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Public education, and the Constitution., Propaganda, or beneficial?
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Orion_Zorn
post May 28 2008, 11:49 AM
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Well everyone feels that public education and a Constitution/Bill of Rights are good things right? Here is some info:

Public/government funded education is one of the 10 steps in creating a Communist state in 'The Communist Manifesto' Mao Tse Tung, a horrible dictator, started educating people in China after he came to power.

An interesting thing to note about the Revolutionary War in the US is that it did not help any of the common people. Slaves still existed, poor people were still poor. George Washington, the richest man in the US at one point, instead of sending part of his wealth to England, now got to keep it all. Could it be that the Founding Fathers, mostly very rich land owners, just didn't want to split their piece of the pie with England? I'm not sure this is true at all, but Howard Zinn makes a decent case for this idea in 'A People's History of the United States'

Back to education. In a book Rockstar suggested here - "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James Loewen, the author makes a case that education is a form of 'socialization'. He states that as the Vietnam war became unpopular, polling companies started taking demographic information. The information is eye opening. he shows that the more educated people in the US were more 'hawkish' (pro-war) while the people who were less educated were more 'dovish' or anti-war. Those who had dropped out of high school were much more likely to be against the war.

He explains that as you become educated, you have more invested in the system. You are more likely to have a decent job, and your personal prosperity was largely due to the system and government of the US. To admit that we should not be in Vietnam meant that possibly our system itself was wrong. People with less invested in the system are more likely to question it. Interesting stuff I think.

Back to the Constitution. Did you know that originally only people who owned land could vote in the US? And of course women and slaves couldn't vote, etc. So generally the poor of the US in the early years had no say in anything.

The obvious question is: Why would the rich of the US give the average person rights? why not just continue as things were? Zinn's answer is that most middle class or poor people in the US didn't care much about breaking away from the British. He cites a lot of examples where people stated that to break away from Britain was just 'moving from one master to a new one'.

By offering people hope of a better life, etc. they got the average person behind the idea of breaking away from Britain.

There is a ton of information about the Constitution issue, too much for this post. Possibly just some of the Founding Fathers had this idea, but others really wanted to help the poor, etc.

Now though, I bring up Venezuela. Chavez is considered an evil dictator in the US, but the documentary 'The War on Democracy' goes into Venezuela, and shows that Chavez has set up a Constitution for the people there. He has set up public education. He set up a government run chain of grocery stores, so people could get cheap food, and on each package, there is an excerpt from the Constitution, so everyone will know their rights. They show it right in the documentary. They interview people there. Who do you believe? The US media getting its information from the State Department, or people from Venezuela?

Still though, Mao Tse Tung educated people too. Is Chavez doing just as the wealthy landowners did in the US 200 years ago? By educating people, he has gained their loyalty. In the documentary, they show that the only reason Chavez survived the CIA funded and organized coup was due to thousands of poor people flooding the capital from 'the Barios' (iirc) which are the poor sections of Venezuela. Also in that documentary, they show clips of the news media in Venezuela blasting Chavez and calling him a fascist - so much for the idea that Chavez censors the media... They point out in the media that Chavez has angered the wealthy in Venezuela. They interview the poor people, and they love him, then they interview one of the rich - and the guy says he is leaving because 'Venezuela is not what it once was.'

Systems of control? or the liberation of the people? Hard to say, I think.

It is interesting though that high school text books are so censored in the US, because they are afraid to offend anyone. For example, high school text books make it sound like Kennedy stepped in and created/signed The Civil Rights Act, yet early in his presidency, he opposed the idea of blacks having equal rights. The truth is taht the *people* made the change, and government changed to fit the people. yet students in highschool in the US are led to believe that the government stepped in and fixed the situation. if education were not funded by the government, this would not happen. Each state votes on the text books they use. What if each local town or school were allowed to choose? it would be much easier for someone like me to go to a school or town meeting, and point out inaccuracies or censorship in one book, and recommend another. With the system the way it is today, I have NO chance of ever affecting what my kids are taught in school. Interesting, isn't it?

