Friday, August 16, 2013

Why Are Older Teachers Portrayed As The Problem in Teaching?

The odds of having a better teacher are higher with an older, experienced teacher than with a younger, less experienced teacher.  A school that has a higher average years of experience is more likely to have good discipline and higher test scores.  So why is it that older teachers are portrayed as the roadblock to better teaching?

It is true that older teachers ARE a roadblock to professors, administrators, and political activists who use education to promote themselves, their programs, or their philosophies.  These teachers are much less likely to adopt practices that are not productive in the classroom.  They are more likely to have seen other similar, faulty practices.  This frustrates those who would use the schools for their own purposes.  THAT is why they portray the poor teacher as the old, fuddy-duddy stick-in-the-mud that needs to be pushed out!

The more we try to push these teachers out or threaten them with merit pay or with their jobs, the more we hurt the education of our children.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Education is best governed locally

"If it is believed that... elementary schools will be better managed by the governor and council, the commissioners of the literary fund or any other general authority of the government than by the parents within each ward, it is a belief against all experience. Try the principle one step further, and... commit to the governor and council the management of all our farms, our mills and merchants' stores. No, my friend, the way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent to." --Thomas Jefferson to Joseph C. Cabell, 1816. ME 14:420

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Math Education

Math is a discipline.  That means it takes practice and effort to become proficient with it and to understand it.  It is not something we can casually be entertained by and passively gain understanding, as perhaps art or music appreciation might be considered (though to truly appreciate these, one must practice and work at them as well to fully understand).

As society has gotten more conveniences to avoid work and more entertaining distractions, we have become less willing to build discipline within ourselves and our children.  Consequently we have sought after those who would tell us that there are easier ways without practice and obedience to law.  The secular educational prophets have promoted the "Constructivist" way of learning math and other subjects.  They have promoted it by preaching that they are helping students develop deeper understanding, while derisively calling the necessary practice of math "drill and kill."

They have tried to make it fun and flashy to fit our lazy, entertainment-filled world.  Most of the time it is merely confusing avoidance of work.  When challenged they have said that parents should not interfere with the work of professionals and that they, and only they, know how kids learn "their way," as if the youth were alien beings.  They have even tried to promote it saying that this is the way females and minorities learn best, which is demeaning and dehumanizing all.

To really understand math, with a deep understanding, one must first become proficient in its operation, just as with a musical instrument.  As the proficiency is improved, one can come to appreciate its nuances and find ways to use it for benefit.  Of course guidance will greatly enhance this.  It is absolutely true that if we only practice our scales in music we will not come to appreciate music, but if we do not practice our scales we will never become proficient OR understand music truly.  The same is true of math.

Because math is so important in so many fields, we must come to understand this progression in learning and seek to avoid theories that will circumvent real and deep understanding and proficiency by those who would sell "new" books and programs or seek to gain power or glory in the field of education.  Constructivist ways tend to create students who stand in awe of math, but believe they will never be able to do it or really understand it.  No wonder we are not progressing in the field of math!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Will STC (Scholarship Tax Credits) solve the voucher problem?

Real conservatives must be wising up about vouchers, as I see several articles promoting STC over vouchers, because of the propensity for government interference in private schools with vouchers.

But if you think that STC (used to be TTC - Tuition Tax Credits) solves the problem, you've got your head in the sand.  What the government giveth, the government can take.  Whether it gives a voucher and follows it with regulations or gives a tax credit (for whatever it wants to promote, like using natural gas in cars), it can and will follow with regulations for that credit.

There is NO way to get government subsidy or tax benefits without the government getting their hands in the pie.  STC might take a little longer for the government to stick their nose in it, but it WILL come.  Make no mistake about that.

The only way to stay free is to pay for it yourself.  You take their money or credits and they will direct it their way.  If you don't trust the government with your kids, DON'T seek their money (which gets taken from us first) OR their tax credits.  They are more like bait than benefit.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Teachers make more judgments every day, in both volume and variety, than those who pass judgment on them or the law!