Friday, September 21, 2012

Ghost In The Machine






And this, my friends, is how it’s done.  This is how Progressives/Liberals have changed America right in front of our faces – right before our very eyes.
Just today, EdWeek ran this article, “National Service Can ignite School Turnaround Efforts”.  

“Oh, this sounds great!” you think as you begin to read.  After all, what in the world could possibly be bad about “turning around” schools?  We all know they are in horrible shape!  Yes, yes, sending workers from the community out into the community to help kids stay in school!  This is awesome!

Unfortunately (or fortunately – I guess it depends upon where you sit on the ideological fence) I tend to see this kind of thing coming immediately.   

After becoming acquainted with the idea of Community Organizing and Saul Alinsky some years ago, I have an extreme alert hit my heads up display when I hear something – anything – that has the word/s National and/or Service in the title.

It seems particularly well-timed, in fact, that yesterday my friend Kaye Beach posted this on my Facebook page – “The Turning of the Tides” by Paul W. Shafer and John Snow – written in 1953.   

This document lays out how the Intercollegiate Socialist Society and the League for Industrial Democracy (still going strong TODAY by the way) along with UNESCO and John Dewey, took over the public schools.  It literally made me sick to my stomach to scan the document, however, once I had been turned on to that one, I quickly found, “Vital Speeches of the Day – Education for the New Social Order”.  Interestingly enough, this speech (printed February 26, 1948) had a subtitle called, “Tragic Results Now Apparent”.

This speech absolutely puts the nail in the coffin of our thesis four years ago as we began ROPE, that our public schools have completely brainwashed kids in US History so that they have no real knowledge of civics, our Republic and/or the Constitution.  The speaker, Augustus G. Rudd, Chairman of the Guardians of American Foundation and delivered before the National Society of New England Women in New York, clearly lays out the mechanism by which American young people were so brainwashed.  It began in college with the inception of liberal professors from Columbia University (instructed by John Dewey) and filtered down into secondary schools through TEXTBOOKS

In fact, the National Education Association sponsored such a set of textbooks called, “Building America”.  The Sons of the American Revolution in California so detested these books, that they took the NEA to court to get an injunction against allowing them in schoolrooms.  This was the opening salvo of their court case, 
“Building America is a subversive publication in that it undermines principles essential to our form of government.”
Under the heading “Scheme of Indoctrination” Rudd writes,  
“Briefly, that is how it happened – how the radical teachers captured the citadel of learning, while parents did not realize what was going on, and consolidated their position by means of great organizations such as the NEA.”
Goodness!  There is absolutely NOTHING more descriptive than that particular paragraph as far as I’m concerned.  This point is driven home further when one remembers that our own State Superintendent, Janet Barresi, has hired a former OEA/NEA president and lobbyist to work for her in the Oliver Hodge Building and has singlehandedly brought about more state and federal control over Oklahoma’s public education than her predecessor Sandy Garret did in 20!

And so, with these little pearls of wisdom tucked carefully into our hat bands, let us review the article concerning how ‘National Service’ organizations can ‘fix’ public schools.

So, what is “National Service”?  Well, we’re told about the disparity in education between the rich and the poor right away, so it takes a bit of time to get to the meat of “National Service”, but apparently, the writer believes, it happens through community organizations such as “Citizen Schools”, “College Summit” and “Diplomas Now”.   

He cites AmeriCorps as ground zero of this effort, 
“Again, working through AmeriCorps, City Year AmeriCorps members—who receive a small living stipend and modest funding for their educations—serve students in grades 3-9 in nearly 250 schools across the country. They work with students before school, after school, and throughout the school day, delivering targeted academic interventions aligned to the common-core standards, and social-emotional support.”
Again, that sounds so awesome!  And cheap too!  What are we thinking NOT to attempt this in OUR state/community? 

Well, it actually goes back to a sentence the writer inserts right after the one above, 
“As near-peer (close in age) mentors, corps members are uniquely positioned to build strong relationships with students that can help them identify and report issues requiring more-intensive services.” 
Yes, they may be uniquely positioned...TO INDOCTRINATE THESE YOUNG PEOPLE ON AN IDEOLOGY COMPLETELY OFFENSIVE TO CONSERVATIVES.   

