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Education and Politics

Posted Monday, April 23, 2012, at 7:58 PM

Do you think the entire education process from top to bottom is better, worse or about right with more political involvement today than in previous decades?

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Worse by far as evidenced at how our students stack up against foreign students, then and now.

Education and the teachers union have become little more than a way to launder tax money back to the DNC.

Bust the union monopoly by implementing school choice and the voucher system. Let competition decide the best way.

-- Posted by quietmike on Mon, Apr 23, 2012, at 3:03 PM

I would say that if all the forms and paperwork are a result of political involvement, then worse.

My mother used to have plenty of "homework" from her classes 40 years ago, but from what I can ascertain teachers are spending more time on jumping through hoops than educating the students.

I would love to hear I am wrong, so..... teachers, speak up.

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Apr 23, 2012, at 3:07 PM

It is sad to say that politics has taken on a whole new role in education today. There are teachers at all levels of education who are teaching that socialism is the answer to all our problems. Parents need to look at what their children are being taught. I would suggest they Google "Cloward/Piven" and see if it sounds familiar to what your kids are learning. My granddaughter said she was taught many of their ideas in junior high through high school. Fortunately, she was smart enough to think for herself and to do research on her own.

-- Posted by caligal on Mon, Apr 23, 2012, at 5:57 PM

Politics has always been a part of school systems. it is the very reason the tenure law was enacted in the first place. To protect teachers from local politics. it is clear the Political relationships run public school systems. this is evidenced by our recent school board meeting where our director of schools went around the board to approve spending $500,000 for a special program. Rather than go to his board, for whom he works, he went to the county commission. Then most of the board knowing that the trigger had been pulled had no choice but to vote to let the money be spent. However, it was tax payer money and policy should have been followed. In any other business this would be grounds for termination. One board member in particular stood their ground explaining that policy was ignored. However, other board members felt the political pressure and went along with something that was wrong. Now tell me that politics doesn't drive the decisions made that run our public school system.

-- Posted by prov22:6 on Tue, Apr 24, 2012, at 11:14 AM

prov22:6, this is Obama-Chicago style politics!

In Washington, he calls them "Executive Orders"... that he uses to get around Congress for anything he wants but knows Congress won't pass. Yeah, politics as usual.....

-- Posted by caligal on Tue, Apr 24, 2012, at 3:13 PM

Politics drive public education. Look at the way they are forcing teachers to teach to pass the TCAP instead of teaching to prepare for college and life. The politics have gotten involved so much that there is no room left for real educations.

As for our local school board, they apparently could care less about education. The last meeting proved that, when it stated that they wanted to change the homeschool policy even though they cannot do anything with it. The rules are set up by the state of TN and counties CANNOT make their own policies.

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Wed, Apr 25, 2012, at 1:16 PM

I think our education system is being used as a means to an end, or objective. Thus the OBE method of teaching.

The question then is; What is the objective? The answer is sure to bring us into the political arena. I don't believe "Education" is the objective as evidenced by the inabilities of the children that I see coming out of the school system into the workforce. Many of these students can't even make change without the use of the calculator or the cash register.

The objective seems to be MONEY as evidenced by the tremendous amount that is spent on education, and indoctrination as evidenced by the socialist leanings of young college students. This is definitely in the political arena!

Tax dollars are being spent with little or no conrol given to the parents/taxpayers. In exchange, we get test scores and statistics of how our students are doing against foreign countries and relative to each other. This is nothing more than a checklist that a politician can present to justify the taxation and lack of accountability. Meanwhile our children can't perform simple phonics and math.

In other words they are full of checklist book learning but have no common sense/education.

It always seemed strange to me that justication for altering our educational system seem to come from comparing ourselves to other nations. None of those nations have had the success and prosperity that the U.S. has had. Why do we want to change to be more like them? Politics!!

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Wed, Apr 25, 2012, at 9:33 PM

A Presidential Executive Order is basically an inter office or department MEMO! It is the President ordering something from his department heads and employees.

