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California Schools Transgender Truth

Parents Cannot Opt Out Of California’s New Transgender Cram Down

Rod Thomson

California may not be able to build basic 19th century technology like a railroad, but boy they know how to cram down indoctrination in a fashion that would make gulag guards proud.

The California Department of Education is working on new “health guidelines” — which are neither healthy nor mere guidelines — in a proposed Health Education Framework. This framework covers new educational resources that teach children to reject the old-fashion two-gender stereotype and instead embrace a plethora of ever-expanding gender options.

One recommended resource is a booklet entitled  “Who Are You?” This lovely teaching tool explains to students that there are at least 15 genders from which they can choose, depending on how they feel about themselves at the time. The booklet helpfully teaches children — who, let us remember, are sent to the schools specifically to learn what they are taught — that it is impossible for anyone to determine whether a baby is a boy, a girl or something else.

As one excerpt in the guidelines states: “Babies can’t talk, so grown-ups make a guess by looking at their bodies.”

Guess? This teaching material is as anti-science as it it comes. Of course genitals are a pretty strong indicator of a baby’s sex. Hormones, also. But the undeniable, unchangeable, scientific home-run is chromosomal structure. Genetics cannot be altered as the rest eventually can be. This means that, with a few extraordinarily rare conditions, there are only two genders: XX and XY.

Not surprisingly, California’s planned guidelines — in schools of instruction for students, remember — do not discuss such facts, data or science. So if you dismiss all of reality, then it stands to reason you are left with a “guess.” This is public education in California. But lest we dismiss this cancerous approach being relegated to the wacky coast, there are plenty of frightening examples from around the country.

Such as in Florida, a reddish-purple state. In two school districts in the Tampa Bay region — Sarasota County and Pasco County, both of which are actually red counties politically — officials set out guidelines dealing with transgender children that include keeping their transgenderism secret from their parents and forcing male PE teachers to observe transgender boys (that is, physical girls) change in locker rooms.

But remember, when school leaders say “guidelines,” they mean our way or the highway. Teachers can be transferred, demoted or even fired if they don’t follow the “guidelines,” which is why I often put them in quotes. Really, these are policies. Teach these or else.

Here’s how California teachers will be told to explain the new departure from reality to five-year-olds.

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“Discuss gender with kindergarteners by exploring gender stereotypes and asking open-ended questions, such as what are preferred colors, toys, and activities for boys/girls, and then challenging stereotypes if presented.” So if a boy acts like a boy, “educators” (have to use quotes in this context) should actually push back against that, directing them to act like girls. And vice-versa for little girls. This is not open-minded. It’s child abuse.

Because of course most of the children cannot read yet, pictures help with the indoctrination into self-destructive behavior on a large scale: “…show images of children around the same age who do not conform to typical gender stereotypes. Examples do not have to be exaggerated or overt. Simple differences, such as colors or toy preferences, can demonstrate acceptance of gender nonconformity.”

And like all good re-education camps, there is no opting out. Brenda Lebsack at EdSource.org, who has gone through the 1,000-page guidelines that almost no parent will read and, interestingly are only in English, explains:

“Instruction about gender or sexual orientations that is implemented through the adoption of the framework is exempted from parent notification and opt out requirements (California Education Code 51932b). According to The California Safe School Coalition, state law provides that ‘instruction or materials that discuss gender, sexual orientation, or family life and do not discuss human reproductive organs and their functions’ are not subject to parental notice and opt-out laws.”

The only real alternative for parents who are Christian or most any religion, or who believe in science and reality, or who are moderate to conservative, is to not send their children to their local public school. They send them off automatically, even in “good” school districts, at great peril. That sounds extreme, but clearly based on this newest proposal, if you send your child to California’s public schools, and increasing numbers of other schools, you are sending your child to learn and believe a provable lie that could psychologically damage them for life.

Rod Thomson is an author, host of Tampa Bay Business with Rod Thomson on the Salem Radio Network, TV commentator and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod also is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Culture Schools Transgender

School Punishes Teacher Who Refused To Watch Girl Change In Boys’ Locker Room

Rod Thomson

Another Florida school district is cutting parents out of the loop on transgender school kids and gagging teachers, but this time going after a male P.E. teacher who refused to observe a middle school girl who was claiming to feel like a boy and using the boys’ locker room.

Pasco County schools, a suburban county just north of Tampa, allowed a self-determined transgender female student daily access to the boys’ locker room, without providing any advanced warning to the boys’ parents or to the boys themselves.

