published Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Proud Parent

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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SeaSmokie59er said...

"I took the service exam my psych profile fit a certain... moral flexibility would be the only way to describe it... and I was loaned out to a CIA-sponsored program...." Have a good day.

August 13, 2011 at 1:41 a.m.
OllieH said...

Great cartoon.

I had two kids go through the Hamilton County school system, but it was long before the obsession with test scores really set in. I always appreciated the teachers they had and the education they both received. But I am thankful that my kids grew up in a era where they were encouraged to think and not just taught to take tests.

When you demand that every student be measured by the same yardstick, the only thing you insure is that fewer students will tend to exceed that measure.The current system doesn't produce students, it produces (as this cartoon suggests) test takers. A test taker might know the right answer of four possible options on a multiple choice question, but a student might propose a fifth option that works just as well.

August 13, 2011 at 2:47 a.m.
woody said...

I really have only one question..are these folks some of those who reaped the benefits(?) of the recent Georgia-related testing scandal..or are they from Texas circa (the "W" Bush governorship)where test taking was paramount and even took precedence over 'actual' learning??

Just wondering..Woody

August 13, 2011 at 6:07 a.m.
Pictureman said...

Finally! A cartoon that makes sense.

August 13, 2011 at 6:14 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

The problem is our one-size-fits-all public school system. The solution is separation of school and state, so each family can choose whatever they find workable for their children, and no one gets taxed to pay for teaching (and testing) they dislike. Since the current system is pressed for money, it should pay students to go to other ways of learning if families so choose--a good deal all around.

August 13, 2011 at 6:27 a.m.

This site is much too funny. I knew it would'nt be too long before someone would try to attach former President George W. Bush to this issue. It's most certainly time to let go of the man.

Several on here have mentioned that this cartoonist takes his cue from the Democratic Party. They may have a point!

This cartoon comes a day after President Obama mentioned something about eliminating testing! While I think the point of this cartoon is good, I question the motives of those who want to eliminate the testing of public school students. I believe they want to cover up how little the students know. They also know cheating on tests is out of control. They don't want another Atlanta situation to come to light. I'm sure there're far more than we know about.

August 13, 2011 at 8:23 a.m.
limric said...

‘Education in America.’ Educate to a test.

Let us theorize the direction the non-person people –( to quote the leading GOP candidate, “corporations are people too”) - tactic, is to make ignorant people, because ignorant, non-thinking, or completely clueless boys and girls make good cannon fodder. Their mindless playing of video games gives them an education for passing drones over other countries and trying to kill bad guys that their corporate bosses say is a bad guy, and, oh , ooops, I just dropped a bomb on a school Sarge...that's ok, you'll do better next time.

Does anyone believe for one second that there is NOT an effort to grow more soldiers. The obvious backlash that would occur if a draft were started, has put the Military Industrial Complex in a bind and so deep with the rest of government that they have managed to fully and completely corrupt our education system. The increase in college tuition cannot be justified against the building of huge sports complexes at practically every university...and sports, now there's a good place to get your basic training so the MIC doesn't have to waste money on that. Check the price of the best textbooks for learning to think, (the use of which is actually discouraged) the outrageous greed of the moneyed elite. Complete destruction of our manufacturing base, crushing place to go, but the army will take you there... [reference August 11, 2011 post “ Starving the Beast”]

Could this country is preparing its youth to attend to a massive war when the coporatocracy decide to have it. It could include countries you currently would not consider. China? ….oh yes! But look around you. Just look. If you can't figure it out yourself, you aren't looking. I challenge you all to go there, to look at this evil, and to educate yourselves even further, and deeper, on the reality of this fall of empire. Don’t think so? Afghanistan - how many years? Iraq, a war for profit - how many years? Libya – what rational is there? Why are we still defending Europe, S. Korea? Why are we spending billions on hired guns like Blackwater?. The list goes on and on.

These are tactics the government maneuvered in Taylor Caldwell's 'Devil's Advocate'. I would so hope we wake up and strike this from our land before it is too late, and be the human beings her book describes in the end.

It’s just a theory………………

August 13, 2011 at 8:31 a.m.
EaTn said...

The freshmen pool entering UT Knoxville is reported having a record ACT score of 26.7 and average HS grade of 3.87. Is this a result of higher student knowledge or years of practice in testing? Probably both, but the issue we have in this state is where will all these bright students find decent employment upon graduation.

