Guest Commentary… A View on Education

guest-commentaryWe come to yet another Friday night with a guest commentary that is right in line with the discussions around public education that we have been having throughout the week. I think that education is a vitally important subject for us to be talking about. Those that we most disagree with in regard to our philosophy on freedom and liberty are the result of use of our public education system to indoctrinate our youth into the system and create a false understanding of the state and what it represents. Many of us here are finding, albeit later in life, that what we were told in school was less than 100% honest. If we are to get our country back to greatness, it begins with an in depth understanding of our public schools. Their purpose, their methods, and their failures. Only in understanding how much intent went into transforming the schools to help their cause can we start to understand how enormous the task is before us.

Tonight’s guest commentary comes to us from a homeschooling mother who has found that she is also not happy with the current state of our country. And upon realizing that the public education system was flawed, took the difficult, but necessary, step of sacrificing her own time and efforts to ensure that her children would not fall victim to the system as it stands. Many of you have seen her contribute to the conversations, and know that she always brings a fresh insight and intelligent thoughts. What you may not know is that she also writes a blog of her own. The Proper Role of Government  is Michelle’s site and after reading her stuff for a while I have found that the site is well worth taking the time to read (of course only after reading mine, lol).

I will not delay this further, I give you Michelle‘s guest commentary:

A Short History of Education in America   by Michelle

Just over six years ago I pulled my oldest child out of his Kindergarten class in order to homeschool him.  His situation at school had become unbearable.  I had two choices, leave him there and allow his entire future to be shadowed by an aversion to learning or pull him out and teach him myself.  I took the plunge and taught him myself.  I can’t tell you how grateful I am that I made that decision.  Not only did it save my children, but I became educated along the way as well.

Homeschoolers have their own community, their own culture to some extent, and their own library of resources.  The books homeschoolers use, since they have complete freedom of choice, are the very best.  They are not the books used in public schools. It is because of this environment that I came across books like The Law by Frederick Bastiat, A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver Van DeMille, and the book I’m going to focus on now, None Dare Call It Education by John A. Stormer.

John Dewey

John Dewey

John Dewey, head of the Prestigious Teachers College at Columbia University in New York during the first half of the 20th century, was the most influential educator America has ever seen.  He was a Progressive and one of the authors of the Humanist Manifesto I.  By the 1930’s his movement had enough influence to change the course of education in America forever.  They controlled teacher training programs, textbook authorship, and the National Education Association. 

Dewey’s goal was to create “a new social order”.  Harold Rugg, one of Dewey’s cronies, said, “A new public mind is to be created.  How?  Only by creating tens of millions of new individual minds and welding them into a new social mind.  Old stereotypes must be broken up and new “climates of opinion” formed in the neighborhoods of America[i]”.

In another passage Rugg continued this thought, “ . . .through the schools of the world we shall disseminate a new conception of government—one that will embrace all of the collective activities of men; one that will postulate the need for scientific control and operation of economic activities in the interest of all people.[ii]” 

They were not proposing an overthrow of government, just a changing of the way government is viewed, a new way for the government to do business and they would accomplish this through the schools, but before they could make this happen, they had to seize government control of the schools.  As long as schools were run by individual communities there could be little influence over what was taught there

Before the 1930’s although education was completely voluntary and most parents paid out of pocket, nearly every child in America attended school.  There was about 97% literacy rate at the time of the Revolution.  More than that, there was true cultural intelligence. Kids were better educated and more prepared for life, whether that life led them to work a farm or run a company.  There’s a reason that the Edisons, Rockefellers, Lincolns and Fords arose from the lowest social class to the highest in that culture.  Education, in other words, was not broken.

education-1In 1852 Massachusetts issued the first compulsory education laws.  It took awhile, but by 1918 all states had some form of compulsory education laws.  Since then the minimum ages have been lowered steadily from about 8 years old to around 6 years old in most states.  At the same time the maximum age requirements have been rising to the age of 18.  The school year has also been increasing over the years.  The original Department of Education was established in 1867, but its functions were extremely limited and it didn’t resemble at all what it is today.  It was merely a fact-finding bureau and did not attempt to fund, control or administer education in any way.  It wasn’t until 1979 that our current Department of Education was established and in 1981 it rose to a cabinet level department, finally fulfilling all of Dewey’s wildest dreams.  Of course by then Dewey was long gone, but unfortunately his legacy is very much with us.

What exactly were the aims of this education movement?  In what way did they wish to engineer society and for what purpose?  First they despised the laissez-faire economic system.  Socialism was the getting under way in Europe in the late 1800’s and the American Progressive movement was dedicated to the concept of an enlightened class directing the well being of the masses. 

Next they despised the concept of God as a superstition for the masses, which disbelief led them to play God, interestingly.  One of their aims was to remove God from America. 

They wished to hold everyone to the same mediocre level.  Dewey once said, “Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming, where everyone is interdependent.[iii](To this, USW says that John Dewey was an asshole, and if he was around I would tell him so)

They wished to create a society of “sheeple”, who could be easily manipulated, for their own good, of course!

stupid-voterThey deliberately dumbed down the educational content of the schools in order to create an ignorant and easily manipulated mass of people.  In the place of history, government, economics, and geography they introduced “social studies”.  How many schools now teach logic or the classics?  How many students reach beyond basic algebra in their years of schooling?  How many students study history and discuss the ramifications of actions and the characters of famous people?  How many schools teach American government adequately?  How many students even know the difference between a republic and a democracy and which one America’s Constitution established?  The standard argument is that these subjects are not useful in real life; the trend has been more and more toward vocational training.  This is no accident; this was an important aim of Dewey’s movement 

I myself was educated in a public school, a very good one.  It was in a wealthy suburban area and had adequate funds.  It was known as the best school in the city and one of the best in the nation.  Nearly all my friends went on to higher education and in my school it was actually “cool” to be a brainiac.  I did very well, took the toughest classes, got good grades, and went to a good college.  It wasn’t until I began to homeschool my own kids and read more that I realized how woefully inadequate my education had been.  I am ashamed to say that I did not know the difference between a republic and a democracy. I did not know anything about history.  I did not know geography or current events.  I had never studied logic at all.  I could only very vaguely tell you who Columbus was.  I was very shaky on things like how my own religious beliefs could be upheld and stand against the prevailing beliefs of evolution and the anti-God culture.  The methods used to teach math were inferior and I struggled because of it.  After some painful uprooting of some of my core beliefs, I now know the things I was missing and I am very active in teaching my own kids.  They already know more about these subjects than I did upon my college graduation.

