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25% of Charter Schools Owe Their Soul To the Walmart Store

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the so-you're-saying-this-bothers-you? dept.

United States 233

theodp writes "Among the billionaires who helped Bill Gates pave the way for charter schools in WA was Walmart heiress Alice Walton. The Walton Family Foundation spent a whopping $158+ million in 2012 on what it calls 'systemic K-12 education reform,' which included $60,920,186 to 'shape public policy' and $652,209 on 'research and evaluation.' Confirming the LA Times' speculation about its influence, the Walton Foundation issued a press release Wednesday boasting it's the largest private funder of charter school 'startups,' adding that it has supported the opening of 1 in 4 charter schools in the U.S. since 1997 through its 1,500 'investments.' But as some charter school kids have learned the hard way, what the rich man giveth, he can also taketh away. For the time being, though, it looks like America's going to continue to depend on the tax-free kindness of wealthy strangers to educate its kids. For example, while it was nice to see the value of Shop Class recognized, the White House on Monday called on businesses, foundations and philanthropists to fund proposed 'Maker Spaces' in schools and libraries. Hey, when the U.S. Secretary of Education turns to corporate sponsors and auctions to fund his Mother's afterschool program for kids of low-income families in the President's hometown, don't look for things to change anytime soon."

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233 comments

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Love the quotes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46197825)

Doesn't it make the author smart?

Re:Love the quotes (0)

The Shootist (324679) | about 6 months ago | (#46197839)

Good parenting means never sending your child to government schools.

The corollary of this being: Sending your child to government school is akin to child abuse.

Re:Love the quotes (5, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 6 months ago | (#46197959)

Good parenting means not letting your public schools become shit and not letting corporations take over your education system via backdoor like this.

Re:Love the quotes (0, Flamebait)

0123456 (636235) | about 6 months ago | (#46198107)

Public schools will always be shit, because they exist for the benefit of the government and teachers, not the kids.

Re:Love the quotes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198151)

Whereas private schools exist solely for the benefit of the kids, and have no need to make money or pay employees?

There are certainly big problems with many public schools; I was lucky enough to go to a very good one, but the best school in one of the best school districts being good only highlights the problems. But what do you suggest if you see public schooling as only existing to benefit teachers and government? Religious, charity schools?

Re: Love the quotes (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198183)

Eh, the public high school I went to was pretty good, certainly produced many good graduates that are doing well now. NW suburbs of Chicago. Many parents even sent their kids to the public school instead of the rather prestigious catholic school nearby.

Re:Love the quotes (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 6 months ago | (#46198227)

And here we have an example of a "self-fulfilling prophesy."

Re:Love the quotes (1)

liquidpele (663430) | about 6 months ago | (#46199073)

take off the tinfoil hat

Re:Love the quotes (5, Insightful)

mattmarlowe (694498) | about 6 months ago | (#46198167)

No.

Good parenting means taking _complete responsibility_ for your childs education. If your public school is awesome, great - but that only goes a little way. The culture, values, education, and effort/commitment of the parents has always been the number one predictor of a childs future academic success. Public schools are also limited in what they are allowed to teach your child - forced to comply with what is polically correct, what politicians and businesses have managed to redefine the subjects and ideas to study as, and what the local/state/federal government have compromised as the textbooks and teachers that your kid will interact with. These are usually far from the best choice which you learn about in great detail if you go and investigate on your own and then put together your own educational plan which you implement via home schooling, careful selection of private schools, or selective hiring of tutors.

Having kids was never supposed to be about the state taking over most of the responsibility for education, or for being a gloried childcare center because both parents work, or something that could be handled without careful planning and ensuring one had the necessary resources ahead of time. Politicians and the public can talk all they want about improving public schools and overall childhood education, but the further responsibility and teaching moves away from responsibile active parents - the worse the result will always be. We've had a 100 year slide away from families and responsibile parenting and nothing is going to be fixed in education until we reverse it.

Re:Love the quotes (3, Insightful)

n8_f (85799) | about 6 months ago | (#46198459)

Sounds like a horribly inefficient allocation of resources. Even wolves spread teaching amongst the pack.

Re:Love the quotes (1)

mattmarlowe (694498) | about 6 months ago | (#46198861)

Most states allows groups of parents in a neighborhood to group together and form homeschool co-ops. This can significantly reduce costs and save time - but the tradeoff decision should be made by the parent based on what they think is the best interest of the child. In any case, public schools really are just one option among dozens and there is no real reason why it should be the default - especially these days with the huge amount of educational resources available online or via amazone or various community groups.

Parents only have a limited number of years to set the entire trajectory for their childs life - Taking 10 years off work to homeschool a child shouldn't be something that unusual - and, if more parents just took the time to investigate the education options available and what could be taught via a customized curriculum tailored to the child - I'd expect we'd see much higher overall academic achievement, stronger families, and more realistic/better balanced kids.

Re:Love the quotes (1)

albacrankie (1017430) | about 6 months ago | (#46198873)

Thanks for that. A genuinely intelligent comment.

Re:Love the quotes (2)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 6 months ago | (#46199095)

Taking an interest in your kids is now an "inefficient allocation of resources"?

