March 16th, 2010


US public schools. (EDUCATION WEEK!)

I pulled the "problems" from the last post that seemed to related to the purpose of schools.  For each section, which, if any, do you think are really problems? Briefly, how would you address the things you feel are problems in each section?

A. (Purpose.) What's wrong with the way public schools are used?
  1. School is too focused on sending all student to college and students who don't go are seen as a kind of failure.
  2. Higher education and the workplace pretend that the current credentials earned via secondary education are actual predictors of success in either college or employment.
  3. School has become too focused on training kids for jobs and serving the needs of large corporations.
  4. School should be more focused on training kids for jobs.
  5. Schools are too much like prisons.
  6. Schools are often used as day care, and to "keep kids" off the streets but this is not their purpose.
  7. Students spend too much time preparing for standardized tests.
  8. Students who graduate from public schools have not learned enough to do well in college.
  9. The learning capacity of students is vastly under-rated.
  10. The most influential parental constituencies are getting exactly what they want out of the education system and have zero incentive to change it.
  11. We don't make a serious attempt to provide intellectually empowering education to all students. Some are given the equivalent of a vocational degree dressed of as a high school diploma.
  12. We try to educate too much of the population. Some people should just be in vocational school.
  13. We've completely neglected the idea that universal education serves any other purpose other than individual utility.
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If this is fun, I'll try to organize the other items from the list for another post later (This post was on the purpose of schools... I would want to look at the problems in the way they function next: teaching, spending, inequality, etc.)

New WSJ/NBC News poll has some interesting figures

NBC News and the Wall Street Journal released some interesting poll figures today; and the results are a mixed bag of good news and bad news for the President and the Republican party. While voters are pretty fed up with Republican performance on health care, the GOP can take some solace that a very large majority of Democratic voters that are so fed up, they would vote anyone out, including their own Democratic candidates. President Obama can take great hope in how close the figures are action on the current bill(s) in Congress.

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Here's a video clip with Chuck Todd and Brian Williams: