Jefferson on funding NPR

I had never heard this quotation from Thomas Jefferson:

“To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

via Michelle Malkin.

It might be possible to make a case for public broadcasting–or it used to be, when higher-brow programming was not available before the advent of abundant-channel cable TV or digital radio.  (Though it’s still not clear to me why the state should fund high-brow programming with the tax dollars of those with regular brows.)  But isn’t it intrinsically wrong in a free society for the state to fund programming with specific political opinions?  Isn’t that what totalitarian states with their propaganda media do?

So should we de-fund NPR and PBS?  (Notice that “But I like their programs” is NOT an argument why taxpayers as a whole, including many who do not avail themselves of the programming, should pay for them.)

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SAL

    We certainly should as funding public broadcasting isn’t constitutional. However conservatives might not like the results of that. I think it might require even heavier regulation of the rest of TV to ensure adequate educational and children’s television.

    And you can say Goodbye to the dozen or so PBS literacy shows geared towards children that are funded by federal grants.

    I certainly hope the states would be able to move into the breach to at least support the educational duties that PBS has.

  • SAL

    We certainly should as funding public broadcasting isn’t constitutional. However conservatives might not like the results of that. I think it might require even heavier regulation of the rest of TV to ensure adequate educational and children’s television.

    And you can say Goodbye to the dozen or so PBS literacy shows geared towards children that are funded by federal grants.

    I certainly hope the states would be able to move into the breach to at least support the educational duties that PBS has.

  • Dan Kempin

    Okay, this is only sort of related, but has anyone else noticed the avalanche of commercials the government has been been buying lately, especially on radio? It seems like 40% of ad revnue must be coming from commercials with a “dot gov” tag.

    I find this disturbing on a number of levels.

  • Dan Kempin

    Okay, this is only sort of related, but has anyone else noticed the avalanche of commercials the government has been been buying lately, especially on radio? It seems like 40% of ad revnue must be coming from commercials with a “dot gov” tag.

    I find this disturbing on a number of levels.

  • Pete

    Well, the trouble with Jefferson’s quote is – as we all know – that the designation of a policy as being “sinful” no longer has any relevance.

  • Pete

    Well, the trouble with Jefferson’s quote is – as we all know – that the designation of a policy as being “sinful” no longer has any relevance.

  • Tom Hering

    Let’s see. Public broadcasting costs taxpayers about 450 million a year. And there are about 138 million taxpayers. So public broadcasting costs each taxpayer about $3.26 a year. This fact inspires some of my fellow patriots to want to assemble in the town square, muskets primed and ready. Me? I’m tempted to roll over and go back to sleep. Wake me when King George wants an amount from me that I don’t throw into the change jar every week.

    But let’s say that $3.26 actually deserves to be called something as serious as “tyranny.” Because a principle is at stake! Because government is funding the broadcasting of views that not every American agrees with! Wait a second. Shouldn’t we be talking about these guys, who cost the taxpayers closer to 700 million a year? And what about these guys? Does every American agree with them?

    So maybe it isn’t really about government funding the broadcasting of views that not every American agrees with. Maybe it’s about broadcasting particular views. Which, by the way, many Americans do want to be exposed to. Because, for them, all sorts of views are worth thinking about.

    Public broadcasting contributes to public discourse, which is vital for democracy.

    But aren’t the privately-owned channels doing this job? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, I don’t see how the elimination of a voice from the public discourse strengthens democracy. Especially when that voice operates with the specific purpose of increasing public knowledge and discourse.

  • Tom Hering

    Let’s see. Public broadcasting costs taxpayers about 450 million a year. And there are about 138 million taxpayers. So public broadcasting costs each taxpayer about $3.26 a year. This fact inspires some of my fellow patriots to want to assemble in the town square, muskets primed and ready. Me? I’m tempted to roll over and go back to sleep. Wake me when King George wants an amount from me that I don’t throw into the change jar every week.

    But let’s say that $3.26 actually deserves to be called something as serious as “tyranny.” Because a principle is at stake! Because government is funding the broadcasting of views that not every American agrees with! Wait a second. Shouldn’t we be talking about these guys, who cost the taxpayers closer to 700 million a year? And what about these guys? Does every American agree with them?

    So maybe it isn’t really about government funding the broadcasting of views that not every American agrees with. Maybe it’s about broadcasting particular views. Which, by the way, many Americans do want to be exposed to. Because, for them, all sorts of views are worth thinking about.

    Public broadcasting contributes to public discourse, which is vital for democracy.

    But aren’t the privately-owned channels doing this job? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, I don’t see how the elimination of a voice from the public discourse strengthens democracy. Especially when that voice operates with the specific purpose of increasing public knowledge and discourse.

  • http://womanofthehouse-blog.blogspot.com/ womanofthehouse

    I want PBS and NPR to continue but just not with tax money, especially since it’s such a small percentage of their total budget. Let them keep raising corporate money and having their pledge drives. I also wish they’d go back to playing more music and focus less on news and talk shows. My NPR station plays music a lot less than it used to.

  • http://womanofthehouse-blog.blogspot.com/ womanofthehouse

    I want PBS and NPR to continue but just not with tax money, especially since it’s such a small percentage of their total budget. Let them keep raising corporate money and having their pledge drives. I also wish they’d go back to playing more music and focus less on news and talk shows. My NPR station plays music a lot less than it used to.

  • Dan Kempin

    SAL, #1,

    “Educational duties” of PBS?

    I thought it was the duty of parents to raise and educate their children.

  • Dan Kempin

    SAL, #1,

    “Educational duties” of PBS?

    I thought it was the duty of parents to raise and educate their children.

  • http://www.spaceagelutheran.blogspot.com/ SAL

    #5 What about the kids whose parents don’t do their duty?
    Are we to just not be concerned about their education?

  • http://www.spaceagelutheran.blogspot.com/ SAL

    #5 What about the kids whose parents don’t do their duty?
    Are we to just not be concerned about their education?

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Defund it, yes.

    PBS educational? Please. Parents can do more with a few days of instruction in letters and phonics than a child would get from years of Sesame Street. Plus, the indoctrination that’s too commonly on PBS shows overrides any advantages that might be conferred….

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Defund it, yes.

    PBS educational? Please. Parents can do more with a few days of instruction in letters and phonics than a child would get from years of Sesame Street. Plus, the indoctrination that’s too commonly on PBS shows overrides any advantages that might be conferred….

  • John C

    The Government subsidises quite a range of private and public enterprise. The US is not a dictatorship and NPR is not politically partisan. It is difficult to find a worthwhile reason why it should not be funded by government.
    Besides, for just about every product or service purchased, a small percentage flows in the form of advertising to your local media organization. The media extracts a levy from us all, whether we like it or not.

  • John C

    The Government subsidises quite a range of private and public enterprise. The US is not a dictatorship and NPR is not politically partisan. It is difficult to find a worthwhile reason why it should not be funded by government.
    Besides, for just about every product or service purchased, a small percentage flows in the form of advertising to your local media organization. The media extracts a levy from us all, whether we like it or not.

  • Cincinnatus

    Wait, wait, wait, SAL. I think you’ve skipped ahead a little bit. First you have to prove the educational value of these ostensibly educational shows.

    While I, like many Americans, grew up passively absorbing the images offered by Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow, and Mr. Rogers, amongst others, I can’t say I recall learning anything significant from the show. I enjoyed, but certainly didn’t learn anything about counting, reading, etc.–though I did hear a lot about “tolerance,” which has been Sesame Street’s apparent “agenda” since at least the late 1980′s. In any case, aside from Neil Postman’s cogent critiques of television-as-education, we have rather law standards if PBS is supposed to be educating our young children in lieu of sufficient parental involvement. So, on this point, essentially what Bike@7 said.

    JohnC@8: “It is difficult to find a worthwhile reason why it should not be funded by government.” Really? Seriously? Aside from the several already produced, PBS doesn’t even show good television anymore, and it could probably survive without contributions from the government anyway. Moreover, it has a clear agenda (cf. my statement on “tolerance” above). Why should I have to support that with my taxes?

  • Cincinnatus

    Wait, wait, wait, SAL. I think you’ve skipped ahead a little bit. First you have to prove the educational value of these ostensibly educational shows.

    While I, like many Americans, grew up passively absorbing the images offered by Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow, and Mr. Rogers, amongst others, I can’t say I recall learning anything significant from the show. I enjoyed, but certainly didn’t learn anything about counting, reading, etc.–though I did hear a lot about “tolerance,” which has been Sesame Street’s apparent “agenda” since at least the late 1980′s. In any case, aside from Neil Postman’s cogent critiques of television-as-education, we have rather law standards if PBS is supposed to be educating our young children in lieu of sufficient parental involvement. So, on this point, essentially what Bike@7 said.

    JohnC@8: “It is difficult to find a worthwhile reason why it should not be funded by government.” Really? Seriously? Aside from the several already produced, PBS doesn’t even show good television anymore, and it could probably survive without contributions from the government anyway. Moreover, it has a clear agenda (cf. my statement on “tolerance” above). Why should I have to support that with my taxes?

  • SKPeterson

    John C – advertising expenses are not a levy and almost all (probably all) of the subsidies to private enterprise should be ended and all public enterprises closed.

    Now, the inevitable, “Well, what about ___________? (insert YOUR favorite subsidy candidate here) Without _____________ our national security and the FUTURE OF OUR (choose one ) a) CHILDREN, b) WAY OF LIFE c) BOTH a) and b) will be compromised.

    I’ll pick two: mohair subsidies and the tea board. Two essential and critical functions performed with your tax dollars.

    Caveat: I work in a government facility that could be privatized. My position is due largely to a healthy and realistic fear of arbitrary anti-trust actions by the government upon an industrial sector.

  • SKPeterson

    John C – advertising expenses are not a levy and almost all (probably all) of the subsidies to private enterprise should be ended and all public enterprises closed.

    Now, the inevitable, “Well, what about ___________? (insert YOUR favorite subsidy candidate here) Without _____________ our national security and the FUTURE OF OUR (choose one ) a) CHILDREN, b) WAY OF LIFE c) BOTH a) and b) will be compromised.

    I’ll pick two: mohair subsidies and the tea board. Two essential and critical functions performed with your tax dollars.

    Caveat: I work in a government facility that could be privatized. My position is due largely to a healthy and realistic fear of arbitrary anti-trust actions by the government upon an industrial sector.

  • http://womanofthehouse-blog.blogspot.com/ womanofthehouse

    John C @ #8
    NPR is not politically partisan? I wonder what Juan Williams would have to say about that. The government should not be funding NPR because NPR should not have government strings attached to its funding and therefore its content. State-run news outlets don’t have a very good history of impartiality, and while NPR isn’t funded by the government to a very large extent, any government money compromises its integrity objectivity. The Founding Fathers knew the value of a free press to a democracy and did not provide for government sponsorship of the press in the Constitution. And they were right.

  • http://womanofthehouse-blog.blogspot.com/ womanofthehouse

    John C @ #8
    NPR is not politically partisan? I wonder what Juan Williams would have to say about that. The government should not be funding NPR because NPR should not have government strings attached to its funding and therefore its content. State-run news outlets don’t have a very good history of impartiality, and while NPR isn’t funded by the government to a very large extent, any government money compromises its integrity objectivity. The Founding Fathers knew the value of a free press to a democracy and did not provide for government sponsorship of the press in the Constitution. And they were right.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    I’m pretty indifferent to PBS and NPR, don’t watch or listen to them. The only reason I used to watch PBS was for a few BBC produced shows and the Red Green Show. Don’t need PBS for that anymore, so I don’t watch it anymore. In this time of governmental fiscal insolvency we cannot afford to subsidize such trivial things as radio and tv networks. Cut’em and let the people who care to listen/watch them pay for them.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    I’m pretty indifferent to PBS and NPR, don’t watch or listen to them. The only reason I used to watch PBS was for a few BBC produced shows and the Red Green Show. Don’t need PBS for that anymore, so I don’t watch it anymore. In this time of governmental fiscal insolvency we cannot afford to subsidize such trivial things as radio and tv networks. Cut’em and let the people who care to listen/watch them pay for them.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    I recently enjoyed a documentary on PBS about the archeology team that finally “decoded” the intricate Myan heiroglyphs. It was brilliant programming, programming I would like to see continue – but is it constitutional to fund with taxes?

    Simply put, no. But I am afraid we live in a far more complex world than that. I think in the end a good bit of this discussion comes down to one’s belief in absolutes and morality. If there are good and better and true ideas, then there is some kind of inherent obligation to share that truth. If everyone’s opinions are relative, then who cares if everyone is listening to Glenn Beck or whoever. I think the old liberal position was two-fold. First, there is ethical pressure to make sure that rural America is not disenfranchised by being left out of the learning loop (back when radio was king). Second, that there is real truth and good, which also entails ethical pressure to make sure that truth and good is available to all. Of course, the question today usually revolves around whether NPR has any true or good programming.

    Personally, I think the pressing moral obligation for the whole union right now is to cut as much tax spending as possible. We have got to pay our debts, and get our spending below our earning. Now.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    I recently enjoyed a documentary on PBS about the archeology team that finally “decoded” the intricate Myan heiroglyphs. It was brilliant programming, programming I would like to see continue – but is it constitutional to fund with taxes?

    Simply put, no. But I am afraid we live in a far more complex world than that. I think in the end a good bit of this discussion comes down to one’s belief in absolutes and morality. If there are good and better and true ideas, then there is some kind of inherent obligation to share that truth. If everyone’s opinions are relative, then who cares if everyone is listening to Glenn Beck or whoever. I think the old liberal position was two-fold. First, there is ethical pressure to make sure that rural America is not disenfranchised by being left out of the learning loop (back when radio was king). Second, that there is real truth and good, which also entails ethical pressure to make sure that truth and good is available to all. Of course, the question today usually revolves around whether NPR has any true or good programming.

    Personally, I think the pressing moral obligation for the whole union right now is to cut as much tax spending as possible. We have got to pay our debts, and get our spending below our earning. Now.

  • kerner

    I could be wrong about this (I found one secondary source that says it’s true, but nothing I’m sure of yet), but I’d be willing to bet that Jefferson was talking about the separation of Church and State when he said this. In other words, no tax money for all those representations of the 10 Commandments in public buildings or creches on courthouse lawns, or paying chaplains with tax money, or prayer in public schools (of course that last went long ago).

    You all DO realize that public funding for all the things Christians want said (that might have been supported with tax money) goes flying right out the door with the NPR funding if the principles underlying this quotation are applied, don’t you?

    Personally, I’m OK with leaving the propagation of ideas in private hands, thanks very much, but that will include Christian ideas as well. There won’t be any getting away from that.

  • kerner

    I could be wrong about this (I found one secondary source that says it’s true, but nothing I’m sure of yet), but I’d be willing to bet that Jefferson was talking about the separation of Church and State when he said this. In other words, no tax money for all those representations of the 10 Commandments in public buildings or creches on courthouse lawns, or paying chaplains with tax money, or prayer in public schools (of course that last went long ago).

    You all DO realize that public funding for all the things Christians want said (that might have been supported with tax money) goes flying right out the door with the NPR funding if the principles underlying this quotation are applied, don’t you?

    Personally, I’m OK with leaving the propagation of ideas in private hands, thanks very much, but that will include Christian ideas as well. There won’t be any getting away from that.

  • Tom Hering

    womanofthehouse @ 12, when my comment @ 4 clears moderation (one too many links?), check out the last link, which is to the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. The CPB was set up to be free of any possible government influence on content. Do you have any evidence that it hasn’t worked out that way?

  • Tom Hering

    womanofthehouse @ 12, when my comment @ 4 clears moderation (one too many links?), check out the last link, which is to the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. The CPB was set up to be free of any possible government influence on content. Do you have any evidence that it hasn’t worked out that way?

  • John C

    You are right Womanofthehouse, state run broadcasters do have a poor track record. However state funded institutions with independent charters such as as the BBC and ABC are highly regarded. In fact the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is the most highly respected institution in the country.
    Fox News is a very successful company, but capitalism does not guarantee impartiality or integrity.
    Tolerance is almost a virtue is it not Cincinnatus?

  • John C

    You are right Womanofthehouse, state run broadcasters do have a poor track record. However state funded institutions with independent charters such as as the BBC and ABC are highly regarded. In fact the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is the most highly respected institution in the country.
    Fox News is a very successful company, but capitalism does not guarantee impartiality or integrity.
    Tolerance is almost a virtue is it not Cincinnatus?

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    “However state funded institutions with independent charters” – there you go. As universities should be as well. There is no way you are going to get a commercialy funded broadcaster that doesn’t bow down to the one holding the purse strings. The only other alternative is part -government, part community, like KCTS9, Knowledge Network etc. Thing is, they generaly broadcast material, not produce them.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    “However state funded institutions with independent charters” – there you go. As universities should be as well. There is no way you are going to get a commercialy funded broadcaster that doesn’t bow down to the one holding the purse strings. The only other alternative is part -government, part community, like KCTS9, Knowledge Network etc. Thing is, they generaly broadcast material, not produce them.

  • http://womanofthehouse-blog.blogspot.com/ womanofthehouse

    Kerner #14

    Yes, I for one do realize that and am quite content with it. I don’t think government should be in the education business either. (And no, our children do not and never have and never will attend public schools as long as my husband and I are breathing .)

    No, I have no evidence that NPR hasn’t been influenced by its government money, but I don’t know how to prove a negative. Even if that argument falls, though, there are enough reasons (many mentioned here already) not to give tax money to NPR.

  • http://womanofthehouse-blog.blogspot.com/ womanofthehouse

    Kerner #14

    Yes, I for one do realize that and am quite content with it. I don’t think government should be in the education business either. (And no, our children do not and never have and never will attend public schools as long as my husband and I are breathing .)

    No, I have no evidence that NPR hasn’t been influenced by its government money, but I don’t know how to prove a negative. Even if that argument falls, though, there are enough reasons (many mentioned here already) not to give tax money to NPR.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Tolerance is almost a virtue is it not Cincinnatus?”

    Great question.

    Good arguments could be made both ways.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Tolerance is almost a virtue is it not Cincinnatus?”

    Great question.

    Good arguments could be made both ways.

  • S Bauer

    Defund it.

    The government (or better, the denizens of government who think they know better how you should think and live than you do) don’t have to influence PBS/NPR. As the Juan Williams episodes shows, those in charge “self-police” toward what is “progressive” and “politically correct”.

  • S Bauer

    Defund it.

    The government (or better, the denizens of government who think they know better how you should think and live than you do) don’t have to influence PBS/NPR. As the Juan Williams episodes shows, those in charge “self-police” toward what is “progressive” and “politically correct”.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    There is nothing of educational value on public tv or radio that you cannot get on the Discovery channel or through normal news radio.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    There is nothing of educational value on public tv or radio that you cannot get on the Discovery channel or through normal news radio.

  • Tom Hering

    “No, I have no evidence that NPR hasn’t been influenced by its government money, but I don’t know how to prove a negative.” – womanofthehouse @ 19.

    You don’t have to prove a negative. Just provide evidence that government has influenced the content of public broadcasting.

    “As the Juan Williams episodes shows, those in charge ‘self-police’ toward what is ‘progressive’ and ‘politically correct.’” – S Bauer @ 21.

    Oh please – not the phony censorship charge again. Williams wasn’t fired for anything he said on NPR. He was fired for what he said on FOX NEWS. And he is still free to say whatever he wants on FOX News. So how has he been censored? The censorship charge is marketing hype for the newest star at FOX News – designed to appeal to the audience for FOX News. (And Williams is doing his best to help the hype along. He wants to hold on to that 2-million-dollar contract, you know.)

    Let’s be up front. Those calling for public broadcasting to lose its funding are doing so precisely because they have a problem with its content. Who’s the real censor in all this?

  • Tom Hering

    “No, I have no evidence that NPR hasn’t been influenced by its government money, but I don’t know how to prove a negative.” – womanofthehouse @ 19.

    You don’t have to prove a negative. Just provide evidence that government has influenced the content of public broadcasting.

    “As the Juan Williams episodes shows, those in charge ‘self-police’ toward what is ‘progressive’ and ‘politically correct.’” – S Bauer @ 21.

    Oh please – not the phony censorship charge again. Williams wasn’t fired for anything he said on NPR. He was fired for what he said on FOX NEWS. And he is still free to say whatever he wants on FOX News. So how has he been censored? The censorship charge is marketing hype for the newest star at FOX News – designed to appeal to the audience for FOX News. (And Williams is doing his best to help the hype along. He wants to hold on to that 2-million-dollar contract, you know.)

    Let’s be up front. Those calling for public broadcasting to lose its funding are doing so precisely because they have a problem with its content. Who’s the real censor in all this?

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Count me as one who thinks the ‘P’ in NPR and PBS oughtta stand for Private instead of Public.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Count me as one who thinks the ‘P’ in NPR and PBS oughtta stand for Private instead of Public.

  • CRB

    Here are some interesting insights from Dr. Hanson, a favorite
    political columnist:

    http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson102310.html

  • CRB

    Here are some interesting insights from Dr. Hanson, a favorite
    political columnist:

    http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson102310.html

  • collie

    I’m sort of neutral about gov funding of NPR & PBS. I wouldn’t care if they kept it up or if funding was stopped. My son encouraged me to listen to NPR and so I did, for about a week last spring, but it didn’t interest me. I tried, I really did! In NPR’s defense, I only listened at the same time every day -
    morning,so I probably missed some good programming.

    PBS is a different story. I have watched the network, on and off for a long time. I just stopped watching it again, a few weeks ago, because they moved the one or two shows I was watching to an inconvenient time. I wrote the local station an email to complain, but what else can I do? I can’t boycott a sponsors’
    product, can I? I don’t think it works that way.

    I would rather see the government defund the NEA, or the groups that sprung up to replace Acorn. Or just stop earmarks – a tiny % of the budget, I know, but a good first step to reforming how Congress works.

  • collie

    I’m sort of neutral about gov funding of NPR & PBS. I wouldn’t care if they kept it up or if funding was stopped. My son encouraged me to listen to NPR and so I did, for about a week last spring, but it didn’t interest me. I tried, I really did! In NPR’s defense, I only listened at the same time every day -
    morning,so I probably missed some good programming.

    PBS is a different story. I have watched the network, on and off for a long time. I just stopped watching it again, a few weeks ago, because they moved the one or two shows I was watching to an inconvenient time. I wrote the local station an email to complain, but what else can I do? I can’t boycott a sponsors’
    product, can I? I don’t think it works that way.

    I would rather see the government defund the NEA, or the groups that sprung up to replace Acorn. Or just stop earmarks – a tiny % of the budget, I know, but a good first step to reforming how Congress works.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    So this would also rule out the Iraq War, then?

    I mean, say what you will about the relatively miniscule amount of taxes that goes to fund public broadcasting of ideas that are, at times, somewhat partisan, in a way that is completely ignorable by everyone (including me).

    But that rather pales in comparison to the violent propagating of the idea that every country needs democracy now (even if at gunpoint, regardless of the culture), paid for not with only a significant hit to our tax dollars, but also the blood of many men — theirs and ours.

    … Or were we supposed to be talking about how Glen Ifill is the real antichrist or something?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    So this would also rule out the Iraq War, then?

    I mean, say what you will about the relatively miniscule amount of taxes that goes to fund public broadcasting of ideas that are, at times, somewhat partisan, in a way that is completely ignorable by everyone (including me).

    But that rather pales in comparison to the violent propagating of the idea that every country needs democracy now (even if at gunpoint, regardless of the culture), paid for not with only a significant hit to our tax dollars, but also the blood of many men — theirs and ours.

    … Or were we supposed to be talking about how Glen Ifill is the real antichrist or something?

  • http://www.spaceagelutheran.blogspot.com/ SAL

    Of those criticizing PBS’s educational value I’ve got to assume you’ve not seen it in a few years.

    My daughter watches:
    Word World (a literacy program)
    World Girl (another literacy program)
    Super Why (another literacy program)
    Between the Lions (another literacy program)
    Sid the Science Kid (a program that teaches basic scientific principles)

    PBS isn’t doing many fluff shows like Reading Rainbow anymore. Now their focus is on Literacy and Science.

    I’m not suggesting the federal government has the authority to fund any of this. I’m worried about striking down educational television in an era where our children are falling behind.

  • http://www.spaceagelutheran.blogspot.com/ SAL

    Of those criticizing PBS’s educational value I’ve got to assume you’ve not seen it in a few years.

    My daughter watches:
    Word World (a literacy program)
    World Girl (another literacy program)
    Super Why (another literacy program)
    Between the Lions (another literacy program)
    Sid the Science Kid (a program that teaches basic scientific principles)

    PBS isn’t doing many fluff shows like Reading Rainbow anymore. Now their focus is on Literacy and Science.

    I’m not suggesting the federal government has the authority to fund any of this. I’m worried about striking down educational television in an era where our children are falling behind.

  • Tom Hering

    “Or were we supposed to be talking about how Glen Ifill is the real antichrist or something?” – tODD @ 27.

    “Glen”? If Gwen has morphed with Glenn (Beck), then yes, something wicked this way comes. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    “Or were we supposed to be talking about how Glen Ifill is the real antichrist or something?” – tODD @ 27.

    “Glen”? If Gwen has morphed with Glenn (Beck), then yes, something wicked this way comes. :-)

  • collie

    I guess I just did what Dr. Veith said not to do: say whether I liked a program. So, I vote to defund them. It’s probably irresponsible for gov to sponsor them during economic hard times (maybe anytime)
    Let the private donors take up the slack. I would donate more, if I liked the stuff they were showing. I’ve done it in the past, I can do it again.

  • collie

    I guess I just did what Dr. Veith said not to do: say whether I liked a program. So, I vote to defund them. It’s probably irresponsible for gov to sponsor them during economic hard times (maybe anytime)
    Let the private donors take up the slack. I would donate more, if I liked the stuff they were showing. I’ve done it in the past, I can do it again.

  • DonS

    The simplest reason, of course, for not funding NPR is that the federal government is $13 trillion in debt. It has no business funding anything that is not absolutely essential to its Constitutional mission. Another reason is that such funding is not within the limited powers of the federal government, which hopefully, we are beginning to re-discover.

  • DonS

    The simplest reason, of course, for not funding NPR is that the federal government is $13 trillion in debt. It has no business funding anything that is not absolutely essential to its Constitutional mission. Another reason is that such funding is not within the limited powers of the federal government, which hopefully, we are beginning to re-discover.

  • Porcell

    John C at 8. …and NPR is not politically partisan. How quaint a position. NPR is ideologically a leftist outfit that provides conservatives no voice in the public square.

    Gwen Ifill, far from being an anti-Christ, is merely a rather predictably boring liberal, full of pietistic yearning to overcome the sins of folk with wonderful government solutions.

    In a country that is, according to Gallup, Conservative: 42 percent. Moderate: 35 percent. Liberal: 20 percent, the egregiously liberal NPR is an intolerable excrescence whose public funding ought to be terminated.

  • Porcell

    John C at 8. …and NPR is not politically partisan. How quaint a position. NPR is ideologically a leftist outfit that provides conservatives no voice in the public square.

    Gwen Ifill, far from being an anti-Christ, is merely a rather predictably boring liberal, full of pietistic yearning to overcome the sins of folk with wonderful government solutions.

    In a country that is, according to Gallup, Conservative: 42 percent. Moderate: 35 percent. Liberal: 20 percent, the egregiously liberal NPR is an intolerable excrescence whose public funding ought to be terminated.

  • Cincinnatus

    One issue on which I find myself in agreement with Porcell!

    I’ve yet to see a single affirmative reason for why we should maintain public funding for PBS. Why do we need a television station funded by the government? Even aside from the constitutional questions (which are weighty), why? I see statements about one’s daughter enjoying literacy programs, something about a “Ministry of Truth” that we need (@13), and some whaaragarbl about how we shouldn’t fund the Iraq War if we’re not going to fund PBS.

    Ok. But why do we need a publicly-funded television station in a time of fiscal crisis? Anyone? Bueller?

  • Cincinnatus

    One issue on which I find myself in agreement with Porcell!

