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Ever Wonder Why Public Schools Are So Dysfunctional?? ^ | Feb 4, 2011 | Bruce Deitrick Price

Posted on 02/11/2011 4:35:15 PM PST by BruceDeitrickPrice

The "Top 10 Worst Ideas In Education," according to new article on


Bill Gates said public schools are so bad they are a threat to the national economy and the society’s long-term survival. Why does he think this? What is it that most needs fixing? Herewith the 10 worst ideas in public education:

1) BOGUS READING INSTRUCTION --- Whole Word, Sight Words, and Dolch Words (there are many aliases) have created 50 million functional illiterates, for the simple reason that this method does not work. (No one learns to read fluently with Sight-Words. Some people learn to read, if at all, IN SPITE OF of Sight-Words.) This hoax and the accompanying gimmicks known as guessing, picture clues, et al should be eliminated from the schools.

2) REFORM MATH -- Arithmetic jumbled and mumbled. Reform Math is a monster with many names (Connected Math, Chicago Math, Mathland, etc.) created by the same people who gave us New Math and now want to give us Core Standards. Reform Math forbids mastery, requires spiraling from topic to topic, and promotes using a calculator to compensate for a lack of basic skills.

3) COOPERATIVE LEARNING -- Students always work in groups. A good approach for fostering a herd sensibility; a dreadful approach for creating independent thinkers and self-starters.

4) CONSTRUCTIVISM -- A destructive fad. Teachers are reduced to facilitators, their knowledge and academic training rendered moot. Students are required to invent their own new knowledge. This process will be long and slow. After all, the human race has been around for millennia and has collected tens of thousands of prime facts, insights, discoveries, theories, etc. What sort of loon turns a child loose with this order: try to recapitulate the intellectual history of the human race? (A far better approach is to give children a wide range of foundational knowledge as quickly as possible.)

5) WAR AGAINST CONTENT -- A witless policy pursued since the time of John Dewey. The apparent goal is to make sure that children learn as little as possible. In any case, that is the result.

6) NO MEMORIZATION -- This is standard operating procedure in all grades and in all courses. It is an excellent policy if you wish to ensure cultural illiteracy and societal amnesia.

7) SELF-ESTEEM -- Another destructive fad now rampant. Students must be praised even when they do bad work. Furthermore, a concern for self-esteem can justify eliminating virtually all content from classrooms, on the grounds that some students won’t be able to handle the material. A quiet plague.

8) MULTICULTURALISM -- This sophistry requires children to learn more about faraway cultures, both in miles and years, than about their own. As the children have no frame of reference for understanding other cultures, little information is retained, other than the persistent message: your own country is no damn good. Multiculturalism helps in the war against content. Kids are kept busy, going nowhere.

9) HOSTILITY TO TESTING -- A helpful policy if you wish to conceal how little children are learning.

10) TOO MANY IMPOSTORS -- Left-wing ideologues pretend to care about education even while manipulating the minds of millions of children. Keep these people away from the schools, and the other nine problems will miraculously vanish.

BONUS PROBLEM: the Top 10 work in perfect harmony to dumb down the schools, and make them the threat to our future that Bill Gates saw.

GOOD NEWS: These bizarre and bogus methods are not automatic or inherent. They had to be smuggled into the public schools. They can be discarded. First step: encouraging people to look closely at them.

NOTE: None of this perspective should be attributed to Bill Gates. In fact, my worry is that his own solutions are too weighted toward the administrative, bureaucratic, procedural, and/or financial aspects of education. More and more, I’m thinking that everything depends on the intentions of the people running the school. If these people sincerely believe in knowledge, facts, basics, mastery, and so on, then you will have a good school, even if it's in a tent in the jungle. If on the other hand, these people scorn the basics and instead embrace the nonsense described above, then you will have a dreadful school, no matter how many billions you pour into the pit. Here's the sine qua non: all the kids can read, write and count, confidently and independently, by the third or fourth grade. The Three R's remain the launch pad for everything else. (An easy way to understand the actual consequences of so-called Progressive Education is that schools were given fancy pretexts for disdaining the Three R's.)

----END OF ARTICLE---------------

(Reading is the murkiest of these problems. Rudolf Flesch explained everything in “Why Johnny Can’t Read” in 1955; but the Education Establishment went right on with its dishonest prescriptions, thanks to a phalanx of sophistries. For more about them, see “42: Reading Resources” on on this site: “36: The Assault on Math” and “34: The Con in Constructivism.”)


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: education; k12; nea; standards; teaching; unions
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1 posted on 02/11/2011 4:35:22 PM PST by BruceDeitrickPrice
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

Public schools are dysfunctional because the people who attend public school are not worthy of the brilliant, really-really smart edyoocaytoors who devote themselves to trying to educate poor material.



2 posted on 02/11/2011 4:39:40 PM PST by ripley
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

The fundamental rot that underlies all government education is socialism. Government schools are **SOCIALISM**!

And...We wonder why these failed ideas are allowed to gain hold and are impossible to eradicate? Answer: SOCIALISM!

Government schools are a failed socialist idea. They were failures from the beginning.

Solution: Begin the process of privatizing all K-12 education.

3 posted on 02/11/2011 4:40:43 PM PST by wintertime
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

I would also add the following:

1. UNEARNED GRADUATIONS. Graduating not based on merit or achievement but based on keeping ones self esteem in tact. What kind of lesson is that to teach somebody? What happens when that person winds up in the real dog eat dog survival of the fittest rat race out there?


3. LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF THE BASICS. READING, WRITING, ARITHMATIC, HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY AND CIVICS. And instead of government intrusion into the school cafeterias and vending machines, how about bringing back gym classes where kids can get some exercise for a half hour or an hour. Reinstating gym games that make kids exercise like dodge ball, sports and calisthenics.

4 posted on 02/11/2011 4:41:56 PM PST by Ev Reeman
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice
Depends upon what the definition of ‘is’ is.
5 posted on 02/11/2011 4:43:42 PM PST by Leo Farnsworth (I'm not really Leo Farnsworth.)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

They are Union run rather than community run.

6 posted on 02/11/2011 4:44:05 PM PST by NoLibZone (Obama must be impeached and tried for treason.)
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To: ripley

Start by privatizing all public schools and a zero tolerance system for any classroom disruptions or misbehaving students then watch the test scores skyrocket into the stratosphere. Keep kids back and from graduating to the next grade if they are failing.

7 posted on 02/11/2011 4:44:45 PM PST by Ev Reeman
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

When our son was in the early grades, the educators latest fad was “Stretch Spelling”.

If the child really tried to spell a word correctly, they were given credit even though the word was misspelled.

Almost like 2+2=5. The children tried but came up a little short. Does anyone wonder why we’re now in dire straits?

8 posted on 02/11/2011 4:45:36 PM PST by SnuffaBolshevik
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

I can’t help but notice the absence of: FUNCTIONALLY ILLITERATE TEACHERS.

9 posted on 02/11/2011 4:46:36 PM PST by freedumb2003 (The TOTUS-reader is a Judas Goat, leading the American sheeple to the slaugherhouse /Parmy)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice


10 posted on 02/11/2011 4:47:32 PM PST by Carley (ARAB STREET NO DIFFERENT THAN AMERICA'S LEFT)
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To: wintertime; BruceDeitrickPrice

It’s still a good list of various specific problems with our school system.

The problem really is, this is NOT about education or any of the issues listed

Politics is all about ‘money and power’ and keeping union school teacher support is the end alone. None of the issues listed, and they are ALL important, is the real reason for our problem nor the answer to it.

The bottom line, IMHO, is to remove schools from both federal and state control and put the schools back into the communities they were meant to support in the first place. School board members who have to answer to neighbors, and who cannot blame some far away government mandate, will respond to local needs and control.

Just my opinion

11 posted on 02/11/2011 4:51:54 PM PST by Morgan in Denver (Democrats: the law of unintended consequences in action.)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

Don’t forget the spiritual aspect, when God was kicked out of public schools.

12 posted on 02/11/2011 4:52:28 PM PST by ViLaLuz (2 Chronicles 7:14)
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To: Carley


13 posted on 02/11/2011 4:52:32 PM PST by lonestar
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To: freedumb2003

And TERMINALLY LAZY TEACHERS. Let’s face it, it is easier to “teach” kids to read with Whole Word, because you don’t have to teach them phonics and drill them on it. It is easier to “teach” them math without memorizing the multiplication tables, etc. It is easier to let them make things up than to convey information and require them to comprehend and retain facts. The university schools of education should be burned to the ground.

14 posted on 02/11/2011 4:54:20 PM PST by La Lydia
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To: Ev Reeman
In France they have a graduation test, take it at the end of your senior year, pass it you get a degree, fail, one more year. My wife (a french school teacher) and I were walking down the street in Paris when a teenager opened her mail box tore open the note and started to cry - I said look at that, she said the bacalart test results went out this week and she is not going to university next year.
15 posted on 02/11/2011 4:54:24 PM PST by Jolla
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

Nope. I know why they are. TEACHERS UNIONS. That and parents to interested in leading their own lives than to be bothered to help their kids out with homework.

16 posted on 02/11/2011 4:54:44 PM PST by vpintheak (Democrats: Robbing humans of their dignity 1 law at a time)
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To: Morgan in Denver
It all starts in the home.

You wouldn't imagine how many teachers want to see state control over education. Politics drives most of them nuts too.

17 posted on 02/11/2011 4:56:06 PM PST by Eska
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice; All

Good article,,,,but should never refer to Bill Gates....Bill Gates is just an America-Hating Liberal....who would still ship jobs to Communist China even if America had the best schools in the world.

All 10 have been destructive....and I would not be surprised that this is why I really did not learn a lot until I got in the US Army. Best education I got was in the Army

18 posted on 02/11/2011 4:58:05 PM PST by UCFRoadWarrior (Newt Gingrich and Chris Matthews: Seperated at Birth??)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice; Ev Reeman

I am VERY familiar with Bill Gates’s educational reforms.

The article mentions the many harmful effects of educational fads. There is an enormous amount of truth in that.

SnuffaBolshevik’s post #8 also alludes to this.

Gates’s program is just another in that long line of fads.

It goes something like this: Educational research (which by the way, is itself a fraud) has shown that math teachers get the best results when they spend exactly 12 minutes on the quadratic formula.

Therefore, if your school district wants Gates development money, have all your teachers spend exactly 12 minutes on the quadratic formula.

If the students need more time on the formula, too bad. Research shows the magic amount of time is 12 minutes.

There is no adressing of morality, ethics, etc. as was mentioned by Ev Reeman in his post #4.

19 posted on 02/11/2011 5:00:58 PM PST by Leaning Right (Why am I carrying this lantern, you ask. I am looking for the next Reagan.)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

Completely defund and ban all K-12 public education and those students who want an education will find a way to get one............ of course, this assumes they have motivated parents.

Those students who aspire to be dishwashers, fruit pickers or gang-bangers won’t get an education regardless what is done.

20 posted on 02/11/2011 5:01:13 PM PST by umgud
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