There is much to report on the education, or more accurately, re-education front, as I come back from my travels to Clinton, New York.
One can barely keep up with the missives from Super Parent, the U.S. Department of Education. This week it sent out invitations to teachers, urging them to apply to become Teaching Ambassador Fellows. One of these teacher ambassors, Patrick Kelly, testifies,
as a result of my work as a TAF, I am finding myself slowly letting go of some of the focus on “my students,” not for any lessor commitment to their success, but, rather, because I am realizing how ALL students are OUR students. Our collective success as a country does not depend on your students or mine, it depends on all students being prepared to lead and thrive in our future world. Their collective success requires me to share my voice and expertise beyond the walls of my classroom. For myself, I can’t envision a better way to do this than as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow and I encourage other educators to consider taking that step beyond your classroom walls and apply.
Yes, indeed, from "cradle to career," from zero to death, we need the federal government to guide us collectively. It's even scarier that this Teaching Ambassador teaches Advanced Placement Government and Politics.
parental engagement conferences" are really ways to propagandize for government programs like Common Core. But now we have not only conferences, but camps, sponsored and funded by the federal government!The Obama administration has not only sought to indoctrinate teachers, but parents too. It has sent out missives, inviting parents to "Parent Camps." Eek! These parents must not know much about history. I wrote about how "
Every Student Succeeds Act, Common Core by Another Name? The name of the act (for ESEA reauthorization) replaces the equally Orwellian-named No Child Left Behind act, and promises even more federal government control than NCLB and Common Core. Sadly, this bill passed the House. Votes were divided among Republicans, but 100% of Democrats voted for it. It now goes before the Senate.
The Department of Education has been promoting the Every Child Achieves Act and claiiming it returns control to the states and local districts. But according to a post in Truth in American Education, it does the opposite. Read "The Top Twelve Concerns About Every Child Succeeds Act." It's succinct, and includes the truth about the usual backroom deals, violation of parental rights and student privacy rights, expansion of federal government control, and "incentives" for states to use Common Core.
Common Core: Less Fiction, Drops in Achievement in Reading, Grades 4 and 8: That's what the National Assessment of Educational Progress report shows, though Education Week warns that "causation" cannot be proven between Common Core's emphasis on "informational text" (such as EPA and Federal Reserve documents) over literature and declines in reading ability. But research shows a correlation between literary reading and reading skills, and common sense tells us that reading EPA standards or socialist tracts does not inspire students to read.
Roiled Campuses and Stalinist Students: We approach the end of the semester with Stalinist students across the nation demanding the ouster of college presidents and sometimes succeeding. Charges stem from vague claims of institutional racism to thought crimes. Apparently, these students don't know the history of mob actions. Conversant in Critical Theory, they know little about the final outcome of such political purges.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan weighs in, says yes to free speech--just as long as everyone feels "safe." Thus Mr. Duncan demonstrates his intellectual affinity with all the sophomores screaming for protection from "microaggressions."
At Hamilton College politically correct president Joan Hinds Stewart is under attack by "The Movement," a group of anonymous black students and their supporters. In a poorly written list of demands, Stewart is charged with failing to provide enough "safe space." The radicals at Hamilton College and Emory University are noted for presenting lists of demands that are longer and more detailed than others. Even the leftist Inside Higher Education seems to be a bit alarmed about such developments.
What would satisfy the students? Dumping the billions in endowments and telling them to have a good time on the campus island, ala Lord of the Flies? Should we leave them to their own devices?
Radical teachers created students who have little appreciation for the written word, history, or the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. Regarding the latter, a Pew survey shows that an alarming number of Millenials don't think the First Amendment is that important.
The indoctrinated mobs have been flattered into believing they are critical thinkers even as they are fed propaganda in classes, including freshman composition.
Obama still beats out Cicero in composition readers. A frew years ago, I wrote about the popularity of our new president among textbook writers. He was hailed as a literary genius on par with Cicero and Abraham Lincoln. His self-serving autobiographies and political speeches were reproduced in books used as readers in composition classes. The historical inaccuracies of his 2009 Cairo Speech were presented in the Norton Reader as the hallowed truth; essay topic questions dealt with such things as how the student might help fulfill Obama's agenda. As we near his last year in office, we see how disastrous Obama's Middle East policy has been. Perhaps that's why the latest edition of the Norton Reader (new editions appear quite frequently) reprints Obama's eulogy for one of the victims of the Charleston church shooting, "Eulogy for Clementa Pinckney." The eulogy, which makes numerous political points, is listed under the section on "Philosophy and Religion."
A Terrorist Attack in California: Let's pray for the victims and their families of the terror attack in California this week. May we always have the freedom to do so, and to bear arms and to speak and think freely.