Skip to comments.Who is to blame?(Education)
Posted on 07/09/2006 5:33:01 AM PDT by radar101
Let's look at the recent "Nation's Report Card," published annually by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. Nationally, in reading, only 13 percent of black fourth graders, and 11 percent of black eighth graders score as proficient. Twenty-nine percent achieve a score of "basic," defined as a partial knowledge and skills needed to be proficient in the grade. Fifty-nine percent score below basic, lacking necessary knowledge and skills. It's the same story for black eighth graders, with 40 percent scoring basic and 49 percent below basic.
Racial discrimination has nothing to do with no less than an education meltdown within the black community. Where black education is the very worst, often the city mayor is black, the city council is black-dominated and often the school superintendent is black, as well as most of the principals and teachers. And Democrats have run the cities for decades. I'm not saying there's a causal connection, just that one would be hard put to chalk up the rotten education to racial discrimination.
No one can solve the educational problems that black people confront except black people themselves. First, it's foolhardy, and black people cannot afford to buy into the idea that no black child should be saved from the education morass until all black children can be saved. That means we must find a way to permit the escape from rotten schools for as many black children who want to be educated and have supportive parents as we can. Educational vouchers or tuition tax credits would provide such a mechanism. In principle, the solution to black education problems is not rocket science. The problem is summoning the will.
(Excerpt) Read more at washtimes.com ...
Parents are ultimately responsible for the education of their offspring.
You got that right. If there were vouchers there's no guaranty the parents would use them. MN has open school; basically you can take your kids to any school you want, providing there's room, yet my district - one of the best around - has to beg for more students (can you say "more students means less property taxes for you to pay!"?) each and every year. From some of the "bad" districts, it's only a 10-minute car ride to get your kid to school. So why don't we have a full house? Duh. Parents.
If the parents are uneducated (and the mothers likely not more than children themselves when they became mothers) and got diplomas with only having the equivalency of a 7th grade education, why would one expect the majority of their kids to do any better?
THE TRUE grandfather of modern educationism is neither Horace Mann, who has a bit more to answer for than we usually imagine, nor John Dewey, who in fact has less to answer for than you would conclude from the deeds of people who haven't read him. Mann had very good intentions, and if he was unable to predict the future of state supported education in an age of ballooning statism, he was hardly alone. Dewey's thought was so complicated and diverse, and often so muddily expressed, that it is not (much) to his discredit that facile faddists have seized slogans from his books and elaborated them into strange pedagogical practices. The illuminating spirit, or evil genius, of modern educationism was Wilhelm Max Wundt, a Hegelian psychologist who established the world's first laboratory for psychological experimentation at the University of Leipzig, where he worked and taught from 1875 to 1920. He dreamed of transforming psychology, a notably "soft" science dealing in vague generalizations and abstract pronouncements, into a "hard" science, like physics. About human behavior, he hoped to make exact and publicly verifiable statements of empirical fact, from which he could go on to do what scientists must do, formulate hypotheses and make predictions subject to the test of observation and experiment.From The Seven Deadly Principles:
People who make their livings in "soft" sciences and the arts are not entirely at ease in the company of chemists and physicists and other "hard" scientists. In such company, the psychologists and sociologists and the professors of English feel like touch-football enthusiasts who have wandered by mistake into the locker room of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Only true philosophers, not professors of philosophy, are entirely immune to that nasty suspicion that rises in the heart of the "humanist" when he hears about recombinant DNA or quarks. (Well, that's not quite true. The untempered clod is also immune, a fact whose importance will appear later.) This is a modern condition, and quite unlike that of older times, in which the fledgling "hard" scientists were held in contempt by those who did their work entirely in the mind without the help of apparatus, proper only to artisans. It seems only fair; it's the alchemist's revenge.
AFTER SOBER and judicious consideration, and weighing one thing against another in the interests of reasonable compromise, H. L. Mencken concluded that a startling and dramatic improvement in American education required only that we hang all the professors and burn down the schools. His uncharacteristically moderate proposal was not adopted. Those who actually knew more about education than Mencken did could see that his plan was nothing more than cosmetic and would in fact provide only an outward appearance of improvement. Those who knew less, on the other hand, had somewhat more elaborate plans of their own, and they just happened to be in charge of the schools.
