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« Ruminations – 17jan2012 [updated] | Main | Our Mobile Politicians »

18 January 2012

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Russ Steele

Yea, the Gov is going to reduce testing in our failed CA shool system. That should work, considering this story in the San Jose Mercury News.

The California State University System (CSUS), with its 23 campuses, is struggling with the large and swelling mass of unprepared students.  In 2010, 27,300 of the 42,700 entering freshmen -- that is, nearly two-thirds of them! -- needed remedial education in English or math (or both).

The story reports that starting next summer, the CSUS will require students with skills problems to take "Early Start" courses, 15-hour summer remedial classes, before starting regular classes.  The courses can be taken online either at a CSUS campus or a cooperating community college.  The hope is that by having the students "brush up" on the subjects they should have learned in K-12 before taking the regular remedial classes, the CSUS won't have to eject so many students for flunking the remedial courses.

This are products of a school systems that takes up half of the state budget. It is a failed system and needs to be changed. Interesting that Charter School children are doing better than public schools in the SAT tests.

George Rebane

My own experience with undergraduates who want to become teachers is even more daunting. Many (most?) make up their mind to be teachers because of the extremely comfortable and enjoyable road they traveled through high school. There the teachers became their friends and were mostly engaged in stroking their self esteem. Talking to these future teachers of America over the last couple of decades, it is clear that in the aggregate we are dipping deep into the barrel in both intellect and learning. And yes, they all need remediation before becoming 'ed majors', after which it seems that they will be enrolled in high school redux at the college level. Then we turn them loose on our children.

Douglas Keachie

Let's not forget the Clown Show.

The Republicans will take the Presidential race seriously, only when they see that the American people have become accustomed to extreme poverty as normal, and raising their living conditions slightly will be a piece of cake. Now is an adjustment period to cold nasty fact that the rich have adapted to a world wide market, where it is easy to make a living, as a capitalist owner, without needing the American consumer in the picture. The Republicans will take advantage this, so that they are viewed as the party that started the road back, from the hell they've taken us to. Funny watching them do class warfare among themselves. When will the others reveal their taxes? When will any of them reveal their total net worth and current investments?

Douglas Keachie

Why is the government even thinking of buying a pipeline for the oil companies? Isn't that socialism? Good for Obama, he rejected it. The Obama Administration today called the GOP’s bluff by rejecting the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, a 1,750 mile, $7 billion proposed pipeline that would carry more than 700,000 barrels of crude oil from the boreal forests of the Canadian province of Alberta to the oil refineries of Texas.

Douglas Keachie

I had made a major post concerning charter schools, and suddenly it is missing. The post before it, and the post I made after it, are still there. Is this a glitch? I will wait a bit and then repost, if it stays missing.

billy T

Doug, why is the government even thinking about buying a pipeline for the oil companies? Hmm, which gov't are you referring to? Not the USA gov't, no siree. The Canadian government supports the project, but private industry funds and builds the project, thank goodness without one plug nickel from the almighty Great White Father in Washington. Just like Apple, Shell, and Ford Motor Company. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/obama-denies-keystone-xl-permit-will-let-transcanada-refile/2012/01/18/gIQA5Dwx8P. Putting the employment argument aside, the pipleline will generate $585 in local and state taxes for communities along the route and an estimated 5.2 billion smackers in property tax revenue for communities over the life of the pipeline. Not to mention that one single pipleline will create more energy than all the domestic wind, solar, and green energy produced in the USA in 2010, a whooping 47% more. Yes, there is life outside the public sector and a whole lot cheaper and efficient.

George Rebane

DougK 716pm - I believe that billyT 737pm was too polite to point out that the governments (both federal and the state of Nebraska) are standing in the way of prudent energy policy, and private funding of the pipeline across the Great Plains. Obama could have approved the pipeline at the federal level and just wait a bit for Nebraska to agree on the route across its territory. As I have said on these pages, Obama is our first post-American president - every policy is designed to withdraw America into a pier position with the lesser nations of the world.

