Government and Education

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roymond
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Government and Education

Postby roymond » Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:51 am

Justice O’Connor said that most citizens know very little about their government. “Two-thirds of Americans know at least one of the judges on the Fox TV show ‘American Idol,’ but less than 1 in 10 can name the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court,” she said.

And for that she did not lay responsibility solely at the feet of popular culture.

“One unintended effect of the No Child Left Behind Act, which is intended to help fund teaching of science and math to young people, is that it has effectively squeezed out civics education because there is no testing for that anymore and no funding for that,” she said. “And at least half of the states no longer make the teaching of civics and government a requirement for high school graduation. This leaves a huge gap, and we can’t forget that the primary purpose of public schools in America has always been to help produce citizens who have the knowledge and the skills and the values to sustain our republic as a nation, our democratic form of government.”

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erik
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Re: Government and Education

Postby erik » Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:08 pm

I hear you, but something's got to give. Kids today, especially poor kids going to bad schools, are so far behind where they need to be with regards to skills that they need to get by. They really don't know how to read for meaning, they don't know how to write for an audience, they don't know how to support an opinion. Do they need other stuff too, like art, and civics, and physical education, and music and 50 bajillion other things? Yes, definitely. And if we look at kids in kindergarten, kids who are not several grade levels behind their peers, then yes, lets get kids who haven't really started their educational career yet a better chance to learn all the stuff that makes them more than just people who can pass a job interview and balance a checkbook. But the kids who are in the system now, as much as it sucks that they don't know who the chief justice of the supreme court is, it sucks so much more that they can't read an article about the way that the supreme court ruled on a decision without getting bored, or misunderstanding what the point of the article was.
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roymond
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Re: Government and Education

Postby roymond » Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:22 pm

You're right...something's gotta give when there are no resources to bring what's needed. The bigger picture is bringing what's needed, and I agree it can't happen overnight. Hey, you're a hell of a lot closer to it than me from the admin side, I just have two kids in the system. Well, I'll have one in the system next year because the other is going private since CTT programs are a joke in NYC.

Hopefully priorities can change and core education, energy and a few other areas can excel instead of PowerPoint classes for 10 year olds. You and all teachers and school specialists (my wife starts as a public school speech pathologist next year) deserve real salaries and career enhancing educational programs.
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Re: Government and Education

Postby erik » Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:35 pm

Oh, I'm not a teacher anymore. Good luck to your wife.
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Re: Government and Education

Postby Caravan Ray » Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:42 pm

Meanwhile, down here in ultra-progressive New Zealand, delighted to discover yesterday as I searched for a childcare centre for my daughter, that the New Zealand government has a programme in place to provide 20 free hours a week of early childhood education (ECE) to every child between the age of 3 and 5, before they start actual school. And the major thrust of education for kids that young, apart from playing games and stuff, seems to be teaching the pakeha kids how to speak Maori. That's pretty cool (though I am dreading hearing my daughter speak with a kiwi accent).

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