public education in america

anonymous asked:

"When girls and women are taught self defence (and I mean literally taught. Most women have had at least one class in school on it) we are taught that hitting is the absolute LAST resort. Realistically? If a man has actually punched us? 90%+ of women are fucked already. There is no defence against someone stronger than you hitting you." So can a woman who gets punched can actually defend herself or not?

Women aren’t made of porcelain.

We’re not some separate species, or utterly different physically from men. The concept of “woman” is a societal one. It changes based on socialization, and changes based on the society’s belief on what a woman is. It’s a nebulous concept, with no solid value when hitching one’s identity to it and the same is true for men. Societal constructs like masculinity and femininity are linked heavily to societal expectations and how we’re raised. When someone says, “a woman can’t” when a “man can” most of the time they’re referring to societal expectations taken as fact. These beliefs often have nothing to do with reality, and you only have to look at the vast differences in the United States when it comes to stereotyping women of different ethnicity, various cultures, or income levels just to see how shallow those ideas are.

There are female soldiers, female police officers, female martial artists of every stripe, and the warriors are countless going back generations. You can, in fact, find them if you look. This is before we get to athletes and all the other non-combat positions women occupy today that society said, “impossible!” just a few decades ago.

This is why understanding the effects of socialization is so important. When it comes to learning, what you believe will decide what you are.

Here’s the truth: no one takes a punch well when they’re mentally unprepared for it.

Here’s the other: most people (men included) aren’t trained to take hits.

Notice that you’re instructor told you, “Don’t piss off men. You’re helpless if they decide to physically assault you.”

They did not teach you what it looks like when a punch is incoming, or what the change over looks like. Good self-defense teaches you to be aware of your surroundings and learn to determine when danger is potentially incoming. You can’t respond when you don’t know its coming, and you can’t prepare for it, physically or mentally, when taken by surprise. The first moments of a real fight are crucial. Those seconds it takes to recognize danger and react to it when you’re already in the middle of being hit is too late. You’ve lost the initiative, you’re playing catch up, and that’s a terrible position to be in when you’re trained. It’s pretty much almost always unrecoverable if you’re not.

It has nothing to do with being a man, and its disingenuous from a self-defense perspective to focus entirely on them. While far more likely, men are not the only ones who can or will hit you. Women aren’t any safer, and can be just as predatory.

The problem with these self-defense classes is if you’re really serious about learning to defend yourself then you need to train for it. Good professionals worth their salt will always tell you that you need to be training in some martial art, and practicing the techniques you learned in your self-defense course constantly so that they become embedded in your muscle memory.

When I was forced into one these high school self-defense courses, my seventeen year old martial artist self thought they were stupid and overall pretty pointless, and they didn’t come at us with any of the above bullshit about getting punched. Girls who’ve done an hour of self-defense five years ago aren’t going to be able to perform jiujutsu throws, they’ll be lucky if they remember the bear hug escapes or how to roll the wrist against the thumb and tug if someone tries to take you were you don’t want to go (and then not know what to do once they’ve gotten free because they never practice running). Forget punching, they won’t remember how to do that.

If you aren’t practicing to the point where it becomes second nature, with the added benefit of learning self-defense techniques that are exceedingly easy to memorize (believe it or not, not all self-defense programs will teach these), and doesn’t come with the caveat that if you’re serious you need more education then they’re pretty worthless.

All your class seems to have taught you is how to be a willing victim, and that’s the worst kind of self defense.

“If someone attacks you, you can do nothing so just give up.”

That’s tantamount to admitting that they didn’t really teach you anything, and don’t want you to think they did. You’re not even in exactly the same place you were before you took that class. Mentally, you’re worse off.

If you don’t believe you can, then you won’t and it’s simple as that.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that when it comes to self-defense, you get what you pay for.

Taught is not not taught, the vast majority of high schools don’t have classes. They have one hour a year (maybe) devoted to it (usually P.E.), and sometimes its not even required. If you’re lucky, it’s a seminar of a few days. If you’re really lucky, they’ll bring in one of the female (or male) police officers from a local precinct who specializes in the police’s self-defense training they give the public. However, you are not guaranteed to have a professional, or even just a local officer. Often, it’s just the PE teacher who took a three month course. What girls get in high school depends heavily on what waivers the school is willing to sign and how much liability they’re willing to take on. It also depends on who is doing the hiring, who they are hiring, and whether they actually care.

Believe it or not, there are plenty of people out there who think women don’t need to learn self-defense and don’t want to waste the school’s already limited resources on hiring someone for a few hours. Especially when you can’t learn much self-defense in a few hours, and almost none of it is lasting.

