The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Friday, August 28, 2015

Does Government Want to CONTROL Us?

1920s cartoon, showing man standing at microph...
1920s cartoon, showing man standing at microphone with his mouth wide open and the text "I'M A SMART GUY". (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     Would you believe that a good many schools now are starting school before Labor Day?   Would you believe that some school districts have already been in session since the end of July?   How about some schools are going to a year round schedule or have at least tried this in some form or another?

       Whatever happened to summer vacation and all the fun kid things that went with that?   Sorry about that, kids.  Big brother has decided to screw you out of your childhood and prepare you for a bleak future world where everyone is the same.  Make believe and thinking differently is not allowed unless it's the kind of different sanctioned by the "brave new world" of groupthink.

      They claim they want our kids to get smart yet they really want to dumb us all down so we can conform to their every whim.  It's all about control.  Of course, government is in the business of control.  That's what laws and regulations are all about.   This makes sense to keep an orderly structure to society--to a degree.

       Do we need government telling us what we can eat or drink that is beyond the useful action of making sure consumables are safe for us and won't kill us because of contamination or something of that nature?   What we decide to ingest and consume should be a matter of personal choice should it not?  Same with schools.  Teachers should have more control of the classroom under the guidance of local directives, but it makes little sense for the federal government to have an across the board agenda to homogenize society.  Rural areas have different concerns that urban areas.   A concentration of one cultural group in one area of the country might be a good reason to adapt a school system to that group, but not a reason to impose those cultural needs on every school system.

       The old American dream has been corrupted.   We missed it by that much!  Now the question is can we get it back?   The freedom train has been derailed by politically correct elements of society that want to change the story of the United States and alter the meaning of words that tell our story now.  The old totalitarianism trick is being pulled on us and anyone who is out of step with what the powers-that-be want is getting the duct tape across the mouth treatment and ostracization by those who are allowed to shout them down.
   
        In my blog post from 2013 Do You Know What Your Children Are Learning in School? I discussed the matter of government control as related to the federal government's intrusion on schools with the Common Core curriculum.   This educational initiative will undoubtedly become a big issue in the 2016 presidential race.  Common Core certainly has its proponents, but it is also facing vigorous resistance from its opponents.   Hopefully, voters will take a closer look at Common Core before continuing to allow it to turn our children into submissive clones.  Common Core is more than an educational agenda, it's a political agenda.   Certain elements of the ruling forces in this world would like nothing better than to see a degradation of the United States by weakening what this nation represents.  Despite what we think about our democracy, we may not actually have as much control over government as we'd like to believe.

         There will be many loud voices on all sides of every argument in the year to come.  Let's hope the voices on the side of what will be best for this nation will stay strong and remain loud.  "You can't move mountains by whispering at them," said chanteuse Pink.    Floyd Lawson, the barber and purveyor of homespun observations from The Andy Griffith Show, might have interjected with "I thought Calvin Coolidge said that."  

       Uh, no Floyd, Pink is attributed to having made that particular statement.  However Calvin Coolidge is credited with the following:

"We do not need more intellectual power, we need more moral power. We do not need more knowledge, we need more character. We do not need more government, we need more culture. We do not need more law, we need more religion. We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen.... If the foundation is firm, the superstructure will stand." -Calvin Coolidge

"If in a free republic a great government is the product of a great people, they will look to themselves rather than government for success..."  -- Calvin Coolidge

"Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong." -- Calvin Coolidge

“Patriotism is easy to understand in America; it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.” 
― Calvin Coolidge


     Though it wasn't Calvin Coolidge, there is some disagreement on who said the following, but I think it's worth mentioning:


“When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”---Thomas Jefferson (according to some sources)



     Battle of the Bands Coming!

            Reading through my above rant you might have gotten some hint of what my next Battle of the Bands song will be.   Actually I think I made it so obvious to anyone who knows the song that I'd be very surprised if no one gets it.  Let me know in the comments what you think my next song choice will be.  My next Battle of the Bands will be combined with my Insecure Writer's Support Group post and will appear on Tuesday September 1st.

          Do you think political correctness has gotten out of hand in the United States?   Is it important for school kids to have an old-fashioned summer vacation?    Did you recognize what classic television comedy show I was alluding to in my post (other than The Andy Griffith Show)?

