Skip to comments.Why Georgia Has So Much Illiteracy
Posted on 09/13/2011 12:40:01 PM PDT by BruceDeitrickPrice
The suspense is over. The contest for Most Revealing Newspaper Headline of the Year has already been won. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, on September 4th, knocked out all the competition with this gem:
Reading climbs priority ladder
One of the nations great liberal newspapers reveals in no uncertain terms that reading has been nothing special in the state of Georgia for many decades. And even now, after an extraordinary effort by the new governor, it is going to be promoted only PARTWAY to where it belongs.
This is an astonishing admission, and helps explain why one-third of public school students cant read at grade level, and why Georgia ranks among the dozen most illiterate states.
Reading is without question the most important skill that children can learn. Probably it is more important than the others combined. It should have always been the #1 priority. That it was allowed to drift down to fourth, seventh or whatever could happen only if incompetent and irresponsible people were in charge. (These faux-experts might appropriately be charged with educational malpractice.)
Typically, the media work to protect the Education Establishment; our education commissars are allowed to claim they adore literacy. But now the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has ripped away the veil and revealed to the world that the people in charge dont value reading very highly at all. And as reading goes, so go all the other subjects. A child who cannot read cant learn history, geography, science, literature, current events, or very much else.
Another amazing thing about the story is that the governor is said to be exploring all kinds of complex, expensive fixes to reverse the decline that should never have been allowed to happen, for example: the idea of a pay differential for topnotch teachers willing to work with some of the states youngest students.
Otherwise, the article wants to be very clear that reading is oh-so-important in Georgia; and if this governor has his way, reading will most assuredly move a few notches higher on the priority ladder.
Heres a wild idea. What if Governor Deal (such is his name) endorsed a phonics program and started making sure Georgias kids can read in the first grade. Then he could bring about the improvement he says he wants without administrative maneuvers or extra expense. Easy as A-B-C.
In fairness to Georgia, reading is a disaster all across the country. Flawed methods are commonly used, in particular, variations of Whole Word, Sight Words, Dolch Words, Balanced Literacy and the like. (All of these are pernicious because they force children to memorize phonetic words as graphic designs.) Use of these bogus techniques has resulted in 50 million functional illiterates. Indeed, the assault on reading is one of the most intriguing stories of the 20th century. A good case can be made that this assault is, in fact, the crime of the century. The crime continues to unfold in Georgia and the other 49 states.
(For a 3-minute graphic video explaining what happened to reading, see: The Biggest Crime in American History -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfzo02gWqF0 )
Any teeth to this story?
Notice, not one word of Illegal Aliens(or the euphemism Undocumented Workers) or their children infesting the schools of Georgia.
This is the real problem.
This is what is dragging down the reading, english, history, and math scores.
As with many of the ills besetting our culture today, Illegal Immigration is a primary factor in this problem.
Actually, some qualifiers are due for this story which will never be told. The City of Atlanta, most of Fulton County, Dekalb County and nearly every other ‘urban’ minority-controlled school districts spend a minimum DOUBLE per student more then outlying districts which get better scores. Last time I read what Atlanta PS spends per/student, it was nearly 3 times the metro counties.
It isn’t illiteracy, it is peer-pressure, uncontrolled minority government, negligence and laxity amongst parent(s) and so on/ Atlanta government spends more time trying to figure out how to dole out the concessions at the airport than it does on education or healthcare (Grady Hospital, for example). ...call it racist, but it’s true.
In fairness, I would say it is more likely weak teachers with a BAD reading curriculum who can’t be bothered to teach poor minority kids who can’t be bothered with or motivated by education or by their ‘family.’
It is a combination of social class, family status/structure, culture, curriculum and teaching efficacy.
Having done charity construction work in some of Georgia’s rural/poor areas, and seen the environment up close, it’s no wonder they can’t read.
Not sure there are enough illegal aliens (who aren’t always bad students) in Ga to generate a 1/3rd stat.
