Progressive Education: Early August, and Kids Already in School – Pajamas Media ^ | August 15, 2010 | Mary Grabar
In some areas children are now in class, greeted by plenty of other (expensive) changes that contribute nothing to education.
As I pick up the DeKalb Neighbor from my driveway on August 4, 2010, an oppressively hot and humid morning, I notice a front-page article about the new school year. Three items draw my attention:
1.) Classes begin the following Monday. Students in Decatur city schools have already started.
2.) Various high schools have enjoyed renovations. Tucker High School, at a cost of $54 million, now features a new “media center, gym and parking deck.” Cross Keys High School enjoys a $16 million renovation featuring the “cafeteria, media center, administrative area, counseling center, gym, the band and chorus rooms, and the heating and air conditioning.” The photo accompanying the article features LaShawn McMillan Ph.D., the new principal, who “discusses the new computers that will be in every classroom,” according to the caption.
3.) I notice that LaShawn McMillan holds a Ph.D., and my jaw goes into lockdown.
Start dates have been moving forward incrementally since my own son was in kindergarten in 1992. In Cobb County, students are being encouraged to bring water bottles to school. On school buses, windows and roof hatches are opened to prevent heat stroke. Air conditioners in classrooms are contributing to peak energy use.
In Rochester, New York, where I grew up, ever since I can remember schools have started after Labor Day. Like many parents, I had a short window of opportunity for visits to relatives when my son was growing up.
Every parent I’ve ever talked to has wanted to wait until after Labor Day to begin the school year.
But never mind what the citizens want or what makes sense. Administrators tinker with calendars and other non-academic matters at taxpayer expense, obscuring what’s really wrong with schools: that most teachers don’t know their subjects. Education majors are asked to “think deeply” on pedagogy written by Marxist theorists who tell them children are able to “construct” their own knowledge. They come up with variants on the Ebonics proposal of the 1990s. I still remember the outrage that the mother of my son’s friend expressed about bringing the language of the ghetto into schools.
As education schools produce ill-prepared indoctrinators, educationists insist that more money needs to be spent on computers and new facilities to “enhance” learning and to “motivate” students. Computers replace books in “media centers,” where students, unable to discern valid sources of knowledge from invalid ones (thanks to their teachers), surf the net, amalgamate passages from online papers, and play games. As if they already didn’t suffer from attention deficits because of their own electronic devices, they will now have these blinking temptations in front of them in every classroom. Coddled by teachers who are taught that their primary role is to be emotional coaches, students boisterously roam gleaming new halls of buildings that look more like high-scale shopping malls or spas than schools.
LaShawn McMillan holds an advanced degree, which in the field of education usually does mean Piled Higher and Deeper. Dr. McMillan may be an exception to the rule, but advanced degrees indicate a deeper trek into the Marxist thicket of theory. The idea of “sharing” the wealth, which is already done when students are forced to pool and redistribute the school supplies their parents have bought, is extended to academics. Brain power is shared as children are put into groups, with the smartest one carrying dead weight and wasting his time getting his “peers” up to speed. The collective status is more important than individual merit.
Then politically correct curricula are enhanced by outside groups and consultants who come in to waste time on discussing “feelings.” Since educators are failing in academics, they now focus on “social and emotional intelligence” and welcome in ideological groups to conduct “anti-hate” sessions.
But the Ed.D. and the Ph.D. can expect to enjoy higher salaries of about 30 percent, into retirement.
Coincidentally, a few days before my DeKalb Neighbor newspaper hit my driveway, my tax notice had arrived in my mailbox. I live in an area that, according to a study by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has decreased in value 50 percent since the housing bubble burst. Yet my property taxes have increased 30 percent since I bought my house in December 2003. Like other Georgia taxpayers, over 60 percent of my property taxes will be going to produce graduates like the ones I have taught in college: undisciplined, narcissistic, and semiliterate. Renters also pay for this product. And we all pay through our state and federal taxes that are used to end “disparity” and to enforce federal mandates.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s vision for “21st Century Community Learning Centers” was released in a document titled: “A Blueprint for Reform — The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.”
Duncan is taking his Chicago project to the national level. For Chicago, he outlined a plan for 14-hour day schools that offered health clinics, homework help, and potluck dinners. His “blueprint” announces “competitive grants to states, school districts, and community-based organizations to leverage models that comprehensively redesign and expand the school day or year, provide full-service community schools, or provide services before school, after school, or during the summer.”
