If you want to see just how terrible the state of our public education is just read Sarah Hoyt Malice or Incompetence?. She tells a terribly story of how her son's school wanted to classify him as 'learning disabled" and someone who would probably never learn to read or write and threatened to take away her parental rights if she didn't do what was best for him. She and her husband had her very smart son independently tested, brought the results to the teacher and school psychologist who reacted as if she had betrayed them by going behind their backs. Her son is now in 'gifted' classes which is a lucky thing because the Title One classes the school had wanted to put her son in are a disaster.
Recently I came across a news article estimating that 80% of NYC graduates cannot read and write and are functionally illiterate. I’d bet those numbers are not far off across the country, and it wasn’t a surprise. …
Five years ago, those numbers would have shocked me. Then my blog got invaded by “children” in the eleventh grade of a gifted and internationally respected program in the high school my son was attending. They seemed to have erratic spelling, the vaguest of acquaintances with grammatical rules and a thorough lack of ability to think. (If you tried to challenge their assumptions or what amounted to received dogma, they reverted to profanity, in the hopes that it would make you pass out or go away and stop saying things that made them uncomfortable.) It was clear their reading comprehension was iffy and their writing ability shaky. (And the scary part is half of them were accepted into Ivy League schools a year later, which put paid to any idea I had this was a meritocracy.)
Title One is – afaik – a Colorado program for children with learning disabilities. To my knowledge, neither of the kids had been in it. However, as I’ve learned over the years, my knowledge is often far from complete, and what happens OFFICIALLY is also not what happens in truth. (For instance, if I’d known both the kids were sent to the school psychologist once a week through elementary, to fish for stuff that might be considered “abuse” – probably because Dan and I were troublesome – they would have been out of there so fast that the school’s head would spin. Unfortunately both kids assumed this was “normal” and didn’t tell me till high school. On paper, it never happened.)
I’m surprised the literacy rate is 20% I’m surprised it’s not 5%, and I wonder how many of those kids read well enough to read for pleasure.
Now, I realize that an illiterate peasantry is needed for a proper neo-feudal regime, but I wonder how many of these people are actually malicious, and how many are just full of their own self-importance and convinced that they are doing what is best for these children?
But whether it’s from malice or misguided credentialism and do-goodism, what I can tell you is that our system of education is accomplishing the “miracle” of turning out a population MORE illiterate than the poor never-taught people in Tudor England.
Of all states, it would seem that Texas would be the last to need reminding of the Supreme Court’s admonition in Pierce v. Society of Sisters that “children are not mere creatures of the state.” The Lone Star State was one of the few that did not sign on to the Obama-fostered Common Core program, foregoing the dangled federal funds. Yet Texas wound up with a program eerily similar to the centrally planned Common Core standardization system, and one even less transparent.
As with other scandals, it is was as much the cover-up as it was the Texas curriculum management system’s — CSCOPE’s — violation of public trust that caused the uproar. Not only have nearly 80% of Texas schools organized their lesson planning under one “collaborative,” but the CSCOPE curriculum software contract — the “I agree” button — convinced a number of teachers of criminal penalties if they shared lesson content with parents or school board members.
Recent examples come from the bizarre Texas education headlines that detail the photo and story of 9th grade girls donning burqas, Boston Tea Party protestors called terrorists, students asked to design a socialist flag, and a lawsuit filed last month over forced pledge of allegiance to the Mexican flag. It is the burqa flap and the ensuing saga that best illustrate why parents and the state school board have demanded oversight.
No wonder, putting a child in most public schools as they exist today is a form of child abuse. Whenever parents have a choice to do something else, they choose it.
Walter Russell Mead, Charter Schools Surging in Big Blue Mass
America’s most successful anti-blue idea is thriving in a deep blue state: Democratic lawmakers in Massachusetts want to lift caps on charter schools and charter-school funding in 29 low-performing school districts
There are now 31,000 Massachusetts students enrolled in charter schools, and another 45,000 applicants remain on waiting lists. Fifty-nine percent of Massachusetts charter schools achieved the state’s highest ranking in academic achievement and graduation rates, compared with just 31 percent of non-charter schools. The fact that Democratic lawmakers are getting behind charters likely means that low-income parents in Massachusetts like what they see and are demanding more.
The biggest impediment? Teachers unions.Posted by Jill Fallon at March 12, 2013 5:15 PM | Permalink