Category Archives: American Journey

And this is what it has been – a Journey – from before Plymouth Rock until today and into the future, but how can we ignore the past – our heritage? The public school system would rather we not know. We provide you the pathway on this journey – it is now up to the teachers and educators of today and tomorrow to take their charges back… back to our future.

Are Schools Flunking Their Primary Purpose?

Image Credit: bradburyjason

In a recent Washington Post article, author Sarah Hamaker described how many young adults no longer know how to do simple, basic skills:

Colleges and employers alike are reporting that young people can’t do life’s most basic tasks. With all of our emphasis on academics and what it takes to get into college, essential life skills, such as how to do laundry, balance a checking account or cook a meal, have been overlooked.
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This 1897 Text Gives 3 Clues Why Today’s Students Can’t Write

November 6, 2015 ~ Last week the Nation’s Report Card announced that no more than 40% of America’s 4th and 8th graders are proficient in reading and math. Those are scary numbers, but the numbers for writing are even more frightening: only 27% of American 8th and 12th graders attained proficiency.

Why are American students such terrible writers? Continue reading

Anghis: Teaching our Kids our American History

One of the problems we have today is we don’t teach about our government much at all and virtually nothing about the Constitution and the Bill of rights.

These courses, what little that is taught, are taught usually in high school. After the Revolutionary War we began teaching the history of our nation in early elementary school. Noah Webster stated: “Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country.” We were teaching catacisims out of the Constitution in 1828 to elemenatary students that Justices on the Supreme Court today couldn’t answer.
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Solway: Why I Quit Teaching

Some years back, I decided I had to quit the teaching profession to which I had dedicated half my life. The modern academy, I felt, was so far gone that restoration was no longer possible. Indeed, I now believe that complete collapse is the only hope for the future, but as Woody Allen said about death, I’d rather not be there when it happens.

Three reasons determined my course of action. For one thing, administration had come to deal less with academic issues and more with rules of conduct and punitive codes of behavior, as if it were a policing body rather than an arm of the teaching profession. Continue reading

This Founding Father Will Renew Your Hope for Liberty

Dickinson recognized that the essential purpose of government was to maintain liberty against others’ predatory acts.

John Dickinson was among America’s most important founders. He was a colonial legislator, member of the Stamp Act, Continental, and Confederation Congresses, chief executive of both Delaware (by a 25 to 1 vote; his being the only opposed) and Pennsylvania, president of the 1786 Annapolis convention that led to the Constitutional Convention, and among the most informed and seasoned statesmen to attend it. Historian Forrest McDonald wrote that, but for Dickinson and a few others, “the resulting constitution would not have been ratified.” Continue reading

The Death of Academic Rigor

The notion of academic rigor has fallen on evil times. In a typical instance of continuing epistemic degradation, Donna Riley, of Purdue University’s School of Engineering Education, insists that rigor must be eliminated since rigor is a “dirty deed” fraught with “exclusionary implications for marginalized groups and marginalized ways of knowing.” It matters little, apparently, if our bridges collapse so long as “men of color and women, students with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, first-generation and low-income students” are welcomed into the new holistic community defined by “other ways of knowing” – whatever these may be. Similarly, Rochelle Gutierrez, of the University of Illinois, fears that algebra, geometry, and math perpetuate white male privilege and discriminate against minorities. Indeed, minority under-performance is often disguised as a form of “mismatching” – that is, the fault lies with the institution for being beyond the student’s intellectual means. Clearly, the dire situation we are in can only deteriorate as the concept of excellence bites the dust and students are deliberately coaxed into pre-planned intellectual darkness. Continue reading

Tennessee voters support school Choice

A poll of Tennessee voters shows overwhelming support for more school choice options in the Volunteer State.

The poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy asked 625 Tennesseans if they “support or oppose” allowing parents to use their child’s education tax dollars for a public, charter, or private school. A whopping 65 percent support it. Continue reading

The Intrusion of White Families Into Bilingual Schools

Will the growing demand for multilingual early-childhood programs push out the students these programs were designed to serve?

Lucy Nicholson ~ Reuters

Stephanie Lugardo’s second-grade classroom at Academia Antonia Alonso in Wilmington, Delaware, is bubbling. Students chatter with one another as they work, smiling and joking and wiggling in and out of their chairs. Sure—it’s an elementary-school classroom. It’s expected to exude the earnest joy of children growing into themselves. But this one is different. Smiles break out on an array of faces, and the chatter spills out in English and Spanish.
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What the Catholic Church Said about the Public Schools in 1852

America is known as the “land of the free.”

Yet, technically, it forces its children to receive some type of formal education.

Compulsory education laws have been a part of the American Republic for a little over 150 years (they also existed in some Puritan settlements in colonial America). In all states, children between the ages of 6-17 (which varies by state) who have not been enrolled in a private school or completed the necessary paperwork and requirements to homeschool must be enrolled in a public school. Continue reading

New Teacher Academy provides some relief in teacher shortage

Publisher’s NOTE: The following column relates to the High school that my wife teaches for. She has not stopped working since retirement six years ago – or is it seven now? She ris more than familiar with the subject a matter and personal at the heart of what you are about to read. Arizona has a tremendous shortage of teachers – for reasons we have stated here before – maybe the following is part of the answer. ~ J.B.

