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Barbara Bush: 'No More, You're Killing Us'
Townhall.com ^ | February 15, 2011 | Chuck Norris

Posted on 02/15/2011 4:29:04 AM PST by Kaslin

Former first lady Barbara Bush said on Greta Van Susteren's "On the Record" this past week: "We've got a real problem in public schools. ... This is a national crisis. It's as bad as anything in our country."

When Van Susteren was pointing out from Bush's own op-ed piece that "Texas (is) 36th in the nation in high-school graduates (and) 3.8 million Texans don't have a high-school diploma," Bush said, "No more, you're killing us."

Bush was commendably protecting Texas pride as she told Van Susteren not to cite any further degrading statistics about the state of Lone Star education, though she herself references it in her op-ed piece:

--Texas ranks 49th in verbal SAT scores, 47th in literacy and 46th in average math SAT scores.

--Texas ranks 33rd in the nation on teacher salaries.

Such low verbal and literacy scores make it even more unbelievable that just this past week, some of the state's educational administrators joined the feds in seeking to mandate Arabic classes for Texas children. No joke!

The Arabic studies program -- funded by a five-year, $1.3 million Foreign Language Assistance Program federal grant -- was to begin this semester at Cross Timbers Intermediate School and then spread to neighboring schools in the Mansfield Independent School District.

Thank God for the parental passions and patriot fires of the almost 200 parents who showed up at a meeting last week to question the wisdom of school officials. They are fighting in their own personal education Alamo and presently have the upper hand. For the moment, the school district has backed off plans for its Arabic studies program.

With 14 percent of American adults (32 million) incapable of reading a newspaper or instructions on a prescription bottle, don't you think federal monies could be put to better use by helping Americans learn to read and write English?

I appreciate Bush's non-politically correct stance on the primacy of English in America, which she echoed to Van Susteren: "I'm against English as a second language. My great-grandmother came here as a German. She didn't have someone give her English as a second language. She learned it in three months. It's survival. And you see it in schools all around now where you're allowed to speak English only, and you sink or swim. And they swim, because they're immigrants from all different countries. I've seen a school in Boston where they asked me to read, and I said, 'Read? They all speak 80 different languages.' But in three months, they learned English."

What Bush and I (and others in this educational reform movement) are essentially calling all of us to do is fight in a local education Alamo! To square off and fight against all the negative forces that besiege our children and impede their proper education. You don't have to have kids to engage in this culture war; you only have to be concerned about their future -- America's future.

It is people like the 200 parents helping to overturn that Texas school district's decision to mandate classes on Arabic who are showing the way. They prove another point Bush made to Van Susteren: "I don't think government can do everything at all. Parents, grandparents, neighbors, churches, everybody ... we've got to get ourselves geared up and not be lazy parents and not be lazy neighbors, but we've got to help children."

The only way to get America and its educational system back on track is to take back the primary role of parenting from teachers and other societal guardians (including Big Brother government). That also includes our not expecting those who lead Sunday schools to be the primary spiritual teachers of our children, rather owning that area of their maturation, as well.

What U.S. educational reform entails is that we all find a place in the battle. It might mean that you join an influential group that makes decisions in your local schools or pressures those who do.

What I'm saying is this: Be proactive. Don't wait for first lady Michelle Obama to correct your children's school diet before you do something about it. Ensure that civic organizations in your area, including tea party groups and churches, are activists for your public schools. Call parishioners out of the pews and into school community outreach.

My wife, Gena, and I are fighting for the next generation, and our life mission is to take physical education up a notch in public schools by offering our KickStart Kids program. For years, we also have supported The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, and we encourage you to do the same by going to its official website, at http://www.BarbaraBushFoundation.com.

It all comes down to one question every citizen in our country must answer: Are you spectating or fighting for America's children in your local education Alamo?


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: barbarabush; bushfamily; immigration; publicschools; texas; thanksmexico
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1 posted on 02/15/2011 4:29:04 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Simple cure:

1) No teachers union or cushy tenure. Pay for perform.
2) No assistance dollars for any household where a felon, illegal, juvenile delinquent or truant child lives.


2 posted on 02/15/2011 4:34:54 AM PST by IamConservative (Liberalism - the surety of knowing that which cannot be proven.)
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To: Kaslin

Texas ranks 33rd in the nation on teacher salaries.

At least they have something to be proud of.


