Scroll down to find Articles and Videos, Online Education Opportunities, and Quotables.
Underground History of American Education | John Taylor Gatto
A very interesting look at the history of American Education. "As you'll learn when you read The Underground History of American Education the new purpose of schooling—to serve business and government—could only be achieved efficiently by isolating children from the real world, with adults who themselves were isolated from the real world, and everyone in the confinement isolated from one another."
<<...on April 11, 1933, Max Mason, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, announced to insiders that a comprehensive national program was underway to allow, in Mason’s words, “the control of human behavior.”>>
<<Abundant data exist to show that by 1840 the incidence of complex literacy in the United States was between 93 and 100 percent, wherever such a thing mattered>>
<<We trade the liberty of our kids and our free will for a secure social order and a very prosperous economy. It’s a bargain in which most of us agree to become as children ourselves, under the same tutelage which holds the young, in exchange for food, entertainment, and safety. The difficulty is that the contract fixes the goal of human life so low that students go mad trying to escape it.>>
<<Adam Smith has correctly instructed us for more than two centuries now that the wealth of nations is the product of freedom, not of tutelage. The connection between the corporate economy, national politics, and schooling is a disease of collectivism which must be broken if children are to become sovereign, creative adults, capable of lifting a free society to unimaginable heights. The rational management model has damaged the roots of a free society and the free market it claims to defend.>>
Click here to read all or sections of this provocative book online. Interesting chapter--> School as a Religion.
Schools of Education | Walter E. Williams
<<Education professors drum into students that they should not "drill and kill" or be the "sage on the stage" but instead be the "guide on the side" who "facilitates student discovery." This kind of harebrained thinking, coupled with multicultural nonsense, explains today's education. During his teacher education, Sand says, "teachers-to-be were forced to learn about this ethnic group, that impoverished group, this sexually anomalous group, that under-represented group, etc. -- all under the rubric of 'Culturally Responsive Education.'"...Textbooks used in schools of education advocate sheer nonsense. [Read the article for examples!] Schools of education represent the academic slums of most any college. American education can benefit from slum removal.>>
Reference: No Wonder Johnny (Still) Can't Read by Larry Sand
Click chart for the Freakonmics article. Great comments below:
<<“There is a (very) small silver lining: the amount of available subsidies and tax credits have roughly doubled since 2007, from about $7 billion to an estimated $14.8 billion.”
Umm… “silver lining”? If I have $100 that I’m willing and able to spend on education and Uncle Sam coughs up a $10 subsidy, how much am I now willing and able to pay? How much do you think the school is going to charge me? I’m betting $110. I think your silver lining is a trojan horse.>>
<<When the main consumers of a good are told it will solve most of their future problems, and are given access to a lot of free/low interest money to purchase this good at an age where they are manifestly unprepared to actually make such a decision what do you think they will do?>>
Debate about Education Reform | Joanne Jacobs reports
...between Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Frederick M. Hess, education policy director at the American Enterprise Institute. Moderated by Fordham.
Being in WI, here's some more background on issues raised in the 1 1/2 hr debate - mostly by Randi W., AFT Pres. (click title for video)
Read the text of the fake interview call Walker gets. Note the over-the-top rhetoric of Murphy trying to bait Walker into saying something nasty. Walker politely redirects time and again.
Walker received little to nothing from fire/police unions; "he is concerned that his budget bill may lead to walkouts by some public employees. He didn't recommend changing the rules for cops and firefighters because he said Wisconsin can't afford for them to leave those positions vacant for even a short period...'To me, that's not an area to mess around with,' Walker told the Journal Sentinel."
It is about budgets: e.g., "...Kaukauna’s switch from WEA Trust to WCA Group Health Trust will be part of an overhaul that is projected to turn a $400,000 deficit into a $1.5 million surplus. ...Part of these savings hinge on higher deductibles for eligible members."
Other good stuff about a district's ability to "shop" for benefits/participation (e.g., collective bargaining prohibited school districts from seeking insurance coverage from any company other than WEA Trust."
