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Tag Archives: public schools

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

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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).

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).

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Comparing public school performance in the United States: Part 2 of 3

If only 17% of the Charter schools performed better than the public schools, what does that mean?

It means that 901 Charter schools outperformed, on average, 98,800 public schools—but at the same time 1,967 Charter schools performed worse than the average public school.

And if 83% of the public schools performed the same or better than Charter schools that means 82,004 public schools did not fail in teaching America’s children.

To have a better understanding of what the studies revealed it may help to know the numbers for Elementary and Secondary Education in the United States.

In 2010–11, there were about 13,600 different public school districts with over 98,800 public schools—including about 5,300 charter schools. In fall 2013, about 50.1 million students attended public elementary and secondary schools. Of these, 35.3 million were in prekindergarten through 8th grade and 14.8 million were in grades 9 through 12.

Today, the public schools employ about 3.3 million full-time-equivalent (FTE) teachers.

In the private sector there are about 30,900 private schools offering kindergarten or higher grades, and an additional 5.2 million students attended these private schools, and a projected 400,000 FTE teachers worked in this education sector. (nces.ed.gov)

Note: The public school districts are nonprofit and are run by democratically elected school boards that are usually made up of concerned parents whose children attend or attended the schools in the same district. Common sense says that these parents, who are in charge, have a vested interest that the schools do the best job possible under the circumstances. Public schools must hire qualified and trained teachers.

A public charter school is a publicly funded school that is typically governed by a group or organization under a legislative contract or charter with the state or jurisdiction. The charter exempts the school from selected state or local rules and regulations. In return for funding and autonomy, the charter school must meet the accountability standards articulated in its charter.

Private sector schools are not run by democratically elected school boards. If these schools are religious, they are run by the religions that own them. If the schools are secular, they are run by the CEO of a corporation or business that is profit based and the CEO answers to no one but the richest stock holders and investors. The only way a CEO usually loses his job is to die, retire or lose money. If the private schools are operated as a non-profit, the manager is usually paid several-hundred-thousand dollars annually and the costs are higher than public schools. Private schools may hire anyone to teach.

You may be surprised to learn that the charter school concept originated with educators who started in the classroom as teachers. Starting in 1974, Albert Shanker (1928 – 1997) and then Ray Budde (1923 – 2005) had the idea for charter schools and helped launch this concept as a way to meet the needs of the most difficult to teach students. Charter schools were not meant to be an option for every student. The concept was an alternative designed to deal with children who were at risk and difficult to teach.

Albert Shanker, who started out as a substitute teacher; then went on to teach math in East Harlem for eight years, became the president of the United Federation of Teachers in 1964. Ray Budde started as a 7th grade English teacher. (Education Evolving.org)

Continued on January 4, 2014 in Comparing public school performance in the United States: Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to kill Americans.

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Comparing public school performance in the United States: Part 1 of 3

The public schools in the United States are often compared to the public schools of other nations but what about comparing them to the charter and private sector schools in the United States?

The forces that want to turn U.S. public education over to the private sector—while obviously fooling many and robbing working middle class Americans to pay the rich—have worked hard for decades to paint the public schools and millions of dedicated, hard-working teachers as failures, but those claims are far from the truth—a truth that is difficult to prove.

The reason for this is because state and federal governments do not monitor the charter or private schools as they do the public schools. Bush’s No Child Left Behind and Obama’s Race to the Top focus on the public schools and ignore the others. For more information on private sector schools not being judged the same as the public schools, I suggest reading Comparing Private and Public School Test Scores from GreatSchools.org.

What’s at stake—more than one trillion annual tax payer dollars that funds public education nationwide. That means every ten years, those tax-payer dollars add up to more than $10 trillion. This money is one of the main reasons for the corporate attack on public schools.

To discover how the charter schools compare to the public schools, Stanford—a private sector university that is one of the top ranked universities in the world—conducted an in-depth study in 2009.