Re:Love the quotes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46199551)

When corporations outsource duties that can be performed with economies of scale by specialists we applaud them.

Re: Love the quotes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198629)

I get the feeling the most important thing is not individual parents, but the culture of the community. There are plenty of cases of genius children where people all what the parents did, and the parents say nothing, they were barely even around or cared about the kid at all most of the time. Nevertheless, kids need to learn from someone, perhaps parents, books, friends, friends'parents, teachers, preachers, other community members, etc. A few good influences can go a long way, even if it isn't the kids' parents doing it, and ultimately it will enrich the entire community.

Re:Love the quotes (3, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about 6 months ago | (#46199087)

And good statecraft means making sure the population is well educated. Be it through strong public schools or making sure parents have the time, energy, and resources to educate their children themselves.

Re:Love the quotes (0)

bondsbw (888959) | about 6 months ago | (#46198249)

Good parenting means doing what it takes to make your child succeed in spite of teachers, government, corporations, or any other environmental circumstances.

So stop blaming everyone other than parents for shitty parenting. Parenting is life... teaching is just a job.

Re:Love the quotes (1)

marcgvky (949079) | about 6 months ago | (#46198253)

Alice has nothing to do with Walmart. How does Luckyo equate her donations as a corporate take-over? Me thinks Luckyo is a good union steward.... or a simple minded person that doesn't understand how competition can force public schools to step up their game. Of course, government / municipal employees don't want to be stretched, on their 30 year journey toward retirement.

Re:Love the quotes (2)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 6 months ago | (#46198527)

Or educated by Alice to have the mathematical skills needed to accept a job with such low pay that you need to go on food stamps.

Fixed your quote (1)

jackspenn (682188) | about 6 months ago | (#46198265)

Correction: Good parenting means not letting your children become shit, regardless of the state of the school, corporations or politicians in control down the road.

NO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198285)

Good parenting means keeping your kids off Beta.

Re:NO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198319)

Came for this. Left, after a delay, satisfied.

Re:NO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46199403)

Go back to Fark.com

Re:Love the quotes (1)

JDAustin (468180) | about 6 months ago | (#46198353)

Haven't you heard? Corporations are already taking over the ed system via common core.

Re:Love the quotes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46197847)

How do you mean? I don't understand.

Here's some quotes (3, Insightful)

bondsbw (888959) | about 6 months ago | (#46198235)

"tax-free kindness of wealthy strangers"

Why do some feel that charitable contributions should be taxed? Say someone makes a billion dollars this year and gives away that billion dollars to feed the hungry or buy clothes for the poor... that should be it. If the government takes half a billion off the top, that is half a billion less for those hungry and poor.

It's the same as giving someone a welfare check and then taxing half of it. Suggesting that would be considered preposterous by the same people who want to tax the hell out of the charitable contributions.

She needs to be educated on DUI (5, Insightful)

Virtucon (127420) | about 6 months ago | (#46197833)

Due to a technicality Alice was let off of on a DUI charge just recently. [dailymail.co.uk] Maybe she should spend some of her $27 Billion on Drug and Alcohol education in the schools instead?

Re:She needs to be educated on DUI (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46197929)

Not surprising. I went to a pretty excursive private school. (Not that may English reflects it.) We had one student pulled over for DUI. He got off because his parents hired a Private investigator to follow the arresting cop around. Turns out he liked to pick up prostitutes and take'em to an alley and return them.(I don't remember if he did this while on duty or not) He wasn't able to testify due to being on forced leave and since the high priced lawyer insisted on speedy trail the prosecution dropped the case.

Re:She needs to be educated on DUI (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 6 months ago | (#46198349)

I went to a pretty excursive private school.

That would explain why you drift off topic. [thefreedictionary.com] Although if you're on beta, who knows what the topic is anyway?

Re:She needs to be educated on DUI (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 6 months ago | (#46198601)

Although if you're on beta, who knows what the topic is anyway?

If you force your DPI settings and resolution to the same odd combination as the web developers, you can see the topic. Or the parts that don't get cut off, that is.
I'm surprised they haven't taken a cue from Visual Studio and capitalized subjects too.

Re:She needs to be educated on DUI (0)

marcgvky (949079) | about 6 months ago | (#46198113)

Slashdot moderators are so left-of-center, it makes me sick. How is Alice's DUI issue germane and "Insightful"?

Re:She needs to be educated on DUI (1)

theodp (442580) | about 6 months ago | (#46198387)

If one wanted to be snarky, one could point out the disconnect between What is KIPP [kippchicago.org] ("Thanks to the support of Doris & Don Fisher (co-founders of the GAP clothing stores), the Walton Family Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other education reform advocates, KIPP now has a network of 99 schools...Five basic principles form the "pillars" that are responsible for the success of students at KIPP Schools....When it comes to effort and behavior, there are no excuses.") and Texas drops DUI charge against billionaire Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton [dailymail.co.uk] ("The DUI arrest was not Walton's first. According to information from the Springdale District Court in Arkansas, Walton was convicted of driving under the influence in a 1998 case.According to the UK's Independent, she hit a gas meter and told the responding police officer: 'I'm Alice Walton, bitch!'...Previous news accounts state Walton was also involved in a 1989 wreck in Arkansas that resulted in the death of a 50-year-old woman.")

