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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).

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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About Bullies – Part 1/3

I don’t have respect for bullies (“bullies are kids who have tremendous low self-esteem”). That’s probably one of the reasons why I joined the Marines after high school—so I would be tougher and more dangerous.  Most bullies are cowards and won’t fight if they think you will stand up to them. Bullies also tend to be organized like a pack of wolves (no insult to wolves, but that is a fact). There are two types of bullies: the physical kind and the verbal kind, who enjoy belittling kids that don’t appear capable of defending themselves.  Some bullies fit both descriptions.

Then there is the pack of what appeared to be normal kids who will ostracize an individual who doesn’t fit into an acceptable social group.  When I was teaching, I usually stood up for the outcast too.

I was a victim of bullies in grade school and ostracized by the social butterflies in high school. As a teacher, every year, at least one mouthy bully, usually a member of a local street gang, Puente 13, would ask, “What would you do if we jumped you, Mr. Lofthouse?

Kids that bully or ostracize others that do not fit the social norm remind of a flock of chickens that will peck the runt of the flock to death.

What set off this series of posts on bullies was a piece on Why Kids Get Bullied and Rejected.

 

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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

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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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