Socialism... the dumbing down of the American student.

@andy77e (5165)
United States
October 27, 2012 12:08pm CST
When I think of countries ahead of America in education, I normally think of Sweden, Switzerland, and other first rate leading countries, that simply have a better (less socialized) system. But here's one I didn't expect. This is a discussion right now on Mylot. http://www.mylot.com/w/discussions/2714732.aspx?p=2#1_16301245 Get this.... This beautiful latina mother, says her son was in 9th grade in Mexico. When he came to the US, the work in 9th grade in Public schools was too easy for him. She had him moved to a private school which was advanced enough in education to teach him something. Notice also that a guy from the UK saying that students who come from America to study in the UK, are poorly educated. https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-ySJTlX2_hsM/UIwT7sMBrMI/AAAAAAAAAaA/hCM04nlJviU/s640/spending-per-pupil-by-country.jpg According to the OECD, America ranks around the same level of education as Poland. The graph listed above, shows our spending levels per student. Note where the UK, Poland, and Mexico are, in relation to the US. And yet what do we hear? We need more money! We need more spending! Chicago teach unions on strike! The solution people, is capitalism. We need to get government out of the schools, and open up the education system to competition, and allow parents choose where their kids go.
2 people like this
8 responses
@sirnose (2440)
• United States
27 Oct 12
andy77e I thought we was in a capitalistic system already. I don't see where capitalism have better our country as a whole there is still rampart poverty. I think that capitalism is a form of slavery that reward the oppressor and not the worker. I've been studying different political philosophies and there is some different but what they all have in common is they lead to a classless society. What's wrong with the American educational system is that parents do not get involved into their children's education and expect government to raise and educate their young ones.
2 people like this
@andy77e (5165)
• United States
28 Oct 12
Capitalism does not try and fix poverty. Capitalism believes it's your job to fix your poverty. It's not a system to fix failures. It's a system that allows you to fix your problems. You have to find something to do that has value to other people. You to learn a skill, learn something of value that you can sell. Capitalism isn't a helping hand to go around fixing your problems. Socialism, is the slavery. Socialism is government says you can only do this, and this is all you can do. Socialism, is you work this job, and this is how much you get paid, and you have no choice in the matter. What's wrong with the American educational system is that parents do not get involved into their children's education and expect government to raise and educate their young ones. Well yes.... and no. If your kid is stuck in a bad school, there is nothing you can do about it. The government tells you where your kid must go to school. Like I said before, socialism is government telling you what you can do, and what you can't do. Parents have no ability to change where their kid goes, what subjects he learns, what teachers he has. Our school system has teachers that teach nothing. Some teachers just put a video on, for kids to watch. And that's it. That's all they do. But you have no control over what kind of teacher your child has. No control. What's that? Slavery. And we have to pay for these bad schools no matter what.
@matersfish (6311)
• United States
27 Oct 12
I'm in too good a mood tonight to get into the whole socialism/capitalism bit (Roll Tide!), but I believe that anyone can see (at least anyone honest) that increased spending and higher teacher salaries and more job security has done nothing for the students. It only helps tenured teachers and union bosses. Oh, and politicians who cater to unions. When kids can sit 50 to a hut in a place where clean drinking water is the equivalent of iPhone 5 and outperform our kids, you know money isn't an issue. When teachers can be fired in charter schools and earn based on performance, you see kids actually learn -- kids who are constantly labeled by the "public" system as too downtrodden or too troubled to learn. In some places in America, I'm sure that being a teacher is a thankless job with tough hours and not enough pay. But if you make 50k and up a year, for not even the whole year, and have the job security, AND have a beautiful pension, the very least you can do is make sure students succeed. But for every good teacher, there seems to be a bad one. Schools need competition if for no other reason than to light a fire under the teachers' behinds and get them to start working harder collectively. Having a monopoly here is sickening. Unions step in and bully any constituency, forcing members to vote one way or another, intimidating parents who would otherwise vote to see more charters, funding entire political campaigns (they're a taxpayer-funded Wall Street!), etc. It's not an educational system. It's a racket. And if anyone wants proof that it's a racket, just try to make schools about kids instead of unions. I double-dog dare ya!
