Tales from the Psychiatric Nurses Station – Child/Adolescent Part 1

It has been a while since I’ve written on here so I thought I would come on and say hello.  Alot has happened on the unit that I have worked for about a year.  Among the lack of sleep from my thoughts racing due to the kids on my mind from all of their traumas to being in school again to work on my Bachelors degree.  I’d like to give you two the brief case studies  on my most memorable patients and how they’ve impacted me.

Over the past year I have learned a lot about child and adolescent psychiatric care.  Never before in my life did I think a small child would have to endure the pain, horror, and terrifying abuse that some of these children have had to face. Seeing the look on the faces of these children who have been sexually abused by relatives, family friends, or rarely strangers; rips at your very soul.  I find sleep escapes as the child’s face enters my mind’s eye, an image of them cowering in the corner fills my thoughts. I’m paralyzed with reality and I am not a confused child who is inexperienced in the trials of life and all that is evil.  I am not the abused.  The same child has been to 4 or 5 different foster homes in the span of 4 weeks.  She has no one to love her and she asks me “can you be my mommy?”

Continue reading “Tales from the Psychiatric Nurses Station – Child/Adolescent Part 1”

The End of Capitalism? – David Harvey

This is a fairly long presentation by Dr. David Harvey given at the Penn Humanities Forum in Nov. of last year. He gives a very good history of the situation in Europe as well as here. What lead up to it, why it was inevitable and the obvious outcome. And as the title suggests, why the end of capitalism is not only likely but also necessary. [h/t to SouthernDragon for turning me on to this as well]

If you watched the whole thing through you will see how Dr. Harvey says that a centrally managed zero growth economy is necessary. Before you ask how this could be done remember that during WWII that is exactly what we had. We also had some of the most technological innovation and advancement during those three years. And the remnants of this during the cold war years of the 1950s through the 1970s was nearly as great. Dr. Harvey’s website.

One of the biggest problems we have is that there are still a lot of people who either consciously or subconsciously still believe in the Fantasy of capitalism. Who still insist on playing the game the way TPTB have set it up. That things will “Get back to normal” if only _______________.

They fail to realize that THIS is the normal condition and that the previous decades or time up until the 1970s were the aberration and anomaly. And that they have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever “making it big”. Mostly the upper 20% and until they themselves are sleeping under some underpass, this is not likely to change except getting worse.

Everything that Bush and Obama has done and is doing,  is simply to hide this economic reality from the top 20% so they go on with their little fantasy. The financial equivalent of soma.

Reforming K-12: Scarborough Blames Teachers Unions

Today on Morning Joe, Joe went crazy accusing Howard Dean of being a liar when it comes to education reform and blaming Democrats and Teachers unions for the state of our k-12 system. Public schools just like reproductive rights attract Republican attacks often.

Scarborough was not just rude, he is wrong and it is easy to blame the teachers unions for everything. Joe is wrong when he first begins to speak about education reform, he says: “Republicans love to talk about education reform, it’s the Democrats that don’t like to talk about education reform.” This is where is he is not just wrong he is lying.  Republicans like to talk about getting rid of teachers unions and charter schools, that is all they talk about when they address reforming the k-12  They never discuss the actual problem educating large diverse population with a variety of needs. It is easier though to present the problem as simple, with easy solutions, but if there were such easy solutions as Joe seems to believe, the problems would have been solved 30 or more years ago.

Joe happens to be continuing to rant on this issue on twitter, which is how I found out he went on this epic rant this morning against Howard Dean. He is ranting to prove himself right. Joe doens’t offer facts though, just opinions. He is only convincing people who already believe what he believes, he isn’t convincing anyone who knows the facts.

Let’s discuss real reform and why we have many underperforming school districts, this will be something Joe Scarborough and his ilk will not discuss because there is no way to gain the political upper hand if  he were to really talk about how to reform our k-12 public schools.

Let’s take Joe’s biggest talking point he said: “We as a nation spend more money per child than any other nation in the world.”

Wrong, we are third coming in behind Switzerland and Norway but that doesn’t mean anything really. Our funding mechanisms, student populations are completely different.

But let’s talk about the Charter School panacea, that Republicans never stop talking about. We know now that Charter Schools more often than not do not educate students adequately. And yet they never ever stop with the “We need more charter schools and we need to get rid of teacher unions”.

Charter schools are notorious for not taking students with special needs, public schools are mandated of course through title i, to educate special needs students. This is part of the reason that the job of the traditional public school system, which still educates about 95 percent of all school children, is far more complicated than Republicans and conservatives who advocate reform want you to know. Reform to them is no teacher unions and no title i funding, I wonder how many kids would remain uneducated if Joe and his Republican goon friends got to do what they really wanted to do, complete the circle, subpar education for everyone who doesn’t have money and no college education for those who don’t have access to at least 50,000 for tuition.