If you’re from a country other than America, it might be different, but if you’re referring American education then its important to remember you’re experiences (whatever they were) aren’t universal. No, really. Education varies heavily from district to district, and can be vastly different within single cities depending on where you live, this is before we get to county versus county, and that’s before we get to the differences between the states. In America, public education heavily dependent on money and property values. The higher the house value, the richer the district, then the better the education. Its important to know, that when it comes to education, segregation is economic. America and Americans have no real true standard for education or education value. What you get depends on where you live, and often on parental involvement.

You can’t learn self-defense in an hour or two. You will be fucked up by shitty instructors, sexist instructors, and negligent instructors. If you are not doing your own research and taking control of learning to defend yourself then you are likely to get one of the above. If you look at self-defense as all being the same, that combat is an innate skill set possessed by only one side of the human species, if you honestly believe on some level you are inferior to men (and if you’re young, white, female, and WASP, you better believe you’ve been conditioned by society at large to see yourself that way) and that there’s no point in even trying, you will be fucked.

Combat is a learned skill.

It is not innate. You have to learn it. It is not inherently masculine. If you are a woman learning to fight, you’re not actually all that special or standout. There are plenty of women out there learning to fight. However, you’ve got to go looking for it. It won’t be handed to you.

One of the most empowering aspects in learning to fight is taking control of your own safety. You are no longer reliant on the charity or uncertainty of those around you, and that certainty will drive off most predators. Predators don’t want a real fight, they aren’t looking. 9/10, they want victims who are vulnerable and go down easy. So, whether you’re male or female, and you’re worried about your safety then head to your local police precinct, find a seminar, and that’ll point you toward freedom.

So, TLDR:

Women can take punches but not if they’re not prepared for it and whoever was teaching you is a shithead.

Don’t let their idiocy turn you into a willing victim.

This post is a public service announcement, not martial arts training.

Go get some.

-Michi

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In 2016, a public school in Gardendale, Alabama stamped the words “I Need Lunch Money” on a child’s arm because of an unpaid bill – adding a smiley face, because the words alone didn’t convey the “Fuck you” well enough. It’s only a matter of time before the school starts weighing the cost-effectiveness of making these children wear shirts saying “I am a poor, hate me” as a uniform.

Gardendale is far from the only school district to turn lunch into a Philip K. Dickian nightmare, however. Plenty of states, like Pennsylvania and Utah, will take hot food from children unable to pay and throw it in the trash. They could feed another child with it, but it was served to a commie freeloader, so that food has lost all of its capitalist nutrients. Other children get threatened with “The Sandwich,” which sounds like a humiliating frat initiation but is in fact two pieces of cold bread with maybe something cheap in between, easily marking out these hungry unfortunates for efficient bullying. Administrators do assure that The Sandwich meets the minimum federal requirements – because when it comes to human decency, some schools gladly settle for being D students.

The Department of Agriculture is trying to get states to cut these practices out, on the basis of America still pretending it isn’t a dystopia, but they’re ultimately leaving the burden up to the states. So far, only New Mexico has tried to ban lunch money shaming entirely, reducing the amount of school-based shaming statewide by a full 6 percent. For everyone else, though, we can do nothing but hope that The Sandwich doesn’t eventually devolve into The Bowl of Gruel, which students have to work off in the textile mill after class.

5 Absurd Things American Schools Do To Completely Ruin Lunch

My new school has a dress code.

We are not allowed to wear anything that could be perceived as offensive.

I am no longer permitted to wear anything containing an inverted cross, (but anything with a regular cross is fine because it is “religiously appropriate”) because that could be offensive.

I’m not allowed to wear a bunch of mcr tees because they portray death.

I’m not allowed to wear ripped jeans because they’re not, “ladylike attire.”

I’m not allowed to have tee shirts that say things like, “Your Presence Is Unappreciated.”

I’m not allowed to wear shorts that are shorter than just above the knee.

I’m not allowed to wear tank tops.

I’m not allowed to have visible bra straps.

So basically, I and many other girls going to my school, (a public one,) will now have to spend a large amount of time and effort, not to mention money, purchasing new, “school appropriate” clothing in order to now fit society’s image of “a proper girl.”

Did I mention, that the only thing the boys aren’t allowed to do is wear hats?

Well, I’m off to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on an entirely new wardrobe. Wish me luck.

Welcome to the American education system...

In kindergarten, my teacher yelled at me in front of the class because I colored outside of the lines on a craft project.

In first grade, my teacher told me I was drawing the number four wrong, and made me rewrite it over and over again until it was to her liking.

