Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Summer of 2017 Part 6

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Fundamentally, education is always important. It inspires our lives. It focuses on building the mind and the soul. Not to mention that education is not ageist. In other words, people of all ages have the right to be educated in a myriad of subjects. There are countless stories of people who have graduated from high school and from college in their 60s and older. We see kids (who are much younger than 17 years old) in college and elderly receiving their Masters and PhDs. Therefore, it is very vital that education is strengthened in America and throughout the world. We have a long way to go. Students experience problems, many teachers suffer issues, and many parents have complications too. That is why mentors, scholars, and activists are working constantly in order to make education much better and affordable for all. We're human beings and we're in favor of human rights. Education is one key cornerstone where our civilization is enriched. Education doesn’t just involve teaching. Education revolve around human beings learning skills, lessons, knowledge, wisdom, values, and other aspects of living whereby people can live life in the best way humanely possible. Education does exist in formal and informal settings.

Pedagogy is the methodology of teaching. Education is diverse too. Primary education includes preschool, elementary school, and middle school. Secondary education involves high school. Secondary education in America in its modern sense didn’t exist until 1910. This was when corporations and more technology in factories wanted skilled workers. High schools were formed to meet the job need. Tertiary education includes colleges, universities, and apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are very valuable in helping people deal with the arts, architecture, agriculture, carpentry, engineering, medicine, and STEM fields in general. Also, special education deals with education involving the disabled or those with disabilities. Education to me is a human right. The right to education is recognized by many nations of the world. Even Article 13 of the United Nations’ 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights recognizes a universal right to education. Many places make education compulsory up to a certain age.

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Education has a long history. Modern education has roots back thousands of years ago. Since the start of human history, education was formed to allow humans to analyze nature and to build culture efficiently. By 3,500 B.C., writing systems grew worldwide. The ancient Egyptians had hieroglyphics which was used heavily in educational actions. In ancient Egypt fully developed hieroglyphs were in use at Abydos as early as 3400 B.C. The oldest known alphabet was developed in central Egypt around 2,000 B.C. from a hieroglyphic prototype. One hieroglyphic script was used on stone monuments,other cursive scripts were used for writing in ink on papyrus, a flexible, paper-like material, made from the stems of reeds that grow in marshes and beside rivers such as the River Nile. In ancient Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, Oceania, and the Americas, young people were scribes or were taught many skills in the programs of apprenticeships. In about 2,000 B.C, this was when some schools did exist in Sumer. Sumer is located in modern day Iraq. There was the discovery of cuneiform mathematics textbooks back then dated to 2,000 B.C. There is also evidence that formal schools existed in China during the Hsia and Shang dynasties around that same time. During the Zhou Dynasty (1045 BC to 256 BC), there were five national schools in the capital city, Pi Yong (an imperial school, located in a central location) and four other schools for the aristocrats and nobility, including Shang Xiang. The schools mainly taught the Six Arts: rites, music, archery, charioteering, calligraphy, and mathematics. According to the Book of Rituals, at age twelve, boys learned arts related to ritual (i.e. music and dance) and when older, archery and chariot driving. Girls learned ritual, correct deportment, silk production and weaving. The philosophies of Confucius influenced ancient educational services of ancient Chinese culture too.

Socrates is known in the educational world. He is a worldwide famous philosopher of ancient Greece. Socrates’ predecessors and students like Xenophon and Plato wrote down much of his ideas. His method of teaching is known as the “Socratic Method.” That is about a teacher asking a series of questions which leads the students to a certain conclusion. The method is very effective in wallowing students to memorize knowledge and to apply the knowledge (plus formulate the knowledge in a great answer). Formal education developed during the ancient Greek period of the Age of Pericles. This was when the Greek city states grew educational services. Sparta made education dealing with obedience, patriotism, and physical strength. Athens (another Greek city state) made an educational program dealing with intellectual and aesthetic goals. Between 8 and 16, Athenian youth were taught by public schools about grammar, reading, writing, music, history, math, and other subjects. These subjects are taught in American schools today. Plato was a disciple of Socrates. Plato believed in a Utopian society. His vision was to make society into 3 classes of people. They are the artisans (the working class), the soldiers (to defend society), and the philosophers (or the government to rule people). Plato wanted each class to be educated well. Aristotle was a student of Plato. He taught Alexander the Great.