    I’ve yet to see a single affirmative reason for why we should maintain public funding for PBS. Why do we need a television station funded by the government? Even aside from the constitutional questions (which are weighty), why? I see statements about one’s daughter enjoying literacy programs, something about a “Ministry of Truth” that we need (@13), and some whaaragarbl about how we shouldn’t fund the Iraq War if we’re not going to fund PBS.

    Ok. But why do we need a publicly-funded television station in a time of fiscal crisis? Anyone? Bueller?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@32), as I’ve already said elsewhere, I don’t see any reason why the government should fund NPR or PBS.

    I was just wondering if anyone had any interest in the Jefferson quote beyond the hackneyed, if topical, use of decrying NPR? Or is that its sole application?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@32), as I’ve already said elsewhere, I don’t see any reason why the government should fund NPR or PBS.

    I was just wondering if anyone had any interest in the Jefferson quote beyond the hackneyed, if topical, use of decrying NPR? Or is that its sole application?

  • Grace

    The citizens of this country need to support their preferred programing,… that includes educational television. As DonS made clear, the debt in this country doesn’t justify supporting NPR.

    IF educational television were such a worthwhile tool, we would see evidence of its success, but that is not the case. Instead we have a country full of young people who have poor reading skills, little to no understanding of government, (ask them who the Vice President, or speaker of the House, most kids don’t have a clue) the list is long.

    Porcell makes the point: “NPR is ideologically a leftist outfit that provides conservatives no voice in the public square.” I agree!

  • Grace

    The citizens of this country need to support their preferred programing,… that includes educational television. As DonS made clear, the debt in this country doesn’t justify supporting NPR.

    IF educational television were such a worthwhile tool, we would see evidence of its success, but that is not the case. Instead we have a country full of young people who have poor reading skills, little to no understanding of government, (ask them who the Vice President, or speaker of the House, most kids don’t have a clue) the list is long.

    Porcell makes the point: “NPR is ideologically a leftist outfit that provides conservatives no voice in the public square.” I agree!

  • Grace

    34 should read:

    The citizens of this country need to support their preferred programing,… that includes educational television. As DonS made clear, the debt in this country doesn’t justify supporting NPR, using tax dollars.

  • Grace

    34 should read:

    The citizens of this country need to support their preferred programing,… that includes educational television. As DonS made clear, the debt in this country doesn’t justify supporting NPR, using tax dollars.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    My kids like the PBS kids shows and they are pretty good. However, they are superfluous. They make exactly no difference in the overall learning outcomes. Early childhood education is pretty much bull. Maybe folks push it because it makes mothers feel better leaving their kids at preschool, but it does not benefit kids. PBS programming doesn’t hurt either. It just doesn’t matter. The New England colonists achieved the highest literacy rates the world had ever seen and founded many colleges of higher learning while most folks were living in near wilderness with dirt floors. Education isn’t about money. It doesn’t cost much to just teach kids to read and do simple math which is all pre K and K are. Once they can read, they can learn much more independently. According to Rev. Thomas Korcok, LCMS Schools weren’t much on the kindergarten bandwagon from the outset. Turns out they were pretty much right.

    In short, kiddie “educational” programming while fun, is no reason for the government to fund PBS. Children do not now, nor have they ever needed children’s television programs. They can do something else, just like they did for thousands of years.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    My kids like the PBS kids shows and they are pretty good. However, they are superfluous. They make exactly no difference in the overall learning outcomes. Early childhood education is pretty much bull. Maybe folks push it because it makes mothers feel better leaving their kids at preschool, but it does not benefit kids. PBS programming doesn’t hurt either. It just doesn’t matter. The New England colonists achieved the highest literacy rates the world had ever seen and founded many colleges of higher learning while most folks were living in near wilderness with dirt floors. Education isn’t about money. It doesn’t cost much to just teach kids to read and do simple math which is all pre K and K are. Once they can read, they can learn much more independently. According to Rev. Thomas Korcok, LCMS Schools weren’t much on the kindergarten bandwagon from the outset. Turns out they were pretty much right.

    In short, kiddie “educational” programming while fun, is no reason for the government to fund PBS. Children do not now, nor have they ever needed children’s television programs. They can do something else, just like they did for thousands of years.

  • kerner

    tODD @33

    “I was just wondering if anyone had an interest in the Jefferson quote beyond the hackneyed, if topical, use of decrying NPR?”

    I thought I did @14, but those who responded seem to be pretty consistent for as far as it went. No funding for NPR, and none for ideology we like either.

    I was expecting someone to take the position that certain ideologies are part of our culture from early on, and thus should receive such support as has been traditionally given. But nobody did.

  • kerner

    tODD @33

    “I was just wondering if anyone had an interest in the Jefferson quote beyond the hackneyed, if topical, use of decrying NPR?”

    I thought I did @14, but those who responded seem to be pretty consistent for as far as it went. No funding for NPR, and none for ideology we like either.

    I was expecting someone to take the position that certain ideologies are part of our culture from early on, and thus should receive such support as has been traditionally given. But nobody did.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@37), well, as a godless liberal commie, I wasn’t inclined to support government creches or 10-Commandment monuments, either. I know there are those who think such things are Very Important, but they don’t seem to be saying anything as to your comment.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@37), well, as a godless liberal commie, I wasn’t inclined to support government creches or 10-Commandment monuments, either. I know there are those who think such things are Very Important, but they don’t seem to be saying anything as to your comment.

  • kerner

    sg@36:

    I remember reading somewhere that children that participated in the “Head Start” early education program initially were, in fact, ahead of their peers in the early primary grades, but that by their later grades their peers who never participated in early childhood education had pretty much caught up to them.

    Is that what you mean when you say that early childhood education is pretty much bull? And do you, as usual, have statistics at hand?

  • kerner

    sg@36:

    I remember reading somewhere that children that participated in the “Head Start” early education program initially were, in fact, ahead of their peers in the early primary grades, but that by their later grades their peers who never participated in early childhood education had pretty much caught up to them.

    Is that what you mean when you say that early childhood education is pretty much bull? And do you, as usual, have statistics at hand?

  • Grace

    sg

    I do agree with part of your post. However, my experience is, children are eager to learn at an early age (before kindergarten) – reading, learning to print and spell, for that reason I encourage parents, if at all possible, to send their children several times a week to such a school.

    One of the most IMPORTANT parts of early childhood, is learning to GET ALONG with others – they will never learn sitting in front of a television.

  • Grace

    sg

    I do agree with part of your post. However, my experience is, children are eager to learn at an early age (before kindergarten) – reading, learning to print and spell, for that reason I encourage parents, if at all possible, to send their children several times a week to such a school.

    One of the most IMPORTANT parts of early childhood, is learning to GET ALONG with others – they will never learn sitting in front of a television.

  • kerner

    tODD @ 38:

    womanofthehouse responded @18, but she was cool with no creches as well, as long as the government stayed out of the propaganda business altogether. Like I said, consistent.

  • kerner

    tODD @ 38:

    womanofthehouse responded @18, but she was cool with no creches as well, as long as the government stayed out of the propaganda business altogether. Like I said, consistent.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I’m going to, slightly off topic, agree with tODD when he suggests that compelling support for wars can also be sinful and tyrannical–but within the parameters that we don’t hold the nation hostage to Jeannette Rankin and refuse to end the hegemony of Hitler and Hirohito over Europe and Asia.

    (you can’t please EVERYONE, but by golly, the Founders DID indeed insist on declarations of war for a reason)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I’m going to, slightly off topic, agree with tODD when he suggests that compelling support for wars can also be sinful and tyrannical–but within the parameters that we don’t hold the nation hostage to Jeannette Rankin and refuse to end the hegemony of Hitler and Hirohito over Europe and Asia.

    (you can’t please EVERYONE, but by golly, the Founders DID indeed insist on declarations of war for a reason)

  • Porcell

    Kerner, you did address the issue well at 14. America is a great nation mainly due to the relatively free play of ideas and their execution on the ground without the influence of governmental or class inspired official pieties.

    For example, our political economy allows a hedge fund investor, like John Paulson, to bet against the prevailing economic wisdom that sub-prime mortgage investment was a good thing; this resulted in a take-down of a bloated mortgage market that, however painful, in the long run will place the economy on a surer footing. The fact that Paulson earned about four $billion for his personal account and nine $billion for his clients in the process is a detail, notwithstanding the breathless squeals of the moralistic pietists.

  • Porcell

    Kerner, you did address the issue well at 14. America is a great nation mainly due to the relatively free play of ideas and their execution on the ground without the influence of governmental or class inspired official pieties.

    For example, our political economy allows a hedge fund investor, like John Paulson, to bet against the prevailing economic wisdom that sub-prime mortgage investment was a good thing; this resulted in a take-down of a bloated mortgage market that, however painful, in the long run will place the economy on a surer footing. The fact that Paulson earned about four $billion for his personal account and nine $billion for his clients in the process is a detail, notwithstanding the breathless squeals of the moralistic pietists.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @27 SAL

    Guess nobody else wants to be the stick in the mud, rather than watching about literacy how about something novel? Say read a novel? Actually do something that improves literacy instead of talks about it? Actually reading a good book did more for my desire to be literate than watching some guy who was too poor of an actor to get a real acting job talk about literacy (please note I said a good book, I know there is a lot of garbage in print just like there is a lot of garbage on the air).

    I have seen what passes for educational programming including those you have named and to be honest World of Warcraft has better educational value than most educational shows. At least in WoW you have to actively participate in order to accomplish the objective (i.e. my oldest(4) can now spell dance because she wanted to make the little gnome dance and yes, that required parental involvement I did intentionally use the moment to teach her). Where as a tv show assumes kids are just little empty buckets that only require you to pour in the knowledge. Which is sad because even the reasonable shows require somebody to give substance to the glitter. Kids pick up a lot passively but retention and reinforcement is greatly helped through active participation.

    I would also amend your statement PBS is about airing shows that promote literacy and science of a certain kind.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @27 SAL

    Guess nobody else wants to be the stick in the mud, rather than watching about literacy how about something novel? Say read a novel? Actually do something that improves literacy instead of talks about it? Actually reading a good book did more for my desire to be literate than watching some guy who was too poor of an actor to get a real acting job talk about literacy (please note I said a good book, I know there is a lot of garbage in print just like there is a lot of garbage on the air).

    I have seen what passes for educational programming including those you have named and to be honest World of Warcraft has better educational value than most educational shows. At least in WoW you have to actively participate in order to accomplish the objective (i.e. my oldest(4) can now spell dance because she wanted to make the little gnome dance and yes, that required parental involvement I did intentionally use the moment to teach her). Where as a tv show assumes kids are just little empty buckets that only require you to pour in the knowledge. Which is sad because even the reasonable shows require somebody to give substance to the glitter. Kids pick up a lot passively but retention and reinforcement is greatly helped through active participation.

    I would also amend your statement PBS is about airing shows that promote literacy and science of a certain kind.

  • http://www.spaceagelutheran.blogspot.com/ SAL

    #44 Ok now you’ve proven you don’t know anything about PBS shows of the last several years.

    None of them feature characters talking about “literacy”. None have ever since Reading Rainbow was cancelled.

    In Word World all the object and characters are made of letters (teaching kids to associate images with words). A dog character is actually composed of the letters D, O and G. A tree is made of the letters T, R, E and E.

    In Super Why, the main characters guide the viewer in reading fairy tales, spelling words and recognizing letters. This show has really helped my wife in teaching my daughter to distinguish letters.

    In Sid the Science Kid, children watch Sid as he learns about basic science concepts like elasticity, or friction.

    In modern times, PBS has actually taken to heart some of the old criticism.

    I suppose it would be a bit much to expect people to remain silent unless they have a clue what they’re actually criticizing.

  • http://www.spaceagelutheran.blogspot.com/ SAL

    #44 Ok now you’ve proven you don’t know anything about PBS shows of the last several years.

    None of them feature characters talking about “literacy”. None have ever since Reading Rainbow was cancelled.

    In Word World all the object and characters are made of letters (teaching kids to associate images with words). A dog character is actually composed of the letters D, O and G. A tree is made of the letters T, R, E and E.

    In Super Why, the main characters guide the viewer in reading fairy tales, spelling words and recognizing letters. This show has really helped my wife in teaching my daughter to distinguish letters.

    In Sid the Science Kid, children watch Sid as he learns about basic science concepts like elasticity, or friction.

    In modern times, PBS has actually taken to heart some of the old criticism.

    I suppose it would be a bit much to expect people to remain silent unless they have a clue what they’re actually criticizing.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @#45
    Actually I just watched Super Why this past Saturday. I know what I am talking about. A rather pointless show that randomly inserted letters into the show and randomly changed words in a story, Dinosaur Train at least made logical sense even if it is based on some questionable theories. You don’t need a show to teach kids how to recognize letters. Letter magnets on a frig do just as well, if not better because the kids actually have to do the work if they want to spell a word. The fact your wife still had to be involved proves my point. The show didn’t actually educate. There is a difference between presenting information and actually educating. At most, a show can present information but it cannot actually bring about understanding because it lacks interaction.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @#45
    Actually I just watched Super Why this past Saturday. I know what I am talking about. A rather pointless show that randomly inserted letters into the show and randomly changed words in a story, Dinosaur Train at least made logical sense even if it is based on some questionable theories. You don’t need a show to teach kids how to recognize letters. Letter magnets on a frig do just as well, if not better because the kids actually have to do the work if they want to spell a word. The fact your wife still had to be involved proves my point. The show didn’t actually educate. There is a difference between presenting information and actually educating. At most, a show can present information but it cannot actually bring about understanding because it lacks interaction.

  • http://www.spaceagelutheran.blogspot.com/ SAL

    #46 The programs are a benefit to my family. We’ve not got the money to buy World of Warcraft or other luxuries. It’s a great benefit when we can use free over-the-air television to help my 18 month old.

    The shows are interesting to my daughter and keep her attention, she talks to the TV when the characters ask questions (“What letters do you see?”).

    I’m pleased with how it’s helping. I’m sorry you’re family hasn’t seen a benefit from the free resources available on PBS.

    Good luck with your World of Warcraft. I’m glad you’re wealthy enough to afford such things.

  • http://www.spaceagelutheran.blogspot.com/ SAL

    #46 The programs are a benefit to my family. We’ve not got the money to buy World of Warcraft or other luxuries. It’s a great benefit when we can use free over-the-air television to help my 18 month old.

    The shows are interesting to my daughter and keep her attention, she talks to the TV when the characters ask questions (“What letters do you see?”).

    I’m pleased with how it’s helping. I’m sorry you’re family hasn’t seen a benefit from the free resources available on PBS.

    Good luck with your World of Warcraft. I’m glad you’re wealthy enough to afford such things.

  • Cincinnatus

    SAL@47: Since when is PBS “free”?

    Moreover, the fact that your kids (and, for all I know, yours alone) “enjoy” PBS and absorb a few decontextualized, unsystematic facts from the tube isn’t a compelling argument for the maintenance of government subsidies.

  • Cincinnatus

    SAL@47: Since when is PBS “free”?

    Moreover, the fact that your kids (and, for all I know, yours alone) “enjoy” PBS and absorb a few decontextualized, unsystematic facts from the tube isn’t a compelling argument for the maintenance of government subsidies.

  • Grace

    Sal – 47

    “The shows are interesting to my daughter and keep her attention, she talks to the TV when the characters ask questions (“What letters do you see?”).” – -

    You or your wife could bring about better results by using books, READING WITH your child. Participation when teaching children is much more effective than sitting them in front of the television.

    Can you see that your child, talking to a TV isn’t interacting with other people? -

  • Grace

    Sal – 47

    “The shows are interesting to my daughter and keep her attention, she talks to the TV when the characters ask questions (“What letters do you see?”).” – -

    You or your wife could bring about better results by using books, READING WITH your child. Participation when teaching children is much more effective than sitting them in front of the television.

    Can you see that your child, talking to a TV isn’t interacting with other people? -

  • Grace

    The computer has become, for many children, teens and adults alike, a way of interacting. The lack in communication between people, either over the phone or in person is at an all time low. Many of these people, as children, sat in front of the TV, being entertained so that parents or others could do as they pleased, they now sit in front of their computers.

    MY POINT, grade points are down, grown teens have low reading scores, their comprehension level is the same, and grammar is all but lost on a large part of our population.

  • Grace

    The computer has become, for many children, teens and adults alike, a way of interacting. The lack in communication between people, either over the phone or in person is at an all time low. Many of these people, as children, sat in front of the TV, being entertained so that parents or others could do as they pleased, they now sit in front of their computers.

    MY POINT, grade points are down, grown teens have low reading scores, their comprehension level is the same, and grammar is all but lost on a large part of our population.

  • SAL

    #48 Federal subsidies for PBS are unconstitutional. I simply hope the states, private endowments, and concerned citizens continue to fund PBS.

    #49 Unless you have some expertise in child education you ought to keep your advice to yourself and not make assumptions about my family. My wife and I read with our daughter. We read the books until the bindings fall apart. However she’s 18 months old. I don’t know if you have children Grace but it’s not possible to hold and read to them 24 hours a day. At that age anything positive that holds their attention is a plus.

  • SAL

    #48 Federal subsidies for PBS are unconstitutional. I simply hope the states, private endowments, and concerned citizens continue to fund PBS.

    #49 Unless you have some expertise in child education you ought to keep your advice to yourself and not make assumptions about my family. My wife and I read with our daughter. We read the books until the bindings fall apart. However she’s 18 months old. I don’t know if you have children Grace but it’s not possible to hold and read to them 24 hours a day. At that age anything positive that holds their attention is a plus.

  • Grace

    Sal – 51

    #49 Unless you have some expertise in child education you ought to keep your advice to yourself and not make assumptions about my family.”

    In a word YES, I do, raising my own was a joy, however I learned very early that parental participation is KEY in teaching a child, (early age) how to read, and communicate effectively. Sal, this is a blog, you as well as I, can post what we have either learned, or observed that contributes to the discussion.

    “My wife and I read with our daughter. We read the books until the bindings fall apart. However she’s 18 months old. I don’t know if you have children Grace but it’s not possible to hold and read to them 24 hours a day. At that age anything positive that holds their attention is a plus.”

    I hope your child sleeps, my certainly did, and napped as well….. LOL

    There are many things a child needs to learn besides reading – - getting along with other children is a must. Children need others to play with on a regular basis. Learning to entertain themselves with toys and simple wooden or cardboard puzzles is another helpful game.

  • Grace

    Sal – 51

    #49 Unless you have some expertise in child education you ought to keep your advice to yourself and not make assumptions about my family.”

    In a word YES, I do, raising my own was a joy, however I learned very early that parental participation is KEY in teaching a child, (early age) how to read, and communicate effectively. Sal, this is a blog, you as well as I, can post what we have either learned, or observed that contributes to the discussion.

    “My wife and I read with our daughter. We read the books until the bindings fall apart. However she’s 18 months old. I don’t know if you have children Grace but it’s not possible to hold and read to them 24 hours a day. At that age anything positive that holds their attention is a plus.”

    I hope your child sleeps, my certainly did, and napped as well….. LOL

    There are many things a child needs to learn besides reading – - getting along with other children is a must. Children need others to play with on a regular basis. Learning to entertain themselves with toys and simple wooden or cardboard puzzles is another helpful game.

  • trotk

    Its too bad that this devolved into an argument about a person’s parenting ability.
    Instead,

    I am curious about the idea that this quote was from the context of Jefferson talking about the separation of church and state. If applied universally, this quote undermines public education, which Jefferson supported, at least to some degree. Perhaps it should be applied universally, and Jefferson saw education as different, because back then, you could still choose to not go to school.

    Or perhaps there is a more subtle difference between money being used to ensure the medium for ideas (of any sort) to be propagated and money being used to propagate an idea. Perhaps education is fine, because it is merely allowing any teacher the forum for propagating any idea, and students could pick and choose the teacher and school they agreed with. The quote is somewhat vague on whether there is a difference between an idea, and the propagation:

    “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

    The quote seems to say that he is speaking about the propagation of the particular idea the person disbelieves, and so theoretically, a medium (be it NPR, PBS, or the public school system) could be fine with Jefferson, as long as it was a healthy mix of all ideas and people could pick and choose what they listened to and pushed forward.

    Or perhaps, as it seems right to me, the propagation cannot be separated from the idea, and so all of the above are a sin, because they necessarily will involve things that certain tax payers disagree with and yet have to pay for.

    Or, perhaps, schools are exempt from this in Jefferson’s mind, and it is only about the separation of church and state. Thus we could argue for PBS and NPR if we could prove they are serving in the same capacity as the school.

    As for me, I would disband all schools, allow the entire system to be fully privatized, and use a small amount (in comparison to what we spend now) to give healthy vouchers.

  • trotk

    Its too bad that this devolved into an argument about a person’s parenting ability.
    Instead,

    I am curious about the idea that this quote was from the context of Jefferson talking about the separation of church and state. If applied universally, this quote undermines public education, which Jefferson supported, at least to some degree. Perhaps it should be applied universally, and Jefferson saw education as different, because back then, you could still choose to not go to school.

    Or perhaps there is a more subtle difference between money being used to ensure the medium for ideas (of any sort) to be propagated and money being used to propagate an idea. Perhaps education is fine, because it is merely allowing any teacher the forum for propagating any idea, and students could pick and choose the teacher and school they agreed with. The quote is somewhat vague on whether there is a difference between an idea, and the propagation:

    “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

    The quote seems to say that he is speaking about the propagation of the particular idea the person disbelieves, and so theoretically, a medium (be it NPR, PBS, or the public school system) could be fine with Jefferson, as long as it was a healthy mix of all ideas and people could pick and choose what they listened to and pushed forward.

    Or perhaps, as it seems right to me, the propagation cannot be separated from the idea, and so all of the above are a sin, because they necessarily will involve things that certain tax payers disagree with and yet have to pay for.

    Or, perhaps, schools are exempt from this in Jefferson’s mind, and it is only about the separation of church and state. Thus we could argue for PBS and NPR if we could prove they are serving in the same capacity as the school.

    As for me, I would disband all schools, allow the entire system to be fully privatized, and use a small amount (in comparison to what we spend now) to give healthy vouchers.

  • trotk

    SAL -

    Grace has a chip on her shoulder because she has been picked on the last few weeks here. Don’t worry about her criticism.

  • trotk

    SAL -

    Grace has a chip on her shoulder because she has been picked on the last few weeks here. Don’t worry about her criticism.

  • collie

    Does anyone have the context of the Jefferson quote? Was it part of a speech, or something else he published. I did a brief google search, and turned up nothing but the quote itself.

    trotk@53- I believe in public education, because it seems to benefit society long term. I like the idea of vouchers, and promoting competition between schools. Don’t know if a total private system is where I would go- but In theory it sounds good and very well might work. Here’s another thing: is it constitutional to require people to get an education? Not saying it’s good not to have one!

  • collie

    Does anyone have the context of the Jefferson quote? Was it part of a speech, or something else he published. I did a brief google search, and turned up nothing but the quote itself.

    trotk@53- I believe in public education, because it seems to benefit society long term. I like the idea of vouchers, and promoting competition between schools. Don’t know if a total private system is where I would go- but In theory it sounds good and very well might work. Here’s another thing: is it constitutional to require people to get an education? Not saying it’s good not to have one!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Hey SAL, I didn’t mean to denigrate PBS. I like the shows they are good and kids can learn. However, if they don’t learn their ABC’s by the time they are 2, 3, 4, 5, it’s okay, they can learn them later in school. I can’t blame you for wanting something convenient like PBS. I like it myself. Honestly those shows have so many viewers, they likely would be picked up, except for Caillou. I can’t stand that show! ;-)

    Kerner, I posted those stats a long time ago. I may look up that thread later. There are plenty of others that, as you say, show the same thing anyway. It’s no secret. Still it is fun to do stuff with kids, so why not watch some fun edutainment. Kids like it and they do learn stuff. It’s nice.

    tODD is right again, it’s not much money, even if NPR isn’t exactly a bastion of journalistic neutrality and objectivity. The expense of the wars is egregious as are the TARP and GM/Chrysler bailouts.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Hey SAL, I didn’t mean to denigrate PBS. I like the shows they are good and kids can learn. However, if they don’t learn their ABC’s by the time they are 2, 3, 4, 5, it’s okay, they can learn them later in school. I can’t blame you for wanting something convenient like PBS. I like it myself. Honestly those shows have so many viewers, they likely would be picked up, except for Caillou. I can’t stand that show! ;-)

    Kerner, I posted those stats a long time ago. I may look up that thread later. There are plenty of others that, as you say, show the same thing anyway. It’s no secret. Still it is fun to do stuff with kids, so why not watch some fun edutainment. Kids like it and they do learn stuff. It’s nice.

    tODD is right again, it’s not much money, even if NPR isn’t exactly a bastion of journalistic neutrality and objectivity. The expense of the wars is egregious as are the TARP and GM/Chrysler bailouts.

  • collie

    In a huge country like the USA it’s probably impossible NOT to fund something with our tax dollars that propagates ideas we disbelieve. But we’d have more control over what ideas get propagated if we returned more decision making to the states, wouldn’t we? Is that a wacky idea?

  • collie

    In a huge country like the USA it’s probably impossible NOT to fund something with our tax dollars that propagates ideas we disbelieve. But we’d have more control over what ideas get propagated if we returned more decision making to the states, wouldn’t we? Is that a wacky idea?

  • http://womanofthehouse-blog.blogspot.com/ womanofthehouse

    @ 22 Tom Hering~If I have to dig up evidence I will have to concede the point because I have neither the time nor inclination to do said digging right now, but it’s not at all unreasonable to think that those who hold the purse strings influence the people who receive the money. Even without this argument, there are still plenty of reasons not to fund NPR and PBS with tax money. We’ve seen many of them today in this discussion.

  • http://womanofthehouse-blog.blogspot.com/ womanofthehouse

    @ 22 Tom Hering~If I have to dig up evidence I will have to concede the point because I have neither the time nor inclination to do said digging right now, but it’s not at all unreasonable to think that those who hold the purse strings influence the people who receive the money. Even without this argument, there are still plenty of reasons not to fund NPR and PBS with tax money. We’ve seen many of them today in this discussion.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I’m going to go with tODD and Kerner hear, I think it also means we need to defund the mass stupification of our kids in public schools.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I’m going to go with tODD and Kerner hear, I think it also means we need to defund the mass stupification of our kids in public schools.

  • John C

    There is no reason why commercial broadcasting cannot co-exist. Each has different objectives; commercial broadcasters have to maximize viewers for its advertizers and shareholders and public broadcasters have a responsibility to fulfil their charter. Programming generally reflects these objectives but that is another story.

  • John C

    There is no reason why commercial broadcasting cannot co-exist. Each has different objectives; commercial broadcasters have to maximize viewers for its advertizers and shareholders and public broadcasters have a responsibility to fulfil their charter. Programming generally reflects these objectives but that is another story.

  • trotk

    John,

    Of course they can coexist. They do now. That isn’t point. What is at issue here is whether publicly funded broadcasting should ever exist. This Jefferson quote, unless it was written for a very particular context, says that the government shouldn’t be funding it, because this means that our taxes are funding ideas we don’t believe.

    collie, public education does benefit. But it doesn’t benefit nearly as much as other viable options. It is a good thing, inasmuch as public education is better in most instances than no education. But it is far worse than a system where every family has the means to choose between a dozen different schools who are competing with one another. That system forces families to care and take part of the process. That system allows a family to leave a school that is awful. That system cuts incredible bureaucratic waste. That system gives people the freedom to teach what they want, and gives students the freedom to learn at the place they and their parents agree with.

    Turning our schools into factories has lessened the quality of education. Size, schedule, curriculum, evaluation – all of these and more have been standardized across entire states and the nation itself and the students and teachers are the ones who have been hurt in the process.

  • trotk

    John,

    Of course they can coexist. They do now. That isn’t point. What is at issue here is whether publicly funded broadcasting should ever exist. This Jefferson quote, unless it was written for a very particular context, says that the government shouldn’t be funding it, because this means that our taxes are funding ideas we don’t believe.

    collie, public education does benefit. But it doesn’t benefit nearly as much as other viable options. It is a good thing, inasmuch as public education is better in most instances than no education. But it is far worse than a system where every family has the means to choose between a dozen different schools who are competing with one another. That system forces families to care and take part of the process. That system allows a family to leave a school that is awful. That system cuts incredible bureaucratic waste. That system gives people the freedom to teach what they want, and gives students the freedom to learn at the place they and their parents agree with.

