In writing my book NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education, first published in 1984 — 28 years ago — I read every issue of the NEA Journal and thus was able to chronicle the National Education Association’s support for world government from their own writings. The NEA began to promote that utopian idea as early as December 1942 when its Journal published an editorial entitled “The United Peoples of the World.” In it, the editor announced the NEA’s support of world government. He quoted Tennyson’s “Locksley Hall" with its reference to the “Parliament of Man, the Federation of the World.”
Large-scale cheating has been uncovered over the last year at some of the nation’s most competitive schools. With American students no longer being educated under Christian moral standards, is there any mystery why students in our most prestigious institutions cheat?
Although Chicago’s public school teachers are among the highest paid in the nation, they wanted more, and according to the settlement reached late Tuesday, September 18, they are getting more. Mayor Rahm Emanuel hailed the settlement as marking “a new day and a new direction” for Chicago public schools. He said it provided “higher pay for teachers and a higher standard of education for students.”
After a full day of discussions about public education among a select group of establishment educators and allied think-tank types, the best recommendation they could all come up with is the need for more “effective teachers.” Not to be outdone by the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on Education, the New York Times, in its second annual conference held on September 13, decided to put its three cents in the ongoing discussions on public education which seem to have attracted the attention of the establishment cognitive elite.
The teacher strike in Chicago is more than just about salaries, benefits, and collective bargaining. It is more about the struggle between the visions of two liberal personalities than anything else: Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union and Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of Chicago.
More than 200 politicized teachers participated in the recent Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte, N.C., representing their unions, not their students. Since 1980, politicized teachers have been one of the largest groups represented at the DNC, and they represent the far left of the political spectrum.
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. One of the most challenging students I ever had was 14-year-old Neal Pulovsky, a 9th grader....
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.
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.