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Tag Archives: Civil disobedience

Comparing Apples to Apples Instead of Cabbages

My goal for this post was to discover how America’s public schools compared to countries with similar educational systems.  The scores used are from the 2009 global PISA rankings.

I ended up comparing the scores of nine similar countries [Western Christian cultures] with the top three [China, Finland and Singapore] and the lowest score [Kyrgystan].  The first chart lists three of the top five, the second chart includes the United States and eight similar countries, and the last chart shows the country with the lowest global score on the 2009 international PISA test.

Three of the top-five public school systems in the world as tested by PISA.

These three public school systems are very different from the United States. I’ve written about these differences in The Finland-Singapore Solution to Public Education in the U.S.

Country

Overall Reading Scale

Mathematics Scale

Science Scale

Shanghai-China 556 600 575
Finland 536 541 554
Singapore 526 562 542

Using Google and doing some research, I discovered “Nine Countries” [Western Christian cultures] that use annual standardized tests to measure student growth, which means these countries teach to the test and teachers are probably micromanaged by administration and pressured to raise test scores as is often the case in America.

The average score of Reading was 482.5 and the United States was 17.4 points higher.  Only one of the nine countries scored higher than the United States.

The average score of Mathematics was 486.7 and the United States was 0.3 points higher—three of the nine scored lower.

The average score of Science was 494.2 and the United States was 7.8 points higher. Only three of the nine scored higher.

Country

Overall Reading Scale

Mathematics Scale

Science Scale

United States

500

487

502

France 496 497 498
United Kingdom 494 492 514
Romania 424 427 428
Lithuania 468 477 491
Russian Federation 459 468 478
Netherlands 508 526 522
Germany 497 513 520
Sweden 497 494 495

The lowest-scoring public school system in the world as tested by PISA.

Country

Overall Reading Scale

Mathematics Scale

Science Scale

Kyrgystan 314 331 330

What can we learn from this?

We may learn that the political/religious critics of America’s public schools will manipulate the data to make the schools look bad and ignore the rest of the facts that say otherwise.  With this comparison, we see America from a different perspective comparing apples to apples instead of apples to cabbages.

Discover Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind

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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 “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column, click it and then follow directions.

 

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Needs versus Education – What comes first? – Part 2/5

On August 8, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education posted a press release saying, Obama Administration Proceeds with Reform of No Child Left Behind Failing Congressional Inaction.

“With the new school year fast approaching and still no bill to reform the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind, the Obama administration will provide a process for states to seek relief from key provisions of the law, provided that they are willing to embrace education reform.

“The administration’s proposal for fixing NCLB calls for college-and career-ready standards, more great teachers and principals, robust use of data, and a more flexible and targeted accountability system based on measuring annual student growth.”

However, the causes of many students not achieving benchmarks set by the NCLB Act have not been recognized yet.  The last time the federal government attempted to address these problems was President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, which failed because you cannot engineer utopia, and it cannot be ordered into existence either.

 

In fact, Sheldon Danziger, a professor of public policy at the University of Michigan, says, “the poverty rate has remained steady since the 1970s and today, Americans have allowed poverty to fall off the national agenda.”

In fact, LBJ’s War on Poverty cost $6.6 trillion over a thirty-year period ($220 billion per year avg) and much of the effort was wasteful and corrupt.” Source: In These Times

What LBJ attempted to do with his War On Poverty was no different than what President G. W. Bush did when he signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act, which is another impossible attempt to engineer society, but this time the public school and teachers are being held responsible.

According to World Hunger.org, “36.3 million people (in the United States)—including 13 million children—live in households that experience hunger or the risk of hunger; some people in these households frequently skip meals or eat too little, sometimes going without food for a whole day and 9.6 million people, including 3 million children, live in these homes.”

Are America’s public school teachers supposed to feed these children too?

