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Continuing Collapse... #2
A New Frontier for Zero Tolerance Policies

Bruce Shortt      See #1, #3, #4

[COMMENT: The continuing (and sometimes hilarious) collapse of public education.  Well, if it were not so tragic for so many lives, it would be hilarious.  Some of the things reported below are appalling. 

The continuing collapse of so-called public education (neither public nor education) is documented below.  The whole thing is a farce, and indicative of two things:  1. The clamp which the globalist establishment has on the public thinking; & 2. the incompetence of the public to do anything about it. 

But a few are, and growing numbers of those few.   Are you one of them???  Get your children out of government-run schools.  Help to re-establish our free-market education system.  When we had such a system (prior to about the 1850's) we had the best educated citizenry in the world.  Now look at us.  This can be explained only by the people in control not wanting to put up with an educated and genuinely free people.  E. Fox]

Happy New Year! There is never a dull moment in the culturally and intellectually inbred world of public education. 2007 is already offering up a cornucopia bizarre and bewildering stories for your delectation.
Call in the swat team - A Pennsylvania school summoned police to arrest a 12 year-old special education student for wetting her pants (Well, officer, you see we think she may have done it on purpose."): http://www.boston.com/news/education/k_12/articles/2007/01/04/girl_12_charged_for_wetting_pants/
Of course, government schools have other ways of dealing with special education students:
"ALTHOUGH the New York State Department of Education bans corporal punishment, each year it uses taxpayer money to send dozens of children with emotional or learning disabilities to schools that use physically and mentally abusive forms of behavior modification. These include electric shocks, seclusion and sleep and food deprivation. Because these punishments are euphemized as “aversive therapy,” they have until recently stayed under the department’s radar...In May, New York investigators made an unannounced visit to Rotenberg, where about 150 New Yorkers are enrolled. There, they found that shocks were being administered for such minor infractions as “nagging” or “failing to maintain a neat appearance.” "
I hope you noticed what the taxpayers are paying for this "treatment." No wonder homeschooling of special needs children is growing. I'll spare you the reports of special education children being duct-taped to their chairs and shackled while riding the bus...
Margaret Spellings, key architect of the "Texas Education Miracle", now the Secretary of Education and chief enforcer for No Child Left Behind, sees NCLB as "on track" and urges renewal:
"U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said yesterday that she welcomed proposals to "perfect and tweak" the No Child Left Behind law as Congress prepares for what could become a divisive debate on renewal of the landmark education initiative.
But in an interview five days before the act's fifth anniversary, Spellings said its implementation was on track." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/03/AR2007010301617.html
As you may recall, NCLB seeks to ensure that all children can read and do math at grade level by 2014.
Secretary Spellings may be right that NCLB is "on track", but the question is "which track"? For example, reading proficiency on the NAEP among Mississippi 4th graders only increased by 13% from 1992 to 2005.
Consequently, 100% NAEP proficiency in reading among Mississippi's 4th graders looks like an event that should occur somewhere in the 2085-90 time frame. Actually Mississippi is doing well, because it appears that in Iowa NAEP reading proficiency will be heading toward zero. From 1992 to 2005 the reading skills of Iowa's 4th graders actually declined. (See the NAEP link below).
Nationally, at current rates of improvement (and decline), it is almost certain that NCLB's proficiency goals will not be met within the natural life of anyone reading this if NAEP is the standard....but there's the rub. NCLB lets states define their own proficiency standards, which is why the state "accountability tests" report proficiency results vastly higher than those reported by the not-all-that-challenging NAEP. Still, no matter what the test, it will be almost impossible to hit the 2014 proficiency goals, unless, of course, students get a lot of extra credit for being able to breathe.
By the way, speaking of Spellings' "Texas Education Miracle":
"More than 80 percent of Texas high school graduates are unprepared either for a job or college..": http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA010407.08A.teacher.evaluations.302f81a.html
OK. Now I understand. If you can get an education in Texas public schools, it's a miracle.
One of Secretary Spelling's "tweaks" will be understood by almost no one:
"Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings told the Dec. 8 session that she doesn’t believe in forcing a single standard on states, at least when it comes to one of the more technical, but critical, factors of state accountability plans: a state’s “N” size, or the minimum subgroup size that counts toward schools’ and districts’ accountability under the federal education law." http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2006/12/20/16ayp.h26.html
For those who are statistically impaired, this means that school districts will be free to move students in and out of various minority and non-minority categories to make it appear that they are making "adequate yearly progress", thereby avoiding embarrassment and possible sanctions under NCLB. This scam, which caused a fair amount of consternation when it was publicized earlier this year, is partly explained here: [Link missing...]
Here is a handy link to state-by-state results for the National Assessment of Educational Progress: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/states/
THE OLD PUBLIC SCHOOL "DOG IN THE MANGER ROUTINE" (with apologies to our canine friends)
Having failed to teach children to read, our highly trained education professionals aren't about to let anyone else fix the problem. Under NCLB children in failing schools are entitled to federally funded tutoring. This spawned a number of private sector start-ups that were to provide "supplemental education services" (SES) to the child-victims of government school malpractice.
