Bruce Deitrick Price's BLOG. Welcome.

Still running at the ed school cineplex: "John Dewey and the Effete Elite." Presenting the antidote.

-- Education IMPROVED --

1) Main site is Improve-Education.org. Articles there are scholarly (in a lively way) and intended to last for years. This blog is for short newsy bits. 2) This site is pro-education, pro-teacher, and anti-Education Establishment. Basically, that's the professors who devise policy. They love social engineering.

5/11/18

People at the TOP must STOP supporting our Education Establishment

If you are concerned about education reform, you should ask yourself what the biggest obstacle is.

 Many people love to blame everything on parents. And everybody else likes to blame our mediocre schools on a shortage of money, even though this country spends more per capita than anybody else.

 Let’s suppose you have an Education Establishment which is deliberately dumbing down the public schools. (If they weren't deliberately doing it, the decline wouldn’t happen so thoroughly and completely, year after year.) Naturally, this guilty Education Establishment tries to blame bad schools on everything but themselves. (Nobody should not take any of the official excuses seriously. They’re all on the level of Bill Clinton discussing the meaning of “is.”)

 I propose all of our problems can be explained simply. Two factors. Our Education Establishment has installed all the dysfunctional ideas they could find or design in our schools. (Here is a short explanation of these ideas: http://www.improve-education.org/id83.html )

 Then a second factor came into play. The Education Establishment has successfully bullied, bamboozled, distracted, or narcotized the upper class, the people who run the society, the movers and shakers. That is, they used to be movers and shakers. Now they are passive and useless.

 I am fascinated by this dereliction of duty. I believe at one time our noblesse felt more oblige. Now they seem to be perfectly indifferent to the fact that half the society can’t read, not in any real sense. I say these upper-level people should feel more guilt and be more involved. These are, after all, the people used to making decisions and running things. 

 Summary: this country definitely needs its best and brightest to be an opposition force to our mostly destructive Education Establishment. Discuss this idea with your friends or in your local paper. Fight the power.

 For further discussion of these themes, see “K-12: Let The Peasants Eat Popcorn.” https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/05/k12_let_the_peasants_eat_popcorn.html




4/9/18

Differentiated Learning = something different for everybody = Individualized Ignorance

Experts have another big idea they want to impose on the country, preferably now and in the dark of night.

 I'm sorry but it's the same thing over and over again. New Math, Whole Word, Common Core, Constructivism, and all the rest. There's a sudden rush of hyperbole. The premise is that this thing is God's final gift to us, and we must embrace it immediately. But smart people know that you must test  new ideas in a limited area over time. The very fact that they want to do it fast and for everybody without proper testing tells me it's another loser.

 (See background article on American Thinker about customized learning, also known as individualized learning, also known as differentiated learning. That's typical. To have three different names for the same thing so right off the bat, nobody knows what anybody else is talking about.)

  The basic idea is that each student has a different curriculum or different textbook, so to speak. You learn whatever it is you learn, I learn whatever it is I learn. We do not necessarily have anything in common, anything that we can discuss over lunch. Another name for this phenomenon is fragmentation.

The more I think about individualized learning, the more reasons I have to distrust it. 

 The first thing you think of is that there will be a lot of extra work and bookkeeping. If a teacher has 25 students that means the teacher is responsible for 24 new Individualized Education Plans (IEP's).

So this is another chapter in the ruthless disregard and contempt we show for our teachers. They don't have enough work now so let's give them dozens of new students, so to speak. (This whole gambit may be mainly concerned with creating the illusion of work for the many thousands of unnecessary administrators we have.)

 And all these extra IEP's have to create a welter of chaos. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the  class is in effect in a different classroom. The only place all the stuff comes together and becomes coherent is in a computer somewhere which is keeping track of all the different things that Tom and Dick are studying.

 So here are my two big objections. This whole individualized gimmick is a juggernaut directed against a society, and the cultural cohesion of the society. It used to be that every kid knew that in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Not to mention, that four score and seven years ago our fathers did such and such.

 Resolved: it's the school's job to pick out the things that everybody should know, and then make sure everybody knows them. I believe this coherence is the main target of individualized instruction. They  want anarchy. They want entropy. They want confusion and chaos. And now they have an authorized way to do it.

  Wait, there's more. Individualized instruction is not  practical without computer learning, or digital instruction. It's the computer that knows the lesson, to whom it's to be taught, how to do it, and so on. So whose job is minimized usually? The teacher's job. The teacher actually no longer has a job in this scheme.

