America dying slow death due to ‘group think’
December 04, 2012 01:06 AM | 1291 views | 21 21 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR:

George Will’s Sunday MDJ column, “The closing of U.S. minds starts on campus,“ tells only the tip of the iceberg. The entire U.S. education system has ceased to exist. It has instead become the U.S. indoctrination system. Somewhat like Germany’s system in the mid 1930s.

It begins in first grade and continues for as long our children remain in school. When my children attended K-5, middle school and high school in the mid 1970s, my wife and I were involved in 12 years of war with each child. We were continually told by teachers and self serving administrators that: “What we teach your children and how we do it is none of your business. We know what is best.“ So we began to teach them what they needed to know at home.

When my oldest son started his pre-med education at a major Midwestern university, my wife and I were invited to attend a parent seminar at which those present were told that the university counselors were telling our children to cut the apron strings from their parents because they no longer knew what they were talking about. Of course, they expected the parents to continue to pay the bills and carry their insurance. We chose to get off the boat. They were insulted by our attitude.

In 2006, at the request of a newly elected Cobb School Board member, I began a program in Cobb County primary and middle schools called “Veterans Day 4 Kids.” Under that program, four veterans of World War II and Korea visited a selected school for a full day to talk to students in the same grade level about what life was like during the years from 1942 to 1954 in a nation at war. They were spellbound. We found that modern day students were taught very little about WWII or the Korean War and how they affected our lives. The program died after a short tenure due to lack of support of school principals. We weren’t teaching the right stuff.

Our current educational system no longer teaches our children to be individual thinkers. The ultimate goal of our public indoctrination system today has become “groupthink” (You have to go along to get along). That’s the way our current dysfunctional government attempts to work. What chance do future governments have? My America is dying a slow and painful death.

Jim Stoll

Kennesaw
Comments
(21)
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Jim Stoll
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December 07, 2012
@ Foley, I'm a big fan of history as well. I have probably lived through much of what you can only read about. I also follow what is happening in our schools today. I heard this week one teacher who recently quit teaching explaing why she quit. She said: "The administrators today not only tell you what you can teach, but also how you should teach it and that's not what I signed on for. U.S. education, in my younger days, was rated number one in the world. Now it is rated 17th in the world. So much for brilliance.
Kevin Foley
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December 06, 2012
@ Jim Stoll - I'm a big fan of history. You learn a lot from it if you study it closely.

Your expansive knowledge of the public education system needs a reboot. Do a little research and discover that, 45 years ago, guys like you were saying exactly the same thing about the higher education system in America while bemoaning the social decline of the country.

The more things change, Jim, the more they stay the same.

Foley's Follies
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December 06, 2012
The definition of liberal progressive socialism:

Spreading misery equally.

Kevin Foley
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December 05, 2012
Mr. Parrott is making progress. He's finally admitted he has a narrow mind. That's a big step on the road to recovery.

The rest of you nameless posters make my point for me. Thanks for playing.
Sally Socialist
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December 05, 2012
Errr, Foley, Exactly what is your point?
Kenneth D. Parrott
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December 06, 2012
There you go again Mr. Foley; I simply asked you a question regarding your own preference and you misinterpret, and then misrepresent it, in your own very "broad-minded" way. If your mind-set is located anywhere on this "road to recovery" you speak of, I want to drive right off that road and into a very narrow ditch.
Too funny
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December 04, 2012
Let me guess. The letter writer is another angry old white guy perpetuating the Golden Age fallacy
The Usual No Funny
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December 05, 2012
Lets see, the usual name calling and stereotyping we have come to expect from Not Too funny.
Too funny
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December 05, 2012
It's not name calling and stereotyping to call an old angry white guy obsessed with an antiseptic version the "good old days", an old angry white guy who is obsessed with an antiseptic version of the "good old days."
jim Stoll
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December 05, 2012
Yes, I'm old and yes I'm a white guy, but I'm not angry. The significance of our current public indoctrination will not affect my life one iota. But it will, I expect, affect yours dramaticly. Dream on, and watch the lifestyle of your children collapse.
The Usual No Funny
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December 05, 2012
@Too funny

Keep back pedaling. Perhaps you are using too much antiseptic?
Too funny
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December 06, 2012
Sorry Jim - I mistook your despondency and pessimism for anger at the man. I am not a pessimist.
Kevin Foley
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December 04, 2012
Mr. Parrott- You must have some insight I lack, sir. Last time I looked, universities and colleges were in the business of expanding minds, not narrowing them.
Kenneth D. Parrott
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December 04, 2012
Please tell us then, in your opinion, which is preferable; an expanded mind filled with blather, or a narrow mind filled with truth?
Bro Thomas
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December 04, 2012
I think it is safe to say you do lack insight.
Kevin Fooley
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December 05, 2012
Yes Foley, from your viewpoint, brainwashing youth with radical progressive socialism would be considered expanding a mind.
Kevin Foley
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December 04, 2012
What eludes Mr. Stoll is that there is a vast, diverse world beyond the narrow borders of Cobb County. He's frustrated because the purpose of colleges and universities is to expose students to that world, to make students independent thinkers and to open their minds to new ideas and different points of view.

Everything Mr. Stoll writes here could have appeared on the op-ed pages of the MDJ in 1967, and probably did. Nothing has changed at colleges and universities, the same way nothing has changed for parents like Mr. Stoll.

Kenneth D. Parrott
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December 04, 2012
Nothing has changed since 1967? I have read many ludicrous comments made by you Mr. Foley, but this one easily takes first place by any measure. If you are claiming to be open-minded; then we can all now certainly feel very free to assume that an open mind can indeed be of very limited benefit, depending entirely on the contents.
Jim Stoll
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December 04, 2012
Mr. Foley: At my age, I am no longer frustrated about anything. I am just stating the facts. Take them or leave them, as you please. I have traveled the world and the company that I owned and operated worked with education at all levels for 40 years. I have probably forgotten more about the world's public educational process than you will ever learn. If you believe that nothing has changed in our country's current public indoctrination system since 1967, you must have been sleeping under a rock for the past 40 years. With people thinking as you apparently do running around loose these days, it's small wonder our country is in the shape it's in.
SG887
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December 04, 2012
Like all leftists, Foley is open minded, as long as you agree with him.
anonymous
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December 04, 2012
I was in gradute school in the 80s. I noticed the liberal agenda then. I distinctly remember one professor who did not like me because I was conservative. No one was open to my point of view. And, interestingly enough, I once completed a paper writing from a differnt view than my own. Another professor gave me great praise. So, it seems to me you are free to think openly, as long as you do so in their way. So, Kevin do us all a favor and quit wasting your efforts at writing - you would be more productive standing in a corner chewing gum.
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