Tag: public education
The questions in the illustration just to the left were passed out as a “test,” to determine if you’re a liberal or a conservative as part of the “Common Core,” standards (or rather, were developed under the rules of “Common Core” for use in public schools). Let’s look at a few of these questions to see what we can find out.
The government should encourage rather than restrict prayer in the public schools.
False dichotomy. The person answering this question is forced into the false position of either encouraging or restricting, with the underlying implication that if the government encourages prayer, it is thus encouraging religion, and hence preferring one religion over another. A third answer is possible: the government should respect prayer among students, without either discouraging or encouraging such prayer —but this isn’t an option.
The question is also based on two other false premises: The government should not encourage religious belief, and lack of prayer (representing atheism), is not a religious belief. In reality, atheism is a religion, so discouraging prayer still prefers one religion over another.
The Federal Government has an obligation to regulate businesses in order to preserve the environment for future generations.
Complex question — “Have you stopped beating your wife?” The first underlying assumption is that eeevvviilll corporations will never have any respect for “the environment,” so they must be forced to treat the environment right through the force of law. The reality is that companies often treat the environment much better than the government (witness the total lack of common sense forest management that led to burning of thousands of acres of trees throughout Colorado and California). The second underlying assumption is that “the environment” is in some kind of danger.
Affirmative action programs deny equality of opportunity to whites in hiring.
Actually a true statement, but oddly phrased to lead the reader to a bad answer. The idea is to bring racism into the picture, rather than focusing on the economic angle of the question, so as to induce guilt and force a politically correct answer.
The Federal Government should provide funds to improve public schools and make college possible for more young adults.
Failure of the antecedent. The reality is there’s no proof that providing more money to “improve public schools,” will increase anyone’s real chances of achieving a college education — in fact, there is no evidence that public schools have increased the overall intelligence level of those who attend them. Further, there’s no reason to assume everyone should even go to college.
The individual is basically responsible for his own well being, so the government should make welfare recipients go to work.
Complex and leading question. The false assumptions are that the government should be in the business of controlling people’s lives and choices in this way, and that the government should be the primary means of caring for those who don’t have jobs or the skills needed to achieve self sufficiency.
You can read the rest of the questions for yourself, but they all have several points in common. Each one is phrased badly or in a way that’s leading, each one represents some logical fallacy, and each one is based on false assumptions. We have gone from the point of teaching logical fallacies in our schools to using logical fallacies in to teach in our schools.
Take a look at these documents from a Texas classroom, if you want to really know.
Read them carefully… Do you notice anything wrong with the explanations of liberals vs conservatives? If liberals trust people more, then why are liberals always for bigger government, and more control? Big government is bad because people are fundamentally flawed; it’s a logicalÂ contradiction to place some fundamentally flawed people in charge of other fundamentally flawed people and expect good results.
Note the fundamental twisting of the Christian worldview into evil incarnate, and the fundamental denial of history and reality. This is the way the game is played, folks.
If your kids are in public schools, you need to answer a simple question: why?
The Wall Street Journal (subscription required for the full article) captured this bit of testimony before the Supreme Court:
The dean is Leo Martinez of the University of California Hastings College of the Law. Here he is defending the school policy at issue, which requires the Christian Legal Society (CLS) to admit non-Christians and gays if it wants to be an official student group:
Question: “Would a student chapter of, say, B’nai B’rith, a Jewish Anti-Defamation League, have to admit Muslims?”
Mr. Martinez: “The short answer is ‘yes.'”
Question: “A black group would have to admit white supremacists?”
Mr. Martinez: “It would.”
Question: “Even if it means a black student organization is going to have to admit members of the Ku Klux Klan?”
Mr. Martinez: “Yes.”
Question: “You can see where that might cause some consternation?”
The Journal’s take is that this sort of reasoning is one of the causes of the cloning of opinion on American college campuses. People aren’t allowed to gather themselves into groups based on their beliefs, so they are forced to accept the belief system (worldview) of the majority of students. I think the Journal is right, only they don’t go far enough in their reasoning. In reality, this isn’t an unintended side effect of refusing to allow students associations that mirror their own beliefs, it’s the goal of such rules.
One of them major underlying problems with the entire socialist concept has always been that people don’t really want to live for the community. The socialist response to this situation has always been to take over the education of the youth. From the Kibbutz system in Israel, to National Socialist (NAZI) Germany, to Communist Russia, to the United States, the initial reaction on failure to overcome people’s natural tendencies in relation to communal living has been to take over the educational system in order to create people who will bow to the collectivist idea. This entire policy is bent around the singular desire to force people not to have their own opinions. Diversity of lifestyle within a culture of absolute conformity of belief is the goal of the socialist enterprise from the beginning.