Already, Constructivism had reduced the teacher to a facilitator, a guide, a helper, someone who could make a suggestion now and then. That's the degradation our teachers have suffered. They are no longer teachers at all. Individualized instruction caps this off thoroughly. Perhaps the teacher assigns a number to each student and from then on the teacher has nothing to do. The busywork expands terrifically. The bookkeeping. The record-keeping. The administrative stuff that administrators should be doing will also be done by the teacher.

 So even if the teacher may be busy on all kinds of busy-work,  it's quite possible that the teacher will never be actually teaching, as in transmitting knowledge to students. Teachers and teaching are what will be destroyed by individual learning.

 I hope everyone will think about this from their own experience and point of view. Be very dubious about our Education Establishment. I don't know if they lie all the time; but I believe they lie much of the time. So when these ideas are proposed, please challenge them.

 You have to always understand that even as all these administrative changes are made, the actual content is being scrambled and altered. These kids don't learn to look for right answers. They learn to find some answer that they can explain. Imagine that each child in the classroom is working on a different math problem and each one has a different wrong answer that they have figured out how to defend.

 A famous professor at Notre Dame has declared that his students don't know who won the Civil War. These kids are "know nothings," according to this professor. But even he probably does not realize the full ramifications. Thanks to individualized instruction, each kid will know a different wrong answer. Isn't that poetry for the Devil's ears?

 One kid will say South Carolina won the Civil War. Another will say Germany. Another one will confidently say France. Another will say Canada. Another will say New York City. And on the merry parade will go.

 In fact, I don't think the name individualized instruction is correct. It should be individualized ignorance.

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Bruce Deitrick Price's new book is “Saving K-12” He deconstructs educational theories and methods on Improve-Education.org. Support his work on Patreon. 


4/2/18

Why You Need to Read "Saving K-12 -- What happened to our public schools? How do we fix them?"


Subtitle: how you can help save public education

I put lots of articles on the Internet, and get thousands of comments. The same three themes run through most of these comments: 

How have we gotten into this mess?
Why don’t our official leaders do something?
What can I do personally to help?

  No matter what the question is, here is the essential first step. You have to understand the fake reasoning and false methods so often used. 

Without that understanding, school officials will run you in circles and laugh at your ignorance. Each year they will invent strange new theories and unhelpful new names. No two Americans can have a helpful discussion about education.

 You need a guidebook. That’s what "Saving K-12" was always intended to be. Here are some of the main points explained: Reading theories that don’t work. Arithmetic instruction that confuses children. Theories of teaching that seem to be designed to minimize actual teaching. Classroom strategies they create chaos and failure. The weird contempt that most education professors have for knowledge. Etc., Etc, Etc.

 It’s not much of  an exaggeration to say that there are no good ideas left in public schools. There’s nothing but bad ideas. Arm yourself with the truth; and let the revolution begin. We can have better schools at less cost.


 Order book herehttps://www.amazon.com/SAVING-K-12-Happened-Public-Schools/dp/1681143615


 There's now an ebook for $2.99: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079YHYQ87


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2/16/18

It's official. Bruce Deitrick Price joins Patreon.



             1) Please join my Patreon campaign to improve public schools. 2) Share this announcement with everyone you think wants genuine education reform.  

 I've crusaded for decades on a very limited budget. With small contributions from a large number of people, I can take this crusade to a higher gear.

   Here are your "Rewards," as Patreon calls them. You get the satisfaction of fighting back against one of America’s more relentless oligarchies.  Tier 1: Every two weeks, you get an Education Improvement Bulletin about one major aspect of education. Tier 2: You can order custom analysis, at nominal cost, of  some education problem. Finally, it’s very cheap to participate in this protest campaign, a few dollars a month.

My Patreon page consists of 1100 words and two short videos. Look at this material and you will know a lot about educationnamely, the situation is not good.

Bruce Deitrick Price  /  Improve-Education.org  /  Lit4u.com
FYI:  Wikipedia says: Patreon is a membership platform that provides business tools for creators to run a subscription content service, as well as ways for artists to build relationships and provide exclusive experiences to their subscribers, or "patrons." It is popular among....writers....and creators who post regularly online.

1/25/18

Child abuse: there is too much of it in K-12 classrooms

Did you assume child abuse means sexual abuse? In fact, a lot of the instructional methods used in public schools constitute, not sexual, but cognitive abuse. (Siegfried Engelmann calls it “academic child abuse.” That’s where your brain and your personality are scrambled. You are not as effective in life.)

 Here’s the point; if you teach children in ways that don’t work very well, you are abusing that child. For example, if after years of reading instruction, students still can’t read, they have been robbed of their time and their future. Are these not criminal offenses?

