Originally written on 2015 August 5


I’m looking at this again and again and see NOTHING that has anything to do with TEACHING anything.

You would think that at some point the teachers and the students would get so engrossed in the subject matter that they would not even think of all these irrelevant side issues, presented in all these meaningless terms. Research-based projects? innovative resources? challenging standards? new teaching approach?

How about total immersion in English? That’s the only way anybody ever learned a new language. The “R&D” has been done on that through actual experience, centuries and millennia in the past and with every new generation since. How the heck do you think babies and toddlers learn?

How about the classics as the “challenging standards”? The reading list has been developed decades, centuries, millennia ago. What? WestEd and the other money-grubbing “reformers” have never heard of the Great Books? or libraries?

How about a visit with the vice principal for boys for some “restorative justice” to assure “school safety” and “crime prevention” and a “healthy school climate”? What? Kids were little angels in the past but all of a sudden they act like little hoodlums with fragile sensibilities? “Spare the rod, spoil the child…” (No, that does not mean you should beat the kid with a stick and no, the child will not “spoil” like meat left out in the sun…)

How about respecting the experience of the centuries and teaching the basic essentials that are applicable to any occupation or career that a kid may choose in his adult years, such as vocabulary and grammar and style, math and science, history and geography and civics, shop and music and art? What “research” must still be done to figure out what kids need to know? Are the teachers so stupid and so poorly educated and so badly prepared for their task that “research” still has to be done to help them with their professions? If so, send the failing “professionals” back to school before you let them loose on the kids.

How about letting the native American kids attend the same schools that everybody else does and thereby assure they can compete on equal footing with everybody else later in life? Why not let them learn about being Indian after they’ve learned about being American, and go to their special after school programs on their own time, just like Jewish, Chinese and other kids do? You can be an American and still be educated in your family’s heritage and traditions.

I don’t understand this obsession with delegitimizing the past and everything we have and should still be learning from the past, and pretending that nothing good has existed before, nothing good has been done before, and everything must be reinvented and reengineered for the present as if for the first time ever.

Unfortunately this ties all too well into a natural inclination for perceiving the world, evident especially in our approach to history, which is that the world did not exist before I became aware of it, and therefore nothing that has happened in the past is something I need to know or is relevant to me today. They say “those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it;” but that’s not correct. Those who ignore the past are doomed to be victimized and enslaved by all the same stupid tricks that have been pulled on their predecessors and are being pulled on them today by people who do learn from the past.

At the very least we the hapless taxpayers of Nevada are being victimized by the NDE awarding fat contracts to cronies such as WestEd to generate all this crap in the name of education reform.