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    #176327 - 12/03/13 12:56 AM Proposed Amendments to the U.S. Constitution
    StevenASylwester
    Unregistered


    On 06/09/10, I started the forum thread "Proposal: NASA Academy of the Physical Sciences" at: http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/B....html#Post77811
    Though it was locked on 11/29/10, many people are still reading that thread. In fact, that thread now has more than 140,500 Views according to the forum record.

    Some of what follows will be familiar to those who have read my previous thread. My basic thinking regarding gifted education is the same, but the core of my proposed solution has changed significantly.

    What I have come to conclude is this: K-12 public education in the United States is so entrenched in its ways that the needs of gifted students will not be met until the entire system is effectively changed, both in its philosophical essence and in its everyday practicalities. Though philosophy should supersede all other considerations, the truth is simply this: money is the first and only consideration that matters. In other words, if you cannot pay for it, it will not happen.

    With that harsh reality in mind, I was determined to permanently solve the money problem, and not just for a fortunate few, but for everyone. I thought if the struggles to pay for K-12 public education in the United States were eliminated, "We The People" would finally put philosophy of purpose in its rightful place as the first and only consideration that mattered, and that the needs of all gifted students across America would thereafter be met without fail.

    Big problems deserve big solutions, so I resolved to go BIG by proposing two amendments to the U.S. Constitution: one that would effectively pay for K-12 public education in the United States into perpetuity and one that would forever define the philosophical framework on which K-12 public education in the United States would be built.

    Of course, I am but one person who answers to no one — a committee of one. My "money" amendment is short and sweet, and I doubt if anyone could improve on it. But my "philosophy" amendment goes on and on, and it would certainly be changed considerably by countless others before it ever became an official proposal. Even so, I have provided a legitimate start that includes everything that should be included at a thoughtful beginning such as here and now.

    PROPOSED "MONEY" AMENDMENT:

    One Percent Ownership of Patents and Copyrights

    Re: Article I Section 8. [8]

    The United States shall have one percent (1%) ownership of each and every copyright and patent issued and registered by the United States government. The ownership shall be limited to the pre-tax gross revenues generated by any and all uses of that which is protected by U.S. copyright and patent law, and all such ownership shall be without exception. All revenues earned from such ownership shall be used to fund the free public education guaranteed to citizens by law, with all revenues from patents supporting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education exclusively and all revenues from copyrights supporting either Arts and Humanities education or Physical Education and Health education exclusively according to the general categories that create the revenues (i.e. computer-related patents support computer science education, music copyrights support music arts education, sporting event copyrights support physical education, and so forth).
    * * *

    The above is "Proposal #4" at:
    http://steven-a-sylwester.blogspot.com/2012/01/restated-and-proposed-amendments-to-us.html or at: bit.ly/zPQ2MV

    A long commentary that explains the financial details of "One Percent Ownership of Patents and Copyrights" can be read at: http://steven-a-sylwester.blogspot.com/2011/12/this-deserves-macarthur-genius-award.html or at: bit.ly/v48deL
    The whole commentary describes two different related proposed amendments. The second part of the commentary describes "One Percent Ownership of Patents and Copyrights." Read it!

    PROPOSED "PHILOSOPHY" AMENDMENT:

    Public Education

    Re: Article. I. Section. 8.

    Section. 1.
    The Congress shall fund, oversee the administration of, and nominate students to the six tuition-free United States military academies located at: West Point, New York, for the Army; Annapolis, Maryland, for the Navy and the Marine Corps; Colorado Springs, Colorado, for the Air Force; New London, Connecticut, for the Coast Guard; Kings Point, New York, for the Merchant Marine; and Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Nebraska, for the Cyber/Biologic Defense.

    Section. 2.
    The Congress shall require the States to provide thirteen years of tuition-free public education for all United States citizens and all otherwise legal residents from age five through age eighteen. Public education shall be according to three national standards:
    1) Every student shall be literate at no less than age-appropriate-grade-level (plus or minus one year) while being actively challenged and fully facilitated to achieve personal potentials in all core academic subjects, including those of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (“literate” being defined as educated, cultured, and lucid within an American social, philosophical, and historical context as taught in a thirteen-year standard curriculum that explores America from 1492 to the current time, with an ability to read, write, and effectively communicate in the English language using current computer technologies);
    2) Exceptional students shall be individually advanced to the academic level at which they can succeed while being challenged; and
    3) Students whose academic skills competency and knowledge proficiency are measured in the aggregate minimally either two years below or two years above age-appropriate-grade-level shall be designated as Special Education students and shall receive educational funding at twice the normal rate (competency and proficiency testing shall be done when requested by a teacher, parent, or student).

    Thirteen years of tuition-free public education shall not be defined by the completion of a thirteen-year standard curriculum that ends in high school graduation in every case. Some lower-tier Special Education students will remain functionally illiterate despite all teaching efforts while some upper-tier Special Education students will graduate from a community college or a public university before their nineteenth birthday and shall thereby receive their college and/or university education on a tuition-free basis.

    The term “tuition-free” applies only in the case of public education institutions, including any school designations that encompass any part of the spectrum from kindergarten enrollee through master degree recipient, that is: inclusive from primary school through public university. It does not include graduate studies at the doctoral degree level.

    Students who enroll in private schools of any sort shall receive government vouchers that are the equivalent of their local public school tuition if the private schools they enroll in are accredited by the government. Government accreditation of private schools shall only regard standard subjects that are common to local public schools and shall not regard religious subjects of any sort. A homeschool student shall receive government vouchers to rent textbooks and an educational computer hardware and software package if those items have been approved and accredited by the government for homeschool use, if the student is fully registered according to the laws governing homeschool status and is government-approved in that status, and if the total worth of the vouchers for the student does not exceed the local public school tuition cost.

