Other  Education  Issues

Note:  Information about the teachers unions can be found here.

The pressures on parents:

More schools are nixing homework because parents say it's annoying.  For Liat Tamam, the daily, tearful battles over homework started soon after her daughter entered kindergarten.  "It just became this huge drama," the Bushwick-based mother of two tells The Post of the heated fights between her and her 6-year-old daughter, Rosa.  "It was very challenging for me personally to get her to sit down and do homework," she says, "but I also didn't want her to be behind her class."  The 42-year-old says that Rosa was so resistant to doing her assigned math and writing worksheets that she was "having anxiety and stress and crying every day."

Teacher Suspended for Calling Pupils "Future Criminals".  A teacher in Paterson, New Jersey, is in boiling water because she told her Facebook friends that some of her students were "future criminals."  The pedagogue of Paterson has been suspended with pay, and might well be fired.  The students were disrupting her class, but her critics claim her remarks were "racist."  Paterson's population is largely black and Hispanic.

Limousine liberals don't send their kids to government schools.
Emanuel's children going to private school this fall.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his wife have decided to forgo Chicago public schools and send their children to the University of Chicago Lab School in Hyde Park this fall, a source familiar with the decision has told the Tribune.  Leah, Ilana and Zach will be going to the same school once attended by Barack and Michelle Obama's daughters Sasha and Malia, the source said.

When Rahm's Temper Made a Comeback.  In dealing with the press, Mayor Rahm Emanuel often tries to emulate his former boss, President Barack Obama.  But Emanuel can't match Obama's calm demeanor.  In fact Emanuel's temper can get the best of him.  I found out yesterday [7/20/2011] when I asked him a question about where his children would go to school, and he let his famous temper emerge.

Mother Jailed for Enrolling Kids in Another School District.  An Akron, Ohio, woman was released from jail on Wednesday after serving 9 days of a 10-day sentence for enrolling her children in a neighboring school district.  Kelley Williams-Bolar, 40, was convicted of two felony counts of tampering with records by providing false information on sworn registration forms, applications for free or reduced-price school lunches, and other forms she submitted to the Copley-Fairlawn School District, where she enrolled her two daughters.

PTA's Agenda No Longer Educational, Says Pro-Family Leader:  Ken Connor, president of Family Research Council, says the PTA has abandoned its goal of enhancing education, and has focused increasingly on social engineering and the indoctrination of young children.

Welcome to Personal Responsibility 101.  Abraham Lincoln was right when he said that looking at our schools today is a good way to see what the nation will look like in twenty years.

One big problem is... the other parents!
Maybe it isn't the teachers; maybe it's you.  While I'd be the first one to dispute the effectiveness of government "help," I have enough friends and colleagues who are public school educators to say with confidence that there are many, many good teachers out there, and they are struggling to teach children who do have lousy parents.

State Board Embroiled in Obtuse Politics of Parental Destruction:  Liberal members of the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) and their ally Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff have declared that conservative SBOE board members are illegitimate because they don't currently have children in public school.  By this illogic, should Ratliff abstain from votes concerning funding for the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation since he is not retarded?

The eggheads are boiling!
Background checks rile professors.  Criminal background checks, standard practice for new hires in much of the working world, have invaded the upper echelons of higher education.  Now the professors, once vouched for by clubby collegial networks, increasingly undergo scrutiny all too familiar outside academia.  They are not happy.

As America's students head back to school, parents have homework too.  Parents play a critical role in educating their children, whether it's reading to them in their most formative years or helping them each night with their homework.  But now, more so than ever, parents are becoming increasingly involved -- championing the cause of education reform at the state and local levels.  In fact, parents today are the driving forces behind reforming our nation's education system.

Supplies and Demands:  Having recently returned from a back-to-school shopping trip, I can report that there was very little prancing going on.  The parents were too focused on meeting the highly specific requirements of the lists they had received from their children's schools.

Maths disability more common than dyslexia.  A learning disability that leaves sufferers unable to understand mathematical symbols affects up to six percent of children, according to a leading neuroscientist.  Dyscalculia, the mathematical equivalent of dyslexia, is more common than its literacy counterpart, which affects between 2.5 percent and 4.3 percent of children.

Public Schools Not Accountable to Parents:  School boards and state governments have legal powers to fund and run public schools, but are they legally accountable for the results?  Not according to judges in two different states.

Other material related to educational issues:

Texas is Bringing Cursive Back to Schools.  There was a time when every American student was expected to learn how to write in cursive.  It's a skill that's fallen out of favor in recent decades, but one Southern state is looking to bring it back.  Texas has announced its plan to reintroduce cursive writing to the state curriculum for elementary students beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.

The Time Has Come:  Higher Ed-a-geddon.  Higher education as we know it is indefensible.  It presumes a false model of human development.  People between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two cannot be trusted moving to a campus away from their parents, protected from any real consequences for stupid decisions, and taught random concepts by a professoriate anesthetized by the tenure system.  In reality, these four years of human development should be spent in conditions closer to basic combat training:  they need physical regimentation.  Swift punishments must impress upon them the costs of behaving foolishly.

Wanted: Male teachers in U.S. schools.  According to the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, only about 24 percent of all teachers were male in 2012, with just one in 10 men teaching elementary school students.  Ethan Zagore, director of the University of Notre Dame's TRiO program, a federally funded initiative aimed at helping disadvantaged youngsters obtain an education, says a number of factors contribute to the shortage, but a big one is that many people just fundamentally — consciously or subconsciously — believe the role of an elementary teacher is better suited for women.

Why We Must Abolish the U.S. Department of Education.  In this video, The New American's correspondent Alex Newman, an educator and the co-author of a book on education, explains why it is essential that the unconstitutional and highly damaging U.S. Department of Education be shut down.  [Video clip]

A Plan to Reform Our Failing Universities.  America has reached a critical point where the contaminants will soon have sunk too deep to be flushed out.  A healthy civic life, cultural and economic resilience, innovation and invention, and a sense of national purpose all begin and end with education.  In the last analysis, nothing less than the 241-year republican experiment is at stake.  It is not a question of party policy; the Democrats are not Republicans and neither, on the whole, are the Republicans.  The responsibility for instituting real change in the vast education apparatus falls to those who still hold to Constitutional loyalties.  It may take a two-term Trump presidency and Betsy DeVos at her most determined to accomplish the feat.

