Click to see

Click to see
Obama countdown

Saturday, February 16, 2013

"Blue" model is reflected in the educational system

  How absurd Leftists are becoming. 
  It's ludicrous, really, watching them pontificate and spasm over foolish incidents like Marco Rubio's awkward water grabbing, an incident that MSNBC played155 times in one day, or watching them try to explain that the government hasn't spent too much money
  We've simply run out of "revenues."
  You remember. I don't weigh too much. I'm just not tall enough.
  If you're a sane reasonable taxpayer, you have to sit back in amaze/amusement as Leftists beclown themselves daily, exalting cop killer Dorner while mocking Dr. Carson's sensible gently profferred comments as "inappropriate." So now it's "inappropriate" to suggest POTUS might not have the best ideas but it was funny to write plays about ways to murder George W. Bush.
  But we worry, not just because we are being watched by government eyes in the sky, on our computers and in our homes but for fear our civil rights are being bargained away. 
  Say what you will about W, still, he appointed many decent people in positions of government, people who were not determined to punish one class or race of people while babying another like the current administration.
  Democrat Walter Russell Mead writes at The American Interest about the breakdown of the "blue model," the FDR inspired, Obama perpetuated style of government that includes one social program after another to provide that intrusive "support" in the form of taxpayer funded services; the blue model is evidenced particularly in politically "blue" states.
  In fact, Obamacare may prove to be the downfall of the blue model, considering how many Democrats are contemplating jumping ship, even as they ramp up the indoctrination:
The fate of the Democratic party in America over the next decade is tied to Obama’s healthcare reform. If it is seen to be a success, America could trend Democratic for the foreseeable future. If it fails, liberalism as we’ve known it will take a massive hit. But, so far, support for Obamacare has been waning instead of waxing. Even a recent piece by Talking Points Memo that placed the blame for Obamacare’s potential failure on Republicans noted that the law’s unpopularity with the public at large was the number one threat to its success. Democrats are getting nervous and consequently are trying to put some distance between themselves and the ACA.
  In "The Once and Future Liberalism, Mead's description of the blue method of education is particularly apt and compelling.  In this article, Mead discusses an historical perspective of the rise and fall of the blue model which is now being challenged by a global marketplace, enormous debt, the burden of unionization and its costs, and an inability to adapt to the evolving job market:
Fordism was once a term of abuse hurled at the factory system by Marxist critics who, rightly, deplored the alienation and anomie that mass production for mass consumption entailed. Has the Fordist factory system and the big box consumerism that goes with it now become our ideal, the highest form of social life our minds can conceive? Social critics also denounced our school system, justifiably, as a mediocre, conformity inducing, alienating, time wasting system that trained kids to sit still, follow directions and move with the herd. The blue model built big-box schools where the children of factory workers could get the standardized social and intellectual training necessary to enable most of them to graduate into the big-box Ford plant and shop in the big-box store. Maybe that was a huge social advance at one time, but is that something to aspire to or be proud of today? Don’t we want to teach our children to do something smarter than move in large groups by the clock and the bell, follow directions and always color between the lines
  The blue model isn't working so well anymore, according to Mead (and reality);  changes need to take place, not changes to sustain the current blue model but to attain a better model for the larger group of Americans who value the same things they've always valued but resent the intrusive policies of current elitists who think they know better than the rest of us and have exploited the initial "good intentions" of statism for their own political gains.
The core institutions, ideas and expectations that shaped American life for the sixty years after the New Deal don’t work anymore. The gaps between the social system we inhabit and the one we now need are becoming so wide that we can no longer paper over them. But even as the failures of the old system become more inescapable and more damaging, our national discourse remains stuck in a bygone age. The end is here, but we can’t quite take it in.
  More recently Mead says it has become so obvious that the blue model is tanking--and fast--that even the New York Times has noticed. This is the Grey Lady, whose commentators continually lament the "inequality" of some people having stuff while others are forced to resort to whining on Occupy Wall Street or such:
