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MetalCuresHeadaches
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:35 pm
Posts: 611
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:31 am 
 

Earthcubed wrote:
At the least, there needs to be more effort to let students/parents choose which public schools to attend.


The county I live in decided to do that a few years back and it was a terrible idea. All the high schools had "Magnet Programs" to focus on a specific field of study, ranging from television production to autobody repair to the arts (music, dance, singing, ect.) to even marine biology. Students could either choose to stick to their neighborhood school, and get the basic "well rounded" education, or they could pick a "Magnet Program" in any school in the county to attend. But the allowing of students and parents to choose schools led to two things:

1. Segregation. Unintentional, yes, but it still lead to predictable segregation along population lines, with students in the predominantly white areas going to the local school, and the same thing happening in the predominantly black part of the county. And when the school board decided that diversity levels where not acceptable, they implemented forced integration on all non-magnet program students, where they would bus white kids from the north and west ends of the county to the black area in the south of the county, and vice versa.

2. Money issues. Because of the above forced integration, and the huge number of students expecting to be bused around the county to attend the magnet school of their choosing, the county had to hire on a number of new bus drivers, and had to add a number of buses to its fleet to meet demands. Of course, there was no money for this, so they quickly dropped busing for magnet programs, basically telling parents that if they wanted to send their students to a magnet program at the other end of the county, they better find their own transportation or they would have to start attending the neighborhood school. However, they kept up the forced integration, which still cost money to maintain. To this day, the school board still continues to poor funds into the integration instead of other areas that could use them, just to make sure no one looks at the diversity of the schools and cries "Racism!"


I'm also really surprised at how many of you claim to attend/have attended a school without air conditioning. Then again, being from Florida, where it's routinely above 80F and 80% humidity all year long, it's just expected for schools to include AC.
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dystopia4
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Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:47 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:18 pm 
 

As for educators having a left-wing bias, it's pretty much true, at least in my experience. I've had quite a few teachers who were very left wing and not afraid to talk about their viewpoints. I've only had one teacher who was overtly right wing; a lot of which I think has too do with the fact that she's very religious. She didn't really shove it down our throats, though. I didn't mind many of my teachers being very left wing, because I was even more left wing (now I'm at a point in my life where I don't really know where I stand when it comes to politics, I realize that some of my older views were more idealistic than realistic).

Now in university I am noticing an even stronger left-wing bias in professors (although I'm sure it would be different if I was a business student, which I honestly kind of wish I was now that having to go out and make a living in the real world is drawing closer). I'll never forget this one English teacher who was the biggest proponent of white guilt I've ever seen. Although she looked just as white as the next person, she'd make a point of referring to herself as part of an Italian minority instead of being part of the white majority. She even said she felt so out of place when she was in an all white classroom in college, even though she was born here and has no accent and looks as white as the next person. She, along with many other profs, are far too concerned with political correctness.
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OzzyApu
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:34 pm 
 

dystopia4 wrote:
She, along with many other profs, are far too concerned with political correctness.

Lots of teachers kind of have to be whether they like it or not in order to save themselves from getting fired.
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Metantoine
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:41 pm 
 

Yeah... Teachers are role models for the kids, they need to be objective persons who are giving the "think for yourself" tools to the students. I highly despise teachers with huge and obvious biases.
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Woolie_Wool
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 6:56 pm
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Location: Far beyond the prophecy of tyrant guardians
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:47 pm 
 

dystopia4 wrote:
As for educators having a left-wing bias, it's pretty much true, at least in my experience. I've had quite a few teachers who were very left wing and not afraid to talk about their viewpoints. I've only had one teacher who was overtly right wing; a lot of which I think has too do with the fact that she's very religious. She didn't really shove it down our throats, though. I didn't mind many of my teachers being very left wing, because I was even more left wing (now I'm at a point in my life where I don't really know where I stand when it comes to politics, I realize that some of my older views were more idealistic than realistic).

Now in university I am noticing an even stronger left-wing bias in professors (although I'm sure it would be different if I was a business student, which I honestly kind of wish I was now that having to go out and make a living in the real world is drawing closer). I'll never forget this one English teacher who was the biggest proponent of white guilt I've ever seen. Although she looked just as white as the next person, she'd make a point of referring to herself as part of an Italian minority instead of being part of the white majority. She even said she felt so out of place when she was in an all white classroom in college, even though she was born here and has no accent and looks as white as the next person. She, along with many other profs, are far too concerned with political correctness.


