Category Archives: Village of the Damned

Ongoing analysis of the education system in America.

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Education: Suppose Al Capone lives in your city…

When the Education Establishment does a bad job, people should be mad as hell and not take it anymore

caponeSo, Al Capone lives in your city. Do you talk about it? Do you mention that this Mafia guy got his mansion by breaking the law, blackmailing people, buying and selling politicians, not to mention killing people?

Seriously, do you ever talk about Al Capone? Or do you look the other way and pretend that nothing is going on where you live, nothing journalistically interesting, nothing criminally interesting.

The man is a psychopath and he’s running a criminal empire in your city. This is not without consequences. To survive, he will have to corrupt your police department, court system, and legislative branch. Meanwhile, he will provide services such as gambling, prostitution, and drugs that your city might be better off without. Continue reading

Opt-Out Movement Accelerates Amid Common Core Testing

~ Foreword ~

HLMenckenEach and every *innovative improvement* the *education guru’s* have put forth has proven to downgrade real education. But then I don’t think any of these new plans were ever intended to IMPROVE education – the goal being to indoctrinate not educate – and it has been more than successful.

Back when I was in grade school – the teachers dressed like teachers not another student. They didn’t have sex with the students – they actually taught the students how to read – write – do math – speak properly – be self disciplined – and to THINK. Tests were given each week on what had been taught that week and if you didn’t pass then you had to repeat the lessons. Students weren’t passed to the next grade until they mastered the grade they were in. Oh, and the parents were kept informed of how the student was doing.

I noticed a big change take place from my grade school years to those of my children and I was more than vocal about it which the Federal Way School District didn’t appreciate.

When you go to a local high school today is it easy to tell which ones are students and which ones are teachers or administrators?????

Too many look like aging PRE-K playgrounds.

Like Apples past their prime …. the *CORE* is ROTTEN. ~ Jackie Juntti Continue reading

The More Parents Learn of Common Core, the Less They Like It

obamaworldThe more parents of public school students learn about Barack Obama’s Common Core education agenda, the less they like it.

A new national poll from Gallup reports:

“The overall proportion of public school parents who report having heard at least a little about the new standards has not changed appreciably since April, now at 73%.

However, nearly half (49%) of public school parents now say they have heard a great deal or fair amount about the new standards, up from 38% in April.

“The data suggest that this increase in awareness has led to an increase in negativity, given the seven-percentage-point increase in those viewing the standards negatively and the two-point decrease in those viewing them positively.”

While greater public awareness has not improved Common Core support among Democrat-leaning parents, increased awareness has reduced support among Republican-leaning parents. Continue reading

A Tool For America’s Transformation

village_of_the_damnedCommon Core State Standards (CCSS), initially approved in 2009 by all fifty state governors at the National Governors Association, currently represents one of the most severe threats to our domestic tranquility, individual liberty, and national security that the United States has seen in decades, as a new age of collectivism and the Progressive plan of 1934 emerge together at the direction of the Obama administration. This threat exists in Obama’s recognition of Common Core as an efficient tool for indoctrinating our children into the Progressive Marxo-fascist worldview, creating a convergence of communism and capitalism that amounts to crony capitalism and fascism here in the United States. And in so doing, these elitist Progressives plan a new, and yet old, approach to government, in order to create a seamless web that extends from cradle to grave. Continue reading

Education That You Know Is Sick

Education TodayA headline at the Daily Caller complains: “Principals say Common Core tests make little kids vomit, pee their pants.”

Top comedian Louis C.K. shook the educational world with this tweet: “My kids used to love math. Now it makes them cry.” Louis C.K. blamed Common Core. ran this headline:: “What is Common Core doing to America’s children? Mom shares heartrending photo.” Continue reading

Teacher Quits: “I’ve had enough!”

Susan SluyterA veteran teacher in a Massachusetts school district is leaving her profession of nearly three decades after she says it has come to rely too much on standardized testing and data collection and not enough ‘hands-on investigation’ and exploration.