Texas School Triples Recess Time, Solving Attention Deficit Disorder.  Public education is more stressful than ever for our children, as standardized testing requirements increase and programs like art, music and physical education are being phased out.  The result of this type of environment is predictable, and the medical establishment and big pharma are making a killing by drugging active children with ADHD medications and other psychotropic drugs in order to ensure conformity.  There are better solutions. [...] The most common sense, natural solution to inattentive behavior in school children, however, may be the basic idea of giving children more time to free play and to engage their bodies in physical activity.

A Brief and Appalling History of the Department of Education.  It is time to resuscitate the Constitution of the United States vis-à-vis the responsibility for education.  There has never been a constitutional basis for any federal control over education in the states.  National government control of education is a constitutional travesty, a regulatory nightmare, a burden on the states' and the people's budgets, and a burden on the state and local education systems and institutions over which it has made itself the overseer.  Secretary DeVos is the right person to work toward the goal of removing the federal government from the educational process.

Harvard's minimum wage protests was [sic] caused by its own professors.  The social-justice warriors of Harvard are on the march again, this time in solidarity with the university's dining-hall workers.  Students and faculty have spent the past few days protesting low wages and an increase in health-care premiums for the people serving their grilled cheese, french fries and occasional lobster dinners.  On Oct. 5, about 750 workers went on strike.  It was Harvard's first such revolt in 33 years, and strikes are becoming more common at colleges across the country.  In Pennsylvania, thousands of faculty went on strike at 14 colleges and universities on Wednesday [10/19/2016] alone.

Texas school puts up sign warning teachers may be armed 'and use whatever force necessary'.  Teachers at a Texas school have decided to take matters into their own hands when it comes to any potential outside threats their students could face — and many of them may be armed and dangerous.  A new sign posted outside a school in Medina[,] outside San Antonio, notes that some of the faculty may be carrying firearms, and they are ready to fight if need be.  "Attention," the sign reads.  "Please be aware that the staff at Medina ISD may be armed and will use whatever force is necessary to protect our students."

Oregon school district scrutinized after memo ordered bus drivers to stop playing rap music.  An Oregon school district has discussed reversing its ban on rap music on buses after allegations of racism.  The Oregonian reported Wednesday [8/24/2016] that Portland Public Schools had ordered its bus drivers to stop playing hip-hop music after it deemed rap "inappropriate."  Teri Brady, the senior director of transportation in the district, sent a memo to bus drivers in March ordering them to stop playing "religious, rap music or talk show programs."  The only acceptable music to play was pop, country and jazz, according to The Oregonian.

The Editor says...
What about classical music?  Is that not an option?  And why are school bus drivers listening to the radio at all?  Isn't that distracted driving?

Republican Platform:  The Constitution Gives Federal Government 'No Role in Education.  The official 2016 platform of the Republican Party asserts that since the Constitution gives the federal government "no role in education," it should not join with "centralizing forces" that have attempted to reform education and have subsequently done "immense damage."  The platform affirms the primary role of parents as educators in a child's life, and supports a constitutional amendment to protect the right of parents to direct their children's education from the overreach of federal and state governments and from potential international intruders such as the United Nations.

The Editor says...
There was nothing in the Constitution about federal involvement in education when President Carter created the Department of Education in 1979, as a spin-off product of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.  The wording of the Constitution didn't change while Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 held the office of president, and none of them dismantled Carter's creation.  One can easily surmise that the Republican Party platform is a mass of lofty but toothless rhetoric that will never be converted into meaningful action.

Do All Students Need to Master High-Level Math?.  The U.S. education system uses mathematics as a bar for students to jump over to get admitted into an exclusive college or to make a particular profession appear sophisticated, even if the training is unnecessary.  The field has been dominated by teachers more interested in impressing us with their importance than in offering useful skills, and the terrible, one-size-fits-all Common Core education standards being adopted across the nation are compounding the problem.  One of the greatest errors made by Common Core proponents and others who advocate for greater federal control of the nation's education system is the push for and reform of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum.  So-called education experts say the nation needs its entire school population to be highly trained in mathematics for the country to survive, and that without a greater emphasis on math and science, American students will fall even further behind the rest of the world.  Coming forward to refute this claim and show its deleterious effects on our high school and college students is Andrew Hacker and his book The Math Myth.  Hacker documents the problems with requiring all students, even those with no interest or aptitude for it, to take high-level math courses, and he demonstrates the importance of promoting a more beneficial type of math standard.

Harvard Law activists demand free tuition as a matter of racial justice.  A group of Harvard Law School activists are demanding the graduate school do away with tuition fees, which they argue are "racially biased.  Members of the group Reclaim Harvard Law School published an open letter Sunday [4/17/2016] addressed to Law School Dean Martha L. Minow and members of the Harvard Corporation — the University's highest governing body — demanding an end to tuition costs that they argue impose an unfair financial burden on students of color, The Harvard Crimson reported.  Tuition at the law school will rise to $59,550 for the 2016-2017 academic year, and students are graduating with an average of $149,754 in debt, according to the law school's website.  Reclaim Harvard Law called the trend "outrageous" and asserted, "as a matter of justice, education should be free."

The Editor says...
These misguided individuals don't seem to understand that they cannot reclaim that which was never theirs.  They also don't seem to understand that an education (or any other product or service) that costs nothing is worth nothing.

Thank Liberals for Today's Chaotic and Dangerous World.  Liberals have led the way to destroy all sense of moral clarity in our nation, all objective sense of right and wrong and all sense of authority.  What's the common ground of these distant and seemingly totally disconnected worlds — American college campuses and a chaotic Islamic Middle East?  In both places, those who claim to have all the answers are the very ones who should be humbly asking questions and seeking knowledge.  Aren't universities allegedly where youths go to learn?  The students causing problems do not arrive on campus to seek knowledge.  They arrive already knowing it all, looking to instruct professors rather than to learn from them.  And the weak-kneed liberal faculties and administrators at universities agree!

