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HOW THE SCHOOL ACTIVISTS ARE DESTROYING OUR SONS
City Journal ^ | Spring '06 Quarterly edition | Gerry Garibaldi

Posted on 07/25/2006 8:10:42 AM PDT by Lovingthis

How the Schools Shortchange Boys, by Gerry Garibaldi

In the newly feminized classroom, boys tune out.

Since I started teaching several years ago, after 25 years in the movie business, I’ve come to learn firsthand that everything I’d heard about the feminization of our schools is real—and far more pernicious to boys than I had imagined. Christina Hoff Sommers was absolutely accurate in describing, in her 2000 bestseller, The War Against Boys, how feminist complaints that girls were “losing their voice” in a male-oriented classroom have prompted the educational establishment to turn the schools upside down to make them more girl-friendly, to the detriment of males.

As a result, boys have become increasingly disengaged. Only 65 percent earned high school diplomas in the class of 2003, compared with 72 percent of girls, education researcher Jay Greene recently documented. Girls now so outnumber boys on most university campuses across the country that some schools, like Kenyon College, have even begun to practice affirmative action for boys in admissions. And as in high school, girls are getting better grades and graduating at a higher rate.

As Sommers understood, it is boys’ aggressive and rationalist nature—redefined by educators as a behavioral disorder—that’s getting so many of them in trouble in the feminized schools. Their problem: they don’t want to be girls.

Take my tenth-grade student Brandon. I noted that he was on the no-pass list again, after three consecutive days in detention for being disruptive. “Who gave it to you this time?” I asked, passing him on my way out.

“Waverly,” he muttered into the long folding table.

“What for?”

“Just asking a question,” he replied.

“No,” I corrected him. “You said”—and here I mimicked his voice—“ ‘Why do we have to do this crap anyway?’ Right?”

Brandon recalls one of those sweet, ruby-cheeked boys you often see depicted on English porcelain.

He’s smart, precocious, and—according to his special-education profile—has been “behaviorally challenged” since fifth grade. The special-ed classification is the bane of the modern boy. To teachers, it’s a yellow flag that snaps out at you the moment you open a student’s folder. More than any other factor, it has determined Brandon’s and legions of other boys’ troubled tenures as students.

Brandon’s current problem began because Ms. Waverly, his social studies teacher, failed to answer one critical question: What was the point of the lesson she was teaching? One of the first observations I made as a teacher was that boys invariably ask this question, while girls seldom do. When a teacher assigns a paper or a project, girls will obediently flip their notebooks open and jot down the due date. Teachers love them. God loves them. Girls are calm and pleasant. They succeed through cooperation.

Boys will pin you to the wall like a moth. They want a rational explanation for everything. If unconvinced by your reasons—or if you don’t bother to offer any—they slouch contemptuously in their chairs, beat their pencils, or watch the squirrels outside the window. Two days before the paper is due, girls are handing in the finished product in neat vinyl folders with colorful clip-art title pages. It isn’t until the boys notice this that the alarm sounds. “Hey, you never told us ’bout a paper! What paper?! I want to see my fucking counselor!”

A female teacher, especially if she has no male children of her own, I’ve noticed, will tend to view boys’ penchant for challenging classroom assignments as disruptive, disrespectful—rude. In my experience, notes home and parent-teacher conferences almost always concern a boy’s behavior in class, usually centering on this kind of conflict. In today’s feminized classroom, with its “cooperative learning” and “inclusiveness,” a student’s demand for assurance of a worthwhile outcome for his effort isn’t met with a reasonable explanation but is considered inimical to the educational process. Yet it’s this very trait, innate to boys and men, that helps explain male success in the hard sciences, math, and business.

The difference between the male and female predilection for hard proof shows up among the teachers, too. In my second year of teaching, I attended a required seminar on “differentiated instruction,” a teaching model that is the current rage in the fickle world of pop education theory. The method addresses the need to teach all students in a classroom where academic abilities vary greatly—where there is “heterogeneous grouping,” to use the ed-school jargon—meaning kids with IQs of 55 sit side by side with the gifted. The theory goes that the “least restrictive environment” is best for helping the intellectually challenged. The teacher’s job is to figure out how to dice up his daily lessons to address every perceived shortcoming and disability in the classroom.

After the lecture, we broke into groups of five, with instructions to work cooperatively to come up with a model lesson plan for just such a classroom situation. My group had two men and three women. The women immediately set to work; my seasoned male cohort and I reclined sullenly in our chairs.

“Are the women going to do all the work?” one of the women inquired brightly after about ten minutes.

“This is baloney,” my friend declared, yawning, as he chucked the seminar handout into a row of empty plastic juice bottles. “We wouldn’t have this problem if we grouped kids by ability, like we used to.”

The women, all dedicated teachers, understood this, too. But that wasn’t the point. Treating people as equals was a social goal well worth pursuing. And we contentious boys were just too dumb to get it.

