Can we call the writer of this report “Captain Obvious?”
Let’s see. There are a couple of things everyone agrees on. First our public education system is broken beyond belief and second it is an economic threat to America, a financial threat to America and a national security threat to America.
From Fox News:
A new report finds that the United States' education system is putting the country's national security at risk.
The independent study, sponsored by The Council on Foreign Relations, finds K-12 school systems across the country are failing to adequately prepare kids to grow up and protect the U.S.
"For starters, we don't have nearly enough people who are capable in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math," said former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, a member of the council's task force that wrote the report, titled "U.S. Education Reform and National Security."
"When we think about the modern world of defense," Spellings said, "the fact that we don't have people who are capable to do this work is scary."
In addition to skills needed to defend ourselves in war, the study found American schools fail to teach students skills needed to avoid conflicts.
"We don't have people who know and understand foreign languages and other cultures," said Spelling, pointing out that U.S. children are ranked No. 17 in the world for language skills. "On any given day, there are hundreds of (job) vacancies for people who speak Pashtu and Arabic, and Mandarin and on and on."
Perhaps this report is akin to the famous words, “Houston we have a problem.”
We know what the problem is. Few are willing to say what the causes of the problem are or what the solution is.
The causes are the educational establishment that has built up in the last few years. Yes, you can read that as the Education Unions. They are more interested in protecting teachers and politics than education.
The schools continue to get worse and worse, and union dues go to make sure we elect politicians who will protect the educational mafia.
The education model is broken and the federal government continues to spend billions to keep the model in place and keep kids in failing schools.
You want to fix the schools and make our schools the best in the world?
Let the free market into the school system. Use vouchers that will allow parents to send their kids to the best schools around. Poor schools will fail and go out of business. Break the teacher’s union and make it possible to fire bad and even mediocre teachers.
That will fix this problem.
But you have the Party of Treason and the Teacher’s Unions standing in the way. And if you see the way they have fought in Wisconsin, this would be the mother of all political battles.
Unfortunately, it seems like the Republicans have no stomach for a fight.
Excellent post. My wife teaches and says the same things. The one thing you missed was the seemingly large amount of "feral" children. They are dumped out like barn cats among the regular students by parents, (and I use that term loosely), from vehicles that barely pause as it dumps its cargo. Those parents look at the school as a baby sitting service full of incompetents and never let a parenting minute,( when they actually take time to interact with their offspring), go without filling their childrens' head full of disrespect for the institution and its personnel. They then leave their children there at 8 a.m. to cause mayhem among the well parented children until 3:00. The school can't seem to get rid of these children or do anything with the parents which goes against the daily average attendance dollars.
Our union is quick to give up non-tenured teachers but will fight tooth and nail for tenured ones unless it is a sexual crime. My big problem with the union has to do with professionalism. If I pick up the phone to hire a teacher, what would make me call the union over just having open interview days till I find one? Do they guarantee that a union teacher is of a better quality than a non-union one? What special skills and abilities do union teachers bring to the table that are lacking in non-union teachers? Do they offer the employer more for their money?
Yes, I agree with you and your wife. We certainly have a percentage of students whose parents have performed very little beyond mere procreation.
However, from one's perspective in a classroom, it can be hard to tell which parents never tried, and which ones were undermined, undermined by overly zealous social service personnel who second guess them at every turn, and undermined by school administrators who will not allow children to fail even when parents and teachers agree that that is in the child's best interests.
Just as there are bad teachers, there are bad parents, but I make the following challenge to the most die-hard critics. Volunteer for a period of time around for your school, and keep your eyes and ears open. For every problem that you can blame on a teacher or a parent, there will be a dozen problems where the responsibility rests with an administrator -- usually a high ranking one, and usually a flaming liberal.
As to hiring through the union, that I know nothing about. All the districts I have knowledge of do their own hiring, with no input from the union. To be honest, the unions here really don't have much clout at any point in any process. Even during contract negotiations, all the school board has to say is no, and there is nothing whatsoever the union can do about it... Except that the school board turns over the negotiations to the superintendent, and, as an administrator who will soon move on, a "successful" negotiations session on their resume is more important than the long term well-being of the school district.