69 comments:

  1. I liked school being in session in August, the students were able to focus better to learn. Once Spring begins, the children get more antsy and it is harder to teach them.

    Common core is not the evil monster it is made out to be. Most school districts followed a similar curriculum before its introduction. It doesn't matter if it is outlawed or adopted, it is not the biggest problem schools have. The real problem is having students prepared and encouraged to learn. A child with an erratic homelife is at quite a disadvantage.

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    1. Ann, with Common Core the devil is in the details and the source of much of its funding. It's less of an education program than it is an agenda with a longer range plan that is not purely education driven. Sure, on the surface it looks like a great idea to many, but we should be wary when government has such a big hand in the education of our children. I haven't heard any teachers whom I've spoken with who like the program.

      I agree about the preparation for learning though. Some homes are a mess with parents who shouldn't even be bringing kids into this world.

      Lee

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  2. I don't think there is an issue at all with the school thing. Out west, kids have been going back to school in August and getting out in May. Here, they have always started in Sept or after Labor Day, and gone till June. This year b/c of all the snow days, school didn't get out till very late June. Having the kids go year round has it's benefits, although the thought of having to deal w/ being on the road behind a school bus year round bums me out.

    The only reason the govt is trying to regulate what we eat is that the health insurance industry is driving that. They don't want to pay for obesity related issues. I am against GMO food though.

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    1. JoJo, when I was a kid summer vacation was my favorite time of the year. I realize that year round schooling has benefits, but I think vacation time does as well. I like my wife having two months off for summer.

      AS far as the food issue I think education is always better than regulation.

      Lee

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  3. Calvin Coolidge was a wise man.
    Considering how much further along kids in other countries are at the same age, I think we need a revamping of the school system. It is government run, which is why they control it. If we'd had kids, you bet they would've attended a private school.

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    1. Alex, I think I got a decent public school education and my kids seemed to get a pretty good one though not as good as what I got. Now it's mostly about testing which wastes a lot of time for actual educating.

      Lee

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  4. Here in the UK summer school holidays are about the same length as they always were but the kids seem to get bored more quickly. I think this is because they're not allowed to go out and wander the streets like we did when we were kids. Parents are understandably scared that they might be in danger.

    As for government control of the curriculum, don't get me started. When the government introduced a National Curriculum in the UK, that was when I left teaching.

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    1. Rosalind, when I was a kid a kid's life was an adventure of discovery and letting imagination run free. Now it's more like an institutional incarceration. Parents and teachers need to have the primary say in what they want the kids to be taught.

      Lee

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  5. In Canada, school still starts after Labour Day, but the political correctness bug has hit all over - even in Europe. It's a sign of the times. Sigh...

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    1. Debbie, political correctness is beginning to interfere with our abilities to poke fun at our society and laugh at the absurdities of life. Humor is probably taking the biggest hit by political correctness at this point in time, but it's pervading our ability to be honest and open about our opinions and feelings.

      Lee

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  6. Is it possible to dumb an American down?

    Back in Philly, schoo starts the Wed after Labor Day, and the last time I asked (recently, but a few years ago), that was still true.

    In AZ, it is mid-August, and I have never gotten a good explanation why.

    LC

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    1. Larry, as long as the schools are air conditioned maybe going to school in August might be welcomed by the kids. If the AC is inefficient then it would be like a sentence to hell.

      Lee

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  7. What we decide to ingest and consume should be a matter of personal choice should it not?

    With the government supplying your health care (which is where we are headed), I wonder if that is still true. If it can be shown that consuming certain foods leads to higher cost, have you surrendered the right to that choice by accepting a government health care solution?

    I personally am an advocate for very little government...but Americans seem willing to let the Federal government do everything for them, and unfortunately, when ceding those responsibilities, you cede choices as well.

    Quite frankly, the presidential elections get all of the attention, but people need to pay attention to the local races. Get the right people into local offices, and those people eventually will feed the national stage.

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    1. Larry, you're right about ceding our rights to decide our freedoms when government owns us. We have become a dependent society governmentally and in so many other ways as well. I think we are facing a bleak future that has already been predicted in dystopian novels.

