Thirteen Other Reasons Why Schools Are Creating a Lost Generation

This article was originally published on FEE.org

thirteen other reasons why schools are creating a lost generation.PNG

Netflix’s recent announcement that it would be producing a second season of Thirteen Reasons Why has raised new questions about the disastrous state of the US public school system and its effects on the economy.

“Hey, it’s Hannah Baker,” says the show’s protagonist, played by a stunning Katherine Langford in the opening episode. “Get settled in. Because I’m about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended.”

Today’s high school graduates emerge with few skills, little education and a sanitized view of the world.

The Thirteen Reasons’ portrait of how a stifling, bureaucratic system progressively cuts this teenage girl to pieces, eventually driving her to death, provides a dramatized, insightful reflection on (another) emerging lost generation.

The statistics are grim: a third of 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. live at home according to the US Census Bureau. Homeserve USA finds that nearly one in three Americans can’t come up with $500 to fund an emergency. As if that were not enough, according to the US Congressional Budget Office, governments have saddled today’s young with more than $100 trillion worth of pension and healthcare debts.

The harder truth depicted in Thirteen Reasons Why is that today’s high school graduates emerge with few skills, little education and a sanitized view of the world. In short, they are totally unprepared to take on the challenges they face.

Following are Thirteen Reasons Why:

  1. Thirteen years in jail

In Thirteen Reasons, Hannah, the bullied protagonist has no way to escape a toxic environment. Her helpless position progressively worsens and eventually drives her to suicide.

Because education is compulsory in the United States, Hannah lives in a de facto prison. She cannot change schools or classes without parental approval and undergoing a humiliating bureaucratic process.

An education system that prioritized learning would put students at the center, leaving them free to choose their schools, classes, teachers and programs.

  1. American kids can’t vote

The challenges facing American kids are exacerbated by the fact that they aren’t allowed to vote. They thus have little stake in the system, no sense of responsibility and adopt a de facto poise of helplessness.

  1. Students come last

None of the dozen studies reviewed for this article assessed the US public education system based on students’ needs.

Governments prioritize public education based on its effects on national competitiveness. Businesses focus on getting skilled workers (whose training they don’t want to pay for). Teachers’ unions focus on salaries and working conditions.

The upshot is that students’ interests come last.

  1. Bloated administrations

America spends more per student than any other country yet ranks 14th in terms of results, behind Russia. Must of this is due to legions of highly-paid administrators that clog the system with rules, regulations and forms, few of which prioritize education.

  1. Kids taught to worship government; shun individual responsibility

The young have always been concerned with social causes. It’s thus hardly surprising that teachers would encourage students to prioritize government’s role in healthcare, welfare and environmental regulation.

However today’s public schools offer essentially no counter arguments about individual responsibility.

High school graduates thus emerge as easy prey for politicians who claim that near-unlimited government spending and borrowing are the cure for the nation’s problems. ( See the Krugman con ).

  1. Public schools teach no marketable skills

The greatest indictment of the public-school system’s actual performance relates to the fact that students graduate with no marketable skills.

If America’s kids emerged from schools able to read, write, do basic math, type, work as a team and use a half dozen common software packages, they would have something to show for their 13 years in the slammer.

  1. Banning Ayn Rand and Huckleberry Finn

Socrates’ motto at the Agora was to “question everything.” However public schools prioritize politically correct doctrine that consciously excludes key ideas and concepts.

Ayn Rand, the most important philosopher of the 20th century, is essentially banned from the public system, as is Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, which Hemingway cited as the root of American literature. History teaching in America, as Niall Ferguson has noted, is sanitized to the point of rendering it almost counterproductive.

  1. State-directed curricula: one size fits all

Students vary as do the communities they live in. However a disproportionate amount of teaching is dictated by bureaucrats. This leaves teachers little flexibility to adjust based on students’ needs.

These differ based on whether the school in located in poorer neighborhoods where many students come from single family homes, or in upper middle-class professional communities where traditional family structures are more common.

  1. Kids graduate clueless about finances

Public schools teach essentially nothing about managing money, likely the single most important life skill a kid could have. Students graduate thus thinking that borrowing is fine.

This leaves them prey to America’s biggest predatory lenders: big universities, which have managed to saddle youth with $1.2 trillion worth of debts, many of whom have little to show for it .

  1. “Hoop jumper” worship: drives out the talented and curious

One of the biggest weaknesses in public and private schools is their collective worship of “hoop jumpers,” – that universal collection of the obsequious sorts that clutter Dean’s lists and other “Top Students” awards.

Students who challenge conventional thinking are smiled at and given a B.