It isn’t as easy as that. All children in government schools, including the “good” suburban schools, are being irreparably damaged academically by the bogus theories of pedagogy flowing out of schools of education.
Single-payer education works no better than single-payer medicine.
Readers are leaders! You cant read, you won’t lead.
“Any teeth to this story?”
Sorry, I don’t know what that means. AJC’s story or mine?
As for mine, the whole point is to agitate the people of Georgia, make them discuss this story, and force the governor to aim higher than he is said to be aiming.
These are my observations:
— Our Spanish speaking kids are very smart and all of the speak English very well ( having attended Head Start). It takes tremendous planing for a Mexican family to get into the United States. It is expensive and requires a tremendous effort, and self-discipline, on their part to save the money. This is especially true if they come illegally. Therefore, the parents and children from Latin America are **very** smart!!!!
— Since our congregation's kids are so smart, they **easily** memorize the first 100 words needed for 1st grade and then the 200 or so words needed in 2nd grade. Their parents think that they are learning to read when they are **NOT**. In third grade they hit a wall.
— We have noticed that when we go to regional cub scout meetings that the Anglo kids are struggling as well.
— I conclude that if any child in this county can read ( Anglo or Latino) his parents, a friend, relative or older sibling has taught him.
NO NO NO children are learning read in our county's government schools!!! Yes! I really mean it. Any child who can read in our county has been AFTERschooled!
But....Guess what? Our schools know that penguin's are dying and the polar bears are downing because they can't find an iceberg to lie down on.
While illegal immigration is a problem in many areas of our culture and economy, government schools are the problem, **not**the kids.
I agree with you. Schools in Michigan started the Tuesday after Labor Day. Almost 1/2 of the students in the Detroit Public Schools didn’t show up, according to a news report this morning.
Now, why would that be??? Lax parents is my first assumption, then peer pressure.
— Our county's government schools insist on putting these kids into bilingual classes even when they speak English **perfectly**!!!! Their parents do NOT NOT NOT want this but are too timid to get in the face of the principal and superintendent. Nearly all of the parents speak so English but most do not speak well enough to aggressively confront a principal or superintendent. ( In their home countries do something like that would get them shot.)
—Our county's government schools will NOT NOT NOT hold a child who is a recent arrival back a year while they learn English. They are put with their age level. Of course this means that they completely lose that entire year while they are struggling with English. And...bilingual classes make a bad situation even worse.
—Again...Our experience with cub scouts has proven to us that NO kids are learning to read in the government schools, Anglo or Latino. If a child can read in this county a parent, friend, relative, or neighbor has taught them. They have been AFTERschooled.
I agree. The idea that children from Spanish-speaking families, whether legal immigrants or illegal, cannot be taught to read is nonsense. I know laborers from Central America who can not only read at a high level (in Spanish) but also speak for an hour about the Scriptures without notes. They are not stupid people, and many, though not all, are reasonably well educated in their native language.
American black children can be taught to read, too. How do people think a few generations after emancipation produced Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Clarence Thomas, and some of the other great intellectuals of our day?
Children today are deliberately not being taught to read. When we look at the general academic attainment of teachers and administrators, this should not surprise us. These are not people who value basic academic competence, let alone excellence.
One of our sons is friends with a child who has been solely educated by American government schools. He reads well. He has some difficulty when it comes to writing higher level papers, but he has not had any help from home. His mother is not too bright—she’s been here just as long as he has, and she speaks broken English. She has children by multiple fathers. There are teachers who see children with potential, and the teachers dedicate more time and energy to those children. So maybe the teachers were after-schooling with this boy. I really don’t know. He now comes to my husband and me when he needs someone to edit his papers. Does that mean that the schools aren’t doing their job? Or does that mean that a student wants to make sure he does things correctly the first time?
BINGO! ....You and your husband are afterschooling him.
So when I homeschooled my daughter and edited her papers, that was afterschooling? Huh? And when my college student has someone edit a paper before turning it in, that is afterschooling? And when my best friend who attended private school came to me, a public school student, for help with her papers, I was afterschooling her?
