Tag Archives: California

The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 2/4

If you read Dennis Prager’s often biased, one-sided essays or listen to his radio show, you will discover that Democrats are elite, leftist, liberal, progressive individuals that often get hysterical and emotional about their beliefs, and fear death more than conservatives do.

By the way, John Vasconcellos was born in 1932 and served in the California State Legislature representing Silicon Valley—and yes, he is an advocate of the self-esteem movement, but he is not responsible for starting the movement in 1986.

Vasconcellos served in the California State Assembly from 1966 to 1996 and as a state senator from 1996 to 2004 (when he retired).

In 1986, Vasconcellos created the California Task Force to Promote Self Esteem and in January 1990 issued “Toward a State of Esteem”, which sold 60,000 copies becoming a best seller in California State government publishing history and California was not alone in this political movement. Washington and Maryland had self-esteem legislation being considered too.

John Rosemond does not like the Self Esteem Movement – This video is highly recommended!

The California Task Force had 25 members and not all agreed with the final report. Task-force member David Shannahoff-Khalsa of Del Mar, a yoga teacher and researcher in neuroscience, denied that self-esteem could simply be given to anyone, and due to disagreements between the task force members, no generally accepted definition of self-esteem emerged.

Vasconcellos authored AB3659, which “According to this legislation, self-esteem was the key to problems such as violence, crime, alcohol and drug abuse, welfare dependency, teenage pregnancy, academic failure, recidivism, child and spousal abuse, and the failure of responsible citizenship. Making California “a state of esteem” would solve all that, and more.”  Source: Cal

However, nothing ever came of the self-esteem legislation, so what was the real reason for all of this interest by Dennis Prager?

Continued on October 18, 2011 in The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 3 or return to Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 1/4

Now, I am no fan of the self-esteem parenting movement in America. If you read this Blog on a regular basis, you would know that I feel strongly that “IT” is the main culprit for the state of our public schools.

All one need do is read The Self-Esteem Train Wreck,  Recognizing Good Parenting,  Graffiti Nation,  Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap,  What, Me Worry about Debt – I’ve got Self-Esteem on my side, and The Finland-Singapore Solution to Public Education in the US to discover my opinion on this issue.

However, if you were standing at the base of a snow-covered mountain in a growing blizzard and a snowball was rolling downhill toward you collecting snow, growing in mass and speed and you cheered and waved it on encouraging it to grow stronger and move faster, would you be responsible for the forces that started that snowball rolling from the top of that mountain more than a hundred years earlier?

I don’t think so, but this is exactly what conservative talk-show host Dennis Prager has done with the self-esteem movement. He has blamed “IT” all on former California Assemblyman John Vasconcellos.

While I agree with Prager in principal that the self-esteem movement is a travesty to our American culture, I cannot condone Prager turning this cultural cancer into a political issue by blaming a so-called leftist, liberal, progressive Democrat for something that he did not start.

Without telling his adoring fans (Prager’s Parrots) the history of the movement, in November 2010, Dennis wrote, “The movement was begun (he is talking about the self-esteem movement) by California Assemblyman John Vasconcellos. As The New York Times reported, “Mr. Vasconcellos, a 53-year-old Democrat, is described by an aide as ‘the most radical humanist in the Legislature.'”

In an interview at the time (1986), Vasconcellos told Prager he had personally benefited from therapy. It enabled him to improve the poor self-esteem he had inherited from his childhood. He therefore concluded that improving other people’s self-esteem would greatly help society.

And this was all it took for Prager to claim the self-esteem movement in America started with John Vasconcellos, whose only crime was being a Democrat as you will discover.

Continued on October 17, 2011 in The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 7/9

To understand one of the most difficult challenges American public school teachers face, it is time to examine the Hispanic/Latino culture, one of largest student subgroups in America

In fact, Hispanic/Latino students as a subgroup often do not achieve the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) benchmarks and there is a reason why this happens.

According to American, Only 33 percent of citizens of Hispanic/Latino origin consider themselves “Americans” first. The rest consider themselves either “Hispanic/Latino” or their former nationality first.

The host of this Blog taught in California public schools (for thirty years – 1975 to 2005) with large Hispanic/Latino student populations and often heard Mexican students complain about having to learn English since they weren’t Americans and did not plan to stay—many came with their families to make money and not to attend school. Those schools also had White, Asian and African-American/Black students attending the same classes.

It is obvious that two-thirds of these Hispanic/Latino students bring their attitudes of education, cultural beliefs and biases with them when they enter the United States.

American Renaissance says, “Hispanics drop out of high school in the United States at (more than) three times the white rate and twice the black rate. Even third-generation Hispanics drop out of school at higher rates than blacks and are less likely to be college graduates. From 1992 to 2003, Hispanic illiteracy in English rose from 35 percent to 44 percent. The average Hispanic 12th-grader reads and does math at the level of the average White 8th-grader.”

