Friday, April 4, 2014

Day 532 Dropping literacy rates and the consequence of special needs.

I am reading  Weapons of Mass Instruction,  by John Taylor Gato. This is a quote from his book:
"WWII was over in 1945. Six years later , another war began in Korea and several million more men were tested for military service. This time 600,000 were rejected. Literacy in the draft had mysteriously dropped to 81 percent from 96 percent, even though all that was needed to classify a soldier as literate was fourth grade reading proficiency. In a few short years from WWII to Korea a terrifying problem of adult illiteracy had appeared seemingly from nowhere.
The Korean War group had received most of its schooling in the 1940’s while the conflict with Germany and Japan was being waged. It had more years in school, with more professionally trained teachers in attendance, and more scientifically selected textbooks than the WWII men. Yet, it could not read, write, count, speak, or think as well as the earlier less schooled contingent."

By the time we get the the sixties and the Vietnam War, that rate drops to 73 percent.

Now, we have an education system that employs thousands of people. And we have children that have learning disabilities that are, as in my home town, doubling in one year. I say this because if it is happening in my one little town it is probably happening in many many towns.

I was with my sister this week. She has an autistic child.  She has come to realize in all the years that she deals with the schools a number of things. 

First, she has begun to notice something about the treatment of herself when she goes to meetings in the school. She has begun to notice that when the adults go into an assembly that the adults are treated as children ( I should say ignorant - because children when they are young can be more aware than adults- just think of all the 14 year olds that are beginning to create things that improve the system) , they are taken into an assembly where things are “ explained” and then they are moved into the classrooms and explained again. As we can see in the numbers of literate people in decline, and the amount of money poured into education, what we are doing is not working, whether by design or not, the numbers show us that it is not working. And given that this American system has more prisoners than any other country, and that these prisoners are making combat helmets and a percentage of our utility gadgets at the expense of the taxpayer, we as a society have become dumber, meaning less aware, meaning less able to use our common sense, which we can blame no one but ourselves, because we accepted and allowed it.

Another thing that has happened, and I had a similar thing happen in high school, is that children that are processing very slowly, are given special tests so that the numbers in the state tests are not pulled down, which means we are not being told of what is really happening when the state test scores are presented to the public. When I was in high school in New York, they had my friends and I retake the tests, even though we had passed, to keep the numbers of passing students higher. So, even within this, parents are  being deceived and the school administrators, the ones that have been trained, are allowing this, because they fear losing their jobs- which comes before the child.  All of this is an illusion, because if parents became aware of this, it would mean to change the system, to allow teachers to begin to use their common sense. As one parent of a school committee said, it is that the teachers are given one new program after another, and can never simply use their common sense, develop their ability to develope their own way via their own experience, and as we know, children have a divergent thinking skill that is somehow lost by the time they reach the third grade. Which means how we are forming the child is not opening up that natural ability, that common sense ability. So, we have teachers that lack the time and the choice to develop common sense, and we have the consequence of this lack of common sense accumulating overall in the children of the next generation.

The third thing my sister has come to realize is that the reason she has changing aids is that the aids want to move onto working with “ normal” children, because, naturally, it moves at a faster pace. I have worked in “ special” classes, it is a constant redirection, again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again ad infinitum. 

I noticed with this child, that having a moment, where I could get a child with special needs to walk all the way into self generating took more than an hour. And this was for one word. Eventually the child did this. I also know that in the schools, a teacher has about 50 minutes and other students. For a child that is so confused, so nervous, whose nails are bitten down to the skin practically, how can that child ever have the moment to follow through and move through all the accumulated fear behaviors and begin to generate being able to speak one word, and write one word, with an understanding of the meaning of the word? With all the bells and the whistles, and the other children, is it no wonder that that child cannot read and write with any fluency? If the aids change every year, and the new aids are bottom of the pay scale, to save money, where is the time and space for constancy, and time to move through fears and limitations to begin to build understanding? Here, if we look at physical space and time, it does not exist, so the fear behaviors accumulate because they are not given opportunity to discover structure and practice this. Also, the special needs classrooms move at a slower pace, where one tiny tiny gain is seen as a HUGE gain, but this in itself is an illusion in a bubble. On top of this, we have a culture of so called “ positive thinking” where if this is questioned, one is considered to not be “ positive.” Obviously, only a parent can be responsible for the child, because as the system functions in the moment, what is best for a child is not being given simply because of the measure of time and the pressures of testing, and money spent on aids, and teachers who become frustrated in what is such a slow process that is limited by structure that they want to move onto a situation where the children at least have some capacity.