Is it any wonder that the homeschool movement has met such violent opposition?  The best argument anyone can come up with against homeschooling is the “but kids need the socialization they receive in school”.  Pretty weak, considering. 

 


 

 

[i] Rugg, The Great Technology, pg 32

[ii] Rugg, The Great Technology, pg 271

[iii] Human Events, 10/18/1896

I have to say that this is the perfect article to support the concepts that I have been talking about throughout our discussions about how our country got the the point that we are. Schools have become public indoctrination centers, and even the 20+ years since my High School Graduation have witnessed drastic changes in the education system. The amazing thing that I learned about education was what it does to our children in terms of what they think they know. I left school and college thinking that I knew everything I needed to know. I was educated, after all. I now understand, like Michelle, just how much I didn’t know. Life experience taught me how flawed my education was. And I submit that many who have vast formal educations have just that, and nothing more. Their educators taught them that they now are enlightened, when in fact their education had the exact opposite effect. Hence why every ten year veteran of business with a HS Diploma will outperform a MBA graduate fresh out of school 99% of the time. 

indoctrination-cneter-aheadUnderstanding just how long this progressive movement towards indoctrination into the state and how long it took to implement Dewey’s version of what America was to become, gives us a better understanding of how difficult a task we face. And how slow progress against the far left will be. They did things right, they have messed up the minds of America during their formative years, and getting Americans to now wake up and see that everything that they believe about what is “right” and what is “fair” is wrong and unfair will take time and substantial energy. But I will do what I have to do. And I won’t give up this fight. I am glad to be joined in my effort by people like Michelle. It is time for us to topple America’s public education system. It is flawed. It is broken. And it does not do anything to serve the mission for which it claims to have. It serves its mission, it just hasn’t admitted that its mission was set by John Dewey so long ago.

And this is why I 100% support home schooling, and I heartily applaud all of those parents who have undertaken the daunting task of providing a better education for their children than the fraud of an education they would receive in public schools today. Every child that is taken away from the public indoctrination centers is another member of the free thinking, liberty seeking, patriots that will one day lead this country back from the wasteland that the progressive movement is determined to make it. Oh that isn’t to say the progressive movement is not well meaning. I don’t want anyone’s feelings to get hurt. They mean well and their rhetoric works well on a dumbed down America. But eventually logic and reason will catch up and while you can come up with tactics to beat my movement for now, you can’t change that reality will show your logic and reason to be fatally flawed eventually. I just hope I am around to give the proverbial “I Told You So”. 

The progressive movement is determined to ruin America. I am determined to tell the progressive movement to kiss my hind-quarters. The collective being served at the detriment of the individual is a flawed position. I can’t make them all see it yet. But I am more than ready to knuckle up and try. If the concept of individual liberty dies in my lifetime it will be only because my final breath is also it’s final breath.

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Comments

  1. Vinnster says:

    Excellent post. I salute every parent that takes their kids out of public schools to home school or use private schools. It is a big personal sacrifice.

    I am sorry to say I get great pleasure watching events like national Spelling Bees where the non-public educated kids disproportionally win.

    • Birdman says:

      I agree with Vinnster that this was an excellent post.

      I’m for home schooling for those that can do it. Where both spouses work, it’s not an option. I once lived in an area with very poor public schools and we pulled our children out and placed them in Catholic schools. It was expensive but well worth it.

      To reverse 100 years of Progressive programs is going to be very, very hard if not impossible. I have listened to and read articles by Dr. Walter Williams who does not think it is possible to reverse the country. Williams believes that secession,or the threat of it, might work.

      • Black Flag says:

        Birdman –

        But isn’t this really uplifting if you think about it.

        Look at the number of people here – who (as I was) indoctrinated and brainwashed – and we threw it off and regained ourselves.

        It shows that we – the individual person – is far more resilient and stronger than the murderous elite believe we are.

        It took them almost a century to warp the society – I believe it will take a only few years to straighten out again.

        • I agree BF, it took a long time because (most) people recognize truth when they see it, so they weren’t easy to fool. Of course they will still see truth now, especially as it’s so apparent that we need some truth.

          Even my parents and siblings are seeing things in a new way, not to mention friends and neighbors and so on.

          • Have been searching for good studies of public vs private school funding. Not much luck so far in the USA but some good stuff in Australia. But I did come across the following regarding N. Carolina. Thought I would share:

            By Parul Joshi
            Reporter
            Published: March 17, 2009

            Perdue’s proposal would increase what the state spends annually per child by $139.00, from $5,597.00 to $5,736.00.

            According to Education Week magazine, that increase would bring the state and local per child expenditure to $7,974.00. Their latest research shows North Carolina spent about $7,835.00 in state and local dollars for the 2005-2006 school year.

            That’s a lot of money and has some questioning how well it is used. Some say private schools get the better results with fewer resources and a much smaller budget.

            70 students attend Greenville Montessori from pre-K to 6th grade. Just like public schools, Greenville Montessori is required to follow North Carolina’s standard course of curriculum.
            That curriculum taught here, to lower elementary students, costs parents an average of $4,000.00. In public school that curriculum costs taxpayers about $8,000.00.

