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Education comments here. No need to have a degree---just an opinion...or a story. How can we fix this mess? If you borrow/share--- please post the link. :)

“What is Metaphorically Academia” for 300 points please?

Posted By cheekyredhead on Jul 12, 2009 at 1:22PM

Yes, I am one of those people who swim daily among the metaphors in life and revel in them. Because I find myself often in the world of academia I cannot help but indulge in these little playthings called metaphors and create some myself. I am drawn to metaphors and use them like paint on a canvas.

While in school, I was that salmon swimming upstream, an adult returning to college at times overwhelmed by the current of knowledge, yet was resolute that the death of ignorance lay before me. Psychology savagely dissected my thoughts with the intensity of a forensic scientist raping secrets better left covered with a cloak of invisibility. The dust flew from the history before me revealing sad stories often thought best swept away by the scrubbing hands deconstructionism. In biology, sweet smell of flower and blade, unfolding earth’s bounty and bliss, births and holds within us the science that describes this.

Clear and yet unclear, philosophy will be the murky window we peer though offering us hints and glinting moments of clarity but rarely a perfect picture. There we explore indwelling human sexuality norms create our base instinct to admire the wonderful colors and emotions found in the painting on the wall, yet never discuss it. Then blasting from the tomes of literary canon, great and mighty words flew past me giving new meaning to the power of the pen. Ultimately while devoid of the logical of order operations, I was unable to unveil the mystery of mathematics and find the keys to the door of enlightenment.

I enjoy metaphors, so much so that I play with them. Please indulge me here as I take you on a journey to graduation in metaphors.

My greatest resolve was that goal, the adventure which may simply prove to be the end of my life as I now know it. Carrying the weight of the great tomes of knowledge, drudging through the sciences and enduring the musty dank history from which we sprang from, I was then faced with both biology and forensics which by nature pick our very beings apart, examining our inner most thoughts to expand them to be as vast as the stars in the sky.

The perception of a limited brain is that mind beyond the walls we create to categorize and define this magnificent and glorious plan to obtain a complete knowledge of each subject. The light at the end of the academic tunnel may blind us as much as it enlightened us.

Can our great gain, the coveted prize contained and demonstrated with flourish and decoration, merely upon the front of a single piece of paper truly define us? That hefty paper will hold the keys of proof that we have gained far more than what can possibly be defined on a biodegradable and flimsy piece of paper.

That knowledge powerful and endless bursts open doors of possibility and celebrates hope for a continued journey rather than an announcement of the timely death of our ignorance.

This river of knowledge I did not travel alone, but alongside my fellow fishers of knowledge to gorge and wallow in the pools of refreshing ideas. We came, fed, digested and regurgitated knowledge and now celebrate our gluttony with that huge and weighty burden between our shoulders. Now big-headed, wobbly intellectuals are certifiably known as the latest graduating class of slimy degree-holding puffer fishes, proudly puffed up with the success of our goal.

Do we know what predator is lurking behind our fabulously engorged degree? I predict it to be the fiendish student loan sharks ready to attack that first illustrious paycheck we look forward to and anticipate with our very own great appetite.

I admit freely that I love to cram as many metaphors as possible into some things. It is a challenge I take to like some people take to crossword puzzles. See…I can’t help myself.

Can you count how many metaphors I used in this little article? I challenge you to find them all!

Heck...toss me some metaphors I missed!

Hot Topic: Education News

Posted By cheekyredhead on Jun 16, 2009 at 8:12PM

Today I was contemplating our education system with all it's problems when I had an epiphany.

How can we demonstrate the level of importance of education for the average person---and then I realized---what "reflects" our interests and concerns the most?

Our media perhaps.

