Jun 05 2012

# GET OUT OF LOUISIANA WHILE YOU STILL CAN!

You’re doomed, all doomed. The state is about to privatize their “public” education system, turning it all into voucher-based chaos…and the Christians are looking forward to feasting on the shambles.

At Eternity Christian Academy in Westlake, pastor-turned-principal Marie Carrier hopes to secure extra space to enroll 135 voucher students, though she now has room for just a few dozen. Her first- through eighth-grade students sit in cubicles for much of the day and move at their own pace through Christian workbooks, such as a beginning science text that explains “what God made” on each of the six days of creation. They are not exposed to the theory of evolution.

“We try to stay away from all those things that might confuse our children,” Carrier said.

Other schools approved for state-funded vouchers use social studies texts warning that liberals threaten global prosperity; Bible-based math books that don’t cover modern concepts such as set theory; and biology texts built around refuting evolution.

They’re building idiocracy down on the bayou, I guess. It may be the place where the Mississippi drains, but they don’t have to take it literally and turn the place into the sphincter of the nation.

1. 1
##### fastlane

Well, they are right below the buttcrack…..

2. 2
##### Glen Davidson

It’s the one way of keeping them in religion–never let them out.

Gee, do you think that the “teach the controversy” IDiots will be tremendously displeased at the prospect of kids going to schools where “both sides” aren’t taught? I’m willing to take bets that they won’t bother to oppose this.

All creationism fails in a fair fight, hence they never favor a fair fight, and poisoning the well against evolution is only a stopgap until teaching evolution can be eradicated.

Glen Davidson

3. 3
##### Martin Wagner

No wonder corporate America is sending all our jobs overseas. We’re making damn sure Americans grow up too stupid to do anything except be Wal-Mart greeters.

4. 4
##### davidgentile

Good metaphor, except a sphincter typically expels waste.

5. 5
##### Gregory in Seattle

I just cannot believe that people would actively teach their children to be pathologically uneducated like this. Please tell us this is a Poe.

6. 6
##### Nutmeg

Bible-based math class? As if fundie history, biology, and social studies aren’t bad enough?

7. 7
##### dianne

GET OUT OF LOUISIANA WHILE YOU STILL CAN!

Accomplished. Not going back either.

8. 8
##### Azuma Hazuki

Greg, it’s not a Poe. And we have historical precedent for all this. Remember the Islamic empire, how they were rather secular and made huge strides in science and math and suchlike until fundamentalist religion (al-Ghazali, right?) set in?

It’s happening. Here. Now. We’re not immune to history. All we can do is leave.

9. 9
##### dianne

Bible-based math books that don’t cover modern concepts such as set theory

What do fundies have against set theory?

10. 10
##### Pteryxx

I just cannot believe that people would actively teach their children to be pathologically uneducated like this. Please tell us this is a Poe.

Louisiana is between Texas and Mississippi. It’s not a Poe… sorry.

Starting this fall, thousands of poor and middle-class kids will get vouchers covering the full cost of tuition at more than 120 private schools across Louisiana, including small, Bible-based church schools.

The following year, students of any income will be eligible for mini-vouchers that they can use to pay a range of private-sector vendors for classes and apprenticeships not offered in traditional public schools. The money can go to industry trade groups, businesses, online schools and tutors, among others.

Every time a student receives a voucher of either type, his local public school will lose a chunk of state funding.

“We are changing the way we deliver education,” said Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican who muscled the plan through the legislature this spring over fierce objections from Democrats and teachers unions. “We are letting parents decide what’s best for their children, not government.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/01/us-education-vouchers-idUSL1E8H10AG20120601

Re “Get out of Louisiana”… where are these kids supposed to go? How? They’d have to walk or bike three or four entire states in any direction to get somewhere less insularly stupid.

Personally I’m fantasizing about running guerrilla biology classes over there.

11. 11
##### raven

First hurricane Katrina.

Now this.

Next up, rising sea levels due to global warming are projected to submerge the lower part of the state, which is also river delta which is sinking as well. But they don’t care. After all, creationists believe global warming is a myth.

The USA could just designate Louisiana as a National Sacrifice Area. But that isn’t necessary. They’ve already done that.

12. 12
##### timberwoof

It looks like it snot a Poe.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/01/us-education-vouchers-idUSL1E8H10AG20120601

It’s time for colleges and universities to treat Louisiana schools like they threatened Kansas a few years ago.

This destroys any pretense that public schools are a way for everyone to have an equal opportunity at an education. Only the kids with smart parents who take the time to evaluate schools will get the good education they deserve. The rest are screwed.

What was it about the cheap-labor conservatives?

13. 13
##### dano

I find it funny that when the shoe was on the other foot there was no complaining by the Atheists but now that it is switched you cry wolf. I never complained that in public schools the creation of the heavens and earth by God was not taught, although I was not happy, but here we are today and the crying begins. This is about just one school (with hopefully more to come).

14. 14
##### Louis

{Plays banjo music}

{Sound of muscle car engine revving}

{Exit Louis-iana}

Louis

15. 15
##### raven

Re “Get out of Louisiana”… where are these kids supposed to go? How?

They have to be able to read the signs to get anywhere.

And what will they do when they get there? A lot of jobs require educations and skills.

16. 16
##### dianne

Personally I’m fantasizing about running guerrilla biology classes over there.

I love this concept. It sounds like satire. Kids sneak away from parental and school supervision for a few minutes to meet in dark alleys and back rooms to…study biology! Only this time, that’s not a euphemism!

Might have to throw in some math and history too, though.

17. 17
##### Bronze Dog

I’m trying to form some kind of self-depreciating “at least it’s not as bad as Texas” joke, but I’m too depressed.

18. 18
##### Blattafrax

<slap where=forehead force=hard> “Bible-based math”? </slap>

Don’t Google it. Really. Just don’t.

19. 19
##### Beatrice

Bible-based math books that don’t cover modern concepts such as set theory

Bible based math books.
Bible based math books?!

20. 20
##### Pteryxx

dianne: It wasn’t satire. I’ve done “drive-by tutoring” before, sitting in front of campus libraries with my textbooks.

I might research how to qualify for tutoring over there, and see if any teachers’ unions convert themselves into “online businesses” on the side…

21. 21
##### Ichthyic

Ed Brayton posted about a similar thing happening in Michigan earlier?

ah, yeah, here ’tis:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/06/01/emergency-manager-to-sell-public-school-system/

if you can’t pervert the school system to your needs, sell it off to those who can.

I expect this strategy will become increasingly commonly employed under the guise of “cutting costs for state budgets in crisis”.

and not just in the US; I’ve seen rumblings even here in Hobbitton, last bastion of socialism in the West!

*sigh*

22. 22
##### ericpaulsen

Against science, modern math, AND the evil liberal other. And so many people wonder why each successive generation is dumber than its predecessor. I wonder what the grade school curriculum was in 1940′s Germany right before the “undesirables” started getting rounded up and shipped off to camps? I bet they didn’t dumb down the master race with bad science and poor math. Maybe there is hope after all.

