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School climate: Students are stuck in a dysfunctional system.

 

The way our schools are organized is at odds with learning and dispiriting for students. Naturally, some rebel. 

Earl Holdridge, Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

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http://stmedia.stimg.co/ows_146473707473378.jpg?w=525Edward Cheserek, an 18-year-old junior from Kenya, practiced with teammates at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J., which was closed down in the 1970s but now flourishes. New York Times

May 31, 2016 | I applaud the students who wrote the May 27 commentary “Student voices are to be heard, not ignored.” Their main point: “School climate isn’t about fights and suspensions, but about creating an environment within our schools where everyone can thrive.”

As a teacher-counselor, I’d like to reinforce their thoughts with my observations and experience. Perhaps it will shed some light on giving hope for the kind of school the writers seek.

Earl “Sook” Holdridge is a retired teacher, counselor and businessman with a background in Montessori teacher training.

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From the Archives | The cult of ignorance in the United States: Anti-intellectualism and the "dumbing down" of America

  • The current trend of increasing anti-intellectualism now establishing itself in politics and business leadership, and supported by a declining education system should be a cause for concern for leaders and the general population, one that needs to be addressed now.
  • Related: Donald Trump Has Given the United States a Great Gift

Ray Williams, Psychology Today

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https://www.sott.net/image/s15/304985/medium/t6PCzNK.jpgSat, 07 Jun 2014 | There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It's the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility

Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason, says in an article in the Washington Post, "Dumbness, to paraphrase the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has been steadily defined downward for several decades, by a combination of heretofore irresistible forces. These include the triumph of video culture over print culture; a disjunction between Americans' rising level of formal education and their shaky grasp of basic geography, science and history; and the fusion of anti-rationalism with anti-intellectualism." 

Ray Williams is President of Ray Williams Associates, a firm based in Vancouver, providing executive coaching and professional speaking services. 

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Related:

Donald Trump Has Given the United States a Great Gift, Bill C. Davis, Common Dreams

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  • What he has drawn to the surface are various toxins isolated in a boil ready to burst.
  • Related: What Trump protesters can learn from the civil rights movement

 

United States Exposed for Being Complicit in Arming and Training Child Soldiers in Afghanistan

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  • “There’s nothing heroic about putting a child in danger by arming him and having him fight in a war. The Taliban killed 10-year-old Wasil Ahmad, but those who encouraged him to fight bear responsibility as well,” Patricia Gossman, the senior Afghanistan researcher for Human Rights Watch, told the Guardian.
  • When policy becomes more important than morality, people, including innocent children suffer.

Jay Syrmopoulos, Free Thought Project

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http://thefreethoughtproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/United-States-Complicit-in-Arming-and-Training-Child-Soldiers-in-Afghanistan.jpgFebruary 5, 2016 | The killing of a 10-year-old Afghan boy, Wasil Ahmad by Taliban forces has raised serious questions about the United State’s creation and backing of a militia group using of child soldiers.

Ahmad has been lionized as a national hero in Afghanistan after his death on Monday in the Uruzgan province at the hands of Taliban militants. The boy had previously gained national prominence for helping militia forces break an insurgent siege after his uncle had been wounded.

Jay Syrmopoulos’ work has previously been published on BenSwann.com and WeAreChange.org. 

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Series | Looking at elite-college admissions, Part 3: The Commodification of Higher Education

  • Colleges and universities have become a marketplace that treats student applicants like consumers. Why?
  • This is the third story in a three-part series looking at elite-college admissions. Links to Parts 1 and 2 are presented below. 
  • Related: The Arrogant Ignorance of the 'Well-Educated'

Alia Wong, the Atlantic 

http://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/mt/2016/03/CollegeAdmissions1/lead_960.jpg?1459293334Mar 30, 2016 | When the U.S. News & World Report rankings were first published in 1983, they equipped students with what had previously seemed to be top-secret information about colleges and universities. They highlighted the practical role of higher education—something in which students (and their families) were investing to improve their lives. “College is expensive,” said Robert Morse, the chief data strategist for U.S. News, via email. “U.S. News’s mission is to arm students with good data, enabling them to sift through lots of complicated information when deciding which school is the right fit for them.” The rankings allow students to compare schools in an (arguably) apples-to-apples way—allowing students to, according to Morse, “navigate the complex process of choosing the best school for them” and creating “a national move towards greater transparency in the education industry.”

Many educators see the rankings in an entirely different way.

Alia Wong is an associate editor at the Atlantic <http://www.theatlantic.com>, where she oversees the education section.

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Series | Looking at elite-college admissions, Part 2:  Where College Admissions Went Wrong

“Far too many students are learning to do whatever it takes to get ahead—even if that means sacrificing individuality, health, happiness, ethical principles, and behavior.” 

 

Series | Looking at elite-college admissions, Part 1: The Absurdity of College Admissions

How did getting into an elite school become a frenzied, soul-deadening process?

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The Arrogant Ignorance of the 'Well-Educated' Joseph Pearce, Intellectual Takeout

To be “well-educated” is not merely ignorance, it is the arrogance of ignorance.

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