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 Cognitive abuse can be seen in reading, math, and all content subjects such as history, science, geography. Some  methods get much better results. If the school uses the inefficient ways, that’s an abusive relationship. Here’s the bad news: this sort of abuse – academic and intellectual— is commonplace.

 Sexual abuse is more traumatic and dramatic, more of a violation. On the other hand, cognitive abuse affects tens of millions of Americans, often for many years. It’s a vast silent plague.

 Progressive education has, for 100 years, tried to mess with the brains of children. They are supposed to have certain attitudes, specific feelings, and a passion for being cooperative. Progressive educators, no matter how they are dressed, tend to be meddlers in white lab coats.  They think it’s their prerogative to rewire children in order to reach ideological goals.

 A lot of drugs are prescribed in public schools. Exercise is often limited. Cumbersome, hard-to-learn methods infect every classroom, especially in Common Core. Character is undermined in many ways.

 Find a class that’s underperforming and you will probably find  “academic child abuse.”

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 QED: You cannot speak seriously about education reform if you do not try to eliminate all those practices which make children less than they might be.

MORE DISCUSSION:  "Finally, Child Abuse is Being Rooted Out--Now What About Cognitive Abuse?"
https://republicstandard.com/finally-child-abuse-is-being-rooted-out-now-what-about-cognitive-abuse/

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11/24/17

"Saving K-12" is A Great Gift for Smart People -- see reasons below


11/22/17


What do you give to an intelligent person? 

 How about something smart, useful, fun, literary, and socially conscious, for those of us who care about education. That would be “Saving K-12 – What happened to our public schools? How do we fix them?”

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  A lively but very serious book that virtually every educated American will enjoy, "Saving K-12" deals with two huge questions. WHY has the Education Establishment dumbed down the public schools? And HOW did they accomplish this feat? For example, how do they spend many years teaching children to read but somehow millions of children never become good readers?


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“There is nothing more important than your child's education, and no one has a better grasp on what is happening in the schools 
of the current day than columnist/author 
Bruce Price.”   Judi McLeod, Editor of Canada Free Press
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 Bruce Price’s SAVING K-12 is a MUST read! It is precise, concise and powerful. Action is required…for the sake of our children, our grandchildren and the future of the American Republic!"
Robert W. Sweet, Jr., President, The National Right to Read Foundation
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 John Biver, columnist and political scientist, posted a thoughtful review on his site. Read it and you’ll know for sure whether this book is good for your friends: Every 12 Years: A Review of the Book ‘Saving K-12’ (Part Two)

https://illinoisfamily.org/education/every-12-years-review-book-saving-k-12-part-two/



Order on Amazon
Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, etc.




E V E R Y O N E   N E E D S



See author's lit site for more info: http://www.Lit4u.com/saving-k-12



10/2/17

Pensare Oltre invites Bruce Deitrick Price to speak in Italy

FOR  IMMEDIATE  RELEASE

 Our Education Establishment, no matter how many millions of children end up illiterate, is able to suppress debate and elude public outrage. Critics are typically ignored. After all, if they disagree with the Education Establishment, they must be wrong.

 “So it was a strange surprise,” Bruce Price explains, “when education reformers in Italy contacted me for help in their fight against sight-words in public schools. Must be a mistake, I thought. American experts constantly stress that a phonetic language would never need sight-words. Oh, they wail, if only English were perfectly phonetic like Italian!!" 

Here’s a shocker. Italian public schools had, in fact, detoured into sight-words, causing all the problems we have here, namely, dyslexia, ADHD, and too much reliance on psychiatric-plus-pharmaceutical solutions. Apparently, social engineers everywhere love illiteracy; and nothing delivers it better than sight-words.

 Many phonics experts stated for years that dyslexia is almost never a real disease. In fact, it should be called dysteachia. 

Italian reformers reached the same conclusion. Their website (note it can be either English or Italian) asks: Learning Disorders or Teaching Disorders? 

Price has been an informal consultant to Pensare Oltre for almost 4 years.  “They are a unique group," he believes. “Smart, sophisticated, scientifically inclined. They’re thinking through the weird practices of their Education Establishment so they can persuade their country to get back on track.” 

Italian is beautiful, entirely phonetic, and possessed of a proud literary and operatic heritage. The people who would teach Italian with sight-words announce to the world: I, Dunce.

