Monday, September 12, 2005


Leftists are still true to old Hegel. Only groups matter. And Hegel was the inspiration of Marx and Engels. So it's Communist thinking in U.S. schools. What do you expect from Leftist teachers produced by Leftist colleges? None of those pesky individual differences here, thank you very much. All kids are equal too

"Why is the concept of individual rights so important? The Declaration of Independence, America's founding document, states: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights..." These words affirm that our Founding Fathers saw rights as bestowed not by governments, but by God; not to groups, but to individuals.

The Declaration continues: "That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men." In other words, our Founders saw the role of government as that of protecting the rights of individuals.

However, by the mid-1990s, it was being postulated that America had become a nation where the rights of individuals have been superceded by the rights of groups. Evidence in support of this point can be seen in the observation by social commentator Jessica Gavora that the American Civil Liberties Union has switched its focus from the defense of individual rights to group rights.

This trend can be seen all across the country, in ways large and small - a blight that is nibbling away at individual rights. Consider, for example, that the goal of promoting group identity over individual identity appears regularly in educational literature. A National Middle School Association conference promoted cooperative learning as an "essential" classroom practice because, through this practice, "competition is directed away from individual performance and toward a group identity." Education professor Paul George of the University of Florida stated that for students, group membership "must be the focus of identification."

The preeminence of the group over the individual was seen recently in a report on the services for gifted students in one suburban school district. Teachers objected to allowing their gifted students to leave class for enrichment activities because these children "often provide a needed spark" for the rest of the students. This comports with the views of social activist Mara Sapon-Shevin who claims that "a child who is academically advanced could in fact be valued for this difference if that child's performance were helpful to the entire group."

In other words, in some school districts, allowing an individual to have their intellectual needs met is trumped by the perceived needs of the group. In this case, high ability students are expected to sacrifice the opportunity to develop their own talents and abilities in order to serve the needs of the group - needs that should be addressed not by students, but by the teacher. In a larger sense, this has evolved into the movement to eliminate the recognition of individual merit. As a result, in some schools spelling bees, science fairs, even the honor of valedictorian are being eliminated, often with the justification that individual recognition might harm the self esteem of others.

Consider the concept of merit pay for teachers. Doesn't it make sense to reward an individual whose classroom skills produce remarkable student achievement? The idea of rewarding excellence makes sense in the rest of the economy, but many educators blanch at the idea. They view the acknowledgement that some teachers may be better than others as unfair or demoralizing to the group, so they lobby for pay to be based on longevity and coursework as opposed to merit, thus keeping the members of their group happy. ....

Even prospective presidential candidates have made their views known on this topic. It is reported that when a woman complained to Hillary Clinton that she did not want to be forced into a health care plan that she didn't choose, Hillary replied: "It's time to put the common good, the national interest, ahead of individuals."

One of the fundamental principles that drove the founding of this nation, the acknowledgement and protection of individual rights, is now giving way to devaluing individual rights in favor of collectivist group rights. The Kelo decision merely mirrors the growth of this phenomenon within the culture at large. So come September, when your child arrives at school with the special pens, pencils and notebooks he spent hours carefully selecting, don't be surprised if they are dumped into a common bin for collective classroom use. This is but one more step in the long march toward eroding the rights of individuals to support the perceived good of the group".

More here


To graduate from High School in English in the Left-governed Australian State of Victoria, students will soon have to read only ONE book!(VCE stands for Victorian Certificate of Education)

Students would have to read only one book in year 12 English under contentious proposals that have been branded a dumbing down of the VCE compulsory subject. Under the system - dubbed by one critic as "English Lite" and deplored by the State Opposition - students would have to study only two texts instead of three in year 11, and two instead of four in year 12. One of the texts could be a film. The final VCE English exam would also change, with students having to answer only one question on a text instead of two.

Replacing the texts would be a new area of study called "creating and presenting", where students have to produce work for an adult audience, and may read texts for their research. In year 12, they would choose from such themes as "sustainable futures", and "citizenship and globalisation". There would be a shift away from written responses in work assessed during the year, with at least one oral assessment task. There would be a greater emphasis on new technology.

The controversial changes are proposed in a draft paper published by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. If approved, the changes will be part of VCE English in 2007. VCAA acting chief executive John Firth said the proposals were an attempt to "rebalance" VCE English. "We certainly haven't taken the texts out of the VCE, and it's still a compulsory part of this proposal as well," he said. "There's been a demand for quite some time that we need to find ways of developing students' capacity to communicate and write, especially in a range of different contexts for a range of different purposes." Mr Firth said that to bring something into VCE English, "you've got to create a bit of space. You just can't keep adding and adding." He said students who wanted to specialise in literature could still take literature as a subject, which counts as their compulsory English.

The proposals have already created heated debate. Tony Thompson, an English teacher at Princes Hill Secondary College, described the proposed changes as "English Lite". "It's a dumbing down, there's no question," Mr Thompson said. He said that in NSW, even students taking English as a second language had to read three texts.

Opposition education spokesman Victor Perton said education standards were falling "rapidly" in Victoria. "We are going to be the dumb white trash of Asia if we don't get our act into gear," he said. Mr Perton said the expectations on spelling and grammar in Victorian schools was less than other countries demanded of their students learning English as a second language. "There is a growing fear among parents and employers that kids leaving school with their VCE are not guaranteed to be able to read, and certainly can't write, can't spell and don't have grammar," he said.

Mr Firth said the early response from teachers had been positive. "We certainly don't see it at all as English Lite," he said.

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No. This is not in NYC or Los Angeles. This is in my quiet home town of Brisbane, Australia. Note this excerpt:

"The teacher, 43, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was threatened with disciplinary action for "failing" to tell the Board of Teacher Registration of her "criminal history". She was told the board had the right to conduct a criminal history check "in order to assess a teacher's good character for the purpose of continuing teacher registration". Assistant Director Debra Cunningham informed Mrs W that the board had discovered she was convicted in the Inala Magistrates Court in April on serious charges - possession of dangerous drugs and producing dangerous drugs, for which she was fined $1000. "The board has considered this history and has decided no disciplinary action is warranted," Ms Cunningham wrote.

So the education authorities DISCOVER that she is a recent drug dealer and decide she is still OK to teach! The twist in the story is that it was all a case of mistaken identity and it was somebody else with a similar name who was the drug-dealer but the fact that the education authorities thought a drug-dealer was fine as a teacher is the amazing bit. Standards? What standards? Leftists are the same everywhere: "There is no such thing as right and wrong" to them. But would YOU like your kids to be in the care and supervision of a drug-dealer?

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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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