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‘Education Reform’ Category

  1. Civics, SJW, Edina, Anti-Gun Student Protests

    March 7, 2018 by Tunya

    The weeks after Florida School Shooting, Feb 14, 2018 sees increasing student unrest and anxiety.  Some protests are being subsidized by self-interest groups. Concers about civics education are being raised.  See Joanne Jacobs – From anger to activism: is this civics education?         My comment below, March 6, 2018

    I think civics education should be about government in general, how we are governed and how people, voting citizens and others (those too young to vote or others nor registered as voters), can participate in a democracy.

    Schools are expected to socialize students to live in a democracy and be active participants in their school life. I do not think they should be encouraged, directly from their lessons or their reading materials, to be social justice warriors.

    I find it disturbing that a good number of books have already been published in that regard. And, some are for the early primary years at that! Here are a few titles:

    • A is For Activist

    • A Rule is to Break – A Child’s Guide to Anarchy

    • Tales for Little Rebels, a collection of radical children’s literature

    Mind you, with a balanced approach, and with good discussion, I think these books can be part of valuable discussion. But, care should be taken that the curriculum does not bend that way. As it did in Edina.

    Joanne did mention Edina Schools in an earlier post about scores slipping when an ‘equity’ focus was adopted That was last year.

    But Edina continues in its radical agenda with the latest story getting international attention: “a leading edge of a full-scale ideological reeducation campaign”. I wonder if they will be participating in these student protests currently in vogue? See the story: Inside a public school social justice factory

    One Grade 10 student on the Rate My Teachers site said: ““This class should be renamed . . . ‘Why white males are bad, and how oppressive they are.’”

  2. Psychological Warfare – Education Deceptions

    January 26, 2018 by Tunya

    Bruce Deitrick Price does mention the negative effects of Common Core in his new book, Saving K-12 — many times. The book is well worth reading: He uses all kinds of different angles to express the same theme — Ed Establishment deceptions. Some day all these slings and arrows will score a hit. His chapter on malfeasance has this epigram: If Public Schools Were A Business, All of Top Management Would Be Fired. Below is my comment I just sent in to American Thinker where nearly 200 other comments agree with Bruce:

    Psychological Warfare

    Bruce Deitrick Price does a masterful job of bringing forward some of the classic deceptions perpetrated by “The Education Establishment”. What these deceptions really amount to is psychological warfare on a massive scale on the citizens, young and old, under their sway. Alex Newman (co-author with Blumenfeld, Crimes of the Educators) recently wrote “Even if Common Core were ripped out from the roots, the federally controlled government ‘education’ system in America would continue to dumb down and indoctrinate students on an industrial scale—literally threatening the future of the nation.”

    There is no other field of human endeavour that so steadfastly defies research about effective practice as does the education field. The “Education Establishment Lies” as Bruce identifies, in any other field, would be subject to malpractice suits on a gross scale! As Bruce says in the closing paragraphs of his new book, Saving K-12, “the bad ideas so common in our school system are analogous to the viruses that people encounter in computers . . . a technician can easily remove those viruses one by one. Similarly in K-12 education, the academic viruses have been put in play intentionally and they can be removed intentionally . . . The simplest plan for reforming K-12 is to remove as many bad ideas as possible.”

    [comments on American Thinker re BDP on K-12: Deception and posted to ECC]


  3. research ed Toronto Nov 10-11, ’17

    November 14, 2017 by Tunya

    My Parental POV & Significance Of researchED in Toronto (Nov 10/11, ’17)
    I wasn’t there, but was tuned-in to the audio and twitter feeds. Hoped to hear things that would warm my parent-advocate’s heart. This was, after all, not for parents but a conference intended to inspire teachers to become more research and evidence-based in their practice. That in itself is #1 in my praise of the conference. On the whole, I feel parents strongly do want their kid’s teachers to be grounded in practices that are proven to work — not fuzzy stuff. I have always said that the education field lacks discipline and rigor and not a profession like health, accounting, or engineering. Pleased to hear someone on the first panel say to this effect: “ Why is education the least empirical of all human pursuits? We need to build an empirical base.”
    #2 A highlight at the conference of 30 speakers was Michael Zwaagstra, with standing room only. If his presentation was anything like his article of the same title: Content Knowledge is the Key to Learning, I can see why it was popular. Maybe it got out that he has strong views on progressivism and its latest manifestations in the provinces of AB, BC and ON where some parents are getting a bit antsy. Read just the Executive Summary, p4, of 18 and you get the picture:…/FC200_Content-Knowledge_JL311…
    #3 It was twittered out that Greg Ashman, a “graduate” of three such researchED events in Australia had just been published in a UK magazine — worth reading — People who have been bedeviled by the education enigma should be happy to know there is a movement where the leading founder says: “We are at the mercy of gurus and snake oil fads without evidence-based education.” (Tom Bennett, #rEDTO17)

