Thursday, February 26, 2015

An Education Issue

We've got an education issue, at least in the way that we report and talk about education in America. I know that most people don't feel this way, but the more this makes headlines and has been presented by media, the more people start to form opinions. That saddens me as I think that we should ensure our citizens in society have housing, food, and education. I'm starting to see health care as important in there as well.

I read a piece on conservatism and education from a conservative veteran turned libertarian, or maybe more liberal. It's an interesting read, but a couple quote stand out:

"Educational success has little to do with innate intelligence or “goodness” and almost everything to do with class, upbringing and privilege."

"In America, to our everlasting shame, money is the absolute yardstick of goodness. "

The first quote, I think, fundamentally conflicts with conservative views. Far, far too many people see success or advancement solely on their own merits. That makes lots of sense if you work in a blue collar situation where you can advance based on being a better mechanic/ contractor/miner, etc. Often it is your work ethic and willing to work more/harder that advanced you.

However in academics, where you need more mental stretching and growth, it's support and assistance of teachers, parents, friends, and more that help. Pushing back on this because of your religious belief, or your distrust of other's beliefs doesn't help others succeed and grow.

The second quote seems to be a problem that we talk about in the US, but don't take seriously. We seem to think you are a "money over everything" person, or you are a hippie/communist that doesn't need money. There are far, far more nuances on the spectrum of valuing money. I want a level of security, as many do. I think lots of people feel the same, realizing that more money isn't always the goal, especially when you've reached some level. I'm not sure if that's $75k a year, $100k/yr, or something else, but it's there.

You have the view of "more money" or "profit is most important" when you don't have that level of security. There's another quote here that might follow on from those thoughts

"The Tea Party thrives on blue-collar “common sense” that is composed of a combination of ignorance, superstition and fear. A literate and educated populace is an existential threat to the kind of thoughtless rage that has consumed the right over the past few years."

I had higher hopes for the Tea Party when it started, with the goals of lowering taxes and limiting government. I supported those goals, being Libertarian thoughts. However the party seems to have morphed into a combination of political party and mega-church. The quotes from Tea Party politicians seem to always contains a level of insanity blended with sheer mean-ness designed to sometimes advance a position, but more often just to detract from others.

My opinion, and I might be wrong, but I'm not looking to be right. I'm looking to help people get housed, fed, and educated. Even at some cost to myself.

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