This resulted in an embarrassing shock the first time the obvious girl entered the locker room and there were naked boys.

When the male P.E. teacher refused to watch the minor girl change clothes, a school administrator threatened the teacher with placing him on administrative leave. According to Liberty Counsel attorney Richard Mast, whose organization is involved in the situation, the threatening email said that refusing to supervise the girl would “not be tolerated.”

The Liberty Counsel is a pro-bono national law firm that protects individuals’ rights from a traditional, constitutional viewpoint.

Interestingly, a female P.E. teacher also objected to the situation, but was ignored by school administrators. She has not yet been threatened, and given the publicity now surrounding the school, probably will not be. Those are usually done quietly.

The first time the girl entered the boys’ locker room, she caught “boys (literally) with their pants down, causing them embarrassment and concern by the fact that they had been observed changing by an obvious girl,” according to the complaint letter sent to the Pasco County School District from the Liberty Counsel. Remember, these are 13- and 14-year-old boys just discovering their awkward transition into manhood.

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Teachers at Chasco Middle School are banned from discussing the change in policy — not the specifics of the case, which would make sense, but the policy itself. There is no other reasonable term for that than “gag order.”

So the Liberty Counsel letter goes on to explain that the teacher refused to “knowingly place himself in a position to observe a minor female in the nude or otherwise in a state of undress.” That actually is a both moral and legally sensible move on the part of the teacher. However, school administrators shifted from the threat of administrative leave to a threat to having him “transferred to another school as discipline for ‘not doing your job in the locker room.’”

The situation arose in September, yet the Pasco County parents of 70,000 students in the district have still not been informed of the new policy by the school district, even though the female student still has full access to the male changing facilities. The Pasco School Board also is aware of it and has done nothing.

The reason is not hard to see. LGBTQI activists are organized, well-financed, powerful and intimidating. Very few politicians or even regular people want to be even perceived as going counter to their agenda.

The Pasco controversy mirrors similar transgender secrecy and heavy-handed intimidation on the part of school district officials in Sarasota County, just south of Tampa. (Both Sarasota and Pasco counties are politically red counties. Their School Boards do not seem to be reflecting that.)

At the recommendation of the Sarasota County School District’s LGBTQI Task Force, the superintendent issued “guidelines” to govern how the district’s 50 public schools handle transgender and gender questioning students — starting as young as kindergarten.

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The Sarasota County school policy guidelines implement a full-blown transgender protocol allowing students to use whichever bathroom and locker room corresponds with the gender with which they “identify;” and forces everyone else to use the pronoun of the students’ choice. This sounds identical to Pasco’s policy — or perhaps guidelines is the technical terms as the Board did not take action on it.

But maybe the biggest affront is that the Sarasota guidelines also say that parents can not be informed of their child’s decision to identify as a different gender, because some trans activists claim the schools are a “safer” environment than the home. This again seems to be in line with what is going on in Pasco, which suggests that the administrative guidelines are being heavily influenced or even written by trans activists.

In Sarasota, the secrecy along with the general egregiousness of the policy, attracted a lot of controversy. A 31-year-old Sarasota father of a young child not yet in the school system, sent the superintendent a brief email criticizing the guidelines and keeping transgenderism secret from parents.

That parent found officers from the school district’s brand new police force at his door the next day. Nothing came of the officers’ visit, because they realized the letter was harmless. Nonetheless more showed up at the father’s parent’s home and neighbors’ home.

This is a shocking level of intimidation for a local school district, and certainly at least some parents must have got the message: Shut up, sit down and let us handle your children. Or else we may come knocking.

In Pasco, the message sent is similar, but directly to teachers. Shut up and do what you’re told. Or else.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Gender Government Schools Truth

Florida Schools: Transgender Children’s Choice Must Be Hid From Parents

Rod Thomson

A Florida school superintendent in very conservative coastal Sarasota County is implementing a radically leftist transgender policy without public input or a vote of the School Board, a policy that among other things strips parents of their right to know what their child is doing in school and turns over a fundamental right of parenting to the government.

At the recommendation of the Sarasota County School District’s LGBTQI Task Force, School Superintendent Todd Bowden is issuing “guidelines” today to govern how the district’s more than 50 public schools handle transgender and gender questioning students — starting as young as kindergarten.

This surreptitious radicalization of local policy comes at the very moment that the Trump administration is considering rolling back the Obama administration’s baseless, un-scientific and lawless expansion of Title IX, the federal civil-rights statute that bans sex discrimination in federally funded education programs. Obama also did that very quietly in 2014, on his own, after Congress failed to get it changed to Obama’s satisfaction.