Aristotle believed that people have serve and improve humankind. He believed that a great quality educational system correlated directly to the quality of a society. He’s right on that point. Aristotle was more scientific and more involved in the studying the world than Socrates and Plato. Ancient Roman schools were similar to 20th century secondary schools with children learning to read, write, Latin, literature, history, math, music, and dialectics. Quintilian was a famous ancient Roman educator. Also, educational system developed in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and throughout the world during the ancient times. The Renaissance dealt with education in questioning the authority of the Catholic Church and forming classical learning centers which advanced humanism. The Reformation transpired. John Locke promoted the view of experience can make people gain knowledge. Many of the oldest colleges in Americas were used to prepare ministers. Also, many of them were heavily involved in the slave trade like Georgetown. Famous old Americans colleges were William and Mary, Yale, Princeton, King’s College, College of Philadelphia, Brown, Dartmouth, and Queen’s College. Also, black Americans formed schools including colleges throughout American history. James Pillans invented the blackboard in 1801 which is used to this day in educating people worldwide. The Boston Public Library in 1854 was the first major tax supported free library in America. In 1873, the Dewey Decimal System was created in 1873 by Melvil Dewey. It was published and patented. The DDC is the world’s most widely used library organizational and classification system. It’s used today. Modern high school curriculums in America came about in 1892 when the National Educational Association was formed to establish a standard secondary school curriculum (via the Committee of Ten).

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The first community college was the Joliet Junior College from Joliet Illinois. It came about in 1901. John Dewey innovated the progressive education movement in the 20th century. He wanted education to be used as a tool to advance democracy in the world. The SAT was created in 1926. It is owned, published, and created by the nonprofit College Board organization. The test is used to figure a student’s readiness for college. The overhead projector was involved in 1930. It was used in World War II for training purposes as well. It is used globally too. The ballpoint pen was invented in 1888 (by John L. Loud), but it was used worldwide especially in the classrooms until 1938. National school buses in America became more centralized in 1939 even to the point of the shade of yellow on them. Modern computers existed after World War II. The first computer simulator used in MIT was formed in 1950. Skinner was a behavior scientist. Skinner created devices to help students learn in 1958 via the Skinner Teaching machine. The ACT was formed in November 1959 by Everett Franklin Lindquist. It consisted of 4 tests that deal with English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science Reasoning. The photocopier was invented by Xerox in 1959. In the same year, elementary kids in NY were taught by computers to learn binary arithmetic.

Education also dealt with civil rights as black people have every right to have equal educational opportunities just like anyone else regardless of color or background. In 1960, Ruby Bridges (who was a first grader) was the first African American child to attend an all-white elementary school in the South. The school that Ruby Bridges attended was the William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. Ruby Bridges to this very day has promoted civil rights in 2017. Headphones were used in the classroom more by 1960. Sesame Street from PBS was created in 1968 and it has educated young children for decades. Open classrooms formed. Also, the Internet was invented in 1969. Back then, it was called ARPANET or the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. It was created by the U.S. Defense Department. Its first message was sent on October 29 at about 10:30 pm. This changed education and the world forever. Jean Piaget's 1970 book, The Science of Education, was published. His Learning Cycle model helped to popularize discovery-based teaching approaches, particularly in the sciences. The handheld calculator was formed in 1970. Apple II and the Scantron grading system were both created in 1972. Homeschooling and other forms of education grew from the 1970’s to the present. PCs became more common in the classroom by the 1980’s. Microsoft PowerPoint was invented in 1987. Whiteboards were in classrooms by 1990. The interactive Smart board was created in 1991. The Higher Education Act was amended in 1998. It continues to help people nationwide. The IPad from Apple was created in 2010 and it continues to influence education today. From online education to other inventions, education continues to grow in our generation.