Female approval has a powerful effect on the male psyche. Kindness, consideration, and elevated moral purpose have nothing to do with an irreducible proof, of course. Yet we male teachers squirm when women point out our moral failings—and our boy students do, too. This is the virtue that has helped women redefine the mission of education.

The notion of male ethical inferiority first arises in grammar school, where women make up the overwhelming majority of teachers. It’s here that the alphabet soup of supposed male dysfunctions begins. And make no mistake: while girls occasionally exhibit symptoms of male-related disorders in this world, females diagnosed with learning disabilities simply don’t exist.

For a generation now, many well-meaning parents, worn down by their boy’s failure to flourish in school, his poor self-esteem and unhappiness, his discipline problems, decide to accept administration recommendations to have him tested for disabilities. The pitch sounds reasonable: admission into special ed qualifies him for tutoring, modified lessons, extra time on tests (including the SAT), and other supposed benefits. It’s all a hustle, Mom and Dad privately advise their boy. Don’t worry about it. We know there’s nothing wrong with you.

To get into special ed, however, administrators must find something wrong. In my four years of teaching, I’ve never seen them fail. In the first IEP (Individualized Educational Program) meeting, the boy and his parents learn the results of disability testing. When the boy hears from three smiling adults that he does indeed have a learning disability, his young face quivers like Jell-O. For him, it was never a hustle. From then on, however, his expectations of himself—and those of his teachers—plummet.

Special ed is the great spangled elephant in the education parade. Each year, it grows larger and more lumbering, drawing more and more boys into the procession. Since the publication of Sommers’s book, it has grown tenfold. Special ed now is the single largest budget item, outside of basic operations, in most school districts across the country.

Special-ed boosters like to point to the success that boys enjoy after they begin the program. Their grades rise, and the phone calls home cease. Anxious parents feel reassured that progress is happening. In truth, I have rarely seen any real improvement in a student’s performance after he’s become a special-ed kid. On my first day of teaching, I received manila folders for all five of my special-ed students—boys all—with a score of modifications that I had to make in each day’s lesson plan.

I noticed early on that my special-ed boys often sat at their desks with their heads down or casually staring off into space, as if tracking motes in their eyes, while I proceeded with my lesson. A special-ed caseworker would arrive, take their assignments, and disappear with the boys into the resource room. The students would return the next day with completed assignments.

“Did you do this yourself?” I’d ask, dubious.

They assured me that they did. I became suspicious, however, when I noticed that they couldn’t perform the same work on their own, away from the resource room. A special-ed caseworker’s job is to keep her charges from failing. A failure invites scrutiny and reams of paperwork. The caseworkers do their jobs.

Brandon has been on the special-ed track since he was nine. He knows his legal rights as well as his caseworkers do. And he plays them ruthlessly. In every debate I have with him about his low performance, Brandon delicately threads his response with the very sinews that bind him. After a particularly easy midterm, I made him stay after class to explain his failure.

“An ‘F’?!” I said, holding the test under his nose.

“You were supposed to modify that test,” he countered coolly. “I only had to answer nine of the 27 questions. The nine I did are all right.”

His argument is like a piece of fine crystal that he rolls admiringly in his hand. He demands that I appreciate the elegance of his position. I do, particularly because my own is so weak.

Yet while the process of education may be deeply absorbing to Brandon, he long ago came to dismiss the content entirely. For several decades, white Anglo-Saxon males—Brandon’s ancestors—have faced withering assault from feminism- and multiculturalism-inspired education specialists. Armed with a spiteful moral rectitude, their goal is to sever his historical reach, to defame, cover over, dilute . . . and then reconstruct.

In today’s politically correct textbooks, Nikki Giovanni and Toni Morrison stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Mark Twain, William Faulkner, and Charles Dickens, even though both women are second-raters at best. But even in their superficial aspects, the textbooks advertise publishers’ intent to pander to the prevailing PC attitudes. The books feature page after page of healthy, exuberant young girls in winning portraits. Boys (white boys in particular) will more often than not be shunted to the background in photos or be absent entirely or appear sitting in wheelchairs.

The underlying message isn’t lost on Brandon. His keen young mind reads between the lines and perceives the folly of all that he’s told to accept. Because he lacks an adult perspective, however, what he cannot grasp is the ruthlessness of the war that the education reformers have waged. Often when he provokes, it’s simple boyish tit for tat.

A week ago, I dispatched Brandon to the library with directions to choose a book for his novel assignment. He returned minutes later with his choice and a twinkling smile.

“I got a grrreat book, Mr. Garibaldi!” he said, holding up an old, bleary, clothbound item. “Can I read the first page aloud, pahlease?”

My mind buzzed like a fly, trying to discover some hint of mischief.

“Who’s the author?”

“Ah, Joseph Conrad,” he replied, consulting the frontispiece. “Can I? Huh, huh, huh?”

“I guess so.”

Brandon eagerly stood up before the now-alert class of mostly black and Puerto Rican faces, adjusted his shoulders as if straightening a prep-school blazer, then intoned solemnly: “The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus’ ”—twinkle, twinkle, twinkle. “Chapter one. . . .”

