Sad Need for a Defense of Education.

Posted Saturday, November 7, 2009, at 3:44 PM
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  • Mike, I'm heartbusted;

    HAD a whole screed working about the nonsense the haters on here spew constantly about education.

    As usual you did it better and more precisely than any outsider ever could.

    During my lifetime working in rural/small town communities, the only way I ever learned what direction any teacher leaned, came when organizing election campaigns and going through voter registration rolls.

    Started doing that after one failed construction bond election, which was lost because one teacher ignored instruction TO NOT distribute a "night before" flier in a specific area of senior citizens.

    We carefully explained that if just half of those people voted, we had a chance to get the bonds approved. If 75% or more voted, the bond issue lost.

    You guessed it, he promptly took his crew of kids and blanketed every doorknob and every windshield wiper in that neighborhood.

    The bond issue lost by less than ten votes.

    I learned -- check the registration of every person working in the campaign.

    He would have still directed a crew of kids distributing fliers, but on the other side of town, where every house had kids in school.

    The area he covered could have been worked by anyone else and the bonds would have passed.

    If anyone working in a campaign is registered GOP, they probably will do what that teacher did.

    His explanation, he felt everyone deserved to be reminded to vote.

    The kids who were taught science in what had been a storage shed didn't care.

    They needed a modern science classroom and lab to begin preparing for high school and colleges.

    I did suggest to the district superintendent -- that teacher should get the oldest, smallest, most decrepit portable classroom they would have to bring in -- to substitute for the modern classrooms needed.

    Even with nearly two decades toward his retirement, he resigned mid-year and joined his brother in business. He taught social studies and no one, including my kids, had any idea of his personal political leanings. A few years later, he was a prominent conservative politician.

    Two years later, another bond election carried.

    We did it with block captains throughout the district, cars taking people to the polls, child care while parents voted, months of educating every voter with kids and absentee ballots secured for every "Yes" voter who needed one.

    For those "education bashers" they need to understand reality.

    When many of us were in school, it was common to finish chores and arrive five to fifteen minutes late most days. As soon as all classes were done, out the door to drive a tractor, build fences, shovel grain or clear brush in cold weather.

    Today's students absolutely need complete, broad and deep educations before they finish high school. For most business and management oriented youngsters [Future Farmers specifically out on the plains], quality education is an absolute requirement. Today's Class One and Class Two farmers need adequate training. Specialty farmers often require intense scientific training. That includes a broad-based Ag degree and probably a masters in a specialty and business management, or Managerial Economics as offered as an undergraduate "double major" study in some ag colleges.

    Those working within agriculture-- Geneticists, soil scientists, agronomists, Vets, AI and embryo transplant technicians all require intense training.

    The average vet knows ten times as much about nutrition as the average MD. The vet is a better diagnostician, because four-legged and feathered patients cannot verbalize their problems.

    Wherever they are headed in life, rural American children need superb educations.

    Unless they plan to pump gas, flip burgers or struggle with log books as a commercial trucker.

    Two old axioms from my misspent youth:

    NEVER CUSS FARMERS when you have a full mouth.


    IF YOU CAN READ THIS, thank a teacher.

    -- Posted by HerndonHank on Sat, Nov 7, 2009, at 5:57 PM
  • We all have very challenging and rewarding jobs. Well, maybe some aren't so rewarding, but we all face challenges, especially small businesses.

    We are always under fire from liberals with their lies and distortions. I guess we have a lot in common after all Mike.

    I work in the Ag and turf business so everything I do is under attack from the loon fringe of the lying liberal attack machine. I work with cattlemen who are under fire from these same hacks.

    I found out last year the these treacherous fools were well funded. One donor contributed more money to PETA than the entire Beef Checkoff gets for its yearly funding. How are legitimate business owners supposed to compete with that kind of well funded terroristic propaganda machine.

