Public-School Insanity

Currently, average SAT scores for college bound seniors is over 80 points above the expectation (1500) for private-school graduates and 50 points below expectation for public-school graduates – 95% of private-school students go to college; 65% of public- school students do. With the overall college completion rate at about 50%, over 60% of private high-school students earn a college degree while only about 25% of public high- school students do.

 Between 50% and 75% of public high-school graduates entering community colleges need remedial work before they can begin college level studies. Only about 20% of these students graduate. How could they have graduated from high-school in the first place?

 A poll of all kinds of parents with school age kids found that 75 percent believed that the quality of the education was better and discipline was better in private schools while the diversity climate was equal to – say it with me – equal to – that in public schools!

 In neighborhoods throughout the nation where families have the financial choice of private or public school, 75% choose the private option. In recent years, privately run charter schools (pseudo-private schools, free from teacher’s union influence) in many public-school systems have begun to approach private school levels but they are in a death-struggle with local, union-controlled school boards. This despite absolute evidence of success of the charter school structure.

 Why would parents be so against sending their children to public schools? Perhaps it’s the graduation rates! In the largest 50 cities and their suburbs in America, the graduation rates are 53% in the city and 71% in the suburbs, with the suburbs of New York City graduating 83% of their students (best) and the City of Indianapolis graduating only 30% (worst). That’s only one-third the NYC rate!

 As for States, Texas’ graduation rates for white students compared to African-American graduation rates was only 9% greater – 93% v. 84% (best), while Wisconsin was the worst – 92% v. 64%. [Wisconsin has, perhaps, the most vociferous and activist teacher’s union local chapters in America. Not much of an advertisement for teacher’s unions.]

An example from Nashville, TN: One charter-school, educating the very same children who had previously been mired in a failing public-school, has been operating since 2009. In 2015, it graduated its second senior class. Every single student has been accepted to college and every single student is the first in their family to ever go to college! How could any rational person object to this kind of performance?

 Last year, thirteen schools in Nashville achieved high scores for overall performance in a Statewide evaluation. Ten of the thirteen (80%) are charter-schools. Why? Simple. If they don’t perform well, local school boards will gleefully close them down with much fanfare and a heavy dose of “I told you so!”. The same fate does not await failing public-schools. Yet, virtually all local school boards are virulently opposed to charter schools. Why? You be the judge. The logic escapes me. The politics do not.

This data demonstrates how out of touch the teacher’s unions hierarchy is with the population they are supposed to champion. Three of four families with children in public-schools would opt out if they could – but they can’t.

 Census data show that most of these are economically struggling families – the majority being single parent families who want a better life for their children but have no way to help them achieve it because they are trapped by the teacher’s unions in failing systems nationwide.

 Since America is three generations into this dilemma, parents in this dead-end situation don’t even know how to help their children because they, too, are a product of the same failed system. They cannot help with homework because they never were required to master the same material. Many never passed, they were merely passed-along through the schools. Because of their inadequate education at the hands of the teacher’s unions, they work multiple jobs or work in after-hours jobs so, they have “latchkey” children. They were never exposed to and so – understandably – don’t appreciate the value of showing their children what life is like outside of their neighborhoods.

 In most cities, many, many, many children have never been out of their neighborhoods – they have never even been “downtown” to experience museums, libraries, cathedrals, civic parks, public art, zoos, or the fine and performing arts – the very reasons people build cities. They have never been exposed to their own civilization – Western Civilization. It is no wonder that “tribal” type influences are so prevalent and attractive among these children. They’ve never experienced an alternative.

 So, what are the radical’s-designed teacher’s unions, who control the local elected school boards, telling the mostly idealistic and dedicated but virtually powerless public-school teachers to do to fill the classroom hours? It must be something other than the three R’s?

Other than trying to discredit private schools and the charter school initiatives in communities around the country, it obviously is not anything that contributes to the success in life of our youngest citizens. And we shouldn’t even mention the hundreds of millions of dollars that we spend in our public-schools each year on illegal alien education.

 The average public-school day is broken down thusly: 29% – Reading/writing/language arts; 14% – math; 14% – The Arts; 11% – science/social studies; 7% – breakfast and 14% – intervention! Intervention? What is that? I don’t know but, it consumes one of the six daily available hours for learning!

 So pervasive and comprehensive is this educational jihad that if some high-school students somehow manage to get a reasonably good grasp of the truth about the world around them, they will run into one final enemy of truth – the College Board – the gatekeeper for our universities and the success that can follow a good university education.

