Monday, July 3, 2017

Florida: Parents can now object to the school curriculum

Parents who object to the concept of evolution or global warming can now make sure that their kids will never hear such things!  This is the new law past last Friday in Florida.  The ideal is to shape the minds of young Americans to a reality where God is central and where science is banished to the sidelines. It used to be more complicated, and getting Harry Potter out of school libraries was a major victory for the Christian right (no joke) they also objected to Catcher in the Rye

The idea seams to be removing anything "objectionable" from the young minds so that they get the party line early -- now American education (second most expensive after Luxemburg) and which ranks the US in 30th position in reading, math and comprehension, is rather bad at doing what its suppose to do.  Needless to say that top schools still teach important facts, but there too the rot is spreading.  Just last week a national TV presenter assumed that an aircraft accident had occurred because of the metric system -- which was "too complicated", which is amazing considering that everything is divided by 10 (unlike miles...)

Anyway, a good friend of mine was so proud when here granddaughter was accepted into "Teach America" an incredibly difficult program for top schools so that they can teach in less privileged environments.  This young women, after 4 years at Harvard, took two years to teach underprivileged children.  Her degree was in liberal arts (she speaks 6 languages) and so she became a math teacher, with no formation, no support and little ability to do anything.

Now I get that Teach America is a non-profit high visibility program, but those who are part of it, leave disabused about its effectiveness.  The first issue is that teaching is hard, its very hard work, and in some schools the environment is lethal (literally and figuratively), children have neither: good education support at home or at school and they can see the writing on the wall -- both their prospects and life expectancy are somewhat limited...

Now Florida parents can be sure that their children don't face any facts they don't like.  Remove hard science (or make intelligent design its equal), remove discussions on family planning (aka its a condom stupid...), there is no doubt that there is no discussion on sexuality, and now teachers can be told what can be taught at the school level...this will end well!

The tragedy of America's school system is that on one side you have dogmatic teacher's unions and on the other side you have dogmatic government officials that see short term battle that are politically advantageous while it hurts children, the future of America, they generally don't care because as far as they are concerned these people don't count.

The real tragedy is that in America a good education is seen as a privilege, and not a right -- because its the country that is penalized when its workers have poor education!

A side note, I've been in the aerospace business for a few years -- and for many of these years there were too many available pilots, so that wages and conditions, especially in the small regional players (such as Horizon) were terrible.  It was hardly a living, however, the surplus of pilot is now thing of the past.  Horizon's business model was built on cheap labor (pilots and other crew) and now that the number of pilots has shrunk, they are complaining -- there is a easy solution:  increase wages!  But that doesn't work for Horizon or its shareholders (for now) eventually they will see the light (either face reality or go under).  Right now the solution is flight cancellation -- clients don't like that.

The reality of corporate America is that it has had, for the past twenty years a cheap labor deal, that is about to expire.  We are back at the education issue; the real problem is that airlines such as Horizon are labor predator, using the capital of others (new pilots) to make money -- now that the ride is over, Horizon and its friends are not to sure what to do, because they've never seen it as part of their "social obligation" to train new pilots.

Education in America is treated this way, if you are rich you get a good education, if you are poor you get little education (functional illiterate) and you "survive" America is squandering its largest natural ressource as if it had no implication.  Now that America is closing its doors to the world's best and brightest -- would you take the chance of doing your PhD in America if you may not guarantee of retaining your student visa?  In Canada, we are worried about PISA scores, while in the US we worry of our students don't have access to intelligent design (aka God created earth in 6 days and its 6,500 years old)

Education is the battle ground for political points -- if the kids are in the way too bad.  The idea that you don't want to hear what 99.999% of all scientists have to say about global warming or evolution is the beginning of the end.


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