Filed under: Education, Freedom, Politics, The United States | Tags: Fixing the Schools, K - 12 Education, The New Self-Esteem
I am troubled by our K-12 education system. I don’t think the teacher’s unions have the welfare of the kids in mind, but just good pay for teachers and more union dues for political purposes. I don’t like the administration’s “Common Core” national curriculum, but believe that better education comes from intense competition among schools and school districts.
Political correctness, the self-esteem movement, and diversity, are noxious ideas that have done enormous damage to our kids. It’s well known that our kids are confident, have high self-esteem, and don’t know anything about math and history, or how to write a paper. And it’s unsurprising that home-schooled kids do better than public school grads.
One of the major problems with education is that everybody has participated in it, and thus has a better idea about how to fix education. I plead guilty.
This article just appeared in our local paper:
The School District will launch a new social and emotional learning curriculum in grades three through five to help children work well together.
Called the RULER approach — an acronym for Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing and Regulation emotion —the curriculum teaches skills to promote effective personal, social and workplace success. The idea is based on decades of research from Yale University.
Research shows that emotional literacy skills support academic success and promote school engagement, school officials say. Data also shows that students who recognize and regulate their emotions are more focused on instruction and invested in their learning. Those social and emotional skills create a foundation for taking academic risks. Over the school year, students and staff will learn four “anchor tools” to develop skills:
- Emotional Literacy Charter: Students create and sign charters t o describe how they want to feel in class, what needs to happen to support those feelings and guidelines for handling uncomfortable conflict.
- Mood Meter: Students learn to use a tool for recognizing and labeling their feelings.
- Meta-Moments: Students learn strategies for expanding the “space in time” between an emotional trigger and a response.
- Blueprint: Used to problem-solve conflicts and disagreements, with students and adults considering each other’s (sic) feelings and perspectives to identify healthy solutions.
The RULER approach will be built into lessons throughout the school year. While the RULER approach will be introduced to students in grades three through five this year, school staff and administrators across the district also have been trained to use the tools.
I’m inclined to say I think it’s spinach and I say the hell with it.
Old but famous cartoon from the New Yorker, probably in the 1930s.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Economy, Education, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: Glenn Reynolds, K - 12 Education, Schools and the Law
This video is based on Instapundit Glenn Reynolds Encounter broadside by the same name. Our schools are not doing a good job. That is hardly news, it’s been going on for years, but it seems to be getting worse. We know we don’t fare well in international comparisons. Our schools are far more concerned with absurd political correctness than with drilling the basics of reading and math into small heads.
Private schools seem to do a better job — but think about it— if they don’t, families won’t pay the tuition. And teachers’ unions, proclaiming “it’s for the children,” fight tooth and nail to prevent any real innovation. As one national head of the teacher’s union remarked, ‘when the kids start paying dues, we’ll be for the kids.’ (paraphrased)
So why can’t we learn from the countries who are doing so much better than we are? Why has the left been so intent on dumbing down the schools? Why do they get so excited over a kid eating his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun (when he was trying to make it into a mountain)? It’s because our public schools have become a giant bureaucracy. There are more administrators than teachers. There are more rules than there are children. We put too much emphasis on the wrong things. The left keeps trying to indoctrinate our kids. Teachers who enter the field full of passion lose the passion all too soon. Parents who home school are getting better results than the public schools. Kids are graduating from high school who cannot read.
School choice seems to be the best answer we currently have — just get them out of the public schools. Then what? See Glenn Reynolds’ The Higher Education Bubble as well.
ADDENDUM: How about this one? “In Corpus Christi Texas, Kara Sands noticed a question on her son’s fifth-grade test “Why might the United States be the target of terrorism?” Possible answers were: (A) Other people just don’t like Americans (B) Decisions we made in the United States have had negative effects on people elsewhere (C) Terrorists hate everyone, (D) None of the above. The “correct” answer was (B) although any other choice might have been closer to the truth. What happened next?