Individuals can now escape an underclass

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Posted on 6th April 2010 by Judy Breck in Equality | Mobiles | Schools we now have

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Eugene Robinson’s Washington Post column “The invisible underclass” describes the murder of four and wounding of five in Southeast Washington on March 30th. Robinson concludes that to prevent tragedies of this sort in cities across America, President Obama is “going to need the political will — and the clout — to implement policies that specifically target the African American underclass.”

Whether that can or will ever be done is unknown. There is, though, a new way that individuals can remove themselves from the underclass.

The most liberating aspect of mobiles (laptops, smartphones, iPads) is that they have evolved to be One-Web centered. There are proprietary education applications (apps) not available to all mobile owners — but this is a similar phase to what the internet did in the 1990s. Openness won with the internet because content atrophies behind walled gardens. For at least the past decade, a student could learn the content of any subject taught in K-20 openly online. The open content is 100% equal opportunity: everyone who visits it learns from the exact same page. Schools, meanwhile, have barely let students use the open internet, preferring to dole out knowledge grade-by-grade based on their expectations of students. We can be sure the doling and expectations have been very low in SE Washington.

Robinson reports tragically: “One of the shooting victims, 16-year-old Brishell Jones, wanted to become a chef. She just happened to go out last Tuesday night, and never made it home.”

Everything is in place for a youngster with an idea and a goal to study that subject on her mobile. Certainly the social ills described by Robinson would not all be solved, but one individual could learn enough to leave the underclass. The matter of race, culture, and geographical location are absent when she is studying online, because her mobile would have no clue whether she was in Washington’s Ward 8 or the suburban ivy covered walls where affluent students are encouraged and pampered.

Of course, if enough individuals remove themselves, the underclass is no more.

Government education overeach, dicey indeed

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Posted on 23rd February 2010 by Judy Breck in Obamaschool | Politics | Schools we now have

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In an ideas piece in Politico this morning, the author Nia-Malika Henderson speculates that the Obama education proposals will get broad support. She concludes her article with this quotation from Republican strategist Rich Galen:

“Even if you are a little dicey on it as a Republican because you are worried about government overreach with education, you have to think long and hard about the fact that you voted against kids’ education.”

With apologies to Mr. Galen, his response is Pavlovian: We have been programmed for decades to think throwing money at government (“public”) schooling somehow improves our kids’ education. That education has only gotten worse and worse over those decades.

Now along comes the Obama-led takeover / makeover of America into European-like socialism. The worst of the education piece is it further makes certain an underclass will be formed by the schools — now one that is dependent on and defined by the federal government.

Some thoughts on ending the underclass Obamaschool would perpetuate, and how handschooling is a potent protection of the right and ability of individual kids to learn:

Handschooling will — at last — break each individual child’s learning free to go beyond the control of education establishments. Sound scary? Nothing scares me more about the future than limiting yet another young generation to the analog, tradition-dominated, doling out of a bit of this knowledge and a bit of that knowledge by some remote priesthood (pedagogical, secular, ideological, political, — yes and/or religious too).

We should all be very afraid of education policy reigning from far away. The range of control and chaos these distant pedagogues cause is wide. There is the sort that pumps gushes of money into celebrating mediocrity which perpetuates an underclass the nanny standard setters can count on to keep them in power. There are tyrannies that nurture hatred and spawn fanaticism in the young, even to the horror of blowing people up. Settling for inferior, and even destructive, education for other people’s children is all too easy when those children are in other people’s neighborhoods and towns and beyond.

While we nurture our children up close, we should strive for equal opportunity to learn for each child. Serendipitously, wonderfully — in the 21st century there is a brand new way to do just that! Handschooling has almost suddenly opened the way for every youngster across the world to learn from a global commons of that is known by humankind.

How we can keep Obama from creating underclass youth by taking over American education

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Posted on 5th February 2010 by Judy Breck in Obamaschool | Politics | Schools we now have

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Reading the post today that I have written about in the comments that follow has changed my approach. The need to stop the further socialization of learning has become critical, with what Obama is pushing. In the face of that threat, Handschooling is a major way to get local nurture and individual teaching to the children of America and across the world.

This is this what I read today: an explanation of what Obama and Arne Duncan are up to in taking over education, by Susan Durand:

Indoctrination Disguised as Education Reform: How Arne Duncan’s well-funded Race to the Top program will inject (even more) propaganda into your child’s head.

As Durand points out, Texas Governor Rick Perry has said “no” — as have some local districts in various states. Still, I am horrified for what this means for the current generation now in schools.

But can these Obama/Duncan moves really be a ploy to make community organizers out of the already under-served class created by failing public schools? After some further investigation, I think the answer is: yeah, that’s right. As the article points out, by authorizing charter schools the folks who run those can teach 1) what they want to, and 2) what the fed tells them to. Scary.

When I read the parts in the article about indoctrinating kids, I thought: What is this woman saying? She must be a conspiracy theorist. I have had, for example, only the most positive thoughts about Wendy Kopp and Teach for America. Controlled by AmeriCorps? Who are they? So I did some digging.

This is AmeriCorps — our .gov taxpayer paid bureaucracy which is, self-proclaimed: “A program of the Corporation for National Community Service”

It took some real digging in the Teach for America website, but sure enough, as it says buried down in this page, “Teach For America is currently a member of AmeriCorps, the national service network.”

And there I found an example from the Teach for America website how AmeriCorps sets the rules for the their members who teach under TFA and AmeriCorps grants:

My guess is that learning itself is going through a phoenix-like collapse and rebirth. I have thought for a long time that the delivery of knowledge by the internet will inevitably liberate individual students from captive classrooms. It think it will also liberate teachers to become independent professionals. How funny it would be to see the system they are sending out tentacles to control withering in the paws of Arne and The One.

A major part of the ongoing mission of handschooling.com is to shed light on this crucial struggle between educational control and individual learning.