The writer goes on to say that the Diplomas Now turnaround model, 
“…brings together smart school design, the idealism of national-service members and trained case managers to tap community resources.” 
Fortunately, the writer is honest.

I did a bit of a search on these “idealistic”, “National Service” organizations.
City Year – run by AmeriCorps.  City Year use AmeriCorps members as tutors, mentors and role models through Academic Support, Attendance and Positive Behavior Encouragement and Community and School Improvement projects. Their mission is to 
“build democracy through citizen service, civic leadership and social entrepreneurship. It is through service that we can demonstrate the power and idealism of young people, engage citizens to benefit the common good, and develop young leaders of the next generation.”  
Build…DEMOCRACY?  Guess you’d really have to read the articles above to find out why I object so strenuously to this ‘model’.  Here’s another one for you, 
“City Year’s work in schools is strengthened by its deep history in community service. Since 1988, City Year has been a leader in the growing national service movement, leading to the establishment of AmeriCorps, the passage of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, and the creation of Voices for National Service.”
How about AmeriCorps?   
“In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the National and Community Service Trust Act, which established the Corporation for National and Community Service and brought the full range of domestic community service programs under the umbrella of one central organization. 

This legislation built on the first National Service Act signed by President H.W. Bush in 1990. It also formally launched AmeriCorps, a network of national service programs that engage Americans in intensive service to meet the nation’s critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment.”   
It is funded by taxpayers (so, as usual, the government can turn on those of us that want it ONLY in its Constitutional role!), but there is much room for people who would like to donate – such as the venerable George Soros!  I thought I might go on, but this article really hits the nail on the head of what a despicable organization really is AmeriCorp.

What about Citizen Schools?  Well, I’ll just go ahead and give you the “about” page from their website.  I think the number of organizations with which Eric Schwarz (the Co-Founder) has been involved will make it easy for you to make up your mind about his ideological bend.

What about College Summit?  Well, just troll around this website for a bit.  Look under leadership and staff.  Note that Barrack Obama has donated a large chunk of his Nobel Peace Prize (snicker) to this organization.  Note that Bill and Melinda gates are prominent supporters.  Note that College Summit has applied for and received a Race To The Top grant for districts.  Lots and LOTS of federal involvement here!

What about Diplomas Now?  This is a 
“national campaign to put all students on the path to high school graduation”.   
Certainly a lofty cause and the one thing going for them is that they appear to be solidly non-profit – taking no taxpayer money.  Apparently, Diplomas Now is funded by the corporation so fully in the pocket of Barrack Obama that they changed their logo to match his during the last election cycle.  Give up on who that could be?



And so my friends, there you have it.  Now - especially if you’ve never heard ANYTHING reported in this little expose - go to the mirror, point your finger at yourself and realize that you are the reason we stand a chance of losing a limited government Republic genetic only to this particular chunk of soil, to a man/party who would create his/their own flag they detest America so.
If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a THOUSAND times – RESEARCH EVERYTHING!  

Our fathers, mothers and grandparents quite apparently trusted the idea that schools were a bastion of all that was good in America to our very sincere detriment.  It must have been swimming upstream for these writers in the late 40’s and early 50’s to come out with their research.  I can just imagine the finger wagging, scoffing and cocked heads they met.  Sad that today they are fully vilified.  

Today, we see the fruits of their research. 

If Americans can ignore what stares them right in the face – the metered, specific, planned destruction of their country through its educational system – then, unfortunately for me and those of us that are fully awake and believers, we’ll get the fascist we deserve come November, 2012 and really see for what they have planned so long and so well.



PS: The picture I have used to depict the “ghost in the machine” is from the movie Metropolis.  I had heard of the movie, but never read anything about it.  I pulled up Wikipedia for the movie and found that, interestingly, the plot of the movie isn’t too very far from the plot actually pulled off in American public education.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Single Payer System for Education

I'm Danna Foreman a ROPE board member guest posting for Jenni.