Yes all you have to do is stand and watch who gets on and off the school bus. Large percentage of hispanic.
I come from a family of teachers. The 800 pound gorilla is the rejection of sound phonics instruction in the classroom. The kids in better schools are “after-schooled” by their parents so that the educational malpractice by our “highly trained education professionals” is not as evident with them.
In international tests our students from “good schools” do even worse against their international peers than do our students taken on average.
I have never seen the term applied to college students.
As for you being a child and helping another institutionalized child ( in this case privately institutionalized), yes, you were “afterschooling”. I see this among the Latino children in our congregation. They find someone who is a good student, usually someone who has been afterschooled. Make friends with them and then ask for help.
Guess who is taking all the credit for the improvement in the children's scores? Yep! The local government school!
I used to tutor but finally had to stop. The methods used by the school were so irrational that I was afraid that I would make snarky remarks about the school and the teachers. I didn't see how that could be helpful.
They are wrong.
Were you aware that **NO** studies have ever been done that show how much knowledge is acquired in the classroom as compared to that learned at home due to the parents, friends of the family, or the child himself.
This has NEVER been studied. NEVER!
We spend up to a quarter of a million dollars or more per child for 13 years of education and NO ONE knows if they learn anything in school. Or...If the knowledge they do acquire is due to the parents, the child, or others outside of school! Imagine that!
If you doubt me, I will send the e-mail from a prominent Stanford University professor of education where he plainly states these studies were NEVER done.
Wintertime has neatly explained here why Sight Words are a wicked Ponzi scheme:
“Since our congregation’s kids are so smart, they **easily** memorize the first 100 words needed for 1st grade and then the 200 or so words needed in 2nd grade. Their parents think that they are learning to read when they are **NOT**. In third grade they hit a wall.”
Eight or nine years old, these kids know only a few hundred sight-words. They can read only books with a “controlled vocabulary.” That is, they can’t actually read. The Education Establishment perpetrates this vicious hoax.
I see among the Spanish-speaking adults with elementary-grade educations from Mexico or Central America that they did learn phonics. When they write down lyrics to songs (I lead a Spanish choir) or announcements for the service, they spell Spanish words phonetically, mixing v and b, j and x, d and r, missing silent letters, etc., according to their local pronunciations.
Since they do actually decode words instead of having them memorized, they can easily be trained as lectors or learn new songs, even if some words are unfamiliar, because they know the sounds letters make and the rules of accent.
The poor child feels horrible about not being able to read. They get pressure from school and lots of disapprobation for “not working hard enough” from the immigrant parents. It is pure emotional child abuse, day after day.
That is very sad. I haven’t been sufficiently involved with the hispanic children’s education to see that level of detail.
Last year I had a first grade Sunday School class that was half Anglo and half Latino, but at 6 years old, reading fluency is extremely varied, and there were no observable differences between the children in different groups. Some children could read very well, and some just barely. Basic ability is an issue at that age, I think; I had my 4-year-old and 6-year-old sons in the class, and the younger one reads more easily than the older. Vlad is one of my “instant readers,” from three years old, while James had to be taught phonics.
All the Spanish-speaking children knew their prayers and basic Bible content, though. They come to Mass every Sunday, from grandparents to babies, and the families who are regular Mass attendees also practice their faith and teach the Bible at home.
In a politically correct society how does a teacher, usually a liberal, explain to a parent that their child is stupid....and obese?
It is not a teacher’s business if a child is obese, and few children who are not obviously handicapped are unable to learn to read, if properly taught from the age of 5 or 6. Even some people with Down’s Syndrome learn to read, as do many others with different mental impairments.
Many, perhaps most, people lack the capacity to master theoretical physics (for what it’s worth, Sheldon), just as many will never be star musicians or world-renowned artists, based on personal ability. However, this is simply not an issue when we’re talking about basic literacy and numeracy.