Let’s get down to brass tacks: the American public education system has hit rock-bottom. Exorbitant amounts of money are being funneled into public schools, and yet the students aren’t getting any better. In fact, you could say they’re actually getting worse. America’s public schools are tumbling downwards with little hope of recovery, and if you don’t believe me then consider the following:
When compared with other countries in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the United States has abysmal scores. This cross-national survey gauges the knowledge and skills of 15-year old students in the country, and going by the most recent results from 2015, they’re lagging behind their foreign counterparts. Out of 71 countries, the U.S. ranked 38th place in math and 24th place in science. Continue reading
Whenever you let federal bureaucrats get their hands on anything they are probably going to ruin it. During the Obama administration, the Department of Education spearheaded a transformation of American education that was absolutely breathtaking. Over a period of about five years, Common Core standards were implemented in almost every state in the entire nation. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a huge step backward for public education in this country. Common Core has been called “state-sponsored child abuse”, and it is a big reason why U.S. students are scoring so poorly on standardized tests compared to much of the rest of the world.
According to Wikipedia, at one point 46 states had adopted Common Core, but now some states are having second thoughts… Continue reading
One thing that almost everyone can agree upon is that our system of public education is broken. We spend far more money on public education than anyone else in the world, and yet the results are depressing to say the least. Considering how much we are putting into education, we should be producing the best students on the entire planet, but it just isn’t happening. Personally, I attended public schools from kindergarten all the way up through law school, and the quality of education that I received was extremely poor. Even on the collegiate level, most of the courses were so “dumbed down” that even the family dog could have passed them. And of course millions of other people all over the country would say the same sorts of things about their own educations. Many refer to what is happening to our society as “the dumbing down of America”, and if we don’t get things fixed the United States is on course to become a second class nation.
If you believe that I am exaggerating, I would like you to consider the following numbers. The following are 14 facts that prove that America’s absolutely pathetic system of education deserves an “F” grade… Continue reading
There is a reason that people have learned reading, writing and arithmetic in generally the same way over the years, and that’s because the tried-and-true traditional methods work. That’s why many people wondered what the real agenda of the Common Core national standards were when the Obama administration started pushing for it so relentlessly. This ridiculous set of educational standards has left many students and parents baffled and frustrated, and it’s believed to be a key reason that American kids are lagging behind other nations in academic performance. What would happen if we got rid of it entirely? If the results gained by one Florida school are any indication, we would likely all be much better off.
Mason Classical Academy, a charter school in Naples, Florida, prides itself on providing a classical education, which it believes brings about “superior educational results” – and leading the county in English Language Arts is proof they’re on the right track. Continue reading
The key issue in the entire discussion is simply this: shall the parent or the State be the overseer of the child?
An essential feature of human life is that, for many years, the child is relatively helpless, that his powers of providing for himself mature late. Until these powers are fully developed he cannot act completely for himself as a responsible individual. He must be under tutelage. This tutelage is a complex and difficult task. From an infancy of complete dependence and subjection to adults, the child must grow up gradually to the status of an independent adult. The question is under whose guidance, and virtual “ownership” the child should be: his parents’ or the State’s? There is no third, or middle, ground in this issue. Some party must control, and no one suggests that some individual third party have authority to seize the child and rear it. Continue reading
All across America, preparations are underway for high school graduation. It’s a glorious time, representing both a milestone and a gateway to adulthood.
But missing from this year’s ceremonies are more than one million kids who dropped out and will not be attending graduation day.
The future those high school dropouts face is chilling. They will have a much harder time getting a job and will earn much less than those who did graduate. They’re also more likely to commit a crime and more likely to be the victim of one.
In short, many of them face a life that will be so much more difficult—all because they could not or chose not to finish high school.
The consequences of this crisis are especially evident in my community. Today, more than half of all African-American students in many large U.S. cities don’t graduate from high school. Think about that.
And those kids aren’t just dropping out—they’re escaping.
