California to students: you may not be able to read, write, add and subtract; but you will be able to separate the bottles from the cans and blame the weather on global warming!

There is nothing remotely progressive about so-called progressive education...

Once again the so-called "progressives," a term which is often synonymous with far-left socialistic democrats, are moving students away from the core basics of learning into the realm of "touchie-feelie"  subjects as part of California's great social engineering experiment to turn out students who cannot survive without government assistance and subsidies.

California Senate Bill S.B. 908 is now attempting to legally mandate the teaching of "climate change" as part of the science curriculum.

"...state board and the department shall revise, as necessary, the framework in science to include the necessary elements to teach environmental education, including, but not limited to, all of the following topics: (1) Integrated waste management. (2) Energy conservation. (3) Water conservation and pollution prevention. (4) Air resources. (5) Integrated pest management. (6) Toxic materials. (7) Wildlife conservation and forestry. (8) Climate change."
California Senate Bill S.B. 908 -- Joe Simitian

While I would have no objection to adding atmospheric studies to the general science curriculum, what bugs me is the "politically correct" manner in which such subjects are discussed.

I guess I will have to wait until the expensive textbooks have been approved to find out weather or not (sorry for the PUN, I couldn't resist it!) the specious theory that carbon dioxide is the cause of  man-made global warming  is what will be taught in school; and that man can reverse the effects of global climate change by instituting a political policy of carbon caps and emissions credits. Of course, nobody will be able to measure the difference for at least 800 to 1000 years in the future.

Measurable performance thirty-five years is stagnant. 

But what we can measure tells a sad and distressing tale. SAT (Scholatic Aptitude Test) Math scores have been essentially flat since 1972 and reading results lower. According to the College Board: from 1972 to 2007, reading average scores declined from 530 to 502 and average math scores went from 509 to 515. Not an impressive performance considering 35 years of "progressive" education under the tutelege of teacher's unions.

Using limited school time wisely...

Instead of modifying the science curriculum to further reduce the student's time studying physics, chemistry, astronomy and other science subjects which will provide a broad background in the "scientific method" and critical analytical thinking skills, the California legislators are inserting nonsense subjects that are best treated as part of a social studies or modern living course.

In fact, why not simply have a single course entitled, "Feel Good by Voting for Democrats" and use the remainder of the school year to teach the necessity skills (reading, writing, and mathematics), the thinking and context skills (philosophy and history), and the coping skills (homemaking, obtaining employment, entrepreneurship, proper English, proper grooming) and the living skills (physical education and health) that actually assist children in achieving their life goals.

Good 'ole Joe... professional politician and lawyer

A glance at the bill's author will tell you all you have to know...

S. Joseph Simitian (born February 1, 1953) is a Democratic California State Senator, who was elected to replace the term-limited Byron Sher in the 2004 elections. The 11th Senate District encompasses all or part of 13 cities in San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz counties, including Atherton, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park , Redwood City, California, San Carlos, Campbell, Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Palo Alto, San Jose, Capitola, and Santa Cruz, as well as unincorporated areas of those three counties.

Simitian is married to Mary Hughes, a Bay Area political consultant. Simitian proposed to Mary Hughes on election night on November 14th 1996 upon being elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors representing District 5.

  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, cum laude (with academic honors), The Colorado College
  • Master of Arts, International Policy Studies, Stanford University
  • Master of City Planning, University of California, Berkeley
  • Juris Doctor, Boalt Hall School of Law at University of California, Berkeley
  • Apparently a very bright man, a left-leaning liberal politician seeking a greater career in politics and/or public policy. Unfortunately, to my way of thinking, another politically correct politician with his head up his political ass.

    What can YOU do?

    Realize that Teacher's organizations and unions do not care a whit about education and students except as  talking points. They are more interested in building their dues-paying membership and accumulating more political power. They are anti-school choice and dead set against any measure of teacher competency. These unions, with their far-left leadership, have done more to damage the competency and competitiveness of American society than almost any other institution. And they support politicians who will further their cause... even over those who would help children read and right first!