This wouldn’t be a problem if schools were able to correctly identify top performers. However heavy state-defined curricula force teachers to “teach to the test.”

This leads to the advancement of drone-like students who are able to recite mindless data, massaged concepts and formulas, and more dangerously: with the need to guess and kow-tow to what teachers want them to say.

Worse, in two centuries of public schooling, teachers still fall for that old trap of giving the best marks to kids with nice hand-writing or to math students who get the wrong answer but manage to “show their work.” Students who challenge conventional thinking are smiled at and given a B.

The upshot is the students with drive, curiosity and creativity are quickly driven out.

The number one students – like John Maynard Keynes, the father of modern economics, who taught that the best way to get rich was to spend more than you earn – rocket through the system, and now run the nation’s central banks and university economics departments.

You get the picture.

  1. Powerful unions

In a world in which students are stuck in de facto prisons, teachers, who spend more time with them than their parents do, ought to be their biggest backers. They aren’t.

Teachers thus need to accept the lion’s share of the blame for the disastrous state of American schools.

That blame starts with the fact that teachers’ first priority has been to band into powerful unions, which put salaries, benefits and vacation time first and students’ interests last.

  1. Millionaire teachers

Many of the best teachers decline towards mediocrity as their careers advance.

True, teachers perform one of society’s most useful functions. However during a time of strained public finances students’ needs must come first – not teachers’ salaries.

The teachers’ unions have been hugely successful. Median compensation for US workers is $28,900. Teachers earn $58,000, almost double that amount .

The gap between teachers and those communities they teach in is exacerbated by the fact that gold-plated, state-guaranteed pensions mean that public school teachers generally retire as millionaires.

If teachers were paid at market rates, there would be more money available to fund students’ needs such as smaller class sizes, libraries and computers.

  1. Mediocre teachers that can’t be fired

Teachers begin their careers ranked among most socially-committed of any professionals. But as with any human beings, a change takes hold of teachers once they acquire tenure and can no longer be fired.

Office hours and volunteer activities shrink, emails from students and parents are returned slower, if at all. The upshot is that many of the best teachers decline towards mediocrity as their careers advance.

This piece appeared first at SprottMoney

Peter Diekmeyer


Peter Diekmeyer
Peter Diekmeyer is a business writer/editor with Sprott Money News, the National Post and Canadian Defence Review. He has studied in MBA, CA and Law programs and filed reports from more than two dozen countries.

Washington, DC – Distrito de Columbia o Distrito de Calumnia?

Desde el 6 de julio de 1790, la capital de nuestro país se encuentra en Washington, DC – Distrito de Columbia. Creo que ahora se puede llamar el Distrito de Calumnia.

El ex presidente Barack Obama creó una empresa criminal llamada ‘Organizando para América’ (OFA). Sugiero un nombre mejor. ¿Qué tal ‘Organizando para el Caos’ (OFC)?

Nuestra nación es como un enorme avión de pasajeros. El Presidente, sin importar quién ocupe la Casa Blanca, es el capitán del avión.

Cuando soy un pasajero en un avión, quiero que el piloto, el capitán, aterrice con éxito el avión. Quiero éxito para él. Por regla general, los pasajeros no mueren al volar. Mueren de malos desembarcos.

¿Podemos estar en desacuerdo con las políticas del presidente? Sí, porque tenemos el derecho constitucionalmente protegido de la libertad de expresión. Este derecho a la libertad de expresión es uno de los cinco derechos protegidos por la Primera Enmienda.

La incitación al desorden público no es el derecho de ningún ciudadano. La incitación al  desorden público es un acto de sedición y tales actos son castigados por la ley.delitos-de-difamacin-calumnia-injuria-en-las-redes

Ley pertinente: 18 U.S. Code § 2384 – Seditious conspiracy

“If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.”

El ex presidente Barack Obama conspira para derrocar al presidente Trump. Si Obama puede derrocar con éxito a nuestro Presidente, el capitán de nuestro avión, todos nosotros vamos a experimentar un aterrizaje muy malo.

Los medios de comunicación liberales como CNN, Univision, MSNBC, CBS, etc. conspiran para socavar a nuestro presidente con calumnias, insinuaciones y mentiras descaradas.

Trump promete restaurar la grandeza a América.

Los profetas predijeron cómo Dios elevaría a Donald Trump a ser nuestro cuadragésimo quinto presidente, de acuerdo a Isaías capítulo 45, versos 1-6. Lo creo.