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16689)
• Boston, Massachusetts
28 Oct 12
My son's sixth grade science teacher makes $95,000 per year. I met him, he looks like he is still in middle school. He's very nice and he was receptive and helpful to me as a parent in conference, but that isn't the most important thing in determining salary. My guess is he has more education than the other science teachers. More education that he'll never use in a sixth grade classroom. He's going to teach them about ecosystems and why recycling is going to save the planet. When I was younger, teachers were older. Now, I defy you to find an old teacher. They are all spry twenty-somethings out to save the world one child at a time. They all want to be the kids' friend. No one learns anything, they just have fun. My son has one teacher he says "yells at him". She yells at other kids, too, mostly when they don't do their work or don't pay attention. Funny thing, this is the class where he has the highest grade average and the teacher says he is a "good worker". Other, nicer teachers give comments like "inconsistent effort" and he has lower grades. I know he doesn't get smarter when he walks in her class. What he gets is discipline and an education. I wish people would realize that kids work harder when they are pushed to work harder but if you throw a party every day, they will party rather than learn. They may end up uneducated, but they're not stupid. Higher salaries don't make teachers better. If there's a party they will party instead of work hard, too. They aren't stupid, either.
@andy77e (5165)
• United States
28 Oct 12
LOL Did you read about the guy who made his son stand on the street corner? Maybe you were the one who posted that. But this guy's son came home with lousy grades, and he got tired of grounding him (which my father would have done more than that anyway. Grounding? Really?), but he said you can either be grounded for another 2 weeks, or you can wear a sign on the street corner in the middle of town. The son choose street corner. The sign read something to the effect of "I don't work hard in school, so I'll end up impoverished". Or homeless or something. After 2 hours on the street corner, he started doing his homework, his grades improved. Does anyone remember the Asian lady that wrote are newspaper column saying that the reason Asians do better than white Americans is because they simply force their kids to work hard? She was attacked from all sides for saying that, and yet.... it's true! Asians kick their kids butts, if they don't work hard. They don't have a choice. You sit at the piano and you play boy, you play till you have it done right. Hello?! Motivation.... (gasp) works! :) Seems so obvious doesn't it?
@francesca5 (1344)
27 Oct 12
socialism? you are blaming socialism for poor education in the US? I can't name every american president, but please remind me which one it was that turned the US into a socialist country. George Bush, was it? I think what you are really arguing is that there is too much legislation, which is a different argument, altogether.
1 person likes this
@andy77e (5165)
• United States
27 Oct 12
Socialism: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods Government ownership or control, administration of a means of production and distribution. Government owns and controls and administers K-12 education in America today. For some reason people, there is this strange idea that socialism, is a plaque you put on the top of the door, or some title you pass in congress that says "We are now socialist!" That's not right at all. You are not what you say you are. You are not a vegetarian because you said "I am a vegetarian" while you were chopping down some spicy chicken. You are a vegetarian if you don't eat meat. Similarly, we are not capitalist because people say we're capitalist. We are capitalist if we allow free-market capitalism, to direct the economy. In some areas, we are capitalist. For example, food. We pay less for food, and have more food available to us, than almost any other country in the world. In some areas, we are partly socialist and partly capitalist. 50% of health care is controlled by the government. In some areas, we are completely socialist. K through 12 education is completely controlled by the government. There is socialism in the US. And has been since the 1930s at least.
@francesca5 (1344)
27 Oct 12
according to wikipedia, socialism is an economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism if the US government manufactured cars, owned electricity companies, trains and banks that could be categorised as socialism. education is something that governments have decided that children need in order to ensure that they can participate effectively in the life, and function properly as members of society, and therefore provide. it is not, in a meaningful sense, part of the economic system, it is something that has been provided for social reasons, and in the process is of use to an economy. if your schools are failing you need to seriously ask yourselves why, one possible reason may be an culture of anti-intellectualism, that is much rarer in countries like sweden and switzerland. another possible reason why education in the US may be failing is that the schools are too big, which was probably done to save money. just blaming socialism is not intellectually sound, as you only have to read a victorian novel to learn about the horrors of the sorts of school provided by the private sector. so what would you do, if all schools were run by private companies, to ensure that standards were high enough. your analysis is also not intellectually sound, as you ignore the fact that there are countries that educate children successfully where education is provided by the state, and in blaming the failure to educate your children properly on socialism you are just turning to a convenient scapegoat that fits in with your political prejudices, and solves nothing.
• United States
27 Oct 12
Ey. Whether or not "socialism" plays a role in public schools, Wiki is the worst possible source to use to define it. That page has changed about 12 times in 4 years. People can throw out their own guesses as to why it has. But take a SS of it today. Check it in a couple months.
