new-logo251_002Author,  Chuck Frank

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 It is no secret that failing American schools, as a whole, has been influenced for decades by the hard progressive left and what exactly was the fruit that came from this diseased tree? 

Let’s take a look.

One source in 2015, the Washington Post, tells us the following with regard to students.

“Surely one reason why so many Americans lack writing skills is that, for decades, most U.S. schools failed to teach them. Back in 2011, a nationwide test found that only 24 percent of the students in 8th and 12th grades were proficient in writing, and just 3 percent were advanced…The Education Trust recently studied more than 1,200 middle school writing assignments to see whether they aligned with the Common Core standard and faulted them in part because they didn’t require students to write at length.”  We are talking short and medium essays.

One of the main reasons why they are unable to write is because they are not able to make a coherent sentence that is beyond simple.  If one lacks the skills for more complex sentences, then paragraphs become even harder.  Thus, a short essay becomes impossible.  And if a person cannot write they will never graduate from college. 

Consequently,  America has millions of students who have no upward mobility because of these facts which points to an educational system that has fallen from grace.

   Hopefully, as President Trump rolls out his master plan for education, it will include a mixture of ideas that will take American education out of the Stone Age.  And what might be on his short term agenda?  It is the beginning of defunding that federal educational octopus called Common Core.

   Donald Trump has also elected to appoint Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary who fought tirelessly for decades to give disadvantaged kids the opportunity to receive a great education.  DeVos has been a longtime backer of charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools.  On the surface, this might prove to be the long awaited solution to America’s failing schools.  Time will tell.

   Here’s my take. 

If America is looking for an educational model that works, I think it is time to stop experimenting with those no win game plans that don’t work.  It is time to look to educational successes in other counties that work, such as Finland who’s system is number 3 in the world.  What is Finland’s secret?  They don’t load kids with homework after school.  More simply, they don’t assign it. The children have recess  between every class while many students just ice skate during those breaks.  Teachers are carefully screened and chosen to meet Finnish standards of high excellence, and finally, students enjoy their schools.  Happy teaching and happy learning is Finland’s secret.  Their strategy is the opposite of what America is doing and the country has been the poster child for school improvement since it rapidly climbed to the top out of a Soviet style bureaucratic dark age system. 

But what transpired later was very little interference while recognizing the value of autonomy that schools need and enjoy, while at the same time there is very little interference by the central education administration. See, Finland’s
Successful School Reform:  http://www.nea.org/home/40991.htm

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