3 posted on 02/15/2011 4:41:14 AM PST by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
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To: Kaslin
The only way to get America and its educational system back on track is to take back the primary role of parenting from teachers and other societal guardians (including Big Brother government). That also includes our not expecting those who lead Sunday schools to be the primary spiritual teachers of our children, rather owning that area of their maturation, as well.

Amen.

4 posted on 02/15/2011 4:42:45 AM PST by Rocky (REPEAL IT!)
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To: IamConservative

Also, the end of education degree credentialism. That’s where they get brainwashed in all sorts of idiocy, including whole word reading.


5 posted on 02/15/2011 4:44:13 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: Kaslin

Not to nit pick, but it seems to me that our state has somewhat of an albatross around its neck when it comes to literacy and graduation rates, given the huge numbers of illegals occasionally attending our larger metropolitan school districts.


6 posted on 02/15/2011 4:50:31 AM PST by Common Sense 101
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To: Kaslin
--Texas ranks 49th in verbal SAT scores, 47th in literacy and 46th in average math SAT scores.

wow
7 posted on 02/15/2011 4:51:28 AM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: Kaslin

Same sorry state of ed in Nevada. Courts say we must educate children of illegal aliens.


8 posted on 02/15/2011 4:52:12 AM PST by circumbendibus (Obama is an unconstitutional illegal putative president. Quo Warranto in 2011)
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To: Kaslin

How many of those failing english could pass the test in spanish?


9 posted on 02/15/2011 4:52:31 AM PST by paulycy (Islamo-Marxism is Evil.)
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To: Kaslin

Dismantle the public school system.


10 posted on 02/15/2011 4:55:02 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Common Sense 101

You are correct.


11 posted on 02/15/2011 4:55:02 AM PST by Dusty Road
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To: IamConservative

I think it needs to go much further.

Every time the government enacts some kind of reform, the situation just
gets worse. Get the Fed out of education.

Even state goverment is too much in my opinion.

Parents should be able to pick, choose, and define the education that their children will receive.


12 posted on 02/15/2011 4:58:09 AM PST by paint_your_wagon
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To: paulycy

Probably not too many. Many immigrants are not very well educated in Spanish. They can read and write, but grammar and spelling are pretty weak. Children from Spanish-speaking families can be taught correct Spanish in Spanish class, if they think it’s useful.

One can’t blame the failure of native English speakers to use the language correctly on immigrants. Students are simply not being taught to read English effectively and write it correctly, as a deliberate policy of the “education” establishment.


13 posted on 02/15/2011 4:59:44 AM PST by Tax-chick (All that, plus a real-meat cheezburger and wine.)
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To: IamConservative

It needs to go much farther.

Get the Fed out of education.

Even the state government influence should be drastically cut.

One major root of the problem is the influence that professors of education in the University system have.

Parents should be able to pick, choose, and define the education that their children receive.


14 posted on 02/15/2011 5:03:19 AM PST by paint_your_wagon
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To: Tax-chick
One can’t blame the failure of native English speakers to use the language correctly on immigrants.

I wasn't trying to blame as much as point out that perhaps the immigrants may be overwhelming the system so that the school systems can't keep up on the standardized tests. But I don't know the statistics in Texas so I posed the question.

15 posted on 02/15/2011 5:04:18 AM PST by paulycy (Islamo-Marxism is Evil.)
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To: Kaslin
The Arabic studies program -- funded by a five-year, $1.3 million Foreign Language Assistance Program federal grant -- was to begin this semester at Cross Timbers Intermediate School and then spread to neighboring schools in the Mansfield Independent School District.

Thank God for the parental passions and patriot fires of the almost 200 parents who showed up at a meeting last week to question the wisdom of school officials. They are fighting in their own personal education Alamo and presently have the upper hand. For the moment, the school district has backed off plans for its Arabic studies program.

Ah, I hadn't heard that. good to know.

Bless these parents for fighting the good fight.

16 posted on 02/15/2011 5:05:54 AM PST by Allegra (Hey! Stop looking at my tagline like that.)
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To: Kaslin

Tell it to the unions, Babs.


17 posted on 02/15/2011 5:07:01 AM PST by Scanian
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To: paulycy

Probably none of them. Very few kids from immigrant homes can actually read the language, and virtually none of them can write it. Children of immigrants only retain their family’s original language if they study it (for example, some well-off urban Chinese families send their kids to Chinese classes).

As for “bilingual classes,” which were supposed to give kids a reading and writing knowledge of two languages, these things were absolute trash. Most of the staff (a lot of it was taught by aides) were poorly educated in both languages, spoke miserable English and were nearly illiterate in Spanish/Chinese/Tagalog/[fill in the blank with the language of your choice]. Its sole purpose was to make money for school districts and employ otherwise unemployable, ignorant, foreign-born low-end educational workers. It left kids ignorant in two languages.