While researching the origins of Oklahoma's P16 now P20 Data Coordinating Council http://www.restoreokpubliceducation.com/node/748 (Oklahoma utilizes the WAVE to capture student data), I came across this quote on the Education Commission of the States website:

Ultimately, the goal of P-16 reform is to create, as Harold Hodgkinson wrote in All One System, "a single system of education underlying all of the segments" (Institute for Educational Leadership, 1999). As the Consortium for Policy Research in Education said, the time has come to end the long history in American education of segments acting "independently and at cross-purposes from one another" (June 2000).
http://www.ecs.org/html/issue.asp?issueid=76


Sadly, too many conservatives have taken the bait. With school choice now being touted as a viable option, students are leaving private and home schools to attend charter and virtual schools. The kicker is that charter and virtual schools receive public funding and must adhere to the Common Core State Standards.

So how is this choice?

The ATC21s  http://atc21s.org/index.php/about/   white papers make reference to the progress towards "nationalized" education in the United States.


It begs the question why is a single payer nationalized system for healthcare unacceptable, but when it comes to education a single system is the panacea.






Tuesday, August 21, 2012

To Kill A Public Education






I have been reading, with exceptional interest I might add, the excitement about the coming previews for the PARCC 'assessments' - the testing arm of the Common Core State Standards.  Apparently, others have as well.  This was my reading for this morning, "Sample Common-Assessment Items Released, Traffic Crashes Server".

As you might remember, states signed on to the Common Core State Standards - and their associated tests - without so much as a by-your-leave-look at either the Standards OR the assessments, as they hadn't even been constructed by the time they were sold Jeb Bush-style to every education 'reform' maven in the land.

Consequently, administrators, teachers, talking heads - anyone involved with the Common Core at any level - have been waiting on pins and needles to see what they actually signed up for!

You simply MUST read the article because the quotes provided by PARCC, are WORSE than laughable.  If I were one of the 'educrats' that signed up for this nonsense, I would be absolutely UNBEARABLY embarrassed!  I would leave town!  Get a load of this paragraph:



PARCC's language reflects a key aim of the new tests. The items are designed "so the assessment is worthy of preparation, rather than a distraction from good work," according to PARCC's materials. Passages in E/LA items will be "texts worth reading," and questions will be "questions worth answering." Math items will be "problems worth doing," the PARCC materials say. "Multistep problems, conceptual questions, applications, and substantial procedures will be common, as in an excellent classroom."

This one paragraph set me off SO BADLY, I (yet again) had to write a response to the article.  Here it is:

Seriously? These items are, "problems worth doing," blah, blah, blah. If these people can't come up with something other than, "use my stuff because it's shiny" to sell me on how great PARCC 'assessments' are, I'm not even taking the time to read the questions! I would hope that public school administrators start seeing through this propaganda! Good grief!

Not only that, but I still bang my head over this statement, "Tests in the post-No Child Left Behind era have routinely been described as too facile—focused on factual recall and rote learning, rather than synthesis and application."

What? There is very little actual memorization of anything going on in the schools I know about anymore.

You can't use a test to create critical thinking skills! The only way to create critical thinking skills is to stuff kids with FACTS in the early grades! Without facts, you can't critically think! PERIOD. No test in the known universe will accomplish that task!

Honestly, John Dewey and his whole 'group think', constructivist approach to education has absolutely RUINED public education. The funniest thing I ever read was in "To Kill A Mockingbird" when Scout talks about the 'new' teacher who 'wears lipstick and high heels' coming to town. The 'new' teacher immediately tells Atticus to stop teaching Scout to read using the newspaper - teaching Scout to read was now HER job. For chapters, Scout goes on to talk about the scorn she has for this 'new' teacher because all she has the kids do all day are projects.

One comment in particular made me laugh, about how she missed her old teacher because she felt like she really learned something in her class. In the 'new' teacher's class all they had done was use enough glue and paper to cover the city of Mobile, yet she hadn't read a book the whole semester.

Good grief. When the writer of one of the greatest books in US history makes fun of constructivist education at one of the earliest points in its indoctrination of the education establishment, you'd think SOMEONE would listen - or at least remember!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rugged Individualism Be Damned! Socialism's Easier!


Diane Ravitch's latest column, Murdoch’s Bold Move into Education Market, really tested my metal today.  Not so much because of what SHE said, but in reading the comments section I was extremely put off to see so much straight up class warfare.  

Murdoch shouldn't be delving into education because he's RICH and somehow the filth of the earth!  What about mention of Murdoch not getting into education because public education in America shouldn't be privatized?  Nope.  Not so much...okay, at all. 

I don't see how this is helpful on even the atomic scale of smallness.

