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Defenders of US Public Schools Call on Biden to Ditch Trump's Disastrous Education Policies—and Obama's Too

You know, it’s kind of astounding, but that’s not actually true.


Yeah, sad.

Our public schools here in my neck of the woods, because so many parents are professors at the state university and were able to buck the system, are pretty amazing. Well, they were when my kids were there. My younger daughter’s tenth grade history professor had the kids compare Jesus’ sermon on the mount to the GWBush admin. After I read the sermon I felt it was a brilliant assignment. Shows the hypocrisy of those people (the repubs.) I’m forever grateful to that history teacher. Wish that for all the country’s kids.


Glad to see SOMEBODY looking at the big picture and sticking to historical facts. I like CD’s “Views,” but it’s easy to forget to pay attention to which is which.

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Two or three years before I retired from teaching (economics, at a CC) a friend gave me a tee shirt that reads, “Those who can, TEACH. Those who can’t make laws about teaching.” I wore it every semester during finals week, when the Clueless Boss From Hell (ex-military, as were the dean and a good many others) wasn’t on campus.

Few people understand that knowing a certain skill set or body of knowledge qualifies a person to teach it–a completely different skill set AND body of knowledge.


See my reply to bardamu’s first and longer comment.

What did he say? He said: “Blessed are the Cheesemakers…”

And that litigation trajectory is part of the problem that needs to be corrected.

We need REAL schools that prepare us to, recognize, see and and feel the ROOT relations and interactions of the many elements in our world.


PRIVATE SCHOOLS are Prejudice Generators!

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If the balance that makes the SCOTUS effective has been obviously purloined, the obvious remedy is to expand its size until it becomes appropriately reflective of the Country as a whole.

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Wow. Economics. At UCLA I took econ 101, yeah, one day of it, and didn’t understand a word of it. OK, I understood words like “but, that, it” and not much else. Not helpful. I asked a fellow walking out after class if he understood the professor and he answered, “sure, yeah.” I dropped the class. In my fifties I decided not to give up on myself and started with Heilbroner’s The Worldly Philosophers and went on from there, finishing Capital in the 21st Century at 11:03 a.m. on May 14th this year, after struggling for 3 1/2 years.

But what I wanted to tell you was that in my profession as a musician, you have to know how to teach, not just how to play. I’ve failed at teaching but can coach, somewhat. Some of my colleagues are masterful teachers, including my principal cellist. But teaching is truly a skill.

When my kids were in elementary school I used to take my day off, Monday, and help the teacher out with reading or whatever she or he needed. I was in total awe of what they did–never raising their voice above a natural talking voice, total command of the classroom, (35 students plus an assistant, maybe), cheerful, engaged kids happy with learning and being with their colleagues. It was a joy and a pleasure to be in their classroom. I loved every one of those teachers and wish I could tell them what their work meant to me as a Mom. Thank you to all the people who decide to become teachers!


Sure, and I’m all for it. Now, we’ll just have to convince Mitch McConnell.

“Wow” indeed! You get it on all counts, including verbal communication, another skill set that few people are born with.

Heilbroner is an excellent introduction to economics, precisely because he eschews any effort to explain what’s in the books. I call it “classical claptrap,” bogus as a $3,000 bill.

Wow, a career in music! One of my earliest dreams. Music has been one of the constants in my life until the last few years. Perhaps this is my call to put it back in.

This machine is running slow and so am I. I will clear out a bunch of junk and return to this thread within a day or two, but in case I fall in a hole: Economics Unmasked: From power and greed to compassion and the common good. Manfred Max-Neef was a real economist, and he and his collaborator explain how it began and why it is so debased–a little bit of the history of the discipline that even Heilbroner, a historian of economics, missed. Inexpensive, an easy read, and quite enlightening.

Yes, it was exactly why Heilbroner was so accessible for someone who nearly flunked statistics-- a few words about the person’s philosophy and mainly the story of their lives. It was a perfect introduction.

Just after that was Perfectly Legal, by David Cay Johnston, and I had to read several passages five times to understand it.

My older daughter and I will be having a bookclub with White Fragility. She is my hero, and the anti-racist in the family. When she lived in Oakland she was one of two white people who sang in a black church’s gospel choir. They welcomed her with full hearts and open arms. And I’m reading Culture Warlords now which is a great companion to the other book. No wonder I’m feeling scared lately! I get into it with people and instead of de-escalation I escalate things. One person, over the phone, many years ago, said he was going to find me and kill me. Fortunately, on my list of people to call for getting out the vote, I had his address. I called the police, they found him and the gun, and reported back to me. What was that about verbal skills?

