Two-Thirds of WI 8th Graders Can’t Read Proficiently

Wisconsin Union Protest with Students

by Terence P. Jeffrey -
Two-thirds of the eighth graders in Wisconsin public schools cannot read proficiently according to the U.S. Department of Education, despite the fact that Wisconsin spends more per pupil in its public schools than any other state in the Midwest.

In the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests administered by the U.S. Department of Education in 2009—the latest year available—only 32% of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned a “proficient” rating while another 2% earned an “advanced” rating. The other 66% of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned ratings below “proficient,” including 44% who earned a rating of “basic” and 22 percent who earned a rating of “below basic.” [Read more...]

Homeschooling and Socialization

Homeschooling and Socialization12/7/2010 – Mark T. Mitchell -

Recently my wife and I stepped into a new wine shop in a town near where we live. The shop was very small and we were the only patrons. The young lady minding the store was friendly and talkative. We chatted about various wines and about the fact that in our state people tend to favor beverages with names like Bud and Coors over Merlot and Chardonnay. As the conversation drifted away from wine, the young lady, Kate was her name, told us that her fiancé owned the shop but he was occupied that day with his primary job. Her summers were free because she taught at a local elementary school. My wife then mentioned that we homeschool our three boys.

I’m always interested to watch the reaction of people when they learn this fact. Quite often the response is enthusiastic. Once my neighbor sadly shook his head and told me that my wife and I were lucky that we were educated enough to teach our kids at home and keep them out of the local schools. Kate, for her part, smiled and nodded and then she asked the question that I sometimes think has been put to rest but for some reason lingers on as one of the central criticisms of homeschooling: “What about their socialization?” [Read more...]

Education: The Elephant in the Room

11/19/2010 – Karen Karacsony -
For the first two hundred years of America’s history, there was little in the way of public education. Thus, from the middle of the 17th century to the middle of the 19th century, education was most often a family affair (though churches, literary societies, and apprenticeships also contributed to the education of early America’s youth).

As youngsters, our Founding Fathers were educated like most other children of early America. Of the six Founding Fathers, three were homeschooled: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. Two were self-taught: Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Franklin (though Franklin did attend primary school for two years). And one, John Adams, was both homeschooled and privately taught (at a very small school). [Read more...]

The Glory of Humility

St. John the Baptist

St. John the Baptist

11/15/2010 – Deacon Douglas McManaman -
The word ‘human’ comes from the Latin ‘humus’, which means ‘dirt’ or ‘soil’. Man is from the earth.

I often tell my students that what they learn in the course of a semester, in their math class, for example, or in their chemistry classes, or physics, etc., took centuries for the most brilliant human beings to uncover. Once it has been uncovered, however, it appears to be so simple. Why did it take so long? This is true especially for philosophy. It takes years and years to dispose the intellect to learn such abstract truths, and from these truths it is possible to go on to demonstrate, through reason alone, the existence of God, and it is also possible, through reason alone, to show that God is one, eternal, the source of all that is good and beautiful, that He is Beauty Itself, Goodness Itself, and Truth Itself. And when we finally come to see it, we inevitably think: “This is so clear and simple; why did it take years to get this?”

The reason is that human beings, by nature, are slow. We are the highest beings on the hierarchy of material beings, but we are the lowest beings on the hierarchy of God’s intellectual creatures. [Read more...]

Pushing Junk Science on Children

10/6/2010 – Chuck Rogér –
Humans have angered Mother Nature. Our species must stop multiplying, give up our addiction to huge-screen HDTVs, stop eating so many steer, and travel on twenty-pound electric tricycles forty miles at a time between charging stations. Otherwise, we are doomed.

This is a story about the ruling class promoting ruling class interests. Every year, scientists for sale compete for government grants to perform “research” that advances the human-caused global warming hoax. In order to keep the hoax alive, politicians must generate a steady supply of believers to conduct “research” as well as vote for said politicians, who keep the grants flowing. [Read more...]

Creating a God-Honoring Culture – Centurion Program

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson

9/10/2010 – Chuck Colson -

I have a burning passion—it’s the first item on my prayer list every day— and that’s to see a movement of Christians raised up from the churches to defend truth in the marketplace of ideas and to live out the gospel. Nothing less than this kind of an awakening can possibly save our quickly deteriorating culture.

That’s why I’m now spending all of my time working at BreakPoint and the Colson Center. One of my major projects is developing Christian leaders who can understand and defend a biblical view of all of life.

We call this the Centurions program. For the past six years we have brought 100 of the best and brightest into this year-long teaching effort, to study under some of the best minds in the Christian world. It’s demanding; we read books together, view movies and critique them; do a lot of teaching on line; and have three residencies during the year in Lansdowne, Virginia near our offices. [Read more...]

The War on Academic Achievement

9/8/2010 – Robert Weissberg –
Judged by all the billions of dollars now flowing into “education reform,” it appears that Washington, and especially the Obama administration, is obsessed with improving academic achievement (see, for example, here). The billions are certainly real enough, but the intent is just the opposite. Rhetoric aside, the Obama administration, like Bush II’s before it, is profoundly opposed to brainpower. Our “commitment” to academic excellence is a cruel joke — we love stupidity and hate smart kids. Tellingly, not even “conservatives” who bemoan America’s educational decline will admit this awkward reality — they, too, are passengers on this reform gravy train heading to the bottom. [Read more...]