      Lee

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  8. When we moved to Utah it was with great dismay that we were introduced to year round school. I felt the loss of those wonderful free summers with my kids. I loved summers when I was a kid. 3 months of bliss. Poor modern kids who don't get to experience this. One reason my husband and I enjoy living in Guatemala is the sense of freedom. It's like returning to the 1950s before the government started peering into every corner of our lives and making laws "for our own good."

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    1. Karen JG, there are certain benefits to year round school, but I don't think they outweigh the long summer vacation. My wife likes having the long summer to visit our kids back east though a year round schedule with an extended winter break can be kind of nice.

      Arlee Bird
      A to Z Challenge Co-host
      Tossing It Out

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  9. Clearly, Coolidge rocked! The entire gov., including minions, needs a huge spring cleaning. How all the points you mentioned (and more) can possibly be considered 'progressive' is laughable, isn't all this exactly what our founders were getting rid of?
    Nowadays, even the amount of time a child has to simply be one is regulated!
    How much sense can Common Core make when it now requires four steps to add up two numbers?
    But enough, already. This afternoon I'll be waiting for the school bus with a glass of sweet iced tea for my little cowboy, because it's Friday and we still pretend it's summertime :-)

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    1. Diedre, in the end it's easy to complain, but difficult to change much. In many ways most of us have our hands tied and must swallow that nasty medicine that's forced down our throats.

      Lee

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  10. I don't know what to do after a post like this but applaud. I fear for the generations to come on so many levels... but most of all because they'll be too "dumb" where it counts to know what hit them.

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    1. CW, if there are many generations in our current society I fear for them, but on the other hand I think a new society is coming fairly soon that will be better for us all and it's not a government of man.

      Lee

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  11. I think you've maybe thrown your aspersion net just to the side of the guilty. In Michigan it is AGAINST THE LAW to start BEFORE Labor day because it is BAD FOR BUSINESS. Now I'm not a big fan of anything before late August but we always started the week BEFORE Labor Day where I grew up and it meant 3 days before Labor Day, 4 days the next week and it was our 3rd week before we had a 5-day week--it was a really good lead in. Now I get that Government and Business are in bed these days, but it is businesses I fear far more. At least with government I can vote them out and the dollar isn't the only metric involved.

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    1. Hart, I don't have much faith in government or the idea that we as voters have that much say in what happens. There is a lot of smoke and mirrors.

      Lee

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  12. It does seem as though government is in too much of private affairs. I'm so tired of hearing Trump "trumpet" his popularity, and knowing he will likely win just cuz he's in the media, and not because he stands for anything to better the US, is just so disturbing. Average people have no real say in government. We're all sheep.

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    1. Dolorah, I agree with you about the sheep part. The party pros are all too much alike in the final analysis and I think that's why the outsiders like Trump, Carson, and Fiorina are capturing the imagination of the people. Over a year to the election remains so we shall see.

      Lee

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  13. I taught for 20 years, all of it directed by the Federal Gov't. Curriculum changed every other year to keep up with political correctness. No Child Left Behind focused on teaching to the test, less on learning....ranting here. Nothing has changed, except the Fed. Gov't has ripped teaching and learning away from the State and School Board.
    Also, I taught during a few year-round schools. Kids were exhausted, teachers, too.

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    1. Susan, a good many if not most teachers have grown weary of the constant changing of how they should do their jobs. College grads are going to become discouraged out of going into teaching and the best teachers might just step out of the system. This could result in some serious problems for the educational system of the United States.

      Lee

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  14. >>... anyone who is out of step with what the powers-that-be want is getting the duct tape across the mouth treatment and ostracization by those who are allowed to shout them down.

    In this case, I'm applying the duct tape to my mouth (and fingers) myself.

    Not walking into the smoke anymore, falsely assuming there's a fire.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. STMcC, you must be really tired--or depressed. Hope everything is at least kind of okay with you.

      If that was an attempt at a song guess, no, the song is not "Smoke from a Distant Fire".

      Lee

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    2. Yeah, I'm tired AND depressed. But neither of those things had anything to do with my comment.

      I'm also wise to... the ways of certain folks, and I know a bit about drumming up blog business. And THAT has more to do with my response than anything else.

      There are blogs where topics like this are discussed in great detail. And then there are blogs where controversial topics are raised (and quickly forgotten) for the sake of temporary attention.

      I prefer the former. That's why I maintained one for many years.

