Friday, October 06, 2006


Comment by Neal Boortz

OK .. now think back on the lessons you learned from your parents and those you admired when you were young. Just what would you do when you got knocked on your keister? Would you give up? Would you just grab your ball and go home? Well ... I'm not so sure about you, but I learned differently. I was taught that you built character by getting up, dusting yourself off, repairing the damage, and wading right back into the fight.

How many times was Abraham Lincoln defeated in his quest for public office? As I remember, Lincoln lost at least four elections before he finally was elected President of the United States. But you don't have to look as far as Abe Lincoln to understand the value of perseverance. Your own parents, especially if they were part of the World War II generation, could also give you a lesson or two; and hopefully they did.

Well .. that brings us to the Oscoda, Michigan high school football team. The Oscoda Area High School is, according to Rexford Hart, the principal, the "home of the mighty Owls." Mighty? If you will look at the athletics page on the Mighty Owls website you will see that there is no mention of football. And just why would that be? Well, that would be because the school officials have decided to cancel the football season. The Owls, it would seem, weren't so mighty on the playing field.

The Oscoda Owls played four games, lost badly, didn't score a point, and then gave up. That's it ... they just gave up. Well ---- to be fair --- they were TOLD to give up. After the first four games the Oscoda School Board decided to cancel the remainder of the football season. They forced these young guys to quit. The football players didn't like it, and either did their parents, but the school board decided that they just weren't going to win, so they needed to quit. Forfeit the remainder of the games. Besides, they might get hurt.

Maybe they could just get the football players to play soccer! That's the ticket! Soccer is the athletic refuge for mommies and daddies who don't want their precious little children to play a sport where they might get hurt! That ought to satisfy these disappointed football players.

So .. what is the lesson learned by the members of the Oscoda Owls football team? In fact, what is the lesson learned by virtually all of the members of the Oscoda Area High School student body? This is one of the easiest lesson plans in history. So simple. One word. QUIT. Don't' get up. Don't come back fighting. Don't dust yourself off and wade back in. When the going gets tough, quit. When the road gets rough ... forfeit! No more sucking it up around here! We're the not-so-mighty Owls! Beat us and we'll stick our tails between our legs and slink off.. High school is a learning experience. The students at Oscoda high school have just learned to give up.


Geography: Another school subject is hijacked by politics and fads

(An editorial from "The Australian" newspaper below)

It's been decades since borders, bays and capes were the sole questions covered in geography class. Which is as it should be. When properly taught, the subject should, as the world's first geography professor, James Fairgrieve put it, "train future citizens to imagine accurately the condition of the great world stage and so help them to think sanely about political and social problems of the world". Yet far from reaching this lofty ideal, in geography classrooms around Australia the subject has become little more than a stalking horse for hard-green ideology. And with the exception of NSW, which has always treated geography as a separate subject, and Victoria, which has recently reinstated it as such, geography has been folded into the same broad umbrella of Studies of Society and the Environment that has ripped the teaching of other disciplines such as history from its moorings. This shift opened the door to faddish politics and greatly reduced the chances that a trained geography teacher would actually teach the subject. Even in NSW, where geography is a separate required subject, students are taught to view mining, development and land clearing in an entirely negative light. (A more balanced approach would note that such activities generate wealth for Australia, give a growing population places to live and provide food for domestic and foreign markets.) Human rights and reconciliation are also taught in NSW's geography classrooms.

It is bad enough that Australia's geography curriculums have been so blatantly politicised and that students are encouraged to translate their lesson plans into political activism. Inaccuracies abound as well. Water is described as a "finite resource" in a draft curriculum for Year 11 and 12 students in South Australia - despite there being a more-or-less stable amount of the stuff on the planet. And as in history and English classrooms, a warmed-over Marxism, with its stultifying obsession with power relationships, dominates. In Queensland, the curriculum is charged with educating students about social justice, sustainability, peace and "environmental justice". Education Minister Julie Bishop is concerned that geography "does not fall victim to the same fate as that of history teaching, (which) has become an exercise in political indoctrination". Unfortunately, in much of the country this has already happened.

The decline in geography teaching mirrors a similar descent into the standard-free swamps of postmodernism and political correctness that has already devastated the teaching of English and history. Rather than grounding students in the basics of the discipline and giving them a foundation from which to explore more advanced theories later in their academic careers, teachers leapfrog the essentials and indoctrinate students with theories that will very likely be out of favour by the time their charges enter university. Which is a shame. A solid grounding in the location and behaviour of the world's rivers and resources goes a long way towards helping one grasp the history of human conflict. True understanding of the science of natural processes allows students to evaluate urban sprawl and climate change for themselves and come to their own conclusions - not just be spoon-fed them. And answers to timeless questions, such as why some societies succeed while others fail, can be found within geography. Polluting the discipline with such nebulous concepts as "social justice" and "ecological sustainability" encourages students to turn their brains off and instead parrot the approved, politically correct answers demanded by the curriculum. As with history and English, geography teaching desperately needs to be returned to its roots.


Court victory for gifted student

The mother of a child genius who was denied the opportunity to start high school at age nine - three years ahead of her peers - has beaten the Queensland Government in the Supreme Court. Up against the state's top legal minds, including Crown Solicitor Conrad Lohe, mother of four Robyn Malaxetxebarria - an "amateur" to the law - convinced Queensland's Supreme Court the Government might have discriminated against her daughter on the basis of her age.

Twelve-year-old Gracia Malaxetxebarria, who is on track to enrol in a university medicine degree by the time she is 14 after finishing Year 10 this year, welcomed the finding yesterday. "If you are able to do the grades, then you should be able to sit the grades," Gracia said, citing maths as her favourite subject.

In 2004, the then nine-year-old told her mother she was bored with primary school subjects and asked to advance to Year 8. Despite Gracia having an IQ of 147 -- the average score is 100 -- the Department of Education refused her request, saying she needed more time to develop socially. Her mother then removed Gracia from the public system, enrolled her in Year 8 at a private school 70km from their home and took her case to the anti-discrimination tribunal. She asked for a new home, a car and $500,000 in compensation for age discrimination, but lost in a decision in April. But Supreme Court judge John Helman yesterday quashed the tribunal's decision and ordered that the case be reheard.

Justice Helman found the tribunal had failed to consider a further request to the Department of Education by the family, in June 2004, to allow Gracia unconditional acceleration as a gifted child. This was despite a school report from the private Brisbane Adventist College that showed Gracia had performed well during the first semester of Year 8, receiving As and Bs for all her subjects. Justice Helman found the report, which said Gracia should go directly into a state high school, should have been given "careful consideration and analysis".

State Education Minister Rod Welford refused to comment on the ruling. "It is not appropriate for us to comment -- we have to be very careful when the matter is still before the courts," a spokesman for the minister said.

Ms Malaxetxebarria denied she had been a pushy mother to Gracia. "This was her need," she said. "I am trying to be a bit of an Atticus Finch here to see her human rights are looked after." University of Queensland professor of clinical psychology Matt Sanders said the public school system needed to be more attentive to gifted students' needs. Gracia said she had adjusted well to high school, despite her age, and was proud of her mother for having supported her through the courts. "It's good in Year 10," she said. "I've got my friends and everything, and I seem to be doing well."



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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