Thursday, September 09, 2010

Good old USA, we won't teach your kids but we'll monitor them to make sure they aren't doing anything 'wrong'

Here. A Democracy Now! report on the Philadelphia school system that turned on the cameras of kids laptops, took pictures of them, and captured screen shots. One kid was reportedly called into the principle's office for using drugs (at home) because they saw him eating Mike & Ike candies in his bedroom, which look like colorful pills. Want to make a bet about the level of actual learning going on in that school? Of course, they just instituted this program, so they obviously have money, so they may teach the kids something, but in general this is representative of how the American public school system really is---they care about things that do not matter, like trivial behavior outside of school , while not actually teaching the kids anything inside of school. Puritan control lives on in the ethos of the American school system, where, darnit, the kids will be forced to obey arbitrary and often pointless rules while they don't in fact learn anything. And, of course, the idea that they're not learning anything isn't just a subjective statement but one clearly borne out both by international rankings and by the overwhelming ignorance of large segments of the population about basic matters.

In other news from Democracy Now! a pre-school in the Bay Area has tagged their children with RFID chips, the same type of chips used to monitor cattle. Why? So they don't have to take attendance for the overwhelming 200 pre-schoolers that they have to deal with. I suppose that if a kid is actually missing, i.e. that they fucked up enough to let a kid go missing, that they can chase them down with an electronic sensor to locate them, but wouldn't it be easier for them to just do their jobs and keep track of kids physically, and also to physically count the kids, as opposed to taking the lazy way out and putting all the emphasis on electronic technology? And the cost is $150,000 for 200 kids, or $750 per kid. Man, let the Cheetos eating begin.

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