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Many issues are in the educational field and in education in general. One of the most important issues in education revolves around student loan debt. There is over one trillion total student loan debt in America alone. Many students struggle to pay the debt off. Many people wait until 10-20 years to pay off all of the debt. The debt has increased, because of rising tuition costs of universities over the past 30 years among other reasons like growing income inequality including lax incomes. That is why many join community colleges (which are less expensive than most universities) before going into a 4-year university. We certainly don’t need the raising of interest rates on federally assisted student loans. That makes things worse. DeVos or the Education Secretary recently has ended Obama era student loan protections. American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, who will join DeVos at a visit to an Ohio public school later this month, said rescinding the Obama-era guidance opens the door for "rogue operators" to win lucrative government contracts. "If Secretary DeVos were serious about curing America’s trillion-dollar student loan crisis, she would strengthen, not rescind, these protections," Weingarten said. "Instead, she is enabling and empowering bad actors. It’s just another clear example of Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration putting the interests of predatory profiteers over the needs of the little guy -- in this instance, the millions of people trying to go to college or acquire career skills without being crippled by debt.” Persis Yu, director of the National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project, said the CFPB's lawsuit against Navient has demonstrated that problems with services are widespread and their practices can create obstacles to repayment that become costly for borrowers. "Today’s action by Secretary DeVos could make it easier for the department to hire servicers with a track record of harming borrowers," Yu said. "The Department of Education should ensure that servicers who work for the taxpayer embrace student loan borrower-centric policies and are held accountable when they fall short, rather than rescinding basic rules that assist strapped borrowers." There are many proposals to solve this problem.

Many have advocated extending the period of paying back loans to 25-30 years. Some want to reduce monthly payments or tying payment to job income. Some desire a total forgiveness of loans after payment for a certain amount of years. Some desire limits on total borrowing from private lenders. Some progressives desire investments to make community college tuition free. There have been debates about charter and public schools for over 20 years now. Some charter schools have made failures and some have made successes. The common ground approach is to promote accountability, teacher’s rights, student’s rights, collective bargaining, and improvements regardless of the educational system. Another important issue involves teachers and students. Both teachers and students must have their rights respected. Each serves an important function in any school. Students should be educated and protected and teachers should be respected and held accountable for their actions too. Both students and teachers equally must follow the rules in the classroom and throughout the school. Bullying is one of the most serious problems in schools. Bullying is wrong since it violates human autonomy, it violates human rights, and it is disrespectful. Many children of many backgrounds have unfortunately committed suicide because of bullying. That’s very sad. So, we are opposed to bullying 100 percent. Private schools exist. Yet, they shouldn’t be funded by public tax payer dollars. Vouchers being funded by taxpayer money publicly is a violation of the separation of the church and state. I don’t want anyone on this Earth to dictate to me how I should worship or believe in. Many schools are funded by property taxes. So, richer communities fund heavily from resources while poorer communities struggle to get resources. That is why this is wrong and more resources should be given to poorer communities, so their educational system can be strengthened.

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NY Tuition

This is historic and Kudos to the great state of New York. NY State recently offered free university tuition for all in state students whose parents make $125,000 or less per year. This is a first step in a movement to make school more affordable for America. This is the beginning of a new era in education in American society. It's great news. So, I certainly praise this move.

