An Atlanta math teacher allegedly offered students the answers to a test because she thought they were “dumb as hell,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported August 29. Shayla Smith, a former fifth-grade teacher at Dobbs Elementary School, was responsible for overseeing students while they were taking state-sponsored tests, and all tests monitored by Ms. Smith were reportedly blotched with questionable erasure marks, amounting to a “practically impossible frequency of changes from wrong to right [answers],” according to the Atlanta paper.
Among all types of U.S. educational institutions, Americans believe that public schools offer the worst quality of education, according to a new Gallup poll released August 29. In addition to public education, the survey examined four types of U.S. schooling: charter schools, independent private schools, parochial or church-related schools, and homeschooling.
Bill Nye “the Science Guy,” the techno-geek turned actor who turned kids on to science through an innovative weekly show that aired on PBS during the 1990s, has lately become a secular evangelist, preaching to parents about the dangers of allowing their children be sucked into believing that someone bigger than man created the earth.
In my previous column I wrote that it is almost impossible to become a good, innovative teacher in today’s public schools. I base that statement on the experiences of one of America’s great teachers, Marva Collins, who tried to teach her students to read with intensive phonics in a public school in Chicago, and was finally forced to leave the system and create her own private school where she could teach in the one traditional way that produces high literacy as opposed to the public school way that produces functional illiteracy.
There is a world of difference between classroom teaching and one-on-one tutoring. I’ve experienced both and know the difference. Classroom teaching is more a job of mob management, endless record keeping, mandated testing, and following government instructions rather than actual teaching. A room full of rambunctious children out to defy you can turn teaching into a game with winners and losers. Frustration is the main emotion experienced by classroom teachers. Besides, most of today’s teachers have been badly prepared by their colleges of education. Which is why they are so poor at teaching the basics and why test scores continue to reflect the lack of genuine learning that takes place in too many of today’s public schools.
Our children may be learning to be more than just bilingual at their elementary schools’ language immersion program. Since 2006 the federal government has spent millions to turn elementary schools around the country into training centers for future government intelligence agents.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is at it again in its non-stop effort to purge America of faith in God. In its latest campaign it has targeted the football coach for Ridgeland High School in Walker County, Georgia, insisting that he is violating the First Amendment's supposed “separation of church and state” clause by, among other infractions, allowing local churches to feed his team before Friday night football games.
Back in the early 1900s, when the professors of education were working overtime to find “scientific” justification for changing reading instruction in American schools from alphabetic phonics to the look-say, sight, or whole-word method, many studies were done to see what type of effect the new teaching method would have on children’s reading ability.
Much of the focus on the student-loan debt crisis has been placed on new graduates, but according to a new report, the federal government has been honing in on another demographic of debtors: retirees. The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 granted the federal government authority to withhold a fraction of their Social Security payments if retirees owe defaulted debt to the government — including student loans.
I am writing you and your colleagues this open letter in order to help you achieve your stated goal of improving American public education so that Americans can face the future with confidence and creativity.