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Tag Archives: NCLB Act

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After public support for the 18th Amendment eroded dramatically, Prohibition was repealed, as we are seeing with the NCLB Act.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 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 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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Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 4/9

When it comes to The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the reason why I support nonviolent civil disobedience, such as helping students cheat on standardized tests, is because this act and the reaction of the critics is unfair to American teachers and is misleading.

In fact, the NCLB Act is a travesty and is unjust. In addition, the media does a poor job of reporting the results of the PISA Test, and the enemies and critics of public education in America take advantage of that poor reporting to influence the opinions of ignorant citizens such as Mr. Morally Correct.

Most Americans only hear that the US placed 17 out of 65 for reading literacy, 31 of 65 for math literacy and 23 of 65 for science literacy. Then being ignorant of the details, these people are easily mislead, and manipulated forming biased opinions.

One fact that we do not hear in the Media or from the enemies and critics of public education appears on page 48 of the 2000 PISA report, where the United States was listed as above average (compared to the OECD average of 65 countries) in reading literacy, mathematics literacy and science literacy.

In addition, for Math literacy, US students scored twice the OECD average. SOURCE: nces.ed.gov

When you actually study the details of the report, the US public education system does very well compared to other countries considering the structure of the American education system and the challenges it faces.

For example, China, which placed 1st in reading, math and science literacy (for the 2009 PISA Test), cannot be compared to the United States or any other country.

Compulsory education in China for primary education is from ages 6 to 12 and there were 121 million students enrolled in this system in 2001. However, in the US, compulsory education starts with ages 5/6 to 18 for more than 47 million students.

Almost half the students in China drop out of school at age 12 or enter vocational training, while the other half go on to the junior secondary education system, which educates ages 12 to 15 where only 66.8 million were enrolled  in 2002, which means 55.2 million students left the education system at the end of the primary system.

Another 54.8 million children leave the education system in China at the end of the junior secondary system at age 15.

China’s senior education system educates ages 15 to 18 where about 12 million students remain.  This is the student population in China that was tested in Shanghai for the 2009 PISA test, and Shanghai’s public schools are the best in China, which means China’s top 10% of all students.

To be accepted into the senior education system in China, students must take an entrance test called the ‘Zhongkao’, which is the Senior Secondary Education Entrance Examination held annually in China to distinguish junior graduates.

Admission for senior high schools is somewhat similar to the one for universities in China. Once the admissions and testing process is completed, the high schools announce their requirements based on this information and the spots they will fill that year.

For instance, if a school offers 800 spots, the results offered by the 800th intake student will be the standard requirements. So effectively, this ensures the school selects the top candidates of all the students that have applied in that academic year.

China’s school system operates mostly on meritocracy so only the best students move on, while the US keeps every student until age 18 no matter what their academic performance, attitude toward education or classroom behavior is.

This means that in China, the dropout rate by age 15 is 90%, while in America the dropout rate is about 8.1% by age 18 (drop our rate in 2009 – Asian/Pacific Islander 3.4%, White 5.2%, African-American/Black 9.3%, and Hispanic/Latino 17.6%).

It is not fair to compare a cross section of American students of all skill levels with China’s top 10%. With this discrepancy, there is no way America’s students selected at random from across the country from all racial and socio-economic levels will ever be able compete with China for the number one rank on any PISA Test.

Yet, 12% of American students that took the PISA test, on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the highest) scored a 5 with an overall average that was higher than China’s top 10%.

As you have discovered, there is a HUGE difference between the public education systems in China and Finland when compared to the United States and the ability of students selected to take the PISA Test.

However, the enemies and critics of America’s public school systems do not want you to know these facts.

Continued on August 4, 2011, in Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 5 or return to Part 3

_______________________

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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