Skip to comments.NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, EVERY TEACHER A CRIMINAL?
Posted on 01/13/2005 8:54:27 AM PST by FreeMarket1
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, EVERY TEACHER A CRIMINAL?
Jan 13, 2005 - FreeMarketNews.com
by David H. Smith
WAS PRESIDENT BUSH'S 'NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND' INITIATIVE BASED ON FALSIFIED DATA - AND DOES IT MATTER ANYWAY? Education and Newsbriefs Correspondent (With reports)
The much-touted successes of the The Houston Independent School District (HSID) helped inspire the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act of 2002. Yet now it has been reported that HSID testing numbers may have been fudged.
According to The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Independent School District (HSID) is conducting an investigation of what it terms suspicious results on last years statewide tests.
If indeed HSID numbers have been juiced then the centerpiece of President Bushs first term, the NCLB may have been developed based on faulty premises. Since the NCLB is a truly major federal program - funded by tens of billions - the stakes are enormous. The resultant political mess might damage Bushs second-term agenda and make it harder to pass Social Security and tax reform.
While the administration has trumpeted progress regarding NCLB, the nations literacy rate continues to drop and Americans are less educated when compared with the rest of the world than they were 20 or even 10 years ago.
Now it seems NCLB is actually adding to public school problems because more and more teachers are succumbing to the urge to cheat and are recruiting children as accomplices.
One procedure, not in and of itself illegal is to pre-teach to the test by using examples that are similar to what the test will cover. Other activities teachers engage in are apparently frankly fraudulent, however.
Earlier this month, an Indiana third-grade teacher was suspended after being accused of tapping students on the shoulder when they marked wrong answers - the state's third alleged incident in as many years.
In September, Mississippi threw out portions of test scores at nine schools after discovering more than two dozen cases of alleged cheating. One fifth-grade teacher was fired after allegedly helping students on the writing portion of the test.
In July, nine Arizona school districts invalidated portions of their test scores after teachers allegedly either read sections of the test to students or gave students extra time to finish. It was the state's 21st case of cheating since 2002.
The above examples represent only a tiny fraction of students in the public schools; however, cheating incidents may be severely under-reported because public schools administrators and teachers have incentives to cheat, and to cover up the cheating, nationwide, as best they can. In fact, data from Chicago public schools has given rise to estimates that serious cases of teacher or principal cheating occur in about 5 percent of elementary school classrooms. An algorithm has even been created by Harvard University educators to detect teacher cheating from student answer patterns.
How Did We Get Here?
Many still believe American public schools are salvageable - but a growing number of others, parents, teachers and savvy observers are equally sure they are not.
School failure, while still a relatively rare phenomenon in suburbia, is rampant in municipalities. New York City alone with its aging and inefficient educational plants and disheartening school violence, is said to have over 100 public-education facilities that should be shut down immediately - yet New York City, under court order, is readying a spending spree that will bring dollars per student up to $20,000 per annum. This is in contrast with private schools which can do the job for as little as $3,000 per pupil.
The trends toward more expensive - and inefficient - public education, driven by teachers' unions and a political process that finds it expedient to grant increasingly exorbitant union demands each year, is not abating. It is possibly a broken system, one in which the resources for a rennaisance may not be present.
Those who do not believe in the ongoing viability of public schools, often make the following points:
-THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM HAS LOWERED, NOT RAISED THE LITERACY RATE: Before the Civil War, the literacy rate in the North was around 97 percent and in the South about 80 percent. According Sheldon Richman in his Separating School and State, when Massachusetts became the first state in the United States to force children to go to school, literacy was at 98 percent. Today the literacy rate in Massachusetts is said to hover around 90% - but again thats the rate reported by the public school system itself.
-PRE-CIVIL WAR, COMMERCIAL SCHOOLS COMPETED ENERGETICALLY AGAINST EACH OTHER AND STUDENTS WERE THE WINNERS: Richman, again, "In colonial times through the early Republic period, when private schools were the rule, a great many people were educated, despite the relatively low living standards of the day. As the historian Robert Seybolt wrote: In the hands of private schoolmasters the curriculum expanded rapidly. Their schools were commercial ventures, and, consequently, competition was keen.... Popular demands, and the element of competition, forced them not only to add new courses of instruction, but constantly to improve their methods and technique of instruction. European visitors to early nineteenth-century America - such as Alexis de Tocqueville and Pierre du Pont de Nemours marveled at how well educated the people were.
