My Bad Week ***Or*** How a Stolen Motorcycle Proves that Most Education Pundits Know Nothing About Education.
My brand new, owned it for less than six months, only had 2000 miles on it, motorcycle was stolen Saturday night.
What, you may ask, does that have to do with education policy? So glad you asked. Let me connect the dots for you.
As most anybody would, after I talked with the police I called my insurance agent, whose company will remain unnamed to protect the guilty, to report the stolen bike. Now, an important word in this reporting process is stolen. Filched. Misappropriated. Pinched. Purloined. Gone. In the arms of another.
This is important because a few days after making the report I was contacted by a claims adjuster that made the following request –
“Please make an appointment for us to inspect your vehicle.”
Um… You do understand that because it was stolen, it would be rather hard, you might even say impossible, to have my, again this an important word, stolen motorcycle inspected due to the nature of it being, you know, stolen, and therefore no longer in my possession.
So, I contacted the adjuster and left them a message letting them know that I couldn’t have the bike inspected. What with the being stolen and all. I got another call apologizing for the confusion stating that it is a standardized form and please download this app to continue the process.
On to the internet to download the app.
Aaannndd it wants me to upload a picture of the damage done to my stolen vehicle.
Sigh. The joy of standardized forms.
A major insurance business can’t be bothered to differentiate between a vehicle crash and a vehicle theft. You’d think that might be an important distinction to make as in the business of insurance it would be important to know what you are paying out for, because it could drastically change the size of the check your business needs to write. But no, it’s more important that the process have as little variation as possible to keep the costs down. Never mind that it might cause mistakes and cause you to look foolish.
This is where the connection to education comes in.
For the last thirty years or so, one of the constantly used and loudest refrains from the education reformers is that schools need to be run like a business.
OK. Based on the above business model as demonstrated by a very large and successful business and going on the knowledge that we need to be running schools like a business, this is what I propose:
No more Individual Education Plans for special education students. In fact, no more special education at all.
No more extra tutoring for all the various college entrance exams.
No more special low-cost lunch programs.
I can hear some of you cheering and to this I say not so fast! This mandate includes ALL extra non-standardized education costs.
No more Advance Placement classes for excelling students. (Fun Fact! Did you know that AP classes technically fall under the special education umbrella?)
No more band.
No more arts.
No more football.
No more baseball.
No more basketball.
No more track and field.
No more soccer.
No more sports of any kind.
No more late pick up.
No more early drop off.
Basically, if it does not pertain to the standardized class worksheets it needs to go. Just like in business.
There you have it: education running like a business as requested by the education reformers. I’m sure parents around the nation can’t wait for this system to get going and we all start seeing the results of this standardized business based school system.
I’ve been seeing a lot of blame running around the internet the last few days. Electoral College for being outdated. Democratic Party for not nominating Sanders. Republican Party for not stopping Trump. Third party candidates. FBI for last second email findings/non-findings. Liberal media. Conservative media. The list goes on and on and on yet fails to hit the target.
It’s not the politicians. It’s not the media. It’s not the back room wheelers and dealers.
It’s the voters. Period.
I find myself wondering just how many of the protesters over the last few days actually voted. I think it is a safe bet that a large number of them didn’t. After all, I’m sure somebody else will take care of it, right? And we can always start an on-line petition. Of all the absurdities of this election, the most absurd I saw was a petition about a month prior to the election to declare Trump unfit for office. Here’s an idea, if you don’t think the guy is fit for office, don’t vote for him! Speaking of non-voters, Hispanics here in southern Arizona were all bent out of shape after Jan Brewer said they didn’t matter because they don’t vote. Well guess what Southern Arizona Hispanics, Jan was right, you didn’t vote. So the lesson here for all those that want power in this nation is go ahead and call Mexicans thugs, rapists, and murderers, because there will be no consequence.
And then there are those that did vote. The ones that ignored a long history of cons, bankruptcies, failures, and shady deals to elect a “proven businessman”. Religious voters that ignored multiple affairs while married and questionable parenting. The ones that glossed over the numerous active court cases simply because he was good at coming up with schoolyard names for his opponents. The voters that cut off their own noses to spite a single issue.
The voters that claim Trump is not an insider and they are voting for change. In some ways, these hypocrites are the worst. The David Duke supporters voting for Trump I can understand. (Although even they hated Trump a few years ago calling him a wanna-be Jew.) All you “outsider gonna change the system” voters are the worst. In case you missed it, there were congressional elections happening also, and you know what? The majority of those congress critters got re-elected. That’s right. Once again, some of the supposedly most hated people on earth again won their particular popularity contest. Just like they always do.
