Archives for posts with tag: education reform

Referencing this FEE article:

Written by Kerry McDonald. Excellent article. Unassailable point. (And she has other good articles at the link.)

It isn’t the money that matters. It is the parents. The farther the parents in the school district are from median, the more exaggerated the ill effects of poverty or affluence. The best school districts tend to be associated with upper-middle class. The worst, well, you get the point. Money looks like it helps because having extra in the parents’ pockets looks like it helps, and having none in the parents’ pockets looks like it hurts, but control for the factors that affect the family, and I think you see that money isn’t the important part.

In short, real world examples, aggregates, and averages, the honest data, show that more money for the education systems and teachers just doesn’t help. The system is rotting, and money will not freshen rot and decay.

I do not support government tax programs to bolster “school choice.” I see no potential net gains and ever more expansive government overreach.

Honestly, where we need to target is freedom of education exactly the same as freedom of religion. Would to God our schools were in as sad shape as our churches.

Don’t miss my point. Our churches and houses of worship of all faiths are isolated from government aid or backing, and our religious institutions are often even persecuted by government, officials, or common people. Don’t pretend otherwise. You know of examples yourself of churches, synagogues, mosques, and other temples and religious organizations that have drawn the ire of someone or other, often with official backing. That is persecution, and you know good and well that no religious organizations get any government assistance, not even religious schools. (Okay, I bet you can find some extraordinary exceptions, but let’s consider the common, typical situation.) Religious organizations do quite well enough, and proliferate well enough, with no government backing and no legal coercion forcing individuals to support them. (Consider the counterpoint in the UK.) If you want education to do better, let it alone, just like religion.

If you want well-educated kids, do it yourself. If you choose to participate in public schools, it is harder, but still doable. Regardless, if you want well-educated kids, you must do it yourself, even if you try to shift some of the responsibility on the public.

The simple fact is that the overall trend in education will be more expense for less results until we rid our culture and legal systems of coercion and compulsion. We must repeal all truancy laws, or NOTHING will help. Give people freedom without changing anything else, and watch it start working. (Watch out for those who will be obsolesced by the changes and successes. They will fight to retain relevance, even when it obviously harms the children.)

Again, repeal all truancy laws and grant agency to families, or education will remain dismal. Believe me.

I posted the following to Facebook:

Did you know we are spending 250% more on K-12 public education now than we did in 1960? That is in inflation adjusted dollars.

The problem isn’t money. Money honestly has very little to do with all of it. We could eliminate the federal budget for education and half the state budgets, and it would hurt, but test scores wouldn’t go down much. (Of course, a lot of that is because test scores are a very poor measure of education success.)

There is a fundamental problem with public education, and that is that coercion is evil. Forcing people to do anything, including what is good for them is evil. If you do it, you are an evil tyrant. At the root, Johnny doesn’t want to go to school simply because you hold a gun to his, no, you hold the gun to his momma’s head, and you tell him he has to go. Of course, you accuse me of being hyperbolic. No, I only slightly exaggerate the emotional aspect of the statement. Yes, you are forcing Johnny to go to school, and you are forcing his momma to make sure of it, and if momma fails, or Johnny refuses, you send the guys with the guns. You pretend no one will suffer, no one will get hurt, but you deceive yourself. The extreme can happen, and occasionally has happened. Overall, though, you see the results in ever spiralling costs, with ever flat test scores, and ever more clueless interviewees in the man-on-the-street gotcha reports. It is sad when people don’t know anything about the Constitution, but it is a sign of true cultural cancer, fatal consumption, when so many people can be asked about the fundamentals of Independence Day, and they can’t come up with anything, and they don’t even know that John Wilkes Booth wasn’t even remotely attached to it.

My favorite anecdote was Jay-walking, where Leno brought in two presumably bright young ladies from our own prestigious Tulsa University, and they couldn’t even ask sound questions in the on-street interviews. They didn’t even suppose Canada has a representative form of government; heck, they couldn’t even fathom Canada had any government. Yeah, our education systems from the youngest to the oldest are broke. One certainly can’t hurt it be trying to make it truly elective.

I’m all for school choice when that choice is not only where to go, but whether to go. Let freedom ring! Abolish all compulsory laws. Let momma decide. Grant her full agency.

We can keep the schools for now. We can keep the government funding for now. Just start by repealing the coercive compulsory laws.

Here in Oklahoma, I would like to see a full constitutional repeal of all truancy laws. Repeal truancy laws from our State Constitution and guarantee the right of every citizen to decide for himself, or each momma to decide for her children under the age of majority. Let freedom ring!

Let freedom ring!

The problem with education reform is we’ve been doing the same thing over and over for several decades now. It doesn’t work. We need to stop trying the progressivist notions. Progressivism, especially in education, is against the human soul. It is cancer for our very essence. CCSS is just the latest variant.

Our objective toward children is to help them mature to adults, not make them into something. We must not try to fit them into our ideal mold. We know this in sports, the arts, and all things having to do with beauty, but we think we should force our young partners into some mold that we suppose will help society. No! What helps society is free, independent, mature individuals. Education is a necessary ingredient, but a standardize education does not help. It cannot, especially when it is founded on progressivist ideas.

LENORE EALY writes this for the Freeman,

“Economic policy is not educational policy. American education has suffered from being made the maidservant of economic growth. Education policy cannot suffice for good economic policy, which should instead be focused on issues such as providing for sound and stable money, constraining government spending and public debt, ending crony capitalism, and repudiating the kind of regulatory and confiscatory despotism that crushes real entrepreneurship and job creation.
Can education promote a prospering economy? Yes, but only when it recognizes the limits of State action on personal moral development and allows schooling to pursue its true end: to help the child grow into a man or woman capable of directing his or her own life with responsibility.”