It is my experience that social justice advocates who are actually part of the oppressed group they're fighting for have little patience for fawning "____ guilt" types because they place themselves into other people's hardships, which is insulting and patronizing. Also, that whole "Italian minority" thing is a load of bullshit. She's white and shoving her white privilege card into a hidden corner of her mental wallet won't make it go away. As far as political college profs, generally the humanities have more of them than science/technical/mathematics fields, and a lot of them are stuck in this bubble where the early '70s never ended, divorced from any living political movement on the left or the right. And if the course you signed up for was itself overtly political, don't go into a women's studies course expecting Rush Limbaugh to be teaching the class.

On the other hand, when someone calls you out for doing/saying something racist/sexist/homophobic/_____ist, perhaps before writing it off as "political correctness" or immediately getting defensive and trying to deny the other person's experiences with ______ism, you should ask yourself if you're being a dick. Just because the Constitution gives you the right to be a dick to people, doesn't mean you should. If the answer is yes, than just stop doing whatever it is that makes you look like a dick. You don't have to flagellate yourself and attend OWS demonstrations and collect goofy postmodernist literature that hardly anybody reads and nobody understands. Just stop and think "could what I'm saying really upset someone?" and "can I say this without seriously upsetting people by wording it a bit differently?"

And of course, one day you WILL screw up and piss someone off with some offensive remark, and that person will get mad at you. But then again, one day you will also screw up at work and piss your boss off and he'll yell at you. That doesn't mean bosses are all "industrially correct" and you should ignore everything they say. It meant you fucked up. Fucking up and getting chewed out when you fuck up is part of life. Chances are that person doesn't hate you (or whatever privileged group you're part of--and EVERYONE is part of at least one), but merely wants to make sure you think twice the next time you come up with a "tranny" joke.
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severzhavnost
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Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:16 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:10 am 
 

Woolie_Wool wrote:
(see also: companies demanding years of experience for entry-level positions instead of training green young workers so there will actually be a decent number of skilled workers 30 years from now).


You proved my point right there! We wouldn't be faced with asinine over-qualifications for the most basic jobs, if not for the fact that every fool and his dog is coddled all the way up to getting a degree!

Quote:
... I remember my history books telling me My Lai was some sort of exception, an aberration from the usually responsible conduct of US soldiers in Vietnam. In reality, the United States is responsible for the deaths of around 3,000,000 Vietnamese and monstrous atrocities happened constantly, in nearly every unit.


No argument here. Pick your battles! My example of a teacher not knowing about Germans bombing in dirigibles was minor. I just wanted ti show the incompetents that the leftist school system foists on students! I actually agree with you about Vietnam. Johnson should never have gotten fooled into going to that war. The Tonkin Incident was doctored intel.

Quote:
Of course, the grinding poverty, the private education system siphoning off all the best teachers, the shitty school budgets, moronic curricula often set by religious fundies, the kids having no fathers because the fathers all got locked up for smoking harmless marijuana and they can't get a job because OH NO WE CAN'T HIRE DOPEHEADS, those have nothing to do with it...


I never said jack about privatisation! Nor do i care one way or the other about marijuana. But that bit about religious curricula?? Come on. I went ti a Catholic high school, and in four years, was only required to take ONE class in one semester dealing with Christian doctrine. Be secular if you want, but if others choose to put some spirituality in their education, let them be. (I'm not even particularly defending Christianity, as I would prefer that the Romans never let that little sect spread out of where it belongs - the Middle East. I support my people's original European paganism.)



Quote:
Four years later, you attend your graduation ceremony with 6,000 other totally unremarkable Bachelors - all of whom spoon-fed and hand-walked to the finish line. So after all that you're not proud or even hopeful for your future. You berate yourself for all the wasted effort! You stand up on stage with your diploma, right next to some wannabe rapper stain on society, finally realising: all my work has gotten me no further ahead than the pieces of shit who coasted along, spending most of their off-class time drawing gang signs on the bathroom walls.

And of course, this is because of those liberal-socialist values, unlike, say, Finland, whose infinitely more liberal-socialist values give them one of the best educational systems in the world.[/quote]

Prove to me Finland isn't suffering from the same dilution of standards, leading to thousands of graduates mounting their degrees on the dashboards of their cabs.

