It is currently Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:15 pm

All times are UTC - 4 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: The Dumbing Of America
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:47 am 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:03 am
Posts: 1469
Location: Bible Belt, MS
Below is just a tiny clip from a fantastic article that I really encourage everyone to read. I must give Jaspar credit for my finding this, it was in his evening edition today.

The Dumbing Of America
Call Me a Snob, but Really, We're a Nation of Dunces

By Susan Jacoby
Sunday, February 17, 2008; B01

Quote:
That leads us to the third and final factor behind the new American dumbness: not lack of knowledge per se but arrogance about that lack of knowledge. The problem is not just the things we do not know (consider the one in five American adults who, according to the National Science Foundation, thinks the sun revolves around the Earth); it's the alarming number of Americans who have smugly concluded that they do not need to know such things in the first place. Call this anti-rationalism -- a syndrome that is particularly dangerous to our public institutions and discourse. Not knowing a foreign language or the location of an important country is a manifestation of ignorance; denying that such knowledge matters is pure anti-rationalism. The toxic brew of anti-rationalism and ignorance hurts discussions of U.S. public policy on topics from health care to taxation.

There is no quick cure for this epidemic of arrogant anti-rationalism and anti-intellectualism; rote efforts to raise standardized test scores by stuffing students with specific answers to specific questions on specific tests will not do the job. Moreover, the people who exemplify the problem are usually oblivious to it. ("Hardly anyone believes himself to be against thought and culture," Hofstadter noted.) It is past time for a serious national discussion about whether, as a nation, we truly value intellect and rationality. If this indeed turns out to be a "change election," the low level of discourse in a country with a mind taught to aim at low objects ought to be the first item on the change agenda.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 01_pf.html

_________________
You can sing the praises of women all day long, but as long as you put a fertilized egg ahead of [their] welfare, you do not really care about them.-Dori 4/07


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:32 am 
Offline
SuperMember!
SuperMember!
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:37 pm
Posts: 1646
Location: Denver
"The odds that my daughter will marry a blockhead are about 15 to 1."

Thomas Jefferson...roughly translated

Some things never change

_________________
"If the people allow private banks to control their currency the banks and corporations will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." - Thomas Jefferson


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:57 am 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:42 am
Posts: 2046
Location: Surprise, AZ USA
Purple Tang wrote:
Some things never change


Our founding fathers, the rich land/slave owning, white males, they were, were also the best educated and informed of their generation. While the system they put in place did everything it could to insure that other rich land/slave owning white males would be the office holders of the day, they did it because they felt ignorance was a rule among the general populace. They had so little trust in the general populace that President and Senators were purposely set up NOT to be direct elections from the people. The great middle class that we have had in the United States was a fairly recent, post WWII, occurrence. The education of the masses for other than "production" purposes is a progressive and radical idea. The regressives of the new right have always fought the idea of Federal education. A truly educated populace would never have had the number of "Reagan Democrats" voting against their own self-interest. When the NeoCon talks about education he talks about an education that involves making the average worker a better drone/cog in the business/Walmart model, where everyone works for the mega corporation for just enough salary to spend all their money at the mega corporations' stores. The arrogance of ignorance is praised as a virtue, for it keeps the sheeple in line. Education is the key to a true democracy and that is something the status quo will always fear, for a true democracy would result in real change. So maybe it isn't the dumbing of America but a continuation of the ignorance, even making it something to be proud of that is different.

_________________
I'm not a member of any organized party. I'm a Democrat.”-Will Rogers

A Proud Liberal...This Day in History...Namnesia Antidote


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:54 am 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 9:11 am
Posts: 5620
Location: western New York
Great thread!

If you want examples of what the article is about, read the comments page. Yup, Americans, at least a lot of them, are dumb and proud of it.

Quote:
There is no quick cure for the epidemic of arrogant anti-rationalism and anti-intellectualism that has infected America.
-
By Susan Jacoby


Comments link: Comments

_________________
Libertarianism

Libertarianism Makes You Stupid


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:08 am 
Offline
Site Admin
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 11:46 pm
Posts: 14444
Location: NC
THANKS FOR POSTING THE INFORMATION, LEFTY!

I just sent a copy of it to my daughter, who is a high school English teacher!

_________________
Image

"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:11 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 11:46 pm
Posts: 14444
Location: NC
[url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/20/education/20graduation.html?ei=5065&en=59d68494c9665a24&ex=1206676800&partner=MYWAY&pagewanted=print]States’ Data Obscure How Few Finish High School
[/url]

Bush's NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND allows for more lies to be told about high school dropouts! I hope someday the name BUSH replaces the name PINOCCHIO as synomous with LYING!

JACKSON, Miss. — When it comes to high school graduation rates, Mississippi keeps two sets of books.

One team of statisticians working at the state education headquarters here recently calculated the official graduation rate at a respectable 87 percent, which Mississippi reported to Washington. But in another office piled with computer printouts, a second team of number crunchers came up with a different rate: a more sobering 63 percent.

The state schools superintendent, Hank Bounds, says the lower rate is more accurate and uses it in a campaign to combat a dropout crisis.

“We were losing about 13,000 dropouts a year, but publishing reports that said we had graduation rate percentages in the mid-80s,” Mr. Bounds said. “Mathematically, that just doesn’t work out.”

Like Mississippi, many states use an inflated graduation rate for federal reporting requirements under the No Child Left Behind law and a different one at home. As a result, researchers say, federal figures obscure a dropout epidemic so severe that only about 70 percent of the one million American students who start ninth grade each year graduate four years later.

