Monday, May 24, 2004


Even the brighter kids learn only a small fraction of what they could. As for the rest .....

Where does the idiotic opposition to phonics come from? "Last week, President Bush met with researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) who have identified successful reading-instruction methods that break words into sounds. For nearly a decade, however, districts have ignored such research, preferring to stick with traditional - and less-effective - reading instruction that expects students to memorize words. Today, many districts are switching to the NIH approach only because the federal government has offered $900 million in grants to encourage them to change". I guess that because phonics was the old-fashioned method of teaching reading, it HAD to be wrong in the minds of Leftist educational theorists. Too bad about many kids not learning to read at all the "correct" way.

Separating school and state: "Is anyone happy with the public schools? It seems not. Those with no financial stake in the schools have translated their unhappiness into various reform proposals, such as charter schools or voucher plans. Those who do have a stake in the current system -- the teachers' union, for example -- point to the schools' bad condition as a reason for the government to appropriate more money. Whichever way they lean, people generally believe that the schools are not doing what they are supposed to be doing."

Leave them behind? "The Arkansas Education Association (don't let the name fool you -- it's just our branch of the national teachers union) chose to welcome George W. Bush to the state the other day by urging the president to leave children behind. Naturally the AEA's spokesman didn't use those exact words. His boilerplate criticism of the administration's No Child Left Behind Act concentrated on the wrinkles that need to be ironed out in the law, not the whole fabric of accountability it has finally given American education."

"Philadelphia schools are typical of poor-quality big-city schools. Susan Snyder, Philadelphia Inquirer staff writer, in her article "District to Help Teachers Pass Test" (March 24, 2004) reported "that half of the district's 690 middle school teachers who took exams in math, English, social studies and science in September and November failed."... The unflattering fact that we must own up to is that many, perhaps most, of those who choose teaching as a profession represent the very bottom of the academic barrel". At that rate they are not even IN the academic barrel. And it's no surprise. Nobody with any choices would agree to stand up in front of an undisciplined rabble every day.

"At least 75 California teachers helped students cheat on standardized exams since a new testing program began five years ago, according to a newspaper report citing state documents. Incidents include teachers who gave hints by drawing on the blackboard or leaving posters on the wall, told students the right answers and changed the students' responses themselves, the Los Angeles Times reported, referring to documents obtained through a Public Records Act request." Smallest Minority has some comprehensive comments on THAT one.


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