Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Dumbing-Down of America

According to Pat Buchannan, fifty years ago this October, Americans were jolted by the news that Moscow, one year after drowning the Hungarian Revolution in blood, had put an 80-pound satellite into Earth orbit.
In December, the U.S. Navy tried to replicate the feat. Vanguard got four feet off the ground and exploded, incinerating its three-pound payload. America was humiliated. Khrushchev was Man of the Year. Some of us yet recall the Vanguard newsreels and the humiliating laughter.
Stunned, America went to work to improve education in math and science, and succeeded. The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores of high school seniors began to rise, reaching a high in 1964.
However, test scores for high school students have been falling now for 40 years. In 1984, the Reagan administration issued "A Nation at Risk," documenting the deterioration of American public education.
More trillions of dollars were thrown at the problem. And if one judged by the asserted toughening up of courses and rising grades of seniors, it appeared we had made marvelous progress. On March 4, The Washington Times reported:
"In 2005, 17 percent of graduates had completed a 'standard' curriculum, 41 percent completed a 'midlevel' curriculum, and 10 percent completed a 'rigorous' curriculum. Fifteen years earlier, the percentages were 9 percent (standard), 26 percent (midlevel) and 5 percent (rigorous). Grade point averages (GPA) increased, as well. The average overall GPA increased from 2.68 in 1990 to 2.98 (virtually a B level) in 2005.
However, it is all a giant fraud, exposed as such by the performances of high school seniors on the National Assessment of Educational Progress exams known as the "nation's report card." An NAEP test of 12th-grade achievement was given to what The New York Times called a "representative sample of 21,000 high school seniors attending 900 public and private schools from January to March 2005."
What did the tests reveal?
-- Since 1990, the share of students lacking even basic reading skills has risen by a third, from 20 percent to 27 percent.
-- Only 35 percent of high school seniors have reached a "proficient" level in reading, down from 40 percent.
-- Only 16 percent of black and 20 percent of Hispanic students had reached a proficient level in reading.
-- Among high school seniors, only 29 percent of whites, 10 percent of Hispanic students and 6 percent of black students were proficient in math.

Anna Nicole Smith was born Vickie Lynn Hogan
Born Vickie Lynn and raised in Texas, Smith dropped out of high school like most of her peers and first married at the age of 17.
This is only the half of it. Among the kids whose test scores on reading and math were not factored in were the 25 percent of white students and 50 percent of black and Hispanic kids who had dropped out by senior year.
Factor the dropouts back in, and what the NAEP test suggests is that, of black kids starting in first grade, about one in eight will be able to read at the level of a high school senior after 12 years, and one in 33 will be able to do the math. Among Hispanic kids, one in 10 will be able to read at a high-school senior level, but only one in 20 will be able to do high-school math.
Yet, as columnist Steve Sailor writes on VDare.com, the Bush-Kennedy No Child Left Behind Act mandates "that all children should reach a proficient level of academic achievement by 2014."

We're not going to make it. We're not even going to come close. American schools have become "killing fields". Students are afraid to go to school. Some students are afraid they will not live through the day. They are afraid of each other. Even teachers are afraid of some students. Teachers must spend so much time on discipline, there is no time or energy left for academics.
The Columbine High School massacre occurred on Tuesday, April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in unincorporated Jefferson County, Colorado, near Denver and Littleton. Two teenage students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, carried out a shooting rampage, killing 12 fellow students and a teacher, as well as wounding 24 others, before committing suicide. It is considered to be the deadliest school shooting and the second deadliest attack on a school in United States history after the Bath School disaster.

The massacre provoked debate regarding gun control laws, the availability of firearms in the United States, and gun violence involving youths. Much discussion also centered on the nature of high school cliques and bullying, as well as the role of violent movies and video games in American society. Several of the victims, who were portrayed as having been killed for their religious beliefs, became a source of inspiration to others, and some lamented the decline of religion in public education and society in general, often blaming the tragedy on insufficient government endorsement of religion. The shooting also resulted in an increased emphasis on school security.

The Platte Canyon High School shooting was an incident that occurred at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colorado, on September 27, 2006. 53-year-old[1] Duane Roger Morrison entered the school building, claiming to be carrying a bomb. He was initially reported as a bearded 35-year-old man with a camouflage backpack[2] and dark hooded sweatshirt.[3] Morrison took six female students hostage and sexually assaulted them, later releasing four. When police entered the classroom, Morrison opened fire before shooting hostage Emily Keyes in the head. The other remaining hostage escaped unharmed, and paramedics confirmed that Morrison had committed suicide.

The Amish school shooting occurred on the morning of Monday, October 2, 2006, when a gunman took hostages and eventually killed five girls (aged 7–13) and then killed himself at West Nickel Mines School, a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, a village in Bart Township of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States.[1][2][3][4][5] Police report that the gunman was Charles Carl Roberts IV,[5][6] a 32-year-old milk-tank truck driver who lived nearby.

The Lancaster County shooting was the third deadly school shooting in the U.S. in less than a week.

A 16-year-old schoolgirl was killed in Bailey, Colorado, the week before when a gunman took six hostages at a school before opening fire and turning the gun on himself as police stormed a classroom.

Then the principal of a Wisconsin high school, shot by a student on Friday, died of his wounds a day later.

Pennsylvania is one state that has had its share of school violence. In April 2003, a 14-year-old boy fatally shot his school principal in the chest with one gun and then shot himself in the head with another in the Red Lion Area Junior High School cafeteria packed with students. This incident took place in York County, which borders Lancaster County. York County was also the site of a machete attack on a kindergarten class that wounded 11 children, the principal, and two teachers at Winterstown Elementary School in February 2001.
On March 7, 2007 a 17-year-old boy shot and wounded his ex-girlfriend at a central Michigan high school before fatally shooting himself in the head, police said.

The late-morning incident took place in a parking lot outside the cafeteria at H.H. Dow High School in Midland, said Deputy Chief Bob Lane of the Midland Police Department.

The shooter, who was not a student at H.H. Dow, had called his ex-girlfriend, a 17-year-old student at the school, asking her to meet him in the parking lot, he said.

The girl's mother was present when he shot her four times and then shot himself, Lane said. She was in serious condition but her injuries were not considered life-threatening, Lane said.

Violence is not limited to high school campuses. On Monday, 16 April 2007, almost eight years to the day after the Columbine High School masacre, a gunman(described as "Asian man, about 23, wearing a maroon hat, black leather jacket.") opened fire in a dorm and classroom at Virginia Tech on Monday, killing 32 people and wounding another 21 before he was killed. The shooting started around 7:15 a.m. at a dorm, where one person was killed. More than an hour later, wearing an ammo vest, the gunman went classroom to classroom in an engineering building shooting at will.
Wielding two handguns and carrying multiple clips of ammunition, the killer opened fire about 7:15 a.m. on the fourth floor of West Ambler Johnston, a high-rise coed dormitory, then stormed Norris Hall, a classroom building a half-mile away on the other side of the 2,600-acre campus. Some of the doors at Norris Hall were found chained from the inside, apparently by the gunman.

Cho Seung-Hui
Virginia Tech police on 17 April 2007 identified the shooter who took 32 lives as well as his own Monday as student Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old English major, a South Korean national and permanent resident alien.
Founded in 1872, Virginia Tech is about 160 miles west of Richmond. With more than 25,000 full-time students, it has the state's largest full-time student population. It is best known for its engineering school

Why are so many Americans ignorant of the depths of failure of so many schools? As Sailor explains, it is due to government deceit.
"Not surprisingly, practically ever single state cheats in order to meet the law" mandating a rising academic proficiency.
"For example, Mississippi ... recently declared that 89 percent of its fourth-graders were at least 'proficient' in reading.
"Unfortunately, however, on the federal government's impartial National Assessment of Education Progress test, only 18 percent of Mississippi students were 'proficient' or 'advanced.'"
Hence, a huge slice of the U.S. educational establishment is complicit in a monstrous fraud that, if you did it in business, would get you several years at the nearby minimum security facility.

This is corruption.
Teachers are handing out grades kids do not deserve. States are dumbing-down tests to make themselves look good. Voters are being deceived about how much kids are learning.
There is no real moral distinction between what teachers and educators are doing on a vast scale and what professional athletes do on a smaller scale when they take steroids to enhance performance.

As The Washington Times noted, according to the Digest of Education Statistics, spending for public education, in constant (inflation-adjusted) dollars, rose from $6,256 a year per student before "A Nation at Risk" to $10,464 in the 2002-2003 school year. Taxpayers have thus raised their annual contribution to education by a full two-thirds in real dollars in a quarter century. More than generous.
Under George W. Bush, U.S. Department of Education funding has risen 92 percent in six years, from $35.5 billion in 2001 to $68 billion in 2007. Sinking test scores are what we have to show for it.
Taxpayers are being lied to and swindled by the education industry, which has failed them, failed America and flunked its assignment -- and should be expelled for cheating.

In China the picture is much different.
Students are eager to learn. Admission offices are inundated on the first day of school. Students are eager to complete the admissions forms.

Discipline in Chinese schools is very high. Students engage in group social activities. They exercise together each morning before the start of classes.
On a recent trip to China, I was allowed to interact with the students in a Hotung School. We read a dialogue in the reading class. All Chinese students are being required to learn English and one other foreign language in addition to their own language and a dialect.

China is our next global competitor.

The threat to America is much greater today than when the Russsians put up Sputnik. We are facing competition from many nations where education is still a priority.

Muslim countries value education and discipline. In this Global economy jobs are being out-sourced to India and Pakistan because American are not qualified to perform them. Aside from economics, and cost savings, there is the competency factor to consider.
The War on Terror must be fought on more fields than just the battle field. While we are trying to win the hearts and minds of the children of our enemies, we must not neglect the minds of our own children. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.



Blogger ichbinalj said...