- PRUSSIA DEVELOPED THE AMERICAN PUBLIC SCHOOL MODEL IN ORDER TO MILITARIZE YOUNG MEN: King Frederick William I of Prussia in 1717 set up Europes first national educational system and his son, Frederick the Great enlarged it. Ernst Troeltsch made this point in 1910: "The school organization parallels that of the army, the public school corresponds to the popular army." In truth the Prussian system organized children in grades to ensure bonds of sympathy between young, males who were later recruited by the Prussian army and assigned to the same units in full knowledge that the long association would guarantee ferocious fighters. Thus the system first imported by England and then adopted by the United States at the beginning of the 20th century is actually a militarized one. (Prior to the Civil War those children who were not home-schooled were often educated together regardless of age, with older ones in many cases tutoring younger ones.)
-THE PRUSSIAN MODEL WAS THE FIRST BLOW TO AMERICAN EDUCATION. JOHN DEWEY DEALT THE SECOND: The second and final blow to American education was dealt by the American Socialist/Progessive Movement led by John Dewey, In his article The Fraud of Education Reform, Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld explains: The process was started by John Dewey, whose 1898 essay, The Primary-Education Fetich, outlined what had to be done if the schools were to be used to bring about socialism. First, he said, we must divest ourselves of the notion that high literacy is a desirable goal. High literacy, he argued, produced selfish individuals with minds of their own who couldn't be efficiently collectivized. Dewey himself wrote: "Change must come gradually. To force it unduly would compromise its final success by favoring a violent reaction." Doing his part to create gradual change, Dewey foisted upon American education two poweful concepts: see and say and the-student-as-citizen first. As a collectivist, Dewey was convinced that the aim of education was to create pliable workers first and educated men and women second (a distant second). Deweys ideas were first tried out in Russia after the Revolution; only after Russia explicitly rejected some of Deweys more radical methods, including see-and-say, did he bring them back to the United States and begin introducing them wholesale.
-DEWEYS SEE-AND-SAY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MUCH OF THE FAILURE OF AMERICAN PEDAGOGY: Gene Zimmer, in his How Psychologists Have Destroyed Reading Ability points out that Phonics [the process of sounding-out words] had been used successfully in the USA and Europe for many years to teach children how to read. It supplies the student with tools to expand their vocabulary. The [see-and-say] or whole-language approach (also known as "psycholinguistics"), developed by modern psychologists, denies the students these tools. ... Zimmer also points out that: The look-say reading methods were developed around 1810 for deaf mutes. The system works well for deaf mutes, but there is no obvious reason to use it for those who have the ability to hear sounds. Dewey was attracted to see-and-say because he believed that it injected spontaneity into the classroom, since children deprived of the logic of phonics relied on guesswork to identify words. In the 20th century, and now the 21st, see-and-say has migrated from reading to mathematics the so-called New Math that allows children to figure out various mathematical through guess work rather than logical processes. Deprived of rational pedagogy, Americas students are slipping further and further behind yet the purposefulness of the educational systems failure remains little known - even to many enthusiastic young educators ensnared by the system.
-A GRADUALIST APPROACH PRODUCES PUBLIC-SCHOOL SOCIALISM AND PLIABLE WORKERS: Deweys gradualist approach to the dumbing down of education is still being implemented within the nations public schools by Dewey-influenced educational establishments such as Teachers College. The mechanism is the predictable, Hegelian one create a crisis and then advance reforms that spark yet more crises. Dr. Blumenfeld points out: The Nation at Risk report sparked a new round of education reform, [And] the next reform was initiated by President Bush in 1989 after the famous governors conference in Charlottesville, Va., in which six National Education Goals to be achieved by the year 2000 were announced with great fanfare: 1) All preschool children would start school ready to learn. 2) High school graduation rate would be 90 percent or higher. 3) Pupils would leave grades 4, 8, and 12 having shown competence over challenging subject matter. 5) U.S. students would be first in the world in math and science. 6) Every American adult will be literate. Both Governor Clinton of Arkansas and his brilliant wife, Hillary, were active participants in that governors conference, and when Bill Clinton became president, he added two more goals to the list: 7) Schools will be free of drugs, guns, and violence. 8) Teachers will have access to professional development. Ten years later, not a single goal [had] been reached.