Our only objective as parents must be to raise our children to be mature and self responsible. Education is important to that, but the rest is between each child and God alone.

Here are resources for research on Common Core State Standards.

I like that title. “OK” for both okay and Oklahoma. It flabbergasts me how politics makes such strange bedfellows.

The Pioneer Institute (Massachusetts) provides a two-page fact sheet on the background of the Common Core State Standards. Dr. Sandra Stotsky put it together. Recall she was one of five (out of 30) who refused to sign off on the validation report of the CCSS. Wiki has this to say about her:

A group called Truth in American Education has articles by various authors. This link,, will pull up information by and about the good doctor.

The TiAE also provides this statement: worthy of your consideration. I consider this last paragraph worth repeating:

  • Restricts Parental Involvement in Children’s Education: Perhaps the greatest concern with the establishment of a national standard is the lack of parental choice, control, and involvement in their child’s education. With greater federal control of education, parents lose control and the ability to hold their child’s educators accountable.  National standards will contribute to the federal trend of diminishing parenthood in favor of greater control by centralized federal and state bureaucracies.

Amazing. If you haven’t been there, nothing is more distressing. The CCSS and the overall movement toward nationalized standards and least-common-denominator education makes worker bees, even mindless drones, of our children, and most of us cannot be bothered to notice.

Note that the Pioneer Inst. is in Massachusetts. Note that Massachusetts implemented effective educational reform and standards about 20 year ago. The CCSS are touted as based on what Massachusetts did. Obviously these citizens of that state feel they have been betrayed and let down. CCSS is not nearly as good as what they had.

There is so much it is difficult to even begin to organize it. There are so many reasons that CCSS is just more of the same failed progressivist policies and educational “reform” that has been going on for decades.

What reforms have not been tried over the last forty or fifty years? Sure, there were small, isolated successes, but mostly our education system grew worse and the results of education stayed about the same, with few ever finding their actual potential, and more and more money thrown at the basics, the reforms, and the research. All for essentially zero gain, with more and more adversarial relations between the education establishment and parents, even between the establishment and teachers.

The Achieve, Inc. organization holds the motto: All students should graduate from high school ready for college, careers and citizenship

Do you think that sounds good? I don’t. I think it is monstrous. Such an attitude holds students in contempt. Such an attitude is totally selfish, totally focused on the utility of individuals in the service of the collective, the collective that benefits those who hold such views. In fact, those who hold such views tend to be pulling the strings and manipulating the collective to their own liking.

First, societally we must change our attitude of thinking of children as future. No, children are now! Children are citizens now, regular people now, ready to contribute now. Sure, we parents have huge responsibilities in leading, teaching, and guiding our little ones, and we must protect them, while balancing the continuing requirement to grant ever-increasing freedom and responsibility (and the consequences). Maturity matters, but after about 12 years of age, character is what determines maturity.

Kids must grow up, but freedom and choice is the road we travel together. Choice is so often touted by those who want to limit choice. Everyone, no matter what age, should have as much choice as possible, short of imminent danger to self or others.

Scott Adams (Dilbert) has taken to renouncing goals and objective-oriented thinking. He is right, and CCSS is all about the goals and objectives. Objectives have the consequence of objectifying those involved in obtaining the objectives. Soldiers are the classic example. Real soldiers, people, in real wars (real hell), are hardly more than the pieces on the board in the game room (or the video screen) because the objective is what counts. We must ensure our children count from conception forward. All the time. Every time. In all circumstances. Every person is a person, just like Horton’s Whoville, no matter how small, no matter how insignificant in the big picture.

A system that will improve our education system would start with repeal of truancy laws. Compulsion is always bad, always immoral.

Such a system wouldn’t have unions, because the teachers and parents are partners, who are both partners with the students. Administration should be just that, and nothing more.

Such a system would keep parents and teachers working together, not adversarially. It won’t be easy. It won’t require more money than we already spend, but it will cause lots of pain to those in power in the education establishment.

I think we can do it. I know we can live with it.

Change starts in the heart, not in the legislature! Read the rest of this entry »

American Thinker has an article By Robert Weissberg, talking about how much money we spend on education reform”The Education Reform Racket ”

He quotes Eric Hoffer [asserted,] “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” and applies it to education. I agree. He focuses on the current penchant  to give things away to students, computers in particular. He points out the waste and difficulties and the permanence of the requirement for tech support. Thus, the schools are becoming tech services providers rather than teachers.

He mentions in passing how well the computer companies are doing in all this, particularly Apple. The ties of Apple to government schools are obviously racket, in my opinion.

He does not mention what I consider the key. Compulsion.

Mr. Weissberg explains the great lengths some of the schools are going to to increase attendance, and he points out how important attendance is to funding calculations, but attendance is a trivial factor in the problem. Compulsion is the root.

Indifference looms large as part of the problem. Well, let the indifferent stay ignorant. We cannot force them, so why try?

Truancy laws are the root problem. As long as we force everyone to school, our schools cannot get better.

I’m pretty certain that if we passed eliminated all truancy laws tomorrow, the immediate effect would be undetectable, as every mamma in the country would continue to insist her babies all continue to go to school. I suspect that within weeks, though a few would drop out, the overall attendance would increase. Kids and parents would realize they want an education simply because we stopped forcing them to get it.

Education reform is now a joke. There can be no reform in the system. Inertia is too high. Nothing can change unless the root is cut. End truancy laws, and encourage the dropouts to pursue a vocational path, and we will see improvements.

Also, get the federal government out of it entirely.

We need to add two words to the first amendment to our Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of education or religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Adding those two words, “education or”, right there in front of “religion” just might lift our schools to the level our houses of worship find themselves.

We really need our federal government to be just as hands-off with education as they are with religion.

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