    Turning our schools into factories has lessened the quality of education. Size, schedule, curriculum, evaluation – all of these and more have been standardized across entire states and the nation itself and the students and teachers are the ones who have been hurt in the process.

  • kerner

    trotk@61:

    All that sounds good in theory, but won’t we end up with a vast array of tax supported schools, all of them propagating ideas with tax money that a great many citizens abhor?

    I mean, we can look forward to the number of Islamic schools increasing exponentially if all you have they have to do is apply for certification and all their students will get vouchers. Do you think that Arab and Pakistani kids are going to easily assimilate into American society if they all get tax money to go to schools that encourage them NOT to assimilate?

    The concept of a public school was that it represented the community as a whole, back when the community you lived in was something that commanded some sort of loyalty. Don’t we risk completely Balkanizing our society when we turn education over to so many competing schools?

    These are questions that we need to consider. I’m not saying you’re wrong. I just want us all to think these ideas through. My kids went to Lutheran schools too (mostly), but one of the problems that attended that decision was that they really didn’t learn how the rest of the country thought until they got out of their cocoons.

  • kerner

    trotk@61:

    All that sounds good in theory, but won’t we end up with a vast array of tax supported schools, all of them propagating ideas with tax money that a great many citizens abhor?

    I mean, we can look forward to the number of Islamic schools increasing exponentially if all you have they have to do is apply for certification and all their students will get vouchers. Do you think that Arab and Pakistani kids are going to easily assimilate into American society if they all get tax money to go to schools that encourage them NOT to assimilate?

    The concept of a public school was that it represented the community as a whole, back when the community you lived in was something that commanded some sort of loyalty. Don’t we risk completely Balkanizing our society when we turn education over to so many competing schools?

    These are questions that we need to consider. I’m not saying you’re wrong. I just want us all to think these ideas through. My kids went to Lutheran schools too (mostly), but one of the problems that attended that decision was that they really didn’t learn how the rest of the country thought until they got out of their cocoons.

  • DonS

    As to the issue of government messaging, at times the government will say things that a particular voter disagrees with. Those of us who fall on the conservative side of things abhor many of the ideas being propagated by the federal government today, just as those on the liberal side abhorred many of the ideas propagated by the Bush administration and Republican Congress. Normal political discourse cannot be what Jefferson was referencing. There are two better possibilities. One is government messaging in areas in which it has no business. Another is government not merely delivering a message, but owning and/or controlling the mouthpiece. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, regardless of its message, has no business receiving federal government funding under the Constitution. I abhor it AND I also happen to often abhor its message. But my greatest objection is to its very existence as a federally funded institution. We are better off with our media in non-government hands.

    There are exceptions. The Voice of America is one, because its intended audience is outside of the U.S. and its purpose, foreign diplomacy, is distinctly Constitutional.

    Kerner raised another example — that of a creche. I can’t see where it would ever be appropriate for the federal government to erect a creche, because I cannot see a Constitutional purpose for so doing. I can, however, see a federal purpose in erecting a cross, Star of David, or other appropriate symbol for honoring our fallen heroes, or including the tablets of the Ten Commandments in the Supreme Court chamber in the context of a display concerning the origin of our laws and justice system.

    As for public education, I don’t see how that is a proper federal government role.

  • DonS

    As to the issue of government messaging, at times the government will say things that a particular voter disagrees with. Those of us who fall on the conservative side of things abhor many of the ideas being propagated by the federal government today, just as those on the liberal side abhorred many of the ideas propagated by the Bush administration and Republican Congress. Normal political discourse cannot be what Jefferson was referencing. There are two better possibilities. One is government messaging in areas in which it has no business. Another is government not merely delivering a message, but owning and/or controlling the mouthpiece. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, regardless of its message, has no business receiving federal government funding under the Constitution. I abhor it AND I also happen to often abhor its message. But my greatest objection is to its very existence as a federally funded institution. We are better off with our media in non-government hands.

    There are exceptions. The Voice of America is one, because its intended audience is outside of the U.S. and its purpose, foreign diplomacy, is distinctly Constitutional.

    Kerner raised another example — that of a creche. I can’t see where it would ever be appropriate for the federal government to erect a creche, because I cannot see a Constitutional purpose for so doing. I can, however, see a federal purpose in erecting a cross, Star of David, or other appropriate symbol for honoring our fallen heroes, or including the tablets of the Ten Commandments in the Supreme Court chamber in the context of a display concerning the origin of our laws and justice system.

    As for public education, I don’t see how that is a proper federal government role.

  • Tom Hering

    “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

    From my own Googling, I find that the quote is from a draft of the “The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom.” So the ideas Jefferson had in mind were religious ones – probably and especially those he himself disbelieved, like the Divinity of Christ. The tyranny he no doubt had in mind was the requirement (at that time) that every man in the Commonwealth support the Anglican Church financially. A Church that taught ideas like the Divinity of Christ. So the upshot is: the State should not establish an official religion because this forces men to support ideas that some of them disbelieve. Calling government-established religion “sinful” was pure snark.

    Now, how far can Jefferson’s quote be extended beyond the question of established religion? Should we refuse to pay elected representatives from our common fund of taxes? Don’t they often express ideas – and even pass legislation – that not every American agrees with? How about the expression of ideas in tax-supported town hall meetings? “Ah!,” you might argue, “but these are forums for public debate – vital to the functioning of a democracy.” Well, what is media in the 21st century? What is this blog?

    Hey, I’m all for Cranach being funded too. See? As a public broadcasting supporter, I’m consistent. And you thought only conservatives could be that way. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

    From my own Googling, I find that the quote is from a draft of the “The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom.” So the ideas Jefferson had in mind were religious ones – probably and especially those he himself disbelieved, like the Divinity of Christ. The tyranny he no doubt had in mind was the requirement (at that time) that every man in the Commonwealth support the Anglican Church financially. A Church that taught ideas like the Divinity of Christ. So the upshot is: the State should not establish an official religion because this forces men to support ideas that some of them disbelieve. Calling government-established religion “sinful” was pure snark.

    Now, how far can Jefferson’s quote be extended beyond the question of established religion? Should we refuse to pay elected representatives from our common fund of taxes? Don’t they often express ideas – and even pass legislation – that not every American agrees with? How about the expression of ideas in tax-supported town hall meetings? “Ah!,” you might argue, “but these are forums for public debate – vital to the functioning of a democracy.” Well, what is media in the 21st century? What is this blog?

    Hey, I’m all for Cranach being funded too. See? As a public broadcasting supporter, I’m consistent. And you thought only conservatives could be that way. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    Oh cool. My 7:51 AM comment @ 4 finally got released from comments prison.

  • Tom Hering

    Oh cool. My 7:51 AM comment @ 4 finally got released from comments prison.

  • Tom Hering

    Just a late thought. The internet was started, in part, with government funding. Some portion of its infrastructure continues to be funded by government. So I guess Cranach is already government supported. As are all our comments here. Neato. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    Just a late thought. The internet was started, in part, with government funding. Some portion of its infrastructure continues to be funded by government. So I guess Cranach is already government supported. As are all our comments here. Neato. :-)

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    What those of you complaining about the bad job public education does, forget, is that you are speaking of US public education. There are many other countries, somo homogenous, some not, some with high GDP’s, some not, who do a better job with public education. If one looks at stadardised, international tests, the following is observed (for instance):

    For instance, the TIMSS study provided a yardstick for measuring Science and math among different countries. The following is quite interesting:

    Grade 12, Science: America is no. 16 among 21 countries, behind places like Canada, Russia, Slovenia, Iceland etc., – Sweden was the highest here. In math, the grade 12 average for the US is 19 out of 21 – behind places like Lithuania.

    What is even more telling is a top-student comparison – out of 16 countries, Amerca is second to last in advanced math, and last in advanced science. The top 3 nations in the first one is France, Russia and Switzerland, and in science it is Norway, Sweden and Russia. this statistic is especially telling, as it eliminates factors that are markedly different between nations.

    Thus it is quite clear that it is not the general concept of public education that is failing, but that the American model is not that successful – and one would have to look closer at why that is. I mention these things merely to illustrate that onew should be careful before dismissing an idea, based on one failed (real or perceived) example.

    Note that no Asian countries participated in the top-student comparison.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    What those of you complaining about the bad job public education does, forget, is that you are speaking of US public education. There are many other countries, somo homogenous, some not, some with high GDP’s, some not, who do a better job with public education. If one looks at stadardised, international tests, the following is observed (for instance):

    For instance, the TIMSS study provided a yardstick for measuring Science and math among different countries. The following is quite interesting:

    Grade 12, Science: America is no. 16 among 21 countries, behind places like Canada, Russia, Slovenia, Iceland etc., – Sweden was the highest here. In math, the grade 12 average for the US is 19 out of 21 – behind places like Lithuania.

    What is even more telling is a top-student comparison – out of 16 countries, Amerca is second to last in advanced math, and last in advanced science. The top 3 nations in the first one is France, Russia and Switzerland, and in science it is Norway, Sweden and Russia. this statistic is especially telling, as it eliminates factors that are markedly different between nations.

    Thus it is quite clear that it is not the general concept of public education that is failing, but that the American model is not that successful – and one would have to look closer at why that is. I mention these things merely to illustrate that onew should be careful before dismissing an idea, based on one failed (real or perceived) example.

    Note that no Asian countries participated in the top-student comparison.

  • John C

    Kerner at 63
    The success of Australia’s post war immigration program was mainly due to immigrant kids being filtered through the public education system and learning how to become good little Australians.
    This changed during the last Conservative Government when it started to throw large buckets of money to anyone who wanted to start a school. So now there are more Catholic, Church of England, Islamic and Pentecostal schools and it is the pentecostals that a real threat to a cohesive society. The Catholic Church and the Church of England have had decades of experience negotiating with secular society but it is the pentecostals that are still coming to terms with science and feminism. It is too early to make any judgement on Islamic schools.

  • John C

    Kerner at 63
    The success of Australia’s post war immigration program was mainly due to immigrant kids being filtered through the public education system and learning how to become good little Australians.
    This changed during the last Conservative Government when it started to throw large buckets of money to anyone who wanted to start a school. So now there are more Catholic, Church of England, Islamic and Pentecostal schools and it is the pentecostals that a real threat to a cohesive society. The Catholic Church and the Church of England have had decades of experience negotiating with secular society but it is the pentecostals that are still coming to terms with science and feminism. It is too early to make any judgement on Islamic schools.

  • DonS

    John C: That may be fine for Australia, but many U.S. public schools long ago abandoned their mission of helping immigrant kids learn how to become good little Americans, in favor of multi-culturalism rot and division.

  • DonS

    John C: That may be fine for Australia, but many U.S. public schools long ago abandoned their mission of helping immigrant kids learn how to become good little Americans, in favor of multi-culturalism rot and division.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “My kids went to Lutheran schools too (mostly), but one of the problems that attended that decision was that they really didn’t learn how the rest of the country thought until they got out of their cocoons.”

    So, why didn’t you tell them?

    I am sure that will come off as rude and I really don’t mean it that way. However it is possible to tell them what is going on out there without their personally experiencing it.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “My kids went to Lutheran schools too (mostly), but one of the problems that attended that decision was that they really didn’t learn how the rest of the country thought until they got out of their cocoons.”

    So, why didn’t you tell them?

    I am sure that will come off as rude and I really don’t mean it that way. However it is possible to tell them what is going on out there without their personally experiencing it.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Grade 12, Science: America is no. 16 among 21 countries, behind places like Canada, Russia, Slovenia, Iceland etc., – Sweden was the highest here. In math, the grade 12 average for the US is 19 out of 21 – behind places like Lithuania.

    “What is even more telling is a top-student comparison – out of 16 countries, Amerca is second to last in advanced math, and last in advanced science. The top 3 nations in the first one is France, Russia and Switzerland, and in science it is Norway, Sweden and Russia.”

    No surprise there.

    Those countries have different people than we have.

    “this statistic is especially telling, as it eliminates factors that are markedly different between nations.”

    It doesn’t eliminate the determining factor; the people.

    Now that I have said all the stuff you expected, I will throw in the fact that in many of those countries, only a fraction of the students take the test, and it isn’t the bottom fraction.

    On a truly representative sample, comparing the same students to the same students, the US does well. That is why we lead in technology and innovation. When you throw in all the kids of illegal aliens, then sure, it pulls our average down.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Grade 12, Science: America is no. 16 among 21 countries, behind places like Canada, Russia, Slovenia, Iceland etc., – Sweden was the highest here. In math, the grade 12 average for the US is 19 out of 21 – behind places like Lithuania.

    “What is even more telling is a top-student comparison – out of 16 countries, Amerca is second to last in advanced math, and last in advanced science. The top 3 nations in the first one is France, Russia and Switzerland, and in science it is Norway, Sweden and Russia.”

    No surprise there.

    Those countries have different people than we have.

    “this statistic is especially telling, as it eliminates factors that are markedly different between nations.”

    It doesn’t eliminate the determining factor; the people.

    Now that I have said all the stuff you expected, I will throw in the fact that in many of those countries, only a fraction of the students take the test, and it isn’t the bottom fraction.

    On a truly representative sample, comparing the same students to the same students, the US does well. That is why we lead in technology and innovation. When you throw in all the kids of illegal aliens, then sure, it pulls our average down.

  • Grace

    sg – 72

    “On a truly representative sample, comparing the same students to the same students, the US does well. That is why we lead in technology and innovation. When you throw in all the kids of illegal aliens, then sure, it pulls our average down.”

    Excellent point – California, ( high rate of illigal aliens ) our average is down as well.

    As for “cocoons” – any parent who believes education is their childrens school, or teachers, responsibility, be it private or public, is cheating their children. Education doesn’t stop when their child comes home after school. A so called “cocoon” should not exist within the home – safety, a place of love, nurturing, and protection YES – but not a cocoon.

  • Grace

    sg – 72

    “On a truly representative sample, comparing the same students to the same students, the US does well. That is why we lead in technology and innovation. When you throw in all the kids of illegal aliens, then sure, it pulls our average down.”

    Excellent point – California, ( high rate of illigal aliens ) our average is down as well.

    As for “cocoons” – any parent who believes education is their childrens school, or teachers, responsibility, be it private or public, is cheating their children. Education doesn’t stop when their child comes home after school. A so called “cocoon” should not exist within the home – safety, a place of love, nurturing, and protection YES – but not a cocoon.

  • trotk

    sg and Grace -

    Well done, you manage to blame it on the children of illegal aliens. Yet the scores were terrible long before the issue with illegal aliens was so prominent:

    http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/NatAtRisk/index.html

    As someone who runs a private school, and with a wife who taught in the public sector, I don’t care about the scores that compare us to other nations and compare the students of one district or school to another. I despise standardized testing and don’t trust the tests or the sample sets. It is way too much of a political football to be trusted.

    Instead, I want good teachers and small classes and dedicated families under my sphere of influence, and I will evaluate the students through carefully read essays and formal debates and oral presentations and mathematical proofs performed and in other meaningful ways.
    But I will leave all the analysis of the world at large to someone else. And then

  • trotk

    sg and Grace -

    Well done, you manage to blame it on the children of illegal aliens. Yet the scores were terrible long before the issue with illegal aliens was so prominent:

    http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/NatAtRisk/index.html

    As someone who runs a private school, and with a wife who taught in the public sector, I don’t care about the scores that compare us to other nations and compare the students of one district or school to another. I despise standardized testing and don’t trust the tests or the sample sets. It is way too much of a political football to be trusted.

    Instead, I want good teachers and small classes and dedicated families under my sphere of influence, and I will evaluate the students through carefully read essays and formal debates and oral presentations and mathematical proofs performed and in other meaningful ways.
    But I will leave all the analysis of the world at large to someone else. And then

  • Grace

    There are a large number of women in my family, who are teachers in California public schools. With a high influx of illegal aliens, test scores have SUNK. Most of these children are not able to comprehend the lesson plans, they don’t speak English, their parents are not inclined to learn English, therefore, POOR GRADES.

    We had almost 8 million illegal alien children in 2004 alone, in California. We have the highest amount of illegals attending school FREE, ….. and yes it has effected test scores.

    Running a private school…….THINK, make sense – illegal aliens hardly have the money to send their children to private school, …. perhaps on the RARE occasion. So, to compare that to public school is pure nonsense.

    Standardized testing is a good thing – the only individuals who find it troublesome, are those who can’t compete.

  • Grace

    There are a large number of women in my family, who are teachers in California public schools. With a high influx of illegal aliens, test scores have SUNK. Most of these children are not able to comprehend the lesson plans, they don’t speak English, their parents are not inclined to learn English, therefore, POOR GRADES.

    We had almost 8 million illegal alien children in 2004 alone, in California. We have the highest amount of illegals attending school FREE, ….. and yes it has effected test scores.

    Running a private school…….THINK, make sense – illegal aliens hardly have the money to send their children to private school, …. perhaps on the RARE occasion. So, to compare that to public school is pure nonsense.

    Standardized testing is a good thing – the only individuals who find it troublesome, are those who can’t compete.

  • trotk

    Grace, you have no idea what you are talking about. You hear news of bad test scores, and hear the faulty analysis that it is the fault of illegal aliens, and you bite down hard on the bait because of your prejudice.

    Let me be very clear:

    1. Running a private school is not like running a public school. That is exactly why I am in the private system.
    2. Test scores may or may not have moved in the last 30 years, because the measurements can’t be trusted. Thus, blaming current test scores on a segment of the population is terrible logic, because there are many other factors.
    3. People who don’t speak English in the classroom do make it extremely difficult to teach. However, this is most prevalent at a young age, and so if it affects tests (which it doesn’t, see #4 below), it is only at the lowest grades, which are the scores that usually get the public stirred up.
    4. The scores of ESL kids aren’t included with the other scores in the vast majority of reporting that is required by most (perhaps all) of the states. Thus, your point is FACTUALLY false.
    5. Small schools allow for better teacher oversight, thus higher quality teaching.
    6. Standardized testing is a horrible practice for the following reasons: it assumes your can quantify a living soul, a test is only one way of measuring intelligence, the focus of the test is based on the opinion and expertise of a select few, which may or may not have anything to do with the actual teaching that occurs in the average classroom, many factors other than the students’ understanding impact the test outcome (crazy studies have been done on the impact of the way you think about yourself immediately prior to the test show that our scores can swing 20 percentile points at the slightest disturbance) tests alone are bad judges of knowledge, worse judges of understanding, and even worse judges of the ability to use knowledge and understanding because they are only one tiny means of evaluating all of the possible things that one can do with knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, and I could go on all day…(ask me if you want more reasons why standardized testing is both evil (it trains children that their value lies in a number) and ineffective (it evaluates one skill, and one skill alone – the ability to take a test). Besides, when comparing nation to nation the samples aren’t representative.
    7. You have no evidence that the influx of illegals has “effected” (sic) test scores. Pull the data, find out if the scores have sunk, take every factor into consideration (all 40,000,000 of them) and then form and argument.

    You are talking out of your prejudice. As always.

    Please communicate to the women in your family that I am glad that they are teachers in the public system. I genuinely want to see the children of illegal aliens educated well, and I hope that they are having success with them.

  • trotk

    Grace, you have no idea what you are talking about. You hear news of bad test scores, and hear the faulty analysis that it is the fault of illegal aliens, and you bite down hard on the bait because of your prejudice.

    Let me be very clear:

    1. Running a private school is not like running a public school. That is exactly why I am in the private system.
    2. Test scores may or may not have moved in the last 30 years, because the measurements can’t be trusted. Thus, blaming current test scores on a segment of the population is terrible logic, because there are many other factors.
    3. People who don’t speak English in the classroom do make it extremely difficult to teach. However, this is most prevalent at a young age, and so if it affects tests (which it doesn’t, see #4 below), it is only at the lowest grades, which are the scores that usually get the public stirred up.
    4. The scores of ESL kids aren’t included with the other scores in the vast majority of reporting that is required by most (perhaps all) of the states. Thus, your point is FACTUALLY false.
    5. Small schools allow for better teacher oversight, thus higher quality teaching.
    6. Standardized testing is a horrible practice for the following reasons: it assumes your can quantify a living soul, a test is only one way of measuring intelligence, the focus of the test is based on the opinion and expertise of a select few, which may or may not have anything to do with the actual teaching that occurs in the average classroom, many factors other than the students’ understanding impact the test outcome (crazy studies have been done on the impact of the way you think about yourself immediately prior to the test show that our scores can swing 20 percentile points at the slightest disturbance) tests alone are bad judges of knowledge, worse judges of understanding, and even worse judges of the ability to use knowledge and understanding because they are only one tiny means of evaluating all of the possible things that one can do with knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, and I could go on all day…(ask me if you want more reasons why standardized testing is both evil (it trains children that their value lies in a number) and ineffective (it evaluates one skill, and one skill alone – the ability to take a test). Besides, when comparing nation to nation the samples aren’t representative.
    7. You have no evidence that the influx of illegals has “effected” (sic) test scores. Pull the data, find out if the scores have sunk, take every factor into consideration (all 40,000,000 of them) and then form and argument.

    You are talking out of your prejudice. As always.

    Please communicate to the women in your family that I am glad that they are teachers in the public system. I genuinely want to see the children of illegal aliens educated well, and I hope that they are having success with them.

  • trotk

    Grace, excuse me. #3 should read “which aren’t the scores that usually get the public stirred up.”

    Again, please stop talking out of your prejudice.

  • trotk

    Grace, excuse me. #3 should read “which aren’t the scores that usually get the public stirred up.”

    Again, please stop talking out of your prejudice.

  • John C

    trotk
    I also have reservations about the overuse and abuse of standardized tests.
    However, both parents and the state need some way of assessing whether the school offers children an education that prepares them for a modern economy.
    For instance, does your school undergo any form of state accreditation?
    DonS, Multiculturalism and public education are not incompatible.

  • John C

    trotk
    I also have reservations about the overuse and abuse of standardized tests.
    However, both parents and the state need some way of assessing whether the school offers children an education that prepares them for a modern economy.
    For instance, does your school undergo any form of state accreditation?
    DonS, Multiculturalism and public education are not incompatible.

  • trotk

    John C

    My school is accredited by three agencies, which includes full recognition from the state. Our students take standardized tests in the 3-9 grades, and then take the PSAT, SAT, and up to 9 AP exams.

    I view the exams as necessary evils, because the vast majority of colleges require them. I really do view them as evils, because they really do teach a child that his or her value lies in a number that isn’t even accurate. They are also a evil because they “puff up” kids who do well, condemn those who don’t, and create and foster a means for parents to rank their children against others.

    Beyond the evil, they are terrible education. When a test precedes the class, as all standardized tests do, they change the teaching, so that it is no longer about the nature of the subject in interaction with the nature of the student. They turn the subject into data and the child into a computer.

    Is it clear that I despise them?

    As for accreditation, it is a joke. I have been through major accreditation processes, lead my faculty through them, written ridiculous amounts of curriculum, etc. It is a joke because the accrediting agencies have no idea what we are doing on a daily basis. We could have lied on every document, put on a beautiful teaching performance for them when they came in town, and still received the same accreditations.

    For parents, listen to your child. Ask them what they are learning. Read the books that they are reading, and then dialogue with them about the conversations that occur in class. Read their papers. Look at their math books, and go through problems, and have them explain them to you. Do the same with the science.

    Even if you are in over your head in a particular subject, you will recognize when they are really learning. They will be able to tell you which teachers have high standards, know their subjects, and communicate ideas with clarity. Plus, your interest and involvement will help you child value the process.

  • trotk

    John C

    My school is accredited by three agencies, which includes full recognition from the state. Our students take standardized tests in the 3-9 grades, and then take the PSAT, SAT, and up to 9 AP exams.

    I view the exams as necessary evils, because the vast majority of colleges require them. I really do view them as evils, because they really do teach a child that his or her value lies in a number that isn’t even accurate. They are also a evil because they “puff up” kids who do well, condemn those who don’t, and create and foster a means for parents to rank their children against others.

    Beyond the evil, they are terrible education. When a test precedes the class, as all standardized tests do, they change the teaching, so that it is no longer about the nature of the subject in interaction with the nature of the student. They turn the subject into data and the child into a computer.

    Is it clear that I despise them?

    As for accreditation, it is a joke. I have been through major accreditation processes, lead my faculty through them, written ridiculous amounts of curriculum, etc. It is a joke because the accrediting agencies have no idea what we are doing on a daily basis. We could have lied on every document, put on a beautiful teaching performance for them when they came in town, and still received the same accreditations.

    For parents, listen to your child. Ask them what they are learning. Read the books that they are reading, and then dialogue with them about the conversations that occur in class. Read their papers. Look at their math books, and go through problems, and have them explain them to you. Do the same with the science.

    Even if you are in over your head in a particular subject, you will recognize when they are really learning. They will be able to tell you which teachers have high standards, know their subjects, and communicate ideas with clarity. Plus, your interest and involvement will help you child value the process.

  • trotk

    And John C,

    The state can jump in a creek. It isn’t their business. Thankfully I don’t have to tell them that, because we are accredited and our students get into all of the highest colleges (Ivy Leagues included). But really, I hate the notion that the state gets a say in education, other than mandating that it should occur. The people picked for the positions of power in terms of centralized education planning are rarely teachers, and if they are teachers, why is their view on the purpose of education more valid than 2000 years of history’s view?

    Modern education believes two things alone”

    Man should be trained to function in society nicely (behaviorism) and effectively (academic and skill behaviorism). In other words, we view kids as animals to be trained and computers to be programmed.

    Instead, man is a soul before God. Education is about changing his loves and perspectives so that he sees and loves truth, goodness, and beauty. Or, so that he becomes wise and virtuous.

    The state can jump in a creek.

  • trotk

    And John C,

    The state can jump in a creek. It isn’t their business. Thankfully I don’t have to tell them that, because we are accredited and our students get into all of the highest colleges (Ivy Leagues included). But really, I hate the notion that the state gets a say in education, other than mandating that it should occur. The people picked for the positions of power in terms of centralized education planning are rarely teachers, and if they are teachers, why is their view on the purpose of education more valid than 2000 years of history’s view?

    Modern education believes two things alone”

    Man should be trained to function in society nicely (behaviorism) and effectively (academic and skill behaviorism). In other words, we view kids as animals to be trained and computers to be programmed.

    Instead, man is a soul before God. Education is about changing his loves and perspectives so that he sees and loves truth, goodness, and beauty. Or, so that he becomes wise and virtuous.

    The state can jump in a creek.

  • Grace

    Test scores are IMPORTANT. The reason? – students either know the material or they don’t, it is not complicated. It doesn’t mean an individual isn’t worthy, or that they are less than someone else in GOD’s eyes, but it does measure their intelligence in any given field.

    Affirmative action, is a sluggish system that promotes those who are not qualified to receive the same credit that someone else has accomplished, because they were blessed with high IQ, and they studied. Affirmative action is treating another person who is less qualified, FOR ANY REASON, to be equal with someone who IS qualified. In the end you have ‘below standard’ in whatever field you are counting on to accomplish ……. education, medicine, science, or any other field of endeavor.

    My field is medicine. I certainly don’t want anyone who has gone through the system ie: affirmative action, to be in a position to delegate, advice or direct any treatment I might need, be it in ER, OR, or anywhere else.

    Anyone who is opposed to test scores, is eliminating the cream of the crop. Diversity, is the favorite word used, …. it’s brother is mediocrity, its best friend is affirmative action.

  • Grace

    Test scores are IMPORTANT. The reason? – students either know the material or they don’t, it is not complicated. It doesn’t mean an individual isn’t worthy, or that they are less than someone else in GOD’s eyes, but it does measure their intelligence in any given field.

    Affirmative action, is a sluggish system that promotes those who are not qualified to receive the same credit that someone else has accomplished, because they were blessed with high IQ, and they studied. Affirmative action is treating another person who is less qualified, FOR ANY REASON, to be equal with someone who IS qualified. In the end you have ‘below standard’ in whatever field you are counting on to accomplish ……. education, medicine, science, or any other field of endeavor.

