THE LATEST NONSENSE FROM AMAIRIKUHN EDGYKAYSHUN EDUBABBLERS: ...
Today I have to rant once again.
There's a quietly growing storm brewing, and it's over the latest edubabbling methodological nonsense promoted by the federal government, and the Amairikuhn edgykayshunnal edubabble establishment's latest methodological gimmick: the so-called common core curriculum. Now, I am not (thankfully!) any longer having to suffer trying to teach in a system where a "teaching certification" counts for more than mastery of an actual discipline like history or literature or mathematics. Thus, what I have heard about the coming common core horror has been largely from friends and associates who work in the increasingly failing system(and if you think my words in this blog are harsh, you ought to hear what I hear some teachers saying!). The basic idea, so I am told, is that tests, through the use of computers, will be tailored to the individual student, such that the answer given in a multiple choice question of pre-selected "approved answers" will determine the next question and its level of difficulty, and so on. In such a system, the inevitable result will be further reduction of the teacher to be a mere functionary or adjunct of the machine, preparing students not with knowledge and genuine thinking abilities, but to take more and more standardized computerized tests to display knowledge of "approved techniques and approved answers".
The result will be inevitably more of what we have already: teaching to prepare students for standardized computerized tests, which in turn are prepared and administered by a small group of large corporations. The result will be further deterioration and declining academic standards, when America's performance on the international scene is already cause for concern. If there's any doubt, consider the following article, which shows rather well what the pabulum-puking nonsense that Amairkuhn edgykayshun has become:
This Common Core math problem asks kids to write the ‘friendly’ answer, instead of the correct one!
The problem here is contained in this passage:
"The teacher wanted the student to solve “530 – 270 = ?” in the following manner: First, add 30 to both numbers, changing the problem to “560 – 300 = ?”. These numbers are the “friendly” numbers, because they are supposedly easier to work with.
"The student, however, simply subtracted 270 from 530 the good old-fashioned way, arriving at the same answer. Unfortunately, this is not a Common Core-approved technique."(emphasis added)
That is what the game is really about: approved techniques, approved thoughts, and that is not education in any meaningful sense, and it again emphasizes the collectivist nature of Amairikuhn egykayshun. This blithering nonsense about "friendly numbers" makes one wonder how Sir Isaac Newton, or Rene Descartes, or Gottfried Leibnitz, or Riemann or Cantor or Einstein...well, just about anyone who ever had to use math in their profession ... ever survived without the modern Amairikuhn Doctors of Education and their kooky focus on even kookier "methodology".
How did we ever function without "friendly numbers" and the "common core"?
And that, really, is the problem. We functioned much better before "education" became the pseudo-discipline that it is today; we functioned much better before teacher certification with its endless focus on psycho-babble and "methodologies" consumed most of the college class time of future teachers. We functioned much better without the corrupting theories of Wilhelm Wundt, John Dewey, and Horace Mann, and all the pseudo-doctors of pseudo-education after them.
The real goal here is more thought control, more conformity, and an even dumber culture than the current American population already is, traveling down the street in its muscle cars, booming its (c)rap music on subwoofers able to shake whole neighborhoods and imposing its complete lack of taste (and courtesy) on everyone else, racing home to watch the latest reality TV. In such a "culture" there can be no critical thought, no in depth understanding of the arts, the sciences, history, or anything else, and there can be no hierarchy of values. In such a "culture" the correct answers to "Who killed John F Kennedy, Robert F Kennedy, or Dr. Martin Luther King" will always be what the official consensus dictates: Lee Harvey Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan, and James Earl Ray. It will become a culture even more self-reinforcing gum-chewing, back-slapping "average Joe" propaganda we have been fed to believe about ourselves: Who won World War Two? America did. Who won World War One? Why, we did, of course. No one else made much of a contribution. And in reaction to it, there will be an increase, of course, of home schooling and even more people that will be taught that the earth is about 4,500 years old, and that, within that time period, dinosaurs lived concurrently with humans.
