MAINE 'S NEVER-ENDING ASSAULT ON TRADITIONAL EDUCATION

 

 By Charlotte Iserbyt

April 9, 2006

In 1990 our family bought a Greek Revival house in Bath , Maine , built in 1870 during the great days of sailing ships. The house contained demanding and beautiful books used in Bath at that time, a treasure trove that gave me total documentation that education in the late 1800s, which only went through 8th grade, was vastly superior to 12th grade “education” in Maine today.

These college-level school books, as well as the Salina, Kansas 1898 eighth grade final exam (on the Internet) which the average Harvard graduate could not pass, supported conclusions I had reached over a period of thirty years as a researcher, school board member, co-founder, with Bettina Dobbs, of Guardians of Education for Maine (1980-1998), and Sr. Policy Advisor in the U.S. Department of Education 1980-1982. Those conclusions were that the creation of moral chaos and the “dumbing down” of America have been deliberate in order to move our nation towards the totalitarian, socialist World Government called for by Lenin and Stalin.

Citizens who know nothing of their country’s history, its free economic and political systems, or of those alien systems such as democracy, fascism, socialism, and communism, who cannot read well, write or calculate, will accept whatever the highly paid “change agents” feed them in regard to “the need for change.” Example: citizens’ acceptance of free trade (NAFTA and GATT) which sounds so nice but is really socialistic international “redistribution of wealth.” If a citizen doesn’t know what he has, how can he know or care when that thing is taken from him?

The danger in not teaching our children American history and their rights under the Constitution and Bill of Rights was underscored by a recent survey commissioned by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and conducted at 339 U.S. colleges and universities which found that more than 2/3 of students and administrators were unable to remember that freedom of religion and the press are guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. When asked what essential rights are protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, over 1/4 failed to mention freedom of speech and over 3/4 did not name freedom of assembly or the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. Only 21% mentioned freedom of religion, and less than 30% mentioned freedom of the press.

How long will Maine citizens support the highly paid education “change agents” in Augusta as they continue to bulldoze what was prior to 1965 a good academic education system… under the guise of accountability (the dubious saving of money through consolidation/regionalism, which is communism.) restructuring, revisioning, Guiding Principles, Maine Learning Results and the present highly controversial international lifelong, School-to- Work system which, by the way, is the same failed system used in socialist/communist countries?

The frightening flavor (scare tactics!) of this latest un-American “dumbing-down” agenda is expressed in the following question posed by the Select Panel on Revisioning Education for Maine :

“Will a global economy coupled with chemical and biological tools of warfare necessitate new forms of governance, citizenship and divisions of world resources and power. We cannot really know.”

The latest “Draft for State Board of Education Receipt…Select Panel on Revisioning Education in Maine” goes on to recommend the consolidation of Maine’s 286 small school units into 35 large school units, necessitating the building of Taj Mahal-size schools to serve not only students but the entire community, the type one sees sprouting up across the country. Did Maine taxpayers learn nothing from the disastrous results of the 1957 Sinclair Act which consolidated many of Maine ’s small schools in the sixties?

What blew my mind in this Select Panel’s Draft was the following blatant admission of what many taxpayers have been complaining about for a long, long time…

Maine has one of the most expensive public school systems in the nation and yet our results measured by multiple indices are flat through recent years.”

Really? Why admit this now? Because they need a disaster (a crisis/scare tactics) in order to get the taxpayers so upset they will cough up more millions of dollars for the next bound-to-fail (academically, that is) reform movement. Remember the National Commission On Excellence which resulted in the publication of “A Nation At Risk” which conned Americans into supporting the very restructuring which culminated in the controversial Pavlovian, lowest common denominater Outcomes-Based Education (OBE); America 2000; Goals 2000; the School-to-Work Opportunities Act; and the very highly controversial No Child Left Behind Act. (This writer worked in the office which prepared the “Nation at Risk” Report and I heard the late Secretary of Education T. H. Bell say, in 1981, at the first “closed-to-the public” meeting of the Commission, that “We need a crisis in order to move ahead with the radical changes necessary for education restructuring.”)

The change agents in Augusta, including our elected officials, have some nerve expecting us to pay for another round of reform which has nothing to do with traditional “academics” and your child’s future upward mobility, and much to do with Pavlovian, robotic “training” for low paying third-world jobs for the planned global economy! In “Human Capital and America’s Future: An Economic Strategy for the Future” co-edited by David Hornbeck, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, one finds a shocking statement: “Employer beliefs about the superior capabilities of educated people turned out NOT to be confirmed in practice; educated employees have higher turn-over rates, lower job satisfaction, and poorer promotion records than less educated employees.” Hornbeck’s statement about the preference for dumbed-down employees is not to be taken lightly since he is probably the principal designer of national education/school-to-work restructuring proposals upon which Maine ’s “revisioning” agenda is based.

The Panel recommends “expanding school choice” and that does not mean traditional private school or home school choice, but government-funded (controlled) private education which includes tuition tax credits, vouchers, charter schools and virtual computerized charter schools used by home schoolers to be connected with the school district’s central office! Charter schools are designed to provide job training in a“planned” (socialist) economy.

