Today freedom has different enemies.
It must be fought for in different ways.
It will take very different qualities of mind and heart to save it.
- John Holt (1923-1985 home education pioneer)
March 17, 2013 by Tunya
Today freedom has different enemies.
It must be fought for in different ways.
It will take very different qualities of mind and heart to save it.
- John Holt (1923-1985 home education pioneer)
March 8, 2014 by Tunya
BC news is highlighting — once again — the disruptive clashes between the teachers’ union and government.
Score 0-10 if, and how much, you believe these statements are true.
___ 1 The BCTF and the government of the day — conservative, socialist, liberal — have been vying for dominance in matters educational in BC for 40 years.
___ 2 The BCTF gained a strategic foothold in the 70s after the NDP first came to power and “radical Marxist” Jim MacFarlan, started the drive to use schools as “instruments of social change.”
___ 3 Fast forward to March 2014 a twitter post said: “Gov reps testified under oath that teachers = tough to bargain w/ because they aren't self-interested, they have a social agenda.” Does this mean a “social agenda” is more important than bread and butter issues?
___ 4 In the 2011-12 teacher job actions the government side totally approved the teacher demand to withhold report cards from parents and not engage in parent/teacher conferences.
___ 5 The BC Ed Plan is revising the public school curriculum to align with global 21st Century Skills. Hopefully, experts in subject fields are involved, but are they? After a Globe & Mail story on Math: "In BC, the worst math teacher I know, the one who confused my kid so much we had to hire a tutor, is now part of the panel developing the math curriculum. Why? Not because of any math knowledge, but because he's high-up in the union." This comment is upsetting, if true.
___ 6 Professional opinion also seems upset with the direction of BC curriculum development. Robert Craigen, Math professor (Manitoba) said on a blog: “What possessed the Ministry to give the BCTF full control over design and content of the curriculum? I’ve seen some of their modules and sample course plans, lessons, etc. and if they are any indication you’re in for province-wide in-class political indoctrination . . . If I lived there and had small children I’d be seriously thinking about leaving the province, for their sake.” This is doubly upsetting coming from someone within the teaching profession.
___ 7 Sophistication of BCTF bargaining prowess is in the literature. “The Future of Our Schools” (2012) says : “The British Columbia Teachers Federation is a fine example of how to organize for a successful strike, even when defying the courts.” Larry Kuehn, ex BCTF President and now staff at HQ provided this tip to an Osgoode Hall Law professor: “The key to our strategy was to restructure ourselves in a way which assumed that we had the right to bargain the whole range of things and then to try to take that into the bargaining arena . . . the strategic view was that if we did that for a period of time and we have restructured the reality then the law would follow.” Theatrics and cunning strategies are used by both sides to try to sway public opinion.
___ 8 The BC Ed Plan is claiming local development for provincial needs. Yet gurus who are consultants and turnaround experts in other countries and jurisdictions have been frequent flyers here. A Ministry official told a group of parents last April, 1 month before the provincial election — “regardless which party wins — the BC Ed Plan will go ahead: Because it’s international!” This is appalling, if true, that the current government is not in control but in league with international agents.
___ 9 While both sides in these disputes claim they are working in the public interest and on behalf of the children, it seems obvious that they are in general collusion because of a mutual need to retain the monopoly system which primarily serves system needs first. The system will never allow parents and public to be included. A court case would prove that this exclusion is harmful to democracy and education.
___ 10 Australia has two Reviews active at the moment — A Curriculum Review and A Review Into Teacher Training. BC also should have similar Reviews.
March 5, 2014 by Tunya
In the ongoing School Wars of British Columbia the latest "Victory" was achieved by the teachers' union, the BCTF. Judge Griffin ruled that the government did no bargain in good faith cvoncerning issues of class size and composition, that previous arrangements should be restored and fined the government $2million.
Teacher unionists were of mixed mind since appeals and negotiations were ongoing. I wrote a letter-to-the editor to our local paper, but it did not get published. Below is a copy:
The patience of parents and public alike has been sorely tested by the endless conflicts between the teachers’ union and the government.
