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If a prize were awarded for the worst policy idea, one that would waste billions in some futile quest for the impossible, the indisputable winner would be uplifting the academic bottom by fixing their “bad schools.” It is a seductive idea that never seems to die despite repeated failures; it even seduces free-market conservatives infatuated with school choice remedies. What can possibly explain such stupidity?

Let’s start with the underlying “logic” of this doomed quest—the belief that low-IQ, academically unmotivated youngsters prone to classroom disorder attending schools disinclined to impose discipline can achieve reading and mathematical proficiency by tinkering with school environments. Moreover, that these troubled youngsters already attend well-financed schools with perfectly adequate facilities, small classes, state-certified teachers, ample pedagogical specialists and everything else that physically defines a “good school” is hardly acknowledged. Nor is there any past evidence that this fix-the-environment approach, everything from unscrewing chairs from the floor to cutting-edge technology, has ever moved the academic proficiency needle.

But hope springs eternal and the fantasy’s latest installment was President Obama’s $7 billion dollar failed School Improvement Grants Program whose aim, according to Arne Duncan Obama’s Secretary of Education from 2009 to 2016, was to “turn around” 1000 schools per year over five years (according to the DOE rhetoric, this initiative was to “…implement innovative, effective, ambitious, comprehensive, and locally driven strategies”). Alas, whether calibrated by test scores, graduation rates or college enrollment, nothing helped. And keep in mind that the multi-billion dollar nostrum has been around since the George W. Bush era though the Obama administration significantly increased funding.

How was this money spent? Conceivably, the extra money might have been spent on promoting stronger discipline or shipping trouble-makers to special schools, or, for the more therapeutically inclined, hiring more social workers to treat angry, violent students. What about cutting class size yet further to give teachers a fighting chance to deal with miscreants? Or just add yet more school police?

The answer is “none of the above” though spending details remain a mystery other than the states could distributing it to the poorest performing schools with individual schools, which received up to $2 million per years for three years. And what did Obama’s plan specifically ask for in exchange for this money? Each schools had four options: recruit a new principal, fire and replace half the teachers, convert the school into a charter school (publically funded but privately run), close the school entirely or undergo what the Department of Education (DOE) called a “transformation”—adopt fresh instructional strategies, design new teacher evaluations and have a longer school day. Tellingly, of all four options, a mere 3% elected to become charter schools, one percent closed their school entirely and half selected “transformation,” the one option requiring the least change.

Critically, the DOE did not trace how the money was spent other than what option of the four the under-performing school selected. Nor was there any consideration of whether these schools had students capable of improving academically. The millions arrived, the principal or half the teachers were fired, the teacher evaluation form modified, so end of story. That the new principal could have been a certified fool or the newly hired teachers semi-literates are never examined. By Washington’s definition, any of these four broadly defined decisions constitute “fixing a broken school.”

How is this multi-billion dollar, quite predictable disaster to be explained? Perhaps the kindest explanation is that it just reflects the usual technical ineptitude of professional educators. The telltale signs of such incompetence are everywhere though the report detailing the failure runs for over 400 pages and overflows with intimidating technical jargon. Why, for example, would just terminating the principal or reducing the teaching staff, per se, be causally related to improved student test scores absent specifying the intervening links? Indeed, it would need a miracle for any of these four highly general changes to have a non-random impact on learning. Going one step further, these four potentially causal factors—the independent variables in research parlance—seem to be chosen at random. There is no evidence that that these specified factors are, indeed, factors known to improve test scores. Nor are these hypothesized casual factors defined with sufficient precision so that variations in them can be separated—all curriculum modification, regardless of potentially vital details, are treated as if they were identical though, obviously variations must number in the hundreds. I suspect that these four factors were pulled out of thin air with zero attention to details like the proficiency of newly hired teachers vis-à-vis those they replaced. Hard to imagine the entire billion dollar enterprise surviving even cursory inspection at a decent graduate level course on research design (I’ve taught such courses and in my opinion this plan deserves an “F”).

Equally plausible is that these billions are just a dressed up pay-off to inner-city blacks (and Hispanics), especially in cities where blacks dominate politically with zero consequences for failure. After all, since past multi-billion dollar ameliorative efforts have failed, why would these educators now be held accountable to a higher standard? And the excuses already exist—poverty, racism, a too “white” curriculum, past racial segregation and on and on. Actually, failure may be rational since non-random positive results might invite (reasonable) suspicions of cheating and thus invite unwelcome scrutiny whereas failure goes unnoticed. (This is not Obama’s first hugely expensive fix-the-schools boondoggle. In 2011 Obama proposed spending some $25 billion for 35,000 schools needing new computers, science labs and similar bric-a-brac.)

It would be a snap to game the system. A principal at School A could be fired, and hired at School B while the one from School B is hired at School A, both with hefty salary increases. Just picture the feeding frenzy when newly enriched schools advertise for consultants to help them to tweak textbooks to make them more relevant to the lives of struggling inner-city kids?

ORDER IT NOW

Finally, there is a darker, more deceitful explanation for this stupidity, an explanation that also explains why so many conservatives buy into this fix-the-school mentality. To be blunt, the stress on “evil” inanimate objects crowds out any attempt to look at the kids themselves—their limited and non-reversible cognitive ability, their rejection of academics, their inability to control disruptive behavior and, for good measure, the total failure of black educators in black-dominated cities where schools are well-funded. In other words, defining education in terms of, say, the lack of laptops or the absence of school choice, sanitizes discussions of our education tribulations. Now, happily, everyone regardless of ideology can display “concern” and not fear being labeled a racist since biological differences never enter the discussion.

These fix-the-schools mentality will continue even under the Trump administration. Yet again, nobody will dare admit that stupid students are the source of the problem. I have personally have tried to re-focus the discussion on the students themselves, not their environment, with scant impact. The awkward reality of why desperately poor Vietnamese immigrants excel academically while native-born blacks fail is an unspeakable taboo. Government happily flushes billions down the toilet to sustain lies.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Political Correctness, Public Schools 
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  1. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:


    Bad Students, Not Bad Schools
    by Robert Weissberg
    Hardcover – 2010.
    Very important book.

    • Replies: @NoWeltschmerz
    , @Anonymous
  2. artichoke says:

    Correct and well stated. The main problem, for statistically well established reasons, is the ability of the students.

    Two questions:

    (1) What’s the best thing to do, in full awareness of the real problem? I think a different curriculum is needed, one targeted perhaps more to manual trades, not relying on development of abstract mathematical skills. The math issue will produce endless frustration with scant success for it — best avoided.

    (2) What is a politically feasible way of refocusing discussion? If you were Trump, or some other politician in a different role, who wanted to do this without just dooming yourself and your party, how would you do it? I have no answer to this. I think the topic is so poisonous it cannot be discussed. If right solutions are identified and implemented, they will have to be framed differently for public consumption.

  3. My mother taught in a one-room country school in rural Iowa in the 1940s, not all that different from the school in which my grandmother taught in 1918-1920: kindergarten through 8th grade in one toom, one stove to heat it, blackboard in front, student benches with the teacher’s desk in front. These children got a good education, but they were educable. Mom and Grandma were the first to admit that the raw material with which they had to work was fundamentally good.

  4. Critically, the DOE did not trace how the money was spent

    That’s called noticing. What are you, racist?

    Every city in America has examples of education dollars being used as a slush fund for high-living administrators of diversity. Only once in a great while does it make the news, as in Atlanta and Washington.

    These wasted billions need to be accounted for on the ‘reparations’ ledger.

    • Replies: @markflag
  5. Langley says:

    Back in Chicago as a community organizer Obama began his career administering the Pew charitable trusts billions of dollars in Chicago public school system. Money was directed by Obama to Bill Ayers and other former weatherman. After spending billions to improve schools they then spent millions to assess any progress. They found none .

    • Replies: @Gene Su
  6. The New York Times once again bemoans this “problem” in a lengthy piece:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/24/nyregion/harlem-schools-are-left-to-fail-as-those-not-far-away-thrive.html
    The first four paragraphs tell the whole story, but the “reporter” can’t leave it there – instead devoting the rest of her article to an attempt to warp reality to fit the Narrative.

