21 July, 2004
Sowell: "In today's climate, too many teachers think they are doing black students a favor by feeding them grievances from the past and telling them how they are oppressed in the present - and how their future is blocked by white racism. These are the kinds of friends who do more damage than enemies. Why endure all the hard work, self-discipline and self-denial that a first-rate education requires if The Man is going to stop you from getting anywhere anyway? People who have been pushing this line for years are now suddenly surprised and dismayed to discover that many black students across the country regard academic striving as "acting white."
Hope for American education? "Sol Stern argues that President George W. Bush's much-maligned education reforms represent real progress. Stern says the president's No Child Left Behind act, though flawed, is expanding education choices for poor parents and prodding school districts to rely on scientific standards instead of ideology in selecting reading programs-essential to closing the reading gap that underlies the black-white education gap. What's more, a new Bush-promoted voucher program for Washington, D.C. may point the way toward further education reform in a second Bush term.
18 July, 2004
The affirmative action myth: "The Supreme Court decided one year ago that racial preferences at public universities are legal, as long as they aren't too mechanically applied. But this has proved cold comfort to affirmative action supporters besieged by evidence that preferences can't deliver the results desired. ... Just what is affirmative action supposed to do? Educators trumpet the virtues of 'diverse' campuses, but their enthusiasm dates suspiciously to a 1972 court decision suggesting diversity as a legal justification for preferences. Ordinary Americans are more practical. Those sympathetic to affirmative action assume that it offers concrete benefits to disadvantaged students. They hope that preferences will narrow our nation's painful racial divide along such metrics as income, literacy, home ownership and health. But affirmative action in this sense is a myth."
17 July, 2004
A powerful article here: ""When a white person kills a black person, we all go out in the street to protest," said Reverend Floyd Flake. "But our children are being educationally killed every day in public schools and nobody says a thing.".... The Democratic Party's two evil co-conspirators in this systematic destruction of black childrens' minds, dreams and futures are a labor union, the National Education Association (NEA), and what used to be regarded as a civil rights organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). All three groups in this unholy trinity exploit children - as surely as did 19th Century plantation slave owners or Dickensian industrial factory owners - destroying millions of young African-American lives for their own selfish gain.... today, by cynically working together the NAACP, NEA and Democratic Party have created for themselves a symbiotic iron triangle of wealth and power that would fall apart if any one of the three departed from their symbiotic, self-aggrandizing behavior. Their wealth and power are being paid for with the enslavement and wrecked futures of millions of black children and the betrayal of African-American parents."
16 July, 2004
Private education even helps Alzheimers: "A year ago, Alzheimer's disease was so advanced in her that she could hardly recognize a pencil. Now, after having an increasingly popular treatment in Japan called "Learning Therapy," her once blank expression is punctuated with smiles.... But thanks to methods developed by Professor Ryuta Kawashima of Tohoku University in Sendai and backed up by an army of volunteers and textbooks from Kumon Institute of Education Co. - Japan's largest private education company - she has regained an ability to communicate and interact with people".
11 July, 2004
Soviet history lives! In Australia. Australian academic historians want to make it an offence to "publicly question the integrity or competence of their colleagues". No free-speech, no academic freedom, no open debate -- just a licence for Leftists to lie. No wonder they mourn the downfall of the Soviet Union. You can see what they liked about it.
Bureaucracy versus education: "When it takes an average of six years to build a new public school in California, what industrialist David L. Brennan did eight years ago in Cleveland borders on the miraculous in the slow-moving world of public education. When Brennan discovered, two weeks before school started, that some 360 initial voucher applicants could not find places in the city's private schools, he created two new HOPE Academies in just 15 days."
Teachers versus education: "Some say high-stakes testing is to blame for cheating in the classroom. But in this case, it's not the students getting caught -- it's the teachers. A recent study shows as many as 200 teachers in California were caught cheating to help their students perform better on rigorous new standardized tests, which are part of the President Bush's 'No Child Left Behind' education plan, which calls for greater accountability among teachers. Since the law was implemented, more teachers have been caught helping students cheat in about a dozen states around the country."
