Monday, May 21, 2012


For years I have been stating that 30% of high school graduates could not read their own diplomas.

It turns out that I was wrong.

It’s closer to 50%.

The teachers’ unions, in concert with some very stupid politicians, have managed to take Florida to new lows of education.

Federal mandates under the policies of the last 4 presidents have done nothing to help the situation.

This article from Reuters makes the point.

When the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test results first came in and 52% of freshman students failed to read at their grade levels, Florida did the logical thing and lowered the standards.

That made the students much smarter.

Now only 50% fail to read at grade level.

What a great job the Florida Board of Education and the federal Department of Education have done!!

All of their great “progressive” ideas have worked so well that America is falling farther and farther behind the rest of the world.

It is time to get the government out of the “business” of education, something they know absolutely nothing about to begin with.

We need to return to the concept of public schools and do away with the idea of government schools.

For you liberal/progressives who don’t know the difference, public schools are run by the local public and are not beholden to the government for money or guidance.

It was public schools that put men on the moon. Government schools have never been able to repeat the feat, but have managed to kill more than a few people not doing it.

A literate society is the only hope for a free society. If people can’t read well enough to know that their liberties are being infringed upon, they will never be able to take the necessary steps to prevent it.

On the other hand, a person who can read can learn to do absolutely anything.

Florida is a microcosm of the rest of the country. People settle here from every state in the union.

We have more schools than ever in our history, and the product we are producing is defective.

It is time to put parents back in charge of the educational system (a-la the old time PTA, something which does not exist today). It is also time to teach teachers how to teach, not to spend their time being amateur psychologists, responsible for the “self-esteem” of students through artificial means.

Self-esteem is the result of accomplishment.

Accomplishment is the result of learning the basics of arithmetic, reading, science and (correct) history.

That means rote memorization until that which is memorized is ready to be applied to linear thought.

If that’s “boring,” then so be it.

It worked for hundreds of years, and it will work now.


Z said...

Great post, Joe.
I think the loss of rote memorization is a huge problem. We learned rhythm of English through poetry we had to memorize, we learned grammar, we learned the beauty of the English language.
Let's face it, in schools today, the teachers are so busy with discipline problems that they can't teach.
Remember when we heard "your teacher's right"? Now it's "your teacher said that? Let's go get him in trouble!"

no respect for a teacher doesn't give a kid much reason to learn.

Yes, we have to bring it back to the states, but I find that sad because all Americans should, in my opinion, be "on the same page" as they grow up and learn.

And nobody's checking the textbooks which downplay our heroes and emphasize the lies about the ENVIRONMENT and LESBIAN STUDIES.

I saw some SAT questions recently and even they had misleading environmental examples in a grammar section!


Lisa said...

I knew a woman who taught 8th grade Social Studies in NYC. She said you spend more time being a mother than a teacher to these kids. It's really sad and I believe it is liberal policies that have destroyed our core value system that has,as Z wrote,made it too easy not to learn and have no respect for not only teachers but all aspects of authority.
How can a kid learn when his mother is home hooking,not allowing the child in the house till after 11;00 on a school night and then sending him to school with no dinner and no breakfast.
That really happened to one of her students. And that's just one of many.
It's a terible shame that many kids have no family support and a system that bows to the unions. It's a bad combo for Ameeicn children.
It's not so much our education system but other factors.

Fredd said...

Public schools are not so much run by the government, as they are run by liberals.

And when I say liberals, I mean the unions who care not about the product they produce, but only about the goodies they can suck from their enslaved system they control.

Get rid of the teachers unions, and watch the system come back to life.

Ducky's here said...

I'll ask again, Fredd. Why are we trailing so many nations with extremely strong teacher's unions?

Answer at your leisure.

All Americans should be on the same page? Fascinating, z. You choosing the page?

We can teach the beauty of the language by having preschoolers learn that awful Lee Greenwood song.

Joe said...

Z: Our education system is currently designed to re-educate kids to accept the right of the government to control every aspect of their lives.

Lisa: Teachers should teach from the basics up, and should back away from so much "social correctness."

Fredd: It was when the government started granting money to school systems that they began making so many requirements of them. That is not to minimize the effect of teachers' unions. They are a large part of the problem.

Ducky: Their unions are totally different from ours.

Xavier Onassis said...

OK, the Florida thing. For a more comprehensive look at what REALLY happened, go here:

In a nutshell, in 2011 the Florida State Board of Education decided to raise the writing standards on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT)to place more emphasis on standard English writing conventions such as grammar, spelling, capitalization, etc.