  7. Realist says:

    Some groups are smarter than other groups….how profound.

  8. Before Washington took over public education for it’s cowardly forced integration the system was performing well even acknowledging that separate, in practice, was not equal. The very best thing that could happen for education in the U.S. would be the removal of Washington as a player. Anything the States did would be an improvement.

  9. The kids are in school, not by choice, but because of legal penalties for not attending. Compulsory education has historically cited preparation for future employment and competent educated consumerism as primary goals. We now have a generation of urban and rural kids who are cognizant of the fact that there is no worthwhile job awaiting them when schooling is over. Odds are, many of their parents went through the same convoluted process and have never had a real job either. Is not compulsory education without genuine hope for the future illusory and problematical?
    https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2017/01/25/our-lcd-nation-or/

    • Replies: @Gene Su
  10. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Whoever chose the “titular picture” has got what the gist of education’s predicament is.

    Where I (and for example Fred Reed) and many others (including Weissberg) differ starkly is: we see women has a part of the problem. Like the now old used to say, they make for excellent kindergarten, primary school, and in part secondary school teachers: from there onwards they should be the exception that proves the rule, not vice versa.

    Lifting the bottom by more funding and so on: this is a miser ideological policy (assuming there ever were non-miser ideological policies).
    Basically, and very “sociobiologically”, the élite want to spend themselves for the “uplifting” of “the bottom” because it helps their own safety, and their own construction of their self-image as enlightened, in people.

    Academically just like economically, the middlle and upper-middle class are what has been ignored, when not actively damaged: why? Because the prospect that they could get seriously angry is much less a cause for worry than if “the bottom” does, and because their number is not large.
    Let’s not forget all these matters of policy are, approximately, zero-sum: you help a side, you damage the other.

    People in the 110-130 IQ range are deserted by the whole education system, and there’s no many jobs for them too.

  11. I have personally have tried to re-focus the discussion on the students themselves, not their environment, with scant impact.

    Well, welcome to the “re-focus” club. Sisyphus and Cassandra welcome you.

    BTW, you may want to consider focusing on why schools exist at all.

    (Hint: It ain’t about the kidz, and even the likes of George Carlin had a good answer.)

    • Replies: @NoWeltschmerz
  12. Agent76 says:

    Jan 23, 2017 Why Good Teachers Want School Choice

    Can every child receive a good education? With school choice and competition, yes. The problem? Powerful teachers unions oppose school choice. Rebecca Friedrichs, a public school teacher who took her case against the teachers union all the way to the Supreme Court, explains why school choice is the right choice.

  13. Gene Su says:
    @Langley

    Oh… there was progress alright. The massive block of inner-city African Americans will no longer think for themselves and blindly support the Democratic party and its leaders.

  14. Gene Su says:
    @Robert Magill

    Public schools were never meant to educate. Read John Taylor Gatto’s Underground History of American Education. The Federal government took over the schooling system in every local district in order to turn them into facilities of social control.

  15. Gene Su says:

    I really am becoming suspicious of racialist – IQ – educational theorists like Robert Weissburg and Charles Murray. John Taylor Gatto believed IQ theory was a whole bunch of hooey. He argued that the motivation behind the writing of the Bell Curve was to allow the current public education sham to continue while marginalizing blacks and ensuring they learned nothing useful. Public schools are a very profitable boondoggle – maybe for white bureaucrats more so than blacks. I agree with many of the points in this essay – namely that we should just get rid of public schools – but I don’t think Dr. Weissburg really means what he writes. I think he want to maintain the public schools while consigning Negros to the bottom of the social-education ladder.

  16. Ivy says:

    There are likely material differences in educational approaches around the country that have been either hidden, ignored or under-reported. For example, it would be instructive to see a comparison between, say, public schools, charter schools, religious schools and prep schools, for example. That comparison could cover such topics as inclusion or exclusion of academic and non-academic topics, presence or absence of art, music, PE, foreign languages, advanced math, etc.

    My initial assumption is that the high end schools spend a greater percentage of the school day on academics and are not burdened with as much social engineering.

    If anyone has suggested resources to find out more about that I’d be quite interested.

  17. wow says:

    I teach senior physics at a high school in Canada….20% of the school is black. There are zero black kids in senior physics, occasionally maybe one….mixed race. The class is filled with high achieving Indian, Chinese, Korean and White students…..always! All started at the school in grade 9 with equal footing….the blacks can’t do the work, many won’t do the work, many are too busy acting like asssholes to succeed in an academic environment. These aren’t poor blacks either….of course most have no father.

    • Replies: @Delinquent Snail
  18. Bad schools won’t die because the Goddamn teachers’ unions–plus the political hacks who pander to them–won’t let them.

  19. @Gene Su

    Debates about causality remind me of the “six blind men and the elephant.”

    There are various factors operating:

    1. genetic endowment of the individual
    2. early childhood home environment– not just intellectual but “how to control your attention, how to sit still and follow directions”
    3. social norms
    4. parental expectations
    5. teacher expectations and teacher behavior
    6. trauma and stress, environmental factors (perhaps lead)
    7. peer influences
    8. classroom discipline and time on task; curricula
    9. Student drive and disciplined pursuit of goals (Basketball? Space Camp? Rap Star?)

    Not to be under-estimated is poor reading proficiency.

    (I especially like Diane McGuiness’ book _Why our children can’t read_ which documents that learning to read English well is non-trivial)

    Also not to be underestimated is issues of “locus of control” and whose responsibility it is to ensure that school children become educated. Is it the parents responsibility? The teachers? The administrators?

  20. @jacques sheete

    Yes, a washed-up, unfunny, drug-using leftover from the sixties has the answer: it’s business. Businesses created schools to keep students dumb so that they would have a pool of dumb prospects to work for them, or something. The point is that “the man” is keeping me down. The answer is communism and government control of the schools which are now run by…well, don’t ask questions. The point is businesses are taking land because they are have complete military and police authority. Come to think of it, it’s only the government who can force you to give up your land, but that’s not the point.

    The actual point here is that your comment demonstrates you may be just as brain dead as George Carlin now is. Please seek help.

    • Troll: jacques sheete
  21. markflag says:
    @Kyle McKenna

    The head of the teacher’s union in D.C. back around 2001 or 2002 was a totally amoral broad who skimmed huge amounts of money to spend on the usual needs: clothes, jewelry, and vacations. Happily she did prison time.

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
  22. markflag says:

    The devastating assumption is that every child can and should attend college. A lot of the kids in college today do not belong there and will either not finish or benefit minimally as a result of a soft curriculum or a major that has no bearing on the world.

    It would be good if kids were competent at arithmetic and basic math skills rather than forcing calculus on them. Ever watch a kid try to make change when the cash register computer isn’t working?

    Trade schools teaching employable skills. Or apprentice programs. A kid who apprenticed to a shoemaker could make an excellent living in any city given the dearth of shoemakers. Hell, just specializing in women’s heels would be a financial windfall. But no, little Johnny must go to college even though he has neither the talent nor the desire to do so. That sucks up space and services that bright kids could use.

    Schools have stopped the track system in which over achievers were kept together, and then slightly less talented, all the way down to those who were either going to drop out, flunk out, or live a life of under to no accomplishment.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  23. Walter Williams’ column from 18 years ago is still worth reading.

    Model One:

    Educational Outcomes = HomeEnvironment + School Environment

    note the PLUS SIGN

    Compare to

    ModelTwo:

    Educational Outcomes = HomeEnvironment * School Environment

    note the star for MULTIPLICATION SIGN

    = – = – =

    If it’s ModelTwo, putting more resources into SchoolEnvironment will not accomplish much, Because for some kids, HomeEnvironment is close to zero.

    Zero multiplied by school environment = zero. No matter how good the school environment is.

    Column here:

    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams072998.html

  24. “Yet again, nobody will dare admit that stupid students are the source of the problem. I have personally have tried to re-focus the discussion on the students themselves, not their environment, with scant impact”

    This is a topic that few will touch.It’s as if many people believe that we are born equal in ability above our necks and born unequal in ability below our necks.Our Propaganda Matrix does not allow for this discussion.