      I'm more interested in the BOTB posts.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      POSTSCRIPT: What happened to your "Best Buddy"? He's kind of late on this one, isn't he? Usually, he's Johnny-On-The-Spot.

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    3. Well actually this post was supposed to be mainly about BOTB. I was just using a topic that seemed to relate to my next song pick and thought I'd interweave a television theme that came to mind as I was formulating my post. So far nobody is playing with the BOTB aspect and picking up on the controversy angle. It's all okay by me as I like to have readers and get comments so I try different things.

      I try be nice to all of my blog friends and well as civil to everyone in my waking walking life. There are a few blog friends who haven't visited this blog post as of yet, but I hope they all do. But if they don't then life goes on. There's always that next post until the last one I ever write which I hope will still be a long way off.

      Lee

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    4. >>... "Well actually this post was supposed to be mainly about BOTB. I was just using a topic that seemed to relate to my next song pick".

      Yes, sir. I KNEW that. And that is EXACTLY, EXACTLY, EXACTLY what I meant when I wrote:

      "Not walking into the smoke anymore, falsely assuming there's a fire.

      I thank you for that. Quick confessions are unusual.

      >>... "I try be nice to all of my blog friends as well as civil to everyone in my waking walking life."

      Well, that's good... up to a point.

      But then there's also a Biblical demand in 2 Corinthians 6 to consider:

      "...what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?"

      I guess we all must decide for ourselves how strictly we should apply that demand in a personal way.

      I can only speak for myself, but when it comes to "abortion", that's where I TOTALLY draw the line. (No one who supports abortion can be a "buddy" of mine.) Again, that's strictly an "STMcC thang". I am bound to interpret The Holy Bible for myself, according to The Holy Spirit's Voice to me. Others are meant to follow their own Godly Guidance.

      I like to be friendly and encourage friendship, but for sure there are some people I do not encourage friendship with based on a Spiritual sense.

      Lee, may you always be Lee.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    5. Well, STMcC, from what I've seen you might have a double standard going on, but that's merely my perception of things and I don't want to get into any big argument about that.

      "Blogging friendship" is a term of convenience used for lack of thinking of a better term. I don't know that we can ever have an actual friendship based on online activity, but I think most of us in blogging try to have a semblance of such.

      I seem to be heading toward your shit list anyway so I don't think there is much I can do to prevent that. It would sadden me if that were to happen, but maybe I'm just catching you at a bad time when your mind is in a place that is not receptive to my blogging approach.

      We've had some good times I think and hope they can continue.

      Lee

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    6. >>... maybe I'm just catching you at a bad time when your mind is in a place that is not receptive to my blogging approach.

      Yeah, I'm SURE that's it Lee. I'm just not in the right mind to appreciate your "blogging approach".

      >>... from what I've seen you might have a double standard going on

      'Splain that... in detail... please.
      I'm not aware of any "double standard" I'm maintaining. But if I'm doing so unconsciously, I'd like to consciously correct it.

      So... 'splain it to me, Lee. (If you'd rather do it in private, you know my Email address. We can discuss this further offline. That's fine with me. I'll be watching for your Email, "good buddy".)

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    7. STMcC, something happened that was perhaps an intervention or some kind of a sign, but I had started an email to you with tons to say and then my internet went out for about 30 minutes or so. During that time I realized that I do not want to engage in any kind of finger-pointing or accusations that might be wrong. And after all it's not like I'm before some kind of congressional hearing or anything like that.

      Besides I'm not much of a fighter and don't like to set up ongoing feuds either. You remember things better than I do and keep track of things better than I do so I would be no match anyway.

      I publicly retract my previous statements and anything else that may have upset you. If there's anything you'd like to specifically discuss by email then let me know--you also have my email.

      You are an upstanding blogger and from what I know, a decent guy. I value the relationship we have had in the past years and hope that things smooth out for the future.

      I enjoy engaging in fun and friendly banter but I don't see any of this happening in the current comment exchange. If you want to chalk this up as some kind of a win in your records then feel free to do so. I concede the verbal exchange to you and hope to find you in better spirits on Tuesday's BOTB event.

      Sorry if I've riled you in some way or maybe I'm just misreading everything. After all this is the internet and it's one of the worst ways to communicate.

      Later,
      Lee

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    8. >>... "If you want to chalk this up as some kind of a win in your records then feel free to do so."