Taxpayers are captives: Previously - A) PUBLIC-sector unions provide $$ to politicians (95% Dem), B) mandatory union dues are taken directly out of paychecks, which then fund union admin and political contributions (go back to A).
GE is a crony capitalist in bed with government officials - not a free market business. "Fairness" is in the eye of the beholder. The top 1% of taxpayers pay 39% of all taxes (and taxing them their ENTIRE wealth would pay down a miniscule fraction of debt and leave nothing else).
Randi's assumptions include that there are "modest salaries in the private sector" and that the Union resolution to retirement is "modest wages and deferred compensation in terms of pensions." Whereas in WI, "Teachers' average salaries are increasing next year, from $56,500 to $59,500 in 2011-'12. When wages and benefits are combined, an average teacher will make $101,091 next year, said Budget Manager Deborah Wegner," which is more than the average taxpayer.
Randi complains that high-minded policies (from Fed/state regs) are hard to implement and to ensure they happen - IMHO that's the relationship one engages in when taxpayer money is taken and redirected to Educators/Education department.
Education spending has tripled since 1970s. Randi is troubled by looking at spending numbers, because there's been a 50% increase in high-cost, special needs children. I have to question how that increase occurred - follow the money and the expansion of the definition and identification of those who have special needs (and Ritalin). She also says that the countries that "out-compete" us don't have the pensions we have (umm...doesn't help her case). She says high school teachers have 150-200 kids/day (doesn't jibe with my experience with 125/day - so it makes me wonder where that number comes from). I was wondering what her arguments would be in this interview...
"...The author tells where this [watered-down courses] will lead:
'Suddenly it all became clear. This framework does not expect our students to be able to do any science, or to be able to solve any science problem. This framework simply teaches our students science appreciation, rather than science. It expects our students to become good consumers of science and technology, rather than prepare them to be the discoverers of science and creators of technology.'..."
"...The infamous "National History Standards" written for public schools encourage ... ignoring or debunking the events and people that reveal the noble impulse behind so much of American history. Meanwhile the standards dwell endlessly on the 'problems' of the past in order to make our present diminishing freedoms seem not only palatable, but praiseworthy... History is such a fascinating subject and can be studied in so many different ways: chronologically; by reading biographies and autobiographies; or by concentrating on certain eras and events...
Knowing how important it was to start indoctrinating children as early as possible, Bloom wrote: 'The evidence points out convincingly to the fact that age is a factor operating against attempts to effect a complete or thorough-going reorganization of attitudes and values. The evidence collected thus far suggests that a single hour of classroom activity under certain conditions may bring about a major reorganization in cognitive as well as affective behaviors.'
In other words, a 'single hour' of public school indoctrination may be enough to turn that child away from his parents’ values and religious beliefs, thus creating conflict and alienation at home..."
8 Alternatives to College | James Altucher | "Whenever I suggest 'don’t send your kids to college' a lot of very smart people invariably come back with the response, 'well what else should they do.' And this amazes me. I guess it's really hard to figure out what people of the ages 18-23 should do during the most vibrant, healthy years of their lives when they grow from being a child to an adult..."
Don't Send Your Kids to College | James Altucher | "...One idea: start a business. You don’t need to be an entrepreneur to get valuable experience selling a service, or buying some set of goods cheap and selling them expensive. A year or two of that will be a massive education in salesmanship, finance, and how to deal with the ups and downs of any business. And if you’re missing out on the 500 page books on The Deconstruction of Televisionthen buy a Kindle and read in your spare time. Maybe travel a bit. Or learn to paint. All of these things can be done cheap, will provide massive life experience, and maybe even make some money..."
10 More Reasons Parents Should Not Send Their Kids to College | James Altucher | "...I took an enormous amount of classes in Computer Science. None of which helped me in my first actual non-academic job. In fact, I was so bad at computers after going to both undergrad Cornell in Computer Science and graduate school at Carnegie Mellon in Computer Science that my first non-academic job (HBO) had to send me to two months of training courses at AT&T so I could learn a thing or two about how computers were used in the real world."
Dissing a College Degree | Community College Spotlight | “The cost of college . . . has grown far too high, the return far too uncertain, the education far too lax,” skeptics say..."
