Gov Jindal- Real Education Reform

Governor Jindal…is about to sign some of the most sweeping education reform legislation the nation has ever seen.

Schoolhouse Rocked: Bobby Jindal Brings Real Education Reform to Louisiana

By Troy Senik
Thursday, April 12 2012

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has always been a man in a hurry. By the age of 20, he was an honors graduate of Brown University with double majors in public policy and biology. By 23, he had completed a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford (having politely declined admission to Yale Law and Harvard Medical School) and taken a position with the prestigious consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

At 25, he was the youngest-ever Secretary of Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals; at 27, he was the executive director of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare; at 28, president of the University of Louisiana system. By 30, Jindal was an Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services in Washington. Within four years, he’d be sworn in as a U.S. Congressman from Louisiana’s First District. Within another three, he’d be governor of the Pelican State.

Thus, even at the ripe old age of 40, when Bobby Jindal tells you he’s going to do something, it becomes a matter of mathematical certainty. So when Jindal pronounced in his second inaugural address, delivered in January of this year, that “as long as there are children who are not receiving a quality education here in Louisiana – our mission is not accomplished,” it should have served as a heads up to the state’s educational establishment that reform was about to bear down on them with gale force.

Despite that warning shot, the defenders of the status quo – led by two unions, the Louisiana Association of Educators and the Louisiana Federation of Teachers – were caught flat-footed. And now, Jindal, less than three months after his Inauguration Day promise of root and branch reform to the state’s dysfunctional education system (44 percent of Louisiana schools receive grades of “D” or “F” in the state’s accountability ratings; test performance is in the bottom five nationally), is about to sign some of the most sweeping education reform legislation the nation has ever seen.

The laws passed by the Louisiana legislature last week read like a conservative education reformer’s wish list. Teacher tenure, which previously required three years of employment, will now be contingent on educators receiving a “highly effective” rating in five out of six consecutive years. Back-to-back “ineffective” ratings will be a firing offense. Seniority will no longer be a dominant factor in layoff decisions. Decisions about teacher employment and pay will largely devolve to principals and superintendents (they had previously been dominated by local school boards), allowing them to act with the dispatch becoming of an executive.

The reforms go well beyond personnel matters, however. They open up opportunities for charter schools, allowing new providers to enter the market. They offer vouchers that will allow poor and middle-income children in Louisiana’s worst schools to attend private or parochial institutions. They even expand opportunities for online learning.

Had Jindal tried something nearly as audacious in a union-dominated state like California, Illinois or New York, the proposal surely would have been stillborn in committee. But in right-to-work Louisiana, where the unions aren’t subsidized by compulsory membership, the best that organized labor can do is flail in anger after the fact. And flail they have.

In a move reminiscent of the outrage displayed by union forces opposing Governor Scott Walker’s reforms to public employment in Wisconsin, Louisiana teachers marched around the statehouse in Baton Rouge to protest Jindal’s proposal, predicting an imminent educational apocalypse.

Furthering the Wisconsin parallels, some of Jindal’s most fervent critics have launched a recall effort against the governor and his legislative ally, Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley, in the wake of the legislation. The effort isn’t expected to go anywhere, however (as Ben Wolfgang noted in the Washington Times earlier this week, there have been at least four prior recall attempts against Jindal, all of which have failed). That owes in part to the political culture of Louisiana. But it also stems from the fact that the state’s voters don’t seem to share the sense of panic besetting its special interests.

Louisianans are sharp enough to realize that the dominant mantra of the education establishment – “spend more money, get better results” – has been disproved virtually everywhere it’s been tried over the past few decades. They’re also not susceptible to the doomsday fears that usually accompany efforts to create charter schools or implement voucher programs because such anxieties are contradicted by experience.

In the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, the state converted many of the public schools in New Orleans into charters – and the results were breathtaking. During the 2010 school year, more than 61 percent of New Orleans public school students attended a charter institution. In the five years since Katrina, graduation rates shot up by 11 percentage points and the percentage of failing schools in the city dropped from 2/3 to less than 1/3. Public education in New Orleans didn’t merely recover: It came back stronger than it had ever been before.

