Voddie Baucham Ministries
Sunday, August 31, 2008
WELCOME TO THE CONTINUING COLLAPSE!
By Bruce Shortt, J.D., Ph.D.
"Doing the Education Research that Illegal Aliens Won't Do Since 1997"
If The Continuing Collapse were cleverer when it comes to computer geekery, this "back to school" issue would be draped in black in mourning for the millions of children who are again being institutionalized in the utterly corrupt, anti-Christian, and abusive government school system.
But, rather than curse the darkness and its lack of computer skills, The Continuing Collapse shall again light a small candle in the hope that this year more Christians will come to understand that placing your children under the authority of the malignant government school establishment is gross sin.
THE VIDEO CORNER
Sometimes humor communicates best. So, let us begin with an hilariously funny clip from the British sitcom Yes, Minister. This comedy series revolves around career bureaucrats' efforts to prevent a reform-minded Prime Minister from changing the bureaucrats' beloved status quo.
In this clip, Humphrey, a bureaucrat, responds to the Prime Minister's school choice proposal. This type of discussion could just as well have taken place in Washington, D.C., or in any state capital. In fact, we all know that it does.
The writing and acting in this clip so accurately capture the arrogance of the education establishment that the clip deserves to be circulated far and wide.
WE FAIL AT EVERYTHING WE TOUCH, SO, OF COURSE, YOU SHOULD GIVE US MORE MONEY TO EXPAND OUR MISSION
By now the readers of The Continuing Collapse should know that the failures who make their parasitic living in the higher levels of the government school establishment have no shame. Have they turned the schools into violent factories of ignorance and bad character? They don't really care because the prime directive of the government schools as an institution is "more money now!", not "improve safety, learning, and character".
Unfortunately for our highly trained education professionals, the corruption and failures of the system are now almost impossible to conceal from most of the public. So, what's a bureaucrat to do if he wants to keep increasing his cash flow?
The latest scheme is to claim that the reason the government school system is sinking like the Titanic is because of the failure of "society". In sum, despite the vast resources squandered on the schools, they do a bad job because they are overwhelmed by forces outside the schools. Consequently, the only solution is to expand vastly both the role and the funding of the government school system.
Here is an account from pajamasmedia of how this latest grab for more power and money is being rolled out:
...Believe it or not, ...[the claim that the schools must have more money and a larger role] more or less sums up the big new marketing campaign the teachers’ unions are using to try to lure you into giving them more money. It’s actually called “Broader, Bolder.” If you’ve ever seen a title that sounded more like a gimmick to sucker people out of their money, you’ve seen more marketing gimmicks than I have.
The argument runs like this: kids do better in school when they’re well fed, healthy, and so forth. Therefore schools should be transformed into social-service centers that will not only teach students, but also provide health care and lots of other services. Schools would be open all day and provide a wide variety of community programs.
This will, of course, cost a ton of money and entail a huge expansion of the government educational bureaucracy. Which has nothing to do with why the unions want it....
Some of the dreamy rhetoric being used to push this idea does suggest that kind of thinking (Randi Weingarten, teacher union president: “Imagine schools that are open all day …”).
But I think the meeting at teacher-union headquarters probably sounded more like this: “School spending has been rising much faster than inflation for over fifty years. Historically, we’ve done a great job getting state legislatures to direct enormous geysers of money into the government school system, especially by hiring too many teachers, which puts lots of money into our pockets. And in the past, when people asked why our results were so lousy, we just told them we needed more money. But now that spending is over $10,000 per student, they’re not swallowing that as much as they used to.
“We definitely need to do more to shift the blame for educational failure to something that’s outside of schools’ control.”
“Agreed. But how can we do that in a way that continues to increase our budgets?”
“Well, we’ve always said we can’t be expected to teach kids if they’re poor, or sick, or have anything at all wrong with them, right? So let’s tell them all social services should be brought into schools.”