There will, of course, not be any real study of the arts - literature, music, art - because those things, if genuinely studied, lead to independent and critical thinking. Creative literary skills will only be taught in the sense of filing things, no more Cervantes, no more Goethe, no more Shakespeare; one will be told what to think about pieces of music(one of my favorites being, Beethoven initially dedicated his third symphony to Napoleon, but scratched out the dedication because he disagreed with him.) Bland, inconsequential. Blither. No effort will me made to see how he crafted the piece, because that would lead to the ability to recognize patterns and their permutations, and we can't have that, because it would lead to dot-connecting and independent thinking. Art? forget it! literature? forget it! Mathematics? Euclid's elements are "unfriendly." The quadratic formula is "morose." This matrix is "happy," and that one is "sad." Darwin is depressing. Mendel is melancholy. Getting the correct answer isn't important, unless you use "friendly numbers" and feel good about yourself afterward.
America's flower-strewn march to third world status continues, folks, and the loony lemmings, the Doctors of Edubabble are leading the parade for corporate crapitalism, the big foundations, and a bought-and-paid for Congress and White House. In my fantasies, I dream of a day when the American sheeple wake up, fire anyone in their local or state educational establishments with "Ed.D." after their name, abolish teacher certification, and imprison the boards of the corporations that sell and administer standardized computer tests for criminal insanity, and, as part of their "job-re-training," send the out-of-work Ed.D;s to China or Russia, to inflict their methodological preoccupations on those countries. Trouble is, I rather suspect Beijing and Moscow would see it as a transparent plan to ruin their countries. I dream of a day when teachers are allowed to teach again, and to maintain discipline in their classes. I dream of a time when teachers are required to spend all of their college class time learning the subject they want to teach.
But then I wake up, and remember, this is "Amairikuh," and that we are "the indispensable people" and the "exceptional nation."
Yea.... right. You just keep telling yourselves that in Congress, in the White House, on Wall Street, in the "colleges of 'education'." In three generations, you won't even be able to spell it, much less read the strange hieroglyphs on your teleprompters or teachers' certificates.
See you on the flip side.
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As George Carlin explained so well, “there’s a reason why education sucks”:
A (paraphrased from memory)quote from Timothy Leary:
“The American educational system is doing exactly what it is designed to do: produce people who are motivated by fear and greed.”
Dr. Joe — as you well know — the definition of rant is to “speak or shout in a wild, impassioned way.” Methinks thou dost self-depricate too much in this instance! It was not quite a rant. It was rather a rational fulmination — a guarded exhortation of a planned obsolescence of American education that is just about complete. Our foundation of societal modeling is now dissolved. Time for a new one on another site.
Would be funny if it were not so serious. Similar dumbing down happening in uk although looking at what my nephew has to do in school now I have hope that things are improving in Scotland. (We have separate education system from rest of UK)
If you think public schools are bad try the Roman Catholic school system. While I was in that system I didn’t read anything but textbooks. When I was booted out and was transferred to the Public School system I was put in a special class where I learned to enjoy reading on my own. I first started using the school library and then stated using the Public Library and built up my own private home library. Remember bookstores, racks of comicbooks in little stores that sold newspapers and magazines no more either you use a e-book reader. And hope there no plan obsolescence of it in the future or if you have children in any school system. Ask the teachers of that school where the library is so your kids or if your the student where it is and use it.
O by the way while I was in the Public School they had book week where you could go into this school packed with paperbacks and buy them. I graduated high school in 1967 so I don’t know what has happen since then in the school system.
Just as an aside… does anyone remember the emergence of Chaos Theory? Was it around 15 years ago?
I think Chaos Theory was one of the most over-egged “theories” I’ve ever come across. I really think that Chaos Theory is no big deal. It’s kinda self evident.
Using my own “high octane speculation”… I think Chaos Theory was a Psy-Op. Chaos Theory almost sounds like Coincidence Theory.
You can look at all the big terror events. You can say that the evidence points towards an innocent looking “coincidence”. Well, of course, lots and lots of parts of the jigsaw start to look like mere “coincidence” when viewed through the prism of Chaos Theory. OK, so turbulent chaos can result in emergent “patterns” and “order” but does that mean that patterns and correlations should all be considered to be the result of natural chaos and not premeditated design!??!
Critical thinking, high octane speculation, conspiracy theory, coincidence theory or chaos theory… you decide?!
How many American kids have autism, ADHD, aspergers, etc? What about the legacy of all these vaccines? What about all that fluoride in the water? What about the mercury in the mother’s blood that is passed on to the fetus during pregnancy?