Louisiana has one other thing going for it. Unlike other states where the public sector exists as a sinecure for those seeking cushy benefits and lifetime employment, at least some of Louisiana’s teachers seem to have kept sight of the fact that they’re still public servants.  A recent story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune characterizes a local grade school teacher worrying “that giving principals leeway to pay teachers what they want is simply unfair.” After an extended monologue, she’s interrupted by a colleague who responds, “I understand that it’s a job. You’re going to get paid what … they think your value is. That’s everyone’s job outside of teaching.”

Quite so. It’s heartening to think that under Bobby Jindal’s new system, that’s just the kind of teacher who might be up for a raise.


Portland State University Offering ‘Revolutionary Marxism’ Course

Wait Until You See the Syllabus

Portland State University is offering a number of controversial courses this semester, the likes of which include “Revolutionary Marxism: Theory and Practice,“ and ”Art Within Activism” (though students are also welcome to take “Exploring Buffy the Vampire Slayer”).

Portland State University Offering Revolutionary Marxism, Course Where Students Work with Occupy Wall Street

The “Revolutionary Marxism” course is introduced in what appears to be the syllabus:

The onset of the Arab Spring, revolts in European capitals against austerity, and the emergence of Occupy Wall Street here in the US have made the need for understanding revolutionary political theories [more] urgent than ever.

This course is designed to introduce students to the basic concepts of Marxist thought with an emphasis on the practical applications of Marxist Theory in local political struggle.  We will focus on four major areas throughout the semester, including the Fundamentals of Marxist Theory, Marxism and Oppression, Revolutionary Practice, and The Future of Socialism.  In exploring these four areas of focus, the course will compare and contrast revolutionary Marxism to Stalinism, reformist socialism, leading academic interpretations of Marxism, as well as other radical leftist ideologies. [Emphasis added]

The course’s instructors, Grant Booth and Wael Elasady, are both admitted socialists.  They define the course’s goals as:

1.  Students will learn the fundamentals of Marxist theory

2.  Students will apply a Marxist analysis to current events

3.  Students will apply Marxist theory to local political and community organizing

Moreover, students will seemingly be required to forge a “community connection” with a local community/political organization from a specified list.  Some of the “approved” organizations include: Occupy PSU, Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights, Occupy Portland, Portland Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions Coalition (BDS), Jobs with Justice, and the May Day Coalition.


Similarly, the “Art Within Activism” course is described:

Rediscover your radical imagination! This course will focus on creating art within Portland-based activist initiatives, such as marches, actions, and causes different grassroots community groups are working on, like the Occupy and Decolonize movements. We will experiment with applying diverse mediums—graphic design, social practice, printmaking, and sculpture—to actions seeking to resolve diverse problems—hegemony, biodiversity loss, immigrant detention, animal exploitation, debt, insufficient healthcare, etc.

Portland State University Offering Revolutionary Marxism, Course Where Students Work with Occupy Wall Street

The controversial courses are part of the Chiron Studies program, where qualified students can “propose and instruct official, for credit classes” with the university.

Someone at the school recently took some video of the marketing material for the courses:

The Blaze attempted to contact numerous officials in charge of approving the courses, in addition to Wael Elasady (who teaches the “Revolutionary Marxism” course), in order to confirm the course details, but we did not hear back.

That leaves a lot of unanswered questions, such as: Why is the taxpayer helping pay for these courses at a public university?  With socialist professors and mandated participation with leftist groups, is the other side being presented at all?

Moreover, would Portland State University allow a “Limited Government: Theory and Practice“ course where students were forced to make a ”connection” with Tea Partiers and the NRA?

And when coupled with the likes of “Exploring Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” it’s not hard to figure out why the U.S. education system is under fire.

UPDATE: Wael Elasady, one of the professors of “Revolutionary Marxism: Theory and Practice,“ returned our call and wanted to clarify that students are free to ”apply a Marxist perspective” to any local community/political organization; the list of organizations on the syllabus are simply pre-approved.

Children, Teachers, and Monopoly Labor Unions…

American student scholastic performance, as compared to the rest of the world, has been declining for 4 decades. Today, the USA is second among all countries in spending per student.

In fact, spending on “education” has mushroomed! Skyrocketed! Exploded!