So I did some investigating and found the following:

These media outlets have a "top topic" place which acknowledges an interest in education:

http://www.nytimes.com/ …the Learning Network

In contrast, these following media outlets do not have a "place" for education as a "top topic"

http://news.yahoo.com/ has a place for “odd news” but no place for “education”
http://abcnews.go.com/ will give you “travel news” but no place for “education”
http://news.aol.com/ reports on “weird news”
http://news.google.com/ “most popular” but no “education”
http://www.dailynews.com/ has a whole section for obituaries…but not education
http://news.cnet.com/ apparently there is no place for education in technology either
http://www.msn.com you can find a date here….but nothing listed for education
http://www.fox11az.com/news/ has a “very bad movie” category…but nothing for education
http://www.cbsnews.com/ has “puzzles and toons” but nothing for education
http://www.newscorp.com/ here you can check out their “other assets” but No education link

The media listings which do not bother with a category for education---compare/contrast that information to the 3 measly listings which actually feel education is important enough for its own top category---it is obvious the majority needs their priorities to "evolve."

Money-back Guarantee for Education?

Posted By cheekyredhead on Jun 15, 2009 at 8:22PM

We have been running on this education treadmill with no end in sight.

I am tired. They are hoping I will give up. I want off the treadmill because it isn't getting me anywhere.

I have been fighting this fight for so long. I know I can't give up--it isn't my personality to give up BUT sometimes it is SO hard.

Just when I think I have made some headway, it is like three steps forward and four steps back...I am treading water and feeling like I am not getting anywhere.

Apparently there are many Americans out there like me.

We all have worked hard, got good grades, and then when transferring to another college the rug gets ripped out from underneath us.

Colleges can play with our credits--toy with us--make us repeat classes we have already taken while greedily taking our money.

They put us on that treadmill and sell us a dream--a paper with the word "degree" on it.

Today I received yet another letter from another college saying ALL my education---ALL the years I went to school--are worthless.

They expect me to repeat every class I have already taken.

I have been here on teamsugar.com ranting and raving- attempting to gather the masses (ALL OF US--that colleges take advantage of every day) and try to foster change.

For every encouraging note I receive, there are three more that say "That is just how it is" and I get more and more angry.

Not at those that say that, but because that is how change never happens. We sit and moan and groan, then do nothing.

When someone wants to do something about it--the reaction is "Well I had to deal with it so now it is your turn."

The really sad reality is that when colleges realized they could get away with denying a single credit here and there, they figured--why take any of them if we can make them repeat it all?

That is how those greedy minds think and we are at their mercy.

We have been sold a way of thinking-- thinking that we cannot succeed without a degree-- a paper that states we meet a "minimal" standard, yet without it our resumes are over-looked and our experience is worthless.

Now when we look at our education system I cannot help but think-I am going to be repeating classes that are already outdated and probably won't transfer...what I have no isn't...so I will be in the same place I am now. Jobless and without what many say is the only valid education one can get in America.

I wonder if my education will even help me get a job. There are literally millions of new grads that cannot get a job and equally there are those like me that have valuable experience but cannot get a foot in the door without that degree.

Adults just like me are flocking to colleges and universities hoping to update our skills to make us more marketable.

Unfortunately we are also being told by recruiters that we are overqualified for the jobs out there.

How can I be both overqualified AND also uneducated?

Headhunters scan resumes for the guidelines for openings and I get tossed in the exit pile. I go to agencies, they look at my resume and qualifications---and then shrug. They don't know what to do with me.

I go to colleges and they say I am an uneducated fool. My military education transcripts are worthless according to them. They also say my 20 years as a medical professional are worthless.

How can 20 years of saving lives, making the quality of life better, helping create life---be worthless?

Our president wants to stimulate the economy and he has lofty goals for rebuilding education--the education he publicly scorned during his campaign--but I am not eligible for any of his new little bundles of bright ideas.

My fight...it is just to have colleges all over America recognize the value of the education and experience that I and many other Americans already have earned, and then allow us to build on that.

Every American is fighting this same fight and it feels like a losing battle, but I cannot give up. We can't give up.

I refuse to accept the alternative.

Americans cannot afford the alternative. We MUST be given the credit we have earned and build upon that.

We cannot afford to "DO-OVER" anymore. We are spending our retirements to try to be "marketable."