Continued on August 16, 2011, in Needs versus Education – What comes first? – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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

In the early 20th century, the conservative temperance movement popularized the belief that alcohol was the major cause of most personal and social problems and prohibition was seen as the solution to the nation’s poverty, crime, violence, and other ills.

This is similar to the the NCLB Act, which is also seen as a solution to the nation’s poverty, crime, violence, and other ills through forced improvements in education.

Upon ratification of the 18th Amendment (Prohibition – 1919 to 1933), the famous evangelist Billy Sunday said, “The slums will soon be only a memory. We will turn our prisons into factories and our jails into storehouses and corncribs.

Some towns even sold their jails.

The result of the 18th Amendment led to increased crime and violence due to civil disobedience. There was an increase in small portable illegal stills throughout the country. California grape growers increased their area of cultivation about 700% during the first five years of prohibition.  Organized smuggling of alcohol from Canada and elsewhere quickly developed. There was also the notorious and ever present organized bootlegging often resulting in violence. This scourge led to massive and widespread corruption of politicians and law enforcement agencies and the widespread corruption of public officials became a national scandal.

After public support for the 18th Amendment eroded dramatically, Prohibition was repealed, as we are seeing with the NCLB Act.


Another Mr. Morally Correct

The end of slavery in the United States is another example of civil disobedience when abolitionists helped slaves escape from the southern states through the underground railroad at a time when the law said northerners had to return run-away slaves to their owners. This civil disobedience eventually led to the Civil War (1861 – 1865).

Individuals such as Mr. Morally Correct (quoted in Part 1) are conservative idealists supporting easy solutions to complex challenges similar to the temperance movement that led to the 18th Amendment and Prohibition. These misguided people believe that the public schools in America have failed and merit pay or vouchers will overcome all challenges education in America faces leading to a reduction in poverty, crime, violence and other ills.

Mr. Morally Correct and those that believe as he does are wrong just as the temperance movement was wrong in 1919, and without “nonviolent civil disobedience”, the NCLB Act would not be facing close scrutiny and loss of support from the American public.

However, those that are involved in civil disobedience when it comes to the NCLB Act should be aware that they might be punished. Many who violated the 18th Amendment during the fourteen years it was a law during Prohibition went to jail and were condemned by individuals such as Mr. Morally Correct.

In fact, I believe that Mr. Morally Correct will reject everything I have written in this series.  After all, he probably is blind, deaf and mute when it comes to the truth just as the temperance movement was.

Return to Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 8 or start with Part 1

_______________________

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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Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 8/9

There are many reasons why “nonviolent civil disobedience” is acceptable when it comes to No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

One example is latchkey children. According to the U.S. Census, 15% were home alone before school, 76% after school and 9% at night. Presumably, the 9% have parents who work night shifts.

In fact, most homework is supposed to be done after school when 76% of children are often alone without proper adult supervision.

Without parental supervision, we have many American children that avoid homework, reading assignments and studying. Instead, many of these children spend more than 10 hours a day dividing the time watching TV, social networking on sites such as Facebook. playing video games, listening to music, or sending text messages to friends, etc.

And who is blamed when these children fail to meet NCLB benchmarks? public school teachers and their unions

Then there is poor nutrition, which affects a child’s ability to learn, and too much sugar consumption has been found to lower the immune system and affect short-term memory causing memory problems in addition to mood swings.  If a child’s memory is compromised, how is he or she supposed to do well on a standardized test or remember what teachers taught in US history, English, math and science?

And who is blamed when these children fail to meet NCLB benchmarks? public school teachers and their unions

Poverty also has a huge impact on a child’s ability to learn.

The National Center for Children in Poverty says nearly 15 million children in the United States – 21% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level – $22,050 a year for a family of four.

Combine poverty, latch key children, poor nutrition and sugar consumption, and the challenge become almost insurmountable. Even the greatest teachers and the best lessons may not be able to overcome all of these challenges.


