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Stupid In America----Video

Society & Culture  (tags: americans, child, children, corruption, culture, dishonesty, education, ethics, family, government, humans, interesting, internet, law, news, politics, rights, safety, society, usa, violence, world )

- 2196 days ago -
"Stupid In America, How We Cheat Our Kids" 20/20 news videos about the intentional or unintentional dumbing down of the vital part of any society--- its children and youth learning years.

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Kenneth L (314)
Monday May 21, 2012, 8:48 am
This is a 6 part video series, though each one is only 7 minutes long--- they are each eye-opening. I apologize if it's not really a 'news story' or that this program is 2 years old. I doubt if the situation has gotten any better however since so they're probably still highly relevant.
This is not a slam at just the U.S. but applies to any country in the world where kids and youth have crappy education. This is such a vital time in a person's life when they are still children and youth and learning things before they reach adulthood.
I think it follows if you screw with children and youth's learning years you will have screwed up adults and thus a screwed up world.

Kenneth L (314)
Monday May 21, 2012, 8:51 am
Here's the first video (Part 1) for anybody who wants to start at the first vid----

Ellen m (215)
Monday May 21, 2012, 9:14 am
My first thought after hearing the first few words were "Yea, well, the school district was always the most important thing to my parents whenever they built a new both San Jose and Los Gatos, and then CT."
And then he continued on to mention that very place.
I never realized growing up how lucky i was to have parents that were able to do that, and come to think of it i don't think i ever thanked them. :-(

Thanks for this eye opener we all need.

Sandi C (98)
Monday May 21, 2012, 9:15 am

Past Member (0)
Monday May 21, 2012, 9:16 am
Thanks Kenneth...sad. drugged up and dumbed down. Obviously this has been going on for quite a while given all the people who vote for Repugs.

Kenneth L (314)
Monday May 21, 2012, 9:24 am
Compare what Belgium does. The money spent is attached to each child so each school has to prove to the parent that their kid is getting a good education.

A system that allows richer people to get the best schools while the majority of poorer people can't choose their schools and get the worse schools is A HORRIBLE SYSTEM. Because the MAJORITY of people AREN'T rich. You end up with a dumbed down majority of people.

Craig Pittman (52)
Monday May 21, 2012, 9:25 am
Thanks Kenneth. It's sad that all schools don't offer quality education. The point is they don't and one can hardly blame parents for wantiing the best opportunities for their chillderen.

Robyn M (123)
Monday May 21, 2012, 9:54 am
Too sad...If you're rich no problem, truth be known, most of us are barely surviving!
The times they are a changing...and I don't mean for the better! The ride is just getting bumpier!!!

Michela M (3964)
Monday May 21, 2012, 10:59 am

Pat B (356)
Monday May 21, 2012, 11:22 am
Thanks, Kenneth for putting this out here. Good video, BTW!!!

Nicole W (646)
Monday May 21, 2012, 11:34 am
thanks Kenneth!

LaurenBackSoon Kozen (173)
Monday May 21, 2012, 12:17 pm
Thanks for sharing Kenneth.

Vivien Green (153)
Monday May 21, 2012, 12:29 pm
Thanks for sharing Kenneth.

naomi cohen (55)
Monday May 21, 2012, 1:48 pm
when i was pregnant, i decided to find the best elementary and junior high in my area. once that was taken care of, we found an apartment in the correct zone. that was when i learned that most of my child's classmates lived out of the zoning district or used their grandparents' address. it should not be this way, of course. every school should be a place where children are learning from the best qualified teachers. no parent wnats to lie in order to get the best for their child. thank you, kenneth.

M B (62)
Monday May 21, 2012, 2:23 pm
I'm pro free choice of schools.....each school has to prove to the parent that their kid is getting a good education.

Agnes N (703)
Monday May 21, 2012, 2:46 pm
Thanks Kenneth

cynthia l (207)
Monday May 21, 2012, 3:36 pm
nothing new you go to the district you live in whether the teachers and education are up to par America needs to take a long hard look at this system Dumbed down and drugged up The rich still get the best teachers and education

Iona Kentwell (129)
Monday May 21, 2012, 4:02 pm
It isn't so extreme in Australia, but this does happen here too. How ridiculous that schools don't deliver education. Now THAT is insane.

