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Take Action/Video:Student Freaks Out In Front Of His Class And Says What We're All Thinking About Our Education System

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- 1867 days ago -
Duncanville High School student Jeff Bliss got in trouble in class for talking out of turn. What was he talking about? Basically everything that's wrong with our education system today. It's a mic-droppingly epic speech.

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JL A (281)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 10:51 am
Student Freaks Out In Front Of His Class And Says What We're All Thinking About Our Education System

Duncanville High School student Jeff Bliss got in trouble in class for talking out of turn. What was he talking about? Basically everything that's wrong with our education system today. It's a mic-droppingly epic speech.

Adam Mordecai

This was not an indictment of his teacher; to me, this was an indictment of the entire teach-to-the-test standardization that has been forced on our teachers and has broken our country's education system. The American Federation of Teachers wants this to be fixed too. Learn more about how they want to help fix things for our teachers and our kids. And then sign the petition demanding that our Department of Education change the way they do business.
ORIGINAL: By frustrated and awesome Jeff Bliss.

Janet D (10)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 10:57 am
Many kudos to Jeff Bliss, wise for his years. We need more people, students and parents, to stand up like he has. I get so frustrated seeing how many people in the work world don't have the math, reading, or spelling/grammar skills they should have upon graduating. My first son was told as a child not to worry about graduating because they would eventually graduate him based on his age. I was irate! Telling someone that is typically not motivating. Thankfully my son is the kind who pursued at proving them wrong, that he could do it based on effort.

Edwin M (346)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 11:01 am
I think that many of the teachers are as frustrated as this student and want to do more to excite students to learn but are unable to work outside the limits set up by administratiors and school boards.

Angelika R (143)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 11:52 am
Thank you for signing the petition. Good on him! Though it looked staged, yet telling it like it is. Thx.

JL A (281)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 12:09 pm
You are welcome Angelika. You cannot currently send a star to Angelika because you have done so within the last day.

Joanne Dixon (38)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 12:29 pm
I wouldn't even blame the administrators, possibly not even the school boards. The whole testing thing is a product of "Conservative" legistators who think they can measure the immeasurable, and wanted to use standardized testing to favor "mainstream" kids (read white). I call it trying to eff the ineffable.

JL A (281)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 12:58 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Joanne because you have done so within the last day.

Past Member (0)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 1:17 pm
Bet that took the teacher by surprise

noted thanks

JL A (281)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 1:27 pm
You are welcome Carol. You cannot currently send a star to Carol because you have done so within the last day.

Terry V (30)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 3:15 pm


JL A (281)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 3:17 pm
Thanks for posting the video link Terry!

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 4:25 pm
Wow, real PASSION in his voice!
This was NOT "staged"! {By whom and for what?}

It's just that EVERYbody apparently has video and photo equipment with them at all times, these days.
{Even the cops can't get away with so much any more.}

At Garfield High School in Seattle, teachers went ON STRIKE, REFUSING to give the Standardized Tests.

The tests don't teach REAL learning. They are UNFAIR. They DISCRIMINATE against students of varied Cultural Backgrounds. They DUMB-DOWN classes, which now become nothing but "teaching to the tests". They STIFLE creative, innovative teachers.
All of which, of course, is the WHOLE PURPOSE.

Turning out useful little cogs in Corporate Machinery, each of whom knows his or her place, doesn't know anything outside of what they're robot-like "trained" to do {until they are thrown out of work by REAL Robots, eventually}.
And are only "literate" enough to keep themselves mindlessly entertained in the meantime... good little consumers able to read the deceptive ADS...

The really DESTRUCTIVE thing about "teaching to the tests", is, that teachers and entire schools are PENALIZED for "failing" or low grades... for example, if a teacher has Special Needs kids in her class, or poor kids not getting enough encouragement at home, or enough to eat even...
Then the teacher, who may be a WONDERFUL teacher for Special Needs or poor kids, is fired, the money is WITHDRAWN from the school that needs it MOST - and given to a Charter School or a Private Religious School, even, that can CHOOSE their students and EXCLUDE the ones who "don't take tests well"! Thus getting "good" grades...
The whole thing is just SET UP for cheating, in an attempt to help the "deprived" kids...
and the TEACHER, like the one in the video, is really caught in a BIND, in a TRAP, one that there's no real way out of.... unless they go on strike, like the Garfield teachers!

JL A (281)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 4:36 pm
Very true BMutiny--or like the students in Chicago who refused to take the tests.

