9 Reasons Why Public Schools Wallow In Mediocrity

Bruce Deitrick Price
The nine main problems and a relevant link for each:

 1)  Bad Reading Methods.  Whole word (also known as sight-words, Dolch words, and many other aliases) is an 85-year flop that never worked.  Children are told to memorize words as graphic designs. For most children, that’s effectively the end of literacy. (Learn about phonics.)   

2)  Inane Math Instruction. New Math and Reform Math mix advanced concepts with elementary arithmetic, guaranteeing that children are confused and make little progress. Inefficient methods are taught. The rhetoric is that children are learning the meaning behind the numbers. For young children, this is an absurd notion. How many adults know the “ eaning" behind 5+2 = 7?  (Innumeracy by design.

3)  Contempt For Knowledge. Everywhere in the public schools, we hear this whine: “Why would children need to know THAT?” Many schools  scorn the very notion that there is anything in particular the children need to know, even such basics as who was George Washington and how many ounces are in a pound. (Learning stuff is valuable. )

4)  Inefficient Teaching Methods. Constructivism is the main handicap in the public schools. This method requires that teachers stop teaching; they must stand passively aside. Meanwhile children are supposed to figure out everything for themselves. This will be a slow and incoherent process. (How constructivism hurts minorities.)

5)  Busywork Is The Norm. There is often lots of homework. Children are encouraged to work on large,  impressive-sounding projects and to fill up portfolios. The emphasis is on “activity,” a word that John Dewey loved.  Knowledge is not primary. Interacting busily with other students is a goal in itself. (Dewey is a fraud.)

6)  Contempt For Accuracy and Precision. Many public schools have abandoned cursive writing. The idea of one correct answer is ridiculed.  There is a pervasive acceptance of guessing, fuzziness, approximations,  being late,  and sloppiness in general. Children are told to explain how they got an answer but it doesn’t matter if the answer is right. (Forever doing it wrong.

7)  Obsession with Political Correctness and Social Engineering. Ever since the time of John Dewey, “progressive” educators have promoted the idea that the schools are there, not to teach knowledge, but to indoctrinate children into accepting a new kind of society. (Dumbing down of America.)

8)  Parents Are Unable To Influence The Schools. The public is kept confused and distracted by policy discussions about secondary things. Issues that really matter are cloaked in jargon and propaganda.  (Education is broken.)     

9) Inferior Preparation Of Teachers. To put it bluntly, teachers are prepared to provide the bad education that most of them are now providing. It’s not their fault. It's the fault of an Education Eestablishment that is far more interested in socialist ideology that in making sure the children are well-educated. (Teachers need better teaching.)

And the point is: none of this stuff is accidental. None of it fell out of the sky or was caused by germs. Every fatuous little detail was carefully crafted by our Education Establishment and systematically inserted into the schools.  

Here’s how you know that Common Core is up to no good. It does not try to fix any of these problems. Rather, Common Core embraces them all and recycles them into supposedly new standards.

Bruce Deitrick Price explains education theories and methods on his site Improve-Education.org.

The nine main problems and a relevant link for each:

 1)  Bad Reading Methods.  Whole word (also known as sight-words, Dolch words, and many other aliases) is an 85-year flop that never worked.  Children are told to memorize words as graphic designs. For most children, that’s effectively the end of literacy. (Learn about phonics.)   

2)  Inane Math Instruction. New Math and Reform Math mix advanced concepts with elementary arithmetic, guaranteeing that children are confused and make little progress. Inefficient methods are taught. The rhetoric is that children are learning the meaning behind the numbers. For young children, this is an absurd notion. How many adults know the “ eaning" behind 5+2 = 7?  (Innumeracy by design.

3)  Contempt For Knowledge. Everywhere in the public schools, we hear this whine: “Why would children need to know THAT?” Many schools  scorn the very notion that there is anything in particular the children need to know, even such basics as who was George Washington and how many ounces are in a pound. (Learning stuff is valuable. )

4)  Inefficient Teaching Methods. Constructivism is the main handicap in the public schools. This method requires that teachers stop teaching; they must stand passively aside. Meanwhile children are supposed to figure out everything for themselves. This will be a slow and incoherent process. (How constructivism hurts minorities.)

5)  Busywork Is The Norm. There is often lots of homework. Children are encouraged to work on large,  impressive-sounding projects and to fill up portfolios. The emphasis is on “activity,” a word that John Dewey loved.  Knowledge is not primary. Interacting busily with other students is a goal in itself. (Dewey is a fraud.)

6)  Contempt For Accuracy and Precision. Many public schools have abandoned cursive writing. The idea of one correct answer is ridiculed.  There is a pervasive acceptance of guessing, fuzziness, approximations,  being late,  and sloppiness in general. Children are told to explain how they got an answer but it doesn’t matter if the answer is right. (Forever doing it wrong.

7)  Obsession with Political Correctness and Social Engineering. Ever since the time of John Dewey, “progressive” educators have promoted the idea that the schools are there, not to teach knowledge, but to indoctrinate children into accepting a new kind of society. (Dumbing down of America.)

8)  Parents Are Unable To Influence The Schools. The public is kept confused and distracted by policy discussions about secondary things. Issues that really matter are cloaked in jargon and propaganda.  (Education is broken.)     

9) Inferior Preparation Of Teachers. To put it bluntly, teachers are prepared to provide the bad education that most of them are now providing. It’s not their fault. It's the fault of an Education Eestablishment that is far more interested in socialist ideology that in making sure the children are well-educated. (Teachers need better teaching.)

And the point is: none of this stuff is accidental. None of it fell out of the sky or was caused by germs. Every fatuous little detail was carefully crafted by our Education Establishment and systematically inserted into the schools.  

Here’s how you know that Common Core is up to no good. It does not try to fix any of these problems. Rather, Common Core embraces them all and recycles them into supposedly new standards.

Bruce Deitrick Price explains education theories and methods on his site Improve-Education.org.