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Thousands are functionally illiterate
Fifty years ago, Rudolf Flesch published a controversial book called Why Johnny Can't Read, which exposed what John Dewey's disciples [and allies] were doing to dumb down
Nowadays, Johnny can't read because Johnny doesn't have to read anymore. I should know; I'm a high school English teacher - or at least I am for about two more weeks. At the end of this school year, I quit!
Most Americans would define the word read to involve picking up a book, magazine or newspaper and decoding those 26 symbols called letters that are linked together to form words that are linked together to say something that makes sense. Modern education theorists, however, have re-defined read to include someone else doing that decoding process. They say reading to/for someone is the same thing as having that person do the reading himself.
This is why hundreds of thousands [if not millions] of Americans today can best be described as functionally illiterate!!!
I agree that reading to a child up to the 4th grade is helpful in teaching that child to learn to read. After the 4th grade, however, it's time to take off the training wheels; it's time for that child to read to learn!
Unfortunately, this is not part of modern education philosophy or teaching strategies. If there is any reading program at all in middle and high schools today, it is one in which the teacher is expected to continue to read to/for some students - all the way through to graduation!
And we wonder why our SAT scores have not improved in 43 years!!!
By the way, high school teachers who refuse to read to/for their students will be bullied and harassed by administrators and school board officials until they're cured of every heretical [classical] teaching practice, or until they quit teaching. About 40 percent of new teachers in
"Diverse" learners is the code word used by modern education theorists and their brainwashed followers to describe non-readers. Teachers must focus on the so-called "needs" of these students whose learning styles [one of the newest teaching fads] do not include reading in the classic sense of the word. Unless a child is a "visual" learner, that child's reading program cannot be the one successfully used for thousands of years!!!
Instead, these auditory, kinesthetic or tactile learners must be read to or allowed to play games, draw pictures, put together puzzles or cut out paper dolls [called thematic visualization]. Although very little is taught or learned in the classroom this way, at least NO CHILD is LEFT BEHIND.
"Group" learning too is another favorite experimental strategy. With this method, diverse learners work together with visual learners (smart kids) who are kept in the same classroom via a stupid concept called "mixed ability grouping" to complete a particular project or assignment. Of course, you can imagine who winds up doing most if not all of the work.
I favor the idea of group testing too. Let's make the smart kids take the test then allow the non-reading, unmotivated, low-achieving diverse learners to copy his or her answer sheet. That will bring up standardized test scores! It will also help prepare the motivated, smart kids to accept the stark reality that they'll be supporting diverse learners through various socialist programs the rest of their lives.
For 50 years, experimental teaching strategies have come, gone and come back again. For example, the so-called Whole Language method of teaching reading today is really just a re-packaging of the old Look-Say method condemned by Flesch 50 years ago. Even though whole language has repeatedly been proven to be a total failure, the latest trend is to push for a "balance curriculum," which includes both whole language and phonics. Students are taught some phonics, but they have to use the expensive [$$$$?!], dumbed-down whole language vocabulary books.
The basic premise is "anything but phonics." Whole language, look-say or any of the other names by which it has been called, including the nasty ones, attempts to have kids memorize whole words. By the end of the 4th grade, whole language kids may have developed a whopping 1,600 word memorized vocabulary.
This is apparently much preferred to phonics, in which 44 sounds are memorized in order to teach kids to sound out and actually read words. By the end of the 4th grade, phonics kids could have a 24,000 word reading vocabulary!!! But somebody doesn�t really want kids to read; that would disprove somebody's newest theory. And you know somebody's making money [$$$$?!] on it!!! This would also produce a generation who could actually read, which would help them develop thinking skills, which would cause them to realize somebody's trying to manipulate their lives, forcing them to be dependent on their social[ist] welfare programs.
I don't know yet what I'm going to do for a job now. I continue to pray and trust the Lord to take care of me and my family. In the meantime, I plan to document everything I've learned in today's classroom and about today's classroom. I'd love to say something about several other stupid experimental teaching strategies ruining our public schools, including Holistic Grading, Learning Disability Labels and Block Scheduling.
I'd write every newspaper and news network if I could, not from the perspective of those scholarly experts most folks can't understand but from my personal experience in the classroom. I encourage other former teachers to do the same. Again, I say to these former teachers, Big Brother's Strategy Police can't hurt you anymore.
By the way, one of the ways administrators deal with teachers who refuse to follow their modern teaching strategies is to judge them on their class averages and failing rates. Presumably, low class averages and high failing rates reveal a "failure to use alternative teaching strategies" or "failure to address the needs of diverse learners." In other words, don't make them read - or else. They might learn something.
Uh huh. Well, I think school administrators and school board officials - job efficiency should be judged by their teacher turnover rates and teacher absenteeism. For example,
After four years of struggling with students who don't want to learn, parents who don't care if their kids learn and school officials who won't let me teach kids the basic skills and knowledge kids really need [reading, writing and grammar], I can no longer be a part of what Charles Sykes calls Dumbing-Down Our Kids. I can't change the system within my one little classroom; maybe I can cause a change by exposing what's going on in tens of thousands of classrooms around the country.
Recommended Books on Public Education
Public Schools, Public Menace by Joel Turtel
Dumbing-Down Our Kids by Charles Sykes
401K Business Financing by various
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto
N.E.A. : Trojan Horse in Education by Samuel Blumenfeld
Let My Children Go by Ray Moore
None Dare Call it Education by John Stormer
Public Education: An Autopsy by Myron Lieberman
Study of Financial Literacy of Students by Kirsten Rosacker
Public Schools Against
Schools We Need and Why We Don't Have Them by E.D. Hirsch
Colleges Create Remedial Courses by various
The Deliberate Dumbing-Down of
The Harsh Truth About Public Schools by Dr. Bruce Shortt
Worm in the Apple: How Teacher Unions Are Destroying American Education by Peter Brimelow
Educating for the
Why Johnny Can't Read by Rudolf Flesch
Legally STUPiD: Why Johnny doesn't have to read by RC Murray