            Two years ago Price wrote up his  involvement with Pensare Oltre (which means thinking beyond)  under the headline: "Education Reform: Italian Group Shows Americans How It’s Done"

            This year they’ve invited Price to speak twice at their two-day conference in Milan, a great honor. One speech is called “Know Thine Enemy,” which investigates what kind of people are making a mess of our public schools. (Typically they are called Progressives.) A second smaller talk is titled “Broken Promises.”  Again and again, our public schools promise to teach X but years later nobody knows much X.

            The conference on October 20-21, 2017 mixes a lot of themes: education, psychiatry, culture, science, entertainment.  “I don’t believe,” Price says, “there is another group in the world like Pensare Oltre, certainly not in the US, and, boy, do we need one.”

             Pensare Oltre is particularly offended by the tendency of school officials to attribute every problem to an alleged psychological disorder, such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, dyscalculia, and dysorthography. If you teach something incorrectly, you should expect problems. The more incorrect you are, the more deep and ugly the problems will be. That’s been the quiet history in the United States since 1931 when sight-words were pushed into the schools.


Addendum:  “Saving K-12— What happened to our public schools? How do we fix them?” is intended to help ordinary citizens understand the machinations of our Education Establishment. To be published November 17. See more info: Lit4u.com.


7/14/17

Saving K-12: What happened to our public schools?


I have a book coming out on Nov. 17 called Saving K-12. It answers these questions: What happened to our public schools? How do we fix them?

Saving K-12 is available for preorder now.

 If you feel that our publics schools should be better, and could be better, then you will enjoy this book.

The main strategy for improvement is that people understand what’s really happening in the classrooms. Namely, our Education Establishment promotes inferior, even cruel methods. For example, kids cannot learn to read with sight-words. It’s more of a hoax than anything else. When parents understand how the hoax works, then they can fight back.

 Saving K-12 consists of 65 essays on a wide range of topics.--


Contents

INTRODUCTION

1-CULTURE WARS
 Somebody does not like our culture

2-READING WARS
Why we have 50,000,000 functional illiterates

3-MATH WARS
 Students reach college not knowing what 7 x 8 is

4-HISTORICALLY SPEAKING
 100 years of dumbing down

5-THEORIES AND METHODS IN THE CLASSROOM
 Every fad turns out to be a foolish idea

6-COMMON CORE ENSHRINES THE WORST
That’s how you know they aren’t sincere

7-LITERARY FLIGHTS
 Who says serious has to be boring

8-GUILTY 
 Are they merely clumsy or carefully aiming for mediocrity

9-MOVERS AND SHAKERS
   We need our big shots to move and shake more than they do 

10-WHAT TO DO 
 Suggestions for repairing the damage

SUMMING UP
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Order this book here: https://www.amazon.com/Saving-K-12-Happened-Public-Schools/dp/1681143623

If you are a book reviewer and want a copy, please let me know.

    This book is the best cheap gift for smart people.


For more information, see Lit4u.com ( https://www.lit4u.com/saving-k-12/ )








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Bruce Deitrick Price

3/11/17

Why K-12 is Groundhog Day


In the movie, Bill Murray gets up every day and has to live through the same realities that he lived through the day before. Nietzsche called this predicament “eternal recurrence.”

 Einstein weighed in on this topic. Doing the same thing again and again, while getting the same results, is a working definition of insanity.

 So there you have our public school system, an insane Rube Goldberg contraption with lots of wheels turning, balls dropping, springs springing…. but nothing is accomplished. 

  I've been studying education for 25 years and finally see a simple way of explaining the nonsense and inertia that we all witness. Every day is Groundhog Day because the essential conflict has not changed in almost 100 years. The underlying forces don't evolve. We are stuck.

Traditional education, where an expert teacher tries to transfer all the interesting stuff about our civilization to the minds of the young, is the proper job of schools. It is the right way to do things (even if we today would like to see more fun and cleverness in the classroom). So the community, and common sense, are always trying to  push the schools to do what they ideally should be doing. That’s the situation today just as it was in 2000 and 1980 and 1960 and 1940 and 1920.

 On the other side, we have “progressives” (that’s code for Socialists and Communists) who want to transform the schools so they become part of a collectivist transformation of society. Knowledge, facts, interesting stuff of all kinds, is of no interest to these people. The schools have only one purpose: social engineering. If some kids learn a lot and some kids learn a little, this opens up divisions in society. If children learn to think for themselves, they will argue with their ideological overlords. So in general the people at the top of the Education Establishment prefer dumbing down, mediocrity, and low standards. These people are for me the merest hacks. But you have to give them credit for hard work and relentless discipline. If even the smallest smidgen of education takes place in the schools, they will try to expunge it. They have dozens of bogus theories and dysfunctional methods designed to accomplish precisely this goal.