    Rachael Carson is best known as a liberal goon in my world because she wrote a book several dacades ago that was full of lies and assertions that too many still use today as firepower against one the biggest economic drivers in our country. It is now known that she did very little research and there was no science behind most of her writings. Sounds like someone else we know......Al?

    Funny how someone can make the jump from a tax and cheat political to brilliant scientist over night. I think tomorrow I will be a super model and have a full head of hair.

    Right now there are clowns trying to shut down the professional lawncare industry and they HAVE been successful in parts of Canada. They are banning together to save the planet from us because they say we are polluting the waters with phosphorous and killing everything with our chemicals.

    Funny thing though, they do nothing against the home owner, just the small business man. The other fact here is this: the mojority of these pollutants come from home owner's chemicals they use in everyday cleaners and detergents.

    The point is, these liars and traitors are shutting down business, forcing people out of work, reducing the GDP, reducing tax revenue for the feral government, and wasting many many investment dollars.....and they aren't even solving the problems.

    I'm all for solving problems, and we have problems. But liberal anti-thinkers usuallly resort to using lies and smoke screens to shut down businesses. Let's all be part of the solution.

    I fell for you Mike, but only a little tiny bit. You'll always hove your job no matter what people say about you. All of us small business owners that have everything we've ever had and everything we're ever going to have wrapped up in our businesses are just waiting on the edge of our seats to see what the healthcare and cap and screw is going to do to us. And again, not REAL solutions, just politicians using our money to posture for themsleves.

    With this healthcare plan, no American will be any healthier. The costs incurred by Americans will NOT go down, and we still won't have everyone on the plan. Doesn't sound like we reformed much at all. Americans are getting obese at an alarming rate and there will be 100,000 dead Americans this year due to obesity related cancer, and that doesn't include heart disease from obesity. One third of Americans are overweight and one third of those are obese.

    We are not getting any healthier and as we get fatter and die more, healthcare will only continue to rise faster and faster. Once we all go bankrupt at the feet of liberal social policy what will we do then? Is it then that we actually dig deep to find the REAL solutions to our problems? I pray to God we do it sooner than that.

    -- Posted by Justin76 on Sun, Nov 8, 2009, at 12:11 AM
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    I appreciate your opinion Justin, even if it is a veiled attack on liberalism, but it has nothing to do with education what-so-ever. If you want to rail against liberals and talk about small business I encourage you to start your own blog on this site.

    Attempting to change the topic off of the unwarranted, libelous attacks on education on this site is something else that is unacceptable.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Nov 8, 2009, at 5:24 AM
  • it's not an attack against liberalism, it's presetation of facts similar to yours about how a group of people with a particular ideological view of things can make your job hard. I'm just pointing out that you're not the only one who has a hard time professionally because of people believing and spreading lies.

    It's just that in my case it's liberals world wide and nation wide that blindly follow one another into battle with no information and no real truth, just the passion to save the world from all the evil capitialist business owners that are likely providing them with all the luxuries they afford in life and supply the US government with the tax revenues needed to fund thier liberal agenda. It's such an ironic world isn't it?

    -- Posted by Justin76 on Sun, Nov 8, 2009, at 10:21 AM
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    Once again Justin I'm going to ask you to keep to the topic of education.

    If you want to continue this topic of blaming all your ills on every single liberal in world, either start a new blog, the publishers want more bloggers, or move this discussion to my blog titled "In Defense of Liberals".

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Nov 8, 2009, at 1:14 PM
  • I'd just like to point out to Hank that there is a lot more hatred coming from the far left than from those "haters" he despises.

    That said, Mike, I'm sure you can explain why it is that so many of our high school graduates know nearly nothing about history...and what they do "know" is often not true, or is greatly distorted from the whole truth. I'm sure it'll take you several columns to explain, given the fact that I have in hand a 240 page book, "48 Liberal Lies about American History," that details the differences between actual history and the distortions that are frequently taught. I assume that you know enough about this book to reply to it?

    -- Posted by MrsSmith on Sun, Nov 8, 2009, at 3:57 PM
  • The fact that you are a teacher hasn't stopped you from acting like you are an expert on almost everything.

