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Yes, Finland is a great example of how to educate children and there is a wide gap between Finland and America’s cultures.

However, in the US, every public school teacher should walk out and demand respect and the truth about the achievements in Education in this country before returning to the classroom.
Joseph Goebbels, one of Hitler’s inner circle in the Nazi Party, once said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will come to believe it.”

You see, it all depends on how the facts are presented. The critics of public education have a loud voice and use language that shows the glass half empty instead of about 90% full, which is more accurate. Once all the facts about high-school graduation rates, the perception changes dramatically.
To achieve this, one must start more than a century back and chart the progress

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I’ll start with 1900 when the total number of high school graduates in the US numbered 16,000 of 815,000 seventeen-year olds.
In 1920, 311,000 graduated from high school or 16.8% of the total which was 1,855,000
In 1940, 1,221,000 or 50,8% of 2,403,000 graduated.
In 1960, 1,858,000 or 69.5% of 2,672,00 graduated.
In 1980, 3,043,000 or 71.4% of 4,262,00 graduated.
Source: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs93/93442.pdf
After 1970, high school graduation rates level off and fluctuated but stayed pretty close.
in 2009, 75.5% of high school students that started as freshman graduated.
In addition, In 2009, some 89.8 percent of 18- through 24-year-olds not enrolled in high school had received a high school diploma or alternative credential.
How does this compare with other countries?
In 2008, the U.S. high school graduation rate was lower than the rates of ten countries: The United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Finland and Denmark.
Source: http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/03/how-u-s-graduation-rates-compare-with-the-rest-of-the-world/
However, there are 193 countries represented in the UN, putting the United States High School graduation rate in the top 5.69% of all the nations that are members of the UN. That means 94.31% of the Earth’s countries have lower high school graduation rates.
When do we see these types of comparison from the American media or critics of public education in the US? Never

The next question is, “What is the political and economic agenda of these critics and a media that seems controlled by the critics?”

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Blind Obedience – Part 1/4

The reason Hitler’s Nazis got away with murdering millions in the death camps of Europe during World War II was due to “blind obedience” to Germany’s laws/leaders, and there are many historical examples of “blind obedience” to bad laws and/or leadership even from the Church and other religions.

I received an e-mail in lieu of a comment for something I wrote and posted on this Blog in Eager to Learn or Not – Part 10.

Without copying the entire e-mail, the crux was, “You’re excusing these criminal acts? What happened to your moral compass? The next thing you’ll be espousing is excusing murders by gang-bangers because of their deprived childhoods… Your writing  shows why a good church is vital to clear moral thinking.

According to Under God.org, there are 310 religions and denominations in the United States, and according to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, there are about 300,000 churches.

Who decides which churches are good? I am sure the members of these 310 religions and denominations mostly believe that their church is good. However, some are not.

You may want to read When Religion Becomes Evil by Charles Kimball to understand how difficult that choice may be and why “blind obedience” often leads to evil.

Therefore, since this is the United States, everyone has a right to his or her opinion, but I do not have to respect or accept the “garbage” someone else believes.

The “e-mail critic” was referring to what I wrote about the educators in an Atlanta, Georgia public school district, where computers correcting standardized tests caught the cheating and alerted the authorities triggering an investigation.

There is a difference between explaining and excusing. Since I am not a jury or a judge, I am not excusing the educators in Atlanta, George that did this. I also refuse to be their executioner as the moralizing “e-mail critic” does.

In fact, I explained that what those Atlanta educators did was an act of desperation due to “impossible” demands made by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Comparing what these educators in Atlanta, Georgia did, which was to erase and change answers on a test form, to murderers and gang-bangers is reprehensible. (Note: There are more than 14,000 school districts in the US, and Atlanta, Georgia is only one of them.)

Were these educators wrong? Were America’s Founding Fathers guilty of violating the British Empire’s laws when they wrote the Declaration of Independence and declared a revolution?

Continued on July 25, 2010 in Blind Obedience – Part 2

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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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