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  • Absolute Policies

    We have discussed how zero-tolerance policies are usually a bad thing, but what about when we are talking about getting rid of crime or making sure no one falls through the cracks?

    We have a no child left behind law. While that is a very important thing, that every child gets an education, should we be making our policies based on such a rigid goal? We have seen how it can actually be detrimetnal in some cases.

    The same with crimes. A crimeless society is a wonderful ideal. A society where children are completely safe from abuse, women from rape and everyone from murder. But should that be the goal of a society?

    Should goals be so impossible to reach that governmetns are setting themselves up for failure? If they fail, they will then ratchet up the enforcement a few notches to try and achieve the impossible.

    I advocate getting rid of the absolutes in policy making. We need to see how safe we can make society, how many children we can educate realistically. The way I am seeing politicians right now, they are living in the utopian world of ideas and seeing any failure of the policy to mean that it wasn't strong enough.

    Sh*t happens in society. We can prevent a lot of it, but sometimes bad things just happen. We need to stop thinking every bad thing is a failure of some policy and realize that even in the best of situations, things will go wrong.

    Bob S.

  • #2
    We have discussed how zero-tolerance policies are usually a bad thing, but what about when we are talking about getting rid of crime or making sure no one falls through the cracks?

    We have a no child left behind law. While that is a very important thing, that every child gets an education, should we be making our policies based on such a rigid goal? We have seen how it can actually be detrimetnal in some cases.

    The same with crimes. A crimeless society is a wonderful ideal. A society where children are completely safe from abuse, women from rape and everyone from murder. But should that be the goal of a society?

    Should goals be so impossible to reach that governmetns are setting themselves up for failure? If they fail, they will then ratchet up the enforcement a few notches to try and achieve the impossible.

    I advocate getting rid of the absolutes in policy making. We need to see how safe we can make society, how many children we can educate realistically. The way I am seeing politicians right now, they are living in the utopian world of ideas and seeing any failure of the policy to mean that it wasn't strong enough.

    Sh*t happens in society. We can prevent a lot of it, but sometimes bad things just happen. We need to stop thinking every bad thing is a failure of some policy and realize that even in the best of situations, things will go wrong.

    Bob S.

    Comment


    • #3
      quote:
      Originally posted by Bob S.:

      We have a no child left behind law. While that is a very important thing, that every child gets an education, should we be making our policies based on such a rigid goal? We have seen how it can actually be detrimetnal in some cases.



      Actually, we have an "every child left behind" policy. What we now have is required standardized testing (what a surprise that the President's brother owns an educational testing company). Without adequate funding education will always be a failure. Without education there will not be social upward mobility. Without social upward mobility the neo-con power elite has no worries about dethronement.

      Comment


      • #4
        Bob S., I strongly agree with you. In the world of crime control, absolute policies tend to worsen the situation whereas pragmatic policies (e.g. decriminalizing but regulating negative behavious) tend to be the most successful.

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:
          Originally posted by Bob S.:
          We have discussed how zero-tolerance policies are usually a bad thing, but what about when we are talking about getting rid of crime or making sure no one falls through the cracks?

          We have a no child left behind law. While that is a very important thing, that every child gets an education, should we be making our policies based on such a rigid goal? We have seen how it can actually be detrimetnal in some cases.

          The same with crimes. A crimeless society is a wonderful ideal. A society where children are completely safe from abuse, women from rape and everyone from murder. But should that be the goal of a society?

          Should goals be so impossible to reach that governmetns are setting themselves up for failure? If they fail, they will then ratchet up the enforcement a few notches to try and achieve the impossible.

          I advocate getting rid of the absolutes in policy making. We need to see how safe we can make society, how many children we can educate realistically. The way I am seeing politicians right now, they are living in the utopian world of ideas and seeing any failure of the policy to mean that it wasn't strong enough.

          Sh*t happens in society. We can prevent a lot of it, but sometimes bad things just happen. We need to stop thinking every bad thing is a failure of some policy and realize that even in the best of situations, things will go wrong.

          Bob S.


          Bob, sorry I'm not entirely clear on what you're saying here. Is it that our goals of having a crime-free society in which all children have equal access to a sound education are unrealistic and unattainable.

          If that is what you're saying, may I ask these questions? Who decides who does not get the access to the sound education? And who decides which crimes against whom are ignored?

          And, what are the criteria for those decisions?

          Seems to me that it would be a lot simpler to seriously fund and go after those goals. That would be a change.

          Of course, in the real world few things are a hundred percent obtainable, but simply because the goals are challenging and costly and the source of fractious debate does not mean we should cast them off.

          No child should be left behind for lack of an education, no person should be unsafe in their home or on our streets. That is as it should be. There is no place for almost, maybe, and kind of sort of, in educating our precious children and protecting our people.

          So, yeah there are absolutes, there are standards and there are policies to guide and enforce them.