23. 23
##### Azuma Hazuki

@dano

But the difference, dano, the essential and important difference, is that we are right. Your stories are wrong, and not only are they wrong, they are damaging to the mind. That is why there is a problem; history has shown that people who forsake reality for delusions author their own downfall.

24. 24
##### raven

Guardian.com.uk:

Rising sea level to submerge Louisiana coastline by 2100, study warns Scientists say between 10,000 and 13,500 square kilometres of coastal land around New Orleans will go underwater due to rising sea levels and subsidence.

I sure hope they don’t ask the federal government for any help.

1. That would be socialism!!!

2. Global warming and sea level rise isn’t happening because Exxon-Mobile says it isn’t.

25. 25
##### Beatrice

Don’t Google it. Really. Just don’t.

Too late.

26. 26
##### Blattafrax

#13 dano

Well, thanks for the reminder that there are real people out there in favour of this child abuse and it’s not just overenthusiatic journalism and blogging.

27. 27
##### Ichthyic

I find it funny that when the shoe was on the other foot there was no complaining by the Atheists but now that it is switched you cry wolf.

I find it funny you are able to type so many words that appear to make sentences, yet say nothing but gibberish.

28. 28
##### dianne

I wonder what the grade school curriculum was in 1940′s Germany right before the “undesirables” started getting rounded up and shipped off to camps? I bet they didn’t dumb down the master race with bad science and poor math.

Actually, they did. Quite a lot of intellectuals left central Europe, especially Germany and Austria, in the 1930s. It’s a major reason why English is now the lingua franca of science, not German. That doesn’t even count things like declaring relativity must be false because a non-aryan discovered it, etc.

Germany at least also made education inaccessible to a significant portion of its population, i.e. the obvious “undesirables” but also a major backlash against girls getting an education. By the 1940s, of course, school was pretty minimal due to bombing and other effects of war anyway.

29. 29
##### Pteryxx

2. Global warming and sea level rise isn’t happening because Exxon-Mobile says it isn’t.

Their ads are EVERYWHERE down here.

Their website says that the philanthropic arm, the ExxonMobil Foundation, gave $110 million to education last year. That represents .00267% of their annual profit. And every dollar of that went to reduce their 17% income tax rate, which is barely higher than Mitt Romney and way lower than a married couple making$70K, who are paying in the 25 percent bracket.

ExxonMobil also joined with the Gates, Dell, and Carnegie Foundations to put up $125 million to create the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), an org that helps put the corporate spin on science and math teacher preparation. In 2011, NMSI merged with Laying the Foundation (LTF). When you visit the LTF website, you science and math teacher aspirants are invited to get your foundations laid in a four-day training session that costs you$525. ExxonMobil is looking for donations.

Their own page:

http://www.exxonmobil.com/Corporate/community_math.aspx

30. 30
##### dianne

It wasn’t satire. I’ve done “drive-by tutoring” before, sitting in front of campus libraries with my textbooks.

I know that it wasn’t. I was making fun of the dire predictions of my youth. At that time, everyone’s moral panic was school violence and student apathy and the idea of students being willing, much less able, to struggle for an education was…unfamiliar.

31. 31
##### Ichthyic

you science and math teacher aspirants are invited to get your foundations laid

yup, I would most certainly expect to get fucked if I attended that indoctrination, er I mean “training” session.

32. 32
##### Pteryxx

I should also mention helping with a volunteer session down here in which a middle-school physics teacher didn’t know the difference between velocity and acceleration.

*sob*

33. 33
##### Ichthyic

middle-school physics teacher didn’t know the difference between velocity and acceleration.

tide comes, tide goes out.

no need to differentiate between velocity and acceleration to explain that!

:P

34. 34
##### LDTR

“We try to stay away from all those things that might confuse our children make our children think,” Carrier said.

Fixed that for her.

35. 35
##### Ichthyic

I mean, all any physics teacher needs to know can be learned from

Bill Oreilly

if you don’t think that’s a complete explanation of all biology and physics, why you’re just desperate.

36. 36

37. 37
##### skepticalmath

Bible-based math books that don’t cover modern concepts such as set theory

Yes, because there is nothing so dangerous to religious belief as an understanding of formal logical systems.

38. 38
##### Agent Silversmith, Feathered Patella Association

Religion necrotizes everything, especially education.

dano

I never complained that in public schools the creation of the heavens and earth by God was not taught, although I was not happy, but here we are today and the crying begins.

Those teachers knew that facts belong in school and fairy tales belong in church. Or in class storytime, where much better fiction than biblical bullshit is available. Were you not happy because, at the back of your mind, the scientific explanations exposed what a load of junk the goddidit stories were, and you knew it?

39. 39
##### raven

I’m guessing there is no assessment with how this “experiment” will work.

Most states have standardized testing. Even back in the Dark Ages we had achievement tests. And a lot of states have a test to take for graduating from high school.

Without any statewide assessment procedures, they have absolutely no way to determine if children’s education is better, worse, or the same.

If they don’t have statewide private and public school measures of learning, they could raise a few generation of illiterate morons before it becomes clear.

I can’t imagine any national companies that would want to locate their headquarters and operations in Louisiana anyway, except oil and gas extraction which is, of necessity, location based.

Maybe in a few decades, the Chinese will locate an assembly plant or two in Louisiana to take advantage of the cheap, unskilled labor, cheaper than robots.

40. 40
##### Pteryxx

So when you see the commercials that that the world’s richest oil company is putting up to berate the public schools for being 25th in Math and Science on international tests, please remember that when the test scores of the 24 percent of American children living in poverty are taken out of Exxon’s calculations, our public school kids are doing just fine in comparison to the rest of the world in math and science.

Citing:

http://nasspblogs.org/principaldifference/2010/12/pisa_its_poverty_not_stupid_1.html

Standardized testing’s basically a scheme to use poverty as an excuse to destroy public schools. Neat, huh?

41. 41
##### Part-Time Insomniac, Zombie Porcupine Nox Arcana Fan

I’ve seen bible-based math. I’ve never wanted to stab my eyes out so much.

Let this show that keeping people stupid and god-fearing is all these fuckwits care about.

42. 42
##### Jasper of Maine

dianne

Bible-based math books that don’t cover modern concepts such as set theory

What do fundies have against set theory?

Why don’t you get back to us when it’s set FACT

43. 43
##### carlie

If they don’t have statewide private and public school measures of learning, they could raise a few generation of illiterate morons before it becomes clear.

And by then the assholes who made this policy will be long gone.

44. 44
##### becca

Will these kids be able to get into any out-of-state college or university? (other than Bob Jones or Liberty, that is)

45. 45
##### Ichthyic

Why don’t you get back to us when it’s set FACT

LOL

46. 46
##### raven

Will these kids be able to get into any out-of-state college or university?

Sure, if they are granted refugee status.

Probably, but for sure any admissions office is going to look hard at their record. You can prove with SAT scores that you survived Louisiana’s education system.

This is a disaster but not quite as bad as it seems.

Secular and reality oriented private schools should have just as much right to vouchers as glorified bible vacation schools. Smart parents are going to send their kids to private schools that offer a superior education.

Who this really impacts are the usual, poor people and minorities. No surprise here whatsoever.