    My field is medicine. I certainly don’t want anyone who has gone through the system ie: affirmative action, to be in a position to delegate, advice or direct any treatment I might need, be it in ER, OR, or anywhere else.

    Anyone who is opposed to test scores, is eliminating the cream of the crop. Diversity, is the favorite word used, …. it’s brother is mediocrity, its best friend is affirmative action.

  • Tom Hering

    Okay, so how many people here have dealt with a professional in some field, and were disappointed with their performance, and can definitely say their poor performance was the result of affirmative action? Show of hands please.

    And for those of you who are here as a result of affirmative action, I will explain that a show of hands is performed by raising the arm upward at the shoulder – hand open, palm forward. (I know you needed the help.)

  • Tom Hering

    Okay, so how many people here have dealt with a professional in some field, and were disappointed with their performance, and can definitely say their poor performance was the result of affirmative action? Show of hands please.

    And for those of you who are here as a result of affirmative action, I will explain that a show of hands is performed by raising the arm upward at the shoulder – hand open, palm forward. (I know you needed the help.)

  • Grace

    Look at the Oval office!

  • Grace

    Look at the Oval office!

  • DonS

    John C @ 78: re your comment that “DonS, Multiculturalism and public education are not incompatible.”

    What the heck does that mean? My point was that many of our public schools, particularly in urban environments, no longer teach citizenship, i.e. how to be a good American. The concept of the great melting pot is gone, in favor of multi-culturalism, ala, celebrating our “differences”. Sure, there is a role for honoring our heritage, but it is also important to have a sense of unity and love of country.

  • DonS

    John C @ 78: re your comment that “DonS, Multiculturalism and public education are not incompatible.”

    What the heck does that mean? My point was that many of our public schools, particularly in urban environments, no longer teach citizenship, i.e. how to be a good American. The concept of the great melting pot is gone, in favor of multi-culturalism, ala, celebrating our “differences”. Sure, there is a role for honoring our heritage, but it is also important to have a sense of unity and love of country.

  • Grace

    Definition; – - DIVERSITY:
    a. The fact or quality of being diverse; difference.
    b. A point or respect in which things differ.

    I called tonight, asking to speak to the Mgr, of one of the the top department stores in So. CA. The reason for the call was, what I had purchased wasn’t right. I also stated that calling the area and trying to settle the problem was IMPOSSIBLE, the reason? – the sales associate was unable to understand English. ……. The Mgr, told me that the store now tries to estabilish DIVERSITY.

    My response was “what on earth does diversity matter, if you cannot understand the sales person” …. no answer, just a mumble.

    DIVERSITY doesn’t solve anything if the people who come here cannot speak, understand English, but expect the same treatment as U.S. citizens seeking employment.

    Who are we supporting, those who have earned their way, or those who have come here illegally?

    We can SINK or SWIM to the top, it is all up to those of us, who’s parents and forefathers came to this country and worked. OR we can SINK !

  • Grace

    Definition; – - DIVERSITY:
    a. The fact or quality of being diverse; difference.
    b. A point or respect in which things differ.

    I called tonight, asking to speak to the Mgr, of one of the the top department stores in So. CA. The reason for the call was, what I had purchased wasn’t right. I also stated that calling the area and trying to settle the problem was IMPOSSIBLE, the reason? – the sales associate was unable to understand English. ……. The Mgr, told me that the store now tries to estabilish DIVERSITY.

    My response was “what on earth does diversity matter, if you cannot understand the sales person” …. no answer, just a mumble.

    DIVERSITY doesn’t solve anything if the people who come here cannot speak, understand English, but expect the same treatment as U.S. citizens seeking employment.

    Who are we supporting, those who have earned their way, or those who have come here illegally?

    We can SINK or SWIM to the top, it is all up to those of us, who’s parents and forefathers came to this country and worked. OR we can SINK !

  • Grace

    AGAIN, I state:

    “Anyone who is opposed to test scores, is eliminating the cream of the crop. Diversity, is the favorite word used, …. it’s brother is mediocrity, its best friend is affirmative action.”

  • Grace

    AGAIN, I state:

    “Anyone who is opposed to test scores, is eliminating the cream of the crop. Diversity, is the favorite word used, …. it’s brother is mediocrity, its best friend is affirmative action.”

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    sg@72 – Well, Canada outscores the US on those tests. And we are much the same.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    sg@72 – Well, Canada outscores the US on those tests. And we are much the same.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I despise standardized testing and don’t trust the tests or the sample sets.”

    Sorry trotk, standardized tests are totally, fair, reliable and valid. No other measure so consistently predicts real world performance. I find it bizarre that anyone in could doubt them. I know they tell us truths that we may not like, but you can’t just ignore the truth and hope it will go away if you just want it passionately enough.

    “Well, Canada outscores the US on those tests. And we are much the same.”

    No, we aren’t. Our populations are not that similar. Anyway their scores for their sub populations mirror ours in performance just like everywhere else on the planet.

    Canada

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I despise standardized testing and don’t trust the tests or the sample sets.”

    Sorry trotk, standardized tests are totally, fair, reliable and valid. No other measure so consistently predicts real world performance. I find it bizarre that anyone in could doubt them. I know they tell us truths that we may not like, but you can’t just ignore the truth and hope it will go away if you just want it passionately enough.

    “Well, Canada outscores the US on those tests. And we are much the same.”

    No, we aren’t. Our populations are not that similar. Anyway their scores for their sub populations mirror ours in performance just like everywhere else on the planet.

    Canada

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “7. You have no evidence that the influx of illegals has “effected” (sic) test scores. Pull the data, find out if the scores have sunk, take every factor into consideration (all 40,000,000 of them) and then form and argument.”

    There are mountains of evidence.

    NAEP

    You can look at every state in the union and you will see the exact same pattern.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “7. You have no evidence that the influx of illegals has “effected” (sic) test scores. Pull the data, find out if the scores have sunk, take every factor into consideration (all 40,000,000 of them) and then form and argument.”

    There are mountains of evidence.

    NAEP

    You can look at every state in the union and you will see the exact same pattern.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    I see. Back to race. I’m bowing out of this conversation.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    I see. Back to race. I’m bowing out of this conversation.

  • Cincinnatus

    Louis,

    Yes, because it’s impossible to have a mature conversation about the race problem in the United States, especially when NO ONE is proposing that racial factors are the primary variable. In the United States, it’s safe to say that minority races perform leagues below white educationally because of endemic problems in their cultural and social structures. Meander through the ghettos of Milwaukee sometime and see for yourself how such things as parental involvement, civic participation, respect, education, and ambition are “valued.” This has little (and probably NOTHING) to do with genetics. It’s social, and we should care. And we should not be afraid to speak of it in racial terms.

    To dispense with standardized educational metrics because certain social and ethnic groups systematically underperform is the height of foolishness (and is racism itself). We should rather be concerned about how said systematic failure can be ameliorated.

    So yes. Illegal immigrants do skew the mean. Many of them know nothing of English, and many come from unstable social and familial backgrounds. This is systematic to their “community,” and it has a tangible impact upon their educations, and thus the quality of the educational institutions they have “invaded,” as it were. To speak of it in other terms is facile and useless because it misses the point.

  • Cincinnatus

    Louis,

    Yes, because it’s impossible to have a mature conversation about the race problem in the United States, especially when NO ONE is proposing that racial factors are the primary variable. In the United States, it’s safe to say that minority races perform leagues below white educationally because of endemic problems in their cultural and social structures. Meander through the ghettos of Milwaukee sometime and see for yourself how such things as parental involvement, civic participation, respect, education, and ambition are “valued.” This has little (and probably NOTHING) to do with genetics. It’s social, and we should care. And we should not be afraid to speak of it in racial terms.

    To dispense with standardized educational metrics because certain social and ethnic groups systematically underperform is the height of foolishness (and is racism itself). We should rather be concerned about how said systematic failure can be ameliorated.

    So yes. Illegal immigrants do skew the mean. Many of them know nothing of English, and many come from unstable social and familial backgrounds. This is systematic to their “community,” and it has a tangible impact upon their educations, and thus the quality of the educational institutions they have “invaded,” as it were. To speak of it in other terms is facile and useless because it misses the point.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Cin – yes, but previous experience on these threads have shown that “endemic problems in their cultural and social structures” are explicitly denied. This leaves genetics only. I have probably more first hand and second hand experience with this, seeing where I come from. But I attempted to bow out simply because neither the obvious, as you mention, or experience, which I have, are accepted by the other parties in this discussion.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Cin – yes, but previous experience on these threads have shown that “endemic problems in their cultural and social structures” are explicitly denied. This leaves genetics only. I have probably more first hand and second hand experience with this, seeing where I come from. But I attempted to bow out simply because neither the obvious, as you mention, or experience, which I have, are accepted by the other parties in this discussion.

  • John C

    Trotk at *
    “The state can jump in the creek. It isn’t their business”
    I’m relieved your school has accreditation. Otherwise, some of your views are extreme. Imagine the chaos of a curriculm that was not standardized or the money wasted by parents on a school set up by shonks, fly by nighters and religious extemists.
    And to reduce modern education to “animals to be trained and computers to be programmed” demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of public education.
    I would also add that the state has an interest in passing on those values it sees as important and these values may be more secular than Lutheran or Morman but then, you would not want the state to fracture into more cults and tribes than it already has would you trokt?

  • John C

    Trotk at *
    “The state can jump in the creek. It isn’t their business”
    I’m relieved your school has accreditation. Otherwise, some of your views are extreme. Imagine the chaos of a curriculm that was not standardized or the money wasted by parents on a school set up by shonks, fly by nighters and religious extemists.
    And to reduce modern education to “animals to be trained and computers to be programmed” demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of public education.
    I would also add that the state has an interest in passing on those values it sees as important and these values may be more secular than Lutheran or Morman but then, you would not want the state to fracture into more cults and tribes than it already has would you trokt?

  • Grace

    Louis – 92

    “I have probably more first hand and second hand experience with this, seeing where I come from.”

    Where might that be from?

  • Grace

    Louis – 92

    “I have probably more first hand and second hand experience with this, seeing where I come from.”

    Where might that be from?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I see. Back to race.”

    Of course, because that is what it is about. It is the explanation. All the data show it.

    “I’m bowing out of this conversation.”

    Well, yeah. You don’t like the facts.

    It doesn’t have to be such a point of contention. If people just treat each student as an individual rather than pretending they don’t know why different countries have different levels of educational achievement, we could stop castigating teachers and schools, etc. We could stop wasting money trying to equalize educational outcomes. The education and cosmetic/diet industries have much in common because they work against natural forces. People will keep paying because they want the outcome so badly and because the industries can never deliver. It is a total cash cow.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I see. Back to race.”

    Of course, because that is what it is about. It is the explanation. All the data show it.

    “I’m bowing out of this conversation.”

    Well, yeah. You don’t like the facts.

    It doesn’t have to be such a point of contention. If people just treat each student as an individual rather than pretending they don’t know why different countries have different levels of educational achievement, we could stop castigating teachers and schools, etc. We could stop wasting money trying to equalize educational outcomes. The education and cosmetic/diet industries have much in common because they work against natural forces. People will keep paying because they want the outcome so badly and because the industries can never deliver. It is a total cash cow.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Cin – yes, but previous experience on these threads have shown that “endemic problems in their cultural and social structures” are explicitly denied.”

    Uh, those claims were unsupported by evidence.

    I would love to change my mind. Please help me with some evidence. I am entirely open to it.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Cin – yes, but previous experience on these threads have shown that “endemic problems in their cultural and social structures” are explicitly denied.”

    Uh, those claims were unsupported by evidence.

    I would love to change my mind. Please help me with some evidence. I am entirely open to it.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I would also add that the state has an interest in passing on those values it sees as important and these values may be more secular than Lutheran or Morman but then, you would not want the state to fracture into more cults and tribes than it already has ”

    Achieving unity amidst fundamentally conflicting diversity is like trying to achieve wealth with ever increasing debt. It violates the natural laws. It can’t happen.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I would also add that the state has an interest in passing on those values it sees as important and these values may be more secular than Lutheran or Morman but then, you would not want the state to fracture into more cults and tribes than it already has ”

    Achieving unity amidst fundamentally conflicting diversity is like trying to achieve wealth with ever increasing debt. It violates the natural laws. It can’t happen.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    My comments keep dissapearing – so here I am, testing…

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    My comments keep dissapearing – so here I am, testing…

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Ah, so hopefully it posts now:

    Grace (and sg) – as you know I’m originally from South Africa. Not only that, but my dad spent his whole working life in so-called black education, (from 1962 till his retirement in 1994, and then on-and-off again up to the present day). He has been both a teacher, as well as a lecturer at college level, specialising in didactics. He plied his trade in Zambia and South Africa, in 3 different provinces, and has a well-received M.Ed thesis on matters educational.. Furthermore, from childhood I spent my time in multiracial (conservative, fundamentalist to the point of being sectarian)churches, which was quite unusual for apartheid South Africa (bordering on illegal, even). These things brought me into contact, not only with the ins-and outs of the education system, but also with the cultures and beliefs etc. of multiple tribes and races. For black Africans, I have had close fellowship with Basotho, Amazulu, Amashangaan, Batswana and Amaswazi. My dad also spent years among the Nyanja-speaking peoples of Zambia. I have also had a lot of interaction with Urdu and other Indian language-speaking South Africans (Christian, Moslem and Hindu), the so-called coloured (ie mixed-race) population, as well as various segments of the white South African population (Afrikaner, English and Portuguese). Because of all of this, I have had more inter-racial / inter-ethnic experience than 99.5% of my ex-countrymen. The reality is that once you equalise for income and social development, there are very few distinctions between the races and ethnicities. But what one has to remember is that a culture of learning is easier lost than created. And a culture of learning takes time to develop within any ethnicity, particularly if there where recent averse circumstances, particularly social and political unrest or discrimination.

    sg, I know the facts. You just want to scratch the surface, and not delve into the complex issues behind the facts. Statistics do not lie, but they rarely tell the whole story.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Ah, so hopefully it posts now:

    Grace (and sg) – as you know I’m originally from South Africa. Not only that, but my dad spent his whole working life in so-called black education, (from 1962 till his retirement in 1994, and then on-and-off again up to the present day). He has been both a teacher, as well as a lecturer at college level, specialising in didactics. He plied his trade in Zambia and South Africa, in 3 different provinces, and has a well-received M.Ed thesis on matters educational.. Furthermore, from childhood I spent my time in multiracial (conservative, fundamentalist to the point of being sectarian)churches, which was quite unusual for apartheid South Africa (bordering on illegal, even). These things brought me into contact, not only with the ins-and outs of the education system, but also with the cultures and beliefs etc. of multiple tribes and races. For black Africans, I have had close fellowship with Basotho, Amazulu, Amashangaan, Batswana and Amaswazi. My dad also spent years among the Nyanja-speaking peoples of Zambia. I have also had a lot of interaction with Urdu and other Indian language-speaking South Africans (Christian, Moslem and Hindu), the so-called coloured (ie mixed-race) population, as well as various segments of the white South African population (Afrikaner, English and Portuguese). Because of all of this, I have had more inter-racial / inter-ethnic experience than 99.5% of my ex-countrymen. The reality is that once you equalise for income and social development, there are very few distinctions between the races and ethnicities. But what one has to remember is that a culture of learning is easier lost than created. And a culture of learning takes time to develop within any ethnicity, particularly if there where recent averse circumstances, particularly social and political unrest or discrimination.

    sg, I know the facts. You just want to scratch the surface, and not delve into the complex issues behind the facts. Statistics do not lie, but they rarely tell the whole story.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Maybe if I split it up?

    Grace (and sg) – as you know I’m originally from South Africa. Not only that, but my dad spent his whole working life in so-called black education, (from 1962 till his retirement in 1994, and then on-and-off again up to the present day). He has been both a teacher, as well as a lecturer at college level, specialising in didactics. He plied his trade in Zambia and South Africa, in 3 different provinces, and has a well-received M.Ed thesis on matters educational. Furthermore, from childhood I spent my time in multiracial (conservative, fundamentalist to the point of being sectarian)churches, which was quite unusual for apartheid South Africa (bordering on illegal, even). These things brought me into contact, not only with the ins-and outs of the education system, but also with the cultures and beliefs etc. of multiple tribes and races. For black Africans, I have had close fellowship with Basotho, Amazulu, Amashangaan, Batswana and Amaswazi. My dad also spent years among the Nyanja-speaking peoples of Zambia.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Maybe if I split it up?

    Grace (and sg) – as you know I’m originally from South Africa. Not only that, but my dad spent his whole working life in so-called black education, (from 1962 till his retirement in 1994, and then on-and-off again up to the present day). He has been both a teacher, as well as a lecturer at college level, specialising in didactics. He plied his trade in Zambia and South Africa, in 3 different provinces, and has a well-received M.Ed thesis on matters educational. Furthermore, from childhood I spent my time in multiracial (conservative, fundamentalist to the point of being sectarian)churches, which was quite unusual for apartheid South Africa (bordering on illegal, even). These things brought me into contact, not only with the ins-and outs of the education system, but also with the cultures and beliefs etc. of multiple tribes and races. For black Africans, I have had close fellowship with Basotho, Amazulu, Amashangaan, Batswana and Amaswazi. My dad also spent years among the Nyanja-speaking peoples of Zambia.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Maybe one day my comment will get to be released from comment purgatory… hopefully not thrice over.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Maybe one day my comment will get to be released from comment purgatory… hopefully not thrice over.

  • DonS

    I’ll wade into this discussion, with trepidation, but I have to support what Cincinnatus is saying @ 91, and disagree with Louis’ statement @ 92. Clearly, the issue of inferior academic performance by some racial minority groups has nothing to do with genetic differences between racial categories. The evidence is abundant that, when given a relatively equal opportunity to succeed, those of every racial group do so. There are both bright and dim folks in every racial category, so to the extent intelligence is genetic (and it is), the genetics are family-based, rather than race-based.

    The real problem oppressing minorities is crass political pandering. We have politicians and political parties who make their bones every two years by trolling for votes in minority communities by playing the race card, pitting one racial group against another promising that they will make things right by redistributing wealth through various social programs and affirmative action initiatives. Their whole game is division — true unity, which they always claim to pine for, would ruin them politically.

    The problem is that the politics of envy, which saturate our society including our educational environment, do not help the people that are allegedly being oppressed. To the contrary, they keep them down, for a number of reasons. First, envious people, who hate society because they are told they should, don’t function well. Complainers are not movers and shakers. Second, aggressive affirmative action programs taint all minorities, regardless of merit, because people naturally assume that a person in an important role got there because of race, not ability or qualifications. Additionally, these programs and accompanying protective laws do open up more jobs in government and large companies, because they are interested in public relations and de facto quota fulfillment, but, in turn, they keep many minorities out of smaller businesses. Management of smaller businesses recognize that if they make a mistake in hiring a minority, they will not easily be able to terminate them and may face both negative publicity and protracted and difficult litigation. So, sometimes they don’t hire them, in order to avoid that problem. Sad, and usually unspoken, but definitely true. And when most of your employment opportunities are limited to relatively sclerotic government and big business positions, rather than dynamic smaller businesses, opportunity for achievement is lost.

    Third, punitive and highly progressive tax rates on “the rich”, which actually begin punishing those making as little as $50,000, and seriously punish those making as little as $200,000 or less, make it very difficult to climb out of poverty or the middle class. This doesn’t hurt those who are already rich, like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. They have their money, earned when tax rates were relatively low. That is why they always seem to be whining that the “rich” should pay more — it doesn’t really matter to them (and, funny thing, they never seem willing to voluntarily pay more in taxes). But these tax rates are effective in keeping ambitious minorities, who typically have much less historic family wealth from which to draw or inherit, from becoming rich, or from having the capital to start their own businesses. One might think that many politicians are happy about that, if one were cynical, as they benefit from a population dependent upon government largesse.

    Harry Reid, the old white rich codger from Nevada, actually had the nerve to say, during this election cycle, that he cannot understand why ANY voter of Latino persuasion would ever vote Republican. Well, I have an answer. First, self-respecting people, of any racial background, don’t like to be told that because they are a particular minority, they must fall into line and think a certain way. How insulting, demeaning , and … well, racist! Second, maybe they want to have an opportunity to succeed on their own merits, rather than to just receive another scrap from Harry Reid’s goodies table, and maybe they think that, right now, there is a better chance of having that opportunity if Republicans at least share the reins of government.

    Back to education — let’s give those of disadvantaged economic background, whatever their race, educational opportunity. Give them access to good schools, through vouchers so that they can escape abysmal public schools, and/or by at least offering public schools where the focus is on quality education in the basics, including math and science, rather than creedal, multicultural nonsense. Give the academically gifted the opportunity to excel. Don’t eliminate or dilute standardized testing metrics because minorities don’t do well — instead educate them so they do. Teach them to be Americans, to love America, and to appreciate and understand the tremendous opportunities it offers. Help them be excited to have the unique opportunities they do. I’m all for equalized funding of public schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods, but I’m not for wasting it at administrative levels or forcing schools to use that funding for politically correct, but educationally worthless, and even harmful, purposes.

  • DonS

    I’ll wade into this discussion, with trepidation, but I have to support what Cincinnatus is saying @ 91, and disagree with Louis’ statement @ 92. Clearly, the issue of inferior academic performance by some racial minority groups has nothing to do with genetic differences between racial categories. The evidence is abundant that, when given a relatively equal opportunity to succeed, those of every racial group do so. There are both bright and dim folks in every racial category, so to the extent intelligence is genetic (and it is), the genetics are family-based, rather than race-based.

    The real problem oppressing minorities is crass political pandering. We have politicians and political parties who make their bones every two years by trolling for votes in minority communities by playing the race card, pitting one racial group against another promising that they will make things right by redistributing wealth through various social programs and affirmative action initiatives. Their whole game is division — true unity, which they always claim to pine for, would ruin them politically.

    The problem is that the politics of envy, which saturate our society including our educational environment, do not help the people that are allegedly being oppressed. To the contrary, they keep them down, for a number of reasons. First, envious people, who hate society because they are told they should, don’t function well. Complainers are not movers and shakers. Second, aggressive affirmative action programs taint all minorities, regardless of merit, because people naturally assume that a person in an important role got there because of race, not ability or qualifications. Additionally, these programs and accompanying protective laws do open up more jobs in government and large companies, because they are interested in public relations and de facto quota fulfillment, but, in turn, they keep many minorities out of smaller businesses. Management of smaller businesses recognize that if they make a mistake in hiring a minority, they will not easily be able to terminate them and may face both negative publicity and protracted and difficult litigation. So, sometimes they don’t hire them, in order to avoid that problem. Sad, and usually unspoken, but definitely true. And when most of your employment opportunities are limited to relatively sclerotic government and big business positions, rather than dynamic smaller businesses, opportunity for achievement is lost.

    Third, punitive and highly progressive tax rates on “the rich”, which actually begin punishing those making as little as $50,000, and seriously punish those making as little as $200,000 or less, make it very difficult to climb out of poverty or the middle class. This doesn’t hurt those who are already rich, like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. They have their money, earned when tax rates were relatively low. That is why they always seem to be whining that the “rich” should pay more — it doesn’t really matter to them (and, funny thing, they never seem willing to voluntarily pay more in taxes). But these tax rates are effective in keeping ambitious minorities, who typically have much less historic family wealth from which to draw or inherit, from becoming rich, or from having the capital to start their own businesses. One might think that many politicians are happy about that, if one were cynical, as they benefit from a population dependent upon government largesse.

    Harry Reid, the old white rich codger from Nevada, actually had the nerve to say, during this election cycle, that he cannot understand why ANY voter of Latino persuasion would ever vote Republican. Well, I have an answer. First, self-respecting people, of any racial background, don’t like to be told that because they are a particular minority, they must fall into line and think a certain way. How insulting, demeaning , and … well, racist! Second, maybe they want to have an opportunity to succeed on their own merits, rather than to just receive another scrap from Harry Reid’s goodies table, and maybe they think that, right now, there is a better chance of having that opportunity if Republicans at least share the reins of government.

    Back to education — let’s give those of disadvantaged economic background, whatever their race, educational opportunity. Give them access to good schools, through vouchers so that they can escape abysmal public schools, and/or by at least offering public schools where the focus is on quality education in the basics, including math and science, rather than creedal, multicultural nonsense. Give the academically gifted the opportunity to excel. Don’t eliminate or dilute standardized testing metrics because minorities don’t do well — instead educate them so they do. Teach them to be Americans, to love America, and to appreciate and understand the tremendous opportunities it offers. Help them be excited to have the unique opportunities they do. I’m all for equalized funding of public schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods, but I’m not for wasting it at administrative levels or forcing schools to use that funding for politically correct, but educationally worthless, and even harmful, purposes.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    DonS – I further enhanced my commets in #92, not disagreeing with Cincinnatus all that much. But my comment is somewhere in comment purgatory, so hang on…

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    DonS – I further enhanced my commets in #92, not disagreeing with Cincinnatus all that much. But my comment is somewhere in comment purgatory, so hang on…

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Clearly, the issue of inferior academic performance by some racial minority groups has nothing to do with genetic differences between racial categories.”

    Great. Got a link with supporting data?

    “The evidence is abundant that, when given a relatively equal opportunity to succeed, those of every racial group do so.”

    Yes, but not at the same rate.

    “There are both bright and dim folks in every racial category, so to the extent intelligence is genetic (and it is), the genetics are family-based, rather than race-based.”

    The data show that it is both not just familial.

    http://www.news-medical.net/news/2005/04/26/9530.aspx

    The point is to love and serve our neighbors regardless. We don’t have to pretend everyone has the same abilities in order to do that.

    If anyone has conflicting data, please post the links.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Clearly, the issue of inferior academic performance by some racial minority groups has nothing to do with genetic differences between racial categories.”

    Great. Got a link with supporting data?

    “The evidence is abundant that, when given a relatively equal opportunity to succeed, those of every racial group do so.”

    Yes, but not at the same rate.

    “There are both bright and dim folks in every racial category, so to the extent intelligence is genetic (and it is), the genetics are family-based, rather than race-based.”

    The data show that it is both not just familial.

    http://www.news-medical.net/news/2005/04/26/9530.aspx

    The point is to love and serve our neighbors regardless. We don’t have to pretend everyone has the same abilities in order to do that.

    If anyone has conflicting data, please post the links.

  • trotk

    John C -

    I find it interesting that you believe that accreditation is a good thing. I have arrived at the conclusion that I am at because of having gone through the process of being accredited three times. Unlike other fields, like medicine, law, accounting, etc, the definition of what a school is and what it should do is very nebulous and political. Accrediting agencies have little or no oversight. The process is relatively empty, and even though it takes a lot of time and effort, it doesn’t guarantee anything.

    As far as standardized curriculum, you are advocating a dangerous and ineffective idea. Look where the world and America is in terms of education. You rip the heart out, but maintain the surface. It is easy to test knowledge and skills, but very difficult to test understanding and wisdom, and perhaps, more importantly, virtue. Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and CS Lewis all saw virtue as the core of education, and standardized curricula will never achieve this.
    Besides, who sets the standard? Everyone disagrees, and there are plenty of courses of study that I believe are more harmful than no school. Education has always been at its best when it is local and independent. Of course you will get bad schools. But we already have that! Standardizing curricula doesn’t produce quality teachers or motivated students, and it doesn’t ensure that the standardized curricula is a good thing.
    It is because of my understanding of public education that I reduce it to “animals to be trained and computers to be programmed”. The more you study it, the more glaring it becomes. Evaluate what is said in teacher training (I have). Evaluate what is written about it (I have). Read the philosophies about it (I have). Observe its practices (I have). The more you look, the worse it looks.

  • trotk

    John C -

    I find it interesting that you believe that accreditation is a good thing. I have arrived at the conclusion that I am at because of having gone through the process of being accredited three times. Unlike other fields, like medicine, law, accounting, etc, the definition of what a school is and what it should do is very nebulous and political. Accrediting agencies have little or no oversight. The process is relatively empty, and even though it takes a lot of time and effort, it doesn’t guarantee anything.