So this war—this battle for the souls and minds of the children—has not changed in the last hundred years. The apparent changes are all superficial: nomenclature, jargon, faddish claims. The community wants children to be educated. The progressives want children to be indoctrinated. That’s it. That's the whole game for 100 years.

 That’s why K-12 is Groundhog Day. 

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 The progressives have a vast interlocking network of people and organizations intended to keep the schools mediocre. Last year I would've said: the fix is in and the situation is hopeless. Now, however, new people have taken over the Department of Education. Now we can start to drain the swamp, as explained in this article on American Thinker: 

 Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos are promoting charter schools and vouchers. Choice is the key concept. If the public has choicesthe public will pick what delivers the most traditional education. That's how we disrupt "eternal recurrence."  --  Bruce Deitrick Price

ANNOUNCING MY NEW BOOK:  "Saving K-12--What happened to our public schools? How do we fix them?" can be pre-ordered on Amazon. Lively reading about serious topics.
https://www.amazon.com/Saving-K-12-Happened-Public-Schools/dp/1681143623

More info here: www.Lit4u.com

post on educationimproved.blogspot.com
....

9/6/16

Parents: defend your kids against sight-words



Our Education Establishment is devoted to social engineering, not academic engineering. Our education commissars will sabotage academic aspects if that helps create more cooperative, more malleable children.

 The biggest gimmick in the public schools is sight-words (also known by many other names). This approach to reading will basically guarantee semi-literacy at best. One very common outcome is dyslexia.

 English is a phonetic language and must be learned phonetically.

 Keep in mind that English has far more than 100,000 words. At one time, the official dogma in our public schools was that children could memorize all these words on sight. This is completely idiotic. Many ordinary children cannot memorize even 300!

 I write about the subject all the time because it’s intellectually fascinating. Our so-called educators invent these methods that don’t work, then they have to brainwash teachers into believing in the methods, and then in turn brainwashing parents into accepting the methods. The children themselves don’t know what’s being done to them, so they are just lost souls herded around from assessment to remediation to psychiatric counseling.

Here is a good introductory article. All parents with school-age children should take a look: MAMMAS, DON'T LET YOUR BABIES GROW UP TO LEARN SIGHT-WORDS.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/mammas-dont-let-your-babies-grow-up-learn-sight-words-price?published=t


 Here’s a somewhat more technical article about why sight-words are so difficult. Anybody interested in the reading problem will love this article: MASSIVE K-12 READING FAILURE EXPLAINED 
http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/06/massive_k12_reading_failure_explained.html





1/1/16

Saving K-12 education in 2016

For many years I've focused on education reform; that work will continue. I have more than 400 articles on the Internet and over 3,000,000 views/visits on YouTube and various sites. To find education articles and videos, simply enter your interest in Google with the name Bruce Deitrick Price. It's an easy way to find a lot of material quickly. You can assume this material is intelligent, practical, lucid, conservative, and intended to help every student advance as far as possible.

During 2015,  I was constantly struck by two main trends we need to reverse. First, the Education Establishment continues its work of dumbing down the public schools, using a broad array of weird theories and methods. I started to think this phrase all the time: the fix is in. That is, we're being attacked from every direction. One group comes up with bogus approaches. Another group launches a PR campaign to tell us how wonderful these cons are. Another group raises money to attack anything in the way. Nothing is left to chance. This ruthless redundancy was clearly seen during the Common Core Debacle. Which reminds us of the little good news there is: the bad guys don't always win. If the public fights back, the public can prevail.

 Which brings us to the second sad trend. Our community and political leaders, our movers and shakers, all the people who should be helping the public to fight back, are silent and useless. From the Chamber of Commerce and the Ivy League universities, through all the official education groups, to the major religious organizations – what are these people doing? As far as I can tell, not much. Please, if you are a member of any organization, encourage that organization to be better informed, to take stands, to agitate for better public education.

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Along with the education work, I'll be busy on a variety of literary projects. Please see my literary site Lit4u.com for information about the five novels now available as e-books.

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8/15/15

Back to the novel: "The Man Who Falls In Love With His Wife"

For the past 10 years my emphasis has been on education reform. I believe I'm the most prolific writer on education in the country. I have 400 articles and videos on the Internet. My YouTube views are something like 1,700,000. This work continues as before...

But I'm going back, at least half the time, to being a novelist. I'm trying to bring all my projects to fruition.

My first experiment in this direction is "The Man Who Falls In Love With His Wife," romantic drama set in Manhattan. Can a husband love his wife too much? Just to be clear, this is not "romance." It's best described as literary fiction. (You can read a preview or buy the e-book HERE.