Attack on Teachers.  The ongoing and escalating assault on primary- and secondary-school teachers is not a pretty sight.  Holly Houston is a post-traumatic stress specialist.  She counsels teachers in Chicago public schools and reported, "Of the teachers that I have counseled over the years who have been assaulted, 100 percent of them have satisfied diagnostic criteria for PTSD."  It's not just big-city schoolteachers traumatized.  Dr. Darlyne Nemeth, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said last year, "I have treated many teachers with PTSD, and I am currently following a few of them." [...] School violence is going to get worse.  Last year, the Obama administration sent all the school districts in the country a letter warning them to avoid racial bias when suspending or expelling students.

Class size revisited.  Florida taxpayers have spent close to $30 billion to implement the class-size amendment, which voters adopted in 2002.  The results, as research by Florida TaxWatch found, are less than overwhelming.  There is little doubt that having fewer students per class, particularly in lower grades, is generally beneficial, but it is hardly the key to educational excellence.  The quality of teachers, course material, parental support and other factors can have far greater impact.

School replaces 'hall of heroes' murals honoring Mother Teresa, others with Oprah, J.K. Rowling.  For years, boys and girls at South Arbor Charter Academy have been inspired by Heroes Hall — a corridor featuring murals that honored the Space Shuttle Columbia astronauts, Mother Teresa, Betsy Ross and Albert Einstein.  But many parents are furious after the principal had the murals replaced with paintings honoring President Obama, J.K. Rowling and Oprah.  "This is no longer a hall of heroes," parent Craig Bergman told me.  "Now we have a hall of celebrities."

Deep racial divide in Oakland schools' attendance rates.  The first detailed look at attendance in Oakland schools shows a deep racial divide between students in class and habitual no-shows, a pattern reflected in grades, test scores and graduation rates.  That big difference between who's in class and who isn't helps explain much of the achievement gap between white and Asian students and their African American peers.  Nearly 1 of 5 African American students in Oakland is chronically absent from school, missing at least 10 percent of the 180-day school year.  Just 1 in 20 white and Asian students miss that much school.

The Inside Scoop — One Teacher's Experience.  This story is important, partly because it's typical.  As a veteran of almost 30 years in the public schools, I have seen this scenario played out dozens of times.  In fact I still have an August nightmare that I get to school and find that I've been assigned to teach calculus or chemistry (I'm a typical English teacher so that is truly a nightmare).  And the story is important also because it clearly illustrates much of what is wrong in public education — the bureaucratic mindset.  Let me enumerate the problems: [...]

Public School Education — There is Bad News and Good News.  The bad news is that John Dewey's "progressives" are winning big.  They mobilized every educational front group and every pedagogical gimmick to achieve the goal of controlling what goes on in the schools, as a way of achieving a fundamental transformation of America, to coin a phrase.  The educational front groups include the National Council of Teachers of Math, the Common Core Consortium, National Education Association, International Reading Association, National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, and many more.  Their favorite pedagogical gimmicks include Whole Language, Reform Math, Balanced Literacy, Constructivism, Project-Based Learning, Cooperative Learning, 21st-Century Skills, and many more.  So it's clearly a far-flung, intricately coordinated attack, like Hitler's military roaring into Russia during the summer of 1941.

Teacher resignations up significantly in Wake County.  More than 600 teachers have walked out of Wake County Schools since the start of the school year.  The school district says people are leaving for many reasons.  Some for jobs in other states.  Others are getting out of the profession entirely.  However, many have a common reason — not enough pay.

Miami-Dade Schools & Education Data Fraud.  The story begins with the ways to magically lower crime stats.  1. Maximize control.  Expand your "school police" — expanding your control over what happens within schools, including the crimes, also expands your ability to commit and cover up fraud.  The key:  make everyone within a school, including the police, report to you.  Now that you've expanded your control, you can proceed with the cover-ups.  2. Don't report the crimes.  For anything less than murder, it simply doesn't get reported, doesn't get reported correctly, or doesn't get reported with a student name attached.  No name, no details, no crime.  Just a crime-free occurrence, stolen property without a perpetrator, accident without incident.  3. Manipulate the law.  Transform police documents into "student records." [...]

School forces half-naked, sopping wet student to stand outside, frostbite results.  A Minnesota public high school was so committed to obeying its fire drill policy to the exact letter of the law that it forced a female student — dressed only in a swimsuit, and sopping wet — to stand outside in the freezing cold for ten minutes.  As a result, she suffered frostbite.  Administrators wouldn't let the student retrieve her clothes, sit in a car or wait inside another building, according to WCCO.  The trouble began when a small science experiment triggered the fire alarm at Como Park Senior High School in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Fourteen-year-old Kayona Hagen-Tietz was swimming in the school pool for health class at the time.  Her clothes were in her locker, and a teacher told her that there was no time for her to change.  Hagen-Tietz was rushed outside — still wet and dressed in only [a] swimsuit.  It was 5 degrees below zero in St. Paul that day.  With the windchill, it was 25 degrees below zero.

The Editor says...
Yes, I can hear you saying, "That's just an isolated incident."  Sure it is — just as all the ridiculous zero tolerance cases are isolated and unrelated — only they're not.  In every public school I've ever seen, the rules are the rules and the "teachers" and administration never depart from the rules, for two reasons:  (1)  they can never be perceived as showing favoritism, because of the civil rights activists, and (2)  every departure from the rules opens up the threat of civil litigation.  The schools are in the condition they're in because of left-wing liberalism.

I Quit Teach for America.  [Scroll down]  During my training, I taught a group of nine well-behaved third-graders who had failed the state reading test and hoped to make it to fourth grade. [...] That classroom training was completely unlike the situation I now faced in Atlanta: teaching math and science to two 20-person groups of rotating, difficult fifth-graders — fifth-graders so difficult that multiple substitute teachers would vow never to teach fifth grade at our school again.  I had few insights or resources to draw on when preteen boys decided recess would be the perfect opportunity to beat each other bloody, or when parents all but accused me of being racist during meetings.  Or when a student told me that his habit of doing nothing during class stemmed from his (admittedly sound) logic that "I did the same thing last year and I passed."

