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John Derbyshire for Secretary of Education!
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In looking for a piece I seemed to remember in which John, a prolific internet presence, advocates abolishing public education, I came across his overall diagnosis of schooling in America, well worth reading and a marvel of concision and accuracy. On its strength I hereby nominate him as SecEd, as one says in the as-yet undrained swamp on the Potomac. I nominate myself as Asst. SecEd, with the title of Lord High Executioner and a government-supplied guillotine. Schooling will never be the same. Heh heh.

Having thus arranged the Republic to my satisfaction, I will now address myself to deeper matters.

A question John raises in the piece I was looking for, and answers in the negative, is whether any reason exists for public schooling beyond perhaps fifth grade. It does seem reasonable that the population not actually moronic should be able read menus and street signs. It also seems possible.

But beyond fifth grade?

In the column racket one is required to say that our children are the future–may God have mercy–and that democracy requires an educated electorate knowing history, geography, languages and such so as to have a grasp of the issues of the day, etc, and so on, and on, to the last syllable of recorded tedium. Questions seldom asked: Does American schooling produce such an electorate? Can it? Could it? Does anyone really want it? Or does it simply keep children out of their parents hair, and off the job market?

For that matter, does college–”college”–do any better? For a few, yes. For most, no. (From this I omit things like the sciences and engineering, which are trade-school subjects.)

I submit that these are practical questions, not just the self-congratulatory horror of the aging.

We have all seen the surveys showing that “college” graduates do not know when the Civil War took place, where Afghanistan might be, and cannot find the Pacific Ocean on a map of the Hawaiian Islands. For most students, most education is a farce, a waste of time and money.

So why do it?

The failure to learn is not, or not uniquely, a problem of intelligence. Obviously the actually stupid will not learn anything. But neither do the intelligent. John points out that his own children, presumably bright, took four years of high-school Spanish yet cannot speak a sentence.

Do you know anybody who learned any language in high school? Or in “college”? Languages can be taught, and are in countries such as Finland and Denmark, but American schools are hopeless, and Americans uninterested.

Somewhat parenthetically, for the bright student, public schooling is both an obstacle and a torment. He, or most assuredly she, is quickly reading five grades ahead of class. Such students prop open the tops of their desks to sneak-read books about dinosaurs or astronomy, or Jane Eyre. They do not give a wan, etiolated damn about how Mommy Beaver had three sticks, and Little Baby Beaver had two, and how many in all did the wretched animals have?

Wait. A moment of madness is coming over me. Ha! I am going to make Milo Yiannopoulos Press Secretary. Heheeheeheee!

Back to ponderous wisdom. Bright kids learn to read by reading, by going to the library and coming back with ten books, by reading voraciously, indiscriminately, clandestinely reading under the covers at night with flashlights. You don’t teach them to read. You get out of their way. In fact, you don’t teach them much of anything. They do it.

Coming back to the plight of John’s kids and Spanish, I ask myself what I actually learned in high school. Almost nothing. I took required courses in economics, geography, Latin, Spanish, English, some kind of history (that I cannot remember what sort of history suggests that it did not add materially to my store of knowledge), government–and and came as blank as I had begun. While I wasn’t bright enough to attract tour buses, I was some above average–and yet, apart from math, learned no more than the dumbest kids. If Tommy (name redacted) hadn’t stolen the senior-civics exam, I would still be in high school.

I did profit from two years of algebra, one of plane geometry, and typing. Why? Because I was interested. I can still do long division of polynomials. What I really most learned in school (my high school transcript may not fascinate you. Patience. I am coming to a point) was physiology. For some reason it interested me and I inhaled textbooks, to lasting effect (eosinophils, neutrophils, basophils, large and small monocytes…see?)

From which we conclude: Kids will learn what interests them. They won’t learn anything else. This is why hackers of fifteen years break into secured networks but do not know whether Columbus discovered America or the other way around.

So what is the point of school?

Far better would be perhaps junior high followed by vocational training in a field of interest to the student. In four years currently wasted on learning nothing, a kid could get a monumental head start on being an auto mechanic (look under the hood of your car and tell me it’s a job for dummies), electrician, paramedic, computer tech, accountant, dental technician, and so on. Or be phenomenally ready for med school. Such training of the very young would not in all fields amount to professional competence, but would produce dynamite candidates for further study.

This would serve the primary purpose of keeping them off the streets. Kids would be no less prepared to make momentous decisions of state–heaven help us–than current ones. They would also end up as adults, not Snowflakes

ORDER IT NOW

Why is American schooling a disaster? Because it rests on the bedrock of envy, the grinding resentment of the superior. “You ain’t no gooder’n me” might be the national slogan, embodying both the attitude and its dire grammatical consequences. Envy explains the emphasis on the mentally halt and lame, on disguising the inability of the dull. Everyone must go to “college” to hide the incandescently obvious, that most are not bright enough. Kids who cannot count their fingers, much less on them, must be put in AP classes. And so on.

Feminized schools are run by women of low cerebral voltage who have no intellectual interests and probably resent the bright. A kid of IQ 140 will regard his ed-major teacher, at 95, as a form of tuber and she will guess as much. The emphasis in this Slough of Despond falls on making sure that No Kid Gets Ahead. It works. The whole charade needs to be abolished.

To digress, perchance to dream: While I am reorganizing the government, I will appoint Eric Margolis as Secretary of State, and put Patrick Cockbern or Robert Fisk on the Middle East desk. A journalist who has spent a lifetime covering foreign affairs on the ground may know more about it than some damn Coca-Cola executive. But my mind wanders.

Yet many who are bright enough for university simply have no interest. To many, a commercial-diving ticket appeals more than a degree in The Sociology of Breathing. What earthly point is there in subjecting him to the high-school equivalent of those miserable beavers?

How important is a fifth-rate unremembered education to the betterment of society? John makes the point that the English empire was administered entirely by men who learned nothing in school but Latin classics. (Stalky&Co. is canonical.) Of course they had a sense of noblesse oblige as a matter of caste and, I think, a comparative immunity to corruption–”it isn’t done, you know”–which we do not. A society founded on class has advantages.

When Mr. Derbyshire finds that he has been dragooned into the federal government, he will probably go into hiding. I will have him hunted down by muscular skip-tracers with large butterfly nets. And oil my guillotine for the coming years. There are callings that transcend personal preference.

Fred can be reached at jetpossum-readers@yahoolcom. Due to volume, not bad manners, replies often impossible but all are read.

(Reprinted from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: John Derbyshire, Public Schools 
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  1. Hey, Fred!

    I completely agree with you and John Derbyshire on what you guys want to do but perhaps not for the same reasons. I would like to touch on some points in your essay:

    A question John raises in the piece I was looking for, and answers in the negative, is whether any reason exists for public schooling beyond perhaps fifth grade.

    You want to know why we have 12 years of compulsory schooling? It’s all about the unions! It is not just the teacher’s unions but also the workman’s unions. If kids were allowed to enter the workforce earlier, they can compete with the unionists and be a threat to their work monopoly. This is also the real rationale behind the Child Labor Laws and the Minimum Wage.

    … democracy requires an educated electorate knowing history, geography, languages and such so as to have a grasp of the issues of the day, etc, and so on, and on, to the last syllable of recorded tedium. Questions seldom asked: Does American schooling produce such an electorate?

    Heck no! I never touched on the Vietnam war in any of my history classes until the 11th grade. Here are some other things we never discussed in my Social Studies classes in public and private school:
    That it was the Ottoman Muslims who toppled the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire in 1453.
    That Istanbul (formerly Constantinople and Byzantium) connects many trade routes throughout history.
    That some of Adolf Hitler’s racist ideas came from Henry Ford.
    That Woodrow Wilson was America’s most racist president.
    I can go on and on and on…. Instead, we were asked to memorize a few token factoids (What did the Treaty of Versailles do?) without learning more about the time period from which they came.

    John points out that his own children, presumably bright, took four years of high-school Spanish yet cannot speak a sentence.

    I took 7 years of Spanish but my Spanish was piss poor until I was about 28 years old. I had a copy of the New Testament in Spanish and found I could read it pretty well. John Taylor Gatto said that children are better able to learn to read, write, and do anything when they are given their whole lives instead of being imprisoned in a “classroom.”

    John makes the point that the English empire was administered entirely by men who learned nothing in school but Latin classics.

    Most of our Founding Fathers had 3 to 6 years of schooling. To my knowledge, only 2 attended college (John Adams attended Harvard and Alex Hamilton attended Columbia). Despite having only 3 years of schooling, Ben Franklin became a newspaper editor at the age of 25, an inventor, and a general polymath. Informal education always beats out formal schooling.

    Far better would be perhaps junior high followed by vocational training in a field of interest to the student.

    Two points: First, our schools were never meant to provide a classical education. Nor were they meant to provide a vocational or cardinal (is that what they use in the military?) education. They were meant to be used as tools of social control – to turn us into submissive sheep.
    Second, it used to be that in America, you could (more) easily change careers as you go. You could also learn as you go. Is there any good reason why a child must be imprisoned in a “classroom” for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, 12 straight years, maybe even more if he or she has to attend day care or summer camp? How is that supposed make a child educated? It used to be you can drop out of school but then easily go back anytime you want. Maybe our public schooling system should do that instead. It would sure be better than the farce we have now.
    I stopped going to school after I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering because I was really stressed out and bored. After more than a decade. I’m going back to get my Master’s.

    Read More
    • Replies: @TheJester
    Pocket Notes:

    I once ran across a reference that the free public schools that came out of the Progressive Era of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries were consciously established to turn the children of the masses of Irish and Italian Catholic immigrants into good WASPs. It worked ... it worked because they had WASP teachers and a WASP curriculum. The result was the Great American Melting Pot. Indeed, it worked so well that Catholic schools were also dutifully providing a good WASP education to their students.

    My university once noted in a communication that over 50% of its graduates were working in a field totally unrelated to their university degree within 12 years of graduation. Learning how to think within the bounds of a classical liberal arts education -- literature, languages, history, and philosophy -- provided its graduates with that flexibility.

    Unfortunately, the Great American Melting Pot and the liberal arts are gone. They have been replaced with "identity" schools at all levels whose students are taught by "identity" teachers using curriculums based on "identity" ideologies. The current goal of education in the United States appears to be to appreciate how protected minorities fit into the "intersectionality" of everything ... or, something like that.

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  2. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    “John points out that his own children, presumably bright, took four years of high-school Spanish yet cannot speak a sentence. Do you know anybody who learned any language in high school? Or in ‘college’? Languages can be taught, and are in countries such as Finland and Denmark, but American schools are hopeless, and Americans uninterested.”

    Why learn another language when English is the globlingo?

    This is why we need another language for international language.

    How about Greek or Latin?

    Btw, most education is okay.

    The biggest problems are:

    1. Negroes

    2. Homo Propaganda

    3. PC

    If you can have an American school without Negroes, Homo stuff, and PC, you’d get solid education.

    I graduated from high school in 85. Back then, there was no homo propaganda. PC was at minimum. And the school had almost no Negroes. It was really nice, considering I spent grades 3 to 6 in public school with enough Negroes to make learning difficult though they could be fun in other ways.

    “I am going to make Milo Yiannopoulos Press Secretary. Heheeheeheee!”