            Montessori administrator Lesley Byrne-Steedly says, “Our revenue is tuition based, so we’re paying for our teacher’s salaries, teacher assistant salaries, insurance. We rent this current building that we’re at now; all expenses: utilities everything comes out of tuition.“

            Reporter: “One of the biggest differences between public schools and private schools aside from funding, is in private schools students, like the ones in this Montessori classroom, have to be accepted.“

            Montessori Administrator Suellen Biel says, “We have had to turn people away, for years, turned people away that have been on the waiting list because we didn’t have enough space”

            While private school tuition varies one thing is the same. Not every applicant is assured of getting in, but in public school, everyone by law has to be accepted and experts say that difference is a big factor in the results.

            Publicschoolreview.com compares private and public schools and says generally private school students perform better on standardized tests, tend to meet more demanding graduation requirements, and are more likely to obtain a bachelor’s or advanced degree by their mid-20s.

            Byrne-Steedly says, “I think a key part is that our resources are really spent on the work for the children. And, I think in other schools so many costs are for administration.“
            Not to mention transportation, higher salaries, food costs and facilities.
            For more information on public schools and private schools you can look at the following research:

            • USWeapon says:

              You hit a hot spot for me on this one JAC. As a Carolina resident I am following this closely and have been for weeks. Perdue was elected to Governor last fall with the massive Democrat surge, replacing Easley and she already has a lot of folks upset and/or worried. There are several different pieces of legislation passed recently and pushed by her that are hormful of the state and smacks in the face of individual liberty.

              It is a good, and I think honest and unbiased, article that you shared here. Thanks for finding it. As far as the NC school stuff I can send you tons.

              • Also suggest you google “public vs. private school funding”

                Check out the studies and discussions in Australia and other links.

                All show actual per student spending in private schools is less than public.

                In Australia the apparently use fed dollars to supplement private school funding so the totals are close in some states.

                It was cruising through all the sites when I found the one for N.Carolina.

                Good Hunting
                JAC

          • Michelle:

            Sorry about the long post, got put in wrong spot. Not a reply to you.

            But the following is:

            You happen to live in one of the “Enlightened” states so you must remember that when you watch how those around you are reacting.

            Have you heard anything more about the Spokane Repubs. challenge on the Tea Party lists of folks who attended.

            Give us an update on NIdaho Tea Parties coming up, if any.

            Hope your weekend is Blue and Dry
            JAC

            • The Spokane Tea Party ended up destroying the list of contacts, both physical and electronic, so that it could no longer be seized by the local Republican Party, who continued to put pressure on the Tea Party Organizers.

              see the blog post from the organizer:
              http://garyedgington.com/2009/06/12/an-open-letter-to-contact-list-enthusiasts/

              There are Tea Parties planned for CDA and Post Falls and Sandpoint for July 4th. Probably some other towns as well. Post Falls just had a Tea Party yesterday also, though I didn’t make that one.

            • That’s funny that you call Idaho enlightened. I always thought it was a country bumpkin racist state (at least percieved that way).

              • We worked hard at building a reputation that would keep people away. Unfortunetly it didn’t work and N Idaho was discovered, along with the rest of the state.

                I am getting a kick out of watching the Dems try to push Walt Minnic to the left and him not moving. He knows darn well the last Dem Congressman to move left lasted one term. His name was Larry LaRocco. Yes, he’s been around that long. Like a bad boil, just won’t go away.

                Got ya chucklin there didn’t I?
                LOL
                JAC

  2. I went to public schools in my youth and then to a state college and got a degree in engineering. We have interns from my college in the lab I work in all the time. I point blank tell them that they will use about 10% of what they learned in college and the rest will be on the job training. Maybe its different for some professions but its true for most of what I’ve observed.

    We also homeschool. We pulled our two daughters out of public school this year, they were in the 6th and 2nd grade. Our 6th grader was in the top 1% of all students in the state, she went to a local magnet school for the arts where you have to apply to get in and they only allow in a limited number of students. It was arguably the best middle school in the state. We pulled her out because her primary focus at school had changed, it used to be to learn and to do well. But her new friends gave her flack for not having a boyfriend and she started getting wrapped up in being the social queen of the school. She’s a great kid who actually listens and obeys us but she could not overcome the social influences at her school to be the student that we wanted her to be. That was when we made the jump to homeschooling, my wife is a stay at home mom and had no trouble homeschooling her.

    Our second grader was completely average in school. Which to a teacher is fantastic, its the student that requires no attention. We spoke with with her teachers in the first and second grade several times about what they thought we could work on with her to help her excel and we always got the same answer “She’s doing okay, there’s nothing she really needs to work on.”. We kept asking and always got the same answers. With homeschooling we can focus on her strengths and weaknesses and teach her in a style that she flourishes with.

    I believe that they both would have done good in public schools. But, as parents, we want the best for them. Since we can’t afford private school we brought them home to school.

    We knew we could do it better than the public schools. How could we not? During a school day the average student spends ~3 hours actually learning. My 12 year spends 3 hours a day homeschooling and my 8 year spends about 2. They’re learning more, retaining it better and are actually learning how to solve problems. Not just memorizing material and regurgitating back out. The best part is that they are learning how to learn and becoming self-sufficient at it!

    People who say that homeschoolers are not “socialized” have not talked to anyone that actually homeschools. My oldest is at a sleepover with 8 other girls as we speak. There are activities all the time, almost every day of the week, that they could do with other kids.

    The summer break in public schools is also a joke. What is the point? 3 months off in the middle of the year, to do what? It was an agricultural initiative so that kids could help on the farm and because it was just too hot in the summer to stay inside a small building. Now we have A/C in every school so why not send the kids to school all year? Usually my kids were bored out of their skulls after half way through the summer and wanted to go back to school.