  25. I hate the one size fits all philosophies inherent in these educational debates. It’s not the environment, it’s the kids, so says the expert author. An army of educational experts on one side of the argument, and another army of educational experts on the other side of the argument. Blah, blah, blah…All fighting over the big pile of money, and the kids being used as grist for the mill. The fate of the kids determined by who wins the faulty dialectic in the eyes of the clueless politicians and bureaucrats.

    My father was educated in a one room schoolhouse out of the lumber camps of Pennsylvania during the great depression. Hardly an ideal environment, in the eyes of these so called educational experts. And yet he emerged as a civil engineer and successful small business owner, who not only succeeded financially, but positively affected the surrounding environment by training many of the next generation of civil engineers in his community.

    As long as these so called experts and policy makers continue to define the environment in terms of products and services the federal government can throw big piles of money at, corruption will continue to reign over the educational system. What made my father’s one room school system work was that its lack of wealth prevented the professional class of pedagogical dreamers and con artists, with their psychological claptrap, from emerging to game the system and stake their claim to its immense wealth and power. The educators of that day stuck to the hard work of educating, without the meddling of a distant group of experts and their experimental pedagogical theories turned into policy to distract them from their mission.

    • Agree: jacques sheete
  26. @Anonymous

    Why is this book so expensive? Even a used copy on Amazon is over $30 and most of the ones in this price range are only in “Good” condition. I live in a city with one of the best public library systems in the country and they don’t have a copy available.

    I’ve watched the price of this book for several years and it hasn’t really budged. Eschewing conspiracy theories, is there an economic reason for this such as small print runs causing the available supply to be less than the demand?

    I’m not poor, but it’s hard to justify spending so much on a new or used version of this book. I’m a bibliophile and I hope to come across a more affordable copy in a used book shop (yes, they still exist!) at some point, although I would like Professor Weissberg to profit from his efforts and courage. More importantly, I would like the message he conveys to be more widely disseminated. Nevertheless, these posts are appreciated and might even help those with an open mind.

    • Replies: @PV van der Byl
    , @Anonymous
  27. @Gene Su

    It’s like that old adage that Einstein and von Neumann used to repeat “suspicion and theories not support by data are more important than what rigorous and repeated research demonstrates.” Since you apparently have the ability to read people’s minds and their “true” motives, guess what I think about your comment?

    • Replies: @Gene Su
  28. Gene Su says:
    @NoWeltschmerz

    I don’t care what you or anyone thinks but I’m quite interested in what Dr. Weissberg, Mr. Derbyshire, or Mr. Sailer has to say. Every time I read one of their columns on blacks and shcooling, I get the feeling that they are trying to push some ulterior agenda that is anti-libertarian and quite dangerous for the country.

    • Replies: @NoWeltschmerz
    , @Jake
    , @MarkinLA
  29. Wally says:
    @Gene Su

    So how is this scam more profitable for white bureaucrats than black or brown bureaucrats?

    Negros consign themselves to the bottom and should be happy that schools are just more welfare under a different name.

    IQ / genetics matter. Just look around at the world for proof. No need to naval gaze about what’s obvious

    • Replies: @Anon
  30. edNels says:

    The school system, public compulsory in particular, (the rich have their special schools), and like in above comments: that’s a club… and we ain’t in it!.
    and like in another above comment: John Taylor Gatto lines it out in his books, IE: Dumbing Us Down, wherein he traced the origins of compulsory elementary school to the Prussians, and that the conscious purpose was to produce a manageable population, not a overly educated one!

    Now not citing anyone in particular, my view is that the school system now, all the way through Ivy leagues is a gigantic Spoils system.

    Spoils for failed over educated past students perfunctorily of course ,But more, it is a real good gig for sinecure feather beading of the early retired well connected, but too, the big colleges/Universities are hedge funds, did you know that? Cash cows, pullin’ in huge grants and gifts from doofus rich dowagers and etc.

    The kids, what about the …. children…??? Well ya wouldn’t like it much if we just turned ’em all a loose in the neighborhood to go wild.

    Nowadays the brats are likely to go to ”colleege” well into their 30’s and on, never get any job either, might wind up on the dole for real, Medicaid, special needs section 8, never work a day, the plans haven’t been to clear what the purpose for all that… huge number of degreed this and that will be.

    But, the kids need to be occupied and that is for real, and the need to pay off them who ”feel they deserve” a spot, or a place at the table, after they have done service to the system, they need professorships, and chancellorships, and… wouldn’t want to spoil it.

    Who’d they put in charge of the cite of Free Speech of the ’60’sBerserkeley but the past Homeland csar… how about that one up at Davis out of Greece! who ordered pepper spray on the sitting protesters, how about the school superintents across the land who pay honorariums to each other in turn for speeches, while little dedicated teachers donate their meager pay to buy their students materials, (finger paints, paper… etc.)
    How about them genius’s who came up with New Math, to bamboozel a generation?

    • Replies: @David Davenport
  31. @Gene Su

    Have you ever been a teacher at a school full of black students? I doubt it.

    Respectfully, you are quite full of nonsense.

    Everything Weissburg writes about this subject is correct and based on experience. I have been recommending his book for years now. It could form the basis of the only possible repair of what is wrong, but no one of consequence will follow it.

    Your attempt to turn this around against the truth tellers is offensive, but your subtle hint of an argument is just the same one that’s been used for half a century to obscure unavoidable facts.

    Don’t worry, the delusions and false givens that form the foundations of all failed education policies will continue. I see no signs that anyone in power will stray from your faith.

    • Replies: @Ris_Eruwaedhiel
  32. @Gene Su

    Your first sentence is contradictory. Your second sentence contains the word feelings. Always with the feelings. Feelings is a bad song and a bad way to form opinions. Quit assuming you know what people actually mean and ponder what they say and write.

    Again, no one is suggesting that IQ is the sole explanatory factor in academic performance. What the data repeatedly suggests is that IQ is a significant contributor and that it is at least partially heritable. This means that the problem of bad students is not entirely amenable to remedies based upon educational pedagogy and every increasing outlays of tax dollars. There may be no “easy” answers, but that hardly disproves the existence or importance of IQ.

    What any off this has to do with being anti-libertarian is yet another non-sequitur. Even if I assumed that libertarianism was the answer, it doesn’t work in a welfare state and only leads to deleterious outcomes that most harm the very people that you claim to have such concern for. Get rid of the entire welfare edifice (yes, including those that benefit big business) and then come talk to me about legalizing whores and heroin.

    We already know that you don’t care what anyone thinks (unless they agree with you). That point is apparent in nearly every unscientific comment you make. So, just keep responding to me with your drivel and telling me that you don’t care what I and others think. I have a “feeling” that you do.

    • Replies: @Gene Su
  33. @markflag

    Apparently it did not make through to the national media, of course because of the “Racist” implications, but just recently fourteen high school principles in Detroit were charged with accepting bribes in the thousands from a school supply company.
    Look the basic problem with the US edumacation system is composed of two elements : Corruption and Marxism : Corrupt grifters otherwise known as : “Teachers” and “Professors who are “Marxist” lunatics and are pushing out thousands of brain-washed kids with a passionate hatred for America and capitalism ( Yeah I know capitalism is loaded with flaws ) into society yearly and this is tearing down the fabric of nation, with DT being the last chance, if these abberations are not finally handled.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.

  34. Jake says:

    This article should be read by everyone who wants to talk about problems with education.

  35. Jake says:
    @Gene Su

    “Public schools are a very profitable boondoggle – maybe for white bureaucrats more so than blacks.”

    The best thing that can be said for you is that you are ignorant of the black Professional Education crowd in black majority cities. They are as corrupt, and self-righteously vicious, as any dictator in Haiti or Zimbabwe or Sierra Leone or Liberia, etc.

  36. Jake says:
    @Gene Su

    Perhaps that is because you are pushing an agenda to avoid the truths about what black people actually do in the real world, over and over, in all nations and continents across the globe.

  37. @artichoke

    The Academic Left can’t handle the implications which emerge from the proposition that many if not most of these urchins are intellectually incapable of sustaining themselves in a post-industrial, information-based society, except on a rudimentary level. For them to do so would be an admission that a certain segment of the population is for all intents and purposes redundant and perpetually dependent upon the rest of society for their very survival. What to do?