47. 47
##### Pteryxx

Secular and reality oriented private schools should have just as much right to vouchers as glorified bible vacation schools.

On paper, sure they do; but realistically, how many of those are going to get fair treatment in Louisiana? Especially for the poor and minority kids? Heck, they might not even be able to advertise.

48. 48
##### Rev. BigDumbChimp

I find it funny that when the shoe was on the other foot there was no complaining by the Atheists but now that it is switched you cry wolf. I never complained that in public schools the creation of the heavens and earth by God was not taught, although I was not happy, but here we are today and the crying begins. This is about just one school (with hopefully more to come).

Dano you never fail to bring the most stupid things said to a thread.

49. 49
##### Markr1957

That explains the story on local news here in Baton Rouge! Apparently someone told the local Republicans that giving government money in the form of school vouchers for religious schools means that our state government will also be legally obliged to fund teh ebil Islamic skules too – oh crap!
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!

50. 50
##### Margaret

a middle-school physics teacher didn’t know the difference between velocity and acceleration

That still makes it better than the grade schools (through 8th grade) that I went to. They didn’t have any separate teachers or classes in any subject areas. You spent every day sitting in a single classroom with a single stupid baby sitter called a “teacher.” My 5th grade teacher tried to have a bit of “science” by telling us that the Earth went around the Sun, but I don’t think she had a very good grasp of what that actually meant. I don’t think any other grade school teacher even tried that much. My first science class wasn’t until high school (age 14). High school didn’t offer much science either — I wanted to take physics but it wasn’t offered because nobody else was interested.

Of course, even my near total lack of education (other than basic reading and arithmetic) was better than being force-fed biblical idiocy.

51. 51
##### Markr1957

# 35 Ichthyic – powerful, convincing argument from billo – has me totally sold – le wut?

52. 52

@Blattafrax: Sorry, I had to Google it, the phrase “Bible-based math” had me intrigued. What do they teach, that \pi = 3 or something? Or “Q: If you have 2 fishes and 5 loaves, how many people can you feed?” That’d be fun.

Unfortunately the Amazon description for ‘Bible-Based Math Puzzles’ by William Schlegl is much more mundane:

What an exciting way to encourage students to memorize scripture! Intermediate students will have hours of fun decoding the mathematical problems and unlocking the secret messages. When students complete the math problems, they will discover a scripture verse.

Oh, I can just see the excitement on the children’s faces; poor things.

53. 53
##### steve oberski

Hey dano,

Keep this under your hat, but this is a great time to acquire some Louisiana coastline real-estate.

54. 54
##### Pteryxx

Margaret: does it help if I mention that this:

a middle-school physics teacher didn’t know the difference between velocity and acceleration

came from an accelerated program for gifted students?

55. 55
##### Agent Silversmith, Feathered Patella Association

Bill O’Reilly taught me to have an inside voice.

That can be heard outside, everywhere.

56. 56
##### Ichthyic

powerful, convincing argument from billo – has me totally sold – le wut?

hey, if you don’t get it, you’re just desperate.

;)