So much for outsiders changing the system.
The average American Voter is lazy. They sit in an echo chamber listening only to that which fits their chosen narrative. No matter if that chamber is liberal or conservative.
The average American Voter is greedy. People love to wax philosophical about what happens to a Democracy when the majority realizes they can vote to give themselves stuff. These are the same people that forget that W ran his first presidential election on how much money he was going to give people.
They are hooked on tax breaks for the rich because someday they may be rich. This voter conveniently forgets the fact that trickle-down economics (once termed “Voodoo Economics” by Bush Sr.) hasn’t worked as advertised for thirty years.
Single issues are all the American Voter can be bothered to think about when Dancing with the Stars and The Kardashians are so much more entertaining.
American Voters have been mainlining fear for so long now that they will fall at the knees of anybody that even hints at protecting them. They will shun anybody that might possibly, maybe sort of one day sixty years in the future, give them a hangnail, even quicker.
Nobody was forced to vote the way they did last Tuesday. It’s easy to think the system is rigged, broken, or outdated, but the reality is that a large enough group of people went to the poles and selected R that we now have a person that brags about assault, insults veterans, and seems to have no ability to ignore a petty feud with anyone as President Elect. Some were stimulus response voters selecting straight along party lines. Some actually thought about the choice they made. But they all voted freely.
Everybody wants the system to change. Everybody thinks politicians are only out for themselves and will gladly stomp on the little guy. They are right. The system does need to change. Politicians will gladly kick the little guy out of the way. But here’s the thing. Why should politicians change? Why should they listen to the little guy? Why bother with the call of a population that keeps telling them to stop, yet gladly reelects them? The American voter has proven time and time again that they are more than willing and happy to reward politicians that step on them, piss on them, and kick them aside.
The United States does not have a politician problem. The United States has a voter problem. Nothing will change until the voters of the United States realize that.
Get your Spam today! Great googly moogly I must have been discovered by a new web bot recently because I have been getting some interesting comments from some people with some very interesting names.
Names like "Free 5.0 White Mens For Women Bargain-priced With Complete Product Models", "the High Quality You Want Can Come Ture", "White Mens Clearance Sale Come To Have A Happy Time In Shoes Here", and "we Can Develop Each Other"
Even better than the names are the incredibly insightful comments that are being left.
I can truly believe that this guy is not very web smart -
"I know this if off topic but I'm looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is needed to get set up? I'm assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I'm not very web smart so I'm not 100% positive. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers"
Lots of people want to do link exchanges –
“Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa? My website covers a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you’re interested feel free to send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Fantastic blog by the way!”
Nice start by the way. “Howdy!” How very Gene Autry.
"Please let me know if you're looking for a article author for your blog. You have some really good articles and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I'd love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an e-mail if interested. Cheers!"
Cheers is always a good ending and seems to be popular.
Questions about what system I am using are also popular.
"I am curious to find out what blog system you're working with? I'm experiencing some minor security issues with my latest website and I would like to find something more safe. Do you have any solutions?"
It’s always good when things are “more safe”. Back to ESL classes for you!
I think this rambling missive (and it takes skill to present a rambling missive in such a short space) is my favorite of the bunch.
"I do like the way you have presented this difficulty and it does indeed provide me personally some fodder for consideration. Nevertheless, coming from what I have witnessed, I simply trust when the commentary pile on that men and women keep on issue and not embark on a soap box regarding some other news of the day. Yet, thank you for this excellent piece and while I do not necessarily go along with this in totality, I respect the perspective."
I’m not even sure if a person actually wrote this or if it was just a random string of words but it’s OK because they “respect the perspective”.
Oh, and I'm sorry "Free 3.0 CarbonGrey Grey Mens Has Lots Of Choices", I don't have any other suggestions for blogs on the same subject for you. But I do wish you the best of luck my friend. Cheers!
Imagine a world where events that actually mean something and affect our daily lives gets as much ink as the air pressure in a ball used in a game does.
Type in “football air pressure” in your favorite search engine and you will get more than 6,000,000 hits. Many of them are more than happy to tell you what the exact official pressure is. Type in “deflate gate” and you will get over 600,000. Don’t worry if you are lazy, auto fill will take care of it for you after the first few letters. It has its own hashtag fer crist sake.
