In considering modern liberal plagues, are there any worse than America’s debased “free” education system? John Dewey, patron saint of American education, ruined our school curriculum while adamantly rejecting religion yet touting of secular humanism. In fact, not only did the atheistic Dewey sign the Humanist Manifesto I, but the prolific writer probably authored much of it, as well.
The American education system is built from a model designed by Dewey, one which rejected the classics, any emphasis on rhetoric and logic, or rote memorization. Instead, the pragmatist Dewey valued experience over facts, logic or debate. In fact, the deeply progressive and anti-traditional Dewey held Marxist presuppositions. In John Dewey: An Intellectual Portrait, Sidney Hook describes his impact:
In America’s intellectual coming of age, no person has played a more important role than John Dewey. There is hardly a phase of American thought to which he has not made some contribution, hardly an aspect of American life which he has left uninterpreted. His influence has extended to the schools, the courts, the laboratories, the labor movement, and the politics of the nation.
But what has been the impact of Dewey’s ideas? As Dewey was not so much interested in individual student learning, but instead the child’s adaptation to a state-dominated society, we can well-guess the effect has been catastrophic.
To deliberately deprive a child of a good education is a sin against the child and the nation. To abuse a pupil’s trust is despicable. To manipulate history in the classroom as a means to promote a political or religious ideology is diabolically unethical. To throw away teaching methods that work for practices that do more harm than good is a tragedy. To walk out on a classroom of pupils for personal gain is maniacally egocentric. Sadly, this is precisely what is happening to children in public schools today.
Unfortunately, most teachers join a union like the National Education Association, and in so doing new members must agree (pg. 120) to the union’s goals and objectives. In turn the union protects their members no matter how badly the teachers serve the students.
In stark contrast, even though teachers are public servants, they do not sign an agreement with pupils and parents. Such prioritization is misguided and must change, or we will never overcome the flaws in our schools. Unions are undermining public education.
For example, teachers heeded the union siren and abandoned their pupils to protest Michigan’s proposed right-to-work law, even though striking is illegal. Similarly, In 2011 Wisconsin teachers illegally walked out on their students to protest the limiting of collective bargaining rights.
Parents and teachers have a daunting responsibility. And one of their responsibilities is to promote critical thinking in the children entrusted to their care. This entails guiding children through careful consideration of all the facets of a reality or issue. This critical endeavor, therefore, requires, in age-appropriate fashion, that the entire picture be provided. Such is not what seems to have happened recently in a civics presentation at Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School in Falls Church City, Va. And, for all we know, this may not be an uncommon occurrence in many of our schools.
Our purpose is not to single out Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School (or the individual in the story that follows). The school has high academic standards. Indeed, the school recently announced that it would be modeling itself after the standards of the well-performing school system in Finland, which produces socoolme of the best-prepared students in the world.
It is generally agreed that John Dewey (1859-1952) is the Father of American Education and the Greatest American Educator Ever.
The problem with the labels is that John Dewey, albeit a genius, was not an educator in the sense that most people use this word. He was not interested in teaching as most people understand that term, as for example in the statement “I teach French.”
Dewey was not primarily concerned with teaching new information. He was concerned with inculcating new attitudes.
The American Federation of Teachers is a paper tiger. The organization bases its bargaining ability on what is now a legislated restraint, namely, the shortage of teachers. There is no shortage of teachers at the wage scale that is imposed by the American Federation of Teachers on local school boards.
Any school board that will publish a “help wanted” ad that is based on the prevailing annual salary of any teacher in the district, including the lowest-paid teacher, will find that it has a glut of applications.
Never say “shortage.” Always say “shortage at a government-mandated price ceiling.” Never say “glut.” Always say “glut at a government-mandated price floor.”
This means that the power of the teachers union is based entirely on legislation that grants to the teachers union the legal authority to strike. The threat of the strike, or the threat of intervention by the National Labor Relations Board, is what prevents any school board from reducing salaries by at least 25% across the board, and doubling the size of the classrooms.
There is not a school district in the United States that could not cut its overall expenses by at least 50% in one year by taking three steps: (1) cut the total budget allocated to administration to 20% of the total budget; (2) double the number of students in each classroom, and (3) drop next term’s salary levels by 25%.