For years, the university professors (in those ivory-towers of unexamined, progressive/ liberal thought) who make up the test questions for the College Boards have been working diligently at the “political correctness” of their exams so that they match what students are getting in the public-school classroom. Recently however, there has been such a backlash from conservative parent organizations and even some scholars at prestigious universities, that they have been forced to backtrack somewhat from their preferred and biased concept of America.

 “While the College Board can’t directly dictate what is taught in high-school Advanced Placement classes, by writing the test that half a million college-bound students take each year, it strongly influences the curriculum crafted by teachers.

 Previous versions created an uproar because they focused on racial and cultural divisions in America instead of a collective American identity, and left out unifying figures such as Benjamin Franklin and Martin Luther King. The new version mentions those men and also includes sections on a unified American identity – plus more focus on America’s founders and founding documents.

 The old guidelines also previously criticized free markets, noting that they “helped to widen a gap between rich and poor” without mentioning that they had created prosperity [for countless more citizens]. The new version is less one-sided, noting that “entrepreneurs helped to create a market revolution in production and commerce…” and that “workers’ real wages increased… while the gap between rich and poor grew.”

 The new guidelines also treat World War II in a more balanced light. “World War II is no longer reduced to the ‘internment of Japanese Americans, challenges to civil liberties, debates over race and segregation, and the decision to drop the atomic bomb.’ The new version allows that we actually fought and won a war that was ‘viewed as’ a ‘fight for the survival of freedom and democracy against fascist and militarist ideologies.’” The term ‘viewed as’ however, still expresses skepticism over whether the view was accurate.

 Author Maxim Lott reports that: “The replacement of an overbearing emphasis on racial and minority identity groups with some counter-balancing emphasis on shared national identity is welcome, but the authors have the thinnest possible understanding of what that national identity might be,” “They seem to assume it’s based in aggressive and militaristic nationalism.” “They don’t grasp that America is based on a declaration of principles and that our whole history consists of people striving to bring those principles to life.”

 Others say that the College Board likely changed its guidelines due to fear that if it didn’t, a competitor would spring up and be adopted in many school districts [especially suburban school districts] and States – and that a continued threat of competition is needed to keep things balanced. “It was only the prospect of competition that turned the College Board around and made them remove their most biased language. Without real competition, the left-leaning professors who work with the College Board will keep pulling the curriculum their way,” said Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy.

 But, it may already be too late for the College Board as some educational precincts are advocating the elimination of the Student Aptitude Test [SAT] as a measure of student readiness for college because [too] many high-school students actually work at doing well in the exam by completing self-help study books or taking tutored classes to prepare [many of which are taught at their own public-school]. Apparently, extra effort is not valued by progressive/liberals.

 Whatever it is, the policies of school boards and their supporters lead to (or result in) stupidity like this from which children can, and often do, learn the wrong lessons: (No need to read all of these examples, just pick out two – the point will be made.)

“A first-year teacher who drew widespread condemnation for assigning her young charges the task of writing to Mumia Abu-Jamal, was canned at the meeting of the Orange Board of Education, the Star-Ledger of Newark reported. The teacher, who taught at Forest Street Elementary School, told board members prior to their hasty vote to can her that she has broad support from around the country, the newspaper reported.

 “There’s [grammar?] people around the nation who support me, who believe I need to be reinstated and I believe that I need to be reinstated,” she reportedly said. “My students need me in the classroom. My students have requested that I come back to the classroom.”

 Abu-Jamal, a 61-year-old serving a life sentence for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, is a self-styled poet who became a darling of celebrities and liberal activists while on death row. His sentence was later commuted to life without parole, and he is now suffering from complications from diabetes when the teacher assigned the task.

 The vote to fire her occurred after several hours of public speakers, many of whom praised her for teaching her students to have compassion for a man who killed a police officer. Abu-Jamal killed Faulkner during a routine traffic stop of Abu-Jamal’s brother. At trial, several witnesses reported seeing Abu-Jamal kill Faulkner, and two witnesses said Abu-Jamal confessed to the killing, saying, “I shot the mother—er, and I hope the mother—er dies.”

 Although the abrupt vote left meeting attendees unsure of what had happened, the Orange School Superintendent confirmed that the teacher was fired in an email to the Star-Ledger. “As this is a personnel issue, I have no further comments on this matter,” he wrote.

 The teacher’s attorney told the newspaper that she is now considering legal action to challenge her firing. Several speakers at the meeting, including Essex County Freeholder President, praised the teacher. “You ought to be ashamed of yourself for trying to crucify her,” she said.

 But one Orange resident told the board that the teacher did not deserve to keep her job. “Even when I heard that the letters were written…because of compassion, you could’ve written to somebody in a nursing home,” she said. “You could’ve written to someone else that was sick to show compassion.”