In California for 2010, 41.7% of Hispanic/Latino students achieved the NCLB benchmarks in the English Language while 46.7% made the benchmark for Mathematics. There were 2,385,282 Hispanic/Latino students enrolled in the public schools, which means 994,662 met the NCLB benchmark for English Language and 1,113,927 met the benchmark for Mathematics, but according to Mr. Morally Correct, teachers should quit their jobs because they are frauds and thieves if they cash their monthly checks since this subgroup did not meet the NCLB benchmark.

Unsupervised children are at increased risk for violence, drug abuse, and sexual activity.

Since this subgroup did not meet the benchmark set by California, many schools in the state are considered failures by the NCLB Act and the teachers/educators may be punished when 2014 arrives by possibly losing their jobs and/or having their schools closed.  The students may then be bused to other schools that made the benchmarks as if the teachers are the reason one school succeeds and another one fails.

It doesn’t matter that the failing schools may have met the benchmarks for the White and Asian subgroups attending the same classes with Hispanics/Latinos. All it takes is one subgroup not achieving the benchmark to be considered a failure.

Since most of the Hispanic/Latino students in California come from Mexico, it helps to understand a little of the culture that gave birth to and raises these children that drop out of US schools more than three times the rate of the White race and two times that of the African-American/Black race.

The results of the 2009 PISA reading literacy test for students age 15 in Mexico reveals that only one percent (1%) earned a 5, which is the highest possible score, while 28% scored a one, the lowest possible score. The CIA Factbook says only 86.1% of the population of Mexico age 15 and over can read and write.

In Mexico, most young children attend primary school but only 62 percent reach secondary school. At secondary level, about half drop out, which means 31% of students that started school at age six will finish high school, according to non-governmental organization Mexicanos Primero (Mexicans First). Source: Reuters

The dropout rate in Mexico’s schools is almost 70% compared to 8.1% in the United States.

However, in the United States, the Hispanic/Latino drop our rate is 17.6%, which is four times better than Mexico’s drop our rate. This evidence suggests that America’s public school teachers are doing an incredible job with the Hispanic/Latino subgroup even if it is not making its NCLB benchmark.

According to a Pew Hispanic Center report, in 2005, 56% of illegal immigrants were from Mexico; 22% were from other Latin American countries, primarily from Central America; 13% were from Asia; 6% were from Europe and Canada; and 3% were from Africa and the rest of the world.

In addition, about 3.5 million of those illegal immigrant students were from Mexico or Central America and almost a million were in California’s public schools, and there is nothing the public schools can do about this situation because in 1982, the US Supreme Court ruled that states and school districts cannot deny education to illegal alien children residing here.

Continued on August 7, 2011, in Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 8 or return to Part 6


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


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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Eager to Learn or Not – Part 10/10

If you visit the 2010 API State Report for California, you will discover there are four subgroups that have achieved the goals set forth in the NCLB Act — Asian, Filipino, White/Caucasian, and a child of two or more races meaning parents from two different Ethnic/Racial groups where the mother may be African-American and the father White or the father Asian and the mother Latino.

I know from experience that for my brother, the learning equation (discussed in Part 2) was 1 + 0 + 0, which resulted in failure and an illiterate child growing up to become an illiterate adult. The teacher was there to teach but my brother was not there to learn.

When I was seven and my brother seventeen with some jail time already under his tattoos, my mother stepped in and taught me to read at home, and it was not easy for her. I fought her every inch of the way as my brother did. The difference is that my brother won that battle but lost at life.

However, to succeed with me my mother did something she did not do with Richard. She used a wire-coat hanger to spank me and motivate me to do as I was told and to learn.

Public school teachers in America are not allowed to do what a parent can do at home.

The result is that I learned to read and because of my mother’s involvement in that learning equation, I now have the ability to write things such as my novels, posts for this Blog and I enjoy reading books–lots of books.

Richard, on the other hand, died a broken man in both health and spirit at age 64, and he left behind several children mostly illiterate because he was a bad role model and was never involved in their educations, which resulted in more failure.

If you return to that piece on the public school teachers and administrators that cheated on Atlanta’s standardized test results to make it look as if more students were making progress toward meeting the goals set forth in the NCLB Act, what caused that behavior was desperate people that did not want to lose their jobs due to the flawed opinions of fools in the federal government and of course among the Walton Wal-Mart family and talking heads such as Rush Limbaugh and my “old” NLBC  friend that believe they know what they are talking about when they don’t.