Merry mayhem ensued. Brandon had one of his best days of the year.

Boys today feel isolated and outgunned, but many, like Brandon, don’t lack pluck and courage. They often seem to have more of it than their parents, who writhe uncomfortably before a system steeled in the armor of “social conscience.” The game, parents whisper to themselves, is to play along, to maneuver, to outdistance your rival. Brandon’s struggle is an honest one: to preserve truth and his own integrity.

Boys who get a compartment on the special-ed train take the ride to its end without looking out the window. They wait for the moment when they can step out and scorn the rattletrap that took them nowhere. At the end of the line, some, like Brandon, may have forged the resiliency of survival. But that’s not what school is for.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; Miscellaneous; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: boys; culturewars; education; educrats; feminism; genderpolitics; liberalism; malestudents; pc; politicalcorrectness; schoolbias; waragainstboys
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As the mother of a son, I have to tell you, this guy nails it. The educational system is totally skewed towards girls, and our boys (and men) are paying the price for this out of control gender politics.
1 posted on 07/25/2006 8:10:47 AM PDT by Lovingthis
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To: Lovingthis

More here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0684849569/102-0303242-6441712?v=glance&n=283155


2 posted on 07/25/2006 8:14:01 AM PDT by garyhope (It's World War IV, right here, right now courtesy of Islam.)
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To: Lovingthis


Remember: Sexism is something only women have to endure.


3 posted on 07/25/2006 8:16:02 AM PDT by Tzimisce (How Would Mohammed Vote? Hillary for President! www.dndorks.com)
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Lovingthis
It is interesting how the Army or Marines can take a group of 18 year old boys - at the height of their rowdiness and testerone induced banter - and teach them very complicated subjects from 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM without too much getting in the way...
5 posted on 07/25/2006 8:17:31 AM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - They want to die for Islam, and we want to kill them.)
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To: Lovingthis

And someone is finally noticing that the boys are not going on to college. Heck, if they made it through the Pre-K-12th nightmare without killing themselves or someone else, it is perfectly understandable that they are happy to escape further persecution and humiliation at the hands of feminists and their enablers in our universities.


6 posted on 07/25/2006 8:18:45 AM PDT by kittymyrib
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To: Lovingthis

As the father of a fifteen-year-old gifted kid who chronically underachieves, I also think this guy nailed it.

It's criminal what's been done to boys in the schools. Laura Bush is absolutely right. Boys have been cast aside -- and this ends up hurting girls in the long run, also, as they find out that young men are not able to cope with life.

The feminist project of destroying men has been successful. Congratulations, feminists, you've projected your misery onto many more people who would have been healthy otherwise.


7 posted on 07/25/2006 8:19:10 AM PDT by You Dirty Rats (I Love Free Republic!!!)
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To: GoldwaterChick; XJarhead

Ping.


8 posted on 07/25/2006 8:20:02 AM PDT by You Dirty Rats (I Love Free Republic!!!)
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To: Lovingthis
So true, I witnessed it when I was in high school and I see it today while I am in college.

It effects society in so many ways when boys, soon to be men, are not allowed to be men.

9 posted on 07/25/2006 8:20:26 AM PDT by yellowdoghunter (Vote out the RINO's; volunteer to help get Conservative Republicans elected!)
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To: Lovingthis; Constitution Day; Tijeras_Slim
Take my tenth-grade student Brandon.

What kinda sissy-a55 name is that?!

i kid because i love

10 posted on 07/25/2006 8:22:13 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Lovingthis

Yep - my 17 year old step-son will graduate in May 2007 - his last special ed ARD report says the goal this year is to get him to read on a 6th grade level.

All these years and no one noticed he's dyslexic.

Just amazing.


11 posted on 07/25/2006 8:24:07 AM PDT by redlocks322
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To: 2banana
That's because the Military uses a rational, disciplined approach.

The education monopoly, on the other hand, is NOT rational...refusing to explain it's method and goals in anything other than a PC mantra...and has very little discipline effected by the feminists (men and women alike).

Discipline in the public school system is to undermine the value of beliefs and behavior rather than to state, categorically, that certain BEHAVIORS will not be tolerated. In every case the public school system undermines the VALUE of normal male behavior, thinking and beliefs; and shows that normal female behavior is desired and "better".

I lay fault at the feet of these boys FATHERS for tolerating such folly.

12 posted on 07/25/2006 8:41:15 AM PDT by Mariner
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To: Lovingthis

Let me start by saying that my son is an honors student at a private school. However, neither one of us will forget the time when he was in 3rd grade. He was hoping to go to the spelling bee (he had the highest average in the class) and the literary meet (the previous year he had been the only student from this school to win an award). But his teacher told the class that "boys don't do good at these things" and selected only girls. I know, I should have gone and punched the daylights out of her. But I didn't, and it took him a couple of years to re-gain his interest in school! I'm thankful he is doing better now, he's a Duke University TIP scholar, honor roll... But that experience in the 3rd grade still hurts!


