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Comment: Re:It is ludicrous (Score 1) 143

by Ol Olsoc (#48681577) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

Vocational shops (metal, wood, electrical, auto, etc) were never available in the private schools (Choate, Andover, Exiter, Milton, Tabor, etc). Even back in the 1960's. The only shop class that Tabor Academy (the prep school that I went to) was repairing the sailboats that are used by the sailing team. Now, I have heard that was eliminated and they have a hired crew do it.

And how weird - to the way I think. It's the concept that certain types of knowledge somehow makes you inferior. And that somehow if say, you know how to repair an alternator on a car, it will be blocking more important knowledge?

Which brings me to a Simpson's reference

Homer: "And how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?"

Marge: "That's because you were drunk!"

Homer (smiles) "And How!"

Comment: Re:Summer vacation is a vestigial remnant... (Score 1) 143

by Ol Olsoc (#48681461) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

In some districts the grade school teachers literally have "tenure".

So... think about that.

Do think that not answering any point I make is burying my ass alive?

Anything you want to address in my post? Or just the typical, and now intellectually bankrupt and remarkably cheap and non sequitar "Talking point" union hate. I didn't mention anything about unions, merely what would seem to be a normal contract issue. And very simple at that, Time and compensation, and not a thing about tenure.

Comment: Re:college bound HS needs shop! (Score 1) 143

by Ol Olsoc (#48681437) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

Don't fall into the trap of "tracking".. "I am of the elite and I shall study the philosophers and sciences. You, on the other hand, do not have my intellectual capacity, and shall be trained to be a blue collar factory worker and get your hands dirty".

THIS! I have always engaged the "elite" And if they get too high up on their high horse, I bring them down a few pegs.

For in fact, a very intelligent person who knows how to get their hands dirty is vastly superior to a person who merely thinks. A person can be a Nobel Laureate, yet if his car blows a fuse in the desert, he'll die just like anyone else who doesn't know how to fix it.

A few examples:

Years ago, my neighbor, who is an intellectual with whom I've had a lot of interesting conversations, had a car that was continually breaking down, not big things, but I used to help him repair it. That usually consisted of me doing th ework while he listened. One day I was repairing a window that had fallen out of it's track. I was explaining to him how it works and how ot repair it whne he interrupted "To tell the truth, I don't want to know about how to repair cars. Last time I helped him.

Much more recently, there was a woman on the Toyota RV's SIG list who was constantly having issues, mostly electrical, with her toyhome. At one point, I chimed in with a helpful link that would help her understand a little more about electricity. Considering these are ancient beasts, it helps to understand how to at least field repair one. Or to not be taken advantage of by an unscrupulous mechanic.

She quickly answered back to the group and me that She had no intention of learning about these things, that she expected to ask questions and have us answer them for her, because she was an artist, not a technician.

For some reason, her questions were not answered any more.

If she had thought about it, she could have thanked me kindly and ignored the basic electrical stuff. Instead, she had to show her intellectual creds and superiority by announcing she was too good to learn that stuff - she was an artist for christ's sake! It's not that I'm saying everyone can or should be getting their hands dirty. But knowledge is seldom a bad thing.

Comment: Re:Put this same government in charge of healthcar (Score 1) 227

It's a great point: people who don't have an emotional investment in the Department of X can easily see that the people who make up the Department only care only for improving their own power and financial position, and are making X even worse both by getting in the way and also by consuming valuable resources that could be used to actually provide X instead.

The difficult part is realizing this is true for all X, even the ones which are your personal favorites.

Comment: Re:It is ludicrous (Score 1) 143

by Ol Olsoc (#48679975) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

We should just offer a trade school option starting in high school, like some other countries do. That's where people can have the shop and metal working classes.

Problem is, we still have College uber alles guidance counselors and administration. We had a technical school, an dI took a modified curriculum of Academic plus Electronics. But it was a fight the whole way - the counselors discouraged it, and I even got a sit down with the school Principle, where he told me I was such a smart boy, why would I make people think I was one of those dumb "teckkers".

I didn't listen, and haven't regretted it for a moment. It wasn't easy, and my schedule was weird and full to say the least. But having both academic plus a useful trade to fall back on has served me well through life.

Perhaps there is something in that that might be more useful to everyone than simply extending the school year.

Comment: Re:It is ludicrous (Score 1) 143

by Ol Olsoc (#48679921) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

The really terrible thing is they are cutting things like shop and metal working, which is really what we need.

Not saying high school should become a pre-trade school, but they shouldn't completely ignore the fact that there are non-university career paths, and in the current job market, they may even be a better choice.

All part of the "College education is a must" thinking. Even when I was in High school, 40 years ago, they were working at getting rid of them, Shop wasn't available for the Academic students.

Fast forward to today, we have kids with degrees, graduating with over 100K debt, getting their job at McDonalds, and applying for government aid.

And they can't figure out how to fix a leaky faucet.