Vilifying “rich people” and continually engendering class warfare over education will create zero solutions and many more problems, as kids (and parents) are divided into smaller and smaller groups and pitted against each other for one reason or another in the media and literature – gosh, that’s productive. 

I in no way want public education in America privatized. Frankly, today it’s one of the few things America has going for us – the fact that we don’t have to eek out a meager existence in order to afford to send our children to school for even the most basic knowledge. No one mentions this EVER, but privatization of public (common) government in any form is really a form of Fascism, and the central shift away from our Republican form of government in America during the last decade is very troubling to me personally. 

Not only that, but to me, the real enemies in public education today are the founders of this ‘Education Reform’ nonsense. People who are not educators at all really, but are simply just politically connected enough to get their ideas heard. People like Marc Tucker and David Coleman who keep pushing Chinese (Communist) centered education on American children. Truly? We want common standards to commonize every kid in the nation? What happened to individualism? Why are we ‘assessing’ the worth of kids to get a job in elementary school? Why do we feel the need to test kids to make them creative? This is all simply nonsense – and worse – it represents a clear movement away from what public education has stood for in this country since it’s inception – a way to INDIVIDUALLY rise above your circumstances in order to be whatever you want to be (and as rich as you desire!)

Though I feel sadly grim at the prospect, I hope most Americans still have enough ‘common’ sense to see that the ‘common’ public education identified and promulgated by these people since the early 1900′s are exactly what has KILLED American education.

I live on a clinging, yet paltry, hope that those of us who do understand the ramifications and repercussions of the new “education reform” model, are able to sabotage these efforts to create a socialized system of education designed to churn out workers and ‘thinkers’ based on COMMON (socialized) standards and COMMON (socialized) tests, relieving America of the individuality that – until the last couple decades – had made it, in every way, superior to every other country in the world since 1776.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Let's Educate Americans Into Jobs For Our Country, Chinese-Style!



As usual, Marc Tucker blogged on Education Week today about how we need to educate Americans to create a high wage workforce (Manufacturing Jobs: What Will It Really Take To Bring Them Back).  As usual, his comments made me violently ill.  Normally, I remember that no amount of reasoning will make a Socialist/Communist a Capitalist, read his tripe (just to know what the enemy is thinking/saying) and move on.  Today, I simply couldn't.  The words flowed and I vomitted them up all over the comments section. 

Please read this and share with those who believe that Marc Tucker and his hero Barrack Obama are on the right track.  Maybe we can change one red to red, white, and blue!


Mr. Tucker,

Mr. Romney has indicated his interest in limiting federal involvement of public education - allowing greater local control and the subsequent fertilization of individualism that will inevitably follow.

Having studied your positions on education, Mr. Tucker, I rather believe this thought to be absolute anathema to you. I feel certain that, like our President, you believe in a federal government which oversees every facet of American life – since, as individuals we can do nothing for ourselves without the assistance of a benevolent dictator to show us the way.


It may come as a surprise, but Communist China uses the same workforce education model you tend to espouse. This, comes as anathema to me, as I believe the principal of individualism - clearly the historical model for this nation - produces a product wrought of blood, sweat and tears that rises closer to perfection than any product subsidized by any government ever could.


Public education is a truly American trait. We do not (at least we SHOULD not according to our Constitution) socialize the institution. Instead, we allow boards of citizens at the local level, whose taxes support the system and who know what's best for the students/families in their towns and bergs, to promulgate necessary rules and guidelines, creating an education model that meets a bar of success in their specific localities.


During the long, horrifying years before 1964 and the first real federal intrusion into education, the American people suffered greatly. Without the government to tell them how to prepare for the kind of jobs the country would need down the road, nearsighted entrepreneurs like Ford created the automobile, crazy professors like Einstein developed the Theory of Relativity, moronic researchers like Edison invented the light bulb and downtrodden slaves like George Washington Carver overcame racial prejudice to become one of the best botanists ever known.


Though I feel sadly grim at the prospect, I hope most Americans still have enough 'common' sense to see that the 'common' public education identified and promulgated by your ilk since the early 1900's are exactly what has KILLED American education.


