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Mar 12 2018

Magic the Gathering and Sociology: Blue

Continuing my series from last week, today we’re going to dive into the intellectually-developed world of Blue and their approach to social problems. Given Blue’s focus on self-improvement and knowledge, I think they’d be quite invested in the education system- Blue wants a society of free-thinking individuals. As with last week, I’m going to start with a disclaimer that this article is not meant to belittle anyone nor start an argument. Rather, in true-Blue fashion, it’s meant to be used as a sociological lens. Let’s begin.

Citation Needed

Channeling my inner Blue, I ran a quick google search for American Education System statistics. We’ve already discussed the education system in my Sociology class, but it doesn’t hurt to have more information. It never hurts to have more information! I found some great websites with unbiased statistics, as well as some with biased opinions, and some that found general consensuses across polls.

According to a poll done by the Economic Policy Institute showcasing the relative importance of eight goals of education, the three most important goals of American Education are basic academic skills such as reading, writing, math, and science; critical thinking and problem solving, and social skills and work ethic. I think Blue society agrees with these general goals of education. But how well are these goals being achieved? According to a poll done by The Washington Post around the time of the 2012 presidential election, almost half of all Americans give their local schools an “A” or “B” grade, yet only a fifth of Americans ranked the national average at “A” or “B”. This shows that schools are slightly better than we assume they are, but there are still many schools not performing at an “A” or “B” grade, which is the ideal.

“A” for Effort

Blue would place an importance on schooling, especially higher education. In a Blue society, it is vital that all schools reach a national standard, similar to Common Core we have established today. However, Blue would not allow so much leeway regarding budget- all schools would receive the same budget per capita to give all students the equal opportunity of succeeding. Blue supports a meritocracy. A meritocracy is a system of society that rewards individual prowess over things like wealth and caste. Blue would regulate elementary and secondary schooling as much as they felt ethical. To be fair, for Blue, there’s a long way to go before something is unethical.

Blue wouldn’t allow things like private schools or chartered schools. They shift the balance of wealth in the education system. Not only would all schools receive the exact same budget and supplies, each school would also be supplied with equivalent teachers. In a Blue society, technology has probably advanced enough to allow for AI teachers. This, in turn, removes the imbalance of “good” and “bad” teachers. It also removes the economic problem of paying teachers. It’s well-acknowledged that teachers today are underpaid. As such, Blue sees the loss of human interaction between student and teacher as a fair compromise.

Education of the Individual

Uniformity in the education system can be seen as a problem. Not everyone learns the same way. So how can we sit all our children in the same class and expect them to perform at the same level? Well, this is one of the great things about living in a Blue society. Children are now tested on learning styles rather than standardized testing. Courses are broken up into learning style as well. Class sizes are smaller to allow for inter-student discussion and individual formation of opinions. Once again, the presence of AI means budget is easy to solve. Each school receives an equal per capita budget to spend on supplies for children. The lack of need for a large number of personnel greatly slashes the cost of education. Faculty would still be required, but not nearly at the same level. Most of that faculty would be programming department as well.

I think by approaching the education system with a Blue philosophical lens a potential solution was easily discovered. I’m sure AI schooling is already being talked about in certain circles. Like all potential solutions, it has its positives and negatives. I would advocate increasing usage of technology in the current education system. Thanks for reading, feel free to share your comments and join me next week for our discussion of Black.

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