What we fail to remember is that these struggles have been going on for over 40 years, not the 12-year period recently highlighted by the recent BC Supreme Court decision (BCTF vs BC, 2014). Furthermore, this happens regardless of the political stripe of the government of the day — be it Social Credit, NDP or Liberal.
This is a power struggle that may never be sorted out. Legal actions bankrupt resources. Students are shortchanged. And parents, who are ultimately responsible for their children’s education, are left unsure, frustrated and unable to pursue their children’s best interests.
Much of the problem rests with the service model adopted to ensure an educated public. The mistake is to consider education as a public utility that only a government monopoly can provide. The predictable happens — special interests vie for control and interfere with the intended mission.
However, if the common good of appropriately educated students is to be served, why not seek alternative models to deliver the desired outcomes?
Even now, economists are warning that many school graduates are not meeting career or college expectations. But so much is known about what works in education and much more can be achieved with greater innovation, flexibility and stability.
Why not release the public education dollar and have it follow the student? Charter schools are working elsewhere. Education Savings Accounts are being used in some US states for parents to shop and mix-and-match education choices for their kids. In particular, special needs and talents are better served in this manner.
This current impasse provides a great opportunity to try different ways to help our kids and grandkids get the education they need for the 21st Century.
March 4, 2014 by Tunya
"Comprachico" has been adopted as a pejorative term used for individuals and entities who manipulate the minds and attitudes of children in a way that will permanently distort their beliefs or worldview. Twentieth-century philosopher Ayn Rand referred to educators of the time as "the Comprachicos of the mind" in her article "The Comprachicos." Her criticism was targeted especially toward educational progressivists, but also grade-school and high-school educators. QuickWiki
March 3, 2014 by Tunya
Congratulations, TDSB! Flat is in! Right in the middle! Is this happenstance as TDSB apologists claim or is it deliberate dumbing down?
Was this a leadership project guided by graduates of the FLAT CURRICULUM PROGRAM?
Consider this: Al Gore comes to Toronto for some coal fumes alleviation ceremony with Kathleen Wynne, Ontario Premier. See the headlines for Nov 21, 2013 Al Gore and Kathleen Wynne to hold love-in.
But, is it a coincidence that a day after Al Gore’s visit, Wynne announces: “Ontario education needs to move beyond focus on 3Rs to foster skills like creativity, collaboration, community and critical thinking.”?http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/11/21/premier_kathleen_wynne_ontario_education_needs_to_move_beyond_focus_on_3rs.html
Why do I mention Gore? Because he connects with the movements that want to curtail prosperity in aid of sustainability programs. Because he has connections with the Fabians, the 130 year old organization dedicated to spreading global socialism — incrementally and irreversibly — motto: Educate, Agitate, Organize.
I was alerted to the global agenda last year when an education official from our Ministry of Education spoke to parents. This was one month before our provincial election May 14, 2013. The message was to this effect: Be prepared for a shift in education, a transformation, from content to competencies. We must test what we value — the competencies: collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking. It doesn’t matter who wins the election. The changes are going ahead. It’s international.
Coming back to the FLAT CURRICULUM. Is this a joke? No.
It’s a full-fledged program originating with a professor in Australia, Julie Lindsay, providing credit courses and presentations on global education and related to UNESCO programs. Here is her book:
“Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step at a Time (Pearson Resources for 21st Century Learning).
So does TDSB fit? For those of us outside the TDSB orbit, will there be a “flattener” come to our town soon? Remember what I keep saying about Alberta education — the tall poppies needed to be cut down. Alberta’s former exemplary international school performance rating has now suffered significant slippage. The gurus have left town and the levelers carry on.
March 2, 2014 by Tunya
Continuing to develop and prove that outright collusion between our two warring parties in BC education — BCTF vs government-of-the-day — is the norm and a DESIRED state for the reasons of mutual dependence by the two parties on a relatively stable monopoly system. We can track when this contest started. A contest, which I keep reminding readers, leaves the consumer — students, parents, and taxpaying public — sidelined and forsaken — in limbo.
