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The Golden Verses Of The Stoic

Seneca and Epictetus refer to the Golden Verses of Pythagoras , which happens to provide a good framework for developing a daily routine, bookended by morning and evening contemplative practices. Zeno of Citium , who founded Stoicism in 301 BC, expressed his doctrines in notoriously terse arguments and concise maxims.  However, Chrysippus, the third head of the Stoic school, wrote over 700 books fleshing these ideas out and adding complex arguments to support them. 

Common Core Demagoguery Has Breached

I really thought we were done with this. The ones to blame however are not the Republicans or the BATs -- but those who run CCSS, and the Dept of Education for not running an Education and Awareness campaign a year ago, or in October -- to educate the public about Common Core, what it is, what it isn't and remove the opposition's ability to just step back into the misinformation spewing.

What a year though, huh?

Teachers faced scrutiny in 2014 as never before, thanks to a landmark legal case dismantling teacher tenure in California, which sparked copycats lawsuits across the country. If you aren't familiar with this - it was a lawsuit brought against the school teachers/unions dealing with the Tenure of teachers which allowed bad teachers to not be identified and fired. Or at least that was the Press. The students felt that they were not given an education, which should have been expected. Yes, it should have been expected. When you have the high percent of students coming out of High School that we had, who had a diploma, but were not qualified to move on to college, it should be expected that one or nine of them are going to say, "Hey, WTF?"  And they sued for Failure to fulfill the expected obligations of an education system.

They won.  -- that, wasn't, actually expected...

This is also the huge issue with the new changes that education has undergone -- with CCSS and Race Up Hill. Honestly these huge expenditures of energy and the propagation of misinformation by groups like Badass Teachers Association (BATs) -- um, yes, that should be BTA, I guess its a teacher thing -- is because they don't want to be evaluated by results in order to qualify for raises. Which to me seems like a good idea. After all, just about everyone in the working class of this country is evaluated by the quality of their work.

When these teachers say things like "My paycheck should not be based on whether some lazy kids are going to do the work or not..." I find very little sympathy.

I don't lack empathy. I understand that having your money at risk based on the actions of someone else can be very frustrating -- but the reason I understand that is because most of the wage-earning world also depends on other people to do their job, so that the work I am being judged on can be accomplished.

In part, due to this increased scrutiny, educators also encountered various attacks from mainstream and conservative media over the year, and a couple of those were particularly blistering.

Some of the more hurtful came due to Press and PR groups -- who were clashing, and engaged with people like myself trying to stop them. There was quite a bit of turmoil going on out there, and depending on the hour of the day -- when a reporter dipped her ladle into the churning pool of opinion, she could pull out just about any level of nonsense.

Colorado Kids

This really was horrible to do to the teachers of Jeffco Colorado. I was involved with this because of the AP History problem perpetrated by Larry Krieger with the help of Jane Robbins. I was tracking Krieger down, trying to minimize the damage he was creating with his misinformation campaign, and arrived in Colorado nearly at the same moment that the Kids (Stand-up Kids) walked out of their classrooms in protest of the changes proposed by the Jeffco School Board. Larry met with the Colorado State Board of Education hoping to do there what he was able to do down in Texas. The State Board of Education didn't buy into his pitch, but Julie Williams of the Jeffco School Board did. It would have only taken her five minutes to check to see if Krieger was telling the truth or not, but she didn't and ...

If Fox News can find a way to blame any education controversy on teachers or teacher unions, it will do so. They seem to have a specific dislike of teachers which is quite disturbing. Two such instances in 2014 were particularly egregious. When the Jeffco Kids walked out of class to protest a "conservative-led school board proposal" to change their history curriculum, FOX hosted the country board of education president to falsely allege that "teachers [were] using students" as "pawns" -- not over the history proposal, but over an upcoming teachers union contract. The teachers were really upset about that -- as well they should be. Colorado has a firm Sunshine law system and the video of the meeting in question was on-line. Again, a few minutes of watching and the full story was there -- and again, no one bothered to check.

That was after FoxNews, in March, botched the report when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he would block three charter schools from using public school space rent-free. FOX Pundits took to speculating and attacking teachers and teachers unions, arguing, among other things, that de Blasio was trying to "kiss back butt on the unions" and wage a "war on children." -- It was definitely a year for "wars" on things.

So those events hurt, and for the first time in -- I'm drawing a blank. I can't recall a time in my personal history  -- teachers were being looked at like they were doing something wrong. Not the case at all, but the PR streams, unfortunately, met the needs of those going after Common Core, and they used them with brutal effect -- not caring at all that teachers were being driven into the ground by the media assaults.