Comment: Re:Summer vacation is a vestigial remnant... (Score 1) 143

by Ol Olsoc (#48679863) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

A warning to anyone that does want to make such an argument... I will bury your ass alive in facts.

As far as I know, or at least in my area, the contracts with the individual teachers are for the term of the school year. Roughly 9 months. 3 months not.

Unless you are suggesting a massive pay cut, the cure is simple. Extend the contract to year round, and make the pay reflect that period. This would not be unlike a regular 32 hour, or 40 hour contract with an employee. Where I worked we had a type of employee who was essentially full time part time. Every year, they signed a contract for a specific number of hours.

I doubt even in your anti-union fervor, you would support a 25 percent increase in working hours without a commensurate increase in pay, especially since many (most, all?) contracts are already written in that way.

Comment: Re:Keep the kids longer and don't send homework (Score 3, Interesting) 143

by Ol Olsoc (#48679791) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

he parents all agree their child should be taught math, so the debate should be between educators on *how* to do it. I guarantee you that there would be next to no debate if parents were not asked to help with homework. If we limit what we teach to what all parents understand, then we're done. Turn the lights off and crawl back into our caves.

This got me to thinking, and I would love to see it tried in a classroom as an experiment

I positively stunk at math and algebra. It didn't help that the teacher was as inspiring as poi, but still I stunk.

Then in my electronics courses, our teacher taught us how to use the slide rule. At that point, the mechanical adaptation of numbers to most functions just made something click in my mind. I did a 180 on math subjects - even without using the slide rule. Just by luck, I was in on the last class to learn the use of slide rules in my area.

This isn't a get off my lawn thing. I just think that the way the slide rule presents the numbers, and the obvious relationships between the different rules, and the way it trains you to use notation are just something that might help students learn math subjects. To this day, I keep a slide rule in the garage. The batteries on those things seem to last forever.

Comment: Re:I'd rather see a longer school year (Score 1) 143

by Ol Olsoc (#48679727) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

People get less productive as the day gets longer, especially students. I think there would be far more benefit to extending the school year and abandoning summer holidays than there would be to extending the school day.

And exactly what part of working for minimum wage (or less if we eradicate it) requires year round schooling?

Comment: Re:It is ludicrous (Score 1) 143

by Ol Olsoc (#48679705) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

It is ludicrous to make the assertion that adding 40 minutes of time to the school day will magically add a month more of learning. The mentally that more time in school equals more learning is very flawed.

I agree, but even if it did work, what would be the point? More unemployed degree holders?

I suspect the the US is on the verge of a "job creator" induced brain drain, as well educated students find that working at McDonald's isn't the career they had spent those longer days studying for.

Comment: Re:Google's acquisition of Android Inc. Q.E.D. (Score 1) 86

by hairyfeet (#48679159) Attached to: Comcast-TWC Merger Review On Hold

Yeah and if you buy that bullshit? Got a bridge you might be interested in. My dad's business was right in the middle of their new "fiber rollout" and after the replacement? It WENT TO SHIT with his speed DROPPING from a high of 6mbps to 1.4mbps after! What did they offer to remedy this? If you said cellular broadband we have a winnar Johnny!

Don't buy the BS man, the SECOND the old POTS is gone you'll find everybody not in a cherry picked area watching their speed drop and being offer the "chance to upgrade" to assrapey cellular. Don't say "its a fluke" either because I've had to switch 3 customers network setups to cable so far in 2 different towns, same story. AT&T before "fiber" rollout? Decent speed. After? Welcome to shitstain. And guess what all 3 were offered as a "solution"? Yep, A big old assrape with a whole 3GB per month for the same price they were paying for DSL unlimited before. For old Ma Bell its great, no more regs like on landline, fuck 'em by the MB, and their answer to everybody who dares bitch? "You are too far from the hub to benefit from fiber" even if the DSLAM can be hit with a pellet gun from where you are standing!

Comment: Re: and if it goes down full stike on NK (Score 1) 53

by Ol Olsoc (#48678075) Attached to: South Korea Says Nuclear Reactors Safe After Cyberattacks

You mean like the U.S.'s domestic oil production that Bush couldn't pursue because environmentalists couldn't bear the impact it would have on their cause?

Oh wait, somehow it's OK now because their own guy is in office?

If you were paying attention, these Environmental Strawmen you are railing against are just as pissed at th e current occupant as they were at President Cheney.

Comment: sheesh (Score 1) 498

by Ol Olsoc (#48676953) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In
I'm not anti immigration, but it seems like sort of an inefficient system. I mean if 95 percent of great programmers aome from outside the US, does that mean we're for shit at programming, or does the rest of the world turn out programmers that aren't great too? If a non-us Citizen is already a geat programmer, there should be no problem getting him or her over here.

Oh wait......

THen we'd have to pay them what they are worth, and not rely on the indentured servant system.......

Torque is cheap.