An Anti-College Backlash | Professor X | "...In June of last year  the Federal Reserve released new figures showing that the nation's total student loan debt now sits at about $830 billion - for the first time surpassing the nation's credit card debt. Student loan debt, it should be noted, is in many respects less forgiving than credit card debt...colleges in general had become more focused on the bottom line than in my day. The system had ended up expanding in ways that industry always expands: by jacking up prices, putting money into public relations, and broadening the customer base by marketing even to customers dubiously served by the product..."
Look at the UnCollege :)
A Few Articles to Explore
>>Career grads outearn 4-year grads
>>Jeb Bush's Influence on Education Policy Spreads -- Not long after leaving office, he launched the Foundation for Excellence in Education,
>>Get a job, son ... vocational education is getting a fresh look -- "My father, a New Yorker, graduated from high school at sixteen. He applied to Columbia University, was accepted, but was told he had to wait a year until he was seventeen. The family story is that his mother, quickly tiring of his continually wearing out sneakers playing handball, told him to go out and get a job. Finding a job ad in the New York Times for an all-purpose-assistant-no-experience-needed, he applied for it. The business was a small English antiques firm run by the two aging and fussy owners. After an intense interview, they offered him not a job, but a three week, no- salary training and testing period. If he passed, his salary would be six dollars a week. The first day, he was painstakingly taught how to wrap a package. The next day they instructed him on how carefully to move a piece of furniture without nicking it. And after three weeks, he was offered the job. My dad left that firm sixty years later."
>>Fairy Tales Aren't for Wussies - a fun look at the lessons in Tolkien's trilogy.
>>International Baccalaureate (IB) in Bedford, Anti-American? (video) -- impressed by the IB program? It's where you learn to identify yourself "with a world community, rather than US citizenship and American sovereignty. No US History or Civics courses..." It adheres to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN (chaired by a Cuban 2008-2011).
"On Community College Spotlight, a veteran professor shares his first-day welcome to students: You are adults in this class. Act like adults.
Also, two major for-profit education companies are denying enrollment to high school drop-outs, even if they’re able to pass a basic-skills test. These students are twice as likely to default on student loans as high school graduates or GED holders." HT Joanne Jacobs for this and the one below.
"...Martin West observes that Americans rate their local middle schools far lower than elementaries in the EdNext-PEPG Survey. 'Rockoff and Lockwood’s research suggests that parents are onto something – and that the emerging trend toward shuttering middle schools and replacing them with K-8s is an encouraging development.'”
Athens, Fourth Century BC = Greece, 2010 | commencement speech, given on May 22nd by Dr. Macchiarola, chancellor of St. Francis College
"'In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life and they lost it all—security, comfort and freedom... When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free.'...These words, written by 18th Century Historian Edward Gibbon are as relevant today as they were in the Fourth Century B.C.....
...the legal profession is the first profession of modern society. Lawyers form and shape the system of laws that govern us and you have to live by the principles of justice that our society requires. If you fail us, you betray the ideals of the rule of law that are necessary for the survival of a democratic society. You sow the seeds of civic despair...How do you maintain your financial commitments to family and to your own beliefs when the temptations to ignore those beliefs are so great? How can you stay true to what you think you should do when all around you are signs that your standards of right doing might be more exacting than technical readings of the law suggest?...well formed ideals are the bedrock requirement of a happy life. The first of these is to remember that you cannot serve your clients when you compromise what you truly believe. If a client serves purposes that are not in the interests of our society and not consistent with your values, you are under no obligation to serve that client...."
If not college, then what? Joanne Jacob's blog; guest blogger 5/18/10
Great discussion about college degrees and their affect on futures -- See also NYT's Plan B: Skip College: "...
College degrees are simply not necessary for many jobs. Of the 30 jobs projected to grow at the fastest rate over the next decade in the United States, only seven typically require a bachelor’s degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics...Among the top 10 growing job categories, two require college degrees: accounting (a bachelor’s) and postsecondary teachers (a doctorate). But this growth is expected to be dwarfed by the need for registered nurses, home health aides, customer service representatives and store clerks. None of those jobs require a bachelor’s degree."
