Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Why Many Students Emerge From Our Schools Functionally And Ethically Illiterate - The Seven Deadly Sins Of Public Education And Moral Relativism

R.C. Murray is a disabled veteran and former public school teacher. He left a good job as a technical writer for a satellite manufacturer in order to teach high school English, only to immediately be told he could not expect, much less require his students to read their literature assignments. After four years of fighting The System and having a stroke then a mini-stroke, he decided he was safer in the airborne infantry and returned to being a technical writer for a military contractor.

And on October 23rd, 2007, he shared some of his experiences in the school system in the form of an essay entitled "The Seven Deadly Sins of Public Education", posted on the NewsWithViews.com website. Murray believes these "sins" contribute to the functional illiteracy we see amongst many young people who graduate from our primary education system. For example, at fast-food outlets, we see young people who cannot cope with a customer who changes his order in mid-transaction or who cannot make change properly. The testing-oriented regime of No Child Left Behind only treats the symptoms, it cannot achieve lasting value unless these "seven deadly sins" are corrected. Giving school superintendents windfall 10.9 percent pay raises without correcting these sins rewards this behavior.

Here are the highlights of the essay, to include a brief rundown of the "seven deadly sins":

(1). Whole Language Reading: By taking advantage of minority and low income parents who tend to be less educated and whose children are less likely to hear them speak correct grammar or enunciate words properly, this strategy says some children are going to have trouble with phonics, which will require them to learn 44 phonetic sounds, teaching them to sound out letters, groups of letters then words until, by the end of the 4th grade, they will have developed a 24,000 word vocabulary. But when using Deconstructionists’ whole language method, which requires kids to memorize whole words presented to them on flash cards or other media, by the end of the 4th grade, they’ll have amassed a measly 1,600 word vocabulary! Their vocabularies will be short, and they won’t be able to read, really read, but they’ll be made to feel really good about their stupidity.

(2). Holistic Grading: Tied in with the above strategy, those same children of minority and disadvantaged students who haven’t learned correct grammar or word usage and who, without phonics, have never learned proper spelling rules or sentence structure will have great difficulty with writing. To compensate for their poor writing tests and essay scores, teachers are told not to grade students on the above shortcomings. Teachers are to consider whether the child kinda, sorta answered the prompt and assess the total impression of the child’s writing. Of course, this will not make the child a better writer, but he’ll have great self-esteem. [Ed. Note: It's the old "you didn't meet the objective, but you meant well, so we're gonna give you that diploma anyway" routine. Of course, this won't work at all when you're standing at St. Peter's Gate on Judgment Day, and he asks you if you accepted Jesus, and you say "no, but I meant to, and I was a good person". LOL!]

(3). Learning Disability Labels: He or she is usually a minority child with no mental disability and with otherwise normal intelligence, but his or her (usually his) below normal academic performance requires him or her to be labeled as learning disabled. There’s simply no other option! We must rule out motivation because every child wants to learn. Ignore rumors of dumbed-down teaching strategies that have starved this child of needed core knowledge [like reading and writing skills]. This child must be issued a learning disability label (IEP/license) and all further instruction must be modified so this child won’t be required to learn. [NOTE: Implicit with one of these labels (BED – Behavior & Emotion Disability) is state-prescribe drugs [like Ritalin], which are dispensed liberally upon children, usually boys, said to have ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder). Boys, especially minority boys, are singled out for special labels and/or medication. Ask yourself, ‘Why are boys targeted by modern teaching? Why would someone want boys to be more like girls?’]

(4). Learning Style Labels: Everybody’s different. We are a diverse people. Some of us learn by seeing, some by hearing, some by activity/doing, but only a few by reading. That’s true. Really! Some kids never learn to read (See Whole Language), especially the minority boys targeted above; so, as they enter high school, they now can’t read to learn. No remedial training is necessary though; the teacher must now read to/for these students. Oh, these diverse learners are only unofficially labeled [no IEP], but that’s just a technicality. [Ed. Note: This is a particularly popular canard in the Anchorage School District. Superintendent Carol Comeau is constantly rhapsodizing about diversity and orgiastically gushing about how different ethnic groups "learn differently". However, society's expectations, particularly the economic demands, are UNIFORM. Various processes must be accomplished and commodities manufactured within a proven range of specs. "Almost" doesn't cut it. Too many "almosts" generate product recalls and liability suits. The Exxon Valdez ALMOST made it to Valdez. Eighteen years later, they're still fighting over that "almost" in court.]