The Other Dropout Problem in Urban Schools.  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.

The Most Interesting School District in America?  The Douglas County School District is trying to do something truly new.  An all-Republican school board has created the nation's first suburban school-voucher program, introduced market-based pay, allowed its teachers' union contract to expire, and developed a regimen of home-crafted standards and assessments in lieu of the Common Core (which superintendent Liz Celania-Fagen dismisses as the "Common Floor").  Former Reagan secretary of education William Bennett has opined that Douglas County is "trying to do all the good reforms at once."

Would Thomas Jefferson Approve of Today's Public Education?  Jefferson — as well as most of the other Founding Fathers — couldn't ever imagine that public education would be controlled by the federal, much less a state, government.  He believed that it should be run and funded by parents and those in local communities or wards.

A brave Baltimore teacher speaks the truth about schools, students.  Dave Miceli doesn't know me from a hole in the ground, but he's my new hero.  Anyone that can dredge up the guts to teach in Baltimore's public schools automatically becomes a candidate for hero status in my book, especially if said anyone has taught in these schools for 20 years, as Miceli has.  But it was his bold, insightful, no-punches-pulled letter to the editors of the July 15 edition of the Baltimore Sun that put Miceli on my hero's list.

Study: Black students suspended more often than others.  Black students are suspended more than three times as often as their white classmates, twice as often as their Latino classmates and more than 10 times as often as their Asian classmates in middle and high schools nationwide, a new study shows.  The average American secondary student has an 11% chance of being suspended in a single school year, according to the study from the University of California-Los Angeles Civil Rights project.  However, if that student is black, the odds of suspension jump to 24%.

The Editor says...
These statistics are not surprising at all.  Asian students are taught at home in their two parent households to behave themselves.  If teachers weren't afraid to discipline black students, the percentage of black students suspended would be a lot higher.  Statistics like these are intended to portray blacks as victims, but the main cause of this problem is fatherlessness, not irrational prejudice.  It also doesn't help to have racial opportinists like Jesse Jackson drumming up self-pity by having crowds of young people chant, "I am somebody! when in most cases that's not true.  Many of the same people who get suspended in school go on to prison later in life — for the same reasons:  Fatherlessness, godlessness, peer pressure, and years of faulty decision making.

Yes, It's Time For Bus Control.
February 28, 1958:  Twenty-six children killed in a school bus crash in Kentucky.
May 21, 1967:  Twenty-eight children killed in a school bus crash in California.
September 22, 1989:  Nineteen children killed in a school bus crash in Texas.
[...] I do not mean to minimize the many individual tragedies these school bus deaths represent, nor do I wish to downplay the tragedies of school shootings.  I am simply pointing out that many things in this world are dangerous, but we accept these risks because they come paired with utility.

F in attendance for city schools.  A Tribune investigation has found that nearly 32,000 Chicago students in public elementary schools — or roughly 1 in 8 — missed four weeks or more of class during the 2010-11 year, as the cash-strapped district does little to stem a devastating problem.  For the Chicago Public Schools, the empty seats undermine efforts to boost achievement and cost the district millions in attendance-based funding.

The Editor says...
There is no reason to attend classes, and no motivation to get a job, when welfare checks are guaranteed.

Like Obamacare, Obama Core Is Another Power Grab.  It's well-known that public schools are not graduating students as well-educated as before, that Americans score poorly on international tests, and that billions of federal dollars showered on public schools have not achieved any of the designated goals, which were to raise test scores and to eliminate the gap between higher income and lower income students.  The Obama progressives want us to believe that the remedy is to turn over total control to the federal government.

EPA Celebrates 'Children Health Month,' Encourages Recruiting Students for 'Energy Patrols' at School.  On [an EPA] website page is a link to a 26-page EPA report entitled, "Sensible Steps to Healthier School Environment."  In the report's chapter on Energy Efficiency, the EPA presents a box with items to help establish "Energy Efficiency Opportunities for Schools."  One of the items in the box reads, "Educate students and staff about how their behaviors affect energy use.  Some schools have created student energy patrols to monitor and inform others when energy is wasted."

Vulgar Rapper's Mom on Chicago Board of Education.  What does the Chicago teachers' strike have to do with the rapper Common?  The rapper's mother, Dr. Mahalia Ann Hines was hand-picked by Rahm Emanuel in 2011 to sit on the city's Board of Education?  The same Board is now in negotiations with the Chicago Teachers' Union.  Hines has not only raised a son who thinks it's okay to kill cops, she became the business manager of her son's music company in 1996.  She is CEO of his Common Ground Foundation and is president of his company Hip Hop Schoolhouse, which publishes "educational materials for children."

Why Blame Obama?  Let me count the ways. [...] When the dust clears, the CBO expects TARP to cost taxpayers $32B.  Who got that money if banks didn't?  General Motors, Chrysler, and "mortgage programs."  But GM and Chrysler went bankrupt anyway.  The U.S. auto industry was not "saved."

America Has Too Many Teachers.  Since 1970, the public school workforce has roughly doubled -- to 6.4 million from 3.3 million -- and two-thirds of those new hires are teachers or teachers' aides.  Over the same period, enrollment rose by a tepid 8.5%.  Employment has thus grown 11 times faster than enrollment.  If we returned to the student-to-staff ratio of 1970, American taxpayers would save about $210 billion annually in personnel costs.  Or would they?

Time to Trim Teachers.  Of course, one might argue that cutting back on school staff, especially teachers, would inevitably lead to worse education.  However, as [Andrew] Coulson points out, "a doubling in staff size and more than a doubling in cost have done little to improve academic outcomes," with federal standardized test scores for 17-year-olds barely having budged over the last 40 years and graduation rates having "stagnated or fallen."  A significant reduction in staff size, therefore, hardly seems likely to do any great harm to student achievement.