August 13, 2011 at 9:10 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

I have a good friend whose son is dyslexic. He’s a bright little guy with a high IQ, but he is not a good test taker due to the dyslexia. The Federal government, along with most states, recognizes dyslexia as a learning disability and students living in most states can get the special assistance they need in a very straightforward manner.

Needless to say, Hamilton County and the State of Tennessee do not recognize dyslexia in a very straightforward manner. In fact, the process of obtaining assistance for a child with dyslexia is very wormy and complex. So wormy, in fact, that some people like my friend opt to get job transfers to more civilized States where elected State and County adult officials don’t set up complex wormy roadblocks for bright little boys with dyslexia.

August 13, 2011 at 9:36 a.m.
tderng said...

wrong jack...they are there to be indoctrinated.If one were to score less on a test he might feel bad.Can't let that happen.We also shouldn't keep score in athletic competitions for the same reasons,because that's how the real world works[eye roll].

August 13, 2011 at 11:02 a.m.
MickeyRat said...


That’s one scary theory. But knowing who your avatar is, I can understand why you thought of it.

Your theory boils down to the need to recognize a specific tactic aimed at the dumbing down of our youth for a specific purpose. The problem with your theory is that it has already occurred - it is not something we need to avoid - it is something we need to deal with. FOX news and various talk radio Goebbels like hate mongers are taking care of the adults.

Consider Aldous Huxley :

""Today we are faced, I think, with the approach of what may be called the ultimate revolution, the final revolution, where man can act directly on the mind-body of his fellows. We are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy, who have always existed and presumably will always exist, to get people to love their servitude. This is, it seems to me, the ultimate in malevolent revolutions."

As we look around at TV land we have to give them credit for putting this system in place - a system we can't even see. Americans don't know much science, english, economics, and increasingly are unable to fix their cars, change a light bulb etc.

Huxley posited the notion that most folks are best used as servants for the oligarchs - hello Wal Mart, a shout out for McDonalds. They have suckered us into massive debt, endless wars, bank bailouts, and the Obomber….man did they con us in on that one.

We no longer have an economy - we have a war machine that sucks the economy dry and will soon be offered as the only employer outside of the service economy. We have officials counting votes on their personal pc's that swing major elections. As Stalin said, “It's Not the People Who Vote that Count; It’s the People Who Count the Votes.”

Y’know, the kind of crap makes some third world republics blush.

Yes, it is sad, but, many posting on TFP are unaware to even know what an embarrassment it is.

August 13, 2011 at 11:39 a.m.
chet123 said...

this sounds like another 180 degree turn....just recently test scores(t-cap) meant everything..everyday class performance meant little!!....somebody got to stop flip flopping on this subject....

August 13, 2011 at 12:27 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Limric said: "It's Just A Theory."

Limric, you can be so silly at times. The truth is that we don’t need an education to get along in this world anymore. Corporations will take great care of us. They will do a fine job of telling us how to act, what to wear, what to do, and how to think. Look at the great job they’ve performed on some of these Republican politicians like Mitt Romney. Could anyone ask for more? And we can still vote and actively participate in our way of government. All we have to do is to earn enough bonus points for a corporate identity card.

August 13, 2011 at 1:02 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

A good cartoon from Clay Bennett. Go Figure!

The Department of Education should be the first thing cut from the federal budget. No Child Left Behind was horrible law and needs to be flushed. We need to go back to encouraging and promoting the top students and stop designing an entire educational system around trying to save those that have no interest in saving themselves.

August 13, 2011 at 1:25 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Another thing that is killing education is the obsession with team learning. This is an overworked concept. It seems to attempt to drag the bottom elements in the classroom up on the shirt tails of the top students. Top students should be focused on a fast path through primary school and an early entrance into higher education. They should not yoked with the task of picking up the slack for the failures of teachers.

August 13, 2011 at 1:29 p.m.
woody said...

Good afternoon..Blondebutnotdumb..would you mind awfully if I just amended your screen name a tad?? After reading your earlier post I can only assume you should actually be 'dubbed'..blondeandjustabitmisinformed..or how about blondeandoutoftheloopforsure....