These are called “guidelines” presumably because an actual policy would have to go through the School Board and be subject to public hearings and public input. (The tactic is akin to when President Obama created a treaty with Iran over nuclear weapons, but called it an “agreement” to bypass the need for Senate ratification.)

Superintendent Bowden appears to be using the Obama playbook on the issue.

But while called guidelines in practice it is a policy, and it implements a full-blown transgender protocol allowing students to use whichever bathroom and locker room corresponds with the gender they “identify” as, forces everyone else to use the pronoun of the students’ choice — including “their” if they are just not sure— and checks the box of everything LGBTQI activists want.

The policy also says that parents must not be informed of their child’s decision to identify as a different gender. The student’s gender identity will be accommodated entirely in the school, which activists and some school leaders claim is a “safer” environment than the home.

If John wants to be known as Sue, his teachers and all staff must call him that. But the parents cannot be informed. John/Sue can use the girls’ bathroom, the girls’ locker room, and participate as a girl in extracurricular activities. But the parents cannot be informed. It’s all up to the child and school.

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The just-released document obtained by The Revolutionary Act, entitled “Creating Safe Schools for All Students:  Gender Diverse Student Guidelines,” reads: “It is up to the student, and the student alone, to share her/his/their identity.” No parents allowed.

This policy was intended to be quietly rolled out Friday to principals overseeing 43,000 students, until one courageous School Board member was so outraged that she went public with it.

“That is completely stripping the rights of families, parents and/or guardians to be a part of this discussion,” said School Board Chairman Bridget Ziegler. “The district has no place in cutting out parents.”

If a student needs an aspirin, they need parental permission. If they want to sit out the Pledge of Allegiance, they need written permission of the parents. But if their son wants to change his gender and identify as a girl at school and use the girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms, then the parent must not even be told.

Remember, there was no vote or discussion by the elected Board, and no public or community input — in a county where Republicans outnumber Democrats 130,000 to 93,000 as of the 2016 election and that Trump won in a landslide. It was meant to be such a quiet rollout that many parents would not even be aware of it. (Part of this is due to the peculiar breakdown of the so-called “non-partisan” Board, which is 4-1 Republican, but 3-2 puppet-like supporters of the superintendent.)

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Here are the core controversial parts of the new policy. Read the language. These are not guidelines, they are policy rules.

PRONOUNS: “A transgender student shall be addressed by the name and gender requested. All relevant teachers and administrators and staff shall be informed of a transgender student’s name and gender pronoun. The student’s name and gender pronoun does not need to correspond to the student’s birth certificate and other official records. It is up to the student, and the student alone, to share her/his/their identity. In the case of elementary-age students often the student and parent are involved, however, this is on a case by case basis.”

At the elementary level, the parents are involved only if the child informs them. School leaders are blocked from doing so.

BATHROOMS: “All students, who want to use the restroom in accordance with their consistently asserted gender identity, will be provided the available accommodation that best meets the needs and privacy concerns.”

Of course, this is a serious problem all on its own. But implementation will also be problematic, because in the open-ended forms of gender identity allowed in the guidelines there is “non-binary,” which “refers to anyone who does not exclusively identify as male or female. This term can include multiple gender identities, not limited to gender fluid.”

So apparently any bathroom can be used, based on the feelings of the moment?

LOCKER ROOMS:All students, who want to use the locker room in accordance with their consistently asserted gender identity, will be provided the available accommodation that best meets the needs and privacy concerns.

FIELD TRIPS: “Day field trips and overnight field trips are opportunities for educational endeavors and social engagements and it is important to make sure that transgender students have both components. This can require some planning to ensure affirmed name, gender pronouns, room assignments, chaperones and showers are accurate and aligned with the student’s core gender identity. School administration will directly guide the process. Administration will review case by case to determine how to work with all parties involved.”

Because the School Board elections were just completed in the Florida primary, there is little that can be done to overturn this superintendent-driven policy. But expect a strong reaction from the conservative community on the loss of parental rights with their own children.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Conservatism Education Schools Truth

End Liberal Indoctrination In Education, Create TOTAL School Choice

By Nate Davis

The most important conservative policy today, the one that is most likely to make this country predominantly conservative over time, is total school choice: $13,000 per student per year school vouchers. Please let me explain.

What are school vouchers? It costs about $13,000 per year for one student to attend a government-run school. With school vouchers, parents and students are allowed to take that $13,000 to another school, whether it is government-run or not. The money would follow the student. Of course, if parents and students wanted to spend their children’s $13,000 vouchers on an existing government-run school, they could.

