In a previous article I referred to education as the “orphan issue” in this great presidential election. Of course, every candidate mumbles something about education, but everyone seems to know that American public education is like some sort of huge stone, like the one in Mecca, that is impossible to move. It just sits there inert, unresponsive, brainless. Yet, it absorbs billions of dollars a year and turns out many young Americans who can barely read or write.
Good tutors learn a great deal from their students. Each student is different, requiring the tutor to be flexible, patient, and creative. I always enjoyed the challenge of a new student because it required much ingenuity on my part. And because I was being paid for my services, unlike the public schools which are "free," I had to show that my teaching was producing positive results.
The federal government, via the U.S. Department of Labor, is dispersing $75.7 million in taxpayer-funded grants to offer high school dropouts vocational training in construction, healthcare, information technology, and other in-demand occupational fields.
Writing about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to review a discrimination lawsuit filed against the University of Texas, two conservatives — Roger Clegg and John Rosenberg — argue that efforts to achieve racial “diversity” on college campuses are nothing more than reverse discrimination against whites and Asians.
Tutoring is undoubtedly the most effective way of teaching anybody anything. It is the method that has been used since biblical times for fathers to teach their sons. In the Middle Ages nobles hired tutors to teach their heirs long before schooling was invented. Indeed, schooling did not become the dominant mode of education until the industrial revolution when the state got into the education business. In the United States, schooling started in New England with the common schools and private academies. Protestant denominations created schools which have become today’s prestigious prep schools for the rich. But because of the egregious failures of American public schools, tutoring is now being used by more and more parents who want their children to get the education they need.
School administrators in Baltimore, Maryland, have spent $500,000 in the last year and a half to party hearty on the taxpayers’ dime, according to a recent report in the Baltimore Sun entitled "City school credit, procurement cards show culture of spending." They even spread the wealth at such noted educational establishments as Hooters.
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.