Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Is America's education system losing to Asia?


Recommended Posts

I take exception to the "condescending" tag. If you want to spend a bunch of your energy, time and money beating your head against the System's wall, be my guest. I became an active revolutionary anarchist in 1969, while still in high school. I spent YEARS of my life trying to effect change, to organize unions, to foment "class conciousness" among the working class, and eventually I came to realize that it was all a monumental waste of time and effort.


My satori came when I realized that my "wasted" years of dedicated preparations as a revolutionary could be applied to improving my own life if I turned my attention to doing so. While I was busy organizing, studying, demonstrating, training, etc., most of my friends (whom I considered gutless for lacking the perseverance to continue The Struggle) attended college, got good jobs, married and had kids and were well on their way to a pleasant, middle-class existance. One of my friends, who specialized in anti-nuclear work, actually became a nuclear research physicist at Laurence-Livermore Nuclear Research Laboratory. Other friends who were dedicated members of various revolutionary groups became political professionals for the Democratic Party. My first wife became a business representative for the Service Employees International Union. My closest anarchist friend went to work for Shell Oil, and his former punk-rock, guerrilla theatre, anti-State passion is long behind him.


In a way, I found myself in the same boat with the Weathermen--like Japanese soldiers who refused to surrender at the end of WWII, and continued sniping at the Phillipine Marines with rusty rifles for twenty years. Admirable in a way, but pathetic.


Worse, I realized that my belief in my formerly deeply-held anarchist tenets had faded away. I did not admire the behavior of the anarchists I knew. They lacked any sense of morality. It was all about "I want to do whatever I please" and very few deeply held convictions. The men, in particular, acted like spoiled little brats, refusing to shoulder what I considered to be the rightful duties and obligations of men. They refused to support the children they sired. They wallowed in drugs and alcohol. They acted like cowards--they were brave enough in causing a problem at a demonstration, but cowered from the responsibilities of parenthood, education and employment.


I realized that a lot of my resentment towards the government and the System had more to do with my own shortcomings and less to do with oppression, etc., etc. Despite seven or eight years of anarchist activism, I still felt patriotism for my country, and I realized I had made a big mistake. I was 26--almost too old to enlist, but I did so anyway, and luckily, they accepted me into the Marine Corps. I earned the rank of sergeant, and was honorably discharged.


My vision of the future is a personal one. Trying to decide what the rest of the world ought to be doing is silly when one doesn't even have a grip on one's own personal life. My goals were personal--to learn a trade (I did--arc welding--I'm a certified arc welder,) to go to college (I did--I earned two AA degrees, one in machine tool technology and one in nursing,) to raise my daughter, to provide her with a decent, middle-class upbringing and to provide her with the means to attend college. (I did--she is in college now.) Some of my other goals were silly. I wanted to own and re-build a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. I did this, and it took an enormous amount of effort because we were so poor. Now, it sits out in my garage covered with a tarp. I haven't even turned the engine over in five years. It no longer has a high priority for me.


We are responsible for ourselves. What we accomplish, or fail to accomplish, is 100% totally up to us, as individuals. We are not entitled to anything. Nobody else is to blame if we fail to accomplish something worthwhile in our lives. Nobody "owes" us a damned thing. One makes one's choices, and one lives with the results. Don't bother blaming anybody else if it doesn't work out well. Your life is your own responsibility. What you do, or fail to do, is completely up to you.





Originally posted by POIESIS@May 18 2005, 03:55 AM

yea, i'm just not ever going to agree with kabar's views...

try and think a little more forward here..

it's not about 'blame' and 'snivelling' as you condescendingly put it,

it's about actively taking a realistic, knowledgable and

logical approach to the world you live in and the community you WANT to live in.

on the one hand you say your life is up to you..i totally agree.

on the other hand, you allude there are major problems,

but instead of coupling responsibility for yourself WITH

"fighting the system", you don't. doing something to change

yourself & situation directly correlates to improving your community.

maybe your experience WAS a waste of time,

but i don't understand how you map that to everyone else's

experience's..those of us who are taking responsibility for

ourselves AND doing something about a whole host of issues.

change is incredibly slow, people should acknowledge it takes

real motivation and dedicationi. maybe you didn't have either.

it seems to me, and maybe i'm completely reading you wrong,

that it's kind of a selfish stance in which you must only pursue

change for basically yourself, but do not pursue things that

you deem a waste of time, which would be actual activism of some

sort with knowledge about issues and change whilst ignoring root problems that people

really DO have a stake in and have the power to change.

change comes directly from people organizing and being involved.