Adrianne Penullar, photo by Derek Hall

As students file in to Adrianne Penullar’s general chemistry class at Westview High School, their first task is relinquishing their phones. Continue reading

Children Learn What They’re Taught

Many millennials embrace Marxism. So do their parents and grandparents

                 Karl Marx

From the millennials’ abilities will supposedly flow the wherewithal to fund “needs”: their elders‘ entitlements, debt, and ever-expanding blob of a government. Horror of horrors, polls and studies indicate that many millennials are embracing Marxism: they want somebody to fund their “needs”! Where did they learn this nonsense?

It must be those left-wing, snowflake sanctuary, social justice warrior haven, gender-bending colleges and their washed up Marxist professors. This is America, where everyone stands on their own two feet. That’s not how they were reared! Continue reading

Bonfire of the academies: Two professors on how leftist intolerance is killing higher education

Evergreen State College’s outcast professors Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein describe how postmodern leftist intolerance is killing higher education.

At colleges and universities all over the country, students are protesting in increasingly virulent and sometimes violent ways. They demand safe spaces and trigger warnings, shouting down those with whom they disagree. It has become rote for outsiders to claim that the inmates are running the asylum; that this is analogous to Mao’s Red Guard, Germany’s brown shirts, the French Revolution’s Jacobins; and, when those being attacked are politically “left” themselves, that the Left is eating its own. These stories seem to validate every fantasy the Right ever had about the Left.

As two professors who recently resigned from positions at a college we loved, and who have always been on the progressive-left end of the political spectrum, we can say that, while none of those characterizations is exactly right, there is truth in each of them. (Continue to Full article >>>)

The Contradictions of Good Teaching

Many educators who succeed at raising test scores also fail at keeping students fulfilled

Is a good teacher one who makes students enjoy class the most or one who is strict and has high standards? And are those two types even at odds?

A new study that tries to quantify this phenomenon finds that on average, teachers who are good at raising test scores are worse at making kids happy in class. Continue reading

How a $250 Break for Teachers Explains a House-Senate Divide on Taxes

Publisher’s NOTE: The following was published by the New York Times on November 27, 2017 – hence some of the information herein is dated, but the circumstances and issues still stand. ~ J.B.

Shopping for school supplies in Burbank, Calif., in August. The House tax bill would eliminate a deduction for teachers who buy their own school supplies, while the Senate version would double it. – Credit Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

November 27, 2017 ~ For Carrie Uffelman Brake, planning for next school year begins before the current one ends.

The shopping starts as early as April, when she gets the list of students who will be in her third grade classroom in rural Tennessee the following fall. If boys outnumber girls, she will need extra toys to keep hyperactive hands busy. If it is a group of struggling readers, she will need double the number of books. Continue reading

West Valley feeling pinch of teacher shortage

Publisher’s NOTE: The ‘West Valley’ is incorporate of the western suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona. As we have previously published, Arizona is one of the states in this country, that has an intense shortage of teachers – but we are not the only state. What you are about to read is a more intense extension of the problem. ~ J.B.

West Valley View photo by Jordan Christopher

When Liza Lawson began teaching at La Joya Community High School in 2007, she was aware of the struggles new teachers typically faced.

She was prepared for the 85-hour work weeks, large class sizes and weekends spent tutoring or planning lessons. The burnout didn’t set in until years later. Continue reading

Not having a regular bedtime hurts pupils’ maths and reading

Letting children stay up just a little longer ‘could damage school performance

Most parents have faced a grumpy child who refuses to go to bed.

But letting them stay up just a bit longer could damage their performance at school, says an expert on child development.

Parents should stick to one fixed time, because their child’s reading and maths could suffer, warns Dr Yvonne Kelly from University College London.

She told the World Sleep Society that seven-year-old girls and three-year-olds of both sexes perform less well in tests if they do not have a regular bedtime. Continue reading

John Dewey: Bosom Serpent of American Education

In 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:
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Education Used to Happen Outside of School

Schooling as a forced societal construct is a fairly recent phenomenon.

Prior to passage of America’s first compulsory schooling statute, in Massachusetts in 1852, it was generally accepted that education was a broad societal good and that there could be many ways to be educated: at home, through one’s church, with a tutor, in a class, on your own as an autodidact, as an apprentice in the community–and often all of the above.

Even that first compulsory schooling statute only mandated school attendance for 12 weeks of the year for 8-14 year-olds – hardly the childhood behemoth it has become. Continue reading

When Books Die, All at Once

Never has the stock market soared higher nor the supply of affordable books been cheaper. Lucky or cursed, let us examine the latter about which T.S. Eliot asks a great question but falls short in his reply.

I confess, I adore them. I thrill to their touch; my heart is aroused by their scent. If old and forgotten, leather-bound and time-worn, books whisper all the more seductively; offering to share ancient secrets unknown to other living souls. They conspire to delight me; and I could no more write in one than scar the face of a mortal lover. If asked to choose between books and oxygen, I would select the latter only to enjoy a few more lingering moments with the former. ~ T.S. Eliot
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