Maybe they’d have more success if they just stuck to teaching English. But they don’t seem to do that very well either.


18 posted on 02/15/2011 5:09:20 AM PST by livius
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To: livius
Maybe they’d have more success if they just stuck to teaching English. But they don’t seem to do that very well either.

It does seem like kids from any background would be well served to be immersed in english at school. They can always take foreign language classes in middle school and high school if desired like everyone else but there has to be a common language of learning.

Even the leaders of europe are declaring multiculturalism dead. I hope it doesn't take generations for our stupid "educational leaders" to get the point.

This assumes that they are not dumbing us down on purpose, which I'm not sure isn't the case anyway...

19 posted on 02/15/2011 5:14:18 AM PST by paulycy (Islamo-Marxism is Evil.)
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To: paulycy
the immigrants may be overwhelming the system so that the school systems can't keep up

The decline in test scores has been going on for 30 years or more, across the board, in school systems rich and poor, urban and suburban, regardless of ethnic demographics. The schools have more money and more employees than ever, yet the failure persists because it is inherent in the system.

20 posted on 02/15/2011 5:14:59 AM PST by Tax-chick (All that, plus a real-meat cheezburger and wine.)
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To: Kaslin
I taught high school in Texas a few years ago. We had illegal immigrant students who could not speak English yet were required to take the state standardized test. The system is so screwed-up test scores for border states will always lag behind other state scores.
21 posted on 02/15/2011 5:16:09 AM PST by WesternPacific (Deafness has its Advantages)
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To: livius

You are correct.

the stastistics about poorly educated children in Texas is very much about illegal immigrants. the schools are overwhelmed just getting the kids to speak english much less read textbooks and take tests.

Same goes for ‘child poverty’ statistics. this is all about an overwhelming rush of poor and semi-illiterate Spanish-speaking illegal immigrants.


22 posted on 02/15/2011 5:16:21 AM PST by squarebarb
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To: Common Sense 101
Not to nit pick, but it seems to me that our state has somewhat of an albatross around its neck when it comes to literacy and graduation rates, given the huge numbers of illegals occasionally attending our larger metropolitan school districts.

That was going to be my point as well. I wonder what Texas' ranking would be if you took away the illegal component.


23 posted on 02/15/2011 5:19:26 AM PST by reagan_fanatic (A communist is just a liberal in a hurry)
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: freedomfiter2

I’m sure a big part of the problem is non English speakers.


25 posted on 02/15/2011 5:22:19 AM PST by Williams (It's the policies, stupid.)
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To: Tax-chick
The schools have more money and more employees than ever, yet the failure persists because it is inherent in the system.

Yes. Ever since the teaching schools and universities adopted socialist John Dewey as the philosophical model for American public school education the system has withered on the vine.

It won't be until we remove this fundamental poison from the system that we will start to heal again.

Almost nobody has heard of John Dewey. We need to change this.

26 posted on 02/15/2011 5:22:35 AM PST by paulycy (Islamo-Marxism is Evil.)
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To: IamConservative

Your two “cures” are good. Add to them things like:

- No more of the hyphenated race/ethnicity designations. Americans need to identify with AMERICA, as they did in the early 1900s. As long as kids are raised thinking they’re equally hispanic, black, Chinese, etc., they’ll never be true Americans. If they aren’t true Americans, they’ll blow off learning our history, language, etc.

- End the bi-lingual crap in the schools. It cheats the English-speaking kids when teachers have to adjust curricula to the lowest common denominator.

- End American adoptions from foreign countries. God knows there are enough children in America who need good homes. Why, on purpose, raise a kid who’ll always believe they’re only half American?


27 posted on 02/15/2011 5:24:55 AM PST by MayflowerMadam (Whatever you are filled with will spill out when you're bumped.)
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To: Kaslin

Could part of the Texas “problem” be that english is almost a second language?


28 posted on 02/15/2011 5:25:34 AM PST by DouglasKC
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To: Kaslin

Well, part of the cure is to not average in Illegal aliens in the formula’s, break ‘em out seperatly and see what they are....if you can.

Difficult to educate children who are just learning English.


29 posted on 02/15/2011 5:26:13 AM PST by 4Speed
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To: 4Speed

You’re right - if the native English speakers’ scores were separated out, we’d see a very different story.

There’s a reason they don’t do it, and there’s an agenda behind that, as well.