Re 721pm - looking forward to your repost.

billy T

Dr. Rebane, are Occupiers really loonies? I noticed today that OWS has managed to blow most of their $700,000.00 slush fund and have called for a spending freeze on all non essential expenditures. Donations have dropped from 300k for the first 17 days in October to 28K for the first 17 days of January. Hmm, how could paying for a few hundred people sleeping in tents for free cost so much? Maybe the self appointed "leaders" will have to find other places to camp other than the $600/night hotel rooms away from the drum circles. That is only $18k/month for one room. Reminds me of the former USSR where the Party Leaders were driving Mercedes, while scientists and professors were living with their families in one room flats, waiting 2 years to buy a little car with no spare parts available. But loony? Nah, that is simple arrogance, aka, elitism. Noticed LA fenced off an area around a historic fountain downtown so the OLA peace lovers wouldn't deface it. Yep, someone climbed a tree and tossed florescent purple paint over the fence onto the fountain. The mystery person had good aim. More recently, I had to laugh when the gentle ODC crowd threw smoke bombs over the White House fence. I would not call these little examples picked at random "loony", just mere expression or vandalism. Perhaps malicious mischief. But, when the ODC crowd moved up to DC and half are anarchists decrying government and the other half are demanding gov't pay off their student loans, well it does send a mixed message. Maybe schizophrenic, but not looney. Now the ODC camp is overrun with rats and the city needs to get rid of the rat infection caused by the peace teepees. Only one problem. In 2010, DC passed a little protect the wildlife ordinance and it appears that the rats may be protected. Now, that is LOONEY.

George Rebane

billyT 806pm - please reread your comment which accurately portrays the OWS crowd. Yes, the elite leaders of the idiots have always lived considerably higher on the hog - leadership burden and all that. And I would underline that the OWS has no coherent voice other than dissatisfaction with the existing order, which is becoming more violent by the day. To me that is the epitome of loony mass behavior. Even the Democrats are now beating a hasty retreat from their premature embrace of just a few weeks ago.

Douglas Keachie

I reposted, again evidence that Charter schools are not as good as the puff themselves up[ to be, poof, gone, possibly an Appeal-Democrat problems?

http://www.appeal-democrat.com/articles/charter-112254-least-schools.html

Douglas Keachie

Posts linked to Appeal Democrat article in mid December about the state association of charter school wanting to shut one down that takes in marginal kids, unlike most others, and thus "spoiling" the feel good numbers, seems to have a hard time staying posted.

Douglas Keachie

Or maybe it was the fact that I was told by a principal of a local charter school at which I worked briefly, that they have their ways of making sure the riffraft don't enroll, despite state requirements that they take on all who want to come, that had something to do with the auto-vanish.

Douglas Keachie

Regarding George Rebane at 8:16 pm, please see my 3:36 pm post. The natives are getting restless, and just think, when you drive any two lane road in the country, one may be coming right at you as he loses it.

Douglas Keachie

"to withdraw America into a pier position " "sitt'in on the dock of the bay..." It appears a homonym has run amuck. I stand corrected on the pipeline issue, an if Obama could do that by Fiat, then why not windmills for drunken inexperienced sailors to hit?

George Rebane

DougK 853pm - in your 336pm you seem to resurrect the progressive notion that some people may just have too much net worth, some of which they should relinquish. Past implementations of this have caused wholesale misery in other lands. But perhaps I have misunderstood your point.

Douglas Keachie

3:36 Merely illustrates the current state of affairs.

billy T

Dr. Rebane, perhaps I am having a wee bit of difficulty with the word looney. I agree with your analysis of the OWS crowd as simply being plain old unhappy with everything. Everything except drums. They seem to like drums and like them 24/7. When I was in the nut house, there was a guy in there that said he was from the CIA and was on a mission to observe and report on the inner working of the facility. Very top secret. What was looney was I almost believed him! One day I pulled a One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest and made my escape when they were changing the newspapers in my cage. I went on the lam until finally being caught during a traffic stop. They hauled me into the local police department and called the Insane Asylum. Guess what? They refused to take me back. It was a humiliation that has left scars on my heart. I went into a deep depression over being rejected from Crazy Farm. Took a lot of therapy and blanket forgiveness of them to heal, yet I still feel the pain at moments like these. Now, if you believe that, you may not be looney, but you might be nuts. Maybe OWS will welcome me. Hope burns eternal.

George Rebane

billyT 937pm - with those curriculum vitae, I withdraw and defer to your selection of the proper descriptive for the occupier contingent that inhabits the streets and parks. The ones staying in the fancy hotels are definitely not looney.

billy T

Got to wonder what ever happened to the wingnuts of OWS. Maybe they moved West, hoping against hope to regain a thread of legitimacy. Glad to see they still have one oar in the water. No use calling the loonies names or kicking a dead horse. They are dying on the vine. Gee, OWS, we hardly got to know ya. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/19/us-protests-sanfrancisco-idUSTRE80I2F920120119

Gregory

Russ, 18 January 2012 at 02:57 PM

A couple of hard left CSU professors of Math (in SoCal) on my side in The Math Wars in the mid '90's once noted their unfortunate jobs in preparing prospective teachers to teach elementary level mathematics was to take them from the 4th grade level they started the semester with and get them up to the 7th grade level, almost ready to tackle 8th grade algebra. Not teaching 8th grade algebra, being ready to take 8th grade algebra.