Who gives a shit? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46197835)

Does anybody know a decent "news for nerds" style discussion forum? Preferably one that bears as little resemblance to slashdot beta as possible?

Re:Who gives a shit? (2, Interesting)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 6 months ago | (#46197965)

Yes. It's called slashdot. You're stinking it up with your "beta beta blah blah blah" bullshit. Take it to the farmers for composting or something.

At least that's a winner for the new motto (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198003)

Slashdot beta: "Take it to the farmers for composting or something."

Meanwhile, while this place dies, does anybody know a decent "news for nerds" style discussion forum?

Re:At least that's a winner for the new motto (3, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 6 months ago | (#46198057)

That was indeed the double meaning. Thank you for spelling it out for everyone.

Fact is though, the beta protest movement has its place. And its not in the other discussions. Even a good cause can lose a lot of support if most ardent supporters start to trash everything, rather than focusing their protests on the issue.

Re:At least that's a winner for the new motto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198457)

Taking over the place for a few days is not 'trashing everything'. Don't be so short-sighted.

Boycotting the stories forced them to try to explain themselves, but we still need to force them to abandon the Beta plans. Every on-topic post reduces the chance they'll break.

Re:At least that's a winner for the new motto (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198065)

I've read slashdot from the start - posting from time to time as anonymous (I never saw the need to register for forums that offer an anon capability) - and I agree that it's dying and that's actually a real shame. There are so few actual stories worth reading, and when there are, the posts are mostly people not contributing - just trying to be funny. It didn't used to be that way (there were always jokers and trolls, but not like this)

I guess I'll keep reading for now... but what a turn this site has taken...

Re:At least that's a winner for the new motto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198115)

There are a few options. We should pick one before Monday; everyone who participates in the week-long slashcott will need a place to go.

altslashdot.org is what it sounds like. It's being setup in response to the Beta fiasco. It's a work in progress and needs volunteers.

kuo5hin.org is an old slashdot spinoff. It's more or less dead now, but the site still exists. Stories are submitted and voted on by readers. At the moment it's giving me a key-expired error.

technocract.net is a site that was run a few times by Bruce Perens. He's been asked to set it up again. The goal was to have a slashdot-like site, but the problem was always getting enough people. At the time of writing, it's not up.

Re:At least that's a winner for the new motto (3, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 6 months ago | (#46198367)

There's always usenet.

Re:Who gives a shit? (1, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 6 months ago | (#46198587)

At least I know a place to discuss this question. [slashdot.org] And I guess a lot of activity in that specific discussion would be taken much more seriously by Dice than the Fuck Beta posts.

Fuck Classic Slashdot. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46197841)

I love Beta.

Yeah (1)

Spiked_Three (626260) | about 6 months ago | (#46198103)

Me too.

I specifically notice the change from MS bashing articles to stuff actually interesting. Maybe slashdot has finally grown into something useful.

Re:Yeah (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 6 months ago | (#46198471)

When you think about it, they're really the same. Windows 8 == slashdot beta. The ugly duckling == Lion King (or Macbeth; I get confused sometimes) == Pirates Of Penzance. Ayn Rand == Bennet Haselton.

Not quite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198723)

Slashdot Beta == Any given Linux DE. Rob Malda == Adlof Hitler.

Re:Yeah (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 6 months ago | (#46199199)

The Lion King was actually based on a documentary about Lion behaviour which bears some resemblance to the political behaviour of medieval nobility. A lion cub's uncle will most definitely try and kill it. It has nothing to do with the cub being an "ugly duckling", the uncle wants to kill them so that he has a better chance to impregnate the lioness and have her rear his own cubs. Of course if his brother finds him lurking around one of his girlfriends then he will be mightily pissed off. Hyenas are direct competition, most predators will attempt to drive weaker competitors out of their territory, Hyenas are no exception and will kill a lion cub or an isolated adult.

OTOH: The ugly duckling is about a bird that is ridiculed and bullied for it's strange appearance as a child but grows up to be a beautiful adult. Birds do not behave like that, humans do. A bird will happily raise a cuckoo chick, even though the chick looks nothing like it's own offspring.

Conmen and grifters (5, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | about 6 months ago | (#46197849)

I have come to the conclusion that the charter school movement was conceived in sin. born in corruption and is too full of conmen and grifters to give it any support.

There may be some decent, honest people trying to make things better in the movement, but it is not the way to bet.

Re:Conmen and grifters (0, Troll)

fredprado (2569351) | about 6 months ago | (#46197919)

Do you mean exactly like the public school system and the teachers unions?

Re:Conmen and grifters (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198123)

Not at all, teacher's unions are quite direct in their interests being representation of teachers and not the students.

This is why they are teacher's unions, not student unions. You want representation of student interests, try another group.

Can't serve two masters.

Re:Conmen and grifters (3, Interesting)

fredprado (2569351) | about 6 months ago | (#46198425)

Teachers unions are all but direct in their interest being the representations of teachers. All their political arguments start and end with "for the students". Same thing about the public school system. The public servers that run it have exactly one interest, and that is keeping their jobs and their regulative power, but all their arguments also start and end with "for the students".