Unless our country once again embraces the standards of our founders, IE, that of Christian ethos, and unashamadly denounces those ideas that are contrary to that ethos,

we’ll never have the education or character that will be possible in an education system that does so (home/private Christian schooling).


30 posted on 02/15/2011 5:35:58 AM PST by MrB (Tagline suspended for important announcement on my home page. Click my handle.)
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To: F15Eagle
“—Texas ranks 49th in verbal SAT scores, 47th in literacy and 46th in average math SAT scores. wow”

Yeah, but just check out the rosters of the Top Ten football colleges and you will note where they go to get their players, especially at the skill positions. How about a “wow” for that? :)

Btw, as the saying goes there's lies, damn lies, and then there's statistics. It would really give Texas' statistics a bump if our government would do a little something about the illegal alien flow across our border - just saying...

31 posted on 02/15/2011 5:38:08 AM PST by snoringbear (Government is the Pimp,)
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To: paulycy
Almost nobody has heard of John Dewey. We need to change this.

I agree. Well-intentioned people believe that a shortage of resources is the problem, or that immigrants are the problem, but that's a distraction. High-school students newly arrived from El Salvador aren't taking the SAT. Illegal immigrants aren't forcing the lowest-scoring college attendees into Education degrees, or producing teachers who believe their primary purpose is to build self-esteem.

The problems were created largely by highly educated, white, American citizens ... ideologues with a plan for social engineering that has produced an educational wasteland.

32 posted on 02/15/2011 5:38:47 AM PST by Tax-chick (All that, plus a real-meat cheezburger and wine.)
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To: Tax-chick
The problems were created largely by highly educated, white, American citizens ... ideologues with a plan for social engineering that has produced an educational wasteland.

Absolutely true. Absolutely.

33 posted on 02/15/2011 5:40:03 AM PST by paulycy (Islamo-Marxism is Evil.)
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To: Kaslin

BINGO!!!!


34 posted on 02/15/2011 5:42:18 AM PST by DaveA37
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To: IamConservative

I dont think teachers are the root of the problem. Its administration. They’re the ones steering the curriculum and generally calling the shots. Then theres the unions... Yes, I sure the teachers have a part in this but its minor in comparison the the other bigger players who are seldom mentioned.


35 posted on 02/15/2011 5:45:38 AM PST by 556x45
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To: MrB
You’re right - if the native English speakers’ scores were separated out, we’d see a very different story.

When you do separate them out Texas still ranks poorly.That is to be expected in a state that large. Texas has a huge number of poor or run-of-the-mill districts but they also have a large - and growing - number of world class districts.

These high quality districts are where the focus should be. These are the schools that are pumping out the graduates that will determine the economic future of Texas. They may be able to raise the scores or graduation levels of the poorer schools by a few percentage points but it will be ineffectual. A few thousand top flight graduates of the better schools will do more to rachet up economic performance than will a million lesser lights who are taught to spell 'cow'.

36 posted on 02/15/2011 5:57:55 AM PST by MARTIAL MONK (I'm waiting for the POP!)
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To: Kaslin

SAT tests for ALL students is ridiculous. Many will not be attending any college at all. Many belong in trade schools, and many are barely proficient in english.

If we want to serious about education then we stop telling everyone they must attend college and then subsidizing their education. While the colleges may enjoy this extra funding, they must provide remedial reading, writing, and arithmetic for years before a student is even marginally ready for college courses.


37 posted on 02/15/2011 6:00:44 AM PST by Carley (ARAB STREET NO DIFFERENT THAN AMERICA'S LEFT)
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To: Carley

I was at a baby shower with my wife, and most of the attendees were leftists and quite a few teachers, as well.

I don’t remember the context of the conversation, but you should have heard the gasping and harumphing when I blasphemed that “not all people should go to college, you know”.


38 posted on 02/15/2011 6:08:30 AM PST by MrB (Tagline suspended for important announcement on my home page. Click my handle.)
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To: Kaslin

Show the scores by ethnic group and they’d find more an illegal alien problem than some general problem with their educational system. It’s deliberately misleading to use overall average scores in states such as Texas and California.


39 posted on 02/15/2011 6:10:59 AM PST by Will88
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To: circumbendibus
Our courts are making laws. There is absolutely no reason for us to educated children of illegal aliens. Nothing in the Constitution says that. Illegal aliens actually have no legal right to be in this country.

The crazy part: Children of US citizens can be require require to prove legal residence in the public school's district to be admitted. iirc, a mother was arrested in Ohio for sending her child to a different school, or something like it.