Note: offering total school choice wouldn’t cost the taxpayer. The only issue is whether citizens can be trusted to choose the best educational route for their own children.

How will letting families choose the best education for their own children lead to a more conservative-thinking society?

It’s about ideology

Liberals have two main outlets for their social ideas — schools and the media. That is why they will fight tooth and nail to keep education as government-run as possible. If the government-loving liberals provide education (and they do), they can promote their moral, social and economic agenda to 50 million future voters at a time.

Liberal ideas must be indoctrinated, and therefore liberals must control education. That makes $13,000 school vouchers the single most important conservative idea out there. If you want to put the brakes on the leftist movement in our country, offer people choice. Privatize education with $13,000 vouchers.

If parents were given total school choice, few would choose the one that promises to promote moral relativism and government control as the solution. Some would, but not most. Many would choose schools that taught a deep sense of individual responsibility. They would choose schools with high expectations for behavior. They would chose schools that promote conservative values. Many parents who don’t live by those standards themselves would see them as the best hope for their children, and their assessment would be well founded.

Socialism stinks

Has it occurred to you that you can’t get much more socialist than the way we do grade school and high school in America? The only further step would be to outlaw schools that were not run by the government.

Socialism produces inferior products and services. (See every socialist economy from the USSR to Cuba to Venezuela.)

Can you imagine if the country was set up in districts, and for every service we had to prepay to use the one provider in that district: one dentist, one auto mechanic, one HVAC Repairman, one jeweler, one grocery, one physical therapist, etc.? On top of that, the distribution of service was organized and managed by a government bureaucracy, with pension funds and unions involved as well. Would you get the kind of service you would want? Of course not. Also, what gets into the psyche of the one who gets to be the sole provider in that district? What is the incentive to be truthful and to do things right and timely? These questions get at the angst caused by socialized efforts and are rightfully repulsive to many.

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The government-run school system is a prepaid, single provider per district system with large pension funds and heavy union influence like the scenario described above. Why embrace single provider, prepaid, government bureaucracy for your children’s education?

Letting educational money follow children allows for competition and employs an army of active overseers — consumers. To those who know and understand the benefits of the free market, it is both reasonable and logical. So, not only is there the benefit of taking the wind out of the liberal agenda sail, but there are efficiencies to gain in education that will leave students better off.  

Providing $13,000 school vouchers would help every American because every American benefits when citizens are better educated and better prepared to be productive. Competition will offer these benefits.  

Conservative politicians are missing it

Unfortunately, the $13,000 voucher policy is low on most conservative politicians’ radar. It is time to change that thinking. Let’s consider all the constituents who would benefit from the new policy.  

Providing $13,000 vouchers would help families and students because they would be able to choose between schools that offered different value propositions. If students could pick their schools, teachers would have more options to find the right fit for them, too. The $13,000 voucher would be especially helpful to the underprivileged and to children at risk. The schools in those districts are usually the worst. Finally, every conservative constituent would benefit because those who graduate from high school under total school choice would likely be more open to or supportive of conservative ideas.

Politicians need to realize that constituents overwhelmingly choose a government-run school because it is “free.” It does not mean they wouldn’t enjoy and benefit from total school choice. Still, to address concerns, we need to consider why conservatives seem to feel okay with communalist schools.

Why do so many conservative parents support government schools?

Quick answer: Financially, they have to.

For most of us, double paying for school is too much (first through mandatory taxes and then through private school tuition). When people can’t change something, they tend to make the best of the situation they have. Thus, when government-run school is the one they can afford, they make the most of it. They get to know people. They speak highly of the positive aspects. They encourage their own children and grandchildren to be successful there. They get used to it, and change can be difficult, though it seems more and more citizens are expressing they would choose something different if they could.  

There are other reasons people support the local government-run school. For some, supporting the school is supporting the community. Sometimes government-school support is attached to business relationships, a means of networking in the community. Sports play an important role in a conservative’s commitment to the local government school, too. How could you not support “your team”?

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Others are concerned that some special activity, like band, performing arts, science fair, etc., would be lost if most students weren’t compelled financially to go to government schools. (With vouchers, there would likely be more opportunities for quality extracurricular activities for students, not fewer.) Some may be motivated to protect their child. If a parent was to criticize the government school, would his children suffer at the hands of teachers, coaches, or administrators? It is easier to be nice.