Now, in the real world, decades of increased spending by an organization has a reason. We expect the investment to pay off. And if it doesn’t, we re-evaluate our goals, procedures, expectations and personnel who are charged with getting the job done. The education establishment resists all of that, especially since the monopoly labor unions have taken over the monopolistic “public education” industry. The labor unions reward mediocrity and give lip service to real innovation- innovation that is deemed to be a threat to union perceived interests.

Since monopoly labor unions have gained control (National Education Association), assuring mediocrity has trumped the old fashioned idea that we should reward our best performers. American education (specifically the public school system) has become a social “re-engineering” cess pool where academic excellence has become secondary to leftist social/political indoctrination. When American students performance is compared to students from around the world, the results are clear- our students are failing..badly. American schools have become over run by leftists, overpowered by leftist union organizers (ala Saul Aliinsky) and left to do there deeds on our next generation due to a passive and uncaring generation of parents who have been “dumbed down” themselves by this system for at least two generation now.

Read this report for details concerning the decline of American education

Here is a particularly telling observation from someone who knows a bit about the problem..

from “The Blaze”:

A recently “outed” teacher union manual is just another example of the mountain of evidence supporting the fact that monopoly labor unions are denying our childern the education they deserve, considering the enormous tax burden we have applied to this industry.

Revealed: Michigan Union Manual Instructs Teachers on How to Use Children as ‘Propaganda

Posted on January 24, 2012 at 4:03pm by Becket Adams

“For more than two years, the Michigan Education Association [MEA] has had a manual that urges its members to use students as propaganda in contract negotiations and also lays out how to organize strikes,” writes Tome Gantert of Michigan Capitol Confidential.

Considering the fact that teacher strikes are illegal in Michigan, some may find it odd that the MEA has been encouraging this sort of behavior. In fact, the MEA has done a lot more than just “encourage” potentially illegal activity. As Gantert reports, the organization produced an anonymously written 28-page manual titled, “Building Full Capacity Locals — Crisis Planning, It’s Never Too Early…”

While much of the rhetoric in this “crisis planning” handbook is unsettling (”The worst time to plan for a crisis is when you are in the middle of one, so crisis planning should commence at the same time that planning for actual bargaining begins”), perhaps the most disturbing moment occurs when one section appears to quote almost verbatim Saul Alinksy’s “Rules For Radicals.

Alinsky instructs his followers to “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Likewise, the MEA manual instructs teachers to “Pick a target—personalize—and polarize the opposition [pg. 17].” And those are just the verbatim quotes; the entire manual is a handbook for creating, managing, and profiting from crises. (Actually, Rules For Radicals” is one of the few books sold and featured on the NEA union website.)

Representatives of the MEA were unavailable for comment when The Blaze contacted them for more information.

“What’s really troubling about this publication isn’t what’s inside, it’s right there on the cover. This organization has decided it is above the law that has empowered them so much in so many other ways,” said Paul Kersey, director of labor policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, according to the Michigan Capitol Confidential article.

“We have given them the authority to represent employees who individually may not support them, and to collect dues and agency fees from them and have them fired if they refuse. But the union does not feel it is bound by the law’s prohibition of government strikes,” he said.

The manual states that the “MEA…supports and defends its members who engage in a strike,” which, again, is illegal in Michigan.

But if an out-and-out strike isn’t your thing, don’t worry! With a variety of passive aggressive protest methods, the manual has you covered. One of the passive methods suggested by the MEA is “Work-To-Rule” actions where employees refuse to do anything outside of what is included in their contract.

“Understand that a local is limited only by its collective imagination when it comes to specific work-to-rule actions,” the manual states. “If you carefully examine your contract you will probably find a number of work-to-rule opportunities. Keep in mind, however, that you don’t want to violate the contract or past practice; you want to adhere to it … exactly!”

And of course, what union protest would be complete without the exploitation of children in the bargaining process?

“In terms of a bargaining message, the public responds most positively when we talk about children, quality in the classroom and the future,” the MEA manual states. “There may come a time when it’s appropriate to talk about money and benefits, but lay the groundwork first.

The manual even suggests one slogan that it claims has worked for other locals: “It’s not about dollars and cents; it’s about our children.”

See the Entire Manual Here.

More articles concerning teachers, unions, and education.



An “Extreme Makeover” for U.S. Education — Can We? Should We?