Thanks for your attention..Woody

August 13, 2011 at 2:05 p.m.
rick1 said...

blondebutnotdumb: It seems you are on to something since you are now being attacked.

Here is an article from the Chicago Tribune that you will find informative. I would bet most of these students are local kids from Chicago and are a product of the Chicago School system which had been led by Arnie Duncan who is now U.S. Secretary of Education. By reading this article you will see what a great job he did in Chicago.

You reference Obama wanting to stop testing. This is the same testing that were set forth by Ted Kennedy in No Child Left Behind but the progressives will never blame Kennedy when they say what a failure No Child Left Behind is. They blame Bush.,0,546237.story

August 13, 2011 at 3:47 p.m.
MickeyRat said...

blondebutnotdumb said... ”President Obama mentioned something about eliminating testing!”

I’m calling you on that! You either made that up, or FOX & Friends little sissy ‘Steve Doocy’ served you bull cookies on a paper plate and you wolfed them down.

You also pondered a question based on nothing and answered it yourself with, ” I question the motives of those who want to eliminate the testing of public school students.”

Christ – You’re full of it.

August 13, 2011 at 4:12 p.m.
sd said...

Blonde, I can't find a source for that either. Could you post it?

A few months ago Obama said standardized testing bores and "punishes" some students and he thinks performance should be measured with additional criteria (attendance, basic competency). He drew a clear distinction between exams that teachers administer individually versus standardized testing.

IIRC "no test" curriculum experiments have failed spectacularly in the past (but I believe these were only done at the collegiate level?). I would be surprised if someone was seriously advocating the elimination of testing as a performance measure.

August 13, 2011 at 4:58 p.m.
rick1 said...

obviousman: Excellent post on the problems with teachers unions. For those that support teachers unions can any of you name a single aspect of government education that has improved since the teachers' unions took it over in the 1960s?

August 13, 2011 at 5:43 p.m.
Echo said...

Hey scribbles, I know you libs only care if a public school kid learns condom use, queer worship, and guilt for being American but meeting minimal educational standards is the method of education used by all those other European countries you're always lecturing Americans to emulate. Each has a standardized, nationalized curriculum, and are better than the U.S. in math, reading and science. Some of these countries like the Czech Republic spend a third of the U.S. expenditure per student and outscore us. What? Are you on the charter school bandwagon now? Welcome aboard Scribbles!

August 13, 2011 at 5:56 p.m.
MickeyRat said...

OK obviousman,here's an interesting parallel for ya -- Students are not graduating with the skills they need and teachers in the inner city are often as much cops as teachers. Therefore, we should attack the Teachers' Union. and "We were attacked by Islamist radicals living in Afghanistan (and Pakistan), so let's invade Iraq!

Conservative ideologues always use every excuse they can get to further a corporate agenda. I’ll be there to call you on it every time.

Echo, Hows your wife today. It's getting close to shearing season isn't it? Or doesn't he want a haircut this year? Schmuck! I mean ass hat !

August 13, 2011 at 5:57 p.m.
fairmon said...

The federal department of education, including no child left behind, is another example of the federal governments agenda to control and manipulate local and state governments. Of course local and state governments always take the grant, subsidy or incentive bait and give up their sovereignty without a whimper. In fact they seek and demand more. Bait the trap with money and there will be cheating.

The 5% that probably aren't good teachers and shouldn't be teaching are not the problem. Parents, school boards, administrators, politicians, and communities are the cause of the school systems not performing well. Those willing to fire the bad teachers should be just as willing to reward the good ones.

Teachers should not need a union which in most cases achieves nothing but parity among members. Unions have their own wealthy leaders that are just as corrupt as some allege that managers of corporations are.

August 13, 2011 at 7:16 p.m.
rolando said...

Alright. Who did what with Clay? I cannot believe he would post something as reasonable for discussion as this one.

There is only one overarching measure of how a child is doing in school -- in comparison with his/her peers -- and that is by testing...of some sort. Oral, written, acted/signed, empirical, etc

blondbutnotdumb -- I look forward to your excellent posts. Do you use that login on other forums?

August 13, 2011 at 7:55 p.m.
fairmon said...


Your theory of the agenda of those in leadership positions gives those in office way too much credit for being intelligent enough accomplish that. It may happen by default due to their ignorance.

August 13, 2011 at 8:14 p.m.
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