Tis a crazy world.

edit: also 3 other things. Originally Senators were not elected by the people, they were chosen by the states Representatives. Some argue though that this was better. Still, the most powerful members of the Legislative branch were originally NOT elected by the people.

Also, the Constitutional Convention was kept secret. There could be legit reasons to keep it secret, but then again, it could be that the Fathers didn't want those poor people having a say in things either.
http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h368.html

Lastly, there is the argument that without a strong central government, the US could not have quelled rebellions (those pesky slaves and oppressed workers that were starving while others enjoyed immense wealth) and could not have crushed the American Indians like they did. Another thing that is smoothed over in text books. We really slaughtered and mistreated the indians pretty badly.

None of this is proof of anything, just food for thought.

This post has been edited by VnX_Zorn: May 28 2008, 12:07 PM

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KS_Rockstar
post May 28 2008, 02:33 PM
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I don't know so much if public vs private education is the question. Imo, the education system needs reform, major reform.

I've stated this before but based on our touted '#1 in the world at everything' we should be higher on the list in education that 27 (I think were somewhere around 27).

I also think it's important for every American to have the chance at a QUALITY education. The kids that live in Beverly Hills should have the same opportunity as the kids that live in Compton. What they make of it is of course up to them but they for sure should have the chance.

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Parfait
post May 29 2008, 06:57 PM
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QUOTE(VnX_Zorn @ May 28 2008, 12:49 PM)
Each state votes on the text books they use.  What if each local town or school were allowed to choose?  it would be much easier for someone like me to go to a school or town meeting, and point out inaccuracies or censorship in one book, and recommend another.  With the system the way it is today, I have NO chance of ever affecting what my kids are taught in school.  Interesting, isn't it?
*


Hey, this isn't really an opinion, just some (hopefully) helpful info.

I live in New York and the local school boards here (at least where I live) choose their textbooks. AFAIK NYS recommends text books, but local schools have a lot of discretion in what they pick, and AP classes have complete discretion. I'm not sure how it works where you live, but I'd check out your kids' local school board meeting. :)

Two caveats to that; 1, the teachers here spend their own time looking into good/bad books. If you live in a smaller district, they may just take what looks good or what is cheapest. The best thing to do, imho, would be to find the textbooks that are bad (shouldn't be hard), bring em into a local board meeting, show them the flaws, and ask them to buy different versions the next time they buy new books. It will require some work on your part, though.

2, NYS sets a syllabus for its state regents exams that all students must pass to graduate. I think this is where schools lose some discretion - their books must cover the topics on the final, and NYS writes the final. I've never run into a biased question on a regents exam, but that's only my POV. Not all states have required state finals, depends where you live. If you want to check out all NYS Regents Exams yourself, you can go here.

Good luck. :santa:

This post has been edited by Parfait: May 29 2008, 07:03 PM

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Orion_Zorn
post May 29 2008, 07:22 PM
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actually I live in NYS, upstate NY, not NYC. :)

Interesting, i was just going by the book I had read on how bad history textbooks are in the US, it said that there were Boards that chose the books for each state, etc.


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MeRcY_NeVeR
post May 29 2008, 07:40 PM
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@Zorn i hardly ever have time to read your messages but tonight i did :flowers:

I disagree with the point of view, on education. I am not talking about all the founding father stuff but here is what i got to say. In Islam its our Duty to be educated, or try constantly to educate ourselfs. Someone that has an education, is if you want to say "smart" can think for himself. Like lets take your vitenam example. Ok so i am in middle mangement in the US got my 2.1 kids and my company car. I went to college etc, now i am going bald. Even though his educated he voted for the war? Why? He aint going to feel any bit of that. Not a scratch...of any benfit from the war. Now lets face it, people are lead by charsmatic leaders or TOLD facts that aint true. An educated person process these facts and they seem logical however, lies can also be made to sound real. Its not about how educated someone is or anything to do with communism, its to do with propganda and what education are taught.

