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Category Archives: book promotion

The broken tooth, the coming crown, the 2014 Florida Book Festival and Writers Digest

I broke a tooth over the weekend and visited the dentist this afternoon spending a few hours in THE chair. I hate those shots that numb your jaw making it feel swollen like a puffy blimp. In a few days I will return for the fitting of the crown.

But when I returned home with that numb jaw, there was a surprise—a double dose of what I think was good news.

“”2014 Florida Book Festial and Comment by Writers Digest Judge“Crazy is Normal, a classroom expose” didn’t earn any awards from Writer’s Digest, but the judge’s comments were appreciated. :o)

_______________________
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Crazy-is-Normal-a-classroom-expose-200x300
His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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My Amazon Review of “The Educator and the Oligarch” by Anthony Cody

You might notice that my last post about Anthony Cody’s book is not the same as the review I’m posting on Amazon, and that’s because Amazon might not approve what I said in my Blog review of “The Educator and the Oligarch”. They might not approve of this watered down version either, but what the heck—nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I firmly believe that the best way to judge a person is by what they do—not what they say—and Bill Gates seldom does what he says when it comes to improving public education in the United States.

When I say that in front of our daughter—and I’ve done it several times—who graduated from Stanford in June, she looks at me in disgust, because she thinks Bill Gates is a great man, a humanitarian and philanthropist, who is trying to make the world a better place—at least that’s what Bill Gates wants her to think. It also helps to know that Bill Gates gave the commencement address for our daughter’s Stanford graduating class in 2014.

Our daughter is right about one thing, Bill Gates is a great man, and that’s why he is CORRUPT. If you doubt what I just said, then argue with Lord Acton—not me. Lord John Acton (1834-1902) said, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men (like Bill Gates) are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority.”

Bill Gates is not the man he wants people like our daughter to think he is, and Anthony Cody in “The Educator and the Oligarch” proves repeatedly in almost every chapter that what Bill Gates says he wants to do to improve public education in the United States isn’t what he’s doing. Instead, Gates is spending billions to influence (through bribes that are called grants) state and national leaders to do what he wants.

For instance, in Chapter 2, Anthony Cody mentions that in 2011, NBC held the Teacher Town Hall program, and Bill Gates was introduced as the top funder of education in the world … spending half a billion dollars to devise a way to figure out what makes a great teacher, what makes them most effective, and Melinda Gates acknowledged that good teaching cannot be reduced to a test score—but that’s exactly what her husband is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to do: to judge teachers by test scores.

Then in Chapter 3, Cody quotes an Op-Ed piece that Bill Gates wrote for the New York Times: Gates said, “Student test scores alone aren’t a sensitive enough measure to gauge effective teaching, nor are they diagnostic enough to identify areas of improvement.”

But regardless of what Melinda and Bill Gates say, the Gates Foundation has spent and is still spending hundreds of millions of dollars to influence the federal and state governments to use the results of the Common Core student standardized tests  to judge and then rank and yank (fire) teachers with an ultimate goal to close public schools and replace them with corporate Charter schools—that several Stanford studies funded by the Gates Foundation have already proven are mostly worse or the same as the public schools they are replacing.

To achieve these goals, Bill Gates is spending $5 – $7 billion dollars, and when he ran into opposition from democratically elected school boards, what did Bill Gates do—he started spending hundreds of millions of dollars to get rid of the democratically elected school boards that run public school districts and replace them with the corporate CEOs of charter schools who will do what Bill Gates wants.

Cody’s book has 27 chapters and they are loaded with more examples than the few I have shared in this review.

How do you help someone by firing them? Why isn’t Bill Gates funding training programs that will eventually show teachers methods that work—that Bill Gates doesn’t select—that will help teachers become better at their job?

Just for a moment, imagine what investing $5 – $7 billion in early childhood education and improving teacher training and follow up support after a new teacher is in the classroom would have achieved—-instead of destroying lives by firing teachers and subjecting children to hours of testing that serves no purpose except labeling children as FAILURES.

I bought a paperback copy of The Educator and the Oligarch: A Teacher Challenges the Gates Foundation at Laurel Book Store in Oakland, California. This review is my honest opinion.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Honorable Mention in Biography/Autobiography at 2014 Southern California Book Festival

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His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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The Industry Built around Blaming Teachers while ignoring Poverty

Dana Goldstein’s book—“The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession”—was released today. Anyone who is passionate about what’s happening to public education in the United States today should read this book.

http://www.amazon.com/Teacher-Wars-Americas-Embattled-Profession-ebook/dp/B00IWTSK7Q/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

In addition, Goldstein was interviewed on September 2 [today], on the Majority Report.

“Journalist Dana Goldstein author of the new book The Teacher Wars, explains why teachers are held responsible for the American inequality crisis, if we want teachers to make a broader impact why we need structural policy solutions, the gendered dynamics of teaching, why we can’t support teaching in the age of austerity, the policy implications of merit pay, how the Obama Administration helped create the standardized test hysteria, what tests are meant for, the historical roots of the Teach For America model, what we can do to support teachers and what really harms inner city schools.”