    He might appreciate the role of poo-ass secretary more.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Michelle
    Never forget, English is the other language! Many of our ancestors spoke native languages other than English when they arrived in the New World. They all learned English so that they could communicate with each other. English is like Swahili that way.
  3. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    I have an idea. Education should be split along ideological lines.

    For some subjects, ideology has no place: biology, chemistry, physics, and etc. And everyone should take the same classes.

    But when it comes to history, social ‘sciences’, and the like, students should be allowed a choice among the various ideologies:

    Prog history that says white folks suck and are to blame for everything. White Guilt.

    Frog(Pepe) history that says white folks topped the charts in human achievement. White Prestige.

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    • Replies: @Dr. KRIEGER
    This will work if you take the kids that choose Prog History and Frog-march them straight to Fred's well-oiled guillotine upon graduation.
    , @Gene Su
    I would like to make a list of the 5 top Cultural Marxist (Prog history) children's books.

    1. To Kill a Mockingbird
    No intro needed here. Conservatives have noted that the hidden message that it has taught to 3 generations of school children is that blacks are always innocent victims and that whites cannot be trusted to be honorable at all in matters involving blacks. It has spawned all those anti-white films like Mississippi Burning and The Butler. Too bad it's more right-wing sequel was found more than 50 years afterward.

    2. My Brother Sam is Dead
    I had to read this in eighth grade. It portrayed the American Continental Army during the Revolutionary War as thieving, violent thugs. The protagonist's family is of Tory leanings and suffer greatly during the war. His father is inadvertently captured and killed. His brother Sam is a proto-leftist from Boston who joins the American Patriots because he is "proud" of his country. In his platoon are some nasty rednecks who loot the family farm and then frame Sam, who is executed by firing squad. This book was written in the 70's. If it was written in the 50's, it probably would have been the Bible of the Vietnam anti-war movement.

    3. Nothing by the Truth
    A [white] high school freshman is kicked off the track team for flunking English / Language Arts. He soon annoys his teacher by singing and humming during the Pledge of Allegiance / National Anthem. He gets his teacher fired by painting her as a anti-American leftist but he has to transfer because his antics have ostracized him.
    I wonder whether any publisher would touch a children's book about a black high school freshman who, after flunking and getting kicked off the football team, does a Black Power salute during the Pledge of Allegiance. Hmmmmmm....

    4. Iggy's House
    A black family moves from urban Detroit to a Michigan suburb only to encounter hostile white neighbors who tell them to go back to Africa. It's too bad the book didn't discuss what that black family experienced in Detroit and why they decided to move.

    5. My Teacher is an Alien series
    Aliens from some galactic confederation observe Earth and try to determine whether to blow it up because humans are too violent. Could be a standard Star Trek episode. Humans (European males) are violent and aliens (blacks, Arabs, Asians, Indians) are peaceful savages.
  4. not to eschew the virtue of a properly oiled guillotine, but…

    A journalist who has spent a lifetime covering foreign affairs on the ground may know more about it than some damn Coca-Cola executive

    the problem isn’t what these fellows know or don’t know, it’s what they know that they’re supposed to sow – as professional journalists (who want to remain so)

    Do you understand the nuances of the Middle East Fred? Do you realize why we’re there and what we’re doing and what it’s costing us and how much it has?

    Do you understand the motivations involved and the players and the underlying themes?

    And, are you willing to tell the truth about all of that, damning the torpedoes?

    Because that is what we need Fred, as the world finds itself on the brink of another all out war. What we don’t need are more self-serving professional liars and shills Fred. What we don’t need are more people whose careers have been vested in the status quo, because it’s from there that we go, (or not)

    The world wars were fought over Zionism Fred. (have you ever heard of that word?) and if the world fights another one, it will be over Zionism.

    OK, just had to make my comment.

    Otherwise you’re spot on correct in your assessments and the reasons for our mandated bovine stupidity, because if people were able to think, then the elites would be more worried than they realize over a nicely oiled piece of useful machinery.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Frederick John
    Okay. Another Fred accepts your challenge: Pray tell, explain to me why we are meddling in the Middle East. For the Zionists? Is that the only reason?

    Thanks!
  5. Sharp, as is often the case. Fred’s picks for heads of the ABC departments of the federal leviathan make more sense than anyone (or anything, in some cases) who’s been nominated by a president in my memory. I also favor the institution of a well oiled guillotine to be placed by the front doors of every federal department building with a random lottery instituted that would, potentially, send the crown of anyone coming or going from said departments into the Big Wicker Basket.

    Having been inside the government education system, both as a student and as an employee, I’d have to agree that the system at large needs to be abolished and not replaced by anything that could be designed, funded, or influenced by the feds. If the people of a state absolutely cannot conceive of a world without tax funded schools they can scrap about the details amongst themselves and leave the rest of us to our own fights.

    Civilizations have risen, thrived, declined, and fell in the past without anything like the massive fraud of state sponsored “education” that has grown up like a weed in the U.S. of A. Reducing the current system to ash would do no harm and might lead to something better.

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  6. “A kid of IQ 140 will regard his ed-major teacher, at 95, as a form of tuber and she will guess as much.” My father, who was not given to issuing instructions about my schooling, was absolutely firm – I must never, on pain of near-death, hint by word or deed that I’d realised that I was cleverer than my teachers.

    He was right too, the old boy. And, rather unusually, I did as I was bidden.

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    • Replies: @edNels
    you forgot to add,

    member of Mensa for 50 years.
     
  7. Fred,

    Glad to see that you’ve reconciled with the Derb. Never did quite understand your animosity toward him.

    Regarding public education, what more can I add. Like most here, almost everything of value that I’ve learned, I either learned outside of school completely or relearned when I was able to apply the knowledge.

    However, I can’t say that I disliked going to HS and college. The parties were a lot of fun, and it was nice to chit chat during and between classes. The actual school part was pointless, of course.

    Read More
  8. The real problem in public education is children. Children whose offspring are the student body, children who think they are the school board or the legislature, and children who control the classroom so that none can learn for the bedlam and well, yes, jaded teachers who reason that it is better to get a paycheck without teaching than to try to teach the unteachable and be fired. Nothing that coon dog shock collars on the unruly wouldn’t cure overnight, but who will hold down the parents and lawyers while the collars are installed?

    Read More
  9. @Rurik
    not to eschew the virtue of a properly oiled guillotine, but...

    A journalist who has spent a lifetime covering foreign affairs on the ground may know more about it than some damn Coca-Cola executive
     
    the problem isn't what these fellows know or don't know, it's what they know that they're supposed to sow - as professional journalists (who want to remain so)

    Do you understand the nuances of the Middle East Fred? Do you realize why we're there and what we're doing and what it's costing us and how much it has?

    Do you understand the motivations involved and the players and the underlying themes?

    And, are you willing to tell the truth about all of that, damning the torpedoes?

    Because that is what we need Fred, as the world finds itself on the brink of another all out war. What we don't need are more self-serving professional liars and shills Fred. What we don't need are more people whose careers have been vested in the status quo, because it's from there that we go, (or not)

    The world wars were fought over Zionism Fred. (have you ever heard of that word?) and if the world fights another one, it will be over Zionism.

    OK, just had to make my comment.

    Otherwise you're spot on correct in your assessments and the reasons for our mandated bovine stupidity, because if people were able to think, then the elites would be more worried than they realize over a nicely oiled piece of useful machinery.

    Okay. Another Fred accepts your challenge: Pray tell, explain to me why we are meddling in the Middle East. For the Zionists? Is that the only reason?

    Thanks!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rurik

    Pray tell, explain to me why we are meddling in the Middle East. For the Zionists? Is that the only reason?
     
    well, since this is not a thread about that per se, I'll try to keep this short and sweet

    if you listen to mainstream journalists, they'll tell you America gives Israel billions upon billions of dollars and defends the indefensible vis-a-vis genocide and ethnic cleansing and other atrocities, because she's our bestest ally ever and the only democracy in the Middle East. And that's a crock of horse cookies. The real reason is because Zionist Jews are very powerful in the US (and England and France and Germany) and if our politicians don't toe the Zio-line, then they'll be out of office and forced to work for a living. So they toe the line. (same with official, "respectable" journalists)

    It's not all about Zionism, some of it was about oil at one time, and also they had to crush Gadhafi's gold dinar and there's other stuff too. But mostly it's all about Zionist Jews stealing other people's land.

    Now check out how many lame-stream journalists who are capable of saying that obvious truth.

    Which is why we're better off with a business man who's not beholding to entrenched interest groups for our SoS.

  10. In the column racket one is required to say that our children are the future–may God have mercy–

    For that matter, does college–”college”–do any better? For a few, yes. For most, no. (From this I omit things like the sciences and engineering, which are trade-school subjects.)

    Great piece Fred. Humour aside I think it is a bloody brilliant idea you and John answer the call of public service.

    It’s hard not to give credence to the adage, when one looks at the many college graduates – even those surfacing from the Ivies – that while growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional.

    Read More
  11. @Frederick John
    Okay. Another Fred accepts your challenge: Pray tell, explain to me why we are meddling in the Middle East. For the Zionists? Is that the only reason?

    Thanks!

    Pray tell, explain to me why we are meddling in the Middle East. For the Zionists? Is that the only reason?

    well, since this is not a thread about that per se, I’ll try to keep this short and sweet

    if you listen to mainstream journalists, they’ll tell you America gives Israel billions upon billions of dollars and defends the indefensible vis-a-vis genocide and ethnic cleansing and other atrocities, because she’s our bestest ally ever and the only democracy in the Middle East. And that’s a crock of horse cookies. The real reason is because Zionist Jews are very powerful in the US (and England and France and Germany) and if our politicians don’t toe the Zio-line, then they’ll be out of office and forced to work for a living. So they toe the line. (same with official, “respectable” journalists)

    It’s not all about Zionism, some of it was about oil at one time, and also they had to crush Gadhafi’s gold dinar and there’s other stuff too. But mostly it’s all about Zionist Jews stealing other people’s land.

    Now check out how many lame-stream journalists who are capable of saying that obvious truth.

    Which is why we’re better off with a business man who’s not beholding to entrenched interest groups for our SoS.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Frederick John
    I agree very much that Israel, through its campaign finance donations and extraordinary lobbying efforts has a lot to do with our continuing wars in the M.E. But the greater influence, I believe, is along the same lines of political campaign awards, but from defense and security contractors, and from Wall Street. Israel is a quite convenient excuse (one of many) offered-up by the neocons who talk about Israel's bogus "democracy" government in the M.E. I think these contributors to campaign financing have more to do with the completely unnecessary wars in the M.E.

    As to Trump, he just appointed a very Israelist rightest to be the U.S. ambassador to Israel. This guy thinks the settlement incursions and murdering of Palestinian people just fine. So I'm not sure that the U.S. approach to aiding Israel will be in the least mitigated — it might even be more sympathetic with more foreign aid and free, or at-cost, military hardware and munitions made available to Israel. Hope not, but we'll see.

    Mr. Trump also, in my opinion, has appointed far too many Iranophobes with his Mattis, Kelly and Flynn, among others, appointments. This too is scary.
    , @Che Guava
    Well said Rurik, but you did not keep it short and sweet.
    , @ganderson
    You have a bigger vocabulary than most of the Teds I know...
  12. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Americans are uninterested in learning a second language for the same reason all other people in the (civilized) world care to apprehend English as their second language.