    Do not elect politicians to local school boards and recognize that even though a school administrator was once a classroom teacher, priorities and allegiances quickly change from helping children to securing their own tenure and perks.

    Realize that education is about rationality and not about political correctness or social engineering. There are only a few core competencies (reading, writing, arithmetic, learning and communications skills) which must be mastered before real learning can proceed. Waffling over the historic prevalence of European white men over indigenous peoples buys you nothing in today's job market.

    Realize that there is no justification for thirty and forty dollar textbooks when a significant amount of core educational materials are already in the public domain and available for royalty-free use. Pandering to the special interest textbook suppliers and politically correct crowd demanding revised teaching materials is creating havoc within our teaching systems. Remember the "whole language" learning experiment which created five- to ten-years of function illiterates?

    If you stuff a class chock full of people who speak little or no English, dumb down the materials to be easily absorbed by people with lesser skills, test on the basis of the lowest common denominator and grade based on the social acceptance of peers and feelings of individual students, you are creating a self-perpetuating downward spiral into mediocrity first, failure second, and finally subjugation by those smart enough to escape the gravitational drag of modern school systems. 

    Keep politics and liberals out of our educational systems. What we need is more Mrs. Langstons (2nd grade), Mrs. Cannons (4th Grade), and Mrs. Shapiros (6th grade) who were caring, but no-nonsense teachers. You followed school rules, did your classwork, did your homework and knew that your parents were showing up at the twice-a-year parent's night to see your progress displayed against your fellow students. Only in arts and crafts did you get a break.

    In junior high, a similar situation where in addition to learning the academic subjects you could take wood shop (Mr. Silvera), metal shop (Mr. Barber), electric shop (Mr. Paden), Drafting (Mr. Cavanaugh), and printing (Mr. Helsley) to insure that you could use tools and could make household repairs without fear.

    And with a good elementary and junior high school background, you could progress with some degree of certainty ever upward.

    We did not have gang fights, sex in the classroom, drive-by shootings, school lock-downs or students with weapons. Most of the boys had pocket knives but they were never used for weapons. You did not threaten your teacher with death and mayhem. Your parents did not threaten to sue the school system at the drop of a hat. If you had a problem with another student, you worked it out -- fights lasted less than one-minute and you frequently became friends before the end of the semester.

    We had our share of poor students and students of migrant worker families. We made do with what we had and shared everything. There was a community of students.

    Of course, there were social problems, good and bad students, good and bad children and the ever-present social cliques. Problems were dealt with expeditiously. 

    One major difference was parental involvement which seems lacking in today's educational scenario. In my neighborhood, you were responsible to any adult -- not only your parents. You could be busted for bad behavior by a neighbor as well as your parents. The police, in this case neighbor Johnny Huey, were friends to all and were not feared.

    Extra-curricular activities like the Brownies, Bluebirds, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts were free from political influence. We could wear our uniform shirts to school without fear or ridicule.

    Times have changed and often not for the better. Which leads us to the conservative philosophy of introducing social change slowly and without major disruptive effects.

    We need to regress to teaching core values and imposing old-time discipline on children. Gang and other criminal activity should not be tolerated. Rehabilitative experiments should not be performed in an atmosphere that puts other children at risk.

    School is not a day care center, a means to provide supplemental support to poor families or a tool for social engineering. It should retain its core focus on learning above all other social and political agendas, hidden or otherwise.

    Do not elect career politicians or failed administrators to supervise school systems. And wherever possible, do not elect lawyers to any public position.

    And do not mandate the teaching of specious scientific theories as being fact. Theories are just that: theories, no more or no less.

    -- steve

    A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

    The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius


    Bill would require California's science curriculum to cover climate change|San Jose Mercury News

    “Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

    “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

    “Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

    “The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

    "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

    “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

    “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

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