My father said that the "Communists would use the Educational System to systematically destroy our nation."
Amazingly, he said this is 1972. He turned out to be a prophet.
I support the abolition of the Department of Education. For one simple reason: It is unconstitutional. Read the 10th amendment. This is something that should be a part of the Republican platform. Period! These "mushy" Republicans who have suggested that such an assertion is "radical" or "extreme" are misguided. Yes, Pell grants are a good thing. But that function can be redirected to the states, as it should be! For those of us who lived in Nashville during 1982 and 1983, we remember the miracle of Union Station. Please visit www.eaglesforamerica.com for more details. It is quite a story! And a prime example of how Washington can "muck" things up when allowed!
In Chapter Five of "E" is for English, I introduce a plan that will fundamentally change the education system in America. There are a lot of opinions and all have some merit. But the key is making certain that all of our children can read at a 10th grade level upon graduation. Does that sound unreasonable? Does that sound extreme or radical?
When you become acquainted with the term "Plebyeaih" it all comes into focus. This is a Russian word that describes the "illiterate, know nothing masses who encourage class warfare, anarchy and revolution." In the 1920's Soviet Union, they marched in mass, spouting party slogans and support for Comrade Stalin. Has anyone recognized any "Plebyeaih" recently?
When you read chapter five you'll note two things: (a) English teachers are paid 20% above the scale and the emphasis is on grammar and mechanics, not literature. (b) All public school students are required to take six years of a second language. (c) A alternative union is proposed as a competitor to the National Education Association. This union would support the proposed "American English Unification Amendment" that is the theme of the book. It would support merit pay for teachers. It would support charter schools. It would support a 10th amendment solution for prayer in the public schools. In essence, it would leave the decision to the individual state.
We can fight the N.E.A. and should. They are an arm of the national Democrat party. Many registered Democrats disagree with their positions but claim that they are powerless to stop this "machine."
But the beast can be stricken! Their weakness lies in their corruption. And, to the surprise of many, they are teetering toward bankrupcy! We need to exploit this! And now! The N.E.A. has ripped off their teachers with their annuity. This is also detailed in chapter five.
One area that is also discussed is the need for vocational education. We have some bright kids who aren't interested in attending college. But that doesn't make them any worse for it! We can do what my father constantly harped on: Have a discussion with the student, parent and teacher to determine if vocational education is an option. Two years of vocational school could prepare a student to become a plumber, pipefitter, bricklayer, electrician, stone mason, etc. These are great vocations with the potential for good earnings! America needs skilled craftsmen! This should be on the top of every public schools priority list.
It's great, Judson, that you brought this critical subject to the table. We need to purge the schools of Communists. We have sat on the sidelines too long. Now it's our time! There is no reason to delay this battle. It's been brewing for some time. If we have it, we'll win and they will lose. We must, for the sake of our children. Especially for our minority children!
WE NEED TO RE-ESTABLISHED TO THIS "ARROGANT GOVERNMENT THAT "OUR" CHILDREN BELONG TO GOD & PARENTS !
PARENTS DID NOT HAVE CHILDREN TO BE "WARDS OF THE STATE" BUT MEMBERS OF THE "BASIC UNIT OF SOCIETY" WHICH IS "THE FAMILY".
HELL NO YOU WILL NOT GIVE MY MINOR CHILD A CONTRACEPTIVE OR A PHSICIAN TREAT MY MINOR CHILD WITHOUT MY PERMISSION OR KNOWLEDGE OF INVOLVEMENT.