This is the seventh and final segment in the series on K-12 education. (previous articles are linked at the bottom of this segment).

A front-page August 16 Washington Times’ headline screamed: “Scores show students aren’t ready for college — 75% may need remedial classes.”

Seventy-five percent is a number that gets people’s attention. It isn’t the usual trifling stuff the U.S. Department of Education puts out about math or reading scores being up by two percent one year and down by three percent the next. Add to that another finding reported in the same article: “A 2008 report by the education advocacy group Strong American Schools found that 80 percent of college students taking remedial classes had a high school GPA of 3.0 or better.”

So are we saying that even when students score well, they don’t know much? Apparently. Readers who have been following this series (see links to other articles below) may recall U.S. Commissioner of Education Statistics’ Pascal D. Forgione, Jr., Ph.D., who famously admitted in a speech, “Our idea of ‘advanced’ is clearly below international standards.”

According to the news article, “75 percent [of college freshmen] likely will spend part of their [first] year brushing up on high-school-level course work.”

Brushing up? Further on, we discover just how much these “little” refresher courses will cost: “about $5.6 billion — $3.6 billion in ‘direct educational costs’ such as taxpayer contributions to state universities and another $2 billion in lost wages.”  In response to this news, Education Secretary Arne Duncan regurgitated the same song everyone has heard for years: “States need to raise their academic standards and commit to education reforms.” That’s federal education reforms he’s talking about.

After more than four decades of worthless reform movements and worse initiatives, scores of education “advocacy” groups, and more than a 1,050 percent tax increase since 1970, maybe it’s time to start thinking way outside the box.

The Ultimate Hostile Environment

Lawmakers know that schools have become a “hostile environment”: hostile to learning, to Western culture, to individuality, to parents, to good manners, even to the much-ballyhooed self-esteem of pupils. So even by its own “standards,” schools have failed. Juvenile crime has been linked to faulty “progressive” teaching methods, beginning with reading and spelling, as per a commissioned study by Michael S. Brunner for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Police department and correctional statistics confirm Brunner’s thesis, yet our government ignores its own experts whenever they contradict leftist dogma spewing from the National Education Association and university teacher training departments.

Pupils who spend day after day in a “captive” (a.k.a. compulsory) environment in which they can’t learn become frustrated. Sustained frustration over a long enough timeframe produces one of two things: apathy (usually accompanied by withdrawal) or aggression (highlighted by either gregariousness or sudden, explosive violence). This is virtually the only issue on which educational researchers, theologians, and psychologists agree.

Severely frustrated students will, therefore, misbehave — whether it means going to sleep at their desk, truancy, drug-abuse, or blowing up their school. Ongoing misconduct typically lands a pupil in Special Education, where teachers have few techniques at their disposal to correct, or even determine, the specific learning problem. Even if they had any, the make-up of most such classrooms today defies all means of creating a disciplined learning atmosphere. Consequently, Special Education teachers are taught to use group-think and peer pressure as methods of control, which makes the misbehavior even worse.

Students in these environments typically are referred to “counseling” — with child psychologists — who place them on a regimen of increasingly powerful psychiatric drugs that ruin lives and create an increasing cycle of dependency and criminality, at huge cost to society. Every year more children become “eligible” for Special Education “services,” with a higher tax bite to accommodate it. Because the term “eligible” carries a positive connotation, it minimizes the disadvantages.

Worse, today’s chaotic school day features non-stop distractions, noise and interruptions, none conducive to concentration. Youngsters flit from one activity to another, interrupting every attempt at focused learning. This contributes to the phenomenon we know as attention-deficit disorder (ADD) and attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The disorder is not in the child; it is in the classroom. Most children are by nature high-energy, easily distracted creatures. It is the rare child who sits and entertains him- or herself with some project for hours on end. Concentration is a learned skill — and the school does not provide it.

Moreover, government-subsidized education has, since the 1960s, been fostering intellectual bankruptcy and lack of self-control. Schools steeped in progressivism-cum-humanistic psychology are conveying the notion that there are no standards, academic or otherwise, that cannot be bent or broken. Here are the results, in ascending order:

• Brutal popularity contests that lead to school violence;

• School days spent primping and jockeying for position;

• Intractable peer pressure that trumps teacher authority;

• Lack of respect for school and for learning;

• Inability to hire and keep good teachers;

• Declining parental interest in, and support for, schools and teachers;

• Ongoing parent-teacher-administrator confrontations;

• Openings for political opportunists (e.g., university heads put out gay-friendly church list);

• Mixed messages to kids.