Those who knew less, to be specific, were the members of the National Education Association's Commission on the Reorganization of Secondary Education, a.k.a. The Gang of Twenty-seven, now long forgotten but certainly not gone. They builded better than they knew, and their souls go marching on in every school in America today. The Commission was established in 1913, the year that also brought us the income tax. Many of its members were functionaries of school bureaucracies, from the United States Commissioner of Education himself down through supervisors and associate superintendents and principals and even a high school inspector, whatever that was, to no less a personage than a senior educational secretary of the YMCA. Professors and assistant professors of education represented the higher learning. One of them was chairman of the committee on mathematics, naturally, while the committees on lesser disciplines, notably classical and modern languages, were directed by high school teachers. The stern sciences were served by a professor of education, while the smiling sciences like social studies and the other household arts were overseen by federal bureaucrats. In the whole motley crew there were no scientists, no mathematicians, no historians, no traditional scholars of any sort.
That was surely no accident, for it seems to have been an article of the Commission's unspoken agenda to overturn the work of an earlier NEA task force that had been made up largely of scholars, the Committee of Ten, called together in 1892 and chaired by Charles W. Eliot, then president of Harvard University. That committee had come out in favor of traditional academic study in the public schools, which they fancied should be devoted to the pursuit of knowledge and the training of the intellect. But what can you expect from a bunch of intellectuals? The Eliot Report of 1893 was given to things like this:As studies in language and in the natural sciences are best adapted to cultivate the habits of observation; as mathematics are the traditional training of the reasoning faculties; so history and its allied branches are better adapted than any other studies to promote the invaluable mental power which we call judgment.Obviously, the Eliot committee did its work in the lost, dark days before the world of education had discovered the power of the bold innovative thrust. All they asked of the high schools was the pursuit of knowledge and the exercise of the mind in the cause of judgment.
The Gang of Twenty-seven, unhampered by intellectual predispositions, found that proposal an elitist's dream. They concluded, in other words, that precious few schoolchildren were capable of the pursuit of knowledge and the exercise of the mind in the cause of judgment. That, of course, turned out to be the most momentous self-fulfilling prophecy of our century. It is also a splendid example of the muddled thought out of which established educational practice derives its theories. The proposals of the Eliot report are deemed elitist because they presume that most schoolchildren are generally capable of the mastery of subject matter and intellectual skill; the proposals of the Commission on the Reorganization of Secondary Education, on the other hand, are "democratic" in presuming that most schoolchildren are not capable of such things and should stick to homemaking and the manual arts.
This bizarre principle is still very much with us as a generator of educationistic theory and practice. It shows, among other things, the immense power of words, especially nasty ones like "elitism," notably abhorrent to our egalitarian society. It is certainly true (and puzzling as well, since the men who made us this egalitarian society were indubitable intellectuals) that we distrust intellectuals. They do seem to be an elite, although, thank goodness, a powerless elite. They butter little bread. Nevertheless, when we ask those intellectuals what we should do in the schools, they tell us to do everything we can to bring forth swarms of other intellectuals, which must lead us to conclude that the intellectual elitists can't be too smart. What kind of an elitist can it be who wants to generate his own competitors, and lots of them at that? But the champions of a "democratic" public education, righteous enemies of elitism, rejoice in the profitable belief that hardly any of the children in their charge can expect to rise to the level of curriculum facilitator, to say nothing of superintendent of schools.
In the cause of "democratic" public education, the Gang of Twenty-seven compounded illogic with ignorance by deciding that the education proposed by the Eliot committee was primarily meant as "preparation for the college or university." True, relatively few high school graduates of 1913 went on to college; but even fewer had done so in 1893. Indeed, it was just because so few would go on to more education that the Eliot committee wanted so many to have so much in high school. But the Gang of Twenty-seven decided that since very few students would go on to the mastery of a discipline and the rigorous training of the mind in college, which colleges were still fancied to provide in those days, there was little need to fuss about such things in high school. They had far more interesting things to fuss about in any case, their kinds of things. They enshrined them all, where they abide as holy relics of the cult of educationism to this day, in their final report, issued in 1918 (and printed at government expense, like all the outpourings of educationism ever since) as Cardinal Principles of Secondary Education.
Many public school systems are nothing more than day-care centers for children and adolescents. Yet, "educators" clamor for more and more tax money to fix a car that has an engine, but no transmission.
Black educational achievement(and, to a lesser degree, white) will improve only when children are raised in nurturing, two-parent families where books are read, and televisions are turned off.
It's an elementary solution, but the NEA, "black leaders" and most politicians don't dare talk about it.