  38. @wow

    Its almost like black culture is the problem. But thats racist.

  39. The actual point here is that your comment demonstrates you may be just as brain dead as George Carlin now is. Please seek help.

    Don’t worry about my “brain-dead-nees.” Worry about your own.

    If you have anything to contribute to the discussion, then try to do better than offer simple minded personal attacks. I guess it must hurt that Carlin , despite his faults, was more cogent than you’ll ever be.

    What, specifically is your butt hurt with his take on it?

    FYI, John Taylor Gatto and many others would have no doubt agreed. Gatto? A punk and nobody, right?

    “We don’t need state-certified teachers to make education happen — that probably guarantees it won’t.”

    -John Taylor Gatto, The Underground History of American Public Education, Prologue

    Nock, too. But forget him. He was a dyscolic curmudgeon.

    American education is notoriously not aimed at the cultivation of thought. Strictly speaking, it is not education, but training. It does a great deal for the “average student”, for the motorminded, for the incompetent, for the person who shows promise of being able to “do” something; but for the person who shows promise of some day being able to think, it does simply nothing.

    -Albert Jay Nock, The Difficulty of Thinking, The American Mercury, November 1937, pp. 358-363
    http://www.unz.org/Pub/AmMercury-1924apr-00504

    Mencken and Sinclair also. Yeah, what did they know?

    “The theory behind the public schools, which cost the taxpayers hundreds of millions every year, is that they manufacture hordes of enlightened and incorruptible voters, and so safeguard and mellow democracy. The fact is that they are mainly manned by half-wits and bossed by shysters, and that their actual tendency is to reduce all their pupils to the level of Kiwanis.”

    -H.L. Mencken reviews “The Goslings,” by Upton Sinclair , The Little Red Schoolhouse, In The American Mercury, April 1924, p. 504

    http://www.unz.org/Pub/AmMercury-1924apr-00504

    Benjamin Franklin attended school for two years, and his schooling ended when he was ten. But who cares? He was a womanizer.

    “…I reflected in my Mind on the extreme Folly of those Parents, who, blind to their Childrens Dullness, and insensible of the Solidity of their Skulls, because they think their Purses can afford it, will need send them to the Temple of Learning, where, for want of a suitable Genius, they learn little more than how to carry themselves handsomely, and enter a Room genteely, (which might as well be acquir’d at a Dancing-School,) and from whence they return, after Abundance of Trouble and Charge, as great Blockheads as ever, only more proud and self-conceited.

    …[and] he, without much Study, presently interpreted it, assuring me, That it was a lively Representation of Harvard College, Etcetera. I remain, Sir, Your Humble Servant,

    Silence Dogood, (No. 4)

    Printed in The New-England Courant, May 14, 1722.

  40. @NoWeltschmerz

    The answer is communism and government control of the schools which are now run by…well, don’t ask questions.

    Typical answer from an unthinking, clueless product of mass schooling. ROFL.

    Guess what owns and controls gubbermint? Guess who/what funded the Bolshies?

    • Replies: @NoWeltschmerz
  41. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Wally

    Negros consign themselves to the bottom and should be happy that schools are just more welfare under a different name.

    Why would any group not look out for its own interest? What you’re saying doesn’t make any sense. Even if you believe they have lower IQs, why punish them for something over which they have no control?

  42. The best public system ever devised existed in the Soviet Union with programs set similar for all form the early age down to graduation. The scope and intensity was such that soviet schoolchildren would get more that Western counterparts in mere 10 years with last years in math being on the level Western counterparts would only take in high education institutions. Now, it was obviously important for teachers to try and help everyone succeed but ultimately it was up to students to study and try hard.
    Studying in Soviet Central Asian republic, Uzbekistan, I did not fail to notice that despite great investment of time and effort aboriginals failed to achieve same level of excellence as non aboriginal students both at school and at higher education institutions. There however was no movement to change anything in school and university programs to allow the bottom rise. instead those were the best performing students that were encouraged via better student stipendiums/ monthly allowance paid by the state to students.
    Better assignments after graduation also were available in most cases to the best students with only exceptions being some students with connections, but connections could take only that far…

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    , @Jake
  43. @Sergey Krieger

    It’s interesting to hear from a person with such backgrounds such as yours.

    I would be interested in your comments about the word, “образованщина” and what it implies.

    Thanks!

  44. @NoWeltschmerz

    I would hope that there would be $14.95 Kindle version available as well.

  45. “образованщина” I personally have not seen this word in use. Russian construct expression that has some derogatory meaning toward Образование-Education. I have never read or seen it in use to know what it’s implied meaning in the context. Context in which this expression was used would be helpful.
    The only thing I am sure of is that it is derogatory.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  46. @Sergey Krieger

    Thank you.

    Apparently the term was invented by Solzhenitsyn and was used in a derogatory sense to describe members of the pseudo intellectual clique who had no principals whatsoever. It interests me because most of what we have here in the schooling rackets is a bunch of quacks as well. It would be interesting to know more about it, but I cannot find the essay he wrote using the term.

  47. MarkinLA says:
    @Gene Su

    Nobody ever said IQ was everything. However, it is very important. So is diligence and patience. IQ is like force. It represents how fast you can learn. There are different aspects to IQ. Some people are more verbal like lawyers who can twist words into convoluted mental mazes while others have better spatial recognition and mathematically oriented skills.

    Even if you can’t learn as fast as somebody else, you can always spend more time and effort learning than him. This is where the other factors come in. You often hear that Asians tend to be grinders who spend way too much time studying.

    I think most people who comment about this seem to think that blacks fare rather poorly on almost all the aspects necessary for academic success, not just IQ.

    This is just academic success. There are other types of success in life such as financial success and there are even more traits than IQ that can determine how successful you are. A building contractor who is conscientious toward his customer’s wishes and has good people skills can be very successful at landing contracts and building his company. If he does good work at a reasonable price he can build a good business.

    • Replies: @Gene Su
  48. MarkinLA says:
    @markflag

    Once schools became integrated that method soon became politically incorrect. The “smart” classes didn’t look at all like the “dumb” classes.

  49. MarkinLA says:
    @Gene Su

    Every time I read one of their columns on blacks and shcooling, I get the feeling that they are trying to push some ulterior agenda that is anti-libertarian and quite dangerous for the country.

    ????? What has libertarianism got to do with it? As for dangerous, what is more dangerous, admitting that some students are just plain dumb or spending trillions in a futile effort to get those same dummies college degrees that have no value?

  50. @jacques sheete

    You my friend are an uncomprehending idiot. You don’t know me because if you did you wouldn’t say I am a product of mass schooling, whatever that is. I’m not a product of public schools. Your quotes have precisely nothing to do with the article or my comment. I’ll spell it out in terms even you can understand.

    1) Carlin, even at his peak, wasn’t funny (see his “hippy, dippy weatherman’ routine) or insightful. Your video doesn’t “contribute” to the discussion. At least you are not blaming the Jews….yet

    2) Yes, public schools aren’t terribly good at educating everybody, but the point of the article isn’t that they are. The point is that there are other factors as well and, even if things worked optimally, there will still be children left behind through no fault of the schools.

    3) Yes, business has some influence in schools and government in general. So do unions, bureaucrats, politicians, ethnic groups and others. What of it? Is business really the primary reason the schools and government don’t function?

    I don’t believe government has a role in education and in no way did I imply otherwise, so I’m still waiting to hear your point. I’m actually not waiting because I have no doubt you’re one of the degree-less simpletons who try to spin their own lack of academic accomplishment into a purposeful maneuver to avoid becoming one of the “sheeple” instead of a median intellect with a penchant for Googled quotes and prole phrases like “butt-hurt” and ROFL.

  51. Anonymous [AKA "The end of western dominance"] says:
    @Anonymous

    What is really true is that white American society does not want to see black people succeed. They aren’t just afraid that African Americans will be equal intellectually, they are afraid they will be better.

    Haiti is a good example of the world’s rasict and oppressive attitude towards people of African heritage. Haiti had to pay reparations to slave owners for them losing their property. Why is it that those Haitians could not sue the French for taking them as slaves? This is because blacks do not have protection under the law. Laws have been made which are another instrument in their oppression. The Haitian government was also sanctioned and boycotted by every European nation as well as the U.S. And, the U.S. overthrew the democratically elected government of Haiti twice and installed corrupt dictators.