Members of the Chicago Teacher’s Union have gone on strike, shutting down the third largest school district in the country with over 404,000 students now in disarray.
Chicago’s teachers have the highest average salary in the country at $76,000/year and according to the Mayor’s office, the financial side of the $400 Million deal is done. 4%/year raises have been agreed to, taking them to $88,900/year by 2016.
The Mayor’s office stated that:
“The two remaining stumbling blocks involve re-hiring laid off teachers from schools that get shut down or shaken up and a new teacher evaluation process that the union says puts far too much weight on student test scores.”
So while 404,000 students are missing school, the real issues are accountability and union job protection.
Parents protest radio monitoring of their children
A rebellion is developing in Texas against a plan by a school district in San Antonio that would monitor the exact location and activities of all students at all times through RFID chips they are being ordered to wear.
Katie Deolloz, a member of Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering, told WND today that parents and students from San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District confronted the school board last night, stating their concerns about privacy and other issues “clearly and passionately.”
School district officials did not respond to a WND request for comment, but the developing furor comes only days after a coalition of civil rights and privacy organizations publicly stated their opposition to “spychipping” the students.
California Teachers Assn. members join others at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles to protest budget cuts to statewide education. The union holds sway over Democrats -- labor’s traditionally ally --and Republicans alike. (Robert Gauthier, Los Angeles Times)
Last year, as Gov. Jerry Brown hammered out final details of the state budget, he huddled around a conference table with three of the most powerful people in state government: the Assembly speaker, the Senate leader — and Joe Nuñez, chief lobbyist for the California Teachers Assn.
California was on the edge of fiscal crisis. Negotiations had come down to one sticking point: Brown and the legislators would balance the books by assuming that billions of dollars in extra revenue would materialize, then cut deeply from schools if it didn’t.
Nuñez said no.
Opposition from the powerful union, which had just staged a week of public protests against budget cuts, could mean a costly legal challenge. So the group took a break, and the officials retired to another room to hash out something acceptable to CTA while Nuñez awaited their return.
It may seem unorthodox for an unelected citizen to sit with Sacramento’s elite as they pick winners and losers in the annual spending sweepstakes. But few major financial decisions in California are made without Nuñez, who represents what is arguably the most potent force in state politics.
The union views itself as “the co-equal fourth branch of government,” said Oakland Democrat Don Perata, a former teacher who crossed swords with the group when he was state Senate leader.
Backed by an army of 325,000 teachers and a war chest as sizable as those of the major political parties, CTA can make or break all sorts of deals. It holds sway over Democrats, labor’s traditional ally, and Republicans alike. (Read Full Story)
The deadly serious decline and fall of U.S. Public Schools got its “official” christening with the advent of the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in 1965. The resulting decline eventually led to the Clinton 1994 Goals 2000, which set the stage for Bush’s nearly complete federal takeover of education with No Child Left Behind. NCLB, among other things, brought on the “teaching the test” frenzy, the teaching U.N principles trump those of the U.S., and a Constitution textbook which left out the 2nd, 9th, & 10th amendments. Now comes the final nail in the coffin for the nationalization of “education”, Obama’s Common Core Standards (2010) which is in the process of being implemented in all but 5 states as of this date.
The Common Core Standards are just that—to bring everyone down to a common denominator and an egalitarian level where no one excels and no on fails. This insidious program is being foisted on Americans by the U.S. Dept. of Education and the National Governor’s Association. The deadline to apply without losing “points” was August, 2010—Arkansas applied in July, 2010—otherwise losing that “all-important” 7% (or less) federal funding. Participating states sold their souls & their children’s minds for indeed a mess of potage.
Joseph Califano, secretary of health, education and welfare in the Carter administration declared that “in its most extreme form, national control of curriculum is a form of national control of ideas.” That was in 1977. This month, syndicated columnist George Will cited Califano’s warning in a column bemoaning the Obama administration’s latest education intervention through the Common Core Curriculum State Standards Initiative.
