24 – The Bottomless Pit of Education ‘08 Platforms

16 Jun

Tom commented:

Ms. Friendly – what do you make of Obama’s ideas on education? I think they are interesting – though i was annoyed when he mentioned that his daughters go to the private Chicago Lab school because it was ‘convenient’ Maybe more people would like the choice to send their children to thug-free schools.

Tom – Well, one thing I can say is that I am disappointed that his campaign seems to include room for more of the NCLB madness! A lot of the items listed on his educational platform are things that already exist in the world of education…I’m not sure if his intention is to tweak these things and improve them, or just to list them so that the unsuspecting public will think he’s really hot shit. I perused Obama’s Educational platform site, and I’m not quite sure HOW he plans to pull off all of the expansions that he has mentioned.

McCain’s educational platform is based on parent and student choice…he mentions nothing of reform (save for the dreaded for letters of NCLB). I found the following quote to be quite entertaining:

John McCain believes that we can no longer accept low standards for some students and high standards for others. In this age of honest reporting, we finally see what is happening to students who were previously invisible. While that is progress all its own, it compels us to seek and find solutions to the dismal facts before us.

There is no “honest reporting!” The age I live and teach in is one of C.Y.A. (cover your ass) and manipulate the data so it says what it’s supposed to say…ESPECIALLY in environments were underprivileged students are being served because those students are STILL INVISIBLE! So now what?

I know one thing is for sure…America doesn’t have many choices when it comes to Election 2008! So it’s either him or the other guy!…Coke or Pepsi…Coke or Pepsi…OMG! They’re BOTH colas!!! I don’t know…I’m a cynic who only has patience for children and animals!!!

Education is one of those platforms that never reaches the forefront because the people who REALLY “matter” ;-)in the world (i.e. the Obamas, Clintons, McCains, Bushes, etc.) send their children to private schools! The “little” people like you and me just blindly follow along with what’s given to us because we’re either too tired or misinformed.

I am in full agreement with you. I whole-heartedly believe that there are more people out there who would like to send their children to thug-free schools!

Perhaps the answer is not to continue to remove the working student from Any High School USA…remove the thug!!! If he/she doesn’t want to be there, then send them to a trade school.

Oh…but wait… we can’t because we have No Child Left Behind!!!!!!


Posted by on June 16, 2008 in Work


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8 responses to “24 – The Bottomless Pit of Education ‘08 Platforms

  1. Peter

    June 20, 2008 at 1:45 am

    Exactly! — I can’t speak for numbers nation-wide, but in my district if we 1) managed our money like adults, and 2) took all the money pumped into foolish NCLB initiatives like Read 180 programs and performance data bases and the thousands and thousands of disposable FCAT test prep books, our district could just about afford a good trade school.

    The problem with public education is that, in assuming that if a child is not college bound he/she is “left behind” we effectively spit on the working class, saying that there is no respect or decency in being an electrician, auto-mechanic, carpenter, and so on. Honestly, how would we even function as a society if EVERY child went on to college and studied English or Communications or Psychology?

  2. msfriendly

    June 20, 2008 at 3:06 am

    Peter – This is so true! However…the concept seems blasphemous to policy makers!!!! There are so many USEFUL things for people to do with themselves while still managing to become productive citizens within American society. I think that developing a trade is better than developing a record…which is what eventually happens to frustrated and disenchanted students. I am not saying give up…what I am saying is give choice…a FULL range of choices, not just something advantageous to the chicanery of policy makers.

  3. Kevin

    June 21, 2008 at 6:04 am

    Heh, actually electricians, auto mechanics, and carpenters usually make more money that people who majored in English, psychology, or communications.

  4. Kevin Hart

    June 22, 2008 at 3:50 am

    Seriously, as an educator myself, I think – even though the research shows that the best way to improve education is to improve student/teacher ratio (preferably 15:1 or less – no more than 20:1), schools are forced by state allocations to have at the MINIMUM of a 25:1 student/teacher ratio, sometimes even as high as a 35:1 student/teacher ratio. And the schools should be given funds to build more rooms if there aren’t enough rooms for this ratio. The schools that need this the most are in the INNER CITY!

    The fewer students there are in a given classroom, the less time a teacher has to spend fighting fires and the more time the teacher can *gulp* actually teach!

  5. msfriendly

    June 23, 2008 at 4:26 am

    Kevin…I couldn’t agree with you more!!! I was working at a “small schools” site and the scheduling people managed to, believe it or not, muck it up GREATLY!!!! The students had no schedule for the first week of school…I was flabbergasted! I felt as though I had been propelled back into the early 1900s!!!!

    Smaller class sizes are a start for inner city scenarios, but it can’t stop there…I have had better behaved 35:1 classes in suburban schools where the behavior expectations were set higher.

    My administration set the tone for anarchy at that school…and those kids see enough anarchy at home, so it became a “rule” to them…instead of the opposite.

    I really hate that I could not stay…I wanted to help, but I refuse to work for a system that PRETENDS to help, when really they are the enablers! (sorry…I think I strayed there and had a rant moment).

    You are right, though…my BEST classes in that inner city environment, were the smaller ones. We got so much more accomplished.

    Thank you for visiting!

  6. Shawn Taylor

    June 25, 2008 at 3:20 am

    I don’ t think that you’re a cynic. You are an educator, and as such, you feel the gaping wounds of our nation more acutely than most of us. And I hope that whichever god/dess you adhere to (if any) blesses you for still wanting to teach in a social environment where it seems that all avenues are pointing in the oppostite direction–away from a decent education.

    I also wanted to thank you for readng Big Black Penis. Many people are so put off by the title, they never bother to engage. My most humble thanks. Also, I’ve written an e-book/monograph called LovePunk Manifesto. It is about hw the act of love needs to go back to DIY hip-hop and punk rock roots (I was one of those brothers who loved Bad Brains as much as I did Rakim). If you want a copy, email me at and I’ll send it to you by the 5th of July.

    Take care and I hope that you get the gig.

    All love all the time.


  7. tom

    June 25, 2008 at 3:58 am

    Remove the thugs! I’m sure there’s a quote by a well-know teacher Rafe Esquith along the lines of: “Unfortunately some kids just need to be left behind …”

    Did you see this documentary. Did it reflect your experience?

  8. msfriendly

    June 26, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Tom…Yes…I saw the documentary! Actually, I was waiting to post AFTER watching it, then the memories were crazy! An onslaught of memories…and personal evaluations ensued after watching that documentary. Did you watch it? If so, what did you think?


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