Outcome: delinquency, cynicism, unemployability, alienation, resentment, cultural decline, entitlement surges — all leading inevitably to national security breakdown and economic crises that “require” imposition of a police-state.  

Can We Fix It? 


The short answer is yes — with political will and the mightiest backlash ever.

Readers who have been following this seven-part education series are familiar with the tortured route that took us to where we are. If government at any level is really prepared to commit to meaningful education reform, it needs to rethink the goals of schooling. The State isn’t going to do that — not with so many vested interests. The flip side is that if it doesn’t change education, nothing else can change.

Priority one: The Education Department must be shuttered as a failed agency — all of it, including its data-collection systems (all 17 of them). That means privatization. This is not wishful thinking; major cities already have it. Successful ones could, if they were smart, franchise their operations, much like the Montessori schools and the Catholic schools have done. This is not to imply that either of those choices is wildly successful for all kids. It simply means that franchising is an option. Success or failure would rest with parents. The money spent on tax-supported “warehouses” would be in family pockets instead — providing citizens insist on it. Failure to insist means the enormous sums now collected would continue and be put to other uses.

Second: One size does not fit all. Parents who send their youngsters to private schools select them on the basis of their own values and how their kids learn — a highly structured approach, creative approach, hands-on approach, etc.

Third: Educational priorities must be built around just four things:

• Creating a literate citizenry (i.e., basic subject-area proficiency), capable of self-government;

• Ensuring financial independence for that free citizenry (because doing so aids political stability);

• Enhancing the level of general culture, especially Western culture (via “basics” that include artworks, music, sculpture, and philosophy, as doing so channels “emotional overload” by focusing the complex interplay of our five senses);

• Bolstering moral standards consistent with the Founders’ unique concepts about our Republic (life, pursuit of happiness, national sovereignty, property rights, free speech, and sovereignty of the family unit).

Any activity or expenditure that does not accommodate one of these four goals should be shelved or made into electives for which additional payment in excess of basic tuition is expected. So, if a child wants to enroll in ballet instead of soccer, maybe that’s possible if Physical Education becomes an elective.

Fourth: A considerable body of valid research exists concerning how people learn, mostly ignored by the education establishment. Only nine things can go wrong: spatial and abstract reasoning, visual identification, visual and auditory memory, perceptual speed, mental stamina (i.e., concentration and focus capability), hand-eye coordination, and thought-expression synchronization. Determining which area may be problematic requires no psychological or personality profiling, surveys, hypothetical (“what-would-you-do-if”) questions, invasions of privacy, or politically sensitive questions.

The entire revamping process, then, should be predicated on early, meaningful diagnostics for entering schoolchildren, at whatever age parents decide their children should enter a school. This process would bear no resemblance to an IQ test, to the National Assessment, or to its clones at the state level. There’s nothing in these revamped diagnostics that would stigmatize a child, as nearly every kid is going to be weak in at least one of the nine areas.

Which brings up Number Five: A complete retooling of teacher education, together with the ousting of today’s psychology-laden “progressive” approach. The present system, being heavily endowed with vested interests, is pushing progressivism. To circumvent this means that new teacher training institutions must be created. (Conservative philanthropists, listen up.)

Once young people interested in a teaching career realize there’s an alternative to endless child psychology courses, university departments of education will see empty chairs. From there, various approaches to teaching basic subjects can re-establish themselves. For example, today’s educators generally have no idea how to teach intensive, systematic phonics. As for children who learn differently — say, do not naturally acclimate to a left-to-right reading format (a “perceptual” problem) — may be directed to classrooms with elementary teachers specializing in that, not to “Special Education.”

Government, of course, will battle all this tooth and nail. Here’s how: accreditation. A college or school simply won’t be “accredited.” But what good has accreditation done? It’s time to give government its marching orders, reminding bureaucrats that they work for citizens — not the other way around.