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Woolie_Wool
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 6:56 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:05 pm 
 

How is the fact that businesses these days are too lazy and obsessed with short-term quarterly horizons to invest in new human capital related to your point?

Quote:
I never said jack about privatisation! Nor do i care one way or the other about marijuana. But that bit about religious curricula?? Come on. I went ti a Catholic high school, and in four years, was only required to take ONE class in one semester dealing with Christian doctrine. Be secular if you want, but if others choose to put some spirituality in their education, let them be. (I'm not even particularly defending Christianity, as I would prefer that the Romans never let that little sect spread out of where it belongs - the Middle East. I support my people's original European paganism.)

I'm not talking about Catholic schools (especially since Catholicism has a far lower proportion of crazies than evangelicalism--you've got Phil Donahue against a veritable army of Protestant televangelist crackpots). I'm talking about evangelical fanatics in public school boards (who, as government employees, are supposed to be religiously impartial while performing their duties) deciding to teach "the controversy" (evolution denialism) in public schools and force the tragic joke known as "abstinence-only sex education" on high schoolers instead of teaching them how to develop a healthy sexuality that respects the boundaries of others.

And as far as proving things, you haven't even proven that American schools' problems are caused by dilution of standards as opposed to numerous other factors (lower quality of curricula, poor pay and working conditions for teachers driving good talent out of the field, the horrifying destruction of lower-class families by the state in the name of "tough on crime", the hollowing out of social welfare programs so even more people fall into the underclass, etc.), so you're in no position to demand me to go dredge up Finnish education statistics for the last 40 years.

But of course it's the victims' fault. It's always the victims' fault. God I fucking hate our society.
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severzhavnost
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Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:16 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:04 am 
 

@Woolie_Wool: the author meant this as a thread about education. So I'll leave aside your thoughts on crime, social welfare etc. Really, we are having 2 different arguments here, on the education topic. You say you object to some of the ideas being taught (incomplete sex ed and Bible-vs.-Darwin for example.) You haven't proven how teaching things you disagree with diminishes the quality of other subjects, and thus education as a whole.
That's my issue - the mediocre standards by which they - all subjects - are graded. Too many idiots pass just because the system declares that everyone must be equal, not because they had learned anything. Some people will fail; but the everyone-is-special hippie-ass system can't accept that reality. So schools give 30% just for having a halfway attendance record.

Anyway, we won't convince each other. To your point, "God, I fucking hate our society", so do I. I think this is a good point of agreement on which we can call a truce, and stop hijacking this poor fellow's discussion. Have a good night!

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MushroomStamp
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Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:07 pm
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Location: Helsinki, Finland
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:31 pm 
 

Pros of the Finnish system:

1) Reaches everyone, rich or poor. Teachers and other staff go far out of their way to keep kids from falling out of the system. One of my heroes is the tech school teacher who picked up this kid from home and told him to get his act together.

2) Most teachers are highly professional and responsible -- a 5-year master's degree with studies in pedagogics is a requirement if you're in primary/secondary education. Teaching methods are varied and adaptable. There is only one nationwide standardized test, which is the matriculation exam of the pre-academic lukio. Oddly enough, this 'socialist' system is probably one of the most decentralized in the world. It's built on trust.

3) Politicians realize the value of constant improvement and maintenance of this system. The Prime Minister once remarked that the three keys to success are "education, education and education".

Some cons:

1) Of course, heaps and heaps of money are funnelled into this system. Yet if that means paying the very horrible income tax rate of 20%, so be it... The more underperforming kids get degrees and jobs, the fewer petty criminals we have sitting in our state-funded bed & breakfast establishments for 200 euros PER DAY.

2) Nightmare parents pest the teachers nowadays, complaining as if they bought a deficient product from the teacher when their child performed poorly.

3) There is an undercurrent that prefers theoretical academia over any of the technical trades. While I recognize the value of both, I sincerely hope the attitude doesn't grow to the point when we have abundant amounts of MAs flipping burgers like in the US.
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Unorthodox
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:08 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:27 pm 
 

Metantoine wrote:
Yeah... Teachers are role models for the kids, they need to be objective persons who are giving the "think for yourself" tools to the students. I highly despise teachers with huge and obvious biases.


