Skip to comments.Education: Let down by our leaders
Posted on 11/30/2013 12:38:55 PM PST by BruceDeitrickPrice
[Summary: The countrys traditional leaders, the movers and shakers as they were called, have abandoned us to an alien presence: our own Education Establishment.]---
Many Americans feel abandoned, first, by the people officially in charge of education: National Education Association, Department of Education, National Council of Teachers of Math, National Council of Teachers of English, the Common Core Consortium, and another 20 groups with pretentious names and sly agendas. These groups have plotted, many suspect, to dumb down our public schools.
Parents have to grapple with the thought that our Education Establishment has deliberately devised reading methods (Whole Word) that make kids illiterate. They have dreamed up math instruction (Reform Math) that keeps kids from learning to multiply and divide. Theyve created teaching methods (Constructivism) that almost guarantee that children will not learn much factual knowledge.
If learning is taking place, elite educators have a knack for formulating new policies and practices that end up neutralizing those occasional bits of good news. For parents, its a Kafka thing. Theyre in an endless labyrinth, and never find progress.
Not just the people officially in charge of education have let us down, but all the people who should be protecting us from these strange invaders. Where are the media of all kinds, where are the elite universities, where is the Chamber of Commerce? Wheres the business community, where is the old money while they let the public schools subside into mediocrity? Where are the community leaders who should be fighting the progressive educators at every point? Why have the good guys abdicated?
Rudolf Flesch explained why Whole Word couldnt work in 1955. But Whole Word remains entrenched in the elementary grades, perhaps the longest running hoax in American history. Why did the people at the top of the society allow such a travesty?
Everybody is tired and befuddled. The Education Establishment does the same thing that Obama does: so many changes and proposals, so fast, most of them counterintuitive and weird. A few weeks ago as a shutdown unfolded and the healthcare website wouldnt function, Obama wanted to redesign the hat worn by Marines. People objected that he wants girly hats for warriors.
Overload--thats exactly how the Education Establishment does it. Theyve got a dozen main methods that dont work as promised. What better way to keep people from noticing the defects then to propose a barrage of new methods on top of old methods. Common Core contains provisions for assessing what is called text complexity, the goal being to make sure kids arent reading anything too easy. Similarly, theres a technique that recommends close reading of difficult texts. As many kids can hardly read at all, these techniques are spurious. They distract from the real goal, that kids should first read easily and with pleasure.
The Education Establishment does not seem to be in the schools to honor parents, their beliefs, their allegiances. The Education Establishment seems to be devoted to squashing those things. There is a war waged by left-wing progressives, people who know they have all the answers. On the other side are parents, communities, families, religions, everything that might be called traditional. The progressives want to stifle the traditional. The Education Establishment is perhaps best understood as an occupying force like the Germans in France in 1941. We need more Resistance.
Academics have noted: Detecting deception is difficult because there are no known completely reliable indicators of deception. Deception, however, places a significant cognitive load on the deceiver. He or she must recall previous statements so that his or her story remains consistent and believable.
This insight perhaps explains one of the most striking features of American education. Every possible theory and claim, no matter how discredited, is kept in play. How can anyone sort them out? We dont see any comparative testing; we see nothing empirical in the whole field. There is simply a cacophony of claims and arguments--a good setting for deception.
QED: we need less of almost everything the Education Establishment promotes.
Conversely, we need more homeschooling and private schools, more charter schools, more choice, more parallel education on the Internet. What we need more than anything is leadership. The leaders who should be protecting us and guiding us have abandoned the field. We have been let down by our leaders. Its as if the elders are on tranquilizers.
Many people are waiting for them to wake up. Perhaps its better not to wait. In every community there are people who had the blessing of good education, and their children received a good education. These people understand the value of a good education, and know what it looks like. They should step forward and explain to their neighbors what is going on. Provide the leadership our leaders are no longer giving.
Bruce Deitrick Price/Improve-Education.org
Even as early as the Year 1886, such was the case. A man by the name of Zacharias Montgomery was denied an important post in government for doing just that. You will read some of his words below.
With that said, those who love liberty must be willing to come forward to declare that it is better to be remembered for standing on and articulating enduring principles of right versus wrong, liberty versus tyranny, than to be praised by the mainstream media and so-called "progressives."