We also have some facts now on charter schools, let’s take Florida’s charter school the International Academy, funded by public dollars and run by a private businesses. Well when all the schools took the FCAT, the International Academy garnered a grade of F. Yeah, even though they get to reject subpar students, they still scored an F.  In Miami-Dade a greater percentage of charter schools failed the FCAT than did public schools and in Broward county all the schools that failed were Charter schools. According to a CBS report in Florida;

“A CBS4 News analysis of Department of Education numbers shows fewer than one percent of public elementary and middle schools received an “F” in grades released last week.  In contrast, nearly six percent of charter schools received an “F.”

Charter schools got failing grades at a rate more than seven times that of public schools.”

But Florida isn’t the only example of this of course, let’s talk about New York State and charter schools.

Charter schools in New York City and everywhere else have yet to prove that they can solve the problem that is America’s education system. In the South Bronx, the Academic Leadership Charter School has been put on probation this week for not randomizing admissions—as charter schools are supposed to do—and possibly testing or interviewing applicants, which they are not, the Times reports.

This is a typical tactic of charter schools, yet empirical evidence exposes that despite their built-in test-score advantage of not accepting every student, they don’t outperform public schools in any meaningful way.

Then of course we have the Houston, Texas scandal. Is privatizing public schools really the way to educate students? Doesn’t seem to be, unless you want uneducated students. Charter schools over and over again, in state after state do not educated children any better than public schools, although in many cases those schools perform worse than public schools and are not educating students. I imagine it is because those private companies who are running these schools care more lining their pockets than they do about educating students.  With Republicans corporate profits = #winning, educating all students = #losing

New Jersey is just another example of the failure of charter schools. This more progressive state has the same problem with their charter schools that the other states have had, they have a high rate of failure, in fact 40 charter schools in New Jersey have lost their licenses to operate.

According to the article:

Advocates continue to argue that charters’ freedom to innovate allows them to provide an intense focus on achievement lacking in many traditional public schools, particularly in poor urban communities like Trenton, where test scores remain far below state averages and large numbers of students drop out.

I have to ask Joe Scarborough why this is adequate for children whose parents can’t afford private schools, why it is okay to not serve special ed students equally, and why it is Republicans always blame teachers unions for the failure to educate students when the issue is much more complex and has very little to do with teacher’s unions and much more to do with how states and levy’s fund school districts and educating diverse populations?  Public schools continue to do a better job in educating our students over-all. Charter Schools have yet to achieve the rigor and standards of public schools. Hey Joe, it’s easier to play politics with issue of public schools then solve problems! Yelling a Howard Dean proves this.

Next blog: Complexity of school funding and educating disaffected populations

Crossposted @TheAngriestLiberal & @ DagBlog

Why Education is this country SUCKS !

Education - Vectorportal
Education Word Cloud – Vectorportal
And why Finland’s is so much better than ours……From The Atlantic Monthly.

Finland’s approach to education is very different than ours and even that of most of the rest of the world.

Finland’s schools owe their newfound fame primarily to one study: the PISA survey, conducted every three years by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The survey compares 15-year-olds in different countries in reading, math, and science. Finland has ranked at or near the top in all three competencies on every survey since 2000, neck and neck with superachievers such as South Korea and Singapore. In the most recent survey in 2009 Finland slipped slightly, with students in Shanghai, China, taking the best scores, but the Finns are still near the very top. Throughout the same period, the PISA performance of the United States has been middling, at best. Continue reading “Why Education is this country SUCKS !”

ObamaCARE … Embrace it …

https://i0.wp.com/images.yuku.com.s3.amazonaws.com/image/gif/63b36ac565b58915045772bfe79d146b9f41b439_s.gifHowdy folks…

The following comes from the Kaiser Health News Blogs

This is what the people in Colorado are doing to help others understand what ObamaCARE can do for all of us.

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Short Takes On News & Events

Groups Thank ‘Obamacare,’ And Not Sarcastically

By Andrew Villegas

October 25th, 2011, 11:28 AM

“Thanks Obamacare.”

Usually Americans hear that phrase only in the most sarcastic contexts. Opponents of the health reform law have hung the “Obamacare” moniker on it to belittle the measure as nothing more than an attempt to fix America’s health care problems – varied as they are – with a one-size-fits-all approach they say expands the reach of government to never-before-seen levels.

We hear it used almost daily by Republican candidates for president, who have picked up the theme and taken it one step farther — to ”Romneycare,” which has become a the negative label for GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s health reform in Massachusetts. Former GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty even coined the phrase “Obamneycare” to link the state law Romney signed while governor to the federal law advanced by President Barak Obama.

This is not the first time “-care” has been used to describe a health reform effort. Back in the 1990s, “Hillarycare,” named for the former first lady and now secretary of state, was used to describe the Clinton administration’s attempt at overhauling the health care system. In the 2008 presidential primary elections, the GOP candidates in turn linked “Hillarycare” to Romney to try to unseat him as the odds-on favorite candidate.