That was the long of: I’ll get the book and put it on the reading list, but it will have to wait in line!

And thank you for getting back to me. That’s what I love about the community here, and my sanity depends on it!

Well trained and well paid.

Yes, Heilbroner is an excellent writer, able to communicate effectively with people on many levels. It seems to be getting less common, even–or maybe especially–in academia.

Remarkable reading list! I have hundreds of books, most of them unread, including at least one from Johnston (Free :Lunch). I get him confused with the late Chalmers Johnson, probably because I heard of them at about the same time. I’m thinking about just holing up with a few loaves of my home made wheat bread for a few months and tackle them. Oops, too many commitments already.

Long hard day, like most days these days; more later…

I didn’t set out to be an economist. By age 15 (1961) TV ads had convinced me that a lot of what I had been taught about How the World Works was bunk. I graduated first in my class of 600 and enrolled in a 5-year double degree program at Oberlin College.

It was a time of turmoil in my life and in the country. First I flunked out of music, then I flunked out of math. I left Oberlin in the tumultuous spring of 1968 LAST in my class of about the same size but with enough credits for a BA in Physics. That and ten dollars will get you a double latte most places today.

THEN I dropped out for the next 20 years, making my living building and fixing stuff—mostly houses—my hobby from about age six.

I was barely getting by, so on a friend’s recommendation I signed up for one class in small business at the local community college—interesting and enlightening, so I took a couple more, including one in economics. Except for the music and some literature, the “STEM” fields are my native language. From that perspective, formal economics looked like a pseudo-science (“Creation Science”?). I took another course, then another, trying to figure out if I was missing something. Two graduate degrees later I was convinced I was right the first time.

Along the way I learned that very different schools of thought on economics (Heilbroner’s specialty) had existed since the mid-19th century. These “heterodox” schools are rampant today. With luck, within a few decades they will displace the neoclassical paradigm that is (IMNSHO) an un-scientific apologia for Capitalism.

What an incredible life arc, Economagic. Looking back, what are your thoughts? Are there any "if only"s? What instrument did you learn and major in at Oberlin?

Some of my colleagues went to Oberlin, as well as my improv teacher. It sounds like such a cool school. Very eclectic.

I started cello at age nine, and when I went to UCLA thought I could do cello and be a doctor. Thank goodness I nearly flunked Chem 1A–I do not have a logical mind! I can recognize it in others but can’t generate it myself. After trying psych classes and folklore and mythology (loved it!) I finally went to Cal State Northridge to major in music. After seven years got one teensy degree. During those seven years, though, I was playing in professional community orchestras, studying cello at USC in Gregor Piatigorsky’s class, and took a year off to play in the Jerusalem Symphony, yes, in Israel. During that year we did a US and Canadian tour. I complained about the pain of sitting in a bus going from Cleveland to Chicago, and Naphtali, a bassist, getting a bit peeved and telling me about being in the war for Jerusalem in 1948 and having to eat rats. So, I didn’t complain any more!

In LA you have a choice–audition for an orchestra somewhere in the world or play the studios. I wasn’t the right kind of person for the studios–you have to, like, be friendly with people you don’t particularly like, and I was pretty socially, um, underdeveloped. So I auditioned. At the time we were behind a screen until selected. Like Biden’s election, it’s all about the competition. My main competition, the person I felt the audition committee would have liked to have won, had recently injured her back. So, it was me. Interesting that the biggest compliment that I got was, “I thought you were a man!”

I’ve been here for 43 years, still playing away, with a touch of pain, but! I’m not complaining!

Lifelong education at all levels people can handle should be a fundamental human right, and free. Water and food and basic, comfortable healthy housing should be too. Otherwise as jobs vanish, the world will see a genocide in a time of unimaginable plenty. To do this we must dump the GATS trade agreement which the European University Association, which represents 7000 institutions of higher education throughout the EU, has called the biggest existential threat to public higher education ever.

Its the biggest threat to public health ever too, that wasn’t a pandemic.

And the biggest threat to public education and public water.

Why are we pushing this evil? A war on humanity called GREED.

We should stop privatizing everything of value so it can be stolen as quickly as possible.

Uhh, look who’s talking! (Wish I could figure out how to insert emojis. Oh–maybe there’s an “Insert” function.) Good questions all. I will reply tomorrow, and ask the same questions of you! (I already know your instrument :slight_smile:)