The theory is that under communitarian forms of government, such as communism and socialism, everyone is treated the same; from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs. In other words, the point is to make certain you have equal outcomes, so that people aren’t “left behind,” because they are poor, or because of physical disabilities, etc. The reality, of course, is far different. In a collectivist system, there will always be those who are “more equal” than others. Instead of those who produce the most getting the most, however, it is those who are best connected to those who control the production of others that get the most.
In other words, those who are best connected to someone in the government will always win in a collectivist society. As an illustration, look at the public schools in the US. The public school system is designed to be collectivism in all its glory. Everyone’s children get the same treatment, no matter how much money their parents make or don’t make. Teachers are hired based on their qualifications, with the intent that every child, at the end of their education, has received basically the same education. But is that what happens in reality?
While many Chicago parents took formal routes to land their children in the best schools, the well-connected also sought help through a shadowy appeals system created in recent years under former schools chief Arne Duncan.
Whispers have long swirled that some children get spots in the city’s premier schools based on whom their parents know. But a list maintained over several years in Duncan’s office and obtained by the Tribune lends further evidence to those charges. Duncan is now secretary of education under President Barack Obama.
The log is a compilation of politicians and influential business people who interceded on behalf of children during Duncan’s tenure. It includes 25 aldermen, Mayor Richard Daley’s office, House Speaker Michael Madigan, his daughter Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, former White House social secretary Desiree Rogers and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun.
Well, maybe the collectivist vision doesn’t work out so well in the public schools, does it? The reality is humans are flawed creatures; they will protect their children just like any other species, doing what it takes to make certain their children get a head start. Socialism doesn’t work because it doesn’t address the problem at the heart, the problem of the sin built into the human soul.
We all know the best thing for young kids is to be socialized. It’s drilled into our heads every day; “you can’t home school, how will your kids be socialized?” What we don’t often realize is that groupthink is the ultimate end of socialization; placing the group’s feelings and thoughts above your own is the final goal.
Unfortunately, by what I saw at the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) conference here in Atlanta, most social studies teachers are either wicked indoctrinators or too dumb to know that they are carrying out the wishes of the Dr. Evils in education, i.e., those with Ed.D.s who are administrators, curriculum devisers, and education professors.
Today, students don’t expect to learn—especially from a teacher or professor.
Instead, they expect to “do” as in “doing social studies” as I learned by spending two days at the social studies educators’ annual conference. To demonstrate one way social studies is “done” in Georgia a class of eleventh-graders was marched on stage and divided into little groups. The song “Home on the Range” was played for them and they were asked to answer questions about the “feelings” this song evoked in them, and then in various victims and victimizers associated with the settling of the American West—miners and mine owners, blacks and whites, Native Americans and whites. The young scholars then proceeded to collaborate, and believing themselves “critical thinkers,” came up with the correct answers! Of course, the bright, young geniuses knew that Native Americans would feel “sad” or “angry.”
What we can’t see is how this push towards socialization and groupthink impacts our society at large. Look at the world around you and consider the impact of groupthink; you’ll find it everywhere. Why is “the market” behaving a certain way? Because most people think there is wisdom in market moves, so they follow them. It is only the person who can do analysis, and understand the underlying factors, and then understand the groupthink of most other investors, who can do well in the market. The stock markets are no longer about whether or not a company is sound, or has a record of innovation, it’s all about groupthink. A perfect example? Cisco’s recent announcement of the CRS-3 router. How many people even know what a router is, or what it does? And yet, this announcement was hyped to “influence the consumer”—I would guess primarily the consumer of Cisco stock.
We see it in our propensity to endorse “causes” about which we know nothing.
A woman with a petition went among the crowds attending a state fair, asking people to sign her petition demanding the banning of dihydroxymonoxide. She said it was in our lakes and streams, and now it was in our sweat and urine and tears. She collected hundreds of signatures to ban dihydroxymonoxide — a fancy chemical name for water. A couple of comedians were behind this ploy. But there is nothing funny about its implications. It is one of the grim and dangerous signs of our times. This little episode revealed how conditioned we have become, responding like Pavlov’s dog when we hear a certain sound– in this case, the sound of some politically correct crusade.
It shows up in our popular entertainment almost incessantly; every Barbie movie ever made has essentially the same plot with varying characters. Girl is disappointed, meets other girls, pledges eternal friendship moment, girls “acting as a group” overcome. One member (always Barbie) is thrust out front, but she refuses to take credit, saying “we did it.” The newly minted friends live happily ever after.
And we see it in our government, as well. How else can you explain this sort of thing?
That’s Nancy Pelosi talking about the government healthcare takeover bill—”you have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it?” These people have lived inside their echo chamber for so long they think the echo chamber is the world; that acceptance in the echo chamber is acceptance in the world. Is this even rational? No, unfortunately, it’s not—and this is where groupthink really gets us into trouble. For “groupthink” is actually misnamed; it’s not thinking at all. It’s emotion centered, reliant on every person in the crowd deciding their desire to belong is more important than what they actually think.
The only effective defense against groupthink is to learn to really think.