It is said that the dinosaur had a tiny brain in a huge body, which undoubtedly contributed to its extinction. This huge body also required an enormous amount of food for its survival. The public education establishment has the same characteristics: small brain, huge body, enormous appetite for taxpayer money — its only means of survival.
The dictionary defines “boondoggle” as: “work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having value.” And President Obama's Common Core Standards education boondoggle is going to cost billions of dollars, which everyone involved — educators, administrators, career counselors, assorted federal bureaucrats, textbook writers, and textbook publishers — will be more than happy to rake in.
What is a good teacher? How do you recognize that rare individual? One of the problems Bill and Melinda Gates have had in making grants for education reform through their billion-dollar foundation is that no one seems to know what makes a good teacher. Indeed, Gates stated: “The single most decisive factor in student achievement is excellent teaching.” But no one could tell him what made a good teacher. But since I spent 12 years — 1932 to 1944 — in public schools, I think I have a good idea of what a good teacher is, and I wish to pass on to Bill and Melinda and the coming generation of teachers some of the wisdom I have acquired.
In my last column I stressed the need for the adult, self-teaching reader to be able to break up multisyllabic words into their syllables, so that the reader could see the phonetic structure of the word. The sight reader tries to find little words that he can recognize in multisyllabic words, which might give him a hint of what the word says. He is looking for a small, recognizable picture in the big word. But because that method is so inefficient, the reader is more likely to misread the word.
When parent Jeff Travis saw a lesson sheet his son received in social studies class, he was shocked. Using propaganda that could have been disgorged by the KGB, the flier seemed to elevate communism over “capitalism.”
Bureaucrats at the United Nations are floating the idea of a global tax on all financial transactions in order to fund the organization's over-arching, worldwide social services program which would supposedly provide individuals in need all over the world with such basics as free health care, housing, education, and even a basic income level.
Can a dyslexic actually cure himself of his reading disability? Yes. Anyone who wants to do so can learn how English's 26 letters stand for 44 irreducible speech sounds, just as anyone who wants to learn to read Russian would have to learn to recognize the 32 letters of the Russian alphabet and the sounds they stand for.
“We are putting colleges on notice,” declared President Barack Obama. “You can’t assume that you’ll just jack up tuition every single year. If you can’t stop tuition from going up, then the funding you get from taxpayers each year will go down.”
The February 2012 JBS Bulletin is now available in print and online for dues-paying members.
Disgraced New York City teacher Alan Rosenfeld has been banished from the classroom for more than a decade, yet still receives an annual salary of $100,049 along with a bulky package of benefits, including health insurance, a generous pension, and vacation and sick pay. Deemed a danger to students, the 66-year-old teacher was accused in 2001 of making vulgar comments and inappropriately gawking at eighth-grade female students in a Queens public school.