But now, two nonprofit advocacy groups, ProgressNow Colorado Education and the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, are trying to take back “Obamacare,” painting it as a positive brand in a new campaign (complete with its own Twitter feed and hash tag, #thanksobamacare) launched Monday. The campaign highlights 10 reasons people should  be thankful for the health law. Among them: allowing people younger than 26 to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans and stopping insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions (the law does the same for adults beginning in 2014).

The effort also comes with a video, below, which places a special emphasis on the “-care” part of “Obamacare.”

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~OGD~

Fear and Loathing of Public Policy: Shrinking Access Post Secondary Education = Permanent Underclass

What are we going to do since the cost of education is skyrocketing? Students these days graduate with enormous debt or they don’t get the opportunity to attend post secondary training.

Long ago when I started college it was an inexpensive 1200.00 a year that included books. I didn’t really have debt when I graduated from college. That isn’t the case for students today, and with the cost of tuition rising as much as 20% in one year at some state colleges, soon enough the middle and lower classes will be unable to afford post-secondary education. And the thing is, we’d become a thriving first world nation in part because we expanded access to education to almost everyone.

Let’s look at some numbers:

So my numbers are personal numbers, and at the time, it was not difficult to afford a college education, I could even hold down a part-time job, go to school and not really worry tons about tuition, it just wasn’t that expensive.  Let’s look at the rising cost of post secondary education with information obtained from the US Census bureau.  The data I am going to share with you is also an example of the tiny policy things Democrats do in Office juxtaposed with how Republicans treat government function. First and foremost, the data I found spans the years 1991 – 2001, the 2001 data wasn’t published until 2006. This information is published in table form, as excel worksheets, but without an explanation of that data, that could be distributed to the general public. As usual, Republicans take the function of government for granted, but as you will see during the Clinton era, government produced much demographic information from years of data collection and comprehensive analysis. I digress, but if you follow my links you will see evidence of my statement.

It isn’t unknown to anyone that tuition at public universities, colleges and technical schools has been on the rise since the anti-pay for anything crowd solidified their choke hold on government functions. In the 1970’s prior to Prop 13, post-secondary education was free in California and in doing that they created one of the best post secondary systems in the country at that time from Riverside CC to UC Berkeley.

I digress, since 1990 college tuition has had steep increases according to the census studies.

1990-91

1993-94

1996-97

2000-2001 the data used is from Table 5b

In 1991, the total average tuition cost for a student was $2653.00 per year. At the same time students receiving financial assistance were receiving on average $2919.00. The cost of education has obviously risen, however, it is still affordable for students and there is still ample financial aid to cover the cost of education. These numbers will be used as a baseline for comparison.

In the 1993 -94 years, on average students were paying $3905.00 per year. In just two years the cost of education had risen 47%. At the same time students were receiving on average $4,486.00 in financial aid, which was up 43% from just the two years prior. A 47% increase is pretty big, and one has to wonder how many students at this time are beginning to be priced out of education. Well times began to boom even more, and people forgot about funding post-secondary education, and all over the country Tax-cutting fever began to hit every county in America. The result of course was less state funding for post-secondary education, and more burdens on students and their families. Well they were voting for that stuff, so I guess they couldn’t see plainly what could be the unintended consequences of the republican meme of “we don’t need to pay no stinkin’ taxes”.

Well the results from the 1996-97 study are even more stunning; by 1996-97 the average cost of post-secondary education had risen to a stunning $8,667.00 on average per year. In less than 10 years tuition had risen 292%, and in 3 year tuition had risen 122%, these numbers are stunning. And you begin to see a pattern developing, one that will eventually price lower and middle class kids from ever obtaining a college education, it will simply be too expensive.   Well that aside, the average financial aid package was worth about 6,022.00, and as you can see it failed to cover the entire educational needs of the student, and I believe this began a rise in private lenders who would take advantage of unsuspecting college students, in order to meet the rising cost of their education.

The 2001-2002 years are even more shocking. On average students tuition is $10,560.00 per year on post secondary education. This represents an increase of 298% from 90-91, of 170% from 93-94, and 21.8% from 96-97, which the financial aid package on average rose to $6,291.00 per year.

As you observe the stark differences in how the two administrations presented the data they gathered from Universities around the county, be reminded, this is the difference in how Republicans and Democrats view government. Demographic information is important; we use it to justify funding programs around the country. We make better decisions when analysts present the data in an understandable way, with a narrative attached as opposed to just throwing a bunch of spread sheets. It is an example of how little Republicans care about government in general; they don’t see it as useful to the nation.

It is now real news in every state in the nation that tuition costs are rising yet again, in my own state tuition costs have risen 20% this year, that is huge, and in many cases it is becoming unaffordable for many students to obtain post-secondary education. As a society we are supposed to be more conscious of funding education from k-16, because it is education that will help us prepare for our next steps economically. If we do not find a way to help students get educated without being buried in debt when they graduate, our society will be worse off for it, and we will create a permanent underclass, which will grow. As a nation, we have to ask ourselves if this is the direction we really want to take.

Some numbers from the 1980’s.

CrossPosted at TheAngriestLiberal