Queering Education

9/3/2010 – Mary Grabar –
The recent court rulings against students Jennifer Keeton in Georgia and Julea Ward in Michigan reveal the power amassed by the cabal of radicals in academia who have pushed the gay agenda into education. In both cases, judges upheld the right of counseling departments at public universities to expel Christian students who refused to counsel homosexuals in a manner that affirmed their homosexuality.

In Keeton’s case, Augusta State University mandated that all students completing the master’s program adhere to professional standards that require counselors to counsel all clients in ways that do not criticize their sexuality or attempt to change it. According to affidavits, Keeton, whose attitudes towards homosexuality are rooted in her Christian faith, had stated a desire to refer gay clients to other counselors or to inform them about conversion therapies. [Read more...]

Teachers Unions and Civil Rights Groups Block School Choice for Black Students

8/25/2010 – Anthony B. Bradley –
Teachers unions, like the National Education Association (NEA), and many civil-rights organizations inadvertently sabotage the potential of black males by perpetuating failed educational visions. Black males will never achieve academic success until black parents are financially empowered to opt out of failed public school systems.

The American public education system is failing many groups, but none more miserably than black males. The numbers are shocking. The Schott Foundation recently reported that only 47 percent of black males graduate from high school on time, compared to 78 percent of white male students. This revelation is beyond disturbing because it exposes the fact that many public schools serve as major catalysts for the desolation of unemployment and incarceration that lies in many black boys’ future. [Read more...]

Manufacturing Liberals

8/12/2010 – Larrey Anderson -
Liberals are not insane, as many conservatives believe. Most liberals (I am not speaking here of the political or intellectual class) are ordinary human beings pursuing everyday human lives — just like the rest of us. Here is a brief summary of why most liberals are liberal and what we can do to help at least some of them understand conservative thought:

1) Indoctrination, not education
Polls consistently find that over 70% of college professors identify themselves as liberal. The percentage of liberal faculty members is even higher if one removes responses from those teaching the “hard” sciences. In our prestigious universities, the figure approaches 90%. Both of these reported percentages are probably lower than the real figures [i]. [Read more...]

Christian Academics Cite Hostility On Campus

8/3/2010 – Barbara Bradley Hagerty -
One of the hot debates in academia is now reaching the courts. The question: Do universities discriminate against religious conservatives? Some professors and students say they do, but it’s not an easy charge to pin down.

When Elaine Howard Ecklund began asking top scientists whether they believe in God, she got a surprise. Ecklund, an assistant professor at Rice University and author of the book Science Vs. Religion, polled 1,700 scientists at elite universities. Contrary to the stereotype that most scientists are atheists, she says, nearly half of them say they are religious. But when she did follow up interviews, she found they practice a “closeted faith.” [Read more...]

Cheering Immaturity

8/10/2010 – Thomas Sowell -

A graduating senior at Hunter College High School in New York gave a speech that brought a standing ovation from his teachers and got his picture in the New York Times. I hope it doesn’t go to his head, because what he said was so illogical that it was an indictment of the mush that is being taught at even our elite educational institutions.

Young Justin Hudson, described as “black and Hispanic,” opened by saying how much he appreciated reaching his graduation day at this very select public high school. Then he said, “I don’t deserve any of this. And neither do you.” The reason? He and his classmates were there because of “luck and circumstances.” [Read more...]

New York Public School Teaches Children that ‘Religion is a Disease’

Public Schools Bias Atheism6/24/2010 – Andrea Peyser -
God is dead? At a top Brooklyn middle school, He is.

Just when you thought the separation of church and state was more than an option, like paper or plastic, the matter has been settled at MS 51 in Park Slope. And the lesson falls on the side of atheism.

“RELIGION,” a sheet from English class, handed out to eighth-graders, is provocatively titled. The typewritten paper presents some 20 quotes that can be described as anti-God, coming from philosophers from Kierkegaard to Schopenhauer. Even a “Yiddish proverb.”

“Religion is a disease, but a noble disease,” reads the first quote, attributed to Heraclitus.

“Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they will think,” reads one by Schopenhauer. [Read more...]

America’s Death by Professor

5/20/2010 – Stuart Schwartz -
Where professors rule, life is cruel.

That is the bottom line for the average American in this, the transformative age of the president the New York Times and Washington Post has called “Professor” Obama, who “schools” the ignorant at home and abroad. Never before have so many with so little humility gathered together in our government, each believing he “is the smartest guy in the room.”

This is an administration stuffed with academics. And not just any academic: These are educators from elite universities, the kind of experts prized by a political and media elite seeking confirmation of a worldview that expects, notes the Washington Examiner, “the rest of us … to shut up and do as we are told.” [Read more...]

Cultural Marxism in Education: The Gathering Revolt

American Thinker | by Chuck Rogér | 4/18/2010

For decades now, American schools corrupted by cultural Marxism have been eroding the moral fiber and judgment skills of schoolchildren. Unless sensible parents and teachers put a stop to the indoctrination, today’s free speech-crippling political correctness, tolerance of immorality, and lack of knowledge of our country’s birth will continue to grow until America is no more. To stop the indoctrination, parents and teachers must understand how cultural Marxism came to permeate school curricula. [Read more...]