Why is Charles Koch interested in Changing America’s Criminal Justice System?

Thanks Marc Jones. What I think is going on here is this: Some smart people in positions of power and influence in America, stayed awake long enough in class to be able to learn how to read a statistical demographics chart ( A lesson unfortunately that many liberals and conservatives missed). They realize what some of us (like Shirley Malcolm Ph. D., in a 1990 Essay in Scientific America: “Who Will do Science in the Next Century?), have been saying for many years. (Another excellent article: The Quiet Crisis: Falling Short in Producing American Scientific and Technical Talent; Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph. D.; http://www.bestworkforce.org/PDFdocs/Quiet_Crisis.pdf ) Our present structure that essentially removes large numbers of Black and Latino males (Via the public school to prison pipe line) from any viable participation in the American economic system (except in the societal destructive “unofficial” economy), is not sustainable over time in light of White American birth rates. Let me be clear here: in public education we are not doing a good job with our potentially high performing, and most promising Black and Latino males; the students who can read and do math; those who are on or above their grade level standards! This reality of systemic marginalization, is occurring as “developing” nations are expanding their capacity to train and retain their own skilled nationals. The present US path will ultimately lead to the demise, downgrading and possible collapse of our economic system. These same smart guys must have also paid attention in high school English class when they read “Masque of the Red Death”; by Edgar Allan Poe. The idea that a small number of entitled citizens (and their children and grandchildren) can remain safe and untouched by a plague that is destroying the poor and disenfranchised, is a myth; eventually the suffering of the many will also touch the few, who have unleashed, inflicted and imposed that suffering on the many. Mr. Koch is making a good and necessary business decision; it is not a moral one.

The Science of the Brain: Education’s underappreciated, underexplored and undiscovered Frontier.

“There seems to be a lot in our brains and animal brains that is directional — that neural signals move in a particular direction, then stop, and start somewhere else,” said Dr. Giulio Tononi, a psychiatry professor and neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and one of the study’s co-authors. “I think this is really a new theme that had not been explored. The finding, published in the November issue of the journal NeuroImage, may lead to a better understanding of how the brain processes short-term memories and how memory is connected to imagination, the researchers said.”….. http://www.livescience.com/49244-imagination-reality-brain-flow-direction.html?

I really think that schools of education should invest some serious resources and energy into the study of Brain Science, since this knowledge is at the core of teaching and learning. Unfortunately, in many of our public schools we are operating with antiquated models of how the brain actually works. This old and “out of focus” view is no doubt delivering large amounts of pedagogical malpractice to large numbers of children. Poor children, ESL students, and children of color suffer the most from this theoretical neglect. The schools these children attend will most likely spend a lot of time focused on badly organized and educationally ineffective standardized “test-prep” methods; to the exclusion of the imagination stimulating skills of: a library experience, reading for pleasure-reading fiction, music, dance, drama, creative writing, drawing-painting-sculpture, and foreign language-world cultural studies. The irony is that the “imaginative studies” (Imagination stimulating activities) would actually make them better performers on standardized exams! Schools are essentially (under the guise of budget cuts) reducing the programs and studies that would raise academic achievement on standardized exams; and instead expanding the activities (test-prep monotony) that will lower their performance on these exams. The students of parents who provide them with access to these creative activities in an informal educational setting (after-school, weekends, school breaks and the summer); will always maintain an academic advantage (that will only grow over time) over those students who don’t have access, for whatever reason, to these knowledge building, mental skills enhancing, imagination expanding activities. Unless, that is, the school steps in to close the gap! This article (and the larger study) gives educators something to think (or imagine) about…. This is why I have always said that the winning formula for invention and innovation (short version: “smartness”) is: STEM + English Language Arts + Creative, Graphic and Performing Arts!