Finally, people support the government-run schools because they have friends, family or acquaintances who work there — good people. That does not mean the system is right. In fact, these good people could do much better work outside of that system.

We have to realize that good conservatives end up supporting a socialist school system for practical reasons. But that is not to say they would not prefer total school choice.

Still, some will say, “I got a pretty good education” (who wants to claim they were poorly educated?), or “My kids like their school.” These statements ignore the alternative. They disregard options that would have been available if the government didn’t use tax dollars to disincentivize almost all competition. That is why we need people to cast a vision.

Dig deeper to see more problems

Support for local government-owned schools seems to be waning. School violence, depravity and lower educational standards have more and more people wishing they had other options.

Do your own assessment of your local government schools. I think you will find that students are often permitted to use vulgarity and profanity, educational expectations are downgraded, and liberal social ideas such as gender confusion are promoted. Certainly, we could do better.

In 2015 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conducted a nationally representative survey of high schoolers:

In a 30 day period, 4.1% carried a weapon to school, and 5.6% said they skipped school at least once because they didn’t feel safe.

In one school year, almost 8% were in a fight, 6% were threatened with a weapon and 1 in 5 were bullied.

What a mess.

If you need to confront the administration for any reason, you will get a clearer picture of the inner workings of these government bureaucracies. This is the reality: government employees watch government employees behind closed doors with little accountability.

To make matters worse, union members watch over union members. The members’ commitment to protect one another’s employment, pay, and pension is a complete conflict of interests. (Unions also work very diligently to elect those school board members who will side with them.)

How do $13,000-per-year vouchers solve these problems? When there is wrongdoing, families will switch to a school that does it right. Consumers will look for schools with high expectations of employees and students. It is that simple. No bureaucracy needed. The market will decide, as it does every day with thousands of products and services.

$13,000 school vouchers: the Great Conservative Cause

Total school choice is a simple and logical extension of the most basic of conservative ideas, that is, the best choices are made by consumers, and the best products are created through competition. On top of that, total school choice frustrates the liberal’s strategy and will expose more people to conservative ways of thought — not by force, but by choice.  

The government should only do the things no one else can do (e.g., roads, military, law enforcement). Expect what it does to be relatively inefficient. Expect some degree of corruption. These are just truths. For this reason, if government doesn’t have to do it, it shouldn’t. Certainly, government doesn’t have to do education. Giving the choice back to citizens with $13,000 school vouchers is best for America.  

Once parents and children have money to spend on education, they will have reason for constantly evaluating the output and opportunities of one school versus the next. Reviews on public forums online will further fuel schools to be the very best they can.

The money from the vouchers would prime the pump for philanthropy, which would be very good for education. Those making donations to education providers will be voting with their dollars for the best schools.

No, charter schools don’t solve the problem. They are simply a subset of school run by the state. They are still government and will eventually fall by the wayside of all communalist efforts. Are they better for now? Yes, but they are getting in the way of the solution by putting new paint on an old pig (government school bureaucracy).

“School choice” — the ability to choose between government schools — does not help much either. The choice has to include any school, not just government schools, so the best ideas in education can be explored and exploited.

Finally, consider what America could be if students were not put through the same cookie cutter that are government-run schools, and instead were inspired and taught the way they and their parents choose. The result would be a smarter, more logical, more productive, and less indoctrinated-by-liberals electorate, and that is very good for America.

What can you do?

One of the easiest things is to change what you say.

Language matters, which is why it is best not to use the word “public” when referring to the school system. It has the appeal that socialist-minded people like to apply to government institutions. “Public” doesn’t mean “ours,” but “theirs” — those who control it. The terms government-owned and government-run work better. “My kids go to the government school” provides more clarity.  

Cast a vision.

Help others imagine what schools will pop up when school funding follows the student. Schools will be safer, more focused on individual students, promoting true character, and with more committed, happier educators. Local service organizations, businesses, special industries (science, manufacturing, medicine, etc.), trade groups, arts organizations and groups of parents deeply committed to children will all be able to add their special flavor to the educational experience by starting or supporting a school in their community. Those concerned about at-risk children will be especially empowered to care for and educate them.

Urge your elected officials to give your children (or your grandchildren) $13,000 vouchers. It is a policy that makes sense, and one that could truly save our country as we know it.

Remember, government-run schools are and will always be a huge detriment to conservative values, which is why you should move the issue of $13,000 school vouchers to the top of your political wish list. Don’t do it just for the kids today. Do it for our society in generations to come.

There is simply no single policy that will help conservative ideas succeed in the future more than total school choice. None.

