Since progressive educators decided that rote memorization is a form of child abuse, children are now taught math (formerly arithmetic) with a minimum of memorizing anything. They are now given calculators to use, and if they press the wrong button there is nothing in their heads that would make them aware of their error. The result has been a decline in the ability of children to learn basic arithmetic (now called math).
And now, since children learn their arithmetic so poorly, they find it difficult to do algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus.
Rudolf Flesch, author of Why Johnny Can't Read, died in 1986, but his legacy endures among those of us who are still fighting to get intensive, systematic phonics back in the schools.
What do we do about the public schools, which still mis-educate about 85 percent of American children?
There is much that American educators could learn by studying how Finland, South Korea, and Poland were able to achieve their high educational standings.
The successful homeschool phenomenon in the United States does not address the question of how public education can be improved here. The Finnish model cannot be replicated as long as our progressive educators are determined to keep dumbing down America’s teachers. Finland produces the world's smatest kids because they are taught by the smartest teachers on the planet. And the teachers do not use poverty as an excuse for any student not doing well, as U.S. teachers are being led to do.
According to the PISA (Program for international Student Assessment) 2012 test, the smartest kids in the world are Asians: students in Shanghai-China, South Korea, Singapore, Hong-Kong, Taiwan, and Japan.
In order to reverse the severe decline in literacy in this country, the best way to teach children to read is with intensive phonics, expanding the use of language and logic.
Class Dismissed, a new full-length documentary film about homeschooling, was screened in the Boston area on December 1, having already been seen by sold-out audiences in November on the West Coast (L.A., San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland). It explores the rapidly growing homeschool movement — its challenges and great successes.
The sight-reading method of teaching reading, which was instituted in the 1930s in American public schools to replace phonics, actually causes dyslexia.
A recent study places the United States fifth among nations that have people with college degrees; we rank 12th in K-12 educational achievement, while once-impoverished South Korea now ranks first.