    As far as vacations go you could schedule three individual months off during the year, or have four three week breaks. Each district could stagger their time off. You’d probably actually see an increase in activity at vacation hot spots. Kids would learn more too!

    I could go on and on about the inadequacies of the public school system all day, but its Saturday and I have stuff to do.

    A few quick interesting points:

    1) 80% of money spent in public schools goes to pay employee salary and benefits (75% to teachers themselves). No child left behind is increasing that – teachers are required to get more education and training which equates to more pay but not necessarily to better teachers.

    2) A new high school was built in one of the poorer performing counties in the area – it has 6 50″ flat screen TVs in the lunch room. Every room has a 42″ TV and a Smart screen in it (a large touch screen that a computer screen can be projected onto, its about $6000). The whole campus has Wi-Fi. What do any of those things have to do with educating a student? Sure, they might make it more interesting but they are not necessities and they cost a lot of money.

  3. I have to admit, this whole public education indoctrination thing is an area I was very late in becoming aware of. I loved school, was a very good student, was involved in everything I could be, had part-time jobs and managed it all very well. I used to defend public schools to everyone!

    Then I became a parent and it’s amazing how you start looking at things more closely. First, I became frustrated at the union controlling the systems and then bit by bit I became more in tune with what was actually taught. Just reading these articles over the last several months has really opened my eyes a lot and Michelle, your post was fantastic. Give the Progressives credit, they make a plan and stick with it until its completely in place.

    Now the fight back stage.

  4. Then there is secondary education. Yesterday several of you already started on that.

    Check out this article about a Business Ethics professor at a small private college in this area.

    http://www.madison.com/archives/read.php?ref=/tct/2009/05/26/0905260294.php

    Among many glaring statements, this one really jumped out at me:

    “We are imperfect people, which is why we need to be regulated.”

    And he’s teaching the kids and parents are paying big time tuition for it~

  5. Please note the following from Professor Collins:

    “The current predicament is just part of being alive,” he says. “There is nothing new, nothing that hasn’t always been this way. We are imperfect people, which is why we need to be regulated.”

    Does that sound familiar to everyone?

    There is nothing new, it has always been this way, so we are going to keep doing it.

    We are fallible and thus require regulation, so we are going to put “fallible” people is charge of the regulating.

    What an absolutely revolutionary concept.

    Brilliant—Just Brilliant
    I hope you all have a nice weekend
    JAC

  6. Black Flag says:

    I copied to my wife this guest commentary – and she’s all smiles – she’ll probably make it a commentary in our next homeschool newsletter – if that’s ok with you.

  7. Michelle:

    Before I forget I wanted to say Job Well Done on your article.

    I don’t have time right now as I am packing to leave for a week or so, but I wanted to suggest that you re-evaluate your position on creationism and evolution of the other day. I personally have no problem with both being taught in school and have said before here that I think all religions should be explored in High School level classes. As part of an introduction to philosophy.

    I just think you are ignoring physical evidence that does support evolutionary development. The key, as it relates to man and religion is that we will probably never be able to prove that Homo sapien evolved from X at such and such a time. Just as we will never be able to prove that God created man from clay.

    You are correct in that science and religion (creationism) are complatible as long as we don’t ignore scientific and physical evidence by proclaiming it false out of hand. Our understanding of God and science is all part of our search for Truth. We need to be willing to adjust both as that search uncovers new information.

    Again, good job on the article.
    I wish you well and the best to you and yours
    JAC

    • Creationism as science is a joke, I agree with that. Also there are probably some kernels of truth in the evolution theory. My problem is that evolution is treated as scientific law, which it is most emphatically is not and certainly has many holes and false claims involved with it. Both Creationism and Evolution taught as science in classes is flawed, they ought to both be presented as theories, which they both are.

      This issue is particularly emotional to people because it is so fundamental in determining who humans really are, what is their value and destiny, what is the worth of an individual. As such both evolution and creationism are ideologies much more than they are science, but evolution is constantly treated as immutable law, while creationism (the religious belief), is treated as a quackery. You don’t see people getting all worked up over Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

      I wasn’t really trying to debate the theory of evolution or creationism, I was simply trying to point out that both are theories and ideologies, but only one can be mentioned in the classroom. Undoubtedly, I did a bad job of making my point.

      • And with a little time to regroup I think you just did a fine job of making your point.

        I would just add that evolution is more of a scientific theory whereas creationism is more related to religious/philosophical. If evolution is taught properly, including all its warts.

        But theory is theory. It wasn’t all that long ago that evolutionary scientists starting to seriously question the “known fact” that dinosaurs were lizards or amphibians. Turns out their more closely related to birds in many ways.

        Even survival of the fittest is suspect. May be more like survival of the lucky.

        Until later
        JAC

  8. Michelle,

    I am curious as to what your ideas on special needs children education would be. I have two grandsons that fit in that category – one is ADHD and the other is Mosaic Down Syndrome, ages 9 and 6 respectively.

    Our daughter is a single mom and cannot in any way home school her boys and since her ex is not helping except for what the court has mandated she cannot afford private schools.

    I see no other way for her sons to get an education but from public schooling.

    • I have never experienced special needs education personally. I am aware that many people cannot homeschool their kids for a variety of reasons. As things currently are your daughter probably has no other choice unless she can get a friend or family member to homeschool her kids. I’ve heard of it happening, but certainly it would be difficult, especially with special needs kids.

      I don’t have specific solutions for this problem. She could probably supplement her kids education, as any parent can. Hopefully if some drastic changes come about the market of schooling will change dramatically and affordable private schools will emerge, people will take home more of their pay and be able to afford tuition and/or private scholarship programs will be plentiful at the primary and secondary levels of education.

      That’s a very vague and probably not helpful answer. I wish someone who knows more about special needs kids and creative homeschool solutions would give their input.