57. 57

People act surprised that 8,800 dollars per student isn’t getting the job done. It’s only $7.50 an hour per student. That’s not really all that much. Education is expensive, but we need it. 58. 58 ##### Margaret @Pteryxx Margaret: does it help if I mention that this: a middle-school physics teacher didn’t know the difference between velocity and acceleration came from an accelerated program for gifted students? No, because the 5th grade teacher I mentioned was at the “gifted” school. That was the only year I attended that school. 59. 59 ##### raven On paper, sure they do; but realistically, how many of those are going to get fair treatment in Louisiana? Especially for the poor and minority kids? Heck, they might not even be able to advertise. Legally, secular and reality based schools have to have equal opportunities. As well as Islamic and Buddhist private schools. Or Flying Spaghetti Monster schools. Overt discrimination based on fundie xian religion shouldn’t fly, even in Louisiana. Especially when state government funds are being spent. Even that is questionable to begin with. That being said, In Louisiana, who knows? I live a long, long ways from there, have no idea what is going on there except what crosses the newsfeeds, and have no desire whatsoever to even get close to it. If they don’t fund the schools of other religions besides xian, and don’t fund secular and reality based schools, I would expect the lawsuits to start immediately and for Louisiana to lose. Inasmuch as a lot of state school funding is from the federal government, they are going to have a say too. I just looked it up, federal share is 8.3% of the total US budget. It isn’t much but since the schools are always underfunded, losing that would leave a mark. 60. 60 ##### Moggie dianne: What do fundies have against set theory? I don’t know what this particular bunch have against it, but based on complaints about maths teaching that I’ve heard from conservatives in the past, I’ll hazard a guess that their objection is nothing more complicated than “I weren’t taught no set theory when I was at school, so it must be one of them new-fangled ideas. We want to turn the clock back, not forwards!” 61. 61 ##### ckitching Smells like another wonderful bill from the “American Legislative Exchange Council”. And 15 seconds of searching pretty much confirms it 62. 62 ##### holytape I don’t know when it happened exactly, but the Republican Party views public school teachers as the enemy. Look at Louisiana. Look at Wisconsin. They bitch and complain amount how much they are paying for public education, but they never say how much education should cost. 63. 63 ##### Pteryxx raven: If they don’t fund the schools of other religions besides xian, and don’t fund secular and reality based schools, I would expect the lawsuits to start immediately and for Louisiana to lose. Inasmuch as a lot of state school funding is from the federal government, they are going to have a say too. Well, judging by how the religiously-affiliated crisis pregnancy centers are raking in state and federal funding with the help of custom-crafted legal loopholes, while Planned Parenthood gets stripped of funding against federal law and has to operate that way while paying for lawsuits to slowly work their way up through the system, I don’t have high hopes for legal remedies. 64. 64 ##### Pteryxx holytape: Teachers unions tend to vote Democratic. 65. 65 ##### Moggie “We try to stay away from all those things that might confuse our children,” Carrier said. I know it’s been commented on, but holy shit! Yes, a teacher’s job is to dispel confusion, but not by avoiding it entirely, turning everything into a comfortable mush which won’t challenge the kids. 66. 66 ##### feralboy12 I find it funny that when the shoe was on the other foot there was no complaining by the Atheists but now that it is switched you cry wolf. Dano, you realize the wolf actually shows up at the end of the story and eats the kid, right? 67. 67 ##### christinelaing Set theory is considered symbolic of “The New Math” which some of these people blame along with whole language reading for the triumph of communism teh gays. Cue the Lehrer! 68. 68 ##### kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith This is about just one school (with hopefully more to come). Yes, keep on making your kids barely literate morons. And do make a whole bunch of ‘em. The rest of the world will need a new source of cheap labor once China and India become the new superpowers. 69. 69 ##### thisisaturingtest From the Reuters article PZ’s link links to: “We are changing the way we deliver education,” said Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican who muscled the plan through the legislature this spring over fierce objections from Democrats and teachers unions. “We are letting parents decide what’s best for their children, not government.” Ok- bad enough that Jindal is essentially saying, “fuck it, let the parents decide”- while holding the purse strings of a fund that all taxpayers have contributed to in order to “deliver” education to the state’s children, he’s abdicating the responsibility of the government to make sure that education is delivered evenly- but this: In general, White [Louisiana's Superintendent of Education] said he will leave it to principals to be sure their curriculum covers all subjects kids need and leave it to parents to judge the quality of each private school on the list… To date, private schools have not had to give their students state standardized tests, so there’s no straightforward way for parents to judge their performance. Starting next year, any student on a voucher will have to take the tests; each private school must report individual results to parents and aggregate results to the state. says that he’s also abdicating the responsibility of the government to make sure that those taxpayer funds are spent wisely. They haven’t even set up a system to make sure that the education they’re “delivering” meets any kind of standards of accountability. 70. 70 ##### dano @53, I just bought another 20 acres near PZ’s campus for hunting. Eventually I will own everything around him and he will be land locked. Forced to pay the toll to get to work or recite a new bible verses each day as he enters. 71. 71 ##### 'Tis Himself dano #70 I see you’re a believer in coercion. That’s the Christard way: “Believe or I’ll kill you!” Aren’t you annoyed that you goddist assholes aren’t allowed to burn us at the stake anymore? 72. 72 ##### Rev. BigDumbChimp @53, I just bought another 20 acres near PZ’s campus for hunting. Eventually I will own everything around him and he will be land locked. Forced to pay the toll to get to work or recite a new bible verses each day as he enters. not clever not funny really fucking stupid 73. 73 ##### madscientist Bobby Jindal looks like Alfred E. Neuman with a tan – if we can replace Bobby with Alfred we can save Louisiana. I can’t work out if this proposed legislation is a goddamned Libertardian conspiracy or a Christian conspiracy – perhaps it’s both. At any rate, it’s a religious conspiracy. 74. 74 ##### kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith not clever not funny really fucking stupid Pure dano. What else can you expect from jeebus-infected minds ? 75. 75 ##### kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith I can’t work out if this proposed legislation is a goddamned Libertardian conspiracy or a Christian conspiracy – perhaps it’s both. At any rate, it’s a religious conspiracy. Whoever is behind this, it’s a remarkably convenient way of producing a dumb, cheap and docile workforce. Religious indoctrination : the ultimate low maintenance oppression tool. You don’t have to do any oppressing, the poor shlubs do it themselves ! 76. 76 ##### Akira MacKenzie “We are letting parents decide what’s best for their children, not government.” Says the head of Louisanna’s state government. 77. 77 ##### Aquaria I just cannot believe that people would actively teach their children to be pathologically uneducated like this. Please tell us this is a Poe. Hate to burst your bubble, but they do teach their children to be pathologically uneducated. One of these days, I need to go to the Vision Forum here in San Antonio, and take some pictures of their “textbooks” that teach ignorant bullshit to kids. One of the “better” science texts actually says that George Washington Carver never used experiment and knowledge of agriculture to promote alternate crops and crop rotation. Never mind how he was a researcher for decades, and a professor at Tuskegee. Nope, God told him how it all worked. The phrase was literally “God whispered it into his ear.” I am not kidding. Every scientific discovery that they’re okay with is explained away like this. Nobody studies. Nobody is educated. Nobody does experiments, or has experience in any field. God just shows Mendel and Newton how it all works (but not Darwin, natch), and we are all so blessed that the scumbag in the sky revealed it all to us puny humans when we were ready for it, never mind all the people who could have benefited from hearing all this sooner. Isn’t he great? Worship him! 78. 78 ##### "We Are Ing The Matrimonial Collective" One of the “better” science texts actually says that George Washington Carver never used experiment and knowledge of agriculture to promote alternate crops and crop rotation. Never mind how he was a researcher for decades, and a professor at Tuskegee. Nope, God told him how it all worked. The phrase was literally “God whispered it into his ear.” Ah part of the ancient astronauts/crytozoology/batsqueeking balls to the wall madness mantra of “I will believe in a magical alien toaster before I believe a brown person ever accomplished anything” 79. 79 ##### earlycuyler Stuck in Louisiana. 10 minutes from Westlake. Yes, the stoopid here is as bad as you imagine. I’ll keep reporting until the cross bearing crowd coming up the driveway overcomes the house and stomps the wifi. 80. 80 ##### Ichthyic @53, I just bought another 20 acres near PZ’s campus for hunting. Eventually I will own everything around him and he will be land locked. Forced to pay the toll to get to work or recite a new bible verses each day as he enters. I’ll remember you said this the next time a god-bothering tub-thumper like yourself claims they are having “homosexuality shoved down their throats” so much projection, so little use for it. 81. 