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Archive for the ‘education’ Category

Norway is one of the most prosperous nations in the world; its citizens enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world, and it is one of the most highly taxed nations in the world. Those high taxes mean the rich don’t have enough money to purchase enough politicians to redistribute the income and wealth of the 99 percent to the 1 percent in Norway, like they do in the United States, using both political parties.

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The problem with the US educational system is as Mr. Tyson suggests, but that only hits the surface of the problem. Here’s the real problem; the US public educational system is not for profit, and despite that, the US public educational systems produce hundreds of millions, perhaps billions of dollars, of profits every year, but only for the CEO’s and shareholders of publishers McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and other producers of educational materials and educational reform. In other words, what is best for their profits determines what educational reform is and will become, and what is good for children is the last thing on the minds of these corporate CEOs.

That’s right. That’s why the educational reform that school districts are forced to accept are all about students taking tests and nothing more. Guess who produces the tests for profits, and who fight in the halls of the US congress, the white house, state legislatures, and school districts for more testing and educational programs that are often ineffective, and simply place more pressure on teachers and administrators.

These publishers are also aligned with conservative politicians who demand teacher accountability based on the success or failures students have on these tests. This public relations campaign is one way to put pressure on teachers, but it also takes the attention of most citizens off of why these tests are so important; these tests produce very important profits by redistributing tax dollars to the corporations mentioned above.

McGraw-Hill and Pearson are publicly traded limited liability corporations whose shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is also a publicly, traded limited liability corporation whose stock is traded on NASDAQ.

The direction of profits and share prices are the only way for a board of directors of any major corporation to know how well the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) are doing their jobs. When profits are going up, especially at a steady, well regulated, rate, dividends rise, and investors are enticed to purchase shares. This pushes share prices up, and makes CEOs look like they’re doing a swell job. However, if profits are declining, typically share prices follow, and CEOs in these situations are at risk of losing their jobs.

That’s why the CEO’s of the above mentioned corporations push for more and more student testing.

In reality, these tests have nothing to do with measuring student achievement or improving public education. They’re all about improving corporate profits and share prices. Otherwise, educational reform would be something more than students taking test after test.

Finland has the highest rated public educational system in the world. They also have the least tested students in the world, while the US has the most tested students. That’s because Wall Street and the testing corporations run the show in the US and they don’t in Finland.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is correct that adults write the legislation impacting education in the USA, but I don’t think he understands why they do what they do in the halls of power. Educational reform in the USA is all about money and redistributing it from the taxpayers footing the bill for public education (mostly the 99 percent), to the 1 percent who are the CEOs and shareholders (mostly the 1 percent) of the publishing corporations.

Educational reform is simply a big con job perpetrated by the 1 percent on the 99 percent. That’s one of the ways the political and economic games in the US are rigged against the 99 percent.

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In the USA, the buying off of the politicians of the Federal and State governments never ends, and it’s just as true for the publishing industry as any other industry.

Our kids are forced to take standardized tests pushed by the publishing corporations. These tests have nothing to do with learning, and they have everything to do with enhancing the profits of the publishing industry at the expense of the education of our students, parents, and our tax bases.

According to Yahoo news!

“The litany of frighteningly stupid Common Core math worksheets never ends. Perhaps now, though, kids are starting to fight back in satisfyingly creative ways.

An alert reader sent The Daily Caller this image of her seven-year-old son’s perfectly reasonable homework answer. The boy attends a public elementary school in San Jose, Calif. He is in the second grade.

The math curriculum used by the school is GO Math! The publisher of GO Math! is produced by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

The parent who sent the homework question to TheDC noted that the curriculum aligns with the Common Core math standards.

“If you look closely under the math question, you will be able to see the Common Core standards in a blue-colored print that aligns to that particular question,” she explained.”

Check out the picture below for the stupidity, but profitable for the 1 percent, question the kid is forced to answer. Long before standardized testing, teachers made up tests just like this, only without the stupid and necessary response. Why are school districts forced into purchasing this worthless and unnecessary testing? It’s all about money.

