Thursday, July 28, 2005


An email from David Horowitz:

Like so many -- too many! -- young conservative students in America, Ruth found herself being singled out for abuse by a professor who simply hated Ruth's political views. Ruth -- an A-student at Georgia Tech -- mentioned to her professor that she was going to attend the conservative conference sponsored by C-PAC in Washington, D.C. Without batting an eyelash, the professor told Ruth "Well, then, you will probably fail my course." Can you imagine the arrogance and sense of superiority this professor must have assumed when she unflinchingly told Ruth she was going to see to it she failed? She proceeded to give Ruth "Fs" on all of her work - papers, tests, quizzes - and eventually forced Ruth to withdraw from her class.

First, Ruth reached out to the Georgia Tech Chapter of Students for Academic Freedom (SAF). SAF chapters are on more the 200 campuses across the country, created as part of our NATIONAL CAMPAIGN for ACADEMIC FREEDOM ...

I went to Georgia to join in Ruth's cause. I took her to the governor's office and asked them to help. I went to the Dean of Diversity and said, "You claim to teach respect for difference. Will you defend Ruth?" The Dean said she would. Together we scored two victories: Ruth was allowed to retake the course under a different professor, and the professor who tried so hard to punish Ruth for her political views has been banned from teaching in the Public Policy Department!


It is methods that Bush advocated that have worked. The educrats opposed the methods concerned

For years, nothing helped. America's children weren't reading as well as they should. An achievement gap showed black and Latino students trailing behind their white counterparts in reading and math. Educators and politicians agreed Something Must Be Done, but they made halting progress. Until now. This month, the National Assessment of Educational Progress -- also known as the national report card -- released good news on long-term educational trends in America. Reading competency for 9-year-olds has reached its highest level since NAEP began measuring progress in 1971. What is more, the achievement gap is narrowing. The gap between black and white 9-year-olds tested for reading was 44 points in 1971 to 26 points in 2004, while the gap between white and Latino students narrowed from 34 points in 1975 to 21 points in 2004. Half the gap-narrowing has occurred since 1999.

Of course, educrats are scrambling to make sure that no credit goes to President Bush or his No Child Left Behind program. The American Federation of Teachers issued a statement through an official, who noted that efforts that led to the higher scores predate the Bush presidency. The AFT is right. The reforms that boosted scores predate the Bush presidency. That said, when he was governor of Texas, Bush had the good sense to jump on the right horse. He believed in pushing basic literacy, even if he wasn't as strong on pushing phonics as I would have liked. He pushed for better testing to hold failing schools accountable. The approach paid off. When Bush was governor, black eighth-graders in Texas led the country in math and reading.

While Bush was on the right horse, some teacher groups and top educrats were leading a stampede of bad horses, carrying American children headlong toward ignorance. They eschewed phonics, dispensed with multiplication tables, denounced testing -- unless it gave credit for wrong math answers with clever essays -- and preferred failed bilingual education programs to English immersion programs for children learning English. Look at any reform that has boosted student performance -- phonics, direct instruction, English immersion -- and the chances are, the educrats were against it.

When parents revolted against whole language -- which teaches children to read language as a whole, without teaching them to decode words -- the educrats argued against a return to phonics, which they dismissed as "drill and kill." When reformers pushed for tests that could show which curricula worked best, educrats denounced testing. If children steeped in phonics scored well on reading tests, they were not impressed; it is because the children were brainwashed, not literate. And if whole-language learners scored poorly, well, it was because they were so creative.

When Bush and company demanded accountability, they complained that standards would hurt poor children -- as if undereducating poor and minority students didn't hurt poor and minority kids. The educrat lobby in California opposed the switch from bilingual education to English immersion. Fortunately, California voters, not educrats, had an opportunity to switch to English immersion programs, and now more immigrant children have mastered English. Over time, classroom teachers have seen their students make progress. Many have come to see the wisdom in emphasizing phonics -- it may be boring for teachers, but it helps kids learn to read better.