I am spending my retirement AND my kid's college fund. How can I help them through school if I am without a job?

More importantly, how can I afford the possibility that this problem we have with education/college/university and their refusal to transfer of credit/units --- when my kids are then faced with it?

Will I be paying for them to repeat courses they have already taken merely on the whim of some college/university that does not have ANY accountablity to our government?

Probably. It may even be worse.

That is a whole new way of looking at "paying it forward" right?

Our government is planning on our children to get educated, work and attempt to pay off all these pet programs---BUT will they be perpetually repeating courses at colleges/universities when their credits/units are denied transfer?

Will we sit aside and watch their frustration, having had the same experience yet failed to step up and foster change?

We are a nation that cannot give up.

We are a nation that cannot afford to repeat education already completed.

We are a nation that should have the highest level of educated individuals, with the American ingenuity we are famous for.

American ingenuity would not accept this current dilemma.

American ingenuity would stomp and push--demand change because we are all about what is FAIR.

We should look to our future--to the future of our children--and demand that we be given the credit we are due.

Are we hamsters running on a treadmill at the mercy of colleges/universities? YES

Are we okay with that? NO. I sure hope you said NO.

I can't afford to be okay with that. Can you?

Have Americans just given up? Have you given up?

Is it okay for our kids to see that it is "OKAY" to just give up?

NO. It is against everything we have ever stood for.

America can't give up.

It can't allow our colleges/universities to dictate our worth.

We can't allow them to take away the American dream...and an education which is valued and validated by every college and university in America.

They simply HAVE to change how colleges/universities view transcripts and each other's credit/units.

They have to end this stupidity and greedy monetary motivated intellectual arrogance.

There simply must be an end to the statement............
"Your previous college credits/units are NO good here!"

Americans can no longer afford that kind of arrogance.

I can't. You can't. Our kids can't.

We are too smart to let colleges/universities get away with this anymore.

We are consumers paying for a service...an education...and if those credit/units don't transfer I want my money back.

We all should demand our money back.

If our education is worthless and not recognized by another college/university then why shouldn't we get our money back?

American colleges and universites...give us our educational credits/units or give us our money back.

You can't have it both ways.

Put up or give us our money back.

Where is an attorney when you need one?

Basic Math: "No Child Left Behind" = BAD

Posted By cheekyredhead on Jun 14, 2009 at 10:15PM

Schools fail to meet No Child Left Behind goals
Nanette Asimov, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 23, 2008

If the system mandated by No Child Left Behind to fix thousands of failing schools were subjected to its own rigorous standards, it too could fail.

That's the conclusion of the first large study examining whether school-restructuring programs required by the federal No Child Left Behind education act are actually working.

The study, released today, found that the number of schools failing to meet achievement goals nationwide under No Child Left Behind jumped by 50 percent since last year - with California leading the way.

California now has more than 1,000 persistently failing schools forced to undergo drastic restructuring, the study found. That's more than any other state, yet few are being helped by the mandated process.

"We think the federal law is like a first draft of a paper - and we don't think it's developed very well," said Jack Jennings, president of the independent Center on Education Policy in Washington, D.C., which has studied No Child Left Behind for years and has now turned its attention to "school restructuring" efforts in five states, including California.

The study name says it all: "A Call to Restructure Restructuring."

Little guidance from feds…The U.S. Department of Education "has offered little guidance on what to do about persistently struggling schools," according to the report.

As a result, the study found that local efforts to comply with the law and turn schools around are often poorly focused and tend to lack a key ingredient: qualified teachers.

"I would agree," said Jack O'Connell, California's elected schools chief. "You have to question your entire accountability program when you're setting all your schools up for failure."

The idea of No Child Left Behind is that 100 percent of students will score "proficient" in reading and math by 2014. To get there, a rising percentage of students at every school has to score proficient each year.

Program Improvement…Schools failing to meet those annual proficiency goals two years in a row enter Program Improvement.