    Bright kids learn to read by reading, by going to the library and coming back with ten books, by reading voraciously, indiscriminately, clandestinely reading under the covers at night with flashlights. You don’t teach them to read. You get out of their way. In fact, you don’t teach them much of anything. They do it.

    That’s bright kinds like you were as a kid.
    There are different degrees of brightness (just like idiots and morons, clinically, aren’t the same thing at all).
    Moderately bright kids need to be taught. But they can’t be taught with profit in “inclusive school” where the purpose is no pumpkin-head be “left behind”.
    To appraise what we are at, think I found myself involved in a controversy with a group of primary and secondary school teacher who asserted you can’t obviously say “stupidest” but have to say “more stupid”, by the universally known rule everybody but donkeys (they meant me) knows.

    These people didn’t know that the one-syllable/more-syllables rule has exceptions — a part of which defined by sub-rules.

    And I assure you if you go to some university class you’ll be horrified by how things have changed in the span of, well, 30 years?

    He, or most assuredly she

    We, some of us at least, know you are “in love” with female young people. I can’t understand people swayed in their view of the world by their family’s circumstances, but it’s acceptable.
    To lie and say females are better readers? It doesn’t look nice.

    *****************
    American schools were the best in the world because Americans, and their ed. system, were the less envious in the world.

    What on earth has happened?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Gene Su

    American schools were the best in the world because Americans, and their ed. system, were the less envious in the world.

    What on earth has happened?

     

    What happened was the Commies like John Dewey took over the public schooling system and transformed it from an institution of learning into a means of social control. Read John Taylor Gatto's [The Underground History of American Education].
  13. Slightly on topic. The way to get competent (not necessarily fluent, but functionally competent) in any language, fast, is to just memorize the present tense, indicative mood. You can communicate any thought you need with just this. For past tense just insert a “yesterday” or “used to”. For future tense just insert “tomorrow” or “someday”. For conditional tense just insert “maybe” or some other conditional indicator. Native speakers will understand you. How do I know this, because I have been dealing with non English speaking immigrants for 35 years and they all get their point across, and many that I know have done extremely well and prospered in an English speaking environment. Endless drilling to get every tense, declension, mood perfect is a waste of time and brain power. Just be competent and functional. As time goes by you will naturally acquire a better command of the language.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    Supplement by listening to the radio to train the ear to recognize different accents, idioms and rates of speech. National talk shows cast a wide net. If available, listen to BBC World Service, Radio Television Luxembourg, Deutsche Welle and similar national broadcasts, too.
    , @International Jew
    What if you want to understand what others are saying to you?
  14. @Anon
    "John points out that his own children, presumably bright, took four years of high-school Spanish yet cannot speak a sentence. Do you know anybody who learned any language in high school? Or in 'college'? Languages can be taught, and are in countries such as Finland and Denmark, but American schools are hopeless, and Americans uninterested."

    Why learn another language when English is the globlingo?

    This is why we need another language for international language.

    How about Greek or Latin?

    Btw, most education is okay.

    The biggest problems are:

    1. Negroes

    2. Homo Propaganda

    3. PC

    If you can have an American school without Negroes, Homo stuff, and PC, you'd get solid education.

    I graduated from high school in 85. Back then, there was no homo propaganda. PC was at minimum. And the school had almost no Negroes. It was really nice, considering I spent grades 3 to 6 in public school with enough Negroes to make learning difficult though they could be fun in other ways.

    "I am going to make Milo Yiannopoulos Press Secretary. Heheeheeheee!"

    He might appreciate the role of poo-ass secretary more.

    Never forget, English is the other language! Many of our ancestors spoke native languages other than English when they arrived in the New World. They all learned English so that they could communicate with each other. English is like Swahili that way.

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    • Replies: @anonymous
    For our ancestors, yes. But, unfortunately, not for most of us.

    I learned Spanish in HS well enough to communicate to some extent, and, more importantly, to read (with some little difficulty). If learning a language is either important to or demanded of a student, the language will be learned. On the contrary, I learned Latin not at all, because these two conditions were not present. Am now struggling with it and wish I had tried harder when I was younger.
  15. I prefer Fred’s inescapable vision of the Old Bailey’s incoming inhabitants than this hopeful change for our future.

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  16. From which we conclude: Kids will learn what interests them. They won’t learn anything else.

    Chinese and Japanese kids don’t have a problem learning boring stuff. Must be the magic Chinese dirt!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Johnny Smoggins
    Or maybe they're just interested in things you consider "boring". Having taught many, many Asian students I can tell you that, while they may do well in math and science, they're often abysmal when it comes to history, geography, literature, current events and everything else that isn't related to math, science or computer games.

    It's really quite a shock to find out that the Asian kid who's a math prodigy has no idea where Argentina is or who wrote Romeo and Juliet and whose favourite movie of all time is whatever Disney cartoon is popular in the theatre now.
    , @Zach
    Maybe Asian students respect, even fear, their teachers? In his reminiscences of his school days at Heatherdowns, Alexander Cockburn wrote about his intimidating Latin teacher and goes on to remark that the political left in general does not sufficiently appreciate the role that fear and corporal punishment plays in education.
    , @bearspaw
    Not entirely true. My daughter teaches in Japan. She teaches across a broad base of ages and abilities. She tells me that kids who are not interested in university are just as bored and uniterested as kids in North America. Uni bound kids work hard at studying. Others ar just as bored as anywhere else.
  17. @Anonymous
    Americans are uninterested in learning a second language for the same reason all other people in the (civilized) world care to apprehend English as their second language.

    Bright kids learn to read by reading, by going to the library and coming back with ten books, by reading voraciously, indiscriminately, clandestinely reading under the covers at night with flashlights. You don’t teach them to read. You get out of their way. In fact, you don’t teach them much of anything. They do it.
     
    That's bright kinds like you were as a kid.
    There are different degrees of brightness (just like idiots and morons, clinically, aren't the same thing at all).
    Moderately bright kids need to be taught. But they can't be taught with profit in "inclusive school" where the purpose is no pumpkin-head be "left behind".
    To appraise what we are at, think I found myself involved in a controversy with a group of primary and secondary school teacher who asserted you can't obviously say "stupidest" but have to say "more stupid", by the universally known rule everybody but donkeys (they meant me) knows.

    These people didn't know that the one-syllable/more-syllables rule has exceptions -- a part of which defined by sub-rules.

    And I assure you if you go to some university class you'll be horrified by how things have changed in the span of, well, 30 years?

    He, or most assuredly she
     
    We, some of us at least, know you are "in love" with female young people. I can't understand people swayed in their view of the world by their family's circumstances, but it's acceptable.
    To lie and say females are better readers? It doesn't look nice.

    *****************
    American schools were the best in the world because Americans, and their ed. system, were the less envious in the world.

    What on earth has happened?

    American schools were the best in the world because Americans, and their ed. system, were the less envious in the world.

    What on earth has happened?

    What happened was the Commies like John Dewey took over the public schooling system and transformed it from an institution of learning into a means of social control. Read John Taylor Gatto’s [The Underground History of American Education].

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  18. John points out that his own children, presumably bright, took four years of high-school Spanish yet cannot speak a sentence. Do you know anybody who learned any language in high school? Or in ‘college’?

    Yeah, that must be why, until very recently at least, most European schoolkids graduate with a working fluency in THREE languages (their own, of course; English, judged as being so mandatory it’s not actually considered learning a foreign language; and a third tongue which is so categorized.)

    I of course must presume here that, after blood-poisoning their own institutions with the suicidal inflow of third-world outlanders, along with marinating daily in the sort of American scheisskultur that lionizes both ghetto violence and (planned) white obsolescence, those vaunted educational standards I alluded to up there are now on their way out.

    Read More
    • Agree: Rurik
    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
    If the official languages of Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina were respectively: Polish, Romanian, German and Italian, we'd probably have a pretty functional polyglot milieu provided everyone was fairly White.
  19. @Gene Su
    Hey, Fred!

    I completely agree with you and John Derbyshire on what you guys want to do but perhaps not for the same reasons. I would like to touch on some points in your essay:


    A question John raises in the piece I was looking for, and answers in the negative, is whether any reason exists for public schooling beyond perhaps fifth grade.

     

    You want to know why we have 12 years of compulsory schooling? It's all about the unions! It is not just the teacher's unions but also the workman's unions. If kids were allowed to enter the workforce earlier, they can compete with the unionists and be a threat to their work monopoly. This is also the real rationale behind the Child Labor Laws and the Minimum Wage.

    ... democracy requires an educated electorate knowing history, geography, languages and such so as to have a grasp of the issues of the day, etc, and so on, and on, to the last syllable of recorded tedium. Questions seldom asked: Does American schooling produce such an electorate?

     

    Heck no! I never touched on the Vietnam war in any of my history classes until the 11th grade. Here are some other things we never discussed in my Social Studies classes in public and private school:
    That it was the Ottoman Muslims who toppled the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire in 1453.
    That Istanbul (formerly Constantinople and Byzantium) connects many trade routes throughout history.
    That some of Adolf Hitler's racist ideas came from Henry Ford.
    That Woodrow Wilson was America's most racist president.
    I can go on and on and on.... Instead, we were asked to memorize a few token factoids (What did the Treaty of Versailles do?) without learning more about the time period from which they came.

    John points out that his own children, presumably bright, took four years of high-school Spanish yet cannot speak a sentence.
     
    I took 7 years of Spanish but my Spanish was piss poor until I was about 28 years old. I had a copy of the New Testament in Spanish and found I could read it pretty well. John Taylor Gatto said that children are better able to learn to read, write, and do anything when they are given their whole lives instead of being imprisoned in a "classroom."

    John makes the point that the English empire was administered entirely by men who learned nothing in school but Latin classics.
     
    Most of our Founding Fathers had 3 to 6 years of schooling. To my knowledge, only 2 attended college (John Adams attended Harvard and Alex Hamilton attended Columbia). Despite having only 3 years of schooling, Ben Franklin became a newspaper editor at the age of 25, an inventor, and a general polymath. Informal education always beats out formal schooling.

    Far better would be perhaps junior high followed by vocational training in a field of interest to the student.
     
    Two points: First, our schools were never meant to provide a classical education. Nor were they meant to provide a vocational or cardinal (is that what they use in the military?) education. They were meant to be used as tools of social control - to turn us into submissive sheep.
    Second, it used to be that in America, you could (more) easily change careers as you go. You could also learn as you go. Is there any good reason why a child must be imprisoned in a "classroom" for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, 12 straight years, maybe even more if he or she has to attend day care or summer camp? How is that supposed make a child educated? It used to be you can drop out of school but then easily go back anytime you want. Maybe our public schooling system should do that instead. It would sure be better than the farce we have now.
    I stopped going to school after I got my Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering because I was really stressed out and bored. After more than a decade. I'm going back to get my Master's.

    Pocket Notes:

    I once ran across a reference that the free public schools that came out of the Progressive Era of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries were consciously established to turn the children of the masses of Irish and Italian Catholic immigrants into good WASPs. It worked … it worked because they had WASP teachers and a WASP curriculum. The result was the Great American Melting Pot. Indeed, it worked so well that Catholic schools were also dutifully providing a good WASP education to their students.