Holly Lawrence (430)
Monday May 21, 2012, 5:47 pm
This is so sad and plain sucks. I'm surprised that we even have any teahcers - many try so hard to do their best and what are they faced with - budget cuts and over-crowded classrooms. My 6 year-old has had three different teachers this school year already - two left due to no wage increases, they had families to support. and both were excellent - now they have been lost to the teaching coimmunity ...

Holly Lawrence (430)
Monday May 21, 2012, 5:48 pm
I swear ...If I could type right I could rule the world ..haha!!

Carol H (229)
Monday May 21, 2012, 6:28 pm
noted, thank you Kenneth!!

Michael Carney (217)
Monday May 21, 2012, 6:39 pm
It's a very sad thing, but it's true as well...I see it everyday...I sure worry about the future, I know that...What really disturbs me, is not only how stupid someone can be and act, but, people laugh and think it's funny...I have a great sense of humor, and lots of things make me laugh, but stupidity isn't one of them...Noted as well...

Nina W (0)
Monday May 21, 2012, 7:19 pm

Mary T (178)
Monday May 21, 2012, 7:44 pm
This is a very sad thing, All children should have the chance to learn no matter what school they go to, So sad to think that only children from rich parents have a right to learn, This is so stupid.

Bianca D (87)
Monday May 21, 2012, 9:43 pm
Whoa. How did things get so bad? Not happy news, but good to know. I don't know if the Belgian's system is the way to go, but it would be a good start to keep schools on their toes, let parents choose the school and ensure that kids get a solid education.
Thanks Kenneth.

Robert Hardy (68)
Monday May 21, 2012, 10:17 pm
As usual, blame those who suffer from the failure of the systems.... not the system. Perhaps the school cop should be teaching.... of finding out where the good teachers live.

Constance F (418)
Monday May 21, 2012, 10:23 pm
Well Kenneth - I think you said that perfectly: "Because the MAJORITY of people AREN'T rich. You end up with a dumbed down majority of people." What's even more disturbing is within the same school, they seperate children in the same grade into seperate levels according on how they do on standardized tests. And standardized tests are certainly no measure for intelligence or creativity. Very few students make it into these "gifted" classes. The other students are stuck in these dumbed down educational settings. Settings which are completely VOID of any critical thinking, problem solving, discussions where students can share and participate, projects outside of the classroom, creativity - you name it. It's dead.

Quanta Kiran (67)
Tuesday May 22, 2012, 3:13 am

Dawn M (142)
Tuesday May 22, 2012, 8:31 am
Noted, Thanks!

Robert O (12)
Tuesday May 22, 2012, 10:53 am

Suzy F (94)
Tuesday May 22, 2012, 11:42 am
It is shameful. In Germany, we could go to whatever school we wanted to. I feel bad for today's American kids.

Fred Krohn (34)
Tuesday May 22, 2012, 1:47 pm
Lousy liberalist setups. Bad schools are an example of the 'benefits' of socialism - bad education, bad medicine, lack of economic incentive, lack of leadership!

. (0)
Tuesday May 22, 2012, 3:07 pm
I work in an middle to upper class school system Three years ago, due to budget problems, all forms of shop classes were ended in the high school: mechanics, drafting, printing were eliminated. This has been a common tragedy to suburban schools.
Instead of offering college prep , business, and industrial arts courses, it has all come down to higher academics due to financial reasons. Are we meeting a great percentage of student needs? Absolutely not.
The focus is on technology and its intrusion into America's schools.
Somewhere, NJ decided if children are computer literate, this will get them ahead. The state doesn't have a clue.

Gloria H (88)
Tuesday May 22, 2012, 3:48 pm
where else are we going to get cannon fodder for the endless wars? No employment- there is always the service. Recruited from the masses here to make sure the masses "over there" don't come over here. In the meantime, the 1% is jet setting to remote areas where there are no masses, just a mansion full of servants all willing to pick out your belly button fuzz.