    The government vouchers shall pay the vendor or the private school directly in all cases, and in no case shall government vouchers be redeemable for cash by either a student or a student’s parent or legal guardian.

    Section. 3.
    The Congress shall require the States to identify all exceptional students who are intellectually either moderately-to-highly gifted or exceptionally-to-profoundly gifted by standard academic measures (“moderately-to-highly gifted” being in the top two percent or 98th percentile and “exceptionally-to-profoundly gifted” being in the top one percent or 99th percentile). The United States shall recognize its most gifted citizens — its geniuses — as a natural resource and a national treasure, and shall maximize the potential of that resource and treasure through its public education system in every individual case beginning at the earliest possible opportunity. However, no interventions shall ever be made against the will of the student, regardless of the student’s potential to excel; the Pursuit of Happiness shall stand as an unalienable Right of every individual citizen, even the citizen who is a minor child.

    The Congress shall forbid any notion that the purpose of public education is to socialize the citizenry. The purpose of public education shall be to make citizens literate in useful knowledge, confident in factoring new information into old thinking, and competent in self-directed analysis, so that public education might inspire joy and courage in its graduates through the benefits that derive from life-long learning habits, a purposeful informed participation in America’s future, and an enduring appreciation for political dissent and for the American free enterprise system. Public education in the United States shall work to cultivate this flower: that, in every citizen’s life, the gift to America shall be the citizen and the gift to the citizen shall be America.

    Section. 4.
    The Congress shall establish a national three-year merit-based public high school for the nation’s most intellectually gifted science-minded high school students. The national public high school shall be simultaneously located at no less than 150 public research university campuses nationwide, shall be tuition-free without exception, shall have highly selective enrollment with requirements and standards that cannot be challenged, and shall use the same intensive accelerated-learning curriculum at every site without exception. The defined curriculum shall offer courses in mathematics, computer science, and the physical sciences of chemistry and physics according to standard prerequisite streams, with the high school students enrolling in university classes with university students at times during all three years.
    The offered majors shall be limited to:
    1) Mathematics through at least Elementary Linear Algebra,
    2) Computer Science through at least the standard university sophomore-year computer science sequence course for computer and information science majors that is taken concurrently with the Elements of Discrete Mathematics sequence,
    3) Chemistry through the Organic Chemistry sequence and Organic Analysis, and
    4) Physics through the standard university sophomore-year physics sequence course for physics majors that covers physics of waves and statistical thermodynamics.

    All students shall take the same six Advanced Placement courses: English Language, United States History, United States Government & Politics, and Chemistry during the sophomore year and English Literature and Economics during the junior year. United States History and United States Government & Politics shall be combined as one course. All students shall concurrently take the university calculus sequence and the university calculus-based physics sequence before graduating. There shall be no electives other than choosing a major.

    The national public high school capstone shall be a non-graded senior-year-long Colloquy on the topic: Morality, Ethics & Society: Science & Technology in the 21st Century. The Colloquy shall be student-directed according to established rules; shall result in United States Constitution Amendment Proposals, World Treaty Proposals, and Philosophy of Science and Technology Definition Statements; and shall conclude each term with deserving students receiving a Linus Pauling Achievement Award honoring the American scientist and peace activist who is one of only two people to have won more than one Nobel Prize in different fields, and the only person to win two undivided Nobel Prizes: the 1954 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research into the nature of the chemical bond and its application to the elucidation of the structure of complex substances and the 1962 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in peace and disarmament campaigns establishing The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

    Though the defined curriculum does not offer life sciences courses, such courses can be taken optionally during summer term if offered by a host university. National public high school students shall be limited to attending only at their home host university during the fall-through-spring school year, but can attend at any national public high school host university on a tuition-free basis during summer term. The student shall pay any costs for summer term other than tuition costs, except the United States shall pay all costs if the student is requested to enroll in a particular course or program by the government.

    The national public high school shall operate under the aegis of the National Aeronautic and Space Administration with cooperation from the non-military intelligence agencies and from the United States Cyber/Biologic Defense Academy, and with oversight from the Congress. The national public high school shall not answer to local school boards or to the States in any way. The national public high school graduation requirements shall supersede State high school graduation requirements without exception.

    Section. 5.
    The United States Cyber/Biologic Defense Academy shall have no physical fitness requirements whatsoever. It shall at all times maintain a Stephen Hawking Rule which declares that the mind alone shall determine eligibility and no physical defect of any sort shall be disqualifying. The Cyber/Biologic Defense shall be disciplined and uniformed, but shall not undergo any traditional basic training that includes strenuous whole-body strength-related activities of any sort, including marching. A brilliant wheelchair-bound person is eligible to enroll in the United States Cyber/Biologic Defense Academy and to serve in the Cyber/Biologic Defense at any rank of command, including Chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    The term “cyber/biologic” refers to all things related either to transmissions of any sort in cyberspace known and unknown, including any hostile activity on the Internet, any manifestation of computer hacking, and any potentially harmful computer data manipulation, or to hostile biological actions that could be property-damaging, disease-causing, and/or life-threatening in any way, or to both simultaneously in any evil pairing. The term “defense” must naturally have an offensive component to be whole.