    My university once noted in a communication that over 50% of its graduates were working in a field totally unrelated to their university degree within 12 years of graduation. Learning how to think within the bounds of a classical liberal arts education — literature, languages, history, and philosophy — provided its graduates with that flexibility.

    Unfortunately, the Great American Melting Pot and the liberal arts are gone. They have been replaced with “identity” schools at all levels whose students are taught by “identity” teachers using curriculums based on “identity” ideologies. The current goal of education in the United States appears to be to appreciate how protected minorities fit into the “intersectionality” of everything … or, something like that.

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  20. @Ragno

    John points out that his own children, presumably bright, took four years of high-school Spanish yet cannot speak a sentence. Do you know anybody who learned any language in high school? Or in ‘college’?
     
    Yeah, that must be why, until very recently at least, most European schoolkids graduate with a working fluency in THREE languages (their own, of course; English, judged as being so mandatory it's not actually considered learning a foreign language; and a third tongue which is so categorized.)

    I of course must presume here that, after blood-poisoning their own institutions with the suicidal inflow of third-world outlanders, along with marinating daily in the sort of American scheisskultur that lionizes both ghetto violence and (planned) white obsolescence, those vaunted educational standards I alluded to up there are now on their way out.

    If the official languages of Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina were respectively: Polish, Romanian, German and Italian, we’d probably have a pretty functional polyglot milieu provided everyone was fairly White.

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  21. schooling is learning how to make money, or acquiring the ability/connection to make money.

    growing up is not a requirement :) learning history is also not a requirement, it is just respectable :)

    TV is programming. so is our education system k1-k12.

    my question is this: how will the poor get their education without the public school system?

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  22. @Rurik

    Pray tell, explain to me why we are meddling in the Middle East. For the Zionists? Is that the only reason?
     
    well, since this is not a thread about that per se, I'll try to keep this short and sweet

    if you listen to mainstream journalists, they'll tell you America gives Israel billions upon billions of dollars and defends the indefensible vis-a-vis genocide and ethnic cleansing and other atrocities, because she's our bestest ally ever and the only democracy in the Middle East. And that's a crock of horse cookies. The real reason is because Zionist Jews are very powerful in the US (and England and France and Germany) and if our politicians don't toe the Zio-line, then they'll be out of office and forced to work for a living. So they toe the line. (same with official, "respectable" journalists)

    It's not all about Zionism, some of it was about oil at one time, and also they had to crush Gadhafi's gold dinar and there's other stuff too. But mostly it's all about Zionist Jews stealing other people's land.

    Now check out how many lame-stream journalists who are capable of saying that obvious truth.

    Which is why we're better off with a business man who's not beholding to entrenched interest groups for our SoS.

    I agree very much that Israel, through its campaign finance donations and extraordinary lobbying efforts has a lot to do with our continuing wars in the M.E. But the greater influence, I believe, is along the same lines of political campaign awards, but from defense and security contractors, and from Wall Street. Israel is a quite convenient excuse (one of many) offered-up by the neocons who talk about Israel’s bogus “democracy” government in the M.E. I think these contributors to campaign financing have more to do with the completely unnecessary wars in the M.E.

    As to Trump, he just appointed a very Israelist rightest to be the U.S. ambassador to Israel. This guy thinks the settlement incursions and murdering of Palestinian people just fine. So I’m not sure that the U.S. approach to aiding Israel will be in the least mitigated — it might even be more sympathetic with more foreign aid and free, or at-cost, military hardware and munitions made available to Israel. Hope not, but we’ll see.

    Mr. Trump also, in my opinion, has appointed far too many Iranophobes with his Mattis, Kelly and Flynn, among others, appointments. This too is scary.

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    • Replies: @Rurik

    Israel is a quite convenient excuse (one of many) offered-up by the neocons
     
    well Fredrick, we'll just have to agree to disagree, since I see the neocons as fundamentally rabid Zionists hell bent on Eternal Wars for Israel. Not that Wall Street isn't involved as well, but then most of the big players on Wall Street, (Goldman Sachs, etc...) are also Jewish, so their sympathies are perhaps suspect when it comes to Israel, no?

    Anyways I totally agree with you about the MICs treasonous kick backs to the whores and traitors in congress, and I don't think they've ever seen any kind of war they don't $upport. They certainly are part of the problem, I just don't think they're the reason our wars seem always to be for Israel's benefit.

    Anyways, it's because of all of this that I just wanted to quip about Trump's pick for SoS, since Fred here seems to believe that a noted Western journalist would be more suited.

    As for US education, the problem is simple, they want the citizens to be ignorant cannon fodder and bovine worker drones

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jQT7_rVxAE
  23. @Frederick John
    I agree very much that Israel, through its campaign finance donations and extraordinary lobbying efforts has a lot to do with our continuing wars in the M.E. But the greater influence, I believe, is along the same lines of political campaign awards, but from defense and security contractors, and from Wall Street. Israel is a quite convenient excuse (one of many) offered-up by the neocons who talk about Israel's bogus "democracy" government in the M.E. I think these contributors to campaign financing have more to do with the completely unnecessary wars in the M.E.

    As to Trump, he just appointed a very Israelist rightest to be the U.S. ambassador to Israel. This guy thinks the settlement incursions and murdering of Palestinian people just fine. So I'm not sure that the U.S. approach to aiding Israel will be in the least mitigated — it might even be more sympathetic with more foreign aid and free, or at-cost, military hardware and munitions made available to Israel. Hope not, but we'll see.

    Mr. Trump also, in my opinion, has appointed far too many Iranophobes with his Mattis, Kelly and Flynn, among others, appointments. This too is scary.

    Israel is a quite convenient excuse (one of many) offered-up by the neocons

    well Fredrick, we’ll just have to agree to disagree, since I see the neocons as fundamentally rabid Zionists hell bent on Eternal Wars for Israel. Not that Wall Street isn’t involved as well, but then most of the big players on Wall Street, (Goldman Sachs, etc…) are also Jewish, so their sympathies are perhaps suspect when it comes to Israel, no?

    Anyways I totally agree with you about the MICs treasonous kick backs to the whores and traitors in congress, and I don’t think they’ve ever seen any kind of war they don’t $upport. They certainly are part of the problem, I just don’t think they’re the reason our wars seem always to be for Israel’s benefit.

    Anyways, it’s because of all of this that I just wanted to quip about Trump’s pick for SoS, since Fred here seems to believe that a noted Western journalist would be more suited.

    As for US education, the problem is simple, they want the citizens to be ignorant cannon fodder and bovine worker drones

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jQT7_rVxAE

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  24. Given kids are showing up in 4th grade now who still poop and pee their pants on a weekly basis (yes, think about how THAT classroom smells….), Fred may be excused for believing that 10 or 11 year olds have had enough time to absorb the essentials.

    Nothing like putting those who used to be called “mentally retarded” in with normal and gifted kids. Intelligence is thus assumed to be communicable.

    This reminds me of the entire premise for school desegregation; leftists apparently all believe(d) that the only way black and brown kids could learn was if they sat next to white kids.

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  25. “. . . they want the citizens to be ignorant cannon fodder and bovine worker drones.” They have succeeded.

    Where do we disagree? I have no use for the neocons. My point about Israel is that it is just one fake story offered to the media so as to justify the Middle East antics.

    Though today, the neocons appear to be cognizant that the U.S. public is becoming sick and tired of the bullshit offered-up to justify our M.E. wars and then with absolutely no wins to justify the loss of American lives and the wholesale destruction and turning to rubble of M.E. cities. And then the resulting”masses of “refugee” immigrants.

    “We have to fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here.” Really??!! What utter hogwash! The United States has never been attacked by another country (not counting early Mexican wars), let alone attacked by a small band of sand-strew men that maybe totals 25,000 on a payroll day, has no air force, has no navy, has no industrial base and who have to use roadside debris to cobble together I.E.D.s.

    No, the new meme being fed to the mostly uninformed, low-information American people is that the big threat is Russia and the fallback threat is China. Thus, Israel’s contributions to political campaigns will lessen and and so will their influence. IMHO. We have to prepare for imminent war with Russia or China (or both) and so bigger budgets all around is what’s needed. That’s the reality today, my friend.

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    • Replies: @Rurik

    Where do we disagree? I have no use for the neocons. My point about Israel is that it is just one fake story offered to the media so as to justify the Middle East antics.
     
    that's where we disagree

    I think you have that backwards. The fake stories are told to justify the wars for Israel, not the other way around. Israel is the tail that wags the US war dog/pig.

    Thus, Israel’s contributions to political campaigns will lessen and and so will their influence.
     
    Israel's influence is and has been a consequence of Jews owning the media and 'too big to fail' banks. The contributions are negligible. If you earn the wrath of the lobby, the media will do you in. (Cynthia McKinney, Rick Sanchez, Joe Sobran, et al)

    Do you think Fred here is careful what he says about things like 9/11 because he's worried about getting campaign contributions? No sir. He's worried about 'respectability', and the consequences of 'going there'. I will admit that Fred has mentioned Israel when it comes to the Eternal Wars, but only tepidly. Once you come down as a truth-teller vis-a-vis Jewish control of the media and academia and 'The Narrative' then you're done for in polite society. Which ironically, Fred of all people seems to give a whit about. I'm hoping for the day when that seems less true, and his formidable prose will seek out the dragon in its lair. ;)
  26. @Daniel H
    Slightly on topic. The way to get competent (not necessarily fluent, but functionally competent) in any language, fast, is to just memorize the present tense, indicative mood. You can communicate any thought you need with just this. For past tense just insert a "yesterday" or "used to". For future tense just insert "tomorrow" or "someday". For conditional tense just insert "maybe" or some other conditional indicator. Native speakers will understand you. How do I know this, because I have been dealing with non English speaking immigrants for 35 years and they all get their point across, and many that I know have done extremely well and prospered in an English speaking environment. Endless drilling to get every tense, declension, mood perfect is a waste of time and brain power. Just be competent and functional. As time goes by you will naturally acquire a better command of the language.

    Supplement by listening to the radio to train the ear to recognize different accents, idioms and rates of speech. National talk shows cast a wide net. If available, listen to BBC World Service, Radio Television Luxembourg, Deutsche Welle and similar national broadcasts, too.

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  27. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Michelle
    Never forget, English is the other language! Many of our ancestors spoke native languages other than English when they arrived in the New World. They all learned English so that they could communicate with each other. English is like Swahili that way.

    For our ancestors, yes. But, unfortunately, not for most of us.

    I learned Spanish in HS well enough to communicate to some extent, and, more importantly, to read (with some little difficulty). If learning a language is either important to or demanded of a student, the language will be learned. On the contrary, I learned Latin not at all, because these two conditions were not present. Am now struggling with it and wish I had tried harder when I was younger.