Cam V (417)
Tuesday May 22, 2012, 3:51 pm
I don't understand why your education system is so dang screwed up there!

Carmen S (611)
Tuesday May 22, 2012, 5:39 pm
thanks Kenneth

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Wednesday May 23, 2012, 1:29 am
Thanks, Kenneth, for posting & letting us know that there are 6 parts in all.
And aren't you sweet, apologizing that this excellent documentary isn't newsbreaking, but 2 yrs old!

I've just watched the part 3 you posted & find it very interesting & well done. I live in France which shares a border with Belgium, so you'd think we'd know about Belgian schools...but we never hear anythig about them!
Certainly because people here would start screaming for a similar system - France is like USA in that you have to go to the school in your area: NO CHOICE, & so the same thing you see in the doc happens here, i.e. parents lie about their address, if they have the opportunity to have a grandparent or friends who live in the 'right' area of Paris, for example, they put down that address so their kids can go to the 'right' school. There is no 'school police,' though, making the rounds to check that people actually DO live where they say.

But in France there is less justification for doing so, because the whole school system is national, so you do not have the great discrepancies from one school to another with very different budgets, depending on the city or the neighborhood. Whether in Paris or the suburbs, in cities like Lyon or Grenoble or in small towns, all schools follow the same program for each year, from elementary to high school. What does change, though, is the school population. Parents want their kids in schools with the high achievers, which invariably boils down to the rich inner-cities. In the poor suburban areas, more time is often spent trying to maintain discipline rather than advancing with subject matter.

The Belgian system couldn't work in the States because the amount of funding per child varies from one community to another; it is decided on the town level, not even the state. The inequalities would still exist.

If anyone is curious about the French education system, I posted this excellent critique by a British professor who moved to France for a career change & quite naturally enrolled his own kids in the neighborhood public school, having high regard for France's school system. When he discovered that his children were radically changing & developing very low self-esteem, he decided to investigate more widely -- was it just his kids or was this symptomatic of the system ?
UK Academic Stirs Storm With Criticism of French School System: Even Bright Kids Feel Worthless:
Lecturer at top French college got 1st-hand taste of classroom harshness when his 2 kids started school here. Stress signs like tummy aches; unhealthy phobia about making mistakes: Even when they have ability, their self-esteem's been knocked out of them -
"Although the French with their national curriculum have maintained standards and avoided being dumbed down, their system focuses on the transmission of knowledge and doesn't even remotely address the child or their wellbeing.
There is more to school than getting good marks, and in Britain schools are not just a about your brain but about sport and arts and finding lots of different ways of excelling. The British system may focus less on results, but it nurtures self-esteem, personality and character, which is something totally missing from the French system and this is tragic."
"Our way of testing and evaluating [pupils] discourages creativity and the personal involvement of the pupils."

Kenneth L (314)
Wednesday May 23, 2012, 6:04 am
Thanks PeasantDiva. I read your link about the French system. Hope you watch the rest of the series, they are as good or better than Part 3 (I should have posted Part 1 I think now).
Education that isn't FUN really depresses a kid or youth. Why would learning something have to be so serious or machine-like?
And in France it sounds like everything is not fun for the student, they learn everything BY ROTE ("without thought of the meaning of something, purely mechanical"), and student creativity and involvement is stifled and even held down. Which makes little machines that can spit out what they read and studied on exams and tests but it has nothing to do with the student personally, they don't understand what they know, and so not surprisingly will not be apply it in later life.
I'd be interested then how prevalent the psychiatric drugging of children in school is in France. From what you say it would be pretty rampant as a 'solution'.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday May 23, 2012, 10:36 am
I've always said,A major overhaul of schools/education is desperately needed!!

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Wednesday May 23, 2012, 10:39 am
I'd love to watch the rest of the series, Kenneth, but my computer clicks itself off when I go onto YouTube! I was only able to watch the Part 3 that you posted because it is alone on a C2 page & not on a YouTube page loaded up with lots of other videos. I think the load must be too much for my computer; don't know why... I used to love discovering things on YouTube.