Bush packaged his approach under his promise to fight "the soft bigotry of low expectations." For years, educators blamed parents, demographics, money -- you name it -- for poor student performance. Bush didn't want to hear the excuses -- and his Texas swagger paid off. As Hoover Institution fellow and sometime Bush adviser Bill Evers noted, "There's no doubt that high expectations and trying to hold the system accountable from top to the bottom is having an overall positive effect."

And so the educrats are left with weak criticisms. They complain that No Child Left Behind is underfunded -- even as Bush budgets money for the Department of Education. They argue that students have no motivation to apply themselves when they take tests -- and still the NAEP numbers are up. They note that NAEP high-school scores are flat without acknowledging that they opposed reforms that are helping more of today's 9-year-olds read.


Socialist Public Schools In America

America's public schools are socialist schools. They are government owned-and-operated near-monopolies, like the schools of the former Soviet Union and present-day communist China.

Many parents might think it a bit far-fetched to compare our public schools to schools in socialist or communist countries. However, if we look closer, we will see striking similarities between the two systems. In the former socialist-communist Soviet Union, for example, the government owned all property and all the schools. In America, public schools are also government property, controlled by local government officials. In Soviet Russia, the government forced all parents to send their children to government-controlled schools. In America, compulsory-attendance laws in all fifty states force parents to send their children to public schools.

The Soviet rulers taxed all their subjects to pay for their schools. Here, all taxpayers pay compulsory school taxes to support public schools, whether or not the homeowner has children or thinks the schools are incompetent. In the Soviet Union, all teachers were government employees, and these officials controlled and managed the schools. In America, teachers, principals, administrators, and school janitors are also government employees, paid, trained, and pensioned through government taxes.

In the Soviet Union, most government employees could not be fired they had a "right" to their jobs. Public-school employees in America also believe they have an alleged right to their jobs, enforced through tenure laws. As we will see later, in America, it's almost impossible to fire tenured teachers. In communist Russia, competence and working hard didn't matter very much - the government paid most workers regardless of their performance on the job. In America, public-school teachers' salaries depend on length of service competence is irrelevant. In communist Russia, the elite ruling class had estates in the countryside while peasants starved. Here, public-school authorities get fat salaries, pensions, and benefits while our children starve for a real education.

In communist Russia, government control of food supplies created eighty years of chronic famine. In America, one hundred and fifty years of public schools has created an educational famine. Millions of public-school children can barely read while the system wastes twelve years of our children's lives.

Still think the comparison to communist schools is too farfetched? Albert Shanker, late President of the American Federation of Teachers, the second largest teacher's union, once said: "It's time to admit that public education operates like a planned economy, a bureaucratic system in which everyone's role is spelled out in advance and there are few incentives for innovation and productivity. It's no surprise that our school system doesn't improve. It more resembles the communist economy than our own market economy."

Finally, schools in some communist countries like China seem to give a better, more disciplined education in the basics of reading, writing, and math than our public schools. International math and reading test-score comparisons often find American kids lagging far behind children from China.

But what values do Chinese communist schools teach their children? Here is another apt comparison between communist schools and our public schools. In both cases, either a central or local government controls the curriculum and the values it chooses to teach its students. The Chinese government can and does indoctrinate all school children with its communist ideology and loyalty to the communist leaders.

Similarly, in our public schools, left-leaning school authorities control the curriculum and the values they teach our children. In many public schools, values-clarification programs and distorted American history courses in many public schools now indoctrinate our children with anti-parent, anti-religion, and anti-American values. In both communist schools and our government-controlled public schools, parents cannot (with a few exceptions) stop school authorities from teaching harmful or immoral values to their children.

Question --- Do socialist, compulsory, government-controlled public schools belong in America, the land of the free?


For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

The NEA and similar unions worldwide believe that children should be thoroughly indoctrinated with Green/Left, feminist/homosexual ideology but the "3 R's" are something that kids should just be allowed to "discover"

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