The study found that, on average, charter schools performed about the same or worse than traditional public schools. The Stanford study said that 46% of Charter schools were the same; 37% were worse [which means many public schools were better], but only 17% of the Charter schools were better.

The next study (public vs. private) was reported by the National Center for Education Statistics, a federal government website.

The goal of the study was to examine differences in mean National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading and mathematics scores between public and private schools when selected characteristics of students and/or schools were taken into account.

Among the student characteristics considered were gender, race/ethnicity, disability status, and identification as an English language learner. Among the school characteristics considered were school size and location, and composition of the student body and of the teaching staff.

For Catholic and Lutheran schools—for both reading and mathematics—the results were again similar to those based on all private schools.

For Conservative Christian schools, the average adjusted school mean in reading was not significantly different from that of public schools.

In mathematics, the average adjusted school mean for Conservative Christian schools was significantly lower than that of public schools.

Continued on January 3, 2014 in Comparing public school performance in the United States: Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to kill Americans.

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Teaching or Writing with Pain, Pollution and People – Part 1/4

It’s difficult to teach or write when I’m gasping for air and exploding my sinus.

When I was still teaching (1975 – 2005) there were years when walking into the empty classroom in the morning made me sick—and no, I wasn’t allergic to my students.

Then I retired from teaching (but not from life), and I have been free of wheezy lungs and sinus infections that always arrived with the start of each school year when I worked in those old buildings at the high school where I taught. Have you heard of sick building syndrome?

I lived it.

This new, peaceful world changed when workers came with power tools and mud-caked boots.

I should have fled, but I stayed at my computer as a stupid, stubborn, former United States Marine would.

My office has three doors. One that leads to to rest of the house and one that opens to the outside.

Then there is the door that opens to the space under the second story.

Once under the house, that crew drilled into the foundation, pounded, cut and tracked dirt from room to room—always in my office.

I had trouble concentrating. I suffered memory loss. Plastic tarps covered most of the furniture, and I couldn’t find things.

Continued in Teaching or Writing with Pain, Pollution and People – Part 2

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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.

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A Square Peg in a Round Hole

I am the square peg that fit in a round hole. I’m the last guy anyone would expect to teach poetry, grammar, writing and literature.

In fact, I did not enjoy kindergarten through twelfth grade. In grade school, I was the puny guy bullies lined up to terrorize. In high school, I was six-foot four and weighed one-hundred-and-twenty-five pounds. If I turned sideways, I disappeared—a good way to hide.

In high school, I read an average of two paperbacks a day. During lectures, I sat in the back dressed in black wearing shades reading Andre Norton or Isaac Asimov or Ray Bradbury. I read a series of books about the Civil War while my history teacher talked about the Revolutionary War.  When other kids played baseball, football or basketball, I was reading about Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan.

When I graduated, my GPA had a decimal in front of it. After high school, I joined the Marine Corps.

Then LBJ lied about the Tonkin Gulf incident and became George W. Bush’s role model for the future invasion of Iraq. What irony, a Democrat teaching a Republican how to use false evidence to start a war. That might be the only time a Republican learned anything from a Democrat.

I came back from Vietnam with a dose of Post Traumatic Stress and almost drowned in booze. When I was honorably discharged from the Marines in 1968, I had no idea what was causing me to wake up sweaty seeing Vietcong in the room.

I slept with an eight-inch blade.

In Vietnam, a sniper came within an inch of killing me. The round caressed an ear, and I thought, “God, get me home alive in one piece, and I will go to college like my parents wanted.”

In 1973, I graduated with honors with a BA in journalism from FSU. In 1975, at thirty, I earned a teaching credential at Cal Poly Pomona.  The MFA arrived later.

From 1975 to 2005, I taught English, reading and journalism in the public schools, and I didn’t torture or shoot anyone.

Discover why Substitute Teaching is not a “Tea Party”

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition].

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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

 

 

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