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    • Replies: @Johann
    I am a retired school teacher. I taught Latin, German, and AP English and I agree one hundred per cent with this article. I also had the advantage of teaching English in a German Gymnasien where I taught English as a foreign language, most of my German student were able to master English fairly well. One of my former German students eventually got his doctorate in Englisch und Germanistic. He owns a book store in Aachen ,the old imperial city of Charlemagne, I still correspond with him and recently he sent me the German edition of Pope Benedict XVI's LAST TESTAMENTS.My colleagues in the American public school where I taught with a few exceptions were a tad above being dolts. They considered me to be an odd ball because I actually knew something. I remember that I had a poster of the Pater Noster , the Our Father, in Latin in front of my classroom for years and was never corrected because most of the pc administrators had a difficult time mastering English alone without another language. The problem with American education is that few people go into it to teach or possess the erudition needed to instruct. The teachers and administrators are experts at gaming the system; i.e, acquire high paying positions in administration or counseling that pay exorbitant salaries for doing nothing. In conclusion the best subject I took was Latin, it is the key to all European languages and my four years of Latin in a parochial high school allowed me to read Vergil in his own language by fourth year. My Latin teacher was a kindly old Catholic priest who had no degrees in American Education but was deeply schooled in Latin , French ,Theology, Philosophy and History. Sadly the public school where I taught gradually dropped the German and Latin programs when I retired.
    , @Triumph104
    I have no interest in Latin, so consider the source, but I suggest you take a look at Hans H. Ørberg's Lingua Latina per se Illustrata, Pars I: Familia Romana. (LINK)

    Do you know anybody who learned any language in high school?
     
    Two-thirds of the students who take the AP Spanish Language exam are heritage speakers. Eighty percent of the AP Chinese test takers are heritage speakers.
  28. @Frederick John
    ". . . they want the citizens to be ignorant cannon fodder and bovine worker drones." They have succeeded.

    Where do we disagree? I have no use for the neocons. My point about Israel is that it is just one fake story offered to the media so as to justify the Middle East antics.

    Though today, the neocons appear to be cognizant that the U.S. public is becoming sick and tired of the bullshit offered-up to justify our M.E. wars and then with absolutely no wins to justify the loss of American lives and the wholesale destruction and turning to rubble of M.E. cities. And then the resulting"masses of "refugee" immigrants.

    "We have to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here." Really??!! What utter hogwash! The United States has never been attacked by another country (not counting early Mexican wars), let alone attacked by a small band of sand-strew men that maybe totals 25,000 on a payroll day, has no air force, has no navy, has no industrial base and who have to use roadside debris to cobble together I.E.D.s.

    No, the new meme being fed to the mostly uninformed, low-information American people is that the big threat is Russia and the fallback threat is China. Thus, Israel's contributions to political campaigns will lessen and and so will their influence. IMHO. We have to prepare for imminent war with Russia or China (or both) and so bigger budgets all around is what's needed. That's the reality today, my friend.

    Where do we disagree? I have no use for the neocons. My point about Israel is that it is just one fake story offered to the media so as to justify the Middle East antics.

    that’s where we disagree

    I think you have that backwards. The fake stories are told to justify the wars for Israel, not the other way around. Israel is the tail that wags the US war dog/pig.

    Thus, Israel’s contributions to political campaigns will lessen and and so will their influence.

    Israel’s influence is and has been a consequence of Jews owning the media and ‘too big to fail’ banks. The contributions are negligible. If you earn the wrath of the lobby, the media will do you in. (Cynthia McKinney, Rick Sanchez, Joe Sobran, et al)

    Do you think Fred here is careful what he says about things like 9/11 because he’s worried about getting campaign contributions? No sir. He’s worried about ‘respectability’, and the consequences of ‘going there’. I will admit that Fred has mentioned Israel when it comes to the Eternal Wars, but only tepidly. Once you come down as a truth-teller vis-a-vis Jewish control of the media and academia and ‘The Narrative’ then you’re done for in polite society. Which ironically, Fred of all people seems to give a whit about. I’m hoping for the day when that seems less true, and his formidable prose will seek out the dragon in its lair. ;)

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  29. Biggest problems I see with education are it:

    1. Gives adults the illusion that they understand the world. Most university educated adults are some of the most delusional people on the planet.

    2. Serves as leftist indoctrination.

    3. Convinces kids that learning is boring.

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    • Replies: @Ivy
    Re 3, Disney and their fellow traveler networks incite kids to disdain parents and teachers. Watch a few episodes of their manipulative shows to see how brazen they are.
  30. Look at the design of our public education system:

    – The chimera of federal, state, and hyper-local control, with corrupt, petty politicians elected to the too-numerous local boards
    – Funding through confisfactory property taxes that should be unconstitutional (basically the government has a lien on everyone’s property)
    – Teacher training, i.e., the most mediocre graduates of the most mediocre schools, with an added pointless credential usually needed after university
    – Teachers’ unions, whose incentives are literally the opposite of students’ and parents’, along with the rest of the education industry that has been totally captured by special interests driven by political correctness

    Could you come up with a system more antithetical to the interest of actually educating citizens if you tried?

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  31. @TheBoom
    Biggest problems I see with education are it:

    1. Gives adults the illusion that they understand the world. Most university educated adults are some of the most delusional people on the planet.

    2. Serves as leftist indoctrination.

    3. Convinces kids that learning is boring.

    Re 3, Disney and their fellow traveler networks incite kids to disdain parents and teachers. Watch a few episodes of their manipulative shows to see how brazen they are.

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  32. @dearieme
    "A kid of IQ 140 will regard his ed-major teacher, at 95, as a form of tuber and she will guess as much." My father, who was not given to issuing instructions about my schooling, was absolutely firm - I must never, on pain of near-death, hint by word or deed that I'd realised that I was cleverer than my teachers.

    He was right too, the old boy. And, rather unusually, I did as I was bidden.

    you forgot to add,

    member of Mensa for 50 years.

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  33. Extreme times call for executing foreign meddlers like Reed and expelling infiltrators like Derb.

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  34. John points out that his own children, presumably bright, took four years of high-school Spanish yet cannot speak a sentence.

    So this is more of a criticism of educational methods and probably not only in languages.

    But just looking at languages:

    If the aim is really to teach a high school student of average ability to speak Spanish with 4 years tuition then this is not such a great problem. Just ditch the current system and sit with the student while he/she spends the same time interacting in Spanish with something like the Michael Thomas method (no commercial connection – but I’ve used it and it works) and after the same number of hours you’ll have a student who can speak useful Spanish in most situations.

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  35. @Rurik

    Pray tell, explain to me why we are meddling in the Middle East. For the Zionists? Is that the only reason?
     
    well, since this is not a thread about that per se, I'll try to keep this short and sweet

    if you listen to mainstream journalists, they'll tell you America gives Israel billions upon billions of dollars and defends the indefensible vis-a-vis genocide and ethnic cleansing and other atrocities, because she's our bestest ally ever and the only democracy in the Middle East. And that's a crock of horse cookies. The real reason is because Zionist Jews are very powerful in the US (and England and France and Germany) and if our politicians don't toe the Zio-line, then they'll be out of office and forced to work for a living. So they toe the line. (same with official, "respectable" journalists)

    It's not all about Zionism, some of it was about oil at one time, and also they had to crush Gadhafi's gold dinar and there's other stuff too. But mostly it's all about Zionist Jews stealing other people's land.

    Now check out how many lame-stream journalists who are capable of saying that obvious truth.

    Which is why we're better off with a business man who's not beholding to entrenched interest groups for our SoS.

    Well said Rurik, but you did not keep it short and sweet.

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  36. “Bright kids learn to read by reading, by going to the library and coming back with ten books, by reading voraciously, indiscriminately, clandestinely reading under the covers at night with flashlights.”

    I read a few grades ahead of my classmates. To minimise disruption to their efforts, one gifted teacher had the inspiration to send me to the library during her class, which only made the “problem” that much worse, but made my life somewhat more interesting at a young age.

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    • Replies: @pepperinmono
    Thank God a similar thing happened to me .
    I was in 6th grade and what now would have been called "gifted".
    There was no such thing then , of course.
    I was getting into trouble.
    The 8th grade principal nun made me
    do 2 book reports a week for her outside of regular schoolwork.
    I was apoplectic, but I became a voracious reader.
    She changed my life.

    One negative thing going to school with those a little less bright:
    One gets an exaggerated sense of one's owns abilities.
    This eventually comes back to bite you in the ass, a good thing.
    , @Alden
    At the end of third grade I tested 10th grade reading. I just sat quietly through the reading lessons in first second third and fourth grade.

    I don't remember any teacher even acknowledging my high test scores.

    The worst thing about present day public and private schools is the homework burden dumped on both children and parents. Worst are the endless projects. They all involve piles of stuff all over the living room for days on end.
    The excessive homework is caused by the fact that nothing is taught in the classroom so teaching is dumped on the parents.
    The department of education should be abolished. It is nothing but a welfare to work program for gay and minority women.
  37. “And oil my guillotine for the coming years. There are callings that transcend personal preference.”

    Guillotine is too humane for these rogues. Given the way they’ve been treating us these last few decades, I think we need to consider a return to Hanging, Drawing and Quartering.

    Read More
  38. The quality of education depends not only on direct, short-term and practical benefits (i.e. on identifying areas of interest and building on areas of strength to the child), but also on what seem to some to be indirect, long-term and impractical benefits, the power and importance of which may not be realized and understood, if at all, until many years later. The Derbyshire example of Brits educated on Latin classics of antiquity building the British empire illustrates the point. The tone of this article and many of the posts address only the short-term, direct and practical benefits of education and disregard the rest. It’s the equivalent of the bystander asking a marathon runner training for the Olympics “where are you going on that 26 mile run?”, followed by “why not just take a car?” The marathon runner’s answer being “no where you will ever be able to see.”

    Read More
  39. @Anon
    I have an idea. Education should be split along ideological lines.

    For some subjects, ideology has no place: biology, chemistry, physics, and etc. And everyone should take the same classes.

    But when it comes to history, social 'sciences', and the like, students should be allowed a choice among the various ideologies:

    Prog history that says white folks suck and are to blame for everything. White Guilt.

    Frog(Pepe) history that says white folks topped the charts in human achievement. White Prestige.

    This will work if you take the kids that choose Prog History and Frog-march them straight to Fred’s well-oiled guillotine upon graduation.

    Read More
  40. Here’s the latest education farce

    http://freebeacon.com/issues/university-offering-course-problem-whiteness/

    …and the punk who teaches it

    http://african.wisc.edu/faculty/sajnani

    …on the public dime.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Escher
    Your tax dollars at work. I am sure the papers on MLK as the 1st hip hopper will be cited as pathbreaking studies in years to come.
  41. If public school is actually needed at all, then how did the first public school teachers know anything to teach?

    Public schools were not created by entrepreneurs responding to consumer demand . . . so, who really “needs” them? Maybe they were created by the elite for social engineering. Maybe public schools aren’t failing, but are succeeding exactly as planned.

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  42. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    It’s probably unavoidable but most grammar and high school teachers are of average intelligence, give or take a little, so therefore their ability to impart anything to a fairly bright child wanes after the child turns twelve. At that point they need something better but usually it’s not forthcoming. For average or below average children the average teacher is still all right because neither knows any better. The status of teaching as a profession has declined as have working conditions in public schools so it’s hard to recruit worthwhile people. Reading and writing are on the decline since everyone just texts in simplified style. The Dept of Ed is a bureaucratic hindrance and should be done away with so as to enable actual education, whatever there is of it, to actually take place.

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  43. @Anon
    I have an idea. Education should be split along ideological lines.