    -- Posted by wallismarsh on Sun, Nov 8, 2009, at 4:44 PM
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    I know enough about the book that it has been discredited. Though the author, Larry Sweikart, claims that he uses the most used textbooks he doesn't tell the reader how he came to that conclusion.

    Right off the bat he makes assumptions about what one author of a book is supposing when he whines that there are two pages dedicated to the Klan in the 20s. If Mr. Sweikart bothered to actually study history he would know why there were 2 pages dedicated.

    Yes I can tell you because they hate history. History is one of the least liked subjects in high school. Before you jump the gun no it has nothing to do with the supposed liberal bias. They hate history because of the dates.

    If I had the time or the boredom I, as most historians already have, could rip that book apart.

    What he calls lies are actually truths he just happens to think Americans don't need to know about. He actually fits a point I make in my blog perfectly. He wants American children to only know the good stuff and thinks the bad stuff should be completely white washed out of History books.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Nov 8, 2009, at 5:25 PM
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    I figured you would make your triumphant return to my blog on education MrsSmith since you are one of the worst offenders of attacking education with biased misinformation or data collected about college professors and claim it to be about high school teachers.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Nov 8, 2009, at 5:26 PM
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    wallis what have I ever, one time, claimed to be an expert at?

    Just because you don't like what I say doesn't give you the latitude to claim I have said something I haven't.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Nov 8, 2009, at 5:27 PM
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    Also MrsSmith, I hold an actual History book in my hand that dispels most of that book before you can even get out of the table of contents.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Nov 8, 2009, at 8:23 PM
  • Mike, I thought I was on topic very well. You were blaming conservatives for making your rewarding job very difficult.

    I related to you that your job is not the only one that's difficult do to an opposing ideololy that will spread fear and lies.

    Maybe you don't agree with me, but it's very much the same exact thing you were talking about, just a different job.

    -- Posted by Justin76 on Mon, Nov 9, 2009, at 7:37 AM
  • just to play the devil's advocate here...aren't we supposed to listen to all these crack-pot professors at obscure universtities when it comes to the global warming hysteria?

    Professor Larry Schweikart of the University of Dayton wrote this book in question. He is a PROFESSOR at a University. Now Mike, a history teacher at a high school says this guy is 100% wrong and he is a liar?

    I'm just saying there's a double standard here. While in one hand we are to listen to all professors who proclaim the global warming hysteria is going to kill us in 180 days, we are not supposed to listen to any of them that say otherwise.

    Consider the pot stirred.

    -- Posted by Justin76 on Mon, Nov 9, 2009, at 9:11 AM
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    Justin I blamed no conservatives by name or by generalition. I was blaming people that trash education with no facts or just outright lie and those people that not only allow them to do that but applaud them for it. If you want to make the jump that I was attacking conservatives that's your choice. The bottom line is my topic was not conservatives but the trashing of education.

    Also who has ever made the claim that we have to listen to professors on global warming? I certainly don't. I listen to the scientists and the vast majority of them are not college professors.

    The problem I have with Professor Schweikart wrote this book as a personal vendetta because he didn't feel History books were giving President Reagen the credit he thought they should. He is on record stating this.

    There is a much better accounting of what History books leave out and that book is called "Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong" by James W. Loewen.

    Loewen's book is an actual accounting of what textbooks got wrong, while Schweikart's is a political hit job only focused on certain books that he found offensive.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Nov 9, 2009, at 3:15 PM
  • Justin, You need to quit shifting away from the topic and quit blaming "LIBERALS" for Lawn & Turf" Landscapers' problems.

    Agriculture in general concentrated far too much on chemicals from the 1940s through the early 2000s.

    In the intensive commercial vegetable production fields of the 1950s, 60s and 70s -- commercial fertilizer service companies were selling some of the most advanced farmers 200 gallons of liquid black phosphorus per acre.

    It was pure poison -- Nothing but exhausted phosphoric acid from the auto and machinery equipment factories.

