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May 26, 2009

The State of Public Education

Could reading, writing, and arithmetic lessons possibly be eliminated from public school curricula? In The Weekly Standard, Charlotte Allen gives an eye-opening report on her attendance at the American Education Research Association's annual meeting. (Note: Article contains sexual themes.)

Besides allowing homegrown terrorist Bill Ayers a platform at which to speak, other "progressive" educators promoted the harebrained idea of allowing little Billy or Sally to "decide" what material they preferred to study. It spreads ripples of terror to think of how many children are constructing their own universe. 

If it were not so darned serious, the session on mathematics would be a hoot to read. A professor from Virginia Commonwealth University suggested that teaching students the rules of mathematics is wrong.  

[Gabriel] Reich was trying to explain to me why it was presumptuous for professional mathematicians (and many parents) to be up in arms about the currently fashionable constructivist idea that instead of explaining to youngsters, say, how to do long division, teachers should let them count, subtract, make an educated guess, or otherwise figure out their own ways to solve division problems. College math professors may complain that young people taught the constructivist way arrive in their classrooms unable to perform the basic operations necessary to move on to calculus, but so what? "Why should we privilege professional mathematicians?" Reich asked. Long division, multiplication--"those are just algorithms, and a calculator can do them faster than we can. Most of the people here at this meeting don't think of themselves as good at math, and they don't think math is creative. [The constructivist approach] is a way to make math creative for many people who never thought of it that way."

With ideas like this being sold by institutions like VCU to impressionable young future public teachers, parents with young children might want to consider living in a hut in order to send their little ones to private schools.

But before parents choose this alternative, they should note that Allen's piece isn't entirely devoid of all hope for public education. Read it to find out why.

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The first about 3/4of this article sounded like a kind of Science Fiction

"Militant Marxists market the Gay lifestyle and then curse Capitalism...all coming to a child's textbook & classroom near you...but Still Stuck with pesky math principles which can't be as easily transformed into Education Lite - like (for instance) my lightweight former "social studies" school textbooks!!!

Her descriptions would be funny---if not true.

(PS note a recurring theme in current US Society - the Chicago Connection - Stale 60's radicalism - regurgitated into a public school near you??? courtesy of Distinguished Unrepentant Radical Professor Bill Ayers.)

Since she is said to be a scholar of medieval times, this article's author is used to practicing/reading/studying in a genre where honor, search for truth, and use of rational thot are still valued.

But the bottom of the article shows---the serfs are starting to rebel...

and demanding to for rigorous coursework instead of doing busywork and "coloring" to get an educational master's degree...

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