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Many scholars have looked to Finland to find educational solutions. One solution to education is to address economic inequality. There is no solution unless poverty is addressed, so economic inequality can radically decline. Helping those, who experience poverty, will increase not only wealth, but a better life in general. That means that investments in poor communities must exist, mentors must grow in schools, and unique investments must be made in order for schools to be funded greatly. Finland has taught us that small classrooms, highly educated teachers, and large autonomy in schools can work to improve educational functions. Teachers in Finland are given money to have graduate level preparation. Also, qualified teachers, high standards, supports for special needs, adequate resources, and balancing decentralization and centralization make the difference. Also, Finland has a flexible curriculum system which meets the needs of students in various schools. Finland doesn’t have a rigid, strict standardized testing system unlike many locations in America. Teachers for the longest time (especially in the USA) have complained about standardized tests and this situation must change. There should be a focus on creative solutions, innovation, and it must be grounded in the equitable distribution of resources instead of permanent competition to help people. Finland’s national core curriculum is leaner and focuses on developing local power and assessments too. Finland allows teachers time to jointly create curriculum and lesson plans.  Creative thinking is important as well. Also, students should be encouraged to follow independent learning at their own pace. Active learning among students grows their metacognitive skills to tackle, frame, and solve problems. They can improve and evaluate their work. Learning to them becomes more productive. Also, policies against bullying must transpire. Counseling services, and policies of educational equity ought to always become priorities in solution making.

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A Vital Point

Therefore, we know about the critical value involving education. Education is more than about learning information. Education is about promoting virtue and intellectual curiosity in the world. It is about questioning things and analyzing information in a cogent, deliberate fashion. We are not na├»ve too. Many corporate interests have damaged many aspects of public education. Capitalist elites have harmed many in the educational system for decades. The Trump regime has placed many people in charge of federal agencies who make it their duty to privatize or serious harm public education. DeVos is known for spending millions of dollars to promote the voucher system in Michigan, so education is privatized. Common Core, Race to the Top, and Leave no Child Left Behind are controversial policies from previous administrations too. We don’t need austerity and privatization (which is about the selling of public properties and institutions to capitalists). Education has been harmed by tax cuts for the rich, expanded military spending, banker bailouts, the economic recession, and other events. Public education should be owned and controlled by the people not by private, free market-oriented capitalist corporations. The people must define their power not corporations. The problem is not just found in schools. Many grown adults (grown people) fail to add numbers of a bank slip, identify places on a map, and reading directions for taking medication. Therefore, we should help people to do these tasks and to be more productive members of society. We must not shame or disrespect those who struggle with literacy. We must be strong, compassionate, and giving to help humanity. Also, we should educate human beings on true black history and true pro-black liberation information in society.

Education is about gaining wisdom, so our self can be transformed. We must embrace meaning. True education rejects brainwashing, rejects total groupthink, rejects constant training to rigid confirmity, and rejects stagnation. True education is about independent thinking. Developing intelligence isn’t about tech savviness alone. Intelligence encompasses creation, analysis, developing, memory, and creating new meanings to existing concepts. I don’t believe in G. Stanley Hall’s view that learning the alphabet is fetishism. Students should learn the basics of the alphabet, multiplication, grammar, scales and literature in order for them to get life going. Education is not training to be a puppet of corporate elites. Education is about using your innate talents and abilities to understand language, science, history, literature, other STEM fields, music, and other subjects in order for you to live and flourish in the world society. Learning is about not random memorization, but expressing true understanding of concepts (plus applying that understanding in everyday life). Education wants to make people in general to be informed about the world around them, so positive, progressive change can exist globally. That’s the point. To read, to write, and to think flourish under true education. We are human and we are creative living beings who have every right to promote education. I embrace critical thinking, self-awareness, and consciousness (in fighting injustices too). Universal education was improved during the civil rights struggles, but we have so much to go. So, public schools and any legitimate schools must improve. We must be active in supporting policies that develop education and promote true justice involving our educational services indeed.