I am reminded of the words of Zacharias Montgomery in his 1886 Book entitled "Poison Drops in the United States Senate . . . ." Although his treatise dealt primarily with the public school question, the following remarks might be helpful to those who, today, are concerned by what passes for "public education."
Excerpts from Zacharias Montgomery:
"My countrymen, disguise the fact as we may, there is in this country to-day, and in both the political Parties, an element which is ripe for a centralized despotism. There are men and corporations of vast wealth, whose iron grasp spans this whole continent, and who find it more difficult and more expensive to corrupt thirty odd State Legislatures than one Federal Congress. It was said of Nero of old that he wished the Roman people had but one head, so that he might cut it off at a single blow. And so it is with those moneyed kings who would rule this country through bribery, fraud, and intimidation.
"It is easy to see how, with all the powers of government centered at Washington in one Federal head, they could at a single stroke put an end to American liberty.
"But they well understand that before striking this blow the minds of the people must be prepared to receive it. And what surer or safer preparation could possibly be made than is now being made, by indoctrinating the minds of the rising generation with the idea that ours is already a consolidated government ; that the States of the Union have no sovereignty which is not subordinate to the will and pleasure of the Federal head, and that our Constitution is the mere creature of custom, and may therefore be legally altered or abolished by custom.
"Such are a few of the pernicious and poisonous doctrines which ten millions of American children are today drinking in with the very definitions of the words they are compelled to study. And yet the man who dares to utter a word of warning of the approaching danger is stigmatized as an enemy to education and unfit to be men tioned as a candidate for the humblest office.
"Be it so. Viewing this great question as I do, not for all the offices in the gift of the American people would I shrink from an open and candid avowal of my sentiments. If I have learned anything from the reading of history, it is that the man who, in violation of great principles, toils for temporary fame, purchases for himself either total oblivion or eternal infamy, while he who temporarily goes down battling for right principles always deserves, and generally secures, the gratitude of succeeding ages, and will carry with him the sustaining solace of a clean conscience, more precious than all the offices and honors in the gift of man.
"History tells us that Aristides was voted into banishment because he was just. Yet who would not a thousand times rather today be Aristides than be numbered amongst the proudest of his persecutors.
"Socrates, too, in violation of every principle of justice, was con demned to a dungeon and to death. Yet what name is more honored in history than his? And which of his unjust judges would not gladly, hide himself in the utter darkness of oblivion from the with ering scorn and contempt of all mankind ?
"From the noble example of Aristides and of Socrates let American statesmen learn wisdom, and from the undying infamy of their cow ardly time-serving persecutors let political demagogues of today take warning."
So Zacharias Montgomery in 1886. Read his complete work at HERE.
Anyone who reads his complete volume will realize this man's ability to see the consequences of what his fellow Americans were advocating in the area of education of youth.
A reading of Arnett's warnings about that movement's goals is helpful in analyzing events since that 100th Anniversary of the Declaration Address.
"Centennial Thanksgiving Sermon," delivered in November 1876, by an Ohio Black Legislator and A.M.E. Minister, Benjamin W. Arnett.
The so-called "progressive" agenda has, for decades, sought to replace the founding concept of Creator-endowed individual rights, liberty and laws to protect that liberty with their own false concept of imperfect persons in government assuming the role of the "Supreme Being."
The electorate must become educated to these competing ideas and rediscover America's Founding principles, which can enable them to recognize which are true ideas of liberty, and which are counterfeit ideas of tyranny. That is not easy.
In 2008, Michael Ledeen, on another subject altogether, wrote of the degree to which Americans have been "dumbed down" on some basic ideas underlying our freedom:
Ledeen said, "Our educational system has long since banished religion from its texts, and an amazing number of Americans are intellectually unprepared for a discussion in which religion is the central organizing principle."
In the Pope's speech in Germany a few years ago, he observed:
"A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures."
Ledeen put his finger on a problem that stifles meaningful dialogue and debate in America on a number of subjects--as is now exhibited in the discussion on the causes and solutions to acts of violence such as that in Newtown. Censors [disguised as "protectors" (the Radical Left's ACLU, NEA, education bureaucracies, etc., etc.)] have imposed their limited understanding of liberty upon generations of school children.
From America's founding to the 1950's, ideas derived from religious literature were included in textbooks, through the poetry and prose used to teach children to read and to identify with their world and their country.