I can see how one would think this would impact a small kid, but I don't think it would at least after like 13. Remember; a lot of kids already get predisposed to a bias through their parents, so a teacher with one will either fuel what their parents are saying or maybe open their eyes to another perspective on a subject. I grew up in a really right wing and christian town, but my parents are very left wing and non religious. So, that being said, I ended up having to deal with quite a few teachers that were more right wing than left wing. These teachers did end up making me a bit more aware of perspectives I wasn't exactly knowledgeable of, and ultimately made me far more considerate of other people's opinions than I use to be. I also had teachers with left wing bias, but again; this didn't do anything more than back up what I was hearing in my household.
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CF_Mono
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:57 pm 
 

Unorthodox wrote:
evil528e wrote:
As a teacher myself, I see the American education system sinking rapidly. It is mostly due to more federal government interference, the economy, and the lack of family values as well as crappy parents that should not be parents. Honestly, I would like to see public education go away and education in general should be privatized. This would reduce costs for everyone while increasing the quality of learning and the learning environment. The way I see it, education is a priviledge, not a right. You want? Go get it! It shouldn't be rammed down your throat. And yes, you are right... it should be more individualized.


Nah bro. It's a pity you're a teacher yet you seem to not understand that ones own education can impact an entire society. Like, somehow the world didn't benefit and receive anything from other people becoming educated, even though knowledge is the very thing that transformed western society out of the dark ages. Yes- there's benefits of education like getting a better job. But better jobs pay because they help society more (theoretically... exclude hedge funds and the anomalies that are famous for no reason).

I don't think he's arguing against that. I just had a unit on education in a class on U.S. reflections. Funding, location, and standardized tests haven't shown to consistently change everything. The only consistent variable that works is adding structure to classes. Whether you're a drill sergeant or an old lady, if you give children more attention they will learn better. That being said, the kind of teacher you are doesn't exactly make a difference. You can change the system of a classroom without changing the teacher and still get great results. I think at the end of it, parenting does make the biggest difference. It's a culture thing in America. Decades ago people marched and had rocks thrown in their face to get an education... Now what? Kids are skipping all the time. and their parents don't do much to prevent it from happening. I went to a dirt poor highschool and I'm going to Syracuse University right now. I know people from that class that are going to great engineering schools. But I have also seen countless kids absolutely waste every opportunity they were ever given because they didn't value it. They were not specifically disadvantaged. They had the same teachers and curriculum that I did and simply didn't learn because they had other priorities. Nothing is going to change until that does, and I absolutely do not condone spending more money on kids that won't work at all. Sure, I'm all for a better school system, but actual reforms to the schools curriculums isn't going to reduce the drop-out rate. Wanting to not drop out will reduce the drop out rate.

Woolie_Wool wrote:
1. Reduce or eliminate private schools
These schools pull away the best teachers and wealthiest families from the public school system, reducing the educational opportunities of less well-off kids. No, vouchers are not a solution.

2. Use a statewide or nationwide funding system for public schools instead of local property taxes
This would be to ensure money is split up fairly between different schools and districts, giving better education to poorer students and putting a big dent in the growth of the underclass.

4. A national science curriculum
Fuck you, cretinists, you shouldn't be allowed to deny our children a decent grounding in the sciences.

5. Eliminate summer vacation and replace it with periodic breaks sprinkled throughout the year
Much of the work done in the beginning of a school year is remedial work to reteach what was forgotten over the summer. Giving students a few days to a week off every now and then with the school year being the whole 12 months would be much better.

6. Comprehensive sexual education courses that focus safe sex, personal boundaries, and how not to violate other people's boundaries. The "personal boundaries" thing is more important than "the penis goes into the vagina" because teaching kids to respect each other's boundaries will go a long way to reducing sexual harassment, assault, and rape.

8. Mandatory civics, shop, and home ec for everyone
For the love of Christ, we force trigonometry and Algebra 2 on all kids when half of them will never use it but we don't teach them the basics of managing finances, fixing shit when it breaks, how our political system works and why you should not believe what comes out of the mouths of people wearing flag-shaped lapel pins, keeping a house in order, and other essentials of being a functioning human being.

9. Foreign language education in early elementary school
Little kids are geniuses at picking up languages. Teenagers on adults on the other hand, are really, really shitty at picking up languages. This is why immigrants who've lived in the US for decades still have thick accents but their children's English is flawless. So why are we teaching foreign languages in high school after the kids have lost their natural affinity for language learning?

10. Less completely bullshit history classes
No, Columbus did not discover America, nor was he a nice guy. No, George Washington is not the primary reason we won the Revolutionary War (the real reason is the French). No, our country is not above committing horrible war crimes.