13 posted on 07/25/2006 8:42:55 AM PDT by Former Fetus (fetuses are 100% pro-life, they just don't vote yet!)
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To: Tolik

For your consideration.....
This guy gets it!


14 posted on 07/25/2006 8:46:02 AM PDT by SouthernBoyupNorth ("For my wings are made of Tungsten, my flesh of glass and steel..........")
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To: All

nice article I dont want to do MY FUGGEN Papers either lol


15 posted on 07/25/2006 8:56:28 AM PDT by Kewlhand`tek (Those that can't , Teach. Those that can't teach , Report)
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To: Lovingthis

I teach Sunday School to mostly Korean high school and college guys (high achievers all). I have quoted to them the opening words of the song, "Kodachrome," by Paul Simon. "When I look back at all the crap I learned in high school, it's a wonder that I can think at all." I encourage them to get good grades, but also tell them that a lot of stuff they learn, they will never use again. I also try to be very practical in aplication when talking about my Sunday School lessons. I also see that guys LOVE apologetics. They are very rational. They need to know WHY they should believe something, while girls tend to be more willing to just take something by faith.


16 posted on 07/25/2006 8:57:01 AM PDT by DeweyCA
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To: Lovingthis

How would you change things?

I've heard this before but not having boys ... don't entirely relate,


17 posted on 07/25/2006 8:57:10 AM PDT by nmh
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To: You Dirty Rats
Good point!

I don't want my daughter, someday, marrying a wusp or a womanized male. YUCK!!!
18 posted on 07/25/2006 8:59:17 AM PDT by nmh
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To: Lovingthis

If all of these unmotivated children became star students overnight, what would we do with all the then unnecessary teaching staff?


19 posted on 07/25/2006 9:01:01 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: All

oh btw I dont remember the year but I was put in a "special ed" class during the second grade 1978. I know they told me not to drink chocolate milk and have sweets. I recall my idea of doing school work in the 1st grade was dumping it in the garbage, wow I saw thru it then I guess. Fortunately ritalin wasnt used back then or I'd be ruint now.


20 posted on 07/25/2006 9:04:11 AM PDT by Kewlhand`tek (Those that can't , Teach. Those that can't teach , Report)
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To: Lovingthis
Brandon eagerly stood up before the now-alert class of mostly black and Puerto Rican faces, adjusted his shoulders as if straightening a prep-school blazer, then intoned solemnly: “The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus’ ”—twinkle, twinkle, twinkle. “Chapter one. . . .”

LOL! The kid's got balls. He'll probably be a Fortune 500 CEO someday, once he escapes the clutches of government education. ;)

21 posted on 07/25/2006 9:09:17 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ("When the government is invasive, the people are wanting." -- Tao Te Ching)
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To: Lovingthis
My wife read this, and disagrees on a couple of points. She's been at "differentiated instruction" conferences for two weeks this summer (without pay!) and told me that what this author described is the opposite of differentiated instruction really is, at least according to these two conferences.

The teachers are being told now to separate the gifted kids from the not-so-gifted kids, so they go at their own pace without being slowed up or dragged along.

She also said the teachers with whom she has worked who have been the worst with boys are male teachers. They're the ones throwing boys out of the classroom for asking "disrespectful" questions. Her experience has shown that the female teachers are much more patient and understanding of "boys being boys". Maybe she's in an exceptional environment.

I wonder how this phenomenon varies by school district. She works in a lower-middle-class district where there are not too many medicated boys. But I have friends in the Midwest in upper-middle-class schools who have told me that at least half of the boys are medicated. Are the ones who can afford it actually hindering their boys, while the ones who can't doing them an inadvertent favor?
22 posted on 07/25/2006 9:10:17 AM PDT by hoppity
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To: Lovingthis; ninenot; sittnick; steve50; Hegemony Cricket; Willie Green; Wolfie; ex-snook; FITZ; ...
Give the recess back to the boys instead of Ritalin!
23 posted on 07/25/2006 9:10:21 AM PDT by A. Pole (Joanne Senier-LaBarre: "We Wish You a Swinging Holiday!")
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To: Lovingthis
Either you understand this comes from THE FRANKFURT SCHOOL or you do not get it.


24 posted on 07/25/2006 9:12:10 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("I like to legislate. I feel I've done a lot of good." Sen. Robert Byrd)
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To: Lovingthis

I'm glad I got through school before this cr@p hit. And I'm glad I have little girls and not little boys.

I could not survive in this environment - as a student I frequently doodled - and my doodles were usually military or RPG oriented - weapons, battles, etc. I understand that just drawing a gun is enough to get kids suspended these days...


25 posted on 07/25/2006 9:13:15 AM PDT by Little Ray (If you want to be a martyr, we want to martyr you.)
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To: Lovingthis

Although it has been a very long time since I was in public school, even back then, before the feminists did their damage, I experienced some of the feminist approach to emasculating boys.

Today, it is substantially worse. The precipitous drop in the rate of boys going on to college and seeking advanced degrees establishes a poor prediction for our nation's future. As boys think less of themselves for being boys, girls (and potential girlfriends/wives) will find them equally undesireable. And when boys and girls don't mix, families aren't created; ESPECIALLY the all-important nuclear family in which a mother and father take part jointly in raising their children. This, in short, is leading the American society to an unmitigated disaster.