From a reader: "It occurred to me that perhaps there is more than meets the eye in Leftist support for more and more access to higher education. At the risk of sounding 'conspiratorial', do you suppose that they so strongly support easy, cheap, and open access to higher education so that they, since they so thoroughly control higher education, will have the opportunity to indoctrinate more and more people to their way of thinking?"
10 July, 2004
Sounds hopeful: "The battle lines for the future of [U.K.] state education are now clear. Under Labour, whose blueprint is published today, there will be a revolution with a whole swath of state-financed schools throughout the country being handed over to private sponsors to run. By the end of the decade, the bankers, the churches, the millionaire philanthropists and leaders of the country's private schools will be in charge, in the name of more choice for parents. The Government is planning a big expansion in its city academies programme -- creating up to 200 by the end of the decade -- as one of a series of radical measures aimed at raising school standards."
7 July, 2004
THE SHAMBLES THAT IS AMERICAN EDUCATION: EPISODE 6,314
Whatever Leftists touch, they degrade or destroy.
Florida Education: "I've been writing about the problems with public education since 1993. The business of imparting to children what I believed to be empty self-esteem became, through the years, a recurring theme in my articles, along with such issues as the dumbing down of curriculum, grade inflation and social promotion. The responses I got from teachers on the editorial page and in person were usually defensive. I was often accused of hating all things having to do with public education. Apparently, it is impossible to criticize public education without hating it. I don't hate public education. I want it to be better than it is. And so, here we are today, and educators and Democrats are using the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test as their whipping boy as if the fact that this remedy was deemed necessary comes as a total shock to them; as if there were no red flags, no warning bells, nothing whatsoever to alert them to the fact that our kids have, for a long time now, been in serious academic trouble and that the policies of government schools have, for a very long time, been the agency of this trouble".
Kansas education: "Those of us who teach college English classes are always overwhelmed by the astonishing deficits in our students' ability to get their facts straight, to think clearly and logically, and to express their ideas in language that actually makes sense and that follows the most basic rules of grammar. Even our best students write incoherent essays and make grammar and usage errors that would have failed a third grader in the 1950s... When even our brightest, most "competent" college students cannot write as well or as quickly as most third graders could in my elementary school in 1958, that means something has gone very wrong with their instruction in writing." (Via Newmark's door).
6 July, 2004
The Australian Left are quiet about the Howard government's achievements in black education: "...the proportion of indigenous children staying on to year 12 has increased from 29 per cent to 39 per cent since 1996. The number of indigenous students undertaking bachelor or higher degree courses has risen by 36 per cent at the same time. This financial year, the Howard Government will spend 39 per cent more in real terms than the Keating government did in its last year. .."
5 July, 2004
The just-retired (Leftist) Lord Mayor of my home town of Brisbane (Jim Soorley) had some sensible things to say about education in yesterday's Brisbane Sunday Mail: "In Australia, we have an education system which is considered liberal and affirming of the child. I have long been comfortable with this approach, until I saw the French film To Be and To Have. This confronting documentary turns all that liberal stuff on its head. In a small one-teacher school in rural France, children are made to listen rather than talk, self-expression is kept to a minimum, little ones are encouraged to colour between the lines - no Jackson Pollock-type explosions of art here. And yet it seems to work. The children are polite and respectful, they are fond of their teacher, they gain an understanding of philosophy through their experiences in the classroom. Apparently this is fairly typical of the French education system and effectively prepares students for life after school".
3 July, 2004
"Bill Cosby went off on another tirade against the black community Thursday, telling a room full of activists that black children are running around not knowing how to read or write and 'going nowhere.' He also had harsh words for struggling black men, telling them: 'Stop beating up your women because you can't find a job.'
Cosby made headlines in May when he upbraided some poor blacks for their grammar and accused them of squandering opportunities the civil rights movement gave them. He shot back Thursday, saying his detractors were trying in vain to hide the black community's 'dirty laundry: Let me tell you something, your dirty laundry gets out of school at 2:30 every day, it's cursing and calling each other n------ as they're walking up and down the street,' Cosby said during an appearance at the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition & Citizenship Education Fund's annual conference."