Bruce Deitrick Price
MEMO about the two big obstacles blocking education reform
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By Bruce Deitrick Price
March 21, 2019

During the last year I realized there were two themes flowing through almost every discussion of education, but these themes are often submerged and overlooked even though they may be the most important truths we have.

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The first theme is: Americans NEED TO KNOW MORE about what's working and not working in education. Otherwise they cannot fight successfully for better ideas, or against bad ones.

(The perfect example is sight-words. After 80 years of wrecking literacy throughout the country, this gimmick is still in play. Thousands of "experts" will tell you that memorizing sight-words is necessary. Parents need the knowledge and confidence to challenge this claim. Improving literacy at your local school is almost impossible unless you understand what the school is doing wrong.)

Problem is, our Education Establishment is skillful at using jargon, lies, sophistry, and murkiness to promote their clunkers. QED: everyone needs more EDUCATION ABOUT EDUCATION.

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The second big theme is that the problems and failures in K-12 education are obvious to almost everyone, and yet the Education Establishment is able to perpetuate their favorite bad ideas. WE NEED AN EFFECTIVE OPPOSITION A.S.A.P.

Obviously, Republicans, conservatives, moderates, Independents, and Tea Party people should unify around the simple goal of giving all children a commonsense education in reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, history, science, arts, literature, and the rest. Let's take back the schools and then educate every child to whatever level each child can be educated to.

The big problem is that so many of our Republicans are wimpy and don't fight. Practical, conservative people should be able to work together. Don't look for small points to quibble over. Stay focused on the big picture. Kids coming out of high school shouldn't be empty-headed.

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Please, more discussions about education. Form a book club or discussion group. Give your understanding of an issue; and then the next person counters with their version.

Education is a lot more intellectually interesting than most people think. The classrooms are full of cheap tricks. It's fun to understand these frauds.

Teach yourself. There are lots of good links on the Internet. Ask Google for what you want to know, for example, What are problems with sight-words or Why are people angry at Common Core?

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Three good places to start on RenewAmerica:

The latest word on Reading and Phonics"The Politics of Illiteracy"

Critical Thinking and Knowledge"It's time to think critically about critical thinking"

Social Engineering versus Traditional Education"Let's listen to a real educator"

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Four articles focused on a particular gimmick:

Prior Knowledge

Constructivism

Learning Styles

Cooperative Learning

Bruce Deitrick Price's new book is "Saving K-12 – What happened to our public schools? How do we fix them?" He deconstructs educational theories and methods on Improve-Education.org.

© Bruce Deitrick Price

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Bruce Deitrick Price

Bruce Deitrick Price is the author of six books, an artist, a poet, and an education reformer. He was born in Norfolk, Virginia, earned Honors in English Literature from Princeton, served two years in the Army, and then lived many years in Manhattan.

Price explains educational theories and methods on his ed site Improve-Education.org (founded in 2005). He has 400 education articles and videos on the Internet. More forcefully than most, Price argues that the public schools are mediocre because our Education Establishment wants them that way.

Price's literary site is Lit4u.com .

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