Category Archives: Education

Freedom Rider: Charter school corruption

Every injustice in American life can be laid at the feet of the richest people in the country and the politicians who do their bidding. Nowhere is that terrible dynamic more obvious than in the destruction of public education by the charter school system. Continue reading

America’s threat-centric education system

Out of date and out of time

How can young people be encouraged and coached to narrate a “true” history of their lives and times in the world—and the events, people and geography that influence them—for the bulk of their literate existence (i.e., 21st century literate to include visual and technological literacy)? How can they be motivated to bypass the standard historical corporate media sanctioned fare of Steven Ambrose, Doris Kearns-Goodwin or David McCullough? How can they be motivated to collaborate and push against forces that seek to program them to accept “austerity” and “it is what it is”? How can America’s threat-centric, industrial education system be changed? Continue reading

Illiteracy challenges British and US future competitiveness

Throughout the Arab world, parents eye English education for their children, spending small fortunes on British-run private schools and colleges. Continue reading

Transforming America’s schools into authoritarian instruments of compliance

These days, it is far too easy to rattle off the outrageous examples of zero tolerance policy run amok in our nation’s schools. A 14-year-old student arrested for texting in class. Three middle school aged boys in Florida thrown to the ground by police officers wielding rifles, who then arrested them for goofing off on the roof of the school. A 9-year-old boy suspended for allegedly pointing a toy at a classmate and saying “bang, bang.” Two 6-year-old students in Maryland suspended for using their fingers as imaginary guns in a schoolyard game of cops and robbers. A 12-year-old New York student hauled out of school in handcuffs for doodling on her desk with an erasable marker. An 8-year-old boy suspended for making his hand into the shape of a gun, in violation of the school district’s policy prohibiting “playing with invisible guns.” A 17-year-old charged with a felony for keeping his tackle box in his car parked on school property, potentially derailing his chances of entering the Air Force. Two seventh graders in Virginia suspended for the rest of the school year for playing with Airsoft guns in their own yard before school. Continue reading

Common Core: A lesson plan for raising compliant, non-thinking citizens

As I point out in my new book, ‘A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State,’ there are several methods for controlling a population. You can intimidate the citizenry into obedience through force, relying on military strength and weaponry such as SWAT team raids, militarized police, and a vast array of lethal and nonlethal weapons. You can manipulate them into marching in lockstep with your dictates through the use of propaganda and carefully timed fear tactics about threats to their safety, whether through the phantom menace of terrorist attacks or shooting sprees by solitary gunmen. Or you can indoctrinate them into compliance from an early age through the schools, discouraging them from thinking for themselves while rewarding them for regurgitating whatever the government, through its so-called educational standards, dictates they should be taught. Continue reading

Elizabeth Warren’s QE for students: Populist demagoguery or economic breakthrough?

On July 1, interest rates will double for millions of students—from 3.4% to 6.8%—unless Congress acts; and the legislative fixes on the table are largely just compromises. Continue reading

‘A’ is for average

About 1.8 million students will graduate from college this year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. At least one-third of them will graduate with honors. In some colleges, about half will be honor graduates. Continue reading

Why humanity is doomed unless our schools start teaching our children how to think

Proposing a new discipline called sound thinking

At a bare minimum, our children must acquire skills in the “3 Rs” (reading, writing and ‘rithmetic) to succeed in life. Humanity is dangerously past due adding a fourth critical R to our children’s curriculum—reason (actually something much broader than reason, which I call sound thinking, outlined below). Continue reading

Majoring in minors: Turning our schools into totalitarian enclaves

Just as the 9/11 terrorist attacks created a watershed between the freedoms we enjoyed and our awareness of America’s vulnerability to attack, so the spate of school shootings over the past 10-plus years from Columbine to Newtown has drastically altered the way young people are perceived and treated, transforming them from innocent bystanders into both victims and culprits. Consequently, school officials, attempting to both protect and control young people, have adopted draconian zero tolerance policies, stringent security measures and cutting-edge technologies that have all but transformed the schools into quasi-prisons. Continue reading

The American education system is creating ignorant adults

There is an illuminating briefing produced by the Center for Digital Education titled Education Market Forecast, 2012. One page, in particular, displays where select US K-12 schools and universities would rank in the Fortune 500. The New York City K-12 school system, with US $18.5 billion in revenue, would be ranked number 136 far ahead of Marriot International and Yahoo, Inc. At the college level, the University of Michigan with US $5.8 billion in revenue ranks ahead of MasterCard and the Washington Post. Continue reading

The fight against the total surveillance state in our schools

The battle playing out in San Antonio, Texas, over one student’s refusal to comply with a public school campaign to microchip students has nothing to do with security concerns and even less to do with academic priorities. What is driving this particular program, which requires students to carry “smart” identification cards embedded with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking devices, is money, pure and simple—or to put it more bluntly, this program is yet another example of the nefarious collusion between government bureaucracy and corporate America, a way for government officials to dance to the tune of the corporate state, while unhesitatingly selling students to the highest bidder. Continue reading

The perfect education storm in Chicago

There is a perfect storm brewing in Chicago. But, unlike the book (The Perfect Storm, Junger, S. 1997) of the same name in which three storms converge to kill fishermen off of the coast of New England, this storm is the convergence of over three decades of the anti-union, the anti-teacher, and the anti-public education agenda in the US. Continue reading

Grade inflation; education degradation

As a society we have allowed our children to believe they are all not just above average but superior. Continue reading

Splitting hairs in a multi-cultural school

Sasha Rivera is a 15-year-old sophomore at the Multi-Cultural Academy Charter School (MACS) in Philadelphia. Continue reading

Taking us back to 1851: Far right law center seeks to bring Senate Bill 5 battle to local Ohio governments

News Director Sean Gilbow of WVKO 1580AM recently outed an extreme right-wing organization that is behind the attempt by Taxpayers for Westerville Schools to repeal the Westerville Public School levy. Westerville Schools, considered one of the premier school districts in central Ohio is coming under heavy attack from a small group of anti-government zealots that are bringing the politics of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and the Kochs to Ohio. Continue reading

How to improve public schools: Cut funding, terrorize teachers, send kids elsewhere, say lawmakers

How can we improve public education for our children? Continue reading

Will the kids forgive us?

Will the kids forgive us? As the world burns the United States education system remains belligerently set on stuck, blinders securely in place, unapologetically preparing young people to assume America’s saleable roles in the production lines of the gritty industrial world that was, is, and should be no more. Continue reading

Marketing and education—no passing marks here

Over two decades ago, when I first began to fully grasp the magnitude of the Internet, I was not particularly satisfied with this newest technology, focusing as I did on the negative possibilities and the likely changes to affect my private and professional life. As much as I resisted, however, I realized the Internet was a force of unstoppable magnitude and regardless of how I felt, the trendy future of interactivity and multimedia had already arrived. Continue reading