You are right in one assumption though: "You can't serve two masters.". That is exactly why giving parents the power to choose their children schools is the best way to solve the problem, because the only people who serve the right masters, the students, are the parents.

Re:Conmen and grifters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198481)

Really? I've never heard the teacher's unions around here make that argument. I've even heard more complaints about them being directly and forthrightly adamant in their interests being their foremost concern.

Good luck with your parent's selection idea, it only presumes that the parents are both interested in their children's best welfare and that they are informed enough to make the right choice. Oh wait, who have they been voting for to run the public system again? Hey wait, who is making the "for the children" argument here?

Re:Conmen and grifters (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about 6 months ago | (#46198603)

I've never heard the teacher's unions around here make that argument.

Not my fault if you have been isolated in a cave for the last 50 years or so .

The parents are both interested in their children's best welfare and that they are informed enough to make the right choice

Between the parents and government bureaucrats I will bet in the parents every time. Parents are responsible for many other critical decisions regarding their children and considering the human race haven't been extinct yet I think they are doing a reasonably good job. Bureaucrats on the other hand have very little interest in creating a society that does not need their "guidance".

Oh, and regarding your last silly remarks, many did not vote for the current government, and even those who did are not voting for people so these people can run their lives for them. They are voting for people to fill executive and legislative positions in the government. How much of their lives this government should be in charge is open to debate and certainly it is not a consensus between those who voted for it much less between those that did not.

Re:Conmen and grifters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198779)

Not my fault if you have been isolated in a cave for the last 50 years or so .

Really? Then you're not the person who caused the cave-in? Huh. I didn't know.

But seriously, the teacher's unions around here do not make the arguments that you claim yours do, but if yours does, ok, however it seems you're also making that same argument. So if we can't trust them, how can we trust you when you're doing the same thing you say not to trust in others?

Between the parents and government bureaucrats I will bet in the parents every time.

Between parents and throwing darts at a decision-making board, I'll bet on the dartboard instead.

Even if all the choices were wrong, at least I might miss it entirely.

Parents are responsible for many other critical decisions regarding their children and considering the human race haven't been extinct yet I think they are doing a reasonably good job.

Parents have been making a mess of raising their children for several millennium, while the survival of the human race has not been threatened by any such individual decision, many children have paid the price for their actions.

Bureaucrats on the other hand have very little interest in creating a society that does not need their "guidance".

Several parents have managed to make dependent children through the years. They had no interest in children that were resistant to them, and took steps to make sure they remained in charge.

Hmm.

Whatever can we do, apparently neither side can be trusted to do things right! Let's go for the nihilistic solution!

Oh, and regarding your last silly remarks, many did not vote for the current government, and even those who did are not voting for people so these people can run their lives for them. They are voting for people to fill executive and legislative positions in the government. How much of their lives this government should be in charge is open to debate and certainly it is not a consensus between those who voted for it much less between those that did not.

Yes, there is no absolute consensus in most human endeavors, but that would be ranging very far from the subject at hand, into the very meaning and substance of human existence. I didn't vote for the person who ostensibly represents me, at the local school boards, or further up in government. They are making decisions that impact me, and I don't agree with them, yet my ability to effect change is limited. You seem to be in the same situation. Whatever shall we do?

Re:Conmen and grifters (2)

marcgvky (949079) | about 6 months ago | (#46198129)

Spoken like a true leftie educator. I personally know a person who spearheaded a charter school in Kentucky (where education competition is badly needed) and this man was a great soul with a sense of purpose; focused on education and teaching children the skills of critical thinking and basic education. Get over yourselves.

eprof.com (1, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | about 6 months ago | (#46197851)

http://eprof.com [eprof.com] - free market answer to the failures of government (redundancy detected) 'education' system.

It is that school system that is about to bring you Beta.

You know what I mean. (3, Interesting)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 6 months ago | (#46197865)

$60,920,186 to 'shape public policy'...

AKA lobbying. What won't a politician do for money?

Re:You know what I mean. (5, Informative)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 6 months ago | (#46197969)

Aka corruption. Public corruption that is actually viewed as a positive thing.

It shows how far people have fallen.

Re:You know what I mean. (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 6 months ago | (#46199521)

Wow, 0.04% of the money was spent for lobbying!

Isn't it frightening to think about how much more money could have gone toward the charter schools if it wasn't for that 0.04% lobbying?

Call me a cynic but... (2, Insightful)

bazmail (764941) | about 6 months ago | (#46197877)

I'll bet they'll teach advanced shelf stacking techniques, door greeting, making do on low pay, turning your back on further education. etc. Walmart/Walton Foundation is NOT a charitable institution. Everything they do is profit through exploitation.

Re:Call me a cynic but... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198125)

the U.S. Secretary of Education turns to corporate sponsors and auctions to fund his Mother's afterschool program

I'm torn-- on one hand, what are you going to do, say "no, our education system won't take it"... on the other hand, what kind of strings are attached (or what kind of agenda comes along with the $)?

I'm reminded of the Pete Seeger (RIP) song, "What Did You Learn In School Today? [youtube.com] " As corporations take over the role of governments, I think this song could probably be slightly modified...