Our BC education historian, Prof Thomas Fleming, wrote an article that lays out the scenario. As in his book, Worlds Apart, this article goes to 1972 when BC voted in its first socialist government, the NDP. BC has a rather exacting bi-political demographic — 25 % committed socialist, 25% committed conservatives, and 50% floaters. Teachers, with the aid of their unions, generally rally to the left and in this case helped bring in the new government. Quote from the section Teacher Power:
“The BCTF executive was by now firmly in the hands of militants, notably supporters of the “radical Marxist” Jim McFarlan, to use historian F. Henry Johnson’s description, who was twice voted Federation president in the early 1970s. McFarlan and his group within the Federation believed schools should be used as instruments of social change, a view earlier espoused by American educational reconstructionists in the 1930s. McFarlan was not at all shy about exercising his political clout.”
Radical unions, including teacher unions, believe in worker control of the workplace. It was from 1972 that our perennial school wars started which carry on to this day.
Despite all their feuding, the BCTF and government-of-the-day remain an exclusive club to this day. How independent schools began to thrive in this climate is an untold story. Perhaps there was some backroom deal to obtain the acquiescence of the union. Whatever, canny intelligence within Headquarters has usually succeeded in calling the shots, yet helping retain the institutional status quo.
Literature pays tribute to the sophistication of the BCTF in their struggles. Lois Weiner in her book, “The Future of Our Schools”, says, “The British Columbia Teachers Federation is a fine example of how to organize for a successful strike, even when defying the courts.”
Use of psychological warfare and propaganda techniques is also employed. In the article, “Structuring reality so that the law will follow”, Sara Slinn quotes Larry Kuehn, ex BCTF president, as saying: “The key to our strategy was to restructure ourselves in a way which assumed that we had the right to bargain the whole range of things and then to try to take that into the bargaining arena … the strategic view was that if we did that for a period of time and we have restructured the reality then the law would follow. “http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Structuring+reality+so+that+the+law+will+follow:+British+Columbia…-a0274699540
Sure, today we again see the saber-rattling, but looks like the two parties are still playing footsie. Yesterday’s Globe and Mail article on the topic of Math in Canada produced this precious comment: “In BC, the worst math teacher I know, the one who confused my kid so much we had to hire a tutor, is now part of the panel developing the math curriculum. Why? Not because of any math knowledge, but because he’s high-up in the union.” So even while teachers and parents are having “misgivings” about a new curriculum being developed behind closed doors, by this comment it may seem that unionists are getting spots on plum committees as a method to gain union cooperation and forestall obstacles.
Producer capture reigns supreme. Consumers get shorted as these two parties do faux battles to again manufacture “labour peace”. Trust us!
March 1, 2014 by Tunya
Limbo — the state of being disregarded or forgotten, neglected, abandoned, forsaken, deserted, disregarded.
The latest court cases, appeals, and collective bargaining muddles in BC have caused a news article to conclude that we could be in “limbo for months to come.” That’s nothing new. Seems we’re always in limbo.
The “limbo” status in British Columbia specifically applies to parents and students in the public education system. For over 40 years the education system has been a contest between two strong foes vying for supremacy — the teacher’s union (BCTF) and the government of the day. It doesn’t matter the political stripe of the government — socialist, conservative or liberal — the union presents as Alpha Males.
It’s not just collective bargaining times that are fraught with turmoil. There are regular disputes, protests, and grievances to contend with. The media treats all this as a blood sport, because it’s all so “quotable” and makes headlines.
This 4-decade battle has been well-chronicled in education historian Thomas Fleming’s book, “Worlds Apart: BC Schools, Politics and Labour Relations Before and After 1972”. http://www.bendallbooks.com/catalog/publications/worlds-apart-british-columbia-schools-politics-and-labour-relations-before-and-after-1972/
BUT, regardless of how flagrant the School Wars figure in our landscape, these two foes, like spatting spouses, do NOT take much notice of any third party. Of course, lip service is paid — “We want the best for the children”, but that rings hollow.