The United States has the most corrupt, that is to say bought off, government in the industrialized world, and by a wide margin. That’s precisely why US kids are forced to take stupid tests like the one above, and that’s why US students are the most tested in the world. The more tests the public is forced to purchase with taxpayer dollars, the greater the profits of the publishing corporations, and all of the tax dollars used to purchase these tests go to the 1 percent via higher share prices and dividends. Testing our public students is all about redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

If we were to take the profits out of education, that is stop the 1 percent from redistributing income from the 99 to themselves, then the people of the USA would most likely be able to develop curriculum and build the best school systems in the world. Currently, CEO’s of the publishing industry and Wall Street executives determine the curriculum of all public school districts through the development of these tests, and teachers are forced to teach to the test. That coincidentally is why many politicians support the idea that teacher’s salaries should be aligned to the test results of their students.

The students of Finland, where the people rule, have the highest test scores in the world, and they’re also the least tested. This gave parents, teachers and administrators the room to develop an educational system second to none in the world. Of course, the government of Finland is not on anybody’s list of the most corrupt governments in the world. The USA is. Once you realize this, you can see the cause and effect of educational failure in the USA compared to say, educational success in Finland.

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Why do we need so many Tomahawk cruise missiles? Because they’re profitable for the corporations of the military industrial complex, and it pushes corporate profits, dividends and share prices higher, and all at taxpayer expense. Cruise missiles also redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent via tax payer dollars.

However, teachers are not so profitable for Wall Street, or the corporations of the military industrial complex. Financially supporting teachers to the point where every child would be successful isn’t in the cards because it’s won’t increase corporate profits, or redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent. That’s precisely why our government (i.e. corrupt politicians) has decided it needs more and more cruise missiles and other costly things the world’s largest military power doesn’t need.

The United States spends more on its military than the next thirteen largest militaries in the world combined. However, if one counts the mercenaries the United States hires, such as the mercenaries of the corporation formerly known as Black Water, then the USA most likely outspends all of the nations in the world combined.

Yet Republican politicians and many Democratic politicians, such as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, are ardent supporters of increasing US military expenditures so that the elephant in the room (the USA) can be terrified of the loose coalition of roughly 1000 to 2000 Al Queda members (the baby mouse in the room). Why are these people such cowards?

Or are their cries of hysteria really a case of trying to instill in the American people a fear of a mouse so that the citizenry is more and more willing to redistribute taxpayer money to useless military spending?

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Virtually everything going on in public education today is determined by Wall Street and the corporations that it serves. Corporate standardized tests are sold to school districts across the nation because these corporations have used their financial muscle in the corrupt federal government and in corrupt state houses to ensure that US children are the most tested in the world, which makes America’s school children big profit makers for the testing industry, which includes such publishing giants as McGraw-Hill. The McGraws have been close buddies with the Bush family since the Great Depression. This is why George W. Bush selected the McGraw-Hill business plan as his standard for education reform, and which he erroneously titled the No Child Left Behind Act. Of course, it had nothing to do with enhancing the education of US children.

Standardized testing is all about redistributing income from the taxpayers of the 99 percent to the parasites of the 1 percent. The reality is that standardized testing has absolutely nothing to do with student achievement, but it has everything to do with generating corporate profits.

Finland has the highest standardized test scores in the world. The children of that nation are the least tested in the world. That’s because the Finnish educational system is for its children, and it is not used to generate corporate profits.

Because of the massive reliance on standardized tests, over the last thirty years, US school districts have shaped their curriculum to meet Wall Street’s expectations for testing industry profits. You read that correctly!

Now the billionaires and millionaires are going after more of the $1.3 trillion public education market, helped along by bought off Wall Street senators such as Ron Wyden and Mitch McConnell, and it won’t have anything to do with ensuring better education for our children. It’s all about profits, not children, and certainly not education. That’s precisely what education reform has been about for the last thirty years: profits, profits, and more profits, and all at the expense of the education of our children.

For more on Wall Street’s latest attack to redistribute taxpayer funds for public education to the publishing corporations, Wall Street and the rest of the parasites of the 1 percent, click the link below.

how-wall-street-power-brokers-are-designing-the-future-of-public-education-as-a-money-making-machine–truthout.org

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On May 19th, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called on “Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.”

They called for an to GM foods, long-term independent studies, and labeling. AAEM’s position paper said, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food.” That includes “infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.” According to the AAEM, “There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation,” as defined by recognized scientific criteria. “The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.”

Check out the complete story below.

