American schools are producing illiterates by the millions and burning through dollars by the billions – and it’s all by design, according to international journalist and educator Alex Newman.
“It’s no accident that we’re getting the kinds of terrible education results that we’re seeing right now,” Newman said in a recent interview on “The Steve Malzberg Show.”
See the interview:
“Common Core is not going to fix this problem, and neither are these federally funded tests,” he said.
In his new book, “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children,” coauthored with Samuel Blumenfeld, Newman reveals just how bad the situation is.
For example, three-quarters of American students who earn a high-school diploma are unprepared for college coursework. Thirty percent of high-school graduates can’t pass the U.S. military entrance exam, which is focused on basic reading and math skills. More than 600,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs sit vacant because there aren’t enough qualified candidates to fill them.
Across the country this spring, students are scheduled to take federally funded tests that align with the Common Core standards.
The resistance already has been strong. In most areas where the tests are not mandatory, many students have chosen to opt out of the testing.
New York State has emerged as the center of resistance to Common Core. In some school districts, well over half of the students refused to take their Common Core-aligned tests this spring. In one Long Island district, 82 percent of students opted out. One teachers’ union, New York State United Teachers, has actually encouraged parents to opt their kids out of the tests.
Newman is delighted to see so much resistance to Common Core.
“It is extremely encouraging to witness the growing resistance to Common Core and the massive numbers of students and parents that are choosing to opt out of this Orwellian, federally funded testing regime,” he told WND.
“The controversial tests, in addition to serving as one of the primary enforcement mechanisms for the Obama administration-backed Common Core fiasco, are gathering unimaginable amounts of data on children for use by federal education bureaucrats. This is simply unacceptable, and it is great to see parents and teachers defying this outrageous plan.”
Common Core has faced criticism from both the left and the right.
“It is encouraging to see this growing alliance against Common Core that transcends party lines, ideology, and every other division,” he said. “As we show in our book, the Common Core nightmare is bringing Americans together like never before to take a fundamental look at what is going on in the government education system. This is a very healthy and extremely positive development that should have come decades ago.
“The American people need to stand united against Common Core and the associated tests, and one of the best ways to do that, at this point, is to simply refuse to participate. If policymakers continue to ignore the public outcry, they do so at their own peril.”
Newman believes lawmakers are not truly interested in what the public thinks of Common Core because the lawmakers want to use it to dumb down American children. In “Crimes of the Educators,” Newman and Blumenfeld write about John Dewey, the progressive education reformer of the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The authors argue that Dewey and his allies developed a new method of teaching children to read, called the whole-word method, that has had disastrous results. Newman laments that the whole-word method is still being taught in many public schools today.
“They literally teach the kids to read English as if it were Chinese rather than the traditional phonics method that has worked since time immemorial, and that’s at the root of so many of the problems we have in our country today,” Newman explained on Malzberg’s show.
Politicians and education bureaucrats often claim that students are doing so poorly in school because governments don’t spend enough money on education, so their proposed solutions are very costly, Newman points out.
For example, it was estimated in 2014 that states would have to spend $10 billion up front to implement Common Core and then up to $800 million per year for the first seven years of the program.
Newman thinks federal and state governments are stuck in an endless cycle of spending money on strategies that don’t work. But he believes the cycle will never end on its own because the powers-that-be don’t want American children to get smarter.
“The educational establishment will never put a stop to it on its own,” he declared. “The American people need to find out what’s going on. They don’t need more billions, they need less billions, and they need to be exposed.”