Suddenly, those ideas began to disappear from textbooks, until now, faceless, mindless copy editors sit in cubicles in the nation's textbook publishing companies, instructed by their supervisors to remove mere words that refer to family, to the Divine, and to any of the ancient ideas that have sustained intelligent discourse for centuries.
Now, it is the ACLU which accuses middle Americans of "censorship" if they object to books, films, etc., that offend their sensibilities and undermine the character training of their young. Sadly, many of those books and films are themselves products of the minds that have been robbed of exposure to wisdom literature in the nation's schools and universities.
Back in 1876, a Black Minister and Ohio State Legislator, Rev. Benjamin W. Arnett, delivered the "Centennial Thanksgiving Sermon," celebrating the Declaration of Independence, at St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Urbana, Ohio. The Sermon can be read online at the American Memory Section of the LOC, in the African-American Collection. Below is a small excerpt from that Sermon's conclusion. In it Rev. Arnett warned about a movement among "liberals" to remove the ideas underlying America's founding documents. See if you don't recognize those ideas from what you have observed in recent years:
"The Danger to our Country.
"Now that our national glory and grandeur is principally derived from the position the fathers took on the great questions of right and wrong, and the career of this nation has been unparalleled in the history of the past, now there are those who are demanding the tearing down the strength of our national fabric. They may not intend to tear it down, but just as sure as they have their way, just that sure will they undermine our superstructure and cause the greatest calamity of the age. What are the demands of this party of men? Just look at it and examine it for yourselves, and see if you are willing that they shall have their way; or will you still assist in keeping the ship of state in the hands of the same crew and run her by the old gospel chart! But ye men who think there is no danger listen to the demands of the Liberals as they choose to call themselves:
"'Organize! Liberals of America! The hour for action has arrived. The cause of freedom calls upon us to combine our strength, our zeal, our efforts. These are The Demands of Liberalism:
"'1. We demand that churches and other ecclesiastical property shall no longer be exempt from just taxation.
"'2. We demand that the employment of chaplains in Congress, in State Legislatures, in the navy and militia, and in prisons, asylums, and all other institutions supported by public money, shall be discontinued.
"'3. We demand that all public appropriations for sectarian educational and charitable institutions shall cease.
"'4. We demand that all religious services now sustained by the government shall be abolished; and especially that the use of the Bible in the public schools, whether ostensibly as a text-book or avowedly as a book of religious worship, shall be prohibited.
"'5. We demand that the appointment, by the President of the United States or by the Governors of the various States, of all religious festivals and fasts shall wholly cease.
"'6. We demand that the judicial oath in the courts and in all other departments of the government shall be abolished, and that simple affirmation under the pains and penalties of perjury shall be established in its stead.
"'7. We demand that all laws directly or indirectly enforcing the observance of Sunday as the Sabbath shall be repealed.
"'8. We demand that all laws looking to the enforcement of “Christian” morality shall be abrogated, and that all laws shall be conformed to the requirements of natural morality, equal rights, and impartial liberty.
"'9. We demand that not only in the Constitution of the United States and of the several States, but also in the practical administration of the same, no privilege or advantage shall be conceded to Christianity or any other special religion; that our entire political system shall be founded and administered on a purely secular basis; and that whatever changes shall prove necessary to this end shall be consistently, unflinchingly, and promptly made.'
"'Let us boldly and with high purpose meet the duty of the hour.'
"Now we must not think that we have nothing to do in this great work, for the men who are at the head of this movement are men of culture and intelligence, and many of them are men of influence. They are led by that thinker and scholar, F. E. Abbott, than whom I know but few men who has a smoother pen, or who is his equal on the battle-field of thought. He says in an address on the duty of his leagues:
"'My answer may be a negative one to all who see nothing positive in the idea of liberty. The conviction I refer to is this: that, regarded as a theological system, Christianity is Superstition, and, regarded as an organized institution, Christianity is Slavery. The purpose I refer to is this: that, whether regarded as theological system, Christianity shall wholly cease to exercise influence in political matters. Although the national Constitution is strictly secular and non-Christian, there are many things in the practical administration of the government which violate its spirit, and constitute a virtual recognition of Christianity as the national religion. These violations are very dangerous; they are on the increase; they more and more give Christianity a practical hold upon the government; they directly tend to strengthen the influence of Christianity over the people, and to fortify it both as a theology and a church; and they are therefore justly viewed with growing indignation by liberals. Not unreasonably are they looked upon as paving the way to a formidable effort to carry the Christian Amendment to the Constitution; and the liberals are beginning to see that they must extinguish the conflagration in its commencement. I believe all this myself, with more intense conviction every day; and therefore I appeal frankly to the people to begin now to lay the foundations of a great National Party of Freedom. It is not a moment too soon. If the liberals are wise, they will see the facts as they are, and act accordingly. Not with hostility, bitterness, defiance, or anger but rather with love to all men and high faith in the beneficence of consistently republican institutions, do I urge them most earnestly to begin the work at once.'