I have had Auditory Processing Disorder since I don’t know when. I can tell you that I had ZERO support, zip, zilch, nada. 99& of doctors have never heard of it. WHERE are these new conditions coming from!?
How many kids in America have undiagnosed conditions? Or diagnosed conditions? How many have APD and are being wrongly diagnosed? I assume most American doctors have never heard of APD?
How many American kids are being needlessly medicated for “normal” behaviour? Or over medicated for a genuine condition?
But anyway…. we’re being dumbed down in the UK too.
Michael Cremo tells the story about some university students who had read his book “Forbidden Archeology”, then went to their university classes and had stand up arguments with their professors about the rubbish they were being taught. I think this is an example of the fact that “not all kids are dumb”. The reason for this is, that they have access to the internet, and probably found out about Michael Cremo’ book, on the internet. So I’m going to cut a little slak to the kids of today, and think that maybe in the future, kids are not going to be so easily “railroaded” into the world of disinformation, and the good old “question” may save them from a world of BS.
I remember being taught “percentages” in school. They made it sound soooo complicated! They had “formulas” and “procedures” for gross profit, for net profit, for year on year profits, for this that and the other. I just completely ignored their lesson!
I just said to myself it’s one number divided by another. You just have to use common sense to derive the correct number for numerator and denominator, then x 100. I got 98% when others were coming in with 70%, 60%, 50% etc. We were supposed to be the “clever” class. WHY??? Did they make it sound soo much more complicated than it actually was?
I never had a calculator till I was 15 and yet I got 98% in my GCSE arithmetic exam(you can look that up!). I suppose there is something to say for growing up broke and not having a calculator, or nice shoes for that matter!
By now I can extrapolate the approximate ages of at least some of us here at (was that GizaDS or GeezerDS?). Not that we’re old, after all a good many maturing individuals will tell you that old is at least a decade more than their current age. And yet the question nags, should another JPF come along a generation from now will there be enough of a literate pool left to call an audience?
I agree it’s hard not to be disheartened at times by cultural banalities and vulgarities such as lowest common denominator TV, intrusive mobile sub woofer noise pollution and the encroachment of an ever growing dystopia.
Along with other failing institutions the educational system in this nation also is in the middle of a slow death. Ever fewer will be able to afford or even desire to attend college. Good. At least this will keep them out of debt riddled servitude repaying loans for useless degrees acquired from stagnant propagandist herd mentality institutions. However these ostensibly disenfranchised youth need to be engaged instead of being abandoned or given up for dead.
So for those who haven’t yet traded in their soul for daily rounds of 18 holes in some medicated geriatric encampment this is a siren call to be the social creature you were born to be, to step into the land of the living and be a mensch instead of a fear monger, coward or glandular driven hedonist. Confront the youth of today one by one as much and as often as possible. Take them to task verbally in a non threatening manner. Be curious about their interests, ask them why they’re here, do they like to read, have they seen The Matrix, would they be interested in growing a vegetable or flower garden? Find a way to instill the joy of learning through autodidactic discovery and make them aware that with some work they will have earned the right to be their own best authority. Challenge them, help them discover the beauty of themselves. The sometimes grim state of affairs offered up here at GDS is not fate accompli.
The dumbing down process is joined at the hip w/scientific management, vastly empowered by IT; to separate those who control & create systems-the management elite-from those who are subject to the systems & order AND have to follow them.
Scientific management has taken the form of iconic authoritative databases that, embedded in “expert” systems, set out to cover ALL the human contingencies that frontline workers have to deal with in preplanned digital scripts. Because w/o such guidance from “above”, the employees would have to exercise their own judgement & skill in resolving problems. The goal is nothing less than no corner of our lives will be beyond the reach of the “process”. Experience and wisdom reside ONLY w/in the system, NOT in those who use it.
This is the basis of the “education process” that is now taking shape/form.
Go search the common core. There is no mention of “friendly.” Go ahead. Go to the pdf (http://www.corestandards.org/wp-content/uploads/Math_Standards.pdf) and search for that term. Nothing. Before parroting what I suspect is bellyaching being perpetrated to continually create divides in our social structure, just do some elementary homework on this one… Also, there is no such thing as a common core approved anything… that is nonsense – there is no body governing what is approved and what is not.