81 ##### Ichthyic why in the fuck are these zombies not being corralled into TZT? 82. 82 ##### Aquaria I just bought another 20 acres near PZ’s campus for hunting. Eventually I will own everything around him and he will be land locked. Forced to pay the toll to get to work or recite a new bible verses each day as he enters. Typical christard scumbag. Doesn’t even know that he’ll be the one paying out the ass for requiring people to use bible verses for a public service (and it’s still public, even if it’s privately owned, asshole). It’s a violation of the Constitution, you dumbass piece of shit. And you can’t afford a cardboard box to live in, much less 20 measly acres. Haven’t you been on the library’s computer long enough? I’m surprised you knew what a library was. 83. 83 ##### "We Are Ing The Matrimonial Collective" I just bought another 20 acres near PZ’s campus for hunting. Eventually I will own everything around him and he will be land locked. Forced to pay the toll to get to work or recite a new bible verses each day as he enters. I look forward to the government hauling you away for unauthorized tolling of public roads. 84. 84 ##### "We Are Ing The Matrimonial Collective" I didn’t know being a inbred simpleton was so lucrative! But it must be if Dano is expanding his operations. Might I suggest investing in a broken washing machine for the front of your property, or perhaps a some mistreated canines chained to a post? 85. 85 ##### Aquaria Ah part of the ancient astronauts/crytozoology/batsqueeking balls to the wall madness mantra of “I will believe in a magical alien toaster before I believe a brown person ever accomplished anything” Uh–no. That was the specific example I remembered, but they did the same thing with Newton (who isn’t black, last I knew). It’s just that I couldn’t remember what it was they said about Newton, unlike the one with Carver. 86. 86 ##### "We Are Ing The Matrimonial Collective" @Aquaria I’m really just ranting. Discovery literally had “Brown people could never have actually trained dolphins therefore mermaids exist” 87. 87 ##### Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls Dano, still haven’t seen any conclusive physical evidence your imaginary deity exists, or that your babble is anything other than a book of mythology fiction for delusional fools like you. Get with the program, you suck at evidence, intelligence, and thinking, but excel at delusions and head up the ass…. 88. 88 ##### Aquaria Might I suggest investing in a broken washing machine for the front of your property, or perhaps a some mistreated canines chained to a post? Funny story, from a friend of mine who was from southern Louisiana. She liked to repeat the story that an insurance agent back home had told her, after a client called in a claim about one of his cars, come take a look. What’s the address? Well, you see… You turn off d’state road, and cross over d’bayou. Be careful now, cause one d’ boards, she missing, so drive on d’left side, else you fall in. Vous get past d’bayou, turn by d’possum hanging from d’tree, only one way t’go. Go up dat road ’bout quatre, maybe cinque hunnert yards, till you see d’house with d’red roof. It ain’t really red, it’s rust. Anyhow, go past d’cars by d’trees–ain’t de ones vous looking for, it be de one by d’house that ain’t on d’blocks. I bet that was the Cajun bubba I saw when I was coming up from New Orleans, back when there wasn’t the north-south interstate (49?). Nope, you went up Hwy 1, to Hwy 71, through bayou country. You look down in there, and you were bound to see that bubba, barefoot and wearing the filthiest overalls known to man. And he’d be snoozing in his pirogue with his fishing rod and a jug o’ vin. Welcome to Louisiana. They’re dumb enough in LA already. This idiot voucher plan will only make them worse. 89. 89 ##### Aquaria Oh–and my friend was a cousin of Edwin Edwards. Y’all know Edwin, right? One of Louisiana’s most corrupt governors (and that takes some doing!), now serving a rather long sentence in a federal pen for racketeering and who knows what else. Most Americans know about him, from when he ran against KKK grand wizard David Duke, creating one of America’s funniest elections. Well, funny, in a macabre way. The one that inspired such illustrious bumper stickers as “Better a lizard than a wizard”, and “Vote for the crook; it matters.” Good ol’ Edwin, who came up with such memorable tidbits of political philosophy as, “I can’t lose this election unless I’m found in bed with a dead girl or live boy.” Or one of his other great one-liners: “He’s so slow, he takes an hour-and-a-half to watch 60 minutes.” The people of Louisiana seem to want their politicians to be either moralizing, puritanical nitwits, or colorful crooks. And what’s sad is that the colorful crooks usually do best by the state. 90. 90 ##### benjimin Why is a voucher school system a bad thing? Under the normal system, which school you go to depends mainly on the wealth of your parents. Also, public schools have the potential to become highly inefficient, since the typical funding models mean public schools never have to compete (so there’s no market niche for figuring out a how to provide a much better education, more cost-effectively, to children who do not have wealthy involved parents). Obviously, the ultimate goal behind vouchers is a system that self-optimises like a free market, but without disadvantaging children on the basis of parentage. If you’re just concerned that the first round of competing schools happen to be religious, why not try finessing its regulation (i.e., make it a precondition for voucher-redemption that their syllabus satisfy a framework – by the public board – which includes evolution, and possibly also restrict promotion of sectarian doctrines). 91. 91 ##### Rey Fox I never complained that in public schools the creation of the heavens and earth by God was not taught Why do they need whole schools and classes for this? “Magic man in the sky done it!” That takes like five seconds to say. It’s not just that your shit is ridiculous, unevidenced, and untrue, it’s that it’s fucking boring. 92. 92 ##### "We Are Ing The Matrimonial Collective" Obviously, the ultimate goal behind vouchers is a system that self-optimises like a free market, Under the normal system, which school you go to depends mainly on the wealth of your parents. I’m going to give you a chance to actually think hard using these two quotes as a hint and try to figure this one out on your own. 93. 93 ##### "We Are Ing The Matrimonial Collective" Oh–and my friend was a cousin of Edwin Edwards. Y’all know Edwin, right? One of Louisiana’s most corrupt governors (and that takes some doing!), now serving a rather long sentence in a federal pen for racketeering and who knows what else. Most Americans know about him, from when he ran against KKK grand wizard David Duke, creating one of America’s funniest elections. Well, funny, in a macabre way. The one that inspired such illustrious bumper stickers as “Better a lizard than a wizard”, and “Vote for the crook; it matters.” Was there a foul mouthed drug addled bald man with asymmetrical sun glasses covering this election? 94. 95 ##### raven Under the normal system, which school you go to depends mainly on the wealth of your parents. It’s the same but worse under a voucher system. The poor don’t get to go to underfunded, substandard public schools. They get to go to amazingly underfunded, barely existing public schools instead. 95. 96 ##### "We Are Ing The Matrimonial Collective" Also the free market does not fucking optimize. 96. 97 ##### hillaryrettig Louisiana was one of the key examples in Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, which everyone should urgently read. After Katrina, corporations and corporate-friendly politicians used the chaos and devastation as an opportunity to “wipe the slate clean,” kicking out public sector and union employees, and privatize everything. Seems like the Christians have the same idea. 97. 98 ##### objdart @ Icthyic #27 if you can’t pervert the school system to your needs, sell it off to those who can. This is a far more serious issue than creationism I’m afraid. Groups like the Gates Foundation, the Broad foundation, the Milken foundation, Stand For Children (the AstroTurf corporate front group) and anyone associated with the Michelle Rhee and blame the teachers organizations have found that they can leverage fundies’ fear of the “educated intelligent class” and simple fear of change in a turbulent world into the potential privatization of another tax revenue stream. This is for real scary. Creationists are all bluster and bravado but in the end, they don’t provide ideas, just votes. They are ignorant. It goes with the territory. They are being suckered and ultimately hurt by the same source that is creating the collateral damage in the unwilling non fundy group which suffers first: the intelligent, educated, but economically powerless class. After the wisconsin vote tonight, it seems like they, basically the feudal lords of the 1%, are playing their hand right now. They can spend more money than all the marks combined to convince half the voters to push a button out of fear. We are conditioned as a consumer culture to buy branding. The framing is the message. As much as fundies piss me off and are stupid fucks 99% of the time, they seem like unwitting pawns in this game. They just seem like scared people who don’t know how to be safe because they have bought the whole be afraid of liberals thing. Their pastors didn’t get that idea totally on their own. Fox has given them a lot of material and branding support. But how do you point out that, yes, we basically want to eradicate their way of life but these guys over here want you to keep it and that’s a lot worse.? It’s a tough situation. But look across the nation at the corporate grants given to the larger urban districts and what those grants bought. For$20-50million per district, they leveraged control over hundreds of millions per district of taxpayer funds. That is a pretty good long term return if you happen to be Michael Milken, Ely Broad, or any other corporate criminal who owns a good share of globalscholar, scantron, computer operating systems (like windows for example) and anything that you can scare the voters into buying.