"He acknowledges that this is a religious nation and wants all men to assist him in eliminating the grand old granite principles from the framework of our national union. Will you do it freeman; will we sell the temple reared at the cost of so much precious blood and treasure? These men would have us turn back the hands on the clock of our national progress, and stay the shadow on the dial plate of our christian civilization; they would have us call a retreat to the soldiers in the army of Christ; the banner of the cross they would have us haul down, and reverse the engines of war against sin and crime; the songs of Zion they would turn into discord, and for the harmony and the melody of the sons of God, they would give us general confusion; they would have us chain the forces of virtue and unloose the elements of vice; they would have the nation loose its moorings from the Lord of truth and experience and commit interest, morally, socially; religiously and politically to the unsafe and unreliable human reason; they would discharge God and his crew and run the ship of State by the light of reason, which has always been but a dim taper in the world, and all the foot-prints it has left are marked with the blood of men, women and children. No nation is safe when left alone with reason.
"But we have no notion of giving up the contest without a struggle or a battle. We are aware that there is a great commotion in the world of thought. Religion and science are at arms length contending with all their forces for the mastery. Faith and unbelief are fighting their old battles over again, everything that can be shaken is shaking. The foundations of belief are assaulted by the army of science and men are changing their opinions. New and starting theories are promulgated to the world; old truths are putting on new garbs. Error is dressing in the latest style, wrong is secured by the unholy alliances, changes in men and things, revolution in church and state, Empires are crumbling, Kingdoms tottering; everywhere the change is seen. In the social circle, in the school house, in the pulpit and in the pews. But amid all the changes are revolutions their are some things that are unchangeable, unmovable and enduring. The forces that underline the vital power of Christianity are the same yesterday, to-day, to-morrow and forever more. They are like their God, who is omnipotent, immovable and eternal, and everywhere truth has marched it has left its moccasin tracks." - (End of Excerpt from "Righteousness Exalteth a Nation, but Sin is a Reproach to Any People")
So said Rev. Benjamin Arnett in 1876. Where is the leader who will declare these things today? His theme was "Righteousness Exalteth a Nation, but Sin is a Reproach to Any People." Might such outspoken thoughts not enlighten the minds of Americans today as they discuss the topic of this thread?
The commoners don’t need to be educated. Simple task-oriented training is good enough for the workers and peasants. Only children of the better people need to be educated.
When you are trying to prepare the people for a world dictatorship you have to dumb them down quite a bit.
Many thanks for the link!
Is there a wiki entry for him? If so, I can’t find it.
Sidwell Friends isn’t using Common Core.
My son will graduate from high school (I hope) next June.
He has hated the four years there. After June, we will start helping him with his education that public schools did not really provide him.
Excellent observation. I wonder how many k-8 private schools are using the common core?
For Alinsky, the revolutionarys purpose is to undermine the system
and then see what happens.
The Alinsky radical has a single principle - to take power from the Haves and give it to the Have-nots.
What this amounts to in practice is a political nihilism - a destructive assault on the established order in the name of the people
From David Horowitz The Alinsky Model
Herbert Hoover quipped about a “chicken in every pot and a car in every garage”. Today, it’s a liberal in every pot and a socialist in every garage.
Here’s a great quote from 1924 which I hadn’t seen until today.
“[The aim of public education is not] to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. . . . Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim . . . is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible
to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States. . . . “ - Henry Mencken, The American Mercury, April 1924.
So the dumbing down has been going on a long time; and anybody who bothers to look could see it.
I’d like also to mention a new book called “Credentialed to destroy, how and why education became a weapon.” This is a serious 400-page chronicle of all the bad actors going back more than 100 years who have conspired to give us the situation we have now. Written by a lawyer.