The first few years include carrots: free tutoring for kids, extra training for teachers and other technical help. Schools that still don't meet the goals after three years face drastic restructuring measures: reopening as a charter school, replacing all staff, being operated by an outside agency or - the most popular - "any other major restructuring" they choose, such as changing the curriculum.

More than 3,500 schools across the country are in the restructuring phase of Program Improvement this year. That's a 50 percent increase from last year, when about 2,300 schools had to restructure, the study says.

The problem is that even those drastic measures don't help in most cases.

Success is measured by whether a school meets academic goals.

(Last spring, about 35 percent of California students had to score proficient in reading and math at each school. Next spring, it will jump to about 45 percent.)

If a school succeeds for two years in a row, it can exit Program Improvement.

Schools stuck in phase…But once in Program Improvement, the study found, schools rarely exit.

For example, in 2007, when just 25 percent of students had to score proficient at each school, only 14 percent of restructuring schools in California met the academic goals.

Cox Elementary in Oakland entered Program Improvement years ago, before the ink was dry on the No Child Left Behind law.

By 2005, it had failed so many times that drastic restructuring was required. Cox chose to reopen as an autonomous public charter school that could make its own decisions - an idea embraced by the U.S. Department of Education as a good move for troubled schools.

Three years later, the school has yet to meet its academic targets.
"Program Improvement does nothing for me," said Principal Fernando Yanez, who works for the nonprofit Education for Change, which now operates Cox.

"Program Improvement is a stigma that's placed on a school. There's no funds - No Child Left Behind is great political rhetoric. But is it really realistic that 100 percent of our students will get there by 2014?"

Money is a big problem, the study found.

Funding drops dramatically…Each state is required to set aside 4 percent of its federal Title 1 funds for low-income children specifically to help schools in Program Improvement. Two years ago in California, that was $69 million.

But last year, it plunged to $33 million because a clause in the law says states can't set aside the full amount if doing so would deprive other schools of money they are entitled to.

The study also found that "dramatic flourishes" such as transformation into charter schools really didn't help with achievement.

For example, replacing the staff - one of the law's recommended approaches - often had the unintended consequence of leaving the school with no qualified replacements.

Focus on better instruction…"These methods satisfy the adults because you can walk away and say, 'I really kicked ass - I made them abolish their school,' " said Jennings, president of the group that conducted the study. "But instead of shaking up the school, it may be that we need to improve instruction."

The study found more success at schools that focused intensely on improving instruction, extending the school day and tutoring.

Written by consultant Caitlin Scott, the study offers several recommendations for "restructuring restructuring." These include expanding the list of strategies that work, better monitoring of schools and their plans, and replacing teachers only if there are enough experts to take their place.

How restructuring works…Schools enter Program Improvement if they miss No Child Left Behind's academic targets for two years in a row, and if they receive federal Title 1 money for low-income schools.

In California, more than 6,000 schools are eligible, and more than 4,500 are in Program Improvement.

Schools exit Program Improvement by making targets two years in a row.

During the first two years of Program Improvement, schools receive help from the school district. This ranges from free tutoring for certain students to professional development for teachers. In the third year, the district steps in with greater oversight. If the school still fails to meet targets, it enters the Restructuring phase of PI. Here's what happens:

Year 4…The district continues providing technical assistance and professional development, and it must notify parents of the school's status; children have the right to transfer to a higher-performing school, and to receive tutoring. The district and school must choose which restructuring method they will implement:
-- Reopen school as a charter.
-- Replace all or most staff, including principal.
-- Contract with outside entity to manage school.
-- State takeover.
-- Any other major restructuring.

Year 5…The school and district carry out restructuring. The school remains in Program Improvement until it meets academic goals for two consecutive years. Source: California Department of Education


1,013 Number of California schools required to restructure right now.

48 …Number of restructured schools in the state that met those academic goals.

Commentary: Obama and our kids' future

Posted By cheekyredhead on Jun 14, 2009 at 8:29PM

Commentary: Obama and our kids' future

By Ed Rollins, CNN --

My 14-year-old daughter graduated earlier this week from middle school (8th grade) and she begins high school in the fall. As I watched her and her classmates receive their diplomas, I reflected on the world they are going to inherit from us.