In 1978 or so my wife and I came to know a young woman named Patty. She
was a devoutly religious young mother who'd become more devout when her
husband and father of her two small sons aged 2 and 6 informed her that he
was leaving. In dire economic straits, I offered to let her stay in our
former home in Chamblee -- which was not rented at the time rent-free until she got back on her feet. She had been clandestinely home schooling the 6 year
old for about 2 years using very well done Christian course materials from
an organization in Texas the name of which escapes me. The lad had recently been tested and had placed at least a year ABOVE his chronological age. As required by the government school authorities at the time, she dutifully apprised the authorities of his scores.
For reasons which would become clear in a moment, Patty had been harassed by the DeKalb County school authorities for about 6 months and, by the time she moved into the Chamblee house, had been -- unbeknownst to us -- ORDERED to put the 6 year old into the nearest government elementary school or suffer the consequences. Because she wanted the boys to be educated Christians, there was no way she was going to do that and she told them so.
At approximately 2 am one morning, a loud knock on the door announced the
arrival of the aforementioned "consequences."
Dressed only in a nightgown, she was confronted by several burly police officers who thrust an arrest warrant in her face. With the now awakened 6 year old watching and the 2 year old wailing in the other room, she was handcuffed and led out the door to jail. She was tossed into a large cell with a couple of hookers and a junkie who spent much of the rest of that morning vomiting in the corner. The two young boys for whom the educational authorities professed such great concern were just left AT THE HOUSE -- ALONE! Patty was later told that the bureaucrats from Children Services who were SUPPOSED to accompany the cops were late and, in their haste to get this dangerous miscreant behind bars, the cops just missed the fact that the Children Services people were, well, missing. The CS folks showed up an hour later to find two terrified kids, one of whom had just seen his mother hauled off in cuffs.
Patty was ultimately brought to trial under the Georgia Truancy Statutes. Her pro-bono attorney tore the school authorities to shreds and hers has been called THE case that opened the floodgates to home schooling in Georgia. Once they had all the facts, the jury didnt take long to acquit her. Im proud to have played a small part in that.
At Pattys trial, a previously overlooked aspect of the government schools was put into sharp focus for those paying attention: The Director of Instruction for DeKalb County testified that the then current 7 hour school day consisted of an average of approximately 3 hours or less of instruction. At that time, Patty was devoting 4 to 5 hours a day to direct instruction.
He also as much as admitted that the REAL reason they wanted ALL these kids in school was the $3,000.00 per kid per year (Im sure that number is higher in 2001!) they then got from the state and federal government. Empty seats = lost funds. As in most things, follow the money.
Patty home schooled these two boys through high school.
And how did the boys turn out?
One is now a physician and the other a budding journalist.
But that now seems to be the norm for the growing legions of home schooled kids which most likely explains why the NEA and the government school folks feel so threatened. For what its worth, a home schooled kid won the last National Spelling Bee.
Thomas Jefferson believed an EDUCATED PUBLIC to be the cornerstone of the system he and the other Founders TRIED to leave behind. He would NOT, I feel certain, be a big fan of the current government education system. If he returned today, hed home school his children just as he did before.
It seems to happen all the time (kids doing better than parents in education) in other ethnic groups, even in "bad" schools.
I blame a lot of it on the "Thug" culture that pervades young black society, and the perception that education and hard work are "Whiteys' way". That view is reinforced with Mama sitting around on her big can all day collecting government assistance money for everything imaginable item in her life.
Of course, the fact the schools are operated by non-thinking, socialistic, queer loving environmental whackos who spend more time talking about condoms than math and science does not help either, but most people seem to overcome THAT handicap as well. It's called a work ethic and a thirst for knowledge that a kid only gets from home.
Another thing that is an unintended consequences of Columbine shooting and other shootings in schools, is that there is a lot of time spent on, "safety" and a "safe-environment" and protecting the children.
Administrators and police (our small town has as many offices in the schools as it does on the street) spend time on defending against possible violence on campus that they don't really spend time educating.
our town doesn't have any offices on the street although that would be a big cost savings -- sorry about the typo
As for "other ethnic groups" (race) I think you'd have to compare the ages that the girls became mothers, and whether there were fathers in the household in order to really make a comparison.
Statistically, kids of 2-parent households (or situations where the father is still actively involved in the kid's life), especially among the poorer and uneducated parents, fair much better than kids of poorer, uneducated teenage girls with no father present.
Not to say that none of the kids excel. The ones who do, seem to find a mentor to substitute for the lack of one at home.
The basic reason for the existence of public education in this country was to ensure even the poorest child had a shot at a decent, free to the student, education through high school. A noble sounding cause.
