Bruce Deitrick Price's Blog (250)

Bullied by “bullying”

During the last decade, we’ve heard 1 million voices talking about bullying, to the point where the talk about bullying is a form of bullying.

Instead of complaining about the fact the kids can’t read, can’t do math, and don’t know much, our education critics lament the overwhelming presence of what they call bullying. Hasn’t there always been bullying? Yes, of course. And one would think that a school could state a policy and enforce it. You have to wonder if the…

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on December 3, 2013 at 6:35pm — No Comments

Pssst? Want to know what really happened to our public schools?

I wish everybody in education could read this piece: "Education's Intellectual Machinery Is Broken."

The thesis is that most of what we see discussed in the media is secondary. 

So what is primary? Public schools are handicapped by inferior…

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on November 23, 2013 at 6:16pm — No Comments

Ken Robinson, meet Rube Goldberg

I just wrote an article (I'm shamelessly proud of it) which points out that our public schools have a lot in common with Rube Goldberg contraptions. Bizarrely complicated and they don't achieve much. Seriously, this is funny.

http://www.examiner.com/article/rube-goldberg-contraption-our-public-schools

Wait, there's more:

As I was…

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on November 15, 2013 at 3:57pm — No Comments

Sages on Stages-- just what every student needs

There is hardly a bigger issue in education: should teachers actually teach, or should they stand around pretending to be furniture?

Modern progressive education constantly praises Constructivism, Discovery, student-centered learning, et al. Conversely, progressive education is absolutely indignant about the thought of a teacher directly telling a student anything.

But ask yourself these questions and answer in a personal…

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on November 13, 2013 at 5:56pm — No Comments

Reform Math is Bad Math

 New Math and Reform Math have many things in common. They seem to have been designed by smart, very cynical people who did not actually want children to advance in mathematics.

So lots of complexity was created. Lots of distractions were created. Lots of tiresome difficult algorithms were created. Teachers are not supposed to teach. Children are supposed to sit around a table in little groups and figure out mathematics for themselves. When they have questions, they…

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on November 11, 2013 at 5:07pm — No Comments

Education ideas should be tested on large numbers of students

What could be more obvious? New textbooks, new curricular, new reforms, whatever, can easily be tested and should be tested.

The bizarre thing is that there is so little large-scale testing in American education. Speaking as the house cynic, I would say that's because the Education Establishment knows their ideas are  Inferior and will perform poorly in serious testing.…

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on November 7, 2013 at 4:27pm — No Comments

One world government -- a good topic for history classes

Decade after decade, there has been a world of propaganda favoring one world government.

Perhaps you would like your students to have the other side of the argument. 

My basic suspicion for years is that if you gave the UN the power to run the world, then the people in charge of the UN would have all the power, and naturally all the psychopaths on the planet would try to figure out how to take control from those few people. In short, the…

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on November 4, 2013 at 5:14pm — No Comments

How to save sick schools

Okay, you'll say I'm cynical. No question. I've been writing about education for 25 years and there is one thing I can  promise, there are many reasons for cynicism.

But follow this blueprint and you'll find that fixing schools is a much simpler proposition than people think.

The tricky part is confronting the possibility that most of our problems are man-made. Made, that is, by John Dewey and his progressive thinkers. As part of their social engineering, they…

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on November 1, 2013 at 2:40pm — No Comments

Where are the movers and shakers who should be helping education?

The New Yorker ran a big piece about Tom Steyer, billionaire environmental activist. He’s built a whole crusade around the Keystone Pipeline, explaining himself this way, “In every generation, there is an overwhelming issue that people may not recognize at the time…If you blew it on the big issue, then that’s the measure.”

My first thought was, maybe the Keystone Pipeline is NOT the big issue. Maybe the fact that we have an intellectually corrupt public…

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on October 23, 2013 at 4:39pm — No Comments

Princeton, Harvard, Yale, etc. could do more to improve K-12 education

I've often had a fantasy where, circa 1955, the Chairmen of the Departments of English at Princeton, Harvard and Yale stand on the steps of the Library of Congress and proclaim, "We support Rudolf Flesch!" This small gesture could have saved tens of millions of children from misery. But nobody from these places did a thing. Much to their shame.....

Several years back, as I studied Flesch and the swirl we call the Reading…

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on October 12, 2013 at 3:29pm — No Comments

Amazingly enough, the Reading Wars continue. Here’s why...

