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.
Just in passing, Pravda casually alleges that US public schools have been taken over by Communists. That's what I've been explaining for years. I had to leave a comment:
"To save our schools, the first step is to realize they didn't go to hell by accident. John Dewey, his so-called Progressives, and all the people following them, have been Socialists, Communists, Marxists, etc. They degrade the schools as a way of making kids dumber and more pliable. The same ruthless twits, as I think of them, are now campaigning under the banners of Social Justice and Fairness. For these far-left people, bad education is a good thing.
(These people, the ones at the top of the Education Establishment, are probably best understood as the Pigs that Orwell described in Animal Farm.)"
Until we deal with motives, there's no way to make sense of the mediocrity found in so many public schools. It's deliberate mediocrity. That is what is so tough to accept. Doctors who make people sick?? So-called education experts who seem always to lower scores?? Same weirdly counter-intuitive deal. For further analysis along this line, see "Education: What Lurks Below The Surface?"
A few years ago, the big question for me was whether we should say that the public schools are bad because of incompetence or subversion.
Incompetence is a pleasant cop-out. You have clumsy people who can’t do a job right. You have the gang that can’t shoot straight. You have F Troop, an old TV program. They’re clumsy and sort of ridiculous. But you don’t have to deal with that whole realm of intentional malfeasance, of evil.
More and more, when I looked at the patterns over decades -- the same dumb methods and bad results--you couldn’t conclude it was incompetence. Even the most incompetent persons, when they see themselves doing badly over and over and over again, will seek help and find better answers. But our Education Establishment never does. They keep all their bad ideas in play decade after decade. It’s quite a shocking thing.
When Rudolf Flesch wrote his famous book in 1955, you might have thought that the schools would banish sight-words forever. Wrong. Public schools today are just as keen on sight-words in the first grade as they were 50 years ago. The only thing that changes is the jargon and supporting arguments, that is, the razzmatazz they feed to parents and teachers.
I have no trouble now using the words subversion and conspiracy. They seem correct. Now, I’m more focused on motive or mental state. Are these people sociopathic, pathological liars, sadists, or what? There is something so seriously wrong with a group that can consistently harm children -- that is, dumb them down in a variety of ways. How would YOU describe that group?
For best antitdote to this assault, see BILL OF RIGHTS FOR STUDENTS 2012
The message preached here is that the Education Establishment doesn't care about "education" as most parents define the term. The Establishment is lost in progressive visions for a collectivist future. If you can't change these ideologues, try at least to maneuver around them.
Homeschooling is alive and well in the USA. This is very important, not just for homeschoolers, but for everyone.
We need diversity: public schools, private schools, charter schools, homeschooling, etc. We need competition, which is why vouchers are so important.
The bigger point is that the Education Establishment has, for the most part, a monopoly. They abuse this monopoly. They refuse to correct their bad behavior and their flawed methods. So the best defense is to encourage alternatives and options. Let the public see that education can be handled in many ways. Help the public to understand that many of the favorite methods used in the public schools are, in fact, inferior.
The bottom line on American education is that we wouldn't need these alternatives, just as there wouldn't be a billion-dollar tutoring business in this country, if the public schools did a good job. They don't. I'm sure they could do a better job at less cost. They simply do not seem to be interested in doing a better job. They seem to prefer mediocrity. It fits in with their ideological preference for leveling and collectivism.
Are you interested in raising standards? One good strategy is to defend and support all other forms of public education. This strategy is especially crucial now that the Education Establishment is trying to grab more power over schools and curricula, under the banner of Common Core Curriculum.
The linked article contains specifics about Hampton Roads in Virginia. But it's a good big-picture article about the situation nationally.
All the things we call basics and fundamental knowledge....our Education Establishment has waged a relentless war of attrition against them. It's time to stop the war, and to save all the essential things that children have a right to expect when they attend public schools.
If you're involved in school reform, please take a look at this handy 10-point agenda for improving public schools: A BILL OF RIGHTS FOR STUDENTS 2012. (On Improve-Education.org. Form can be printed.)
- 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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