Anyway, If I hadn’t been fighting these groups for the past several years in our local area, I probably wouldn’t be so conspiracy theory-esque about it all but I have watched it happen and am seeing the results. It doesn’t have to be christians, it can be wal-mart shoppers or any other form of ignorance that is programmed to accept framing/branding/marketing as a reasoned argument. Anything that you can sell through fear or loathing can be sold to about 38% Of our society with simply the right techniques and piles of cash. the returns are astronomical.

98. 99
##### objdart

Also second the Shock Doctrine point in the post above my last.

99. 100
##### Steve Caldwell

Bible-based math books that don’t cover modern concepts such as set theory

What do fundies have against set theory?

The objections to set theory may be related to sexuality:

http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1917#comic

100. 101
##### objdart

lol. Awesome cartoon Steve. I loved the next one too since it’s sort of topical to other doings:
http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1918#comic

101. 102
##### Gnumann

Bible-based math class? As if fundie history, biology, and social studies aren’t bad enough?

Unless they conveniently forget that bit, pi = 3 in bible based math. That might lead to some slight problems.

102. 103
##### jefrir

Why is a voucher school system a bad thing?

It is possible that, in certain circumstances, a voucher system could work.
Louisiana in 2012 does not remotely fit those circumstances.

103. 104
##### clastum3

There could be a positive side to this. Education is seen by the left as a branch of social engineering, and if any of them take the phrase academic standards into their mouths, it’s intended as a smokescreen. Brighter kids are being deliberately held back, and it’s those from less wealthy backgrounds who are suffering most.

This could lead to schools competing to maximise the potential of their pupils, and parents increasingly sending their children to the academically better institutions.

104. 105
##### Pteryxx

Unless they conveniently forget that bit, pi = 3 in bible based math. That might lead to some slight problems.

Sagan said something about legalizing pi = 3 in “Demon-Haunted World”… paraphrased, “All the wheels in the state would have turned hexagonal.”

105. 106
##### mickwright

What do fundies have against set theory?

Probably the way it involves the mixing of separate (but equal?) colours.

106. 107
##### Ichthyic

This could lead to schools competing to maximise the potential of their pupils, and parents increasingly sending their children to the academically better institutions.

spoken exactly like someone that knows fuck all about how education works.

107. 108
##### objdart

It leads to discrimination and segregation. Geezus. Whyn’t we juss go back t’ the good ol’ days when the coloreds and goodfernuthins either quit or went t’ thar own dang schools.

108. 109
##### DLC

clastum3 @104 :

This could lead to schools competing

The rest of what you say is irrelevant. As anyone who has studied an hour of business school knows, the way to succeed in competitive business is to minimize cost and maximize output.
Under this privatized system, schools would “compete” by making the bare minimum standards, lobbying for having those standards lowered, firing teachers who cost too much and shutting down such “unneccessary” items as school lunches, head start, study groups, intramural sport and physical education classes. Children would be warehoused, given minimal passing grades so long as they weren’t disruptive, and probably drugged if they were.
Get this through your head, if you possibly can: This nation depends on technological development which itself is depends on the expansion of scientific knowledge. None of which would be possible in your libertarian-esque world where schools were all run by Pat Robertson Inc. for profit. Some things just cannot be done well by private business, because the profit motive does not always motivate for excellence. See the USA auto industry circa 1980 for examples.

109. 110
##### quoderatdemonstrandum

objdart @ 98

Anything that you can sell through fear or loathing can be sold to about 38% Of our society with simply the right techniques and piles of cash. the returns are astronomical.

the fact that that 38% figure is surprisingly close to the approx. 40% of Americans who answered yes to the statement “god created humans in present form between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago” is completely coincidental.

Clastum3 @ 104

There could be a positive side to this

You have never been to Louisiana have you? I lived there. Not only is your economic theory of education risible in theory, but put into practice in Louisiana it will mean that taxpayer funds will be syphoned off to religious schools, good quality selective segregated schools and no-hope dysfunctional ghetto schools for children of colour.

110. 111
##### truthspeaker

benjimin
5 June 2012 at 10:18 pm

Obviously, the ultimate goal behind vouchers is a system that self-optimises like a free market

No, the ultimate goal behind vouchers is to eliminate public schools and ensure the implementation of a system where children of wealthy parents can get a good education but everyone else does not. You can’t take libertarian propaganda seriously at this late date.

111. 112
##### thisisaturingtest

@#90, benjimin:

Under the normal system, which school you go to depends mainly on the wealth of your parents.

Right- we never would see this happen under a totally privatized school system- wait, why exactly?

Also, public schools have the potential to become highly inefficient, since the typical funding models mean public schools never have to compete (so there’s no market niche for figuring out a how to provide a much better education, more cost-effectively, to children who do not have wealthy involved parents).

Someone already pointed this out, but the example of auto-industries, run purely for profit, in the last quarter-century or so, shows that the funding model you suggest for education (“for profit”) is not immune to the same, if not worse, potential. There are many ways to make profits, and just saying “competition” is no guarantee that the method used will be the best one for the situation. Wal-Mart makes theirs through cheap labor and sheer volume. Do you really think an educational system run with that potential inherent in it is a good one- the possibility (likelihood, I would say) of schools becoming student “mills” run by cheap teachers and with cheap tools? Honestly- waving the slogan “for profit” around, like some magical incantation, as a “one-size-fits-all” solution is ridiculous.

Obviously, the ultimate goal behind vouchers is a system that self-optimises like a free market, but without disadvantaging children on the basis of parentage.

Again, just calling an ideal a solution doesn’t make it one. Just ask communism. And the system already in place doesn’t automatically “disadvantage” children- you can’t just assert it does so, you have to prove it. A lot of that “disadvantaging” you see has nothing to do with the school system; it’s due to other factors which privatizing the system would do nothing to address.

If you’re just concerned that the first round of competing schools happen to be religious, why not try finessing its regulation (i.e., make it a precondition for voucher-redemption that their syllabus satisfy a framework – by the public board – which includes evolution, and possibly also restrict promotion of sectarian doctrines).

See my post at #69- you yourself say it should be a pre-condition, and Jindal didn’t bother with any of that. Ask him why. I’m pretty sure his motives for forcing this bill through had nothing to do with providing better education (which I will give you credit for wanting, at least provisionally)- Jindal’s motives, I think, were purely service to an idealogy which doesn’t, at bottom, give a damn about education in any real sense- only turning out good little non-thinking robots to keep the machine going.

112. 113
##### jefrir

A couple of things are necessary before schemes to increase parental choice have any chance of being a positive:

1. There have to be decent schools to choose from.
If the choice is between a horribly under-funded and neglected public school, and Bob’s Bible School: Guaranteed Fact-free™, there are no good choices, and changing the details will not help.

2.The parents have to not be morons.
Bible-based schools do not exist in a vacuum. They are there because very many parents are under-educated and over-religious. Add in the fact that it is very difficult to judge academic acheivement (especially when the private schools aren’t involved in standardised testing), even if all parents had the time and inclination, and you end up with a situation where parents choose schools that agree with their political or religious views, rather than based on educational quality.

Vouchers could work as a supplement to good public schools for, say, ensuring that children with various special needs get provision most suited for them. For most, though, the ideal system would be one where you don’t have to choose, because all the local, public schools are well funded and offer high-quality education.

113. 114
##### Ms. Daisy Cutter, Gynofascist in a Spiffy Hugo Boss Uniform

Because, Benjimin, Teh Frea Markit™ is a crock, schools should not be “competitive” for reasons elucidated by DLC at #109, and, as you were already told, a voucher system will favor wealthy parents even more than a public system will.

objdart:

As much as fundies piss me off and are stupid fucks 99% of the time, they seem like unwitting pawns in this game. They just seem like scared people who don’t know how to be safe because they have bought the whole be afraid of liberals thing.

While you and I probably agree that better education and job opportunities would neutralize their fear, I can’t muster much sympathy for hateful people whose response to fear is to turn on people with less power than they themselves have.

Ichthyic, in response to clastum3:

This could lead to schools competing to maximise the potential of their pupils, and parents increasingly sending their children to the academically better institutions.

spoken exactly like someone that knows fuck all about how education works.