    The manufacturers used phosphoric acid to strip finished auto bodies of grease, flux and chemical contaminants before priming and painting.

    When the huge vat of phosphoric was totally exhausted, with all the phosphorus in the vat totally tied up by metal ions, they avoided hazardous waste disposal costs, by letting the fertilizer service firms sell that poisonous junk to the vegetable farmers in particular.

    Black Phosphorous was absolutely worthless, there was no available phosphorus to be absorbed by plant roots and there was a high percentage of heavy metals, which were actually hazardous to field workers.

    Mind you they were not discriminatory, they would sell that poison to anyone.

    I have seen professionals applying pesticides at a rate of 1200 lbs. per acre, when the labels directed a maximum of 30 lbs. per acre. Their goal was to kill every possible pest, so customers would not complain they missed some bugs.

    The damage through water run off was and is incalculable.

    It required thirty years to repair the DDT damage to Eagles, fisheries and top of food chain predators.

    Most of the people who conducted the research and proved the damage beyond question were old farm boys and biological scientists -- about the fartherest from Liberal Thinkers anyone could possibly be.

    Scientific fact ain't got no politics.

    Determining the amount of arsenic, cyanide, or other poisons required to kill a 200 lb. mammal has nothing to do with political or economic philosophy.

    When the clinic scales record 50 more pounds than I should be packing -- It will not help my cause if I call that doctor a Liberal whacko!!!

    He is still going to say, eat less, exercise more.

    And he is going to be right.

    Justin, you are a great fan of one Phd's book in the social studies field.

    Sad reality -- conservative economics has members of "Good Ol' Boys Circles" requiring each others text books for their courses.

    I had a required history course in the Cow College, where we were required to read almost all of five textbooks. Our informal study group members each bought one of those five. The five university faculty authors taught within 300 miles of each other at state universities.

    Checked our library for the other university catalogs, to determine what books were required for that require History Course.

    Guess what, all five authors required reading of all the same textbooks. Pure conservative capitalism, using official authority to line their own pockets -- Not hardly liberal teachers.

    Everyone who disagrees with you ain't a raving Fascist/Nazi, nor are they radical Socialists and raving Communists.

    Under our socio-political-economic systems, you disagree with whoever you please, follow whatever political phiosopy you prefer -- But be intelligent enough to be honest with yourself.

    -- Posted by HerndonHank on Mon, Nov 9, 2009, at 8:48 PM
  • 1200 lbs per acre? Come on Hank, as an agronomist I hardly ever see that much total fertilizer put on a potato field! Let alone pesticides.

    Then again all my experience comes from the 2000'as and what we do NOW days. That's the problem with you don't know what's going on right now, you know what was going on 30 and 40 years ago. What does that have to do with today?

    I heard a PSA a couple years ago about all the pesticides they use in our schools and we need to demand they stop it becuase our children are getting brain damage from it.

    Well, I checked out their website like an intelligent person does instead of running thorugh the streets. They were talking about organophosphates that had been banned for years! Now who is going to know that other than a person like myself? So you can fool 99.999% of the general population with lies like this and that was proof of what they do.

    Talk about spreading lies days of old. You gotta get your facts staight and I'm sorry for wasting space on the blog for off topic disussion but you really needed some help.

    What you guys don't get that I am saying is that you are going to believe whatever it is you want to believe. Al Gore only listens to professors and experts that say there is man-made global warming and anyone who says otherwise is a crackpot.

    The double standard with you guys seems to be that only liberal experts and professors are ever right. The conservative experts and professors or anyone who dispells anything liberals say is a crackpot according to you guys.

    Arsenic, arsenic....100's of years we've lived around here and no one has EVER died of arsenic from the water. Yet, the EPA decided to lower the allowable level so that we had to spend 20 million dollars plus on a gigantic RO system to feed the town.

    People aren't dying of cancer form what's in the water, they're dying of cancer from being over weight, what they smoke, and what they eat.