“Hey! Great idea! That way we can bring social workers, nurses, nutritionists, counselors and tons of other people into the teachers’ union. We’ll start calling ourselves the ‘community school services union.’ We could triple the size of our membership overnight. I can buy that new boat I’ve had my eye on!”...
The really funny thing is, we’ve tried bringing social services into schools before. Fifty years ago, schools didn’t serve breakfast and provide teams of guidance counselors. Providing these and other social services in schools was originally justified on grounds that the kids needed these services to do well in school. How has that worked out?
Well, after all the empirical research that’s been done on schools, there’s no serious evidence that educational outcomes have improved as a result of these services. When the unions were challenged to come up with some evidence, they responded that “teachers know” these policies work.
But if the real purpose of providing these services in schools was to enlarge the government education blob, mission accomplished.
EVEN IN CONNECTICUT SOME OF THE NATIVES ARE GETTING RESTLESS:
MAYOR PROPOSES TO PAY STUDENTS NOT TO ATTEND PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Even in a "Blue State" in which most of the voters are "reality-challenged", the voracious appetite of the government school system is beginning to engender a taxpayers' revolt....
On June 30, the board of education and the town council in Enfield, Conn., convened to hear the results of a citizen cost-cutting committee. Among its other recommendations, the 17 residents recommended replacing some public school teachers with low-cost college interns, restricting the use of school vehicles, and increasing employee contributions to benefit plans.
These may seem modest steps toward fiscal responsibility -- but they are emblematic of a significant change in this very blue state: growing disenchantment with the price of government, especially of public education.....Seventeen years ago, the state enacted an income tax with promises to cut other taxes. Instead, real-estate assessments soared, creating a massive income transfer from the private to the public sector, fueled in part by a state cost-sharing formula that uses taxes on residents in the suburbs to subsidize urban schools. Helping to soak up all that money were binding arbitration laws, skewed to give teacher unions an advantage in collective bargaining negotiations.
The result is that the average teacher salary is now the highest in the nation -- $57,750 excluding benefits, according to the latest survey of the American Federation of Teachers. Meanwhile, the American Legislative Exchange Council reports that Connecticut is one of the 10 states with the heaviest property-tax burdens...
Now taxpayers find themselves caught between falling real estate values and ever increasing property taxes. And for what? The National Assessment of Educational Progress puts eighth-grade proficiency figures in the state at 37% for reading, 35% for math, 33% for science and 53% for writing...
But at the local level, there are nearly as many Republican chief executives as Democrats, and both parties outside the big cities are relatively conservative on fiscal issues. This is leading to more than just budget defeats...
There are other ideas in the air. In Chester, First Selectman (Mayor) Tom Marsh proposes to pay students not to attend public school.
A couple months ago The Continuing Collapse began informing you about our highly trained education professionals' latest "genius idea" for "leaving no child behind" --- making the lowest score on school work at least a "50" (a "60" in more progressive school districts).
Now, the highly trained education professionals in Dallas have established a new "gold standard" in the race to see who can demonstrate the most "grading compassion". Introducing the latest effort by the education establishment to conceal their abject failure, "Effort-Based Grading":
The Dallas Independent School District is faced with the fact that 80% of their incoming freshmen fail to score above 40% in the Iowa Test of Educational Development in reading.
Instead of fixing the problem by teaching those kids to read at the eighth-grade level, they decided on the solution that first springs to mind when you’re a public school administrator: you alter the grading so that the student performance (while unimproved) looks better on paper. They’re switching to what they call “effort-based grading”.
–Scores that lower a kid’s GPA aren’t recorded; only scores that improve it count.
–There are no grade penalties for late turn-ins of work, and the teachers must give the students a chance to make up the work with no grade reductions.
–An average grade of fifty is the lowest the teachers are allowed to record for a student in a six-week period, regardless of actual student performance.
REALLY SPECIAL EDUCATION
Speaking of compassion, our highly trained education professionals have a special place in the hearts for "special education" students:
Five-year-old Christyn Date speaks in broken phrases and garbled words, fighting through a speech disability.
So when her mother saw that the tiny girl had tied a long hair scarf around her doll Shiloh's waist and she asked her why, Christyn said simply, "Shiloh's bad."
