Thursday, January 27, 2011

(Oxy)Moron Bush*: Education failures to be trashed

Moron Bush's school days? (Wiki Commons)
Is Amurika goin too git smarter? Are it feesabal possabale two over tourn Goerge W. Bushes Know Child Lift BeHind inishativ? At the same time, are well we be abel to git rit of boguz collages like FeenixPheenix?


President Obama would like to do two things that cannot help but have a positive effect on American education. He would like to diminish the prevalence of pseudo-colleges like the University of Phoenix and DeVry. And he would like to abolish his predecessor’s addlepated excursion down a road so unfamiliar to him  (education) that his pet program, No Child Left Behind, has put American kids at the forefront of the world’s dummies in a less than a generation. That's quite an achievement for the barely educated Mr. Bush, a man who derived little from the educational opportunities bought for him by a rich daddy whose pockets were not deep enough nor connections wide enough to keep the world from finding out little George was not even a ten o'clock scholar.

The problem is, of course, that No Child Left Behind, if it were replaced tomorrow by actual education (that thing requiring scholarship, dedication, independent thought, etc.), it would take a decade for produce a crop of publicly educated kids capable of anything with greater similarity to a college or university than the University of Phoenix. To cavil about the fact that such paper mills charge outrageous fees for virtually worthless degrees is one thing; it’s quite another to instantly create an educational opportunity, or even a chilling-out place, for thousands of students short-changed by their experiences in Mr. Bush’s educational quagmire.

Perhaps the answer, then, is to create some sort of publicly funded remedial educational system that will prepare the less successful NCLB graduates (is that even possible?) to do something other than collect a dole check and skip out on humongous so-called higher education bills when they come due. If going to a for-profit culinary institute makes a student into a pot-washing grunt for ten bucks an hour rather than executive chef for a resort Hilton, then perhaps the answer is to rectify the gaps in that student’s education at public expense. And then, if he or she really wants to be a chef, let that person do it the traditional way―by working a food-prep job in a big kitchen for ten bucks an hour and learning as they go. Only a few would make it to executive chef. Some would change fields. Some would stay low on the kitchen-work ladder, and accept that. But at least they wouldn’t have $100,000 in loans to repay, and may well have acquired some general knowledge they can use for working or living.

But how would the newly impoverished, post-Moron Bush United States ever pay for such a thing, for two or more extra years of public schooling for those ill-served by the Moron’s juggernaut? Darned if I know. Possibly the government could seize some of his or Neil Bush’s assets (Neil sold the computer garbage that made NCLB lucrative for the family) to help pay for it.

Or maybe they could simply use what’s being shoveled into the pockets of the for-profit stink tanks now. According to Huffington Post:
Students enrolled at for-profit colleges make up only 12 percent of college students nationwide, yet the sector takes in nearly a quarter of federal student aid dollars and accounts for 43 percent of student loan defaults, according to a recent analysis from the Education Trust, a student advocacy group. Students at for-profit colleges typically carry an average of $14,000 in debt--almost twice as much as students at non-profit colleges, according to the Department of Education.
Preventing the student loan defaults alone would probably help the economy enough to eke out some extra dough to use for real education.

Real education encompasses infinitely more than Moron Bush’s notion (calling it a concept or even idea would be to falsely elevate the substandard snapping of his mental synapses), encapsulated in No Child Left Behind.  Mr. Obama would like states to adopt “standards that ensure students are ready for college or a career rather than grade-level proficiency – the focus of the current law.” (Could it be that Moron Bush could hope for no more himself, and in typically greedy and self-centered fashion, desired no more for others?)

Huffington Post also noted that, in Congress―THANK THE LORD AND PASS THE DIVIDED NOTEBOOKS―
Lawmakers also said they want to allow states to use subjects other than reading and mathematics as part of their measurements for meeting federal goals, pleasing many education groups that argued No Child Left Behind encouraged teachers not to focus on history, art, science, social studies and other important subjects.
Moron Bush had destroyed American education well before the end of his first interminable term. It will take a lot more than Mr. Obama’s current term, halfway finished already, to begin to turn American education around, and another decade before public schools in many locales produce graduates capable of performing well on a job or benefitting from bona fide higher education.

Moron Bush has much to answer for, but possibly the most egregious of his multiplicitous attempts to terminally weaken the United States was NCLB, a program that rewarded schools for failing to educate, and that rewarded teachers for making their students into gormless, clueless parrots unable to synthesize and analyze, unable to use logic, unable to understand ethics, unable to succeed beyond subsistence in a wildly complex modern world.

But in a Moron Bush world, it made sense. Uneducated citizens are essential to the sort of world Moron Bush―and to be fair, his one-worlder father―envisioned. A world where a few wealthy, powerful people are able to do as they please with the rest of us, making us into cannon fodder, paupers, petty thieves stealing for survival. In short, a world that would not be acceptable to a population with a decent education, and which those decently educated people would be at pains to renovate or overthrow.

*The Education President