    As far as standardized curriculum, you are advocating a dangerous and ineffective idea. Look where the world and America is in terms of education. You rip the heart out, but maintain the surface. It is easy to test knowledge and skills, but very difficult to test understanding and wisdom, and perhaps, more importantly, virtue. Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and CS Lewis all saw virtue as the core of education, and standardized curricula will never achieve this.
    Besides, who sets the standard? Everyone disagrees, and there are plenty of courses of study that I believe are more harmful than no school. Education has always been at its best when it is local and independent. Of course you will get bad schools. But we already have that! Standardizing curricula doesn’t produce quality teachers or motivated students, and it doesn’t ensure that the standardized curricula is a good thing.
    It is because of my understanding of public education that I reduce it to “animals to be trained and computers to be programmed”. The more you study it, the more glaring it becomes. Evaluate what is said in teacher training (I have). Evaluate what is written about it (I have). Read the philosophies about it (I have). Observe its practices (I have). The more you look, the worse it looks.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Back to education — let’s give those of disadvantaged economic background, whatever their race, educational opportunity. Give them access to good schools, through vouchers so that they can escape abysmal public schools, and/or by at least offering public schools where the focus is on quality education in the basics, including math and science, rather than creedal, multicultural nonsense. Give the academically gifted the opportunity to excel.”

    We do that and we do it better than anyone on the planet. We get the best performance out of every group. Every single group lives longer, makes more and does better here than they do in their ancestral homelands. That is why they keep coming.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Back to education — let’s give those of disadvantaged economic background, whatever their race, educational opportunity. Give them access to good schools, through vouchers so that they can escape abysmal public schools, and/or by at least offering public schools where the focus is on quality education in the basics, including math and science, rather than creedal, multicultural nonsense. Give the academically gifted the opportunity to excel.”

    We do that and we do it better than anyone on the planet. We get the best performance out of every group. Every single group lives longer, makes more and does better here than they do in their ancestral homelands. That is why they keep coming.

  • trotk

    sg -

    “Sorry trotk, standardized tests are totally, fair, reliable and valid. No other measure so consistently predicts real world performance. I find it bizarre that anyone in could doubt them. I know they tell us truths that we may not like, but you can’t just ignore the truth and hope it will go away if you just want it passionately enough. ”

    sg, will all due respect, you don’t know what you are talking about. Have you read the tests? Have you studied the curricula? Have you studied the brain psychology of test taking?

    They aren’t predictors of real world performance. They aren’t even predictors of college success. I don’t know on what basis you are making your claims.
    The task of taking a test is totally unlike what the vast majority of professions actually do or require on a regular basis. Therefore, they don’t predict success at that profession.
    sg, I have spent many hours studying the test scores of schools over multi-year periods. The littlest things can throw the statistics all out of whack. The tests are terrible indicators of anything other than the ability to take a test. They may test other types of reasoning ability, but it is rarely purposeful and doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the subjects taught.

    The understanding of education that you have supports the current belief that students are effectively complex machines that can be programmed. They aren’t. Educate is primarily about wisdom (both subject-specific and general) and virtue, or at least it should be, and standardized tests can only barely evaluate subject specific wisdom. They can’t even touch general wisdom or virtue. Quit turning children into computers in your mind.

  • trotk

    sg -

    “Sorry trotk, standardized tests are totally, fair, reliable and valid. No other measure so consistently predicts real world performance. I find it bizarre that anyone in could doubt them. I know they tell us truths that we may not like, but you can’t just ignore the truth and hope it will go away if you just want it passionately enough. ”

    sg, will all due respect, you don’t know what you are talking about. Have you read the tests? Have you studied the curricula? Have you studied the brain psychology of test taking?

    They aren’t predictors of real world performance. They aren’t even predictors of college success. I don’t know on what basis you are making your claims.
    The task of taking a test is totally unlike what the vast majority of professions actually do or require on a regular basis. Therefore, they don’t predict success at that profession.
    sg, I have spent many hours studying the test scores of schools over multi-year periods. The littlest things can throw the statistics all out of whack. The tests are terrible indicators of anything other than the ability to take a test. They may test other types of reasoning ability, but it is rarely purposeful and doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the subjects taught.

    The understanding of education that you have supports the current belief that students are effectively complex machines that can be programmed. They aren’t. Educate is primarily about wisdom (both subject-specific and general) and virtue, or at least it should be, and standardized tests can only barely evaluate subject specific wisdom. They can’t even touch general wisdom or virtue. Quit turning children into computers in your mind.

  • trotk

    sg @ 89:

    Do you know which students’ scores don’t get included in those statistics? Have read the tests? Do you know how they were taught in class? Do you know which groups weren’t tested, and therefore aren’t represented? Do you know what day of the year the students were tested? Do you know if they were given more time than allowed because a district was trying to increase scores?

    I could go on all day. Until you deal with all 40,000,000 factors, the data you are presenting is utterly useless. If you are going to be scientific, you have to isolate ONE variable, and you can’t do that.

  • trotk

    sg @ 89:

    Do you know which students’ scores don’t get included in those statistics? Have read the tests? Do you know how they were taught in class? Do you know which groups weren’t tested, and therefore aren’t represented? Do you know what day of the year the students were tested? Do you know if they were given more time than allowed because a district was trying to increase scores?

    I could go on all day. Until you deal with all 40,000,000 factors, the data you are presenting is utterly useless. If you are going to be scientific, you have to isolate ONE variable, and you can’t do that.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Back to education — let’s give those of disadvantaged economic background, whatever their race, educational opportunity. Give them access to good schools, through vouchers so that they can escape abysmal public schools, and/or by at least offering public schools where the focus is on quality education in the basics, including math and science, rather than creedal, multicultural nonsense. Give the academically gifted the opportunity to excel.”

    Kansas City education experiment.

    http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-298.html

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Back to education — let’s give those of disadvantaged economic background, whatever their race, educational opportunity. Give them access to good schools, through vouchers so that they can escape abysmal public schools, and/or by at least offering public schools where the focus is on quality education in the basics, including math and science, rather than creedal, multicultural nonsense. Give the academically gifted the opportunity to excel.”

    Kansas City education experiment.

    http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-298.html

  • trotk

    sg @ 104:

    “We do that and we do it better …”

    Who is we? If you are referring to the United States, you might be right that we do it better than some nations, but you are wrong if you think that we give equal educational opportunity to all racial and ethnic groups.

    Visit some inner city schools in New York, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston…

    Although there are some wonderful exceptions, most children from poor families in big cities who live in the wrong areas get trash that we call education. We blame them for not pulling themselves up by their own boot straps, but in reality, they have almost no real chance. It is a miracle when someone makes it into a good college and lasts.

  • trotk

    sg @ 104:

    “We do that and we do it better …”

    Who is we? If you are referring to the United States, you might be right that we do it better than some nations, but you are wrong if you think that we give equal educational opportunity to all racial and ethnic groups.

    Visit some inner city schools in New York, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston…

    Although there are some wonderful exceptions, most children from poor families in big cities who live in the wrong areas get trash that we call education. We blame them for not pulling themselves up by their own boot straps, but in reality, they have almost no real chance. It is a miracle when someone makes it into a good college and lasts.

  • trotk

    sg -

    The fact that Kansas City failed is evidence that the entire set of assumptions that surrounds standardized, test-driven, modern education in America is faulty. It can’t be evidence for genetic inabilities because the contrary (successful, well-educated minorities) has occurred when other factors change, such as the meaning, purpose, and manner of education.

  • trotk

    sg -

    The fact that Kansas City failed is evidence that the entire set of assumptions that surrounds standardized, test-driven, modern education in America is faulty. It can’t be evidence for genetic inabilities because the contrary (successful, well-educated minorities) has occurred when other factors change, such as the meaning, purpose, and manner of education.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Do you know which students’ scores don’t get included in those statistics? Have read the tests? Do you know how they were taught in class? Do you know which groups weren’t tested, and therefore aren’t represented? Do you know what day of the year the students were tested? Do you know if they were given more time than allowed because a district was trying to increase scores?”

    Are you suggesting that every state in the union somehow rigged the tests so they would conform to a consistent pattern?

    The tests are administered in consistent fashion. The curriculum and instruction students receive varies. The pattern of results is the same as every other testing regimen ever designed. The SAT, Stanford, Iowa, etc.

    Why do you think the pattern is so stable in so many places over so many years and under so many different circumstances?

    Let’s assume there were inconsistencies.
    The data don’t support your position.

    Let’s assume there were no inconsistencies.
    The data still don’t support your position.

    To get the same pattern every time, it is reasonable to assume that something is the same every time. And it is.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Do you know which students’ scores don’t get included in those statistics? Have read the tests? Do you know how they were taught in class? Do you know which groups weren’t tested, and therefore aren’t represented? Do you know what day of the year the students were tested? Do you know if they were given more time than allowed because a district was trying to increase scores?”

    Are you suggesting that every state in the union somehow rigged the tests so they would conform to a consistent pattern?

    The tests are administered in consistent fashion. The curriculum and instruction students receive varies. The pattern of results is the same as every other testing regimen ever designed. The SAT, Stanford, Iowa, etc.

    Why do you think the pattern is so stable in so many places over so many years and under so many different circumstances?

    Let’s assume there were inconsistencies.
    The data don’t support your position.

    Let’s assume there were no inconsistencies.
    The data still don’t support your position.

    To get the same pattern every time, it is reasonable to assume that something is the same every time. And it is.

  • trotk

    But sg, we know that it has been rigged at times. We also know the population changes and teaching changes, and thus if the results stay the same, some other factor causes it. But the results haven’t remained stable. You are oversimplifying some terrifically complex data, and having studied it, I know that the only way that you could do that is if you approach it with an agenda or prejudice and not actually study it, but instead cherry-pick pieces that support your presuppositions.

  • trotk

    But sg, we know that it has been rigged at times. We also know the population changes and teaching changes, and thus if the results stay the same, some other factor causes it. But the results haven’t remained stable. You are oversimplifying some terrifically complex data, and having studied it, I know that the only way that you could do that is if you approach it with an agenda or prejudice and not actually study it, but instead cherry-pick pieces that support your presuppositions.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The fact that Kansas City failed is evidence that the entire set of assumptions that surrounds standardized, test-driven, modern education in America is faulty.”

    Okay, can you explain why?

    “It can’t be evidence for genetic inabilities because the contrary (successful, well-educated minorities) has occurred when other factors change, such as the meaning, purpose, and manner of education.”

    Great, please post a link. I am very interested in your evidence/data.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The fact that Kansas City failed is evidence that the entire set of assumptions that surrounds standardized, test-driven, modern education in America is faulty.”

    Okay, can you explain why?

    “It can’t be evidence for genetic inabilities because the contrary (successful, well-educated minorities) has occurred when other factors change, such as the meaning, purpose, and manner of education.”

    Great, please post a link. I am very interested in your evidence/data.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “But sg, we know that it has been rigged at times.”

    I posted unbiased neutral data from NAEP. Your charge that schools participating in NAEP somehow rigged the testing, so that their performance would conform to the pattern, is baseless.

    “We also know the population changes and teaching changes, and thus if the results stay the same, some other factor causes it.”

    Indeed.

    “But the results haven’t remained stable.”

    Yes, they have. The exact same pattern occurs every time, everywhere.

    “You are oversimplifying some terrifically complex data, and having studied it, I know that the only way that you could do that is if you approach it with an agenda or prejudice and not actually study it, but instead cherry-pick pieces that support your presuppositions.”

    The data are not complicated. Either the kids have the knowledge and skills measured, or they don’t. I have not cherry picked. Every standardized test has the same results. No one has ever got different results. I have studied it because I hoped to maintain a position like yours, but I could not find the evidence for that position. I would welcome evidence that would help me return to that position by honest and fair evaluation. I haven’t found it.

    You have offered exactly no evidence for your position. I am willing to consider any evidence you have with a completely open mind. I honestly mean that. Please post some links.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “But sg, we know that it has been rigged at times.”

    I posted unbiased neutral data from NAEP. Your charge that schools participating in NAEP somehow rigged the testing, so that their performance would conform to the pattern, is baseless.

    “We also know the population changes and teaching changes, and thus if the results stay the same, some other factor causes it.”

    Indeed.

    “But the results haven’t remained stable.”

    Yes, they have. The exact same pattern occurs every time, everywhere.

    “You are oversimplifying some terrifically complex data, and having studied it, I know that the only way that you could do that is if you approach it with an agenda or prejudice and not actually study it, but instead cherry-pick pieces that support your presuppositions.”

    The data are not complicated. Either the kids have the knowledge and skills measured, or they don’t. I have not cherry picked. Every standardized test has the same results. No one has ever got different results. I have studied it because I hoped to maintain a position like yours, but I could not find the evidence for that position. I would welcome evidence that would help me return to that position by honest and fair evaluation. I haven’t found it.

    You have offered exactly no evidence for your position. I am willing to consider any evidence you have with a completely open mind. I honestly mean that. Please post some links.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Who is we? If you are referring to the United States, you might be right that we do it better than some nations, but you are wrong if you think that we give equal educational opportunity to all racial and ethnic groups.”

    Yes, we do. Houston ISD has the same curriculum throughout and its results vary only by the population of the schools.

    “Visit some inner city schools in New York, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston…”

    Been there done that. They do a good job. Blaming them for the fact that some students don’t do well, is totally unfair. Many of the teachers who start there, leave and go to other schools and the kids do fine, so it is not the teachers. Also, the curriculum is not much different than anyone else is using. So it isn’t the curriculum. It is unfair to blame one person for the failure of another. However raising teacher salaries will not change it either because no matter how much you pay teachers, it won’t change the abilities of the students.

    “Although there are some wonderful exceptions, most children from poor families in big cities who live in the wrong areas get trash that we call education. We blame them for not pulling themselves up by their own boot straps, but in reality, they have almost no real chance. It is a miracle when someone makes it into a good college and lasts.”

    People who do not go to college are not losers or worthless. And not everyone who goes to college and graduates is a great contributor. The rise of credentials as a metric of a person’s worth is more worrying than kids not doing well on some test. People who love and serve their neighbors through their vocations, however humble, are far more to be esteemed than just holding some BA from state U or even Harvard for that matter.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Who is we? If you are referring to the United States, you might be right that we do it better than some nations, but you are wrong if you think that we give equal educational opportunity to all racial and ethnic groups.”

    Yes, we do. Houston ISD has the same curriculum throughout and its results vary only by the population of the schools.

    “Visit some inner city schools in New York, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston…”

    Been there done that. They do a good job. Blaming them for the fact that some students don’t do well, is totally unfair. Many of the teachers who start there, leave and go to other schools and the kids do fine, so it is not the teachers. Also, the curriculum is not much different than anyone else is using. So it isn’t the curriculum. It is unfair to blame one person for the failure of another. However raising teacher salaries will not change it either because no matter how much you pay teachers, it won’t change the abilities of the students.

    “Although there are some wonderful exceptions, most children from poor families in big cities who live in the wrong areas get trash that we call education. We blame them for not pulling themselves up by their own boot straps, but in reality, they have almost no real chance. It is a miracle when someone makes it into a good college and lasts.”

    People who do not go to college are not losers or worthless. And not everyone who goes to college and graduates is a great contributor. The rise of credentials as a metric of a person’s worth is more worrying than kids not doing well on some test. People who love and serve their neighbors through their vocations, however humble, are far more to be esteemed than just holding some BA from state U or even Harvard for that matter.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “But sg, we know that it has been rigged at times.”

    No, we don’t.

    Give a single example from any source anywhere that shows a test was rigged to advantage the performance scores of whites and Asians.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “But sg, we know that it has been rigged at times.”

    No, we don’t.

    Give a single example from any source anywhere that shows a test was rigged to advantage the performance scores of whites and Asians.

  • DonS

    sg @ 102, 104, 107: I don’t think you disagree with my overall point, so it is unclear to me why you are taking bits and pieces of my post @ 100 out of context and challenging them, again, out of context.

    @ 102: Yes, I am aware of the work of Rushton and Jenson. Of course, it is controversial, partly because it relies on mental intelligence tests which many consider to be of dubious value, and perhaps biased, in measuring intelligence. It is also not clear to me that the studies account for the sharply increasing mixture of racial composition in the average American — racial self-identification is unreliable. But the validity of those studies isn’t even important to the point. Because even if there were different levels of intelligence in different racial groups, we cannot stereoptype and treat people as groups. This is what liberals do, and it is wrong. We need to treat them as individuals, as you yourself assert @ 95. And yes, we need to love and serve our neighbors, as individuals, regardless of their intelligence or abilities. But we shouldn’t prejudge what those are.

    @ 104: We may “do it better than anyone on the planet”. That is not a very high bar, especially since most nations do not have nearly the racial disparity, historically, that the U.S. does. But we don’t do it very well. Our inner city public schools are horrendous, and because of the grip of leftist multicultural influence and teachers’ unions on our education establishment, we refuse to provide the disadvantaged with reasonable alternatives. It is one of our greatest failings.

    @ 107: The Kansas City education experiment wasn’t about doing it right. It was about doing it the same, but throwing a l0t more money into the pot. So what? Good education, beyond a reasonable basic funding level, has nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with dedication, love of the children, love of teaching, and focusing on the basics.

  • DonS

    sg @ 102, 104, 107: I don’t think you disagree with my overall point, so it is unclear to me why you are taking bits and pieces of my post @ 100 out of context and challenging them, again, out of context.

    @ 102: Yes, I am aware of the work of Rushton and Jenson. Of course, it is controversial, partly because it relies on mental intelligence tests which many consider to be of dubious value, and perhaps biased, in measuring intelligence. It is also not clear to me that the studies account for the sharply increasing mixture of racial composition in the average American — racial self-identification is unreliable. But the validity of those studies isn’t even important to the point. Because even if there were different levels of intelligence in different racial groups, we cannot stereoptype and treat people as groups. This is what liberals do, and it is wrong. We need to treat them as individuals, as you yourself assert @ 95. And yes, we need to love and serve our neighbors, as individuals, regardless of their intelligence or abilities. But we shouldn’t prejudge what those are.

    @ 104: We may “do it better than anyone on the planet”. That is not a very high bar, especially since most nations do not have nearly the racial disparity, historically, that the U.S. does. But we don’t do it very well. Our inner city public schools are horrendous, and because of the grip of leftist multicultural influence and teachers’ unions on our education establishment, we refuse to provide the disadvantaged with reasonable alternatives. It is one of our greatest failings.

    @ 107: The Kansas City education experiment wasn’t about doing it right. It was about doing it the same, but throwing a l0t more money into the pot. So what? Good education, beyond a reasonable basic funding level, has nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with dedication, love of the children, love of teaching, and focusing on the basics.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Don, I basically do agree with all your points.

    Rushton et al is only controversial because they didn’t get the answers people wanted. No one has come up with a similar study with different results. Given the accolades such a study would render its authors, it is reasonable (although not certain) to surmise that it can’t be done, and that is why no one will attempt it. There aren’t that many truth seekers out there who want to incur the PC wrath.

    “We need to treat them as individuals, as you yourself assert @ 95. And yes, we need to love and serve our neighbors, as individuals, regardless of their intelligence or abilities. But we shouldn’t prejudge what those are.”

    Aren’t we in effect prejudging people when we claim without evidence that they are disadvantaging students and providing inferior educational opportunities just because the students do not perform well? It is not as though similar students are performing better elsewhere. Why would any teacher want to be blamed like that for factors beyond his control? My experience is that school districts and educators really try to help kids, but they aren’t God. They can’t give kids ability. It is cruel to blame the teachers and kids for things they cannot change.

    Have you ever enrolled in a class or seminar that was way over your head? If you just had more opportunity, would you have done X ? Or is it just beyond your ability? Plenty is beyond mine, and it is not the fault of my parents, school or teachers. I just don’t have the ability.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Don, I basically do agree with all your points.

    Rushton et al is only controversial because they didn’t get the answers people wanted. No one has come up with a similar study with different results. Given the accolades such a study would render its authors, it is reasonable (although not certain) to surmise that it can’t be done, and that is why no one will attempt it. There aren’t that many truth seekers out there who want to incur the PC wrath.

    “We need to treat them as individuals, as you yourself assert @ 95. And yes, we need to love and serve our neighbors, as individuals, regardless of their intelligence or abilities. But we shouldn’t prejudge what those are.”

    Aren’t we in effect prejudging people when we claim without evidence that they are disadvantaging students and providing inferior educational opportunities just because the students do not perform well? It is not as though similar students are performing better elsewhere. Why would any teacher want to be blamed like that for factors beyond his control? My experience is that school districts and educators really try to help kids, but they aren’t God. They can’t give kids ability. It is cruel to blame the teachers and kids for things they cannot change.

    Have you ever enrolled in a class or seminar that was way over your head? If you just had more opportunity, would you have done X ? Or is it just beyond your ability? Plenty is beyond mine, and it is not the fault of my parents, school or teachers. I just don’t have the ability.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “@ 104: We may “do it better than anyone on the planet”. That is not a very high bar, especially since most nations do not have nearly the racial disparity, historically, that the U.S. does. But we don’t do it very well.”

    We do it better than it has ever been done by anyone anywhere. We have exceeded the bar over and over and over. What we and no one else has done is achieve the elusive goal of equal outcomes. Of course most others aren’t even trying. That is why the groups that are supposedly oppressed by inferior opportunities in the US keep coming to the US because it is so much better than what they have amongst their own in their own countries.

    I got that we aren’t perfect. Really, I got it, but I think it is pretty arrogant to assume that we can achieve anything we decide we want to do. That may not actually be possible in every case, and pursuing it could do more harm than good.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “@ 104: We may “do it better than anyone on the planet”. That is not a very high bar, especially since most nations do not have nearly the racial disparity, historically, that the U.S. does. But we don’t do it very well.”

    We do it better than it has ever been done by anyone anywhere. We have exceeded the bar over and over and over. What we and no one else has done is achieve the elusive goal of equal outcomes. Of course most others aren’t even trying. That is why the groups that are supposedly oppressed by inferior opportunities in the US keep coming to the US because it is so much better than what they have amongst their own in their own countries.

    I got that we aren’t perfect. Really, I got it, but I think it is pretty arrogant to assume that we can achieve anything we decide we want to do. That may not actually be possible in every case, and pursuing it could do more harm than good.

  • DonS

    SG: Cool. We agree that we largely agree.

    My point is that the Rushton study is meaningless. I don’t credit intelligence tests, thus undermining the very basis of the study, and racial self-identification is unreliable (the child of a friend of mine claimed he was “African-American” because his father is a white Egyptian and his mother is a white American — he was offered a minority scholarship, no questions asked). Moreover, rapid racial intermixing is occurring in the American population, further marginalizing any findings of that study. But, beyond all that, it’s pointless, unless you intend to treat people in groups rather than individually. Sure, some people are smarter than others, but that’s true across the board, regardless of race. The propensity of smart v. dumb in different racial groups is irrelevant.

    The issue of disparate schools is an economic one, not a racial one. If we are going to offer public education, then the least we can do is ensure that kids in poor areas have an opportunity to learn. They should not be trapped in bad inner city schools by selfish teachers unions, or forced to endure PC coursework designed by liberal educational bureaucrats bent on engendering social change. Until the D.C. city council recently forced out an innovative school superintendant who understood these concepts, students were showing market improved achievement. Teachers should be evaluated individually and rewarded accordingly. Bad teachers should not be protected. It’s not about more money, it’s about more parental choice, for those who want it, and a different educational emphasis.

  • DonS

    SG: Cool. We agree that we largely agree.

    My point is that the Rushton study is meaningless. I don’t credit intelligence tests, thus undermining the very basis of the study, and racial self-identification is unreliable (the child of a friend of mine claimed he was “African-American” because his father is a white Egyptian and his mother is a white American — he was offered a minority scholarship, no questions asked). Moreover, rapid racial intermixing is occurring in the American population, further marginalizing any findings of that study. But, beyond all that, it’s pointless, unless you intend to treat people in groups rather than individually. Sure, some people are smarter than others, but that’s true across the board, regardless of race. The propensity of smart v. dumb in different racial groups is irrelevant.

    The issue of disparate schools is an economic one, not a racial one. If we are going to offer public education, then the least we can do is ensure that kids in poor areas have an opportunity to learn. They should not be trapped in bad inner city schools by selfish teachers unions, or forced to endure PC coursework designed by liberal educational bureaucrats bent on engendering social change. Until the D.C. city council recently forced out an innovative school superintendant who understood these concepts, students were showing market improved achievement. Teachers should be evaluated individually and rewarded accordingly. Bad teachers should not be protected. It’s not about more money, it’s about more parental choice, for those who want it, and a different educational emphasis.

  • DonS

    sg @ 118: I agree that it is about equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. I am only arguing for that opportunity, which will largely be achieved by giving poor families educational options, including private school when the local public schools stink, rewarding good teachers, firing bad ones, and challenging those students with demonstrated academic ability.

  • DonS

    sg @ 118: I agree that it is about equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. I am only arguing for that opportunity, which will largely be achieved by giving poor families educational options, including private school when the local public schools stink, rewarding good teachers, firing bad ones, and challenging those students with demonstrated academic ability.

  • Grace

    DonS – 120 “I am only arguing for that opportunity, which will largely be achieved by giving poor families educational options, including private school when the local public schools stink, rewarding good teachers, firing bad ones, and challenging those students with demonstrated academic ability.”

    That opens the door for yet more funds than this country can afford. Endless monies have been spent to cure the problem, but it still exists, even more than before.

    “Private school” ? – That isn’t an option as the billions this country now has debted itself.

    The parents of these “poor families” don’t bother to take an active role in their children’s education. They rarely attend school meetings to discuss problems. Teachers have their hands full, just trying to keep order. In jr. high and high school, teachers are harassed by students, …. one of the female teachers in our family went to her SUV and found it keyed, as an act of ‘get even’ when one of her students didn’t want to behave. Teachers walk a tight rope. The relative I referrenced left her teaching position, at the request of her husband…. he could not stand by worrying about her safety.

  • Grace

    DonS – 120 “I am only arguing for that opportunity, which will largely be achieved by giving poor families educational options, including private school when the local public schools stink, rewarding good teachers, firing bad ones, and challenging those students with demonstrated academic ability.”

    That opens the door for yet more funds than this country can afford. Endless monies have been spent to cure the problem, but it still exists, even more than before.

    “Private school” ? – That isn’t an option as the billions this country now has debted itself.

    The parents of these “poor families” don’t bother to take an active role in their children’s education. They rarely attend school meetings to discuss problems. Teachers have their hands full, just trying to keep order. In jr. high and high school, teachers are harassed by students, …. one of the female teachers in our family went to her SUV and found it keyed, as an act of ‘get even’ when one of her students didn’t want to behave. Teachers walk a tight rope. The relative I referrenced left her teaching position, at the request of her husband…. he could not stand by worrying about her safety.

  • DonS

    Grace, you are taking one comment out of context. Read all of my comments and you will clearly see that you misunderstand my point.

  • DonS

    Grace, you are taking one comment out of context. Read all of my comments and you will clearly see that you misunderstand my point.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “My point is that the Rushton study is meaningless. I don’t credit intelligence tests, thus undermining the very basis of the study, and racial self-identification is unreliable”

    Intelligence tests aren’t meaningless, but they don’t measure the value of a person. The military, the justice system, Duke Univ. Talent Search all use intelligence tests and so do many others because they are meaningful. They are not the end all be all. They do correlate highly with many other measures including income, health, educational attainment etc. Racial self identification is somewhat unreliable especially if incentives are offered for self identifying as a particular group. However your example sort of works against what you are saying.

    “sg @ 118: I agree that it is about equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. I am only arguing for that opportunity, which will largely be achieved by giving poor families educational options, including private school when the local public schools stink, rewarding good teachers, firing bad ones, and challenging those students with demonstrated academic ability.”

    However, if you start from the uncorroborated position of equal ability and demand equal outcome as proof that equal opportunity was indeed offered, then it isn’t much of an argument for just equal opportunity.

    Let’s back up on the blame-the-school game. Shouldn’t we start with fathers? Isn’t education primarily the responsibility of parents? God didn’t give children to the state. If we compared students living with their married parents vs. those with absent fathers, we would likely find that an absent father may be very significant if not more significant than other factors, certainly more than his school.