Sunday May 12, 2013, 4:56 pm
read and noted on 5-12-13 just like everything else that is broken in our system this comes as no surprise the school system today compared to back in the day is totally of track and its no wonder that today's generation has a high drop-out rate for students we have had teachers get busted for cheating and the same goes for students this system needs to be fixed so that every student has a chance at finishing school and that teachers have all the proper materials to teach it good to see that students are getting more involved and standing up for what they believe in that's the way it should be have a voice and speak volumes.

Andrew C (6)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 5:46 pm
Kudos to you Jeff. That needed to be said.

Angelika R (143)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 6:49 pm
After being kicked out of class by his world history teacher, Duncanville High School sophomore Jeff Bliss ranted to her in front of his class about everything she was doing wrong.

As of right now, it is unclear whether Bliss will face any disciplinary action but the school principal asked to meet with him, the student told Channel 8. Duncanville ISD officials have also been made aware of the video that a student in the class recorded on a cell phone. Bliss said he was not aware he was being recorded.

“As a district with a motto of Engaging Hearts and Minds we focus on building positive relationships with students and designing engaging work that is meaningful,” the district said in a statement. “We want our students and teachers to be engaged, but the method by which the student expressed his concern could have been handled in a more appropriate way. We are and will continue to be open to listening to students.”

Updated at 11:50:

Jeff Weiss over on the Education blog reports that Bliss has met with the principal at Duncanville High and won’t face any discipline.

“The principal and student visited this morning,” according to a statement from the district, “and no further action will be taken regarding the student.”

Update, 3:56 p.m.: Our Jeff Weiss reports on the education blog that the teacher heard in the video has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of what led up to the outburst. The school district will not identify the teacher.

Angelika R (143)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 6:52 pm
Really amazing... obviously it IS NOT PROHIBITED to use cell/smartphones to shoot a video in classrooms. Had that happened over here the student taking the video would be most definitely disciplined.

JL A (281)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 6:58 pm
Thanks for the updated information Angelika. Schools have to get parental permission to take/use pictures of the students--but many high schools have parents fill out forms giving those permissions carte blanche at the beginning of the year; thus Jeff Weiss's parents would have to object to the student having taken the video--and given that it showed how mild his behavior was, his parents are probably glad it was taken.

Angelika R (143)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 7:14 pm
?? Jeff Weiss is a journalist for the Dallas paper I understand. Still it surprises me how these things are handled..that it is not forbitten period to even use a cell in a classroom, so taking/using pics was not my point

Angelika R (143)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 7:19 pm
As for the issue addressed all I can say what I've been saying all the time-UNIONS! What do you think how often our teachers are on strike-thanks to powerful education & science union!

JL A (281)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 7:20 pm
Sorry for mixing up the last names--thanks for the catch Angelika. Rules on cell phones vary from school to school. The video taking would've been silent (so if rules written to not have noise might not have violated) and the desk arrangement I saw suggested that several different students were sitting where they could have been the one--but hard to prove which.

Joanne Dixon (38)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 9:12 pm
Teachers strike when it is necessary and appropriate, and that is over-reported by good little bbillionaire owned media to help conservatives union-bust them. Whereas fast food workers strikes are under-reported because just about everyone can sympathize with them - and they don't have a union but are trying to build one. BTW spammer flagged.

cathie S (154)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 10:03 pm

JL A (281)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 10:16 pm
Thanks for flagging Joanne.
You cannot currently send a star to Cat because you have done so within the last day.

April W (1)
Monday May 13, 2013, 3:13 am
Thanks for sharing this story, I wasn't aware of this one. Good for this young man for speaking up! We need more people with the courage to do so.

Adena Z (19)
Monday May 13, 2013, 4:24 am
Watch youtube's "George Carlin's" speech on "Education" in this country and you'll get the picture.

John B (185)
Monday May 13, 2013, 5:11 am
Thanks JL for the link to the marvelous video! Kudos to Jeff! His passion on this issue should be what our elected progressive politicians should be demonstrating. Thank you Angelika for the updates on this. Viewed and noted..

John B (185)
Monday May 13, 2013, 5:13 am
Petition was also signed. "Thank you for signing the petition."

Unnikrishnan Sasidharan (44)
Monday May 13, 2013, 6:18 am

JL A (281)
Monday May 13, 2013, 6:33 am
You are welcome John!
You cannot currently send a star to April because you have done so within the last day.
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Gene J (290)
Monday May 13, 2013, 9:31 am
I think you are right, JL. The whole idea of teaching to tests is insane. That is not how kids learn best, the Greeks knew that, some teachers still do, but the trend in this century to "leave no child behind" in truth leaves every child behind, because learning is what happens when someone truly assimilates the material and that does not happen while teaching how to pass a multiple choice test. Far too little is covered and what is covered is not done in a way that benefits kids or our society in general. Teach them to think, not memorize factoids that have no relevance to their lives. He's right to be upset, he wants to learn and he is being cheated of that experience. A teacher should be ecstatic to have one like him in a classroom as he can elevate the performance of his peers with his observations and thoughts. That is what school WAS when I was there, it isn't anymore and that is a loss to all of us not to mention the reason the US has fallen so far behind the rest of the world in education. This IS something we need to fix and that just isn't happening.