Questions to ask your child about school (4/10 newsletter, p.4)
"...Rather than asking your child how he is doing, ask him what he is learning. Make the dialogue an animated discussion of the content of his education. Show interest, listen carefully, respond enthusiastically, follow up! To that end, I have created a list of the sort of questions I think make for a great conversation at home, and one that sends the right message about the purpose of education.
1. Tell me about one of the villains you have read about in literature.
2. Tell me about a character you admire.
3. Who is the funniest character you have encountered in a novel?
4. Who among the figures of history would you most like to have been?
5. What’s the funniest/most gruesome/most consequential story [your teacher] has told you about history?
6. About whom have you learned in history that you’d like to know more about? (Then help them go do it!)
7. I hear you sometimes make up your own word problems in math. Want to try to stump me with one?
8. Have you learned anything useful in math you think you could teach me (or your sibling)?
9. Tell me about something that was hard for you to understand at first but now you are really proud to grasp.
10. When we go outside, is there something that you can point to and talk about because you learned about it in science?"
Professor, Do Your Job | Stanley Fish 9/08
The classroom is not a political platform...
John H. McWhorter
Two sides to an issue at the least...
Seven professors comment on a controversial theory: "...the key reason why few conservatives go into the teaching profession is that the stereotype of the job of a professor just doesn’t fit the image they have of themselves..." Do you agree with the responses?
"...Only 3 percent of Detroit's fourth-graders scored proficient... the same story for Detroit's eighth-graders. Four percent scored proficient, 18 percent basic and 77 percent below basic ... The academic performance of black students in other large cities such as Philadelphia, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles is not much better than Detroit and Washington..."
Sowell points out that these abysmal results are not due to teacher salaries or a lack of "role models" for black children. In addition, "Schools of education, either graduate or undergraduate, represent the academic slums of most any university. They are home to the least able students and professors. Schools of education should be shut down..."
Freedom Project Education
K-12 online classical school
Business PhD: Everything about furthering your education in Business
Gifted LearningLinks: K-12 can take enrichment, high school honors, AP®, and university credit courses courses onlines.
Who Needs Harvard?: Your Online Future Starts Now. Five online learning myths.
UCLA Perceptual & Adaptive learning Technology in Mathematics
Western Governors University Click here for article about WGU.
TED - Ideas Worth Spreading: 1000s of 18" talks by experts on all subjects
OpenLearningExchange: they tout the coming of a "Billion Kid Library;" let's see.
KhanAcademy: Thousands of videos on YouTube covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to differential equations, physics, chemistry, biology and finance.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) puts all its courses online for free.
Youtube offers free video lectures, etc. in cooperation with academic partners.
CosmoLearning gives us online courses and documentaries on a variety of subjects.
The CampusCenter will offer online courses soon. Keep checking back.
Wilkes University offers online graduate and post-graduate education.
India gives us online video courses and supplemental experiences to enhance engineering/science and humanities education.
American Public University
Memoria Press offers online and self-study
John Taylor Gatto (video): "Of people who attended Harvard ...and people who were accepted to Harvard, but didn't go...twenty years after graduation, there's no difference at all. The people who didn't go make as much money and are as famous as people who did go. And what that tells me is that Harvard doesn't add the value to the kids, but by carefully selecting people who already have a record of performance distinction (not grade distinction)," the students add the value to Harvard (and "that's how [these colleges] appear to harbor the brain trust of the world.").
Ludwig von Mises: "Literature is not conformism, but dissent. Those authors who merely repeat what everybody approves and wants to hear are of no importance. What counts alone is the innovator, the dissenter, the harbinger of things unheard of, the man who rejects the traditional standards and aims at substituting new values and ideas for old ones. He is by necessity anti-authoritarian and anti-governmental, irreconcilably opposed to the immense majority of his contemporaries. He is precisely the author whose books the greater part of the public does not buy." - The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality
"It is an object of vast magnitude that systems of education should be adopted and pursued which may not only diffuse a knowledge of the sciences but may implant in the minds of the American youth the principles of virtue and of liberty and inspire them with just and liberal ideas of government and with an inviolable attachment to their own country."