Nate Davis’ break-through book God The Parent was published in 2017. It is the product of reading so many unfulfilling parenting books that use a Bible verse here or there and instead mines the deep, rich vein of parenting wisdom found throughout the Bible. Nate and his wife, Ginny, have 10 children — 20 years between the youngest and the oldest. The Davis family sings a lot, laughs a lot and is most at home in the outdoors.


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Education Schools Truth

Your Children Are Yours, Not The State’s

by Peter B. Gemma

At the end of the 2015 school year, a day after his 89th birthday, author and homeschool movement icon Samuel Blumenfeld passed away. In its obituary, the Boston Globe noted, “His mother was illiterate, and when Mr. Blumenfeld was a child he struggled to help her learn the rudiments of reading and writing.” His first foray into tutoring was successful, and he went onto a teaching career and an advocate of education reform.

Blumenfeld wrote a dozen books on foundational reading methods, elitist academic power brokers, and the how and why of homeschooling. His better known titles include Is Public Education Necessary, Alpha-Phonics: A Primer for Beginning Readers, and How to Tutor.

A graduate of the City College of New York, Blumenfeld spent 10 years as a book and magazine editor, and he taught in public and private schools, including one for children with learning disabilities and behavioral problems. He wrote for a wide variety of publications including the New York Times, American Legion magazine, Esquire, and Commentary. In the libertarian Reason magazine, he opined:

“The simple truth that experiences taught us is that the most potent significant expression of statism is a State educational system. Without it, statism is impossible. With it, the State can, it has, become everything.”

In the 1950s, Rudolf Flesch’s seminal work, Why Johnny Can’t Read, set in place battle lines between parents and public schools. Sam Blumenfeld’s 1970s bestsellers, The New Illiterates and How You Can Keep Your Child from Becoming One and How to Start Your Own Private School and Why You Need One provided high-powered ammunition that kick-started a revolution. Pulitzer Prize winning author John Updike praised The New Illiterates as a “spirited indictment” of public education.

Why Johnny Can’t Read taught parents that the comprehensive and systematic instruction in phonics had been replaced with the whole-word or look-say method of teaching. The whole-word method essentially treats words as if they were drawings. Instead of teaching children the letters and sounds that go with them, they’re taught to see each word as a picture made up of scribbles. Blumenfeld held that children have become so adept in this illogical process that they can “read” words upside-down, the same way they can identify inverted photos of giraffes. He believed students could not identify new words or understand their meaning without depending on someone to tell them what they are looking at. 

Theodor Geisel, “Dr. Seuss,” agreed. In a 1981 interview he asserted:

That damned Cat in the Hat took nine months until I was satisfied. I did it for a textbook house and they sent me a word list. That was due to [psychologist and education dogmatist] John Dewey in the Twenties: they threw out phonic reading and went to word recognition, as if you’re reading a Chinese pictograph instead of blending sounds of different letters. I think killing phonics was one of the greatest causes of illiteracy in the country. I read their list [of suggested words] three times and I almost went out of my head. I said I’ll read it once more and if I can find two words that rhyme that’d be the title of my book. I found ‘cat’ and ‘hat.’

The long-term impact of teaching the “look-see” method of reading has proved disastrous. According to the Program for International Student Assessment, which collects test results from 65 countries, the U.S. ranked number 20 in reading. Statistics compiled by the 34 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development graded American teenagers 21st in reading.

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When Blumenfeld began crusading for home-based education, it was virtually illegal in a majority of states, but today there is more of a free market in education. The evolution tells a compelling story. The National Center for Education Statistics determined that in 2015 more than 2.2 million students — about 3.4 percent of children 6-17 years old — were taught at home, up from 2.2 percent in 2007.  The Washington Post reports that in D.C., the number of registered homeschooling families grew by a third over the past two years.

Homeschooled students consistently score higher grades than their public school peers. In 2014, their average SAT scores were 70 points higher in critical reading and 48 points higher in writing than the average scores of all students. A 2015 study found black homeschooled students scored 23 to 42 percentile points above black public school students.  

One new factor in the uptick in homeschooled children: safety. “When the Parkland shooting happened, our phone calls and emails exploded,” Tim Lambert, president at the Texas Home School Coalition told the Washington Times. “In the last couple of months, our numbers have doubled. We’re dealing with probably between 1,200 and 1,400 calls and emails per month, and prior to that it was 600 to 700.”