+1

The corporate-speak is a dead giveaway.

114. 115
##### clastum3

And as for set theory, this was the main plank of the new maths agenda decades ago. That particular educational experiment had, at best, very mixed results (cf. the Wikipedia article).
Even the more mathematically able children didn’t necessarily benefit from it (from Wikipedia):

the end-users of mathematics studies were at that time mostly in the physical sciences and engineering; and they expected manipulative skill in calculus, rather than more abstract ideas.

I’m surprised that none of all those above who reckon to know the holy grail of education mentioned this. Then again, I’m not surprised.

115. 116
##### Anri

This could lead to schools competing to maximise the potential of their pupils, and parents increasingly sending their children to the academically better institutions.

Why is it that pro-privatization folks always insist that adding profit-making to a system encourages competition?

Anti-monopoly laws exist (although more tenuously with every conservative dereg scheme) for a reason – corporate entities seek to eliminate competition. Competition isn’t good for business – it’s good for customers. Businesses don’t exist to serve customers, they exist to serve their owners. There’s nothing wrong with that, but getting the two concepts confused will lead to terribly poor decision making in terms of relating to them.

Efficiency in a government program and efficiency in a corporation are not closely related entities… in fact, they are often strongly opposite.

116. 117
##### Ms. Daisy Cutter, Gynofascist in a Spiffy Hugo Boss Uniform

I’m surprised that none of all those above who reckon to know the holy grail of education mentioned this. Then again, I’m not surprised.

Not gonna answer the rebuttals to your Frea Markit propaganda, are you?

117. 118
##### interrobang

Funny, I thought that if there is such a thing as a Holy Grail of education, it’s to produce students who both know how to learn and how to think, and are not allergic to doing either. Somehow, having students hunker in a bunker watching DVDs full of Bible quotations just doesn’t strike me as a way of doing any such thing. In fact, it strikes me as being not only a fine way of creating ignorant people, but also an excellent way of entrenching anti-intellectualism, since, well, obviously school is boring and stupid and useless.

But what do I know? I’m only a stupid liberal arts major…who once taught a community college class how to understand signifiers and connotation versus denotation using her clothing.

118. 119
##### Ms. Daisy Cutter, Gynofascist in a Spiffy Hugo Boss Uniform

But what do I know? I’m only a stupid liberal arts major…who once taught a community college class how to understand signifiers and connotation versus denotation using her clothing.

Indeed. If you were actually S-M-R-T you’d not only be in STEM, but you’d have the hearty contempt of the libertarian and conservative for all of the humanities, since they can’t be boiled down to raw numbers or atoms.

119. 120
##### quoderatdemonstrandum

Clastum3 @ 115

I’m surprised that none of all those above who reckon to know the holy grail of education mentioned this. Then again, I’m not surprised.

Oh me, me, me, I know the answer Miss!

It’s not surprising because New Math pedagogy and set theory have absofuckingnothing to do with the clusterfuck that is privatising public education.

120. 121
##### irenedelse

@ clastum3 #115:

That quote from Wikipedia actually goes a long way to show why the goals behind that vouchers scheme are not in line with giving children a better education:

the end-users of mathematics studies were at that time mostly in the physical sciences and engineering; and they expected manipulative skill in calculus, rather than more abstract ideas.

See, the economy needs some people with calculus skills, the ability to manipulate numbers and all that. But peons don’t need to actually understand how it works, don’tcherknow… That’d be too expansive. What, it may require to hire a bunch of math teachers (with unions, horror) instead of plopping kids in front of a computer with a calculate-how-many-loaves-and-fishes-did-Jesus-make program.

Tsk.

/Personal anecdote time:

I was born just at the right time to catch the upswing of the New Math trend in primary school (at least in France) and began learning and manipulating that stuff in kindergarten, around age five. It was really well thought: manual exercises with little sticks and chips of plastic to make set with; a big book in which you could draw (yay!) to circle objects making up a set, then draw arrows from elements of a set to those of an other, etc.

The only trouble was that our teacher didn’t have a real training in New Math… So I was the lucky girl, that year, because my dad, a statistician by trade, was fresh out of the university and absolutely delighted to help his offspring along the paths of math discovery and understanding.

The following years, in primary school and then high school, the New Math curriculum continued to make up a big part of math teaching, eventually connecting (in what would be 10th grade) with the more “traditional” teaching of sums and multiplications. I remember I was extremely impressed when I realized how well different parts of math interacted with each other, and how abstract numbers and concepts could be used to describe the world.

121. 122

And as for set theory, this was the main plank of the new maths agenda decades ago. That particular educational experiment had, at best, very mixed results (cf. the Wikipedia article).

You can’t always take a wikipedia article as truth (shocking, I know).
I grew up in the UK version of ‘new maths’ – that would be mid-60s to mid-80s when I was at school – and by and large I think it did a decent job. We did not learn long lists of geometric identities for rote solving test questions, for example. We did do a fair bit of set theory and matrix algebra. Later at university I had a hard time in the first year of maths because the course was built on the assumption of ‘old maths’ and knowing those long list of trig identities etc. I had to work a bit harder to derive stuff from what I knew and spent time converting to matrices etc. In the second year however I just flew through because they introduced these new-fangled matrices etc to the course. I tutored on the subject.
Turns out engineering makes a lot of use of that damn new math malarkey. Why, I’ve just been using 4×4 homogeneous matrices in some CAD software design work.

122. 123
##### Die Anyway

re DLC @ 109
————-
Under this privatized system, schools would “compete” by making the bare minimum standards, lobbying for having those standards lowered, firing teachers who cost too much and shutting down such “unneccessary” items as school lunches, head start, study groups, intramural sport and physical education classes. Children would be warehoused, given minimal passing grades so long as they weren’t disruptive, and probably drugged if they were.
————–

Except for the word ‘privatized’ this sounds exactly like the public school system we have now.

I see a huge knee-jerk reaction here against a voucher based system but only straw-man arguments to support that reaction. If the poorly educated, irrational fundies can figure out a way to make the vouchers work to their advantage, we should be able to do at least twice as well (in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man would be king). We’re smarter than they are. Instead of ranting and raving, we should be opening science-based schools that educated, rational parents would be clamoring to get their kids into. Success breeds success. It wouldn’t take long for many parents to use their vouchers to get their kids into successful schools. Probably quicker than fixing the existing public system.
I have to say that I am no fan of public education. Go read PZ’s thread about N.C. legislating the measurment of ocean rise. Or any of the multitude of threads about the Texas school board legislating, or trying to legislate, science curriculum. Our children’s education is too important to be left up to the whims of elected officials who are either scientifically illiterate themselves or can be bought by big contributors. Really, go back and reread that clip from DLC at the top of my post. There are news articles every day that make the public school system sound EXACTLY like that. It’s frightening and disheartening.

123. 124
##### Ms. Daisy Cutter, Gynofascist in a Spiffy Hugo Boss Uniform

Die Anyway:

I have to say that I am no fan of public education. Go read PZ’s thread about N.C. legislating the measurment of ocean rise. Or any of the multitude of threads about the Texas school board legislating, or trying to legislate, science curriculum.