    The United States Cyber/Biologic Defense Academy shall have access to all national public high school student transcripts and shall be welcome to freely recruit national public high school students.
    * * *

    The above is "Proposal #6" at:
    http://steven-a-sylwester.blogspot.com/2012/01/restated-and-proposed-amendments-to-us.html or at: bit.ly/zPQ2MV

    I have not written a commentary for "Public Education" — someday maybe, but not yet. To a large extent, "Public Education" is self-explanatory in most regards. Yes, there are too many details for a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but all of those details spell out all of my intents very clearly. Furthermore, everyone here should know that the first details others would quickly omit are those details found in "Section. 3." and "Section. 4." — probably all of both sections in fact. If readers here want to stand firm for the needs of gifted students, I have shown what those needs look like on paper — and I would personally fight for every detail I have included.

    Though there is clarity and simplicity in all of the above, and though all of the above is probably enough to achieve my intended results, there are yet two snakes in the grass that must be dealt with eventually. Those snakes are 1) health care costs and 2) the unfunded liabilities in public employees pension funds. Understand this: both of those snakes are actively destroying funding for public education on an ongoing basis, and that destruction is negatively impacting gifted education in very bad ways. I have found snake-killing solutions, but they would be heartbreaking for some: http://steven-a-sylwester.blogspot.com/2013/05/oregon-pers-funding-violates-fifth.html
    http://steven-a-sylwester.blogspot.com/2012/02/heritage-blog-rejected-comment-truth.html

    To fight for gifted education one student at a time is a hopeless lost cause. Never-say-die tenacity works for awhile when parents advocate relentlessly for their own child, but even that war is eventually measured by the pity of "what might have been." Ultimately, the solutions have to be "everyone wins" solutions. My recommendations are these: http://school-usa-proposal.blogspot.com/

    Steven A. Sylwester

    Top
    #176490 - 12/04/13 05:00 PM Re: Proposed Amendments to the U.S. Constitution [Re: ]
    StevenASylwester
    Unregistered


    Two years ago next week was when I first went public with what I then called "Proposed Amendment XXIX," which I now call "One Percent Ownership of Patents and Copyrights," that is:
    Re: Article I Section 8. [8]
    The United States shall have one percent (1%) ownership of each and every copyright and patent issued and registered by the United States government. The ownership shall be limited to the pre-tax gross revenues generated by any and all uses of that which is protected by U.S. copyright and patent law, and all such ownership shall be without exception. All revenues earned from such ownership shall be used to fund the free public education guaranteed to citizens by law, with all revenues from patents supporting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education exclusively and all revenues from copyrights supporting either Arts and Humanities education or Physical Education and Health education exclusively according to the general categories that create the revenues (i.e. computer-related patents support computer science education, music copyrights support music arts education, sporting event copyrights support physical education, and so forth).
    * * *

    What follows is a long excerpt from: http://steven-a-sylwester.blogspot.com/2011/12/this-deserves-macarthur-genius-award.html It is the part of the commentary that describes "One Percent Ownership of Patents and Copyrights."
    * * *


    The United States Congress owns the constitutional right “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries,” which means: to create and enforce legal protections of intellectual property rights in the forms of registered copyrights and registered patents, and to resolve disputes over such matters through the workings of the U.S. Courts, including the Supreme Court of The United States if necessary. Yet the United States pays itself very meagerly for creating and enforcing such guaranteed legal protections as are derived from U.S. issued copyrights and patents — essentially, no more than very reasonable one-time registration processing fees for legal protections that the U.S. government will guarantee for decades.

    What a deal, especially now — more than 224 years after the ink dried at the signing of the Constitution. Compare the technologies of the day in September 1787 to the technologies of the day today in December 2011. Just ponder this: Benjamin Franklin first proved that lightning is electricity when he flew his kite in a storm in 1752, and then invented lightning rods. The electric telegraph was invented in 1787. A whole lot has happened since. Back in 1787, music copyrights only protected against the piracy of printed sheet music, because there were no recording devices then and no broadcast mediums other than live-performance. And back in 1787, printing presses were laborious sheet-fed hand-operated machines, so printing hundreds of copies of something was printing a lot. Today, music copyrights protect against even the piracy that occurs when file sharing downloads happen in the virtual world of the Internet, and in every other imaginable case, too.

    So what is fair compensation for the protections granted to intellectual property rights by U.S. copyright and patent law? Is the one-time cost of a registration filing fee fair compensation to the U.S. government for providing a lifetime-plus-50-years copyright protection that is fully guaranteed by the U.S. judicial system? Is the U.S. government being fairly compensated for the patents it protects? These are difficult questions, but mostly because maintaining a past practice always seems fair at first consideration, as in: “We have always done it this way, so why change it now?” Well, now is now, and it is way past time for a change. My claim is: U.S. government guaranteed goods and services deserve a fair compensation. The necessary justification for my proposed Amendment XXIX (29) is as simple as that.

    Who pays the one percent (1%)? Understand this: “The United States shall have one percent (1%) ownership of each and every copyright and patent issued and registered by the United States government” means the U.S. automatically gets its share — it actually becomes the full owner of something — whenever a copyright or patent is issued and registered by the U.S. government, and that “something” is a 1% share of whatever is being protected. Furthermore, “The ownership shall be limited to the pre-tax gross revenues generated by any and all uses of that which is protected by U.S. copyright and patent law” means that the U.S. share does not ever first exist as taxable income for any other owner of a copyright or patent — the U.S. share is paid directly from the gross revenues to the U.S. as its share, as if the U.S. were a principal partner in a business venture. A failure to give the U.S. its rightful share of the gross revenues would be fraud and would have serious legal consequences according to both contract and criminal law.