Of course the main reason for teaching children at home remains quality control. In a speech at Michigan’s Hillsdale College, Blumenfeld assessed in-vogue teaching methods:

“If education consists of the interaction between an effective teacher and a willing learner, then you can’t have it in a psych lab that has neither. In the lab you have the trainer and the trainee, the controller and the controlled, the experimenter and the subject, the therapist and the patient.  What should go on in a classroom is teaching and learning. What goes on in the psych lab is stimulus and response, diagnosis and treatment.”

In 1967, the National Education Association proclaimed it would, “become a political power second to no other special interest group.” In his 1984 book, NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education, Blumenfeld often cautioned, “Public school teachers, once loved and respected for their devotion to their profession, have become militantly politicized and are now the most active and powerful advocates of the political and social agendas of the radical left.”

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In his writings and speeches Blumenfeld warned that, “Those who rose highest in the public schools establishment and the National Education Association (NEA) were those most strongly committed to secularism and statism. Those two complementary philosophies fuel the vision of NEA leaders, who seek a utopian world, freed from Biblical constraints, ruled by humanist politicians, and taught by progressive educators. Parental rights and religious freedom are swallowed up by the surpassing rights and rules of the greater community — the controlled collective.”

Sam Blumenfeld’s last book, Crimes of the Educators, was published just before he died. In it he wrote, “The unhappy truth is that today’s public schools have rejected the values of the Founding Fathers and adopted values from nineteenth-century European social utopians that completely contradict our own concepts of individual freedom. And they have invented new values under the umbrella of ‘social justice’ in order to advance society toward their idea of moral perfection.”

Margaret Mead once said, “My grandmother wanted me to have an education, so she kept me out of school.”  Thank goodness Sam Blumenfeld took that quip very seriously.

Peter B. Gemma is an award-winning freelance writer whose articles have appeared in TheDailyCaller.com, the Washington Examiner, AmericanThinker.com and USA Today.


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Guns Media Schools Second Amendment Truth

Why The Santa Fe Shooting Disappeared From Headlines So Quickly

Rod Thomson

Something strange happened within a few days of the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School that killed 10 people and injured 14 others.

The story virtually disappeared from the news cycle. This is quite a remarkable change from the weeks of non-stop media coverage after the Parkland, Florida shooting that resulted in huge protests around the country and bad legislation in Florida.

First, there are a lot of similarities in the two atrocities. The killer in both instances was a mentally disturbed, bullied teenage boy who had shown warning signs. However, it is well-documented that in Parkland, law enforcement and school officials (government) missed or purposely overlooked dozens of red flags regarding the killer that could have prevented the killings.

Seventeen people were killed in Parkland. Ten were killed in Santa Fe. Both are located in conservative states with strong Second Amendment protections, although Texas is more conservative. Both have happened during a time of rampant but factually ill-founded fears of school shootings, and a media that has an anti-gun agenda it pushes shamelessly — including the use of grieving teenage survivors.

So what are the differences? Three stand out.

One, the gun that the Parkland killer used was an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. It is what the media insists on calling an “assault weapon,” without ever really explaining or describing what is meant by the term. It’s scary looking and appears similar to military assault weapons. But it is the same as any semi-automatic rifle or pistol. One shot per trigger pull.

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In Santa Fe, the killer used a .38-caliber revolver and a shotgun — not the infamous “assault rifles.” There is very little support among Americans for banning revolvers or shotguns. So that was one big difference.

The second is that the Parkland killer was never stopped. Officers stayed outside and did nothing while he continued to massacre people. He just finally quit murdering and walked away from his school slaughter, later being arrested at a fast food restaurant.

In Santa Fe, men with guns stopped the killer. The teen was cornered in a room by armed school security until more police arrived and he surrendered.

A final difference is in the community and the students. Parkland is in the heavily urbanized, liberal, anti-gun corridor of Southeast Florida, from Miami through Fort Lauderdale to West Palm. The students there reflect that urbanized sense of guns as frightening, and really do not seem to grasp the purpose of the Second Amendment. They came out very strong for gun laws and the media ate it up and national, liberal organizations quickly organized them.

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Santa Fe is a semi-rural area of Southern Texas between Houston and Galveston. The people there see guns as part of the culture and have a more ingrained understanding of why there is a Second Amendment. For instance, almost no Santa Fe students participated in the national school walkout in March.

Here is Alex Carvey, 16, a student at Santa Fe High School:

“I don’t think guns are the problem — I think people are the problem,” she said. “Even if we did more gun laws, people who are sick enough to do something like this are still going to figure out a way to do it. So it doesn’t matter.”