Figuring out how to teach and learning mathematics is not as simplistic as some would have you believe, and these discussions have been going on for centuries. Look into Colburn’s arithmetic book in 1826, and how he treated the “Rule of Three” — it was down right scandalous at the time — and probably was “common core approved.”
Excellent post, as usual, and well said.
However….may I respectfully suggest you drop the use of “Amairikuhn edgykayshunn” and similar “funny terms” you’ve developed for the Republicans, Democrats, the main stream media, etc?
Funny the first time or two, but constant use detracts from the serious nature of your cogent observations without really adding any humor.
Said with all respect and affection.
You’re ENTIRELY missing my point. I am NOT attempting to be funny or anything else. I will not dignify politicians of those parties with the name “democratic” or “republican” because they are neither. The same with the media. These are not terms of humor, they are terms of derision, for those people should NOT be accorded the respect of respectful terms. I am NOT trying to add HUMOR, I am DERIDING them. May I respectfully suggest, that it is a tactic that should be expanded and adopted by others.
Ok, I GET you point, and understood your INTENTION, but it still strikes me as DISTRACTING (like all caps).
I for one entirely approve of such terms. Some issues need to be MOCKED.
And a good rant I must add. It may be one reason teens no longer can make change among other simple functions. Of course, I was raised on the sliderule and thought that was the “end all’ in math. Shows you how much I know. (smile).
You just triggered a memory of my “gifted” light yellow titanium(or was it aluminum?) slide rule.
Where did it go/Lost in time’s memory hole.
Out of curiosity, I went to google it, and was confounded by numerous Orient titanium mechanical automatic slide rule watches.
Had the same one. It was aluminum. If I had to use it today, I’d be scratching my head for at least a week… but I bet I would get it figured out. Hand that baby to some 20 something. Ha! Lost planet.
I’m hoping that my muscle memory would actually lead to way for my “little grey cells” –
to recovery, from the “memory well” within.
In other words, I would cross my fingers.
just read Charlotte Iserbyt’s “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America” for starters on this topic-
the Rockefellers (long-term planers) are finally reaping the harvest of their initial investments: the financial scam behind student loans and those currently paying their own hard-earned money for higher- education/univ. degrees being denied them at the last minute for miniscule reasons (one of my dearest friends has just recently gone through this) just to keep them in the system to suck their money-
Those who can’t do, teach.
If it is true that the truth sets you free, it would then be logical too do your utmost to the population to prevent it. In order for them to be governed by, there ….um….superiors.
It is a system, with a lot of faults. It has also brought us six billion people, and a opportunity to communicate to everyone of them.
Those who can’t teach work for the government.
The govt runs the skool dysfunctional system, big farma, and agriculture…..it is upside down.
Could be a silver lining in this cloud….a new cape. A good hope.
I agree, Joseph. Years ago we pulled our oldest child out of a public school because the teaching staff was pressuring us to keep track of his homework on the web–when the assignment log on the web was NOT accurate. I posed the question to them then, “If you want us to be this involved in the process (and we were involved at the time), why not just home school him?” The teachers gave a collective howl! The next year, our oldest son was home-schooled and knew something when he graduated. Our youngest son is being home-schooled now–and we can monitor his progress and teach him how to think!
The two most powerful words in the English vocabulary to these people is the word, “no”. To use it we must have leverage. That leverage is to abandon the system when they fail to do their job to OUR standards. These people have the whole pyramid backward and we have not called them to the carpet and held them accountable. Until the citizens of our dying nation are willing to force the issue, they will continue to get by with their attempts to destroy the public education system in these United Socialist States in Amerika. Did I misspell something?
Public grade school and high school education is excellent in the USA, it depends on the zip code. Princeton, NJ, or Brookline, MA, two obvious examples.
As a former educator at both the secondary and university school levels, I agree that public education as it has developed over the past thirty years has been focused on creating little malleable robots not critical thinking humans. When you look at the level of competency in English and Arithmetic required for high school graduation at the turn of the 20th century (often in 1-room school houses) and the level required to attend college at the turn of the 21st, you can only conclude we is get in stupider and stupider as amurikuns. It is clear from all your transhumanist discussions, Agenda 21, and now Common Core, that this is all part of the plan. You can not control people who can utilize logic to see what is actually happening to them and be capable of developing a scheme to stop it.
