Melissa Harris-Perry | November 03, 2012
>>> welcome back. we have been discussing the content of what we teach our children to help them grow up to be constructive and productive citizens on democracy. has high-stake testing killed social studies ? are you making a claim that the testing is the most important? i keep thinking i think politics is fascinating. how can they know so little?
>> i think performance pressure on teachers sets up really weird incentives. we don't want teachers to be productivity machines. i believe as much about the bottom 10% as the top 10%. the testing from no child left behind is concerning to a lot of us. i didn't know what you were doing. i always learn something watching melissa harris-perry. one of the programs that jumped out is there is a lot of stupidity in how our elite deals with politics. after the health care , a lot of the coverage was, how are people reacting? there were a lot of polls, did people support or oppose the health care opinion? i'm not talking about politics but how people felt about a decision of the supreme court that was going to become law of the land . there was one poll that asked people, hey, what did the supreme court do?
>> i don't know.
>> it was the most widely covered decision according to media metrics since bush v. gore ? what they found was 45% of adults had no idea what the court did. those numbers broke down into a majority of those people, thought they knew what the court did and said they opposed it. a smaller plurality said they didn't know. how much of the top down larger discourse that we have that treats politics as a game and a sport and a predictive project rather than siecivics.
>> we forget the purpose of our public schools , to educate citizens for our democracy, to prepare people so they can function at our democracy. as you are indicating and as all the polls show and the research data show, we have done a terrible job of doing that. the majority of americans can't handle the basic civic truths of our life today. we have to stop and rethink what civic education looks like across the country in every school across the country. we have to say, what we are doing isn't working? we have to stop and reset.
>> in one of the few places where dems and republicans have managed to find common ground has been around education reform .
>> a lot of it makes my teeth itch in the back. there is a place that's been common ground . when you hear these stories, how does it resonate with what you are seeing in south carolina ?
>> the constitution was a big deal in the primaries. we saw people starting to carry a constitution. my little sister , who is a public school teacher and now works at a private school , talk se civics for about 17 years and the constitution and how important it is to the development of a child. back to education , that's my criticism from this election cycle from both candidates. we have heard very little on education . all about jobs, all about food stamps . education is getting ready to change drastically. i work for a school in ohio that educates 15,000 kids that never go into bricks and mortar. the largest graduating class in america, online learning . this is coming and coming at 100 miles an hour to help people that don't have people.
>> yet it is interesting. asome point, i promise you and i are going to have a conversation about that online learning . seth's democracy prep feels like the sort of thing that can't happen online. i feel like there are all kinds of skills that you can pick up. part of what happens when you are sitting in a classroom with your friends singing, vote for obama or vote for romney, is a different kind of experience.
>> they could handle any kind of educational tool that you put in that?
>> they if they have great teaches.
>> new technology helps us in harlem or whether it helps us in hilton head , south carolina . this presidential race has been devoid of big ideas on education . on both sides.
>> the one thing i would say, i do think we can have a technological revolution on teaching. it isn't actually the case there hasn't been any discussing about teaching. there hasn't been enough. the facts are that mitt romney does have an education proposal. it is a very radical educational proposal. he proposes title one into a voucher program. that would dramatically undermine most have o our pib lick schools. he did that in the primary or towards the end of the primary. the president tried to make it more of an issue in the debates. it is one where when you are talking about what we need to do to compete over the 21st century , education is the area. we are in a global competition for having a high school workforce and not taking those resources out of the high school isn't the right thing.
>> there was this point in the middle of the foreign policy debate where they began to have an education conversation. that was like, what is happening. up next, there are more than 25 million foot soldiers who are going to get a special shoutout from