AAAAw, Jeez – here we go again! How dumb can we go? Every time we touch the system – it goes further downhill – even though they promise it will make things better. The following post is from the archives of Kettle Moraine, Ltd – originally published on the Federal Observer, March 10, 2010. Tell me – what has changed? (Ed.)
A panel of educators convened by the nations governors and state school superintendents proposed a uniform set of academic standards on Wednesday, laying out their vision for what all the nation’s public school children should learn in math and English, year by year, from kindergarten to high school graduation.
The new proposals could transform American education, replacing the patchwork of standards ranging from mediocre to world-class that have been written by local educators in every state.
Under the proposed standards for English, for example, fifth graders would be expected to explain the differences between drama and prose, and to identify elements of drama like characters, dialogue and stage directions. Seventh graders would study, among other math concepts, proportional relationships, operations with rational numbers and solving linear equations.
The following post is from the 2010 archives of Kettle Moraine Publishing (the Federal Observer). Although now retired, Linda Schrock-Taylor – is/was an extremely gifted and talented teacher and marvelous writer. Metropolis Café is proud to republish her work – for in the scheme of things – little has changed in the Public Fool System. ~ J.B.
When our son would tantrum – as all toddlers do at least once, we would calmly carry him to his room; explain that we did not want to see or hear such ugliness; and give him permission to rejoin us in the common areas of the home once he “finished.” Soon…then sooner…then soonest, he finished and the tantrum phase ended. Toddlers are much more sensible than many teachers. These public tantrums of public school teachers proves my point.
Unfortunately, the media is leading the way in giving attention to, and becoming too distraught over, badly behaving teachers. We cannot carry the teachers to their rooms let alone force them to actually teach but we can ignore them. Like toddlers, they should soon notice that no one is paying any attention to their fits and spurts. But on second thought…they have shown that they are not as sensible like toddlers. Continue reading
Editor’s NOTE: The following column by Alan Caruba was originally posted by Kettle Moraine, Ltd. Publications in March, 2012. Alan’s words are as direct and point-on as they were so many years ago. The late author’s referenced series, was published in it’s entirety on the Federal Observer, when it was but six weeks old. ~ J.B.
Back in 2001 I wrote a four-part series on The Subversion of Education in America and more than a decade later not much has improved. The causes are easily identified. One is federal control and the other is the National Education Association (NEA) which, despite its name, is a union.
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey became a nationally known figure when he took on the teacher’s union for the way contracts with generous pension and health benefits were bankrupting the State. Other civil service contracts also came under review for the same reason. Continue reading
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
The following column was originally posted by Kettle Moraine Publications on May 22, 2011. It is quite probable that embedded links may no longer be active. ~ J.B.
In 1983, the National Commission on Excellence in Education released a report titled A Nation at Risk that documented nationwide failure in American schools. Not much has changed since then and the federal takeover of school curriculum and testing methods has mercilessly continued with the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind and the Obama administration’s Race to the Top.
They are the top-down approaches to learning that have played a large part in the continual ‘dumbing-down‘ of American education. Once the province of local school boards, innovative schools, and individual teachers, the education of children has been taken over by Big Government.
Making matters worse, amid the confusion of federally mandated education requirements, state legislatures are now straying beyond their traditional roles to tinker with schools in unprecedented ways. Continue reading
The following is a repost of a column by Gail Jarvis from 2014. It is important to be able to follow the direction of the education system in America. This was posted by Kettle Moraine Publications on one of our other sites, but felt that it has become important to intertwine these columns for review. ~ J.B.
We can expect the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the May 17, 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, to be conducted in the usual reverential manner.
The Brown decision was indeed a turning point in American history, but whether it was beneficial or detrimental is still being debated. Of course, many feel that any time the rights of states are usurped by the Federal government, it represents progress. Consequently, this decision is always portrayed as a momentous societal improvement that all Americans should celebrate. But some of us will be unable to celebrate, not because we believe in “separate but equal” schools, but because of how the case was conducted, and the long-range consequences that it has wrought upon our society. Continue reading
August 8, 2011 ~ For weeks, months and even years I have been reading of the failure of the public education system to produce EDUCATED students. Many fail – many drop out – and the quality of most of those left is far below what they should be. In Texas there have been more articles than I can count about the FAILURE of one school district after another to meet the standards deemed to be acceptable — ‘Adequate Yearly Progress’, or AYP, a federal school rating system.
In spite of the money that has been thrown year after year for education the quality continues to decline. We are told there aren’t enough engineers – scientists, doctors, etc., to meet the demand so we need to import foreigners who have the needed skills. This is way past INSANE. Continue reading
January 22, 2009 – The new economy is awash in contradictions, but few are more troubling than this one: At the very moment that brainpower is more important than ever, education seems more backward than ever. We have a new economy but outdated schools.
Out of this disconnect has emerged a quiet grassroots rebellion aimed at reinventing both the form and the function of American education. Charter schools – publicly funded startup schools that operate mostly free of regulation – have boomed. In 1992, there was one charter school in the United States. Today, there are more than 2,000. The fastest-growing education movement is homeschooling. Today, roughly 1.5 million children learn at home. Just as Internet startups and free agents rattled big business, charter schools and homeschooling are shaking up “big schoolhouse.”
