“An Ignorant but entertained populace is especially dangerous in a democracy, where the ignorant majority, basing their votes on 30-second TV commercials, can outvote the educated minority.“ ~ Jim Trelease, Why Read Aloud?
Another round of jawing* is in process, as politicians and educational elites pretend that they care about high school drop-outs. I suggest that officials are more concerned about the loss of state aid, based as it is on enrollment, than about the swarms of uneducated students leaving the nation’s public schools — with or without a diploma. Neither are Barry and his puppets concerned about students who dropped out last year; nor about the ones who dropped out the year before that; nor are the power elites concerned about the millions of students who dropped out in the past 5—6 decades. Prisons, welfare monies, and parts of all 50 states, house poorly educated, underachieving, and nonproductive adult-sized children. These are the people who are unemployed or underemployed. These are the people who cannot understand the far-reaching and extremely dangerous implications of electing a foreign national as a president, in direct violation of the Constitution. These are the people who proponents of socialism/communism prefer to shackle, smooze, and use.
Because this population — of knowledge and skill deprived /compromised individuals — forms the voting base for the Democratic party, I predict that there will be few, if any, stimulus dollars allotted to pay for skilled teachers working in well-planned remedial programs, for uneducated school leavers, of any age!
I, for one, am very angry that I am expected to financially support an extremely faulty public school system, only to then financially support the millions of individuals that the system fails. I believe that school graduates should have age-level academic and employment skills; good common sense; a broad general knowledge base. In addition, every one of them should fully understand both their Rights, as well as their Responsibilities, as citizens of America.
Public school apologists attempt to excuse their failures with complaints about: student misbehavior; illiterate and dysfunctional families. Jack Kelly, a superintendent at an Area Educational Agency in Iowa back when I taught there, taught a very wise lesson to anyone who would listen, and it bears repeating: WHAT YOU EXPECT IS WHAT YOU GET. Think about it.
Skilled, intelligent, and intuitive teachers, using sensible techniques and methods, can develop eager students by way of presentation and enthusiasm for the subjects. Those same teachers use motivational "hooks" that turn reluctant learners into eager ones. Eager students are not behavior problems when their needs are met. Those students who refuse to respond to skilled teaching, and continue to be behavior problems, do not belong in any classroom.
With this all in mind, I would love to open new schools; ones created to skillfully use traditional methods and materials; to rapidly re-educate anyone who 1) was cheated by the expensive and ineffective public schooling system of America, and 2) is motivated to learn. No misbehaviors; no missing assignments; no wasting of time allowed. Here, then, I offer the Schrock-Taylor Plan for free market schools that will stimulate and educate: the drop-outs, the left-outs, the victims of low expectation schools. Only those with high expectations, high hopes, and reachable goals need apply. (I make those stipulations because, when I taught at a de facto segregated school in the south, most of the male students stated their life goals as being "to become a professional athlete or a pimp.")
NAME: HIGH EXPECTATIONS HIGH SCHOOL
Program: Intensive and expert remedial instruction for motivated adults (ages 16+); followed by 11th and 12th grade-level core academic instruction designed specifically as preparation for life and the working world. High school diplomas awarded upon satisfactory completion of all course work.
Plan: A – Prep Year(s): Specific remediation and repair of reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic/math, English, vocabulary, and thinking skills.
B – 11th Grade:
- English & Composition
- Literature & Its Relevance to Life
- Algebra I
- Earth Science/Life Science
- American History
- Logic, Philosophy, and Debate
- Tutoring and Support Seminar
C – 12th Grade:
- English & Composition
- American Literature/World Literature
- Algebra II
- U.S. Government
- World History
- Austrian Economics for Life and Family Management
- Tutoring and Support Seminar
I believe that such schools would be successful because human beings are not content, and rapidly lose self-esteem, when they are ineffective in life. A wise professor once asked my class, "How many people do you know who, when asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, answered that they wanted to be lousy parents; criminal; illiterates; or maybe an ignorant employee?" Think about it. I have been for 40 years.
Children want to grow up to be something, but too often schools undermine and/or thwart their goals. After the turbulent teens, young people often reflect on their mistakes and wish so that they had paid better attention and applied themselves more while in school. Their conclusions come too late and the wasted potential is immeasurable. My schools would give individuals very important second chances. My schools would educate citizens — citizens capable of seeing the value in a constitutional America.
Schools like those I envision must come from the free market, because Barry and the Democrats have nothing but lip service to offer a country populated by increasing numbers of illiterate people. Barry and the Democrats love those mind-altering 30-second commercials.
* jawing — my Grandmother’s word for 1) unproductive chatter, yapping; 2) time-wasting "yah, yah, yah" which speakers use to express phony concern in a positive manner. Example: Those politicians spent the entire year — just as they do every year — jawing about what needs to be done to stop students from walking away from failing, irrelevant, boring schools in order to get on with their lives.
Linda Schrock Taylor [send her mail] is a reading specialist (continually seeking ways to improve her methods for Rapid Reading Remediation); a former public school teacher (The nail that sticks out is the one that gets hammered…); and a former homeschooling parent (whose son, now 20, insisted upon growing up, putting an end to all the fun). Linda now teaches English composition at a state university and is writing her first book.