    I agree that taxing people and providing education that they don’t feel meets their children’s needs is a problem. It can be remedied at the ballot box. Step one, vote no on school bonds and tax increases. Basically defund them. However, people honestly believe more money will work despite the fact that high performing schools spend less per pupil. The school at our church does.

    John C.’s point that when people can choose schools, they will have the ability to integrate even less and we need to discuss that openly. What if muslim schools start up and recruit inner city students a place to learn funded by the taxpayers? What if the kids don’t do any better but are radically indoctrinated and the schools can’t be closed because that would be discriminatory? Vouchers are a program just begging to be abused. Once you guarantee payment for a service regardless of outcome, there will be the most unscrupulous folks imaginable vying for those dollars in addition to many good ones. Sure the state could eventually shut down bad schools, but many kids could be victimized in the interim. Do you think wonderful teachers and schools will be recruiting the students least likely to perform? Heck no. That would get their school closed down for underperforming. This is the enduring problem when helping the poor, being blamed for their failure. Gee, we paid you and you didn’t fix them? You must be abusing them in some way! Somehow depriving them of something!

    Personally I think that Christian education is the best for every child. I am unapologetically in favor of every child hearing the Word of God daily and being taught in a Christian school by Christian teachers regardless of his religious background. All other religions, including secularism and atheism, are false and detrimental to children. Every child is injured if he doesn’t hear God’s Word.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “My point is that the Rushton study is meaningless. I don’t credit intelligence tests, thus undermining the very basis of the study, and racial self-identification is unreliable”

    Intelligence tests aren’t meaningless, but they don’t measure the value of a person. The military, the justice system, Duke Univ. Talent Search all use intelligence tests and so do many others because they are meaningful. They are not the end all be all. They do correlate highly with many other measures including income, health, educational attainment etc. Racial self identification is somewhat unreliable especially if incentives are offered for self identifying as a particular group. However your example sort of works against what you are saying.

    “sg @ 118: I agree that it is about equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. I am only arguing for that opportunity, which will largely be achieved by giving poor families educational options, including private school when the local public schools stink, rewarding good teachers, firing bad ones, and challenging those students with demonstrated academic ability.”

    However, if you start from the uncorroborated position of equal ability and demand equal outcome as proof that equal opportunity was indeed offered, then it isn’t much of an argument for just equal opportunity.

    Let’s back up on the blame-the-school game. Shouldn’t we start with fathers? Isn’t education primarily the responsibility of parents? God didn’t give children to the state. If we compared students living with their married parents vs. those with absent fathers, we would likely find that an absent father may be very significant if not more significant than other factors, certainly more than his school.

    I agree that taxing people and providing education that they don’t feel meets their children’s needs is a problem. It can be remedied at the ballot box. Step one, vote no on school bonds and tax increases. Basically defund them. However, people honestly believe more money will work despite the fact that high performing schools spend less per pupil. The school at our church does.

    John C.’s point that when people can choose schools, they will have the ability to integrate even less and we need to discuss that openly. What if muslim schools start up and recruit inner city students a place to learn funded by the taxpayers? What if the kids don’t do any better but are radically indoctrinated and the schools can’t be closed because that would be discriminatory? Vouchers are a program just begging to be abused. Once you guarantee payment for a service regardless of outcome, there will be the most unscrupulous folks imaginable vying for those dollars in addition to many good ones. Sure the state could eventually shut down bad schools, but many kids could be victimized in the interim. Do you think wonderful teachers and schools will be recruiting the students least likely to perform? Heck no. That would get their school closed down for underperforming. This is the enduring problem when helping the poor, being blamed for their failure. Gee, we paid you and you didn’t fix them? You must be abusing them in some way! Somehow depriving them of something!

    Personally I think that Christian education is the best for every child. I am unapologetically in favor of every child hearing the Word of God daily and being taught in a Christian school by Christian teachers regardless of his religious background. All other religions, including secularism and atheism, are false and detrimental to children. Every child is injured if he doesn’t hear God’s Word.

  • Grace

    DonS

    I commented on exactly what you posted, ( 120 DonS ) how can that be taken out of context in my post 121? I don’t have time to re-read your comments.

  • Grace

    DonS

    I commented on exactly what you posted, ( 120 DonS ) how can that be taken out of context in my post 121? I don’t have time to re-read your comments.

  • trotk

    sg -

    In the interest of quality dialogue, let me clarify. You can argue with me, but at least I will make certain that you have a fair opportunity to know what I am saying.

    Inner city students and certain minorities do score significantly worse than white and Asian students on standardized tests. I don’t dispute that. HOWEVER, if you analyze many years worth of the data very carefully (and this has been done by a number of people), you will find that the central dividing issue is not race, it is instead economic. The class divides are stronger than the racial divides.

    The children of illegal immigrants are not generally responsible for low test scores amongst minorities, because ESL students’ data is not generally included in state-wide averages, thus they are not dragging our scores down. This was the initial point I took issue with.

    Scores have been manipulated. School systems have given kids answers to tests, given extra time, provided calculators on non-calculator sections of tests, and on and on.

    Inner city school districts, by and large, are awful. An incredible amount of racial segregation still occurs, poor and non-white kids are funneled towards non-college tracks, rooms are over-crowded and decrepit, etc, etc. Read Kozol’s “The Shame of the Nation” for an accurate portrayal. I have volunteered in schools just like he describes, worked as an intern in a couple, and visited many more.

    The fundamental issue to fix schools is not money. Kansas City is an example of unlimited funds thrown at a broken system. Although class size and new books are important, they cannot do anything if the fundamental understanding of education is wrong and if families do not want or value education to a degree that they are willing to do the work necessary.

    The public school system has the wrong fundamental understanding of education, and the general belief in standardized testing shows how pervasive it is. You will find that we turned our schools into factories where we demand measurable outcomes when we changed our understanding of what education existed for. The three men responsible for the shift are Nietzsche, Darwin, and Dewey, Together, they created the understanding that there is not a static nature to a human being, a human is an evolving animal, subjects don’t have inherent natures, knowledge doesn’t matter, people can make their own truth, there is no God, etc. Our modern schools are a direct product of their writings, where only two mantras are preached consistently: make kids fit into society nicely and improve test scores. In other words, restrain the animal and program the machine.

    Standardized tests are an indicator of two things: The ability to take a test and a knowledge of the material on the test. They are not an indicator of success in life, success in college, understanding, the ability to communicate an idea, wisdom, or virtue.

    Standardized tests teach children that their value lies in a single performance rated by a number, rather than how they grow, what they choose to do, what they believe, etc. Just about anything is a better alternative to judging the value of a human being that the number one performance on a test earns.

    Standardized tests keep teachers from doing what the kids in front of them need, and thus make education worse. Good teachers are the ones most hurt by standardized tests and standardized curricula.

    A standardized curricula is a surefire way to destroy education.

    Providing vouchers would not bankrupt the nation. Just give the money that the state spends on the child to the family to spend on a school. Almost all private schools are cheaper than their public counterparts, and almost all of them do a better job.

    The rich can afford the private schools, the poor can’t, and so vouchers would help the poor (the ones most harmed by the public system) most.

    Condemning poor, non-white students, will never fix the situation. Instead, getting dirty up to your eyeballs in tutoring, counseling, and otherwise serving them has the best chance for success if they are to stay in the public system.

    The kids in poor, inner city families, are the least culpable. Their families are, because they don’t teach discipline. The schools are, because they assume they will fail and funnel them to the bad teachers and pointless classes, the society is, because they aren’t willing to address real issues, and we are, because we remain at a distance and blame them for the state of our nation, as you and Grace did above.

    I could go on. If you are curious about other issues, let me know.

  • trotk

    sg -

    In the interest of quality dialogue, let me clarify. You can argue with me, but at least I will make certain that you have a fair opportunity to know what I am saying.

    Inner city students and certain minorities do score significantly worse than white and Asian students on standardized tests. I don’t dispute that. HOWEVER, if you analyze many years worth of the data very carefully (and this has been done by a number of people), you will find that the central dividing issue is not race, it is instead economic. The class divides are stronger than the racial divides.

    The children of illegal immigrants are not generally responsible for low test scores amongst minorities, because ESL students’ data is not generally included in state-wide averages, thus they are not dragging our scores down. This was the initial point I took issue with.

    Scores have been manipulated. School systems have given kids answers to tests, given extra time, provided calculators on non-calculator sections of tests, and on and on.

    Inner city school districts, by and large, are awful. An incredible amount of racial segregation still occurs, poor and non-white kids are funneled towards non-college tracks, rooms are over-crowded and decrepit, etc, etc. Read Kozol’s “The Shame of the Nation” for an accurate portrayal. I have volunteered in schools just like he describes, worked as an intern in a couple, and visited many more.

    The fundamental issue to fix schools is not money. Kansas City is an example of unlimited funds thrown at a broken system. Although class size and new books are important, they cannot do anything if the fundamental understanding of education is wrong and if families do not want or value education to a degree that they are willing to do the work necessary.

    The public school system has the wrong fundamental understanding of education, and the general belief in standardized testing shows how pervasive it is. You will find that we turned our schools into factories where we demand measurable outcomes when we changed our understanding of what education existed for. The three men responsible for the shift are Nietzsche, Darwin, and Dewey, Together, they created the understanding that there is not a static nature to a human being, a human is an evolving animal, subjects don’t have inherent natures, knowledge doesn’t matter, people can make their own truth, there is no God, etc. Our modern schools are a direct product of their writings, where only two mantras are preached consistently: make kids fit into society nicely and improve test scores. In other words, restrain the animal and program the machine.

    Standardized tests are an indicator of two things: The ability to take a test and a knowledge of the material on the test. They are not an indicator of success in life, success in college, understanding, the ability to communicate an idea, wisdom, or virtue.

    Standardized tests teach children that their value lies in a single performance rated by a number, rather than how they grow, what they choose to do, what they believe, etc. Just about anything is a better alternative to judging the value of a human being that the number one performance on a test earns.

    Standardized tests keep teachers from doing what the kids in front of them need, and thus make education worse. Good teachers are the ones most hurt by standardized tests and standardized curricula.

    A standardized curricula is a surefire way to destroy education.

    Providing vouchers would not bankrupt the nation. Just give the money that the state spends on the child to the family to spend on a school. Almost all private schools are cheaper than their public counterparts, and almost all of them do a better job.

    The rich can afford the private schools, the poor can’t, and so vouchers would help the poor (the ones most harmed by the public system) most.

    Condemning poor, non-white students, will never fix the situation. Instead, getting dirty up to your eyeballs in tutoring, counseling, and otherwise serving them has the best chance for success if they are to stay in the public system.

    The kids in poor, inner city families, are the least culpable. Their families are, because they don’t teach discipline. The schools are, because they assume they will fail and funnel them to the bad teachers and pointless classes, the society is, because they aren’t willing to address real issues, and we are, because we remain at a distance and blame them for the state of our nation, as you and Grace did above.

    I could go on. If you are curious about other issues, let me know.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “HOWEVER, if you analyze many years worth of the data very carefully (and this has been done by a number of people), you will find that the central dividing issue is not race, it is instead economic. The class divides are stronger than the racial divides.”

    Now we all know that correlation is not causation.

    We have variables that correlate.

    So, which is the cause of the other(s)?

    Does poverty cause ethnicity? I am going with no.

    Does poverty cause poor test scores? I am going with no.

    On average poor whites (household income $75k)

    Does poor educational performance cause poverty?
    I am going with yes.

    So, yes, the lowest performing individuals of every group are also the poorest. Is that counter intuitive?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “HOWEVER, if you analyze many years worth of the data very carefully (and this has been done by a number of people), you will find that the central dividing issue is not race, it is instead economic. The class divides are stronger than the racial divides.”

    Now we all know that correlation is not causation.

    We have variables that correlate.

    So, which is the cause of the other(s)?

    Does poverty cause ethnicity? I am going with no.

    Does poverty cause poor test scores? I am going with no.

    On average poor whites (household income $75k)

    Does poor educational performance cause poverty?
    I am going with yes.

    So, yes, the lowest performing individuals of every group are also the poorest. Is that counter intuitive?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    On average poor whites (household income $75k)

    That didn’t post correctly. Should be:

    On average poor whites (household income $75k)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    On average poor whites (household income $75k)

    That didn’t post correctly. Should be:

    On average poor whites (household income $75k)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Okay, something weird is happening.

    Should be:

    Poor whites from families making less that $20k outscore blacks from families making more than $75k.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Okay, something weird is happening.

    Should be:

    Poor whites from families making less that $20k outscore blacks from families making more than $75k.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Condemning poor, non-white students, will never fix the situation.”

    Non-white? Uh, Asians are doing just fine outperforming whites quite significantly.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Condemning poor, non-white students, will never fix the situation.”

    Non-white? Uh, Asians are doing just fine outperforming whites quite significantly.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The kids in poor, inner city families, are the least culpable.”

    Sure, I agree.

    “Their families are, because they don’t teach discipline.”

    Yeah, especially their fathers.

    Speaking of which, aren’t lower income men most undermined by flooding the labor market with cheap illegal labor?

    “The schools are, because they assume they will fail and funnel them to the bad teachers and pointless classes, the society is, because they aren’t willing to address real issues,”

    Talk about blaming the victims. Why are teachers to blame? They are the ones doing exactly what you advocate: “Instead, getting dirty up to your eyeballs in tutoring, counseling, and otherwise serving them has the best chance for success if they are to stay in the public system.”

    “and we are, because we remain at a distance and blame them for the state of our nation, as you and Grace did above.”

    At a distance? Hello, I pay tons in tax to support schools my kids don’t attend. At an average of $5k a year in property tax over the past 25 years, our family has paid $125k. And now I am told that I have somehow abused poor kids by depriving them of educational opportunity? It is not enough we contributed to pay state certified teachers, we should personally go do it? What is it we have that the teachers don’t?

    Further I think you are confusing us with Louis, who started the whole thing going on about how European countries were outscoring US students. Well, duh. I just pointed out the obvious. Maybe our minorities would do better if they were in Europe! Somehow I doubt it.

    I agree with loving and serving them as neighbors. I do not agree with blaming teachers who can’t get them to perform as well as Asians. By the way, how much money should we funnel into tutoring and special programs to help our white males achieve at the same levels as Asian males, or even Asian females? Are Grace and I to blame for not helping our boys keep up with the Asians?

    We could go on forever blaming rather than loving, serving and treating people with dignity and respect and actually trying to help them get good jobs instead of into college with the accompanying student debt.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The kids in poor, inner city families, are the least culpable.”

    Sure, I agree.

    “Their families are, because they don’t teach discipline.”

    Yeah, especially their fathers.

    Speaking of which, aren’t lower income men most undermined by flooding the labor market with cheap illegal labor?

    “The schools are, because they assume they will fail and funnel them to the bad teachers and pointless classes, the society is, because they aren’t willing to address real issues,”

    Talk about blaming the victims. Why are teachers to blame? They are the ones doing exactly what you advocate: “Instead, getting dirty up to your eyeballs in tutoring, counseling, and otherwise serving them has the best chance for success if they are to stay in the public system.”

    “and we are, because we remain at a distance and blame them for the state of our nation, as you and Grace did above.”

    At a distance? Hello, I pay tons in tax to support schools my kids don’t attend. At an average of $5k a year in property tax over the past 25 years, our family has paid $125k. And now I am told that I have somehow abused poor kids by depriving them of educational opportunity? It is not enough we contributed to pay state certified teachers, we should personally go do it? What is it we have that the teachers don’t?

    Further I think you are confusing us with Louis, who started the whole thing going on about how European countries were outscoring US students. Well, duh. I just pointed out the obvious. Maybe our minorities would do better if they were in Europe! Somehow I doubt it.

    I agree with loving and serving them as neighbors. I do not agree with blaming teachers who can’t get them to perform as well as Asians. By the way, how much money should we funnel into tutoring and special programs to help our white males achieve at the same levels as Asian males, or even Asian females? Are Grace and I to blame for not helping our boys keep up with the Asians?

    We could go on forever blaming rather than loving, serving and treating people with dignity and respect and actually trying to help them get good jobs instead of into college with the accompanying student debt.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    trotk,

    Look, I think I may actually agree with your philosophy of education and what has worked to contribute to inappropriate goals. However, testing students is not bizarre or perverse. Don’t the students at your school take all manner of spelling quizzes, math tests, essay tests etc? We need feedback to facilitate the process.

    “Standardized tests are an indicator of two things: The ability to take a test and a knowledge of the material on the test. They are not an indicator of success in life, success in college, understanding, the ability to communicate an idea, wisdom, or virtue.”

    This is just not true. Standardized test scores correlate highly with all of those outcomes. That is why colleges require them. The least selective schools have the lowest graduation rates and those that demand the highest scores have the highest graduation rates.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    trotk,

    Look, I think I may actually agree with your philosophy of education and what has worked to contribute to inappropriate goals. However, testing students is not bizarre or perverse. Don’t the students at your school take all manner of spelling quizzes, math tests, essay tests etc? We need feedback to facilitate the process.

    “Standardized tests are an indicator of two things: The ability to take a test and a knowledge of the material on the test. They are not an indicator of success in life, success in college, understanding, the ability to communicate an idea, wisdom, or virtue.”

    This is just not true. Standardized test scores correlate highly with all of those outcomes. That is why colleges require them. The least selective schools have the lowest graduation rates and those that demand the highest scores have the highest graduation rates.

  • DonS

    Grace @ 124: It was taken out of context because you jumped in on a continuing conversation I have been having with SG, and post 120 only addressed one particular point. If you’re going to jump in late like that, you need to get yourself up to speed. If you don’t have time to catch up by reading the conversation to date, then don’t jump in.

  • DonS

    Grace @ 124: It was taken out of context because you jumped in on a continuing conversation I have been having with SG, and post 120 only addressed one particular point. If you’re going to jump in late like that, you need to get yourself up to speed. If you don’t have time to catch up by reading the conversation to date, then don’t jump in.

  • DonS

    sg @ 123: I guess we could go round and round about Rushton, but I will move past it, because I think we both conced that it doesn’t apply to the issue, unless you are going to insist on treating people as groups, rather than individuals. Its only purpose it to support the idea that equal opportunity might not lead to equal outcome, and we both agree on that point.

    Actually, I am no fan of public schools. We have homeschooled all five of our children, two of whom are now successful, married adults, and the third of whom is doing well in college. That is my first choice, because it permits a parent to fully disciple their child. My second choice is private Christian education.

    However, eliminating public education is not presently a viable option. So, if we are going to have it, we should work as hard as we can to reform it so it does some good. Eliminate teachers’ unions, evaluate teachers by merit, and allow those families that do care about their kids, but just happen to be poor, to have educational options so that their kids can be educated better. That is why I am a huge proponent of vouchers and school choice, especially for the poor, who otherwise have no hope of attaining the private Christian education you favor. And, as a bonus, vouchers reduce public costs. They are a means of competition to the public schools, which is an unadulterated good thing.

    I do not demand equal outcomes, but I do support equal opportunity and access to public services, such as public education.

    John C.’s point is a crock. Denying parents educational choice for their children is not the means to raising good citizens who love their country and who want to be part of the melting pot which is America at its finest.

  • DonS

    sg @ 123: I guess we could go round and round about Rushton, but I will move past it, because I think we both conced that it doesn’t apply to the issue, unless you are going to insist on treating people as groups, rather than individuals. Its only purpose it to support the idea that equal opportunity might not lead to equal outcome, and we both agree on that point.

    Actually, I am no fan of public schools. We have homeschooled all five of our children, two of whom are now successful, married adults, and the third of whom is doing well in college. That is my first choice, because it permits a parent to fully disciple their child. My second choice is private Christian education.

    However, eliminating public education is not presently a viable option. So, if we are going to have it, we should work as hard as we can to reform it so it does some good. Eliminate teachers’ unions, evaluate teachers by merit, and allow those families that do care about their kids, but just happen to be poor, to have educational options so that their kids can be educated better. That is why I am a huge proponent of vouchers and school choice, especially for the poor, who otherwise have no hope of attaining the private Christian education you favor. And, as a bonus, vouchers reduce public costs. They are a means of competition to the public schools, which is an unadulterated good thing.

    I do not demand equal outcomes, but I do support equal opportunity and access to public services, such as public education.

    John C.’s point is a crock. Denying parents educational choice for their children is not the means to raising good citizens who love their country and who want to be part of the melting pot which is America at its finest.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Don, you make some very good points on vouchers. So long as vouchers would not be high enough to incentivize the unscrupulous to enter the market, they could help some poor kids get into better schools. Our school would probably take up to 30-50% of its enrollment in kids who were too poor to pay the full amount and could only contribute what the voucher provided. That could possibly lower the school’s performance enough to scare off the paying customers even though the facilities, faculty and education wouldn’t change at all. Of course, I can’t know that it would. If we required regular church attendance and catechesis for all families of children in attendance at the school to be assured of their good faith in trying to walk together with our congregation, then we might see some real benefit to those families.

    I do not believe in secular solutions in general. Students need the Word of God more than any other educational opportunity. Anything that facilitates that end, will help people. Anything that denies its efficacy is eventually heading for failure by some means or another. I think I have just talked myself into an “fws” moment. Ultimately only the eternal matters. :-)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Don, you make some very good points on vouchers. So long as vouchers would not be high enough to incentivize the unscrupulous to enter the market, they could help some poor kids get into better schools. Our school would probably take up to 30-50% of its enrollment in kids who were too poor to pay the full amount and could only contribute what the voucher provided. That could possibly lower the school’s performance enough to scare off the paying customers even though the facilities, faculty and education wouldn’t change at all. Of course, I can’t know that it would. If we required regular church attendance and catechesis for all families of children in attendance at the school to be assured of their good faith in trying to walk together with our congregation, then we might see some real benefit to those families.

    I do not believe in secular solutions in general. Students need the Word of God more than any other educational opportunity. Anything that facilitates that end, will help people. Anything that denies its efficacy is eventually heading for failure by some means or another. I think I have just talked myself into an “fws” moment. Ultimately only the eternal matters. :-)

  • DonS

    sg, I think we are in agreement. In my view, vouchers would lower governmental education costs, and I would be the first one off the bandwagon if private schools were compelled to accept them. In fact, I would recommend that private schools not accept them, as I believe in steering clear of the strings which always accompany governmental funding. However, voucher programs have been successfully demonstrated numerous times. Typically, it is parochial schools which accept them. The students receive an excellent education at about half the cost of the public schools, and, as a bonus, receive a Christian, albeit Catholic, education as well.

    Thanks for the chat!

  • DonS

    sg, I think we are in agreement. In my view, vouchers would lower governmental education costs, and I would be the first one off the bandwagon if private schools were compelled to accept them. In fact, I would recommend that private schools not accept them, as I believe in steering clear of the strings which always accompany governmental funding. However, voucher programs have been successfully demonstrated numerous times. Typically, it is parochial schools which accept them. The students receive an excellent education at about half the cost of the public schools, and, as a bonus, receive a Christian, albeit Catholic, education as well.

    Thanks for the chat!

  • Grace

    DonS – 134

    “It was taken out of context because you jumped in on a continuing conversation I have been having with SG, and post 120 only addressed one particular point.”

    RE: 120 – your post was #122 – perhaps a post was being held back, which would have skewed the numbers.

    The point I wanted to make (my post #123) was on the one I addressed. I don’t have to address all of your points, or all your posts, in order to make MY point.

  • Grace

    DonS – 134

    “It was taken out of context because you jumped in on a continuing conversation I have been having with SG, and post 120 only addressed one particular point.”

    RE: 120 – your post was #122 – perhaps a post was being held back, which would have skewed the numbers.

    The point I wanted to make (my post #123) was on the one I addressed. I don’t have to address all of your points, or all your posts, in order to make MY point.

  • DonS

    Grace @ 138: It was 120 until Louis’ posts, caught in moderation, were released a little while ago.

    I don’t have any problem with you making any point you want to make. BUT, I DO have a problem with you misrepresenting my point, by taking one of my comments out of context, in the process.

  • DonS

    Grace @ 138: It was 120 until Louis’ posts, caught in moderation, were released a little while ago.

    I don’t have any problem with you making any point you want to make. BUT, I DO have a problem with you misrepresenting my point, by taking one of my comments out of context, in the process.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “sg, I know the facts. You just want to scratch the surface, and not delve into the complex issues behind the facts. Statistics do not lie, but they rarely tell the whole story.”

    Louis, I think that is pretty unfair considering that I have repeatedly solicited information from those making claims that there is more than meets the eye regarding the consistent patterns present in the data.

    I present the info I have seen and request that others provide theirs. So far, no one has. So, really it is they who do not want to delve into these issues, because they claim to have seen info but don’t present it. Is it reasonable to expect the person who has not seen the info to be the one to present it?

    “The reality is that once you equalise for income and social development, there are very few distinctions between the races and ethnicities.”

    I already agree with that. Statistics reveal the proportion of each population described. My point is that from the data I have seen, the top 50% of whites in SA and the top 5% of natives in SA fit that description as equal in income and social development. Now, when you have 10x as many natives as whites, then yeah, you can have about an equal number in absolute terms. However, that leaves out the vast majority of the population.

    Now back to the important point. People constantly leave societies not built by Christian white males and go directly to countries that were built by Christian white males. I would argue that the “white” is the least important part of the construct and that Christian males by far the most important part. People weren’t trying to get into the Eastern European “s” word countries that were built by atheist white males. Still, the Word of God must be the foundation for anything substantially good society. Without it, all you have is endless power struggles, ethnic strife and oppression.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “sg, I know the facts. You just want to scratch the surface, and not delve into the complex issues behind the facts. Statistics do not lie, but they rarely tell the whole story.”

    Louis, I think that is pretty unfair considering that I have repeatedly solicited information from those making claims that there is more than meets the eye regarding the consistent patterns present in the data.

    I present the info I have seen and request that others provide theirs. So far, no one has. So, really it is they who do not want to delve into these issues, because they claim to have seen info but don’t present it. Is it reasonable to expect the person who has not seen the info to be the one to present it?

    “The reality is that once you equalise for income and social development, there are very few distinctions between the races and ethnicities.”

    I already agree with that. Statistics reveal the proportion of each population described. My point is that from the data I have seen, the top 50% of whites in SA and the top 5% of natives in SA fit that description as equal in income and social development. Now, when you have 10x as many natives as whites, then yeah, you can have about an equal number in absolute terms. However, that leaves out the vast majority of the population.

    Now back to the important point. People constantly leave societies not built by Christian white males and go directly to countries that were built by Christian white males. I would argue that the “white” is the least important part of the construct and that Christian males by far the most important part. People weren’t trying to get into the Eastern European “s” word countries that were built by atheist white males. Still, the Word of God must be the foundation for anything substantially good society. Without it, all you have is endless power struggles, ethnic strife and oppression.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    sg – it is about 10x. Roughly 4million whites, 40-something million blacks, 3 million+ coloureds, and 1 million+ Asian (that is how they traditionally divided up the population – note that Asian means Indian – Chinese is considered white. Don’t ask why.) Also keep in mind that after apartheid, it will take time for social development etc to work through the system – plus, a mere century and a bit ago, the majority of the black population where still within their traditional tribal context (huts, loincloths etc). You do not bring people into the 21st century over night. Plus, intense political upheval, repression, etc etc is not going to help much.

    These things are so complex, and there are so many factors, that mere statistics are not helpful in any sense whatsoever.

    BTW – anybody have any ideas why my comments were held in moderation?

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    sg – it is about 10x. Roughly 4million whites, 40-something million blacks, 3 million+ coloureds, and 1 million+ Asian (that is how they traditionally divided up the population – note that Asian means Indian – Chinese is considered white. Don’t ask why.) Also keep in mind that after apartheid, it will take time for social development etc to work through the system – plus, a mere century and a bit ago, the majority of the black population where still within their traditional tribal context (huts, loincloths etc). You do not bring people into the 21st century over night. Plus, intense political upheval, repression, etc etc is not going to help much.

    These things are so complex, and there are so many factors, that mere statistics are not helpful in any sense whatsoever.

    BTW – anybody have any ideas why my comments were held in moderation?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Chinese is considered white. Don’t ask why.”

    Why?

    This is the definition of not delving into complex issues: Don’t ask why.

    “These things are so complex, and there are so many factors, that mere statistics are not helpful in any sense whatsoever.”

