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The charade of education reform ^ | February 2, 2002 | Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld

Posted on 02/04/2002 5:43:55 AM PST by Stand Watch Listen

When we saw President George Bush and Sen. Ted Kennedy on television billing and cooing over the new education bill, fittingly called "No Child Left Behind," we knew that the reform is as phony as all the previous reforms that were supposed to leave no child behind. Bush gave the impression that he had to twist arms to get the Democrats to spend more money on education.

How do we know that the new reform bill is a sham? Because the federal government will be giving money to the same people who have caused the problem.

These are the same people, or their disciples, who implemented the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which was supposed to help the poor and culturally deprived kids learn to read through Title One. Thirty-seven years and $100 billion later, the kids are doing worse today than they were in 1965.

How could so much money result in so much failure? Easy, spend the money on fattening the education establishment and blame the failure on the kids.

Bush, of course, is making some kind of an effort to change that. Since he strongly believes that every child can learn, he is putting more blame on the schools for failure to teach than on the kids for failing to learn. He made that very clear in the speech he gave after signing the bill:

So, again, children are at the mercy of their schools and not guaranteed a decent education. They will be experimented on until the school can actually discover how to teach reading, writing and arithmetic, as if that were the equivalent of finding a cure for cancer.

What Bush doesn't realize is that it's impossible to deal rationally with a system that is so irrational. Thus, while the president may have the best of intentions, his desire to make public schools more effective by throwing more money at them will inevitably fail. After all, he's only going to be around for seven more years at best. But the education establishment will still be there doing what it does best – dumbing down the American people.

The system is rotten to the core and has to be done away with. It can't be saved by more money because the education establishment will not change its philosophy, which is the obstacle to the needed changes.

For example, the present configuration of the classroom based on "progressive" ideology is chaotic and totally non-conducive to intellectual or academic achievement. But there is no possibility of going back to the kind of classroom in which America's greatest generation learned. And yet, that is the only way to "save" public education. No rational human being can accept the present classroom configuration and expect anything but intellectual confusion and academic failure. Yet, most parents and teachers accept that classroom as an absolute given.

Naturally, that classroom is perfect for the progressive curriculum being taught: whole language, invented spelling, the new math, social studies. It is said that the new reform bill will get phonics back into the primary classroom. The president said, "Every school has a job to do. And that's to teach the basics and teach them well. If we want to make sure no child is left behind, every child must learn to read."

Funny, back in the days when I was going to school, the federal government did not have to spend billions of dollars to make sure that every child learned to read. The teachers knew how to teach children to read. It was as simple as that. Most primary teachers today don't.

In our classrooms, the desks were bolted to the floor, there was no speaking out of turn, the floors were immaculate, the teacher maintained discipline knowing that she had the backing of the principal. She taught everyone the same thing and used the most rational methods of teaching improved over centuries of experience. There was no Mickey Mouse, no stupid cartoons papering the walls. There was a portrait of George Washington.

There is no chance that the classroom that produced the great results of yesteryear will be restored. The present confusion will persist even though it has caused the epidemic of attention deficit disorder that requires over 4 million children to be drugged daily with Ritalin.

What this latest reform actually does is accelerate the takeover of public education by the federal government. And that is why the liberals just love it. When George Miller of California, socialist to the core, thinks it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, you have to wonder what indeed is in the bill's 1,000 pages. At this moment, I’m trying to get a copy. But I'm not holding my breath.

Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of eight books on education, including: "Is Public Education Necessary?" "NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education," "The Whole Language/OBE Fraud" and "Homeschooling: A Parents Guide to Teaching Children." His books are available on Back issues of his incisive newsletter, The Blumenfeld Education Letter, are available online.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: academialist; educationnews
Here’s some links to some education threads (also containing numerous helpful links)


High Schools Fail Thanks To Grade Inflation And Social Promotion
Source: Toogood Reports; Published: December 5, 2001
Author: Vin Suprynowicz

Source: Accuracy in Media; Published: December 4, 2001
Author: Reed Irvine and Cliff Kincaid