The emasculation of males, however, isn't limited to the schools. Everyday, Madison Avenue treats us to 30- and 60-second vignettes in which a helpless and clueless male has to be taught about his one and only shirt by his wife and "loving" family.

No matter how much the feminazis and social reconstructionists claim they want boys to get in touch with their "feminine" side, when they do, the females don't want them for anything other than a friend. For a relationship that goes beyond platonic friendship, most women want a strong guy who will be there to protect them and on whom they can rely. The end message is so convoluted, no wonder boys are confused about what society expects of them. This is leading to increased violence on their part and greater isolation.

Socialists and leftist Do-gooder "let's-all-just-get-along" types are making a mess of our society and if we don't stop kowtowing to them, there won't be too many more generations of Americans in our future.


26 posted on 07/25/2006 9:17:47 AM PDT by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
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To: nmh
"How would you change things?

I've heard this before but not having boys ... don't entirely relate,"

Can I throw in MY 2 cents in answer to your question?
I do have boys (2) although only ONE is school age.
I have also worked in Special Education for 16 years.
I completely AGREE with the author..
We have not had any problems (as of yet) that are significant.
My son's kindergarten teacher is a former special ed. teacher, and as such, had quite of few CREATIVE ways of dealing with the 14 boys and 8 girls (ack!) who were in her class this year.
She had many different "systems" in place for behavior modification and very high expectations.
She is also Catholic. The principal is Catholic.
I was ECSTATIC to learn this!
Why?
Well, when sitting in our first (regularly scheduled) conference I said to the teacher,
"We have always known that Matthew is a VERY energetic and distract-able kiddo (I mean come on, we live with him). We have VERY high expectations of his behavior and will support you fully in modifying this behavior to FIT in the classroom. However, we also believe that the innate curiosity and energy that he exhibits is FANTASTIC! We don't EVER want to hear that the way that he acts is BAD, just that it is not appropriate for the classroom."

That's why I was very pleased that the teacher and the principal were both Catholic (and attended private Catholic school).
Because although he was FORCED to "tow the line" in class and "sit down and be quiet" (as he should be) he was NEVER made to feel as though his energy was wrong or bad...he always knew that there was a time for it...just not in the middle of reading or math time!

Does that make sense?
Anyway..this teacher was so great...I didn't always agree with HOW she did things but her basic attitude was that my kid (although not "easy" in class) was great!
The boys in the class were all Star Wars fanatics. They called themselves the "Star Wars Heads".
At the end of the year she made a video montage for all of the parents to see.
The opening music and introductory words were all in STAR WARS fashion....
"A long, long time ago..in a Kindergarten far, far away"...
etc..

It was a GREAT year!
27 posted on 07/25/2006 9:19:22 AM PDT by M0sby (((PROUD WIFE of MSgt Edwards USMC)))
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To: Little Ray

if just drawing a gun would get you suspended I can't imagine what would have happened to me.

I used to doodle battlecruisers complete with weapon systems, decks, bridges, etc. lol.


28 posted on 07/25/2006 9:22:32 AM PDT by Ainast
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To: Lovingthis

BUMP


29 posted on 07/25/2006 9:22:35 AM PDT by SweetCaroline (.....once there was a way to get back homeward.)
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To: Lovingthis
In all seriousness, the toughest realization for me in Junior High was that I was smarter than most of my teachers. I was fortunate in that I had two good parents who were willing to stand up to the administration, and I usually had a teacher or two from Jr. High on, that was not afraid to challenge their students.

I worry about how to explain this fact to my son.

A friend and I spent 11th grade English, designing the world's perfect stereo system. Came to about $250,000, if I remember right. This is because the teacher spent the entire year diagramming sentences at a 4th grade level. There's not much to diagramming "The dog is under the chair"...I got classwork and homework all done in about 10 minutes, the teacher got to pass out an 'A', and the school got to crow about how successful it was. Everyone wins, right? I was happy because I was pulling good grades, doing what I was supposed to do, and still having fun.

Then I got to college, and nearly failed out because of the cruddy education that I got in High School. Only a whole lot of work, and a few new friends (who *had* good high schools, and for whom Freshman year of college was largely review) pulled my head above water.

30 posted on 07/25/2006 9:29:35 AM PDT by wbill
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To: Lovingthis
Having survived high school in a Midwest community, I can honestly say that I did not have to put up with this PC crap.

But, I can also say I did not learn squat in high school. Oh, sure I got grades and graduated as an honor student. Who cares? I learned more on the football field about life and what it takes to succeed than I ever did in class. Hell, I didn't even learn to study until I went to get an engineering degree.

The most obvious lesson I learned in high school was the dumb down effect. We had what you call Multi-district Vo tech. Kind of an introductory vocational ed class for juniors and seniors. Kids in this program took English and history or government and then went to the central vo-tech school in Watertown, SD. Great for kids who did not plan on attending college (about 55% of my class).