--Noah Webster, On Education of Youth in America, 1790
Where's the education happening on campus? In residential dorms. This story is from 2007 about U of Delaware, but don't think for a moment it doesn't happen there and elsewhere today--at least ask about what workshops are taught in dormitories when you do a college visit or want to make a donation, because freshmen make great candidates. Today private prep high schools and
off-the-books college sessions get away with actively teaching that “[a] racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality.”
Ahhh, there's so much more, so read the article, but you get the idea. HT VMcKenna
After billions of dollars over the years following fads, private money in NY back a program in 10 schools that 9 found very effective. "The pilot curriculum is heavily focused on content knowledge, phonics and non-fiction books...It is based on the belief that when students struggle with reading comprehension in elementary school, middle school and beyond, a large part of the problem is that they lack basic knowledge in subjects like history, science and literature." And a common knowledge base allows for common understanding.
This email invites college students to a meeting:
<<...Republicans fret that the US is fast becoming a "socialist country" -- with government spending on bank bailouts and Barack Obama's proposed health care reform. But the genuine tradition of socialism is "socialism from below," which means something more than state intervention in the economy. Socialism is really about the struggle to oppose discrimination in all its forms and to put the needs of working people before corporate profits. Come to this meeting to discuss the idea of socialism -- and socialist strategies for changing the world.>>
Who needs a history lesson on Socialism?!
Campus Report | Shar'iah Studies by Stealth
Campus Report exposes the continuation of a problematic and systemic teaching of Islam in disproportion to the teachings of other religions.
Political Math | College Students: Learn things you can't learn on your own.
Great advice. "... Students should take the opportunity to broaden in a way that will be unavailable when they get out of school. Dostoevsky will always be there for them to read as long as they remember how to read. But it will be much harder to figure out differential equations on their own time." There's more about making the most of your educational dollars.
"...a few Free Online School Rules I'd learned by the end of my experiment:
1. You get what you pay for. "Free" means no asking questions in the middle of class, which can be a dealbreaker with a subject as potentially confusing as physics.
2. That said, it might help if you actually buy the textbook.
3. Free online learning is not going to teach you anything substantial overnight, or in a week (unless you are Rain Man, in which case you're just memorizing anyway). Plan to do a whole course.
4. There are few things better than hot bread made with your own two hands, especially when you understand the science of why it's so delicious.
5. We are at the beginning of this experiment, not the end..."
Here are his links to openware courses (OCW). An MIT student commentator makes good points. HT JoanneJacobs
"...Today, Keegan Abendschoen is just 25 years old—but now has two people working full-time for him. He's also taken courses in landscaping management and design from the County College of Morris, with the result that Keegan's Landscaping has expanded its offerings to include laying out driveways and walkways and such. In other words, young Mr. Abendschoen is not just a worker: He's the proprietor of a successful enterprise who continues to invest in himself so he can expand his business...Of course, working in the trades or starting up a small business is not for everyone. Then again, neither is college." William McGurn
John Zmirak | America's Red Light District
"...The top National Universities choices are pretty predictable: Every year, the three or four top Ivies shuffle places with a few massive state schools—not surprising, since nearly half each college's score is based on a) What administrators at other schools say about a college and b) how much the college spends per student. What is worse, the U.S. News guide pretty much pretends that campus politics, classroom bias, and threats to free expression aren't problems—which is rather like ranking restaurants without worrying about their hygiene." Lamest curricula in academia? Learn about Brown, Amherst, and Hamilton.
James Tooley | The Beautiful Tree (scroll to page 16 to read the article)
"School choice advocates in America can gain inspiration from the education revolution that is sweeping the developing world...[one father in the largest slum in Africa who pays to send his daughter to a private school] would have warmed the heart of Milton Friedman: he told me 'if you go to the market and are offered free fruit and vegetables, they'll be rotten. If you want fresh produce, you have to pay for it.'"