The mother realized Christyn was playing out on her doll what a Queens kindergarten aide had done to her. It was her way of communicating her distress to her parents, said the girl's mom, Marissa Chunisingh.
Before Christyn had started tying up her dolls, someone from her school, PS 123 in Ozone Park, told Chunisingh that a school aide had restrained the special-ed kindergartner by binding her to a cafeteria bench with her own sweater.
But that wasn't the worst of it. Chunisingh was told that the girl was strapped down after she was found locked in a classroom by herself - screaming at the top of her lungs.
Apparently, the staff did not notice that the girl had been missing from an assembly for 15 minutes, left behind.
She was later strapped to the bench so someone could keep track of her, the mother said...
CHILDREN WOULD BE SAFER HANGING OUT IN TAVERNS THAN ATTENDING CALIFORNIA GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS....
Only a year after banning all negative messages about homosexuality in public schools throughout the state, the California Legislature now is ordering school children to celebrate "gay" lifestyle choices.
"If signed into law, AB 2567 will mean an official day commemorating homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality in California government schools," said Randy Thomasson, president of the Campaign for Children and Families:
"This will harm children as young as kindergarten," he said. "Every May 22, AB 2567 will positively portray to children homosexual experimentation, homosexual 'marriages,' sex-change operations, and anything else that's 'in the closet.' Gov. Schwarzenegger should say no to this very inappropriate bill, which has nothing to do with academic excellence."...
"With public schools becoming sexual indoctrination centers, homeschooling and church schools are no longer parental options, they're parental imperatives," he said.
I'LL BET YOU THOUGHT I WAS KIDDING WHEN I SAID CHILDREN WOULD BE SAFER IN TAVERNS THAN IN CALIFORNIA GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS...
"WE ARE GOING TO RAPE YOU"
Seventh-grade boys at Sunnyvale Middle School feared going to first-period PE class. They knew what might await them: Vicious sexual attacks by older eighth-grade students.
Throughout much of last school year, a pack of eighth-graders repeatedly threatened to sexually attack the younger students before and after class.
"They would say, 'I'm going to get you on Monday,' " recalled a 13-year-old seventh-grader, who told The Dallas Morning News that he witnessed the attacks almost daily. " 'We are going to rape you.' "
ANOTHER GENIUS IDEA FROM THE SWELL FOLKS WHO BROUGHT YOU WHOLE LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION, RAIN FOREST MATH, AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION HISTORY
Offered up to $1,000 for scoring well on Advanced Placement exams, students at 31 New York City high schools took 345 more of the tests this year than last. But the number who passed declined slightly, raising questions about the effectiveness of increasingly popular pay-for-performance programs in schools here and across the country....
“I’m just dumbfounded that they can regard this as an achievement or as a great improvement or as something worth spending the money on,” said Sol Stern, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, who had expressed cautious support for the Advanced Placement program when it was announced last fall. “I’m surprised that that kind of money, that kind of incentives, doesn’t produce better results. It sort of undercuts the argument that the problem is the question of motivation.”
The organizers and underwriters of the program said they were encouraged by the increase in test-takers and student survey results. They said they never expected to see significant change in the first year, noting that the program was announced after the school year was under way and students had signed up for Advanced Placement classes....
“We’ve gotten off the ground, and we never thought that this was going to be a quick-fix incentive solution,” said Edward Rodriguez, executive director of the program, known as Reach, for Rewarding Achievement. “We’ve learned a great deal about our schools and are figuring out other ways we can support them.”
While cash-incentive programs are expanding rapidly in schools nationwide — most of them financed by philanthropists — measurable evidence of their effectiveness is scarce...
This "incentive" program will never die as long as there is money to waste.
IT'S FOR THE CHILDREN: THE CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE DOESN'T WANT GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST TERRORISTS IN EMPLOYMENT.
Majority Democrats in the California Assembly have rejected two amendments that would have allowed schools to fire any employee discovered to be part of an extremist terror network and require users of school facilities to affirm they are not terrorists....