“I think we’re at a state in our country where we are on that precipice, as a lot of us believe, and part of the reason we’re in this problem is what the public schools do,” says Wick. “It’s not necessarily what the teachers are doing, but it’s the philosophy that’s guiding the system.”
Under Obama’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge (Obamacare for Preschool) the North Carolina lunchbox seizures will be just the beginning. Please read the details below and take a stand against this latest assault on family and freedom.
The appalling report of government agents demanding inspection of preschoolers’ lunch, judging the home packed lunch not adequately nutritious, seizing the contents, and then billing the family for the government imposed mystery meat nuggets has rightly stirred a storm of controversy. American citizens living in what they thought was the “land of the free and the home of the brave” might be tempted to think that this is just an isolated incident and wouldn’t apply to them or that it only deals with lunch. However, after review of the tyrannical requirements and goals of multiple other government programs for young children, the idea from the classic Bachman Turner Overdrive tune “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” is far more apropos.
The National Education Association (NEA) meets every year for a big national convention and teachers from all over the country show up for this event.
An agenda is usually presented showing all the things nationally that the NEA is either for or against. Many of the issues they choose to address have little or nothing to do with education, but everything to do with their leftist worldview.
While many have heard of the NEA, they don’t have any idea of how long it has been around or what it really does, only that many of their kids’ teachers belong to it. The compliant media, when it reports on NEA conventions, is not about to give out any more real information than it has to. In all fairness to public school teachers, there are some that are not in favor of what this “teachers union” does, but their opposition is generally ignored or ridiculed.
Samuel Blumenfeld in his informative book “NEA, Trojan Horse in American Education” has given us a view of the NEA that is seldom presented in other places.
My life began the moment I broke out of my cell of doubt created by the public school system! Every summer vacation I felt like my sentence had ended, and the only sad thought was that it would begin again, in just a few short months, when school started again. Most kids feel the same way; they hate school but they go because they are trained to believe it is the Great American Expectation. Remember, we are told time after time that if we do well in school then we will be successful. So we strive to please our parents, our teachers, the system, and ourselves. This is the secret, cruel pressure that molds our spirits.
Most schools today, both public and private have kindergartens. They have become an accepted part of educational life in this country and others as well.
This was not always so. When I first attended public school, way back in the mid-1940s, there was no kindergarten where I went. Although some schools undoubtedly had them, all schools did not. They had not become totally entrenched, although their promoters had been working on that project with much zeal. Their efforts seem to have paid off. Kindergarten is now as much a part of school life as the seventh grade.
~ Foreword ~ Thank you, Joel Turtel. This is the finest commentary on the American FED-ucation system I have ever read. Maybe the rest of us should follow this lesson. Do you want better for your children and grandchildren? Then this is one place, that YOU can make a difference! Start by going to the local school board meetings, then run for a seat on that board. Let’s take OUR schools back – then we have a chance with the country. (JB)
“Daddy?,” said the beautiful, ten-year-old girl to her father.
Her father, Josh Hanlan, sat in front of his computer, studying complex engineering designs on the screen. He didn’t seem to hear his daughter.
Mary Hanlan knew how engrossed her father got when he was working, and smiled adoringly at his handsome face peering intently at the computer, clicking his mouse furiously, while his brows furrowed in concentration. She knew she had to use her ingenuity to get his attention, and it had become a game between them on how she did this. She went alongside him and tickled his left ear lightly with the feather. Josh waved his hand next to his ear, as if swatting away an annoying fly. Mary giggled and tickled his ear again while she said “Daddy” again, this time more insistently. Finally, her father turned in his chair and noticed his daughter standing there.
“Hello, sweetheart,” he said, as he smiled with delight on seeing his daughter. I didn’t notice you. I’m working on the designs of the new engine for my company. You want to see what it looks like so far, honey?”
Mary loved that her father shared his work with her, shared his love of science and engineering. It was what got Mary fascinated with science since she was three years old, sitting on her father’s lap in front of the computer screen, while he let her click the mouse as he was designing. But she didn’t have time to do that now.
“No Daddy, I have to talk to you about something first,” she said.