Unedcated people are the most dangerous. Its the same in Islam, alot of the Radicals are unedcated. The pakistanis that go nuts on the street buring US flags aint educated. Educated muslims frown on such behaviour, however FOX News perfers to show the jumping monkys

The problem with America, is that their are TOO many UNEDUCATED people. In the past, they used edcuated people, to get what they want. Now they use unedcated people. Look at Bush he got every hick in the USA to vote for him, by convcining him that Osama is going to bomb ther little trailer parks(I bet osama laughes his ass off when he sees those hicks on youtube). And their doing it again in this election. Look at the top player omama his targeting the black community who are mostly unedcated working class. Maybe a smart move by Democrates to use him as a poster guy for the party?



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Parfait
post May 29 2008, 08:14 PM
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QUOTE(VnX_Zorn @ May 29 2008, 08:22 PM)
actually I live in NYS, upstate NY, not NYC.  :)

Interesting, i was just going by the book I had read on how bad history textbooks are in the US, it said that there were Boards that chose the books for each state, etc.
*


You're not wrong. Some states, like California, do buy books en masse for their schools. And other states follow the big states' lead, plus textbook publishers cater to the big states' desires (who are publishers' biggest customers). And this definitely results in changes in textbooks. To what degree, it depends who you listen to.

This does not apply to all textbooks, and furthermore local districts have discretion in how material is taught (Dover School Board, for example, with evolution). Your local school board definitely has some pull when it comes to many of your kids' textbooks, especially with gifted and AP courses. With those, you may even be able to sit down with your kid's teacher and discuss it in-depth.

This post has been edited by Parfait: May 29 2008, 08:39 PM

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mG_Despair
post May 29 2008, 10:27 PM
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Education (At least Education geared towards college admission) is in fact fairly standardized in America. This is because all such schools are teaching to the SAT and to a lesser extent the ACT.

You can have different textbooks, but they will say more or less the same things - in the case of history/English points of view that are politically correct. Other than that, they will teach purely to the test(s)

This SAT/ACT test limitation prevents the high schools from deviating all that much.

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bridarshy
post May 29 2008, 11:55 PM
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QUOTE
Public/government funded education is one of the 10 steps in creating a Communist state in 'The Communist Manifesto'  Mao Tse Tung, a horrible dictator, started educating people in China after he came to power.


Certainly with more consolidation and centralization of power, it becomes easier to control a system of education. This goes for most examples of organizations as well.
QUOTE
An interesting thing to note about the Revolutionary War in the US is that it did not help any of the common people.  Slaves still existed, poor people were still poor.  George Washington, the richest man in the US at one point, instead of sending part of his wealth to England, now got to keep it all.  Could it be that the Founding Fathers, mostly very rich land owners, just didn't want to split their piece of the pie with England?  I'm not sure this is true at all, but Howard Zinn makes a decent case for this idea in 'A People's History of the United States'

Just yesterday I learned of this book in my class, "Contemplating Social Problems." I still need to read it.
Imagine the founding fathers could have been anarchists, or at least they recognized that if they did not make something like the Constitution and Bill of Rights, then someone else would come along and start a government.


QUOTE
Back to education.  In a book Rockstar suggested here  - "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James Loewen, the author makes a case that education is a form of 'socialization'.  He states that as the Vietnam war became unpopular, polling companies started taking demographic information.  The information is eye opening.  he shows that the more educated people in the US were more 'hawkish' (pro-war) while the people who were less educated were more 'dovish' or anti-war.  Those who had dropped out of high school were much more likely to be against the war

He explains that as you become educated, you have more invested in the system.  You are more likely to have a decent job, and your personal prosperity was largely due to the system and government of the US.  To admit that we should not be in Vietnam meant that possibly our system itself was wrong.  People with less invested in the system are more likely to question it.    Interesting stuff I think. I think it is very dangerous to have a very few people organizing the basics (underline basics) of our curriculum for the large majority of public schooled children. We all learn, and do not learn the same things. We then see that others around us know the same things we know, and conclude that we must all be smart. This overlooks what we do not know.

American schools do not teach you how to balance a check book, manage debt, the law as it applies to your everyday life... Teachings of how to build a career or business, of rights and welfare, and applicable knowledge for everyday living is all taught minimally. Half of your day is spent learning facts, not knowlege. We learn facts, and then forget most of them. In order to have knowlege, we need to apply the facts, but mostly school is busy work. A letter is to a word, is to a page. We cannot use facts without context, so I think many facts we learn in school are not very useful unless we have a structure in which to make sense of them. Sometimes we make sense of the facts we learned in school once we get out. Isn't that the point of school in the first place? Silly.