What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine? What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?
I learned to stack, I learned to greet!
I learned that minimum wage is neat!
'Course it keeps me an endless debtor,
But Wal-Mart Saves Money, so I Live Better(TM)!
That's what I learned in school today, that's what I learned in school.

Re:Call me a cynic but... (2)

holly_ms (1382697) | about 6 months ago | (#46198795)

The Walton Family Foundation is a charitable institution, giving more than any other business. National Audubon Society, Harvard University, Georgetown University, Nature Conservancy, Inc., etc. What profit do they get for giving millions to these?

Re:Call me a cynic but... (1, Funny)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 6 months ago | (#46199183)

What profit do they get for giving millions to these?

National Audubon Society - people appreciate birds more, so they'll buy birdseed at Walmart.

Harvard University. Threefold: 1) Harvard alumni tend to be wealthy. They'll have more money to spend at Walmart and Sams Club. 2) They often start businesses. Businesses buy stuff at Walmart and supply stuff to Walmart. 3) They may employee some people. Those people may have kids who can stock shelves at Walmart.

Georgetown University: They're trying to buy good will with future politicians early, so when they lobby for exploitative laws later, they'll be sure to get them. Plus what goes for Harvard.

Nature Conservancy: purely to dupe people into thinking Walmart does good things, so they'll buy more stuff.

Any more? I can play anti-capitalist conspiracy-whacko all day.

Oh, for good measure: unskilled entry level jobs should pay what's needed to support a family so high school kids can't ever get a job!

Damn the Beta, full speed ahead! (-1, Offtopic)

runeghost (2509522) | about 6 months ago | (#46197891)

Please post this to new articles if it hasn't been posted yet.

On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design.

Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks [reddit.com] the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system. If you haven't seen Slashdot Beta already, open this [slashdot.org] ] in a new tab. After seeing that, click
here [slashdot.org] to return to classic Slashdot.

We should boycott stories and only discuss the abomination that is Slashdot Beta until Dice abandons the project.

We should boycott slashdot entirely during the week of Feb 10 to Feb 17 as part of the wider slashcott [slashdot.org]
Moderators - only spend mod points on comments that discuss Beta Commentors - only discuss Beta http://slashdot.org/recent [slashdot.org] - Vote up the Fuck Beta stories

Keep this up for a few days and we may finally get the PHBs attention. Links of note:
Discussion of Beta: http://slashdot.org/firehose.p... [slashdot.org] Discussion of where to go if Beta goes live: http://slashdot.org/firehose.p... [slashdot.org] Alternative Slashdot: altslashdot.org [altslashdot.org] IRC Discussion: freenode #slashdot-refugees

Re:Damn the Beta, full speed ahead! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198039)

Go away and let the rest of us discuss normally.

Maybe they could fund a decent slashdot beta? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46197895)

because the current one is shit and dice / timothy know it.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46197941)

Where is the fucking government and its taxes. We shouldn't be reading stories about corporations doing government work.
Because of various subsidies, loopholes, transfer of profits to offshore accounts we have U.S. of America in very heavy debt.

Instead "dirty profits" are legalized by Washington lawyers and small chunks of it are thrown to the public to make us feel better.

Screw you.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 6 months ago | (#46197999)

It's quite simple really when you distance yourself from the whole thing, like those of us not in that country can do.

Step one: buy out all mass media. Advertise that government is bad and capitalism is good.
Step two: use aforementioned propaganda as a tool to get tax breaks.
Step three: use part of the funds gathered through tax breaks to show the masses that are getting poorer how good corporations are, reinforcing point one.
Step four: repeat step two.
Step five: repeat step three.

Every even step after one: profits increase.
Every odd step after one: chance of revolt against corporate agenda decreases and push for step mentioned above increases from public direction towards the government.

It's a brilliant construct, built to self-accelerate profit generation and increase fund transfer from public to private interests.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198663)

You are just envious of the invisible hand in the marketplace. To make the nation even more prosperious, you should lower your pay and give higher tax breaks to multinational megacorporations.

Captcha: coercing

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198781)

The near-rich fled monarchy to establish democracy so that they could build their own monarchies.

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46199245)

It's quite simple really when you distance yourself from the whole thing, like those of us not in that country can do.

Let's think about where we are starting from today

Step one: buy out all mass media. Advertise that government is bad and capitalism is good.

Can't buy out all mass media. The left already owns most of it and refuses to sell unless they're sure their message will continue to be pushed.

Step two: use aforementioned propaganda as a tool to get tax breaks.

Or support government initiatives like EPA regulations and healthcare, depending on who owns it (see #1)

Step three: use part of the funds gathered through tax breaks to show the masses that are getting poorer how good corporations are, reinforcing point one.

Not going to happen when most people get their news from places like CNN, USA Today, NPR, etc. and elect people like Obama, Reid, and Pelosi

etc...

Wow (1, Offtopic)

sunking2 (521698) | about 6 months ago | (#46197961)

This site has really gone down the crapper.

Re:Wow (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198063)

It should be called SlashWhiners.

Incessant whining about everything. It's like all the adults have been banished on only 5th graders are posting.

Re:Wow (0)

marcgvky (949079) | about 6 months ago | (#46198147)

Bump to both of you. Slashdot has been infested by immature left-leaning-whiners that cannot engage in useful dialogue.

