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linguaphile's avatar

What will it take to turn the tide?

Asked by linguaphile (14432points) February 27th, 2012

According to news outlets and various people:
The government’s trying to weaken the middle class. Laws are being passed to force conformity (NCLB, Credit Reporting). Corporations are also forcing conformity (ACT/GRE tests, Race to the Top, big box stores, Facebook Scores). SWAT style tactics are becoming the norm. Blogs are neutralized or shut down. Our options for president are unrealistic (zealot, isolationist, puppet, corporatist)... the Occupy movement was attacked with the militarized cops.

What do you think will happen? What do you think will take to change this course?

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10 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

Trying to force conformity will create more non-conformists… everything will balance out.

zenvelo's avatar

First of all, calm down and don’t be so alarmist. Where do you get ACT/GRE scores having to do with corporate conformity? I took the ACT when I was 17, and it has never come up since, it’s not even used by most colleges.

Why do you say “the Government is trying to weaken the middle class?” The “government” is not a monolithic entity, many elected officials are trying to strengthen the middle class. There are elected officials that do wish to transfer all power and wealth to corporations, that has been a point of contention fo the last 6 or 7 years.

Your option for president has nothing to do with the four Republicans (and those four labels apply to all four), there is a good alternative in office now.

Don’t give up hope, work to get things changed.

linguaphile's avatar

@zenvelo I’m not personally as alarmist as the question sounds; I’m more concerned. I’m collecting things from around the news, blogs and from a conversation I had yesterday—and that’s the collection I came up with. I happened upon a string of articles yesterday—so wondered what others thought.

—-

To answer your question about the ACT— The ACT or SAT is run by a corporation called Educational Testing Services. They also created the GRE, TOEFL, Praxis and a few other tests. On their web site they say:
“ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually in more than 180 countries, at 9,000+ locations worldwide.”

Since the NCLB was passed, student testing has become a lucrative business and, yes, very uniformized. Since 2001 the ACT or SAT has become more and more required and is actually required for graduation by certain states. ACT scores are actually increasing every year—not because kids are smarter, no, but because they’re taught to the test and parents put down $600+ per session for test training/tutoring classes. To counteract that, there’s a list of universities that don’t require the ACT.

If that doesn’t give you the willies… Race to the Top might. It’s a school funding grant program schools are being encouraged to sign up for, but have to go through 30 pages of hoops to get the funding. Most of the hoops are rigorous data collection and documentation. (i.e. multiple choice testing, not actual thinking skills.) They also must expand their STEM teaching- no art, PE, or music is funded. The problem… it’s not really optional. They’re shutting down funding across the board, then if you want your funding back, you have to go through Race to the Top.

Take it from someone inside the system—education has become a scary place to be—true reasoning and thinking skills are no longer the goal. That part is not alarmist, but reality.

dabbler's avatar

I agree with @zenvelo ”“The “government” is not a monolithic entity, many elected officials are trying to strengthen the middle class.” ‘Government trying to weaken the middle class’ is like saying ‘That car is trying to run me down!’ – the driver is trying to run you down.

Some of the politicians who are trying to run you down, are blaming the results on the government so they can say “See! We need less government, so you don’t get run down by it!”
When driven properly the government arguably built the middle class last century through public works (like that roads that benefit individuals and corporations who ship things reliably because roads are there) and support for education (that benefits individuals and corporations who get to hire smarter people).

Unfortunately plenty of corporate types want more control of the economy for much more narrow purposes and they have the money to buy lobbyists and subsequently politicians.

Mat74UK's avatar

It’s all going “tits up”! We’re heading for a V for Vendetta style future.

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. ” – Thomas Jefferson

zenvelo's avatar

@linguaphile I am familiar with ETS and NLCB. But NLCB was a first term Bush era idea, so it may be a little tardy to complain about it now. We’ve had “teaching to the test” in California since the ‘90s. That may or may not be forcing conformity, but it was meant to be a way of comparing school progress.

If the educational experts in the US could come up with a fair and objective way of evaluating teacher performance, school performance, and student progress, other than standardized tests, I bet it would be adopted.

linguaphile's avatar

@zenvelo Tardy? I started complaining back in 2001; I just haven’t stopped. It comes up for reauthorization this year, meaning… we should start complaining again.

Brian1946's avatar

It will take Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, Mario Manningham, and Hakeem Nicks playing for LSU to turn back the Tide, baby! ;-D

linguaphile's avatar

@Brian1946 You speak blasphemy to an Alabama girl!

ETpro's avatar

The more people that wake up to the corporatist, oligarch effort to make America THEIR banana republic, the harder it will get for the oligarchs to pull it off. Learn what’s going on. Share it with those you know. Get informed. The shills for the oligarchs are well schooled and willing to be brutal in defense of the elitist overlords. If you aren’t knowledgeable about what’s really happening to the American Dream, they will cut you to shreds in defense of the corporatists.

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