about at least some these government school problems from your pastor, why is he your pastor??*?
    3. FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS*SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS.*
    *
    “I had a motive for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves. … For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.” (Aldous Huxley [evolutionist, leftist, and grandson of T.H. Huxley, known as "Darwin's bulldog"]: Ends and Means, pp. 270 ff.)

    More...
     
survivalmonkey SSL seal        survivalmonkey.com warrant canary
17282WuJHksJ9798f34razfKbPATqTq9E7