Ravaging Politicism (excerpt 2)

Getting back to Arne Duncan’s statement, it seems obvious that no one respects his views—especially legislators who are in bondage to oxymoronic thinking (or perhaps the more apropos term would be—moronic). Otherwise, if their brain cells were actually functioning on “an average level” they would increase budget allocations for education rather than cut them. Giving some states more money has proven that the lack of money is not the problem. The real problems that need addressing are standardized testing that in no way improve test scores. If we want to see an improvement in test scores we need to develop the means to motivate students to want to learn and provide teachers the opportunity to teach, not test. Teachers in classroom across the nation are bombarded with testing which yields no relatable results as to their efforts in the classroom.

Specifically, in Michigan the Detroit Public School system spends money for testing on a monthly and quarterly basis in addition to the State testing. Michigan has the lowest level of literacy across the nation with most only able to read at a fourth-grade level when the student is in high school. However, Michigan’s Tea Party Governor boasts improvement in graduation rates, but does the increase of students graduating mean much when they no reading comprehension skills? We have students who graduated from high school in college settings who do not know how to do simple division—add, subtract, multiply and divide. We cannot even consider their inability to do algebra or higher mathematics. For the record, the federal government and other foundations have poured good money after bad in their attempt to gain a measurable foothold in academics and have failed miserably.

First of all, anyone who wants to teach should know how to teach his or her subject content.  Aspiring teachers should be qualified—through coursework and experiences—that demonstrate their ability to get the job done. In Michigan, twenty years ago—teachers were not tested to see what they knew or understand. They only had to complete the coursework to receive a teaching certificate. This is not to say it is the teachers’ fault! I hate people blaming the downward spiral of academic proficiency on the teachers. Educating a student—any student—should be a partnership between parents, teachers, and the community. At this point in our state (and this is probably true for others), there is no partnership because most parents will not engage in the process! Since I do not wish to be redundant in a diatribe against the Michigan School system, I suggest reading my findings in, “If Parents Cared Enough, Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read” available wherever books are sold.

Another foil to keeping academics competitive was the course of action taken by a Superintendent in Detroit who arbitrarily decided that teachers did not need to teach grammar in an English class. What he really meant was that the “black students” did not need to know grammar or they might be able to compete with their counterparts from the suburbs for quality jobs. For the record, I am not a racist; I just call things the way I see them since there was no justification for this course of action. Even with the foolish, not every black person is incapable of using the language appropriately. After all, I am black and have up to this point, demonstrated competency in using Standard American English.  Now, twenty years later, the students in Detroit School Systems and in surrounding suburbs do not know how to use Standard American English because some idiot(s) decided it should not be taught. This is why, our students cannot write proficiently. They are reading with an inadequate proficiency level because all the testing does not allow time for them to read anything of substance as part of the “standardized” curriculum.

What education really needs is to get back to basics and leave all the pseudo-reforms in the pit they have dug, along with those who proposed them. How does all this factor into resulting in ravaging politicism? The legislative changes that take place that attempt to be politically correct are digging trenches we may not be able to survive.

How does this factor into the equation? Textbook publishing companies connect with legislators and they climb into the proverbial bed of allegiance with kickbacks to those creating legislation and money for all to enjoy. This is the real reason for the educational gap in measured achievements.  What we have as our guiding influence in many areas is a pseudo-façade of anyone caring about the students, but all wanting their share of the till.

Upcoming sections–legislative morality, religious deficits, parenthood, looking forward

 

Ravaging Politicism

Introduction

When looking at our society today and trying to make sense of the stupidity that reigns one has to wonder—how did we reach this point in life? The answer could be very simply put forth for discussion and analysis, but the problems attached to the answer are too complex to be simple. We are living in an era in which we attempt to hold people to standards when in reality those standards no longer exist and have not for some time.

We expect people in certain positions to uphold a modicum of respect for the office, even if it is obvious the person holding the office, deserves no respect. We attempt to hold people to standards of morals when we have been an amoral society for decades and there does not appear to be any attempt for anyone to change the flavor of our valueless society.

We attempt to hold parents accountable for raising productive children while taking away their rights to do so and then wonder why our children are on the rampage.

We attempt to hold teachers to high academic standards of excellence when in reality—we tie their hands and muzzle over their mouths when the teachers dare to voice their concerns about the conditions under which they are expected for perform. Performance indeed is an accurate portrayal of what teachers are expected to do. They are expected to perform—miracles—with students who either cannot or will not cooperate in the learning process, with reduced budgets and a lack of resources that defies logic, and with micro-managing administrators who do not have a clue as to what should happen in a classroom, and certainly, do not know what is  happening in the classroom.

Then we have the standards of religious posturing that have no real meaning, but are laughable and people have the nerve to wonder why church attendance is down in so many “religious institutions.” When we have demoralized morals—and labelled it political correctness—we open the door to the powers of negativity and ruination and allow them to run rampant—causing confusion and chaos everywhere and then we sit back and wonder—why! Granted, not everyone believes in the God of creation and this is not really about what one believes or does not believe.

This unraveling diatribe is about the reality that has beset us and one in which we are so mired that we cannot see our way back to a rationale in our approach to life that makes it possible for us to regain any civility we have lost. As a result of our current predilection regarding political correctness as a standard, I have endeavored to expound on the results of our foolishness and bring to the forefront the issue of the ravaging politicism that is so pervasive in our society that reason is no longer a sound principle for most of our society.

To make sure that everyone reading maintains a focused view (no straying) to what is being said, the following definitions are used to coin the phrase—“ravaging politicism”—so that all can interpret with accuracy the state of our society.

Politicism—considering the verb—politicize—which means to bring a political flavor into a situation. In this case, it is the political arena, wooing citizens to win their confidence in a time of election.

Changing the verb into a noun by adding the suffix—ism—which means to develop a distinctive doctrine, theory, system or practice—we have—viola—politicism.

Ravaging—to ruin or cause ruinous damage or harm to someone or something. For the purposes of this brief dissertation, it is ruining what was supposed to be the threads of a civilized society in which morals and values are revered.

Referencing statements made in the introduction, let me begin with the damage that has brought us to our knees on an academic un-achievement level. We are ranked average based upon recent findings in the report according to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development updated 10/1/2012). When looking at the compilation of scores, average is not an accurate description of what the ranking should be. On a scale up 1000, our reading scores were 500, math scores 487, and science scores 502. Now, I admit I am not a mathematician, but 50% is failing, not average. But then, I did not do the ranking and those who did, probably hoped that anyone reading this report would not see the fallacy that can be concluded from the following excerpt.

The three-yearly OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)             report, which compares the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in 70 countries    around the world, ranked the United States 14th out of 34 OECD countries for   reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics.

The response from our “revered leader in education” makes the following statement:

“This is an absolute wake-up call for America,” U.S. Education Secretary Arne             Duncan said in an interview with The Associated Press. “The results are extraordinarily            challenging to us and we have to deal with the brutal truth. We have to get much more       serious about investing in education.”

Now while I realize that not everyone considers Huffington Post a reliable media source, I am fairly confident in using them as a source for my stance. [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/07/us-falls-in-world-education-rankings_n_793185.html—retrieved on 1/31/2014]

I have so much more to say–stay tuned for upcoming posts in the next week or so. Please forgive previous post–formatting issues.