I do not blame my brother Richard’s teachers. They did their job and taught. However, Richard did not learn because he chose not to learn and our parents were not directly involved in the process when Richard needed them to be tough and say no and mean it even if it meant using a coat hanger as an enforcer.

During those 30 years teaching in the public schools (1975 – 2005), I met many students like my brother Richard and my goal was to convince and/or motivate these individuals (both boys and girls) to be an active part of the education equation. It was never easy and the successes were rare but there were a few.

Return to Eager to Learn or Not – Part 9 or start with Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

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Posted by on July 21, 2011 in Uncategorized


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The Sexual Molestation of the Happy One – Part 6/7

I did not agree with the ogre idiot but the principal refused to take this incident to the next step and contact the proper authorities such as the police and child services.

The law in California is specific. Since I was a teacher and the one that reported the incident, I was the one that could lose his job if Macario was sexually molested and it went unreported to the proper authorities, and the ogre idiot would not lose his job.

I had no choice. I had to finish the job that the principal should have done.

My school days were often 11 hours or longer. I usually arrived at 6:00 AM when the gates were unlocked and seldom drove home until after 5:00 PM and sometimes stayed as late as 11:00 PM to work with my journalism students.

The time I spent at school does not count the time I spent at home correcting student work or planning lessons.  On average, I corrected at least 20 to 30 hours at home after having spend a workweek that often ran 60 to 80 hours at school.

Many people outside of education believe a teacher’s job is only the time he or she spends teaching, which is about five or six hours a day during a school week, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. To keep a credential, teachers are required to take annual classes and workshops to stay current in their field, attend staff meetings, and spend 20 to 40 hours of annual duty supervising sports outside the regular school day.

I also corrected student work before school, at lunch, after school and any time I could find during class when my students settled down and quietly worked on an assignment, which was rare.

To be continued on June 18, 2011 in The Sexual Molestation of the Happy One – Part 7 or return to Part 5


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.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


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Putting the Blame where it Belongs — Part 5/6

The last step to input this data into the new API index would be easy.  Teachers would make a digital copy of the grades on a CD or a thumb drive or attached to an e-mail sent to an administrative site where the information was fed into a database.

If the law says we cannot reveal student names, then we use student ID numbers, which are kept confidential at the school site.

The district has information on ethnicity, age and sex for every student so that information is merged using the student ID numbers.

The result would be an index that reveals which students are working and those that aren’t. Teachers would only be responsible to teach, correct student assignments and record grades, while students and their parents would be responsible to see that the work and reading is completed.

To make sure that students are learning, there would still be the standardized test to measure growth but with students actually involved instead of watching TV, playing video games or sending the average 1500 text messages a month, there would be reading outside of class, doing homework and studying instead.

This puts the responsibility where it belongs—on students and parents. If a teacher is not doing a good job teaching, students are going to complain and administration is going to observe.

Every few weeks, I printed out a progress report for each of my students that told them everything I’ve mentioned in this series of posts and I required those students to take those reports home and have their parents sign them.

However, if our society is unwilling to hold students and parents responsible to cooperate in their education and we keep placing “ALL” the blame on teachers, America has failed and nothing will solve this problem.

On May 20, 2011, in Solving the API Dilemma – Part 6, we shall see a comparison between the actual API scores in California and my friend’s suggestion of how to show results on standardized tests without being racist when showing who is responsible for the results.

Continued on May 20, 2011 in Putting the Blame where it Belongs – Part 6 or return to Part 4


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.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


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Where it Started – Part 1/2

There is a reason why half the teachers in America leave the classroom within three to five years and never return to education.

In fact, I don’t blame them.

Even now, almost five years after leaving the classroom, I can honestly say that I’d rather be sent to Iraq or Afghanistan to fight in a real shooting war than go back into a classroom.

And I know what war is like. I served in the United States Marines and fought in Vietnam in 1966.

My path to becoming a teacher started while I was earning a BA in journalism during the early 1970s, at California State University, Fresno. A grade school teacher and her husband lived in a first-floor apartment in the same building. We became friends

One night during dinner, she asked if I wanted to come to her classroom and read a story to her students. I agreed, but I had no story so I quickly wrote one called The Wind is my Friend.

Reading to her third graders went well, and she asked if I had ever considered becoming a teacher. She said I worked well with kids. That stuck in my mind. The seed had been planted.

I went on to graduate from Fresno State in 1973, and moved back to Los Angeles. Although I interviewed for jobs with newspapers and magazines, the pay was too low. I wouldn’t have earned enough to pay the rent on the apartment my wife and I lived in, so with help from my father-in-law, I found a job in industry.

However, the seed sprouted and in 1975, I quit a job with Pacific Motor Trucking to return to school at Cal Poly Pomona where I earned a multiple-subject life credential.

Continued at Where It Started – Part 2


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.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


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