 There are now several new novels shown on my literary site: Lit4u.com.

You'll enjoy visiting Lit4u.com.


2/21/15

Memo to Mensa and PEN

 Posted on Mensa's Forum. I think it's important enough to repost here.

--------------------------------------------------

I've just written an article about Samuel Blumenfeld's video where he says K-12 education is “a criminal enterprise.”  

He sums up the terrifying ramifications this way: “The dumb are getting dumber; and the smart are getting dumber."

The main reason is a designed-to-fail curriculum. Blumenfeld is especially critical of Common Core. But the biggest single malignancy is the deliberate use of reading instruction that does not work, i.e. Whole Word, Whole Language, Sight-Words, etc.

This comprehensive attack is the reason why our intelligence is shrinking. Blumenfeld notes that the number of high scores on SAT tests has dropped.

 So the country’s brain power is being deliberately and systematically destroyed. One might say this can’t affect Mensa because there will always be a top 2%!

 But that seems short-sighted to me. I submit that anything that reduces intelligence is a threat to Mensa and everything that I believe Mensa stands for.

 But people say that Mensa cannot take a stand on anything, not even matters pertaining to intelligence, not even the destruction of its own raison d’ĂȘtre. This strikes me as a convoluted little legalism. 

PEN (Poets, Essayists, Novelists), another elite organization, is behaving in an equally narrow way. They used to talk a lot about the “right to read.” Now they don't even mention that. I have told them that there is a much more important right here: “the right to learn to read.” They should be demanding that right for everyone on the planet, as should Mensa.

 We see a sad pattern here. The people at the top, the big shots, the movers and shakers, the smart and successful, the people who should be protecting the society, are passive, indifferent, unsure of themselves, or corrupted. Whatever it is exactly, I’ve designated this phenomenon “the silence of the shepherds.”

 The “lambs” go off to school and are rendered brain-addled in a variety of ways. What do they know? Their silence is not surprising. But the adults, the grown-ups, the leaders of the community, where are they? Why do they abdicate their responsibility? Why are they silent? 

Properly, everyone would be mad as hell and screaming out the window. As the signs say at sporting events: Make some noise.” 


  
Addendum: I hope that if you're a member of these organizations, you'll support these arguments to the leadership. Speaking of the society generally, the tide is running the wrong way and I sense there is not a lot of time.

--

1/13/15

Education, Politics, and Lies--what’s the difference?

During the past decade, I wrote mainly about education. I decided it would be good strategy to stay away from peripheral issues. I didn’t want to confuse my readers. I wanted them to think, oh yeah, this is that guy that writes about education.

In particular, I wanted to stay away from politics. You don’t need any special expertise to sound off about politics. As an education critic, I find there’s few other people doing what I’m doing. But as a political critic, I would be one of many thousands.

 Trouble is, I found more and more that politics and education blur together these days. Here’s why. Both fields have been taken over by liars and sophists. Was it always like this? Or has it simply become more blatant?

Maybe I should try to describe my a-ha moment. Trying to explain Obama to myself (or anyone else) turns out to be difficult because he says whatever he needs to say on any particular day. Meanwhile, I found that explaining sight-words, Whole Word and why so many children are illiterate is very difficult, because the Education Establishment sells its nonsense any way it can.

A few years ago I wrote an article that basically concluded, if you can understand Obama, you can understand sight-words. Similarly, if you can understand sight-words, you can understand Obama. In both cases, there’s nothing genuinely there except the deception and sophistry being promoted at that moment.

That’s pretty strong but also very helpful. It may be the only way you can understand sight-words and the way reading has been taught, such that we have 50,000,000 functional illiterates. It’s very hard for the average parent to grapple with the reality that the Education Establishment may be nothing but a chorus of liars. But if you look at sight-words, Reform Math, Common Core, constructivism and all the rest, you eventually realize that the lying never stops.

Then you look at the New York Times protecting Obama at every turn. What you have is another chorus of liars. And if you look back and forth from the people keeping Obama in office and the people keeping sight-words in the public schools, you are confronted by similar choirs.

Years ago, the Left came up with the idea that journalists don’t need to tell the truth. They could tell each one’s personal subjective truth. Schools of journalism now teach their students to lie. That’s why you have these contrived stories about rape at UVa. And that’s why you have the irresponsible reporting about Treyvon Martin and Michael Brown. The journalists pick the perspective that makes the minority person look innocent; and they just keep pushing it. If they had bothered to look at the relevant videos, they would know not to take such a biased position.

