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Some Thoughts on Education

Amid all the partisan bickering and rhetoric that characterizes most any subject of national interest, there exist several broad reaching education goals that bridge the ideological divides, for both lawmakers and parents. We all want better, more effective teachers. We all desire our public schools to graduate high school students with some competency in the basics - reading, writing and mathematics. We all want and expect some accountability on the part of teachers and school districts to actually deliver on education. We all want our higher education institutions to prepare their students to compete on the world stage, and more basically to be prepared to succeed in their chosen field of work. And, importantly, we want to instill the values of good citizenship and understanding of our history and culture.

With each of these common goals, though, differences in how to achieve them - as well as how they are defined - varies from minor to very major. Most notable, I think, are the differences concerning our history, culture and what defines a good citizen - and the role education plays in these areas.

In 1693, John Locke wrote a piece entitled "Some Thoughts Concerning Education", where he defined the goals in educating the 'upper class boys' of producing moral, rationally-thinking and reflective young gentlemen. In 1697, he wrote about educating the masses in "Working Schools", promoting the importance of developing a work ethic. A bifurcated approach to runescape bonds education was common for much of the following century as well.

Today, the public schools educate the vast majority of us and the k-12 curriculum varies little from Maine to New Mexico. Perhaps our modern day counterpart to John Locke's dual system would be a technical or other career school education versus a university liberal arts program. Though, for the most part, at every level of education, you would find absent much in the way of moral teachings or a focus on the importance of a work ethic.

Through the late eighteen hundreds to pre-World War II times, teaching was one of just a few career paths for women, and one of very few professional pursuits available to women. As a result, it attracted mostly the best, due to competition for those posts. When I went to college in the early seventies, those students who couldn't quite make it in any other major shifted to a major in education, as it was the easiest and had the least difficult required coursework.

As I was going through elementary school, my mom was a major support to my education. My assignments would be reviewed, my papers checked before and after submission, and tests were often prepared for together. While I know my mom was exceptional in the degree of her involvement, my friends mom's were also interested and involved. They monitored our progress, and they monitored the schools through the P.T.A. Our classes were large, multimedia meant different colors of chalk, and our school facilities were basic - yet we learned.

Growing up in those days meant near universal church attendance and very significant participation in the likes of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the YMCA, or 4-H or FFA, all contributing to our moral and civic education to some degree or another.

Today, in most intact two parent households, both parents work. And an alarmingly large percentage of kids grow up with only one parent. Both situations usually result in less parent involvement in education. And involvement in the above-named groups has also suffered, competing with television, Facebook and video games.

Taken as a whole, our societal changes have effectively elevated the importance of our public schools in the development of our children. The impact of the hours our students spend in these schools has grown. Unfortunately, in many families and for many students, school represents the central and fundamental building block in their development as future working (or non-working) adults and citizens. Thus our focus on, and understanding of what our schools are teaching, is critically important.

In 1916, John Dewey (yeah, the decimal guy) penned a piece entitled "Democracy and Education", which served as a catalyst for advancing the ideas of the progressive movement, which was being amply championed by Woodrow Wilson and friends. Through his writing, he was seeking to make schools more effective agents of 'democracy'. It was from this point forward that we witness the academics rewriting our history, our schools painting our values of self-reliance and self-government as ill conceived, and forwarding concepts such as economic and social justice - to right the wrongs of America and the evils of capitalism.

The past several decades our schools have expanded on these themes, and have interlaced and often twisted issues such as civil rights, the environment, cultural diversity and global warming to fit their prevailing world view - of America as oppressor and exploiter, equal outcomes over equal opportunity, secularism over Judeo Christian values, and rights of the collective subservient to the rights of the individual. Class, gender, sexual preference, and racial or cultural differences have been emphasized and elevated in education - resulting in hyphenated and divided groups, and replacing the history of America as a melting pot - a people united by shared values and American ideals.