As with most fathers, there is nothing more important to me than my child. Lily is my only child and she blessedly came into my life as an infant by way of China. Like the children of many older fathers, she took on a disproportionate role in my consciousness.

Because I became a father after my days as a Washington power player were over -- Lily never knew what I did and still doesn't, and couldn't care less -- she had no competition for my time and attention. But as she became my focus, she also became my barometer. I looked at the world through the eyes of my child. And planning for her future is all-important.

As I look ahead four years to when Lily and her classmates will complete their high school education, we will have a much fuller picture of President Obama.

By the time she graduates in June of 2013, the president will have either been re-elected or fallen by the wayside of defeated presidents. Today he looks invincible, but each day more challenges are stacked on his plate.

Lily and her classmates love President Obama! She was always harassing me during the election season for saying nice things about John McCain on CNN. "No one's for McCain, Dad!" was a constant challenge she hurled at me. (Well, maybe no one at private schools in Manhattan.)

Or, "Dad, how can you be a Republican?" I don't need to look at polls to know my party has a big challenge ahead and my old friend Newt Gingrich, smart as he may be, is not going to lead the next Republican revolution. I don't think Sarah Palin is either.

But in four years, Iraq will either be a thriving democracy or engrossed in a raging civil war. Afghanistan may still be simmering . I hope American troops won't be there.

I can only assume that Israel and Palestine will still be at the top of the agenda. Health care as we know it will be totally altered. The American auto industry might not be American, and I hope some stability will have come back to our banking and housing sectors. And waterboarding, torture and Guantanamo will not be subjects of discussion in our daily newspapers.

Iran, Pakistan, North Korea -- and, I am afraid, terrorism -- will be. That is, if we still have daily newspapers.

And the world Lily and her classmates will live in will be far different from the one they were born into just a few short years ago. Our nation is deeper in debt than at any time in the lives of these kids' parents since World War II.

The national debt and uncontrolled government spending will have an impact on their lives and future opportunities. It will alter the country's choices.

Entitlements may be a word of the past as they will live in a country of extraordinary high taxes and little for them. Right now, we as a nation owe $11.3 trillion and we are adding $3.85 billion a day to that burden.

Every U.S. citizen, including my daughter and her classmates, owes over $37,000 as their share. Looking ahead at the next four years as she goes through high school, present government spending will add at least $1.2 trillion each year, and probably more. By the time she is out of college and into the workplace, the national debt will double.

The president this week said he wanted to lower deficit spending and go back to "Pay as you go" rules, which means that for every new dollar of spending, you must save or cut a dollar of spending elsewhere. Good goal; but it never has worked before, and the law was allowed to lapse in 2002.

So, Mr. President, whatever you want to do with health care or the other expensive programs you want to impose upon us, be honest with us on how you are going to pay for them. Let's start a policy of being honest about what programs are going to cost.

And I want to be honest with you. We Republicans are responsible for a big chunk of the present debt. President Clinton left George W. Bush with a budget surplus. President Bush left President Obama with a deficit getting close to $2 trillion.

President Bush and the Republican majorities in Congress were fiscally irresponsible and that certainly is a giant factor in why voters threw us out.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost thousands of precious American lives and nearly a trillion dollars in outlays and are a long way from being over.

At the beginning, the only person who was honest about the cost of going to war was White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey, who offered an "upper bound" estimate of $100 billion to $200 billion in a September 2002 interview with The Wall Street Journal.

In January 2003, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the budget office had come up with "a number that's something under $50 billion." For his integrity, Lindsey was run off. And Rumsfeld was given the nation's highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Beginning with his January 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush pledged to keep the total cost of the new Medicare drug benefit program to $400 billion over 10 years. It's cost at least double that -- and rising.

As President Obama campaigned over the last two years, he developed his own version of the "I Have a Dream" speech. It offered hope and certainly a change from George W. Bush -- which was almost all that was necessary for victory.