The possibilities are endless (5, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 6 months ago | (#46197967)

Maybe schools should raise some more corporate-sponsored cash by doing product placements. For example, it would be easy to monetize homework assignments:

1a. Juan is planning a picnic. He buys packages of Sara Lee® brand 100% Wheat Home Style® Hot Dog Buns which each contain eight buns. He also buys packages of Osar Mayer® Jumbo Deluxe All-Beef Franks®, which each contain 10 wieners. What is the minimum number of Hot Dogs Juan needs to buy so that there are no unmatched buns or wieners?

1b. Juan plans to put 1/2 ounce of Heinz® Sweet Dill® Relish on each hot dog. How many 12-oz jars of relish does he need to buy? What brand of mustard would best complement the relish: (a) Heinz® Classic Yellow Hot Dog® Mustard (b) some other non-specific mustard?

1c. Extra credit: Juan asks his friend Latoya to buy ketchup for his picnic. List three benefits Latoya would receive if she bought genuine Heinz® Classic® Ketchup instead of the discount store brand. Explain how sometimes what appears to be the least expensive choice isn't the greatest value overall.

Re:The possibilities are endless (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198073)

Maybe schools should raise some more corporate-sponsored cash by doing product placements. For example, it would be easy to monetize homework assignments:

As opposed to endlessly raping the taxpayer for more money (for "education") which invariably ends up in the pockets of tenured sub-par teachers and administrators and does very little to improve the actual quaility of education. I think Alice Walton and Bill Gates could hardly do worse than our current system.

Fuck Beta and fuck Timothy.

Re:The possibilities are endless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198287)

no unmatched buns or wieners

Sounds like a gay paradise.

Re:The possibilities are endless (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about 6 months ago | (#46198439)

Between feeding the students corporate propaganda and government propaganda I certainly prefer the former. At least there will be many corporations fighting for what to feed them and not a single one.

Please read before modding down. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46197981)

I am posting this anonymously because many of my previously upmodded posts have suddenly been downmodded offtopic, troll, etc. Karma be damned, I am fighting for a website I have been reading almost every day for more than a decade. If you care about Slashdot, please do not sit idly by and wait for Dice to add to Beta the features that we care about. Slashdot has, hands down, the best moderation system online. It is no coincidence that it has been ruined in Beta [slashdot.org] .

There is a reason [slashdot.org] why "News for Nerds, stuff that matters" no longer appears in the header:

Slashdot Media’s brands include Slashdot and SourceForge. These technology sites provide access to tools, software and forums for enterprise IT professionals working in all industries and companies from the world’s largest to small and medium-sized firms. Slashdot and SourceForge harness the power of social that no other tech site can compete with.

Slashdot Media provides its partners with proven integrated media strategies to effectively influence technology buyers. With over 15 years experience working with the largest and most engaged professional technology communities, Slashdot Media’s expert staff continues to contribute to the success of its partners branding, demand generation, and social media marketing programs.

I, for one, abhor our new corporate overlords.

Re:Please read before modding down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198199)

Fuck DICE............. :-(

This BETA shit is driving me crazy.

FUCK BETA

What is going on? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198011)

I haven't visited Slashdot for a couple of weeks and it seems it has been defaced, possibly by the Free Syrian Army? They've screwed up the comment system and made it so I can barely fit one sentence on the screen at any one time.

Re:What is going on? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 6 months ago | (#46198043)

The new comment system seems to be designed to be used at full HD resolution with a maximized window. Apparently they didn't consider that with anything smaller than that, the comment are becomes a painfully narrow corridor.

An Andrew Carnegie was a philanthropist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198021)

Andrew Carnegie has his name on more museums libraries and schools than anyone else in the northeast US. He also hired thugs to murder striking workers. Giving your money way rather than trying to take it with you may be noble, but it does not erase the sins of people that have built their fortunes on abusing workers like the Waltons and Carnegie.

The Truth (if you can handle it) (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198049)

My children go to a charter school and they are getting a far better education than they would at the failing local schools. My wife and I are both involved in the school and we both have a teaching background (I taught engineering at the college level for 4 years and my wife was a preschool teacher for 11 years, both sets of grandparents also taught public school for 20+ years). The teachers and organization of the charter school is light years beyond the local public school in delivering an effective learning experience for the kids. There are always a few bad apples, but anyone who tells you that charter schools as a whole are not far better than public schools is a liar in the tank for the teachers union or someone who has been brainwashed by their propaganda.

The money that charter schools get from the taxes that we pay is a pittance compared to what the pathetic, failing state run public schools get. If we don't want charities funding charter schools maybe we should ban teachers unions and give parents vouchers that they can take to any school that is accredited. Let's also institute a ranking system based on the learning the students actually do so even the laziest parents can pick winner schools. That way charter schools won't have to beg for funding and will be on an even footing with public schools; the problem is the teachers unions don't want that because they know that inside of 10 years all of the public schools would be gone along with their power, massive union dues and a huge fundraising/advertising arm of the Democrat party. The bottom line is the teachers unions exist only to further their own power and enrich the teachers, regardless of how well they teach. Until we break those unions, our children's education will always be second place on the political landscape.