Susan Sluyter has been a teacher in the Cambridge Public School District for nearly 20 years, and has been a teacher for more than 25. Last month, she sent the district her resignation letter, describing her ‘deep love and a broken heart’ that she has for her profession.

In her letter, Sluyter writes that she can’t apply her knowledge of how children learn in an environment that requires teachers to be rated on standardized testing and data collection. Continue reading

American 15-year-olds falling even further behind Asian and European counterparts in reading, maths and science global rankings

dunce_web_19America’s school children are falling even further behind other nations in the core subjects of reading, mathematics and science, according to a new study released this week.

The worrying data, compiled as part of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), found that the academic performance of 15-year-olds in the U.S. has remained relatively flat in recent years, while other nations have experienced significant growth.

With the results leave the U.S. floundering around the middle of the world’s sixty-five wealthiest nations, the top performers in all three subject areas were from Asia.

The high achievers included Shanghai, one of three educational systems in China that participated, Singapore, the Republic of Korea and Japan. Continue reading

American education’s race to the bottom

village_of_the_damnedThe Department of Education spends billions of dollars annually, and touts phase three of its “race to the top,” but the sad fact is that based on testing results, American education is on a race to the bottom. We spend more than any other nation on earth yet rank in the bottom quartile (26th out of 34) of OECD (developed) nations in the latest international comparison, the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

We are paying filet mignon prices and getting Sonic Burger results, in other words. I guess the upside is that our unionized teachers have such great job security that they can hardly be fired once they get “tenure.” Oh, and the benefits and retirement pay are outstanding.

Naturally, Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, is calling for even more money. Continue reading

The Unteachables: A Generation that Cannot Learn

village_blindfold_“The honeymoon is over.” Instructors who award low grades in humanities disciplines will likely be familiar with a phenomenon that occurs after the first essays are returned to students: former smiles vanish, hands once jubilantly raised to answer questions are now resentfully folded across chests, offended pride and sulkiness replace the careless cheer of former days. Too often, the smiles are gone for good because the customary “B+” or “A” grades have been withheld, and many students cannot forgive the insult. Continue reading

What is Literacy in the 21st Century?

book_shelf_wideA new development in education is deciding what “literacy” should be in the 21st century.

With a swirl of technological breakthroughs all around us, elite educators are gaga at the plethora of excuses for pooh-poohing subjects routinely taught in the dark age known as the 20th century.

The National Council of Teachers of English recently announced: “Literacy has always been a collection of cultural and communicative practices shared among members of particular groups. As society and technology change, so does literacy.”

These people give good sophistry. Presto, literacy can now be defined any way they want. When these Teachers of English get through, it’s a safe bet they won’t spend as much time teaching English. Continue reading

NY teacher brands Common Core reform ‘child abuse’ and receives rapturous applause from audience after articulate speech that stuns forum

NT TeacherA teacher from New York has branded education reforms and new tests for children ‘child abuse’.

Speaking at a forum on Common Core at Ward Melville High School, the unnamed woman blasted the reforms, saying that 70 per cent of children had failed the new tests.

She told New York state education commissioner John King that ‘hundreds of thousands of mommies’ were going to refuse to have their children tested because ‘mommies in New York don’t abuse their children.’ Continue reading

A Teacher’s Oath

becoming-teacherTo 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. Continue reading

The US’s Education Bubble

education_bubbleIn the world of finance, there is always talk of bubbles – mortgage bubbles, tech stock bubbles, junk bond bubbles. But bubbles don’t develop only in financial markets. In recent years, there’s been another one quietly inflating, not capturing the attention of most observers.

It’s an education bubble – just not the one of student debt that has graced the pages of the New York Times and so many other publications in recent months.