In short, our public schools today don't teach or value the traditional American way. And since the exposure of our children to other positive formative experiences and influences are often missing or lacking, we are in a world of hurt.

But, the moral and cultural aspects of education aren't the only casualties of our public schools. Basic education is as well. Since the 1960s, we have seen most key measures of competence declining. Math, reading, writing, history, social studies and geography have all suffered. Of the 74.9% (2007-08 data) of those who do graduate from high school, many can't make change, can't read at an eighth grade level, and couldn't name the three branches of government, let alone understand the meaning and beauty of our Constitution.

Are we asking too much of our schools? Probably, but the gap between the ask and the result is of Grand Canyon scale.

Is it because we're not spending enough? I don't believe so. In 1961-62 we were spending $2,769 dollars per student and in 2006-07 we spent $10,041 per student (in constant dollars - unadjusted dollars were $393 in '61-62 and $9,683 in '06-07). And those numbers, at least in the latter year, exclude state education administrative expenses.

Is our problem the teachers? Certainly this is where the rubber meets the road, and a critical factor. Here I'm sure many would fault teacher compensation. Realistically, I think its very safe to say that some teachers are underpaid, but I would bet that a large percentage are overpaid based on their effectiveness. None of us want underpaid teachers and I think most of us would be willing to pay really good teachers whatever they deserve, their true worth. Of course, the hard part is separating the good from the marginal and the bad, ridding ourselves of the bad and working our way up from marginal to exceptional. Here, the key roadblock is the teachers unions and their rules.

Among the teachers unions, the NEA is the behemoth organization, and is, in fact, the largest professional organization and largest labor union in the U.S., with over 3.2 million members. It has a staff of over 550 and a budget of some $307 million (2006-07). Besides what I think are the known criticisms of this group regarding stances on merit pay, charter schools, home schooling opposition, school vouchers, tenure and impediments to dismissing under-performing teachers, lies another equally problematic issue, that being their ideological and political leanings and advocacy.

It is this latter area that speaks to the curriculum taught in our schools, which in turn defines the output - simply what and how our kids think as they exit the system.

If you look to the organizations the NEA aligns itself with, and supports financially and otherwise, the following entities are high on their giving and influence list: The Center for American Progress, Media Matters, ACORN (before their demise), the National Council of LaRaza, The Tides Foundation and Amnesty International. You may note a common interest among several of these groups and George Soros. None of these organizations, nor Mr. Soros, hold America in much esteem. Their values are actually near polar opposites to those espoused by the Founders. And what our public schools teach reflects their views and outlook. Seems like a recipe for disaster for the Republic so many of us hold dear.

I wish I could offer up some silver bullets to change the course of public education in America, I can't. How to unravel some of these unholy alliances, I don't know. Fixing the textbooks and what is taught is a huge challenge, and again no easy answers. Retaining great teachers and firing the inept - that should be easy, but its not.