GOOD-HEARTED AMERICANS DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE SYSTEM IS ENGINEERED FOR FAILURE: The American public school system, as vast and expensive as it is, is indeed being manipulated steered by men and women with convictions no less radical and powerful than Deweys. To buttress this point, Dr. Blumenthal cites a famous 18-page letter written by Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy to Hillary Clinton after William Jefferson Clintons election to president: I still can't believe you won. But utter delight that you did pervades all the circles in which I move. I met Wednesday in David Rockefeller's office with him, John Scully, Dave Barram and David Haselkorn. It was a great celebration. Both John and David R. were more expansive than I have ever seen them -- literally radiating happiness. ... The subject we were discussing was what you and Bill should do now about education, training and labor market policy. ... What is essential is that we create a seamless web of opportunities to develop one's skills that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone -- young and old, poor and rich, worker and full-time student. ... Dr. Blumenthal concludes: The Tucker plan fulfills Dewey's dream of a dumbed-down worker training system in which the government plans your life for you.
For those inclined toward pessimism about public schooling, the above citations indicate that the problem of American education may run far deeper than standards can address. An argument can certainly be made that the system developed apparently as a Prussian military exercise and expanded at least partially as a Progressive method of promoting socialism - is not salvageable no matter how much money is thrown at it.
Daniel Koretz of Harvard University comments: "Cheating is not the most fundamental problem. It's the canary in the coal mine." The coal mine to which he refers trying to get the desired results by dumbing down the educational process. He adds: "I think we are in desperate need of accountability in schools, and tests have to be a part of that. But it's a mistake to do it this way, to set arbitrary targets and expect schools to meet them." ................. Full Article www.FreeMarketNews.com
Let me ask you a question: If public schools are eliminated, what replaces them? Do poor kids stop going to school, or do they get vouchers? I'm just interested in your opinion, because I have thought about this a lot.
So the teachers cheat on the tests and it's Bush' fault?
Nothing wrong with teaching examples like those found on the test. Presumably the test contains the types of problems we want a student to be able to solve. Cheating is different, these teachers need to be fired, and student cheating needs to be stopped.
This was recognized in the 70's in a book called "The Education Hoax" which advocated new school boards, new administrations and new teachers. But clearly wan not within the reach of the public.
This guys numbers are obviously high - even if you exclude the Black population. Agenda? Bias? Truth? Naw ...
I have heard this before, as I understand it, schools get held accountable for failure, and if failing get additional resources to help and if they still fail they are closed and kids move to other schools. As these weaker kids move to other schools, does this mean they drag down the other schools, or do the good schools pull them up?
There is nothing in the law that says a good school be punished or defunded because the kids are succeeding. So if NCLB fails the brighter students it is yet to be shown.
There are other factors of course, bright children may get their education despite the schools, and maybe have more alternatives because their parents probably are brighter and more successful as well. But I see nothing wrong with holding failing schools accountable.
From where do you come in this debate? Do you support the current system? Want to throw more money at it? Are you a teacher, former teacher, union member, parent of a kid in the school system? Home school? Private school? What is the solution you propose?
The two types of ineducable students are the defective and the disinterested; the defective have measurably insufficient intelligence while the disinterested are either emotionally undeveloped or simply unwilling to participate in what, to them, holds no foreseeable purpose.
The school system insists on mainstreaming both types to the detriment of all and believes firmly they are doing the "right thing."
Follow-up studies on the disinterested show that at later stages of life many suddenly see the benefit in education, usually specific education for vocational or social-acceptance reasons.
The defective however are always dependent on others for much of their daily needs and recall mostly nothing of those years kept cooped up except the other students about them making their lives miserable with taunts and ostracism.
No Child Left Behind institutionalizes and mandates this blueprint for failure and will bring nothing but fraud and disappointment.
