Wednesday, September 19, 2012

* ABOLISH The U.S. Department of Education Just as Yale President , A. Whitney Griswold, in 1949 Abolished Yale's Graduate Department of Education

Yale President, A. Whitney Griswold, 
escorts John F. Kennedy
(a Harvard man)
in a Yale ceremony

The Education System is Bass Ackwards

Note:Since its creation three years ago, this blog, 
The Anti-Yale, has had 149,923 page views as of this writing, 9/19/2012.

Comments by The Anti-Yale 

(aka Paul D. Keane, M. Div. '80, M.A., M.Ed.) 

from today's Yale Daily News

article "Time to Wake Up for School"


Yale senior, 

Michael Madgzik 

(printed in full, below)

theantiyale 3 hours, 30 minutes ago

( typos in original edited here)

Abolish the U. S. Department of Education, just as Yale's president, A. Whitney Griswold abolished Yale's graduate Department of Education, saying "It is unnecessary to teach teachers how to teach."
Take its funding and redistribute it to the states, with the proviso that 80% of it MUST be spent on the first 8 years (yes, from birth) of a child's life for education, healthcare, nutrition, parenting support.
Currently, we trivialize early childhood and then spend the next twelve years in school trying to compensate [for]the empty or damaged baggage a child brings to K-12.
Using a long-ago-debunked pedagogical model we tell teachers to pour "knowledge" into an empty pitcher which is already cracked, and then we upend the pitcher pouring that 'knowledge' into a standardized test to see how much of it was retained, all the while failing to notice the fluid pouring out of the cracks.
" Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.".
WB Yeats

theantiyale 2 hours, 59 minutes ago

That "baggage" metaphor doesn't quite work.
Short version, education is currently backwards---it's a twelve-year trillion-dollar repair-job for the damage done in the first five years of life.
(Early childhood education, healthcare, and parenting support, please)

ldffly 20 minutes ago

If you want good general critiques of what's wrong in the American schoolhouse, go back to the 1950s. Read Jacques Barzun's "The House of Intellect," and Richard Hofstadter's "Anti Intellectualism in American Life." Forget more time in school if we continue to fail to take learning seriously

theantiyale 0 minutes ago

"Richard Hofstadter's Anti Intellectualism in American Life." 
" An intellectual is someone who is capable of being EXCITED by ideas." 

John Ciardi, 
Dante scholar whose translations of 
The Paradiso
The Purgatorio 
The Inferno 
have survived the test of time.

theantiyale 0 minutes ago

PS: A teacher is someone who helps students "catch fire", thereby making them ipso facto "intellectuals" according to Ciardi's definition above. 
EVERY child is capable of being excited by ideas.
I'm afraid Mr. Hofstadter's definition of intellectualism may be a bit more snooty.

JackJ 33 minutes ago

Forget the theory and concentrate on how society can reaffirm family values. You have essentially two choices, take the children from their parents and place them in an institutional setting where they will be "taught" to perform intellectually but will suffer the loss of emotional support or set policies that reward family cohesiveness wherein the value of personal responsibility is taught by example. Failure of education in this country has almost nothing to do with the schools or even the teachers but changing societal values where everyone is a victim of something or someone and no one is responsible for their own actions.
I am constantly amazed at the number of "students," even in economically depressed areas, who have cell phones, bling and Air Jordan's but for some reason don't read well and can't do basic math but can master video games and divide powders into gram containers. We construct multi-billion dollar training programs as part of the Great Society or this or that program and nobody comes. They don't come because the planners made a fatal assumption--that people are willing to work for what they get, whether that is bling or education. In fact the Job Training Program and education in general failed and fail not because the programs, teachers and facilities (weren't) aren't there but because nobody taught people how to get up at six in the morning and catch the two buses cross town to the training center. Nor did they help create a society where attending such programs was thought of as a good thing instead of "Selling out to the Man" or some other such derisive comment made by those who have established their own society where might makes right.
This problem isn't about school facilities, teachers or education policies, it's about values. Inculcate in the young a value for education and they will seek it out. Allow it to be devalued and they will avoid it. Discussions about more money, more teachers, more computers are like doctors who prescribe medications for the symptoms instead of trying to cure the disease. The disease here is a lack of shared values between those offering up the policies and those who could be educated.

theantiyale 0 minutes ago

"They don't come because the planners made a fatal assumption--that people are willing to work for what they get, whether that is bling or education."
Sounds a trifle racist to me.
 BTW---the problem is also that school is boring.
 How could it not be boring when teachers are forced to stifle spontaneity in favor of "teaching to the test". 
Ever hear the expression "Don't kill the goose that lays the golden egg" ? 