In second grade, my teacher was actually pretty wonderful - surprisingly. She tutored me separately during class, and encouraged me to pursue higher aspirations once she found out that I was ahead of my class in reading and math.

In third grade, I was given a failing grade for a science protect because my aluminum foil turtle wasn’t “realistic” enough.

In fourth grade, my teacher yelled at me for being late due to the weather, making me cry in front of my classmates.

In fifth grade, my teacher took away my chapter book because a tenth grade reading level was simply “too advanced right now.”

In sixth grade, my teacher tore up my state capitals test because I spelled Massachusetts wrong.

In seventh grade, my math teacher refused to explain the Pythagorean Theorem to me because “we haven’t learned that yet.”

In eighth grade, my teacher shot staples at students that she was annoyed with.

In ninth grade, I was forced to sit in in-school suspension for two hours until my parents could bring extra clothes to replace my baggy track shorts. (Apparently, I was putting the boys’ education on hold??

In tenth grade, I had to listen to an old man try to appeal to the boys in my class by promising them “plenty of hot ladies to go around” at the college he was promoting.

In eleventh grade, I am forced to listen to my old, white, lonely, Republican teacher make rude jokes about dumb blondes and women in our word problems who “can’t possibly be accountants.” The boys laugh.

Let’s see what twelfth grade in a public school is like, America. Hopefully, I encounter something more similar to my second grade teacher… but my hopes aren’t too high.

In a country where sports and sex and cars are valued over education, I expect that my last year in hell high school will be a shitty one, indeed.

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I’m doing a project that involves a lot of historical research.

I’ll go in detail about why I want to do this, but to summarize everything: Public education of world history in America isn’t the best, and I want to fix that. But I also need help so here’s a link to a sheet, please leave comments to help expand the info: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/170989OJI2XNxH0z31QfsejRQ9T5FSPWWtDOih68bDcg/edit?usp=sharing

Thank you and keep learning!

Keep reading

Betsy DeVos has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a 50 - 50 vote. Vice President Mike Pence votes yes in an unprecidented and historic tiebreaker. The education of our children is now in the hands of a woman who publicly embarrassed herself when questioned on fundamental education knowledge, failed to disclose possible conflicts of interest, has never been involved in public education at all, and believes guns should be allowed in schools in case of grizzly bear attacks. The Trump train continues to derail and Americans will pay the price. Very sad day for America.

School in America

Ok can we talk about the American school system. It’s really fucked up all over, our sex education consisted of a two hour video in the seventh grade and a course on diseases in pe. I never learned what to do if I get a disease or what types of birth control are available. Most of what I have learned has come from my parents (who actually talk to me about this unlike a lot of people I know), my friends, or assorted buzz feed videos. Moving on to the subject part of school. My government textbook was published when bush was president meaning that it was written probably 2+ years before that. It’s super out of date and so many laws have been passed we have had two new presidents since then for christs sake. Math and language textbooks I get not updating frequently, but when I was in environmental science our teacher basically said we will never use the book because by the time they publish them they are already irrelevant. This is just curriculum….. we had so much shit go down, 2 bomb threats that we had to evacuate for, two students were plotting to shoot up the school, we had a kid have his head split open by a lock being thrown at another kid and missing, a teacher arrested for sexting a sixteen year old girl, that was just my senior year and a lot more happened before then. Also I went to school in what is considered a upper middle class area so I imagine this isn’t even as crazy as shit gets.

California versus Trumpland

California is now the capital of liberal America. Along with its neighbors Oregon and Washington, it will be a nation within the nation starting in January when the federal government goes dark.

In sharp contrast to much of the rest of the nation, Californians preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by a 2-to-1 margin. They also voted to extend a state tax surcharge on the wealthy, and adopt local housing and transportation measures along with a slew of local tax increases and bond proposals.

In other words, California is the opposite of Trumpland.

The differences go even deeper. For years, conservatives have been saying that a healthy economy depends on low taxes, few regulations, and low wages.

Are conservatives right? At the one end of the scale are Kansas and Texas, with among the nation’s lowest taxes, least regulations, and lowest wages.

At the other end is California, with among the nation’s highest taxes, especially on the wealthy; toughest regulations, particularly when it comes to the environment; most ambitious healthcare system, that insures more than 12 million poor Californians, in partnership with Medicaid; and high wages.

So according to conservative doctrine, Kansas and Texas ought to be booming, and California ought to be in the pits.

Actually, it’s just the opposite.

For several years, Kansas’s rate of economic growth has been the worst in the nation. Last year its economy actually shrank.  