@andy77e (5165)
• United States
28 Oct 12
Actually wiki is remarkably accurate, and you can check the changes. Not a big deal. I'm an editor on wiki. Regardless, "social ownership of the means of production" is accurate. Social means government. What other version of social control, doesn't include government? Government owns the schools, and education is a product or service, or both. It is in fact a socialized system, like any other. if your schools are failing you need to seriously ask yourselves why, one possible reason may be an culture of anti-intellectualism, that is much rarer in countries like sweden and switzerland. I don't know what anti-intellectualism means, or refers to. Because I know tons of intelligent people on all sides of the ideological spectrum. The reason for failing schools has to do with three very simple reasons. First and most obvious is that we have bought into the idea that people have to 'feel good' about themselves, and that it's more important to have self-esteem than actually know anything. Second is because of teacher unions, and third is about making the public happy. Both of which are tied to government run systems. Government is more interested in making all the voters happy, than making the voters educated. Hard subjects with tough teachers make for good education. But they also make for lower grades, and unhappy teacher unions. Lower grades because some students simply won't do the work. That makes the school look bad, which makes parents unhappy. Unhappy parents, unhappy voters, and politicians lose. It's easier to dumb down the system so the lazy students pass, and everyone is happy. Unhappy teacher unions because bad teachers would have to be removed. Unions protect their union dues paying teachers. So they call strikes, which again makes everyone unhappy. Its much easier to just let the bad teachers stay, and everyone is happy, and the politicians keep their jobs. Watch the movie Lean on Me 1989, about principal Joe Clark. Although obviously a dramatic retelling of the story, the basic concepts are completely right. Joe Clark cleaned out the bad students, and cleaned out some of the bad teachers, and everyone was pissed off about it. But he turned around a failing school. Another book to read is Black Rednecks and White Liberals, by Thomas Sowell, where he details the destruction of good schools by government. just blaming socialism is not intellectually sound, as you only have to read a victorian novel to learn about the horrors of the sorts of school provided by the private sector. The problem with such one-sided accounts is that only bad schools are reported. It's the same with any media, in that the new caster will never come on saying "nothing bad happened today, some women planted a flower bed, and there were some puppies at the park". Inherently, bad news is repeated. Yes there were bad private schools. But how many good ones were there? On the other hand, in America today, the private schools routinely smash public schools on everything but sports. Think about that alone. The private schools are losing horribly in sports, but not academics. Somethings wrong with the priorities. your analysis is also not intellectually sound, as you ignore the fact that there are countries that educate children successfully where education is provided by the state, and in blaming the failure to educate your children properly on socialism you are just turning to a convenient scapegoat that fits in with your political prejudices, and solves nothing. That's possible. I do believe that in a more homogenous society, and in a smaller society where the government is closer to the people, the results are inherently better. The state institutions of Sweden for example, are more likely to have better results, not JUST because they have a more open, more free-market system, but also because they have a very tiny population of minorities relative to the number of born and bred swedes, and have only 9.5 Million people instead of 307 Million, and cover 173 thousand sq miles, verses 9.8 Million sq miles. It makes sense, and is undeniably true that the Swedish governmental system is better than the American governmental system. Our system is more comparable to the Russian Federation, and we all know how efficient and effective their government is. To my point. Maybe you might convince me that socialized education does work *better* in some areas of the world. Perhaps. But nevertheless, in our system it is in fact socialized education that is the problem here in the US. There's just no rational way for me to conclude otherwise.
• United States
28 Oct 12
If I use Wiki to source anything I write about, my editor has a fit. There have been more complaints about the accuracy of Wiki over anything else I've ever used.
@GardenGerty (99141)
• United States
27 Oct 12
I agree that we do not educate kids the way we should here in the US. I also want to say that with it being such a large country, there are pockets of education that are better than other places within the US. I think we try to make schools be a lot of things they are not, and we put a lot of emphasis on sports and winning, and there are other flaws in the system. It is up to parents to keep an eye on how their kids are learning and make sure they are challenged at their level.
@GardenGerty (99141)
• United States
28 Oct 12
We put a lot of emphasis on kids being in sports and it really does not do anything to promote lifelong fitness.Or collaboration, or independent thinking, or honesty. It also still creates a "let it slide" attitude when the star athlete is not achieving well. It presents a venue where trusted adults can molest children, or get their jollies by ogling them. My kids had problems in school because they were actually smarter/more intelligent than their teachers. . . I had teachers tell me this, things like "your kid should be teaching my class" and "I thought it was all going over his head but he has a 107 GPA" although I will also say that grades do not really represent learning. Just how well does this student take a test. How well can this student regurgitate what they have been given. Sorry, I am on a soap box. My daughter wants to homeschool and her husband will not let her. Kindergarteners have no business going to magnet schools for the arts or sciences, they need both.
@bagarad (12133)
• Paso Robles, California
27 Oct 12
I seem to remember that Sweden has a lot of socialism, but it might just be my senior memory. I agree that our schools leave a lot to be desired. I used to teach in public schools and private schools. My experience is that the private schools provided better education for less money than it was costing for taxpayers were paying to educate a child. I was teaching before the unions totally took over public education, and after they took over my mother was teaching and she hated having to join the union. She also said the union was responsible for keeping on incompetent teachers. Mom was the head of her department, and a lot of the young teachers joining the staff just weren't up to snuff. Private schools work because they have to compete. If they can't do a better job than public schools, they would be out of business. I believe in vouchers so that public schools are forced to compete to survive.