I believe it was in 1959 that Wisconsin (an historic stronghold of progressives) became the first state to allow collective bargaining and unions for public sector workers, and so the onslaught began. This was a major turning point for our country. The NEA (and other public sector unions) support the politicians that support them and their agenda, and then the legislators enact laws to strengthen the unions and provide funding to support their causes. The new circle of life in America - and education.
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National Library Workers Day!
Hey guys! This isn't a holiday most people know about but its SO IMPORTANT! It's National Library Workers Day! Alright so you might not be thinking this is a huge deal BUT librarians, library technicians, and library aides all around the world (right this very second!) are helping someone learn something new, discover a new world, and best of all, to fall in love with reading. If that isn't enough for you - Why you should love libraries: 1. Libraries serve a vital social service by helping bridge social gaps. No matter what your background is, if you have access to a library, you have access to literacy and computer training. They give you resources to learn as well as people to teach you! 2. Libraries have been around for 5,000 years. They contain a TON of info as well as trained people to help you find whatever you're looking for. 3. Libraries can act as safe havens for students at school. For those with anxiety or for those who do not feel comfortable around their peers, the library is a peaceful escape. 4. Libraries provide support for job seekers via free access to the internet to search for and respond to job applications, and by helping them to improve their employability skills. Among a thousand reasons why you should be proud of library workers, I'm especially fond of this day because my mom is a public school library tech! She worked at the elementary and middle school levels and has been changing kids lives for almost a decade! (Actually, maybe more than a decade?!) It was her dream job since she was little and even though it took her a while, she finally got her own library :) Look! She's even holding a ridiculously large book as a small child! She is never without a book in her hand, car, or purse haha! (But really that's a bible my grandpa had to swear on to become fire chief, but that's besides the point) Also, my mom has a Tardis in her school library. PLUS! She puts in the extra effort to keep her library up with the times. That means focusing part of the small budget on graphic novels since that has proven to be the best way to get middle school boys excited about reading. Or focusing on responsible internet use, how to do research on and offline, and of course, how to find the books you won't want to put down! So if you see or know someone who works or volunteers in a library, thank them for everything they do!
Kinh nghiệm giúp bạn chọn được nơi học lái xe ô tô với chi phí thấp nhất
Với những người đang có nhu cầu thi bằng lái xe ô tô thì họ luôn quan tâm đến vấn đề chi phí. Đặc biệt trong bối cảnh tình hình kinh tế đang gặp nhiều khó khăn như hiện nay, việc tối ưu hoá chi phí bỏ ra cho một khoá học bằng lái là điều hoàn toàn dễ hiểu. Có nên ghi danh các khoá học lái xe giá cực kỳ rẻ? Nhiều người thường không tìm hiểu chi tiết nên thường bị nhầm lẫn giữa học phí trọn gói và chi phí đầu vô, điều này vô tình khiến chúng ta bị nhầm tưởng học phí đơn vị A rẻ hơn rất nhiều so với đơn vị B. Học phí rẻ có nghĩa là tổng chi phí từ khi học đến khi có bằng ở mức thấp nhất, chứ không phải là chi phí nộp hồ sơ ban đầu thấp nhất! Học phí do cơ sở đào tạo quyết định Chi phí phải trả cho việc học lái xe thì không có sự quy định áp đặt của bộ. Mỗi cơ sở đào tạo lái xe| trung tâm đào tạo lái xe sẽ căn cứ vào các chi phí đầu tư cơ sở vật chất, trang thiết bị, đội ngũ…để đưa một mức giá phù hợp. Bạn nên tham khảo các mức giá của vài địa chỉ học để lựa chọn mức giá rẻ nhất. Tuy nhiên, phải luôn ghi nhớ, rẻ nhưng chất lượng phải tốt và tổng mức phí để tới khi có bằng là thấp nhất! Kinh nghiệm tìm trung tâm với giá rẻ nhất 1- Tiền hồ sơ và tiền học từ lúc bắt đầu tới khi học xong tại cơ sở là bao nhiêu? Bạn cần cộng chi phí hồ sơ, phí học lái xe, phí thi tốt nghiệp và cấp chứng chỉ nghề. Trong đó cần hỏi rõ số tiền học phí đó được học bao nhiêu giờ thực hành trong đó: học bao nhiêu giờ trong sân tập và bao nhiêu giờ ngoài đường? có tập trong sân huấn luyện không (để tiết kiệm tiền sân tập một số nơi khi đưa học viên vào sân tập có thu thêm tiền, hoặc không cho vào sân huấn luyện, tới khi sắp thi người học phải bỏ tiền ra thuê rất nhiều giờ xe chip mới thuộc được sa hình thi). 