After the interview with Dana Goldstein, the Majority Report discussed why poverty is always the [real] issue in education—[the one ignored by President Obama, Bill Gates, and Arne Duncan and a few other fake education reformers who think bubble tests will solve poverty].

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Reviewing The Teacher Wars, a History of America’s Most Embattled Profession

Reading Dana Goldstein’s book was a journey of discovery that I wished I’d taken in 1975, before I ended up teaching for thirty years in the embattled and often abused public schools.

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About the time I reached page 100, I e-mailed an old friend and told him that if I’d read this book before I went into education, I might have changed my mind. Maybe I would have even given the U.S. Marines a second chance at a career.

However, by the time I reached page 274 and finished Goldstein’s book, I changed my mind and was glad I spent thirty years in the classroom fighting the barbarians and fools who are working hard to destroy public education through politics.

On page 250 in the bound galley supplied by Amazon, Goldstein says, “The policy, one of several school turnaround strategies suggested by (President Obama’s) Race to the Top, is based on a faulty premise: that veteran teachers are to blame when schools experience many years of low test scores.”

I agree with Goldstein. Bill Gates and Obama’s Race to the Top and its Common Core crap is a faulty, untested theory that’s causing more problems and fixing none.

I read Goldstein’s book with a Hi-Liter, and tagged many pages with information I thought relevant. In this review, I’ve resisted the urge to list many of the key points in the book and rant about them, because then the review might run thirty to forty thousand words.

But there is one point I want to focus on, and that’s teacher training. On page 250, Goldstein mentions three methods of teacher training.

First is the most common path to the classroom through a traditional college of education; second is with an urban teacher residency program, and third is with Teach for America (TFA).

First, urban teacher residency programs have an 87-percent retention rate.

Second, the retention rate for teachers who go through a traditional college of education to reach the classroom is 50 percent.

Third, for a program like TFA’s with five-weeks of summer training and little or no follow up support in the classroom, retention was 33 percent.

Can you guess the teacher training program favored by the Obama administration? The correct answer is TFA.

However, the urban teacher residencies had the best teacher retention, because these programs required a year-long residency in a mentor’s classroom, a requirement that matches the teacher training methods used in high archiving nations like Finland and in Shanghai, China.

There is a profile on page 252 that describes teachers who are most often rated highly by principals. Those teachers stayed in their job for many years. They were usually thirty or older and had extensive experience in jobs outside of education. They were usually working class black, Latino or white who graduated from non-elite colleges and often started in a community college.

When I read that profile, I was shocked, because that description matched my path to teaching. I was born to poverty and my parents, both high school dropouts, were blue-collar working class. I started work at 15, and after graduating from high school served in the U.S Marines where I ended up fighting in Vietnam, and didn’t start teaching until I was 30.  In 1970, after earning an Associate of Science degree from a community college, I attended a non-elite college where I earned a BA in journalism in 1973.

Then, after working for two years in middle management in the private sector, I went through a year-long residency in a mentor teacher’s classroom.

I urge you to read Goldstein’s book when it’s released by Doubleday on September 2, 2014. Through The Teacher Wars, you will discover how U.S. politics are mostly to blame for any problems that exist in the public schools, and it’s been this way for 175 years. Today’s 3.3+ million public school teachers are not the problem, and Obama’s Race to the Top’s and the Common Core agenda of Bill Gates along with TFA—with its 66-percent teacher dropout rate—are not the solution.

There are three areas that would lead to dramatic improvement in public education, but it won’t happen overnight. Teacher training is the first area that needs attention.

Teacher pay is another. The headline in a recent piece published by Education Week.com shouted, Teacher Pay Starts Low, Grows Slowly, Is Generally Awful, Report Says.

Then there are early childhood education programs that should be mandatory for children living in poverty in the United States and available to every child as early as age three. Early childhood education should focus on literacy and foster a passion for reading.

We must abandon President Obama’s Race to the Top and its Machiavellian Common Core agenda to “rank and yank” teachers after torturing children with too many standardized tests that are wrongheaded, flawed and meaningless.

I read a free advanced galley proof of this novel sent to me by Amazon Vine. Eventually, this 5-star review will appear on Amazon, probably revised if Amazon won’t accept it as it appears here.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

 

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First 5-star review of “Crazy is Normal, a classroom expose”

The reason for this Blog that I launched in January of 2010 was to support this memoir. Crazy is Normal, a classroom expose is based on a daily classroom journal that I kept as a teacher in 1994-95.  I have friends who are still teaching, and I know that the work climate for public school teachers is worse today than it was back then thanks to two presidents: George W. Bush and even worse, Obama, who, like a fool, I voted for twice, because I had no idea of his agenda to destroy the public schools and replace them with corporate, for profit schools that would not be answerable to the public while the public supported them with the taxes they pay.

