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.
FreedomProject Education, the educational arm of the American Opinion Foundation, responded to requests by parents and teachers to create a curriculum that provides “a classical education in the tradition of America’s Founders.” On September 6, the FreedomProject will be launching its online curriculum through FreedomProject Education for students in grades 9 through 12.
Now that children in New York are learning that a couple named Bruce and Trevor can “marry,” they’re going to learn the fine art of unrolling condoms and using contraceptive foam.
That’s the latest from leftist Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s (left) New York, where the Department of Education has mandated that all school children get sex education rammed down their throats, regardless of parents' objections.
The state of Wisconsin is seeking relief from the No Child Left Behind education reform law after the Obama administration announced it would permit states to receive waivers from the strict testing requirements under NCLB. In an announcement on Monday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan indicated that states would be allowed waivers if they utilize other accountability measures.
While Standard and Poor's downgrade of the U.S. government's credit rating has drawn much attention in the last few days, a generally overlooked report by Moody's Investment Services on the poor performance of student loans suggests higher education may be in a financial "bubble" that could burst in a stagnant economy that offers declining rewards for a college or university degree.
Federal spending for K-12 education increased by approximately 1,050 percent between 1970 and 2009 (the most recent years for which firm figures exist). But public schools — the ones almost 90 percent of U.S. children attend — have seen negligible gains over that period. Private schools aren’t panaceas, either, thanks to university departments of teacher training that are steeped in spurious education “research” gushing from component agencies of the U.S. Department of Education (DoE), in defiance of federal law.
The leading homosexual activist group targeting children is receiving some special help from the federal government in its campaign to recruit in America’s schools. The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) announced in a press release earlier this summer that it has received a five-year grant, worth $285,000 annually, from the federal Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) AIDS prevention department to establish “safe spaces” for supposedly “gay” students in 20 schools across the nation.
Republican-led state legislatures have stirred more school choice debates this year than ever before, as Republicans seek to reform state budgets and rekindle student achievement. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 30 states have introduced bills this year which would use government funding to send poor and special needs children to private schools. Nine voucher bills were proposed in 2010, of which the sole survivor was a special needs voucher program in Oklahoma.
American education has seen one “reform” movement after another. The most recent incarnation, “Race to the Top,” was initiated in 2009 by the Obama Administration. It is structured around a serious-sounding program called the “Common Core of State Standards Initiative Project,” or CCS for short, which is set for implementation in 46 states, at last count, in 2012.
On July 27, Education Secretary Arne Duncan reiterated an earlier request for a 13.3-percent budget increase over 2011, which would bring Education Department spending to one-fifth higher than 2010 levels. Amid congressional arguments over reducing the nation’s debt and raising the debt ceiling, Duncan justified his stance by explaining: “You can’t sacrifice the future to pay for the present.”