The Bill and Melinda Gradgrinds of educational reform are killing right brain spontaneity and creativity in favor of left brain quantifiable, measurable "benchmarks" and "outcomes". 

That's your kid Mom and Dad ---an "outcome"

 Why aren't you outRAGED! 


Folks---I'm retired.

 I have nothing to gain by entering this discussion. 

I could just walk the other way while you whistle past a graveyard.
Why do I EVEN bother? 

Paul D. Keane 
M.Div. '80 
M.A., M.Ed.


Time to wake 

up for school

Sixty percent is a failing grade. Sixty percent is also where the high school graduation rate for Chicago Public Schools hovers.
It’s a shame when any child doesn’t pass, but when failure happens at this rate, it’s an educational crisis. When nine-tenths of the students in this system are low-income and more than four-fifths are minorities, it’s a profound social and racial injustice. And when the eventual alternatives are for these students to become fodder for back-breaking minimum-wage slavery, unemployment lines, homeless shelters, prisons and morgues, it’s a national tragedy.
Welcome to American education, circa 2012; this is what is at stake. Pundits have spilled veritable rivers of ink (keystrokes, really) since the Chicago teachers’ strike began last Monday. But they have barely begun to scratch the surface of the kind of sea change in national mindset we need to achieve to set our schools on track.
Much of the discussion in the wake of the ongoing strike has been deep down in the policy weeds, where bickering about school day length and the weight of standardized testing reigns. These issues are incredibly important, and I find these discussions fascinating. But the more I think about it all, the more I worry that Chicago’s latest iteration of the boisterous American education debate is emblematic of an all-too-human failing. We have a tendency to miss the forest for the trees.
What is that forest, the macro picture, exactly? It is nicely encapsulated by two statistics. One: A quarter of public high school students are not graduating on time, if they graduate at all. The other: Demographers tell us that, as of 2009, people under 20 years of age made up over a quarter of the U.S. population, or roughly 75 million.
Taken in conjunction, these facts indicate that this is a problem of colossal proportions, and one that is likely to become worse as even more children (the majority of them historically disadvantaged minorities) wind their way through the system. Seriously, people, it’s time to pay attention.
Seeing the forest also involves panning out from schools for a moment, to a global economy that is rapidly changing in unforeseen ways. More and more businesses are choosing to invest in capital instead of labor, for a host of sensible reasons. Machines don’t take vacation or sick time or maternity leave. They don’t require safe working conditions. They don’t force employers to shell out for payroll taxes. They don’t need human resources departments or managers. And they don’t leave your company or die after you’ve spent precious time and money training them. Machines are pretty much more attractive in every way — for business owners. This is why, in industry after industry, people are being replaced by incredibly capable robots.
Back to the schools. We produce millions of kids who are functionally illiterate and can’t solve basic math problems. Even the ones who make it through high school don’t have particularly employable skills. In an economy where many of the brightest are struggling to find steady jobs, we really expect them to do fine as capital continues to replace labor?
Some of the answers floated to this problem have already crept into the education debate: Narrowly-tailored, vocational education. Re-training after job loss. But these do not take into account the system we are working with. People who never learned to read cannot be trained to function in the new economy, no matter what new kinds of jobs get invented. What are you going to retrain them to do, when they start from such a low base? Biochemical engineering? Consulting? Programming?
Truth be told, the pitiful amount of funding and collective attention we’ve put into raising and teaching children is largely to blame. This is what looking at the forest means. The education debate is a fire that has given off a lot of heat but little light, particularly when our leaders stay out of it for political expediency (Obama) or offer platitudes like “increasing choice” (Romney). Our leaders need to inspire dramatic American unification behind the cause of education, instead of letting lip service carry the day.
If we’re to fix schools to a degree that will make a difference before it is too late, education needs to become a topic on par with the sacred space the economy and jobs have occupied in our public sphere. Those issues and education are more linked now than ever before, because the old jobs are not coming back.
Michael Magdzik is a senior in Berkeley College. Contact him at .

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