“O.K. sweetheart, what is it?,” he said, as he turned around in his chair and gave her his full attention. Mary loved her father’s kind, bright, playful brown eyes. “By the way,” he said, “how come you’re home in the middle of the morning? Shouldn’t you be in school?”
The decision makers in the Teaching of Reading debacle are taking a final wrong path and from this new error there will be no return. After more than six decades of untested fads, illogical theories, and futile practices, the public education show has begun its final act. “The End” will be devastation.
Einstein once predicted that the weapons of the future would be “sticks and stones.” I suggest that the educational tools of the future will be…soft clay and stiff reeds. You see, the educational-powers-that-be have now decided that schools must stop teaching cursive penmanship, which will ultimately result in a return to primitive, preliterate skills.
“Moral courage is the courage of one’s convictions, the courage to see things through. The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. It’s the age old struggle – the roar of the crowd on one side and the voice of your conscience on the other.” – Douglas MacArthur
America has become a “band aid” society. Daily we are bombarded with a vast litany of social ills. Some are critical, some are serious and some are just worrisome. Our country has been invaded by a vast army of people from other countries. They are here illegallythey are costing enormous amounts of money to provide health care, housing and education. I need not belabor the problem.
I often wonder if our neighbors to the South would be so patient, so understanding and so eager to resolve the problems created by this massive influx if the situation were reversed. This is a worrisome problem to most Americans. Our taxes increase, our wages decrease, unemployment in some sectors rises.
~ Introduction ~ “Common experience shows how much rarer is moral courage than physical bravery. A thousand men will march to the mouth of the cannon where one man will dare espouse an unpopular cause “ – Clarence Darrow
William Ockham died in 1349. He was an English logician who gave the world the maxim“Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily.” He further amplified this in his writings. He said “It is futile to do with more things that which can be done with fewer.” The term “Ockham’s Razor” has been used for centuries by scholars as the logical solution for complex problems. The dictionary defines “Ockham’s Razor” as: A rule of science and philosophy stating that entities should not be multiplied needlessly, which is interpreted to mean that the simplest of two competing theories is preferable and that an explanation for unknown phenomena should first be attempted by what is already known. In the vernacular of the layman, it is preferable always to use the KISS method. This means simply “keep it simple stupid.”
Politically Correct Historic Ignorance Is Not Bliss Because History Often Repeats Itself.
Children are not learning the history of their country, the school subject at which America’s young perform at their worst.
On history tests given to 31,000 pupils by the National Assessment of Education Progress, the “Nation’s Report Card,” most fourth-graders could not identify a picture of Abraham Lincoln or a reason why he was important.
If you want to fix America, you have to fix America’s broken education system; and you must start by getting rid of the one we have.
I’ve been up in front of too many classrooms in too many different schools, and had lunch in too many different teachers’ lounges, to be wrong about this. I have also sat through more school board meetings, in more towns, and pored over more school budgets, than I care to remember.
“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” – George Washington from his Farewell Address, 1796
"My administration has been working hard..."
It’s the end of the school year, so Barack Hussein Obama is including commencement speech whistle stops on his 2012 campaign itinerary.
In Memphis, where Obama delivered one such speech to budding sycophants at Booker T. Washington high school, he asserted, “My administration has been working hard to make sure that we … encourage the kind of change that’s led not by Washington, DC, but by teachers and principals and parents…” (Notice the order in which he lists the agents of change: “teachers and principals and parents.”)
Of course, “the kind of change” led by socialist unions in government schools across the nation is already in lock step with what “Washington, DC” dictates. They’re both bent upon churning out legions of useful idiots necessary to ensure incremental implementation of Democratic Socialism. Of incremental implementation, Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev once said, “We can’t expect the American people to jump from capitalism to communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have communism.”
When our son would tantrum – as all toddlers do at least once – we would calmly carry him to his room; explain that we did not want to see or hear such ugliness; and give him permission to rejoin us in the common areas of the home once he “finished.” Soon…then sooner…then soonest, he finished and the tantrum phase ended. Toddlers are much more sensible than many teachers. These public tantrums of public school teachers proves my point.
~ Quotables ~
Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end. ~ Neal H. Ross