Now what did my school do for the college bound? Did they offer AP classes? no. Did they let interested students take college classes in Watertown? No. Did they offer any kind of advanced classes? no. The reason I always heard is the dumb or unmotivated needed the extra help. Shows the priority that the lowest common denominator has in every school district.

Combine that attitude with PC and feminist activism and I can see how the quality of secondary education is crap 80% of the time.
31 posted on 07/25/2006 9:31:11 AM PDT by Illuminatas (Being conservative means never having to say; "Don't you dare question my patriotism")
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To: Ainast

I used to doodle weapons and try to figure out how the action would work, and how that could combine with the the ergonomics to create a realy "cool" automatic rifle - or design the combat knife I'd like to own. Did plenty of battle cruisers, too.
Along with those, I doodled B-17s, P-51s, P-47s, F4Fs, Sherman tanks, PkwIVs, pirate ships, giant robots, powered armor (after I read Starship Troopers, my GI Joe in the Mercury Spacesuit, became a Mobile Infantryman, using an M-60 with its barrel broken off as a flamer, and the Life Support pack as the jump pack/ Y rack), etc.
No way could I ever survive zero tolerance.


32 posted on 07/25/2006 9:31:12 AM PDT by Little Ray (If you want to be a martyr, we want to martyr you.)
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To: Ainast
And despite this, I used to make Bs (As in history!) without with little or no study. This was actually bad. If I'd had to work I would have developed better study habits for college (which was actually challenging!).
Still managed to get a decent education that carried me through college.
But I have completely forgotten how to diagram sentences. I suppose I'll remember when I read the girl's homework...
33 posted on 07/25/2006 9:36:38 AM PDT by Little Ray (If you want to be a martyr, we want to martyr you.)
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To: Mariner

I'm confused by your comments about boys being required to employ some decorum in their behavior, and how this is bad.

First let me say you will not find too many more opposed to affirmative action than I. I guess I have passed this on to my kids, (both girls), as my oldest declined the best of the scholarships offered her for graduate work in engineering, (4 years of full tuition and a very generous stipend), simply because it was for women only. If you're going to assert that she does not deserve her place at a prestigious top drawer university studying for a PhD in engineering, and that she got it because she was a woman, you have an earful coming. You do not want to hear the list of accomplishments that made this a possibility for her. It might harm your thesis that this is a girl's world. So, don't peg me as a feminazi. I could not be further from it. I'm much closer to Phyllis Schaffly or Dr. Laura when it comes to most issues. But I don't buy your thesis about boys and the example used to illustrate it is just stupid. Here's why I can't buy your argument.

On the one hand you praise the "rational disciplined approach" used by the military, and on the other you condemn a teacher for "disciplining" a student for highly inappropriate comments in a classroom. If you have not been in the classroom, you can't take this to its logical conclusion, that is, what would happen if you tolerated any and all trash talk coming from these kids mouths. The classroom would be a joke, or more of a joke than it can be in the current climate of indulgent parents who think their little darlings can do no wrong. Think these kinds of kids can make it in the military? I'd love to witness the kid asking the officer in charge why the hell he had to fall in and do "crap" like that. Believe me, this kind of behavior is not helpful in math and science.

Moreover, I can certainly attest to having witnessed both as a student and as a professor, that in the "hard sciences" you cite as requiring this type of behavior, it is rarely seen. In fact, you have a very large international community of men and women involved in these areas, and believe me, they work their a$$es off and don't give any lip. There is far too much work to split hairs over certain assignments. In fact, this type of whining is a good indicator that the hard sciences is too tough and probably not a good choice for this type of person, (male or female). Inquisitive? Yes. Argumentative? In aruing for or against a particular solution to a problem, yes, again, but not disrespectfully. This is a basic rule in the technology industry, where little is accomplished if managers let the creative process degenerate into finger pointing and fighting.

The problem with your reasoning is that the "inquisitive" trait you describe as being helpful in math, science and business, is very different from the disrespectful, arrogant traits shining through in the "why do we have to do this crap?" comment from the example in this article. So, what I might have considered an interesting topic fell completely flat.


34 posted on 07/25/2006 9:38:08 AM PDT by az_jdhayworth_fan
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To: Lovingthis

The solution. Vouchers! Universal vouchers.

As an indication of the quality of job being done by our current education system, look at the SATs. At the last "renorming" (in 1994, the last I've heard about, anyway) they decided to add 70 points to all the SAT Verbal scores and 10 points to the SAT Math scores.

This means that, in order to get scores comparable to those of the prior generation, they had to increase average scores by about 10%, for the same level of overall performance.

Of course, it was only a 5-6% bonus for those getting very good scores, but it was more than 10% for those doing badly.


35 posted on 07/25/2006 9:57:56 AM PDT by 3niner
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To: az_jdhayworth_fan
First, nothing I said could even be remotely construed to detract from your daughter's accomplishments. Good for her. She had the opportunity to learn in an environment condusive to her nature.