    In time, western supremacy over the world will end as China and India continue to rise. When Africa does, the world will begin to benefit from its rich cultural heritage and the inimitable creativity of its people.

  52. Jake says:
    @Sergey Krieger

    “Studying in Soviet Central Asian republic, Uzbekistan, I did not fail to notice that despite great investment of time and effort aboriginals failed to achieve same level of excellence as non aboriginal students both at school and at higher education institutions. There however was no movement to change anything in school and university programs to allow the bottom rise. instead those were the best performing students that were encouraged via better student stipendiums/ monthly allowance paid by the state to students.”

    That is a key reason that Russia after the collapse of the USSR and the subsequent raping of the national economy by the preponderantly Jewish oligarchs has been able to recover, while tyhe US keeps heading ever downward in education.

    If we coached sports as we manage education, we would such at sports, because our education is increasingly about little more than PC and artificially making it seem like all groups are roughly equal, and when they aren;t it is Whitey who caused it and must pay for nit.

    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
  53. Gene Su says:
    @NoWeltschmerz

    If I sounded rude a little before, I apologize but that was a bit intentional.

    I’m not going to pussy foot around anymore. My original intention was not to convince anyone of my position (much less insist on my point) but to reach out to several of the authors on the Unz review. I’m going to say what I said before.

    I agree that we should get rid of the public schools 100%. I don’t want government – local, state, and especially not federal – to be involved in my child’s education. I don’t even want the government to provide funding for charter schools or vouchers.

    My concern is that I sometimes get the impression from reading some of the articles on this site is that there is an ulterior motive involved. I never really trusted racialist publications like AmRen. So now I’ll post a general question to the writers from Amren and VDare: What exactly do you intend to do with underclass blacks? I have a funny feeling that some of the people here are not thinking things through with regards to them. Blacks won’t, for all their ranting, pack their bags and leave for Africa.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  54. @edNels

    Why is this book so expensive? Even a used copy on Amazon is over $30 and most of the ones in this price range are only in “Good” condition. I live in a city with one of the best public library systems in the country and they don’t have a copy available. …

    Mr. edNels:

    Don’t get too stoned before posting at unz.com.

    • Replies: @edNels
  55. Gene Su says:
    @MarkinLA

    Note that I am not trying to argue that if public schools were dismantled that the mental faculties and academic performance of blacks would rise. I do believe that would happen to a limited extent – although that may be overly optimistic. I also never said that there was zero intelligence gap between blacks and whites. I just don’t think it is as significant as racialists play it out to be. All I am arguing is that if public schools are partially (but significantly) responsible for dumbing down blacks and that if that factor was removed the problem of the black underclass would no longer be amplified.

  56. edNels says:
    @David Davenport

    Not stoned David, but that quote isn’t mine either.

  57. I worked as a English teacher in the EU.
    The “Sight Word” reading programs and ones like it are F-ing up the children’s ability to read.
    The truth of the matter is really shocking and cruel when you see what they are doing to the children.
    But don’t take my word for it; do the viewing for your self.
    Bruce Dietrick Price has a Youtube channel.

  58. @NoWeltschmerz

    You my friend are an uncomprehending idiot.

    And you are a fool and a dizzard with very weak arguments ( not arguments; fallacies, actually)who seems to enjoy venting its spleen in a particularly puerile, ineffectual and flailing manner. Initiating personal attacks and employing Bulverism are not signs of either high learning or high intellect.

    You don’t know me because if you did you wouldn’t say I am a product of mass schooling, whatever that is. I’m not a product of public schools.

    And neither do you know JS or you wouldn’t make sappy butt-schmerz statements such as, “I have no doubt you’re one of the degree-less simpletons who try to spin their own lack of academic accomplishment…” FYI, I never claimed that you were a product of mass schooling; just that you express yourself like one. Your daddy’s money was evidently poorly spent. I hope the parties were fun.

    Your quotes have precisely nothing to do with the article or my comment.

    Then why are you bothering to respond?

    I’ll spell it out in terms even you can understand.
    1) Carlin, even at his peak, wasn’t funny (see his “hippy, dippy weatherman’ routine) or insightful.

    I never presented him as funny, so what does that have to do with it? If yer claiming that his view lacks validity or even insight, then try to prove or at least substantiate your claim.

    Your video doesn’t “contribute” to the discussion.

    Why not?

    At least you are not blaming the Jews….yet

    You sound hysterical. That’s about as irrelevant as it gets.

    2) Yes, public schools aren’t terribly good at educating everybody, but the point of the article isn’t that they are. The point is that there are other factors as well and, even if things worked optimally, there will still be children left behind through no fault of the schools.

    Well, I’ve tried to make the point that the biggest problem is the concept of mass government schooling. The point of the article as you stated it warrants a great big, “Duh!”

    3) Yes, business has some influence in schools and government in general. So do unions, bureaucrats, politicians, ethnic groups and others. What of it?

    What of it? I claim they are a huge part of the problem.

    Is business really the primary reason the schools and government don’t function?

    Did I say that? And If you’d care to read Sinclair’s, “The Gosling” and “The Goosestep” or even listen to Carlin’s claims, you’d probably learn something, though I doubt it.

    I don’t believe government has a role in education and in no way did I imply otherwise, so I’m still waiting to hear your point.

    Another false argument. A red herring, in fact. Perhaps you should try arguing from reason rather than hysteria.

    I’m actually not waiting because I have no doubt you’re one of the degree-less simpletons who try to spin their own lack of academic accomplishment into a purposeful maneuver to avoid becoming one of the “sheeple” instead of a median intellect with a penchant for Googled quotes and prole phrases like “butt-hurt” and ROFL.

    What do you have against Googled quotes? Do you really think you’re providing valid arguments? And I readily admit I’m a prole. What does that have to do with it? So yer attempting to argue that a simpleton with a degree (such as yourself) is somehow superior to one without? That’s neither logical nor rational. However, you are comical.

    Butt-schmerz it is. Have a nice day now, and remember, even if you went to private schools, you still present yourself as uneducated and ignorant as you are petulant. Here’s part of the reason, no doubt.:

    [Annually] our university heads as a rule pray only for the greatest possible number of freshmen to squeeze money from, and do not care whether they are educated or not, provided they are sleek, well groomed, and good-looking, and in one word, men of means.
    Philosophasters innocent of the arts become Masters of Arts, and those are made wise by order who are endowed with no wisdom, and have no qualifications for a degree save a desire for it.
    Theologasters, if they can but pay, have enough learning and to spare, and proceed to the very highest degrees. Hence it comes that such a pack of vile buffoons, ignoramuses wandering in the twilight of learning, ghosts of clergymen, itinerant quacks, dolts, clods, asses, mere cattle …

    – Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholoy (1621), Part 1,Sect.2, Mem.3. Subs 15. Pg. 201 Burton

  59. @Anonymous

    What is really true is that white American society does not want to see black people succeed.

    True. In fact, a huge problem is that the self anointed “elite” do not want anyone to succeed but themselves. They never miss a chance to piss all over their imagined inferiors, white, black, red or brown.

    You can see how Butt-schmerz expresses itself in the comments above.

    Also, I’m glad you mentioned Haiti. Most Americans that I’ve had contact with sneer at Haitians yet have no idea and even less sensitivity about the true situation and its origins.

  60. @jacques sheete

    I see. I have never read him and not planning to but I can invent similar derogatory term as well 😉
    Солженицынщина.

    I found it for you. It is called “Образованщина”.

    http://www.lib.ru/PROZA/SOLZHENICYN/obrazovan.txt

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  61. @Jake

    Central Asian republics safe Kazakhstan were always major drain on treasure and conscripts from there used to be along with folks from Caucasus destabilizing factor in Soviet army.
    So, no hard feelings here. It is a good riddance quite frankly.
    The difference was that those who were doing not well at school were not causing much concern actually. If one could not perform at school to later go into higher education, after 8th grade there was option to leave school for PTU/ professional school where various industrial workers occupations were studied to fill factory, plants and so forth vacancies. The key was that everybody was getting same solid basic education. Even fools were becoming at least proficiency to later perform some jobs that did not require higher intelligence.