 So what’s the bottom line here? I don’t think there's a single good idea in the public schools and I don’t think there is anybody at the top of education telling you the truth. Furthermore, I don’t think there's anybody in the White House telling the truth and I don’t think that anybody in the liberal media is trying to make them tell the truth. That’s grim but probably closer to the truth than not.

 Harvard had a motto “Veritas. Would any university pick that motto today? It’s doubtful. Harvard’s  probably trying to figure out a way to pretend they didn’t do it, because what liberal universities really believe in these days is their agenda. Ten big lies to push their agenda don’t even add up to one little white lie as far as they’re concerned.

 How can we hope to sustain a civilization based on perpetual dishonesty? I think it’s up to everybody to start over and do what it takes to rebuild our integrity. In the first grade say that 2+2 = 4.  Conversely, claiming that 2+2 = 5 must be denounced as a lie. You start to mess with 2+2 = 5 only if you're crazy, you’re a criminal, or you’re trying to set up a totalitarian regime as in 1984.

There are lots of legitimately complicated things to argue about: the nature of reality and what God is up to. But if we're talking about whether a six-foot person is taller than a five-foot person, that’s merely a fact. You can’t pretend that facts are not there. Obama lives in a world where he can say anything on any given day and then contradict it on a later day. Our Education Establishment lives in a world where they can announce that any theory can achieve any results.
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 How to restore integrity to K-12 education: eliminate dubious theories and methods. Here is a list of what needs to go: "Top 10 Worst Ideas in Education"

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Bruce Deitrick Price / Improve-Education.org

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7/4/14

Let's get rid of Reform Math-- a meditation for July 4

Here it is July 4. Hurray for the USA.

If you want something to be optimistic about,  reflect on this...

 Those goofy self-appointed experts who control the public schools in this country made a big mistake. They went too dumb, too fast, too blatantly,  too obnoxiously. (You might say they did a King George.)

 They basically told the parents of America, "Eat cake, shut the hell up, and don't bother us. If your kids come home with weird homework that you cannot do, just remember the reason is that you're not very bright. There's no reason to expect that your kids will be very smart. So just accept your fate, and their fate, and leave us alone so we can do our job, which is supporting Pres. Obama in his fundamental transformation of the country into a socialist paradise. And that's not a snarky joke. We really believe it will be a paradise. For us."

 Their arrogance and contempt turned out to be really good news for the rest of  the country. Parents have struggled with the stupid problems and come to the correct conclusion that the people designing these problems are not serious about math. They are serious about something. But what it is the average person cannot understand. That's because the average person is not a power-hungry ideologue control freak.

 So there is a lot of discontent in the land. This creates an opening. Every excess in boxing or military  maneuvers creates an opening for a counterattack. You don't need to persuade the mothers of America that something is seriously wrong. They know that from their own experience.

So if you're an education reformer, you can take the position that Reform Math must be destroyed completely. Use Singapore Math. Use Saxon Math. Use any old-fashioned math textbook from 75 years ago. Doesn't matter. The point is that RM must be eliminated. The parents of America are ready for that sweeping decision. First Reform Math, then Common Core. They both emanated from the same swamp.

Here is a longer discussion of the same points in American Thinker. If this whole perspective is new to you, please read this other article and the comments that people left.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/06/reform_math_must_be_destroyed_root_and_branch.html

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5/12/14

Superior Schools: Theories and Methods for Effective Education


Malkin Dare, the well-known Canadian education reformer, has a very important article on her site called “Ten Keys to Success: Fundamental Principles of Teaching.”

 This is everything you want to know to run a school or classroom in the traditional way. It’s everything you need to know to fight the destructive methods that progressives favor (because they are obsessed with social engineering rather than academic pursuits).

 But the article is over 3000 words and I didn't think enough people would read it thoroughly. So I asked Malkin Dare for permission to make a short version. She said: “Go for it.”

 So now my condensed version (under 1000 words) is on Examiner.com, with links to the original and some related material. The new title is: “Ten Stratagies for Successful Teaching.”

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The problem was I edited the title as I was posting the article and that seemed to confuse Examiner’s search tools. So I later posted a link to the short version on FreeRepublic, but someone there has a prejudice against Examiner, which as you’ll see is really a fine site. So now I'm promoting this article a third time.

If everyone concerned about education would read this article, we would see some magical progress.

 (I used a third title here because that increases the chance that people using Google will find it.)