 How about compassion for the family of the slain officer?

 Or like this:

 A security officer at a Michigan high school told an active duty U.S. Army lieutenant, who was visiting Rochester Adams High School because his daughter was having difficulty navigating the school, that he could not enter the school because he was wearing his uniform and “may offend another student” and that if he wanted to get into the high school with his daughter he was going to have to go home and change his clothes.

 He was turned away, even though the Rochester School District has no policy barring individuals in uniform from entering the school.

 The Lieutenant has served in the Army for 24 years. The Rochester Schools Superintendent, who is a veteran himself, quickly took care of the situation apologizing to the family for their troubles.

 What about the security official? Did he apologize for his ad hominem and unjustified attack on a uniformed American serviceman? Did he receive sensitivity training? How about a history lesson?

 And like this:

“In Tennessee, the high-school American History curriculum (which is hidden in the Social Studies area) begins with the year 1877 – no mention of the Founders, the Constitution, the frontier, the Civil War, Lincoln, the 1876 presidential election which was decided by the house of Representatives [which could have enlightened the debate during the 2000 presidential election] or the first fifteen amendments to the Constitution!

 The concept of culture [read “groupthink”] appears numerous times but not once is there a reference to the rugged individualism that actually is responsible for the success of the American experiment.”

 It also ignorantly assigns 19th and early 20th Century America the label of “imperialist power”, neglects the assault on the Constitution by both the Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt administrations and doesn’t even mention the primary threat to the United States throughout most of these students lives – the culture of militant, radical Islamic terrorism!

 Then, there’s this kind of behavior:

 “Young student Kendra T. said she was rebuked by her teacher at Dyer County High School and thrown out of class for violating the teacher’s ban on the words ‘bless you’. She said that ‘we’re not going to have godly speaking in her class’ and that’s when I said, ‘we have a constitutional right’, Kendra reported.

 ‘I stood up and said, ‘My pastor said I have a constitutional right – 1st Amendment freedom of speech, ’She said, ‘Not in my class you don’t.’ Kendra says she was tossed out of the class and sent to the principal’s office where things apparently went from bad to worse.

 Another student sent a television station a photo taken inside the teacher’s classroom showing a list of banned words. Among the censored words are; “dump,” “stupid,” “my bad,” “hang out” and “bless you.”

 ‘The assistant principal said if I didn’t want to respect my teacher’s rules then maybe my pastor should teach me because my freedom (of) speech and religion does not work at their school’. No wonder students at Yale want to repeal the 1st Amendment.

 The school would have us believe that a child telling a classmate “bless you” after a sneeze somehow caused a classroom commotion so severe it warranted a punishment? It’s a good thing Kendra didn’t offer her classmate a tissue.”

 Or this:

 In Washington, D.C., a McKinley Middle School teacher sent students home with a Venn diagram [if you know what that is, you got a good education] instructing them to compare and contrast Bush and Hitler as part of a unit on “War and Peace,” according to a statement by district officials.

 It was left to the students to determine how Bush, the 43rd U.S. President who was elected to two terms, stacked up against Hitler, whose Nazi Germany perpetrated a Holocaust that killed more than 6 million Jews.

 Or this:

 “School children in Elyria, Ohio are mourning the demise of a 40-year tradition – the loss of their beloved pink cookie. The fabled cookie, long served in local school cafeterias, was done in by a pound of butter, six cups of powdered sugar and the Obama administration’s food police.

 ‘It no longer meets the national school lunch program guidelines for snacks,’ said a spokesperson for Elyria City Schools. ‘It has too many calories.’

 The USDA ‘Smart Snacks in School’ standards mandate that all snacks must contain less than 200 calories. It’s not exactly clear how many calories are in the pink cookie but the recipe for the frosting calls for a pound of butter.

 The cookie was banished to comply with the federal guidelines.” What lesson does this teach the students? Does “Big Brother” come to mind?

 And another:

 “A South Carolina high school student was arrested and suspended after handing in a class assignment in which he wrote about killing his neighbor’s pet dinosaur with a gun he purchased to ‘take care of the business.’

 The freshman said it was only a joke. His mother was irate that he got busted. She said Summerville High School administrators acted rashly when they reported her son to cops last Tuesday on the second day of school. ‘I could understand if they made him rewrite it because he did have ‘gun’ in it. But a pet dinosaur?’

 The student, 16, got in trouble after he and his classmates were told to write a Facebook-like update about themselves in a few sentences. There were no other guidelines.

