Friday, February 15, 2013

how will continuing and accelerated decentralization of public schools effect already disenfranchised communities?

A Country Divided
archdruid | In the United States, for a couple of centuries now, the provision of free public education for children has been one of the central functions of government.  Until fairly recently, in most of the country, it operated in a distinctive way.  Under legal frameworks established by each state, local school districts were organized by the local residents, who also voted to tax themselves to pay the costs of building and running schools.  Each district was managed by a school board, elected by the local residents, and had extensive authority over the school district’s operations.

In most parts of the country, school districts weren’t subsets of city, township, or county governments, or answerable to them; they were single-purpose independent governments on a very small scale, loosely supervised by the state and much more closely watched by the local voters. On the state level, a superintendent of schools or a state board of education, elected by the state’s voters, had a modest staff to carry out the very limited duties of oversight and enforcement assigned by the state legislature.  On the federal level, a bureaucracy not much larger supervised the state boards of education, and conducted the even more limited duties assigned it by Congress.

Two results of that system deserve notice. First of all, since individual school districts were allowed to set standards, chose textbooks, and manage their own affairs, there was a great deal of diversity in American education. While reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic formed the hard backbone of the school day, and such other standards as history and geography inevitably got a look in as well, what else a given school taught was as varied as local decisions could make them. What the local schools put in the curriculum was up to the school board and, ultimately, to the voters, who could always elect a reform slate to the school board if they didn’t like what was being taught.

Second, the system as a whole gave America a level of public literacy and general education that was second to none in the industrial world, and far surpassed the poor performance of the far more lavishly funded education system the United States has today.  In a previous post, I encouraged readers to compare the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 to the debates in our latest presidential contest, and to remember that most of the people who listened attentively to Lincoln and Douglas had what then counted as an eighth-grade education.  The comparison has plenty to say about the degeneration of political thinking in modern America, but it has even more to say about the extent to which the decline in public education has left voters unprepared to get past the soundbite level of thinking.

Those of my readers who want an even more cogent example are encouraged to leaf through a high school textbook from before the Second World War. You’ll find that the reading comprehension, reasoning ability, and mathematical skill expected as a matter of course from ninth-graders in 1930 is hard to find among American college graduates today.  If you have kids of high school age, spend half an hour comparing the old textbook with the one your children are using today.  You might even consider taking the time to work through a few of the assignments in the old textbook yourself.

Plenty of factors have had a role in the dumbing-down process that gave us our current failed system of education, to be sure, but I’d like to suggest that the centralization of power over the nation’s educational system in a few federal bureaucracies played a crucial role. Fist tap Dale.


umbrarchist said...

Shame on you Cnu. You used "effect" in the title when it should be "affect".

CNu said...

lol, I see what you did there Umbra..., and I approve this message!

umbrarchist said...

I suppose I began noticing this when I was in high school but some teachers seem to behave as though students existed to create jobs for them and expected us to believe that we could not learn without them even though they could dribble out information as unimportant and as slowly as they wanted.

So if that attitude has been spreading and becoming more extreme since then, then it makes sense that education is in its current state.

umbrarchist said...

Of course teachers who can't figure out that it is ridiculous to think that an airliner could totally destroy a skyscraper 2000 times its own mass in less than two hours must be out of touch with reality.

So what does that say about the physics profession. It is so curious that they could make good computer simulations of meteor impacts before 9/11 but now they can't do it for a supposed skyscraper collapse. LOL

Computer must have gotten dumber in the last 11 years.

Constructive_Feedback said...

Please define what "Disenfranchized" means - in the context of TODAY within the United States?

Does someone who has "one man one vote" and has invested in the representative government of his own choosing - having achieved that person (body of thought) into power where they are the prevailing majority - get to call themselves "disenfranchized"?

Or is this kin to people who ANSWER when someone says "Hey you 'Least Of These' Person!!!"?

Ed Dunn said...

Aside from electing Black politicians that spend campaign contributions on $1,500 cashmere capes, disenfranchised can come from redlining, insurance and banking discrimination by oppressing a tax base to sustain quality schools in these communities.

Constructive_Feedback said...

Brothers Ed and CNu:

I am taking what the both of you have noted on this post and integrating it with one of the foundations of ALL of my blogs to say: RACE TODAY is a fraudulent front to cover the "DISENFRANCHISEMENT" of Black people (and /or CLASS is used to wrangle in "The Least Of These")

DISENFRANCHISEMENT is THE POWER Machine - who motivates the people to DREAM VICARIOUSLY THROUGH the MACHINES' POWER WARRIORS against the enemy that they are fighting - yet the masses remain ignorant and poor and agree to not "hurt their fighter"

DISENFRANCHISEMENT is THE POWER Machine -getting "the people's CULTURE and CONSCIOUSNESS" logically decoupled from what they USED to strive for when they felt as "outsiders", latching it onto a "new locomotive" called America - without them seeing that America's ultimate fate is NOT that of their own

DISENFRANCHISEMENT is THE POWER Machine - to make the people who are standing in their own gutter FEEL GOOD as THE ENEMY who they ran out of power comes back and tries to TRICK THEM into supporting HIS TEAM. When the ELECTED LEADER who presides over "The Gutter" takes the stage in front of them - and knows that HE DOESN'T HAVE TO TALK about "Draining the sewer water out of the gutter" but ONLY needs to affirm the crowds bigoted views of THIS ENEMY - the DISENFRANCHISED will be seen CHEERING that the confidence man on stage CONNECTED WITH THEIR HATRED rather than ever notice that HE has not drained the gutter.

More importantly they understand that the sewer water is CLEAN WATER that has effluent that is discharged from THEIR OWN process of living. What they really need is a disciplined "Sanitation and Water Filtration" process rather that will result in clean water than a political savoir that only needs to make them feel WORTH SOMETHING in order to get their valuables in his serial interactions with them - while their condition does not change with any detectable organic propulsion system.

When asked directly - many of them will say that they reject the rocket propulsion system because rockets have a tendency to explode.

CNu said...

uh.., Feed - what means "drained the gutter"?

Does that mean suspend the constitutional rights of the 369 or so persons of chronic interest in the 3rd and 5th districts in KC - and allow Chief Forte's men to go in heavy Brazilian style and just solve the problem extra-judicially?

That aside, I think disenfranchisement means a couple other things. Americans in general have piss-poor coping strategies. Drive through any hood near you, and what will you see? Open air pharmaceutical sales agents, liquor stores, jack-leg churches, etc..., not organic food stores, health and fitness centers, and martial arts schools.

To me, this begs the question of "what precisely" is it that the folks in these hoods are coping with. - aside from the past 30 years of armed kidnapping and torture at the hands of the local constabulary prosecuting it's preposterous so-called "war on drugs", which is really just a cover story for the armed kidnapping and torture of folks involved in the pursuit of piss-poor coping strategies, right?

Ed Dunn said...

Certain people promoting the propaganda of race baiting in the 21st century cannot eclipse legitimate disenfranchisement by external forces through redlining, negative tax strategies, neglect and negative reinforcing media.

Both these entities, the victim/poverty pimps and the oppressors are both in tandem targeting the disenfranchised. So I have to acknowledge there are disenfranchised people and systematic disenfranchisement perpetuated by several entities, including so-called Black leaders

Constructive_Feedback said...

Brother Ed:

I am growing to the point that I can no longer agree with this assumption.

The EXTERNAL Existential Black Threat is a well documented quantity. There is organized Black POLITICAL, cultural, religious defenses set up to keep our people on watch.

It is abundantly clear that the "Americanized Black" has reached a stage in which there is no "Governance Culture" that will make note of our usurpation in the American political domain and then kick back saying "NO - You are NOT going to use our people's 'Black Consciousness' for purely political advantage - after which our emotions are exhausted from receiving our PURPOSE via politics and struggle - we are left high and dry.

Ed NO EXTERNAL THREAT could ever arrange to do this TO our people.
This is why these forces need an "Embedded Confidence Man" to provide cover for his scheme.

Let's be honest, Bro - Sumner Redstone, Mel Karmazin and several other operatives OWN "The Black Commercial Media" PERIOD!!!

They are running a "Battle Royale" to get Sirius XM "Urban View" renamed back to "The Power".
Those who say that this name change is a "disrespect to Black people because THEY didn't want to associate 'power' with Black people" are the ones who are delusional.

The manic behavior in Atlanta can't get but passing attention YET they are riling up Black folks to send a petition to Sirius XM.

Constructive_Feedback said...

Bro CNu:

1) "Drain The Sewer" was an analogy for the general condition of the immediate ecosystem where a people live. They need consciousness about themselves to understand that - in order to cure the "Cultural Cholera" that is killing them - they ALL need to agree to "abide by the swim lanes".

2) The "Swim lanes" (the cooperative rules) are borne out in your observations about "street corner pharmacists", liquor stores, churches that have no INSTITUTIONAL INTEGRITY. The "I AM HUSTLING TO SURVIVE" consciousness must be stripped away and instead people need to see that their only hope is ORGANIC COMPETENCY DEVELOPMENT - made to scale through the HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTIONS that are properly managed with said integrity

3) I heard Philly's DA Seth Williams on "WHYY Radio Times" talking about extended prison sentences for possession of an illegal gun. While this is not "The War On Drugs" directly - you had better believe that there is a big overlap between illegal guns and the drug trade. They would even call this "get tough on guns" move a "NON-VIOLENT CRIME" that is filling up the jails with Black people.

My point is - despite the fact that Seth Williams (and Chief Charles Ramsay) are both POPULAR figures among Black people they are clearly a part of the "Get Tough On Crowd" group that you seem to be inferencing.

What I notice with Williams - is that has been mastered by Mayor Nutter and Obama: give the base a "bone" that they can chew on to appease them for every one or two policies that you throw out that IF their enemy did the same they'd protest. By endearing the crowd to you - they will never protest against you.