    For some subjects, ideology has no place: biology, chemistry, physics, and etc. And everyone should take the same classes.

    But when it comes to history, social 'sciences', and the like, students should be allowed a choice among the various ideologies:

    Prog history that says white folks suck and are to blame for everything. White Guilt.

    Frog(Pepe) history that says white folks topped the charts in human achievement. White Prestige.

    I would like to make a list of the 5 top Cultural Marxist (Prog history) children’s books.

    1. To Kill a Mockingbird
    No intro needed here. Conservatives have noted that the hidden message that it has taught to 3 generations of school children is that blacks are always innocent victims and that whites cannot be trusted to be honorable at all in matters involving blacks. It has spawned all those anti-white films like Mississippi Burning and The Butler. Too bad it’s more right-wing sequel was found more than 50 years afterward.

    2. My Brother Sam is Dead
    I had to read this in eighth grade. It portrayed the American Continental Army during the Revolutionary War as thieving, violent thugs. The protagonist’s family is of Tory leanings and suffer greatly during the war. His father is inadvertently captured and killed. His brother Sam is a proto-leftist from Boston who joins the American Patriots because he is “proud” of his country. In his platoon are some nasty rednecks who loot the family farm and then frame Sam, who is executed by firing squad. This book was written in the 70′s. If it was written in the 50′s, it probably would have been the Bible of the Vietnam anti-war movement.

    3. Nothing by the Truth
    A [white] high school freshman is kicked off the track team for flunking English / Language Arts. He soon annoys his teacher by singing and humming during the Pledge of Allegiance / National Anthem. He gets his teacher fired by painting her as a anti-American leftist but he has to transfer because his antics have ostracized him.
    I wonder whether any publisher would touch a children’s book about a black high school freshman who, after flunking and getting kicked off the football team, does a Black Power salute during the Pledge of Allegiance. Hmmmmmm….

    4. Iggy’s House
    A black family moves from urban Detroit to a Michigan suburb only to encounter hostile white neighbors who tell them to go back to Africa. It’s too bad the book didn’t discuss what that black family experienced in Detroit and why they decided to move.

    5. My Teacher is an Alien series
    Aliens from some galactic confederation observe Earth and try to determine whether to blow it up because humans are too violent. Could be a standard Star Trek episode. Humans (European males) are violent and aliens (blacks, Arabs, Asians, Indians) are peaceful savages.

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    • Replies: @Patrick Harris
    Actual leftists (as opposed to liberals) tend to dislike TKAM because of the centrality of its heroic white protagonist. Atticus Finch is one of the great figures in 20th century popular literature, and it's a bit hard to overlook him to make the claim that the book's message is "don't trust whitey." Insofar as the book portrays an Alabama jury in the 1940's as being less-than-objective in adjudicating an interracial rape accusation, that's hardly a stretch. TKAM is an overrated book, but not a bad one.
  44. @The Alarmist

    "Bright kids learn to read by reading, by going to the library and coming back with ten books, by reading voraciously, indiscriminately, clandestinely reading under the covers at night with flashlights."
     
    I read a few grades ahead of my classmates. To minimise disruption to their efforts, one gifted teacher had the inspiration to send me to the library during her class, which only made the "problem" that much worse, but made my life somewhat more interesting at a young age.

    Thank God a similar thing happened to me .
    I was in 6th grade and what now would have been called “gifted”.
    There was no such thing then , of course.
    I was getting into trouble.
    The 8th grade principal nun made me
    do 2 book reports a week for her outside of regular schoolwork.
    I was apoplectic, but I became a voracious reader.
    She changed my life.

    One negative thing going to school with those a little less bright:
    One gets an exaggerated sense of one’s owns abilities.
    This eventually comes back to bite you in the ass, a good thing.

    Read More
  45. Schools do accomplish something, even for the intellectually mediocre. They may not remember much of what they learned, but to a certain extent they learn how to learn.

    They learn how to read a bunch of random stuff, extract something from it, and do something with what they learned (which in school usually means writing some sort of paper). They may lose the particulars of what they learned on that occasion, but later in life when they are working at some sort of mid-level job and are required to read some other random stuff and do something with it, they at least have some experience they can draw on, because this procedure was something they had to repeat again and again in high school and college. For most people I think that’s what our system of education accomplishes, and I think it clearly has some value.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clearpoint
    A friend of a friend I once knew was a teacher. When I first met him, I asked him how he liked teaching. His reply: "I work 2/3 of a day for 2/3 of a year. What's not to like?" For some, teaching is a calling, and they do a tremendous job educating our kids...and are tremendously underpaid for it. For others, it's an easy job with summers off and early retirement, and minimal supervision and ineffective monitoring of their job performance, so that they can game the system and get away with doing a terrible job educating our kids...and they are tremendously overpaid for the job they do. Sadly, it's not always easy to tell the two apart.
  46. @anonymous
    For our ancestors, yes. But, unfortunately, not for most of us.

    I learned Spanish in HS well enough to communicate to some extent, and, more importantly, to read (with some little difficulty). If learning a language is either important to or demanded of a student, the language will be learned. On the contrary, I learned Latin not at all, because these two conditions were not present. Am now struggling with it and wish I had tried harder when I was younger.

    I am a retired school teacher. I taught Latin, German, and AP English and I agree one hundred per cent with this article. I also had the advantage of teaching English in a German Gymnasien where I taught English as a foreign language, most of my German student were able to master English fairly well. One of my former German students eventually got his doctorate in Englisch und Germanistic. He owns a book store in Aachen ,the old imperial city of Charlemagne, I still correspond with him and recently he sent me the German edition of Pope Benedict XVI’s LAST TESTAMENTS.My colleagues in the American public school where I taught with a few exceptions were a tad above being dolts. They considered me to be an odd ball because I actually knew something. I remember that I had a poster of the Pater Noster , the Our Father, in Latin in front of my classroom for years and was never corrected because most of the pc administrators had a difficult time mastering English alone without another language. The problem with American education is that few people go into it to teach or possess the erudition needed to instruct. The teachers and administrators are experts at gaming the system; i.e, acquire high paying positions in administration or counseling that pay exorbitant salaries for doing nothing. In conclusion the best subject I took was Latin, it is the key to all European languages and my four years of Latin in a parochial high school allowed me to read Vergil in his own language by fourth year. My Latin teacher was a kindly old Catholic priest who had no degrees in American Education but was deeply schooled in Latin , French ,Theology, Philosophy and History. Sadly the public school where I taught gradually dropped the German and Latin programs when I retired.

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  47. Derbyshire has a Chinese wife and offspring. He cannot be in charge of anything to help the West.

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    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
    that is retarded. derb is 110% for the west. he married her so he can openly criticized china and immigration :) he went above and beyond for the west. there are alot of things you can criticize about him but not this.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    John Derbyshire has a very long record and it is very public. You would protect yourself from making idiotic statements by doing a bit of relevant homework.
  48. Engineering is… is… trade school?!

    I am wounded.

    I’ll be with my Nintendo when you finally hunger for real wisdom.

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    • Replies: @ganderson
    Full disclosure- I'm a HS History teacher!

    I'd agree that engineering is a trade- which, to me, speaking as one who has trouble screwing in screws, is high praise. We need more tradesmen and fewer overeducated dolts such as myself.

    I'd make two further comments about Fred's piece:

    Since the world runs on English, and Americans really don't have access to foreign language speakers (although that's sadly becoming less true all the time) it's hard to get American high schoolers to take language classes seriously. Of course our schools do not generally hold language learners to the same standards as say, the math department. I did learn German pretty well in HS, and Swedish in college, but mostly because I was interested, and had good teachers.

    As for Fred's and Derb's point about how most education after 5th grade is a waste of time- I vehemently object, mostly because I have a sneaking suspicion that you two may be right. I think I'd say 8th grade, but the point stands. Here in MA Governor Mini-Me had a proposal to raise the school leaving age to 18- cooler heads prevailed. I can't tell you how many kids I have that are completely uninterested in what I have to offer- and most kids tend to like my class, for whatever that's worth. They'd be better off doing something, anything else.

    I'm going to completely and deliberately ignore the notion that we are running out of things for our low IQ population to do...

  49. Duke Pesta tells us how Donald Trump can destroy the Department of Education…

    Read More
  50. @attilathehen
    Derbyshire has a Chinese wife and offspring. He cannot be in charge of anything to help the West.

    that is retarded. derb is 110% for the west. he married her so he can openly criticized china and immigration :) he went above and beyond for the west. there are alot of things you can criticize about him but not this.

    Read More
  51. Public school was once about keeping kids out of the workforce until age 18, but now that there aren’t any jobs for citizens and public school is fully folded into femcultmarx it has a new, sinister purpose – it’s daycare for single mothers who don’t work but can’t be bothered. The fun part of having children is in being pursued by and then being repeatedly banged by tattooed felons after all, the rest is boring. Note that earlier and earlier preschool is being pushed on us, in spite of evidence that it doesn’t work (except for poor black kids, surprise surprise) – it’s universal daycare. No boredom in the Life of Julia.

    Nice work Fred! Be well.

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  52. @The Alarmist

    "Bright kids learn to read by reading, by going to the library and coming back with ten books, by reading voraciously, indiscriminately, clandestinely reading under the covers at night with flashlights."
     
    I read a few grades ahead of my classmates. To minimise disruption to their efforts, one gifted teacher had the inspiration to send me to the library during her class, which only made the "problem" that much worse, but made my life somewhat more interesting at a young age.

    At the end of third grade I tested 10th grade reading. I just sat quietly through the reading lessons in first second third and fourth grade.

    I don’t remember any teacher even acknowledging my high test scores.

    The worst thing about present day public and private schools is the homework burden dumped on both children and parents. Worst are the endless projects. They all involve piles of stuff all over the living room for days on end.
    The excessive homework is caused by the fact that nothing is taught in the classroom so teaching is dumped on the parents.
    The department of education should be abolished. It is nothing but a welfare to work program for gay and minority women.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
    your area didn't have gifted classes or schools? or is your reading the only thing you excelled at?
    , @Anon7
    When I was in elementary school in the 1960's I don't think they tested reading levels, or if they did, they didn't care. My elementary school was a high school back in the early 1900's, and the library was full of books for grown ups. Sure, I read Kit Carson when I was a fourth grader, but I also read unabridged translations of The Count of Monte Cristo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and lots of others.

    Nobody offered to advance me a grade, nobody offered me more difficult classroom material. I think what Fred says is true, and has been true for generations. A classroom full of kids is just like a yard full of leaves that needs to be raked to the curb. Some of the "leaves" need more effort to get them to the street, but some are there already. Less work for teacher, right?

  53. @anonymous
    For our ancestors, yes. But, unfortunately, not for most of us.

    I learned Spanish in HS well enough to communicate to some extent, and, more importantly, to read (with some little difficulty). If learning a language is either important to or demanded of a student, the language will be learned. On the contrary, I learned Latin not at all, because these two conditions were not present. Am now struggling with it and wish I had tried harder when I was younger.

    I have no interest in Latin, so consider the source, but I suggest you take a look at Hans H. Ørberg’s Lingua Latina per se Illustrata, Pars I: Familia Romana. (LINK)

    Do you know anybody who learned any language in high school?