  62. @Buzz Mohawk

    A close friend of mine taught in an all-Black middle school in Akron. She admitted to me that most of the students’ life plans involved collecting welfare or joining gangs. Ten-to-fifteen percent of the girls were pregnant at any time. Ohio originally provided five years of welfare per child, then reduced it to three years, thinking that that would discourage baby-breeding for welfare. It didn’t – the women just spawned babies every three years, instead. She left that job and went on to work with first and second graders. She said that at that age, they were still sweet. Signs of likely future criminality occurred in the fourth grade, though she knew of a second grader who threatened his fellow students with a razor blade. She said that he would probably be in jail before he was old enough to attend high school.

    Of course, my friend and her fellow teachers are to blame for the students’ failures, right? Psst!

  63. @Gene Su

    I agree with the comments that school can do tremendous harm. When I was nine, I was the ‘smartest student my 4th grade teacher had ever encountered.’ By 14, I was a daily dope smoker. I was ready at an early age to go to work, I could communicate with adults, and was rather mature. Then I was accepted to an public ‘exam’ school in a big city and met the scariest, toughest kids I’d ever encountered. I did lots of dumb things for Street cred and I screwed myself. These were people that the system should have protected me from. It would have been better for me to have started working at 13 like my father had done, in the mail room and learned how to run a business.

  64. @Sergey Krieger

    Thanks. I was finally able to find his essay, “The Smatterers” too. Good reading it is!

    Apparently the word, “smatterers” was in fairly common use in the US about a century ago. I think it’s due for a revival.

    The Smatterers

    https://archive.org/stream/SolzhenitsynAleksandrIsaevichFromUnderTheRubble/Solzhenitsyn,%20Aleksandr%20Isaevich%20-%20From%20Under%20the%20Rubble_djvu.txt

    As far as inventing derogatory words, I believe the Finnish people hold the record!

    • Replies: @edNels
  65. Ayatollah says:

    The problem becomes clear when you tinker with the language used to describe the problem. Only the dumbest Leftist would say that in order to reduce crime we must remove the excessive criminality from the criminal, as if criminality is something that the criminal *has*, not something they *are*. Students don’t just go to bad schools, they *are* bad schools.

  66. Ayatollah says:
    @artichoke

    But it’s clear that the main problem is lack of discipline, not just curriculum. If we were teaching the wannabe-gangster children of single mothers just to balance their checkbooks and install air conditioners instead of calculus and Spanish, would they learn anything? Would there be jobs for them anyway, given the rise of automation? Do they have the character and discipline required to get an apprenticeship and show up to work every day? Or would they simply get temporary jobs where they fold boxes in a warehouse for $8/hour?

    On a more fundamental level, we have a Malthusian problem on our hands, not just an issue with compatibility issue with curriculum and IQ. Teaching to their IQ level will do nothing to address the fact that we simply have too many people who are capable of nothing more than unskilled manual labor.

  67. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @NoWeltschmerz

    Hello, dear -schmerz.
    Had to Google the meaning of your name.
    Is it plain German, or is it with Yiddish flavor ?

    I also watched the price of the book, and during 6 years at a level about $30 I have bought and gave to my friends and colleagues about 10 copies of the book: I considered it important enough.

    I used to purchase “The Bell Curve” via Amazon for $ 0.01 + $3.99 S&H (with the same purpose.)
    Now the lowest price is $ 1.17 +$ 3.99 S&H; sure, used; I am still buying them.

    I have no bad feelings about used books.

    • Replies: @Ed
  68. @NoWeltschmerz

    Is your angry rant going anywhere? I read the article and all the author did was rant over how the piles of money were being spent. He calls it “refocusing” on the kids instead of the environment, but to me it sounds like his idea is merely to regroup the kids by IQ instead of by community. Once grouped by IQ, at a very early age I imagine, hello feudalism and the new Lord of the manor, the educational experts who run this system. He calls it a high sounding “refocusing” on the kids, but in reality it sounds like all he is doing is changing the environment to one that he can profit from. I find the jab on the author’s “refocusing” plan appropriate. And as for George Carlin, not many among us have a way of cutting through all this con artist B.S. from the elites and experts scheming to get ever more of our dollars as well as he did.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  69. edNels says:
    @jacques sheete

    You did good! Against an apparently true believer of the worst kind, completely self conceited, exceptionalist and worst of all: Humorless!
    Carlin was pretty witty, no account for what strikes anyone funny, but Carlin was an artist. That’s what the True believers truly hate. Art is their achilles heal. particularly humor.

    _____________________

    Incidentally thanks for the Soldenizen stuff, have been reading Inner Circle, very long, small segments are terrific, especially the mini bio sketch of Stalin contained in there.

    From your link, I quickly found a timely and pertinent paragraph that resonates with the current stupid crap about ”fake news”, alternative facts, and all that.

    FROM UNDER THE RUBBLE
    As Breathing and Consciousness Return
    ALEXANDER SOLZHENITSYN

    ONE

    The transition from free speech to enforced silence is no
    doubt painful. What torment for a living society, used to
    thinking for itself, to lose from some decreed date the right to
    express itself in print and in public, to bite back its words
    year in and year out, in friendly conversation and even under
    the family roof.

    But the way back, which our country will soon face — the
    return of breathing and consciousness, the transition from
    silence to free speech — will also prove difficult and slow, … ]

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  70. KenH says:

    The USA has tried just about everything including bankrupting itself to get blacks performing at the level of whites and Asian students and to no avail. It’s a fools errand to continue trying. Most blacks don’t value education at all and believe to obtain one is bowing to the white man and “selling out”.

    But Trump says blacks ” have been treated like crap” and will probably spend as much or more money and have his new edumacation (sic) secretary resort to hocus pocus and rearranging deck chairs so give the illusion that success is finally on the horizon.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Gene Su
  71. @Clearpoint

    And as for George Carlin, not many among us have a way of cutting through all this con artist B.S. from the elites and experts scheming to get ever more of our dollars as well as he did.

    To paraphrase Epictetus, only the well educated can appreciate a guy like that.

  72. @edNels

    You did good!

    Why thank ya! 🙂

    Against an apparently true believer of the worst kind, completely self conceited, exceptionalist and worst of all: Humorless!

    Hey, it claims to have degrees! I guess I should be asham’ta meself for questioning another of the begowned, self anointed ones! Tsk tsk. Another one bites the dust…

    Glad you liked the Solzhenitsyn stuff. It took me quite a while to find a link to “The Smatterers,” and I’m glad I did. Looks like some other interesting stuff in that collection too.

    Thanks, too for sharing the quote.

  73. @Anonymous

    In time, western supremacy over the world will end as China and India continue to rise.

    And then the “oppressed” of the world can meet the new boss. Surprise! Same as the old boss.

  74. Jason Liu says:

    You can spill all the ink on this you want, but at the end of the day as long as a lot of people believe humans are born equals, there won’t be any progress on this front. The left is loathe to admit IQ differences even among the same race. Biology is nothing to them, everything is environmental. This has got to be the crowning ignorance of our age.

  75. If a prize were awarded for the worst policy idea, one that would waste billions in some futile quest for the impossible, the indisputable winner would be uplifting the academic bottom by fixing their “bad schools.”

    Actually the prize for the worst policy idea should go to those who think that compulsory attendance at some day care center existing under the pretense of schooling is a useful idea.

    We could also award similar prizes to the do gooder crowds who think they have the answers as to what everyone else should be doing, and who believe that perpetual industrial grade, one-size-fits-all indoctrination is a good thing.

    You’ think our “educated” ones would question such things, but I guess only morons like me do that. Damn, I’m ignernt!

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  76. MarkinLA says:
    @Anonymous

    What comedy show do you write for in your day job?

    The Haitian revolution ended in 1804. In over 200 years the country has mad absolutely no progress and this takes into account it excellent geographical location for exporting it’s agricultural products.