As has been shown in the declining numbers of literacy, our present system is in reverse. And, each of us is tied to survival, where we cannot stop and slow down ourselves and take the time to see what is actually happening in form and function in our schools, because of the economic pressure in a system of usury that moves all wealth creation via money to a few, and is now a corporate system that pushes products that entertain us as an escape from our own frustrations. And our frustrations are the same as that special needs child, it is the children that simply carry the consequences of lack as the life within is given no structure to express itself, thus it is to say that life is being suppressed.  It is like the inverse is happening, the greater the suppression the greater the number of special needs students. And I have to ask myself if this is moving exponentially, meaning the numbers suddenly double in one year. Each parent has to ask themselves, when their real estate taxes go up and the answer is the special needs for these children, will they blame the individual points or take the time to look at the whole and realize the consequences that created the problem? It has happened at a seemingly slow and steady pace, invisible to many, but, since the numbers are doubling, you could be next, and then, as with my sister, after walking the frustrations, the pattern will begin to emerge, and then the child is in middle school, and taking the time to reprogram the child will need more time.

Also, if we realize the Munchausen symdrome by proxy, many parents build their lives around these children, and become acclimated to that child’s behavior and the social network around that child’s problem and as a result fear losing what has come to define them. Obviously, this cannot continue, because eventually that child becomes an adult, and what was “ cute” when they were small is no longer cute, but even considered weird when they get into their twenties. This I have seen as well.  Will our taxpayer dollars pay for these malformed adults that require to live in assisted housing?  And, as we can see, the numbers are growing.

According to the numbers of literate people before WWII, people can become literate. Because the present system is so intrenched, the solution is to create a basic income guarantee, to allow each the time and space to slow down and breath, to remove the stress and frustration, which manifests as spite and blame, wanting someone else to be responsible because each of us is so caught up in the details of keeping a job, and as such can no longer see the patterns around us. Realize that everything is interconnected, and that what we allow that is not supportive of life absolutely, has consequences that eventually accumulate and catch up to us. 

We are physical beings, we need air, and water and shelter, and an inFORMation that allows us to see what is around us and how it moves with each breath, to realize that what we allow in the systems we create, determine our development and our function and that because we live on a physical planet where everything is connected, our choices can only be what is best for all. And, as the numbers of literate men in WWII show, the possibility for overall literacy exists.

A Living Income Guarantee will give us the space and time to get out of our bubbles of limitation, and allow the insight necessary to realize the whole and how what we accept and allow influences  the world around us. What exists was built by each of us as a collective, and since  the present system was built by those who came before us, there is no one here to blame. And, our history, an ego history, where a figure head is believed to have created and developed what is here, that could only have been developed by many, is not the whole story and really only a story where one organizational part what made a god-like image, we can realize that what has been impulsed as history, is not a story of practical form and function, and as such what we think we understand is simply a lack by omission. Thus, it is through omission that our information is limited. And this limitation creates frustration that is really suppression. And the suppression lacking structure looks without for definition, instead of within as information being exposure and development. Meanwhile that which is outside of us is also a limitation, of one aspect of reality made greater instead of being balanced and normal to the point where a practical common sense of physical reality is strong enough that invention and creative ability is developed and at interplay with the physical. As we can see, little invention is being allowed, as the monopolies buy a congress of votes and impose what is causing harm, and even buying the space on the media to tell a story that ignores all aspects of reality which is, overall, simply a reflection of what we are within. All of which, begs the necessity of a Living Income Guarantee. If each has the monetary means to meet basic living needs, then so many reactive behaviors will end, and the tide will turn as men stand and begin to express what was there all along, the expression of themselves as life, here.

                                      John Taylor Gato

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