It certainly worked for the media that love him unabashedly. Now he's offering the world (or at least the Muslim world) the "Everyone can have a dream if we just love each other" speech.

Dreams don't cost money and love shouldn't either. Government programs do. But in order to live that American dream, for my daughter and your daughters, Mr. President, you and the Congress have nothing but tough choices ahead.


High School Diplomas-->Fakes?

Posted By cheekyredhead on Jun 11, 2009 at 7:51PM


Author: Michael Hodges

Huge percentage students require remedial work - - additional evidence of public high school failure to assure their diplomas have meaning .

Dramatic evidence of poor output quality is the fact that "of the 12 California state university colleges, 60% of students need remediation; a Florida study shows at least 70% of recent high school graduates need remedial courses when they enter community college - - in other words, they need to learn material they should have mastered in public high school - but did not - - costing an extra $59 million per year."

Source: USA Today, pg. 14A, November 24, 1997. That averages out to two-thirds of high school diplomas are bogus - even to attend less demanding state and community colleges.

'This year, of those students graduating in the top third of their high school classes, 64% of freshmen entering the California university system failed entry-level math tests; 43% failed the verbal exam.

Even at the elite University of California, where entry competition is tremendous (meaning the very best grade averages from high schools, top of class, etc.), 35% of entering freshmen needed remedial classes.

Many argue that the business of colleges should be providing college courses, not teaching students what they should already know.

In New York, where 87% of students entering the City University require remedial courses, Mayor Guiliani has proposed removing remedial work from CUNY curriculum.

Massachusetts is one of four states now considering charging back to high schools the costs of remedial courses for their graduates.' USA Today, May 12, 1998, page 13A.

Author note: maybe state officials are reading these Grandfather Economic Reports, and its related internet news group postings, which have for the past year trumpeted charging back remedial courses to high schools, as only economic pressure (in my view) will cause school districts to shape up, restructure, privatize, or whatever.

Perhaps high school administrators should be fined for poor performance, as such lack of quality is effectively 'stealing' from the young generation.

To read more:


Ketchup Education

Posted By cheekyredhead on Jun 11, 2009 at 3:21PM

Ex-school trustee ordered to stay away from college campus
5:00 PM | May 27, 2009

Former Orange Unified School District Trustee Steve Rocco has been sentenced to two years' probation and ordered to pay a $150 fine and to stay 100 yards from Chapman University for stealing a bottle of ketchup from the campus.

A jury convicted Rocco last month of stealing a half-full, 14-ounce bottle of Heinz ketchup in September from an outdoor dining area at the university, in the city of Orange.

Rocco took the stand in his own defense during the two-day trial in April, saying he was set up. Though the plastic ketchup bottle was valued at $1.20, he argued that no theft occurred because it had not been refrigerated, making it worthless.

The eccentric Santa Ana recluse is known for wearing dark glasses and murmuring shadowy conspiracy theories. He won a seat on the school board in 2004 and survived a recall attempt to serve a full four-year term.

He was sentenced Tuesday in Orange County Superior Court.

--Tony Barboza


Posted By cheekyredhead on Jun 11, 2009 at 3:17PM


Sometimes I wonder about what education my kids are getting. My son didn't do his homework for a month and when the teacher sent home a note I was flabbergergasted.

When I asked him "WHY?" He said, "Mom we are doing the same work we did last year. It is the same book. I made an A last year-so why do have to do it over?"

I looked at his book. Yes--I had seen this same book last year and he was telling the truth. There must be some mistake.

I wrote the teacher a note and asked why they were doing the same work over again and this was his reply: "The majority of the class did not pass this course last year so we are repeating it. Although I am aware that your son did pass this subject already at another school but we cannot change our curriculm just for him. He simply must do his work."

OMG. He is repeating a subject because the rest of his class is behind?

I pinched myself. I have been having this same argument with colleges/universities about validating my military transcripts.

Obviously there are a lot of Bucket-heads in education.