 Being ever resourceful, and determined to prevent any learning for which they cannot take credit, the usual suspects have been successful in reducing the federal budget deficit by making sure that only about 15% of the federal money budgeted to help the victims of their educational malpractice got spent:
"Much of the initial enthusiasm felt by SES providers—and by the venture-capital firms investing in them—evaporated after they encountered such obstacles as district reluctance to permit companies to provide tutoring on school grounds, lack of communication between districts and parents about the tutoring programs, and what the companies see as bureaucratic red tape, market experts say." http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2006/12/20/16tutor.h26.html 
We don't want anyone interfering with our failure - St. Louis schools fight state takeover:
and in D.C. another takeover battle (mayor vs. educrats):  http://www.washtimes.com/metro/20070104-112332-7619r.htm
and in LA yet another (mayor vs. educrats): http://www.latimes.com/news/education/la-me-lausd4jan04,1,4857842.story?coll=la-news-learning&ctrack=1&cset=true
While we should never doubt that the motives involved in these struggles for control are at least as pure as Ivory Soap (that is, Ivory Soap before Marilyn Chambers somehow ended up as the cover-girl on the box), one can't help but wonder if control would be so strenuously contested if victory didn't confer upon the winner control over enormous amounts of money and power...No, I'm sure it's all "for the children."
By the way, once the central role of "the love of money" by  the government school establishment is thoroughly understood, the incomprehensible becomes comprehensible. Consider, for example, this story from Sacramento:
By Sacramento Bee (free registration required) | Published 12/10/2006 | 
Investigative Report: School Crime Soars But Few Kicked Out
Serious crime at high schools in the Sacramento City Unified School District has more than doubled in the past five years, while the number of students facing the most severe punishment -- expulsion -- has plummeted...
As the president of a major teachers' union local observed a few years ago regarding the same problem: "..district administrators consistently refuse to honestly report on-campus violence...A student would would damn near have to kill somebody...to be expelled before that snapshot date."  The "snapshot date" is the day on which the district's funding is determined by the size of the district's enrollment.
More news to make Arizona parents feel good about "their schools":
"State schools chief Tom Horne says a new report issued by Education Week shows Arizona ranks well above the national average in the area of K-12 education policy."
FYI, here is the state by state "chance for success" index that causes Superintendent Horne's bosom to swell with pride: http://www.edweek.org/ew/qc/2007/17csi.h26.html . A palpably absurd exercise? Yes, but it gives the education industry something to talk about for a few months.
Fortunately, some parents in Mesa, Arizona, understand the difference between "education policy" and educational results - another district losing funding because of declining enrollment: 
School enrollment in the Mile High City is also shrinking prompting the usual hand-wringing over school closures:
"...leaders have warned that closings are coming because the district has lost so many students. About 8,500 fewer students are attending traditional schools today than in 2002. More than a dozen DPS schools, including Del Pueblo and Mann, are less than half full. leaders have warned that closings are coming because the district has lost so many students. About 8,500 fewer students are attending traditional schools today than in 2002. More than a dozen DPS schools, including Del Pueblo and Mann, are less than half full."  http://www.denverpost.com/ci_4969665
Speaking about the love of money... From the "There's never enough money department", Seattle's highly trained education professionals join the movement to have judicial mandarins extract from taxpayers ever higher taxes for schools: 
"Around the country, 45 states have experienced similar lawsuits. In most cases filed since the 1980s, the plaintiffs won, and the state government was forced by court order to do something about education, said Molly Hunter, managing director of the National Access Network at Columbia University's Teachers College in New York.
The lawsuits are fairly similar, alleging that educational funding is inadequate and violates guarantees in state constitutions. Washington put even greater emphasis on education than many other states by declaring it the state's "paramount duty," Hunter said.
One reason states often lose such lawsuits can be tied to educational standards established by the states and high-stakes tests such as the Washington Assessment of Student Learning. Such standards generate lots of data about test scores and academic achievement that can later be used in court.
Some cases take weeks in court and, if plaintiffs win, the legislative remedy can come quickly. In other cases, legal wrangling drags on with governors and legislators arguing with judges over how much of their budget should be devoted to education."
They're back.... In Maryland, the anti-Baptist condom and anal sex brigade has returned with its curriculum for 8th and 10th graders:
Not surprisingly, 30 years or so of "sex education" by our highly trained education professionals has pushed back the frontiers of acceptable social behavior in many ways. The birthday-suit party is one manifestation of what public school sex educators and their college and media allies have wrought: http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=36832007 . Now, ask yourself, what is the next group of students going do to show they are more "liberated" than this crowd?
Speaking of birthday-suit parties, the curriculum that tuition dollars pay for is not what it used to be: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-op-allen7jan07,0,6765169.story?coll=la-opinion-center
Remember, friends don't let friends send their children to public schools.
God's peace be with you, Bruce

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