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, schools that serve majority-minority communities have the worst performance, the highest crime rates, and the largest achievement gaps. More than half of all African-American students in many large U.S. cities do not graduate from high school. Continue reading
I became a conservative after a year teaching 4th grade at a public school in the inner city. Before that, I probably would have said I was a liberal. I wasn’t really interested in politics, but all my friends were liberals, so I figured I must be one too.
When I got my teacher’s license, the first thing I did was go looking for the most challenging teaching situation I could find. I had just completed a two-year Masters program at a prestigious teaching school in New York City and was filled with idealism, determination, and a cocky conviction that I would succeed where so many others had failed. (Think Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds.) Continue reading
If a prize were awarded for the worst policy idea, one that would waste billions in some futile quest for the impossible, the indisputable winner would be uplifting the academic bottom by fixing their “bad schools.” It is a seductive idea that never seems to die despite repeated failures; it even seduces free-market conservatives infatuated with school choice remedies. What can possibly explain such stupidity?
Let’s start with the underlying “logic” of this doomed quest—the belief that low-IQ, academically unmotivated youngsters prone to classroom disorder attending schools disinclined to impose discipline can achieve reading and mathematical proficiency by tinkering with school environments. Moreover, that these troubled youngsters already attend well-financed schools with perfectly adequate facilities, small classes, state-certified teachers, ample pedagogical specialists and everything else that physically defines a “good school” is hardly acknowledged. Nor is there any past evidence that this fix-the-environment approach, everything from unscrewing chairs from the floor to cutting-edge technology, has ever moved the academic proficiency needle.
But hope springs eternal and the fantasy’s latest installment was President Obama’s $7 billion dollar failed School Improvement Grants Program whose aim, according to Arne Duncan Obama’s Secretary of Education from 2009 to 2016, was to “turn around” 1000 schools per year over five years (according to the DOE rhetoric, this initiative was to “…implement innovative, effective, ambitious, comprehensive, and locally driven strategies”). Alas, whether calibrated by test scores, graduation rates or college enrollment, nothing helped. And keep in mind that the multi-billion dollar nostrum has been around since the George W. Bush era though the Obama administration significantly increased funding.
The following column by Alan Caruba was originally published by Kettle Moraine Publications on August 29, 2010, however it won’t be long before the end of summer, and the victims of the Fed-ucation Holocaust will be returning to the den once more. Alan’s words are as direct and point-on as they were so many years ago. ~ J.B.
The Blood-Sucking Educator
As the nation’s children return to elementary and secondary schools, it is increasingly essential that their parents and communities coast to coast realize how poorly served they are and how their learning environment is increasingly tainted by a socialist agenda.
Our nation’s schools have long been factories of boredom, centers of academic incompetence. High school graduation rates have been in a fairly steady decline. At its peak in 1969, the rate was 77 percent. By 2007 it was 68.8 percent.
In mid-August, The Wall Street Journal reported that “New data show that fewer than 25% of 2010 graduates who took the ACT college-entrance exam possessed the academic skills necessary to pass entry-level courses, despite modest gains in college-readiness among U.S. high school students in the last few years.”
What caught my eye was a quote from Jack Jennings, president of the Center on Education Policy, a nonpartisan research organization in Washington, who said that “if our kids aren’t dropping out physically, they are dropping out mentally.” Continue reading
Thirty-five states have policies engineered toward sending extra dollars to needy districts. But not all are successful.
Students at Little Fort Elementary School in Waukegan, Illinois. Illinois is one of three states where school funding is regressive overall. (Kamil Krzaczynski / AP)
Districts serving many low-income children in New Jersey receive nearly $5,000 more per pupil from the state government than districts with a fewer poor students. If that same district was located in Montana, it would only receive an extra $18 per student from the state. Despite the fact that the majority of states have education funding formulas meant to target low-income students, the effectiveness of this targeting varies widely around the country. Continue reading
The NEA – the Ultimate Trojan Horse
The National Education Association meets every year for a big national convention in some city or other 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. In the past several years they have presented agendas that Hugo Chavez, Marxist dictator of Venezuela, would love. 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, and the compliant media, when it reports on NEA conventions, is not about to give out anymore 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. Continue reading
If one compiled a list of massive cultural engineering projects, America’s effort to close race-related academic achievement gaps would be the most ambitious. For over a half century we have spent tens of billions, devised scores of remediation schemes, and pursued legal solutions galore, all to no avail. Even conservatives normally hostile to social engineering have joined the quest.
