Characterizing a transformative model of social-emotional learning as a “Marxist” model for “grooming” and “cult indoctrination” (“Expressing concern about social-emotional learning,” Nov. 3 edition of The Frederick News-Post) is disingenuous, feeding into baseless conspiracy theories and undermining evidence-based debates that we should be having.

Transformation can be a positive concept. It is at the root of the optimistic view of human nature taken by nearly every religion — that each person through personal responsibility and participation in their community can advance (continually transform) toward greater good. It rejects authoritarian stasis. It reflects De Tocqueville’s view of the unique and valuable contributions of democracy in America.

(14) comments

TrekMan

You two need to get "lives"!! 🙄🙄

public-redux

Why so judgmental?

mrnatural1

AHHAPROD Nov 13, 2022 5:20pm

"mrnatural, if the paper is considering it & it wouldn’t require high-end (or for some of us even mid-level) tech skills, it does sound good."

~

This is another reason a forum would be helpful -- there was no "+ Add Reply" button below your comment. That's a common problem here.

Last I heard, the FNP is not considering going to a forum format. I'm not sure why. I really believe it would be net plus for them financially.

My wife and I know someone who works for the company that provides the software the FNP and many other newspapers use. They were quite defensive about the comment section (it's part of their software package), and dismissive of forums. I can only guess they see forums as (far superior) competition. This comment section is primitive in comparison.

There are forums for any subject you can imagine:

* Essentially every car ever made. Popular models have several forums dedicated to them. Here's one: https://www.broncosportforum.com/forum/

* Investing. For example: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/index.php

* Animals of all kinds.

* Outdoor activities like hiking; backpacking; kayaking; rock climbing; cycling, etc.

* Every sport.

* All hobbies -- audio/video gear; photography; gardening, etc.

* Tools.

* Writing.

* Off-the-grid living, homesteading.

* Small/tiny houses.

* RVs.

* Boats.

* Beer.

* Etc., etc.

If you have never seen a forum before pick any subject you have an interest in, put "forum" after it and Google it.

Forums use different kinds of software. For the most part they all have similar layouts, but some have more features and/or are more user friendly. Most let anyone read comments, but to search and post you must register (free).

They are easy to use (and I'm not particularly computer savvy) and can be fun and very helpful. As with anything on the internet you have to 'separate the wheat from the chaff', but I've gotten a lot of good info and advice over the years.

AHHAPROD

mrnatural, sincere thanks for your very kind & thoughtful responses, including this one about forums. Not to sound too pathetic (hopefully), but we’re behind the curve in anything & everything IT related—the language just doesn’t seem like ‘real’ language to at least one of us—& negligent about trying to catch up. Maybe that’s true of the FNP as well, & part of why at least one of us is so perversely fond of our local paper, warts & all. Hoping this won’t make you regretb

mrnatural1

No problem AHHA. I understand. My "promo" posts about forums are directed primarily at FNP management. Perhaps hoping to get some support from other subscribers -- but I know the chance of any change is slim to none.

I bring the subject of forums up periodically -- typically when there is some issue/problem that would be solved by the use of good forum software.

To be clear, my criticisms are directed at the comment section, not the FNP itself. For example, one common problem is determining who a reply is intended for. Commenters often do not refer to a user name. Subsequent comments are indented to the right to indicate a reply to an earlier comment, but sometimes there is a long 'stack' of comments that are indented to different degrees. It can be hard to follow.

With forums, you can "quote" someone with one click. Then their statement appears in your comment 'box', inside a different color box, so there can be no doubt which post you are replying to.

Also, all the posts are in chronological order. You might be reading a comment from months or years ago. If you quote it and reply, your reply will be the most recent. It makes sense and is easy to follow. You can usually post photos, and communicate privately with other members (if they allow it).

I doubt switching to a forum is something the FNP will ever do. I just bring it up periodically hoping the right person will see my comment and act on it.

Of course, anyone who wants to can create a forum. The problem is -- as with YouTube 'channels'; blogs; and podcasts -- the internet is saturated with forums. People only have so much time to devote to those things, so each new forum (etc.) must compete with all of the others. It's very difficult to get a forum 'off the ground' -- unless you have an existing base of subscribers, like the FNP.

One problem that would NOT be fixed with forum software is when the FNP staff summarily deletes a thread, and in doing so, permanently deletes ALL comments -- good and bad. I noticed earlier that happened with the comment sections below the 2 articles about the Green Valley teacher who took her students off campus. When that happens, the trolls win. There are several regulars here who should have a large percentage of their posts deleted by the moderators, and in some cases the commenter should be suspended or banned. Deleting all comments punishes the serious, thoughtful commenters.

I just mentioned that here because it is an ongoing problem, but the same could happen with a forum. I will say though, in the over 20 years that I've belonged to various forums, I don't recall ever seeing an entire thread wiped out. Sometimes they are "closed" (no further comments allowed) and sometimes individual posts that violate forum rules are deleted -- but permanently deleting an entire thread because of some rude posts is letting the inmates run the asylum. The trolls become the moderators. Don't like a thread? Want it deleted? No problem, just make a few obnoxious comments and ad hominem attacks and -- POOF! -- that pesky thread disappears.

P.S: I think your comment may have been cut off.

AHHAPROD

Mrnatural, got it thanks. And Mr. Saba, hoping it’s not too late to thank you for reminding us that transformation is (or can be) something to marvel at in nature, strive for in ourselves & nurture in our freely learning & developing children. Not something evil to be feared & stifled.

AHHAPROD

regret past responses or swear off possible future ones. They make our day here in heartfelt-right District 5, soon to be represented by young libertarian lion Mason Carter. j&bh

AHHAPROD

(Please note, this belongs just ahead of the comment immediately above) We’ve known & admired community members who actively & lovingly supported Monarchs & other endangered butterflies by not only providing them with food, water & shelter, but even helping them mysteriously & ‘magically’ transform from a mass of undifferentiated cells into their famously beautiful mature form.

AHHAPROD

. . . and amazing endangered & threatened teachers who nevertheless help provide an equivalent service for the children & young adults who spend the better part of every schoolday in their care.

AHHAPROD

But only if you prefer butterflies & transformational leaders to killer bees & terrorists (& their associates & allies). If only we could/would find a way to stop the 2nd from proliferating & the 1st from dying out. jh

AHHAPROD

In hopes of making better sense, “If only we could/would find ways to stop the last two from proliferating & the 1st two from dying out.”

AHHAPROD

Sorry, one last try: If only we could/would find ways of saving the 1st two from the threat of extinction, & the last two from multiplying.

mrnatural1

It got progressively better. [cool]

This is yet another example of why the FNP should use forum software -- it allows editing; quoting (so it's obvious what is being replied to); private messaging; searches (for anything ever posted); photos/images can be posted; comments are arranged in sub-forums; etc.

That would make the FNP comment section much more enjoyable, and lead to more clicks, shares, and page views -- in addition to more subscription revenue.

AHHAPROD

mrnatural, if the paper is considering it & it wouldn’t require high-end (or for some of us even mid-level) tech skills, it does sound good

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