It is a well establish principle of law that all "Federal Legislation" applies ONLY within the Federal Jurisdiction of the United States unless congress includes the Sovereignty (the people of the states).

Also the term "Person" is a word that describes everyone in statues and laws. The term person does not apply to people who are born in this country. That means if the law is naming you as a person, it is not naming you, because you are not a person if you are born in America.

The Term Person does not include the Sovereign!


United States vs. Fox 94 U.S. 315 .

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Fri, Apr 27, 2012, at 3:56 PM

where else would children learn to demonize success and reward failure?

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sun, Apr 29, 2012, at 9:19 PM

Keep one thing in mind here - most of us are products of the public education system. How much does that play into your attitudes towards it and where we are?

When I was in school all the classes were run like the Magnet school. Now they only want to fund that type of education for best of the students the rest of the classes are left behind getting the min they can get away with. ( not intended as the political program)

There is a very strong presence of "politics" in the education system, most of it at the local levels. You have your select clicks that run the counties, what they say goes, any one who buck their agenda will pay the price. For awhile they were against the "damn Yankees" who came in with Saturn, they have been against minorities of one sort or another for as far back as any of us could remember. Their kids make ALL the teams, have all the best parts in the plays, they have the best of everything - weather or not they earn it it is theirs, they are from the right family. DO you know of one child from one of these families who has been refused into the magnet school, not allowed on the team of their choice or played a tree in the school play? You know they have first dibs, and what positions are left go to the other students according to the unspoken pecking order of social status. It is an unspoken rule that certain clicks must rule. Outsiders are not welcome, they have to fit the profile or be exceptional to the point they CAN NOT over look them. The head of the school district told me once that when he ran for office his opponent referred to him as the outsider - then he told me the reason he was considered the outsider was he did not move here till he was 2. Then another Superintendent asked me if I knew the difference between a Yankee and a Damn Yankee. We all know how these politics work, some of us were the beneficiaries of the clicks others of us were the ones who had no chance to break into to them. Who does not know of an instant of a person who was the "best" being over looked for the approved? It happens everywhere everyday.

There are "politics" at every level of society, from dog catcher to President. There will always be those who make it their life goal to preserve the POLITICS of the rich that the think must be in control, who in their eyes are below them must be subservient to them. Anything that might threaten that must be gotten rid of. Educating the common kids allows them the chance to achieve and break the barriers. IT allows the have nots to work their way up and join the ranks of the haves. And the only way to stop that is to not fund the schools they go to and make it as difficult as possible for them to get out of any rut they may have been born into. There has always been an attitude against those who were not born into money, they are like the damn Yankees - there to stay but very unwelcome.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Mon, Apr 30, 2012, at 5:43 PM


-- Posted by quietmike on Mon, Apr 30, 2012, at 7:43 PM

Keep one thing in mind here - most of us are products of the public education system. How much does that play into your attitudes towards it and where we are?

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Mon, Apr 30, 2012, at 5:43 PM

This is VERY true!

For me, it took several years to realize that the school system did not prepare me very well for the real world. I also left school with a sense of dependency on the system (not knowing what to do) and naivity. I joined the military and quickly learned some harsh realities.

Living in the real world and earning my own way disspelled the childish attitude of victimization and brought the reality that if I am going to succeed I have to work for it. Being poor, I had to work hard. Working days and going to school at night to learn my chosen profession.

Now, there is the victim mentality that one cannot succeed unless the state/system intervenes on your behalf, or you were born into wealth. That simply is not true. People like Bill Gates, who was considered a nerd in school, have had overwhelming success, as have many other notable Americans. That is what has made this country great.

As one who has worked hard to earn the things I have, I do not want to have my children taught that they are victimes of society if they find themselves in lower standings than their peers. I want them to be educated with the knowledge, discipline, and understanding they need to succeed. I also want them to be able to retain the wealth they have acquired through their efforts to share as they see fit.