I live on a clinging, yet paltry, hope that those of us who do understand the ramifications and repercussions of your model, are able to sabotage your efforts to create a socialized system of education designed to churn out workers and 'thinkers' based on COMMON (socialized) standards and COMMON (socialized) tests, relieving America of the individuality that – until the last couple decades - had made it, in every way, superior to every other country in the world since 1776.


Until then, I guess I'll attempt to teach children to spell "a-u-t-o-m-a-t-o-n" and watch the system – and the American way of life - circle the drain.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

No CREATIVITY For You!

I couldn't help it when I read Yong Zhao's post entitled, "Doublethink:  The Creativity-Testing Conflict".  All I could think of was Seinfeld's Soup Nazi screaming, "No creativity for you!"

I am going to post a portion of the blog below (apologies to Edweek for posting it in its entirety previously, apparently breaking a number of copyright laws!) but here are the words I simply HAD to pen in response the Zhao's question, "I don't know how policymakers can hold, simultaneously, these two ideas, creative entrepreneurship and test-driven curriculum standardization, that both research and common sense recognize as contradictory..."?
It's called Cognitive Dissonance...welcome to the Republican Party.

As an education researcher from OKLAHOMA I truly appreciate your post!
The minute our governor stepped out to make a glowing comment on the sham of "testing to creativity", I knew I was going to have to find some specific research to point her bloodhound nose - so keen on sniffing out further little nuggets for her 'education reform' agenda - in another direction.

You have exceeded my expectations here. If she and her 'reformer' pack can't digest the specificity and truth here...well...she's only got 'til 2014!

Doublethink: The Creativity-Testing Conflict

Premium article access courtesy of Edweek.org.
...California, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma have begun exploring the development of measures to gauge the extent to which schools foster creative and entrepreneurial qualities in their students, according to a Feb. 1, 2012, article in Education Week. "What brings great test scores may hamper entrepreneurial qualities.".........
Standardized testing rewards the ability to find the "correct answer" and thus discourages creativity, which is about asking questions and challenging the status quo. A narrow and uniform curriculum deprives children of opportunities to explore and experiment with their interest and passion, which is the foundation of entrepreneurship. Constantly testing children and telling them they are not good enough depletes their confidence, which is the fuel of innovation. So, by any account, what policymakers have put in place in American schools is precisely what is needed to cancel out their desire for creative and entrepreneurial talents......


I don't know how policymakers can hold, simultaneously, these two ideas, creative entrepreneurship and test-driven curriculum standardization, that both research and common sense recognize as contradictory unless they change the slogans of 1984's Oceania, "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength" into "Standardization is Innovation, Uniformity is Creativity, and Testing is Enterprising" for education today.

 So, just to follow up here, I thought it might be fun to pull some of the articles I've been saving in my "Creativity Nonsense" folder.  The ones below are all those generated just in Bible-belt, Red-state, Conservative OKLAHOMA!  How's that for cognitive dissonance?

First of all, did you know that Oklahoma has not only has a CREATIVITY website, but an annual Creativity Forum?  Here is the picture of the website... VERY CREATIVE!!!  Black and white is very artsy!  Please note, lucky us, we can make a donation (for what?), become a member or even "like" them on Facebook!




This, is more troubling...Did you know that we have a South Korean researcher who will develop an Oklahoma Innovation Index?


Monday, July 9, 2012

SNAP Goes the Teacher...


Today, I saw Rick Hess' blog, "A Good Teacher Is Hard To Find".  While I didn't find this guest post by

The trick isn't obsession over what qualifies a teacher to join the profession. Our policies should instead be loose on entrance and tight on results--encouraging maximum flexibility for states, districts, and charter schools to recruit teachers as they see fit while seeking to find better ways to identify good and bad teachers, reward the good ones and keep them in the classroom, and move out the bad ones.
What this means will vary by district-to-district, school-to-school, but a few quick thoughts:
-we should continue to invest in designing smart and robust teacher evaluation tools, which include value-added measurements of student performance--where appropriate and as a piece of the puzzle.
-teacher compensation should not be linked solely to degrees earned or years of experience but to quality of work, including student achievement.
-we should allow more teachers to enter via alternative certification programs, and give charter schools increased flexibility to hire the kinds of teachers befitting their unique missions.
-schools and districts should consider a classroom career ladder that permits good teachers to remain in the classroom while affording them opportunities to grow professionally.