 ‘I regret it because they put it on my record, but I don’t see the harm in it,’ he told the station. ‘I think there might have been a better way of putting it, but I think me writing like that, it shouldn’t matter unless I put it out toward a person.’

 His lawyer said in a statement Thursday that his arrest ‘is a perfect example of ‘political correctness’ that has exceeded the boundaries of common sense [not to mention the Constitution].’

 After cops were called they searched the student’s locker [4th Amendment anyone? Did they actually believe he brought the dinosaur killing gun to school? Wouldn’t it have to be a massive gun – kinda’ hard to hide in your lunch-bag?] and book bag. The school  suspended him for three days. The Summerville Police Department defended the arrest. They said he was charged with disorderly conduct when he became disruptive after school officials confronted him about what he wrote.

 ‘The charges do not stem from anything involving a dinosaur or writing assignment, but the student’s conduct,’ the police said in a statement Thursday.” Really? Did he assault someone? Did he break the principal’s PA microphone? You can’t make this stuff up!

 Do I need to go on? Apparently so.

 Todd Starnes writes that “It’s hard to imagine that any school would have a problem with a book about a Christian family that helped Jews escape the Holocaust. But Springs Charter Schools in Temecula, Calif., not only had a problem with “The Hiding Place,” they also took issue with any other book that was written by a Christian author or included a Christian message.” The “The Hiding Place” is the biography of Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch Christian who was imprisoned by the Germans for helping Jews escape the Holocaust.

“We do not purchase sectarian educational materials and do not allow sectarian materials on our state-authorized lending shelves,” the Superintendent of Schools wrote in a letter to attorneys at the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI). The Pacific Justice Institute is representing a parent who discovered what they called a “Christian purging” of the charter school’s library.

“She was told by one of the library attendants that the library has been instructed to remove all books with a Christian message, authored by Christians, or published by a Christian publishing company,” read a letter PJI sent to the public charter school. “The attendant advised that the library would no longer be carrying those books. Indeed, our client was told that the library was giving those books away, and she actually took some.”

“It is alarming that a school library would attempt to purge books from religious authors,” said the president of the religious advocacy group. “This is a major sweep by this charter school to eliminate the religious viewpoint. Libraries cannot engage in an open purging of books simply because they are of a Christian perspective.” So why would a public charter school take issue with books written by Christians?

The Superintendent did reply to the letter she received from Pacific Justice Institute. And what she told them was a bit alarming. “We are a public school, and as such, we are barred by law from purchasing sectarian curriculum materials with state funds,” she wrote. “We only keep on our shelves the books that we are authorized to purchase with public funds.” She denied they were discriminating against Christian authors or publishing companies. “At no time, however, have we discriminated against Christian authors or publishing companies who create secular educational materials,” she wrote out of ignorance of what was actually happening.

Pacific Justice Institute said the charter school has violated the First Amendment. They cited a 1982 Supreme Court ruling that said, “local school boards may not remove books from school library shelves simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books and seek by their removal to ‘prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion.” If you’d like to read the entire case – it’s “Board of Ed, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 v. Pico.

It’s quite unfortunate that the charter school endorses the banning of books. “Some of the greatest literature of Western civilization comes from religious authors,” PJI said. Are they going to ban the sermons or speeches of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?” It is also disappointing that the unions still hold sway even in charter schools.

The way I see it – book banning is just one step away from book burning. This is one step away from tyranny and I don’t mean to pour gasoline on the fire, but we all know what regime did that. It makes my temperature rise to Fahrenheit 451 – a book by secular author Ray Bradbury that should be on their shelves.

Also from author Todd Starnes;

“A North Dakota school has drawn the ire of a national atheist group after a teacher made a 6-year-old child stand up during the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. The child’s father from New Town, ND, tells the Minot Daily News that school administrators violated his son’s First Amendment rights by making him stand for the pledge. “We’re trying to raise free thinkers,” he told the newspaper.

When his child continued to defy the directions of his teacher, the youngster was told to stand in the hallway for the duration of the pledge. Mr. Adams said that amounts to bullying. The school’s Superintendent is a military veteran and a patriot. He told the Associated Press the child was placed in the hallway to avoid disrupting other students who wondered why they could not sit during the pledge.

The superintendent said he feels strongly about the importance of teaching children to be patriotic – a rarity in American public education. The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center fired off a letter to the superintendent. They accused the school of coercing the underage free thinker. “Allowing students to exercise their right to sit out the Pledge of Allegiance is a matter of free speech and freedom of conscience,” wrote their legal director.

We’re talking six year-olds here! What will they take away from this? That America is just some irrelevant thing – rather than the second most important thing in their lives?

Next time: More insanity.

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