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February 06, 2011

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This all began with Ronald Reagan's Administration and its "A Nation at Risk" Report that pitted U.S. schools against the homogenous Japanese school system. Of course, a heterogenous, poorly funded, out dated public school system (U.S.) would lose in such a competitive comparison of school systems. This marked the beginning of the end for public schools as top-down "reforms" emerged first at the state and local levels and then during the end of the Clinton Administration, the federal level. Please read Berliner and Bittle's "Manufactured Crisis" that explains how the federal government and its education "consultants" fixed the data to make U.S. public schools look horrible on paper.

The best and the lengthiest report is the Coleman Report done in the 60's. It included the social and economic issues that impacted learning and public schools. Public schools cannot solve our nation's social and economic issues. Teachers cannot be over burdened with the tasks of parenting, counseling, nursing, feeding (yes! feeding), clothing, and watering down a curriculum to meet the lowest common denominators' needs- currently students that come to the United States that do not speak, read, or write English at all or proficiently enough to learn core subject matter. It is overwhelming the work of a teacher! I have been teaching now for 18 years and can say that I've never seen it so terribly gone wrong. The amount of work and the everyday bashing of teachers in media make for a sour day and career choice. Nobody wants to continuously hear how shitty a job you're doing and how horrible you are making the economy.

I can say this: people look into the mirror! You deserve the government you get because you don't overthrow the crap that currently operates in Washington, D.C. Crap is too kind a word for what claims to represent the lumpen of the U.S. On top of all this, you deserve the closing down of good schools replaced with shitty charter schools; the loss of good teachers replaced by very inexperienced and poorly educated teachers; and curriculum that is so watered down that a class of College Algebra which starts at 35 students and ends up with EIGHT after two weeks of classes remains the standard at community colleges. A high school curriculum that shuns rote memorization and creative problem solving so that everyone can feel good about themselves, along with enabling parents and a society that overreacts when homework is assigned is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to public schooling.

In summary, this country allowed its only locally controlled, publicly governed institution to be taken over by corporations and political hacks! This country gets what it deserves, an undereducated and, in many ways, an uneducated society that can be easily enslaved!

Bravo! Tony!

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