The Failing Teacher and the Teachers' Code of Silence
Source:; Published: December 3, 2001
Author: Glenn Sacks

Time for outrage! Linda Bowles reports latest results in America's public schools
Source:; Published: November 27, 2001
Author: Linda Bowles

Illiterate in Boston: Samuel Blumenfeld explains U.S.'s ongoing reading problem
Source:; Published: July 20, 2001
Author:Samuel Blumenfeld

NEA - Let our children go!
Source: WorldNet Daily; Published: June 23. 2001
Author: Linda Harvey

Source: Accuracy In Media; Published: June 5, 2001;
Author: Cliff Kincaid

Why Do Schools Play Games With Students' Minds ?
Source: The Detroit News; Published: April 1, 2001
Author: Thomas Sowell

The Public School Nightmare: Why fix a system designed to destroy individual thought?
Author: John Taylor Gatto

Dumbing down teachers
Source:; Published: February 21, 2001
Author: John Leo

Free Republic links to education related articles (thread#8)
Source: Free Republic; Published: 3-20-2001
Author: Various

Are children deliberately 'dumbed down' in school? {YES!!!}
Source: World Net Daily; Published: May 13, 2001
Author: Geoff Metcalf {Interview}

New Book Explores America's Education Catastrophe
Source: Christian Citizen USA; Published: April 2000
Author: William H. Wild

Deliberately dumbing us down (Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt's, "The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America"
Source:; Published: December 2,1999
Author: Samuel L. Blumenfeld

Could they really have done it on purpose?
Source: THE LIBERTARIAN; Published: 07/28/2000
Author: Vin Suprynowicz

From the Littleton Crisis to Government Control Littleton Crisis to Government Control

The UN Plan for Your Mental Health The UN Plan for Your Mental Health

1 posted on 02/04/2002 5:43:56 AM PST by Stand Watch Listen
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To: Academia List;Education News;Homeschool;First_Salute;
2 posted on 02/04/2002 5:45:11 AM PST by Stand Watch Listen
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To: Stand Watch Listen
3 posted on 02/04/2002 5:51:04 AM PST by EdReform
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To: Uncle Bill;George Frm Br00klyn Park;
4 posted on 02/04/2002 5:52:23 AM PST by Stand Watch Listen
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To: GrandMoM
5 posted on 02/04/2002 5:54:23 AM PST by EdReform
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To: Stand Watch Listen
Reply # 63 in the thread TIME Cover Story: Home Sweet School
6 posted on 02/04/2002 6:10:34 AM PST by EdReform
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To: Stand Watch Listen; M1991; cdwright; mbb bill; Zoey; kristinn; Rebeckie; Lucky; Sauropod...
Guys, The following comes from a Washington Post {of all places} article about Nancy Grasmicks "MSPAP" test for Maryland children and young adults. The questions are so worded that "correct" answers cannot even be defined by graders. "Key words" found or not found define pass or fail rather than "right" or "wrong" answers. The "length" is the criteria for one "grader's" assessment of pass or fail. What passes for education today is EVIL!! And, Nancy Grasmick's M.S.P.A.P. epitomises that evil. Peace and love, George.

The article at the Post:

Yet as a scorer for the high-stakes MSPAP last summer, Stevens found herself with little time to read the hundreds of thousands of student essays. Rather, she and other teachers were trained to look for key words. If the students used the words, they would get credit, even if the answer was wrong or made no sense. Answers that were perfectly sound but lacking the key words got a zero.

"We're professionals," said Stevens, a third-grade teacher at Oak View Elementary School in Silver Spring. "Yet when we go in and score, everything we value is thrown out the window."

Stevens and several other Montgomery County teachers have stepped forward in the past few weeks with horror stories about grading the MSPAP. They tell of being pushed to complete as many as 100 test booklets a day and only needing to be accurate 70 percent of the time. They also told of scoring criteria that kept changing midstream with no apparent effort to recheck the earlier scores.............