    But Know This: No one is obligated, compelled, or coerced to ever get a U.S. copyright or a U.S. patent except by a personal desire to protect their own self-interest in the best way possible to their greatest advantage. According to my proposed amendment, the cost of that protection should be granting 1% ownership to the United States of that which is being protected. If that cost is too high, then whoever created or invented a piece of intellectual property can choose of their own free will to leave that property unprotected in the American marketplace. In that case, the intellectual property could be stolen outright by someone else and reproduced for profit, and the original creator or inventor could possibly have no legal recourse whatsoever if that which was stolen was not a physical object of some sort. That means an intellectual property thief could legally buy an unprotected product, then reverse engineer it, and then manufacture and sell it for profit — and do so legally without any risk of penalty. That is the risk. That is the possible loss and forfeiture suffered by choosing to not grant the United States a 1% ownership as fair compensation for U.S. government protection of intellectual property rights in the form of a U.S. copyright or a U.S. patent.

    It is important to know that there are no exceptions, even U.S. copyrights and U.S. patents held by foreigners, including foreign corporations, are subject to the requirement of granting 1% ownership to the United States. If an issued and registered U.S. copyright or U.S. patent is sold from one person/corporation to another in part or in whole, the United States still maintains its 1% ownership without change. In fact, the United States cannot sell, forfeit, or cancel its 1% ownership under any circumstance, because the United States is We The People.

    The school funding portion of the proposed amendment is based in the fundamental aspect of a Biblical tithe, in that a blessing has its source. My contentions are these: 1) American education contributes to American success; 2) American schools foster American creativity; 3) American teachers deserve the opportunity to do their best work with the best resources available; 4) saying “thank you” never hurt anyone, and sometimes those words inspire greatness; and 5) my formula for revenue distribution can be trusted to withstand bureaucratic tampering. The spiritual guidance of “being blessed to be a blessing” applies — of giving back by passing forward the gift.

    Not every creator and not every inventor is so spiritual and giving as I suggest, and many such people certainly hated school with every fiber of their being. Even so … even so … I too hated school. But hope must spring eternal in this one respect, despite all. Why? By my observation, we have thus far proven ourselves to be failures as a nation regarding the funding and the purpose of public education, and what I propose might be our last best chance to get it right. That is an arrogant statement, but it is wholly correct nonetheless. America simply must put public education as its highest priority if it wants to maintain itself as a great nation.

    The principal awareness — the guiding light — must be this: America’s greatest natural and national resources — indeed, the very treasure of the land — are its best and brightest students, its young geniuses, those whose potentials are truly surpassing. No gold mine, no oil field, and no vastness of untapped mineral deposit compares in value to the potentials of our best young minds. Yet we throw those potentials to the feckless winds of fate as if the seeds can be counted on to sprout of their own accord no matter where they might land.

    The public school funding that would be accomplished by my proposed Amendment XXIX (29), is enormous and staggering — almost beyond measure. Remember, the United States would claim one percent (1%) ownership of annual revenue numbers like these:
    Dedicated to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education:
    U.S. prescription sales (2008) = $291 billion
    Source: http://www.imshealth.com/portal/site/ims...nextfmt=default
    U.S. computer software industry (2010) = $240 billion
    Source: http://www.hoovers.com/industry/computer-software/1121-1.html
    U.S. computer hardware market (2008) = $60.6 billion
    Source: http://expresatec.net/computer-hardware-...eserach-report/
    U.S. chemicals industry (2010) = $700 billion
    Source: http://www.hoovers.com/industry/chemical-manufacturing/1085-1.html

    Do the math: Already almost $1.3 trillion x 1% = $13 billion
    In 2007-08, there were 132,656 elementary and secondary schools in the United States (K-12 in total), 98,916 that were public schools and 33,740 that were private schools.
    Source: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d10/tables/dt10_005.asp
    Rough math: $13 billion / 100,000 public schools = $130,000 per school per year for STEM education only … and we are still counting! Just consider annual mobile phone sales; and home appliance and TV sales; and automobile and truck sales; and heavy equipment sales; and military defense contract sales; and patented seed sales; and medical devices sales; and medical diagnostic equipment and surgery supply sales; and recreational vehicle, equipment, and gun sales; and … Consider that the 2010 revenues at Boeing Co. totaled $64.3 billion, and probably ever dollar of that was directly related to sales of patented products. Source: http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/earnings/earnings.asp?ticker=BA:US
    Certainly, the per school per year funding for STEM education only will approximate at least $260,000, which will pay for five teacher salaries averaging $52,000 per year.

    But those “rough math” numbers go into the stratosphere when appropriate factoring is done. For example, I will use my local public school district (Eugene School District 4J in Oregon) as a general case model. 4J has two “K-5” (6-year) elementary schools feed into one “6-8” (3-year) middle school, and two “6-8” (3-year) middle schools feed into one “9-12” (4-year) high school. Therefore, the elementary schools and the middle schools in 4J are weighted equivalents when “per student per year” factoring is done. That is: a 375-student 6-year elementary school (62.5 students per grade) equals a 375-student 3-year (125 students per grade) middle school, when the basic unit is a school. But a 1000-student 4-year (250 students per grade) high school is different. Doing the math using the 4J model to establish weighted equivalent factors finds that each elementary and middle school has a 0.723 factor and each high school has a 2.666 factor when weighted school allotments are calculated.

    Therefore, if $260,000 is the per school K-12 non-weighted allotment dedicated solely to STEM education, then the weighted allotments according to the previous paragraph’s math approximate to $187,833 for each elementary and middle school and $693,000 for each high school. At the high school level, that equals eleven teaching positions dedicated solely to STEM education paying an average salary of $63,000 per year.

    For various reasons, I would choose a weighted per school allotment on a national elementary/middle/high-school averaging with perhaps two distinct levels (rural/town and urban/city) over a strict per student allotment. I think “weighted per school” allotments would encourage schools of a certain size if it was done wisely, and schools of a certain size are generally thought to be better.