As to the allusion that I SUPPORTED the referenced 10th grade male who was disruptive, another read of my posting will show you that I did not.

That said, his attitude could be used to illustrate 10 years of frustration at not having more respectful inquiries answered in a rational way. And to suggest that military TRAINING does not respond to such inquiry is reflective of your ignorance of the military method. Military training ALWAYS answers the "why" in a rational way...but the "why" is rarely asked, and never answered, under operational circumstances.

Now, the technology business is something I have a couple of decades of experience with (in addition to a decade of military experience). The "why" question is ALWAYS ASKED, and eventually, ALWAYS ANSWERED. Additionally, competitive behavior is generally, and culturally, encouraged. There are winners and losers. Winners are great and losers suck. Same with military culture.

Anethema to your feminine sensibilites, I'm sure.

36 posted on 07/25/2006 10:03:08 AM PDT by Mariner
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To: 3niner
I fear for our boys and future men. In the early '60s, my hubby dropped out of high school and joined the AF. Shortly thereafter, he got his GED. He got what he needed from the Military. Seems he was very bright and lost interest in HS because they kept "going over and over" the lesson, especially in Math, and he became bored out of his head.

Well, fast forward and he has a PhD in Computer Science, after getting a Bachelors degree in Physics, a Master's in Math, another Master's in Computer Science. He can learn any SW language by taking the book to the can and reading it!

We need vouchers, we need "boys only" schools, we need teachers that know how to answer questions and not medicate boys, we need to stop all this experimental teaching horse crap and get back to basics. And, I had two "high energy" brothers, who just needed to be tossed outside to play until they dropped - - no need for medication. Bring back recess!

I want my granddaughter to marry a real man with a real future someday. I fear we're seeing the demise of generations of men.
37 posted on 07/25/2006 10:09:10 AM PDT by duckbutt ( If you let a smile be your umbrella, then most likely your butt will get soaking wet.)
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To: duckbutt

Male only schools are the best way to fix this problem. And the schools should be run by MEN.


38 posted on 07/25/2006 10:11:20 AM PDT by Mariner
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To: Lovingthis

I have been concerned about this for a long time.

It also brings back the memory of my freshman algebra class. The nun in charge had a great way of dealing with the variety of 'abilities' in the class. Every Friday we had a quiz. And first thing Monday morning she read the results in reverse order of performance, starting with the lowest grade. Which desk we sat at for the remainder of the week was determined by our grade on the quiz. I and the other 'dummies' had their names read first and proceeded to take our seats in the BACK of the room. Interesting how public shame worked just as well as all that high-falutin educational theory to spur us to better performance.


39 posted on 07/25/2006 10:20:06 AM PDT by hardworking
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To: Lovingthis

Boys today feel isolated and outgunned, but many, like Brandon, don’t lack pluck and courage. They often seem to have more of it than their parents, who writhe uncomfortably before a system steeled in the armor of “social conscience.” The game, parents whisper to themselves, is to play along, to maneuver, to outdistance your rival. Brandon’s struggle is an honest one: to preserve truth and his own integrity.

Boys who get a compartment on the special-ed train take the ride to its end without looking out the window. They wait for the moment when they can step out and scorn the rattletrap that took them nowhere. At the end of the line, some, like Brandon, may have forged the resiliency of survival. But that’s not what school is for.



"But that's not what school is for."

Not quite - learning to THRIVE in such a hellish milieu has become the purpose of 'schooling'.

I hope and pray that 'the boys' shut the d*mned schools down!


40 posted on 07/25/2006 10:20:35 AM PDT by headsonpikes (Genocide is the highest sacrament of socialism.)
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To: Ainast

I came home from work one day to see my son with a weird Tinkertoy apparatus around his head. He made a Halo, just like a friend with a broken neck was wearing. The difference was that my son's halo was mounted with several guns. Cause that's how boys think and that's what boys do.


41 posted on 07/25/2006 10:20:58 AM PDT by cyclotic (Support MS research-Sponsor my Ride-https://www.nationalmssociety.org//MIG/personal/default.asp?pa=4)
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To: 2banana

I have long said that the disappearance of the draft guaranteed that a lot of boys were denyed the opportunity to be around men and to learn how to become men. Sad.


42 posted on 07/25/2006 10:21:43 AM PDT by hardworking
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To: Mariner


If you read my post again, you will see that I never indicated one should not be inquisitive. Quite the contrary! But the assertion on the part of the author that a child should be allowed (without consequence) to be so disrespectful in a formal setting is an illustration of how parents are helping to degrade the very system they are condemning. Nor am I defending the public schools in every aspect. I happen to agree with the need for vouchers, for competition, and results oriented education.

I, too have several years of RECENT experience in the technology industry, as a design engineer. I can tell you that, though there is no perfect world, fighting is not encouraged, and we did our best work in arguing (amicably) over various solutions to problems. Of course "why's" are answered. Your argument seems to be that those of us who would not allow combattive behavior in the classroom are stifling the "why's". We are denying the free-flowing sand-box self-discovery made possible only by allowing any and all types of behavior despite their potential negative effects on the over-all classroom experience. Reminds me of one of my three education classes in the 1970's where "anything goes" was the way to enlighten children. I didn't buy it then, and don't buy it now.

