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May, 2017

  1. “Stealthy” Education Shifts ?

    May 31, 2017 by Tunya

    21st Century Education “Shifts” ?

    Hopefully, the book “The Case for Contention” will help resolve some nagging questions parents have about education reforms sweeping into schools without their awareness. “Knowledge’ and academic pursuits are being shifted to competencies and “soft skills” as collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and a whole host of other unmeasurables. How do you measure empathy?

    Also, age-appropriateness is a concern to parents — what degree of controversy is appropriate at what age?

    Additionally, are teachers able to lead balanced discussions or do they lean on popular texts for their own background learning? A quick search of the Internet yields, for example, in the primary grades books on Math and Social Justice; for secondary history Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States”; and in college/university “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” is frequently assigned reading in the social sciences — all rather biased points-of-view!

    Now, since the authors of “The Case for Contention” do say, “parents may legitimately ask that the schools represent their side of the issue” when and how can parents be “legitimately” involved? So much that transpires in schools today is unknown to parents and public. If the aim of public education is indeed enlightenment — “to advance truth and strengthen democracy” — then we need more information about the content of 21st C Learning.

    commenbt sent to Joanne Jacobs blog,  The review by Steiner is important to read: .. He quotes the significant quote by James Madison:  

    A people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

    —James Madison (1822)  and lead one to pursue how Dewey viewed Madison's point of view.  Book — Reinhold Niebuhr and John Dewey: An American Odyssey gives some discussion of Dewey (communitarian) and Niebuhr (libertarian?) ]


  2. How to fix public education — Futile !

    May 10, 2017 by Tunya

    How To Fix Public Education — Spinning Wheels !

    How-to books in education appear frdequently — whether by educators, journalists, parents or professors.  But, it seems little benefit or improvement has been seen.  Do YOU know of any book that has had "How-to" advice that made a difference?  ANY book, even without the how-to's,  made improvements ? ? ?

    Magically, by reading a book, you will be able to help students in school. Or so we’re told. Here are a few such books. Historically, what ever happened to their message — and the authors? Many authors have been silenced, dismissed, discredited or ignored. (A yet unwritten story of how education critics are squelched !)

    1. Why Johnny Can’t Read, and what you can do about it, Rudolf Flesch, 1955
    2. The Literacy Hoax, the decline of reading, writing, and learning in the public schools and what we can do about it, Paul Copperman, 1980
    3. How To Fix What’s Wrong With our Schools — A Toolkit for Concerned Parents, Bertha Davis, Dorothy Arnof, 1983
    4. School’s Out, The catastrophe in public education and what we can do about it, Andrew Nikiforuk, 1993
    5. Beyond the Classroom – Why School Reform Has Failed and What Parents Need to Do, Laurence Steinberg, 1996
    6. Why Our Children Can't Read and What We Can Do About It, Diane McGuiness, 1998
    7. How to Get the Right Education For Your Child, Malkin Dare, 1998
    8. Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It, Kelly Gallagher, 2009\
    9. Stop Beating the Dead Horse, Why the System of public education in the United States has Failed and What to do About it, Julie L. Casey, 2010
    10. What's Wrong with Our Schools: and How We Can Fix Them, Michael Zwaagstra, 2010
    11. Betrayed, how the education establishment has betrayed America and what you can do about it, Laurie H Rogers, 2010
    12. Teacher Proof: Why research in education doesn't always mean what it claims, and what you can do about it, Tom Bennett, 2013
    13. Raising Kids who READ, What Parents and Teachers Can do, Daniel T Willingham, 2015
    14. How to Fix What’s Wrong with our Schools A Toolkit for Concerned Parents, Davis Arnhof, 1983
    15. Below C Level: How American Education Encourages Mediocrity -­‐ and What We Can Do About It , Merrow, John, 2010 
    16. Teachers versus the Public: What Americans Think about Schools and How to Fix Them by Paul E. Peterson, 2014
    17. Straight Talk to Parents: How You Can Help Your Child Get The Best Out Of School, Mary Susan Miller, Samm Sinclair Baker, 1976
    18. School on Trial, how freedom and creativity can fix our educational malpractice, Nikhil Goyal, 2016
    19. Making School Work, an education handbook for students, parents and professionals, Massachusetts Advocacy Center and Mass Law Reform Institute, 1975
    20. Loving Learning, how progressive education can save America’s schools, Tom Little, Katherine Ellison, 2015
    21. Language At The Speed Of Sight: How we read, why so many can’t, and what can be done about it, Mark Seidenberg, 2017




  3. “I can’t read ” — tearjerker !

    May 5, 2017 by Tunya

    Here Is A Tearjerker !

    It’s beyond tearjerker — it’s a tragedy, a MAN-MADE tragedy !