what is your vision of the future kabar?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This forum is supported by the 12ozProphet Shop, so go buy a shirt and help support!
This forum is brought to you by the 12ozProphet Shop.
This forum is brought to you by the 12oz Shop.
  • Replies 61
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

It is never wrong to voice your opinion. As soon as that is wrong we are in the wrong country. Isn't that what demonstrating is? A group of people voicing their opinion in unison to bring awareness to an issue? Sure it might seem futile, but in your sacrifice for the Struggle, I'm sure you inspired someone kabar, who in turn will inspire someone else, and maybe one day can actually change things. I don't think it's ever futile to stand up for what is right. That alone is worth striving for. I appreciate your sacrifice for the struggle, and I cannot blame you for wanting to pay attention to yourself for once.

As I've said, I have family firmly entrenched in this government, and they have no problems voicing their own opinions about the very government they work for. If something should be criticized, then by all means it should be criticized, and one should not be ostricized for that.


And sure we are not entitled, but then why should someone, or some small group of people, be entitled to just about everything? And sure, our lives are 100% ours for the making, but then why are our choices limited to the environment/establishment we are living in? These are rhetorical questions, all I'm really saying is that I'm not keen on your absolutist statements.


"In a way, I found myself in the same boat with the Weathermen--like Japanese soldiers who refused to surrender at the end of WWII, and continued sniping at the Phillipine Marines with rusty rifles for twenty years. Admirable in a way, but pathetic." <--- a colorful metaphor there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When it comes to the 5% elite controlling 95% of the populations wealth, i guess i chalk it up to yin and yang. its very similar to bush`s war on terrorism. light cant exist without darkness. can we really have a equal and fair society? before it was whites and against blacks. now its hetro vs homo, christianity vs islam. we made monopoly laws only to strengthen the present megamillion $ corporations. that is just a part of capitalism as much as it is a part of life.


i don`t think communism is the answer. look at china. as soon as they had the chance to be capitalists they began making money at such a rate that they now have one of the most inequal levels of wealth distribution in the world.


When i was in college alot of friends that had graduated always tried to persuade me to drop out because they said hey look at me, i graduated and i dont have the job i want. well 5 years later i am in a different country, got the job i had went to school for(though i eventually quit it), and im talking crap on the internet now. my friends are doing the same thing they were 5 years ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well China played it smart. They freed up their market while keeping a socialist government that heavily regulates it. Sounds like a contradiction but that's what it is and it works. Government regulation IS necessary in the marketplace. The marketplace is not self regulating as they would have you believe. I heard the president of a swiss bank on the radio the other day compare what is happening in america to cancer. That there is no such thing as unlimited growth, that too much growth can become negative and cancerous. I thought it was an interesting analogy.


When Boris Yeltsin tried to privatize and lift price controls and other capitalistic machinations, the country plunged further into chaos, debt, and poverty. This largely discredited capitalism in the former soviet union and many former soviet states when we had an opportunity to create strong allies of once enemies. Much the same can be said about latin america and how the world bank and IMF went through with their plans to privatize and deregulate in these countries and they became swallowed up by the private sector... so now we see a resurgence of leftist revolutionaries in latin america.


What was it? I heard another analogy, about how the US should become more interested in world growth, rather than it's own self interests, because world growth means more benefits for everyone whereas if the US remains self interested, it will find itself from a smaller and smaller share of wealth. Because world growth > self growth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

im curious if chinas success isnt a bubble like japans was. personally im optimistic and think it isnt but economics isnt my strongpoint. all i know is that if everyone started using the euro with buying trading etc america would be finished.


the thing i find really interesting about china is how well they speak english compared with japan. they knew from the beginning. speaking english is the greatest weakness of the japanese. did anyone see crazy english documentary? i thought it was pretty interesting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are accusations against China that they are keeping their currency artificially low in order to continue producing cheaper product exports. They are however slowly and carefully raising the value of their currency to avoid a bubble burst. I'm thinking this would be a good time to buy some chinese currency.


I haven't heard of "crazy english"... I'm seeing a book by this name, not a documentary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hear you about the hands-on thing, but how is it that rural schools in Cambodia can turn out high-school graduates that understand calculus and speak three or four languages and here in the U.S., spending thousands of times more money we are turning out students who are ignorant of history, civics and economics, who can barely read and write a coherant sentence, and who possess a fifth-grade mathematics ability? The kids I see can tell you everything there is to know about some worthless shit like the ancestry of the local gang; they know all kinds of shit about hip-hop music and the names of every popular DJ and rapper; but they don't know a thing that will help them GET A JOB.


