What Are They Teaching In Our Schools? Anything??

Posted 23 months ago|3 comments|777 views
Written by
Virginia Beach, VA
A parent in Norfolk, Va., complained that a special ed teacher injected Islamic indoctrination into the classroom.

The story broke in the local paper only because the fifth-grade student was slightly injured, and the mother reported it. This teacher spent two days trying to make her students learn a Muslim "hand sign," according to the criminal complaint.

A spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations said that he had never heard of any hand signs in his faith.

This odd dispute prompted many questions. Local citizens wanted to know why this teacher was trying to make her students learn Islamic doctrine. A bigger question is, why was this teacher bringing religion of any kind into the classroom? What about the separation of church and state?

The broadest question of all was hardly discussed. Why are fifth-graders spending time on something marginal and specialized, when there's a whole world of information they haven't learned?

The pattern in public schools, for almost a century, has been that extremists of one kind or another try to push aside essential academic information to make room for their personal ideologies.

This teacher of Muslim hand signs is in a direct line going all the way back to John Dewey. He and his Progressive followers announced that schools were wasting too much time on "mere learning," as Dewey put it. Instead, schools should teach children to be cooperative members of a more collectivist society.

Muslim hand signs, especially given that they don't exist, are the perfect symbol of what is wrong with our public schools. These schools don't take care of teaching essential facts and skills because they are so heavily engaged in the trivial and tangential.

To have any chance of success, students must learn to read, write and count in the first few grades. Then the students move on to geography, history, science, literature and the arts generally. Our Education Establishment, notoriously irresponsible, will say, "Oh, we don't believe in drill and kill." But they're all in favor of fiddle and faddle.

Far more than most parents realize, throughout American public education there's a deep hostility toward knowledge (i.e., actually knowing anything). This hostility needs to be understood, directly confronted, and driven out of the schools. The all-too-common formula is to teach little and to teach it inefficiently. Why not teach more and teach it cleverly?

Arithmetic? Reform Math curricula turn children into basket cases. Reading? Memorizing sight-words nullifies that ability. Knowledge in general? The schools have a variety of evasions: a) such-and-such information is not necessary or too difficult; and b) we need to devote more time, for example, to Muslim hand signs. See how it works? By any pretext possible, public schools create intellectual wastelands.

Instead of driving knowledge out of the schools, we should be bringing more in, singing its praises, and making sure kids learn more, more, more. The human brain is designed to want new knowledge. You could build a world-class school on two principles: facts are fun; and knowledge is power.

Unfortunately, our corrupt Education Establishment believes that facts are too much trouble and knowledge is a waste of time.

Would you like to annoy our Education Establishment? Don't settle for dumbing-down. Instead, do everything possible to promote literacy for all, real math, and genuine academic, intellectual and scientific content.


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23 months ago: Well said, Bruce.

The teacher probably thought it was more important to save their souls from hellfire than trouble them with no book-larnin.

But I mainly came here to make a joke - I think I've seen those Islamic hand signals being used on the highways when people cut in. It's one finger pointed to the heavens.
23 months ago: I haven't read everything you wrote, but the most glaring positive need for good education today rests on the format we use here. In yesteryear's world people got along very well without being able to read. In yesterday's world people got along pretty well being able to read with effort and persistence. Lawyers could read your fine print for you and there was little need to read, assimilate and use printed information. Good literacy was more a recreation than a daily need. But in today's world good literacy is needed for job performance, for recreation and to read google maps on your hand held. Accompanying our increased need to easily understand written information we have media and advertising, blasting us with additional and often unwanted information almost everywhere. I'm saying, the need for good literacy, for an ability to read, understand and use information, is much, much higher today than yesterday. Unless you live in a tribal outback where hand signals contain the really important information.
23 months ago: Reading and writing are extremely important in the technological age. I just wish people would take it more to heart about how to do it properly.

Making learning fun is usually good, as long as it doesn't take longer to get the point across. So far with the kids and grandkids, encouraging them to read and teaching them how to faster than the schools do, has improved their ability to comprehend and learn new facts and skills. Sometimes it's hard to get them to do chores, but as long as they get to them soon, not too many demerits.

I never understood why they wanted to make math, basic math, more difficult than +, –, ×, and ÷. Some of the stuff they tried to make my kids do in school was just stupid and made it so hard for them to learn the basic concepts that we taught them how to do it correctly and then how to do it the other way (once we learned how). Most of what they were trying to teach made sense, if you were an accountant at a job after school, but not to an elementary school student.

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