"Education needs to be all about teaching kids how to learn."
* And think, contrast and compare, make rational judgements.
* When I started school, some seventy-three years ago, we had teachers who spent much of their time trying to turn us from little savages into thinking, reasoning, students. Some did a wonderful job.
* They taught one to listen to all sides of an issue, then make up their own minds as to what had value and what didn't. They taught us to "look it up" when we weren't certain what the correct position was, but always to make up our own mind.
* From grade school on up, we had "Social Studies" and "civics" classes where we learned the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and how they affected our lives. We studied the Declaration of Independence and what the tyrannies and oppressions were that we revolted against. We studied how our government worked and who our representatives were until we were bored out of our skulls, but we learned! We could make judgements based on our knowledge and how what was happening agreed or disagreed with the documents that founded our government and our nation.
* Contrast that with the teacher of today. No matter how gifted, how skilled that teacher may be, he or she is told by the Principal, "Your kids must all learn to pass the multiple guess test they will be given at the end of the year. If they fail, you will be fired, possibly the school will be closed."
* So, the teacher, instead of teaching the kids to think, to reason, must get them to memorize a meaningless test, for their own survival.
* What is the result? Failure, bored kids who don't give a damn, and minimal scores, firings, closures, then charter schools who do even worse.
* I guess Cheney/Bush wanted a Hitler Jugend all their own, and they designed a way to get them.
* Many, if not most of them have no skills, little or no hope, but they have played realistic computer war games (government and CIA financed) where they learn to kill and torture "enemies," for high scores and make believe medals.
* When they are finally decanted to the outer world, they find there are no jobs for them, but "See what the Army can do for you! Be all that you can be!" So they go off and become cannon fodder or war criminals.
* The other day, I was looking at a photo of a captured fifteen year old Wehrmacht anti-aircraft gunner at the close of the war. He looks so scared and lost and is obviously trying not to cry. Ah well, the Fourth Reich doesn't take anybody under seventeen, yet.
* I would wish that our schools were turning out intelligent, well rounded scholars, eagerly looking forward to making their mark on the world, improving a society which still has meaningful work for them to do.
* Ah well, "Supersize that? And do you want a large coke?"