 Here, to whet your appetite, are the topic sentences for Malkin Dare's ten strategies:


1: Almost all students can learn
2. Almost anything can be learned
3. There are almost no circumstances under which students can’t learn
4. Basic skills should be taught before higher-order skills
5. Factual knowledge is important
6. Hard work must be encouraged
7. Lessons should be clear and precise
8. New concepts should be practiced until they have been completely mastered
9. New concepts should be taught in sequence 
10. High student achievement is not dependent on lavish spending

 Please pass this on to every teacher (and parent) you know. 
These strategies are, by the way, the perfect antidote for every goofy idea contained in Common Core.
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Examiner linkhttp://www.examiner.com/article/ten-stratagies-for-successful-teaching?cid=db_articles

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5/2/14

Common Core: dirty rotten scoundrels

Common Core cycles forward all the worst ideas of the last 75 years. In particular, Common Core promotes Whole Language, various kinds of Reform Math, Constructivism, and all the other gimmicks.

 But which is its dirtiest trick? This article in American Thinker (link below) argues that the sickest aspect of Common Core is that the math homework, the math instructional methods generally, divide parents from children. Only scoundrels could come up with this stuff.

The basic gambit is to teach math in a way very different from what the parents know about or can understand. We first saw this nonsense in the 1960s under the rubric of New Math. The country ridiculed this approach and rejected it. But the education professors had shown their hand. Whenever possible, they would figure out a way to teach something (anything) in a way that was alien and mysterious to the parents. The goal seemed to be to drive a huge wedge between the generations.

 This works particularly well in math. Math is often a complex subject. The ordinary parent has probably not gone very far in math. So you can throw something weird at them, and they'll be intimidated. They barely remember the old arithmetic they learned 10 or 20 years before. But here is something new coming from the school that makes no sense at all. What to do?

Imagine this scenario happening a billion times each year. That's probably an accurate figure

The child comes home with an instructional sheet from the school. The parent glances at it and can't understand it. So now the parent is sitting there feeling stupid. The kid is watching and wondering what's going on. Maybe his parents aren't so bright after all. The parent can complain to the school and look small-minded. The parent can try to figure out the material and teach it to the child. But this is exhausting and takes a lot of time.

Besides, the parent senses that a trick is being played. Just look, here's a way to multiply numbers that takes twice as long as the way we learned!!

 Well, at this point, you need confident parents who are willing to scream: you people are Pavlovian phonies and we're not going to take it anymore.

We see this wonderful phenomenon on a Facebook page called "Parents Against Everyday Math." For the record, Everyday Math is just one of a dozen kinds of Reform Math. It just happens to be the most common variety. Parents come to this site to leave their horror stories about homework they couldn't understand. Nor could they help their children to do it.

 This has been a pattern for many decades: parents bitching and moaning about math instruction, particularly math homework. Fifty years ago and before, the children bitched and moaned. That's the way it's supposed to be, because they are the students. 

The idea that parents cannot do homework intended for seven-year-olds is just so counterintuitive, just so crazy, that the average parent cannot get their brain around it. Nor should they have to try.

The parents need to look in the mirror and say these words: The school is disrespecting me. They are trying to make me look bad in the eyes of my children. They are dumbing down my children. A lot of overpaid people are spending their careers dreaming up stuff that will make my life worse and will weaken the country. I don't want to put up with this anymore. I want to find the people who okayed this bogus method, and get them demoted.

 Saxon Math is better than Reform Math. Any halfway sensible approach to arithmetic is better than Reform Math.

 I wrote an article a few years back arguing that you could teach first-graders everything they need to know about arithmetic with a handful of coins and a few dollar bills. At the end of the year they will know how to make change on any small purchase. They'll be able to add and subtract any one or two digit numbers. And a big reason why all that progress is possible is that virtually any parent can help them with their homework.


COMMON CORE'S DIRTIEST TRICK: http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/04/common_cores_dirtiest_trick_dividing_parents_and_children.html


FIRST-GRADE MATH ARTICLE: http://brucedprice.hubpages.com/hub/PricesEasyArithmetic

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Improve-Education.org is The Answer

Find out what ails American education on Improve-Education.org.
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Remain a novelist, artist, poet, and art director. But main activity is writing about education reform.. The schools, now bad due to ideology and laziness, could be easily improved. 

That claim is clearly explained in new book  "Saving K-12--What happened to our public schools. How do we fix them?"

I invite everyone to join my crusade or start your own. The worst thing is letting the Education Establishment continue its reign of incompetence.
Visit Improve-Education.org. (Or Google Bruce Deitrick Price and any education topic; you'll find some interesting articles. I have 400 ed articles, videos, and book reviews on web. Please use them in your own battles.)    

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