So the differences in coverage seem to be based at least somewhat on how it plays into the media narrative of blaming the NRA and gun owners and pushing for more gun control laws. Parkland — despite the myriad failures of government along the way, plays nicely into that narrative.

Santa Fe doesn’t really fit narrative.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Categories
Democrats Obama Politics Race relations Schools Truth

Trump Dismantling Terrible Obama Policy That Spiked School Violence

Rod Thomson

The Trump Administration is methodically working its way through the reams of poor decisions, terrible policies and total failures haunting us from Obama’s eight years — from Syria, Iran, Russia and ISIS on the international front to crushing regulations, taxes and IRS/AG corruption on the domestic front. It’s a Herculean task.

The most likely next target on the list is the appalling Obama Department of Education policy on penalizing schools for having “disparate” rates of discipline, which has turned too many school districts across the country into increasingly violent zones because administrators cannot rid the schools of dangerous students. This policy may have played into why no law enforcement actions were ever taken against the Parkland shooter, even with all of the now known evidence.

The disparate impacts concept is a terrible philosophy and worse policy. It assumes that any racial disparity from what the averages would dictate is a result of racism, either by individuals or systemically. So if 40 percent of a school’s students are black, but blacks make up 60 percent of suspensions, that disparity is assumed to be the result of racism at the school. It discounts the possibility of action resulting in consequences and blames prison time on the arrest and not the crime for which the person was arrested.

As we wrote recently, this disparate impact concept works hand in glove with the Progessive Left’s constant stoking of racial tensions for political power and social justice agendas.

So the Obama administration, chock full of such progressives from the top down, issued a federal directive in 2014 from both the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Justice threatening schools that receive federal funding — which is most public schools — with loss of funding and federal investigation if they failed to reduce such disparities in their schools. The disparities range from discipline to suspension to arrests and criminal charges.

“The premise underlying this Obama policy was completely false,” said Heather MacDonald, an education expert at the Manhattan Institute. “It assumes without even trying to prove that there can be no behavioral disparities between black and white students.”

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Most public schools will jump through any hoops they must in order to not lose some money, and so most responded in the worst possible way, but possibly the only way, by simply not disciplining, suspending or maybe even arresting students they normally would have.

As the New York Post reports, more than 300 schools are now under investigation because of this policy, even while many are responding accordingly by allowing dangerous and disruptive students to remain in class in order to not lose some federal money.

New York City schools had such disparate impacts (as do virtually all city school districts in the nation) and responded accordingly.

Max Eden, another education policy expert at the Manhattan Institute, said surveys show schools with predominantly minority students have been hit hardest by the resulting breakdown in discipline, with violence and chaos mushrooming out of control in urban districts. Yes, because one of the few constancies with modern liberalism is that the people supposedly intended to be helped by progressive policies are hurt the most.

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The Post reports: “While NYC school suspensions are down, crime has spiked in the city’s public schools, including major crimes such as robbery and arson, new NYPD data show. The current academic year has seen the first school murder in more than 20 years — a stabbing at a Bronx high school — and the first time a gun was fired inside a (NYC) school in more than 15 years.”

New York Education Department data shows that rapes and other sex crimes are soaring at the city’s schools.

Democrats and civil-rights groups say that the policy regulations are a critical tool to protect black students from the systemic racism of teachers and administrators in public schools. Ironically, it only protects bad-behaving black students, while good behaving black and white students suffer the most.

None of this should come as a surprise. Disparate impacts is simply another way of stoking racial fervor — while also teaching young blacks that they are not responsible for their own actions — not actually solving any systemic racism. That is a lesson bound to redound terribly for those young blacks, and for other blacks in their communities.

However, it looks possible that the Parkland school shooter may have been the beneficiary of those policies. In 2013, the Broward County School Board entered into an agreement with local law-enforcement agencies designed to limit the number of school arrests and reduce the so-called “school-to-prison” path. The result was simply not arresting students who otherwise would have been. It explains why no actions were ever taken by the Democrat-run Broward County Sheriff’s Department or the Democrat-run Broward County School District. And that nexus has brought a bright and urgent light on the policy.

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U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has her department lawyers and staffers reviewing the policy and seeking to replace it with a much more narrowly defined policy that does not rely on disparate impact doctrine nonsense. Apparently, just eliminating it, however, could leave schools feeling politically pressured to continue the regulation. So writing a new, narrower, more sound policy is under consideration.

This would be an education reform that would directly help black students in city schools. Undoubtedly, most Americans support getting dangerous students out of schools.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.