Street Gangs South L.A. Bloods and Crips – Impact on Education

However, who is blamed when these children fail to meet NCLB benchmarks? public school teachers and their unions

Even in China, with its Confucian influenced culture and deep respect for teachers and education, poverty plays a role in children completing school or dropping out. The drop our rate in rural China often reaches 70%, where most of China’s poverty and/or lower incomes may be found. In India, the crushing 40% severe poverty rate has resulted in a country with about 40% illiteracy.

However, unlike the U.S., which makes scapegoats of its teachers and their labor unions, China is struggling to solve this challenge instead of looking for idealistic, Pollyanna solutions.

Then there is the 800,000 strong American street gang culture, which is very anti education. Street gangs in the US are into drugs and violence that influence the learning environment in US schools due to poor behavior and bad attitudes.

In 2001, the US Senate was split evenly between Democrats (50) and Republicans (50) and conservatives held a majority in the House of Representatives while G. W. Bush, a neoconservative, evangelical, born-again Christian President, ruled the country from the White House. Due to this alone, it is not surprising that NCLB became a law in 2001 that in 2010 identifies millions of teachers and more than 50 thousand public schools as failures, because public education was set up to fail due to the language of the NCLB Act.

Democrats voted for NCLB because they naively believed that teachers were capable of overcoming all of the challenges mentioned in this series, while it is obvious conservatives wanted to set the schools up for failure so private school vouchers would win support from the public.

That leads to the conclusion that shows why nonviolent civil disobedience, such as changing answers on standardized tests or helping students to select correct answers or refusing to cooperate with the federal government as several states have done, is an acceptable way to protest the poorly designed, misleading NCLB Act.

There is more than one historical precedent for civil disobedience for unreasonable and unrealistic laws such as NCLB, which will be revealed in Part 9.

Continued on August 8, 2011, in Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 9 or return to Part 7

_______________________

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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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 Renaissance.com, 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

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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Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 6/9

The first sign of nonviolent “civil disobedience” was when the media reported teachers either changing answers on standardized tests or helping students select the correct answers to raise scores.

The reason for this “civil disobedience” is that the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Law set a goal of having 100 percent of students proficient (according to each state’s standards) in math and reading by 2014.

However, the teachers/educators that helped change answers are not alone in their nonviolent “civil disobedience”.

Another example, according to Christine Armario and Jessie L. Bonner of The Associated Press (July 2011), reported that three states plan to defy the No Child Left Behind benchmarks.

AP said, “Idaho will no longer raise the benchmarks that public schools have to meet under No Child Left Behind, nor will it punish the schools that do not meet these higher testing goals, said Tom Luna, the state’s superintendent of public schools.”

“Montana and South Dakota are also rejecting the latest No Child Left Behind targets,” AP said, “while Kentucky is seeking a waiver that would allow the state to use a different method to measure whether students are making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) under the program.

“And more states could follow in seeking relief from the federal requirements,” the AP reported.

Mr. Morally Correct (quoted in Part 1 of this series) wrote, “Every teacher working in a substandard school should have quit after discovering they could not educate students for whatever reason including the students’ refusal to learn.”

According to an April 28, 2011 report by the Center on Education Policy (CEP), 38% of U.S. public schools failed to make AYP in 2010. There are more than 132 thousand public schools in the US, which means 50,000 are failing according to the NCLB law. Since there are about 5 million teachers that means about 2 million should quit according to Mr. Morally Correct and abandon the students in their school that are meeting the goals of the NCLB Act since some students in every school make the effort to learn and keep up.

In addition, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies found that only 32 percent of the general population rates the NCLB law positively, which makes Mr. Morally Correct a member of the minority opinion with almost 70% of Americans disagreeing with him.

President George W. Bush brought us the NCLB Act when he signed it into law.  He also brought us the Iraq War based on false claims of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) hidden in Iraq.