A sight-word is anything you memorize ENTIRELY AS A VISUAL OBJECT. (Google either currency symbols or electrical symbols, find something you never saw before, and stare at it. You won’t be able to pronounce it in any way.)

Meanwhile, a vocabulary word is something you memorize in many ways: spelling, pronunciation, number of syllables, appearance, similar or rhyming words, the history of the word, personal associations,…

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on October 8, 2013 at 8:04pm — No Comments

Close Reading–-take a closer look

Article on American Thinker  explains why "close reading" is a misguided pedagogy.

If you are suspicious that Common Core contains lots of nasty little surprises, you will find confirmation.

The weird central premise of Close Reading is that children should read the same thing over and over again. Teachers are supposed to pick a small passage; then the kids…

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on October 7, 2013 at 3:49pm — No Comments

Improve-Education.org celebrates 8th birthday

Here is my annual update:

http://www.free-press-release.com/news-k-12-education-reform-starts-here-1380753376.html

 For those not familiar with the site, my emphasis is on identifying and explaining the worst theories and methods used in the public schools. Generally speaking, I don't know if there are any good ideas in the public schools. It is as if some of…

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on October 2, 2013 at 7:48pm — No Comments

The Golden Age of Educating Everyone.

All the new digital and Internet tools should make this the Golden Age of Educating Everyone.

That's what it should be and what I want it to be. I'm a democrat with a small d and really do believe in universal education. How about you? If only our Education Establishment did.

The slower the kid is, the more I want to say: yeah but if you did it right, you can reach that kid.

And now, like never before in history, it's easy to do…

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on September 27, 2013 at 2:33pm — No Comments

English Hieroglyphics: An easy way to understand the Reading Wars

In his famous 1955 book “Why Johnny Can’t read,” Flesch said that reading English as sight-words or whole words is like reading Chinese ideograms or Sumerian hieroglyphics.

Flesch famously wrote, “We have thrown 3500 years of civilization out the window and gone back to the age of Hammurabi.”

Flesch seemed to feel he was saying something profound and final. Once you heard this, you would immediately understand that look-say was the invention…

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on September 23, 2013 at 8:37pm — No Comments

The Reading Wars: Many lies were told; are you ready for the truth?

A lot of people think the Reading Wars are a case of he said, she said.

One expert says X, another expert says Y, and a third expert says Z. These different approaches are tossed back and forth, and the casual observer is persuaded there must be no important difference, otherwise the experts would  pick a winner.

Result: the public is always confused and parents are at the mercy of school…

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on September 14, 2013 at 5:59pm — No Comments

College professors must help rescue secondary education ASAP

"College professor should be more involved in K-12 education" is the actual title of what I think is a very important article.

The basic idea is that college and university people tend to think they can stay up In the clouds. Meanwhile K-12 is stuck in mediocrity. Children are coming up to the college level who don't have basic skills. These poorly prepared children will…

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on September 10, 2013 at 3:22pm — No Comments

Classical Education is worth checking out

 I've written several articles about classical education, and finally came up with this sweeping epiphany: if you tossed out what is typically done in public schools and dropped in a classical education curriculum, two things would happen: schools would get much better and the costs would go down.

 I just interviewed Laurie Thomas, author of a new book called "Not Trivial--how studying the traditional liberal arts can set you free."

 …

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on September 9, 2013 at 6:48pm — No Comments

The case against Common Core

The short version is this: Common Core is a federal takeover of American education, probably not a good thing in itself. However, if the Education Establishment had been doing a good job for the last 50 years, we might feel confident they would improve matters. But why would the same people, given much more power, suddenly start doing a good job???

I think they'll continue doing the same bad job or even worse. But the amount of jargon, hype and malarkey will…

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on September 6, 2013 at 1:54pm — No Comments

3 R's treated with contempt. Ignorance and Illiteracy are the new bullies in town.

Well, for people who are in charge of our public schools and think they're doing a GREAT job, I would agree that this article is totally irrelevant.

I write articles for people who know that things are not ideal or even close to ideal. But they don't know quite why. And they need ways to explain it to parents, teachers, administrators, and the community.

This is a fairly lively little article called "…

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Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on August 28, 2013 at 3:52pm — No Comments

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