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We live in a new era. Music has changed. Many aspects of culture have changed too. We have witnessed the U.S. strikes against Syria. There is the military build up by America in the Korean Peninsula. One thing that hasn't chanted is the truth. The truth is eternal, strong, persistent, and unyielding. When anyone succinctly embraces the truth, that person's soul flourishes with a rejuvenated mind and determined mentality to advance altruism. As 2017 continues onward, we still have a remnant of human beings showing compassion to others (and helping society in a manifold of ways). Your intuition is there for a reason. It is important to trust it. There are countless times where I trusted my intuition to make a wise decision or to make a great choice in life.

When I was in high school, no one taught me the revolutionary side of Dr. King. When I got older, I learned of this information. Dr. King praised democratic socialism. His allies were socialists from A. Philip Randolph to Norman Thomas (who was a socialist that Dr. King praised). Dr. King didn't believe in Stalinist Communism because Dr. King said that it included ethical relativism and a crippling totalitarianism. Respectability politics ultimately doesn't work since a perfectly uplift human being can still be oppressed and murdered regardless. There is nothing wrong with integrity and honor, but we need justice too. So, more people have to understand that Dr. King and Malcolm X including Ella Baker were militant human beings who desired change.

This is a very sweet story with an important message. One teenager named Priscilla Samey brought her Harvard acceptance letter to her prom. For generations, elders and great human beings have told the truth that education is an important gateway to so many blessings of society (from powerful occupations to the growth of a progressive standard of living). The young Sister should be commended and congratulated for her sacrifice and her great intellectual skills in pursuing her dreams. She wants to study political science in Harvard is magnificent. I had a minor in Political Science and it's one of the greatest subjects to study. Also, she wants to have a major and a doctorate in dealing with business administration including business law and that is great too. We all wish Priscilla Samey the best and she is living her life. Her life shows the greatness of Black Excellence.

I want to mention this point. This is an important issue. I was inspired to write about it, because of one spiritual woman and a great Friend. She knows who she is. :) It is important to recognize the truth that Strength is Beautiful. That means that there is nothing wrong with a woman with muscles. In this generation, we have more people who show tolerance and respect for women who are into fitness and exercising. Back in the day, there was a lot of intolerance about that (even against great pioneers like Lenda Murray & Serena Williams). Even today, many misogynists and wrong headed people believe in the lie that a woman shouldn't have muscles in a great way. We will let the truth be known that men and women have every human right to exercise, to be free, and to express themselves in a progressive society. Therefore, we are living now and we have this opportunity to inspire people (both men and women) to live out their destinies. We want people to succeed. Some are gifted in fitness, art, teaching, athletics, education, construction, architecture, theology, and other fields. That's fine and we believe not only in respect and human dignity. We believe in living that credo forever. So, the words from the haters don't mean a hill of beans. Truth conquers all and Everyone should follow their dreams.

Health care in America is a very important issue. It is also an important issue worldwide. The Trump team has made House members in the majority to vote for Trump's health care plan. There are many problems with the bill. First, it would transform Medicaid expansion to be changed into a block grant program by 2020. That would cut Medicaid heavily in America. The House passed the bill without a CBO analysis (during the beginning). It repeals many taxes that the 1% pays. . A provision of the House bill that drops the requirement for large employers to provide coverage to workers could force millions more to fend for themselves. The bill ends many subsidies and creates risky pools in trying to handle preexisting conditions (which can harm the elderly too). It also gives massive tax breaks to big insurance companies. It's a disgraceful bill. Trump claims that the high risk pools can cover people with pre-existing conditions. However, a new analysis released on Thursday found that this aid would only cover 110,000 Americans, which amounts just five percent of the 2.2 million current enrollees in the individual insurance market estimated to have some type of pre-existing chronic condition. I agree with Sheila Jackson Lee and others who disagree with the bill. So, we desire universal health care. Life will never be easy. One of the lessons that I have learned is that sometimes, you have to go through the fire of challenge in order to get into the finish line. The challenges strengthen us along the way, because patience and strength amidst adversity can make all of the difference in achieving goals. Therefore, I continue to work and to believe in justice.

By Timothy

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