The problem is not that we are overeducating ourselves as many would have you believe. Rather, it’s that we are spending a fortune to undereducate ourselves. Continue reading

The Other Dropout Problem in Urban Schools

Dropout drawingAcross America, many urban school districts are on life support, and in some places, the plug is ready to be pulled. This dire reality is routinely discussed, but missing from the conversation is the ever-growing dropout rate in urban schools. No, not the student dropout rate, but that of teachers. The teachers’ dropout rate is a result of burnout after their ambition is crushed by a climate of cultural adversity. In other words, their ‘save the kids’ optimism dissolved into a ‘run from the kids’ reality. These teachers anticipated teaching life-changing lessons to the kids but ended up learning life-changing lessons from the kids. Continue reading

Should handwriting lessons be abolished?

How parents and teachers are divided over the value of cursive in a digital age

  • The national Common Core Standards, adopted by 45 U.S. states, does not include handwriting as part of the curriculum
  • This spring North Carolina passed the Back to Basics bill, reintroducing cursive into the classroom
  • State representative Pat Hurley said today that the move has caused surprise unrest

village_cursiveThe reintroduction of cursive handwriting lessons in North Carolina public schools has caused surprise unrest.

State representative, Pat Hurley who was behind the move, told Today this morning that she has received a number of ‘personal’ complaints from educators and parents.

One father-of-two telephoned her to tell her that handwriting is a ‘total waste of time’, while a teacher complained that ‘these children will never use it in their lifetime.’

Before the bill, elementary schools were not required to teach cursive. Continue reading

Kindergarten’s Socialist Origins

Horace Mann

Horace Mann

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.

I have, in the past, written articles and even a couple booklets, dealing with the origins of public, or government, schools in this country. These “institutions of learning” have a history that is never quite openly discussed in all of its ramifications. We often see the names of founders and promoters of public education mentioned in articles or essays, but we are seldom told all that much about these people and what they really believed. Most educators don’t want us to go there. Continue reading

A tenured professor tells the truth about academia on his way out the door

Pennsylvania_State_University_seal.svgHigher education is a vast industry about to face years a crisis. Like housing, it has expanded based on unsustainable debt. And like the American auto industry, it got fat, lazy, inward-focused, and expensive during its decades of monopoly on certification of higher end new labor force entrants. Now, with the growth of digital versions of higher education, it faces a competitor/industry entrant that has lower costs and high quality (at least potentially).

After decades of raising tuition at about three times the rate of inflation, the higher education bubble looks to be popping.

Philip A. Schrodt, who just retired from Pennsylvania State University after decades as a tenured professor of political science, has written a scathingly honest swan song about academic life. He is a gutsy man to do so, even on his way out the door. He is still living in the college town of State College, PA, and no doubt he will face some consequences for his truth-telling. Continue reading

Abolish the Department of Education?

dunce_thumb30 years ago, Ronald Reagan called for the termination of the Department of Education. But instead of disappearing, the Jimmy Carter creation has become a federal leviathan with no signs of abating in growth.

Reagan’s Secretary of Education Terrell H. Bell thwarted Reagan’s and the Christian right’s plan to do away with the cabinet level bureau. Bell, an educator by profession, was instrumental in publishing a report on the national status of our schools. Bell had the National Commission on Excellence in Education, which he created in 1981, prepare a document in 1983 called “A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform.”

Like a small pebble tossed into a pond sends out many ripples, A Nation at Risk–through fear-inducing rhetoric and a call for more government intervention into traditional states’ rights–set off a movement in education which could not be stopped. Whether Bell took this action to save his job, or whether he differed ideologically with Reagan doesn’t matter now. The genie was let out of the bottle and we’ve paid a high price for allowing the Department of Education to have too much power. Continue reading

Common Core Killing the Creative Spirit

Children_of_the_Common_CoreWe wanted proof Common Core has serious shortcomings, and now we have it. A professor of Renaissance English Literature and the Development of Western Civilization at Providence College has begun the process of dissecting student essays promoted as examples of what CC strives for in its standards and subsequent influence on curricula.