They tried vouchers in DC and it has been an unmitigated success which is now trying to be shut down because the unions are scared spit-less that it will spread to other states.

Re:The Truth (if you can handle it) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198201)

" The bottom line is the teachers unions exist only to further their own power and enrich the teachers, regardless of how well they teach."

Because we all know that public school teachers went into it for the easy money...

If you want to abandon the very idea of public schooling, use your own money to do it. Despite the obvious problems with our political system currently, anyone with a clue knows that public schools need to be improved rather than phased out Some services are too important to be privatized.

Re:The Truth (if you can handle it) (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198345)

Actually, in this day and age, if you add in all of the benefits teachers get (remember I was a teacher, my wife was a teacher, my mom is a teacher and my father in law and his father were teachers, so I know WTF I am talking about) teachers are making bank. In southern California they are making $56k/year, median US income $51k according to Salary.com. This doesn't take into account the top of the line medical benefits, housing benefits and many other benefits that they get which are far better than a much more qualified professional gets in the private sector (I have heard estimates of $20k/year or more above private sector equivalents).

Also factor in that they only work 8 months a year and get 12 months of benefits. They are making $7,000 a month and have 16 weeks of vacation a year. If they worked like the rest of us for 12 months a year (nothing is stopping them from working the other 4 months, BTW), they would make $84k a year. Also realize that they are doing a job that any high school graduate could technically do (and up until the advent of state run schools and unnecessary regulation, people did). The teachers unions have consistently increased the regulation on who can teach by legislation to the point where I can teach at the college level but can't teach in the public grade school or high school. All to justify jacking up the salaries of teachers and increasing the power of the unions.

Re:The Truth (if you can handle it) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46199529)

I have to agree with you. Sorry to the thin-skinned folks who can't stand to see teachers criticized, but while some of them are incredible, some of them are complete shit. The difference is that at Google or whatever, you'd be out on your ass if you sucked, but most public school teachers have security that the majority of us can't comprehend.

My kids' charter school in southern California ranks at the very top of the state's rankings (API score), and it's largely because the parents are so damn involved. The school gets something like 70% of the money that a public school does, but it destroys them in performance. And yes, the school did get something like $250K from the Walton Foundation, without the money, I'm not sure the school would have been viable.

Where I grew up, quite a while ago, in a nice, comfortable suburb, the public schools were awesome, we all got great educations, and the high fliers went to whatever school they wanted (or could afford, blah blah blah..) I went back to my old high school a couple years ago and dropped into a few of the classes. I was appalled at the quality of teaching. Disconnected, disinterested, dismissive, unprepared... I sat in 6 classes over about 3 hours, and it broke my heart. Fucking garbage.

My deal with my own kids (they don't know it yet) is this: I'll do everything I can between now and age 18 to help them be successful: after that, the baby bird is getting kicked out of the nest, just like I was, and it has to flap its wings and fly. Sure, I could drink beer and watch football, or go work out and get back down to the 3% body fat I used to have, or play Xbox, or sit in Starbucks and watch keyboard cat, or whatever, but I have kids, and I've chosen to feed my family, not my ego. Where I live, where self-indulgence is pretty common, that makes me a pariah. Who cares.

Re:The Truth (if you can handle it) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46199565)

$56k/yr in SoCal vs. $51k median US income? Wow, kudos on pulling out an apple to compare to an orange. How about the median SoCal income? Was this a gag to see if people are paying attention?

I want my TAX dollars spent the way that I want (4, Interesting)

portforward (313061) | about 6 months ago | (#46198917)

Do you have a child in a failing school? Have you spent time time talking to clueless administrators? One of them told me "it was against state law" to teach the multiplication tables. They won't teach fractions except for 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4. That is unfortunate because you don't get to pick your fractions in algebra. One of the (first grade) teachers directly criticized my wife for not speaking more to my son in Spanish. The kindergarten teacher said he "didn't want parents in the classroom". The public school principal spoke with me in very thinly disguised contempt.

I could either run for school district or send my son to a charter school. When we asked about math, the principal of the charter school said, "Oh, so that is why none of the fifth graders who come from the school district can't do math."

So no, my presence, my ideas, my concerns were not welcome at the public school. Your theories fail the actual children in the schools. I like choice. What does it matter that a "corporation" does it rather than the school district? If you don't like charter schools, then don't send your children to one. If enough people don't like them, they will close.

Does this have anything to do with Wal-Mart? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198077)

Does this link blizzard have anything to do with charter schools being in debt or obligated to Wal-Mart, the retail store? Or is it just a Walton heir getting mixed up with charter schools? Not clear at all.

Hah! (0)

bloggerhater (2439270) | about 6 months ago | (#46198097)

Fantastic how mixing up articles on both public and charter schools can shade people's opinions.

Also, let's take the bitching about slashdot beta elsewhere?

On both counts, you "me too" people disgust me.

Shop class (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198193)

Do you think the Gates, Walton, or Obama kids will be taking shop class, other than as a hobby? It's the wealthy's condescending solution for the less privileged. Their kids will be knowledge workers; the poor aren't good enough for it.

Similar is the backlash against college education (and liberal arts). Most of the people saying college isn't necessary will be sending their kids; it's the less wealthy who they think shouldn't go.