You can bet that grants won’t be awarded to conservative evangelical groups.
The document also claims that “all programs will focus on improving student academic achievement … and providing enrichment activities, which may include activities that improve mental and physical health, opportunities for experiential learning, and greater opportunities for families to actively and meaningfully engage in their children’s education.”
I doubt that E.D. Hirsch’s core curriculum will be employed. If I had to take an educated guess, “mental health” activities will include anti-hate indoctrination and “social and emotional learning” consciousness-changing sessions.
I predict many grants going to groups like GLSEN whose members Obama met with at the White House in June, while he broke presidential tradition — instead of attending the annual National Boy Scout Jamboree on the occasion of their 100th anniversary, he chatted with the ladies on the View. I see the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, who are in tight alliance with the teachers unions, offering anti-hate programs.
I eventually see beds in the “community learning centers,” as the state simply raises our children. In the meantime, we’ll be working 12-hour days to pay for it all.
The move to indoctrination style camps for the kids is moving more in that direction every year. If we don’t break or disconnect the teachers unions from the stranglehold they have on our primary education system, we are doomed.
One of the talk shows in the Atlanta area, with some national syndication, is Neal Boortz. He has a satirical comment he makes when discussing spending issues relating to anything youth oriented: “is is for the Children”. He points out when that phrase is attached to any argument for more spending and increased taxes, it trumps any logic regarding the issue.
I spent several years in the Gwinnett County school system and things are as bad as you say- perhaps worse. Of one thing I am sure- the kids in the public high schools are completely self-involved and incredibly stupid. Now, I will grant that that isn’t their fault. But these kids will leave high school and some will even run things. What then? College won’t make that big a difference.
Even in this state, a “right-to-work” state, and under a republican governor, I can say without hesitation that the unions and the educational establishment have as firm a hold on education here as they do in places like CA and NY. On my way to my latest degree I did a short stint at Georgia State. It was there that I determined that I would never- NEVER- teach in a public school. All of my undergraduate work is in history and I loved it. But I was working with young idiots with degrees in “education” and what you say is on the mark. I also have an MEd and I am as aware, as you are, of its actual intellectual value. I was a huge fan of Thomas Sowell long before I started this degree!
I have spoken with my children and they have promised me that they will keep my grandchildren in private schools, and I will work with them to make sure of that.
It really is time for all concerned parents to make a change! Move your kids to a private or church school that you trust and where you have input, get them into a public school charter program where you and family members can volunteer if you feel overall comfortable with public school system, or take the plunge to home school.
It can be done!!
Many people feel that they either don’t have the experience of knowledge to home school or that they can afford to quit their job.
The decision to homeschooling is a matter of thinking our of the box.
Any parent that commits to this is already half way there. I don’t know any parent that isn’t smarter and more experienced than their child. That fact, along with the organizations that exist to provide a parent with a curriculum and advice, as well as opportunities to expand the experience, make home schooling a very viable choice.
The literature strongly supports the fact that home schooled kids outperform even the private school kids in many cases, and public schools in ALL cases. No parent starts this with confidence, but with only a determination not to allow the public schools to steal their child’s soul.
Most people where both parents work and they need the salary or single-family households think they can’t give up the money. Sometimes when you look at the expenses starting with the higher rate of taxes paid, travel expenses, eating out and childcare… in the end the second salary is virtually a wash. And it can be the Dad that home-schools or both parents on rotation. Each parent could cut back one day at work, which many employers would love in today’s economy and/or you can team up with 2 to 4 other families and rotate one day each. You can even include grandparents and aunts and uncles. Some parents change shifts, so they are working opposite, so someone is always home and can be there to teach in shifts.
One of the most creative ideas I’ve personally seen is a family where the Mom had the better job with benefits and less patience and the dad like being home with the kids and was creative. So mom worked. Dad home schooled as well as becoming the kid’s agent and got them into commercials and bit parts, where the kids earned money that is put away for them for, for college and the parents (Dad) made 10% for their management fees.
Another friend went to work at the specialized art school that her daughter attended, putting her on campus to watch what was being taught and allowed her daughter to attend free or for a very discounted rate.
Another family I know… sold their house and cut back their expenses and the mom went to work very part time and started home-schooling the 4-kids, while dad went on the grave-yard shift so, he could help with field trips and be there when mom worked.