I agree with you that learning can & should be fun. But in France the programs, curricula, are very heavily loaded up - there's a lot to learn in every subject for the year & I guess no one has figured out how to get it all covered in a 'fun' way.

Psychiatric drugging of children in French schools is not prevalent, as far as I know, &, unlike in the States, the very idea still shocks here, but French adults take more tranquilizers & anti-depressants than any in Europe, & perhaps elsewhere, too.

"French Lead the World in Prescription Drug Abuse"
(March 9, 2004, NCPA [national center for policy analysis])

"Because of cheap drugs and accommodating doctors, Western Europeans, especially the French, take more tranquilizers and antidepressants than practically anyone else in the world, according to the International Narcotics Control Board (an agency financed by the United Nations). One of every four French women regularly downs a prescription pill to calm her nerves or lift her spirits."

"Currently (this is from 2004) :
•France has more pharmacies than any other European country -- 23,271 for about 60 million people, almost double the number in the United Kingdom, which has a similar population; Germany, with 82 million people, has 1,700 fewer pharmacies than France.
•Painkillers, antidepressants and tranquilizers cost the country's medical-insurance system more than $20.09 billion a year, contributing to a widening deficit in the country's social-security system, now $17.7 billion.
•The French consume 78 tranquilizers and antidepressants per 1,000 persons, whereas Americans consume only 64 per 1,000 persons.
•Although the U.S. pill-consumption rate is 18 percent lower, Americans on average spend more than three times as much on antidepressants than the French.
The soft attitude toward hard drugs in France is starting to set off alarms. France is considering a proposal to assign only one general practitioner to each patient and require a referral to see a specialist, much as managed-care networks do in the US. It would be a major shift away from the current system in France, which lets patients see any doctor they wish. (THIS HAS IN FACT HAPPENED - our national health insurance system now reimburses slightly better if you have one GP declared as your regular, 'official' one, & if you only consult specialists with a referral from that GP.)

In 1988, the Washington Post was already reporting, "the modern-day French have become the world's heaviest consumers of tranquilizers and anti-anxiety pills. Psychologists have not reached any clear conclusions on what this says about changes in the French national character. But concern has grown over the last few years that general practitioners here may be prescribing tranquilizers too readily and their patients may be gulping them down too frequently."

I can understand why even if the Washington Post couldn't! French workplace culture is often as harsh as their classroom culture. More & more companies have been streamlining since the 80s & it has become worse rather than better. Along with streamlining, has come a new emphasis on productivity. Management techniques tend to put people under a lot of pressure, to get the most out of them. Since unemployment is at a high, most people have little hope of finding another job easily & tend to stick it out. And since it can be costly for companies to fire people, they prefer to drive them to resign. Unfortunately, they sometimes drive them to suicide first! There have been 'suicide epidemics' at Renault & at Orange. There have also been suicides at some banks.

Kenneth L (314)
Wednesday May 23, 2012, 12:11 pm
Thanks Diva. Re YouTube videos maybe ask Google the question of 'why can't I watch YouTube videos?' or something similar and see what people say.
1 in 4 french women takes tranquilizers or antidepressants? Yikes. Hi Honey, are you up or down today? Somebody's been advertised and sold up the river by big pharma...
Anyway, thanks for the info about France and education etc.

Kerrie G (116)
Thursday May 24, 2012, 8:31 am
Noted, thanks.

Edgar Zuim (47)
Thursday May 24, 2012, 3:45 pm

Nancy C (806)
Monday May 28, 2012, 9:19 pm
I can see the differences in the high school students that work for me in retail. We use to be sharp, confident and happy to learn. The situation seems almost like survival of the fittest. If you have the talent naturally, you'll be ok. Too many children are neglected and probably slide through schooling "somehow".

Kenneth L (314)
Monday May 28, 2012, 11:42 pm
Thanks Nancy. Green star.

P A (117)
Monday June 4, 2012, 6:30 am
Excellent video - thanks - all our schools should be like the Belgian ones.
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