They chose to hand out too many failing grades to make the Education department happy, and so the Ed department took over the classes in order to raise the success level, but, unfortunately, no one thinks that actually resulted in the teachers succeeded in learning the material, let alone how to teach it to kids.

As P.J. O'Rourke succinctly stated in his paraphrasing of William Bennett's criticism of the Ed business, 'Anyone who doesn't know what's wrong with education never [sexual expletive deleted] an El Ed [Elementary Education] major'


Gregory

"There the teachers became their friends and were mostly engaged in stroking their self esteem. Talking to these future teachers of America over the last couple of decades, it is clear that in the aggregate we are dipping deep into the barrel in both intellect and learning." - GR 18 January 2012 at 03:17 PM

Like with Keachie?

billy T

Maybe a little off topic, but this 7 page article does touch on education, manufacturing, and the way things are done in the real world.Most accurate and down to the nuts and bolts report I have read in quite a spell.http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html

Douglas Keachie

The way things are done in the real world is very simple. You do what makes you the most money. As a corporate person, there are two major factors, those who will buy from you (maximize, but not necessary including the American consumer anymore, as those abroad can supplant the American consumers), and the places you can make your products the cheapest.

You do not concern yourself about the quality of life in your home country. You do not concern yourself about defending that country. In fact you concentrate on reducing every tax and every regulation you can attack with lobbyists, regardless of what it does for your fellow citizens.

Vote for Newt, you'll get the country the 1% want, and will buy with their SuperPacs.

Next question?

billy T

Doug, the real world is the real world. But it is not just us good old boys struggling to survive in an global economy http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-20/solar-stocks-plunge-worldwide-as-germany-accelerates-rate-cuts.htmlmy. Darn Aryans are causing trouble again. For those who love the beauty of wide open spaces and remember fondly the open fields where we use to ride our dirt bikes and the the old trees where gleeful boys built forts and played Army or Daniel Boone, well....the site of a factory or shopping mall or any business ruins everything and makes one's eyeballs sore. "This Land is my land, this land is your land, from the New York Harbor to..." Imagine looking down at the South Fork of the American River to see the Southern exposure covered with solar panels or homes. Yuck! Imagine opening your new landscape calender of old rustic outhouses, one room schoolhouses or horse plowed farms only to see a factory or modern facility in the distant background of the endearing Little House on the Prairie pic. Abomination I tell ya. What a dreadful site that would be. I say let China build thousands upon thousands of acres of factories and build our toys. This is our land, and humans ruin everything. Keep America beautiful. No to all ground breaking, except organic farms (small of course). I am with you Keachie, I got your back. Some of us "do concern ourselves about the quality of life in our home country." Some of us remaining old school fellers do concern ourselves about defending that country.

George Rebane

billyT 214pm - beautiful scenes indeed. And what would we do here to pay for all the stuff we buy from those cheek-by-jowl factories in China?

s/ An Ol' School Feller

billy T

Dr. Rebane, I wish you would use the left side of your brain on occasion. Results do not matter, its how one feels that counts. Two plus two equals five cause I say so and if you do not agree, you must be a white racist smog loving water poisoning member of the vast right wing evangelist movement. The folks from The Little House on the Prairie grew there own food and ate only organic. They did not drive any gross polluters or ever purchased a shovel made in The People's Republic of Korea and would rather be buried alive than purchase an I-POD made in China. They cared for their neighbors and paid the parson in chickens. Doug is correct. Now it is only profits evil 1%ers care about. Who cares if factory is closed down here because they cannot compete in the evil capitalists markets and find themselves in bankruptcy court. A caring cooperation would sell all its assets and keep paying its union workforce indefinitely to maintain the middle class and the untrained workers' piece of the American Pie. Sometimes, Dr. Rebane, you are such a stick in the mud by pointing out those hard cold facts. Why do you always have to have your feet grounded and rooted in reality? Reality sucks. I prefer to soar into the fantasy land of how in a perfect world I would be paid for breathing air cause I am so very special. And paid a lot more for less work! After all, a boomerang is just a stick that does not come back. Fly free bird, fly. And quit confusing things with facts.

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