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. 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 (February 2014), 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 Should Be Ashamed Of Its Education System
The Public Schools system of the US has crashed and burned! No longer are our children the best educated in the world. Now our scholars rank among the less well educated even among a few of the third world countries. This is a shame we have brought upon ourselves by inviting the Federal Government and the Unions into our schools.
One-room schoolhouses turned out scholars of unequaled accomplishment when compared to today’s graduates. A high school education, just 50 years ago, is the equivalent of a college degree today. Our Public School teachers are barely qualified to teach. But, they have a Union to see that they are paid well, whether the can teach or not! Oh, you thought teachers unions were for the welfare of the students??? Surely you jest! Continue reading
Alan Caruba, circa 2002
February 16, 2009 – My father used to say that there was no defense against stupidity. He was a very smart man. When he entered kindergarten in the early 1900’s, he spoke his parent’s native language of Italian. The teacher seated him beside a boy who spoke both English and Italian, and he learned English. Nobody gave it any more thought than that.
Dad passed through the K-12 grades in Newark, N.J., and then worked his way through New York University to gain a degree in accounting. Then he studied some more and was among the youngest men to become a Certified Public Accountant. All that study and hard work helped him survive the Great Depression. It is a classic American story.
Our last column entitled: “You’re Letting Liberal Educated Globalists Brainwash Your Kids!” covered the people who paid for and developed the Common Core State Standards that have now been instituted in 40 states. It became abundantly evident that the standards were not a state effort, but a pure federal effort led by liberal globalists. The Standards had the United Nations (globalists) written all over them.
Previous to writing the article we were not privy to any specific Common Core teaching document. However, one of our long-time members e-mailed us a PDF copy of the Common Core Mathematics teaching document for Grades 3 thru 5. We started reading the document, looking for how they were going to teach math. To our dismay, we found it wasn’t about math at all, 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
(During his campaign for the Presidency,) 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
“Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: ‘You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgments. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being molded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.” – Doris Lessing, from ‘The Golden Notebook’
Unfortunately, the current self-perpetuating system in America and even in most Westernized countries, is liberalism, which is just another form of collective socialism. It is a flawed, bankrupt system that emphasizes the collective and de-emphasizes the individual, the former being the very antithesis of the foundation of American freedom. Becoming an educator is a process of being indoctrinated by the current self-perpetuating system, liberalism. Continue reading
American education was based on some very fundamental principles and, from the 1640s until the 1840s, they were, in the words of Joseph Bast, the president of The Heartland Institute, “real civics, real economics, and real virtues.”
Bast is the co-author of “Education and Capitalism” and in a recent speech at the Eighth annual Wisconsin Conservative Conference took a look at the way an education system that produced citizens who understood the values that existed before “progressives” took over the nation’s school system, turning it into a one-size-fits-all system of indoctrination. Continue reading
“Moral courage is the courage of one’s convictions, the courage to see things through. The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. Its the age old struggle – the roar of the crowd on one side and the voice of your conscience on the other.” ~ Douglas MacArthur
America has become a ‘band-aid‘ society. Daily we are bombarded with a vast litany of social ills. Some are critical, some are serious and some are just worrisome. Our country has been invaded by a vast army of people from other countries. They are here illegally and they are costing enormous amounts of money to provide health care, housing and education. I need not belabor the problem.
I often wonder if our neighbors to the South would be so patient, so understanding and so eager to resolve the problems created by this massive influx if the situation were reversed. This is a worrisome problem to most Americans. Our taxes increase, our wages decrease, unemployment in some sectors rises. Our schools are bursting at the seams, the emergency room at the hospital is overcrowded. Yes these are worrisome and vexing problems. The solution is to throw money. This is the one thing that our government does better than any other on the face of the earth. As long as we have an inexhaustible supply of cash, no one has to seriously consider cures. We hire more border guards, build higher fences, put more sophisticated surveillance systems in place and it gets us through another day, another week, another month. We have placed a band-aid strategically in place. It does not stop the flow of blood. It does not alleviate the human misery. It solves nothing, cures nothing and is very short-lived. We have a worrisome situation and no one seems to be intelligent enough to offer solutions or even recognize the deep seated problems. Continue reading
February 12, 2001 ~ The President’s education plan, with or without vouchers, suffers from an essential defect. In the U.S. Constitution’s enumeration of its powers and responsibilities as regards “raising revenue” (Article 1, Section 8) you will find no mention of “education.”
While education is a national priority, it is more properly a priority of the parents of students, their teachers, and local school boards. The flaw in President Bush’s education plans is the US Department of Education, an agency that since the 1970’s has racked up a dismal record when it comes to educating the nation’s youth. The “national standard” of education being discussed ignores the most fundamental issue. Under the DOE a deliberate plan to dumb down American students has been in place for decades. No one seems willing to discuss this. Continue reading