Doctors Warn Against GM foods

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An act by Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden tells us much about the backroom deals between congress, the white house, major corporate players and others of the 1 percent during the last six months. All of this was predicted on the pages of this blog.

Wyden who pretends to represent the people of Oregon on social issues, and who represents Wall Street and, mostly out-of-state, corporations on all economic issues, once stood against the secrecy and lack of transparency in the on-going negotiations of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the biggest free trade treaty of all time. That means it’s also the biggest income redistribution scam of all time, and it will also usurp many local and state laws. Like Nafta, these laws will be challenged in secret tribunals presided over by corporate lawyers who will be called judges. You won’t get to be there.

Wyden expressed worry about Internet freedom and the TPP last year. Curtailing such freedoms would prove a disaster for many of his actual constituents; Google, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs and many other corporations. Of course, keeping these stock prices high is in harmony with the desires of executives from such notorious income redistribution corporations as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and numerous hedge funds, which are also represented by Wyden against the interests of the people of Oregon.

During the spring of 2013, Senator Wyden announced that he was against fast track for the TPP. Fast track is defined by Wikipedia as, “The fast track negotiating authority (also called trade promotion authority or TPA, since 2002) for trade agreements is the authority of the President of the United States to negotiate international agreements that the Congress can approve or disapprove but cannot amend or filibuster.”

It’s likely the TPP will never be approved by congress if every congressman and senator demands changes to the terms of the agreements. That’s because many Americans would not be happy that their jobs will be shipped overseas because of the treaties, and they’d call their congress person and let them know this.

A few days ago, Wyden announced that he supported fast track for the TPP. This suggests that behind closed doors, entirely in secret, the senator who once deplored the secrecy of the negotiations behind the TPP, negotiated an even more secret deal with President Obama that will make the corporations mentioned above happy should the treaty become law.

In other words, Wyden’s announced support for fast track means the 1 percent have formed ranks behind the treaty in order to redistribute more income and political power from the 99 to the 1 percent.

Wyden knows this treaty will wipe out a couple hundred thousand jobs in the US textile industry alone; and that it will put half a million or more people in Central America’s textile mills out of work.

That’s because Vietnam is going to be part of the TPP. Vietnam has lower wages and worse working conditions than what is found in Central America. Central America’s textile mills will migrate to Vietnam. The mills in Central America receive their tread, yarn and fabric from United States textile mills, and this supports about 200,000 US jobs. However, Vietnamese mills get their yarn, thread and fabric from China. The wages there are considerably lower than in the US. So the US jobs will migrate to China. When that happens, the difference between the old higher wages of the US (and Central American workers) and the new, cheaper workers of China (and Vietnam) will go into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, dividends and share prices. The losers of the 99 percent might get unemployment benefits, if they happen to live in the US.

These textile jobs, and the jobs that will also be lost in other industries, allow people to pay taxes. The loss of these jobs means that financial support for schools, fire, police, road maintenance, the social safety nets and other government services, will diminish. The quality of life for the 99 percent will further diminish. K-12 classrooms will become more crowded, pension benefits will ebb, fees for the use of parks will go up, college tuition and fees will soar even more, public employees will have less money to spend; and all of this will depress demand for goods and services even more, which will in turn place downward pressure on private sector wages.

The TPP will also send hundreds of the thousands, perhaps millions, of Latin Americans scurrying into the United States illegally in search of work, pushing down wages here, and putting greater financial pressures on social services, just like Nafta did.

These examples are just a tiny tip of the economic tsunami that’s going to sweep hundreds of billions of dollars every year out of the pockets of hard working Central Americans and United States citizens and into the already fat wallets of the 1 percent.

All of us of the 99 percent, in both North and South America, as well as all over the Pacific Rim, are in this together. We’ll sink even more if the TPP becomes law. Should that happen, the 1 percent will simply have more of our money to rig the economic game against us by corrupting government even more than it is. Oh, and by the way, we can’t forget that the Dow Jones will climb higher, since the money that will be redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent via the TPP will be used in part to bid up the price of corporate stocks and bonds. Wall Street likes that. Therefore, so does Wyden.

The apex of corruption is Ron Wyden. He knows everything and more of what’s written in this story. He doesn’t care. He represents only one thing: organized big money. That’s why he’s a study in total depravity.

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