@andy77e (5165)
• United States
27 Oct 12
It's actually quite interesting. In 1990 (or near there) there was a massive public school reform. This reform allowed absolutely anyone to open a school. A group of mothers could open a school. A company could open a school. A union or social group could open a school. A religious organization could open a school. Anyone anywhere could open a school. You could either operate on a for profit basis, or you could get vouchers from the state per student. Equally, all students have unlimited choice in school, but you as the parent had to get them there. None of this bussing across the planet at tax payer expense. If a school lost too many students, the school would close. Even the publicly run schools. As a result there is tons of competition. You don't keep incompetent teachers, because you could lose students, and if you lost too many, your school was closed. Better to lose one failing teacher, than your whole school. Very different from the "we keep everyone, and screw the tax payer" system we have in the US.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (99141)
• United States
28 Oct 12
On the subject of the young man from Mexico, chances are he was in California public schools. A million years ago when I was in school, in a state that is not noted for being high in education, I would get so frustrated with the kids that transferred in from California, and told me to my face that they were smarter and better educated than I was and they were still a year behind, and dumber than rocks. I often tutored as a young to middle teen, students in their shoes. I still consider the state where I grew up not to be well educated and not to teach well, but my experience was that California was worse. I was in San Diego as a young married and had a lot of non school contact with teens, and it was the same. I worked in early education for a number of years here in Kansas and my director once asked me "If Oklahoma (where I grew up) was so poor in education, how did you become so intelligent?" I told her I did so in spite of the schools. It comes down to my really strange parents who were interested in lots of things and never stopped learning themselves. They did what they could to make sure I could pass the tests, they also made sure I ate meals and slept at night. Parents have to be involved in their kids lives, and in their education. They do not have to take the party line, however. My folks let me quit school with all my credits a semester before I graduated. I got a job then, and went to college the next fall. They did not pay for it, I went on my own savings and my own merit. My brother finished a whole year early. By the time my little sister came along they had filled the loopholes that allowed that. So she went to vo tech half the day and school half the day.
@stealthy (8188)
• United States
28 Oct 12
What I know is that when I was in college and graduate school in the mid to late 1960s, all kinds of so called new education methods were sweeping across the country in college education departments; these methods probably had begun several years before that. The effects of the ideas were showing up in how teachers were taught to teach probably beginning earlier than that but not early enough to have affected my education all the way through high school. I was a Physics major and taught labs both as an undergraduate and graduate student. Some of these labs were for a very basic science class that was taught in both the Physics and Chemistry departments. The class that went along with the labs was taken mostly by elementary education majors and was the only science class they had to take to get a degree. The new education ideas that the education departments had put in place required that this course be dumbed down or it would be dropped as a requirement and the elementary education majors would have had no exposure to science at all. It had gotten to the point to where most of what was allowed to be taught in the class was no more advanced than much of what I had learned in elementary with a very small amount reaching the high school level. To teach some science in elementary school teachers need more knowledge on the subject than what they are trying to teach the students especially since science is always advancing. Another thing the education department did was demand that a student in the labs we taught would get a passing grade in the lab if they just showed up and did nothing. If this demand was not met, the science class would be dropped as a requirement. I am sure that similar things were taking place in other areas of eduction. Around 1970 when I was in the Army stationed in Maryland one of my buddies had a wife who taught high school in a town near the base. This high school had a policy that the total amount of homework that could be given to students in all there classes could not exceed what they could do in the one hour study period that each student had during the school day. So say they had five classes, then that would give them at most 10 minutes to study for each class. And the country wonders why we have fallen behind in science and math and eduction in general. Right now in my state the Governor is trying to put an end to social promotion, that is the promoting of students to the next level when they aren't ready and this is especially the case for promoting third graders when they can't read. But the schools, the teacher unions and the legislature are fighting against this. The state is ranked something like 49th in education in the country and there is a lot of data showing that the most of the country is falling behind much of world in education. I think it started with those new ways of teaching which were much less effective than when I was in school. Of course there is the other problem which is that few parents require their kids to study and meet even the low requirements that are expected of them in schools. My parents didn't have to punishment me or even help me to get good grades; it was just understood that I would, that it was expected and that it was what was best for my future. In my opinion both the schools and the parents are failing students and society in our country.
@natliegleb (5186)
• India
28 Oct 12
that article was quite depressing to read and also the work of 9th grade in mexico is kind of funny to hear about,its degrading