I consider myself a historian of sorts. For the past decade and a half I have been collecting every document I could find from the period which saw our Republic come into existence. Over the past few years I have expanded my search to include documents relating to the period most commonly known as the Civil War. Over the course of this journey of mine there has been a question that has been repeating itself with increasing frequency: Why wasn’t I taught this in school?
I am from the generation known as the Baby Boomers and I graduated from high school in 1976; the year of our nation’s bicentennial. I can honestly say that 90% of the data I have collected was never taught in any of my history or civics classes. Continue reading
The typical homeschool mom has been told this: “Beware of online education. Computers are bad!”
This is the sales pitch of homeschool curriculum producers that did not see what the Khan Academy would do to education. They do not know how to respond. They have “bet the farm” on Gutenberg, not video-based education. They are going to lose this bet.
So are the children of the mothers who stick with textbooks.
Homeschool moms are as blind to what makes for advanced education as are the members of the public school teachers’ union. They also use textbooks.
UPPER DIVISION UNIVERSITY COURSES
Here is what homeschool moms never do. They do not look at the reading lists of any upper-division college course in the social sciences and humanities. They would find that there are no textbooks. There are monographs. There are primary source documents. There are journal articles. There are classic modern books in the discipline. But there are no textbooks.
Why not? Because upper division courses are taught by senior professors, not low-paid assistant professors who are assigned the freshman courses. Textbooks are for freshmen, not upper division students. Upper division courses are designed for students who have gone through the grunt-work, “weed-them-out” freshman course. They are ready for serious work. Continue reading
A high school student was suspended and ordered to undergo a psychological exam because he made a video with the message “guns save lives” for a class project, his family says.
The student, Frank Harvey, received an “A” despite the controversy.
“What the response of the school tells me is that I’m allowed to do my schoolwork as long as it agrees with their point of view on an issue,” Harvey told NJ.com, referencing administrators at Manville High School in New Jersey.
Harvey had created a short video that spotlighted examples of people who used guns to defend their homes. The video also showed anti-gun control political cartoons.
“I don’t understand why I’m being disciplined for following the instructions of my teacher and no one else is,” Harvey told NJ.com. Continue reading
C’mon Preacher – sue ME!
Many have argued that our Founding Fathers were religious or, rather, Christian. I think that this is a hard case to make. Many of the Founders were known carousers and had several illegitimate children. Besides that, there is the issue of many of the Founders’ words concerning Christianity.
But there is the undeniable fact of their education. It was thoroughgoing and intentionally Christian. They learned their letters through a primer that contained characters from Scriptures to help them remember. And this presents a problem for the left in general and the atheist in particular.
If we have our founding documents and the system of republican government from such men, we cannot fail to see that they are in some major sense products of this religious environment. So, then their faith or even their exposure to faith is important to understanding the things that they accomplished intellectually.
But some wish to have this portion of the Founder’s thinking scrubbed from history. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
In a bold move, HUD partnered with the Departments of Transportation and Education to create a massive alteration in the way children experience school. The program is designed to help low-income families grow financially. Instead, it accomplishes something much different.
HUD is the ‘gold’ standard of dangerously unchecked bureaucracies. Dangerous because the agency’s zealous moves already threaten property owners’ choices and undermine the authority of local public officials.
Now HUD wants to move that control into the classroom. Continue reading
Suffer the Little Children…
No groups of people are more easily enslaved than those who are functionally illiterate or have been successfully indoctrinated to the point they do not understand they are slaves, and no groups of people are more criminal than those who believe their criminal acts are necessary and sanctioned by a god called government.
It started with John Dewey in 1898 and continues today with complete government sanction, operating under sanitized, euphemistic phrases such as “Goals 2000, No Child Left Behind or Common Core.” Collectivism has brought us to the point where approximately 50% of the population of our country is functionally illiterate. If you doubt this for a moment, have your server at a local fast food restaurant make change without a programmed cash register or ask almost anyone to explain why the people known as Anti-federalists opposed ratification of our Constitution. Continue reading
Today’s young children are working more, but they’re learning less.
Step into an American preschool classroom today and you are likely to be bombarded with what we educators call a print-rich environment, every surface festooned with alphabet charts, bar graphs, word walls, instructional posters, classroom rules, calendars, schedules, and motivational platitudes—few of which a 4-year-old can “decode,” the contemporary word for what used to be known as reading. Continue reading
Several Republican presidential candidates have backed away from the term, but not the standards. Why?
The Common Core was expected to be a ubiquitous subject on the campaign trail in 2016. The education standards had, over time, become a political football as conservatives condemned them as federal overreach.
It’s so far hardly been the case. Governors in the race, like Jeb Bush, have backed away from using the term because of its negative connotation among the electorate, even if he still stands by the standards. Should he gain traction moving into the presidential primary it might become more relevant as early-voting states — and other governors, like Chris Christie — grapple with the standards.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative, known as the Common Core, is a set of academic standards for mathematics and reading for all ages. State school chiefs and governors collaborated to develop the standards, but since its rollout in 2009, it’s become a point of contention. A common criticism being that the standards aim to nationalize education, although they’re applied at the state level and weren’t ever explicitly mandated by the federal government. Continue reading
When the Education Establishment does a bad job, people should be mad as hell and not take it anymore
So, 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
~ Foreword ~
Each 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 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
Common 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
A 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.
Twitchy.com ran this headline:: “What is Common Core doing to America’s children? Mom shares heartrending photo.” Continue reading
A 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
America’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
The 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 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
A 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
A 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
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. Continue reading
In 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
Across 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
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
The 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
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
Higher 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
30 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
We 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
The 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
What 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