13. Spend the money to get some actually decent school lunches and ban junk food vending machines from schools
See above statements about lazy sedentary fat people and how they learn a lot of those qualities as children.

14. A health class with sensible, science-based diet and lifestyle advice
I'm going to harp on this, because this is the biggest public health crisis of our time and could totally bone our economy even more than it's already boned.


+10

Woolie_Wool wrote:

3. Reduce or eliminate standardized multiple-choice tests
These things are the goddamn education devil. Forget actually giving our kids an education, we'll just teach them what they know to fill in the correct bubble in a standardized state test. Tests should be largely devised by school teachers and administrators and use essay questions and other ways to properly test the children's actual comprehension of the material.

7. Rigorous physical education programs
Would so many of us be lazy, sedentary, and fat if we had active lifestyles taught to us as children? Imagine what 5-10 hours of serious exercise a week would do to obesity rates. And no you can't opt out unless you're actually disabled, you pussy.

11. Lose the "security"
We do not need metal detectors, drug dogs, and "resource officers". These are supposed to be schools, not prisons. If we make our schools into prisons we will raise a generation of prisoners. No matter how much people flap their hands and scream "NEWTOWN!", it's not worth the cost to the actual living children who have to learn in this oppressive environment.

12. Longer school days and much less homework
Homework really doesn't help learning or retention very much and could be replaced with more class time, allowing for more subjects to be taught, and since the kids get home later, they wouldn't be left unattended by working parents so much. Might suck for the advertisers who hawk products on afterschool cartoon programming though.

I think standardized tests could work if the curriculum wasn't orbiting around it all the time. You have to measure skill somehow. But I do agree to an extent. I got 100+ more points on my SAT second time I took it, and I studied much less and was low on sleep. Also I just wrote liberal nonsense for my essay and got marked way higher on it. Also, honestly, phys-ed classes do nothing. I'm fit as hell and I never participated in Gym class. Again, obesity is a lifestyle thing, it's something their parents need to instill in kids properly in order to avoid. I really really disagree with #11 here. If anything I've felt safer going to my high school on days we had searches. I've seen some nasty stuff confiscated from kids. If you're going to have to learn how to obey the law, then you should start early. As for 12, I'm on the fence about that. Kids are going to have to learn how to take the initiative of working on their own time, and it seriously helps build work ethic. Homework that reinforces stuff learned in school seems to work very well. Homework that requires you to teach yourself things that you couldn't cover in class is where it fails.

severzhavnost wrote:
That's my issue - the mediocre standards by which they - all subjects - are graded. Too many idiots pass just because the system declares that everyone must be equal, not because they had learned anything. Some people will fail; but the everyone-is-special hippie-ass system can't accept that reality. So schools give 30% just for having a halfway attendance record.

This. A LOT of kids in my class were artificially passed. I knew some kids that didn't show up for more than 7 days total out of their entire upperclassman "career", and had to be bribed to write a few paragraph essays to get a diploma.

I'm getting a little annoyed by labeling poverty as this "endless cycle of doom" everyone is talking about. I loved the teachers I had in high school. That's because I was an engaged student and I wanted to learn. I was given the same education as my peers and hell, I didn't even use the benefits that they got - a free ride to school, a free lunch, afterschool programs... I just wanted to learn. I didn't even have a good learning environment, but I did it. Granted, I did learn a bunch of watered down crap, and I was ultimately held back in the long run (I graduated on time) because I graduated high school not knowing what a proper heading for an essay was or finishing our trig classes... But those are the direct result of lowering the standards in high schools. And I'm paying for it in college.
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evil528e
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:59 pm
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Location: Va Beach, VA USA
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 9:54 am 
 

^^ Much of what Wooli says sounds like a socialist nightmare. I don't have time right now to get into all the negative ramifications of many of his proposals, but the nationalization of education would be horrifying.

Getting rid of private schools would monopolize education by the governement, and take the opportunity for choice away.

If all schools were privately run, costs would decrease to a very very low level, and teach kids who actually want to be there.

People seem to forget that governement doesn't grant rights. True rights are endowed on us by the creator. That is why education is a priviledge... we must be in a position to want it and attain it. To get it we must work for it... much like food, and money to live. We work for it. I know that isn't a popular position, and many don't really understand that concept, and that is ok. To each his own!

Have a great day everyone!
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