What is acutely evident from having lived here all this time is that this is a well orchestrated collusion. Neither party wants to upset “the monopoly system” which provides so much security and a steady captive audience from which they enjoy mutual benefit. Whether it’s “labour peace” or “quiet during the Winter Olympics 2010” they usually arrange some sweetheart deal because of blatant “MUTUAL NEED”.
Alternative schools, choices, charters, education savings accounts where the education dollar follows the child — all these proven and innovative options are dismissed and discouraged. At a time when so much is known about how different approaches are working, especially for special needs students, and with the challenges ahead because of technology and a demanding world, it is truly a pity that we have to be stuck perpetually in this catfight, this limbo.
February 28, 2014 by Tunya
From The Salt Lake Tribune, Feb 27, 2014
Lawmakers advance ‘bill of rights’ for Utah parents - SB122
Parents would have what amounts to a bill of rights in education under legislation forwarded to the full Senate on Thursday.
SB122, sponsored by Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, list the rights parents have when dealing with schools, including some new rights.
The bill aims to reengage parents who aren’t involved in their children’s education as well as those who have been shut out by educators, Osmond said.
He wants an education system, he said, that recognizes "the parent really is the lead" and that will customize education to get the best outcomes for students . . .
The version endorsed Thursday requires that schools make reasonable accommodations to let parents influence which teacher the child gets; visit classrooms; excuse a child’s absences; set the child’s level of academic rigor; excuse a child from statewide or national standardized tests; secure course credit if a child tests out or is competent in a subject; set the time for a parent-teacher conference; and be notified if a child violates discipline or conduct rules.
February 27, 2014 by Tunya
Teach for Amereica is a successful program that prepares university grads for teaching — in six intensive weeks.
After six weeks of training at the University of Melbourne, TFA (Australia) program graduates teachers for two years teaching in disadvantaged schools that serve students from low socio-economic backgrounds. About half teach in the high demand STEM subjects, as many are recent graduates themselves with specialist degrees.
Here is today’s news, Jan 15, 2014: On a fast-track to a career in education
The TFA program will no doubt be an item in the Review just started by the new government of Tony Abbott. Part of the reason his Liberal/National Coalition won the last Australian election over the governing Labor regime was public disaffection with a new National Curriculum — six years in the making — with a worldview that was considered “leftist”, “New Age” and full of “gobbledygook”. [I guess that’s Australian for our “edu-babble”.]
Australia, like Canada, has also been sliding in international education scores, so the Review will look at curriculum as well as teaching capacities. Parents will have a say in the Review process. Nick Cater, a respected culture critic, says the curriculum is “beyond saving”. He disapproves of the “sustainability” agenda being “integrated” into all subjects — English, geography, history, mathematics, science — for example.
Cater says: “If the Education Minister is to be criticised, it is for imagining this irredeemable document can be tidied up and put back on the shelf when the only realistic course of action is to tear the damn thing up.”
Australia is a rather bi-polarized nation, thus it will be a lively time as the Review Duo is to report back in six months time.
I will be watching for these issues to be deliberated — Why a “national” curriculum at all when states are responsible for education? — Should public funding be freed-up for a wider diversity of alternatives? — Will teacher training be critiqued for its role in mindsets and standards? — Should one worldview predominate or would a pluralist nation benefit from a live-and-let-live broadmindedness?
February 26, 2014 by Tunya
Water off a duck's back.
Why do sane, sensible people — those with tons of evidence about the folly of imposing untested and dubious education experiments on our young people — get so easily dismissed and cast as troublemakers, or worse?
Could it be that we've been taken over by an alien ideology whose very proof of its entrenchment is the easy destruction of its critics?
An old video of an interview with a Soviet Defector during the Cold War explains the techniques the KGB used to infiltrate the US. What this video demonstrates is not just American penetration but also that of other Western nations, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Australia.
Here are some clips from the video
" . . . the main empahsis of the KGB is not on intelligence at all.
