Monday, July 28, 2008

The Purpose is NOT to Get the Right Answer . . .

"The teacher opened her book and read to me that the purpose of the exercise was not to get the right answer..."

I hope that got everyone's attention. Read on to get more information about this quote from a parent.


I was only slightly familiar with the American Policy Center. I had heard the name but that was about all. However, I had never heard of "The DeWeese Reports", nor had I heard of Tom DeWeese, the author. Wow! What a little gold mine I have stumbled upon! I recommend this site to all readers. There are many articles worthy of mention here, but I will reference one that discusses the failures of public education.

Tom DeWeese has an article on "ABSOLUTES" entitled "Why is Public Education Failing?" dated December 17, 2007. In this article, DeWeese addresses the source of the problem of that failure. He discusses restructuring of the classroom, block scheduling, cooperative learning, and individual subjects of Math, English, Reading, and Literature. And his direct quote from a book used in classrooms entitled "The Book of Questions" - - well, that quote will just curl your ear!!

His introductory paragraph follows:
"It's a fact. Most of today's school children can barely read or write. They can't perform math problems without a calculator. They barely know who the Founding Fathers were and know even less of their achievements. Most can't tell you the name of the President of the United States. It's pure and simple; today's children aren't coming out of school with an academics education."
He further states about math:
"Perhaps the most bizarre of all of the school restructuring programs is mathematics. Math is an exact science, loaded with absolutes. There can be no way to question that certain numbers add up to specific totals. Geometric statements and reasons must lead to absolute conclusions. . . .

"Instead, Fuzzy Math teaches students to "appreciate" math, but they can't solve the problems. . "
DeWeese goes on to discuss the social and political issues that are pervasive throughout the texts, leaving little if any room or time for important study of the math concepts and procedures. He states:
"In many of these textbooks, there is literally no math. Instead there are lessons asking children to list "threats to animals," including destruction of habitat, poisons, and hunting. . .
Read the entire article here. It includes the entire opening quote which began this post.

And as you pull up the article, be sure to look for the little "More Articles" button at the top right, where you will find many, additional writings on related subjects by Tom DeWeese and other authors, all of whom are brave to take on the education establishment. I will try to pull some up to my sidebar later.

Making Wise Decisions

Take some time to be educated on some of these underlying issues and sources of problems in public education today. The knowledge we glean from these articles will help us make wise judgments about our children's educations. Our students are not able to make these kinds of judgment themselves, and they depend on and trust us as parents to know what's best and to make wise and sensible decisions for them.