I also recently worked with a group of grandma’s of friends in the same neighborhood, who took on the job of homeschooling by created a co-op system.
There are also many homeschooling groups that meet for field trips and athletics these days for the socialization or can enroll your kids in outside sports, Bible study and take them on family trips that are also, at least partially, education base.
If there is a will… there is a way that is 100% better than what 85%to 90% of our kids are getting at public school or even liberal private schools.
Elementary Epidemic: 11 Uncovered Videos Show School Children Performing Praises to Obama – Creating a mindless Progressive Army
Taking back our country begins with taking back the minds of our kids from leftist propaganda.
Like so many parents, I have agonized over the changing political climate, the degradation of morals, and the loss of liberty that the nation has been experiencing for quite some time. I’ve watched as our children have become more violent, while our educational standards plummet. And I can’t seem to shake the creepy echoing in my head of children singing Obama praises to the tunes of “Jesus Loves Me” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
American kids are constantly bombarded by the ideologies of the left, from pop culture to the public school system. Take, for instance, The Story of Stuff, an anti-capitalism video shown in schools around the country. This video teaches students that it is the government’s job to take care of you and that the United States is essentially the Big Bad Wolf of the world.
Or take a look at some grade school literature like Heather Has Two Mommies: 10th Anniversary Edition (Alyson Wonderland), a story about Heather, a child of artificial insemination being raised by lesbian lovers. Not only is there no “daddy” in the story, but no male role model is present anywhere within the book. Of course, the daddy-is-not-necessary message ignores the overwhelming statistics that children who grow up in homes without a father are twice as likely to drop out of school, and multiple times more likely to commit suicide or end up in prison.
Another grade school book straight from the propaganda mill (this one is actually written by the director of Magic Propaganda Mill Books) is It’s Just a Plant: A Children’s Story of Marijuana. In this tale for our children, “Jackie” walks in on her parents smoking pot, only to have her mother take her to visit “Farmer Bob,” who tells her that marijuana is smoked by “doctors, teachers, artists, actors, even mayors and presidents,” and that it makes people “feel happy.” I’m still waiting for the release of a sequel to this book — maybe Jackie’s a Junkie and That’s Okay or Crystal Meth:Snorting a Little Battery Acid Never Hurt Anyone.
The point is one doesn’t have to look far to see the power special interest groups have over our youth, and it is apparent that conservatives are losing the battle for our children. As our nation becomes more radical, we have a responsibility to teach our children the other side — the right side.
Now, I’m not suggesting indoctrination, as perpetrated by the radical left; nor do I appreciate propaganda from any part of the political spectrum. We need to focus on patriotism, not politics.
After searching for some time for conservative children’s books that would speak to the heart of my four-year-old daughter, I began writing a series of books myself. The first in the series isMelontown Gets a New Mayor: A Children’s Book of Traditional American Values, a story of liberty, self-empowerment, and the problems created when we let the government get too big.
My intended goal in publishing the book is for it to act as a counterbalance to the public education propaganda. There is a growing need for more tools that parents can use at home to teach their young children traditional American values of small government and self-reliance — values that are ignored in the schools. Even the youngest readers are capable of learning about the ideas of free markets, American exceptionalism, and the power of hard work. But it is up to us to create the tools of teaching.
There is a lot of focus right now on restoring our country to the vision of our Founding Fathers. But taking back our country means more than taking back Congress and the presidency — it means taking back our children. It means a complete restructuring of the liberal foundation on which our educational system has been built and supporting those working for education reform. If we do not take back our children we will only be fighting this fight again and again.
The need for conservative children’s literature could not be timelier. As John Adams said, “It should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them a habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives.”
“Children are the future” and “education is the answer” are not just catchphrases. We need to embrace them with the same vigor with which we oppose issues like government-run health care and increasing federal deficits. If we are successful in our opposition, it is through our children that we guarantee the changes we make today will matter tomorrow.
Digital Versions Allow Instructors to Rewrite the (TEXT)book – Is this really what we want???
Video: Charlotte Iserbyt Deliberate Dumbing Down of the World – 2009
Video: Charlotte Iserbyt – Deliberate Dumbing Down of the World – 2007
The Underground History of American … – Concerned Teacher’s Guide
Expelled – DVD