(5). Group Learning: The minority student labeled as diverse above and the one labeled LD need help. They can’t read or write, thanks to the first two strategies; so, here’s the plan: For every class assignment or project, we’ll put these special students with motivated students [via mixed ability grouping] who can read. The latter will do all the work, but all students will get credit for doing it. Everybody cooperates and No Child gets Left Behind. [Ed. Note: And this is one of two major problems with NCLB, the other being underfunding. NCLB doesn't offer jack shit to gifted children; it holds them back. To their credit, the Anchorage School District is aware of this limitation and has spoken out against it.]

(6). Thematic Visualization: By this point, most of your disadvantaged kids have some kind of label, or they are severely lacking a lot of core knowledge. You simply can’t expect them to read assignments or take notes, much less write formal essays. What you must do is allow them to draw pictures or cut out paper dolls, or in some visual way express how they feel about a theme or major concept in the story you read to/for them. Just draw it! [Ed. Note: Taking it one step further, one doesn't merely "learn" about the buffalo anymore; one "becomes" the buffalo. ROFLMAO!]

(7). Block Scheduling: These kids aren’t going to learn anything now anyway, what with all the above strategies. We may as well get as many of them through The System as fast as we can. Instead of 180 50-minute classes per course, we’ll let them have 90 90-minute classes per course. Their attention spans will limit them to about half of what could have been taught, so let’s at least try to save the taxpayers some money. You believe that, right?

Murray concludes by citing the prevailing standards imposed upon teachers as an additional handicap. He points out that teachers are gauged by their class averages and failing ratings, with an assumption that low class averages and high failing rates prove the teacher is not using the above multicultural, research-based and field-tested strategies and terminology or failing to meet the needs of diverse learners.

Murray follows this up with another essay entitled "Classroom Mangement", which was posted on December 23rd. In this missive, Murray decries the moral relativism and associated brainwashing taking place throughout much of our public education environment. Here's a short snippet:

They begin by removing your Christian kids from your Christian home at age 5 and shoving them into an intensely anti-Christian environment. For at least six hours a day, your kids will be taught that the values they learned at home and church don’t apply at school. They’ll have to “leave it at the door” if they’ve been taught absolute moral standards. Don’t you feel better knowing your 5-year old is learning about safe sex and how homomania is perfectly normal and acceptable, and those who believe otherwise – like you – are homophobic bigots who must have their 1st Amendment rights annulled for the good of the nation?

The government says it’s okay for its schools to tell your child he or she is wrong to mention the name of Jesus or Moses but not Mohammed or Buddha. Your child should feel ashamed for believing in Jesus. That guilt will eventually beguile your child into agreeing with the majority, denying your value system and conforming to State-supported Humanist’s doctrines like socialism, moral relativism and Darwinism. As children grow older, their lack of fixed moral standards results in confrontations, usually with other students but quite often with The System that manufactured them. But that’s okay. They’ve been brainwashed to believe they evolved from animals, so it’s only natural that they act like beasts.

The highlighted sentence is extremely important, because it's happening RIGHT NOW. We're seeing an epidemic of black mob assaults on individual whites nationwide. The Christian/Newsom torture-murders in Knoxville, TN, the black mob assault on Justin Barker in Jena, LA, the black mob assault on Mandie Kearns in Palm Springs, CA, the black mob assault on Damian O'Rourke in Norfolk, VA, and two separate black mob assaults on white passengers aboard Baltimore MTA buses are expressions of this gratuitous violence described in the previous paragraph. The descendants of Cain, who have proven exceptionally susceptible to Satan's influence, have been a terrible scourge on this planet for nearly all of its 6,000 years of recorded human history, and is a primary reason why they were denied the Priesthood until 1978.

However, blacks do not have an absolute monopoly on this sort of behavior; other races have contributed as well. The recent conviction of a Long Island black man, John White, of second-degree manslaughter in the death of Daniel Cicciaro, highlights this aspect. Cicciaro led a mob of white teens to White's house to confront White's son, Aaron White, over what proved to be a bogus Internet threat claiming that Aaron White wanted to rape one of Cicciaro's female acquaintances. John White confronted them at the end of his driveway. He admitted on the witness stand that he shot Cicciaro, but that the pistol went off accidentally as Cicciaro grabbed for it. Cicciaro, 17, had a blood-alcohol reading above the legal limit for driving. However, prosecutor James Chalifoux said White should have simply locked the door and called police — and not gone outside to confront the teenagers with a gun. New York has not enshrined the Castle Doctrine in their gun laws; consequently, New Yorkers have a "duty to retreat".

The bottom line is that teenagers everywhere in America are showing an increased propensity to engage in mob violence - and moral relativism in public education is a significant contributing factor. Schools need to teach and enforce traditional values, either to reinforce what parents are teaching at home, or, in worse cases, to correct for the lack of parental teachings.

It's time for the public education environment to quit trying to please everyone and start doing the right things once again.

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