    Hope this link works for you — (hover over the picture)

    It should bring up a video of a child, perhaps 8 years old, no sound — she is saying: “I can’t read.” I bet she can talk a mile a minute, with a great vocabulary, BUT She CAN NOT Read! You can see in her eyes she is deeply anguished. Just who has denied her the ability to read?

    Yet, from the brief comment on this twitter screen shot she is being tested in her school. You know — tons of tests that are being administered in schools these days. How can she participate in testing programs without the ability to read? And, by the way, how can she participate in Math. That has been changed so much that reading is now required — the directions and the problems are little narratives that must be read first.

    I think withholding of teaching to read from school children should be a punishable, criminal event!

    I think this photo, if allowed by the parents, should become a poster or billboard for a highly noticeable reading campaign. Perhaps some benevolent group might sponsor such a campaign. Perhaps another lawyers group (as we had in the 70s) could sponsor a symposium on “Suing The Schools For Fraud “ and use the backdrop of the nasty ideological Reading Wars as part of the reason why so many children are denied the skill-training to learn to read. Isn’t compulsory schooling a contract of sorts, and the withholding of the key tool for learning being reading — should this not bring about a simple ethics and legal breach of contract case?

    What kinds of worldviews are at play here anyway?

    [below to ECC, above to American Thinker on “Alien Covenant” ]

    After William Brown's alert about "Alien Covenant" by Bruce Deitrick Price I became more disturbed than ever. When will it ever end — the persistent, insidious Reading War which continues to cripple? I've experienced it here in Canada as recently as last year — a training tape for reading volunteers stressed that sounding out was NOT to be done — "Remember, reading is caught, not taught."

    I recall Deb Andrews fabulous newspaper article a year or so ago where her chart clearly showed that Black and Latino children were way behind in reading proficiency. Why? Research proves that this gap can be overcome.

    I just posted the following to the American Thinker article of Bruce's (yes, late, and probable stale interest by now) but I did want to say something and test whether I could actually produce a link that works (I'm a s-l-o-w techy). If you can't get the link to work, please let me know — it's the little anguished black girl saying "I can't read". Her pain on her face is enough to make you cry.


    May 3, 2017 by Tunya

    Unmasking Education Swindle

    Look at the long history of criticism of the education system. It’s a wonder that this field still exists — quackery, wasteland, 12-year sentence . . . There was even a legal symposium in the 70s on “Suing the schools for fraud”. The lawyers speculated that there would be a successful case within 5 years ! Didn’t happen.

    Bruce has productively spent the last decades unmasking some of the frauds in education, particularly the disasters dumped on us by seemingly deliberate reading failures. Bruce finds a long history of culprits and economic factors that have enabled wholesale acceptance of questionable practices. Scientific evidence is definitely not a factor in education decision-making, is it?

    Patrick Groff (1924-2014) was heavily involved in the reading issues of the day. Here is a digest of what he saw as fueling the whole-language fiasco:

    “The Special Attractions of Whole-Language (WL)
    1 . . . educators historically have been notorious for their inability to resist the lures of educational innovations, regardless of whether or not they have been empirically validated.
    2 . . . WL relieves educators of much direct personal accountability for the results . . .
    3 . . . WL appeals to many educators’ romantic and/or humanistic interpretations of what is healthy child development . . . honoring children’s freedom and dignity is held to be more essential than how literate they become.
    4 . . . in the past, educators have ignored or rejected most of the empirical findings in practically all aspects of their field of endeavor.
    5 . . .the apparent simplicity of WL is alluring for teachers . . . With WL, teachers do not have to submit to pedagogical discipline that a prescribed course of direct and systematic instruction demands.
    6 . . . educators who have liberal social, economic, and political views doubtless are charmed by WL’s decidedly left-wing agenda . . . ”

    Until there is legislation and laws forbidding quackery in education and science is no longer held in disdain we will continue to see spotty education quality from our schools. Thanks to people like Bruce for keeping on exposing the frauds. At least some parents, if they had real choice, could then choose evidence-based schools.

    [ Posted as comment to American Thinker, article by Bruce Deitrick Price, “K-12 ‘Alien Covenant”    ]

  5. Significance of Home Education Today

    May 2, 2017 by Tunya

    Significance of Home Education Today

    I am really happy for you and family in the home education experience. I would like to know if you ever contacted any support groups for information or even sharing of lessons or field trips. Also, if any researchers have contacted you for information or observation.

    It is astounding how ed research into home education has ballooned into a huge industry — PhD theses, books, huge conferences (next Global Home Education Conference, St. Petersburg, Russia, 2018).

    I was involved in the early stages of the movement (1970s) but now try to keep a watching brief on dangers and incursions to the field. Please see

    I agree with you that we need to be wary of government schooling. In my 1987 academic article I mention that home education is seen by “freedom fighters” as part of a two-fold mission to generally retrieve individual responsibility from "disabling professionals” and the “predatory” state. See:

    [This is my response to a reader of my Facebook post yesterday about a parent of five children leaving public school for home education or private education.]