Wall Street Journal | Weighing Price and Value When Picking Colleges
"...parents and students are doing a tougher cost-benefit analysis of the true value of a pricey undergraduate degree...Chelsea returned to the family’s home in Boulder, Colo., last year and became a partner in the real-estate-investment business that her mother and aunt own jointly. Now 20 years old, Chelsea co-owns two rental houses and is working on a bachelor’s degree at a nearby public university. Chelsea says she misses her Amherst friends and the stimulating campus environment. Still, she adds, a degree from a top school 'is worth a lot, but it’s not worth that much.'”
Wall Street Journal | One College Sidesteps the Crisis
No tuition. No Federal money. Conservative investment of endowment. Interesting background: "Cooper has a rich, 150-year history. Founder Peter Cooper, a 19th-century inventor and industrialist with less than a year of formal schooling, aimed to provide working-class students a "first rank" education "as free as air or water." ... Cooper's most valuable asset is a gift from Peter Cooper's family -- the land under the Chrysler Building [in NY, NY]." Cooper Union sounds interesting---especially for budding architects.
"When the Bamberger family opened a haberdashery 65 years ago, they insisted their staff use mental arithmetic to price up customers' purchases...Colin Bamberger, 82, whose parents founded the Remnant Shop in 1944, said that less than one in ten applicants are now able to solve basic maths problems without turning to a calculator or till...In the past, around eight in ten made the grade." Everyday Math, indeed.
"... As ISI put it, 'Though a university education can cost upwards of $200,000, and college students on average leave campus $19,300 in debt, they are no better off than when they arrived in terms of acquiring the knowledge necessary for informed engagement'..."
"...Better high schools frequently use the same textbooks for the mandatory requirements that are used in the first two years of college. If a high school draws from the upper end of the socioeconomic scale, the courses will be more demanding than the first two years of most colleges..." The commentary is great as well.
Paul Kengor | Why Not Manage Universities, Mr. President?
Government officials give away loads of our money to expensive, high-paying, whiny colleges. Why doesn't the "government" intervene there? FYI: "A 2003 survey by the Center for the Study of Popular Culture found these ratios of Democrats to Republicans: Swarthmore: 21-1. Bowdoin College: 23-1. Wellesley College: 23-1. Brown University: 30-1. Amazingly, the study couldn't identify a single Republican at the faculties of Williams, Oberlin, MIT, and Haverford, nor a single Republican administrator at Penn, Carnegie Mellon, or Cornell." Just in case you are wondering, the gap is due to discrimination, not intelligence.
Interesting and clear explanation comparing lessons in what is essentially a pc-world versus an academic world. At least scroll down and find the two lessons. Her questions are relevant. Lesson 1 is definitely pushed in today's colleges of education. Classical education is sorely lacking.
American Council of Trustees and Alumni | The Intelligent Donor's Guide to College Giving
This pamphlet "encourages donors to decide what college activities they value most and direct their funds to those activities...Philanthropy magazine said the Guide 'represents a significant breakthrough for donors who want to make their giving to colleges and universities more meaningful.'" Are you donating to private schools/colleges that undermine American and your values? Avoid it with this info.
Phyllis Schlafly | 'Social Justice' Education is Already Shaping America's Future
Does the name William Ayers ring a bell? The Weathermen? See how a radical socialist agenda is inserted into our children's classrooms. Click here to read this article.
Various | Is College Worth It?
Cato Unbound offers an incredible exchange of ideas on whether college is worth it. Perhaps you're asking yourself Can schools be fixed? Many other subjects in the Archives section. EagleForum's Education Reporter provides a great summary Questioning College. Bennington College is led by someone FAR left (her "betrayal" of US is breathtaking, esp. vis-a-vis our founders...start 7 min. in if you lack time). She defines education as a "framework for action; "...achieving economics of equity"..."action-oriented curriculum"... learning to organize "the world of words to maximum design." Filmed Feb. 2009.
Kansas Teacher | 8th Grade Final Exam, Salina KS 1895
I'm sure most of the founding fathers would have done well on this test that covers grammar, arithmetic, U.S. history, orthography and geography. Once you've chewed on it for a while and passed it around, you can click here if you are curious about the answers.