Actually, it worked pretty good while the parents had to pack their kids' lunches, buy the books (sometimes loaned or traded around, but everyone seemed to get what they needed), the teachers could bust buns with impunity, the kids could carry knives as well as smoke with the teachers during recess and lunch at the flag pole.
Now, the schools serve free breakfasts and lunches, the books are free, teachers can't beat the kids, the kids can't smoke or carry knives.....and the quality of education has gone to hell. That is if you exlude the ablity to install a condom on a cucumber or bananna, a well developed ignorance (sometimes outright hatred) for the values of this country's founders and its history, extensive knowledge of alternative family structures, a four year old's sense of fairness, and a strong sense of entitlement to things not earned by their own labor. It's typical of our government since the mid 1920s that it has gotten involved in numerous things it should not be doing and can't do well while neglecting its basic duties that are rather easily accomplished.
Every one of these Quixotic views which have given birth to today's Nanny state (as well as the War on Drugs, gun control, loose borders, AFDC, welfare, the EPA, etc.) and "Reform" movements began when "Nanny" got the right to vote in the early 1920s. Pandering to the intellectually devoid, emotion-ruled masses began in earnest at that point, as well as the war on maleness. Only about 10% of the women in America have Ann Coulter's politics and basic philosophy, and the Democrats danged well know it. Of course, 90% of that 10% constitutes the women here on FR, and I'm now donning my Nomex long johns. No offense meant to these ladies, but honestly, a lot of what's wrong with American government and public education is directly blameable on your sorority sisters.
Incidentally, Georgia schools are tapping along at $11,000 or so per student, and my kids' private school costs $5,000 per year with the result of beating the local college bound public school students (from an admittedly good public system compared to others) by a little over 200 points on average SAT scores.
Some of it is the parents, but most can be laid on the education system and educators since they spend more time with the kids than the parents, chiefly due to income and other taxes requiring both parents to work.
In San Diego County, Mexicans come over and drop their kids off for Public School. (Sit there some day, and watch the license plates)
No one objects. Why?
They want their ADA Pay (Average Daily Attendance) They get X amount of dollars for every kid that day.
"I blame a lot of it on the "Thug" culture that pervades young black society, and the perception that education and hard work are "Whiteys' way". That view is reinforced with Mama sitting around on her big can all day collecting government assistance money for everything imaginable item in her life."
I don't know if the statistics are out there, but I would guess there isn't much of a difference between whites who are brought up by poor, uneducated teenage girls with poor, uneducated parents of her own.
What the book shows in excruciating detail is the self-serving monopoly educationists have by dominating all levels of decision-making. They are primarily the faculties of the teacher training colleges but also dominate state education departments and they recommend policies to enrich themselves.
The most obvious example is the current push to cut class sizes which will mean more work for them to train all the more teachers. I have been in university faculty meethings where decisions were all about making sure we had enough warm bodies to justify our jobs, so I know he is right.
Schools require licensed teachers and to get the degree to teach it takes 5 years in many states. The extra year is to prepare the new teachers for the class room. That is the theory -- but only in theory.
In reality teacher education is about 90% socialist brain-washing and very little is taught in "schools of education" except "feel good" emotional based fantacies of a brave new world where Mao is the god of choice. It is no wonder that over 50% of new teachers don't last and go out and sell insurance.
John MacQuorter has a long discussion of this subject from a black perspective. In my opinion, a lot of the problem that we still face comes from the fact that we have allowed a black mob to extort society and rob us of our egalitarian ideas by supporting a racist construct called "the black community." I'll bet that if you tested the teachers in those low performing black schools, you woulod find out they got their jobs mostly because of their skin color, and they are not qualified to teach. Until we get to the point where we do the right thing even if race-baiters call us racists or uncle toms we will have a part of our population oppressed by the ambitions of charlatans.
John McWhorter is awesome. "Losing the Race" is a great read.
It's not like all these breeders sitting around on government assistance don't have the time on their hands to work with their kids.
It has generational and cultural aspects for sure. My family and my wife's have both worked hard to escape the white trash culture. I know where I came from and it can be done, but certainly not by looking to the government to steal money from others to maintain our lifestyles.
Given those statistics, what is the correct response? Too often it is to assign a babysitter or a series of babysitters who teach nothing. The worst schools are revolving doors teachrs want to get out of. I am pleased to say that next year Palm Beach county will pay teachers at failing schools 20% more in an effort to build some seniority and committment in those buildings. isadvantaged children need the best schools, not the worst.
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