In the same way there's not a single "what works" for identifying good teachers before they enter the profession, there's similarly not a one-size-fits-all on the evaluation end. But the broad principal--loose on entrance, tight on results--will permit us to rethink how we go about recruiting, training, and evaluating teachers in the 21st century.
Ooohhhh.  This sounds awe-inspiring frankly, but my experience just doesn't add up to this assessment from a man who has probably NEVER been in front of a classroom in his life (Daniel is, program manager in education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute). 


This was my take on the issue at hand:

As a former science teacher (now homeschool mom) - my perspective is quite different. I have a M.S. in biology. I was alternatively certified. I taught at a charter school.

Though I followed the state standards for each of the grades I taught and used the books appropriate for the age level - I was deemed "too hard". I "asked too much of my students". I was finally put on a plan of improvement after being called on the carpet in front of parents in my principal's office numerous times.

In my experience, principals don't want good teachers because parents complain. Good teachers don't want to teach the way they know they should because they'll likely be constantly having to explain themselves to avoid firing.

All this nonsense about linking student test scores to teacher pay and all the other "accountability" reforms (ala Jeb Bush) that states keep signing on to, are not going to amount to a hill of beans other than to keep the really good teachers from signing up to teach. How can one teach when you're suddenly responsible for whether a child had breakfast or a fight with his mother the morning of the test?

It cost me a chunk of money to get my alternative certification just to have to constantly justify my reasoning behind trying to make my students do something more than the 'busy work' the parents apparently desired and the principal wanted. Why in the WORLD would good people desire to have that kind of job other than the sheer idealism that many of us have entering the teaching profession (that is soon beaten out of us to the point that we leave)?

Until the now-majority of PARENTS decide they want more for their children than a SNAP card, we're all sunk. No amount of coercion by a state or federal government will fix that. As soon as parents/students have to reap the whirlwind that would be ZERO public assistance for the results of allowing/perpetuating mediocrity, stupidity and sloth, things will change. Until then? Buckle up for a very bumpy ride!
Here's a very interesting article I also found in EdWeek today.  Check this one out as well.  "The Pros and Cons of Accountability".

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I Will Not Be Assimilated!

Today, Robert Pondiscio of Core Knowledge Foundation, wrote a post that made me have to stop and respond.  It was called, Nobody Loves Standards (and that's O.K.).

You know what?  That's BUNK! 

I love the fact that there is a standard for how restaurants serve food, as I don't enjoy the prospect of Tomain poisoning or Salmonella infection.  I love the fact that I am entitled to a certain standard of treatment by my physician and dentist as I don't enjoy the prospect of being made more ill or losing a tooth I didn't need to.  These kind of standards are those imposed by a municipality or city via my tax dollars and are designed to protect the community they serve.  If I decide to open a restaurant and decide these codes or standards are too harsh, I can petition my city government to have them changed.

The Common Core State Standards are in NO WAY an apples to apples comparison with those described above.  The CCSS are imposed on students and parents by education elitists who think they know better than parents and students, what students should learn.  They were created in a galaxy far, far away (the National Governor's Association - a private, dues-collecting organization), by a group of individuals so that no one single group can be held accountable for their creation.  How then, does a parent or student complain or have them changed if they feel they are not living up to their advertised excellence?  Good question.

In short, the Common Core State Standards are an extra-Constitutional form of control which usurps the rights of those that are supposed to use them and pay for them.  That is not what a STANDARD should do in this country.

Consequently, I felt the need to respond - rather cheekily I agree - to Mr. Pondiscio assertion that Common Core State Standards will be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to teaching reading - and apparently ALL of elementary school for that matter.

Below was my comment:
I am speechless.  I am a former Core Knowledge 7th grade Science teacher.  For you, of all people to be touting - in any way - the Common Core, makes me, well, ah, okay, speechless.

Though I was frequently frustrated by the cross curricular aspect of Core Knowledge (getting the History, English, Math and Science teachers all on the same topic for even a day, is more than difficult to wrangle), I found it rich and interesting and easy to align with our states standards.  I often spent time ferreting out information on specific scientists as we covered specific topics in chemistry and life science, and giving the students a real glimpse into the minds of the people that came before them to prepare the way for them to learn.  I tested (I didn't ASSESS) my students after each unit to make sure they were 'getting' the harder concepts (such as the Periodic Table) and my students did well above average on their state Core Curriculum tests.

