John Bolton

John Bolton

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

With Dems War on Education, is It Any Wonder Students Don't Know History?

But you can bet each of these public school victims could tell you all about the fraud that is global warming!

A recent Pew Poll showed that 55% of younger respondents under 35 were opposed to sanctions applied to Russia for their seizure of Crimea. It's an odd result considering that overall, 59% support sanctions.

I guess we shouldn't be surprised that younger Americans have such an out of step view towards Russia. It's doubtful most of them could even locate that nation on a map. Earlier, I posted on the 78th anniversary of Hitler's invasion of the Rhineland and the 68th anniversary of Winston Churchill's
"Iron Curtain" speech.  With the poor quality of public education and particularly the failure to teach the importance of history I doubt many younger Americans have any clue what this history means or have any way to put the Crimean crisis into an historical context.

It's no secret that today's public schools are an abysmal failure when it comes to teaching history. This is backed up by dozens of surveys, studies and polls. So many anedotal examples highlight the problem. Students outside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC didn't know why he was a great man. Others were unaware that George Washington was the Father of our country. Many couldn't tell you why we fought the Second World War or who Hitler was. Others thought that John F. Kennedy was President during World War II and that Winston Churchill was one of his generals. (1,2,3,4). If you prefer some video documentation of the problem check out The "Lunch Scholars" where students are interviewed on history and civics questions in the lunchroom. Also, "94 Maidens - The Mandate Video" reveals the not surprising news that today's college students don't know about the Holocaust or World War II. How can they be expected to care about Crimea?

Of course if you were to go around to those same students and ask them about global warming they'd cheerfully parrot back the lies they had been taught in the classroom and pretend to be experts!

How Did We Get in This Mess? Ask the Democrats and Their Union Allies

It's no secret that the Teacher's unions give over 95% of their political contributions to support Democrats. In return Democrats do what the unions tell them to do. In his first few months in office Obama blocked funding for school choice programs in Washington, DC where some of the nation's worst schools (1,2) trap poor and minority students in schools that don't teach but do breed violence. For Obama, serving the entrenched special interests of the Teacher's unions appears to be more important than helping poor children.

Ditto for New York City where excited leftists elected uber liberal Bill DeBlasio is trying to shut down Charter Schools which are not handicapped by the Teacher's unions and provide superior education for poor and minority students compared to NYC public schools. Mona Charen takes up the story:
Just try to envision the scene: A newly elected Republican mayor of a large American city takes steps to close down some of the best schools serving an almost exclusively minority population. You know how it would go. We’d be hearing that Republicans “hate” the poor. The words “cruel,” “vicious,” and “racist” would circle the new mayor like sharks. News organizations would examine where the mayor sent his own children, and his hypocrisy would be fiercely denounced.

It is, of course, the new Democratic mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, who is shutting down a number of highly successful public charter schools (his son attends a magnet school). Charters are public schools run by parents or others and are not constrained by the usual public-school rules, hours, or curricula. Charters currently educate about 20 percent of the students in Harlem and the Bronx, boroughs known for a) poverty, b) unemployment, and c) abysmal public schools.

Students are chosen for charter schools by lottery, and if you’ve seen Waiting for Superman or The Cartel, you’ve seen the excruciating drama. The Harlem Success Academy is typical. It received 2,665 applications for 125 spots last year, making it more selective than the Ivy League. When the results are announced, a lucky few are jubilant. The faces of the remainder of the children are tear-stained and devastated. Those tears are haunting — unworthy of a great nation. We cannot wish away the problems of centuries (the legacy of slavery and discrimination), nor quickly solve the problems of crime and family disintegration that blight the lives of so many inner-city kids. But we can give them a shot at a good education — the indispensable (if not completely sufficient) ticket to success.
Even the very liberal New Yorker magazine acknowledges the remarkable results achieved by the Harlem Success Academy. “Last year, 64 percent of Harlem’s 3rd graders passed the state English exam and 88 percent passed the state math exam. At P.S. 123 . . . which is located in the same school building . . . only 18 percent of students passed the English test and only 5 percent passed the math test.”
Mayor de Blasio bulldozed into office swearing to take aim at the privileged and defend the powerless. If you know anything about leftists, you won’t be surprised that he is actually training his fire on the poorest and most vulnerable.
Reminds me of the Democrat claim that they want to help those without insurance get medical care but end up causing millions who had insurance to lose it!

Democrat Teacher's unions stand up for the needs of their members, NOT students. Two recent examples are a case in point:

First, in Michigan a teacher was convicted for raping a student. His union demanded he receive severance pay. Only after a huge public outcry was that demand withdrawn.

Next, at an elementary school in Fallsburg, NY heroin and needles were found in the teacher's bathroom. Teachers, led by their union, are refusing to submit to drug tests. The school, a "drug free zone" where a student would likely be suspended for possessing an aspirin but apparently the teachers union doesn't expect teachers to live up to the same standard.

We could go on and on with horror stories about public schools that don't teach and Democrat unions that don't care. Sadly, the biggest loser in this mess are the children. Democrats are waging a war on children!

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