    If there was any creativity coming out of Africa we would have seen it by now and Nigerian internet scams don’t count.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    , @Eagle Eye
  77. MarkinLA says:
    @Gene Su

    What can we do for the large number of whites that cannot do more than simple menial tasks? We need to realize that those manufacturing jobs that we got rid of were needed for social stability. We need to quit listening to economic experts. Blacks and low performing whites should be doing those jobs even if it costs the upper classes more to get their cheap products.

    • Replies: @Gene Su
  78. MarkinLA says:
    @jacques sheete

    Well compulsory education seemed to do quite well prior to 1980. The US was the recognized leader in computer science and micro-electronics just to name a few fields. Oh wait what happened then – large scale immigration from the third world.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  79. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @KenH

    The US hasn’t tried charterizing the whole system, expanding the use of vouchers, and liquidating the teachers’ unions. When we had discipline, the schools worked, including for people who the bigots of that time claimed were inferior. Also, the US hasn’t tried making teaching less female, or even doing a “Starship Troopers” and making teaching the province of ex-military to the same extent as law enforcement.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  80. Ed says:
    @Anonymous

    What did your friends say? Were they already predisposed to the book’s arguments!

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  81. Ed says:
    @artichoke

    Trump is an interesting character. No one would really blame him if he ignored blacks completely. The media denounces him as a racist & his base isn’t too fond of blacks either.

    Yet he takes an inordinate amount of interest in blacks. His first white paper mentioned prominently the impact immigrants has had on blacks. He also has focused attention on inner city violence, an issue that doesn’t impact his base.

    Still I don’t think Trump has the will to get into the political firestorm that would erupt if he implemented Weissberg’s stances.

    • Replies: @Gene Su
  82. @MarkinLA

    Well compulsory education seemed to do quite well prior to 1980.

    Depends. In my opinion it was an extravagant expenditure of time and money for the most part. The country also did quite well by most material measures before compulsory schooling was imposed. For most people it was and is little more than a grand baby sitting project. Frees the parents up to punch time clocks, and provides employment for the bureaucrats and a sense of importance for the do-gooders and busy bodies.

    Also, there were many substantial critics of it a century ago, so it probably wasn’t such a well conceived or implemented idea even then. I highly doubt it’s much improved today.

    Note the date.:

    American education is notoriously not aimed at the cultivation of thought. Strictly speaking, it is not education, but training. It does a great deal for the “average student”, for the motorminded, for the incompetent, for the person who shows promise of being able to “do” something; but for the person who shows promise of some day being able to think, it does simply nothing.

    -Albert Jay Nock, The Difficulty of Thinking, The American Mercury, November 1937, pp. 358-363 –

    The US was the recognized leader in computer science and micro-electronics just to name a few fields.

    I suspect very little of that was/is attributable to schooling. The pioneers in the field were probably self taught for the most part. Some of the leaders, in fact, did well after dropping out I believe.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  83. @MarkinLA

    While I’m no expert on Haitian history, I do know that those folks have been jacked around by the usual jerks for probably ever.

    I don’t know how credible the author of this article is, but I highly suspect that it contains a ton of truth.

    Many of South Florida’s 150,000 Haitian-American voters came out for Trump, though they had traditionally voted for Democrats, because they knew intimately about the wreck the Clintons had made of Haiti. Plenty of other Americans had also become disgusted by the Clintons’ treatment of Haiti. Many of them lived in Florida, and Wikileaks and other independent journalists had confirmed their worst suspicions.

    http://newsjunkiepost.com/2016/11/13/six-ways-trump-can-help-haiti-recover-from-clinton-disaster/

  84. Sorry for getting off topic, but I think this is important info.

    No American should allow himself the luxury of smugness because we are subject to the same criminals. All of us should have some familiarity with the concept of asset stripping by now.

    How often do stories like this need to be retold before we get a grip?

    “Haiti was not always aided. Between 1963 and 1972, for example, the country enjoyed an economic renaissance as it buzzed with the activities of small entrepreneurs. The Kennedy administration had cut off all aid to Haiti in 1963 so as to bring Francois Duvalier to heel…Haiti thrived with style and panache during this decade that merely continued its isolation as the world’s first black republic. A community that was sustainable, tolerant, and harmonious with its gods had been forged, with none of the starkness associated with sustainability projects. Haiti brimmed with laughter, flavor, music and color. Things dear to the Haitian soul were valued: things that could not be bought. Anacaona‘s descendants lived there, and their life’s purpose was self-realization and the creation of art. That was the Haiti in which I grew up.” ~ Dr. Dady Chery

    By Catherine Austin Fitts
    In 2010, following a major earthquake, US and UN troops invaded and occupied Haiti. Although the devastation from the earthquake was great, the occupation and asset stripping by corporate and philanthropic interests were far worse.

    https://solari.com/blog/haiti-disaster-capitalism/

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  85. lavoisier says: • Website

    I do not think racial differences in cognitive ability will ever be a subject for honest discussion in respectable circles. This subject is truly off limits.

    We will continue to throw money at a problem that cannot be solved.

    Ultimately we have to go back to a pure color blind society. No affirmative action. That is the only hope to go forward together. Equality will not be achieved, but we will have to be comfortable with that.

    • Replies: @Gene Su
  86. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Ed

    Thank you for reaction.
    Yes, about 50% of friends were already predisposed.

  87. MarkinLA says:
    @Anonymous

    When we had discipline, the schools worked, including for people who the bigots of that time claimed were inferior.

    Schools were also highly segregated. The result was that the “smart” classes looked an awful lot like the “dumb” classes and the dumb kids could be pushed into vocational studies where typically no-nonsense men were the teachers.

    Once schools were forced into integration the smart and dumb classes started to become politically incorrect and vocational education was looked down upon once the pay gaps started widening. Of course today a highly skilled welder or fabricator can make more than some run-of-the-mill office drone but the schools have destroyed many of those vocational classes.

    • Replies: @Ed
  88. MarkinLA says:
    @jacques sheete

    Haiti brimmed with laughter, flavor, music and color. Things dear to the Haitian soul were valued: things that could not be bought.

    Read between the lines. The people were living in squalor but they seemed happy to live that way. Hey, I make no judgement. If people want to stick a bone in their nose and dance all day long before retiring to their mud huts – knock yourself out. Just don’t pretend that this is in any way proof of technological achievement or material wealth.

  89. MarkinLA says:
    @jacques sheete

    Some of the leaders, in fact, did well after dropping out I believe.

    Gates is not a significant person in computer science history. In the business aspects of it he gets way more attention than he deserves. He was mostly a lucky thief. Microsoft never invented anything of significance.

    The real pioneers were the guys inventing the integrated circuits and building the computer architectures in the 60s and 70s. These guys had advanced degrees. Guys like William Shockley and Seymour Cray.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shockley

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seymour_Cray

    • Replies: @Gene Su
    , @anarchyst
  90. Gene Su says:
    @Ed

    I have noticed that Trump is far more hostile to Hispanics and especially Mexicans than he is to African Americans. Does anyone here know why? Is it because Trump truly believes that Mexico really is an invasive, alien threat that should be financially liable for the wall he is building? Is it because Trump knows there is a limit to how much he can injure the 50 million blacks living in the US without causing a horrific backlash?

    • Replies: @Ed
  91. Gene Su says:
    @MarkinLA

    Education is education, whether it is classical or vocational. There is no need to sequester any child, black or white, in a warehouse for 12 years. Forbidding them from holding any regular employment is a great way to decrease competence.
    Note that part of the problem is that our economic elites want to control production. Over production will lead to falling prices.

  92. Gene Su says:
    @KenH

    Have you ever read John Taylor Gatto? He give a very convoluted argument for the motive behind the weakening for discipline in our public schools. He recounts a workman’s parade in colonial Boston and a factory owner’s comment stating that a way must be found to break the bonds of trust between working men. What our elites have found out, in the next century, is that a child who is schooled in an environment with little order and discipline is less likely to trust his peers, family, and neighbors. This is how our elites gained the iron grip around the minds of our children.

    • Replies: @edNels
  93. Gene Su says:
    @lavoisier

    What should be a subject for honest discussion in respectable circles is whether the present system is even meant to educate children. We can start with a discussion of whether sequestering children in warehouses is allowing them to grow into adults.