85 % spent on a slow process ideological subversion, or active measures, Or psychological warfare — to change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent, that despite the abundance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions — in the interests of the family, themselves, their families, their community and their country.
It’s a great brainwashing process, which goes very slow, and is divided into 4 basic stages
1 DEMORALIZATION of a nation, takes 15 – 20 years. That is the minimum. Why, because it takes that many years to educate one generation of students in the country of your enemy — expose to the ideology of Marxism/Leninism
It’s being pumped into the soft heads of three generations of American students — without being challenged or counterbalanced by the basic values of Americanism, American patriotism.
The demoralization process in the United States is basically completed already — for the last 25 years.
Actually, it’s over-fulfilled because demoralization now reaches such areas where previously [Russian leaders} wouldn’t even dream of such tremendous success
Most of it is done by Americans to Americans, thanks to lack of moral standards.
Exposure to true information doesn’t matter any more. A person who is demoralized is unable to assess true information. The facts tell nothing to him. Even if I shower him with information, authentic truth, documents, with pictures — even take him by force to show him Soviet concentration camps, he will refuse to believe it — until he gets a kick in his fat bottom.
2 The next stage is DESTABILIZATION. This time the subverter does not care about your ideas and the patterns of your consumption,,,,,, this time 2-5 years to destabilize a nation
what matters is essentials — economy, foreign relations, defense system. In such sensitive areas as defense and economy, the influence of M/l ideas in the Un St is absolutely fantastic, I could never believe it, 14 years ago when I landed in this part of the world, that this process would come this fast.
3 The next stage of course is CRISIS. Could only take six weeks to bring a country to the verge of crisis, and with a valid change of power, structure and economy, you have the so-called period of
4 NORMALIZATION. Which can last indefinitely. normalization, is a cynical expression, borrowed from Soviet propaganda — When the Soviet tanks moved into Czechoslovakia in ’68 Brezhnev said “Now the situation is normalized.” This is what will happen in the United States if you allow all the schmucks to bring the country to crisis, to promise the people all kind of goodies, a paradise on Earth, to destabilize the economy, to eliminate principle of free market competition, and to put a Big Brother government in Washington, DC
February 25, 2014 by Tunya
How FREEDOM is being compromised — how our 21st Century is like no other — bears a close watch.
Right now forces are at work to TRANSFORM public education in many nations without our knowledge or permission. Let's not forget all this is also a big experiment, and the usual protocols for how human subjects are put through the paces are nowhere to be seen. What if there are HARMS that result?
Anyway, in your school, in your community, watch for the signals of something DEEP happening — even on the scale of a global world government project !
It’s a dead giveaway. If you hear someone rhyme off the 4Cs without skipping a beat, you know you’ve got someone programmed to push “international “21st Century Learning.
Kathleen Wynne, Premier, ex-Ed Minister, got it right — “creativity, collaboration, community and critical thinking.” Usually, though it’s “communications” for her “community”, but anyway, you get the picture.
Look for concepts thrown around like “deep thinking”, “going deeper” — remind you of Transcendental Meditation maybe? NO, it’s the new “transformation”. BTW, “transform” and “transformation” are frequently used words.
Not “evolve’ mind you, where things happen by degrees and with considerable involvement and understanding. “Transformation”, on the other hand is imposed and deliberately directed by “leaders” and guided through common documents, and really rather sneakily. “Shady”, says Stotsky who was once on the CC Panel who broke away from sworn secrecy to raise an alarm. She’s not the only one from that group.
Please, just give Google a try. Use these words — 4cs 21st Century Learning — and you’ll soon be on the track — the international trail.
Two key books on the topic of Common Core and international agendas are:
“Credentialed to Destroy – How and Why Education Became a Weapon” by Eubanks (see the reviews on Amazon.com but order from ca) and “The Story-Killers: A Common-Sense Case Against the Common Core”.
Spend an hour to hear Dr. Moore about the curriculum expected if Common Core is adopted in the US — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2npftyFvkWo&feature=youtu.be&t=5m49s