So, therefore, given vouchers, the same dumbass parents would select shit-tastic schools, which would thrive… at the expense of quality schools. Only wealthy smart parents would be able to afford to send their kids to good private schools.

BTW, speaking as someone who’s old enough to have seen it, the quality of public education seems to have begun its steep decline around the time right-wingers and “taxpayer advocates” began to beat the drum heavily for the defunding of public schools. I’m sure that’s just a coincidence, though.

124. 125
##### Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

I have to say that I am no fan of public education.

And I am no fan of vouchers. Check. OPINION needs to show a complete thinking through of the system, and not just free market slogans. What happens to students who nobody wants? Sounds like resegregation of the schools, back to the fifties…

125. 126
##### clastum3

Daisy Cutter
Voucher systems are controversial, it’s true, and there’s many aspects to them. But Wikipedia is by no means as negative about them as the usual suspects here argue. I myself don’t like the thought that they might lead to more religous schools.

But there is a wide perception that public schooling in the States has failed, and the usual nostrum promoted round here – oodles of money – is unrealistic in these times (and paints a mercenary picture of the teaching profession, which I don’t think is fair).

It would be nice to think that public educational system could be improved, but one absolute precondition would be that everyone accepts that it is not there to realise some political agenda extraneous to education.

126. 127
##### alwayscurious

Call me naive, but I recall there being some good reasons for a basic public-funded education available to everyone. Something about producing adults with some minimal capacities for understanding, reasoning, and communication necessary for a functional republic. The privately funded system they propose does not guarantee this for any given private school NOR does this bill guarantee that said schools which somehow succeed in achieving this will offer coverage to a reasonable fraction of the state.

{An aside–the Reuters article mentions that each superintendent will devise their own plan for maintaining quality. Once it’s set in place, only an act of Congress can change it. I find it unreasonable to think the state legislature will take the time to slap the wrist of every failing school who’s plan for meeting standards is: “replace some teachers and try harder next year”}

Kids with highly educated or wealthy parents will always have advantages–at least under all the models currently under discussion. So how exactly will private schools fix this for everyone else?

Given many of these parents lack sufficient means (education, money, time, etc) to comparison shop private schools
AND
Given motivations by some to choose a sub-standard school on the basis of religious affiliations
AND
Given private schools know they will have to work harder to meet any required state standards if they allow at-risk kids vs privileged kids
AND
Given high quality private schools will setup in areas with lots of likely candidates (read: richer suburbs of large metro areas)
AND
Given high quality private schools will only have a limited student population
AND
Given that students joining the private system will remove money from the public sector

Therefore, it MAY improve for those already positioned to take advantage of any given education system and WILL decline for most everyone else.

127. 128
##### truthspeaker

clastum3
6 June 2012 at 12:57 pm

But there is a wide perception that public schooling in the States has failed,

This perception was created by the people who want to eliminate public schools. In addition to creating a perception, they’ve also tried to make it a reality by cutting funding for public schools, then blaming the public schools for not being able to meet their goals with reduced funding, and then offering solutions to the problem they created.

128. 129
##### Ogvorbis

It would be nice to think that public educational system could be improved, but one absolute precondition would be that everyone accepts that it is not there to realise some political agenda extraneous to education.

Because privatizing education (turning it over to for-profit corporations and eliminating teacher’s unions) has absolutely no political agenda, right?

129. 130
##### Ms. Daisy Cutter, Gynofascist in a Spiffy Hugo Boss Uniform

Clastum8, you’re using Wikipedia to argue your points? GMAFB.

but one absolute precondition would be that everyone accepts that it is not there to realise some political agenda extraneous to education.

You mean, any forms of education that offend the righties, like history about people other than rich, straight white men? Or teaching kids not to bully one another because of gender presentation? Or teaching them how their bodies work rather than just abstinence?

Oh, and what Ogvorbis said. Funny how what right-wingers want is never considered “politicized,” but “plain common sense” or whatever.

130. 131
##### jefrir

Die anyway

Instead of ranting and raving, we should be opening science-based schools that educated, rational parents would be clamoring to get their kids into.

But that only helps the children of educated, rational parents (who are likely to do fine under any educational system). We don’t just want better education for our own children; we want it for all children.
“In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man would be king” doesn’t mean we should go round poking people’s eyes out.

131. 132
##### DLC

Die Anyway @ 123 : Those things I mentioned are indeed all reported on the internet* as being true for public schools.
I know, I’ve seen them myself at too many sources to list.
But when they happen in the public schools, it’s a scandal and an outrage. When it happened in the School of Jesusy-ness Inc. it would be business. That’s what I’m trying to point out. These things, in a public school setting, aren’t cost-cutting, they’re malfeasance. In a private school, it’s just a way to save money.

Truthspeaker @ 128 : QFT

PS: I’m not saying I love the public school system, or that it doesn’t need fixing. What I am saying, is that the way to fix it isn’t by blowing it up and replacing it with Wal-School Inc.

132. 133
##### kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

Under the normal system, which school you go to depends mainly on the wealth of your parents. Also, public schools have the potential to become highly inefficient, since the typical funding models mean public schools never have to compete (so there’s no market niche for figuring out a how to provide a much better education, more cost-effectively, to children who do not have wealthy involved parents).

Yet, students from my ebil soshulist country, canuckistan, a majority of whom attend all those nasty uncompetitive public schools, perform way better than american students in math and science.

And are well enough prepared for demanding college programs.

Go figure, heh.

And as for set theory, this was the main plank of the new maths agenda decades ago. That particular educational experiment had, at best, very mixed results (cf. the Wikipedia article).

Meh.

People my age, who were taugh “new math” = most still know at least how to do algebra and trig

People my parents’ age who were taugh to cram their head with pointless theorems = I’ve never met one, outside of teachers or science university graduate, who could perform the simplest algrebraic manipulations

That’s why they had to hire me to help their kids !

133. 134
##### Ichthyic

clastum3

that nym sounds familiar to me.

Clausentum?

something triggering an old bell.

the old dungeon appears to have been paved over in the “renovations” so I can’t look any more.

anyone with a better memory?

134. 135
##### Ichthyic

This perception was created by the people who want to eliminate public schools. In addition to creating a perception, they’ve also tried to make it a reality by cutting funding for public schools, then blaming the public schools for not being able to meet their goals with reduced funding, and then offering solutions to the problem they created.

+1

ditto.

*ding ding*

winner!

people often have heard the fake messages and lies for so long, they now really do believe them to be truth.

there really is teeth to the old saying: “A lie told often enough…”

135. 136
##### timothycourtney

Err… this sounds terrible and all, but… I’m a Ph.D. student in Engineering and I’ve never learned set theory…

136. 137
##### quoderatdemonstrandum

Ichthyic

people often have heard the fake messages and lies for so long, they now really do believe them to be truth.

Ichthyic, which page of the Republican playbook are you quoting from?

137. 138
##### thisisaturingtest

DLC @#132:

I’m not saying I love the public school system, or that it doesn’t need fixing. What I am saying, is that the way to fix it isn’t by blowing it up and replacing it with Wal-School Inc.

This is where you get you own QFFT. Well said.

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:)