It is an eye opening shame what has been done to our whole way of life in this country.

Money rules over every category that affects peoples quality of life.

I have only to glance at my daily list of emails arriving with all kinds of clever insinuations, polls, tests , entries that avoid any mention of money , until the last .

Then, the inevitable request for money to fight for democratic rights.

The opposing party has millions more than we do. Please send money in order to establish democracy via “our candidate”.

Ronald Reagan’s sinister deviation from the bedrock of our Democratic Republic to an adaptation of ‘how this is going to work for the wealthy’ is something that was introductory framework for middle class Americans to understand that what ‘freedom ‘was , is now only attainable via cash money.

This sinister framework has been reflected in poor individuals having to work more than one job , sacrificing their family values for cash.

Wherever there are the poorest of us , the ruminations begin,

regarding reasons poor children are destined for “ failure “ .

The total breakdown of our society is engendered by the greed of the very wealthiest Americans .

The privatization of almost every public institution has resulted in chaos and dysfunctional decline for all middle class and the poor in this ‘land of dysfunctional missed opportunity’.

So, people resort to Substance Abuse and Dependency because trying to rise up above a stranglehold of poverty is not lending itself to life.

Now because of our bought and payed for Supreme Court, the poorest American women will be denied medical procedures for in opportune pregnancies. Victims of rape , incest , children that have been brutalized by adults they trusted to care for them, all turned away in the name of God.

Let me say ,. I’m pretty sure God hates being used in this evil ploy to control by Religious Bigots, who happen to have been appointed for this very purpose.

I don’t think Republicans veneration for a fetus , is likely in people who deny little children food and care and vote against it every chance they get .

All is built on lies that receive cover by cash .

I could go on forever about what all but the wealthiest have lost, been denied or had removed from their lives.

I will not. We all need to vote against this evil that is the right wings lifeblood.

And yes, get brave enough to be an activist to chip away at this mountain of lies and misrepresentation that Republicans have piled on top of all of us, just because they can.

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I'm a bit contrarian on this issue. Over the last 50 years, I've spent a fair amount of time visiting schools of various flavors to assess performance. I definitely agree that we need an overhaul, but not the sort of overhaul the Nazi Party wants.

Keeping it brief, I have found public schools are now low security prisons where kids are taught to be afraid, very afraid, of everything, and look to armed thugs for protection - which trust is replaced by confusion when something happens and all the armed thugs vanish rather than protect. Oh, I didn't mention education. The education sucks. The curriculum is dictated by multiple layers of committees, none of whom are educators. Teachers are excluded from planning and ignored when they try to help.

Every "best teacher" award I have seen in the last 40 years went to a bright, young, enthusiastic teacher. I can't think of any other industry where the performance awards are won by the NEW employees. When I was in school, award winning teachers were those with at least 20 years. The teachers I know, all say the same thing, they either do as commanded or they are gone. A good friend teaches at a charter school. She's brilliant, but has no teaching degree. I suspect she's a good teacher, but they hired her because she will accept lower pay than a professional teacher, and she took the job because her kids get to attend free, and they can car pool.

Then came COVID and teaching ZOOMED to the internet. I've discussed with kids 10 to 25 and they all say the same thing, it's great for some things, lousy for other things, and in general, they prefer a classroom. HOWEVER, I found one who loves learning online. She's the only kid living where the teachers were told to set it up. Everywhere else, the teacher-free committees hired teacher-free advising salesmen to decide.

So, my point is we need to update education. Do it in public schools, close the schools and go online, send robots with text books to all the kids, I don't care, but LET THE TEACHERS EVALUATE WHAT IS AVAILABLE. I can guarantee you that almost every professional teacher would recommend they be replaced with textbook carrying robots if that worked best for the children. The intelligence and effort required to get a teaching degree would easily earn a higher paying degree, and teachers know this, so we know they are committed to children.

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Looks like Republican policies are failing to make the red states happy. Blue States dominate in the happiness department! Wake up, people!

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I am beside myself. I am in favor of public schools. I am in favor of state or federal governments funding schools and having regulatory oversight over them. I believe that education is a birthright of every citizen and that governments should take any and all steps possible to protect student rights, to provide educational opportunities, to support those who value intellectual endeavors and aspire to learning and teaching in schools, and that equality and integration are essential objectives. I am opposed to the scapegoating of teachers or their unions and believe they should be treated as professionals and precious resources.

But, for god’s sake, when are we going to stop using the word “school” and the word “education” interchangeably? This is the precise reason the meddling billionaires and privatizers and the bean-counters and measurement-obsessed freaks who know absolutely nothing about education can persuade people to trash public schools and run from them. We are talking about two completely different things and, as a result, neither is getting us anywhere near where we need to be.

School is NOT, I REPEAT, NOT education. Never has been. Never will be. Never could be, and never should be. Language matters. Words matter. Education is much too important to be left up to technicians, teachers, or neurotic glorified babysitters. And the state definitely has no business whatsoever defining the parameters or dictating how education should be pursued and conducted.