    Two-thirds of the students who take the AP Spanish Language exam are heritage speakers. Eighty percent of the AP Chinese test takers are heritage speakers.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Thanks; I've been using Wilfrid Diamond's Liturgical Latin, which I picked up in the library here, and which I found much more helpful than Wheelock. I'll have to look into Orberg. I've also been going through medieval Latin texts, which have the advantage relative to classical Latin (for an English-speaker) that they rarely resort to the contorted grammar considered good style in the classical period but which is very difficult for a learner to follow.

    In my very white high school about 20 students, or ten percent of the graduating class, took the AP Spanish exam; two, iirc, were native speakers (one Spanish and one, I think, Ecuadorian). Most did well. So I do know quite a few people who learned Spanish in high school.

    I'm surprised so many non-Chinese learn Mandarin.
  54. @Alden
    At the end of third grade I tested 10th grade reading. I just sat quietly through the reading lessons in first second third and fourth grade.

    I don't remember any teacher even acknowledging my high test scores.

    The worst thing about present day public and private schools is the homework burden dumped on both children and parents. Worst are the endless projects. They all involve piles of stuff all over the living room for days on end.
    The excessive homework is caused by the fact that nothing is taught in the classroom so teaching is dumped on the parents.
    The department of education should be abolished. It is nothing but a welfare to work program for gay and minority women.

    your area didn’t have gifted classes or schools? or is your reading the only thing you excelled at?

    Read More
  55. @Dr. X
    Here's the latest education farce

    http://freebeacon.com/issues/university-offering-course-problem-whiteness/

    ...and the punk who teaches it

    http://african.wisc.edu/faculty/sajnani

    ...on the public dime.

    Your tax dollars at work. I am sure the papers on MLK as the 1st hip hopper will be cited as pathbreaking studies in years to come.

    Read More
  56. One obvious omission is the place of adult approval in motivating learning. No doubt adult approval now counts for less and peer group approval more than 30 and more years ago and this would be especially so amongst fatherless blacks. However pleasing grandmother, or just showing off by getting A for arithmetic must still be possible motivation.

    Read More
  57. @attilathehen
    Derbyshire has a Chinese wife and offspring. He cannot be in charge of anything to help the West.

    John Derbyshire has a very long record and it is very public. You would protect yourself from making idiotic statements by doing a bit of relevant homework.

    Read More
  58. @Astuteobservor II
    that is retarded. derb is 110% for the west. he married her so he can openly criticized china and immigration :) he went above and beyond for the west. there are alot of things you can criticize about him but not this.

    You are a degenerate troll.

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  59. @Wizard of Oz
    John Derbyshire has a very long record and it is very public. You would protect yourself from making idiotic statements by doing a bit of relevant homework.

    You must be Astuteobserver II’s Siamese twin.

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  60. @Alden
    At the end of third grade I tested 10th grade reading. I just sat quietly through the reading lessons in first second third and fourth grade.

    I don't remember any teacher even acknowledging my high test scores.

    The worst thing about present day public and private schools is the homework burden dumped on both children and parents. Worst are the endless projects. They all involve piles of stuff all over the living room for days on end.
    The excessive homework is caused by the fact that nothing is taught in the classroom so teaching is dumped on the parents.
    The department of education should be abolished. It is nothing but a welfare to work program for gay and minority women.

    When I was in elementary school in the 1960′s I don’t think they tested reading levels, or if they did, they didn’t care. My elementary school was a high school back in the early 1900′s, and the library was full of books for grown ups. Sure, I read Kit Carson when I was a fourth grader, but I also read unabridged translations of The Count of Monte Cristo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and lots of others.

    Nobody offered to advance me a grade, nobody offered me more difficult classroom material. I think what Fred says is true, and has been true for generations. A classroom full of kids is just like a yard full of leaves that needs to be raked to the curb. Some of the “leaves” need more effort to get them to the street, but some are there already. Less work for teacher, right?

    Read More
  61. @anonymous coward

    From which we conclude: Kids will learn what interests them. They won’t learn anything else.
     
    Chinese and Japanese kids don't have a problem learning boring stuff. Must be the magic Chinese dirt!

    Or maybe they’re just interested in things you consider “boring”. Having taught many, many Asian students I can tell you that, while they may do well in math and science, they’re often abysmal when it comes to history, geography, literature, current events and everything else that isn’t related to math, science or computer games.

    It’s really quite a shock to find out that the Asian kid who’s a math prodigy has no idea where Argentina is or who wrote Romeo and Juliet and whose favourite movie of all time is whatever Disney cartoon is popular in the theatre now.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
    those negatives you listed doesn't sound bad at all. more like social skill deficiency. which is completely irrelevant to stem.
  62. @anonymous coward

    From which we conclude: Kids will learn what interests them. They won’t learn anything else.
     
    Chinese and Japanese kids don't have a problem learning boring stuff. Must be the magic Chinese dirt!

    Maybe Asian students respect, even fear, their teachers? In his reminiscences of his school days at Heatherdowns, Alexander Cockburn wrote about his intimidating Latin teacher and goes on to remark that the political left in general does not sufficiently appreciate the role that fear and corporal punishment plays in education.

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  63. @Johnny Smoggins
    Or maybe they're just interested in things you consider "boring". Having taught many, many Asian students I can tell you that, while they may do well in math and science, they're often abysmal when it comes to history, geography, literature, current events and everything else that isn't related to math, science or computer games.

    It's really quite a shock to find out that the Asian kid who's a math prodigy has no idea where Argentina is or who wrote Romeo and Juliet and whose favourite movie of all time is whatever Disney cartoon is popular in the theatre now.

    those negatives you listed doesn’t sound bad at all. more like social skill deficiency. which is completely irrelevant to stem.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Johnny Smoggins
    Bullshit. They fall under the category of common knowledge, mature tastes and being in possession of those things that make one a well rounded individual. That is unless your idea of stem is rain man.
  64. Feed, I humbly submit my request for the knitting needle francise at the (presumably) public executions.

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  65. @anonymous coward

    From which we conclude: Kids will learn what interests them. They won’t learn anything else.
     
    Chinese and Japanese kids don't have a problem learning boring stuff. Must be the magic Chinese dirt!

    Not entirely true. My daughter teaches in Japan. She teaches across a broad base of ages and abilities. She tells me that kids who are not interested in university are just as bored and uniterested as kids in North America. Uni bound kids work hard at studying. Others ar just as bored as anywhere else.

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  66. @Astuteobservor II
    those negatives you listed doesn't sound bad at all. more like social skill deficiency. which is completely irrelevant to stem.

    Bullshit. They fall under the category of common knowledge, mature tastes and being in possession of those things that make one a well rounded individual. That is unless your idea of stem is rain man.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II

    math prodigy has no idea where Argentina is or who wrote Romeo and Juliet and whose favourite movie of all time is whatever Disney cartoon is popular in the theatre now.
     
    TIL. this is rainman, glad we got that clear up.
  67. @Johnny Smoggins
    Bullshit. They fall under the category of common knowledge, mature tastes and being in possession of those things that make one a well rounded individual. That is unless your idea of stem is rain man.

    math prodigy has no idea where Argentina is or who wrote Romeo and Juliet and whose favourite movie of all time is whatever Disney cartoon is popular in the theatre now.

    TIL. this is rainman, glad we got that clear up.

    Read More
  68. @jb
    Schools do accomplish something, even for the intellectually mediocre. They may not remember much of what they learned, but to a certain extent they learn how to learn.

    They learn how to read a bunch of random stuff, extract something from it, and do something with what they learned (which in school usually means writing some sort of paper). They may lose the particulars of what they learned on that occasion, but later in life when they are working at some sort of mid-level job and are required to read some other random stuff and do something with it, they at least have some experience they can draw on, because this procedure was something they had to repeat again and again in high school and college. For most people I think that's what our system of education accomplishes, and I think it clearly has some value.

    A friend of a friend I once knew was a teacher. When I first met him, I asked him how he liked teaching. His reply: “I work 2/3 of a day for 2/3 of a year. What’s not to like?” For some, teaching is a calling, and they do a tremendous job educating our kids…and are tremendously underpaid for it. For others, it’s an easy job with summers off and early retirement, and minimal supervision and ineffective monitoring of their job performance, so that they can game the system and get away with doing a terrible job educating our kids…and they are tremendously overpaid for the job they do. Sadly, it’s not always easy to tell the two apart.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clearpoint
    And then there is the administration, whose motivation is simply to keep parents from asking questions, expressing concerns, or otherwise getting involved (except of course during tax levy / fundraising time), i.e. the public relations function of the system. The best teacher in their eyes is one who generates no questions, concerns or non-administration-approved involvement. All a teacher need do to curry favor with the administration (and the parents, and the kids too) is to make class time fun and easy, and to inflate the grades. The hard work of educating children is oftentimes neither fun nor easy, and oftentimes may result in lower than desired grades. The system is such that pressures and motivations are in conflict...especially if you are that rare exceptional teacher. The exceptional teacher is one who understands that in order to do what is good and right for the child, he or she must often do battle with the children he or she must educate, the parents who want to hear nothing but good news, and the administration who strictly forbid any controversy...and is willing to courageously act upon their beliefs in spite of all the battles they will face on their way to winning the war.
  69. @Clearpoint
    A friend of a friend I once knew was a teacher. When I first met him, I asked him how he liked teaching. His reply: "I work 2/3 of a day for 2/3 of a year. What's not to like?" For some, teaching is a calling, and they do a tremendous job educating our kids...and are tremendously underpaid for it. For others, it's an easy job with summers off and early retirement, and minimal supervision and ineffective monitoring of their job performance, so that they can game the system and get away with doing a terrible job educating our kids...and they are tremendously overpaid for the job they do. Sadly, it's not always easy to tell the two apart.

    And then there is the administration, whose motivation is simply to keep parents from asking questions, expressing concerns, or otherwise getting involved (except of course during tax levy / fundraising time), i.e. the public relations function of the system. The best teacher in their eyes is one who generates no questions, concerns or non-administration-approved involvement. All a teacher need do to curry favor with the administration (and the parents, and the kids too) is to make class time fun and easy, and to inflate the grades. The hard work of educating children is oftentimes neither fun nor easy, and oftentimes may result in lower than desired grades. The system is such that pressures and motivations are in conflict…especially if you are that rare exceptional teacher. The exceptional teacher is one who understands that in order to do what is good and right for the child, he or she must often do battle with the children he or she must educate, the parents who want to hear nothing but good news, and the administration who strictly forbid any controversy…and is willing to courageously act upon their beliefs in spite of all the battles they will face on their way to winning the war.

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    • Replies: @ganderson
    "he hard work of educating children is oftentimes neither fun nor easy..."

    I'm not sure how much "hard work" is involved- I mostly- except for grading papers, which sometimes is- don't think that what I do is all that hard. Good teaching is mostly about personality and having the knack for it. You don't have to be brilliant. The good teachers I 've known over the years know enough to get out of the way of the really bright kids. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the schedule- but I think I'd still do this if I had more conventional hours. My work week is more close to normal during lacrosse season, I will say. I do try to impress upon my colleagues that the general public is somewhat skeptical of our claims that we work sooo hard...

    But- your point above is spot on. I could give pretty much everybody A's and B's, and wouldn't hear a peep- not from administration, not from parents, not from kids. I think it should be an achievement to graduate from a rigorous HS with a C average. That's not the reality, though. And don't get me started on how many kids we send to college...