      • Thank you for your answer. The one thing that I have learned from my grandsons is that we all learn at different speeds and levels – with an entire different scope of learning for Down Syndrome, let alone the rare form of Mosaic Down Syndrome that the younger one has.

        My daughter was told that both boys would be “mentally retarded” . . . THAT hasn’t been the case at all! Both boys are very bright and very intelligent – the problem has been the public school system as they just do not take the time or make the effort to reach any of the students, let alone my grandsons. My daughter went in to a parent teacher conference last year and the younger boy’s teacher said that she just loved him and he was so cute, etc. etc., and when my daughter asked what was the teacher doing to help him learn she was told that he was learning just fine.

        Due to his Mosaic Down Syndrome he has childhood apraxia (doesn’t speak yet) so my daughter asked the teacher how she communicates with him (he has used American Sign Language for some time now on a limited basis) and the teacher told her she has had no problem – yeah, right!

        This year he is in a new school with a teacher that understands the problem, but those teachers are few and far between.

        Again thanks for the reply, it did help.

    • G.A.

      There is a way for her to homeschool, to some degree if she has the time.

      Her kids would qualify for medicaid through the Katie Beckett program. This allows in home therapy by specialists and aids. She can sit in and learn methods.

      Of course this won’t help if she is too far from a town with thearpists who will do home therapy and schooling.

      • JAC,

        I have never heard of the Katie Beckett program, do you have a link for some info on it? I would like to send that infor to my daughter if you do.

        • Do not but I’m guessing you could google. She has to go through a series of programs first. If she doesn’t qualify for any of the others Soc Sec Ins, Medicare, then Katie Beckett is the last funding mechanism because your income doesn’t count against you. The others are income determined.

          There are usually state folks and even some private folks in larger towns that can help her with whats out there and how to steer through the maze.

          It took us about 6 months to get our son qualified for Medicaid through Katie Beckett.

          The name is also the name of the legislation I believe and is the name of a young girl who was being forced to attend public school or clinical therapy. As I said, Reagan pushed hard to get this passed as he thought it imposed undo restrictions.

          If I come up with anything else I will pass it on.

          Best Wishes
          JAC

  9. Another great blog – later..

  10. Judy S. says:

    Hey JAC, I thought you were headed out today. How you doing? Saw your post from earlier and was surprised to see you still here. When do you head out? Went to the rendezvous today, and it was ok, kind of disappointing though, especially the Native American dancers. The men dancers weren’t there, just the girls, and only about 10 of them. They were I’d say between 8 and 16 and that’s it. They had a civil war skirmish, but what a farce that was. shooting at each other, but no body fell, until towards the end. I guess they’re bad shots. It wasn’t like when we used to do it, when the battles were much better. For the most part though, it was pretty good. We saw some of the people there that we used to do the encampment with. but not too many. At least there was no rain though, just some wind and clouds. A lot of people though that showed up for the event. They said the way the economy is, that’s why there wasn’t a lot more people who normally do this event didn’t show up. You might have liked it though, don’t know. We walked so much, my feet are killing me right now. Anyway, I thought I’d let you know about the rendezvous and how it was. If I don’t see an answer from you, I’ll assume you left for your trip. Take care, and hope to hear from you again soon. Hey, be careful ok.

    With regards to you
    Judy

    • Decided to mow lawn and get some other chores done first. It took longer than expected.
      Leaving 0dark thirty tomorrow.

      Thanks for the update. To bad it was not well attended. I wonder whats up with the native dancers. Maybe they had another event somewhere?

      Thanks again and see ya in a week or so.
      JAC

      • Have fun on your trip, and like I said, be careful. I like that odark thiry. You’re going to have to fill me in on what you did an all, ok. See ya later Jac.

        Your Reno bud

        Judy

  11. Well, all I can say about the school system now, is I’m glad my son’s aren’t in school anymore. It was bad enough when they were going. If they needed help with any of their school work, they couldn’t get any help before school started of even after wards. The teachers were always in a hurry to leave, and told them to seek help outside the school. There were a few exceptions though that were willing to help if needed. This was when they were in high school. When our oldest son was in the 4th grade, the teacher noticed that he wasn’t paying attention, and kept looking around and he had this tick he used to do. Well, come to find out, he had Attention deficit syndrome after we took him to the doctor. He put him on Ritalin, which seemed to help, but it also seemed to make zombie like, which we didn’t care for. He stayed on it for only about 3 months, then we took him off of it. He eventually outgrew the problem. Thank God for that. but I noticed when they were in school, they didn’t learn a lot about history or government like we did when I went to school. Heck, when I was in 8th grade, we had to know the constitution , the declaration of independence, All the amendments, and everything else that went a long with it before we were passed to the 9th grade, if we didn’t, we didn’t pass. The teachers actually took the time to teach. If you had to stay after school to finish, they were there with you. If you needed help with math, they helped. The same thing with all subjects. When our boys were in school, I got the impression that the teachers really didn’t want to take the time to help. But then when parent/teacher conference came, then they would say that Christopher or Matthew don’t seem to apply themselves, they don’t seem to know what they’re doing. Well, Gee, did you bother to explain how to do it what it is you ant them to do? Our boys said that some of the teachers expected you to know it. They more or less taught themselves Algebra, and that was using the computer at the time to seek that help on how to do it. I’m not saying all teachers are like that, just some. If you’re not willing to help a student, then why are you a teacher. That’s why we took them out, and our oldest got his GED, and our youngest went through a correspondence course through a high school from Scranton, Penn. He did so much better than he did at regular school. Got his diploma in half the time. If he needed any help, all he had to do was call the school and talk with a professor and he got the help he needed. I can’t say how things are now, since our son’s are grown and on their own. I was just going by what we experienced when they were in school. I hope things got better, and if they haven’t, I hope they improve.

  12. TexasChem says:

    HOLY SMOKES! Read this article!!