Education special interests have also objected to criminal background checks and fingerprinting for school employees. Why am I not surprised...
AN AWARD WINNING PUBLIC SCHOOL MATH TEACHER TELLS THE TRUTH ABOUT EDUCRAT CLAIMS ABOUT YET ANOTHER "INNOVATION" IN TEACHING:
"The problem is, they're lying!" ...
...In its drive to be the best, please affluent parents and close the achievement gap on standardized tests, the county is accelerating too many students in math, at the expense of the curriculum -- and the students.
The average accelerated math student "thinks he's fine. His parents think he's fine. The school system says he's fine. But he's not fine!" Walstein declares on one occasion. On another, Walstein is even less diplomatic. " 'We have the best courses and there's no achievement gap and everything is wonderful,' " he says, parroting the message he believes county administrators are trying to project.
"The problem is, they're lying!" ...
AFTER TEXAS SAT SCORES ARE REPORTED TO HAVE DECLINED, MORE JACKASSERY FROM TEXAS' TOP EDUCRAT:
"Today's data proves that Texas students are headed in the right direction," [Robert] Scott said in a written statement.
Apparently Scott must think that his audience was educated in Texas government schools:
More Texas students took the SAT college-entrance exam this year, but scores fell and continued to trail national averages, according to figures released Tuesday.
The College Board, which administers the SAT, reported that national scores remained flat from 2007 to 2008, while scores in Texas dropped four points in reading and two points each in math and writing.
Statewide, students lagged the furthest behind in reading and writing, averaging scores of 488 and 480, respectively. Students nationwide performed 14 points higher in each subject. The maximum score per subject is 800 points.
In math, Texas students scored 505, with their peers nationwide averaging 515.
State Education Commissioner Robert Scott pointed out that students who took a more rigorous schedule, including at least three years of math and science, fared better than those who took an easier course load. Under a new state law, this year's sophomore class must take four years of math and science to graduate with the standard diploma.
"Today's data proves that Texas students are headed in the right direction," Scott said in a written statement.
AND NOW FOR A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT: MINORITY HOMESCHOOLING IS GROWING
Hubert Rowry's memories of his public school education still haunt him.
As a black student growing up in Beaumont and Austin, Rowry, now 33, says he often felt isolated and ignored in school. White teachers seemed to give white students more attention than to black students, and that affected his learning and self-esteem, said the Cypress resident.
"So many things happened to me in terms of racism from teachers, principals and other students," Rowry said. "I decided I'm not going to subject my kids to that."
His three children, ages 8, 6 and 3, have never been in a traditional classroom. He and his wife, Chelsea, home school them.
Once seen by many blacks as something only whites do, home schooling has steadily gained momentum in the black community in the past eight years and is expected to continue to grow, say home school experts.
"Ten years ago, there were not that many people of color home schooling," said Brian Ray, president of National Home Education Research Institute in Salem, Ore.
General dissatisfaction with public schools and increased awareness about home schooling are motivating blacks to change course, experts said.
Concerns about children missing associating with other students and the loss of a spouse's income, however, keep many blacks who are interested in home schooling from taking the leap.
An estimated 220,000 black students were home schooled in 2007, according to the institute. In comparison, 84,000 were home schooled in 1999, according to a survey by the National Center for Education Statistics.
Studies show that home-schooled students do just as well or better than their public school peers. For example, they typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests, according to the research institute.
Blacks are home schooling for many of the same reasons whites do, Ray said. They want what they consider a safer learning environment or they want to teach their own values and beliefs. They also want to try different teaching approaches and build stronger family relationships...
THE CULTURE CORNER
Clips of Franco Corelli. The greatest Calaf ever: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TColIyZLpGE&feature=related and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eg-59NoES2o&feature=related
1. Feel free to circulate The Continuing Collapse.
2. If you aren't hearing about at least some these government school problems from your pastor, why is he your pastor?
3. FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS.
“Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm – but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” T.S. Eliot