Wisconsin public employees unions were not able to stop Governor Walker’s plan to remove benefits from the items subject to collective bargaining. The unions first persuaded Wisconsin state senators to flee to Illinois, so that a quorum could not be formed to conduct business on that issue in the Wisconsin legislature. Then these unions thronged Madison, trying to intimidate Republican state legislators; these legislators, however, refused to be intimidated. State Supreme Court elections, which once were pro forma referenda on the ethics and competence of justices, was transformed into an ideological policy issue in which Judge Prosser was targeted for elimination because it was felt that he would uphold the constitutionality of Walker’s reforms; that failed too. Finally, public employees unions tried to recall enough Republican state senators to tip control of the state senate back to Democrats; that failed too.
A teacher in Paterson, New Jersey, is in boiling water because she told her Facebook friends that some of her students were “future criminals.”
Rarely does a government official call for himself — and his entire department — to be canned. But that is, in effect, what Secretary of Education Arne Duncan did in a recent webcast, according to a video and partial transcript posted at CNSNews.com.
School reading lists have radically transformed in the last few decades. While students from a generation ago may have spent their summer vacations dipping into such classics as A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, the present crop of students is being assigned dark, graphic, and edgy reading such as Norwegian Wood and Tweak: Growing up on Methamphetamine — novels which feature homosexual orgies and lesbian sex.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) continues its attack on the constitutionally guaranteed right of free speech and religious expression as it targets school districts in Mississippi and Kentucky that have held to their long-time traditions of public prayer. On August 18th the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported that the Wisconsin-based secularist group had sent a letter to the superintendent of the DeSoto County, Mississippi, school district, the largest in the state with 40 schools and 32,000 students, demanding that the district stop allowing prayers at school athletic events and high school graduations.
Item: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for July 13, in an account on the city’s recent school cheating scandal, reported: “Pressure to meet testing targets was a major reason cheating took place at 44 Atlanta schools involving 178 educators, according to a state investigation released last week. The revelations, called ‘deeply disturbing’ by the Obama administration, have tarnished Atlanta’s Cinderella story of school reform.”
Starting this year, all children in Detroit’s public schools, from kindergarten through 12th grade, will receive free breakfast, lunch, and snacks, the school system has announced.
The University of North Carolina at Wilmington has put out a list of “gay friendly” churches in the area to assist students and faculty in choosing a politically correct place of worship. According to FOX News, the list is part of a “broader guide to gay-friendly businesses, nonprofits, health centers and other services in the area.”
This is the sixth segment in a series on K-12 education.
Although John Dewey, the originator of “progressive education,” defied most of the cultural, moral, and economic norms of his era, his message nevertheless somehow mainstreamed its way into K-12 schools nationwide. Dewey characterized himself as a “democratic socialist.” Over the years, his writings increasingly underscored an aversion to the free-market system; an abhorrence of religion, especially Christianity; a distaste for educational basics such as reading and writing; and finally, in 1928, an admiration for Soviet schooling — for the creation of what he called a “collectivistic mentality.” Given the traditionalistic norms of the 1920s and 30s, the likelihood of his affecting a sea change in education seemed about as likely as the United States replacing the Constitution with Shariah law. Then again, strange things happen, and not usually by chance.
Most voters today no longer remember a time when the tenets of “progressive education” were not part of their everyday lives. It no longer seems strange to the average parent, for example, that what once gave America its cohesiveness, as well as its economic and cultural “edge” over other countries, is largely missing from the school environment and curriculum.