Study after study show that the “average” American parent talks to his or her child less than five minutes a day and that 80% of parents never attend a parent-teacher conferences during the thirteen years his or her child is in school.
The “No Child Left Behind Act” became law in 2001 and it was ignorance personified since nowhere in the Act were parents or students held responsible for anything.
Two presidents have pandered to the popular myth that bad teachers are the reason so many of America’s children are not learning what they should in school. George W. Bush was the first president and then there is Obama.
I’m writing this as a protest about Obama’s words concerning underperforming schools that should fire teachers. When schools do not perform, politicians have always looked for scapegoats and teachers make good targets.
Yes, there are poor teachers but no more than any profession. Most are hard working and dedicated. I should know. I taught for thirty years and my weeks were often one hundred hours of work, because I often worked at home correcting papers or planning lessons.
This reaction to fire teachers when students do not learn is wrong. Why not punish the students and the parents instead?
When I was a child and educators said I would never learn to read or write due to severe dyslexia, my mother taught me to read at home. Both of my parents were avid readers, and my parents were my role models—not my teachers.
Continued in Bush and Obama’s Ignorant Gaff – Part 2 or View as Single Page
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.
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August 6, 2010 at 06:34
YES. So well said and so right! I often lament the fact that people who have never taught so often blame teachers for student’s lack of performance without regard to their parents, basic intelligence, and environment.
Maybe one of the problems is that we are committed to trying to educate everyone.
August 6, 2010 at 07:54
Yes, part of the problem is trying to educate “everyone”, which does not work in reality. Many in the US actually believe that all kids are hungry to learn. That is not true when children have no reason to work because their parents give them everything they want at home and keep telling them how they are smart and telling them they will succeed at whatever they want to do but never tell them that takes hard work.
K through 12 education in the US is mandatory only because many poor parents and farmers didn’t send their children to school so laws were passed. The reason parents kept those children at home was to work on the farm or contribute to the family income by being send to work in a coal mine or factory as indentured servants–the same as slaves until turning 18 or 21. Prior to the industrial revolution, most Americans lived in small towns and on farms. The US was an agricultural society.
Prior to the child labor laws and mandatory education laws in the US, children were often exploited as they are today in many third-world countries like India and Africa.
Passing those laws in the US making K through 12 schooling mandatory had good intentions but now many children, who grew up without poverty and no family farm to work on, see those laws as a form of slavery forcing them to do what they don’t want to do.
Instead, these spoiled children, who have never wanted for anything, want to stay home and play video games or surf the Internet or watch TV. They have never suffered or gone hungry. They have their own bedroom with a computer and TV in it. They have no idea that the other choice is to become a work slave again like children were before.
However, America may be returning to that time. With the erosion of the middle class as the gap grows between the wealth and the working class, America may return to the way it was during the 19th century.
The first step to destroy mandatory education would be to pass the voucher system where parents will have a choice to send their children to private schools, which can reject students who will not cooperate and take part in the education process. This will be the first step toward returning to the old ways. A few decades afterwards when the nationa realizes the truth that children cannot be forced to learn, we may see those laws that protect children and allow them to have the privilage of going to school to gain an education abolished.
Of course there is a way to force many of these hard to teach children to learn. Once the hard-to-teach or identified, they should be removed from their homes and sent to schools that are run like boot camps in the military (locked up like in a prison but it is a school that is very strict) and the only way to earn the right to return home is to do the work and catch up in writing, math and reading. California had or still has boot camp schools for the hard core kids who cause problems and end up in juvenile jails until a judge sent them to one of these camps.
I knew the second in command of a California book-camp school. He said the kids that want to go home work hard to gain several years of reading, writing and math skills within a year so they can leave the boot camp and return home and 70% return. The only way to avoid being sent back to the boot camp school was to cooperate and learn in the real public schools, which means causing no problems and keeping the grades up by doing the homework and outside reading.