    Also, I would allow for “banking of 10%” for up to five years to fund building improvement projects related to a particular category. For example, STEM allotments that were banked could pay for the construction or upgrading of science laboratories at our public high schools. In the 4J example, $693,000 x 10% = $69,300, and $69,300 x 5 = $346,500. I think a very fine science laboratory could be built and equipped for $346,500.

    The money for public education funding generated by my proposed Amendment XXIX (29) from U.S. copyrights is not as great as that from U.S. patents in my estimation, but the amounts are still staggering. Consider these numbers:
    U.S. Video Game Industry (2010) = $18.58 billion
    U.S. Music Industry (2008) = $10.4 billion
    U.S. Movie Industry (2010) = $10.57 billion
    U.S. Book Industry (2007) = $35.69 billion
    U.S. DVD Industry (recent) = $23 billion
    Sources: http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/Video_game_industry
    http://boxofficemojo.com/yearly/
    Those numbers add up to $98.24 billion, which means a $982.4 million yearly funding for U.S. public schools if my proposed amendment were ratified.

    In the realm of Arts and Humanities funding, school districts might choose to hire a specialist teacher that might be shared by several schools (for example, a band teacher). Or it could happen that the nation would elect to spend a certain portion of the funding to create Internet-based learning experiences that could be used by anyone, including homeschoolers and students who attend private schools. I think it would be wise to fund K-12 Internet-based learning experiences wherever that is reasonably possible.

    Consider every bit of rerun TV programming is generating copyright-protected revenues, and so too is every TV broadcast of sporting event, including college sports, professional sports, and the Olympics, and those TV sports broadcasting contracts are enormous!

    Think it all through, and do not be stupid in your thinking.

    My proposal exclusively funds K-12 free public education. However, if citizens wisely kept current school-supporting taxations in place, much of those public tax monies could be redirected from funding K-12 education to funding public community college and public university education, meaning current college and university tuitions could be slashed. The implications and ramifications and outcomes and surprises hidden in my proposed Amendment XXIX (29) are enormous, and the justifications for doing what I propose are wholly fair and reasonable.

    God bless America.

    Steven A. Sylwester
    December 12, 2011
    * * *

    What follows is the impassioned FURTHER COMMENTARY that my oldest daughter convinced me to not include two years ago. She thought it was too much and not necessary, and that it spoke only to a smaller audience and not to the general audience. Even though it was the very guts of my motivation, I reluctantly agreed to hold my passion silent until a future time and place was the right time and place.

    It is likely that some readers here do not believe in God, but it a certainty that all readers here will appreciate my passion.

    FURTHER COMMENTARY

    We are fools, even too often beyond the measure of utter — beyond where forgiveness is possible.

    Ask yourself: If God gave you Isaac Newton, what would you do with him?

    In America, we would mainstream him with slow learners and functional illiterates — even with hostile and mean dullards — in order to socialize him, and we would do our best to ignore his outstanding qualities — his extraordinary potentials — while finding ways to encourage his mediocre qualities — his normalcy. We would drive him to sadness and despair, even to forsaking his own abilities, and then we would graduate him and wish him well while congratulating ourselves for being so egalitarian in our desire to treat everyone as equals. God help us! Unfortunately, I am not overstating my claim.

    If I could give America all the money it would ever need for public education, would America find the courage to treat Isaac Newton as a gift from God? That is my question. And my hope is that the answer to that question is “Yes.”

    What does that mean? Just this: On November 23, 2010, I wrote a letter to President Barack Obama in which I concluded:
    “…In my thinking, the basic National Education Standards should be: Every Child 21st-Century-Literate at No Less Than Grade Level While Being Actively Challenged and Fully Facilitated to Achieve Personal Potentials in All Core Academics. At the top end where NAPS exists, the National Education Standards should be simply this: Students Must Be Advanced to the Academic Level at Which They Can Succeed While Being Challenged. …”
    The whole letter can be read at: http://school-usa-proposal.blogspot.com/2011/06/nasa-academy-of-physical-sciences-naps.html

    Those two “National Education Standards” taken together state everything that needs to be done, with just one necessary clarification: the U.S. commitment to free public education for its citizens should be a whatever-can-be-done-with-the-top-of-the-sky-as-the-limit 13-year commitment from age 5 through age 18, not a defined standard-curriculum-accomplished from kindergarten through grade 12 commitment as is now more-or-less the case. That is asking a lot on my part, but it is truly only answering “Yes” to my question: “If I could give America all the money it would ever need for public education, would America find the courage to treat Isaac Newton as a gift from God?” I believe when God gives America a gift, America should maximize that gift’s full potential as if the very gates of heaven could be opened wide as a result.

    I offer three detailed plans describing what should be done in U.S. public high schools at: http://school-usa-proposal.blogspot.com/ My solutions are thorough and complete, so they are necessarily long enough. Read them start to finish, and then make them better if you can. A careful reader will plainly see that I care about the needs of all students, not just the needs of the best and brightest. My basic contentions can be reduced to this: Not everyone is equally gifted with the same potentials, so the needs of all are best served through stratified learning opportunities that are based on actual proven ability, with accelerated intensive learning opportunities being provided to all those who are able to thrive under that rigor.

    The simple inescapable horrible truth is this: Any student — that is, any Isaac Newton — who is fully able to thrive under the rigor of accelerated intensive learning opportunities who is not being given those opportunities is being held back, is being unfairly denied his/her potential, and is being essentially flunked by an educational system that is geared to serve the average student. It is an outrage. Worse, it is a tragedy. Worse, it is an insult to God who entrusted us with the supreme gift of an Isaac Newton.

