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  1. keeping the proles down

    July 14, 2017 by Tunya

    Tunya Audain says:  [to Joanne Jacobs blog in response to her topic — Keeping the proles down —  ]

    July 12, 2017 at 1:30 pm
    Joanne: Excellent post. Really hoping your title breeds tons more similar titles on this contradiction in our midst — Educators perpetuating poor education while maximizing their own advantages. Sent the following to Education Consumers Clearinghouse:

    “Keeping the proles down”

    That is the title of Joanne Jacobs Jul 12, 2017 blog. It is a title that needs to be repeated, over and over again, by many observers illuminating just how rigged the public education systems in our Western World are. That’s why we need good schools, she says:

    “Kids need access to safe, orderly schools staffed with competent teachers using a content-rich, structured curriculum. The students whose parents can’t help with homework, hire a tutor, pay for computer camp, etc. need good schools the most.”

    BUT, don’t expect any initiatives from the education establishment or its camp followers (those lofty think-tanks who pretend to criticize and pretend to reform the present systems). It’s not in their narrow self-interest to promote change that denies their own advantages and privileges. So as educators increasingly opt for private schools for their own children and often rail against choice, the best that the “proles” can hope for —you know, those who are on long waiting lists for alternatives — is for radically more choices. And that is where public policy needs legislation and laws to open up vouchers and the other plans to help parents choose freely.

    2nd comment to JJ after reject by JPG 

    Keeping proles down is easy. The education systems refuse to teach reading properly to all kids. The proles don’t have lawyers to decode and read “between the lines”. When scams do happen, the proles haven’t got the capacity to see education frauds for what they are. AND, the think tanks in education merely pretend they are for reform — status quo is retained. When will people call a spade a spade?

    In 1977 Nat Hentoff wrote “The Greatest Consumer Fraud Of All” about the public education system. “Fraud” is not the only term that’s appropriate. “Con” and “hoax” are other words as used in these articles about the unmasking of the self-esteem “movement”:

    “It was quasi-religious”: the great self-esteem con”, Will Storr, Guardian, 3 June ’17,…/quasi-religious-great…

    – “Why Are Schools Still Peddling the Self-Esteem Hoax? – Social-emotional learning is rooted in ‘faux psychology’”, Chester Finn, Education Week, 19 June ’17,…/why-are-schools-still-peddling… (Finn extrapolates the current interest in Social Emotional Learning [SEL] to be of similar type of hype as self-esteem had been.)

    Joanne’s bottom line is that at least those who cannot afford private schools or privileged add-ons should have the basics — “Kids need access to safe, orderly schools staffed with competent teachers using a content-rich, structured curriculum. The students whose parents can’t help with homework, hire a tutor, pay for computer camp, etc. need good schools the most.”

  2. Beach reading for “social justice warriors”

    June 8, 2017 by Tunya

    The Irony Of 10 Top Books For College Freshmen

    A list has appeared that college freshies are to read before joining their classes, Fall 2017.

    An impressive organization, the National Association of Scholars, supposedly produced the latest list for beach reading after compiling various university and college lists. NAS claims that such books could turn students into Social Justice Warriors.

    The top 10 include 5 (50%) of the titles dealing with African-American themes.

    This week’s news also brings in the story from Baltimore — population 2/3 African American — and which school system apparently produces no (zero, zilch, zip) students proficient in Math and English!

    Some of these schools are even named after African American protagonists; including Frederick Douglass whose own story of how he learned to read is a tearjerker.

    What kind of justice will these SJWs promote or extract for the children of Baltimore who don’t read or compute proficiently and have been supposedly deprived (deliberately or from incompetence) by their schools?

    Why doesn’t some irate person or group (NAS?) write an essay that might galvanize some obvious reform instead of just writing provocative outrage? Why doesn’t Annie Holmquist who writes for the Intellectual Takeout and brought this story forward do a tearjerker story instead of just repeating a news release?

    When will social justice happen in real time for those whose life chances have been cruelly crippled but who don’t lack for prompted cheerleaders at the sidelines? Oh, the irony!

  3. “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?) ]


  4. 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




  5. “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.