Anthony Esolen says the best essay of the bunch has no integrity, just a mechanical spouting of information that contradicts itself. And this essay was subject to teacher reviews. The professor says his disagreement with the essay doesn’t have to do with organization or style as these are done well, but with the truth. He asserts that the more “mechanical” writing becomes, the closer it moves to providing an incubator for lies. Continue reading

English school threatens to label kids racist for YEARS unless they attend Islam field trip

crazy-Brit-school-thingThe headmistress at a primary school in a small town in England tried to order parents to send their children to a Nov. 27 workshop focused on Islam or else have the kids permanently labeled as racists for the rest of their academic careers.

On Wednesday, parents of children aged 8 to 11 received the stark warning in the form of a letter from Lynn Small, the headmistress at Littleton Green Community School in Huntington, Staffordshire — just over 20 miles from Birmingham.

The letter describes the field trip as part of a “statutory requirement” for kids “to learn about different cultures.” Continue reading

Don’t Make Us Tell Child Welfare: Schools Insist on Forced Medical Exams for Kids

shot-in-the-darkWhat would you do if you received a threatening letter from your child’s school, demanding that you take your youngster to a medical doctor and dentist at the whims of the school administrators, or risk being reported to the child welfare authorities?

Parents in at least two states have gotten exactly such letters. Police State USA reports:

Under the auspices of keeping children healthy, the government has usurped the role of “parent” away from actual parents. The state ­ not legal guardians ­ is determining when and how children should be subjected to outside business influences.

The provisions establish that the state has taken the final say in parenting matters, undermining parents’ natural role in the child’s life as protector and final decision maker. The provision invades the privacy of the family by giving the government access to private medical results. Continue reading

Put Away Your Racist Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

on 'white bread' nonetheless...

on ‘white bread’ nonetheless…

My fellow Americans, the “subtle language of racism” you’ve been hiding inside your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches has been exposed. These biased and ethnocentric eating habits are oppressing minorities. Such intolerance and racist behavior can no longer be tolerated in our public schools. Shame on you!

The Portland Tribune reports that Verenice Gutierrez, principal of Harvey Scott K-8 School in Portland, has discovered this racist travesty destroying the very fabric of our society. The “seemingly innocent” peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a cleverly hidden weapon used to promote racism… Continue reading

The Population Control Agenda Is Being Relentlessly Pushed In American Public Schools

They-Love-Death-300x300Do you want your kids to be taught that the earth has too many people and that they should have no more than two children for the good of the planet? Yes, I know that this sounds absolutely crazy, but this is actually the kind of propaganda that is being forced upon our young people all over America.

The population control agenda is being relentlessly pushed in high school textbooks, in classroom instruction and by outside organizations that are given constant access to our high school students. As you will see below, the number one population control organization in the United States, Planned Parenthood, conducts nearly 900 presentations in high schools in the Los Angeles area every single year. And the population control propaganda gets even worse once our kids go off to college. I know – I spent eight years in the classroom at U.S. public universities and most parents would be absolutely horrified to learn what their children are being taught. Continue reading

Public School Teachers Go Private With Their Kids

village_of_the_damnedGuy walks into a restaurant and orders “scrambled eggs and some kind words.” Waitress brings the eggs. He smiles, “Now how about the kind words?” Waitress whispers, “Don’t eat the eggs.”

Which brings us to the fact that urban public school teachers are about twice as likely as non-teachers to send their own children to private schools. That is, many public school teachers whisper to parents, “Don’t eat the eggs.”

About 11% of all parents — nationwide, rural and urban — send their children to private schools. The numbers are much higher in urban areas. One study found that in Philadelphia a staggering 44% of public school teachers send their own kids to private schools. Continue reading

Teaching The Test: The Coming Common Core Disaster

Children_of_the_Common_CoreThe new national education standards adopted by 45 States and the District of Columbia (Arizona is one of the 45) and now slipping into America’s schools are a collectivist’s dream.

