Special Rant From An Expert!
This excellent article appeared on NewsMax today. In case any of you failed to see it, I wanted it front and center here. This is well worth the read! Deb V
NEWSMAX.COM - The Anatomy of Ignorance
Dr. Phyllis Unger
and Robert Unger, Esq.
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2002
This article is the first in a series that will discuss the horrifying state of American education. We will focus on what is being taught and what is not being taught. We will delve into who the teachers are and who trains them. What is the intellectual level of those who become teachers? What are their SAT scores and educational accomplishments or lack thereof? After all, in order to impart knowledge you have to have knowledge. Is your child’s teacher an intellect or someone scraped from the bottom of the academic barrel?
We will explore whether there is a scientifically validated disease known as ADD/HD or is it a fraud perpetrated on children and parents to increase funding and profit for the education and drug industries. It’s time for the American people to take their heads out of the sand and act like citizens of a republic instead of lemmings going over a cliff.
Most parents realize that the American educational system is replete with incompetent teachers and illiterate students. However, the incompetents are never their kids’ teachers and the illiterates are never their kids. Well, guess what; the literacy challenged are your kids.
Even Albert Shanker, former president of the American Federation of Teachers, estimated that only 5 percent of college graduates can read at an advanced level. Of course, few notice this because the SATs have been renormed to make scores higher and standards have been lowered across the board. After all, if you lower the rim enough, even a dwarf can dunk.
The following books do an excellent job of documenting everything I say: "Dumbing Down your Kids” by Charles Sykes, "The Conspiracy of Ignorance” by Martin Gross, "Inside American Education” by Dr. Thomas Sowell, "The Whole Language OBE Fraud” by Samuel Blumenfeld, "Educating for the New World Order” by Beverly Eakman, and "Why Johnny Can’t Read” by Rudolph Flesch. I suggest you read these books and then more closely examine your child’s school.
The bureaucrats, educrats, politicians and media mandarins jabber on about the urgent need to further bilk taxpayers in order to help educate "our children.” I have a brief response to them all; it’s the curriculum, stupid!
Trained to Fail
The reason why Americans are poor readers is quite simple; they were trained to be poor readers. As Rudolph Flesch pointed out in his best-selling classic, "Why Johnny Can’t Read,” children are instructed to read English as if it were Chinese. English is an alphabetic language whereas Chinese is a pictographic language. Why would anyone teach English as if it were Chinese? Aren’t they the ones that care about "our children”?
The English language is composed of 44 basic sounds known as phonemes. The letters of the alphabet, either individually or in groups, correspond with these sounds. The alphabet is a code, and the process of sounding out words is therefore called decoding. Once you teach a first grader to make the symbol-sound connection, he or she will read with relative ease. The only way to really tell if your child can read is to place a new book in front of the child and have him read out loud as you look over his shoulder.
Now all this may sound like plain common sense to you, but among members of the educracy, common sense is commonly uncommon. Teachers’ colleges around the nation routinely train these illiteracy producers to utilize a reading methodology alternately known as "whole language,” "psycholinguistics,” "look say” and whatever else the latest fashion may dictate.
What all of the foregoing terms have in common is that they do not teach the symbol-sound connection in an intensive systematic manner. Instead, they have kids memorize so-called "sight words” and guess the words they don’t recognize from the context of so-called "clues.”
'Learning Disorder' Is a Teaching Disorder
The clues can be pictures or other words that the child can recognize within the sentence. As a result of this word recognition or whole language method, the child will try to read a word the way he recognizes a familiar face. However, a face doesn’t have to be recognized from left to right. As a result, words are not decoded from left to right, and student victims of this horrible incompetence are labeled "dyslexic” when they are really "teachlexic.”
Of course all of this so-called dyslexia spawns an ever-growing education blob. Special-education funding increases incrementally as illiteracy increases exponentially.
But of course, this benefits the psych industry and the drug industry, both of which profit from placing children on Ritalin. Never mind that studies have shown Ritalin to be "more potent than cocaine.” Why should cold facts stand in the way of warm feelings that come from making "our children” more "manageable”?
Dumbing Down Citizens ... and Voters
Come to think of it, illiteracy makes the population more manageable. Intelligent people think in words. As the intricacy of vocabulary grows, so does the level of abstract thought.
On the other hand, as we dumb down the vocabulary, we dumb down the level of thinking to that of an aboriginal tribe. It was the alphabet that greatly contributed to the superior advancements of Western civilization compared to those civilizations that drew pictures on cave walls.
A highly literate individual has now become a threat to the establishment. After all, an independent advanced reader doesn’t need to get his information from the boobs on the tube such as Dan Blather. They can read Bernard Goldberg’s expose of the CBS regime's biased propaganda, which CBS passes off to the Jerry Springer crowd as news.
In Samuel Blumenfeld’s excellent book "The OBE Whole Language Fraud,” Thomas Sticht, assistant to former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, is quoted in the Aug. 17, 1987 Washington Post as follows:
"Many companies have moved operations to places with cheap, relatively poor educated labor. What may be crucial, they say, is the dependability of a labor force and how well it can be managed and trained – not its general educational level, although a small cadre of highly educated creative people is essential to innovation and growth. Ending discrimination and changing values are probably more important than reading in moving low-income families into the middle class.”
Mr. Blumenfeld also quotes professor Anthony G. Oettinger, chairman of the Center for Information Policy Research at Harvard University and a member of the elitist Council on Foreign Relations, telling an audience of communications executives in 1981:
"Our idea of literacy, I am afraid, is obsolete because it rests on a frozen and classical definition. Literacy, as we know it today, is the product of the conditions of the industrial revolution, of urbanization, of the need for a work force that could, in effect, ‘write in a fine round hand.’...”
Obviously the professor either doesn’t realize the fact, or wants to hide the fact that we’ve become less literate since the Founding Fathers and it is the urban public schools that have dumbed us down. God help us all if the elite "cadre” of Messrs. Sticht and Oettinger turn us into their "manageable” illiterate worker bees.
Dr. Phyllis Unger is a reading tutor and can be reached at (516) 829-8356.
Link to original article - http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/9/24/185642.shtml
Reproduced with the permission of NewsMax.com. All rights reserved.