Amazingly, this had been de-emphasized and was not being taught as rigorously as it was when I was in school.

The problem was, the FCAT standard was raised in 2011, applied in 2012 to students who had gone through their entire primary and secondary schools without being properly taught.

Of course they were going to fail! You are testing them on something they were never taught. That's ridiculously unfair so they backed off on it.

What they should have done is raise the standard, give the schools and teachers the tools to teach to the higher standard from the very beginning of elementary school, and then applied the new standard to those new students who were receiving the higher standard of education.

As for the rest of this nonsense, you're kidding, right?

"...public schools are run by the local public and are not beholden to the government for money or guidance."

Riigghhtt! Because a podunk little burg like Mosby, MO with a population of 250, no tax base, no resources, very little infrastructure can do a better job of educating their children without any assistance what so ever. Don't give them any money, don't give them any resources, just get out of their way and let them go at it! I'm sure they will produce many World Leaders, Poets, Writers, Artists and Captains of Industry.

"It was public schools that put men on the moon..."

No it wasn't! It was those colleges and universities turning out intellectual elitists like scientists and engineers who think they are smarter than you because they are!

The Saturn V had over 1 million moving parts. If just 1 of those parts failed to move the bird didn't lift off. The Saturn V never failed to lift off.

That wasn't due to PTAs and home schooling.

That was due to RIGOROUS education in science, technology, logic and REASON.

"That means rote memorization until that which is memorized is ready to be applied to linear thought."

That is exactly the opposite of education. That is indoctrination.

Education is teaching people how to THINK! How to analyze data from a variety of sources, viewpoints and ideologies. How to assess the veracity of the data being presented. How to clear out the clutter and cut like a surgeon to the heart of the matter. How to apply Occam's Razor and other scientific principles to separate truth from fiction. And finally, how to take that information and decide for yourself how you feel about the distilled information and what action you choose to take as a result of that analysis.

But Christians and Conservatives aren't interested in real education. They would prefer a chain of Christian, Capitalist, Conservative Madrassas that indoctrinate children with "rote memorization" of Conservative values.

"America is the greatest country that has ever existed on Earth!" (despite all empirical evidence to the contrary).

"Ronald Reagan was one of our greatest presidents!" (he was a mediocre actor, a gullible hack, reading from scripts, but with great props, direction and an unlimited production budget.)

The hypocrisy of Conservatives on the subject of education is laughable.

A truly educated electorate would spell the end of Conservatism.

Educated people don't vote stupid people into office and stupid policies into law.

Joe said...

xo: "Educated people don't vote stupid people into office and stupid policies into law."

You did.

Anonymous said...

".....If people can’t read well enough to know that their liberties are being infringed upon, they will never be able to take the necessary steps to prevent it....."

And THAT, my friend, is the entire point!

As much as this pains me, and it pains me right good I tell ya, I must agree with Mr. Onassis when he writes:

"A truly educated electorate would spell the end of Conservatism."

At least the Yankee version of it anyway.

Anonymous said...

In defense of Yankee-style Conservatism, I proffer the following:

The average North American is not sufficiently endowed, from his/her hatching, with the necessary intellectual acumen needed to become 'truly educated' - no matter what system is used to try to educate them.

The GOP need not fear.

Ducky's here said...

ALTF, when are you going to drop the necrophiliac avatar?

Xavier Onassis said...

Joe - Au contraire! That's French. Means "you're wrong". We voted a very smart man into office. Orders of magnitude smarter than the retarded chimpanzee he replaced. And that smart man put very smart policies in place which is why the economy has been improving, unemployment is declining, housing starts are up, Ford is back, crime is down and every where you look you see rainbows and unicorns.

And we're going to relect him for 4 more years.

Because all Romney knows how to do is redistribute the wealth of profitable companies into his own pockets and destroy jobs.

Joe said...

XO: "Au contraire!" means: to the contrary.

Anonymous said...

Actually Joe, au contraire is an adverb and is therefore better translated as, 'on the contrary'.

Bojangles said,

"....ALTF, when are you going to drop the necrophiliac avatar?....."

Why do you view my gravatar as death loving? This says more about you than it does about me. Research the paintings of Ray Caesar for the real meaning.

Joe said...

ALTC: "Actually Joe, au contraire is an adverb and is therefore better translated as, 'on the contrary'."


Either way, XO is wrong. As usual.

Ducky's here said...

Research the paintings of Ray Caesar for the real meaning.

Kahlo, Magritte, Watteau, Carrington, Fragonard, Balthus ...

Short list of serious painters he's copied.

Sort of a Thomas Kinkade for lamers trying to be hipster.