      No, LEE. The only "winner" was the communist who sometimes pretends to be his own wife on his blog, and who didn't even have the cojones to show up here.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  15. mmm I wonder what the BOTB song will be - We don't what no education, we done want no self-control ..can't remember the title. And there's a Leonard Cohen song or 2 that speaks/sings/strums out.
    I am fearful of Big Brother - our education is a mess here in South Africa in spite of being the country that spends the MOST annually on it, and we are dumbing down in a big way. But, we are active citizens and speak out about much even if we are ostracised for it and to hell with political correctness. Who else can speak out for change but the individual who is concerned for our future generations ..

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    1. Susan Scott, no it's not a Leonard Cohen song, but thematically you're on the right track.

      These days the truth can get you into trouble and we never know who is really speaking the truth or what they truly believe. There's not enough open rational communication between the parties who disagree.

      Lee

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  16. Here in Philly the kids don't go back until after Labor Day and that is the way it should be. I wish they got out before the end of June because I believe vacation is such an important time for kids. Most of them live such structured lives, daycare, preschool, activities and rushed parents or only one parent. They need a chance to slow down and play. To be creative. I could go on and write a book about how horrifying public school is these days. I believe learning to treat the earth well is important but my granddaughters class spent 3-months on recycling which is in my opinion nothing but a scam. The child is now in high school and cannot write in cursive (working on that) and has NO idea of the real history of this country. I wish I could afford to homeschool all of them!

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    1. Doreen, learning about recycling is a fine thing but I got a huge education about it watching a half hour children's TV show about the topic. I'm not sure how 3 months teaching recycling can be justified unless that 3 months worth of small doses about it. Recycling might be a good college course for certain people, but not for all school kids.

      And I'm not even going to start into the way schools are revising history for the sake of political correctness and social engineering. History is turning into lies and opinions, which is not to say that much history has always been some of that, but still the facts need to be taught without extensive judgment from the present.

      Lee

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  17. I am so glad my kid is out of school although she is going back for her degree. School ends in middle of May and they started back last week. What was annoying to me was they had "summer reading" having to read 1-2 books and report on each. If they were in the Gifted program it was more. I think it is ridiculous. They need to get rid of the LEAP test because the teachers have to focus on what could be on the test. I agree let them be kids!!!!

    www.justlittlecajunme.blogspot.com

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    1. Lisa, college is worse than public school education in my opinion because professors have a pretty free reign to impose their opinions on students and reject any rebuttal from those who disagree. I don't know about the LEAP test, but if it's a test it might be bad news.

      Lee

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  18. LOL -- this is the first time in ages I've read every comment on someone's post. Interesting responses.

    I happen to agree with you, Lee. Maybe I'm just an old-fashioned old lady politically reflecting my downstate, farm country, Illinois upbringing, but I feel you were right on about Common Core, summer vacations, kids being allowed to be kids, big government, and political correctness. Common Core may not be a government program, but states get sucked into using the standards in order to earn extra federal dollars. Political correctness seems like a technique to muzzle straight talk, and it has morphed from polite speech to silly speak.

    The fearless three (Trump, Carson and Fiorina) have my admiration and gratitude for speaking out. I don't know how it will play out over time, but I'll be glued to every debate, Dem and Repub, trying to sort out fact from fiction, competence from bluster. What a show!

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    1. Patricia, I like the way the "fearless Three" are stirring the pot to rile things up. Our political landscape needs more of that. I'm looking forward to the debates, though I wish a couple more radical thinking democrats would jump in to challenge the current ones like is happening on the Rep. side.