Recommends preparing leaders as “change agents.” This writer was trained in 1976 to be a change agent, which includes “identifying resisters:” those smart taxpayers who resist controversial no-right/no wrong dumbing down programs being implemented in the schools. The first national headquarters for change agent training, the National Training Laboratories, was established in the fifties in Bethel , Maine .

Recommends laptop computers for grades 5-12 and calls for integrating technology into student learning, teaching and living, and makes the very dubious claim that recent research demonstrates that students benefit from use of technology.

Recommends “Improving Teacher Quality by Monitoring and Coaching,” This recommendation mirrors recommendations in the Carnegie Corporation’s “A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century which says in part “The practice of teaching must be influenced by and evaluated on the basis of research.” Was the superior, inexpensive education in Bath , Maine and in Salina , Kansas in the 1890s based on research? (This writer served as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education from whence all the research for the “dumbing down” curricula and values destroying programs and methods emanated!) I pity the poor teachers and students being “monitored and coached,” conditioned and experimented on like Pavlovian dogs.

Recommends a longer school year, with a 20% increase in school time; half for professional development.

Believes that “dramatic change needs to occur in the governance and political organization of the system” mirroring all the national restructuring reports of the nineties. His is a scarey one! and “clearly defines school board responsibilities” which means reduces/limits traditional school board authority and responsibilities.

Maine citizens must oppose this alien agenda, especially its call for another failed consolidation of our schools and and its recommendations for publicly-funded private education, which is not “choice” at all, and which includes federally-funded charter schools.

There is nothing new about this plan proposed by the Select Panel on Revisioning Education in Maine . This agenda reaches back to 1927 at least, when Dr. Augustus Thomas, Maine ’s Commissioner of Education, spoke to the World Federation of Education Associations (WFEA). Thomas said in part
“…This means that the world must await a long process of education and a building up of public conscience and an international morality, or, in other words, until there is a world-wide sentiment which will back up the modern conception of a world community. This brings us to the international mind, which is nothing more or less than the habit of thinking of foreign relations and business affecting the several countries of the civilized world as free co-operating equals.

“As Maine goes, so goes the nation” applies equally in regard to education. Maine has always been a “pilot” state, a lighthouse for the rest of the country for education change from academics to work force training necessary for U.S. participation in unconstitutional world government.

It is time its citizens say “STOP!…LEAVE US ALONE!”

Article Selection

Death Of Free Will - Iserbyt / Niwa - PDF format - 11/10/10

United States-People's republic of China Education Agreement - 5/1/10

Obama's Health Care Plan - 8/8/09

Iraq Veteran Victim of Government Abuse - 11/23/07

Operation Save U.S. - 3/7/07

The North American Soviet Union - 2/27/07

The Devil's Seven Prong Fork - 1/13/07

Restoring The Draft - 6/5/06

Maine's Never Ending Assault On Traditional Education - 4/9/06

Happy New Year Gift - 1/3/06

Reject Political Correctness! 'Shout Merry Christmas' - 12/7/05

Preparing Children For Virtual/World Classrooms - Part 2 - 8/29/05

Revolution In Education - Soviet Style - Part 1 - 8/29/05

The Robotic CAFTA Vote - 7/28/05

Help Defeat CAFTA - 7/25/2005

Hooray For France! - 5/31/05

Base Closures : Disarming America - 5/27/05

Unanimous Treason - 5/12/05

Miracles Still Happen! - 4/9/05

Refuse The National I.D. Card - 2/12/05

Bush Admin Hiring of Ex-KGB Chiefs to Develop Internal Passport - 1/9/05
(Letter to Nancy Pelosi)


Intelligence Reform's Internal Passport - 12/31/04
Published in The Times Record, Brunswick Me.

Shame On Buchanan - 10/21/04

"Achtung! Your Passport, Bitte" - 10/14/04

Background Paper on President Reagan and the U.S. Department of Education - 6/16/04

Many Ways To Skin A Cat - 6/6/04

American Culture Takes a Hit - 5/7/04

You'll Know It's True When It Happens To You - 3/7/04

Warning : The Impending Draft - 2/25/04

Regionalism is Communism - 2/4/04

Walks Like a Duck, Talks Like a Duck... - 1/16/04

Happy New Year : Keep Your Eye On The Ball - 1/1/04

"Uncle Sam Wants You, Your Sister, and Your Girlfriend or Wife" - 11/11/03

United States-Russian Merger: a Done Deal? - 10/16/03

Bush Must Go! - 8/4/03

Former KGB Heads To Help Spy On Americans - 4/24/03

Former USSR Premier/ex KGB Head To Work for Homeland Security! - 4/23/03

Community/ Communist Oriented Policing - 2/13/03


New Spectator Sport for Americans...Watch it Play Out! - 2/1/03

Kissinger out of the Closet - 11/27/02


Cold War Myth: An Exercise in the Use of the Dialectic - 11/23/02

Death Sentence for Private and Home Education, Courtesy of Supreme Court -7/8/02


 No American Left Alone - 4/12/02

 The Pizza Choice Game

  The Choice Charade