          Comment


          • #6
            quote:
            No child should be left behind for lack of an education, no person should be unsafe in their home or on our streets.


            That is a great platform to stand on in an election. But Reality won't support it.

            You can't fund every child through a Harvard Education. You can only do the best you can to teach them what they are capable of learning. Children get left behind. It's a fact of life. It's Irresponsible to simply Throw money away to try to educate children beyond their ability or willingness to learn. Choices have to be made. Some make the team and some watch the game.
            Don't get me wrong. We need a strong educational system to get the most out of our number one resourse. But not all children are going to be Scientists or CEO's of Corporations.
            It isn't prudent to set the bar too high for every child.

            And for the crime issue. How High would our taxes be if we were to employ enough law enforcement to guarantee Zero crime. Would it stop at 1 police officer for every citizen. Or would we need another one to watch the first one.
            I'm not against setting Lofty goals. But we have to be reasonable and weigh the cost vs the possible results.

            But then again, who am I to doubt our elected officials? I'm sure they know what they are doing.

            Steve

            Comment


            • #7
              quote:
              Originally posted by Nude in the North:
              But then again, who am I to doubt our elected officials? I'm sure they know what they are doing.


              Consider the law in Indiana against nudity in schools and public parks. People violate that law every day. I violate that law when I shower in my school-owned apartment.

              Absolutes are a good goal in only some instances. Absolutely no nudity on school property is an impossible goal; after all, people shower.

              Are absolutes always possible? Quite the opposite. They are never possible. But they're something to work towards.

              Comment


              • #8
                Nudeinthenorth, I do not believe you will find, if you go back and look, that I made any reference to everyone getting a Harvard education.

                But, unwittingly, I expect, you have exposed another related issue. Why should not all college educations be as good as one receives at Harvard? Why should not all college educations open as many doors as does a Harvard or other Ivy League college degree?

                Why does not every citizen have an opportunity to obtain such educations according to their desires and abilities regardless their station in life?

                Perhaps a substantial part of the answers are that we have way too many people who have disengaged from the process saying; why strive?, why bother?, life is unfair?, just accept it since its impossible to achieve 100%?.

                Perhaps another part of the answers lies in the fact that the wealthy elites who have gained controll of government and the media have done a real nifty neato job of keeping us divided with wedge issues such as abortion, religion, immigration and other such marginally important issues while our schools are under funded, our curriculem is outdated compared to ther est of the world and we lack the will to do soemthing about the scourge of drugs and alcohol which fuel virutally all the crime and educational failures.

                No, it is not absolute policies that are the problem. Pogo knew what was the problem, and it has not changed.

                Comment


                • #9
                  quote:
                  Why does not every citizen have an opportunity to obtain such educations according to their desires and abilities regardless their station in life?



                  usmc you hit the nail on the head here... I spent last thursday in an inner city school in Philly. I talked to numerous students there who had no desire to be anything above a plumber or electrician. It is unreasonable for those students to be in a college bound education system. That is why there can't be a universal answer to education. Colleges have different majors... so too high schools need to develop more academic tracts so kids who don't want a white collar job can profit from an education system. This school had kids in welding, automechanic, and culinary courses. None of this would be possible in a uniform education system. They HAVE to be diverse.

                  NCLB is one thing I disagree with Bush on... I think the concept of pushing out clones (academically speaking) is bad for society.

                  As for crime... what would happen if there was no crime? Paroll officers, policemen, psychologists, judges, and lawyers would all be out of work. Crime serves an extremely important role in society. In addition to employing all of these people, it also serves as an example for the majority that if they step out of line, they're getting locked up.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    quote:
                    Originally posted by nakedstudent:
                    quote:
                    Why does not every citizen have an opportunity to obtain such educations according to their desires and abilities regardless their station in life?



                    usmc you hit the nail on the head here... I spent last thursday in an inner city school in Philly. I talked to numerous students there who had no desire to be anything above a plumber or electrician. It is unreasonable for those students to be in a college bound education system. That is why there can't be a universal answer to education. Colleges have different majors... so too high schools need to develop more academic tracts so kids who don't want a white collar job can profit from an education system. This school had kids in welding, automechanic, and culinary courses. None of this would be possible in a uniform education system. They HAVE to be diverse.

                    NCLB is one thing I disagree with Bush on... I think the concept of pushing out clones (academically speaking) is bad for society.

                    As for crime... what would happen if there was no crime? Paroll officers, policemen, psychologists, judges, and lawyers would all be out of work. Crime serves an extremely important role in society. In addition to employing all of these people, it also serves as an example for the majority that if they step out of line, they're getting locked up.


                    Generally, students who do well in school and go on to college and college based careers are those students whose families, from birth, instilled in them the expectation that they would go on to college. It was a given in their lives, a goal, an expectation.