Confidence in U.S. Public Schools at New Low.  Americans' confidence in public schools is down five percentage points from last year, with 29% expressing "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in them.  That establishes a new low in public school confidence from the 33% measured in Gallup's 2007 and 2008 Confidence in Institutions polls.

Are Godless Government Schools Necessary?  Back in the 1980s, I wrote a book entitled Is Public Education Necessary?  In it I argued that the American people never clamored for a government education system.  They were quite satisfied with the private academies that were doing an excellent job of educating their children.  But what I discovered through my research was that the idea of a government education system had been foisted on the American people by a coalition of Owenite communists, Harvard Unitarians, and misguided evangelical Protestants.  The Owenite communists wanted to use the government schools as a means of preparing American youth to accept a communist way of life; the Unitarians wanted to use the government schools to promote secularism and wean America away from orthodox Calvinism; and the Protestants wanted to use the government schools as a means of converting Catholic immigrant children into Protestants.

If Elected.  [Scroll down]  I would shut down the Department of Education next.  This department has almost single-handedly destroyed education in the nation, depriving all those passing through the government schools of knowledge of the U.S. Constitution and how the nation is governed.  It has foisted "fuzzy" math on them.  Mostly, though, teachers have been told they are "agents of change" responsible to indoctrinate students with liberal views including the odd notion that they can choose their gender and should be taught homosexual practices.

'Racial Incident' in Texas School Plunges City into Turmoil.  It's being called an ugly "racial incident."  As a consequence, Bastrop, Texas, a city of about 8,000 near the capital of Austin, is in turmoil.  And a school principal's career is in jeopardy.  There were no racial epithets used in this incident, however.  There was no "hate crime."  And nobody was discriminated against.  Rather, the well-intentioned principal of Bastrop Middle School, Teri Watson, did what liberal lawmakers and government bureaucrats have done for years.  She tried to help some of her students by identifying them as members of an underachieving racial group — rather than as underachieving individuals.

Bull About Bullying:  There is a lot of talk from many people about bullying in school.  The problem is that it is all talk.  There is no sign that anybody is going to do anything that is likely to reduce bullying. ... When educators are going to do nothing, they express great concern and make pious public pronouncements.  They may even hold conferences, write op-ed pieces or declare a "no tolerance" policy.  But they are still not going to do anything that is likely to stop bullying.  In some rough schools, they can't even stop the bullying of teachers by the hooligans in their classes, much less stop the bullying of students.

Federally-Mandated 'Bully-Proofing' Programs Coming to a School Near You.  At a recent Washington, D.C. conference on bullying, President Obama declared his desire to "dispel the myth that bullying is just a harmless rite of passage or an inevitable part of growing up."  Obama's statement typifies the liberal take on the dark side of human behavior.  Feel-good ideologues imagine an ability to engineer away life's nasty bits.  Liberals refuse to accept that reaching functional adulthood requires learning to deal with harmful experiences.

Why Every Kid in America Doesn't Need to Be Educated.  Do we really want all of us to be a bunch of educated people who never do anything useful — like the Obama administration but for the whole country?

Liberalism's Greatest Failure?  [Scroll down]  Is there another major area of American public policy that is more screwed up and more completely the fault of one ideological side?  Which party do the teachers' unions support overwhelmingly?  What is the ideological outlook of the bureaucrats at the Department of Education?  Which party claims it "cares" more about education and demagogues any attempt by the other party to reform it?  Who has controlled the large inner city school systems for generations?

'Waiting for Superman' fuels parents' furor at broken schools, union.  It's class warfare!  Fed-up parents and teachers who saw the explosive education documentary "Waiting for 'Superman'" yesterday were left either seething or in tears — and calling for revolutionary change after the film's Big Apple debut.  "The passing along of children through the system is just disgusting," said Barbara Levinson, 63, who was crying by the film's end.  "Every child should be treated as an individual."  Viewers were also rocked by the work's portrayal of the teachers unions' protection of subpar educators.

'Superman' strikes.  It's the film the teachers unions don't want you to see.  The revelatory documentary "Waiting for 'Superman'" opened Friday [9/24/2010] to parents' cheers — and union howls.  The film follows five families trying desperately to escape failing traditional public schools in favor of charter schools — and it profiles education reformers rebuilding a national school system that's in ruins.  The unions panned the flick, naturally:  It exposes how they drag kids down into the swamp, spotlighting how bad teachers are passed from school to school and how all-but-automatic tenure allows even the worst teachers to stay on the job.

"There Will Be No Apology".  Those are the words of the mother of Matt Dariano, one of the five kids at Live Oak High School in the San Francisco Bay Area who were sent home for having the temerity to wear American flag tee shirts on the "Mexican heritage day" of Cinco de Mayo.  "There will not be an apology," Mrs. Dariano told the camera crew outside the school.

California Students Sent Home for Wearing U.S. Flags on Cinco de Mayo.  Administrators at a California high school sent five students home on Wednesday [5/5/2010] after they refused to remove their American flag T-shirts and bandannas — garments the school officials deemed "incendiary" on Cinco de Mayo.

Calif. School Bans American Flag Clothing For Non-Existent Mexican Holiday?  For the Gilroy Dispatch Lindsay Bryant reports that five young students of Live Oak High School in Gillroy, California were kicked out of school on Cinco de Mayo because they dared to wear the venerable American colors while all the Mexican students were wearing the Green, White and Red colors of the Mexican flag.  According to Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez these evil American children were "starting a fight."

Stinko de Mayo.  On May 5, five students at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Calif., were sent home for wearing clothing featuring the American flag.  Their offense:  trespassing on Mexican heritage during Cinco de Mayo.  Administrators called the flag-wearing "incendiary" and likely to cause violence.  The school district overrode the decision, and the boys were allowed to return to school.  In response yesterday, about 200 students staged a walkout carrying Mexican flags.  The question is:  Who taught these kids to hate America so much?

The Editor says...
If the kids like Mexico so much, deport them to Mexico.