    Umm… what the hell! Razing low income parts of U.S. cities and buying them places in the suburbs!This is what my taxes are paying for!This is like some scary Atlas Shrugged nightmare.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/5516536/US-cities-may-have-to-be-bulldozed-in-order-to-survive.html

    • TexasChem says:

      Let’s see. Obama has appointed a pay czar to tell you what you will be paid. He will decide what car you will buy, how much you will pay for it. He’ll tell you what doctor to go to. He owns your bank – so he will decide if you get a loan or not.He will have the power soon to tell you where your child is going to go to school, what they are going to be taught AND use them in the Americorps while brainwashing them with socialist propoganda.Now he’s going to come in and tear down your house if he doesn’t like where you live.

      Is this the change you believed in?

      • TexasChem says:

        The best thing about all of this is that he is doing it with YOUR tax money! ! !

  13. TexasChem says:

    What is going on in our government with the current policy of kissing up to the Islamic world?Why does our government keep downplaying the role of christians in America?I just do not understand this.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/elections/2009/06/14/clinton-united-states-growing-diverse/

  14. Black Flag says:

    Reading an earlier comment:

    What homeschooler’ figure out quickly is that not every person needs the same education.

    Not everyone needs to write like master.

    Not everyone needs to do math or science like Einstein.

    All adults use the tools they need to get by in their lives – and not much more than that. Certainly the probably specialize in an area of their occupation, but that’s the point.

    The Public School system wants robots – essentially all the same.

    The Free Market System would cater to all the different and diverse educational desires of their customers – and not provide a one-die-cast model.

    etc.

    • USWeapon says:

      BF,

      This is a great point and one that is missed by many people when talking about education. The concept that everyone must learn the same skills is flawed from the beginning. I submit that almost everyone who went to school at some point during an algebra course said that “I am never going to use this crap in real life”. And I further submit that for a great deal of those who said it, they were correct, they never used it again.

      My ideas around privatization of the education system hinges on this fact. It allows parents to choose a school that will cater to the needs of their particular child. A specialized education based on what will be needed later. It sure is nice that I am fortunate enough to be “well rounded” and have some knowledge on a lot of subjects. But I did not need all of this knowledge to be good at the careers I have done thus far. And the majority of what I have learned I learned outside of schools.

      • JayDickB says:

        USW – I think too much specialization too early can be dangerous. Although we may never use algebra or even higher math, I think learning such subjects at a fairly young age improves overall mental ability.

        For example, I took 24 semester hours of philosophy in college (50 years ago). Have I used it? No, not directly; I couldn’t even keep up with the discussions we recently had on philosophy. But it improved my thinking and analytic ability so that I was able to have a reasonably successful career.

  15. Judy S. says:

    I hate to what this country will be like when Obama’s term is up. He’s spending money like it’s going out of style, dictating what we’re going to be driving,how we’re going be living,and where probably, where our kids go to school, how much we make, taking over the car manufacture’s, taking over banks, who is going to be our doctor’s, who will be the more important for doctors to see, and what ever else there might be that I might have forgotten. Is this the kind of change people voted for? I hope now that they have regretted voting for him, and I’m sure glad I didn’t. Are they happy with having to pay higher taxes? I’m not. I understand now that he wants another $600 billion for higher taxes. Just where does all this stop at? When this country is so broke, it will never recover? And how about him wanting to cut the defense budget, what’s up with that? How is our military suppose to defend this country with budget cuts in that department? I am not happy with the way this president is handling our country. Going to other countries apologizing for America. Apologizing for what, defending ourselves, believing we are a Christian country for which we were founded on? I thought we were free country, I guess I’m wrong in believing that now. Freedom to make the choices we feel what’s right for us. Not what the government thinks they should be. The possibility of taking away what rights we have, and how we choose to use them. I’m sick of it, and I’m sick of hearing all the BS he keeps coming up with. He has not kept any of these so called promises he made, especially when it comes to all the pork out there, that he said there will be none of. Yea! right. He is by far the worst president we ever had, and that’s including Jimmy Carter, and he was bad. I hate to see how things are going to be for our children, and their children, God only knows what’s going to happen. I’m getting very discouraged with the way things are going. It’s not getting better, it’s getting worse. Unemployment up, people losing their jobs, their homes. Unemployment has gone up to 10% here in Reno, and foreclosures haven’t improved all that much either. Yea! Obama is doing a really good job in running things.

    • USWeapon says:

      Judy,

      Don’t get too panicked yet. We have seen worse in this country, and recovered. What we have to do is remain level headed and find out what the right solutions are to our current situation. If we panic, we will make bad decisions. That is what the politicians do, make bad decisions because the situation looks “dire”. Or force bad decisions on us because we are panicked. I will address this further soon, maybe in tonight’s post or in tomorrow’s

      USW

      • Judy S. says:

        USW, It’s not that I’m getting panicked, maybe discouraged is the wrong term, I don’t know. Maybe what I mean, is that I’m so fed up with the way things are being run right now, you just want to scream at the top of your lungs, and say hey, wait a minute stop and think of what you’re doing and how this is going to effect every body, you know. What I feel is this way. I feel that he is NOT listening to us or anybody, and just going along and doing what ever he feels like doing. It’s like he’s still campaigning and making promises, but nothing is getting done except raises taxes on every body, even on those who can’t possibly pay any more. Take my sister for example. She works for the Oakland Police Dept, has been for 10 years. Well they cut her hours, which means a cut in pay,ok. Now, she has to take mandatory days off without pay because of the budget cuts in Calif. They raised her house payments which she has to rob peter to pay paul. She has tried to get her payments re modified, but she owes more than what her house is worth. Thee same thing with us on that. They told her there is no way they can help her. So she’s stuck unless she just walks away. She has applied for a second job, but has no luck in finding anything. Her property taxes has gone up, but can’t pay. Her paycheck has gone from $3000 a month to half that. Now come the 18th of this month, she’s going to find our if she still has a job or not because they are cutting more jobs. Right now she said that some of the cops are doing the work that other people were doing because of the cuts. Plus she said they are cutting some of the police officers jobs as well, because of the cuts.I can go on and on, but I think you get the point here. We told my sister, if things get that bad, she’s more than welcome to come live with us, that we would manage. Heck, we have our mom living with us now, so why not her too. Our dad passed away in 1998, our brother passed away in 1992 at the ripe old age of 40. So that left me, my sister and my mom. We all doing what we can in order to make ends meet on both sides here. Yes, I know, it’s not just us, it’s everybody, and that’s what I mean about the way Obama is running or ruining this country USW. I know it’s not hopeless, and it’s going to take time, but I feel he’s really not doing anything to help anybody, except for himself.

