Is Our Children Learning?

If it was the Bush Education Department, I think that this would be a bigger deal. But what’s important, of course, is for the children to think about how they can help the Leader, not that old-school stuff like grammar.

[Update a few minutes later]

I think that they also need to teach them to go away from the light, not toward it.

[Late afternoon update]

Let’s keep our kids home that day.

21 thoughts on “Is Our Children Learning?”

  1. ummm, Rand? Was that “if course” supposed to be “of course”?

    I hate to be that guy, but this is about grammar, after all.

  2. For me it was the huge emphasis on “goals” that was creepy. The only “goals” an eight-year-old should realistically be setting is finish my homework before Mom asks and stop hitting my little brother when Dad says so right away. Anything else is largely beyond their judgment or maturity.

    So why do they do it? Because the “goals” we lisp in grade school — I’m going to be President! Save the whales! Bring world peace! Smite the unrighteous! — are the grandiose narcissistic goals of the child, wholly out of touch with realistic constraints and with the often conflicting goals and feelings of others. (Not all of Miss Foobar’s 2nd grade class can be come President and tell everyone what to do. But that fact escapes them.)

    The obvious conclusion is that these “goals” match up with those of the children now in power, but I think that is superficial. Much more relevant, I think, is that childishness makes you more malleable to a God Emperor. There’s a good reason why the Catholic Church at the height of its secular power (e.g. around AD 1300) encouraged a childishness among its lower members. This is good, if you want to hold people in thrall. Rational, stubbornly independent, adult thinking is to be discouraged! Such people are dangerous, at least to authority.

  3. I wonde4r if it will be posted anywhere for parents to see?

    I also notice the teachers notes never ask if the kids should do what he asks. What ever happened to those critical thinking skills they always talk about?

    Our homeschool will be doing grammar, math, and history, thanks. 😉

  4. No word if there will be a two-minute-hate before the appearance of BO on the big screen in the auditorium.

  5. Carl, I think you are completely wrong about goals in education. The best way to teach math is to give a kid a concrete goal, like “build a house”, which puts the math in context — much better than bogus “story problems”. If you want to truly motivate a kid to learn about math (or teach them how to read, etc), you let the kid pick his or her own goal (perhaps from a list), and work within that context. For example, you can give kids a list of goals like “bake a cake”, “build a house”, or “launch a rocket at Mr. Pham’s head”, and then let them choose — you’ll get a much more enthusiastic response that way, and any of those goals is a great platform for teaching math (and not only math). “Finish your homework” is an unmotivating goal, and it isn’t even reflective of the real world (if you have a fun life). Launch a (nerf) rocket at Mr. Pham is a much more appropriate goal for an 8 year old, and it is a more realistic goal as well!

  6. Bob, are you saying that you have no problem with a message to schoolchildren from the president that says “…ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your president”?

  7. Nope! Carl frequently enlarges the topic of conversation in an interesting way, and I hope you enjoy his comments as much as I do, and don’t mind a little conversational drift. In this case, he expanded the topic to include his theory of education, which I think is completely wrong (although I bet his kids turned out great anyway.)

    As for the original topic, I think everyone should help the president (and the rest of our government, at national, statewide, and local levels). One way to help the president, etc is to be a concerned citizen and offer public dissent when you are so inspired. There are so many other ways to help out with government and truly make this a government of the people that I fail to see why you’d object. Politics and school kids shouldn’t mix, but there is a lot more to government than politics.

    And as for that video, well, with locally controlled schools, these things happen. Sounds like the overall system was self-correcting.

    Anyway, I’ve seen worse. I went to public school, and I once had a junior high school science teacher hold me after school, tell me that since I was a Jewish kid (1 of 3 in the whole school), he felt he had a special duty to help me, and talked to me about scientific proof that Jesus existed. I didn’t tell my parents. Things came to a head when he dropped a weight onto a scale and said “just because it was moving, it didn’t weigh any more”, and I piped up and said “according to Einstein, that’s not quite true…” He told me I was wrong. That made me indignant, and I told my parents. The subsequent meeting with the principal, my parents, and the teacher was fairly surreal as the discussion weaved from Jesus to Einstein to proper classroom behavior…

  8. I think everyone should help the president

    You do realize that we aren’t the president’s servants, don’t you? In any case, I feel no inclination to help this president. I didn’t vote for him, and I don’t agree with anything he says or anything he wants to do. He’d better not come to me for any “help” with his dumb lefty plans for the country.

  9. Andrea, the president’s primary job is preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. I bet you would be willing to help with that. Rand regularly helps with that!

  10. Andrea, the president’s primary job is preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. I bet you would be willing to help with that. Rand regularly helps with that!

    Yeah, too bad the president doesn’t want to help with that…

  11. Andrea, the president’s primary job is preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. I bet you would be willing to help with that.

    When this president remembers that’s his job, instead of seeing how many ways the Constitution can be used as the world’s toilet paper, let me know.

  12. there is a lot more to government than politics.

    Hold it right there. The moment they take wealth from one person to spend on another, it becomes political. Since that’s all government does, it is all political.

  13. I disagree with Carl. The Goals thing didn’t bother me. The listing of Strengths, as in Capabilities, bothered me. Please, list your capabilities and provide them to the government, so they can see what you are good at doing and provide you the means to help you best utilize those capabilities to help your government.

  14. I should add that my school district has left the showing of the speech to the discretion of the individual teachers, and I’m ok with that decision. I’m not going to take my kids out of school because some politician will talk to them for 20 minutes. Instead, I will remind my kids to be mindful of people, who after listening to just 20 minutes of anybody, decides to change their life.

  15. TItus said “The moment they take wealth from one person to spend on another, it becomes political. Since that’s all government does, it is all political.”

    I disagree for two reasons. The first one, I bet you’ll like!

    1) Governments sometimes take people’s rights away without spending any money at all, for example, when it bans an activity in such a way that is completely unenforceable and/or such that it has no real plans to enforce it. A cynic like Rand might think that the plan is to make everyone technically violating some law to quell dissent, but I think over-regulation mostly just occurs because of incompetence rather than malevolence.

    2) Governments often spend money on completely non-controversial expenditures that will not sway even a small fraction of enough the votes to make any difference whatsoever at the polls, even in cases where weak third party candidates can be “spoilers”.

  16. Bob, I wasn’t making an exhaustive list of things political. When they take rights away, that too is poltiical (whose rights? for the benefit of whom?). You’re concept of “politics” seems too narrow, as if politics only exists during ballot-box-stuffing season.

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