Called Common Core, it is an attempt to create a Federally controlled education system designed to turn children into mind-numbed drones devoid of imagination and inculcated with a progressive culture of redistributionist economics, social justice, the mainstreaming of perverted lifestyles, secular humanism and radical environmentalism. It is a one-size-fits-all scheme that will dumb down students to the lowest common denominator. Continue reading

10-Year-Old Banned From Writing About God By Memphis Teacher, Told to Remove Paper From School Property

10-year-old Erin Shead of Memphis, Tenn. was told by her teacher at Lucy Elementary that she could not write about God for a class project.

A Memphis-area mother is angry with her daughter’s elementary school after a teacher told her 10-year-old she could not have God as the subject of her class assignment to write about her idol.

Erin Shead, a student at Lucy Elementary in Millington, Tenn., was told by her teacher to write about an idol she looked up to as part of a class assignment. The young student decided to write about God. She drew a diagram explaining why she “looked up to God,” one of the reasons being, “He is the reason I am on this earth.” Continue reading

Price: What is Literacy in the 21st Century?

bradbury-451A new development in education is deciding what “literacy” should be in the 21st century.

With a swirl of technological breakthroughs all around us, elite educators are gaga at the plethora of excuses for pooh-poohing subjects routinely taught in the dark age known as the 20th century.

The National Council of Teachers of English recently announced: “Literacy has always been a collection of cultural and communicative practices shared among members of particular groups. As society and technology change, so does literacy.”

These people give good sophistry. Presto, literacy can now be defined any way they want. When these Teachers of English get through, it’s a safe bet they won’t spend as much time teaching English. Continue reading

Sowell: Is America Really Serious About Educating Its Children?

ThomasSowellTwo recent events — one on the east coast and one on the west coast — raise painful questions about whether we are really serious when we say that we want better education for minority children.

One of these events was an announcement by Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., that it plans on Aug. 19 to begin “an entire week of activities to celebrate the grand opening of our new $160 million state-of-the-art school building.”

The painful irony in all this is that the original Dunbar High School building, which opened in 1916, housed a school with a record of high academic achievements for generations of black students, despite the inadequacies of the building and the inadequacies of the financial support that the school received.

By contrast, today’s Dunbar High School is just another ghetto school with abysmal standards, despite Washington’s record of having some of the country’s highest levels of money spent per pupil — and some of the lowest test score results.

Housing an educational disaster in an expensive new building is all too typical of what political incentives produce. Continue reading

Facing the Hardest Truth on Public Education

John Dewey

John Dewey

There are several major obstacles to overcome if there is to be any hope of saving civilization from the grip of the authoritarian pre-education camps we call “public schools.” The most stubborn obstacle of all, however, is perhaps the one embedded in our own hearts, namely the all too human instinct to comfort ourselves with the thought that the soul-deforming corruptions of public education began in earnest only after our own school days, and hence that we ourselves escaped the harm we so easily recognize in others.

This instinct forms the rationale for the many objections I get to my calls for the complete abolition of public schooling, from people who claim that if the schools just got back to the methods of the good old days, all would be well. In other words, these people are unwilling to see the problem as anything deeper than the superimposition of some bad textbooks or teaching methods on an essentially noble system, because to admit that the problem is more fundamental than this is to admit that one’s own education was harmful, which is to concede that one was indeed harmed — that you are less than you might have been. Continue reading

Please Do Not Adjust Your Child

corrupt_childOf all the arguments public-school advocates have used to hoodwink generations of parents into condemning their own children to years of state-controlled subservience training, one of the most successful is that without public schools, children cannot be properly “socialized,” and will therefore be ill-prepared for life in the “real world.” Not only is this argument absurd on its face, but that face also reveals the ugliest intention of compulsory schools: the deliberate retarding of human moral and intellectual development.