The other tack the State will use is compelling state interest. That’s how it took over curriculum. Federal law forbade its involvement in curriculum in Public Law 96-88, Section 103b, so the Education Department first went after “special” issues it thought people would accept — physical education (“fitness” and “obesity”), sex education (sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy), multiculturalism (racial injustice), and so on, until it had a foot in just about everywhere.

Society must take back its prerogatives and decide what they wish to subsidize. That means selecting representatives and national leaders who will push these issues all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

So, can we fix education? Absolutely. Should we try, given the daunting task ahead?

There’s no longer an alternative.


Other articles in the education series include:

George Washington: The Latest Casualty of Progressive Education

Tax Dollars Fuel Unlawful Nationalized Curriculum, Parent-Bypass

Obama’s “Common Core of Standards”: Final Step in Phony School Reform

Education Department Throws America’s Kids Under the Bus

Obama’s Early Learning Challenge and Our Failed Education System

Mainstreaming Progressive Education: A Scheme Hidden in Plain Sight


Beverly K. Eakman began her career as a teacher in 1968. She left to become a science writer for a NASA contractor, then editor-in-chief of NASA’s newspaper in Houston. She later served as a speechwriter and research-writer for the director of Voice of America and two other federal agencies, including the U.S. Dept. of Justice. She has since penned six books, scores of feature articles and op-eds covering education policy, mental-health, data-trafficking, science, privacy and political strategy. Her e-mail, a detailed bio, speaking appearances and links to her books all can be found on her website:





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Thought provoking look at the failure of America’s Government Schools.. what went wrong, and how can we turn it around?

Why We Need Fewer Public School Jobs, Not More | Cato @ Liberty


Let’s see.. student achievement declines over past 40 years.. while cost to educate increases 100% (inflation adjusted). The problem cannot be more clear… government education is an extremely costly “service” that hasn’t improved student performance over 40 years. What would a rational person do to improve this situation? Introduce a bit of private competition always creates innovation and rewards those who find ways to best perform. Government education has little to no incentive other than to keep the status quo.

Northwest Teachers For Social Justice- Government School Priorities are outlined here

Registration for the 2010 conference is now open!


1-quarter credit or clock hours available. Please pre-register.

Overnight housing is available in Seattle. If you would like to stay with local teachers and community activists, please email to make arrangements. As available housing is limited, please contact early.


In order to ensure that we will have a lunch for you, please register by 10:00pm, Wednesday, September 29. If you register after that time, you are welcome to join us, but we cannot guarantee that lunch will be provided.

Lunch will be provided by HOTLIPS Pizza. Lunch is included with your registration.


Not much talk about increasing student achievement.. No mention of academic excellence. Government schools have become indoctrination factories with an agenda to destroy individual free enterprise by inculcating the idea that someone else must take care of you. Creation of the dependency class is “Job #1” for “Education”. Paid for by taxes exracted from the enterprises these leftists despise..

Exposing Leftists | Assault on Critical Thinking by Government Educational Ministry

Petition to Apply Affirmative Action to Basketball…

posted by oliverdarcy

Many students support affirmative action, in an effort to promote diversity. They argue that race-based preferences “level the playing field” for disadvantaged minorities. However, these same students refused to sign our petition to apply such policies to the basketball team. At UC Riverside — where the video was filmed — 10/11 active players on the team are African American. Why not use affirmative action to promote diversity there?

I still wonder if this young fellow sees the inconsistency of his “feelings” about affirmative action.. He contends it’s ludicrous for the basketball team be subject to “affirmative action race based quota’s””…. He claims the BEST players should compete freely for positions on the team. But.. when the same race based quota question is posed about admissions to the college classroom… he goes all mushy- feels different about that and somehow forgot the argument he used for selecting players for the basketball team. Hmm.. The perfect example of political indoctrination overcoming critical thinking- a good example of how our educational system has been hijacked by the far left and purposely diminish the critical thinking skills of American students- and that applies to ALL races.

U.K. Closer to Removing Climate Change from National Curriculum

If a government official’s recommendation is followed, children in the United Kingdom will no longer learn about “climate change.” Instead, British science teachers will go back to teaching “the basics” of that subject.

Earlier this year, Education Secretary Michael Gove called for a review of the nationwide standardized curricula in core subjects. Upon announcing the review, Gove promised to reverse the “profound mistakes” made by the previous government and to restore “academic rigour” to the classroom. 