The Futility of American Educational Reform.  As anticipated, President Obama recently unveiled his proposed solution to America's educational tribulations, namely greater early childhood intervention, merit pay for teachers, more charters and national standards.  Though this smorgasbord differs in details from his predecessor's No Child Left Behind, it is actually a quite similar restaurant-like order from the identical menu. ... Regardless of what is selected, learning is never the student's responsibility.

Education Lessons Are Lost on Obama.  I can't pinpoint the moment when the Obama administration went wrong on the subject of education.  But I can pinpoint the moment when it demonstrated that it can't be taken seriously.  It happened on Monday, March 15, when Education Secretary Arne Duncan was expounding to reporters about revising the No Child Left Behind law.  The new policy, he asserted, "is going to revolutionize education in our country."  No, it's not.

No Child Left Behind, Ten Years Later.  The most notable success of NCLB has been the vast amount of data we've collected.  Student performance, particularly for disadvantaged students, now matters and has become the focus of national and state education policies.  The debate shifted from focusing on inputs to focusing on student academic outcomes.  Parents are no longer in the dark about how their child performs relative to their peers or how their school stacks up against others in the state.

Education:  Too Important for a Government Monopoly.  The government-school establishment has said the same thing for decades:  Education is too important to leave to the competitive market.  If we really want to help our kids, we must focus more resources on the government schools.  But despite this mantra, the focus is on something other than the kids.

Liberals Cannot Fix Education.  Not surprisingly, my home state of Nevada continues to rank at or near the bottom in state-by-state comparisons for student achievement in reading and math.  Another non-surprise is that those whose agendas have essentially created the conditions for this outcome want to step in to "solve the problem".

Public Schools:  My Answer to Their Problems!  This is my application to President Obama to be appointed his Education Czar thereby solving the massive problems in the nation's public schools.  I will work without pay since I would not plan to have the job very long.

All Beverly Hills students soon may be required to prove their residency.  The use of fraudulent addresses to enroll in the city's acclaimed schools is an age-old problem, according to officials with the Beverly Hills Unified School District who recounted these examples.  But such deceptions soon may be harder to carry out under a proposed plan to recertify every family in the 4,900-student district and expel those who have been lying about where they live.

Is Education Next?  Teachers criticized President Bush for 2002's No Child Left Behind Act, saying it overemphasized scores and imposed too many rules.  The Obama approach is even more rigid, making test scores more important to teachers by tying their paychecks to scores.  The problem is, schools differ.  What about a California school full of gangbangers anxious to break a teacher by denying her a raise?  Preconditions coming out of the federal bureaucracy could easily backfire in corrupting ways.  Worse, excessive preconditions set a bad precedent by expanding federal power in local schools.

Teaching as a Martial Art:  Inner city teachers have long talked of getting "combat pay" for teaching in troubled schools but now they are taking the military analogy to a whole new level. ... Although Americans already pay the highest amount per pupil compared to the other G-8 countries, some education reformers are suggesting that struggling schools offer hardship pay and other incentives to attract high quality teachers.

Public education:  Put it out of business.  Education is, after all, a service just like doctors, restaurants and insurance agents provide.  Thankfully, Washington does not run our hospitals, dining establishments, or insurance companies so why continue to allow it to run the majority of schools?  Like nearly everything else it touches, government can ruin what is otherwise good with gross inefficiencies and rampant corruption.

When Numbers Mislead:  Mayor Bloomberg announced this week that test scores are up across the city and in some schools as much as double digits.  The mayor considers the improved test scores as proof that public schools have improved under his administration's takeover of the Board of Education.  I hate to burst his bubble, but numbers don't always tell the true story.

Why Shakir Can't Read:  Why Shakir can't read is the same reason many black kids in America can't read:  the kid's own lack of interest in education, his unstable home life with a single parent who doesn't care, a community that regards education as being destructive of black authenticity, and school systems which are burnt out with the stress of dealing with such kids.

Big Brother at school:  Nobody would want the government to run 90 percent of the nation's entertainment industry.  Nobody thinks that 90 percent of all housing should be owned by the state.  Yet the government's control of 90 percent of the nation's schools leaves most Americans strangely unconcerned.  But we should be concerned.

Sailer's Four-Point Plan For Improving Schools:  [Scroll down]  There is a gigantic conflict of interest in current K-12 testing.  The No Child Left Behind act tells the states to make up their own tests, administer their own tests, grade their own tests, then report back to Washington on whether the test scores have gone up enough for the states to keep getting federal bucks.  That's why Mississippi has, officially, the highest percentage of proficient readers in the country.

Sailer Is Right:  Measure School Achievement Relative To IQ!  We are constantly, shrilly condemning "failing schools" when we should be condemning "failing students."  But no, that's not quite right either.  We should not condemn the students since they are in most cases doing their best with the intellectual talent that they were born with.  No, condemnation is not justified, either of a school or its students, when both are giving all they have to give.  And as I have seen, that is generally the case.

Teacher still out after beating by student.  Vanesta Marshall, a home economics teacher at Worthing who is 5 feet 4 inches tall, said she remembers a ninth-grade male student punching her in the face two or three times before she blacked out Friday [5/11/2007]. … She said school officials didn't inform her about the student's discipline history.  "We're just regular-ed teachers," she said.  "We don't know how to handle violent behavior."

Back to the 1950s:
Africentric school to open in 2009.  After years of debate that has divided communities of every colour, Toronto's public school board voted tonight to open an Africentric alternative school in September 2009.  The junior kindergarten to Grade 5 school — believed to be a first in Canada — is expected to help tackle a 40 percent dropout rate among black students.

Elgin High School teacher lost vision in knife attack.  The Elgin High School teacher stabbed by a student lost vision in one of her eyes as a result of the attack, district officials said Monday.  Carolyn Gilbert, 50, of Bloomingdale, was stabbed multiple times in the neck and once near the eye by a 16-year old student Friday. ... The 16-year-old male student was charged with aggravated battery with a weapon and aggravated battery to a teacher, both felonies.