I'm so glad I'm now at home schooling my own kids.  With CCSS, teaching to the test would be my reality.  Gone would be the days of foraging around in the lives of scientists or trampling around off-topic to watch a film to reinforce a concept or spending enough time covering the Periodic Table well enough to make sure everyone got it.  Heck with that, I'd have to cover everything that would be on the test, or lose my job when my students weren't ASSESSED at a proper assessment 'interval'. 

Teaching was once a profession in which the promise of (and necessity for) individualism and autonomy, drew those who enjoyed imparting wisdom to people younger than themselves in whatever way they found worked best.  Now, all that remains for teachers is to become assimilated into the collective called 'accountability' while figuring out a way to remain at least human enough to 'facilitate' classrooms of children glued to computers and iPads full of programs effortlessly guiding them toward their necessary place in the global workforce.

Though I fear my commentary here will simply be overlooked as the lunatic ravings of a dissenter for not including enough of the CCSS buzzwords I've picked up over the year and a half I've been studying and writing about this initiative (I devoted an entire blog to those!), I'm pretty sure teachers still in the classroom would agree with my thoughts.

Why otherwise intelligent people such as yourself seem so intent upon joining the Borg, I can't possibly comprehend on any level.  The collective is NOT (nor has it ever been) the way, and I for one will not be assimilated. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Do We Really Know What It Means to "Privatize" Education and Other Government Services?

The following is a commentary I wrote for my Facebook page this morning.  Last weekend I took part in an absolutely excellent workshop for a number of researchers, researching a number of different areas. It was very eye-opening to see how ANTI-REPUBLICAN governance is occurring across all spectra of government and how few people (including me!) really understand how pervasive this phenomenon is.
I will be writing some more well-researched (with links) blog posts on such topics as Technocracy, but today's post is more of a down-and-dirty, opinion piece.  I urge you, however, to "google" or "bing" or whatever you do - some of the topics and ideas I present here and see what you find.  We MUST begin to see our government as it is rapidly becoming - essentially Marxist, with rising Fascism components - or we will most certainly be lost.
--------------------------
Many national Republicans - (including Oklahoma Senator Clark Jolley) - want to privatize government services such as education and DHS.

Is privatizing public services BAD?  If so, how?
Yes, privatization of public government is BAD.  A Republic is governance of the people through members of the people elected to represent the populace using the force of law to protect them from their government.

When you PRIVATIZE government, you remove (shut out/eliminate) the voice of the people in the process. When government services are privatized, citizens PAY for services which exist in a private sector sphere, thereby eliminating 'free market' principles from working. A 'privatized' government agency can't fail because tax payers prop up it up to prevent that from happening. This produces ZERO oversight or accountability to the taxpayers who pay for the 'services'. This, a process directly akin to Fascism in many ways.

Senator Jolley wants to privatize DHS. Okay, let's say a DHS head is paid via public money, but is 'elected' to that position by a PRIVATE BOARD through what is called an appointment. Now, tax-payers little to no ability to call for his/her dismissal because he/she is under PRIVATE contract with an essentially private board.

Additionally, education in America according to the Founders, was to be PUBLIC so that ALL people - whether rich or poor - could take advantage of the ability to learn to read and to write in order to understand the Bible and the Constitution. Latin American (and many African) countries have PRIVATE education, which results in a situation in which much of the poor populace is never even able to be taught how to read and write.

This shift in 'consent of the governed' to 'governance' is completely antithetical to the Constitution. Those suggesting we should privatize government services in order for it to become more efficient are simply attempting to take complete control of government moving it from "consent of the governed" to "consent of the APPOINTED". Americans should NEVER consent to PRIVATIZED government, yet we have been lied to and told that this is better for all. I say NO to Fascism! How about you!?
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 Here are a couple of examples I found in my inbox just today:

Politicians and Team Owners Snooker Sports Fans and Taxpayers

vouchers boo hiss

Bill Gates: Selling Bad Advice to the Public Schools

Obamacare Has Literally Replaced the Constitution Not about education, but about exactly the idea we explain here.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Parents Need To Take A Greater Role in the Education of Your Children, But You Can't Because _______ (fill in the blank)

I've been meaning to write a post for a number of months now on a favorite soapbox topic of mine - Education Reform and the Role of the Parent.

