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Announce meeting

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

CAFE PHILO

Topic of Discussion:

"EDUCATION AND CORRUPTION"


At Bamiyan Restaurant, 358 Third Ave., New York, NY 10016, at 7:00 PM



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  • A former member
    A former member

    And... let's not overlook some of the most heinous, arrogant, and possessed corrupters of the education system... those pernicious people known as... parents. Imagine, these people actually think that THEY know what's best for their children!

    Of course, that was the original purpose of the education system - to take kids out of the influence of their parents and give them at least a modicum of a chance to learn something new and different from the narrow-minded cultural ghettos of their own families. Or... not. Well, at least it sounded great as a theory.

    April 4, 2013

    • Yen

      The historian and moralist, who was otherwise known simply as Lord Acton, expressed this opinion in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887:

      "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

      April 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    When I first heard the topic, my initial read was "Oh, the proposition is that better education will/can lead to less corruption in society."

    April 4, 2013

    • Yen

      ...hubris does everyone in eventually...

      April 4, 2013

    • Yen

      "To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society."
      — Teddy Roosevelt

      April 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    And lets let forget the corruption of education by unions, protecting the interests of its members at the expense of the institution and its students.

    April 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    And then there's the corruption of education by sports. Whether it is due to outright public scandal such as Penn State or the late-breaking Rutgers coach scandal, or simply due to the diversion of attention and budget resources from true "academic" pursuits, education itself seems compromised (corrupted).

    April 3, 2013

  • Frank De C.

    (There) "is a kind of dualism in us: our selfish, egocentric side, on the one hand, and our capacity to recognize higher values on the other. ...it is often not clear to us when we are acting in an egocentric manner."

    from Linda Elder

    April 3, 2013

  • sylvia t.

    What did you have in mind, Natalie?
    Since you chose the subject we voted for, I think we should at least start with your ideas.
    Sylvia

    April 1, 2013

    • Natalie

      How corruption at every level of the school (including in Albany at the Educ Dept) prevents children from learning. Schools are governed by self-interest of the admin and faculty and certainly not the students'. Cheap, young and incompetent teachers are hired to keep teachers salaries low so mediocrity rules, grade inflation/cheating is prevalent, and not just in Altanta! In public schools, teachers are tenured and are unfirable thus often don't care about students and don't perform unless their performance is attached to that of school for self preservation and govt funding. In private schools, money rules and bribery is frequent. Why do you think I am not teaching in the system after having spent almost 2 years at NYU getting my MA in Education? Atlanta cheating scandal is prevalent and happens probably in every state... Those teachers just got caught! This is the topic of my book...

      April 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Yet another angle on "Education and Corruption" is the Atlanta test cheating scandal that recently popped up in the news. This also has two categorically distinct "corruption" angles:

    1. Teachers "cheating" and "corrupting" the educational system for their own personal (and group) benefit.

    2. Meddling politicians who "corrupt" the educational system by imposing a testing regime that simultaneously encourages cheating to beat the system and also distorts and "corrupts" the core learning objectives of a "liberal education" by refocusing attention to "teaching to the tests" rather than a broader sense of pursuing a more progressive, liberal, civic "education" (whatever that might really be.)

    April 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    A pair of angles that are frequently conflated: bribery and "contribution".

    A business may offer an outright (but very private) bribe or payment to "officials" to steer business their way, or a business may offer a very legal and very public donation or contribution or "endowment" with the implied hope/expectation that the business' "interests" will be treated more favorably, whether it is simply access to students for hiring, or research that paints the business in a more favorable light.

    Both can be viewed as forms of "corruption" of education, but are categorically distinct.

    Bribery is nominally "worse" since it is illegal. But, the intent of bribery may simply be to obtain direct financial gains such as mundane contracts such as janatorial services that don't "corrupt" the academic affairs of the institution per pe.

    Meanwhile an "endowment" may horribly corrupt the academic affairs of the institution even if perfectly legal and not one penny is diverted illegally.

    April 1, 2013

    • Natalie

      This is not what I had in mind when selecting the topic but why not? It is a free-flowing discussion...

      April 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Another angle on corruption to be explored is corruption of "values", particularly subjective values. For example, religious and scientific values in education such as how people view the teaching of evolution, or sex education, or even business regulation at the graduate level (e.g., size (what is "too big"?), monopoly power, antitrust.) Each side views the other side as trying to twist education in a way that "corrupts" their (opposing) values.

    April 1, 2013

  • Bernard R.

    Thursday, April 4th, 2013

    April 1, 2013

  • Bernard R.

    Hope to see you all!

    April 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Begs the questions of what kind of education (formal only? K-12 vs. beyond K-12 vs. elite graduate level? private vs. public? for-profit?) and what kind of corruption (strictly illegal financial, legal campaign "contributions", managing "contracts", exploiting connections after leaving a position of authority, moral, professional/ethical).

    March 22, 2013

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