Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ben Stein's recent Education comments......

One of the local radio stations where I live has a broadcast of the Commonwealth Club of California each Sunday morning. While I don't listen to it every week, or agree with the dialogue of many of their guest speakers, I was really glad to have tuned in and listened to last Sunday's broadcast featuring a man of many talents, Ben Stein.

Yep, Ben Stein. That horridly monotone teacher from the 80's movie, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off". Ben Stein, of that enjoyable Comedy Channel game show, "Win Ben Stein's Money". Author Ben Stein, of a book in my library, "How to Ruin Your Financial Life". Ok, I'll admit, I am a Ben Stein fan. The man also provides commentary on one of the cable news channels. He makes sense, most of the time.

Sunday, from the Commonwealth Club of California, located in ultra, Super Liberal San Francisco, California, Ben spoke on his topic of "How to Ruin Your Life". (his appearance at the Commonwealth Club was on 24 Jan. 2008) What really made me sit up and listen more carefully, was when he began a new segment of his talk, with the words, "We also have an education crisis of the first degree." And I quote, (with apologies if my transcription is lacking), Ben Stein said:

"When I was a child, all of our test scores were going up. We were all great kids, but then somehow, test scores of the late '70's, 80's and 90's started to not go up anymore, they started to go down. This is a huge problem. Young people don't know history, don't know geography, don't know anything except, I guess, getting high. EDUCATION IS A KEY ELEMENT IN FORMING HUMAN CAPITAL. If American young people, especially American young people who are not rich or at least upper middle class are not going to acquire an education, they're going to sink farther and farther down the income and wealth ladder, and the whole country will see a collapse in wealth and education and social mobility."

He spoke of a recent TV appearance with Robert Reich (former Clinton Sec. of the Treasury?), and that he had a different belief in what was happening with society and our young people. The crux of this difference was that Reich believed the government needed to help people move up, but Stein believed it was up to people working and saving in order to move up. Stein said, " As a parent of a teenager, I see very scary auguries about that, the modern young person, there are plenty who want to work, but plenty who don't work, plenty who don't learn anything. I blame the students themselves, I don't blame the teachers. Teachers are working hard, It's a hard job, being a teacher. I've been a teacher,.....at UC Santa Cruz. Its hard teaching kids who are stoned all day long.

It was a good little segment to listen to. YOU can find the audio for this talk at the Commonwealth Club of California's website ( www.commonwealthclub)...search their archives for "Ben Stein". The education segment starts about about 22:55 minutes/seconds into the speech. This education segment is also on video, over on YouTube. Search for Ben Stein and click on his education segment. Ben Stein is well worth listening to. The only thing I wish he'd said, was what he'd propose to do about it. What do you think?

Thanks for reading my blog. Comments are welcome.