"LIKE THE OLD SOUTH ALABAMA GOOD OLD BOY SAID TO THE CITY SLICKER THAT CAME TO THE HOUSE....TO FIND A BEAUTIFUL WIFE & MOTHER WALKING AROUND ON THE PORCH BAREFOOTED AND IN A PRINTED DRESS...WITH 5 BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN AND 3 FINE BIRD DOGS IN THE YARD PLAYING. THE "CITY SLICKER" ANNOUNCED TO BUBBA THAT HE HAD COME TO TAKE LUCY (BUBBA'S WIFE AND MOTHER OF 5 CHILDREN) BACK TO TOWN WTH HIM TO LIVE BECAUSE SHE WAS TOO PRETTY TO WASTE HER ENERGY ON THIS OLD UNPRODUCTIVE FARM. BUBBA RESPONDED BY SAYING "IF YOU CAN CONVINCE LUCY TO GO WITH YOU...THAT IS FINE....BUT LEAVE THE YOUNG'UNS & DOGS IN THE YARD AND YOU CAN "RETURN TO TOWN" but bother them and you will not ever go back !
My half-sister attended highschool in Memphis. When she graduated (mid-60s) she had her beautician's license and was ready to step into a job.
The Marxist education system has proven to be a detriment, yet it persists as the only alternative. Marxism and Communism has failed wherever it has been installed, so why do the liberals feel that it will work here? By all accounts, the state run education system has been a dismal failure. It has been responsible for oppressive property taxation, is bankrupting many states and is giving poor education skills to our youth..
The problem with Republicans is that they are too timid to challenge the status quo. They feel they they will lose votes if they do, not realizing that the people who run and work for the State Department of Education will never vote for them anyway. Meanwhile the people are left to accept an education system that has been a failure while rewarding those responsible for that failure. What's wrong with this picture?.
Definitely School Vouchers and elimination of the constantly failed Department of Education - - - return school control to States and local communities.
Points 17, 18. 19, 26 (and most others) are why we are losing our grip on the future.
While Congress is at it, excise EPA, Energy, replace IRS with Fair Tax - - - talk about budget cuts☺☺
We also know there are Communist Sympathizers in Congress (at least, by their performance and voting record), as the Communist Party of America has chortled.
The rense.com link has a write-up about how things changed circa 1963. The 60s were pivotal in accelerating the spiritual, moral, cultural and educational decline in America. There is an excellent book that goes in depth naming dates, players, techniques, etc. The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed Am... by Roger Kimball. The writing is slanted - the author clearly didn't like what was happening - but having lived through the era I know it rings true. It was during that era that the universities were taken over by the left. They've been cranking out little lefties ever since.
We didn't start home schooling because we felt any kind of advocacy against the school system. Rather, my son has ASD, and couldn't handle the "controlled chaos" of a Kindergarten classroom. Thus, we started home schooling him. Before our recent move, I suggested we try it with his sisters, that way we wouldn't have to take them out of school in the middle of the year when the house sold.
That was eight years ago, and we never looked back. Home schooling has been such an incredible blessing for us and for our children. My son is now two grades ahead in Math. We do field-trips all over the place, and all three kids consistently score far above the national average on the standardized tests.
I'm convinced that letting the state raise your children is one of the worst mistakes a parent can make. I know of single mothers who work during the day, and home school their children during the evening.
It went south when we let the Federal government start dictating to the states what and how to teach, and when we let the State dictate to the local communities what and how to teach. The more we moved away from parental involvement in raising children, the worse things have fared.
The real problem with U.S. children's education is not so much a problem of math or language, but an inadequate understanding of history. Without an accurate understanding of where we've come from, and how our country was designed and how badly it has gone wrong in the last sixty years, these young skulls full of mush have no chance against the statists in power. They'll have no real sense of even right and wrong, let alone what good government really is (that government which governs least governs best), thus ensuring a future of serfdom and slavery.
The only way to win this fight:
Remove your children from the public school baby-sitting system. Now.