California, for example, sends to Washington an official graduation rate of 83 percent but reports an estimated 67 percent on a state Web site. Delaware reported 84 percent to the federal government but publicized four lower rates at home.

The multiple rates have many causes. Some states have long obscured their real numbers to avoid embarrassment. Others have only recently developed data-tracking systems that allow them to follow dropouts accurately.

The No Child law is also at fault. The law set ambitious goals, enforced through sanctions, to make every student proficient in math and reading. But it established no national school completion goals.

_________________
Image

"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:07 am 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:03 am
Posts: 1469
Location: Bible Belt, MS
Check this data out.

This is for my area (I live in Starkville, where we have the states largest public land grant university). Also, this data is from 2006, but has not improved. You can go here to see the school districts problems with graduation and their pathetic attempts at raising the rates.

Quote:
The Southern Regional Education Board's most recent high school graduation rate for states in the South is 71 percent. The national graduation rate is 75 percent.

The rates

These are the four-year graduation and dropout rates for school districts in and around the Golden Triangle. They're preliminary and await final adoption by the state Board of Education in January.

Columbus: Graduation - 63.6 percent; Dropout - 26.3 percent

Lowndes County: Graduation - 65.1 percent; Dropout - 24 percent

Starkville: Graduation - 58.2 percent; Dropout - 36.1 percent

Oktibbeha County: Graduation - 43.3 percent; Dropout - 32.7 percent

West Point: Graduation - 47.2 percent; Dropout - 41.8 percent

Noxubee County: Graduation - 57.3 percent; Dropout - 34.4 percent

Aberdeen: Graduation - 51.6 percent; Dropout - 32.5 percent

Amory: Graduation - 60.8 percent; Dropout - 28.4 percent

Monroe County: Graduation - 68.5 percent; Dropout - 21.9 percent


http://www.cdispatch.com/articles/2006/ ... tate01.txt

_________________
You can sing the praises of women all day long, but as long as you put a fertilized egg ahead of [their] welfare, you do not really care about them.-Dori 4/07


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Free iPhone with Every Outrage!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:52 am 
Offline
Site Admin
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 11:46 pm
Posts: 14444
Location: NC
This report isn't about education so much as it is a commentary on our society as a whole. What's wrong with a country like ours when we aren't outraged by so many things that are going on around us? What's wrong with a nation that allows its president and its representatives to carry on a disastrous and unnecessary war for over five years, with no end in sight? What's wrong with the American people when they care more about their ipods than they do about those flag-draped coffins coming home everyday? What's wrong with a nation's people who can't answer correctly the number of troops who have died in Iraq?

We've become a nation of STEPFORD DUMMIES
.


[url=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2008/03/28/notes032808.DTL&nl=fix]Free iPhone with Every Outrage!
Bored with the 'war' on Iraq? 4,000 dead merely induce shrugging? Need an incentive to keep caring?

[/url]

by Mark Morford

It is a time for a radical rethinking. It is a time to reconsider it all, to perhaps reassess how we are presenting and digesting America's most costly and lost and unwinnable and brutal and ignoble and inept and insidious and depressing war that's not really a war; it's time to revolutionize how it's all packaged and broadcast and pumped like hot sticky misery into the heavily narcotized American cultural bloodstream because, oh my God, we are sick sick sick of it all, and only getting sicker.

This is the problem: People are getting bored. Check that: People are already bored, insanely so, have been bored for a few years now, so utterly and thoroughly jaded and burned out on stories and pictures and woeful tales of Iraq and death and Baghdad and cluster bombs and burned-out trucks and limbless soldiers and flag-draped coffins and photos of a grinning George W. Bush posing with a horribly burned, mutilated U.S. soldier, it might as well be Lindsay Lohan snorting blow off the dashboard of an Escalade.

We have now accomplished 4,000 dead U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Did you see that headline? Did it cause anything but a stab of pain and a heavy sigh and a need to click a different headline, maybe the one about cute baby polar bears in Germany? Did you simply mash and mix that inglorious number with tales of wretched economic meltdown and torture and health care system collapse and roll it all into a little ball of sadness and hurl it at the wall of forgetfulness? You are not alone.

Yes, 4,000 dead soldiers was a miserable milestone indeed, one that doesn't even hint at the roughly 100,000 wounded and brain-damaged and clinically depressed U.S. soldiers and simply shrugs off the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians, a number which is probably far closer to 1 million but hey, they're just civilians and they were stupid enough to live in Iraq in the first place and therefore the military couldn't care less about them and besides, all those stats are just boring too, so who's counting?

Certainly not the media. Sure enough, war coverage has apparently dropped to less than a fifth of what it was even a year ago, as increasingly desperate, budget-strapped news organizations understand that everyone's exhausted by incessant death tolls and no one wants to read about suicide bombers or failed surges or Bush's staggering ineptitude anymore, even if John McCain is now wobbling around the nation trying to defend Bush's idiocy and rally the frothy, paranoid faithful by actually suggesting that what the world needs right now is not less war, not the U.S. out of Iraq, but rather the U.S. into everywhere else. 100 more years! 100 more years!


Image



BUSH POSING WITH A HORRIBLY BURNED US SOLDIER


PEOPLE ARE GETTING BORED

:protest: :protest: :protest: :angry7:

_________________
Image

"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:32 am 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 9:11 am
Posts: 5620
Location: western New York
Mark Morford is fantastic. Thank you Catherine for a wonderful addition to an already very important thread.

_________________
Libertarianism

Libertarianism Makes You Stupid


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Blue Moon by Trent © 2007
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group