  70. @Rurik

    Pray tell, explain to me why we are meddling in the Middle East. For the Zionists? Is that the only reason?
     
    well, since this is not a thread about that per se, I'll try to keep this short and sweet

    if you listen to mainstream journalists, they'll tell you America gives Israel billions upon billions of dollars and defends the indefensible vis-a-vis genocide and ethnic cleansing and other atrocities, because she's our bestest ally ever and the only democracy in the Middle East. And that's a crock of horse cookies. The real reason is because Zionist Jews are very powerful in the US (and England and France and Germany) and if our politicians don't toe the Zio-line, then they'll be out of office and forced to work for a living. So they toe the line. (same with official, "respectable" journalists)

    It's not all about Zionism, some of it was about oil at one time, and also they had to crush Gadhafi's gold dinar and there's other stuff too. But mostly it's all about Zionist Jews stealing other people's land.

    Now check out how many lame-stream journalists who are capable of saying that obvious truth.

    Which is why we're better off with a business man who's not beholding to entrenched interest groups for our SoS.

    You have a bigger vocabulary than most of the Teds I know…

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  71. @The Grate Deign
    Engineering is... is... trade school?!

    I am wounded.

    I'll be with my Nintendo when you finally hunger for real wisdom.

    Full disclosure- I’m a HS History teacher!

    I’d agree that engineering is a trade- which, to me, speaking as one who has trouble screwing in screws, is high praise. We need more tradesmen and fewer overeducated dolts such as myself.

    I’d make two further comments about Fred’s piece:

    Since the world runs on English, and Americans really don’t have access to foreign language speakers (although that’s sadly becoming less true all the time) it’s hard to get American high schoolers to take language classes seriously. Of course our schools do not generally hold language learners to the same standards as say, the math department. I did learn German pretty well in HS, and Swedish in college, but mostly because I was interested, and had good teachers.

    As for Fred’s and Derb’s point about how most education after 5th grade is a waste of time- I vehemently object, mostly because I have a sneaking suspicion that you two may be right. I think I’d say 8th grade, but the point stands. Here in MA Governor Mini-Me had a proposal to raise the school leaving age to 18- cooler heads prevailed. I can’t tell you how many kids I have that are completely uninterested in what I have to offer- and most kids tend to like my class, for whatever that’s worth. They’d be better off doing something, anything else.

    I’m going to completely and deliberately ignore the notion that we are running out of things for our low IQ population to do…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Triumph104

    I’m going to completely and deliberately ignore the notion that we are running out of things for our low IQ population to do…
     
    I was starting to think that I was the only one who noticed. I am terrified for our youth. Next year Amazon is opening a brick and mortar convience store that will allow customers to simply pick items off the shelf and walk out the store without paying. Their phone app will receive a bill. LINK
  72. @Clearpoint
    And then there is the administration, whose motivation is simply to keep parents from asking questions, expressing concerns, or otherwise getting involved (except of course during tax levy / fundraising time), i.e. the public relations function of the system. The best teacher in their eyes is one who generates no questions, concerns or non-administration-approved involvement. All a teacher need do to curry favor with the administration (and the parents, and the kids too) is to make class time fun and easy, and to inflate the grades. The hard work of educating children is oftentimes neither fun nor easy, and oftentimes may result in lower than desired grades. The system is such that pressures and motivations are in conflict...especially if you are that rare exceptional teacher. The exceptional teacher is one who understands that in order to do what is good and right for the child, he or she must often do battle with the children he or she must educate, the parents who want to hear nothing but good news, and the administration who strictly forbid any controversy...and is willing to courageously act upon their beliefs in spite of all the battles they will face on their way to winning the war.

    “he hard work of educating children is oftentimes neither fun nor easy…”

    I’m not sure how much “hard work” is involved- I mostly- except for grading papers, which sometimes is- don’t think that what I do is all that hard. Good teaching is mostly about personality and having the knack for it. You don’t have to be brilliant. The good teachers I ‘ve known over the years know enough to get out of the way of the really bright kids. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the schedule- but I think I’d still do this if I had more conventional hours. My work week is more close to normal during lacrosse season, I will say. I do try to impress upon my colleagues that the general public is somewhat skeptical of our claims that we work sooo hard…

    But- your point above is spot on. I could give pretty much everybody A’s and B’s, and wouldn’t hear a peep- not from administration, not from parents, not from kids. I think it should be an achievement to graduate from a rigorous HS with a C average. That’s not the reality, though. And don’t get me started on how many kids we send to college…

    Read More
  73. @Zach
    Maybe Asian students respect, even fear, their teachers? In his reminiscences of his school days at Heatherdowns, Alexander Cockburn wrote about his intimidating Latin teacher and goes on to remark that the political left in general does not sufficiently appreciate the role that fear and corporal punishment plays in education.

    Cockburn was right.

    Read More
  74. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Triumph104
    I have no interest in Latin, so consider the source, but I suggest you take a look at Hans H. Ørberg's Lingua Latina per se Illustrata, Pars I: Familia Romana. (LINK)

    Do you know anybody who learned any language in high school?
     
    Two-thirds of the students who take the AP Spanish Language exam are heritage speakers. Eighty percent of the AP Chinese test takers are heritage speakers.

    Thanks; I’ve been using Wilfrid Diamond’s Liturgical Latin, which I picked up in the library here, and which I found much more helpful than Wheelock. I’ll have to look into Orberg. I’ve also been going through medieval Latin texts, which have the advantage relative to classical Latin (for an English-speaker) that they rarely resort to the contorted grammar considered good style in the classical period but which is very difficult for a learner to follow.

    In my very white high school about 20 students, or ten percent of the graduating class, took the AP Spanish exam; two, iirc, were native speakers (one Spanish and one, I think, Ecuadorian). Most did well. So I do know quite a few people who learned Spanish in high school.

    I’m surprised so many non-Chinese learn Mandarin.

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  75. @ganderson
    Full disclosure- I'm a HS History teacher!

    I'd agree that engineering is a trade- which, to me, speaking as one who has trouble screwing in screws, is high praise. We need more tradesmen and fewer overeducated dolts such as myself.

    I'd make two further comments about Fred's piece:

    Since the world runs on English, and Americans really don't have access to foreign language speakers (although that's sadly becoming less true all the time) it's hard to get American high schoolers to take language classes seriously. Of course our schools do not generally hold language learners to the same standards as say, the math department. I did learn German pretty well in HS, and Swedish in college, but mostly because I was interested, and had good teachers.

    As for Fred's and Derb's point about how most education after 5th grade is a waste of time- I vehemently object, mostly because I have a sneaking suspicion that you two may be right. I think I'd say 8th grade, but the point stands. Here in MA Governor Mini-Me had a proposal to raise the school leaving age to 18- cooler heads prevailed. I can't tell you how many kids I have that are completely uninterested in what I have to offer- and most kids tend to like my class, for whatever that's worth. They'd be better off doing something, anything else.

    I'm going to completely and deliberately ignore the notion that we are running out of things for our low IQ population to do...

    I’m going to completely and deliberately ignore the notion that we are running out of things for our low IQ population to do…

    I was starting to think that I was the only one who noticed. I am terrified for our youth. Next year Amazon is opening a brick and mortar convience store that will allow customers to simply pick items off the shelf and walk out the store without paying. Their phone app will receive a bill. LINK

    Read More
  76. @Gene Su
    I would like to make a list of the 5 top Cultural Marxist (Prog history) children's books.

    1. To Kill a Mockingbird
    No intro needed here. Conservatives have noted that the hidden message that it has taught to 3 generations of school children is that blacks are always innocent victims and that whites cannot be trusted to be honorable at all in matters involving blacks. It has spawned all those anti-white films like Mississippi Burning and The Butler. Too bad it's more right-wing sequel was found more than 50 years afterward.

    2. My Brother Sam is Dead
    I had to read this in eighth grade. It portrayed the American Continental Army during the Revolutionary War as thieving, violent thugs. The protagonist's family is of Tory leanings and suffer greatly during the war. His father is inadvertently captured and killed. His brother Sam is a proto-leftist from Boston who joins the American Patriots because he is "proud" of his country. In his platoon are some nasty rednecks who loot the family farm and then frame Sam, who is executed by firing squad. This book was written in the 70's. If it was written in the 50's, it probably would have been the Bible of the Vietnam anti-war movement.

    3. Nothing by the Truth
    A [white] high school freshman is kicked off the track team for flunking English / Language Arts. He soon annoys his teacher by singing and humming during the Pledge of Allegiance / National Anthem. He gets his teacher fired by painting her as a anti-American leftist but he has to transfer because his antics have ostracized him.
    I wonder whether any publisher would touch a children's book about a black high school freshman who, after flunking and getting kicked off the football team, does a Black Power salute during the Pledge of Allegiance. Hmmmmmm....

    4. Iggy's House
    A black family moves from urban Detroit to a Michigan suburb only to encounter hostile white neighbors who tell them to go back to Africa. It's too bad the book didn't discuss what that black family experienced in Detroit and why they decided to move.

    5. My Teacher is an Alien series
    Aliens from some galactic confederation observe Earth and try to determine whether to blow it up because humans are too violent. Could be a standard Star Trek episode. Humans (European males) are violent and aliens (blacks, Arabs, Asians, Indians) are peaceful savages.

    Actual leftists (as opposed to liberals) tend to dislike TKAM because of the centrality of its heroic white protagonist. Atticus Finch is one of the great figures in 20th century popular literature, and it’s a bit hard to overlook him to make the claim that the book’s message is “don’t trust whitey.” Insofar as the book portrays an Alabama jury in the 1940′s as being less-than-objective in adjudicating an interracial rape accusation, that’s hardly a stretch. TKAM is an overrated book, but not a bad one.

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    • Replies: @The Grate Deign
    My personal opinion is that TKAM's best feature is how well it portrays the southern conversation and home culture, both the good families and the trash whites.
  77. @Patrick Harris
    Actual leftists (as opposed to liberals) tend to dislike TKAM because of the centrality of its heroic white protagonist. Atticus Finch is one of the great figures in 20th century popular literature, and it's a bit hard to overlook him to make the claim that the book's message is "don't trust whitey." Insofar as the book portrays an Alabama jury in the 1940's as being less-than-objective in adjudicating an interracial rape accusation, that's hardly a stretch. TKAM is an overrated book, but not a bad one.

    My personal opinion is that TKAM’s best feature is how well it portrays the southern conversation and home culture, both the good families and the trash whites.

    Read More
  78. @Daniel H
    Slightly on topic. The way to get competent (not necessarily fluent, but functionally competent) in any language, fast, is to just memorize the present tense, indicative mood. You can communicate any thought you need with just this. For past tense just insert a "yesterday" or "used to". For future tense just insert "tomorrow" or "someday". For conditional tense just insert "maybe" or some other conditional indicator. Native speakers will understand you. How do I know this, because I have been dealing with non English speaking immigrants for 35 years and they all get their point across, and many that I know have done extremely well and prospered in an English speaking environment. Endless drilling to get every tense, declension, mood perfect is a waste of time and brain power. Just be competent and functional. As time goes by you will naturally acquire a better command of the language.

    What if you want to understand what others are saying to you?

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