Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

U.S. millennials perform horribly on technology tests compared to other countries

Education spending has tripled since 1970

Education spending has tripled since 1970

This is from the leftist Washington Post.

Excerpt:

There was this test. And it was daunting. It was like the SAT or ACT — which many American millennials are no doubt familiar with, as they are on track to be the best educated generation in history — except this test was not about getting into college. This exam, given in 23 countries, assessed the thinking abilities and workplace skills of adults. It focused on literacy, math and technological problem-solving. The goal was to figure out how prepared people are to work in a complex, modern society.

And U.S. millennials performed horribly.

That might even be an understatement, given the extent of the American shortcomings. No matter how you sliced the data – by class, by race, by education – young Americans were laggards compared to their international peers. In every subject, U.S. millennials ranked at the bottom or very close to it, according to a new study by testing company ETS.

“We were taken aback,” said ETS researcher Anita Sands. “We tend to think millennials are really savvy in this area. But that’s not what we are seeing.”

The test is called the PIAAC test. It was developed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, better known as the OECD. The test was meant to assess adult skill levels. It was administered worldwide to people ages 16 to 65. The results came out two years ago and barely caused a ripple. But recently ETS went back and delved into the data to look at how  millennials did as a group. After all, they’re the future – and, in America, they’re poised to claim the title of largest generation from the baby boomers.

U.S. millennials, defined as people 16 to 34 years old, were supposed to be different. They’re digital natives. They get it. High achievement is part of their makeup. But the ETS study found signs of trouble, with its authors warning that the nation was at a crossroads: “We can decide to accept the current levels of mediocrity and inequality or we can decide to address the skills challenge head on.”

The challenge is that, in literacy, U.S. millennials scored higher than only three countries.

In math, Americans ranked last.

In technical problem-saving, they were second from the bottom.

“Abysmal,” noted ETS researcher Madeline Goodman. “There was just no place where we performed well.”

Nope. U.S. millennials with master’s degrees and doctorates did better than their peers in only three countries, Ireland, Poland and Spain. Those in Finland, Sweden and Japan seemed to be on a different planet.

Top-scoring U.S. millennials – the 90th percentile on the PIAAC test – were at the bottom internationally, ranking higher only than their peers in Spain. The bottom percentile (10th percentile) also lagged behind their peers.

Now the problem can’t be to spend more money on education – we already spend more money than all the other countries.

Excerpt:

The United States spent more than $11,000 per elementary student in 2010 and more than $12,000 per high school student. When researchers factored in the cost for programs after high school education such as college or vocational training, the United States spent $15,171 on each young person in the system — more than any other nation covered in the report.

That sum inched past some developed countries and far surpassed others. Switzerland’s total spending per student was $14,922 while Mexico averaged $2,993 in 2010. The average OECD nation spent $9,313 per young person.

So the solution has to be something else. What could it be? Previously, I linked to some ideas from Bobby Jindal. I think that’s the direction that we need to go in if we are to solve the problem. It’s pretty clear that raising taxes and throwing more money at teachers who can never be fired no matter how badly they perform is not the answer. It’s probably a good idea for kids to focus less on indoctrinating kids in leftist ideology, e.g. – sex education, postmodern skepticism and moral relativism. It’s probably a better idea for parents to take more responsibility for raising their kids and making sure that they do their homework and develop a love of learning. But that would require that we teach children as projects and have goals for them that we push them towards.

Filed under: News, , , ,

Five-year old girl punished by school for pointing crayon at classmate

Martha L. Peek, Superintendent

Martha L. Peek, Superintendent

Reason #54,993 why you should not send your child to public schools.

Excerpt:

Mobile mother is not happy about a controversial Mobile County School contract her daughter signed without her consent. The contract promises that her daughter will not kill or injure herself and others.

Rebecca is angry.

“This isn’t right. She’s 5-years-old,” said Rebecca.

Rebecca did not want Local 15 News to use her last name. She said E R Dickson school officials crossed the line when they had her daughter sign a Mobile County Public Safety Contract without her being present.

Rebecca said, “Most of these words on here, she’s never heard in her life.”

School officials told Rebecca they had to send Elizabeth home after an incident in class.

“They told me she drew something that resembled a gun,” said Rebecca. “According to them she pointed a crayon at another student and said, ‘pew pew,” said Rebecca.

She said her child was given a questionnaire to evaluate her for suicidal thoughts.

“[They] Asked her if she was depressed now,” said Rebecca.

Without her permission, Rebecca said her child was given the Mobile County Public School Safety Contract to sign stating she wouldn’t kill herself or others.

“While I was in the lobby waiting they had my 5-year-old sign a contract about suicide and homicide,” said Rebecca.

According to state law, minors cannot legally sign a contract.

“There should be a different way to handle this situation. If this is protocol it needs to be looked at again,” said Rebecca.

Local 15 News contacted school officials to see what the proper protocol is when handling “violent-like” behavior. Local 15 News has not heard back.

“My child interrupted us and said, ‘What is suicide mommy? Daddy what is suicide?” said Rebecca. “As a parent that’s not right. I’m the one should be able to talk to my child and not have someone else mention words like this in front of her at all.”

Rebecca is pushing to have the incident removed from her child’s record. She said school officials have requested Elizabeth see a psychiatrist.

How long will it be until the school doesn’t just request that children see psychiatrists, but they just go right ahead and take the child from you, like what happened with the Boston children’s hospital? After all, they are very sure they are right. They are the experts, you are just the parent. They know better than you – they have college degrees from the “education” department. You should be grateful for their guidance about how to raise your children. You should be grateful the opportunity to pay taxes for the salaries of people with degrees in “education”.