But Stevens, along with Oak View teachers Shelly Turi and Myrna Schwadron, said they were committed to the test when they signed up to score the MSPAP last summer. After six grueling weeks, though, they lost faith.

"Scoring the test is the complete opposite of what we're told to do in the classroom," said Turi, a third-grade teacher. "I refuse to go back."..............

"One scorer read an average of 90 booklets a day," recalled the grader, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "I asked him on a break what his secret was. He said, 'Just look at the length. You don't have to read all of it.' ".................

Teachers were also upset that on math tests, students could end up with the wrong answer but receive credit for using math terms in their answer or explaining how they arrived at their answer.............

"After listening to them, I knew we had a big problem on our hands -- egregious enough that it finally needed to be said aloud," said Salazar, who contacted Weast's staff with the complaints. "If the MSPAPs are not scored the way we're supposed to teach, why even put forth the effort? What's the point?"..............

All, And, I would personally add, "If it is the "school" that is being tested, why should students 'put forth the effort'."

PLEASE do SOMETHING!!!! The teachers are standing up. Isn't it about time their "leaders" did??


SWL, Another, is a Washington Post article about Maryland's "Maryland State Performance Assessment Program. I sent this E-mail to a few folks {lawmakers and newsbreakers} I think{?} are concerned about education. THANKS for this post!!! "It" is ALL about MONEY!! Who gets it and who don't. And, it IS EVIL!! Peace and love, George.

7 posted on 02/04/2002 6:29:05 AM PST by George Frm Br00klyn Park
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To: Stand Watch Listen
Deliberately dumbing us down (Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt's, "The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America"

 Excerpts of the article posted:

Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt's new book, "The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America," is without doubt one of the most important publishing events in the annals of American education in the last hundred years. John Dewey's "School and Society," published in 1899, set American education on its course to socialism. Rudolf Flesch's "Why Johnny Can't Read," published in 1955, informed American parents that there was something terribly wrong with the way the schools were teaching children to read, and my own book, "NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education," published in 1984, explained in great detail how and why the decline in public education was taking place.

But Iserbyt has done what no one else wanted or could do. She has put together the most formidable and practical compilation of documentation describing the well-planned "deliberate dumbing down" of American children by their education system...

Iserbyt decided to compile this book because, as a "resister" to what is going on in American education, she was being constantly told that she was taking things out of context. The book, she writes, "was put together primarily to satisfy my own need to see the various components which led to the dumbing down of the United States of America assembled in chronological order -- in writing. Even I, who had observed these weird activities taking place at all levels of government, was reluctant to accept a malicious intent behind each individual, chronological activity or innovation, unless I could connect it with other, similar activities taking place at other times." ...

And that is what this book does. It connects educators, social engineers, planners, government grants, federal and state agencies, billion-dollar foundations, think tanks, universities, research projects, policy organizations, etc., showing how they have worked together to advance an agenda that will change America from a free republic to a socialist state...

8 posted on 02/04/2002 7:57:31 AM PST by First_Salute
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To: Stand Watch Listen
The definition of insanity.

"How do we know that the new reform bill is a sham? Because the federal government will be giving money to the same people who have caused the problem."

Then on the other hand. Exactly as planned.

9 posted on 02/04/2002 4:48:40 PM PST by Uncle Bill
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To: Stand Watch Listen; Uncle Bill; EdReform
Guys, Is there any chance of getting one of you to post this DYNAMITE Article by Charlotte Iserbyt concerning "no child left behind"?? It can be found at Eco - Locic. Thanks. Peace and love, George.
10 posted on 02/06/2002 9:44:06 AM PST by George Frm Br00klyn Park
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To: George Frm Br00klyn Park
Here it is...
President Bush's "No Child Left Behind" could be referred to as "No American Left Alone."
Source:; Published: February 2, 2002
Charlotte Iserbyt -- author: 'The Deliberate Dumbing Down of Ameica'
I did use a her opening as the title. Her original title was the same as her 1999 book and there are already numerous FR threads with that title.
11 posted on 02/06/2002 10:00:39 AM PST by Stand Watch Listen
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