    * * *

    Steven A. Sylwester

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    #176652 - 12/06/13 12:50 PM Re: Proposed Amendments to the U.S. Constitution [Re: ]
    Dandy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/12/08
    Posts: 574
    5500+ words, excluding linked articles? Wowsers.

    Did I ever tell you about my grandpa?

    Andy J. Dandifer

    BY Andy J. Dandifer on 12/06/2013 at 12:53p
    _________________________
    Being offended is a natural consequence of leaving the house. - Fran Lebowitz

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    #182987 - 02/25/14 01:09 AM Re: Proposed Amendments to the U.S. Constitution [Re: ]
    StevenASylwester
    Unregistered


    My motivations include U.S. national security.

    Consider:
    China Beats U S in Reading, Math and Science
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lfr2rTW3UMk
    China invests in science-Overtake US by 2014
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws5y8A_zUsc
    Chinese Kids Outsmarting Americans
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmYkRF5t1dk

    Now consider gifted education:
    Gifted Education Teaching in China vs USA - Part 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8U4K1J3t8mI
    Gifted Education Teaching in China vs USA - Part 2
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-nC13ogZDg

    What goes on in America:
    Rationale for Gifted Education
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jdU0VgDquA
    Top 10 Myths in Gifted Education
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDJst-y_ptI

    U.S. National Statistics:
    http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10398.aspx

    The following excerpt is from "The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life" (Copyright 1994) by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray.

    (Page 434) The Neglect of the Gifted
    Another factor in the declining capabilities of America's brightest students is that the decline occurred when, in policy circles, disadvantaged students were "in" and gifted students were "out." When the first significant aid went to secondary education at the end of the Eisenhower years, it was for the brightest students who might become scientists or engineers. In 1965, with the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), the funding priority turned 180 degrees, and it has remained anchored in the new position ever since. As of 1993, the ESEA authorized forty-six programs with budgets that added up to $8.6 billion. Most of these programs are specifically designated for students in low-income areas and students with special education needs. Even the programs that might apply to any sort of student (improvements in science and mathematics education, for example) often are worded in ways that give preference to students from low-income areas. Another set of programs are for support services. And, finally, there are programs designated for the gifted and talented. This is the way that the $8.6 billion budget broke out for fiscal 1993:

    Programs for the disadvantaged 92.2%
    Programs that might benefit any student 5.6%
    Support and administration of ESEA programs 2.1%
    Programs for the gifted 0.1%

    This breakdown omits other federal programs with large budgets aimed at the education of the disadvantaged — more than $2 billion for Head Start (funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, not the Department of Education), more than $3 billion for job training programs, plus a scattering of others.

    * * *

    What has changed in the past 20 years? My guess: not much.

    On June 13, 2013, the following news article was posted:
    http://www.policyinsider.org/2013/06/sen...ing-debate.html

    What do we have now? By my read, we have ESEA with 1,150 pages of changes: "The legislation passed by the education committee yesterday, titled the Strengthening America’s Schools Act of 2013 (SASA), makes major changes to ESEA and seeks to build upon the 37 states plus the District of Columbia that have ESEA waivers."

    The SASA changes pertaining to gifted students that are highlighted by the article are these:
    1) Addresses the Excellence Gap and gifted education: Requires states to describe how they will assist school districts in identifying and serving students with gifts and talents, particularly from underserved backgrounds.
    2) Establishes an equity report card: Provides data from schools in key areas such as student performance, school funding sources, high school graduation rate, participation in kindergarten, participation in advanced studies (AP, IB, gifted), school climate information, and school discipline data.
    3) Supports research in gifted education: Requires the U.S. Department of Education to continue research and development in gifted education, including the establishment of a national research center and demonstration grants.

    The cynic in me sees those three highlights as a whole lot of nothing. I would maybe become a believer if a highlight had described that funding for gifted education would immediately increase by 1,000% from last year's funding levels.

    Though some readers here might cringe at the thought, I believe the only way to solve the problem is by forcing the law to identify gifted students as special education students. In "Section.2." of my proposed "Public Education" amendment, I use this language: "3) Students whose academic skills competency and knowledge proficiency are measured in the aggregate minimally either two years below or two years above age-appropriate-grade-level shall be designated as Special Education students and shall receive educational funding at twice the normal rate (competency and proficiency testing shall be done when requested by a teacher, parent, or student)."

    Steven A. Sylwester

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    #183149 - 02/26/14 01:44 AM Re: Proposed Amendments to the U.S. Constitution [Re: ]
    StevenASylwester
    Unregistered


    The United States needs many of its gifted children to eventually find their careers in Cybersecurity, either in private industry or in a U.S. intelligence agency and/or a U.S. military branch.

    Keith Alexander: Perspectives on Cybersecurity
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jS7Zrw43gc
    Streamed live on Feb 19, 2013
    Speaker: Gen. Keith Alexander, Commander, US Cyber Command

    The whole video is excellent and worth watching, but especially watch 049:00 — 056:40.

    Excellent 3-page article "The Real U.S.-Chinese Cyber Problem" dated July 30, 2013:
    http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/the-real-us-chinese-cyber-problem-8796

    It is easy to imagine that China is selecting some of its most gifted children for advanced special training in computer science. The United States should be doing the same. My proposed "Public Education" amendment accomplishes that end.

