"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Betsy DeVos and the Future of the American Educational System

At POLITICO Magazine, Zack Stanton has a very readable piece titled How Betsy DeVos Used God and Amway to Take Over Michigan Politics.

A more useful title might have been: "How Does One Reform the U.S. Educational System? Is the Charter School Option Championed by Betsy DeVos a Viable K-12 Reform Alternative?"

We ourselves do not look at the American educational system politically.

Indeed, we think that the USA still leads the world in the quality of its top colleges and universities. That ranking, however, is the result of institutional money investment in education at the highest levels of teaching and research.

Things do not look that good in the public school systems, however, and we share an opinion about American K-12 public schools that we have heard from German foreign exchange students when they return to Germany to tell about their educational experiences in the USA.

Needless to say, the opinions we have heard about the educational level of some American public high schools have sometimes been nothing short of devastating. We say "some" and "sometimes" because there are of course also shining exceptions. But they are not the rule.

A public education system can not be based on wishful thinking. If the overall results are not as high as they should be, then the system and its priorities must be changed as quickly as possible.

Just consider for a moment what American society currently values in their educational system.

The highest-paid public employee in 39 US states is either a football or men's basketball coach! That tells us something important about our priorities.

We are by no means against athletics in education, quite the contrary.

We champion Stanford University regularly for its top college athletic program. See Reigning Champion Stanford University Leads the Division I Learfield Directors’ Cup Fall Standings for College Athletics.

But that athletic ranking corresponds to Stanford's academic ranking as well.

Mind, body and spirit must ALL be amply promoted by the educational system. There is still a long way to go to reach that objective for everyone.

Change is in the air, and change is necessary.

Most Popular Posts of All Time

Sky Earth Native America

Sky Earth Native America 1 :
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
,
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2 :
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    ,
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.

    -----

    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically
    in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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