The other problem, and I have spoken to former teachers of mine from high school who have since retired, that kids today just aren't interested in doing their school work or even attending class. When they do show up, these teachers said that school has become just a place for a social gathering where each kid sees who can outdo the other in what they have termed as a "fashion show". Getting them to do there homework, they said, was an arduous task in itself. The problem is, is that there is no academic interest to really learn anything constructive or educational that would be conducive to becoming a contributing citizen in this country. The concept of learning in an educational institution doesn't share the same level of importance as knowing who a kids favorite rock star, rap artist, movie star, American Idol winner, sports figure or what's going on in the lives of these people in reality tv shows which contribute nothing to their own lives other than to serve as a distraction from doing homework. Tv and Hollywood, entertainment if you will, has done a tremendous amount of damage to our budding youth. Of course this doesn't apply to all children in a learning institution, but the overall numbers of those who don't care enough about their own education is growing at an alarming rate as the blog post above would suggest. If you look back in history, we are, in some ways, going the way of Rome as a once great Empire. They became fat and stupid on the successes of the generations before them who built Rome into the powerful Empire that it was because of the understanding of the importance of the power of education. We have lost that, and this country hasn't seen that since the greatest generation of the WWII era which today's youth are reaping the benefits from and are not carrying that torch in the form of greatness in education and the meaning of hard work. They are lazy, uninformed, uneducated, and by all accounts uninterested. They have parents who are uninvolved or unable because they lack the similar education required to survive themselves. We have become a nation of people who have lost our sense of greatness and seem to be satisfied with just eking our way through life. The United States is ranked 14th in overall education in the world. China is # 1. We continue this way and we don't have a prayer of surviving. Big gov't is doing everything in its power to keep the status quo. Its our job to break the status quo, eliminate the dept of education and get involved with our children's education.
Thanks, for the article Judson. It needed to be said 50 years ago. Vern, you captured the essence of our problem.
When I came to America in 1956, I entered 4th grade. I didn't speak a word of English. All I knew is "no smoking" which I learned from the flashing sign on the airplane coming here.
Even with so little knowledge of English, I was able to tell that math was far behind what I learned even in elementary school. As I began the process of learning the language, I could see that other subjects lagged behind, such as world history. It was really foreign to my friends. We won't mention geography, because that was non existent.
In summary, after many years in the school system, I, too, began to lag behind and realized that our education was running in reverse. That was my motivation for becoming a teacher, hoping to make a difference.
I have a friend who was from the greatest generation, went to school in the neighborhood that I did. I cannot compare his education to mine, just two decades before me. He is a well rounded person, with great understanding of what happened to America once the baby boomers arrived.
Whatever, I learned, which was not that great, the generations that followed learned even less. With the invasion of the communist ideology, came many watered down curricula. But that is their goal.
By the late 90's there were only revisionist text books, absence of grammar books, spelling books and the list goes on.
Science and math were replaced by the feel good humanities texts. Reading was compartmentalized and could no longer be taught as part of other subjects . The advent of the new math, rendered students incapable to add or subtract.
My younger daughter worked in a local Chinese restaurant, while in high school, taking phone orders and was also the cashier. The owner refused to get a cash register that gave back change.
According to the owner, she was a treasure because her brain was like a calculator. When she left for college, she never hired another high school student again, because they were unable to return change. She is in her 30's, so you get my point.
The issue is that it's virtually impossible to reverse almost 60 years of destruction. Unless we return to a constituitonal, conservative republic, we are way beyond the fix.
I realize that it is difficult to comprehend, but nonetheless, those are the facts. So whenever, a politician has a so called solution, don't believe it. The system has to be torn down first before you could rebuild education. We cannot put a band-aid on a gushing giant wound. We must get rid of the department of education, and the unions who have a strangle hold on the system.
At this point for the very concerned, home schooling, for those who have the abilty to teach, is the only answer at this time. Thousands of organizations have popped up and parents even swap their kids with other parents who are stronger in a particular subject. They organize field trips, rent home laboratories etc.
The resources are plentiful. Only a decade ago the home school population was in the thousands. Today it is about 2 million and growing.
Socialization is no longer a problem with these organizations. These students who, then, enter colleges score the highest in the SAT's and entrance exams. The national spelling and geography bees have been won by home schoolers for several years.
Not everyone qualifies to home school, but many do.Yes, it is a great sacrifice for a parent to stay home, but it's worth it, if we want to rebuild this nation, one brick at a time.