As I have said many times before, the public school system should be completely abolished. That includes all school boards, teacher unions and federations, departments of education in most colleges and universities, teacher certification boards, the NEA and all its constituents. Public schools receive between $8,000.00 and $10,000 per student each year. Where is this money going? Where are the results that show this money is being well-spent?? We have children who can’t read, write simple coherent sentences, spell without a spell-chek, write cursively (and sometimes can’t write manuscript!), and can’t solve simple arithmatical problems without a calculator! But, they know how to put on a condom, how to get an abortion or birth control (without parental knowledge or consent), how to save the earth, that homosexuality is normal, that God is dead, that religion is the “opium of the masses”, and how the government will do our thinking for us and solve all our problems. The obvious conclusion is that schools no longer educate: they INDOCTRINATE. When high school students are taught that mankind came from pond sludge, that the white man is to blame for every ill of society, and they are brainwashed with a revisionist interpretation of history, and when they can’t speak coherently in front of an audience, we have serious problems on our hand. This calls for drastic measures.
What employer would continue to allow his/her employees to fail as public schools have? What employer today would continue to throw billions of dollars into a miserable failure?? What employer would allow a teacher to continue to produce failed results year after year?? What employer does not hold his/her employees accountable for positive results?? Only the government would allow these things to continue decade after decade after decade. When are PARENTS going to realize that their children are the pawns in the government’s attempt to indoctrinate their children into marxist-commies? This is no joke! Now, we are seeing the real monster raise it’s ugly head: now schools have become the lunch nazis telling parents what their children should or should not be eating and going so far as to send a 3 year old home with a home-packed lunch determined “unacceptable”! We should all be outraged!
Your question is, “What is the alternative?” Well there are plenty. Here is one: A CLASSICAL EDUCATION.
The classical education model is very, very old. It was developed by Socrates, Aristotle and Plato. It is based on a three-part process of training called the trivium. These stages are: grammar (not because of the study of English grammar but because, like grammar is the foundation of the English language, the first 4 years of school are the foundation for the rest of the learning process), logic, and rhetoric. Grades 1-4 are the “grammar” stage. Usually, grade five begins the stage of logic because generally by then, children are ready to think more analytically. They are more eager to learn the reasons for how the world works. " The final phase of a classical education, the ‘Rhetoric Stage,’ builds on the first two. At this point, the high school student learns to write and speak with force and originality." (Susan Wise Bauer) A classical education is also interrelated. That is, subject matter is not taught or learned in isolation. For example, history and literature are normally taught together–which makes sense because much of literature is history-based. In addition, in a classical education, a sort of “forum” exists in the classroom. That is, the teacher starts out with a concept and then builds upon this concept by asking children “Why?”. For example, if I were teaching a class on place value to 3rd or 4th graders, I could start out by writing a number on the board and asking them what this number represents. For example, if I used the number 10, most children would say that the number represents 10 things or they might hold up 10 fingers. My next question would be, “Why?” And so on. It seems simple enough, but it is not. It takes a lot of preparation and dedication on the part of the teacher. Teachers also have to have some kind of classical training. Since this is not taught in any colleges or universities anymore, a teacher would need to go to special conferences, etc. to get this training. There are lots of resources out there now. You see, it isn’t enough for children to know basic facts although mastery of basic facts are the foundation in classical learning. Children must learn to incorporate those facts into the broader spectrum of all knowledge and to be able to use that knowledge to understand deeper, more philosophical ideals. There are four cycles that repeat during the 12 years of education: ancient times, medieval, Renaissance & Middle Ages, and modern times. Students study the ancient writers such as Plato, Herodutus, Virgil and others. Most classical education includes the study of a foreign language, particularly Latin and Greek. And this usually starts in the early grades once children have a firm grasp on the English language. Young children are taught to recognize root (base) words and if they are of Greek or Latin origin. Marva Collins of Chicago left the Chicago Public Schools because she was/is a classically trained teacher and wanted her inner city school children to reap the benefits of such. The Chicago Public School Board did not agree. They told her that she expected too much from these kids–saying these children were “uneducatable”. Marva left and started her own classical school in the basement of her home with only 6 children–three of which were her own. She now has two private schools in Chicago’s inner city that have more than a two year waiting list. All of her students are classically taught and 99% of her students graduate and go on to prestigious universities. Her schools do not take a cent from the state or federal government. Her schools run on tuition (which isn’t much), benefactors, and fundraising. She is one of my heroes.
A DEGREE A TEACHER DOES NOT MAKE.
In replacement of the marxist-socialist departments of education in colleges and universities, there should be implemented a classical teacher training program. These programs would be run by classically trained teachers who have had at least 7 years of experience in a classical classroom. Believe me, there are plenty of them and none of them belong to any teacher union or federation. There are quite a number of classical schools around the country. They are extremely successful and have the numbers to prove it.
Well…now I feel much better!