    You say we need government healthcare...I say we need to quit eating crap, loose weight tubby, quit smoking, stop getting sauced, exercise, and get off the couch. Government healthcare isn't going to solve the real problem.

    Hank, you should really start on some objective research and put down your Sierra Club newsletter.

    -- Posted by Justin76 on Tue, Nov 10, 2009, at 12:31 AM
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    Last time I'm asking please keep it on topic. If you guys want to discuss agriculture I encourage you to start your own blog.

    This blog is about education.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Nov 10, 2009, at 7:07 AM
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    I must say i wish I were surprised. But after three days of this blog being up there has only been one defender of education (other than myself, thanks to Herndon Hank). The usual suspects have shown up to trash education, trash me for defending education, or to simply try to change the subject.

    I was hoping this blog would encourage those who actually support education to have the courage to voice their support, but I guess on this site education truly is a hated institution. I feel for our children being surrounded by such hatred for education. It's a wonder any new facilities ever get built in this area.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Nov 10, 2009, at 7:11 AM
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    So what do you teach about Columbus or the "discovery" of America?

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Nov 10, 2009, at 12:07 PM
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    fredd, that entire post shows that you have no idea what teachers do and sadly you are not alone in thinking that.

    I also don't know where you get your stats, the last time I looked at average pay for Nebraska teachers it was under $40,000.

    At Parent/Teacher conferences you will find all teachers accounted for. Unfortunately the only parents who tend to actually show up are the parents of the smart or well behaved kids. The parents we want to talk to are typically the parents that don't care and therefore their children also don't care.

    You think teaching is a part time job? Really? How long have you taught? Before you answer that I can go ahead and tell you that you haven't because if you had taught even a semester of school you wouldn't make such an uneducated worthless statement as that.

    Most teachers only get paid the 40 hours in the week they actually teach. They don't get paid for the untold hours spent after school or before school that they are preparing. They don't get paid for the sometimes summer long programs they attend in order to be better teachers. Summer vacation? There is no such thing for teachers.

    Students who walk into a classroom wanting to be a teacher thinking that they have summers off, a week long christmas break, spring break, and those three day weekends don't make it past the first semester of school.

    If you think it is so **** easy fredd I challenge you to take up teaching so you can get all those breaks.

    Next time you want to make libelous, absolutely false claims about a profession fredd you would be best served not making them against someone who is actually in the profession. Or actually no what you are talking about.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Nov 10, 2009, at 12:40 PM
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    I teach the truth SWNebr, America was never truly discovered as Native Americans were already here, but since there is such an emphasis on discovery in this country that the first visitors to this continent were either the Vikings or Asians hundreds of years before Columbus.

    What I teach about Columbus is that while he did open up new trading routes into the Caribbean Sea he never touched foot on North America let alone discovered it.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Nov 10, 2009, at 12:42 PM
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    From time to time I have to correct myself. In an earlier post I said the last time I checked average pay for teachers in Nebraska was under $40,000. I was wrong it is actually $42,044

    Average starting pay for teachers in Nebraska is %29,215. But this apparently is still to high for the likes of fredd

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Nov 10, 2009, at 12:45 PM
  • -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Nov 10, 2009, at 12:55 PM
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    Now I'm not a geography teacher but to what continent are Caribbean Islands attached? Does it matter if Columbus ever stood on land that is part of the United States? Shouldn't it be more important the influence that a person has long term. Sometimes, Mike, I think you get feeling too superior and proud of yourself for your petty little "truths" that you ignore big picture. If people get mad because you say Columbus didn't "discover" America, so what? Let them rail foolishly. I don't understand people who spend so much time and energy proving to others that "I am right and you are wrong" but I guess that's the way it works.

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Nov 10, 2009, at 1:22 PM
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    Either you are lying (which I think is the case) fredd or the teacher friends you talk about were horrible teachers.

    I don't know what school you have seen this at but the school I taught at there were no yellow pads. Every teacher was accounted for. Again I think you are lying. But that doesn't surprise me.

