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WHILE THERE ARE GOOD STUDENTS AND GOOD SCHOOLS THE FACT REMAINS GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS ARE IN SHAMBLES AND THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING IN WHAT THEY PRODUCE


Education, as I just informed a friend, comes from the Latin educare - meaning to draw from within.

I studied Latin and was exposed to the likes of Plato and the Dialogues where I learned how Socrates taught that "educating" someone, as in Mathemetics, basically involves showing him or her what their mind already knows through logic and reason.

The Socratic Method - it helped get him killed by the people who objected to what was in his mind, to his "anti-democratic" views, and because he dared challenge the conventional wisdom with their own words (and yes, I know about the trial, the choices given him, and how he "killed himself" by drinking poison - so I mention that for the purists who like to focus on details rather than on the main point).

Quite different from the "change the sign and bring it around" concept so many "taught" in basic algebra rather than insist the student understand "why?".

And the "don't dare ask" or "don't dare think" or "don't dare say" about certain things that are now not "acceptable'. You see, in the field of "education" accross the world - there is no level playing field in the exchange of ideas and the challenges to "group think".

Oh how different it was when I was coming up through those so-called 'extremist" Catholic schools where we did battle on social, historical and - yes - religious issues - were always challenging authority and the status quo.

Today I see the ideologues and the "sheeple" who fall in line ... those who have no intellectual curiosity or honesty and I say to them "WUSSES!"

Today we see more and more memorization, indoctrination, and social engineering, more popaganda and intellectual dishonesty, than true education and - while many can and do benefit from any education, indeed excel in their personal and professional live - look at the big picture.

Look around you ... and unless you live in some of the garden spots of America, it isn't always pretty.

On top of that we hear more and more stories of internal education-related scandals involving cheating.

Teachers have been caught changing student test answers to satisfy standards of success they are supposed to achieve ... why? Money.

Just a few months ago we learned that, for 15 years, teachers in three states have been spending thousands of dollars to individuals to have other people take certification tests for them.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TEACHER

Now these are the ones who got caught. In Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi recently and I remember similar scandals years ago in Louisiana and Georgia if not more.

How many thousands, maybe tens of thousands or more students have been "educated" by unqualified teachers?

How much taxpayer money has been sucked into the system to be wasted?

I've been hearing all my life about the need to pour more and more money into education ... and indeed education is and should be a priority.

But guess what? It has been an absolute disaster because it is steeped in politics, ideology, greed, graft, power struggles and, worse of all, apathy.

The students ... as a rule, are afterthoughts.

If you have a good school and good teachers and you see the growth in your kids ... more power to you. You are obviously engaged and more than a little lucky to be where you are.

As we all know now, if you have a nice house, in a nice community, around nice people - you didn't build that!

See? You've been "educated"!

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