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Tag Archives: War on Poverty

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.

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Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 3/9

As far as public education is concerned in the US, both political extremes believe (or manufacture belief) that public education is a failure and the reason for poverty and crime in America is that teachers supported by their unions are not educating every child equally.

On the left, we have idealists that have been struggling to rid America of poverty. After President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty failed, the focus shifted to public education to find a reason.

However, the political right may say one thing by denouncing teachers and their unions, but is pursuing another agenda, which is discrediting then dismantling public education in favor of a private system. See Vouchers: Who’s Behind It All?

For example, a few years ago, I read a quote from a republican running for the U.S. Senate that blamed public education for all criminals that went to prison, and Americans have been hearing similar messages for years to the point where those that swallowed the lies will not accept any fact that explains why this is not true.

In addition, for the political left to admit that there are challenges in this country that no one can overcome would mean admitting that they cannot engineer society to fit the ideal paradise they imagine where all children of all races prosper, have a very high sense of manufactured self-esteem and have fun every day.

This is why both sides refuse to recognize the insurmountable problems that are cultural and socio-economic in nature, which teachers (and their unions) cannot fix just because the No Child Left Behind Act says they have to or else.

The reason I am pointing out the differences between the public education systems in the United States, Finland, China and Singapore is to make a point.

If you did not watch the video in Part 2, here is a summary of Finland’s public education system.  Finland does not have the problems America has with illegal immigrants, and its population is more than 95% Caucasian with similar cultural beliefs, which includes a strong support for education that starts in the home with a parent or parents teaching their children before starting school at age 7 for shorter school days than most countries.

Critics of the teacher unions in the US will not tell you that one of the best education systems in the world (Finland) succeeds with 95% of the teachers belonging to unions and 97% of the students attending public schools in a country with one of the largest welfare systems in the world. The obvious difference is Finish parents value education and support it by starting years before their children enter the public schools.

On August 3, 2011, we will discover public education in China and why it works in Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 4 or return to 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

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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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