Under the previous Labour government, the national standardized science curriculum had swollen to 500 pages and given precedence to “scientific issues” over the basic and undisputed science principles.

Following up on Secretary Gove’s proposal, Tim Oates, the head government advisor reviewing educational plans, has completed a study of the curriculum currently being taught to English children ages five to 16. The results of his review and his recommendations will be published later this year, but Oates has previewed the findings by telling reporters that he believes that individual schools should determine their own approach to subjects related to how “scientific processes” affect their lives.

In an interview with the British daily The Guardian, Oates further explained the purpose behind the soon-to-be-released study of the national curriculum. Expressing a need for schools to “get back to the basics,” Oates commented, “We have believed that we need to keep the national curriculum up to date with topical issues, but oxidation and gravity don’t date.” “[We’re] taking it back to the core stuff,” he added.

Given the revelations made in the wake of “Climategate,” there is good, scientific support for the government of Prime Minister David Cameron to rein in the overzealous climate-change cabal that has for years imposed its disproved sensibilities on the minds of British youth.

The Climategate scandal, which first exploded at East Anglia University in Norwich, England, was succinctly summarized by The New American’s Bill Jasper in an article published late last year:

In late 2009, an unknown source released thousands of e-mail communications of some of the top names in global-warming alarmism, showing evidence of fraud and deception: deleting and withholding of inconvenient and contradictory evidence; efforts to get colleagues with whom they disagree fired and to prevent them from being published; and much more. Many of these scientists — Michael Mann, Phil Jones, James Hansen, Kevin Trenberth, Keith Briffa, Tom Wigley, et al. — are the “experts” who have provided research for the UN’s IPCC reports that are driving the AGW [manmade or Anthropogenic Global Warming] campaign. Michael Mann’s infamous “hockey stick” temperature graph, which figures prominently in Al Gore’s movie and the IPCC reports, is a prime example. It shows a relatively straight shaft extending from 1000 A.D. to 1900, when a blade turns sharply upward, suggesting that warming in the 20th century was “unprecedented,” and caused by man’s activities.

This widely accepted “evidence” of AGW has been proven to be a colossal sham. 

“I view Climategate as science fraud, pure and simple,” says Princeton physics professor Robert Austin. Harold Lewis, emeritus professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a member of the American Physical Society for 67 years, says Climategate is further proof that “the global warming scam … is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.” 

“The climate-change establishment has tried to eliminate any who dare question the science,” Princeton physics professor William Happer said in testimony before a congressional committee. “This was made very clear in the Climategate Letters, which reveal the blacklisting of research that strays from the party line with the aid of hostile peer reviewers and helpful editors, and threats to any journal that did not cooperate — in some cases leading to the removal of editors.” Clive Crook, senior editor for The Atlantic, said of Climategate: “The stink of intellectual corruption is overpowering.”

According the article in The Guardian, “climate change has featured in the national curriculum since 1995. In 2007, the topics ‘cultural understanding of science’ and ‘applications and implications of science’ were added to the curriculum for 11- to-14-year-olds.”

Such a winnowing of settled science fact from speculated science fiction in the national curriculum has detractors. One official associated with a climate-change institute based at the London School of Economics worries that the elimination of the requirement to teach climate change in school may result in the complete disappearance of the subject from school, especially in classrooms led by teachers skeptical of global warming. 

“This would not be in the best interest of pupils. It would be like a creationist teacher not teaching about evolution,” the official claimed.

The analogy breaks down, as do most of the faulty ones, by a misidentification of the parallels. There is no appeal to faith in the climate-change controversy, as there is in the creation versus evolution debate. There are accepted principles of science that are beyond debate (gravity, for example), the teaching of which would conflict with the faith of only a very few.

However, when a teacher presumes to foist a contrivance such as climate change on unsuspecting children, he exceeds the scope of his authority and confuses the noble mission of teaching with the ignoble mission of indoctrination.

For the interest of readers, we include an overview of the current required teaching on climate change in the United Kingdom as provided by The Guardian:

Age 5-11: Pupils should be taught to care for the environment as part of a topic on life processes and living things.