BEIJING (26 Mar 2007)-- Intel Corp. announced today it will build a $2.5 billion chip factory in China, giving the U.S. company a bigger presence in the booming Chinese market and boosting Beijing's efforts to attract high-tech investment.
The factory will supply chipsets to customers in China, which Intel expects to be the largest information technology market by the time the facility opens in 2010, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said.
Chipsets are computer chips that connect a microprocessor to other system components.
Reflecting China's growing importance as a high-tech market, the facility in the northeastern city of Dalian will be Intel's first factory in Asia to fabricate wafers, the thin silicon platters on which dozens of chips are etched. It will boost the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company's investments in China to $4 billion.
"This project confirms and further enhances the strategic importance of China in our global strategy and in the IT industry around the world," Otellini said at a news conference in the Great Hall of the People.
The Dalian factory will be China's biggest foreign high-tech investment to date.
The communist government has been trying to attract such projects in hopes they will spur the development of Chinese computer and other technology industries, helping China to evolve beyond its status as a low-cost manufacturing center.
Intel CEO Paul Otellini said
Intel expects the 1.6-million-square-foot Dalian facility, dubbed Fab 68, to be its most cost-effective wafer fabrication plant.
Asked whether production might be expanded to products such as microprocessors, Otellini said, "the opportunity to do other products in there is really wide open. And so we will watch that as the market (and) the various government regulations evolve."

7:10 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

How would you feel if a group of 15 fully armed police officers walked into your home, grabbed your 15-year-old daughter, and left without telling you where they were taking her? Not only that, but you soon found out that your daughter was being arrested because she was being home schooled, and she would not be allowed to come home until she was placed in a public school!

This is already a reality for some families —not in America— but in Germany. Melissa Busekros of Erlangen, Bavaria, was taken from her parents, Hubert and Gudrun Busekros. Why worry about this if it isn't in America? Because America is becoming like Europe more and more. Not only that, but here are two families who have nearly no hope that the government will listen to them. I don't like saying this because it seems so extreme, but if we continue on the way we are going this will be happening in America, unless we work to stop it now.

Using the same law, police recently took five "well-educated" children from their parents for the same reason. Police took into legal custody Rosine, Jotham, Kurt-Simon, Lovis and Ernst Brause, the children of Bert and Kathrin Brause. The state will not allow Bert and Kathrin to regain custody of their children unless they agree to place them in a public school.

The judge concluded that the children were well-educated but accused the parents of failing to provide their children with an education in a public school. The judge noted that one of the daughters expressed the same opinions as her father, stating that they have not had the chance to develop "independent personalities!"

Please take the following quote in context. I'm not trying to be an extremist, but a realist. One of the first acts by Adolf Hitler when he gained power in Germany was to create the governmental Ministry of Education and give it control of all schools and school-related issues. In 1937, Hitler said: "This Reich stands, and it is building itself up for the future, upon its youth. And this Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its (the state's) own education and its own upbringing."

7:17 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Since the Pledge of Allegiance
The Lord's Prayer
are not allowed in most
public schools anymore
Because the word "God" is mentioned....
A kid in Arizona wrote the attached

NEW School prayer :
Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.

We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.
We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.
It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such "judgments" do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.

It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!

10:54 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

A 14-foot banner with the inscription "Bong Hits 4 Jesus", held up across the street from an Alaska high school in 2002, is at the center of the first Supreme Court case in nearly 20 years to address student expression. It was a 14-year-old high school student who hoisted the banner and got suspended as a result, but the case could affect all students, the Student Press Law Center says. Kenneth Starr, who investigated President Bill Clinton, is arguing on behalf of the school. His claim that: Advertising bong hits is not kosher, as it undermines the war on drugs, Slate's Dahlia Lithwick reports.
The high school student was suspended after displaying a 14-foot-long banner at a school event that read, “Bong Hits 4 Jesus.” He said it was his freedom of expression. The court today said not so, since he was clearly advocating drug use. The court ruled that the student’s First Amendment rights weren’t violated when school officials stepped in and confiscated the banner and suspended the student.

1:42 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

25 June 2007
In 5-to-4 votes, the Supreme Court today ruled in favor of the suspension of a student for displaying a controversial banner at a rally.
Chief Justice Roberts' majority opinion:
"The message on Frederick's banner is cryptic. It is no doubt offensive to some, perhaps amusing to others. To still others, it probably means nothing at all. Frederick himself claimed 'that the words were just nonsense meant to attract television cameras.' But Principal Morse thought the banner would be interpreted by those viewing it as promoting illegal drug use, and that interpretation is plainly a reasonable one.
"The question thus becomes whether a principal may, consistent with the First Amendment, restrict student speech at a school event, when that speech is reasonably viewed as promoting illegal drug use. We hold that she may."
Justice Samuel Alito's concurring opinion:
"The opinion of the court does not endorse the broad argument advanced by petitioners and the United States that the First Amendment permits public school officials to censor any student speech that interferes with a school's 'educational mission.' This argument can easily be manipulated in dangerous ways, and I would reject it before such abuse occurs."

1:43 PM  

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