    [on FB 12 Nov ’17, with some of my comments in conversation]

    Tunya Audain Brave New World ? ? ? 

    Jan 2016 this OPINION by a university professor, David Livingstone, described BC’s new curriculum, designed by “education experts”.!topic/Grassroots-Education/3UuuiBWJU74
    “The next generation will lack the desire, the ability, and even the attention span to read with understanding. Their thoughts will become shallower, not deeper . . . No longer tethered to the past, the future will look more like a blank canvas upon which “the experts” can plan a Brave New World.” Such is tyranny.

    Michael Zwaagstra presents similar fears and in his essay hits hard on the need for proper reading methods to be taught. His presentation will shortly be in audio and I’ll report when.

    Doesn’t all this smack of our fears a decade ago, Heather? You, as trustee, visited a successful program to teach reading in Scotland.You brought back the information. Why don’t school systems learn? Who runs the show? These are questions that must be asked, AND answered.


    Accelerated Contradictions – False Dichotomy – BC New Curriculum

    I can remember when Michael Fullan, one of those mentioned at rED2017 as a “guru”, visited BC in 1986. His topic: New Cultures for School Improvement. (I wasn’t there: It was for administrators.) It’s been a steady flow of such gurus to BC who undoubtedly chalk up massive frequent flyer points!

    In January 2015 Tom Albury (GELP) said: “This is a pivotal moment for BC . . . if we can continue to work together in this way we can build on how far we've got and really accelerate and sustain this — we'll achieve what nobody else has yet achieved and that is to transform the system across the whole province.” 

    Where are we now? It takes an international event like reasearchED in Toronto to highlight BCEd Plan as a False Dichotomy (Zwaagstra’s slide)



  4. Defining Home Education

    October 9, 2017 by Tunya

    Defining Home Education

    I agree: The term “unschooling” is a bit problematic. Unschooling is like deprogramming. Like you’re trying to decontaminate or undo something. Also the terms “to school” or “schooling” have connotations of indoctrination or training.

    When Ivan Illich first proposed “deschooling” in 1971 he was talking about the “planned process which tools man for a planned world . . . Inexorably we cultivate, treat, produce, and school the world out of existence.” (1971) Deinstitutionalization is also a term he used. His book — Deschooling Society — is free to download off the Internet.

    Increasingly in the literature and research you will see the term “home education” being the preferred term. My article “Home Education: The Third Option”, 1987, is available for download from Academia. The Global Home Education Conference will happen May 15-19, 2018, in Moscow & St Petersburg, Russia. For a quick read on how the movement got rolling with John Holt’s help read:

    [ comment sent to FEE — ]

    [ also posted on my FB — Homeschooling, unschooling, deschooling — What? First see this incredible interview with a 13yr old homeschooled student —  ]


  5. Quit or persist with ed reform?

    October 9, 2017 by Tunya

    Paul Bennett is a long-time education reformer.  He just posted on Facebook his photo of 30 years ago as a school trustee candidate. He also has the blog, Educhatter   I wrote this note on his Facebook page:

    Thanks, Paul.
    On this Thanksgiving Day I am so grateful that you have not dropped out of the ed reform efforts. You have such a stockpile of experiences, insights and knowledge it would be a pity for us to lose your perspective and continuing zeal. It’s so tempting to quit. So many I know are so, so relieved to leave the pain and hopelessness. Ed improvement sabotage is so frustrating, infuriating, exasperating, maddening, sad . . . Thanks for being there and not giving up. Hope to see visible responsiveness in our lifetime!


    [Discouraging is another word I should have used.]