      Lee

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  19. We don't need no education (in tune to Pink Floyd)-am I right?? If I see the people in the educational system looking like pigs with hoofs for feet, walking upright, I will run in the other direction. Political correctness has gone way too far. The pressure on kids to know what they want to be by the time they are 14 and 15 is ridiculous (thinking of my niece when she was in school). Today, kids seem to be in school longer, colleges and universities are becoming more and more disgustingly expensive, cursive writing is not being taught and neither is penmanship or etiquette lessens. Everyone is scared to say anything for fear of being sued or called racist. No child is allowed to fail, no child brings a lunchbox to school every day and they all have money, cell phones and (when they can)drive a nice car. The kids today have little knowledge of worldly events despite a computer click away, cyber-bullying is huge, kids are fatter and lazier. They have no idea how to read a letter written by Calvin Coolidge. They have trouble speaking their own language never mind another language but have a false sense of security since they never fail. In the "olden" days (OMG I sound like my father!!) we had to learn not only Canadian history but American, WW1 & 2 and history back to Roman times and beyond. We took penmanship and knew how to read a written letter. If we did something wrong, we were sent to the corner (or even got the strap). If we did not get all the answers right and got less than 50% we failed! We knew what it meant to fail and no parent dared say their little darling should be given a getter mark when they didn't deserve it. We marvelled at other lunch boxes (I had Gilligan's Island Lunch box) and had my sandwich, carrots and an apple or orange (if lucky I had a couple of couple of cookies). We knew basic manners and basic respect to our elders. We had more than 1 recess and had to be outside even if it was raining or snowing, played games, skipped rope etc... We loved it when summer came and we could be out of there for 2 months. We were not being asked what we wanted to be and must take courses to what we want to be when we started high school. I could go on which I have already:), but I think there is more stress on the kids and less discipline and caring. Yes there were always bullies, always bad kids and band teachers. One should never go back to the time when African Americans were not given their just rights to receive the same education that Caucasians got but I feel the pendulum has swung to far in the other direction now. If kids would actually play more, get lunch boxes with their own food from home, kids would naturally start to trim down. In Germany and many other European countries, tuition is free and when you speak to the students they usually know more than one language and have a good education behind them. The kids who have the ability to go to university and college in North America, can not keep up with the same age as someone from Europe. This is not the kid's fault but the educational system. Many kids here, who have the know-how, often can't afford to go to school-sad. OK there is my very lengthy rant

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    1. Birgit, you are right about the song and I agree with what you've said in your excellent comment. You really covered some ground there and I can't add much to that.

      Lee

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  20. I have an online friend who's kid had to do Common Core and she showed me a few of the math problems and OMG! It was ridiculously complicated and I still can't figure out how that was going to teach her kid how to do math.

    As for being PC, I am worried it's getting out of hand. Twitter lynch mobs are easy to form and can easily shut down a person. Equality is a must in my opinion, but sometimes it feels less like trying to make everyone equal and more shutting down an opinion someone doesn't like. Which is dangerous.

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    1. Patricia, I remember seeing some of the math problems. I thought they did the old math okay so why the need to change?

      Lee

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  21. Yes, PC has run amuck and has create untold carnage and havoc. In re: Common Core has an adherent in CT in the form of the guv'nor, who has more or less been the poster boy for the charter school industry and who has no problem in installing a non-education professional (again) as commissioner for the Dept of Education.

    Also has no problem in vetoing a bill, which his spineless party chose not to override, that would have given minimum standards to meet for anyone becoming an education official.

    Father Nature's Corner

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    1. GB, I don't know what's happening in your state, but the placement of unqualified people in government seats is a problem.

      Lee

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  22. I feel sorry for kids who don't get a summer vacation or enough OUTSIDE recess during the school day - barring rain/blizzard/extreme temps. I think kids today have lost out by the way school is structured, taught, and the dreaded cell phone which apparently every kid has and can't do without for a minute. Imagine bringing a cell phone to class! How ridiculous! Would you bring your landline in to a meeting with your boss (not that anyone except me has one anymore...)? I am thankful I got three months of riding my
    bike, swimming in my friends pool, walking five miles to a little store in the next town to buy $1 worth of candy, believed sticks were real guns and arrows when we played cowboys and Indians, had chores, limited tv, and a cool treehouse in the woods. I also got a damn good public school education and my opinion of Common Core - from what I've seen and read - is that it pretty much sucks. No teachers I know have anything good to say about it.

    There's a reason dystopian is popular.

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    1. Mshatch, you make an excellent point about the popularity of the dystopian genre. Our world is turning upside down.

      Lee

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  23. My kiddo started school last week, but honestly, I always remember starting school in August myself. Can't remember if it was the beginning or the end of the month, but still.
    I loathe Common Core. Teaching kids to pass tests is not getting any useful information in their heads. It restricts the teachers and schools like my kid's have gotten close to closing due to lack of funding because of these stupid requirements.
    Now, as for the summer thing... as much as I loved and love summer break... not many other countries do it. They'll have breaks, sure, but not a two month block like we do - and they're better for it! We're ranked at like 15 or something. China, Finland, Australia, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand ... all produce more learned kids then we do. And it hasn't always been this way, but this teaching for the test crap :/
    I supplement my kid at home so I know she's actually learning versus just... memorizing. It's sad :(

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    1. Madilyn, the supplemental education is probably the most important and most fun.