Black Education:  At Baltimore's predominantly black Frederick Douglass High School … students are four to five years below grade level.  Most of its ninth-graders read at the third-, fourth- or fifth-grade levels.  In 2006, only 24 percent of its students tested proficient in reading, in math just 11 percent, and that's an improvement over previous years.  Only one student managed to score above 1,000 on the SAT and another student scored 440 out of 1,600.  You get 400 points for just writing in your name.  Out of its 1,100 students, 200 to 300 are absent each day.

U.S. schools weigh extending hours, year.  One model that traditional public schools are looking to is the Knowledge is Power Program, which oversees public charter schools nationwide.  Those schools typically serve low-income middle-school students, and their test scores show success.  Students generally go from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week and for a few hours every other Saturday.  They also go to school for several weeks in the summer.

Hearings add weight to anti-obesity bills.  Two legislative hearings were transformed into forums about child obesity Tuesday [2/27/2007] as lawmakers considered adding physical education and dropping junk foods in Oregon's public schools.

[Oregon schools don't have physical education classes already?]

Shut down the Middle Schools.  If an otherwise decent school district has a problem school, it's going to be the junior high.  And even high-functioning middle schools can be a problem for the students in them.

Supreme Court Justices Save Children from Educationists — Finally.  As a twelve-year-old I had been petrified at the thought of attending Ben Franklin [High School].  My fears were borne out when I was locked into French class at the direction of the principal over the P.A. system.  In the halls, stampeding students were breaking glass and beating up teachers.  The school day atmosphere rippled with intimidation.  I was "asked" for quarters at my locker.  As I walked home, I was knocked on the head — for carrying books.

The Editor says...
Sounds like my experience as well.  How many times does a person have to put up with, "Hey you, whitey, lend me a quaw-tuh?"

The Scary Truths Behind the Iconic Yellow School Buses.  Should there be a mandatory national standard for retiring school buses?  Are we as parents asking enough from the companies about the condition of the buses our kids are riding in?

Eye Scan Technology Comes to Schools.  At this point, the New Jersey program is not mandatory.  When picking up a child, the adult provides a driver's license and then submits to an eye scan.  If the iris image camera recognizes his or her eyes, the door clicks open.

Myth Buster.  [For example ...]  Schools perform poorly because they need more money; teachers are underpaid; schools are performing much worse in standardized testing and graduation rates; accountability systems impose large burdens on schools; the evidence for vouchers is inconclusive.

Texas School Finance System Unconstitutional.  The Texas Supreme Court ruled November 22 that the state's school finance system — commonly referred to throughout the state as "Robin Hood"… — is unconstitutional because it levies a statewide property tax.

Alvin cheerleader's dad outraged by suspension.  The father of a 13-year-old Alvin Junior High cheerleader said the school district overstepped its bounds when it suspended his daughter for taking a cell phone photo of another cheerleader getting out of the shower during a sleepover in his home.  "This makes me realize how little control I have over my daughter when the school district can take action something that happened at my home on a Saturday," Michael Bailey said.

The Editor says...
Figure it out, Mr. Bailey — The school district officials think they own your children.  Unless you tell them otherwise, they will continue this presumption.

Harry Browne's stand on Education:  There is no constitutional authority for the federal government to be involved in education in any way whatsoever.  The growing amounts of money and control coming from Washington have been matched by lower SAT scores, declining standards, more dangerous schools, and generations of Americans who have no basic education in history, geography, the Constitution, mathematics, science, or literature.

The Black Hole of Public Education.  For the most part, teachers begin their educational careers idealistic and excited about their role in the learning process.  At first, money is of no concern in the mind of a person who serves in the caretaker profession.  It isn't long, though, before the rookies begin to realize that direct instruction is frowned upon and that no significant amount of learning can take place given the often impossible circumstances with which teachers are faced.

Politicians' Kids Go to Private Schools.  "Politicians who promote public schools don't always send their kids to them," said ABC News journalist John Stossel in a segment of the 20/20 program broadcast on January 28, called "Public Schools for Poor Kids, Not Politicians' Kids." … As an example, he cited Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), who has called public education the "cornerstone of our democracy."  Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, also declared he was "unalterably opposed to a voucher system to give people public money to take to private schools."  Yet when the Clintons were in the White House, they sent their daughter Chelsea to an exclusive private school.

Why Do So Many Public Officials Hate the Public Schools?  We are supposed to love the public schools.  So we are constantly told by public officials.  Public officials who seem far less enthused about sending their own kids to the public schools.

Students Pin Achievement Gap on Teachers with Low Expectations.  Even when students do have higher aspirations, their perspective often is not shared by teachers.  A recent statewide survey of academic expectations in Rhode Island found black and Hispanic students had higher hopes for their future than they thought their teachers had.  While 74 percent of black students thought they would go to college, only 64 percent said their teachers held the same view.  With Hispanic students, the figures were 77 percent and 68 percent respectively.

Old Problem: Student Drop-Out Rate — New Problem: Teacher Drop-Out Rate

Too Many Cooks Running Our Schools.  The curriculum in our schools has been spoiled by the fact that there are too many cooks in the kitchen.  The academic agenda of the public school system is as much determined by what is politically incorrect to discuss in the schools, as it is by the basic assumptions about the academic skills necessary to survive in our society.

The Dirty Dozen:  Twelve college classes YOU are paying for.

Loose Lips in American Academia and the Press:  Professors, journalists and others who have made grossly offensive remarks in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attack are shocked that other Americans are criticizing them for it.  To them, apparently, free speech means being free of criticism by others who want to exercise their own free speech rights.

The Usual Suspects:  Osama bin Chomsky and America's Academic al Qaeda:  When the Vietnam War ended, the anti-war movement fragmented.  Many of the former protesters began what the German New Leftist Rudi Dutschke called the "long march through the institutions."  The most important of these institutions was the academy, where from their tenured positions, the old protesters could continue to inculcate into new generations of students the idea that the United States of "Amerika" (or Amerikkka) is irredeemably racist and oppressive.