    I don't have any demons fredd and you are one to talk about judging. You are just angry that I called you out on your lies.

    Again, I don't know what school you are experiencing these problems at, but where I taught we did discuss the slave trade and labor, and the internment of Japanese Americans. I don't know how balancing a checkbook would even fit into a history lesson but if you feel that should be in the curriculum of High School History that's your opinion. There are, however, required classes that actually do teach children how to balance a check book.

    I always find it interesting that someone not involved in education at all can sit there and tell people that are in education that they are the ones that are wrong about what happens in a school.

    If you feel that me calling you out on your libelous obviously made up lies is insulting you then again that's your choice.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Nov 10, 2009, at 2:46 PM
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    Why do you think they are petty truths SWNebr? I don't feel superior to anyone.

    How does this always get back to Columbus anyways? I think it's more important to study the people that were already here, that somehow had to be discovered.

    The Caribbean Islands are not a part of any continent.

    I'm not trying to prove right or wrong on Columbus, I'm just stating fact.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Nov 10, 2009, at 2:49 PM
  • Theres nothing like hands on and will power......

    -- Posted by orville on Tue, Nov 10, 2009, at 8:19 PM
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    Just for the record I have never been to a Chris Isaak concert. Looks like dear old fredd has been caught in yet another lie. You're just lying to lie now. Attempting to discredit me. Have fun with that and don't expect anymore responses from me.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 5:56 AM
  • Interesting conversation so far.

    I got a great education at both my public highschool and my public university. It's prepared me well for my current job, and for my career ahead. But I know I was fortunate to go to a good highschool, and have good parents who were involved in my education. I want every single child to have the same quality of education I had.

    I would say that I experienced no "liberal indoctrination" in the public school system, but I know that I wouldn't be able to convince anyone of that, especially since their minds are probably already made up. In fact, the only teacher who tried to "push" (and I use that term loosely) his political beliefs on me was a staunch anti-Obama conservative.

    And I'm not sure why this seems to be a big deal, but apparently Mike HAS been to a Chris Isaak concert and has since forgotten about it.

    -- Posted by jhat on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 11:20 AM
  • i would be the last one to defend mike because i have a problem (probably my perception) that mike is too willing to call anyone liars if they disagree with his viewpoint. however, (and jhat is the only liberal who posts here who can do it without denigrating the other viewpoint) i believe jhats reference is probably to mikes father who is/used to be on staff at mccook junior college.

    -- Posted by doodle bug on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 12:22 PM
  • Doodle,

    You may be right. In the link I found, the author references his children. So it might not be ekimsitruc.


    I'd love to read that study if you have a link for it. I certainly wouldn't say the actions of one teacher (or even a few teachers) reflects on teachers everywhere. Personal experience does not necessarily reflect the actual state of things.

    And to clarify, when I said he "pushed" his opinions, I meant that he was very pro-McCain and anti-Obama. He was pretty incredulous that I supported Obama over McCain, and he let me know.

    It was mostly when I interacted with him out of class, though sometimes not. And even then, I don't feel that it would have ever affected my grade or our student-teacher relationship. We were always able to remain civil in our discussions (which is how I prefer political debate). In fact, I just stopped by his place this weekend to visit. I gave him some help putting together a course, and of course we argued politics for awhile. Good times.

    -- Posted by jhat on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 1:32 PM
  • I believe I am the youngest person to speak on this conversation, and I was the most recent to be in public schooling. Here are my thoughts and experiences:

    High school is a joke in sw nebraska. It is possible to put forth literally zero effort, show up for class, and graduate. And this is how we expect to better America? I had some great teachers,and I had some horrible ones. Teachers outside of universities really have their hands tied. I find it interesting that conservatives always gripe about over-reaching gov't, but no one batted an eyelash at no child left behind. If you ask people in education they will tell you that this was one of the worst decisions in American education.

    And I can say this next statement with confidence: I learned more and retained knowledge more in my first 2 weeks of my college history class than I did my entire scholastic career prior.