    Steven A. Sylwester

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    #183383 - 02/28/14 12:31 AM Re: Proposed Amendments to the U.S. Constitution [Re: ]
    StevenASylwester
    Unregistered


    Since I began this thread 88 days ago on December 3, 2013, there have been 480 Views according to the website record. Remarkably, during the same time frame, there have been more than 6,000 Views at my previous thread: "Proposal: NASA Academy of the Physical Sciences." At last count, that thread now has 146,508 Views. (see #176327 above)

    SERIOUS BUSINESS: The common sense to the dollars and cents of my proposed "One Percent Ownership of Patents and Copyrights" is this: the idea is too good to be ignored for long, meaning: if that revenue source is not "used to fund the free public education guaranteed to citizens by law" as I have recommended, it will be certainly used to fund something else. It is utter foolishness to think "Public Education" will necessarily get that revenue source just because "The United States shall have one percent (1%) ownership of each and every copyright and patent issued and registered by the United States government" was my idea first and my only motivation was to fund "free public education." The fact is: I first proposed my funding idea more than two years ago now, and so far no one in "Public Education" has cared enough to support my idea in any way, shape, or form — not even in the least bit. Consequently, the funding idea is now up for grabs and any part of the U.S. government could easily step in and make it their own.

    How much money is at stake is something only the Government Accounting Office (GAO) could figure out with any accuracy. In post #176490 above, I gathered what industry information I could in a quick sweep and stated:

    Do the math: Already almost $1.3 trillion x 1% = $13 billion
    In 2007-08, there were 132,656 elementary and secondary schools in the United States (K-12 in total), 98,916 that were public schools and 33,740 that were private schools.
    Source: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d10/tables/dt10_005.asp
    Rough math: $13 billion / 100,000 public schools = $130,000 per school per year for STEM education only … and we are still counting! Just consider annual mobile phone sales; and home appliance and TV sales; and automobile and truck sales; and heavy equipment sales; and military defense contract sales; and patented seed sales; and medical devices sales; and medical diagnostic equipment and surgery supply sales; and recreational vehicle, equipment, and gun sales; and … Consider that the 2010 revenues at Boeing Co. totaled $64.3 billion, and probably ever dollar of that was directly related to sales of patented products. Source: http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/earnings/earnings.asp?ticker=BA:US
    Certainly, the per school per year funding for STEM education only will approximate at least $260,000, which will pay for five teacher salaries averaging $52,000 per year.

    * * *

    Since writing that, I have thought of an easier way to ballpark the staggering truth of all this, which is to consider the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and U.S. imports.

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp
    QUOTE: "The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the United States was worth 15684.80 billion US dollars in 2012. ... The gross domestic product (GDP) is equal to the total expenditures for all final goods and services produced within the country in a stipulated period of time."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_United_States
    QUOTE: GDP: $16.8 trillion (2013); GDP growth: 1.9% (2013)
    GDP by sector: agriculture: 1.2%, industry: 19%,
    services: 80% (2011 est.)
    Imports: $2.30 trillion (2013)
    Import goods: Consumer goods (except automotive), 23%; capital goods (except computing), 19%; industrial supplies (except crude oil), 18%; crude oil, 14%; automotive vehicles and components, 13%; computers and accessories, 5.4%; food, feed, and beverages, 4.8%; other, 3%.

    The question is: How intricately and how deeply is intellectual property (patents and copyrights) at play in the various aspects of the U.S. economy? Certainly, some aspects of "services" in GDP involve intellectual property, but "how much?" is a question I cannot answer.

    For purposes here, I will conservatively estimate that 25% of the U.S. GDP involves patents and copyrights in some way, and that 78% of U.S. imports involves patents and copyrights in some way.

    U.S. GDP: $16.8 trillion x 25% = $4.2 trillion
    U.S. Imports: $2.3 trillion x 78% = $1.794 trillion

    $4.2 trillion + $1.794 trillion = $5.994 trillion

    $5.994 trillion x 1% = $59.94 billion

    My calculations in post #176490 above were based on $13 billion being made available to fund free public education, but perhaps almost five times that amount might be what is truly at stake. Imagine!

    What dent could that make? Consider: http://febp.newamerica.net/background-analysis/school-finance
    QUOTE: "America spends over $500 billion a year on public elementary and secondary education in the United States. On average, school districts spend $10,314 for each individual student, although per pupil expenditures vary greatly among states, school districts and individual schools. Spending also differs among school districts in the same state and among schools within the same district.

    All three levels of government – federal, state, and local - contribute to education funding. States typically provide a little less than half of all elementary and secondary education funding. Local governments generally contribute about 44 percent of the total, and the federal government contributes about 13 percent of all direct expenditures. ...

    The federal government spends more than $40 billion annually on primary and secondary education programs. Much of the funding is discretionary, meaning it is set annually by Congress through the appropriations process. Funds flow mainly through the Department of Education although other federal agencies administer some funding for education related activities."

    * * *

    Well, it looks like the federal government could increase its funding for free public education from $40 billion annually to $100 billion annually without blinking an eye if it ratified my proposed amendment into law.

    Steven A. Sylwester

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    #184504 - 03/11/14 07:53 AM Re: Proposed Amendments to the U.S. Constitution [Re: ]
    Edward Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/19/14
    Posts: 52
    Ive been reading though your proposals and I agree with them 100%. If I had the power to do so I would make sure they become a reality. This is something that needs to happen if we want anything to get solved.

    Public schools in the United States are one of the biggest jokes on the planet. I say this because Ive been there, I attended public schools. I could wright libraries on my experiences and those I have witnessed in others. Sounds like a grandiose statement to make, but from everything I have seen and heard I can without a doubt say with my senses it holds true.

    Public education needs a massive overhaul both in advancing individual talents and in the teaching of social skills. Schools are going backwards, not forwards as now common core is being put in place. The teachers now filling the places of those retiring have a vastly different mind set. None are trained in anything that doesn't follow the now set required academic curriculum. A lot of kids that don't succeed and become board are frequently seen as behavioral problems as well. The ignorant teaching the impressionable.