By the way if you want to e-mail the four women who work in the superintendent’s office, you can click here.

Filed under: News, , , , , , ,

Father arrested for challenging public school on assigned book containing graphic sex

Story from the Blaze.

Excerpt:

A New Hampshire parent was arrested at a Monday night school board meeting after he voiced outrage his ninth grade daughter was assigned a book that contains a page detailing a graphic sexual encounter.

Gilford school officials claim the book, “Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Picoult, contains important themes about a school shooting. But some parents believe a scene described in the book is inappropriate for their children.

According to WCVB-TV, the book contains a graphic description of rough sex between two teenagers, which parents were unaware of until the book had already been distributed to their kids.

“I was shocked when I read the passage and not much shocks me anymore,” William Baer told EAG News. “My wife was stunned by the increasingly graphic nature of the sexual content of the scene and the imagery it evoked.”

He went to the school board meeting to express his objections.

“It’s absurd,” he told the school board.

“Sir, would you please be respectful of the other people?” a school board member responded.

“Like you’re respectful of my daughter, right? And my children?” he countered.

A police officer then arrived at the scene, instructing Baer to leave with him.

“You are going to arrest me because I violated the two-minute rule?” the father said. “I guess you are going to have to arrest me.”

Moments later, Baer was escorted outside and placed in handcuffs. According to WMUR-TV, he was charged with disorderly conduct because he did not immediately leave when asked by an officer.

When it comes to public schools indoctrinating your children, parents are the enemy. The teachers have a leftist agenda, and parents just get in the way.

Filed under: News, , , , ,

Public school teacher bans Bible reading in her class

From CBS local news.

Excerpt:

A Broward County boy said he was banned from reading “The Good Book” during free-reading time in school. The boy and his father have hired an attorney, calling this a violation of the boy’s Constitutional rights. Meanwhile, the Broward County School District says this is all a big misunderstanding.

“I first started reading a little bit (of the Bible,)” says Rubeo. “Little by little, it started becoming my favorite book to read.

Giovanni Rubeo says the Bible was given to him as a gift from his church, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, over Christmas.

The Park Lakes Elementary fifth grader said he started reading it during free-reading time in his first-period class. That’s when the boy’s attorney claims his teacher, Swornia Thomas, stepped in.

Rubeo’s attorney shared a voicemail the teacher left for Giovanni’s dad.

“Good morning, Mr. Rubeo,” says a woman. “Giovanni called you because I asked him to. I noticed that he had a book, a religious book, in the classroom. He’s not permitted to read those books in my classroom. He said if I told him to put it away, you said not to do that. So please give me a call. I need to have some understanding on direction to him about the book he’s reading opposed to the curriculum for public school. Ms. S. Thomas. Thank you. Have a wonderful day. Bye, bye.”

Giovanni and his lawyer claim Giovanni was told on multiple occasions that he couldn’t read the Bible during free-reading time.

[…]The district wouldn’t comment on what, if any, consequences the teacher might face. Giovanni says there has been no free-reading time, recently, so he hasn’t been reading his Bible at school.

CBS4′s Gaby Fleischman stopped by Mrs. Thomas’ home. Her husband told us she was not there and asked: “What the [expletive] do you want?”

Gaby responded that we want to speak to Mrs. Thomas’ to hear her side of the story.

“She ain’t got nothing to say to you, she ain’t got nothing to say,” responded her husband. “Get me on camera, get the [expletive] out of my yard.”

Note that this student’s parents (and all of you reading) pay taxes to fund these public schools. Public school teachers are unionized, and they support bigger government and higher taxes. We are funding a system that is hostile to our beliefs. The only way to fix this is to detach the money from the public school and put it in the hands of the parents, who can then decide which school they would like to partner with – or maybe no school at all, in the case of homeschooling. That’s the fastest way to end the bullying of Christians and conservatives that goes on in public schools. Attach the money to the parent, and suddenly these public school teachers will remember who their customers are.

Filed under: News, , , ,

Melissa Cain Travis: public schools and the Christian worldview

This is a must-read post for all Christian parents about public schools, by homeschooling mom and Christian apologist Melissa Cain Travis.

Excerpt:

A secularized education communicates the falsehood that truths about the world are entirely separable from–and have meaning apart from–God and the Christian worldview. Attempts to “neutralize” education in order to accommodate a pluralistic society result in distortions that slant everything away from the truth about God, the nature of man, and objective morality. The “big questions” may not be directly addressed in the classroom, but this avoidance automatically yet subtly communicates the philosophy of relativism–that there are many “right” answers to those questions, so the school room is not the place to teach one particular view.

What does this mean for children who attend public school but are from practicing Christian families? They tend to grow up with a compartmentalized intellect. On the one hand, there’s everything they learn at school, and on the other hand, there’s everything they learn at home and at church. But this is all wrong. All truth is God’s truth, and everydiscipline (history, mathematics, science, literature, social studies, etc.) is related in some fashion to ultimate reality.

I’ve often heard parents say, “Well, almost all the teachers at our public school are Christians, so I’m not worried.” This shows misunderstanding about the central issue here.It’s not about what a teacher may quietly choose to skip when presenting the state curriculum to his or her class; it’s about the teacher’s complete inability, legally speaking, to present anything within the correct framework.

The rest of the post contains an excellent 2-minute video, which explains how public education is designed to marginalize religious points of view in public discourse. And then there are tips for Christian parents who have no other choice but to put their children in public schools.

My biggest problem with public schools and children is that the schools are trying to explain everything without any reference to a Creator and Designer. When you try to explain everything while preventing by law any discussion of how religion informs what is being studied, you are telling the child that God has no place in how people understand the world.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , ,

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