  16. Chris Devine says:

    Michelle,
    could you forward me the source for that John Dewey quote, “Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming, where everyone is interdependent.”

    I’d like to check that one out. From what I can tell Dewey never wrote anything called Human Events and the only thing I can find when searching for ‘John Dewey’ and ‘Human Events’ is this:

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Human_Events

    Maybe I’m just a stickler, but perhaps you should cite the original source rather than a conservative blog who is obviously hostile towards the man.

    My $.02

    • I did not use the internet at all to research the article I wrote, I used only John Stormer’s book, “None Dare Call It Education”. I cited the quote as coming from Human Events 10/18/96, because Stormer cited that reference. I did not check Stormer’s source, I admit.

      Just looking it up, “Human Events” is indeed a conservative news/opinion paper. I have never heard of it before. I was unable to find out where “Human events” found the quote since apparently their online version does not go back as far as 1996 (the dark ages).

      I took for granted that Stormer’s sources were accurate and I still believe the quote was accurate and came from Dewey, however it is possible it was taken out of context. But I’m not sure how you could say what he said in any context and have it be excusable.

      I have a copy of the Humanist Manifesto, which Dewey helped to author, on my shelf here at home and the views he and his friends expressed are in line with what is written in the Humanist Manifesto. The eleventh “article of faith” for Humanism is “Reasonable and Manly attitudes will be fostered by education and supported by custom. We assume that humanism will take the path of social and mental hygiene and discourage sentimental and unreal hopes and wishful thinking.” Some of the things they found to unhygenic, again from that Document,

      “We are convinced that the time has passed for theism, deism, modernism, and the several varieties of ‘new thought'”.

      “Religious humanism maintains that all associations and institutions exist for the fulfillment of human life. The intelligent evaluation, transformation, control, and direction of such associations and institutions with a view to the enhancement of human life is the purpose and program of humanism. Certainly religious instituitions, their ritualistic forms, ecclesiastical methods, and communal activities must be reconstituted as rapidly as experience allows, in order to function effectively in the modern world.”

      “The humanists are firmly convinced that existing aquisative and profit-motivated society has shown itself to be inadequate and that a radical change in methods, controls, and motives must be instituted. A social and cooperative economic order must be established to the end that the equitable distribution of the means of life be possible. The goal of humanism is a free and universal society in which people voluntarily and intelligently cooperate for the common good. Humanists demand a shared life and a shared world.”

      I have no problem with people believeing these things, but the humanists go further and force their worldview and goals on everyone else.

      I am glad, you checked in Chris, it’s been far too tame without you.

  17. Michelle,

    Thank you very much for this article. I was totally un-aware of how and when our education system was hijacked. As the father of two school aged children, this is need to know information.

  18. JayDickB says:

    Michelle – Good article, interesting topic.

    Is there much online help, especially actual courses, for home schooling? I have heard of small public schools using online courses for subjects they don’t have qualified teachers for.

    Do you think online eduction has the potential to help break the public teachers unions’ monopoly on education?

    • Yes, there are tons of online courses for homeschoolers. Some are adopted by states as “free” education for homeschoolers since the state pickes up the tab. Idaho for example use the K-12 and Connections programs. But there are many private homeschools courses as well. Most of them are religious, as most private schools are religious. They are expensive, but not nearly as expensive as a private school tuition. Many online courses are accreditied and offer diplomas.

      I personally do not use them because of the cost and because I wish to tailor my children’s education to my and their needs.

      Homeschooling in general is a huge threat to the teacher’s unions, and as such has been attacked ferociously, but I’m not sure if online courses themselves contribute any more than the general homeschool movement. Perhaps they do, since many parents who feel unsure of themselves or who want a pre-made curriculum can use them, when they otherwise would leave their children in school.

    • Black Flag says:

      There are so many resources to help educate your children… that is the least of the problems 🙂

      I strongly urge anyone interested in homeschooling to seek out a homeschool support group. They are a group of like-minded people, and can help, guide and answer almost any question about homeschooling.

  19. So what are kids learning in school?

    Some statistics: According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 86 percent of mothers who give birth out-of-wedlock are teenagers. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, only 40 percent of teenage mothers ever graduate high school; two-thirds of families begun by an unmarried teen mother are poor; and “Virtually all of the increase in child poverty between 1980 and 1996 was related to the increase in nonmarital childbearing.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/sarah-knoploh/2009/06/15/16-pregnant-no-big-deal

    • Chris Devine says:

      Given the time-span (1980-96), couldn’t this be seen as more of a problem regarding the failures of ‘abstinence only’ sex ed pushed by the Reagan and Bush administrations?

      Besides, I don’t think kids (rich or poor) need school to learn how to copulate.

      Here’s a little background on Newsbusters:

      http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Media_Research_Center

      • Given the time-span (1980-96), couldn’t this be seen as more of a problem regarding the failures of ‘abstinence only’ sex ed pushed by the Reagan and Bush administrations? No. Reagan advocated abstinence education. Bush 2 brought us abstinence ONLY.