Texas hasn’t been doing all that much better. Its rate of job growth has been below the national average. Retail sales are way down. The value of Texas exports has been dropping.

But what about so-called over-taxed, over-regulated, high-wage California?

California leads the nation in the rate of economic growth — more than twice the national average. If it were a separate nation it would now be the sixth largest economy in the world. Its population has surged to 39 million (up 5 percent since 2010).

California is home to the nation’s fastest-growing and most innovative industries – entertainment and high tech. It incubates more startups than anywhere else in the world.  

In other words, conservatives have it exactly backwards.

Why are Kansas and Texas doing so badly, and California so well?

For one thing, taxes enable states to invest their people. The University of California is the best system of public higher education in America. Add in the state’s network of community colleges, state colleges, research institutions, and you have an unparalleled source of research, and powerful engine of upward mobility.

Kansas and Texas haven’t been investing nearly to the same extent.

California also provides services to a diverse population, including a large percentage of immigrants. Donald Trump to the contrary, such diversity is a huge plus. Both Hollywood and Silicon Valley have thrived on the ideas and energies of new immigrants.

Meanwhile, California’s regulations protect the public health and the state’s natural beauty, which also draws people to the state – including talented people who could settle anywhere.

Wages are high in California because the economy is growing so fast employers have to pay more for workers. That’s not a bad thing. After all, the goal isn’t just growth. It’s a high standard of living.

In fairness, Texas’s problems are also linked to the oil bust. But that’s really no excuse because Texas has failed to diversify its economy. Here again, it hasn’t made adequate investments.

California is far from perfect. A housing shortage has driven rents and home prices into the stratosphere. Roads are clogged. Its public schools used to be the best in the nation but are now among the worst – largely because of a proposition approved by voters in 1978 that’s strangled local school financing. Much more needs to be done.

But overall, the contrast is clear. Economic success depends on tax revenues that go into public investments, and regulations that protect the environment and public health. And true economic success results in high wages.

I’m not sure how Trumpland and California will coexist in coming years. I’m already hearing murmurs of secession by Golden Staters, and of federal intrusions by the incipient Trump administration.

But so far, California gives lie to the conservative dictum that low taxes, few regulations, and low wages are the keys economic success. Trumpland should take note.  

just in case you were wondering how things were going over in america, our director of public education cited trump’s 40% approval rating to say that he has the support of more than half our country

Akabane Karma - Assassination Classroom

All right, so Karma’s introduction to Class-E came with episode 3 and I have to talk about him. Because I’m a teacher, and I have a classroom of students exactly like him.

See, in America, students who don’t preform are given alternatives courtesy of IDEA - The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This ensures that every child has access to a free, public education in America regardless of anything. So if your grades are poor, you could be retained or else tested for a disability and put into a different classroom to better serve your needs. That’s if you’re doing your best though, you're trying and just not making it.

Then there’s the kids who don’t preform because of behavior. They refuse to do their work or else rush through it and fail. Or, like Karma, they have exceptional grades, yet can’t express their emotions in a socially acceptable way and end up destroying things or hurting others. They’re seen as aggressive, angry, dangerous, or contrarily troubled, lonely, and stubborn…

I have 10 students as of January, all young men age 7-11, and not one of them is any of these things. The students I get tend to be brilliant children, bored silly with their “grade level” who are fed up with having to sit and work for hours in what amounts to a prison. Knowing what I do of Japan’s school system (and particularly this school within the manga), prison would be a relatively light term for a kid like Karma. He is exactly like my 5th grade students, so I’m amazed he didn’t actually murder his first teacher in such an establishment.

Karma’s far from insane. He’s also far from typical as well, yet for me, he’s the most normal student of Class-E for the very same reasons. A child with that kind of intellect wouldn’t react any other way when told he’s wrong or when given a seemingly impossible challenge.

His interactions with Koro-sensei - a teacher who understands what he needs and who can actually give it to him - are what I live for in this series. I never thought I’d get to see what amounts to a special needs classroom in my slice-of-life manga.

Join “Amending America” Curators Christine Blackerby and Jennifer Johnson of the National Archives for a Tumblr #AnswerTime!

On Tuesday, May 17 at 2:00pm ET / 11:00am PT Jennifer & Christine will be answering your questions about their newest exhibition, “Amending America” here on @usnatarchivesexhibits.

Only 27 times—out of more than 11,000 proposals—have Americans reached consensus to amend the Constitution.  “Amending America” marks the 225th Anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights and highlights the remarkably American story of how we have amended, or attempted to amend, the Constitution in order to form “a more perfect union.”