What makes this enterprise remarkable is that every single putative nostrum entails zero effort by the students themselves as if those targeted lacked any agency for academic uplift. To use bizarre phraseology, this is passivity on steroids. This is not to suggest that if math-challenged junior got religion and buckled down he could master stochastic calculus; rather, in places like Baltimore where schools spend an average of $16,000 per student and barely any can meet minimal English and math standards, room exists for improvement . Continue reading
There’s a good reason why some college departments are riddled with social justice ideologues, and others are not. It’s because these beliefs are completely illogical, so they can only thrive in subjects that are open to interpretation. So if you went to college and took a class for liberal arts, gender studies, or sociology, you’re far more likely to run into politically correct nonsense than if you took a class in say, astrophysics. It’s hard to insert emotionally charged drivel into a subject that is relatively cut and dry. Continue reading
What does an expert in learning think about how to learn math (and other things for that matter)?
In an interview published in a recent Wall Street Journal, Oakley did not have good words for the permissivist way math is taught in the United States and offered a blunt assessment of U.S. education in general. Continue reading
Across ethnicities and economic status, girls outperform boys on English in standardized tests
Three of four African-American boys in California classrooms failed to meet reading and writing standards on the most recent round of testing, according to data obtained from the state Department of Education and analyzed by CALmatters.
More than half of black boys scored in the lowest category on the English portion of the test, trailing their female counterparts. The disparity reflects a stubbornly persistent gender gap in reading and writing scores that stretches across ethnic groups. Continue reading
There is a scene in one of Heinlein’s books [Starship Troopers] in which the teacher asks the student if he’d be happy just getting the medal for a race he didn’t win. The student is rightly outraged and thinks it makes a mockery of the proceedings.
It wasn’t until last week when I found myself caught in a Facebook thread on Common Core started by my friend and colleague Larry Correia that I realized this scene must be utterly baffling to the left.
You see, my husband posted some examples of Common Core math problems.
He’s a mathematician and it exasperates him when people praise Common Core for “teaching children to think.” Continue reading
A high school principal in Pennsylvania has suspended nearly half of the student population after an alarming number of unexcused absences.
About 500 students at Harrisburg High School have received suspension notices as the school’s principal has begun cracking down on the issue of unexcused absences among students.
According to PennLive, at least 100 of the students issued suspension notices have served one-day suspensions following Principal Lisa Love’s effort to crackdown on the problem. Continue reading
Update on “Education”
Once the public/parents catch on to the goals of government school programs, e.g. School to Work, Goals 2000, Race to the Top, No Child Left Behind, Common Core…the tactic is simply to change the name, give glowing recommendations and expand the collectivist/Marxist dumb down goals to short circuit children’s minds. Why? Ignorant, indoctrinated students grow into compliant, uninformed citizens, easily manipulated. Continue reading
How did we get here at this existential crossroads? Ask the communist agitators, school indoctrinators, Hollywood, and community organizers whom parents entrust their children to every day
How did our society get where we are today? Where did this profound hatred, disrespect for authority, for the rule of law, disdain for their own country, utter laziness, entitlement, anarchy, and anti-Americanism come from, especially in the younger generations who shape the future of our country?
There is no simplistic answer. The default answer is always horrible parenting or lack thereof. Parents spend less and less time with their progeny as the government takes over their education at a very early age, or are in need of behavioral reeducation themselves. Older fathers with pony tails and mothers going through menopause are raising terror children who have never been spanked or made to behave like normal, rational human beings. They scream in restaurants and public places at hours when they should be in bed while the parents try to talk to them in a calm voice to the exasperation of everyone around them, trying to enjoy themselves while celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, interrupted by howling brats. Continue reading
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