Beer and Circus:  How Big-Time College Sports Is Crippling Undergraduate Education:  Big-time college sports are a big-time reason why so many large universities have become nothing more than four-year parties with expensive cover charges otherwise known as tuition.  That's the opening thesis of Murray Sperber's latest book that details how sports — often the one thing schools use to rally their diverse undergraduates — has helped to deny those same students an education.

Inept Teacher Training:  American education will never be improved until we address a problem seen as too delicate to discuss.  That problem is teacher philosophy and incompetency.

When push comes to shovel:  State social-service bureaucrats accuse a small, rural religious school of child abuse, citing its disciplinary emphasis on manual labor and corporal punishment.  In most cases, an overmatched, underfunded school would have to cave in.  But Heartland Christian Academy is hardly typical.  The school is bankrolled by an insurance multimillionaire who hasn't forgotten his rural roots, and "Pastor Charlie," as he's known, points to a record of success in helping steer some of the toughest wayward kids onto the straight and narrow.  And he vows to use his vast resources to fight a battle other similar schools won't — or can't.

Small Is Beautiful:  While public school officials support the idea that "smaller is better" when it is applied to reducing class sizes, the concept meets a much cooler reception when it's applied to reducing the size of school districts.

Boy's Letter Supporting Abortion of Disabled Babies Wins in Lutheran ContestAn eighth-grade boy who wrote a letter advocating parents' rights to abort their potentially disabled unborn babies has been singled out for a trip to Washington by a Christian organization.  Along with his mother, James Humphery has been awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington to lobby members of Congress to pass pro-abortion legislation.

Teachers banned from using 'confrontational' red ink.  Hundreds of schools have barred teachers from marking in red in case it upsets the children.  They are scrapping the traditional method of correcting work because they consider it 'confrontational' and 'threatening'.  Pupils increasingly find that the ticks and crosses on their homework are in more soothing shades like green, blue, pink and yellow, or even in pencil.

Marking in red pen 'can damage students'.  Australian educators are being urged to correct homework in less aggressive colours like green and blue, in an attempt to improve mental health in the classroom.  The plans are part of a package of measures dismissed as "kooky, loony, loopy lefty" by opposition politicians.  Other tips in the Good Mental Health Rocks kit, which was distributed this month to about 30 schools in Queensland state, including apologising to students when necessary and asking pupils to conduct a "personal skills audit" where they focus on their individual strengths rather than their weaknesses.

The Editor says...
What a bunch of wimps!  If that's all it takes to devastate their students, then England and Australia could someday be overtaken by any army with a good supply of red ink.

Spare The Rod, Destroy America.  [Scroll down]  Secondly, we should do away with the mandatory age of sixteen before a punk can quit school.  If a parent is too dumb, stoned or both to care about ensuring their offspring get an education, then our public schools should not have to tolerate the teenage menaces in school. ... Most of these punks will either end up dead or be sent to prison anyway.

Pledge of Allegiance Tied to Socialist Roots

Bob Jones University responds after being characterized as a bigoted institution.

The Influence of "Junk Science" and the Role of Science Education

Well, Suzie, what did you do at school today?
Mother furious after in-school clinic sets up teen's abortion.  The mother of a Ballard High School student is fuming after the health center on campus helped facilitate her daughter's abortion during school hours. ... When she signed a consent form, Jill figured it meant her 15 year old could go to the Ballard Teen Health Center located inside the high school for an earache, a sports physical, even birth control, but not for help terminating a pregnancy.

Public School Helps Girl Get Abortion.  In an unbelievable case that should outrage parents across the country, a public high school in Washington State helped a 15-year-old student get an abortion during school hours without parental consent.  The teenage girl had taken a pregnancy test at the school's health center, according to a local news report, and administrators subsequently arranged for her to get an abortion at a county-run clinic.

ObamaCare High School:  Reading, Writing, and Suicide Assistance?  [Scroll down]  The catalyst was a story from a Seattle television station reporting a mother's outrage that a school-based health clinic (SBHC) had arranged for her 15-year-old daughter's abortion.  The high school student was given a pass, put in a taxi, and sent for an abortion during school hours — all without the parents' knowledge.  To add insult to injury, the teen was told that there wouldn't be any charge for the abortion if she concealed it from her family.  Was this legal?  Yes.

Arne Duncan's list and the Chicago Way.  When U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan ran the Chicago Public Schools for the boss of Chicago, he kept a secret list of those who hoped to clout children into the city's top-tier public schools.  "We didn't want to advertise what we were doing because we didn't want a bunch of people calling," CPS official David Pickens admitted to Tribune reporters Azam Ahmed and Stephanie Banchero, who broke the story.  So the schools kept a clout list.  But they didn't want nobody nobody sent hassling them with calls.

Arne's List:  A World Of Privilege.  Education Secretary Arne Duncan taught us Orwell this week, showing how some are more equal than others with his VIP list for admission to Chicago's best schools.  Unfortunately, it doesn't stop there.  Duncan, hailed as a miracle-working reformer in the Chicago school system he once led, didn't quite persuade that city's well-connected elites of the value of his reforms, given the number who sought placement in the district's better schools.

Education Cutbacks and Urban Violence.  Bloated public education budgets in our large cities may be immune from serious cuts for an unpalatable reason:  the threat of urban violence. ... Difficult budgetary choices entail an element that dare not speak its name:  cutbacks may risk 1960s style riots, and these costs may far exceed temporary savings.  To be blunt, cities often solved riot problems via bloated education-related employment, and bereft of these jobs, cities may return to "long hot summers".

Black Education:  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nationally during 2007-2008, more than 145,000 teachers were physically attacked.  Six percent of big-city schools report verbal abuse of teachers and 18 percent report non-verbal disrespect for teachers.  An earlier NCES study found that 18 percent of the nation's schools accounted for 75 percent of the reported incidents of violence, and 6.6 percent accounted for 50 percent.  So far as serious violence, murder and rapes, 1.9 percent of schools reported 50 percent of the incidents.  The preponderance of school violence occurs in big-city schools attended by black students.

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Updated April 13, 2019.

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