The “world’s best school systems”. What does that mean? How did we come to that conclusion and how do we justify high rates of illiteracy, semi-literacy, rank ignorance and willful ignorance, anti-intellectual crusades, low-information voters, and non-voters, etc., etc.? Well, our schools are better overall than our prisons. I’ll give them that. However, if you were to ask a lot of students in some of our “best” schools, and if they believed they were free to be perfectly candid, they would compare their school experience to prison. But, why would anyone take their opinions to be valid? They are just students. That answers that question, I guess.

I have hundreds of pages in three unpublished books and several articles spelling out how and why our schools suck and how they damage children and undermine democracy. But myths die hard and even the very best debunkers of other scandalized institutions will not give a thought to a realistic assessment of our pathetic schools. I am beside myself. Here, for anyone who cares are a few sources which illustrate my point:

Olson, Kirsten, Wounded by School

Kozol, Jonathan, Shame of a Nation.

Viadero, D. (2011, March 27). IES Seeks Strategies to Rescue 'Chronically' Failing Schools. Education Week.

Villeneuve, J. C., Conner, J. O., Selby, S., and Clark Pope, D., October 28, 2019. “Easing the stress at pressure-cooker schools”. Phi Delta Kappan, 101 (3), 15-19.

Schou, Rebecca A., (2015) Countering Student Apathy to Increase Student Engagement, (Doctoral Study) Walden University.

Stress in America™: Are Teens Adopting Adults’ Stress Habits? American Psychological Association website, Released feb11/2014

Joyce, C. (2011). ‘Race to Nowhere’ Targets Academic Pressures. MSNBC report. Retrieved from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41744061/ns/nightly_news/t/race-nowhere-targets-academic-pressures/

Karp, S. (2011). Who’s Bashing Teachers and Public Schools and What Can We Do About It? Commondreams.org. Retrieved from http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/28-11

Newsweek (1981, April 20). Why the Public Schools are Flunking.

If you don't want them to take away public schooling, then accept the reality that, as they exist, they are a disaster and a threat to our national security. They are too much like prisons because attendance is mandatory and is seen as punishment or paternalistic social engineering. Otherwise, you may as well stop complaining.

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At least under the feudal system of old, the Lord protected his peasants from other Lords, in return for which they worked for him. Here the pool of peasaants wil be treated as take and put by the Lords with their survival being irrelevent as there are lots more where they came from. Whether this can be turned around is questionable as the "moderate" (read Corporate) Democrats will make sure nothing happens to seriously affect the trend to privatizing education from K to College. From what I read the corporate dems are winning the primaries and the progessives are losing them, likely thanks to the DNC.

We are seeing the same thing happen in Canada in Conservative governed provinces. Money is being funneled to private "Christian" schools and public schools are suffering.

In Saskatchewan taxes for schools collected at the local level are pooled and distributed by the province. School boards have no real powers over curriculum. This is both good and bad, depending on how it is administered.

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In Chicago we have not been able to convince Democratic administrations that children deserve a librarian instead of a police officer in their library, that every school should have at least one nurse and one social worker, and that teachers deserve a livable wage. Democrats have implemented Charter School programs to subvert the public school system. 75% of Chicago Public Schools do not have a librarian, and 90% of those are in black and brown communities. Public education is being whittled away by both parties at the state and local levels, in Chicago under a black and gay mayor.

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So. Damn.True. OH, the snobbery in education and the damage they have done with it!

I used to wish I could get my hands around the throat of the person that tied property taxes to funding the schools. The smart states have managed to pool the funds and bring some fairness to that situation.

Parents and students, you lose. Teachers, your time has come, because your colleagues have quit in droves and your unions are getting stronger---time to get some fair wages.

Tech has up-ended everything. I believe it will be a force for good in this area, eventually. A positive effect is every child will want to be on the internet. They will be reading and writing all the time, despite the value of the content. Because of the wide range of content, school is as important as it has ever been.

It shouldn't be a competition. Kids suffering, whether at home or homeless, deserve a chance to thrive too.

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This is a good subject. Most of the comments make it a political issue, and I think that's a huge part of the problem. The powers that be, of whatever persuasion, recognize that if you want to change society, the best place to do that is with the children - shape them to your image, whatever that is, while they're young. So Robert Elliott is right - what these powers are doing is shaping the future generation, and they know that. Every time an administration changes, a different Secretary, or whatever the head of the Education department is called, turns the education system in the direction they choose. This is how public schools have managed to turn so many parents to choose private. If there were an unchanging standard for education, rather than it changing every administration, society wouldn't be tossed about by every new wind of change that catches the public's fancy. An example is Harvard - how much it has changed is reflected in its slogan - founded in 1636 with the slogan "Truth for Christ and the Church". Well, it's easy to see how much has changed. Enough said. My point is, the educational system shouldn't change with every administration.

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