    So, uh, explain and advocate for your position rather than insinuating that people who don’t know are too simple to understand. I explain my points. Why can’t you explain yours? Statistics just describe the situation. They don’t explain everything. They are helpful to understand some aspects of a situation. I am not saying they can’t be manipulated, but you certainly haven’t made that case. Statistics are not useless or irrelevant. They inform the discussion. It’s interesting that you give the statistical breakdown of the population and then claim the info is “not helpful in any sense whatsoever.” That is just silly. If SA were 100% white (or 100% native), there would be no discussion of race issues and the country would have different problems.

    I mean, you don’t exactly create the impression that you understand it either when you keep retreating behind the “complex” label and never actually cite anything to back up what you are saying. Although on this thread you have brought up at least some relevant info. So, thanks for that.

    “Also keep in mind that after apartheid, it will take time for social development etc to work through the system – plus, a mere century and a bit ago, the majority of the black population where still within their traditional tribal context (huts, loincloths etc). You do not bring people into the 21st century over night. Plus, intense political upheval, repression, etc etc is not going to help much.”

    Yes, everyone agrees with that.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Chinese is considered white. Don’t ask why.”

    Why?

    This is the definition of not delving into complex issues: Don’t ask why.

    “These things are so complex, and there are so many factors, that mere statistics are not helpful in any sense whatsoever.”

    So, uh, explain and advocate for your position rather than insinuating that people who don’t know are too simple to understand. I explain my points. Why can’t you explain yours? Statistics just describe the situation. They don’t explain everything. They are helpful to understand some aspects of a situation. I am not saying they can’t be manipulated, but you certainly haven’t made that case. Statistics are not useless or irrelevant. They inform the discussion. It’s interesting that you give the statistical breakdown of the population and then claim the info is “not helpful in any sense whatsoever.” That is just silly. If SA were 100% white (or 100% native), there would be no discussion of race issues and the country would have different problems.

    I mean, you don’t exactly create the impression that you understand it either when you keep retreating behind the “complex” label and never actually cite anything to back up what you are saying. Although on this thread you have brought up at least some relevant info. So, thanks for that.

    “Also keep in mind that after apartheid, it will take time for social development etc to work through the system – plus, a mere century and a bit ago, the majority of the black population where still within their traditional tribal context (huts, loincloths etc). You do not bring people into the 21st century over night. Plus, intense political upheval, repression, etc etc is not going to help much.”

    Yes, everyone agrees with that.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    sg – well you wanted an answer: The Chinese were clasified as white in apartheid South Africa, sometime during the seveties I think. This was because the country had difficulty finding trade partners, because of sanctions. But they found a very willing partner in Taiwan. To “reward” them, Chinese people were then classifed as white (previously, they were “black”, I believe). For a short while, you had the ludicrous situation that Chinese were white, but Japanese were non-white. This was changed, however, and Japanese were also classifed as white.

    In the 50′s, there were court cases on which race a person was – as any biologist would know, things are not always clear-cut. Another howler was that Southern Africa’s original indigenous inhabitants, the Khoi, San (aka “Bushmen”), Nama and others were classified as coloured, together with mixed -race people and the descendants of the slaves imported in the 16th century – mostly Malay and Malagassy.

    You ask about more data. Well, a comment thread on a blog post is hardly enough to explain the complex relationships and history between 4 colonial powers, multiple ethnicities of immigrants, slaves, a wide range of tribes, all vigorously interacting over a 358 year period. But I will say this:

    Epsitemology is strongly bound/defined by culture. And cultures are very slow to change. Take that fact, and place it ina scenario where the cultures are actively hostile to each other, and you’ll see that the culturally-influenced epistemology of one group is hardly going to perceive the same standards, or phenomenology, or “worldview” even, than the other. Thus a test in one culture will hardly produce the same results as in another. Given the situation where the technologically nored advanced culture actively supress the others, a wide disparity between the cultures would be apparent – and given that the epistemology would be different to start with, and that cultures are generally etnically bound, and ethnicities tend to be mono-racial, a disparity between races is to be expected. Thus the statistics do not lie, but they do not necessarily indicate racial, as in genetic potential, differences, but they certainly indicate differences caused by epistemological differences, based on history, politics and all of that. That is the reality of the situation. That is why I reject the racial (racist?) interpretation of the data given.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    sg – well you wanted an answer: The Chinese were clasified as white in apartheid South Africa, sometime during the seveties I think. This was because the country had difficulty finding trade partners, because of sanctions. But they found a very willing partner in Taiwan. To “reward” them, Chinese people were then classifed as white (previously, they were “black”, I believe). For a short while, you had the ludicrous situation that Chinese were white, but Japanese were non-white. This was changed, however, and Japanese were also classifed as white.

    In the 50′s, there were court cases on which race a person was – as any biologist would know, things are not always clear-cut. Another howler was that Southern Africa’s original indigenous inhabitants, the Khoi, San (aka “Bushmen”), Nama and others were classified as coloured, together with mixed -race people and the descendants of the slaves imported in the 16th century – mostly Malay and Malagassy.

    You ask about more data. Well, a comment thread on a blog post is hardly enough to explain the complex relationships and history between 4 colonial powers, multiple ethnicities of immigrants, slaves, a wide range of tribes, all vigorously interacting over a 358 year period. But I will say this:

    Epsitemology is strongly bound/defined by culture. And cultures are very slow to change. Take that fact, and place it ina scenario where the cultures are actively hostile to each other, and you’ll see that the culturally-influenced epistemology of one group is hardly going to perceive the same standards, or phenomenology, or “worldview” even, than the other. Thus a test in one culture will hardly produce the same results as in another. Given the situation where the technologically nored advanced culture actively supress the others, a wide disparity between the cultures would be apparent – and given that the epistemology would be different to start with, and that cultures are generally etnically bound, and ethnicities tend to be mono-racial, a disparity between races is to be expected. Thus the statistics do not lie, but they do not necessarily indicate racial, as in genetic potential, differences, but they certainly indicate differences caused by epistemological differences, based on history, politics and all of that. That is the reality of the situation. That is why I reject the racial (racist?) interpretation of the data given.

  • Grace

    DonS – 139 –

    “I don’t have any problem with you making any point you want to make. BUT, I DO have a problem with you misrepresenting my point, by taking one of my comments out of context, in the process.”

    You continue to accuse me of taking something out of context. 124, 134 and now 139

    Instead on complaining, why not tell me what I have misrepresented.

    YOUR COMMENT 122

    122 DonS October 27, 2010 at 6:13 pm
    sg @ 118: I agree that it is about equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. I am only arguing for that opportunity, which will largely be achieved by giving poor families educational options, including private school when the local public schools stink, rewarding good teachers, firing bad ones, and challenging those students with demonstrated academic ability.

    MY COMMNET – 123

    123 Grace October 27, 2010 at 6:32 pm
    DonS – 120 “I am only arguing for that opportunity, which will largely be achieved by giving poor families educational options, including private school when the local public schools stink, rewarding good teachers, firing bad ones, and challenging those students with demonstrated academic ability.”

    That opens the door for yet more funds than this country can afford. Endless monies have been spent to cure the problem, but it still exists, even more than before.

    “Private school” ? – That isn’t an option as the billions this country now has debted itself.

    The parents of these “poor families” don’t bother to take an active role in their children’s education. They rarely attend school meetings to discuss problems. Teachers have their hands full, just trying to keep order. In jr. high and high school, teachers are harassed by students, …. one of the female teachers in our family went to her SUV and found it keyed, as an act of ‘get even’ when one of her students didn’t want to behave. Teachers walk a tight rope. The relative I referrenced left her teaching position, at the request of her husband…. he could not stand by worrying about her safety.

    Now you can explain the point I missed. I have read the thread, I also agreed with your first post on this thread #31 my response #35.

  • Grace

    DonS – 139 –

    “I don’t have any problem with you making any point you want to make. BUT, I DO have a problem with you misrepresenting my point, by taking one of my comments out of context, in the process.”

    You continue to accuse me of taking something out of context. 124, 134 and now 139

    Instead on complaining, why not tell me what I have misrepresented.

    YOUR COMMENT 122

    122 DonS October 27, 2010 at 6:13 pm
    sg @ 118: I agree that it is about equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. I am only arguing for that opportunity, which will largely be achieved by giving poor families educational options, including private school when the local public schools stink, rewarding good teachers, firing bad ones, and challenging those students with demonstrated academic ability.

    MY COMMNET – 123

    123 Grace October 27, 2010 at 6:32 pm
    DonS – 120 “I am only arguing for that opportunity, which will largely be achieved by giving poor families educational options, including private school when the local public schools stink, rewarding good teachers, firing bad ones, and challenging those students with demonstrated academic ability.”

    That opens the door for yet more funds than this country can afford. Endless monies have been spent to cure the problem, but it still exists, even more than before.

    “Private school” ? – That isn’t an option as the billions this country now has debted itself.

    The parents of these “poor families” don’t bother to take an active role in their children’s education. They rarely attend school meetings to discuss problems. Teachers have their hands full, just trying to keep order. In jr. high and high school, teachers are harassed by students, …. one of the female teachers in our family went to her SUV and found it keyed, as an act of ‘get even’ when one of her students didn’t want to behave. Teachers walk a tight rope. The relative I referrenced left her teaching position, at the request of her husband…. he could not stand by worrying about her safety.

    Now you can explain the point I missed. I have read the thread, I also agreed with your first post on this thread #31 my response #35.

  • John C

    The God of the old or new testament, sg?
    The Lutheran God, the Pentacostal or the God of the Plymouth Brethren.
    I presume homosexuality is a sin, trotk, but it can be cured and mental illness is the work of the devil. And seeing there is no standard curriculm, I think we can agree that evolution is only a theory. How old is the earth again?
    In NSW, the leadership of the Plymouth Brethren have established quite a reputation for the expulsion of rivals and troublemakers — usually men — and the permanent, I repeat permanent, loss of communication and contact with wives and children who remain in the cult. Now that’s a malignancy worth emulating.
    Sometimes sg and trotk, there is a little too much God isn’t there?
    Don’t you think God may need a little respite from from the statements made and the acts done in his name?

  • John C

    The God of the old or new testament, sg?
    The Lutheran God, the Pentacostal or the God of the Plymouth Brethren.
    I presume homosexuality is a sin, trotk, but it can be cured and mental illness is the work of the devil. And seeing there is no standard curriculm, I think we can agree that evolution is only a theory. How old is the earth again?
    In NSW, the leadership of the Plymouth Brethren have established quite a reputation for the expulsion of rivals and troublemakers — usually men — and the permanent, I repeat permanent, loss of communication and contact with wives and children who remain in the cult. Now that’s a malignancy worth emulating.
    Sometimes sg and trotk, there is a little too much God isn’t there?
    Don’t you think God may need a little respite from from the statements made and the acts done in his name?

  • DonS

    OK, Grace. The context of the discussion is found in my post 102, in which I argue that Democrats/liberals pander to minorities by constantly reminding them how they are oppressed, and because of this unfairness perpetrated on them they can only succeed through government intervention. I was not arguing that we need to give the poor and minorities more stuff. I was arguing that we need to stop pandering to them. The public schools in minority and poor neighborhoods do them no favors by teaching them multicultural ideas, rather than assimilation into the great American melting pot. I argued that the selfish political ambition of teachers unions perpetrate the oppression of the poor. I was arguing that public schools need to focus on the basics, and to evaluate teachers individually, rewarding the good ones and rooting out the bad ones. In the case of irredeemably bad inner city public schools, for those families who are intact and who do care about their kids’ education, they should have a way out of those schools, through school choice or vouchers, allowing possible entrance into private schools that would otherwise be denied to them because of cost.

    Your response: “That opens the door for yet more funds than this country can afford. Endless monies have been spent to cure the problem, but it still exists, even more than before.

    “Private school” ? – That isn’t an option as the billions this country now has debted itself.” This comment was completely off track, because I never stated or implied that we should spend anything more than we spend now. Vouchers are typically substantially cheaper than public school per-pupil costs. Parochial schools educate a child, typically, for about one-half the cost of public school education, and do a far better job. I disfavor the many entitlement programs that we pander to the poor with now. Moreover, public education funds are mostly state and locally generated, and my policy view is that the federal government shouldn’t be involved with public education at all.

  • DonS

    OK, Grace. The context of the discussion is found in my post 102, in which I argue that Democrats/liberals pander to minorities by constantly reminding them how they are oppressed, and because of this unfairness perpetrated on them they can only succeed through government intervention. I was not arguing that we need to give the poor and minorities more stuff. I was arguing that we need to stop pandering to them. The public schools in minority and poor neighborhoods do them no favors by teaching them multicultural ideas, rather than assimilation into the great American melting pot. I argued that the selfish political ambition of teachers unions perpetrate the oppression of the poor. I was arguing that public schools need to focus on the basics, and to evaluate teachers individually, rewarding the good ones and rooting out the bad ones. In the case of irredeemably bad inner city public schools, for those families who are intact and who do care about their kids’ education, they should have a way out of those schools, through school choice or vouchers, allowing possible entrance into private schools that would otherwise be denied to them because of cost.

    Your response: “That opens the door for yet more funds than this country can afford. Endless monies have been spent to cure the problem, but it still exists, even more than before.

    “Private school” ? – That isn’t an option as the billions this country now has debted itself.” This comment was completely off track, because I never stated or implied that we should spend anything more than we spend now. Vouchers are typically substantially cheaper than public school per-pupil costs. Parochial schools educate a child, typically, for about one-half the cost of public school education, and do a far better job. I disfavor the many entitlement programs that we pander to the poor with now. Moreover, public education funds are mostly state and locally generated, and my policy view is that the federal government shouldn’t be involved with public education at all.

  • Grace

    Don – 146 – thank you for clarifying. I agree with most all you state. What I don’t agree with is ‘vouchers’ or ‘private school, which would once again … bus children … I witnessed this once before, it was unfair to those children who lived within a community that respected rules and laws, who’s parents participated in every aspect of their children’s lives.

    Unfortunately, the children who were bused, came from areas that didn’t respect authority, nor were they fearful of being penalized when they broke the rules, and bullied others. It wasn’t their scholastic abilities, it was their interpersonal inabilities, to get along with others. Lying to adults, ganging up on children they felt had more, or brighter, was a terrible situation to expect children who came from the community to endure DAILY – I’m talking about very young children, who lived by street RULE, and had little interest in changing.

    Transporting children from inter-city to the other side of town doesn’t work. Jealousy and anger, isn’t fair to inflict on the children who don’t play by STREET RULE, who have more. Children who are brought to more affluent communities see the homes, gardens, cars, etc., which they don’t have where they live, it’s conflict from the beginning. Then there is the cost involved with transportation to and from school.

    Don, I don’t think you can mix children together who come from homes where parents are involved, expect children to study, behave, respect authority…… and then mix those children with the opposite.

    I believe this country has tried, over and over again to FIX the gaps in education, but it hasn’t changed. I have stated many times, that UNIFORMS for all children K-12 would eliminate much of the anger and jealousy, it would cut down on competition, and put the emphasis on academics rather than what another child’s parents can or cannot afford. HOWEVER, there is always a huge UPROAR about freedom to dress as______ – you can finish the sentence.

    I don’t know that there is an answer, I have given it a great deal of attention – very involved, but I see no clear answers. We can’t make everything FAIR, it never was, nor ever will be FAIR.

  • Grace

    Don – 146 – thank you for clarifying. I agree with most all you state. What I don’t agree with is ‘vouchers’ or ‘private school, which would once again … bus children … I witnessed this once before, it was unfair to those children who lived within a community that respected rules and laws, who’s parents participated in every aspect of their children’s lives.

    Unfortunately, the children who were bused, came from areas that didn’t respect authority, nor were they fearful of being penalized when they broke the rules, and bullied others. It wasn’t their scholastic abilities, it was their interpersonal inabilities, to get along with others. Lying to adults, ganging up on children they felt had more, or brighter, was a terrible situation to expect children who came from the community to endure DAILY – I’m talking about very young children, who lived by street RULE, and had little interest in changing.

    Transporting children from inter-city to the other side of town doesn’t work. Jealousy and anger, isn’t fair to inflict on the children who don’t play by STREET RULE, who have more. Children who are brought to more affluent communities see the homes, gardens, cars, etc., which they don’t have where they live, it’s conflict from the beginning. Then there is the cost involved with transportation to and from school.

    Don, I don’t think you can mix children together who come from homes where parents are involved, expect children to study, behave, respect authority…… and then mix those children with the opposite.

    I believe this country has tried, over and over again to FIX the gaps in education, but it hasn’t changed. I have stated many times, that UNIFORMS for all children K-12 would eliminate much of the anger and jealousy, it would cut down on competition, and put the emphasis on academics rather than what another child’s parents can or cannot afford. HOWEVER, there is always a huge UPROAR about freedom to dress as______ – you can finish the sentence.

    I don’t know that there is an answer, I have given it a great deal of attention – very involved, but I see no clear answers. We can’t make everything FAIR, it never was, nor ever will be FAIR.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    John C,

    I am not sure what your point is. Christian education is the foundation of modern western civilization. The very civilization that has saved more lives and granted more freedom to more people than any other in history. Nothing rivals it. Is it absolutely perfect? No, but nothing else is even close. We start with the perfect foundation, Christ, and we imperfectly follow and end up with something far better than if we never even tried. Can we solve every problem and defeat mortality? No, only Christ himself can do that. Picking obscure isolated problems as evidence that indeed some calling themselves Christians are quite evidently sinful is a pathetic argument against Christian education and the profoundly successful civilization that sprang from it.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    John C,

    I am not sure what your point is. Christian education is the foundation of modern western civilization. The very civilization that has saved more lives and granted more freedom to more people than any other in history. Nothing rivals it. Is it absolutely perfect? No, but nothing else is even close. We start with the perfect foundation, Christ, and we imperfectly follow and end up with something far better than if we never even tried. Can we solve every problem and defeat mortality? No, only Christ himself can do that. Picking obscure isolated problems as evidence that indeed some calling themselves Christians are quite evidently sinful is a pathetic argument against Christian education and the profoundly successful civilization that sprang from it.

  • John C

    The rise of western civilization has its origins is the rise of parliaments the overthrow of the social order that was created from the divine right of Kings. In conjunction, the Enlightenment further undermined Christian authority culminating in Darwin’s Origin of Species,publication in the 1850s.
    Trotk has stated he wants the removal of the state from all aspects of education including a standardized curriculm and state accreditation. You imply that education should be informed by Christian values and doctrine.
    I assert that there is hardly any uniform Christian doctrine; the traditional mainstream churches are in decline but the pentecostal movement continues to grow. The pentecostals are anti science and anti-secular and furthermore, I claim it would be a disaster if the pentecostal movement increases the influence over public or private education.
    The farce that is the Texas State Board of Education is a prime example.

  • John C

    The rise of western civilization has its origins is the rise of parliaments the overthrow of the social order that was created from the divine right of Kings. In conjunction, the Enlightenment further undermined Christian authority culminating in Darwin’s Origin of Species,publication in the 1850s.
    Trotk has stated he wants the removal of the state from all aspects of education including a standardized curriculm and state accreditation. You imply that education should be informed by Christian values and doctrine.
    I assert that there is hardly any uniform Christian doctrine; the traditional mainstream churches are in decline but the pentecostal movement continues to grow. The pentecostals are anti science and anti-secular and furthermore, I claim it would be a disaster if the pentecostal movement increases the influence over public or private education.
    The farce that is the Texas State Board of Education is a prime example.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The rise of western civilization has its origins is the rise of parliaments the overthrow of the social order that was created from the divine right of Kings.”

    Uh, huh. Plenty of groups have overthrown divine right kings and ushered in a vast dark age. There could be no rise without a foundation of law abiding, faithful diligent, patient, folks. Without a self disciplined population, all you get is chaos. The faith of the people formed the foundation of society. Wealth must be created with work. Plenty of atheists acknowledge Christianity as the basis of western civilization. It is not just self congratulating religionists. Try Charles Murray’s Human Accomplishment. Euler and Newton didn’t arise in a vacuum. Heck, Christian civilization gave opportunities to folks all over the world. If it weren’t for a British traveler, Ramanujan could easily have been nothing more than an innkeeper. You don’t have to be a religionist to just look at the anthropology of religion. Most people are never going to college let alone understand scientific theories. On the other hand years of religious study didn’t stunt Darwin. Anyway, we need people in society to manage themselves so that society doesn’t collapse. You may think having half the kids in poverty and illegitimate is swell, but I bet it stinks for those kids. Secularism may work for some physics professor, but it is a heck of a burden on the common man. We spend more on public education than ever before in the history of the world and income disparity is rising due to crumbling families. Sorry, religion delivers results. Secularism does not. Secularism is a hell for society in this world and hell for individuals for eternity. We haven’t completely collapsed yet, but hey, Rome didn’t fall in a day. Some say religion is the opium for the masses. Do you think all those anti-science pentecostals will turn into research scientists if they just give up Jesus? There is no evidence from anywhere in the world that irreligious orientation causes intelligence. Rather the intelligent tend to be skeptic. You can’t make people smart with indoctrination or even education. However, you can teach them to value behaviors that create a decent society. That is what Christianity did and does.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The rise of western civilization has its origins is the rise of parliaments the overthrow of the social order that was created from the divine right of Kings.”

    Uh, huh. Plenty of groups have overthrown divine right kings and ushered in a vast dark age. There could be no rise without a foundation of law abiding, faithful diligent, patient, folks. Without a self disciplined population, all you get is chaos. The faith of the people formed the foundation of society. Wealth must be created with work. Plenty of atheists acknowledge Christianity as the basis of western civilization. It is not just self congratulating religionists. Try Charles Murray’s Human Accomplishment. Euler and Newton didn’t arise in a vacuum. Heck, Christian civilization gave opportunities to folks all over the world. If it weren’t for a British traveler, Ramanujan could easily have been nothing more than an innkeeper. You don’t have to be a religionist to just look at the anthropology of religion. Most people are never going to college let alone understand scientific theories. On the other hand years of religious study didn’t stunt Darwin. Anyway, we need people in society to manage themselves so that society doesn’t collapse. You may think having half the kids in poverty and illegitimate is swell, but I bet it stinks for those kids. Secularism may work for some physics professor, but it is a heck of a burden on the common man. We spend more on public education than ever before in the history of the world and income disparity is rising due to crumbling families. Sorry, religion delivers results. Secularism does not. Secularism is a hell for society in this world and hell for individuals for eternity. We haven’t completely collapsed yet, but hey, Rome didn’t fall in a day. Some say religion is the opium for the masses. Do you think all those anti-science pentecostals will turn into research scientists if they just give up Jesus? There is no evidence from anywhere in the world that irreligious orientation causes intelligence. Rather the intelligent tend to be skeptic. You can’t make people smart with indoctrination or even education. However, you can teach them to value behaviors that create a decent society. That is what Christianity did and does.

  • John C

    Over the centuries, kings have been toppled and tyrannies have risen in their place but even Russia is now taking tentative steps towards democracy. I cannot think of too many western democracies that are now living through a dark age. And all of those democracies are secular .
    You don’t have to be literate to understand Christian doctrine. Nor do you have to be literate to discuss enlightenment values or the principles underpinning the scientific method. A classroom discussion about ethics is far more interesting than having to write about it.
    And you don’t have to be a college student or a physics professor to understand the way science works. Not understanding science can be disastrous. A number of current issues come to mind: the risk of cancer in Hormone Replacement Therapy, the efficacy of vaccination and global warming.
    In promoting a Christian value system in schools, sg, you also seem to be endorsing ignorance and superstition.

  • John C

    Over the centuries, kings have been toppled and tyrannies have risen in their place but even Russia is now taking tentative steps towards democracy. I cannot think of too many western democracies that are now living through a dark age. And all of those democracies are secular .
    You don’t have to be literate to understand Christian doctrine. Nor do you have to be literate to discuss enlightenment values or the principles underpinning the scientific method. A classroom discussion about ethics is far more interesting than having to write about it.
    And you don’t have to be a college student or a physics professor to understand the way science works. Not understanding science can be disastrous. A number of current issues come to mind: the risk of cancer in Hormone Replacement Therapy, the efficacy of vaccination and global warming.
    In promoting a Christian value system in schools, sg, you also seem to be endorsing ignorance and superstition.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I cannot think of too many western democracies that are now living through a dark age.”

    You must be kidding. Marriage and birthrates are at all time lows. No civilization has ever survived such a situation. Hello, the empire has no clothes.

    “And you don’t have to be a college student or a physics professor to understand the way science works. Not understanding science can be disastrous.”

    You have yet to demonstrate you understand it. Read up on group evolutionary strategies, neuroscience and anthropology. I can post some relevant sites if you like. They are full of atheists who also won’t validate your misunderstandings.

    Christian education is truth. Only gifted individuals can take the long road to truth through the arduous path of scientific discovery, but everyone can get there through the divine revelation of God’s Word. Or do you think we should all just “believe” in the pathetically misreported crap science we see in the popular press?

    Bottom line, evolution does not support the idea that Christianity tends to reduce reproductive fitness among individuals or within groups. Plenty of scientists have documented this. Atheism is where genes go to die.

    It is always amusing to discuss evolution and selection with atheists who don’t understand it, yet claim to “believe” it. Rational? Not so much.

    Now that I have harshly chastised you for your uh, clumsy statements, here are a couple fun things to look at. The first two are atheists, the third is from some ardent religionists, but they all make the same basic point.

    http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/why_we_havent_met_any_aliens/

    http://www.amazon.com/Empty-Cradle-Birthrates-Threaten-Prosperity/dp/0465050506

    http://www.visionforum.com/browse/product/?productid=43872&cid=595

    Hey, and this last one is just freaking bizarre.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/24/AR2010102403342.html?sid=ST2010102403343

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I cannot think of too many western democracies that are now living through a dark age.”

    You must be kidding. Marriage and birthrates are at all time lows. No civilization has ever survived such a situation. Hello, the empire has no clothes.

    “And you don’t have to be a college student or a physics professor to understand the way science works. Not understanding science can be disastrous.”

    You have yet to demonstrate you understand it. Read up on group evolutionary strategies, neuroscience and anthropology. I can post some relevant sites if you like. They are full of atheists who also won’t validate your misunderstandings.

    Christian education is truth. Only gifted individuals can take the long road to truth through the arduous path of scientific discovery, but everyone can get there through the divine revelation of God’s Word. Or do you think we should all just “believe” in the pathetically misreported crap science we see in the popular press?

    Bottom line, evolution does not support the idea that Christianity tends to reduce reproductive fitness among individuals or within groups. Plenty of scientists have documented this. Atheism is where genes go to die.

    It is always amusing to discuss evolution and selection with atheists who don’t understand it, yet claim to “believe” it. Rational? Not so much.

    Now that I have harshly chastised you for your uh, clumsy statements, here are a couple fun things to look at. The first two are atheists, the third is from some ardent religionists, but they all make the same basic point.

    http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/why_we_havent_met_any_aliens/

    http://www.amazon.com/Empty-Cradle-Birthrates-Threaten-Prosperity/dp/0465050506

    http://www.visionforum.com/browse/product/?productid=43872&cid=595

    Hey, and this last one is just freaking bizarre.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/24/AR2010102403342.html?sid=ST2010102403343

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “even Russia is now taking tentative steps towards democracy.”

    At this point, who cares? Russia and Europe are in such extreme demographic decline. Democracy doesn’t save a country from moral bankruptcy. Duh. If we all get together and vote democratically to change pi to 3, it is not like it is actually going to work. You can’t reinvent the natural laws. Gravity and selection are strictly enforced. No democracy required and none tolerated.

    All through human history nature has been selecting for certain things. That ended in 1960 with birth control. Now the humans selected by nature for their fitness are committing demographic suicide at an alarming rate. Intelligence used help more offspring survive, now it is being used to keep them from ever getting here.

    “I cannot think of too many western democracies that are now living through a dark age.”

    You must be kidding. Marriage and birthrates are at all time lows. No civilization has ever survived such a situation. Hello, the empire has no clothes.

    “And you don’t have to be a college student or a physics professor to understand the way science works. Not understanding science can be disastrous.”

