Bruce Deitrick Price's BLOG. Welcome.

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

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. 3) Title of my fifth book is: "THE EDUCATION ENIGMA — What Happened To American Education.” On Amazon.

7/18/13

Nation Still At Risk. Elite educators seem to prefer mediocrity.


Thirty years ago, a panel  of distinguished experts concluded that US public schools were so bad they could be an enemy attack.

 The famous Nation at Risk Report stated: "If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.”
Thirty years later, nothing has improved. Probably the opposite.

“Nation is at Greater Risk. But everyone pretends not to know why."....A new Examiner article explains why our schools don't improve. 

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We are celebrating the 30th anniversary of one of the most famous educational reports in history. It said that things are really, really, really bad.


But guess what? Our Education Establishment has a grip like death itself on the schools of America. They are not allowed to improve. As a quote in the article indicates, we know the answers. We just seem to lack the political willpower to do anything about it.

That's close to the truth, but it's not the whole truth. We have the political willpower to fix the schools. But the Education Establishment has greater political willpower to make sure that doesn't happen.

Really, give credit where it's due. We have people in charge of education who (I would say for obvious social engineering reasons) absolutely don't want great schools. Every stat shows you that kids aren't learning to read, don't learn to master arithmetic, and don't learn basic facts about the world, this country, our history, or anything else.

Now, I'm not saying that the top 10-15% of the kids are not well-educated. There are excellent schools; and there are gifted programs even in bad schools. (But I often suspect the main reason we have gifted programs is to keep those gifted parents out of the way!)

So that leaves 85% of the kids who are mainstreamed at the same level. Not completely bad. But not good either.  We always seem to be at about 23rd in various international competitions, in every subject. We spend more than almost everybody else spends per student. How do we manage to end up far outside of the top five? Quick answer: ideological fanaticism and hard work.

I'm afraid the Common Core will just try to lock in all this mediocrity, despite the impressive talk about new and improved "standards."

Suppose a football team announces that in the next season there will be a new standard: all players will run the hundred in 9.2. That's the standard. Which is absolutely not the same thing as saying that anybody can actually do it.  

 This is one thing our Education Establishment has been absolutely brilliant at  throughout the past century: PAINTING THE PRETTY PICTURE.

 It's like one of those billboards for a new housing development – everything is so beautiful – but somehow the development is never built and there is just a pretty billboard standing out forlornly on the highway.

 At this moment the Common Core Crowd is painting a beautiful picture of all the new things your schools will do. The standards have been announced! What could be the problem?

 Surely every player can run the hundred in 9.2. That's just a given now.

 Similarly, every student will be able to read fluently. They will be able to multiply and divide. They will know that the Civil War happened in the 19th century. That will be a huge jump, by the way. All three of those things.

 My point is, if our Education Establishment could do these things and really wanted to do these things, why didn't they do them for the last 30 years????????

 Why should we think they will suddenly now start doing them???????

Forgive my cynicism. I suspect all the talk about fancy new standards is just a way of keeping our minds off the fact that things stood still for 30 years. Or maybe got a little worse.

 New article is here: http://www.examiner.com/article/nation-at-greater-risk-but-everyone-pretends-not-to-know-why   At the end are three related articles that might help some parents to work around the obstacles.
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7/2/13

Bill Gates, Education, What To Do Next, and Me

In 2007, Bill Gates and Norman Augustine prepared a report on American productivity, and presented it to the country. It was very helpful in making the point that the public schools are a threat to our economy. Otherwise, I thought it was built on a false premise. These super-executives thought that all you had to do was tell our top educators some smart ideas, and these educators would listen. I thought this was nonsense and wrote a column about it. No, I said, they won't listen. They will ignore you completely. You will have to bring an army to make any impression on these guys.

My hope was that Bill Gates would realize I was right, he'd be intrigued that I was such a good judge of these so-called educators, and he would get in touch to say, okay, big talker, what should we do? Heck, I really believed that the two of us could save the country. His name and power, and my ideas. The country's problem, you see, is that we have embraced nothing but bad education ideas. So if we get rid of them and put some good ideas in play, we'll be golden. There is nothing abstract or far-fetched about this. It's completely doable if we had intelligent leadership.

 A month ago, I wrote another article along the same line called "Bill Gates is too trusting." Here, I went further and suggested that Bill Gates should lead an effort to outflank the Education Establishment. He could set up publishing groups to create better math curricula, better reading instruction, etc. Very feasible for a guy like Bill Gates.

 By a commodious vicus of recirculation, all of this led to an interview on educationviews.org, -- 
 "An Interview with Bruce D. Price: Some Thoughts on Bill Gates, Education and Influence"

This interview quickly covers all the main issues. Please check it out and leave a comment.

http://educationviews.org/an-interview-with-bruce-d-price-some-thoughts-on-bill-gates-education-and-influence/

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Improve-Education.org is The Answer

Find out what ails American education on Improve-Education.org.
Main site: Improve-Education.org (Now up to 105,000 words and growing. Newest article: "50: Leading Boys To Reading")
Fun on YouTube...I have 50+ graphic videos on YouTube. Educational and entertaining, often. Many deal with reading and educational strategies. Many have good music and need some volume. (Channel is: YouTube.com/BruceDeitrickPrice)
COMMENTS don't seem to work on this design. Here's a link to CONTACT page on Improve-Education.org

About Me

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Remain a novelist, artist, poet, and art director.
But main activity is writing about education reform (always with full name, Bruce Deitrick Price). The schools, now bad due to ideology and laziness, could be easily improved.
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 probably find some interesting articles. I have 300 ed articles, videos, and book reviews on web. Please use them in your own battles.)    

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