Why do you think President Obama partnered will the richest man on the planet to make this happen. Yes, Bill Gates is Obama’s partner in the destruction of the democratic public schools that have a 175 years of history behind them and nothing but a record of improvement that continues to this day regardless of the lies you might hear or read from the media.

The e-book came out in June 2014.  The paperback is available @ Crazy is Normal, a classroom expose

Here’s the first reader review for the e-book on Amazon:

First 5-star review on July 10-2014

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

99 Cent Graphic for Promomtion OCT 2015

Where to Buy

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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“The Concubine Saga” Web Tour Schedule – June 2012

So Many Precious Books May 30 Review & Giveaway

Broken Teepee June 1 Review & Giveaway

My Little Pocketbooks June 30 Review

My Little Pocketbooks June 4 Interview & Giveaway

Bookish Dame June 6 Review

Bookish Dame G & GP June 6 Guest Post & Giveaway

J.A. Beard June 8 Interview

My Devotional Thoughts June 8 Review

My Devotional Thoughts June 9 Guest Post & Giveaway

Book Dilettante June 11 Review

Book Dilettante June 12 Guest Post

Joy Story June 12 Review

Books, Books, & More Books June 13 Review & Giveaway

Live to Read June 14 Review

Peeking Between the Pages June 14 Guest Post & Giveaway

Col Reads June 15 Review

Celtic Lady’s Reviews June 18 Review

Ink Spots & Roses June 18 Guest Post & Giveaway

The Readers Cafe June 19 Review

Knitting and Sundries June 20 Review & Giveaway

Sweeps 4 Bloggers June 21 Review & Giveaway

The Reading Life June 22 Review

The Reading Life June 21 Interview

Historical Fiction Connection June 22 Guest Post

Layered Pages June 25 Review

Layered Pages June 26 Interview
Historical Tapestry June 25 Guest Post

Peaceful Wishing June 26 Review

To Read or Not to Read June 27 Review

To Read or Not to Read June 28 Guest Post & Giveaway

M Denise C. June 28 Review

Succotash Reviews June 29 Review & Giveaway
Moonlight Gleam June 29 Guest Post & Giveaway

Jayne’s Books June 29 Review & Giveaway

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PRESS RELEASE
FOR RELEASE before June 1, 2012
CONTACT:
Lloyd Lofthouse, author
lflwriter@gmail.com

IN THE 19th and EARLY 20th CENTURY, ROBERT HART WAS CRUCIAL TO THE SURVIVAL OF CHINA!

WALNUT CREEK, CA (3/2/12) — Robert Hart (1835 – 1911) was the ‘Godfather of China’s modernism’ and the only foreigner the emperor of China trusted. In fact, Hart played a crucial role in ending the bloodiest rebellion in history, and he owed this success largely to his live in dictionary and encyclopedia, his Chinese concubine Ayaou. In Dragon Lady, Sterling Seagrave wrote that Ayaou “was wise beyond her years”. In Entering China’s Service, Harvard scholars wrote, “Hart’s years of liaison with Ayaou gave him his fill of romance, including both its satisfaction and its limitations.”

With sales in the thousands, award-winning author Lloyd Lofthouse brings My Splendid Concubine (2007) and the sequel, Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine (2010) together in The Concubine Saga (2012).

My Splendid Concubine was the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

In the sequel, Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine, he was the only foreigner the Emperor of China trusted.

Soon after arriving in China in 1854, Robert Hart falls in love with Ayaou, but his feelings for her sister go against the teachings of his Christian upbringing and almost break him emotionally. To survive he must learn how to live and think like the Chinese and soon finds himself thrust into the Opium Wars and the Taiping Rebellion, the bloodiest rebellion in human history, where he makes enemies of men such as the American soldier of fortune known as the Devil Soldier.

My Splendid Concubine earned honorable mentions in general fiction at the 2008 London Book Festival, and in 2009 at the Hollywood Book Festival and San Francisco Book Festival.

Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine earned honorable mentions in general fiction at the Los Angeles Book Festival, Nashville Book Festival, London Book Festival, DIY Book Festival and was a Finalist of the National Best Books 2010 Awards.

 

In addition, The Concubine Saga picked up an Honorable Mention in Fiction at the 2012 San Francisco Book Festival.

Lloyd Lofthouse served in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Marine and lives near San Francisco with his wife and family with a second home in Shanghai, China. As a former Marine, Lloyd earned a BA in Journalism and an MFA in writing. His Blog, iLook China.net, currently averages 600 views a day with more than 200,000 since its launch in January 2010. My Splendid Concubine.com, his Website, has had 72,000 visitors since December 2007. At Authors Den, his work has been viewed 336,000 times.

Virtual Author Book Tours.com arranged the June 2012 book tour of 27 book Blogs.

In addition, in 2008, following the launch of My Splendid Concubine, Lofthouse appeared as a China expert on more than 30 talk-radio shows from The Dr. Pat Show on KKNW 1150 AM in Seattle to The Smith and Riley Show on WFLF 540 AM in Orlando Florida.

The Concubine Saga
ISBN: 978-0-9819553-8-4

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