Monday, May 24, 2004


Even the brighter kids learn only a small fraction of what they could. As for the rest .....

Where does the idiotic opposition to phonics come from? "Last week, President Bush met with researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) who have identified successful reading-instruction methods that break words into sounds. For nearly a decade, however, districts have ignored such research, preferring to stick with traditional - and less-effective - reading instruction that expects students to memorize words. Today, many districts are switching to the NIH approach only because the federal government has offered $900 million in grants to encourage them to change". I guess that because phonics was the old-fashioned method of teaching reading, it HAD to be wrong in the minds of Leftist educational theorists. Too bad about many kids not learning to read at all the "correct" way.

Separating school and state: "Is anyone happy with the public schools? It seems not. Those with no financial stake in the schools have translated their unhappiness into various reform proposals, such as charter schools or voucher plans. Those who do have a stake in the current system -- the teachers' union, for example -- point to the schools' bad condition as a reason for the government to appropriate more money. Whichever way they lean, people generally believe that the schools are not doing what they are supposed to be doing."

Leave them behind? "The Arkansas Education Association (don't let the name fool you -- it's just our branch of the national teachers union) chose to welcome George W. Bush to the state the other day by urging the president to leave children behind. Naturally the AEA's spokesman didn't use those exact words. His boilerplate criticism of the administration's No Child Left Behind Act concentrated on the wrinkles that need to be ironed out in the law, not the whole fabric of accountability it has finally given American education."

"Philadelphia schools are typical of poor-quality big-city schools. Susan Snyder, Philadelphia Inquirer staff writer, in her article "District to Help Teachers Pass Test" (March 24, 2004) reported "that half of the district's 690 middle school teachers who took exams in math, English, social studies and science in September and November failed."... The unflattering fact that we must own up to is that many, perhaps most, of those who choose teaching as a profession represent the very bottom of the academic barrel". At that rate they are not even IN the academic barrel. And it's no surprise. Nobody with any choices would agree to stand up in front of an undisciplined rabble every day.

"At least 75 California teachers helped students cheat on standardized exams since a new testing program began five years ago, according to a newspaper report citing state documents. Incidents include teachers who gave hints by drawing on the blackboard or leaving posters on the wall, told students the right answers and changed the students' responses themselves, the Los Angeles Times reported, referring to documents obtained through a Public Records Act request." Smallest Minority has some comprehensive comments on THAT one.



More glories of socialized medicine: "Overseas-trained doctors who have failed primary school level English tests are working in Queensland hospitals. An outraged Liberal Party deputy leader Bruce Flegg told State Parliament this week that there were hundreds of foreign doctors who could speak little better than "broken English"... A secret internal report by Queensland Health's medical adviser for rural health services, Denis Lennox, said a growing number of overseas doctors were being rushed into Queensland public hospitals and private medical centres to cover serious shortages, but their lack of competence was putting patients, employers and the community at risk"

John Lott Jr.: "Crime did not fall in England after handguns were banned in January 1997. Quite the contrary, crime rose sharply.... Before the law, armed robberies had fallen by 50 percent from 1993 to 1997, but as soon as handguns were banned, the robbery rate shot back up, almost back to their 1993 levels. Australia has also seen its violent crime rates soar after its Port Arthur gun control measures in late 1996. Violent crime rates averaged 32 per cent higher in the six years after the law was passed (from 1997 to 2002) than they did the year before the law in 1996. The same comparisons for armed robbery rates showed increases of 45 percent."

Dictators has some amazing and amusing stuff about the craziness of Mao Tse Tung. Mao sounds just as self-contradictory as modern American "liberals". Surprise!

Bill Whittle has another one of his famous essays up -- this time putting Iraq in full perspective. James Delingpole in The Spectator has a good summary of why we are in Iraq too.

Wicked Thoughts has one of his rare political postings up today. Sometimes reality can be pretty funny too.

I recently posted here a substantial article on Leftist elitism. Leftists do sometimes however fervently claim not to be elitists. That is much less true of Greenies. They are fairly outspoken elitists. They often say quite openly that they want to get rid of much of the world's population -- with the implicit sequel that they will then be left in sole command of a pristine planet. They are emphatic that they know best. Just to give substance to that generalization, however, it seemed worthwhile to gather on the same site just the most recent posts from "Greenie Watch" and this blog that record Greenie elitist attitudes. See here.

For more postings, see GREENIE WATCH and POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH. Mirror sites here and here

Note that I have just put up a new rubric below.


The Left cannot face the fact that the American intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq is fundamentally humanitarian. The most effective response to the 9/11 events and the one in America's own best interests would have been a retaliatory strike using nukes to take the whole of Afghanistan off the map -- followed by a threat that Mecca would go sky high if there were any further Islamic attacks on the USA or its allies. That would have made Islam a religion of peace overnight. But GWB rightly rejected that easy road because it would have involved the death of millions of innocents. He chose instead to go after just the bad guys -- an extremely difficult task. And its difficulty is causing continuing American deaths in Iraq to this day. But Americans have always given their blood in order to be humane. They did it in two world wars and in Vietnam and they are doing it now in the Middle East. The only alternative strategy that the Left have is to do nothing -- thus inviting more and more attacks.

Comments? Email me or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


No comments: