First-time readers, this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020).  Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution.  More about Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1.  List and general description of entries to date. 

Note: most characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations.  Profile of characters.  You’ll catch on quickly.  Thanks for your time and interest…and comments. 

Scene: Conversation about education starts Entry #153. Jordan and JC, a long-time friend (and frequent character) are having dinner. Time of year – just about when school starts.  Conversation from Entry #161 continues.

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC: “You know, the solution seems so simple.”

Jordan: “The solution is simple. People…individuals and groups with common interests…need to take responsibility for solving their own problems.”

JC: “No more help from the government? That seems cruel.”

Jordan: “Did I say no government help?”

JC: “No but it seems to be implied.”

Jordan: “Government’s role is to help. But people need to take the initiative. OK to ask for help but people, not government, need to be driving the outcome. Otherwise, the stringeffort is like pushing on a string.”

JC: “That’s a great mental picture – pushing on a string.”

Jordan: “Pushing on a string is a good way to describe many educational programs.”

JC: “You sound like a die-hard conservative.”

TurtleneckJordan: “Hardly, but I agree with conservatives that a lot of money is being wasted on certain government programs.”

JC: “Let’s go back to the list of education programs and assign a grade.”

Jordan: “Fire away.”

JC: “Busing.”

Jordan: “A grade of ‘D’ at best. Very costly, takes hours out of the day for studying or school activities. Breaks building a bond with the neighborhood school. Just a bad gradesidea.”

JC: “Magnet schools or specialized schools?”

Jordan: “I think the idea is worthwhile. I support separate schools for larger school districts – maybe districts with a population of 1,000,000 or more. Otherwise, incorporate the specialized classes in the regular school.”

JC: “What about a grade?”

Jordan: “An ‘A’ if executed properly, meaning the curriculum includes some liberal arts and sciences classes. The students still need to learn the fundamentals.”

JC: “Charter schools?”

Thumbs DownJordan: “An ‘F’. A horrible idea. Takes away tax dollars from public schools and worse, does not begin to solve the core problem.”

JC: “How do you really feel about charters?”

Jordan: “Make the grade a solid ‘F-‘. Plus charters have little, if any, accountability. Charters are a recipe for fraud.”

JC: “For-profit universities?”

Money-clip-artJordan: “Please call them what they really are. 90% of them are high-cost, poor results remedial training centers.”

JC: “What about the other 10%?”

Jordan: “You mean the alleged schools that are supposed to teach students how to become manicurists, computer techs and bunch of other stuff that should be taught at community colleges. Oh, yes, the grade? An ‘F’ for fraud.”

JC: “Private universities?”

Jordan: “OK as long as accredited by a government organization. If not accredited, then the organization should be banned from using the term ‘university’ or ‘college’…or even ‘institute.’ That rule applies to any type of institution of higher learning, secular or religious.”

JC: “What about religious high schools?”

Jordan: “Grade of ‘B’ at best. There need to be some standards for the curriculum. Otherwise, some of these schools are just brainwashing students.”

JC: “Home schooling?”

children_togetherJordan: “Some people who home school claim the regular school is not challenging enough for little Johnnie. Well, folks what about working with little Johnnie after school if he’s so smart?”

JC: “Are you implying that the social part of school is important?”

Jordan: “Of course. Social interaction is at least half the value of going to school. People do not live in caves. Individuals need to learn to get along with other people.”

JC: “What about mainstreaming kids with disabilities. Good idea or bad?”

Jordan: “That issue seems less clear. Some really smart students are cited for behavioral issues. My supervisor…”

JC: “…You mean Ms. Straight A’s?”

report-card4Jordan: “Yes, Ms. Straight A’s had a comment on a report card in grammar school about being disruptive. Seems that she was finishing her work early, then helping the other kids.”

JC: “I’ve never heard that story. That’s funny. But seriously, what about kids with real behavioral issues?”

Jordan: “Sounds harsh but the kids need to be separated. I am sympathetic and empathetic with the parents but you should not hold back 30-35 kids because of 1 or 2 other kids.”

JC: “That does seem harsh.”

Jordan: “I agree. Tell me an alternative?”

JC: “Mainstreaming treats the symptom and not the cause.”

Jordan: “Exactly. People who know a lot more about education than either one of us need to find a solution that does not disrupt the education of the other children. Mainstreaming is a politically correct answer but not a real solution.”

JC: “If I sum up your assessment of current education programs, most barely pass and some fail.”

Jordan: “Your assessment is correct. And I think this is where conservatives and liberals can agree.”

JC: “What about a solution?”

122813_2140_15Education4.jpgJordan: “The public, and especially those who feel disadvantaged by the current system, need to demand a return to quality, neighborhood schools. No charters, no busing, no solution de jour. Honest, sold neighborhood schools.”

JC: “In a very basic way it’s back to the old three R’s — reading, riting and rithmatic. But spelled correctly.”

reading-writing-arithmetic-9944699Jordan: “Simple, eh? Now people need to come together and demand government help accomplish what they want.”

———- End of section and yes, it is simple. —————