Then, as if scheduled to inflict as much damage as possible to the reputation of teachers everywhere, Glenn Beck published a book.

Who ties this Person's Shoes?

I don't know much about Beck. I hear he is sort of a Libertarian version of Rush Limbaugh, only not hooked on Oxys. Apparently he worked for FOX News (yes, you could have guessed they were involved somehow -- face it, when over 65% of your Pundit's facts are wrong, or misleading, these things are going to happen with greater frequency) and started his own news service called the The Blaze.

Beck's book, Conform, was released in May and co-authored with Kyle Olson (who I know nothing about). The volume lobbed a number of -- I really don't know what to call them... attacks? Shit-Bombs? They would have been absolutely silly except that people believed them.

It was amazing to watch happen.

People, who appeared sensible and normally intelligent, were suddenly accusing teachers of the foulest things. These asinine accusations speared the teachers most fiercely, but also the public schools, and Common Core State Standards. It probably wouldn't have been so bad except the inclusion of that last, the CCSS.

The disinformation teams found some real gems to flay the public within Beck's book, and once again, the teachers were caught in the lash strokes. And these things were ludicrous:
  • Longer school days help teachers encourage "teen sexual activity."
  • "Most teachers get a raise for not dying over the summer." -- yes that is a quote
  • Teachers' colleges are "not very hard" to get into, and are "Marxist brainwashing factories."
  • "Radical educators" use civil rights to "further their Marxist agenda."
Encouraging teens to have sex? OMG! By the time the other side got done with these though, there were parents seeking to file charges. I'm not kidding.
... but they did.

It was unimaginable and yet, there they were, going over the 1000s,  jumping into the comment areas and forums across the Internet, pushing the same false lines, which were sickeningly wrong. Lucky for the teachers -- and myself -- anyone coming into those reams of misinformation factoids at a cold start, rejected them instantly. They were just too far out there to take in without some indoctrination to grease the reflex to vomit .

Here is an excerpt from a *cough* Dr. *cough* Mary Grabar.
(Honestly I've never researched her credentials because "who cares?" She is a professional misinformation creator and if you pay attention to the strategy of this little expert you'll find several areas of presentation which can only be described as "demagoguery.")

Under Obama’s presidency, Common Core has become a means by which the federal government imposes these progressive pedagogies on states, collects personal student data, and replaces local governance with federal diktats. We have “de facto nationalization,” with the U.S. Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, an “advocate of the school taking over as de facto parents” as he promotes year-round, all-day schools.

This domination is enabled by the alliance of the teachers unions with the Democratic Party. As students have fallen farther behind, unions have negotiated for themselves in some districts such things as plastic surgery as part of their health plans. The unions are among the biggest contributors to Democratic politicians who in turn work to keep them in power. “Teachers’ union officials are the ultimate political animals,” Beck and Olson write: “The NEA and AFT doled out a combined $19.4 million to the Democratic Party, its candidates, and allies, in 2012. In addition, they regularly deliver thousands of volunteers and votes to their anointed candidates at every level of government, and they can always be counted on to lob verbal bombs at Republicans.”

How to break the stranglehold? Provide alternatives. Beck and Olson offer them in the form of charter schools and home schools. They show why and how teachers unions resist such efforts, but also show how to debunk their talking points.

There are so few facts in that short section if I were to only remove the absolutely false -- leaving the questionable -- there would be little left read. Start at the top?

Do you even care?  See... I have debunked this ... person... so may times that I really don't care to wade through her filth anymore. I mean ... you have to know it is all crap as soon as she says the Democratic Party is involved in this complicated plot. This is what the Demoncratic Party was able to come up with in Sept of 2014 ...

Yes... THAT is their contribution to the Education issue of 2014. The Most Important Issue to the American people for the Whole Year

More than Immigration, Bigger than ISIS, Larger than the Oil Pipe... involving the Whole Country... and THAT disconnected meaningless message is what they were able to contribute. And you want me to believe they are capable of what she is accusing them of? Really? No... go away.

So, if you absolutely need me to do so, leave a comment and I'll do it for you. Otherwise... let's just call it a day and hope that the new year brings less filth and minds willing to, at the very least, work with each other instead of attacking full boar with wild accusations no one is able to make sense of, let alone deal with.

I will concede that Arne should do less talking. "Middle Class Mothers are suddenly aware their children are not as bright as they thought they were...?" 
Yes, less talk from Arne would probably go a long way.