QUOTE
Now though, I bring up Venezuela.  Chavez is considered an evil dictator in the US, but the documentary 'The War on Democracy' goes into Venezuela, and shows that Chavez has set up a Constitution for the people there.  He has set up public education.  He set up a government run chain of grocery stores, so people could get cheap food, and on each package, there is an excerpt from the Constitution, so everyone will know their rights.  They show it right in the documentary.  They interview people there.  Who do you believe?  The US media getting its information from the State Department, or people from Venezuela?

Believing media in general is not too bad... Believing the mass media, and taking on their perspective, is something I try to avoid. This involves not watching cable news networks if need be. As for Venezuela and Chavez, I hear the people like him. The propaganda that he is an evil dictator is because he says things like, "Bush is the Devil". They also don't give us oil any more. That is another reason why we are told he is evil, though they don't cite that reason.

QUOTE
It is interesting though that high school text books are so censored in the US, because they are afraid to offend anyone.  For example, high school text books make it sound like Kennedy stepped in and created/signed The Civil Rights Act, yet early in his presidency, he opposed the idea of blacks having equal rights.  The truth is that the *people* made the change, and government changed to fit the people.  yet students in high school in the US are led to believe that the government stepped in and fixed the situation.  if education were not funded by the government, this would not happen.  Each state votes on the text books they use.  What if each local town or school were allowed to choose?  it would be much easier for someone like me to go to a school or town meeting, and point out inaccuracies or censorship in one book, and recommend another.  With the system the way it is today, I have NO chance of ever affecting what my kids are taught in school.  Interesting, isn't it?

You can still use non-public methods, however, you will not get the public funds that would be used for your child's public schooling. I think this is plenty of evidence to be against our public schooling system. If there were no exterior motives other than to educate, then the taxes available for educating your child should be transferable towards private education at your discretion It is a shame that it is this way. Social Security too. We should be able to opt out. We can't, and that is proof that it is a tax. (I die tomorrow, and my loved ones do not get the money I paid in, and I assume I won't get it in the after life unless they are way ahead of me.)

It is also a shame that we limit viewpoints in education. When there is only one "true" history, philosophy, science, etc, then we lose sight of other viewpoint and a society will become homogeneous in their thinking, and no POV will be able to challenge the mode. The popular belief, even when wrong, will flourish because there will be nobody who is taught an alternative view, who can change the mix of the conversation, and bring upon better debate. This is why our educational system protects the government from dissent, questioning, or alternative views. Schools, though the teachers and staff may be loving, caring, and seek the best for their students on a local/regional level, schools still indoctrinate and train "good citizens." Schools train tax-payers, and a model person in the eyes of a powerful government. (Like a factory manufacturing robots?)
QUOTE
edit: also 3 other things.  Originally Senators were not elected by the people, they were chosen by the states Representatives.  Some argue though that this was better.  Still, the most powerful members of the Legislative branch were originally NOT elected by the people.

Today, the president and other congressmen can be elected by the media. This may seem strange, but it is a simple principle that makes mass media dangerous. The media tells us who is winning. They can lie to us, skew information, make up news... Then we believe them and it becomes reflected in our polls. Next, when the media tells us who is still winning or who has won, it confirms our original belief that the media was telling us the truth about who was initially the best candidate as chosen by the people. It validates an individual's faith in media.

We Report, You Decide.-Fox News
There are millions who have been fooled into thinking THEY are deciding. Someone else is for them. Such a slogan keep at least some people from even thinking to question the validity of the source.
QUOTE
Lastly, there is the argument that without a strong central government, the US could not have quelled rebellions (those pesky slaves and oppressed workers that were starving while others enjoyed immense wealth) and could not have crushed the American Indians like they did.  Another thing that is smoothed over in text books.  We really slaughtered and mistreated the indians pretty badly.