American military casualties (physical wounds) number more than 33,000 with another 320,000 veterans with brain injuries in addition to several thousand killed in action.  Iraqi civilian deaths, which are difficult to track, range from estimates of 100,000 to more than a million depending on the source, and about 3.4 million have been displaced from their homes

Then there was the 2008 global financial crises President G. W. Bush brought the US, which is estimated to have cost $40 trillion in global losses ($20 trillion in the US) and tens of millions of lost jobs around the world (for example – 9 million in the US and 20 million in China).

President G. W. Bush also doubled the National Debt from about $5 trillion to more than $10 trillion.

Continued on August 6, 2011, in Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 7 or return to Part 5

_______________________

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!”

Will the NCLB Act go down in history as President George W. Bush’s fourth major failure in judgement?

Continued on August 6, 2011, in Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 7 or return to Part 5

 

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Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 5/9

Now that we have dealt with Finland and China’s education systems, ethnic/racial and cultural differences compared to the United States, it is time to look at Singapore, which is almost the polar opposite of the United States except for English as the national language.

Unlike China (95% Han Chinese) and Finland (more than 95% Caucasian), Singapore is 74.2% Chinese, 13.2% Malay and 9.2% of Indian descent and about 40% of the population is foreigners. The total population is 5.1 million — 2.9 million were born in Singapore while the rest are foreign-born.

However there is a big difference between the US and Singapore. The US is 64.6% White/Caucasian, 15.1% Hispanic/Latino, 12.85% African-American/Black, 4.43% Asian, etc.

The largest difference between the education systems of Singapore and the United States is that America is influenced by “memes” and/or popular trends, which is a pervasive idea within a given culture. The idea replicates itself (sort of like a virus) via cultural means and on the Internet mostly spreads through web sites, emails, blogs, forums, videos, and other channels. The goal of the meme is to change the thought patterns of the populace. Source: Google


Caning in Singapore

In the United States, those “memes” or trends have led to boosting self-esteem among children, which includes not shaming students; making sure children have lots of fun time, and avoiding meritocracy while promoting students regardless of academic achievement. There is also a popular dislike of corporal punishment as cruel.

However, in Singapore, ‘memes’ or popular trends do not have a similar impact as they do in the US.

In Singapore, Meritocracy is a basic political ideology and a fundamental principle in the education system, which aims to identify and groom bright young students for positions of leadership. The system places a great emphasis on academic performance in grading students and granting their admission to special programmes and universities.

As for discipline in Singapore’s schools, corporal punishment is legal (for male students only), and fully encouraged by the government in order to maintain strict discipline.

Canings in schools may be classified in three areas.  The first is a private caning where the boy is caned in the principal’s office; class caning where the boy is caned in front of his class, and public caning where the boy is caned on stage during assembly in front of the whole school population, to serve as a warning to potential offenders as well as to shame the student. It is usually reserved for serious offences committed like fighting, smoking, and vandalism.

School caning is a solemn and formal ceremony. Before the caning, the Discipline Master usually explains the student’s offence to the audience.

In addition, in Singapore, “any child who is unable to attend any national primary school due to any physical or intellectual disability” is exempted from compulsory education. Singapore’s public schools do not provide special education for persons with disabilities.


Caning was once an English tradition. After the British Empire made caning illegal, they lost the empire.

Education in Singapore is managed by the Ministry of Education, which controls the development and administration of state schools, but also has an advisory and supervisory role in respect to private schools.

It is also a criminal offence for parents to fail to enroll their children in school and ensure their regular attendance. Imagine what would happen if this were a criminal offense for parents in the United States.

Due to Singapore’s cultural beliefs and the structure of its educational system, it ranked fifth in reading (The US was 17th) on the 2009 PISA test, second for math (the US was 31st) and fourth for science (the US was 23rd – the OECD average). Source: moe.gov

Continued on August 5, 2011, in Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 6 or return to Part 4

_______________________

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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