“Exhorto ante todo, a que se hagan rogativas, oraciones, peticiones y acciones de gracias, por todos los hombres; por los reyes y por todos los que están en eminencia, para que vivamos quieta y reposadamente en toda piedad y honestidad.” – 1 Timoteo 2:1-2

John White
Rockwall, Texas

Global terrorism – What are we fighting?

Perhaps a better question is, who are we fighting.

Is murder, even mass murder, a new thing? How about lies and corruption – are these global terrorismmodern-day evils? By no means.

May I introduce you to the coordinator behind global terrorism? His aliases are many, but in every nation and culture, he is known as the Devil, Satan. From here on I use the two names interchangeably.

The most reliable history book and at the same time the most reliable biography of the Devil is the Bible.

In John 8:44 Jesus describes Satan’s character thus: “[The Devil] was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

The prophet Isaiah wrote on Satan’s origin in Isaiah 14:12-15.

“How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world. For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’ Instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths.”

What is Satan? In Genesis 3:1 where he tempts Eve, he is called ‘the serpent’. Strong’s Concordance, Hebrew 5175 describes Satan as someone who hisses like a snake, a whisperer.

To get to the point, I’ll forego detailed records of Satan’s heinous acts recorded in the Bible. Suffice it to say Satan is the father of lies, murder, and rebellion and is, therefore, the spiritual father of all who follow him.

As recorded in 1 Peter 5:8, Satan is continually on the prowl to devour people.

Global terrorism isn’t germane to a people group. The entire world population can be classified into two distinct groups: children of Father God or children of Satan.

I’ve given you all the bad news. Here’s the good news. Jesus the Christ came to earth to deal with all Satan has done. 1 John 3:8 says, “But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.”

Forget about Homeland Security and the TSA. Don’t bother to send out search parties to find him. There is nothing about Satan’s appearance that warns you of his nature and his evil plans. Scripture tells us he can even appear as an angel of light.

Muslims, in general, are not the problem. Satan is the problem. Disobedience is a bigger problem than Satan himself.

The NSA-Homeland Security-TSA-FBI-CIA nexus is powerless to stop Satan. Only the children of God have authority to deal with terrorist number one.

That word ‘destroy’ you read from 1 John 3:8 means to loosen, un-loose, un-do. The role of believers in Jesus Christ is to set free those who are captive to Satan’s lies and deception. We can drop bombs from now until the Second Coming, but if the perpetrators of global terrorism do not experience a revelation of the person of Jesus Christ, the war goes on.

Not for a moment do I suggest we drop armed defenses. On the contrary, I encourage you to be prepared to defend yourself and your loved ones by the most effective means at your disposal. I applaud President Trump’s bold attacks on Muslim jihadists wherever he finds them.

The point is, only the Prince of Peace can bring lasting peace to the world. Your enemy is Satan; your salvation is in Jesus Christ.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

The Opioid Epidemic Overdoses Account for More Deaths than Guns and Auto Accidents – COMBINED

opioid overdoses account for more deaths annually than automobile accidents and guns combined.png

The opioid epidemic starts with legal prescriptions for costly painkillers. After addiction sets in, people gravitate to other less costly opioids like heroin and fentanyl which is 50 times more concentrated than heroin.
 
“Even the self-reported surveys suggest that we have roughly between 20 and 25 million people who use a drug illegally once a week, or more frequently, and about 7 to 8 million of those are dependent or addicted. Now again, that will be an undercount; that will be dominated by things like marijuana, which happen. But, you know, so you have to assume that the number goes north of 7 to 8 million people.” – John Walters
 
 
 
Those of my readers who believe that marijuana is a harmless drug should know what the facts are and how “primes the behavior in the brain for opioid abuse”.
 
John White
Rockwall, Texas

Hurricane Carla – The 911 before 911

On September 11, 1961, Hurricane Carla made landfall on the Texas Coast.

Chronology via GenDisasters.com

For over two hours — in one of the most exciting adventures of my life — I watched Carla’s savage preliminary attack. I saw her fling a tidal wall of water like a battering ram against the door of Texas. I saw her engulf miles of beach in her moist mouth.

I saw her smash houses, boats, and piers with her damp fist, reducing them to kindling wood. I saw her winds toss trees and timbers about like an elephant tosses straw,” he wrote. He ended the story with, “The human eye can absorb only so much destruction before the heart breaks. Mine was aching from what I had seen.” – Chronicle Staff Photographer Larry Evans

The Pavilion (originally called the Pleasure Pavilion) as it was before Hurricane Carla struck Palacios.

Palacios Pavilion Before Hurricane Carla

The first video below is a compilation of movie clips recorded by Red Richards, CP&L branch manager. His grandson Zeb Lang published this video.