        Will you state there is something wrong with teaching abstinence as part of a sex education program?

        I will state Bush’s ‘abstinence only’ was and is a stupid ideal that denies reality. Teenagers have hormones.

        “Besides, I don’t think kids (rich or poor) need school to learn how to copulate.”

        Allow me to disagree. “only 40 percent of teenage mothers ever graduate high school; two-thirds of families begun by an unmarried teen mother are poor” Do they not need to be taught the consequences of their actions. Get pregnant before graduation means you will likely live in poverty the rest of your life. According to Anne Coulter’s “Guilty”(I haven’t read, don’t much care for her style)75% of our prison population comes from single mother homes.

        Newsbusters is a biased site, that puts a conservative “spin” on what they report. That does not invalidate everything they report, or you would have to say the same about Maddow & company.

        And look at how you and them are still blaming crap on Reagan. He’s dead, get over it already. Man up and give me a real reason why we should accept teenage pregnancy as being OK? Add to that out-of-wedlock pregnancy and child rearing? Do you like seeing these people living in poverty? That is the result of the liberal agenda of idolizing single motherhood. Go ahead, call me a “hater”, because I think there is a NECESSARY stigma that it is appropriate to voice to people like that. I also feel, since I am paying for all that “free” help they receive, I have every right to speak my mind.

        • Chris Devine says:

          Of course you should tell kids to wait. I don’t see anything wrong with that. But I distinctly remember the controversy over sex ed programs that discussed contraception in that era.

          I didn’t mean to imply that you should disregard everything Newsbusters says. I only wanted to provide some context to their comments. Full disclosure, that’s all.

          The reason I think the Reagan/Bush era is relevant is because it was at that time that the blame for our societal problems was placed squarely on the shoulders of schools, teachers, movies and musicians. Nobody ever seems to blame parents for their pregnant teens: it’s the sex on TV and in the movies that causes it. Or it’s the frank discussion of sex that puts the idea into kids’ heads. Besides, I think the hero worshipers who want to put Reagan on Mt. Rushmore and the $10 bill are the ones who should take credit for keeping the Gipper in the news.

          I’m not in favor of teen pregnancy. I just think that we should give up the puritan BS and treat kids responsibly by giving them accurate and practical information. How on Earth could you possibly think that people of any political leaning are in favor of teenage pregnancy?

          • Oh Devine One,

            A good response, and we have common ground on most.
            Since you did not heed my warning on Reagan, I will start blaming everything on the failed Carter/Clinton era that Obama is resurrecting.LOL

            “How on Earth could you possibly think that people of any political leaning are in favor of teenage pregnancy?” Cause and effect.

            If you plant a seed, and a flower grows, is it a surprise? If you give a young mother “free” housing and food, does it surprise you that she raises her children EXPECTING that treatment? Clinton’s welfare reform was working, and has been reversed by the Stimulus Act. This will increase the poverty level in America. This was a deliberate act to expand this group of people
            who are dependent on the government for nearly everything. They repay this with their votes to those who promise them more “free” assistance.

            So yes, I do think they are “for” teenage pregnancy, and are exploiting these people to keep power, and advance their agenda.

  20. Somehow, the consequence issue regarding teen pregnancy gets overlooked in the heat of the moment. How many of us older guys remember friends of ours who promised undying love and devotion in exchange for a few moments of grope, feel, copulate and, when the rabbit died (there I am showing just how old I am again), took off for parts unknown leaving the girl to deal with it.

    It is like Aids, why in the name of God is anyone still getting infected? It’s like drug addiction, where the user knows he can “control” the drug.

    I’m sorry but education is wonderful but with the lack of a social stigma, and the left’s need for a steady supply of new victims, sex ed is nothing other than a “how to” program.

    • Chris Devine says:

      If you seriously think the left wants or needs victims then I don’t know what to say. In my view the left’s politics of empathy is all about recognizing how difficult life can be and helping others through troubled times. Why do you need a stigma when the facts about lower chances of opportunity should be enough of a deterrent? Do we really need to add insult to injury?

      I guess you never saw those pictures I did in health class of diseased genitals. That scared me a whole lot more than what the neighbors might think.

      • 1. And how do you think those genitals got diseased? Passion of the moment overruling brain I would think.

        2. You help other people better if you dissuade them from actions that will lead to troubled times. If A then B. However, if you do that, you eventually put yourself out of business or at least shrink your business. Social work schools will close, abortion clinics shut down.

        3. The stigma dissuaded people a whole lot better than education does. The numbers here, don’t lie.

        4. I can’t insult them enough. Dumb is dumb, stupid is stupid, wrong is wrong. You previously said I see things in black and white. In this case, witnessing first hand for forty years the end result, up close and personal, the same as a cop in a big city does, I plead guilty. I am a broad, open minded guy, always have been, but, there comes a time when one must say “no mas” for the simple reason that to do otherwise makes you an enabler. In my youth I was, I no longer am. Show me someone who, through no fault of their own is having a hard time, I will be there with my hand out first. Show me someone who made a bad choice and I will scream, “Learn from it!”

        You and I are diametrically opposed. I see you for what you are and salute your passion and dedication. I too have passion and dedication, have spent my life helping folks and saved a good chunk of NYC along the way. I know it’s ancient history to most but the “compassion” of the Lindsay years in New York, without requiring any self restraint or self improvement in those we were compassionate for almost destroyed the city. It did destroy many others, Hartford, Newark, Detroit, Camden all come to mind in my neck of the woods. Philadelphia is still in the process of devolving. When the requirement for self restraint and self improvement was imposed in the Guilliani years, the city soared as it hadn’t since the 1940’s. People can scoff or dismiss this as coincidence if they want to but when you are by nature an observer, a believer in the scientific method and just happen to be “boots on the ground” when and where its happening, well, let’s just say it was not an accident.

        Best to you,

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