About Jennifer & Christine:

Jennifer N. Johnson is co-curator of “Amending America.” She joined the National Archives Museum in 2006 and has been sharing Archives records with the public through exhibitions ever since.

Christine Blackerby is co-curator of “Amending America.” She is an education and public outreach specialist in the Center for Legislative Archives in Washington, DC. She uses historical records to promote a better understanding of American history and government.

Ask Jennifer & Christine about Amending America!

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#5. REINVENT EDUCATION

Senator Bernie Sanders is making waves with a big idea to reinvent education: Making public colleges and universities tuition-free.

I couldn’t agree more. Higher education isn’t just a personal investment. It’s a public good that pays off in a more competitive workforce and better-informed and engaged citizens. Every year, we spend nearly $100 billion on corporate welfare, and more than $500 billion on defense spending. Surely ensuring the next generation can compete in the global economy is at least as important as subsidies for big business and military adventures around the globe.

In fact, I think we can and must go further — not just making public higher education tuition-free, but reinventing education in America as we know it. (That’s the subject of this latest video in my partnership with MoveOn, “The Big Picture: Ten Ideas to Save the Economy.” Please take a moment to watch now.)

In the big picture, much of our education system — from the bells that ring to separate classes to memorization drills — was built to mirror the assembly lines that powered the American economy for the last century. As educators know, what we need today is a system of education that cultivates the critical thinking skills necessary for the economy of tomorrow.


We have to reinvent education because it’s not working for too many of our kids – who are either dropping out of high school because they aren’t engaged, or not getting the skills they need, or paying a fortune for college and ending up with crushing student debt.

How do we get there?


First, stop the wall-to-wall testing that’s destroying the love of teaching and learning. Let’s get back to a curriculum that builds curiosity, problem solving, teamwork and perseverance, and away from teaching to the test. Give teachers space to teach, and give students freedom to learn. Limit classrooms to 20 children so teachers can give students the individual attention they need.

Increase federal funding for education. The majority of U.S. public school students today live in poverty. That’s a staggering figure. Our schools and educators aren’t equipped to deal with this harsh reality but we know ways to change that. High-quality early childhood education, for starters. Community schools to serve the whole child, with health services, counselors, and after school activities.


Offer high school seniors the option of a year of technical education, followed by two years of free technical education at a community college. The route into the middle class shouldn’t always require a four-year college degree. America needs technicians who can install, service, repair, and upgrade complex equipment in offices, laboratories, hospitals, and factories.

And Senator Sanders has proposed, make public higher education free — from community college to state universities — completely free, as it was in many states in the 1950s and 1960s. Higher education isn’t just a personal investment. It’s a public good that pays off in a more competitive workforce and better-informed and engaged citizens.


And critically, we must increase pay and improve conditions for the men and women who power our schools—teachers and school staff who educate our kids, clean our classrooms, and keep our schools safe.

The law of supply and demand isn’t repealed at the schoolhouse door. We’re paying investment bankers hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars a year to make money for Wall Street. We ought to be paying educators and staff a decent wage to develop and guide the nation’s human capital – an investment that would benefit everyone.

By reinventing education in these sensible ways, we all gain.

Trump’s Republicans support the creation of “almshouses”; also that “creative thinker” and crank philosopher and reactionary, Newt Gingrich, wishes a return to workhouses for poor children in place of public education.

Newt only wants America to return to its’ past glory.

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Music Education In Cuba

Students in Cuba receive more than 3,600 hours of high-quality music education over the course of 12 years of schooling. Arts and music are at the core of Cuba’s renowned public education system

Yesterday, one of my more behavior-challenged classes of middle school students had to answer survey questions about me that impact my overall performance evaluation. My results were exceptionally low. Rumor is students deliberately planned to score me low on the survey. I decided not to address it with the students and continue with the planned lesson (drawing a manga-based instagram profile page). Several students refused to participate. When redirected they laughed and said things to me like, “You got them survey results?”“ You like what we had to say about you?” and “We make you cry?”

I’ve had desks thrown at me by students and it felt less personal than this assault.

I’m not posting this for sympathy or for tips on how to handle it. I actually feel fine about how to handle it. I’m posting it because I think our system is broken. There is truly no one educators can appeal to in order to make the necessary changes. Almost ALL of the decisions in education are made by persons who have no knowledge of how public education in America really works (or what it is even like). Furthermore, we are blaming teachers -literally the soldiers of education- for what is going wrong in education in America. In my opinion (and I just have 10 years of teaching experience and 3 college degrees), our education system is broken because we have non-educators making educational policies and we have yet to hold parents to the high standards we hold teachers and students.