At this point, I thought it prudent to interject a snapshot of the net effect of the education system following NCLB, along with an identification of some disturbing trends, before continuing the discussion of the merits of the Common Core curriculum which is sweeping the country complete with the unwarranted heralding of the merits of this unproven system of education.
Make no mistake about it, both NCLB and the “new” Common Core are highly centralized approaches which parallels a Soviet style of collectivism. Before reading the following paragraphs which provides some measure of how the American education system is doing, ask yourself where has a highly centralized system ever worked in the history of mankind other than for military purposes?
Cursory Report Card
There are children who will excel in school this fall thanks to the guiding hands of caring teachers and administrators. However, the following numbers should not inspire pride. It should serve as an impetus to change course and decentralize education. Instead we are moving from one highly centralized approach to a highly centralized approach on steroids. What is the definition of insanity? If something does not work, keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result.
Only 43% of all U.S. high school students have any idea the Civil War was fought in the 19th century.
·More than 65% of all U.S. high school students cannot find Great Britain on a map.
Twelve percent of U.S. high school students cannot find the United States on a map.
More than 25% of all U.S. high school students thought that Christopher Columbus made his famous voyage across the Atlantic Ocean after the year 1750.
About 33% of all U.S. high school students do not know that the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech, religion and due process.
Only 55% of all U.S. students can name the Vice-President.
The Educational Gains In Several Developing Countries Are Superior to the US Educational Performance
Students in Latvia, Chile and Brazil are making gains in academics three times faster than American students and those in Portugal, Hong Kong, Germany, Poland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Colombia and Lithuania are improving at twice the rate states a recently published by Harvard University’s Program on Education Policy and Governance. The Harvard researchers estimate that the educational gains made by students in those 11 countries equate to about two years of learning.
Spend, Spend, Spend and Learn Less, Less, Less
A Harvard study found no relevant correlation between increasing the per-pupil spending and gains in test scores. In 2009, the U.S. spent more than $10,000 per student, ranging from $6,356 in Utah to $18,126 in New York. Utah graduates a higher percentage of its students than does New York. Yet, school funding is the number one reason given by government officials to support the need to impose a property tax on American citizens. Property tax is one of the planks of the Communist Party. As an aside, property taxes are the reason you never really own your home. You are tenants-in-common with the government in the ownership of your home. Therefore, you can never stop generating income (i.e. tax revenue) or you will lose your home as we embrace more Soviet style philosophies across the board with regard to taxation, healthcare and now, education.
Home Schooling Defeats Government Schooling and It Is Not Close
Eric Rudner (1999) analyzed the test scores of over 20,000 American home-schooled students and found them to be exceptionally high with the median scores of homeschoolers placing in the 70th to 80th percentile. This is a mean difference of about 25% between home-schooled children and children educated in the government schools. Twenty five percent equates to three grade levels. Do you remember the Harvard study in which our foreign competitors were two grade levels ahead of American schools? If we extrapolate meaning from the Rudner study, we would be better off closing the government schools, save a lot of money and leave education to the parents. This is not meant to imply that teachers and administrators are incompetent. The vast majority are not, but they are handicapped by knowing what students need to be successful as opposed to the educational end products created by anonymous bureaucrats with largely nonsensical and unvalidated notions of what constitutes a quality education.
There are wonderful teachers and very competent administrators who sincerely try and better the lives of our children. Through educators partnering with the parents, many children will receive a quality education and possess the skills necessary to contribute to society and achieve a level of self-fulfillment. However, if you ask a principal or a teacher their private opinion on how well the bureaucratic system works which throws one failed federal program after another at the children, they will honestly tell you that they have to outsmart the system in order to serve our children efficiently.
Propaganda Factories for Pseudo-Science
Government schools are increasingly propagandizing our children. For example, the new unproven religion being worshiped in the government schools is environmentalism and global warming. Oops, I meant to say climate change, not global warming. I almost forgot that the global warming crowd changed their name when they got caught committing scientific fraud three years ago from hacked emails at East Anglia University in which researchers admitted, through their hacked emails, that global warming was a hoax. Yet, this is the new religion of the American educational system and the facts be damned. And we should all come to understand the net effect of this pseudoscience, a lower standard of living. And a life with significantly less material comforts is what is being presented to the children in the name of saving the planet. For those of you who doubt these words, just Google cap and trade as well as carbon taxes. After reading a cross-section of the articles on these topics, you will come to realize that American consumerism is in the crosshairs of climate change people. If you would like to see the application of climate change to a society, just look at what is happening to California where businesses cannot leave fast enough. And if it wasn’t for uncontrolled illegal immigration, California would be experiencing a dramatic negative population growth. In short, the people and businesses of California are voting with their feet. This is what our children are being taught to accept.
If we truly believe that climate change is an extinction level event as Al Gore states, we must accept that cap and trade policies clearly spells out a clear intention for the deindustrialization of the United States. The first proposed cap and trade legislation, which failed in the Senate, called for an 80% reduction of energy use. If you truly want to gauge the impact of this lunacy, consider if you can survive driving 80% less, or use 80% less energy to heat or cool your home, or cook 80% less, etc. The net effect would be skyrocketing utility prices, gas prices and subsequently food and clothing prices because everything in our economy is shipped. Obama has already closed 30 coal plants. What has happened to your utility bill in the past four years? This is what your children, both directly and indirectly are taught to accept as a way to “save the planet.”
As the government schools are conditioning our children to accept a lower standard of living and to pay tribute to the global elite through carbon taxes, universities like Arizona State University are now offering graduate degrees in sustainability based upon this pseudoscience. It is interesting to note that the President of Arizona State University is CFR member, Michael Crow. Crow is also an ex-CIA operative. Crow stands in lockstep with Obama in this facade of science. This is just one small example of who is running the government schools at the supposed elite level. Former DHS head, Janet Napolitano, now runs the California university system. Courtesy of “Big Sis” can we anticipate that California’s college students will accept microchips, RFID student identification cards and TSA pat downs before attending class? What does Napolitano know about running an education system? Crow also had no previous credentials which would endorsed him for this position as well. I smell an agenda, as in Agenda 21.
Global warming is happening throughout our solar system. I guess the Martians are driving their cars too much.
In today’s educational system, your child can still learn and move on to a productive life. However, they will have to overcome onerous federal meddling in order to do so. Schools used to work best when local school boards made the curriculum decisions and teachers were held accountable by administrators for carrying out the mandates. Instead, we have abandoned what once worked, a decentralized system of education, in favor of Soviet style of central planning. Nowhere in the history of the planet has such a system ever worked for the masses and it is not working here.
As we separate from one failed program, No Child Left Behind, and embrace a totally unproven system, Common Core, we can clearly see in the interim that many children are not getting their educational needs met.
The next part in this series will examine how the science curriculum of Common Core is designed to be less rigorous than its predecessor as the Common Core blueprint for science parallels what we found in math. Additionally, I will share with the readers who conceived the ideas behind Common Core and this opens up a whole different can of worms.