"College isn't for everyone" they say, but there is a strong relationship between income and academic performance. Perhaps the solution is to give the poorer kids an opportunity, instead of writing them off.

Charter Schools = Republican control & profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198205)

Today, the main purpose of charter schools is to tap the huge pie of education spending, wrest it away from the commie democrats and unions that control it, and siphon it into Republican pockets.

Re:Charter Schools = Republican control & prof (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198397)

And how exactly is sending our kids to schools that are not failing and who have and maintain actual standards

"Siphoning the education spending pie into Republican pockets"???

The education pie should not be going to commie Democrats, which it has been for many years now, any more that it should be going to Republicans (which to my knowledge it does not). The whole reason that our education system is broken is because of the teachers unions and the entanglement with the Democrat party, who would sooner cut off their left arm than face the real problems in the education system.

Crystal Bridges (3, Interesting)

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) | about 6 months ago | (#46198217)

That's not all Alice has done. My wife and I recently spent a few days at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art [crystalbridges.org] , a world class museum in Bentonville, Arkansas created by Alice Walton, and had an incredible experience. "Located on 120 acres of native Ozark forest, Crystal Bridges' grounds invite visitors to enjoy the natural environment as a continuation of their museum experience. The Museum's distinctive architecture immerses visitors in the landscape, while three miles of nature trails encourage exploration and reflection." And admission is free.

Re:Crystal Bridges (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46198953)

That's not all Alice has done. My wife and I recently spent a few days at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art [crystalbridges.org] , a world class museum in Bentonville, Arkansas created by Alice Walton, and had an incredible experience. "Located on 120 acres of native Ozark forest, Crystal Bridges' grounds invite visitors to enjoy the natural environment as a continuation of their museum experience. The Museum's distinctive architecture immerses visitors in the landscape, while three miles of nature trails encourage exploration and reflection." And admission is free.

Alice Walton's taste in art is shit. Western Art? Give me a fuckin break. She is subsidized by taxpayers that foot the bill for foodstamps and healthcare for her under payed and under educated workers. Fuck her and all the Walton spawn.

Charter school... (3, Informative)

BrookHarty (9119) | about 6 months ago | (#46198315)

Many many decades ago, I went to a charter school for k-6th grade. The school had to allow everyone in the area as part of its opening up in a richer suburb. I lived along the border and was included in the school map. School had computers while only the jr high and high schools. My parents could have never afforded to to send me to a private school with lower population sizes and computers. I was lucky. And being a poor rowdy kid, they never kicked me out. Lucky that's where I got my introduction into computers.

Only thing I'd like to see is smaller classes, and charter schools on average have higher. This is supposedly with them kicking poor performing kids out. But charter schools differ so much, there is no "standard" model used. I think we can all agree smaller classrooms with more individual help is what schools should have, but thats gets very expensive. I'd rather take all those billions of dollars in state taxes on alcohol and marijuana taxes go to directly fund schools instead...

More efficient! (2)

matbury (3458347) | about 6 months ago | (#46198567)

It looks like US education is moving towards a more efficient and profitable business model. Too bad learning outcomes aren't profitable.

Next, the corporations will lobby to de-couple learning outcomes from awarding funding to privatised schools. It might work well for the school-to-prison pipeline; lots of profit to be had from funnelling children into correctional facilities.

Re:More efficient! (1)

Papaspud (2562773) | about 6 months ago | (#46199433)

Learning outcomes could be profitable, the schools that teach the best will have more students and or be able to charge more.

It's a bribe, pure and simple (5, Insightful)

lfp98 (740073) | about 6 months ago | (#46198979)

These charter-school folks have a long-term agenda, and that is the conversion of public education from a public service to a fully privatized profit center, with the added perk of eliminating teachers unions as a political force. A key factor in achieving this is that wealth inequality has become so extreme that local governments no longer have the resources to educate the nation's children, but billionaires do. Can parents and boards of education afford to say "no" when, in the face of decaying buildings and teacher layoffs, big-time donors come offering modern, well-staffed facilities, with all the latest IT and other equipment, if only you let the donors do it their way? Once the public school system is reduced to being merely a dumping ground for the worst, most disruptive and unresponsive students, the donors won't have to be so generous, they'll be making handsome profits as the contractors in a privatized fee-for-service education system. It's just like the 1990s when deep-pocketed for-profit HMOs offered healthcare at below-market rates. Once all the nonprofit hospitals and insurers were driven out of business, the for-profits jacked up premiums at double-digit rates for decades. It was a brilliant strategy, and it's happening all over again, in education.

andrew carnegie of our time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46199273)

Andrew Carnegie was a ruthless industrialist. He would rather spend the extra money building *free* public libraries than give his blue collar workers a raise. Today we have Carnegie Mellon University, Carnegie Hall, (and many others) which only reaches the college-educated masses, which by the way only constitutes 25% of US population. Is this a tax on the poor the same way Walmart is "exploiting" so only the well-to-do benefits? Then what about the lottery, which I have heard in some circles being called the "tax on the poor and stupid?"

I don't think Walmart is as evil as people claim, but I don't think they're the angel philanthropists they're trying to portray themselves.

People are complicated. Complex, emotional, walking bags of blood.

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