Age 11-14: Pupils should be taught how human activity and natural processes can lead to changes in the environment and about ways in which living things and the environment need to be protected. Teachers are encouraged to examine issues such as the finite resources available to us, waste reduction, recycling, renewable energy and environmental pollution.

Pupils demonstrate exceptional performance if they can “describe and explain the importance of a wide range of applications and implications of science in familiar and unfamiliar contexts, such as addressing problems arising from global climate change”.

Age 14-16: Pupils should learn that the surface and the atmosphere of the earth have changed since the earth’s origin, and are changing at present. They should also study how the effects of human activity on the environment can be assessed, using living and non-living indicators. Under “applications and implications of science”, pupils should be taught to “consider how and why decisions about science and technology are made, including those that raise ethical issues, and about the social, economic and environmental effects of such decisions”.

The full scope of the review includes a suggested overhaul of the curricula of 12 subjects, including math, science, art, and English.

Even the British have decided the mann made global warming fantasy should be put into the dust bin. Sorry, the UN may need to start looking for another cover for it’s desire to make America taxpayers submit to extortion. Mann Made Global Warming was such a useful tool for arguing that developed nations should pay a tax for their profligate generation of CO2.. The claim that CO2 is a “pollutant” is ludicrous to even introductory students. Brittain has decided to restore honesty to it’s education when it comes to the climate fraud that was fundamental to the UN effort to steal from America.

» Segel: The Waste Named ‘Department of Education’ Commentary

You can read every word of the United States Constitution with a magnifying glass and you still will not find “education” written into its text. From the birth of our nation onward, education was a state, local or family matter. The federal government made a feeble attempt to centralize it with an education department in 1867, but it was quickly converted to an education office the following year. For the next century it remained untouched until President Jimmy Carter, in an attempt to woo National Education Association votes, proposed the Department of Education in 1979. A Democrat controlled Congress, which did not truly support the idea, passed it into law so the President would not be embarrassed.

Initially the stated purpose of the agency was to establish policy for the administration of government assistance and to enforce federal education laws. However, the department’s stated mission is to “promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.” To accomplish those tasks it was first given 4,000 employees and a little more than $14 billion as a budget. At the time the agency was formed, America ranked at the top of the world in educational quality.

Now, just a little over three decades later we can boast that we still are among the world leaders in educational spending. Our lead ends with that assertion. Today countries such as South Korea and Japan lead in educational accomplishment. In ranking among the 35 most educated nations, the United States can only boast #25 in math scores, #21 in science scores and #21 in percentage of graduates.

At the same time we can see the Department of Education has grown from the smallest of governmental agencies to one that has inserted its activities across at least 39 different federal agencies with more than 760 education related programs, costing the American taxpayers $120 billion a year. These are not even part of its annual budget of almost $71 billion.

For more than 200 years the United States functioned very well without a Department of Education. For purely political reasons and to improve union strength the agency was formed. Now billions of dollars later, we are further behind the educational curve than ever. We have an agency that has proven it can do nothing to improve education for our children and one, which most members of Congress will admit, is involved in a multitude of activities that have nothing to do with advancing education.

If we had kept education at the local level state and local government would have been more involved in every aspect of our programs. Parents would have become more involved in reform efforts. Differences in the programs of other states and other communities would have been noted and good practices found in one locale would have been applied in another. As the system is today distant government bureaucrats make the decisions and parental control is only superficial. The ideas put in place by Washington D.C. grow with every passing year and most of them have done nothing to improve test scores or graduation rates.

We really need no other authority to abolish the Department of Education. There is nothing constitutional about its existence. Though it offers up a mantra about creating uniformity among the states, it can also be argued that very idea is harmful to advancing improvement or seeking out greater knowledge.

From the political side of the coin it can also be argued that members of Congress do not have the ability to improve the level of education in the classroom, and they should instead be spending their time dealing with problems that are legitimately within their mandate.

We should strongly urge the elimination of the Department of Education now. If it keeps growing, as has been its trend for three decades, it will only consume more and more taxpayer dollars that produce little or no results. Most of us believe mom and dad can spend those education dollars in a much more productive way.

An accurate assessment to the results of turning over “education” to an elitist Government class consumed by far left political indoctrination and opposed to critical thinking and long held American exceptional ism.