      Lee

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  24. So much, so well said here! I shared it everywhere!
    First, we limited teachers ability to discipline students with any effectiveness. Parents confront teachers instead of backing teachers. Classrooms all too often are noisy, slightly controlled chaos anymore, as a result. Then we start making everything hinge on one set of tests, rather than grades in each subject. Now days and weeks of the school year is spent teaching for the test, not actual teaching. I stay connected to what my child is learning at school about history, government, etc. and make sure she gets the real story. But what of all the children out there with the parents that don't half pay attention to anything the kids know or do or never have conversations with them about serious issues?!?

    Yes, there is way too much federal government in our lives and more and more wanting to creep or barge in on a daily level.

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    1. Barbara, thank you for sharing! We have moved from less teaching to more indoctrination. Governmental intrusion on our personal lives is disturbing.

      Lee

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  25. I'm not going to leave a long winded comment. But I will say: This is a copy of Mao's education system in China and it angers me.

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    1. Shelly, there are a lot of shades of Totalitarian rules in what's been happening and it should anger all of us.

      Lee

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  26. I'm not much on the Democratic rule. I liked being a Republic. Oh well. Schools in the South-east have been upside down since 2006.

    I love Battle of the Bands. See you Sept. 1st.

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    1. Dixie, I look forward to your next BOTB post.

      Lee

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  27. I was furious when school started in late August the year I lived with my grandparents in Pennsylvania. I was so used to school starting around September 8 or 9. I understand some cultures, like Japan, pretty much have school year-round, but when students are used to taking a full summer vacation, it seems cruel and unusual to prematurely nip it in the bud by forcing them to return to school in August.

    Common Core also annoys me. The way they teach math looks so bizarre and non-intuitive, and would probably make math even more challenging for someone already struggling in the subject. The entire Common Core, not just math, seems like teaching to a one size fits all lesson plan, teaching to pass standardized tests, instead of a well-rounded curriculum. Don't even get me started on how many schools no longer teach cursive, and how I've been told by people only about ten years my junior that they can't read my cursive writing.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, I remember spending a lot of time learning and honing cursive writing skills. Even though so much is now keyboarded, I still think writing by hand has value and should be taught to the kids. Losing the knowledge of cursive is almost like losing a once important language.

      Lee

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    2. My daughter is almost 19 and when she was in elementary handwriting was taught oddly. They just had the kids look at the letters on the wall and copy what they saw. They didn't worry about proper form. Some of her letters still look rudimentary.

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    3. Ruth, now you have me wondering about the writing of my own daughters. I don't recall what it looked like when they were in school or what it looks like now.

      Lee

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  28. I like a lot o what Calvin Coolidge said except the part about religion. Religion does not make a person good. A person that does not follow religion can have good morals. Much the same as a religious person can do some very bad things.
    I have said many times that we are only as free as our government allows us to be.

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    1. Ruth, I don't think Coolidge was suggesting that it was religion that makes any of us good or moral and you are essentially correct though. What I believe he was suggesting that we are better off adhering to the more basic laws and morality as taught by religion and not to legislate every detail of our existence from the seat of government.

      Lee

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    2. That could be. I took it to mean what I hear from so many people now. That we need more religion and God and that is what is wrong with everything and everyone.

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  29. I touched in this subject in my post a couple years ago: Letter of Resignation. Because of the direction the education system/government has been heading in, I have decided to avoid teaching in public schools.

    I do believe that summer vacation is important, it is good for kids to develop their own imagination and thinking, in fact I would advocate a full summer vacation for adults as well ;)

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    1. Elizabeth, I'm sad when I hear about the public schools losing teachers with your spirit. Too much administration and government control and not enough real teaching allowed. It's actually kind of scary to think about where it's all heading.

      I like the idea of vacations for adults that coincide with their children's vacations. Yay family vacations. We should receive tax deductions for what we spend on them.

      Arlee Bird
      A to Z Challenge Co-host
      Tossing It Out

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Lee