"Why's" are crucial. Particularly if they concern the subject matter and why a device like a transistor behaves the way it does, etc. Why a student is required to do a specific type of assignment can be handled differently than the manner that was accepted as boy-like behavior in this article. He could have asked, "Mr. X, could you please explain the purpose of the assignment again?" If it appears that the teacher is giving bonehead assignments (I can think of a few like that my daughters had in high school in a super liberal teacher's history class), maybe if the student is an elementary or high school student the parents should get involved, and remove the teacher or make recommendations involving the curriculum. I did when my daughter reported lesbian promoting garbage being spewed in the class described above. But, I still think that encouraging a student to be disrepectful in a classroom in the name of "inquisitive behavior" or seeking the "why", is just pure bull.

With your industry experience, you know as well as I do this is a global economy. Most of our global competitors are not concentrating on teaching their children to be disrespectful and that such behavior should be tolerated. They are helping their children to master material required to take the reins in the world, and not to master in whining.


43 posted on 07/25/2006 10:30:28 AM PDT by az_jdhayworth_fan
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To: Lovingthis

This is a great article. I read Sommers book, as well, several years ago and knew only too well how right she was. I went from over 30 years in medicine to teaching. I don't regret it, but I am sad at what I see in the public schools. Like Sommers and this author, I lay it squarely at the feet of the radical feminists.

I helped out in SpecEd at the military HS in Heidelberg and had a class full of very normal young men. When I asked one of them why such a bright guy was here, he was very truthful with me- he said "Because I don't wanna do the work." It was just that simple.


44 posted on 07/25/2006 10:32:31 AM PDT by 13Sisters76 ("It is amazing how many people mistake a certain hip snideness for sophistication. " Thos. Sowell)
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To: Mariner

"I lay fault at the feet of these boys FATHERS for tolerating such folly."

one word, home schooling


ok that was two words but what do you expect from a publically educated guy


45 posted on 07/25/2006 11:01:46 AM PDT by driftdiver
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To: M0sby

We have our daughter in a private Christian school so I don't relate to public school issues locally. Our daugher is the typical tomboy. Like you she must conform to the rules however asking questions is encouraged! It is important to mold their will but not destroy their spirit!


46 posted on 07/25/2006 11:13:51 AM PDT by nmh
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To: nmh

"It is important to mold their will but not destroy their spirit!"

THAT IS IT!


47 posted on 07/25/2006 11:29:42 AM PDT by M0sby (((PROUD WIFE of MSgt Edwards USMC)))
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To: Little Ray
Along with those, I doodled B-17s, P-51s, P-47s, F4Fs, Sherman tanks, PkwIVs, pirate ships, giant robots, powered armor (after I read Starship Troopers, my GI Joe in the Mercury Spacesuit, became a Mobile Infantryman, using an M-60 with its barrel broken off as a flamer, and the Life Support pack as the jump pack/ Y rack), etc.

No way could I ever survive zero tolerance.

Why not to follow the principle of openness which help to dismantle Soviet union and speak the truth openly (but politely)?

When faced with such "zero tolerance", parents and students could tell in presence of other students and teachers that "It is good and patriotic to be interested in military and to consider joining army in the future! Trying to feminize boys comes from hatred toward men and is unpatriotic."

You can say it better, but the rule is that new PC tyrants are afraid of light, the more public you are more scared they will be.

48 posted on 07/25/2006 11:29:54 AM PDT by A. Pole (Joanne Senier-LaBarre: "We Wish You a Swinging Holiday!")
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To: Lovingthis

I absolutely agree. I have a son who will complete night school. At this point I just want him out. I have only one son. The girls are fine-they are treated completely differently than my son.


49 posted on 07/25/2006 11:31:26 AM PDT by nyconse
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To: Lovingthis
As the mother of a son, I have to tell you, this guy nails it. The educational system is totally skewed towards girls, and our boys (and men) are paying the price for this out of control gender politics.

I'm also the mother of a son, and I couldn't agree more. In fact, it seemed to ramp up and take on a life of it's own over the last decade, it wasn't quite so obvious in my small area when my son first started school.

I agree with the author, as well, except for this:

A female teacher, especially if she has no male children of her own, I’ve noticed, will tend to view boys’ penchant for challenging classroom assignments as disruptive, disrespectful—rude.

Having experience in the workings at my son's school and as a volunteer teacher, I find, after a decade (at least) of hammering it home, friends of mine who also volunteer, who also and coincidentally have sons only, many of them are just as bad or worse with what they view as 'disruptive'. In my own group, once I started - or shoould I say stopped! - focusing on the fidgeting and such, their overall behavior improved and we had a more productive class. We were originally instructed to 'stop' such behaviors because they were considered 'acting up'.

50 posted on 07/25/2006 11:34:45 AM PDT by fortunecookie
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