The divisive victim mentality is exactly where the socialist politician wants us to be. He will use this attitude to divide the people and plunder them of fruits of their labor.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Tue, May 1, 2012, at 2:39 PM

Ok Mike, I'll bite, it's late and I just do not get your point. They were talking about teaching kids to have the ability for critical thought, and to quote part of it "It's organizing the parents and working together, actually to fight for an entirely different kind of educational system and for our world where my students aren't confined to jobs at McDonalds but can actually, ya'know, learn, and what to learn because it matters to them, so it will be a way for them to decide for themselves what their world looks like and what they want to do." To me what I get out of the video is they want the students to learn how to take control of their lives and achieve their goals ---- What better way for them to be successful and make it in the world? I saw nothing in it that was out of line. What message of yours did I miss? What did they say that you found offensive? Or where you agreeing with it ?

Another question - school vouchers, don't you think that would really open up the "politics" in communities? Just hand out the coupons up the tuition price the best schools to make it unaffordable and help segregate the rich from the poor. The rich would "choose" their schools while the poor would be left with the crumbs at the bottom. The only way that might work is if there was a fair way to prevent manipulations of who was allowed to "pick" what schools. Betty big bucks and Patty poor should unquestionably have the same access to the best schools ( I am not speaking of privet schools here, if parent want to send a child to one of them that is different), there should be absolutely no possibility of discrimination due to income at the public school levels none of the "who" your family may be making preferences. The garbage truck driver and the mayors kids should have equal rights to choose a seat in the best of or the chance to end up in the worst. That is the only way it would be appropriate, other wise it is just another scheme from the top to keep those they consider beneith them "in their place". Vouchers leave just too much room for manipulation and discrimination. You say competition, but there would not be a balanced field for that, how can people fighting to make ends meet "compete" the big money would crush the average or poorer families, and those children would not stand a chance for the best schools. All children deserve the chance to a good education, they should not be sorted and divided like weeds and flowers in a garden where the best are watered and fed given the best of everything to thrive while the weeds are pulled and thrown to the side to whither and fight to survive. You know what is said about the difference between a flower and a weed? A weed is something growing where the gardener does not want it to. Too many of our students today are considered weeds because they are not growing where those who consider themselves the gardeners think they should be. Given the right nutrition and attention they could thrive and grow to be as great as the finest rose, but they are under watered, under tended and shoved to the worst part of the soil - and then frowned upon because they have not bloomed as bright as those with the mighty gardeners to tend to them have.The voucher system would make the difference of if they get a great nursery or an rocky clay filled field to grow in. You can bet your house the elite of the community will have first bid and the school seats they want and the weeds will be shoved where ever out of the way.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Wed, May 2, 2012, at 1:56 AM


The "teacher" said they have to be involved in the struggles for "economic justice" and to change the economic system as a whole.

Didn't you read her shirt?


So, its your opinion that parents shouldn't be allowed to spend THEIR tax money on THEIR children in the way they see fit?

If "betty big bucks" and "patty poor" have vouchers for identical amounts, how does that benefit the rich kids over the poor?

Politics in communities is definitely preferable to politics in the federal government as an individual has a louder voice among 40,000 than 300,000,000...meaning a citizen is more likely to have some bit of control over education in their local communities than with the feds.

Even though we spend more on education than any other country except Switzerland, our student's performance, when compared internationally, has declined since education was made a cabinet position in 1980.


-- Posted by quietmike on Wed, May 2, 2012, at 4:51 AM

This does not have anything to do with the subject here, but I just came across some good news if you have a Waffle House in your town. FEMA has said that the way the will determine if you need help in your town after a disaster is that they will call your Waffle House and ask them if they are open and serving a full menu. If the answer if yes, then you don't need FEMA. I think this is genius, or something like that....

I was wondering why I haven't seen FEMA on TV in any of the towns hit by tornadoes. Apparently they had Waffle Houses that still had electricity and water. If you were a few miles away from the Waffle House and your car is in your kitchen, maybe you can call them and order home delivery.

-- Posted by caligal on Sun, May 6, 2012, at 4:17 PM

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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette. He passed away November 15, 2014, at age 81.
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