    You have yet to demonstrate you understand it. Read up on group evolutionary strategies, neuroscience and anthropology. I can post some relevant sites if you like. They are full of atheists who also won’t validate your misunderstandings.

    Christian education is truth. Only gifted individuals can take the long road to truth through the arduous path of scientific discovery (and plenty of them get sidetracked into the error of atheism), but everyone can get there through the divine revelation of God’s Word. Or do you think we should all just “believe” in the pathetically misreported crap science we see in the popular press?

    Bottom line, evolution does not support the idea that Christianity tends to reduce reproductive fitness among individuals or within groups. Plenty of scientists have documented this. Atheism is where genes go to die.

    It is always amusing to discuss evolution and selection with atheists who don’t understand it, yet claim to “believe” it. Rational? Not so much.

    Now that I have harshly chastised you for your uh, clumsy statements, here are a couple fun things to look at. One atheist, one religionist, same point.

    http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/why_we_havent_met_any_aliens/

    http://www.visionforum.com/browse/product/?productid=43872&cid=595

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “even Russia is now taking tentative steps towards democracy.”

    At this point, who cares? Russia and Europe are in such extreme demographic decline. Democracy doesn’t save a country from moral bankruptcy. Duh. If we all get together and vote democratically to change pi to 3, it is not like it is actually going to work. You can’t reinvent the natural laws. Gravity and selection are strictly enforced. No democracy required and none tolerated.

    All through human history nature has been selecting for certain things. That ended in 1960 with birth control. Now the humans selected by nature for their fitness are committing demographic suicide at an alarming rate. Intelligence used help more offspring survive, now it is being used to keep them from ever getting here.

    “I cannot think of too many western democracies that are now living through a dark age.”

    You must be kidding. Marriage and birthrates are at all time lows. No civilization has ever survived such a situation. Hello, the empire has no clothes.

    “And you don’t have to be a college student or a physics professor to understand the way science works. Not understanding science can be disastrous.”

    You have yet to demonstrate you understand it. Read up on group evolutionary strategies, neuroscience and anthropology. I can post some relevant sites if you like. They are full of atheists who also won’t validate your misunderstandings.

    Christian education is truth. Only gifted individuals can take the long road to truth through the arduous path of scientific discovery (and plenty of them get sidetracked into the error of atheism), but everyone can get there through the divine revelation of God’s Word. Or do you think we should all just “believe” in the pathetically misreported crap science we see in the popular press?

    Bottom line, evolution does not support the idea that Christianity tends to reduce reproductive fitness among individuals or within groups. Plenty of scientists have documented this. Atheism is where genes go to die.

    It is always amusing to discuss evolution and selection with atheists who don’t understand it, yet claim to “believe” it. Rational? Not so much.

    Now that I have harshly chastised you for your uh, clumsy statements, here are a couple fun things to look at. One atheist, one religionist, same point.

    http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/why_we_havent_met_any_aliens/

    http://www.visionforum.com/browse/product/?productid=43872&cid=595

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I cannot think of too many western democracies that are now living through a dark age.”

    Mexico

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I cannot think of too many western democracies that are now living through a dark age.”

    Mexico

  • John C

    Hullo I say, hullo.
    Mexico is one of many states in the Americas that is not yet considered a model of western democracy.
    It’s a relief to discover Christianity does not reduce reproductive fitness amoung individual and groups but I’m sure promoting ignorance and superstition does.
    ‘Christian education is truth’ is only truth for some. It is not truth for all — not for the Chinese and not for the Indians. A lack of Christianity in the these societies does not mean theses societies lack a moral foundation.
    I would also add that one can be a Christian and still believe in the secular state. One can be a Christian and understand the principles underpinning science. In fact most Christians in western domocracies do not have any difficulties with a world view that is informed by Christianity, science and secular society .
    You seem to be saying that the people in America are not smart enough to assimilate more than one set of beliefs at a time. I think you are wrong. However, you may well be right if you send you kids to a fundamentalist Christian school.

  • John C

    Hullo I say, hullo.
    Mexico is one of many states in the Americas that is not yet considered a model of western democracy.
    It’s a relief to discover Christianity does not reduce reproductive fitness amoung individual and groups but I’m sure promoting ignorance and superstition does.
    ‘Christian education is truth’ is only truth for some. It is not truth for all — not for the Chinese and not for the Indians. A lack of Christianity in the these societies does not mean theses societies lack a moral foundation.
    I would also add that one can be a Christian and still believe in the secular state. One can be a Christian and understand the principles underpinning science. In fact most Christians in western domocracies do not have any difficulties with a world view that is informed by Christianity, science and secular society .
    You seem to be saying that the people in America are not smart enough to assimilate more than one set of beliefs at a time. I think you are wrong. However, you may well be right if you send you kids to a fundamentalist Christian school.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “You seem to be saying that the people in America are not smart enough to assimilate more than one set of beliefs at a time.”

    Science is not a belief system.

    And no, most folks do not understand science. It is not all or nothing. A few can understand it, but most never do. This is quantifiably true. That is why we hear the constant refrain of “belief” in regards to science. There is no need for belief. Either it can be demonstrated, like Ohm’s law or it is a framework for understanding accumulated evidence, like theories like evolution. But it is not based on faith.

    As for secular states, sounds swell, but the question remains whether they are a successful group fitness strategy. So far, the evidence suggests they are not. So far, they have led to birthrates so low that the societies can’t hold together against their enemies. Maybe it doesn’t have to be that way, but so far it has been. No secular state has flourished once the believers were exhausted. Secular states attack their own foundations, the faith of their people.

    “Christian education is truth’ is only truth for some. It is not truth for all — not for the Chinese and not for the Indians.”

    Sure it is. There are plenty of Chinese and Indian Christians. Christ died for all. Notice the rate at which they leave those countries to live in countries based on Christian laws and ethics. Those laws and ethics are not just on the books, they are promoted and preserved by individual Christians. Oh, and gee, are folks flocking to China and India for their swell economies and societies? Oh, heck no. Sure everyone wants to point out that Christians aren’t perfect, but secular societies, China and India are far worse. No one wants to move there. Certainly not a poor person starting at the bottom. Duh. Everyone wants to live in all those countries built by Christians.

    “Mexico is one of many states in the Americas that is not yet considered a model of western democracy.”

    Oh? Why not?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “You seem to be saying that the people in America are not smart enough to assimilate more than one set of beliefs at a time.”

    Science is not a belief system.

    And no, most folks do not understand science. It is not all or nothing. A few can understand it, but most never do. This is quantifiably true. That is why we hear the constant refrain of “belief” in regards to science. There is no need for belief. Either it can be demonstrated, like Ohm’s law or it is a framework for understanding accumulated evidence, like theories like evolution. But it is not based on faith.

    As for secular states, sounds swell, but the question remains whether they are a successful group fitness strategy. So far, the evidence suggests they are not. So far, they have led to birthrates so low that the societies can’t hold together against their enemies. Maybe it doesn’t have to be that way, but so far it has been. No secular state has flourished once the believers were exhausted. Secular states attack their own foundations, the faith of their people.

    “Christian education is truth’ is only truth for some. It is not truth for all — not for the Chinese and not for the Indians.”

    Sure it is. There are plenty of Chinese and Indian Christians. Christ died for all. Notice the rate at which they leave those countries to live in countries based on Christian laws and ethics. Those laws and ethics are not just on the books, they are promoted and preserved by individual Christians. Oh, and gee, are folks flocking to China and India for their swell economies and societies? Oh, heck no. Sure everyone wants to point out that Christians aren’t perfect, but secular societies, China and India are far worse. No one wants to move there. Certainly not a poor person starting at the bottom. Duh. Everyone wants to live in all those countries built by Christians.

    “Mexico is one of many states in the Americas that is not yet considered a model of western democracy.”

    Oh? Why not?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “It’s a relief to discover Christianity does not reduce reproductive fitness amoung individual and groups but I’m sure promoting ignorance and superstition does.”

    Fundamental misunderstanding of selection theory.

    Do the enlightened have fewer kids?

    If they do have fewer, then enlightenment reduces their reproductive fitness.

    Once again, belief in science does not equal understanding.

    Anyway, I am not for promoting ignorance and superstition. That is why I keep explaining these basic mechanisms of selection to you. Christianity is the basis for truth and understanding and that is why the Christian nations were the ones who promoted science, because Christians believe in truth.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “It’s a relief to discover Christianity does not reduce reproductive fitness amoung individual and groups but I’m sure promoting ignorance and superstition does.”

    Fundamental misunderstanding of selection theory.

    Do the enlightened have fewer kids?

    If they do have fewer, then enlightenment reduces their reproductive fitness.

    Once again, belief in science does not equal understanding.

    Anyway, I am not for promoting ignorance and superstition. That is why I keep explaining these basic mechanisms of selection to you. Christianity is the basis for truth and understanding and that is why the Christian nations were the ones who promoted science, because Christians believe in truth.

  • John C

    Falling fertility rates can be addressed by skilled migration, cash payments for families and parental leave. There you go — the Australian solution — problem solved.
    And India does have a lot of Christians — more than Australia but 24 million Christians only represents 2.3% of population — not enough to influence politics or culture. You see, sg, Truth is relative — it varies from one person to the next and from culture to culture.
    A belief in scientific process does lead to knowledge and understanding. I don’t have to understand the physics behind the theory of the Big Bang to know that it is more likely the universe began this way rather than the Biblical creation account — at least for the time being.
    Indoctrinating kids in Islamic madrasses in Pakistan is not the solution to to Pakistan’s horrendous problems. Nor should Americans indoctrinate their kids in Christian madrasses. Minds should be open not closed by christian doctrine in schools.

  • John C

    Falling fertility rates can be addressed by skilled migration, cash payments for families and parental leave. There you go — the Australian solution — problem solved.
    And India does have a lot of Christians — more than Australia but 24 million Christians only represents 2.3% of population — not enough to influence politics or culture. You see, sg, Truth is relative — it varies from one person to the next and from culture to culture.
    A belief in scientific process does lead to knowledge and understanding. I don’t have to understand the physics behind the theory of the Big Bang to know that it is more likely the universe began this way rather than the Biblical creation account — at least for the time being.
    Indoctrinating kids in Islamic madrasses in Pakistan is not the solution to to Pakistan’s horrendous problems. Nor should Americans indoctrinate their kids in Christian madrasses. Minds should be open not closed by christian doctrine in schools.

  • Cincinnatus

    Your mind, John, seems fairly closed, so I’m not sure whence you derive the authority to cast judgment upon the openness (or lack thereof) of the minds of others.

    Meanwhile, the various incentives you’ve suggested to encourage childbirth haven’t worked in Russia or the EU nations who have tried them (and they have tried them). Demographic winter is still an imminent doom for them. And it is directly correlated with secularist principles.

  • Cincinnatus

    Your mind, John, seems fairly closed, so I’m not sure whence you derive the authority to cast judgment upon the openness (or lack thereof) of the minds of others.

    Meanwhile, the various incentives you’ve suggested to encourage childbirth haven’t worked in Russia or the EU nations who have tried them (and they have tried them). Demographic winter is still an imminent doom for them. And it is directly correlated with secularist principles.

  • John C

    By what authority?
    From observation Cincinnatus.
    Go and have a look at http://www.rightwingwatch.org for a while and take note of the extremism of of rightwing Christian politics.
    Got any idea of what 7 Mountain Dominionism is all about?

  • John C

    By what authority?
    From observation Cincinnatus.
    Go and have a look at http://www.rightwingwatch.org for a while and take note of the extremism of of rightwing Christian politics.
    Got any idea of what 7 Mountain Dominionism is all about?

  • Cincinnatus

    Nope, nor do I care, because extremist right wing (and left wing) movements have never and likely will never be an effective political force in this country. If you’re using depictions of violent extremists and/or theonomists to typify your mental conception of what constitutes the Right or Christianity (or both combined), you’re the one with the analytical problem.

    (David Barton, by the way, is a minor figure with scant influence who is regarded as ridiculous by most Christians and conservatives.)

    Unless you would prefer that I assume that the Earth Liberation Front, the Weather Underground, and the New Black Panthers are indicative of the typical leftist?

  • Cincinnatus

    Nope, nor do I care, because extremist right wing (and left wing) movements have never and likely will never be an effective political force in this country. If you’re using depictions of violent extremists and/or theonomists to typify your mental conception of what constitutes the Right or Christianity (or both combined), you’re the one with the analytical problem.

    (David Barton, by the way, is a minor figure with scant influence who is regarded as ridiculous by most Christians and conservatives.)

    Unless you would prefer that I assume that the Earth Liberation Front, the Weather Underground, and the New Black Panthers are indicative of the typical leftist?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Falling fertility rates can be addressed by skilled migration, cash payments for families and parental leave. There you go — the Australian solution — problem solved.”

    LOL Which is worse? the problem or the solution?

    “And India does have a lot of Christians — more than Australia but 24 million Christians only represents 2.3% of population — not enough to influence politics or culture. You see, sg, Truth is relative — it varies from one person to the next and from culture to culture.”

    Huh? There are too few Christians in India to influence politics, therefore truth is relative? Massive non sequitur.

    “A belief in scientific process does lead to knowledge and understanding.”

    No it doesn’t. Using scientific inquiry can lead to understanding. Besides, you just said you don’t understand the physics of the Big Bang, so it didn’t work for you.

    I have to say as an avowed skeptic, the ability to just believe on faith things not understood is reminiscent of religious faith. How can one say something is more likely if he can’t even understand it? I have no problem reading works on evolutionary psychology and etc. and still have faith. I am genuinely curious, mostly about the data from which the researchers have accumulated, but also about how the researchers think it fits together and why.

    Even the basic steps involved in scientific inquiry, like gathering data, can be rejected out of hand if folks don’t like the direction it is heading, disinterested observation be danged.

    Interestingly, Charles Darwin gave money to Christian missionaries to reach certain isolated tribes he encountered. He didn’t give money to send science teachers to try to go help them. Whatever you may think of him or his ideas, he was both curious and skeptical, entirely unlike some of the spooky new wave atheists that neither understand or appreciate scientific inquiry nor question the authority of speculative theories.

    Maybe I have said this before, but in my experience there are two basic types of atheists: intelligent skeptics and hedonists. Skeptics by their nature take little on faith and are very curious. Many are actually fun, interesting cool people, not the angry atheist type at all. Hedonists, well, they want people to think they are cool.

    Basically, this discussion is all too familiar. Some love evolution (infatuation does not imply comprehension) because they think they can use it to prove all the religionists wrong, but then they turn around and deny that in fact religion seems to improve biological fitness. FWIW religiosity is a heritable trait. It persists because it increases the chances of survival and offspring. I know, I know, folks don’t like to hear about selection and psychological traits, but there it is straight out of evo psych. Contrast that with your run of the mill liberal who thinks human evolution/selection stopped at the neck before humans wandered out of Africa 40k years ago, and that culture (wherever that comes from) is what determines everything. Scientifically speaking, it seems more likely that it all comes from DNA because there is no other source for personality than DNA. So it isn’t just religion that some on the left reject, it is also plenty of science that doesn’t fit their “beliefs”. But if it does fit their beliefs, there isn’t even a desire to understand it. Can you say, “incurious?”

    “Go and have a look at http://www.rightwingwatch.org for a while and take note of the extremism of of rightwing Christian politics.”

    Hilarious. There is nothing shocking there. Just a bunch of innuendo and rather boring stories.
    2000 years of leading the world out of darkness and JohnC wants to paint the Church as nuts because he found a website. Uh, don’t believe everything you find on the internet, even if you really feel the emotional need to justify disliking Christians. Resist, be a little skeptical. I know its tempting to seek and believe the worst. Consider how many Christians there are in so many powerful positions and how much opportunity they have to go ballistic, yet just a few atheists in power and kaboom.
    http://www.victimsofcommunism.org/media/article.php?article=4738
    And those regimes targeted the intellectuals. Great group strategy. Kill the smart folks.

    “Indoctrinating kids in Islamic madrasses in Pakistan is not the solution to to Pakistan’s horrendous problems. Nor should Americans indoctrinate their kids in Christian madrasses. Minds should be open not closed by christian doctrine in schools.”

    This borders on paranoia. Christian schools do not indoctrinate kids to have closed minds. There is just no evidence for this.
    Check out all the Christian schools represented here on a list of 7th graders with perfect scores on the college entrance exams.
    http://www.tip.duke.edu/about/news/2010/bevan_pr.html

    John, if you are in Australia, I would be more worried about China than some kids who went to Christian schools. Honestly, which is a more credible threat?

    Even a child is known for what he does.

    We Christians know we aren’t cool and don’t seek our reward in this world. We were promised that we would be despised as we tell the truth in love to others.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Falling fertility rates can be addressed by skilled migration, cash payments for families and parental leave. There you go — the Australian solution — problem solved.”

    LOL Which is worse? the problem or the solution?

    “And India does have a lot of Christians — more than Australia but 24 million Christians only represents 2.3% of population — not enough to influence politics or culture. You see, sg, Truth is relative — it varies from one person to the next and from culture to culture.”

    Huh? There are too few Christians in India to influence politics, therefore truth is relative? Massive non sequitur.

    “A belief in scientific process does lead to knowledge and understanding.”

    No it doesn’t. Using scientific inquiry can lead to understanding. Besides, you just said you don’t understand the physics of the Big Bang, so it didn’t work for you.

    I have to say as an avowed skeptic, the ability to just believe on faith things not understood is reminiscent of religious faith. How can one say something is more likely if he can’t even understand it? I have no problem reading works on evolutionary psychology and etc. and still have faith. I am genuinely curious, mostly about the data from which the researchers have accumulated, but also about how the researchers think it fits together and why.

    Even the basic steps involved in scientific inquiry, like gathering data, can be rejected out of hand if folks don’t like the direction it is heading, disinterested observation be danged.

    Interestingly, Charles Darwin gave money to Christian missionaries to reach certain isolated tribes he encountered. He didn’t give money to send science teachers to try to go help them. Whatever you may think of him or his ideas, he was both curious and skeptical, entirely unlike some of the spooky new wave atheists that neither understand or appreciate scientific inquiry nor question the authority of speculative theories.

    Maybe I have said this before, but in my experience there are two basic types of atheists: intelligent skeptics and hedonists. Skeptics by their nature take little on faith and are very curious. Many are actually fun, interesting cool people, not the angry atheist type at all. Hedonists, well, they want people to think they are cool.

    Basically, this discussion is all too familiar. Some love evolution (infatuation does not imply comprehension) because they think they can use it to prove all the religionists wrong, but then they turn around and deny that in fact religion seems to improve biological fitness. FWIW religiosity is a heritable trait. It persists because it increases the chances of survival and offspring. I know, I know, folks don’t like to hear about selection and psychological traits, but there it is straight out of evo psych. Contrast that with your run of the mill liberal who thinks human evolution/selection stopped at the neck before humans wandered out of Africa 40k years ago, and that culture (wherever that comes from) is what determines everything. Scientifically speaking, it seems more likely that it all comes from DNA because there is no other source for personality than DNA. So it isn’t just religion that some on the left reject, it is also plenty of science that doesn’t fit their “beliefs”. But if it does fit their beliefs, there isn’t even a desire to understand it. Can you say, “incurious?”

    “Go and have a look at http://www.rightwingwatch.org for a while and take note of the extremism of of rightwing Christian politics.”

    Hilarious. There is nothing shocking there. Just a bunch of innuendo and rather boring stories.
    2000 years of leading the world out of darkness and JohnC wants to paint the Church as nuts because he found a website. Uh, don’t believe everything you find on the internet, even if you really feel the emotional need to justify disliking Christians. Resist, be a little skeptical. I know its tempting to seek and believe the worst. Consider how many Christians there are in so many powerful positions and how much opportunity they have to go ballistic, yet just a few atheists in power and kaboom.
    http://www.victimsofcommunism.org/media/article.php?article=4738
    And those regimes targeted the intellectuals. Great group strategy. Kill the smart folks.

    “Indoctrinating kids in Islamic madrasses in Pakistan is not the solution to to Pakistan’s horrendous problems. Nor should Americans indoctrinate their kids in Christian madrasses. Minds should be open not closed by christian doctrine in schools.”

    This borders on paranoia. Christian schools do not indoctrinate kids to have closed minds. There is just no evidence for this.
    Check out all the Christian schools represented here on a list of 7th graders with perfect scores on the college entrance exams.
    http://www.tip.duke.edu/about/news/2010/bevan_pr.html

    John, if you are in Australia, I would be more worried about China than some kids who went to Christian schools. Honestly, which is a more credible threat?

    Even a child is known for what he does.

    We Christians know we aren’t cool and don’t seek our reward in this world. We were promised that we would be despised as we tell the truth in love to others.

  • John C

    David Barton maybe a minor figure on the national stage but not in Texas. He has a lot of influence on the Texas State Board Of Education and assists in the design of school curriculm in Texas which ultimately infuences text books in other states.
    Christianity has become politizised. This is clear with the association of Christianity with Republicans in the Tea Party.
    As Christianity becomes more political, I think it will lose credibility as an institution. It will certainly become more divisive.

  • John C

    David Barton maybe a minor figure on the national stage but not in Texas. He has a lot of influence on the Texas State Board Of Education and assists in the design of school curriculm in Texas which ultimately infuences text books in other states.
    Christianity has become politizised. This is clear with the association of Christianity with Republicans in the Tea Party.
    As Christianity becomes more political, I think it will lose credibility as an institution. It will certainly become more divisive.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I wonder, John (@163), what expertise you possess that allows you to say who does and does not have a lot of influence in Texas. If I recall correctly, you don’t even live in the same hemisphere as Texas. I mean, I have some Novocastrian relatives, but I wouldn’t attempt to tell you how things were in NSW.

    Perhaps you are limited by having to rely on sources that are less than reliable, or at the very least distort things with their partisan agenda? You sound like you spend too much time reading the Huffington Post.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I wonder, John (@163), what expertise you possess that allows you to say who does and does not have a lot of influence in Texas. If I recall correctly, you don’t even live in the same hemisphere as Texas. I mean, I have some Novocastrian relatives, but I wouldn’t attempt to tell you how things were in NSW.

    Perhaps you are limited by having to rely on sources that are less than reliable, or at the very least distort things with their partisan agenda? You sound like you spend too much time reading the Huffington Post.

  • John C

    You are right Todd, I know bugger all about Texas apart from the shannigans that are reported on the Texas Freedom Network website. Then again, it is possible I know more about what is happening in Texas education than most on this blog.
    I would also add that the nonsense in Texas pops up in our local papers from time to time.
    We also have our version of the culture wars with politicians wanting to rewrite history. And Fox and Friends is broadcast on cable.
    It’s a small world Todd.

  • John C

    You are right Todd, I know bugger all about Texas apart from the shannigans that are reported on the Texas Freedom Network website. Then again, it is possible I know more about what is happening in Texas education than most on this blog.
    I would also add that the nonsense in Texas pops up in our local papers from time to time.
    We also have our version of the culture wars with politicians wanting to rewrite history. And Fox and Friends is broadcast on cable.
    It’s a small world Todd.

  • John C

    Which is the more credible threat, sg?
    Without a doubt it is the ignorance and superstition of fundamentalist Christianity.
    It’s too late to stop it at the border. Somehow, it got a visa and it’s hiding in the suburbs.

  • John C

    Which is the more credible threat, sg?
    Without a doubt it is the ignorance and superstition of fundamentalist Christianity.
    It’s too late to stop it at the border. Somehow, it got a visa and it’s hiding in the suburbs.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “And Fox and Friends is broadcast on cable” (@165). See, this is what I’m talking about. You’re making the same mistake that American “conservatives” make: caring about what you see on Fox and Friends, thinking it has value, buying into the culture war. Fighting the culture war from the left is no better than doing so from the right.

    Most of Fox News (certainly their popular and abundant opinion segments), most of the Huffington Post, and — from what I’ve seen — the Texas Freedom Network aren’t media sources intent on telling you how things actually are. They are partisan sources with an agenda that is about hyping up problems — often trivial problems, or even misinterpreting things so they seem like problems — so as to create fear. Fear that will drive you back to those sources over and over to see what else is going wrong. They only pretend to peddle knowledge.

    If you want to know who has influence in Texas, you should probably talk to some Texans. For what it’s worth, that would not include the founder of the Texas Freedom Network, as she lives in New York City. I’ve traveled enough to know that non-Americans can have a pretty ridiculous image of our country based on their selective knowledge. More than one European, for example, has expressed concern to me about gun violence, which is not a problem for the average American. But it plays well in European news.

    But it’s not that the Texas Freedom Network doesn’t say things that are true. It’s that you, over there, have no way of distinguishing between their facts and their hype. You’ve bought into them — presumably because they share your agenda — but you can’t evaluate them. It’s telling to me that you completely failed to mention anything resembling a legitimate Texas media source.

    You’d probably be better off telling us about how things in your part of the world.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “And Fox and Friends is broadcast on cable” (@165). See, this is what I’m talking about. You’re making the same mistake that American “conservatives” make: caring about what you see on Fox and Friends, thinking it has value, buying into the culture war. Fighting the culture war from the left is no better than doing so from the right.

    Most of Fox News (certainly their popular and abundant opinion segments), most of the Huffington Post, and — from what I’ve seen — the Texas Freedom Network aren’t media sources intent on telling you how things actually are. They are partisan sources with an agenda that is about hyping up problems — often trivial problems, or even misinterpreting things so they seem like problems — so as to create fear. Fear that will drive you back to those sources over and over to see what else is going wrong. They only pretend to peddle knowledge.

    If you want to know who has influence in Texas, you should probably talk to some Texans. For what it’s worth, that would not include the founder of the Texas Freedom Network, as she lives in New York City. I’ve traveled enough to know that non-Americans can have a pretty ridiculous image of our country based on their selective knowledge. More than one European, for example, has expressed concern to me about gun violence, which is not a problem for the average American. But it plays well in European news.

    But it’s not that the Texas Freedom Network doesn’t say things that are true. It’s that you, over there, have no way of distinguishing between their facts and their hype. You’ve bought into them — presumably because they share your agenda — but you can’t evaluate them. It’s telling to me that you completely failed to mention anything resembling a legitimate Texas media source.

    You’d probably be better off telling us about how things in your part of the world.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “David Barton maybe a minor figure on the national stage but not in Texas. He has a lot of influence on the Texas State Board Of Education and assists in the design of school curriculm in Texas which ultimately infuences text books in other states.
    Christianity has become politizised. This is clear with the association of Christianity with Republicans in the Tea Party.
    As Christianity becomes more political, I think it will lose credibility as an institution. It will certainly become more divisive.”

    Um, history shows that everywhere Christianity grows in influence so does the value placed on the individual and his freedom. Christianity makes countries better and people happier.
    Especially women :-)
    http://www.slate.com/id/56724/

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “David Barton maybe a minor figure on the national stage but not in Texas. He has a lot of influence on the Texas State Board Of Education and assists in the design of school curriculm in Texas which ultimately infuences text books in other states.
    Christianity has become politizised. This is clear with the association of Christianity with Republicans in the Tea Party.
    As Christianity becomes more political, I think it will lose credibility as an institution. It will certainly become more divisive.”

    Um, history shows that everywhere Christianity grows in influence so does the value placed on the individual and his freedom. Christianity makes countries better and people happier.
    Especially women :-)
    http://www.slate.com/id/56724/

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Without a doubt it is the ignorance and superstition of fundamentalist Christianity.
    It’s too late to stop it at the border. Somehow, it got a visa and it’s hiding in the suburbs.”

    Yup, and those dastardly Christians are teaching their kids to work hard, treat others with respect, love and serve their neighbors as themselves, give to the poor, be faithful in marriage, take care of their own kids etc. Really dangerous, I tell you. Truly subversive.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Without a doubt it is the ignorance and superstition of fundamentalist Christianity.
    It’s too late to stop it at the border. Somehow, it got a visa and it’s hiding in the suburbs.”

    Yup, and those dastardly Christians are teaching their kids to work hard, treat others with respect, love and serve their neighbors as themselves, give to the poor, be faithful in marriage, take care of their own kids etc. Really dangerous, I tell you. Truly subversive.

  • John C

    You may ell be right, Todd.

  • John C

    You may ell be right, Todd.


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