    Its these amendments that will do the world much good before anything else. If we want to end the past repeating we need to invest in our future.

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    #186485 - 03/31/14 11:37 PM Re: Proposed Amendments to the U.S. Constitution [Re: ]
    StevenASylwester
    Unregistered


    On March 28, 2014, PBS NEWSHOUR broadcasted the following report: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/arnie-duncan-education-agenda/

    A reasonable person would conclude that the federal government only succeeds in making a mess of public education. Every initiative has failed, and some have failed spectacularly. Obviously, something about the federal government's focus is wrongheaded, but getting any public education official to admit that seems to be an impossible task.

    So I will make this simple. The focus of public education must be "top down," not "bottom up." I mean by that this: gifted education must have the first priority.

    I firmly believe that a "top down" focus will reliably benefit everyone, even the remedial students. The reason is simple: success breeds success. Winning is something that must be modeled; it must be observed; it must be felt as something that is possible before the confidence necessary to achieve it can be mustered. A "bottom up" focus is like relegating your best players to the far end of the bench and then never letting them play no matter what. Truly, it is the most self-defeating thing that could ever be done, and yet it is precisely what the federal government has been doing for decades now with a never-say-die determination.

    That public education is stuck in "bottom up" thinking in Sports Crazy America is something that defies all logic. I say: Put the coaches in charge! Believe me: everything would switch to "top down" thinking within 24 hours — and I mean everything!

    Public education in America needs to be about winning, about succeeding, about achieving Personal Bests in competitions. I grew up playing sports, and I played sports for the love of sport. I do not advocate at-all-costs winning if "the love of sport" is lost, because establishing "the love of learning" must be the goal of education. But the glory of it all is found in letting the best players do their best — their very best. America loves a winner, and it is the winner who inspires everyone else to practice and make perfect, and to practice some more and win.

    As in sports, so too in academics. "Top down" wins!

    Steven A. Sylwester


    Edited by StevenASylwester (04/02/14 01:13 AM)
    Edit Reason: correct spelling error

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    #186886 - 04/02/14 03:27 PM Re: Proposed Amendments to the U.S. Constitution [Re: ]
    StevenASylwester
    Unregistered


    http://www.newsweek.com/america-hates-its-gifted-kids-226327

    Quote: "But for every Tomlinson, there will be a teacher (or five) who can’t manage the delicate balance, or is uncomfortable teaching outside the norm. For the U.S. to reach the upper echelons of educational attainment in an increasingly competitive global environment, it probably needs change that comes from both the bottom, through teachers like Tomlinson, and the top, from serious education reform focused on cultivating intellectual achievement. Before innovative ideas like Lubinski’s can take hold, there needs to be a consensus among all the stakeholders that winning is important, and it isn’t enough to simply enter the race."

    I agree.

    Steven A. Sylwester

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    #188099 - 04/12/14 01:02 AM Re: Proposed Amendments to the U.S. Constitution [Re: ]
    StevenASylwester
    Unregistered


    The September 18, 2012, Op-Ed article in The New York Times titled "Young, Gifted and Neglected" by Chester E. Finn Jr. follows:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/opinio...&pagewanted=all

    What are we? Are we nothing more than voices crying in the wilderness? Will I cry out until I am sure that no one is listening, and then just leave quietly, spent — as if all my doings were for naught by my own admission?

    My kids are grown. My youngest is now 25 years old. I should no longer care about this particular crazy. I might one day have grandchildren in U.S. public schools, but I expect that is ten years from now at the very soonest, and I might be dead by then.

    For too many good reasons, I looked back after my youngest graduated from high school, even though I had sworn to myself that I would NEVER look back, that I was done — forever done. But I looked back in a raw moment of clarity, and I decided then and there to pick up the fight for all those who were still buried in the process, and also for all those who were just entering the process — the innocents who knew nothing but hope and great expectations for their precious children.

    Of course, my proposed amendment is too long. But negotiations are wicked things in which even loved ones can be traded away for scraps before an agreement is reached. So a wise person will start with a lot of everything and then hold on to as much as possible in the fray that follows. One should never give a settlement offer until the fullness of time has been reached, but I will here give mine.

    Though it is measly compared to the richness of my starting point, I would settle for this and feel blessed:

    Amended Proposed Amendment: Public Education

    The Congress shall require the States to provide thirteen years of tuition-free public education for all United States citizens and all otherwise legal residents from age five through age eighteen. Exceptional students shall be individually advanced to the academic level at which they can succeed while being challenged.

    Thirteen years of tuition-free public education shall not be defined by the completion of a thirteen-year standard curriculum that ends in high school graduation in every case. Some students will graduate from a community college or a public university before their nineteenth birthday and shall thereby receive their college and/or university education on a tuition-free basis.

    The term “tuition-free” applies only in the case of public education institutions, including any school designations that encompass any part of the spectrum from kindergarten enrollee through master degree recipient, that is: inclusive from primary school through public university. It does not include graduate studies at the doctoral degree level.

    Students who enroll in private schools of any sort shall receive government vouchers that are the equivalent of their local public school tuition if the private schools they enroll in are accredited by the government. Government accreditation of private schools shall only regard standard subjects that are common to local public schools and shall not regard religious subjects of any sort. A homeschool student shall receive government vouchers to rent textbooks and an educational computer hardware and software package if those items have been approved and accredited by the government for homeschool use, if the student is fully registered according to the laws governing homeschool status and is government-approved in that status, and if the total worth of the vouchers for the student does not exceed the local public school tuition cost.

    The government vouchers shall pay the vendor or the private school directly in all cases, and in no case shall government vouchers be redeemable for cash by either a student or a student’s parent or legal guardian.

    * * *

    Steven A. Sylwester

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