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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Do You Want Empty Headed Education for Your Children or Grand Children?

Whatever else you do today, make absolutely certain that you read LaShawn Barber's lengthy post on "Empty Headed Education." LaShawn has written one of the most direct and incisive analyses I've seen anywhere of what is wrong with American public education and why all kids suffer as a result.

LaShawn is pounding on a hot button issue for a lot of folks, me included. When we graduate millions of kids of all races and genders years after year who cannot read, are unable to write a coherent sentence, have zero math skills and know zilch about America's history or its basic principles, we are guaranteeing this nation's ultimate failure.

Here's LaShawn's summary paragraph:

"Bottom line: Centuries worth of tried-and-true methods of learning are scrapped, and kids revert to drawing pictures and counting objects in groups when a simple multiplication formula would do. Teachers don’t have to teach, and kids “discover” the answers on their own. Amazing, isn’t it?"

The tragedy is that so many white suburban parents know there are deep problems with public schools, but believe that those problems don't exist in their particular neighborhood's schools. At the same time, how many minority parents long ago gave up any hope of ever getting their kids out of failing public schools?

Among my greatest hopes is that the day comes soon when all parents wake up and realize what an outrageous sham has been perpetrated on them and their children, generation after generation, by the people who have controlled the public schools - the NEA, AFT and U.S. Department of Education - for decades.

There will be hell to pay when that day comes.