40 posted on 02/15/2011 6:11:30 AM PST by apocalypto
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To: Kaslin

How are students going to do well in the SATs if they can’t speak English? If you take those out of the calculation where would Texas rank?


41 posted on 02/15/2011 6:13:24 AM PST by Anti-Bubba182
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To: Kaslin

Barbara Bush is only interested in education because she is working to sell more of Neil’s computer crap to school districts. Don’t be fooled. She isn’t a meek little old grandma, she and most of her family are in it for the money.


42 posted on 02/15/2011 6:13:24 AM PST by isthisnickcool (Sharia? No thanks.)
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To: Kaslin

I spent 21 years in Texas public education as a teacher and administrator. Texas school districts are all independent entities - that’s why there’s an “I” in their acronyms, so state-wide stats are misleading as there is not state school system. I am not arguing there should be. A education “map” would reveal that the stats are skewed by the Rio Grande Valley, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and El Paso where all the usual urban school problems exist along with the cultural pressures in some Hispanic communities for boys to get jobs and for girls to become mothers.

Also, no teacher unions enjoy collective bargaining rights or the right to strike in Texas - that’s a good thing!

Salaries mean nothing without the context of cost of living. Texas is an easy state to live in economically so the dollar goes a lot farther for housing, taxes and essentials.


43 posted on 02/15/2011 6:17:35 AM PST by Repulican Donkey
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To: DouglasKC
“Could part of the Texas “problem” be that english is almost a second language?”

Not almost...

Went in to a WalMart 5 years ago not far from the Galleria in Houston. I was looking for bottled water. I stopped 3 separate employees to ask where the bottled water was and not one of them could understand me. And don't get me started on drive through fast food... The menu's should be in Spanish

44 posted on 02/15/2011 6:18:36 AM PST by Syntyr (Happiness is two at low eight!)
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To: paulycy

Actually, very few American schools ever fully adopted Dewey’s ideas. But in fact, some of his ideas work very well for some types of students in some types of learning situations. The big problem facing U.S. schooling today is our continuing effort to have a one-size-fits-all policy for all schools and all students. NCLB is not only largely a failure, but has had a negative impact on many schools and students.

Bottom line? More choice, vouchers, charter schools, and less federal meddling.


45 posted on 02/15/2011 6:20:34 AM PST by sand lake bar
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To: Kaslin

I tell you what—I do NOT want to see America sacrifice its basic ideas about schooling just to raise test scores to South Korean levels. As other’s have pointed out, our students compare fairly well, once you control for race, nationality, socioeconomic status, etc.

Though there are aspects of Asian schooling that are admirable, Asian youth pay a tremendous price for many of them. For example, the only kids in Taiwan who play Little League baseball are those for whom it has already been determined that academic learning would be largely a waste of time. There are no serious school music or drama performances in most Asian schools. Very little in the way of art. No after-school soccer, etc.


46 posted on 02/15/2011 6:27:07 AM PST by sand lake bar
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To: Tax-chick

Liberalism is killing the country


47 posted on 02/15/2011 6:27:26 AM PST by oldironsides
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To: Common Sense 101

EXACTLY...her NWO boys did everything possible to keep the border open and adopt these precious pets that have bankrupted states and destroyed our schools. When I heard her on TV on this topic...I thought I was going to blow a valve. SOMEBODY NEEDS TO GIVE BIG-MOUTH BABS A WAKE-UP CALL!


48 posted on 02/15/2011 6:30:00 AM PST by magna carta
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To: sand lake bar
Actually, very few American schools ever fully adopted Dewey’s ideas.

My Master's degree is in instructional design and educational technology. It is not the schools that adopt Dewey's ideas. It is the curriculum designers and the text book writers. It happens way before it gets to the schools. All the schools can do is decided between one Dewey-inspired textbook or another Dewey-inspired textbook.

This is why I agree completely with your conclusion that home schooling, vouchers and independent charter schools that use independent, individually chosen source materials and curricula are extremely important.

And the original intent of getting control of education away from the Feds and unions and back to the communities and parents is essential, too. That's where they'll start teaching real reading with phonics and real mathematics with multiplication tables, etc... the way some of us learned as late as the 60s before "New Math" killed off a lot of learning.

49 posted on 02/15/2011 6:31:01 AM PST by paulycy (Islamo-Marxism is Evil.)
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To: Will88

BINGO


50 posted on 02/15/2011 6:32:15 AM PST by magna carta
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