Try to find the percentage of voters in the last election… Let’s just say that yes, many many web sites will pop up but actual information is not so available.
An even better example of this weapon of mass distraction is here in my home state of Arizona. Everybody seems to be shocked that the newly elected governor, who ran on a platform of no taxes, took the budget ax to all the classrooms in the state within days of taking office. It amazes me that people were surprised by this action. But even more amazing is that these cuts in education dollars in a state that has already been told repeatedly by federal courts to pay millions owed to schools only got about two days of ink in the Arizona media.
Two days of stories about an issue that directly affects every man, woman, and child in the state. And that was only one or two stories each day.
Now we have deflate gate. Almost a week later and the internet is still ablaze about a ball used in a game that ultimately affects no one.
And people wonder why things are broken.
TURN OFF YOUR PHONES AND PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT MATTERS DAMNIT!!!
This weekend as I was driving about town I saw a woman riding a motorcycle. She was dressed in flimsy shorts, light shoes, a spaghetti strap tank top, and the final touch: a pudding bowl helmet.
To which I ask, "What's the point?" This person obviously has very little brains to protect, so why bother? According to the CDC you have a 34.6% chance of hitting your chin in a motorcycle crash. That's just the chin people. Add in the face and it goes up to 44.3% chance of the impact zone being unprotected. Not to mention the fact that if she goes down her cutie patootie outfit will do nothing to prevent her from being one big road rash. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Why should I care you may ask? Morons like her drive my insurance premiums up.
Still, I guess she's better then the dipsticks that buy a helmet and then hang it on the bike...
Over the last few days I have observed so many different examples of stupid it boggles the mind. From the woman that gave me a friendly wave after I almost T-boned her because she didn’t bother to look before pulling in to traffic to the McDonalds that had two parking spaces reserved for the drive through. Isn’t the point of a drive through to, ya know, drive through?
The topper however, the deepest, densest part of the fog of retardation has to be the email I received from tech support at a major educational publishing company. On top of the many grammar errors some of the directions this support person sent do not even work!
My personal favorite is this particular offering – “***** is are GED program accessed thru *****”
And apparently that possessive apostrophe is a tough concept as well.
This person actually works at a company that is writing and selling textbooks and classroom materials around the nation and they can’t even grasp basic grammar for cryin’ out loud. Not to mention the fact that they seem to think that all GED students are at the 12th grade level. If they were at the 12th grade level they wouldn’t be in GED classes would they?
The offending email, names have been removed to protect the guilty -
Thank you for contacting ******** Education Technical Support. I would be happy to assist you with your GED program. First I would like to verify that you are using ********? ******** is are GED program accessed thru ********. There is no adult setting, due to the GED program being 12th grade content. You are not able to delete student's once they are added in the system. However, you are able to remove their content. The student will not be able to access the book and it also free's up the book for you to be able to assign it to another student. If you click on the manage content link, you are then able to remove content by student name. You Do Not have to create a spread sheet every time you add new students. First click on the ******** content inside your ********. Then click on Manage and Assign. At the bottom of the screen you will see add students. For the help videos, please use internet explorer. You may need to clear you browsing history and cache.
If responding to this issue, please use the "Reply" button to ensure prompt processing of your question. If you need to call our team, please refer to case number ******.
Please submit new issues to ******** Education Technical Support through our website at: . In order to ensure a prompt response to your issue, please submit the form fully completed.
I hate the whole "I need to talk to you later" thing. Worse than that is the one I just got - "You need to talk to me later." Ya know what asshole, I don't need to talk to you. You have something you want to say, and if it is important enough let me know now or talk to me when you have time. Don't give me this "need to talk" BS and then leave me hanging. It's as bad as those nitwit companies that call you and then put you on hold.
I was just asked to do a survey about the "educational" software that I have to use for work by a Customer Experience Market Research Director.
That's right folks, Market Research is writing curriculum for your school, not the teachers. Think about that next time you see headlines about "failing" schools.
To the spandex wearing asshat that I almost hit because you blew threw a stop sign -
I'll give you three feet when you can obey basic traffic laws.
P.S. Someday you'll learn that spandex and plastic pudding bowl on your head are no match for asphalt and steel, I just hope no one else gets hurt when you learn it.
Step inside the mind of me.
Hi. Welcome to my little electron of the internet, where you will find random comments about whatever pops into my mind!