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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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." [...]
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
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."
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.
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...
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.
There is no reason to attend classes, and no motivation to get a job, when welfare checks are guaranteed.
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
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.
'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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Education: At Baltimore's predominantly black Frederick Douglass High School
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.
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?]
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
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.
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
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.
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 Contest: An 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.
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.
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.
of Allegiance Tied to Socialist Roots
Bob Jones University responds after being
characterized as a bigoted institution.
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.
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.
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
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".
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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