Twentieth-century liberalism is a victim of its own success: it gave us longer and more prosperous lives, in turn putting tremendous pressure on social services and pensions. The result is the fragmenting coalition Edsall points to. Though he places part of the blame for the blue civil war on Republican-backed austerity measures, Edsall admits that demographic shifts and outmoded ways of delivering social services also played a role.
The reality of blue model decline is so obvious that nobody can ignore it any longer.
  In "Life after the Blue Model: the Middle Class Will Beat the Seven Trolls," Mead acknowledges the pessimism of the American middle class but is himself optimistic about its future in this country, noting that the energy of job creation has shifted but not disappeared.
The information revolution destroys jobs, but it also creates them, and we are already in the early stages of a jobs explosion. And as it proceeds, the information revolution is likely to propel the rise of a middle class that is more productive, better educated, more autonomous and more interested in and capable of civic leadership than the Fordist middle class of the late industrial age. 
The new jobs will be different from the old jobs, and this is one of the reasons many fear the economic transition we’re in. There are a lot of people on both the right and the left who think that in a country that doesn’t “make stuff” there won’t be any jobs. If it isn’t a widget that you can grab in your hand and do something with, it isn’t real. This is nonsense. Two hundred years ago people thought that the only real jobs involved growing food, and that people who made non-necessary consumer goods were engaged in a socially parasitic activity. Nobody in 1800 could have imagined the plethora of manufactured goods that gave people jobs once the industrial revolution took hold: mass produced Elvis on velvet portraits? Fuzzy dice to hang from car mirrors? 
   Mead's assessment of education in this country is already bearing a particularly bitter fruit, including aimless unemployable graduates skilled in nothing and unsustainable pensions for overpaid professors who are frequently on sabbatical while designating the part time underlings to do the heavy lifting of actual teaching.
  Now those adjunct hours and jobs are being cut, not just due to the already overcommitted pension demands but also the demands of Obamacare.
  BGSU is cutting 100 university staff to great protest.
  University of Toledo has increased the load of regular professors, thus cutting part time jobs and increasing the number of students in every class.
  And some taxpayers think that, for the children, any amount the children need should be invested in TPS schools, regardless that most taxpayers have rejected the many requests for more money and regardless of learning outcomes. Recently it was decided that TPS will not pursue a renewal tax request.
  Mead writes that the petri dish of academia in particular reveals the flaws in blue model thinking:
But beyond alerting us to one of the many problems that implementing Obamacare will cause, this news provides a depressing look at the underbelly of the academy. Universities are citadels of blue model thinking and most faculty members are relentlessly liberal in their politics. But the reality is that these same universities are some of the nastiest and most exploitative employers in America. The exploitation of adjuncts is an ugly feature of contemporary American academic life, and the smug complacency about it among many beneficiaries of the two tier system should remind us all that moral hypocrisy can co-exist with impressive degrees. 
Partisans of the blue social model like to think of it as a utopian commonwealth; academic adjuncts know the truth, and the revolting treatment of adjuncts by colleges understandably anxious to avoid the high costs of Obamacare should remind us all that the blue social model, especially in decline, is not as benign as its supporters and beneficiaries believe.
  K-12 schools are moving toward sterile data collection and more testing to determine and improve student learning outcomes. Is this the answer?
  Data collection seems to be yet another extension of the "big box" mentality which does not take into account the world in which we live, the direction the job market is taking and the adaptability necessary to be successful in a rapidly changing marketplace.
  Recently the teachers' state retirement system has changed the rules about retiring: no teacher may retire until at least the age of 60. While this is a reasonable demand in view of preserving the viability of the pension systems, how will school districts pay for those more expensive teachers who are at the top of their pay scales? 40 years in the classroom is a very long time. Will these now elderly teachers be able to handle the challenge, changing with the demands of the increasingly technology society which craves engineers, science, math and, above all, the creativity to adapt?
  The contemporary class is the petri dish of the Leftist movement. It's slowly breaking apart.
  As right-to-work proliferates across the nation--even in Michigan--the academic system is also morphing as charter schools become more available, some successful, some not so much depending on how you evaluate the data.
  But it is a bright sign for the future that the American people will not be bound by the strictures imposed by the blue model, even in that most indigo of arenas, the classroom.

No comments:

Post a Comment