The schools are dangerous? Who do you think made them that way, the teachers? The physical plant is run down and beat up? Who do you think fucked it up in the first place? Drugs in the school? People skipping and refusing to learn? Beat-up, torn-up text books?


Schools are about learning. You cannot have a teaching relationship unless both the teacher and the student wish to participate.


Personally, I'd give a problem student a couple of chances to straighten up, and then he'd go to an alternate school for a year. If we had to send him twice, he'd be expelled and banned from all school property. All that the disruptive kids are doing is fucking up everybody else's education. The kids that want to learn cannot, because it only takes a couple of assholes in every class to make it impossible to teach. Since it is in society's best interests for the population to be educated, anybody who hinders that should be held accountable for his disruptive behavior.


Was I a disruptive student? Ashamed to admit it, but, yes I was. When I was in high school, I acted like an immature idiot, and should have been expelled. I wasn't expelled, but I certainly deserved it. I graduated only because of my mother's perseverance and determination that I should have a H.S. diploma. I graduated in the bottom quarter of my class--not the very bottom, but very close to it.


In my foolish rebellion against "The System," I refused to go to my H.S. graduation, thereby depriving my mother of getting to see me walk across that stage and receive my diploma. I have profoundly regretted that impulsive decision ever since. Later, when I graduated from Marine Corps Boot Camp as Platoon Honorman, Series Honorman and got the Blues Award, my mother could not afford to fly to San Diego and see me walk across the stage in dress blues to accept the awards. I was very sad that none of my family got to see it.


Finally, when I was FORTY-FIVE, my mother got to see me graduate from college and get pinned as a nurse. She cried from pure happiness---I sort of thought that she felt that her fuck-up son had finally achieved something worthwhile. My whole family attended the ceremony, because I had finally done something to be proud of.


Don't do what I did. Don't be an idiot like I was. WORK HARD IN SCHOOL AND MAKE YOUR PARENTS PROUD. And for pete's sake, go to graduation and let them take all the pictures they want. For you, it's one single day out of your life. For them, it's the culmination of eighteen years of hard work. Don't deprive them of the enjoyment of seeing you succeed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

is americas education system losing out to the UK?


from bbc


Bilingual primary school to open


The government is encouraging language learning in primary schools

The first bilingual state school in England is set to be approved - with lessons in French and English.

The project in the Wix School in Battersea, south London, is to be supported by the French embassy.


Pupils joining the bilingual class will follow the national curriculum but will study all subjects in both languages throughout the primary school.


The initiative is the result of co-operation with the Lycee Charles de Gaulle, a French school in London.


Both the Wix school and the Lycee Charles de Gaulle will admit 14 pupils each to the bilingual class from September 2006.


This will be repeated every year, creating a "bilingual stream" at the Wix school, alongside classes taught solely in English.


The Lycee Charles de Gaulle's primary class and the Wix school occupy different floors of the same building and have built up co-operation over a period of time.


'Immense asset'


Wandsworth Council says it is responding to parents' desire for their children to learn languages at a younger age, and wants to offer children the chance to become bilingual early in life.


Once children leave the Wix school they would move to an English comprehensive.


However, Wandsworth hopes to open more bilingual schools in the future, both primary and secondary.


Wandsworth cabinet member for education Malcolm Grimston said: "A second language is best learned when you are young. And if the language becomes the medium for teaching the curriculum, the skills are obtained even more naturally.


"To be bilingual is an immense asset both culturally and in employment."


The bilingual class is expected to be oversubscribed, but the authority stressed that the usual admissions arrangements for state primary schools would remain.


Admissions rules


"We are not trying to cream off the more linguistically able," spokesman Steve Mayner said.


"All applicants will have to meet the usual criteria, and the final deciding factor would be the distance of their home from the school, and whether they had siblings here."


"We expect applications from children from a variety of backgrounds. Children whose parents are French would not be given priority either," Mr Mayner said.


The bilingual curriculum is currently being developed by the head teachers of both schools.


The proposal is being considered on Tuesday by the education overview and scrutiny committee, which will also report on the school's curriculum and admissions arrangements in September.


In response to longstanding concerns about the lack of foreign language skills in England, the government has promised that all primary school pupils, aged 7 to 11, will receive language lessons by the end of the decade.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the public education system the world over is pretty much fucked (with a few exceptions). that is not to say that all teachers are bad, or that students are lazy... But the actual curriculum, disciplinary system and pedagogy is fundamentally flawed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now

  • Create New...