I don't think we were ever supposed to have a strong central government. That is why we have states, so they can compete over tax dollars. The federal government is supposed to be reserved for tasks which state governments cannot do by themselves. Government, as with all organizations, gets more difficult to manage, and less efficient as it gets larger.

This post has been edited by bridarshy: May 30 2008, 12:08 AM

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Orion_Zorn
post Jun 1 2008, 08:10 PM
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@Bridarshy - the problem with public education is that only the rich can afford to send their kids to private schools. Why do I have to pay into the public school system if I home school my children?

@Mercy - the Vietnam example is some evidence that contradicts your logic based opinion. You are saying 'that doesn't make sense' but the data is there - more educated people are more likely to be Hawkish.

If education and giving people rights is not a way to 'socialize' a society, then is Chavez really a decent leader? Why would Mao Tse Tung educate people, when we know he was an evil person?

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BadToThe_Bone
post Jun 3 2008, 07:53 PM
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I think standardized text books should be used in ALL schools across the country. It's bogus to think one state uses a totally different book than another state.

Also, my daughter, who is 13 years old, comes over for the weekend. She starts talking about how bad George Bush is, and how he started the war in Iraq, and is killing all kinds of innocent people... Zzzzz...

I asked her, of course, where she heard all this... And wouldn't you know it... straight from her teachers mouth. I had one helleva time turning her opinion around... but it worked.

I think it's total BS that teachers use the school to spew their opinions on susceptible children. Political and Religious opinions should be taught by parents and NOT the damn teachers. I was so pissed off, I almost went straight to her school to have it out with the teacher.

Whether your for the war, against the war, love or hate GW... It's just plain silly to think the teachers ranting their opinion to our children, who believe this trash talk, is acceptable one way or the other.

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mG_Despair
post Jun 3 2008, 08:48 PM
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QUOTE(BadToThe_Bone @ Jun 3 2008, 07:53 PM)
I think standardized text books should be used in ALL schools across the country. It's bogus to think one state uses a totally different book than another state.

Also, my daughter, who is 13 years old, comes over for the weekend. She starts talking about how bad George Bush is, and how he started the war in Iraq, and is killing all kinds of innocent people... Zzzzz...

I asked her, of course, where she heard all this... And wouldn't you know it... straight from her teachers mouth. I had one helleva time turning her opinion around... but it worked.

I think it's total BS that teachers use the school to spew their opinions on susceptible children. Political and Religious opinions should be taught by parents and NOT the damn teachers. I was so pissed off, I almost went straight to her school to have it out with the teacher.

Whether your for the war, against the war, love or hate GW... It's just plain silly to think the teachers ranting their opinion to our children, who believe this trash talk, is acceptable one way or the other.
*


My 12 year old sister came home from school 3 weeks ago and told me I should stop using my computer because it's causing global warming which will destroy the world :boxed:

Needless to say, I also have started a campaign of alternate education with her. You really need to (even if your not a conservative) because if you don't, your child/younger bro or sis will get an extremely tilted view of the world.

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Orion_Zorn
post Jun 3 2008, 10:08 PM
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@Despair, agree 100%

@BTTB, why should my kid learn from some textbook that had people from TEXAS OR FLORIDA involved in the selection of it? Texas wants intelligent design taught in schools iirc.

Ron Paul is 100% right about small government. Any task that government must handle should be handled at the most local level. Everything, ideally, would be handled by the town government. Those things to large to manage for a town should move to the county level. Things too large for a county should move to the state level, etc.

The more things that are handled by local governments, the more likely that your opinion will be heard, and your needs will be met.

He also points out, if you believe the opposite, why stop at the US? Why not merge the US/Canada/Mexico into a North American Union, and have textbooks the same for all 3 countries? Or keep going, until you have the same textbooks for everyone in the world. Do you want people on the other side of the world voting on what textbook your kid reads? Amazingly, it would probably be more accurate than US texts...

And then why should I have people in California, or any other area having a say in what my kids are going to learn?

edit: no one has said if they think Chavez is helping or deceiving the Venezuelan people....

This post has been edited by VnX_Zorn: Jun 3 2008, 10:13 PM



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