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.
Some of these people are fat and out of shape. But a shockingly large number are simply too ignorant and illiterate to be useful in the military. The Pentagon has tried creating remedial schools within the Army; more recently, a group of retired generals is pushing the new National Standards. Forget about it.
The linked article argues that the real problem is our Education Establishment, the people who control the public schools. They love social engineering. They don't give much of a damn about intellectual engineering. Whether intentionally or by accident, they end up sabotaging remedial schools and the creation of new Standards.
This article urges the military to start thinking outside the education box. Forget what the so-called experts think. You would be better off picking 400 names out of the phone book, Senator Moynihan once argued.
Tell your military friends to read this article: "Memo to: PENTAGON / Subject: EDUCATION / Status: HIGHEST PRIORITY" ( http://bit.ly/hgCidD )
Another good strong statement (addressed to leaders of business and military) is here: http://edfrontier.blogspot.com/ (Ed Frontier is a new blog.)
The word "Standards" is used unpredictably to refer to:
goals or levels that students must reach to pass;
goals we dream of reaching some day;
levels that are good enough in our society;
and the means/techniques we'll use to achieve certain goals.
Ergo, we can never be sure what the Education Establishment is talking about.
Take the simple sentence: "Our Standards are too low." No matter what you take that to mean, they can say, no, we were talking about something else.
Mush Test 1. Visit corestandards.org and read some of the math stuff for younger grades. Decide what these educators mean by "core standards."
For deeper discussion of linguistic confusions, see: "Obama's Ed Plan Is Anti-Ed"
Some critics do try to blame our educational problems on teachers. I am not one of those people. Teachers don't make policy; they don’t have much power. Why talk about teachers if we are trying to figure out what is wrong with the schools??
I blame the people I call the Education Establishment. These elite ideologues (since John Dewey) want to use public schools to change the country. That is a problem for our nation. It’s also a problem for individual teachers because best practice is often not what these ideologues end up promoting.
Unfortunately, many classroom teachers have been bamboozled into thinking they have the same interests as the Education Establishment. That's why the teacher thought she was being criticized when, in fact, the criticism was aimed at elite professors who live in another world.
Improve-Education.org is concerned with explaining how education policy is implemented, the theories behind the common practices, and why teachers should oppose the people at the top.
(Teachers, please see "31: Teacher Liberation Front" on Improve-Education.org.)
I know, you don’t want to think about all the bad public schools out there. Nothing to do with you, right?? Wrong. The effects are oozing through the society. You are in danger. If this country gets any dumber, we won't have a country.
Want safety? Here are the threats we have to overcome:
1) THE EDUCATION ESTABLISHMENT CAN’T BE TRUSTED. Almost a century ago, they took a wrong turn, and went down a road marked SOCIAL ENGINEERING. The problem for everybody else is that these ideologues hope to wreck the society we’ve got, so they can build the collectivized world they dream about...
2) PRESS AND MAJOR UNIVERSITIES ARE ON THE WRONG SIDE...It's sad/funny to watch the smartest people in the country behave in such an embarrassing, smart-free way.... [Smart-free. That might be an original coinage. It means free of smartness.]
THIS IS A PRETTY GOOD RIFF. AND SCARY. FOR MORE, GO;
20 years ago I noticed a simple index of our educational decline: books and magazines would run maps without a scale of miles. I created a sheet titled “Map Alert,” which made the point that maps without a scale of miles are no longer maps. They are abstract art. Only a fool or an ignoramus would run a map without a scale of miles. (I sent Map Alert to many editors, some of whom even apologized!)
Which brings us to Time magazine, June 21, 2010, and its long article on cleaning up the mess in the Gulf. On pages 56-57, there’s a "map" of the huge area from Texas to Florida showing various oil wells. Very interesting, I thought, as I settled in to see what was what and where. Then I realized there was no way for me to compare distances I know with distances on the map. Many people speak of a Golden Age when Time was respectable and trustworthy. Alas. (I often think the whole magazine should be written by Joel Stein. At least it would be funny.)
Please see “MAP ALERT” here.
The following plea--written 55 years ago and addressed to all the teachers of America--is still solid gold today:
"You are a grade-school teacher. I know that you are doing a conscientious job, that you work overtime for very little pay, that you love children and are proud of your profession. Aren't you getting tired of being attacked and criticized all the time? Every second mother who comes in to talk to you tells you that she is dissatisfied, that her child doesn't seem to learn anything, that you should do your job in a different way, that you don't know your business. Why should you be the scapegoat? The educators in their teachers' colleges and publishing offices think up all these fancy ideas, and you are on the firing line and have to take the consequences. Have another look at the system you are defending with so much effort. I know you are an intelligent young woman. You belong on the other side."
Isn't that great? See rest of article here: www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/158657
I certainly wasn’t thinking about our public schools at that time but now I see a creepy similarity between what happened to that space station and what happened to this country’s Education Establishment. Both are running on an unintended autopilot and no longer serve the purposes for which they were constructed. Neither can be reasoned with or even approached....
See this brief and illuminating historical report--"How American Public Education Became A Doomsday Machine"--here: http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/23112
Here Is the exciting truth: the human brain loves to acquire new information.
Imagine the misery of human brains stuck in public schools where the curriculum is in effect a war on content, and the reigning educational philosophy states that children must be protected from knowledge.
With regard to ignorance, it’s time to go cold turkey. No more ignorance! From this point on, learning is king, and knowledge is the whole point.
A simple one-step recovery program is available free for all public schools. The program is titled “Teach One Fact Each Day.” This thing is easy and fool-proof. It can be started now.
See “47: Teach One Fact Each Day” on Improve-Education.org..
Last week I posted background on FreeRepublic about a column published months earlier titled “Education as Neurotoxin.”
This column tries to explain why the US has 50 million functional illiterates and 1 million dyslexics. Were these people born this way? Or had bad education methods caused the impairments? (In which case, our enemies never needed to put fluoride, etc., in the water as our public schools were already harming the nation’s intelligence.)
Someone left a half-dozen bitter comments insisting I was “delusional,” “illogical,” “irrational,” “nonsensical,” etc. I’m not sure which part offended him most, that sight-words create mental problems; or that the far-left could possibly promote the use of destructive methods.
This commenter embraced the Dolch Dogma that kids must memorize 300 Dolch words in order to start reading. My belief is that it’s precisely the memorizing of the sight-words that causes mental impairment. English words are phonetic objects; and all of them, even the irregular ones, should be learned as such. (Flesch explained all this in his 1955 book “Why Johnny Can’t Read.” I wish everyone could read the first chapter.)
For my attempt at illuminating what happens to children in sight-word classrooms, please see “41: Sight Words--The Big Stupid.”
The other side of the discussion is this question: what prompted our educators in the depths of the Depression (ca. 1932) to discard all the phonics books, and to waste vast sums on Dick and Jane books? My sense is that their actions are irrational or subversive. For an analysis of these questions, please see “Stalinists?? Or They Walked That Way.”
I asked my doctor what he thought of President Obama’s proposals for health insurance.
The doctor quietly remarked: “Obama’s saying, this is what’s good for you -- whether you like it or not.”
Hold that thought! It’s everything you need to know about American education for the past one hundred years.
The far-left likes to devise abstract answers, and then force them on the public. That sensibility is at odds with American democracy. It certainly wasn’t common in American education...until John Dewey and his progressive educators cracked open a nasty can of worms.
I immediately wrote down the doctor's remark (that was all he said), and got a column out of it.
Education or everyday politics, contempt is the killer.
Bruce Deitrick Price
- 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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