A news caster hit the nail on the head the other night when he said the problem with the Obama administration is that they CHOOSE IDEOLOGY OVER COUNTRY every time. That's right. When it comes to the border Obama chooses letting all the people from Central America come here illegally, and giving them services, to protecting the American people from terror and disease, by CLOSING THE BORDER. Why won't he close the border? The people who elected him think our country isn't diverse enough and that everyone is ENTITLED to be in this country. This is choosing ideology over NATIONAL INTEREST. When it comes to foreign affairs he lets extremely dangerous terrorists out of Gitmo and won't leave boots on the ground in Iraq. The result is ISIS. Why wouldn't he do the prudent thing that his generals recommended in Iraq? Because the ideology of his political base just wanted out of Iraq- the Code Pink ideology, over what was best for the country. Why won't he cut out government waste? Why does he GROW the government exponentially when we are eighteen trillion dollars in debt? Why does he leave our country vulnerable with unsustainable debt? Ideology again - more government is always better - no matter the consequences to our nation,our people, and our national economy. Why won't he stop the flights from West Africa, as the Europeans have done, to protect the American people from Ebola ? Ideology- everything for Africa - forget the needs and rights of America.
So now let's talk about our schools. Nobody wants to talk about it, but Goals 2000,the Clinton school reform movement, has been a total failure. The Common Core advocates talk about the failure of our schools all the time alright, but they have a REAL MEMORY LOSS, as to where that failure came from. The Federal Government shouldn't be involved in education at all, what they do is IDEOLOGY OVER EDUCATION!! Any time a national government gets involved in education, politics and ideology take over. That's why the founders of our country LEFT EDUCATION UP TO THE STATES!! Why do we have "Walk to School Day"? Is this to read better? Why do we have empathy skills training? Is this to improve math?Why do we have gardens? Is this helping the students learn to write? Is the DARE program teaching Social Studies or Science? How about the Buddy program and the Bully program - what academic skill are THEY teaching? This goes on all day- but let's talk about teaching strategies.
I admit I am guilty of listening to all this nouveau crap, I tried it all. It took me a while to get that these ideas and strategies had an agenda- and it wasn't best teaching practices. I tried putting the kids desks, in a circle, in paired groups, and in pods of four. Guess what happened? What would you do if you were sitting right next to someone and had no space of your own all day- you'd probably talk to your neighbor-and that's what they did!!One day the DARE officer came in and said he needed the desks moved into rows when he was there because in these other arrangements all the kids did was talk! I was stunned- he noticed it too!! I moved my desks permanently back into rows starting on that day in 1989. Is putting students next to each other with no personal space done so that they can pay attention better, focus better, learn better? Is there data somewhere for this? If there is, I have never seen it. This is IDEOLOGY OVER EDUCATION. The real reason for the nouveau seating arrangements is to teach the "village concept", the "community concept" , connectedness- we're all in this together-Socialism for the 21st century in America. Well, it doesn't teach any of that, but it does destroy many students chances to get a good education, and makes many teachers days very long.
Fifth graders walking down the hall and listening to kindergartners read instead of having their science lesson is for the village concept too. It certainly doesn't teach the kids any academics. At one point all the program people tried to say that programs like the endangered species program were academics!! NO THEY ARE NOT!! That little attempt died like a deflated balloon- no one would believe that!!
Teaching is not rocket science- break down skills and practice. Teach at a good pace, work with all the modalities, and keep the kids on task. Help kids that need help, shorten or add to assignments for students when needed. It doesn't take billions of dollars, millions of programs, and one full time paid job per student. Private schools do it all the time, so do moms. We did it for generations in this country very successfully- even built an industrial complex and went to the moon. Kick the ideology and the Federal Government out of our schools and the private sector will compete with good curriculum materials as they did in the past. Teachers will choose good curriculums that work. Project learning is not for good teaching folks, it's for lessons in "we're all in this together". How many of you ever learned to read in a project? How many of you were in groups and wasted your time? Enough said- Montessori has no data- after all these years- to prove that the "village concept" makes their learning superior. I would argue that it isn't even as good- I had two fourth graders from Montessori once that couldn't read at all. The Montessori teachers finally figured these kids weren't going to choose reading.
Time to kick out the ideology and CHOOSE EDUCATION, CHOOSE A SUCCESSFUL AMERICA!!