Personally, I made damned sure my children WERE "left behind" by homeschooling them and keeping them from the clutches of the socialists.
They are now grown and very successful and happy, thank god.
NCLB is indeed nothing but enforcement of the socialist brainwashing system.
No, they get drafted in the coming draft and killed on the battlefield since they are not able to produce goods and services for the rest of us.
Pretty good article.
Wow! You want me to write a book right here on FR.
I certainly do not believe there is any role for the Federal government in education. It is my opinion that the Department of Education is unconstitutional.
I'm not sure what the "current system" is because it is hardly monolithic. Lots of kids at some public schools may come out not being able to connect Abraham Lincoln with the "Civil War," but that wasn't the case for my kids and it wasn't the case for me. (Of course none of us learned what a lowlife Lincoln was.) For my kids, especially, they got a classical education in (public) high school, including four years each of Latin, that is the sort of education the colleges should be giving but don't. (One went to UVa. The other is about to begin his final semester at Cornell.)
I'm not a teacher, a former teacher, or a union member. I think teachers' unions are especially bad for education generally.
Public schools can work, but if I were king I would probably eliminate them in favor of private schools. Home schooling seems to work well in the few cases I know about, but I'm not sure that it can ever educate more than a tiny fraction of the population.
As for realistic solutions, the first is to revert to local control. I absolutely believe that NCLB programs should be eliminated unless local school districts want to implement them.
I think that the civil courts should have absolutely no say in what happens in a public school. (Read Democracy by Decree to see that even liberals know they've screwed things up with their advocacy suits.)
Not one of Bush's better moments, this plan. My girlfriend and I agree on this, but not much else. She's an avid liberal, and basically agrees with your statement that you can't force kids of different types (unable to learn vs. unwilling) into the same standards.
Where we disagree is how far to take it. She says the federal gov't should stay out of the schools, but when I say "So, you think we should eliminate the Department of Education," she disagrees, but can't come up with a real reason why.
There seems to be a pattern lately of the dems saying that everything Bush does IS BASED ON FALSIFIED DATA.
Has anybody else noticed this.
My take: Because Bush won't take the dems advice, then the data Bush is using is not valid.
Thanks, I have to agree with you on almost every point. I am a former teacher, saw first hand what a mess the unions make of things. Was laid of on senority even though my work for the school was benefitting a large number of students. Got paid the same whether I worked hard or not. I don't disagree that the feds have no place in education, but I can see the side of the arguement that says maybe local control has been lost to the side with the union power. In this case something needs to break the union power, or we just let the "current union led system control the vast majority of school districts until somehow the locals come to their senses.
If the locals were going to come to their senses I guess they would have by now. So NCLB places some accountability and testing on the schools. Maybe this will expose some incompetance so that the local voters will take back their schools. I would agree that the dept of education should be abolished but maybe with some accountability creeping in the left will add their support to getting rid of the fed role?
My child went through public school, I deprogrammed him in the evenings. He is getting a basic education now in Auburn. (One of the schools that still teaches a core in great literature, although he is not interested in latin, good for you though) Lots of his classmates carried sighs for Kerry after school for extra credit points. Public schools are not doing well, and if a system could be found to break them I would be for it. (I supported vouchers for that reason) I agree with you that education would be better if it was all private, but I can see how truely poor and illegal immigrants would not like it. Any change will probably come slowly, or would be highly disruptive.
Far better would be a society that recognized the limits of the defective as demonstrated and either made accomodations for their assisted welfare or ignored them to their eventual demise.
WE allow allow the business community to educate our children. Nothing has changed since the formal schooling of children began as far as what must be done. Teach them to read, write, spell, speak and and do math. Teach them legitimate history. Present them with factual material to discuss and encourage them to debate and come to their own conclusions. Do all this employing teachers who MUST succeed if they are to remain employed and pay them a good wage to do this job. The children of this nation are our real treasure and we need to do all we can to nurture and grow them both physically and mentally.
Education should not be a for-profit enterprise.
I, for one, would not want Pfizer and McDonalds being responsbile for educating my children.
I won't deny that there are problems with public education and great reforms are needed. (I also won't get into the details because I don't have time right now.)
But I firmly believe that the education of children is the responsibility of the community, not business.
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