                    Perhaps those kids you met did not grow up in such families and their education system recognizing that life in unfair and that there can be no absolutes never raised their expectations or abilities.

                    Our society does not value education for all. Just for the wealthy elite. That, and enough for the middleclass to provide managers and supervisors.

                    Secondly, the very arguement taht is emerging here is indiicative of a our misplaced values regartding education--education is far more important than the mere economic and career advancements it can provide. Education is an enriching and personally rewarding gift. And, beyond that, the better educated one is, whether butcher or surgeon, lube job mechanic or NASA engineer, makes one a better citizen and more informed voter.

                    Education is its own reward and ought not be denied anyone.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      quote:
                      Originally posted by nakedstudent:
                      I talked to numerous students there who had no desire to be anything above a plumber or electrician.


                      You do realise that a plumbers and electricians can make some very good money? Not only that but they are a very nessesary trade in our society. If kids want to get into a trade, then they should. It can be a very good living for them. One thing I'd like to see is after school programs to teach different trades to kids. Specially to teenagers.

                      I don't know if you were intentionally implying electricians or plumbers are low level jobs, but thats how it came across to me. I just have to defend those types of carreer choices.

                      Qikdraw

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        quote:
                        Originally posted by Qikdraw:
                        quote:
                        Originally posted by nakedstudent:
                        I talked to numerous students there who had no desire to be anything above a plumber or electrician.


                        You do realise that a plumbers and electricians can make some very good money? Not only that but they are a very nessesary trade in our society. If kids want to get into a trade, then they should. It can be a very good living for them. One thing I'd like to see is after school programs to teach different trades to kids. Specially to teenagers.

                        I don't know if you were intentionally implying electricians or plumbers are low level jobs, but thats how it came across to me. I just have to defend those types of carreer choices.

                        Qikdraw


                        You're right to suggest that it is elitist to think that a good education involves only college. I feel I should have included that point in my earlier reply. Thank you.

                        But, the point for me remains, who do we we cull out of the absolute that all children get an education (academic, trade or craft) according to their abilities and desires with federal support based on their needs? And who does the culling?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          quote:
                          Originally posted by usmc1:


                          You're right to suggest that it is elitist to think that a good education involves only college. I feel I should have included that point in my earlier reply. Thank you.

                          But, the point for me remains, who do we we cull out of the absolute that all children get an education (academic, trade or craft) according to their abilities and desires with federal support based on their needs? And who does the culling?


                          I don't think the elitests have anything to do with this conversation... furthermore, suggesting that a person who wants to become a welder or mechanic needs to be well versed in fine arts or visca versa is absolutely obsurde. The point of my first post was that there are 4 or 5 core classes than do need to meet a certain bar... you are right to suggest that they are not at this time. But to pigeon hole everyone into a college prep track when they have no aspirations of doing such is far too aggressive. Sitting in classrooms throughout central PA this semester, I have learned that no matter where you go, someone just flat out doesn't want to learn.

                          We need to bring up the average performance. But I don't believe that average students need to perform at the same level as AP or Honors kids do.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            quote:
                            I have learned that no matter where you go, someone just flat out doesn't want to learn.


                            Unless that young person suffers from mental illness, someone has failed taht young person who "flat out doesn't want to learn".

                            And it is not absurd to think that someone practicing a trade or craft cannot enjoy and appreciate the arts or literatureor politics or philosophy or history as much as they might enjoy hunting, fishing and THE DALLAS COWBOYS kickin' some butt.

                            And it is quite elitist to think otherwise.

                            One of America's more respected philosophers worked as a longshoreman. I personally know a fellow who makes his living as a welder who once wrote speeches for Barry Godlwater, and who to this day is conversant in many things other than welding.

                            Nope, education for education's sake alone is enriching and fulfilling.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              usmc:"Bob, sorry I'm not entirely clear on what you're saying here."

                              I'm actually surprised more people didn't have that reaction. Just as hw has voices, so do I and sometimes they have a hard time coming out.

                              usmc:"Is it that our goals of having a crime-free society in which all children have equal access to a sound education are unrealistic and unattainable."

                              No society in history has ever attained zero crime. It is an unrealistic goal. We should instead strive for the fewest possible instances of criminal activity. And those goals should involve more preventative factors than punitive.

                              Should all children have equal access to a sound education? Absolutely. My point is describing it as No Child Left Behind. That policy will fail. We will, unfortuately leave some children behind. But the overall idea of trying to educate as many students with applicable knowledge as possible is vital.

                              usmc:"So, yeah there are absolutes, there are standards and there are policies to guide and enforce them."

                              But when those absolutes are met with absoluting policies, the policies will fail and we will never attain what we ultimately want.

                              Some points:

                              To prevent rapes, should we just keep men and women separate? Should we allow only certain people to raise children so that they are never abused?

                              Oh and by the way, Da Boyz' don't kick butt, they are too sore from their own spankings

                              Bob S.

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