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
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
As parents around the country celebrate graduation, everyone relives the good, bad, and funny moments of high school. But what are the benefits of attending public schools? There are more than you might think.
My son recently graduated from public school. The graduation ceremony brought tears to our eyes. We were proud of his accomplishments. Graduation is a milestone moment in the lives of parents and children. We remember when they were born and marvel about how they have grown. But what are the benefits of attending public schools, especially when there are so many viable educational choices? 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
After conducting a multi-center, phase-3, double-blind, placebo controlled, independently reviewed study, encompassing 39 countries, various undersea kingdoms, and the moon, I’ve concluded that the best reason parents shouldn’t home-school their children is:
They can’t, because the public education they received was so wan and thin and bereft of substance, they’re unfit to teach.
For those parents who did receive a decent education, and who can handle the schedule, home schooling is a rational decision.
At minimum, it removes them and their kids from a system designed to impart values, values that should be taught at home.
Sex. Politics. Mental health. Vaccination. Gender. Contraception. Abortion. Diversity. These are a few issues schools now consider “public.” Schools become society’s parents. It takes a village. Their kind of village. They run it. They own it. “For the children.” 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
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
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
There are some subjects one thinks would be immune from the input of social justice warriors. While social studies are ripe for their meddling—as are literature and even science these days—a subject like math should be resistant to their tampering. Well, one would think that.
Unfortunately, a report at Campus Reform shows that such an assumption would be wrong.
“Teaching Social Justice through Secondary Mathematics” is a six-week online course designed by Teach for America and offered through EdX, which provides free online classes from top universities such as Harvard University, MIT, and Columbia University. Continue reading
Netflix’s recent announcement that it would be producing a second season of Thirteen Reasons Why has raised new questions about the disastrous state of the US public school system and its effects on the economy.
“Hey, it’s Hannah Baker,” says the show’s protagonist, played by a stunning Katherine Langford in the opening episode. “Get settled in. Because I’m about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended.”
The Thirteen Reasons’ portrait of how a stifling, bureaucratic system progressively cuts this teenage girl to pieces, eventually driving her to death, provides a dramatized, insightful reflection on (another) emerging lost generation. Continue reading
Once again, Metropolis Café returns to its roots – the ‘Village of the Damned’ so to speak. Shortly after The Federal Observer went on-line in July of 2001, we began receiving columns from the author of the following post – Carl Worden. Although what follows was originally posted in March of 2010 – the message remains – the Public Fool System is STILL a Rip-Off. ~ J.B.
Carl F. Worden
If a manufacturer produces sub-standard or unsafe products, as in the current Toyota debacle, you can take your sub-standard or unsafe product back for repair or a complete refund, but when a public school district produces sub-standard students, there is seemingly no recourse. You cannot send your kid back to school, even if s/he cannot read comprehensively or perform basic math. Further, there is no means to recoup the property taxes the parents paid to support the public school system their failing child attended. Continue reading
Once again, Metropolis Café returns to its roots – the ‘Village of the Damned’ so to speak. Shortly after The Federal Observer went on-line in July of 2001, we began posting columns from a very accomplished, learned and opinionated (rightfully) teacher – Linda Shrock-Taylor. Linda is now retired, but her words and her ‘lessons’ have not retired. We are thankful to still have a selection of her archives and will continue to post them on this site. After all – her words are the KEY to the future. ~ J.B.
Hear ye, hear ye! The 2009 award for the most Stupid Educational Fad goes to all schools where spelling is no longer being taught; with special “Fickle Finger of Failure” prizes to administrators, school boards, state school boards, departments of education, and all others who believe that teachers should officially stop teaching spelling as if trashing of the last vestige of actual academic instruction in America should be celebrated.
I suggest that in the last 50 years, American public schools have not taught enough spelling to even make a ‘stoppage’ worthy of media coverage. Instead of making announcements, these criminals should sign confessions down at their local police departments. Frankly, schools have long been attempting to hide their educational crimes of omission, and of teacher inefficiency, by forcing students to memorize lists of spelling words for Friday tests. Continue reading
It is common sense knowledge that facilities do not produce well educated students. The one room schoolhouse with outhouses for toilets produced much better educated students than today’s Taj Mahal’s. Why?
Example in the 5/23/17 TR article “School to hire Consultant”.
We are told by School Board member Talicia Richardson the usual educanto newspeak designed to say a lot and explain nothing. “We are making a great decision to MOVE FORWARD”.
Halsey Junior High School (P.S. 85, Brooklyn, N.Y,)
“Progressive Education” came to my school when I was a student at Halsey Junior High School in the 1940s (P.S. 85, Brooklyn, N.Y,). Principal Stella Sweeting was thrilled as a little girl getting a doll house for Christmas, but the rest of us, teachers included, thought this “experiment” in schooling was silly. Oh, it was fun to cut classes and paint murals in the hallways – the brainstorm of class buddy Bob and I that, to our surprise, was approved.
Such “official cheating” didn’t faze those with A’s and B’s in their subjects – we’d catch up later (in high school maybe?) – but what of the students who might stumble from such sliding and find it difficult to overcome the challenges ahead? While this loosening of educational standards at Halsey was, in a word, pleasant, most of my teachers took a dim view of a theory of education that not only ditched authority and tradition but dismissed academic achievement as well – the stance of early 20th Century Marxist education reformers with a mission to prepare America for a socialist future. Why did the “progress” they envisioned in their “progressive” educational method of indoctrination include dumbing? Continue reading
Schools have always been devoted to passing knowledge forward to the next generation. Not now.
The Education Establishment treats knowledge as if it were a toxic spill that must be kept away from students. Board up the windows; tape the doors; wrap the buildings in three-mil. plastic.
This might sound comical or far-fetched. But I assure you that the Progressives in charge of our schools are methodical about using any pretext to minimize contamination by knowledge. Everyone should wonder why. Continue reading
Leftist educators are corrupting the young.
Teachers at Highlands Elementary, a school in Edina, Minnesota, are indoctrinating five-year-olds in order to radicalize them and encourage them to become activists obsessed with race.
Public school teachers across America already saturate students with information about racial injustice in America in a nonstop barrage of historic facts and ahistorical nonsense. And in the culture at large, the media, politicians, and the entertainment industry can’t stop talking about race. The last thing any young student in America needs is to be taught about is race. Race matters only to radicals.
Leftists believe you have to get ’em while they’re young and impressionable. Continue reading