    Maybe this is beacuse college is a choice and we are forced to go to hs. Who knows?

    -- Posted by mccookreader on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 1:39 PM
  • MCR,

    While we're sharing public education stories.

    My HS education was top-notch. Our HS had two main options, college-prep and career-prep. Both options included the traditional HS classes, however career-prep had more emphasis on learning trade-skills and life-skills. And the english/math/science classes were not as difficult.

    We also had a few AP courses. AP courses allow students to take more difficult courses that may count for college credit (depending on the university).

    So any student who just wanted to coast through without alot of effort could. They would just take career-prep, or only the basic college-prep classes (no honors or AP classes).

    But students who wanted challenges, who wanted to excel, who wanted to learn, could optionally take higher-level courses.

    So, in my HS, you could "put forth zero effort" or you could take the initiative to learn.

    Strikingly, the same was true of my major in college. There was a heavy emphasis on working in teams. Which meant that some students could pass by relying on others. But if you took the initiative to do the work, and got involved in work outside of class, you got a great education.

    My senior year, I got involved in a graduate-level research project. And by the end of the year, I was managing a team of 35 undergraduate students who were working on the project. Despite the fact that I could taken the bare minimum credits senior year and passed.

    (caveat: I did NOT get the impression that kids in other majors could coast the way some in mine did. It was a bit of a special circumstance, because my major was new, and not based on traditional frameworks).

    The bottom line is that education has 3 components that need to be there.

    1. Schools must provide opportunity.

    2. Parents need to provide encouragement and support.

    3. (the most important)Kids must want to learn.

    Each of these things feed into each other and effect the other 2. All three components must be in place for an effective education system.

    -- Posted by jhat on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 2:35 PM
  • I kind of found it ironic that teachers now days, if they didn't like something from their school years such as essay test questions, many won't put them on their tests.

    Many feel that you can look up the info as you need it. This leads to more open book/open notes tests, you don't need to memorize as much.

    One of my teachers said someone he knows at another college is going as far as allowing the students to work together in class on tests.

    Its like, this is how you learned things, but yet, you don't think it's critical that we learn similarly. Sure, we can look info up in most cases faster then our teachers could.

    Sure an occasional test here and there that's designed to be easy isn't going to hurt and is well welcomed, but does every test need to be that way?

    Even the majority of "finals" are over the last few things learned since the last test.

    -- Posted by npwinder on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 3:11 PM
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    Just to clear this up, and its absolutely silly that I have to. My name is Michael Hendricks and I have a blog called "And Now for Something Completely Different"

    My father's name is Mike Hendricks and he has a column entitled "Mike at Night".

    We are two completely people. He went to the Chris Isaak show and fredd because you have gone way over the line in trying to say you saw me/my father at concert ... (I won't finish the line) your comment has been flagged for slander.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 5:49 PM
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    When it comes to open-book tests I do not give them. From my own experience and from other students experience open-book tests tend to be the worst test to give. Obviously the main reason is because the student isn't truly learning anything but secondly those test tend to get worse grades than any other test.

    I will say as far as finals go I give two semester finals. One covers what the student has learned in the first semester the second covers what the student has learned in the second semester.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 5:52 PM
  • So Guillermo why do you hate me. I came from a poor family in McCook. We lived in a 1 bathroom house with 6. My twin and myself put ourselves through college and I am a "Rich" business owner. It seems like I really beat the odds as I was able to break through the "token" level and make it.

    However, I am your enemy. Because I made it I suppose. If you realized that in America we can all make it that kills the Socialism model.

    What do you do by the way? Are you a business leader??

    -- Posted by wallismarsh on Fri, Nov 20, 2009, at 4:54 PM
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    In a country of over 300 million people the simple fact of the matter is not everyone can make it on their own like you have wallis. I applaud you I really do, but unfortunately your case is the exception rather than the rule.

    -- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Nov 21, 2009, at 10:32 AM
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