The basic premise of the argument for public schools as necessary tools of socialization is that learning to get along, or fit in, with children one’s own age is a vital life skill. Is it? Continue reading

Teaching with Eyes Closed

It would be difficult to find a more staunchly left-leaning profession than teaching — at both the public-school and university levels. Although individual instructors may hold conservative views, teachers as a group are firmly progressivist, committed to “social improvement” through state intervention. Solidarity with the putatively oppressed has led schools to embrace a variety of ameliorative causes, most recently, in Canada, a gay-oriented anti-bullying campaign that is at times stridently anti-Christian (though also, ironically enough, pro-Muslim) and a zealous environmentalist philosophy that teaches children to condemn oil and gas production.

village_blindfold_Perhaps the most notable and pervasive form of teacher progressivism is egalitarianism, the commitment not only to equality of opportunity but also to equality of outcome as a social goal. This is a form of utopian thinking that radically minimizes or outright denies innate differences in human ability and intelligence, ascribing to social factors such as class privilege and “ableism” all significant variations in student performance.

According to this ideology, young people are held back from achieving their potential by factors not of their own making: by poverty, social prejudice, or pedagogical obtuseness — factors seen as ingrained and pervasive in contemporary North America. Official affirmation, cultural sensitivity, and institutional support are necessary to combat these conditions. Thus a document produced by the Ontario Ministry of Education (2009) finds it necessary to devote close to 100 pages to stressing how Ontario schools should work to reduce “bias and barriers” in the classroom so that “all students feel engaged in and empowered by what they are learning.” Continue reading

North Carolina Ends Teacher Tenure, Teachers Will Now Have to Be Good at Their Jobs to Keep Them

village_of_the_damnedOh how I wish this would go viral and every state adopt this. There are so many WORTHLESS *teachers* cashing paychecks – thanks to their UNIONS – that shouldn’t even be allowed to sweep the floors in any school – all protected by those corrupt UNIONS they belong to.

This isn’t restricted to just the teachers though – this is a problem with ALL *UNION* jobs. The lazy, incompetent, get the same pay as the hard workers.

Get rid of the Teachers Unions – get rid of the worthless teachers and those very controlled books that are used as textbooks in the public cesspool system. Return to the way teachers and students taught and learned before the DUMBING DOWN GENERATION took over. Require teachers to dress in a professional manner instead of trying to look like their students (but that makes it harder to molest them and have sex with them). – Jackie Juntti  Continue reading

Obama Agrees With Hitler on Schooling Children

wendymcelroy3According to Godwin’s Law, the first person to invoke Hitler loses the debate. But there is a corollary. Sometimes the comparison invokes itself.

In a legal case that seems headed to the US Supreme Court, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has sided with Hitler against parental rights. Romeike v. Holder involves a German family which is seeking asylum in America because Germany has threatened to remove the Romeike’s younger children if they continue to homeschool.

In 1938, Adolf Hitler ordered all German children to be educated either in state schools or in government-approved private schools that strictly followed the Nazi blueprint. The Reichsschulpflichtgesetz (Compulsory Education Law), which specifically banned home schooling, remains in force in Germany today. Continue reading

‘Everything I love about teaching is extinct’

village_thumbEmotional video resignation by veteran teacher slams ‘depressing gradual downfall of public education’

An impassioned video resignation by a teacher with 15 years of experience blasts the state of public education in the US, which she claims is now more focused on tests than children’s welfare.

Ellie Rubenstein, who taught fourth grade in Highland Park, Illinois, posted the emotional speech last week after hearing that she was going to be transferred to another school against her will.

In the ten-minute footage, posted on YouTube under the user name Iquityoucantfireme, Rubenstein claims she had to ‘get out before her sense of self and self-worth was completely obliterated.’

The former teacher says: ‘Raising students’ test scores on standardized tests is now the only goal, and in order to achieve it the creativity, flexibility and spontaneity that create authentic learning environments have been eliminated. Continue reading

John Dewey: Bosom Serpent of American Education

deweyIn 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. Continue reading

A Teacher’s Oath

village_of_the_damnedTo 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. Continue reading

How About the Rest of the Story?

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. Continue reading

John Dewey Is a Fraud

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. Continue reading

North: The Violence of Chicago’s Teachers

In my previous report, “How to Break the Chicago Teachers’ Strike in Seven Days,” I discussed the economics of the teachers union.

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%. Continue reading

Chicago Teacher’s Strike Defines Election Issues

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. Continue reading