Which brings me to the point that, in fact, reading comments on this website as well as astute discussions on similar blogs, makes me believe that all is not totally lost. There is still an element of humanity in this country totally capable of critical thinking. While it is sad that there are many young people who have been brain-washed, in fact so thoroughly cleansed of logic that they would think that communism is not a “bad thing” (unless you use the example of all getting the same grade based on the lowest common denominator no matter what effort you initiate), but the fact is that we are not all equal. There are intelligent humans and then the not so much. The frustration is that by now in our civilization, we should have expected to elevate the consciousness of the masses not drug it to a common stupidity. Common Core is intended to do just that.
It will take a revolution to stop it. I only hope it doesn’t require blood-letting.
Massive immigration (legal and illegal) is also part of the plan to make the populace easier to control and turn the USA into a third world like nation.
Einstein is the prime example of the core problem with the system.
On a lighter note, is the Cohen bros. latest flick, Inside Llewyn Davies. A scathing insight in the form of comedy on western values by plagerists who mock moral pretenses, and anything else about what made America great.
not to mention that thw word “methodology” has been bastardized by academia. Methodology is the study of method. People are fond of saying “my methodology is to” when they should be using “my methods are to” do this or that.
It’s like saying, while cooking, “my recipeology is to add three cups of flour and three tablespoons of sugar.”
You are so right. I came into education in the sixties when the community colleges were beginning their wedge into the system. Most of us were aware of how fraudulent the setup was but we were wooed by good salaries, light hours, and the pretence of being the real thing. I am retired now. Do I feel guilty You becha. but we all know what is coming. Nothing can stop it now. Judy
So if some “trick” makes solving a problem easier, it is not to be used? (Here one could also subtract 200 from 530 and then subtract 70 from the remaining 330 by breaking 70 into 30+40.)
Does this mean one is not simply to take the derivative of X to the third by using the simple well known rule, instead going through the whole work of taking the limit?
And on the subject of limits, those are divisions by zero, something that real math doesn’t allow.
Math has all sorts of tricks, short cuts, memory devices, by all means use them–particularly if getting the correct answer is the only goal.
(Here I’d point out that there is no proof for 1+1=2. Then from the realworld: For Pi to work as the ratio of a circle’s diameter to its circumference, the surface the circle is constructed upon needs be perfectly flat, so an ideal imaginary construction, which even disobeys information theory. Digital computers also have to do all sorts of compensations–lots of extra work–to simply add 2 numbers.)
Please understand that I am not being critical but your comment would have caused my late husband to develop a red face and start spitting because he insisted there was a REAL difference between math and arithmetic: the latter, which does require memory, is used to solve math problems. Primary and secondary schools primarily teach arithmetic while only the pre-college student ever understands anything close to math, which is what you are utilizing in speaking of derivatives, laws of mathematics , etc. I am confident you are clear in your understanding of these differences but to blend the two used to drive my husband crazy. As a result of his ranting, I guess I keep seeing his point.
My point is that breaking down “arithmetic” into easier blocks to solve is very much maths.
Then grade school doesn’t involve the concept of the circumference of a circle and Pi as an endless decimal? Mine did.
And quickly taking the derivative of X to the third involves a simple memory trick, akin to breaking down numbers for easier adding.
The computer point was that there’s lots of effort made to keep the “rules” of arithmetic.
I agree, I think Dr. Farrell is being a bit harsh in his criticism of “friendly numbers.” The stacking method for solving arithmetic problems is the algorithm everyone is taught in the US, and will give the correct answer, but can be very inefficient. The Japanese solve arithmetic problems moving from the left (higher order digits) to the right, which has the benefit of giving a good estimate of the answer, even if a mistake is made. I’ve always thought it an interesting cultural phenomenon that the process proceeds in the opposite direction from reading. In my experience, facility with arithmetic (the ability to simplify seemingly difficult problems) was a trait shared by most if not all the genius types I knew at Harvey Mudd College. There is the famous story of Gauss solving the sum of the integers 1 to 100 when he was a school child: http://mathcentral.uregina.ca/QQ/database/QQ.02.06/jo1.html