JL A (281)
Monday May 13, 2013, 10:04 am
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Chrissie H (23)
Monday May 13, 2013, 10:45 am
An articulate young man ,all credit to him for getting his point across but it sounds as if there was frustration on both sides.

Angelika R (143)
Monday May 13, 2013, 1:56 pm
Joanne- " teachers strike when it is necessary and appropriate"-well, gee, don't they think the time is right now?
They,too cannot possibly enjoy this system as some of them also recognize it as wrong.
In fact, our teachers are on strike RIGHT NOW-and that is in the middle of examinations for graduation from highschool!

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Monday May 13, 2013, 2:03 pm
I'm 77 years old, and I don't know about "the good old days", I thot school absolutely stunk in "my day", too.
I guess there were good schools then - some - and there are good schools now - some.

But I think both then & now, most schools were deplorable - compared to what an education is SUPPOSED to be.
I was supposed to be the shining product of that system - and I LOATHED it. My grades would have been "perfect", except that I showed my protest by REFUSING TO DO ANY WORK for one English class. My own personal "being on strike", as it were. I wrote an essay on why I was doing this, got an "A" on the essay {not assigned as homework} and a "B" on the course I had refused to do any homework for. {"Out of fairness to the kids that did the work."} I was fine with that.

In "my day", a vocal protest such as this student's, wouldn't have been tolerated... so most kids just IGNORED school as much as possible, and learned nothing, which was ok, because there was not much worthwhile TO be learned.... so, I'm skeptical about "the good old days". Maybe for SOME people.....

JL A (281)
Monday May 13, 2013, 2:17 pm
Strikes are when there is not a contract or one is about to run out and negotiations are approaching impasse--which rarely are while school is in session here Angelika.

JL A (281)
Monday May 13, 2013, 2:20 pm
You cannot currently send a star to BMutiny because you have done so within the last day.

Gene J (290)
Monday May 13, 2013, 3:17 pm
BMutiny? I both did and didn't have your experience. I went to a two room country school house with four grades in each room both taught by two iron-willed "normal" school women. Both outstanding teachers, it was there I learned, was challenged, not allowed to coast and grew, five kids in my grade. They had to prepare lesson plans and conduct classes for four grades every day and did so with everything in them. I will remember both to the end of my days. Once I got to the "big" school, 63 kids in my class it all changed. There one could coast, if one chose, or be anonymous if one chose that. I remember everyone complaining sophomore year about how hard it was to learn how to diagram a sentence: I'd been taught that in 5th grade. The children from that little school excelled at the big one because they were prepared, not so for those who'd grown up in the town system. I only came across a couple teachers there I really liked and respected, the same in college, most were putting in the time, not teaching. I doubt that's changed much but what has changed is teacher's aren't being supported by parents. Discipline now is "you're picking on my child" not I'm sorry he called you effing biotch. The general tone of our culture has coarsened deeply over the last 6 decades with most people no longer even trying to be polite. We hurtle along our little concrete pathways (I still preferred the one through the woods to my old school) in our little mechanical boxes screaming at each other and flipping the bird. Lost in our little worlds, on the phone or iPod, I think we've lost a lot more than most people. Probably not recoverable either, not in this country, not the way things are done here now, there isn't even a pretense at civility any more. I miss that. I wish more people did.

JL A (281)
Monday May 13, 2013, 3:33 pm
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DaleLovesOttawa O (198)
Monday May 13, 2013, 8:39 pm
Fascinating and very interesting comments. So many things going wrong with the educational system in many countries these days and it is necessary for some activism on the part of concerned students and teachers.

Angelika R (143)
Tuesday May 14, 2013, 1:24 am
JL-I get you, but strikes SHOULD also be when there IS a contract but it's a SHITTY one, how else could they express discontent with a contract and how else could a better contract be reached between the parties..!?

JL A (281)
Tuesday May 14, 2013, 7:42 am
During the contract discontent is often expressed by strict working to the contract (no extra time put in during lunch, before or after school--outside of the hours they are paid to work and no personal funds to buy supplies for the classroom or students) or doing an informational picket.

Past Member (0)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 2:00 am
Thanks for sharing

JL A (281)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 7:57 am
You are welcome Ramesh
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