2- Tiền thuê xe chip (xe gắn thiết bị chấm điểm tự động) bao nhiêu tiền một giờ? Giá thuê xe chip học lái xe tại mỗi sân thi sát hạch khác nhau, nên ngay từ đầu bạn cần hỏi phí thuê xe chip tại sân đó là bao nhiêu tiền một giờ để nắm được giá trước. 3- Có phải đóng thêm tiền khi học đường trường không? Và có phải đóng tiền thi tốt nghiệp cấp chứng chỉ nghề không? Bạn cần hỏi rõ trong tiền học phí đã có tiền cho khoản đó chưa, để tránh bị phát sinh sau này. Xong bước đánh giá chi phí: Bạn đã đánh giá xong mức chi phí từ khi học lái xe đến khi đi thi sát hạch. khi đi thi sát hạch thì mức phí thi sát hạch và cấp bằng (585.000đ/người) giữa các trường bắt buộc giống nhau thống nhất trên cả nước. Kinh nghiệm đánh giá chất lượng trung tâm dạy học lái xe Dưới đây là 3 đặc điểm cơ bản của một địa chỉ đào tạo lái xe giá rẻ và chất lượng mà bạn nên lựa chọn. Bạn có thể tìm thông tin từ những người đã học hoặc các bài báo về cơ sở đó. 1- Cơ sở vật chất của địa điểm đào tạo Dĩ nhiên bạn học lái xe giá rẻ trong một địa điểm có cơ sở vật chất tốt sẽ giúp bạn học hiệu quả hơn, tăng khả năng đỗ hơn. Các cơ sở vật chất bạn cần chú ý đến đó là bàn ghế, phòng học, tài liệu học. Nên chú ý tài liệu học là tài liệu được biên soạn mới nhất, cập nhật đúng, đủ luật giao thông nhé! 2- Đội ngũ giáo viên, giảng dạy Đội ngũ giáo viên giảng dạy kinh nghiệm sẽ giúp bạn thêm hiểu câu hỏi lý thuyết trong bài thi lý thuyết lấy bằng. Đây là điều vô cùng quan trọng nếu bạn muốn vượt qua bài thi một cách dễ dàng. 3- Số lượng học viên thi bằng lái xe đạt Những trung tâm đăng ký học lái xe có số lượng học viên thì đỗ cao cũng là một tiêu chí bạn nên xem xét để lựa chọn.
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Important Key Points of Social Media Marketing
While looking out for the SMM service expert team you are bound to reach social media marketing experts. SMM is an excellent way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospects and relevant customers. SMM is a form of online marketing that includes creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve your marketing and advertising objectives. The activities like text posting and image-videos uploads, and other content that drives people’s engagement, as well as paid social media advertising involves in Social Media Marketing. The five fundamental pillars of Social Media Marketing Strategy. First of all, when you start creating social media marketing campaigns; define the objectives of your business. Whenever you creating a social media marketing campaign with no social strategy that is like wasting your efforts without the right direction. Planning and Publishing. Plan your campaign objectives in such a way, there is a high chance of getting your goals, Then publishing on social media is as simple as sharing a blog post, an image, or a video on a social media platform. Also, to ensure that you are maximizing your reach on social media, you need to publish great content that your audience likes, at the right timing and frequency. Listening and Engagement. As your business and social media continue to grow, conversations about your brand will also increase. Persons will comment on your social media posts, tag you in their social media posts, or send you a message directly. People could even talk about your brand on social media without letting you know. So you’re going to want to monitor your brand’s social media conversations. Analytics. Whether you are publishing content or engaging in social media, you should know how your social media marketing works in real-time. Track the reachability of people on social media monthly. The social media platforms themselves provide a basic level of this information. You can use the wide range of social media analytics tools available, such as hoot suite, to obtain more in-depth analytics information or to compare easily across social media platforms. Advertising. Today Social media advertising platforms are so powerful that you can determine exactly who to display your ads online. You can create target audiences based on their demographics, interests, behavior, and more. Endnote: When you run multiple social media advertising campaigns at once, you can consider making bulk changes, automating processes, and optimizing your ads using a social media advertising tool.