When I first set out to try and 'right' perceived wrongs perpetrated on decent taxpaying citizens and parents through the public school system, I thought I was going to make quick headway.  I thought, if I talked long and hard enough (I guess), I could make people see how easily and simply all today's educational issues could be solved by moving education back to the local level.  Who, after all, more than a parent would want to see their student thrive in their education? 

I have been wrong about myriad things in my life, but about fewer things have I been more wrong.

I remember one of the first times I discussed a bill with a legislator and said something akin to, "Parents don't want that.", and I was told, "Parents don't know what they want."

I've also been told, "Too many parents out there today are doing a terrible job - someone has to take care of those kids."  "We all talk about local control - but local school boards are doing a terrible job." 

There was even a legislator this session who wanted to make ALL home schoolers provide their lesson plans and curricula to the state because she knew A family who was 'home schooling' their children because they couldn't manage to get the kids to school on time due to the fact that their crack habit created somewhat irregular hours. 

There is an old Chinese proverb that says, "If you give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day.  If you TEACH a man to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime." 

Sadly, we have no idea how in the world to decipher this proverb anymore because humans have finally come to the point in history where legislation is written at EVERY level about EVERYTHING to protect EVERYONE from THEMSELVES.

No, there are no responsible home schoolers out there home schooling because there is ONE that isn't.  No, there are no school boards out there doing the right thing because there are a number that AREN'T.

We don't write legislation, regulations and mandates TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE doing the right thing in society anymore, we create laws to try and force those that aren't into doing so.  This ideology exists in direct opposition to that of the Constitution and the Founders' vision of our Republic.  According to the Founders, government wasn't instituted among men to protect men from THEMSELVES, but to protect THEM from the government (over-regulation).

Yes, I feel that MANY parents today (maybe even a majority) have abandoned their children on a number of levels (emotionally, physically, economically, behaviorally).

I know good Christian parents who just can't bear to be honest with their children and reproach them for bad behavior because "We must speak life" into our children and "shaming or confronting" them will only make them feel worse about themselves.  They 'helicopter' around their children's activities and schools because they never want to be out of the picture, but their eyes remain blissfully closed to anything other than perfection.

I know parents who need to have a house in Oak Tree but can only afford it on two incomes so they drop their kids off at school in the morning, allow them to let themselves into the house after school and remain unsupervised until they come home from work, pick them up and then cart them to 20 or 30 after school activities because they feel guilty about not spending time with them.

I know parents who have been left by a spouse (or whose other half is serving overseas in the military) and are having to be two people all the time and are simply too worn out to do as much as they'd like and as much as their children need.

I know parents who simply don't care a whit about their kids excepting the gubbmt check they get to feed and clothe them.

But let's "what if" a minute....
What if there weren't gubbmt checks to provide a 'safety net' for those who simply don't know how to survive because they've been getting a gubbmt check all their lives?
What if, instead of in-house suspension, a parent had to come up to the school and babysit their own misbehaving child, or be forced to take them to work with them?
What if a child was humanely and calmly given a swat with a paddle on their back end when they created an issue in the classroom that prevented others from learning? (I had a NUMBER of those and I turned out okay with no lasting emotional or physical scars!)
What if churches actually taught Biblical parenting, accountability and responsibility from their pews instead of the "speaking life" to "prosperity" gospel?
What if principals backed up teachers and told parents they had better make their kid tow the line or they'd get tossed into the street?

.....What if the federal, state and local governments, schools and districts, weren't providing a MYRIAD of ways for parents to avoid having to take personal responsibility for their kids?
.....What if the federal and state government stayed out of the mechanics of education entirely and schools and districts simply gave parents no choice but to have the responsibility for their children they should have assumed once they gave birth to them?

Yes, unfortunately for all of society, Leave It To Beaver is basically only a television show providing a glimpse of what family used to be and may never be again here in America as American values and morals drift further and further outside the scope of those of the '50's.

That doesn't negate the fact that, today, the education establishment, and government at all levels, take power away from parents on a long term and DAILY basis, only to then attack them for not doing 'enough'.

Guess what?  Prophesies are often self-fulfilling and your straw man is on fire.