  94. Gene Su says:
    @MarkinLA

    I know Thomas Alva Edison was a bit of a moron as an elementary school kid. He thought he could hatch eggs by sitting on them. Yet he invented the light bulb.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  95. edNels says:
    @Gene Su

    Have you ever read John Taylor Gatto? He give a very convoluted argument for the motive behind the weakening for discipline in our public schools.

    Not to nitpick, nor do a schematic diagram of your sentence, but since you are taking a broadside at and esteemed critic on education, I’ll ask where did you pick up this style? I wouldn’t be surprised if it came out of modern text books though.

    IE:
    He give
    a very convoluted argument for
    the motive behind
    the weakening for
    discipline in our public schools.
    The!

    Public schools are charged with the important task of baby sitting the brats, and keeping them occupied, not with jobs that compete in the workplace, both the unions and the scabs are ok with that, factory owners, or Robo-signers, and other modern forms of child labor scams, not so much.
    In the days of slavery, it could be a crime to teach Negroes to read and write. Today, it is ok to teach anybody to read and write, and not much that’s worth reading or writing.

    I have read and viewed Gatto videos, and he makes good common sense.

  96. Ed says:
    @MarkinLA

    I believe DC is still under a court order from the 60s that bans tracking at its schools because of racism.

    It was also easier for disinterested kids to dropout of schools relatively early. Many black kids dropped out before the 9th grade during segregation which is one reason I suspect a few of their high schools during that era were decent.

  97. Ed says:
    @Gene Su

    My opinion: Trump/Bannon are nationalists they believe Blacks are part of “real America”. Maybe not a crucial part but a part nonetheless. That they are owed a degree of respect & their needs should be addressed before immigrants.

    Sessions/Miller are white nationalists they don’t particularly care for blacks. They can come along for the ride with the understanding that this is a white country.

  98. anarchyst says:

    Here is food for thought, especially for those who support “public education” and rally about the doctrine of “socialization” that they claim is lacking in “homeschooled” children.
    Let’s look at what “public education” has to offer:
    1. Cliques and rampant bullying, quite often the victim of bullying punished more harshly for fighting back. Many times, bullies are part of a “protected” class–racial minorities, jocks, etc. Strong official disapproval of students making friends outside their grade level. “Peer pressure” used to push conformity.
    2. Teachers that don’t teach reading writing and arithmetic. Pushing communist principles such as rabid environmentalism, blaming humanity for conditions beyond our control as well as pushing “communitarianism” (“it takes a village”)–actually communism. This also ties in with teacher-recommended feminizing and drugging (mostly boys) to make them “less fidgety” and more compliant–all for the “benefit” of the teacher.
    3. Non-existent moral guidance…the communist concept of “values clarification”, allowing each student to set his own moral standard with no discussion permitted as to guidelines. A student dare not mention God or the Bible in “public school”–not permitted…discussing Islam is OK…even field trips to mosques are encouraged.
    4. Sex education that normalizes homosexuality and other deviant practices, actually encouraging deviant behavior and downplaying heterosexuality and abstinence.
    5. Insane zero tolerance practices, punishing students for pop-tarts shaped like guns or a student having an “unauthorized aspirin” or plastic butter knife. Of course, abortions and birth control are available without parental notification.
    6. Lockdowns and backpack/locker searches by police utilizing “drug dogs”, getting the upcoming generation used to random unconstitutional searches. Quite often, students “roughed up” by “school resource officers”…just because they can…Lockdowns should be reserved for prisons–not schools…
    Since these “socialization” practices seem to be the norm in our “public education” systems, parents who send their children to these dysfunctional “indoctrination centers” are guilty of child abuse…
    Children who are homeschooled actually do much better in life as they are comfortable with people of all ages. True socialization takes place outside the classroom.

  99. MarkinLA says:
    @Gene Su

    The difference between sending an electric current (of which he had nothing to do with the science behind its utilization) via trail and error engineering (I believe he tested 100s of filaments before he found one that worked) and the combination of physics and chemistry required of computer electronics is like 5th grade arithmetic and Phd level math.

  100. @MarkinLA

    In a funny way, my older son and myself,
    when we want to point to incandescent light-bulb in our talk to each other,
    to distinguish it from LED (Light-Emitting Diode) bulb,
    and from gas-discharge-driven fluorescent light-bulb,
    we started to call incandescent light-bulb as “Edison’s bulb.”
    Never did that in previous 35 years.
    No LEDs then, and
    gas-discharge sources of light were mostly in the shape of longish tubes,
    as opposed to modern “bulbs”.

    There is no need for me to defend T. A. Edison.

    In my youth, still in the USSR, I got fascinated by Lee de Forest, inventor of three-electrode vacuum-tube triode (audion), see

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_de_Forest .

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    , @Anonymous
  101. MarkinLA says:
    @Immigrant from former USSR

    I am not denigrating Edison. My point was that the knowledge needed to accomplish things today is not likely to come from self education given its complexity. Obviously, I wasn’t very clear.

    Forest wasn’t exactly self taught:

    In 1893, he enrolled in a three-year course of studies at Yale University’s Sheffield Scientific School in New Haven, Connecticut,

  102. @MarkinLA

    Dear Mr. Markin:
    Thank you for your reaction.
    About 10 years ago I was lucky to visit the grave of great scientist, my hero:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josiah_Willard_Gibbs (1839 – 1903)
    in New Haven, Connecticut.
    Your I.f.f.U.

  103. Anony says:

    What does the author believe is a solution, or isn’t there any?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  104. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Anony

    Citing old article by Steve Sailer (by memory, I’m lazy to look for the reference.)
    Some problems, which seemed unsolvable in ancient times, were eventually solved.
    Examples:
    What leads to illness “rabies”, and can one cure a human bitten by rabid animal ?

    What is the chemical composition of Sun and of stars ?

    Create a material, which can conduct electric current without loss of energy.

    However, there are problems, which do not have a solution.
    Examples:
    Transform energy of thermal motion of molecules in the homogeneous ocean into useful work.

    Transform lead and tin into silver and gold.

    Draw on a plane a triangle with straight-line sides 10, 3, and 4.

    Find such a pair of integers “p” and “q”, that the square of their fraction equals 2:
    (p/q)^2 =??? = 2 .

    Back to schools.
    Apparently, given the genes of a particular person, not much can be done
    with his behavior and his cognitive ability.

    (Sure, I know that I had to write “he or she”.
    My sins of being politically incorrect are much deeper than that.) See
    The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, by Steven Pinker

  105. Eagle Eye says:
    @MarkinLA

    Fermi pointed out that if there are zillions of intelligent civilizations in the universe, it seems strange that we don’t seem to see any of them.

  106. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Immigrant from former USSR

    I have heard the new-fangled spiral bulbs referred to as “Gore bulbs” after the eponymous Inventor of the Internet and Global Warming/Climate Change scam artist.

  107. @Anonymous

    Interesting.
    Spiral fluorescent bulbs:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/17/opinion/17sun3.html .
    Also vintage Edison bulbs:

    My best to you.

  108. anarchyst says:
    @MarkinLA

    Bill Gates is not the “smartest person in the room” by any means. He bought an operating system (DOS) from a REAL smart fellow (Gary Kildall) with $25,000.00 of “daddy’s money”.
    You see, Bill Gates daddy was partners in one of Seattle Washington’s most prestigious law firms.
    Bill Gates’ (and Microsoft’s) success can be attributed to the tight licensing agreements that his daddy’s law firm crafted. For the longest time, one could not purchase a copy of DOS or Windows without also purchasing hardware. This assured that there would be an ever-widening customer base for Microsoft products.
    THIS is the reality behind Gates’ success–NOT technical prowess.
    Gates’ can be compared to Thomas Edison, who was a consummate promoter, who also did very little inventing himself, relying on REAL technical experts to complete inventions while taking credit for their inventions as his own. Of course, Edison’s most important “invention” was the implementation of the first modern “research laboratory”…
    This same Bill Gates is a proponent of population control by outright extermination as well as his foundation’s refusal to award ANY scholarship to promising white students.
    Sorta tells you something…

  109. @NoWeltschmerz

    Al Sleet, your hippy-dippy weatherman, was hardly Carlin’s peak.

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