“How does it play in Peoria?”
Wirepoints, an Illinois nonprofit that researches tough subjects like criminal justice and public education.
At one high school in Peoria, not a single student could do math at grade level. Not one. There were 11 other schools where fewer than 5% could read at grade level. If you looked at just the high school seniors, only 14% were proficient in reading, yet 80% graduated, but the schools themselves got good ratings. As for Peoria’s teachers, 100% of them were rated either “excellent” or “proficient.”
“We need to look at the whole child,” scolded a left-wing state education official, accusing Wirepoint of “reducing them to a number.”
The left-wing Peoria school superintendent provided a statement: "[Wirepoint should] broaden the narrative to discuss the wider disparities and the historical racism/classism that has contributed to the marginalization of most of our student population.”
And then there was the obese left-wing billionaire Governor j.b. pritzker. He said Wirepoint was “just wrong,” and called them “a right-wing carnival-barker organization.” HOWEVER, the numbers lying liberal/democrat Governor pritzker called “wrong”—are in fact the state’s own data. The Illinois State Bureau of Education has a big public database where anyone can look up information about the roughly 4,000 public schools in the state—everything from per-student spending to how many teachers are teaching subjects they’re not licensed for. The numbers can be sliced and diced by factors like race, grade and income(1). The U.S. Department of Education requires certain statistics, like standardized test results and graduation rates. Illinois bases its reading and math proficiency rates on standardized testing. But liberal officials talk about other metrics. One is the Student Growth Percentile, which tracks how much student learning has grown during the year. Another metric is the Equity Journey Continuum.
left-winger pritzker didn’t specify what was wrong with the findings, but he didn’t really have to. In today’s polarized political climate, all the left-wing has to do is smear the other and meaningful discussion comes to a halt.
Peoria came to project such a stable, bland, middle-of-the-road prosperity that its name became shorthand for middle American tastes and the NBs Nightly News used Peoria’s skyline as a backdrop in 1992, when gauging the public mood ahead of that year’s presidential election. The Chicago Sun-Times wrote: “Peoria has typically been a liberal/democratic-leaning, pale blue urban dot in a sea of red, solidly Republican rural counties in central Illinois.”
Caterpillar, the Fortune 100 maker of construction and mining equipment, had its corporate headquarters in Peoria since 1930, but moved it out in 2017. A Cat spokeswoman told The Dallas Morning News that “talent attraction” was a key reason. As CEO Doug Oberhelman, who also served as chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers, often said that 60% of the locals who applied to work at Caterpillar were rejected for lack of basic math or writing skills.
Meanwhile, pritzker has been positioning himself as a kind of antidote to Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president. When DeSantis discussed the OBVIOUS “invasion” of illegal immigrants and the deadly drugs, crime, and expense they ARE bringing and promised to complete Trump’s unfinished border wall, pritzker signed an executive order creating the Welcoming Illinois Office, to make the state attractive to illegal immigrants. After DeSantis said that 175 books had been banned by 23 school districts in Florida, pritzker signed a bill making inappropriate books for children OK and any attempt to stop it illegal. After DeSantis signed a bill barring instruction on gender identity, that's the underlying cause of rising teen mental problems and suicide until the 4th grade, pritzker called him “dangerous” and “homophobic.” pritzker’s State Superintendent of Education issued an Open Invitation to Florida and Texas Teachers, saying that if they felt their states were hostile to their rights, they should come to Illinois, which was empowering teachers in any number of ways, and had just earmarked $45 million that taxpayers must provide for hiring bonuses and other relocation incentives, saying "Illinois’ commitment to the fundamental principles of public education—inclusion, equity and instructional rigor—pays off in student outcomes." Guess which numbers it didn’t mention?
Jump up, look around, find yourself some fun
No sense in sitting there hating everyone
No man's an island and his castle isn't home
The nest is full of nothing when the bird has flown"
So I took a journey
Threw my world into the sea
With me went the teacher
Who found fun instead of me
Hey man, what's the plan, what was that you said?
Sun-tanned, drink in hand, lying there in bed
I try to socialize but I can't seem to find
What I was looking for, got something on my mind
Then the teacher told me
It had been a lot of fun
Thanked me for his ticket
And all that I had done
from the song Teacher, by Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull
1. In 2020, left-wing/democrat lori lightfoot, then the vastly incompetent mayor of Chicago, announced that the city’s graduation rate was at a record high of 82.5%. How 2020 could set a record for anything, since the schools had closed for the pandemic in mid-March? Because there was no correlation between graduation rates and student proficiency. Teachers’ competency ratings didn’t connect with student proficiency either. Nor did the amount of money spent per student. The town where the kids scored highest, with 85% reading at grade level, was Aviston, population 2,340—and it ranked 2nd-to-last on spending per child, just $7,488. The Peoria school district was spending a little more than twice as much. The chicago teachets union may care even less about the “black and brown” children of the city than the kkk. They fought to keep schools closed when the data showed the lock downs were hurting their constituents more than anyone else. They continue to fight for more pay while ignoring the structural deficits the General Assembly runs, they also pay lip service to the violence in the neighborhoods where the people they teach for live. A fair amount of the teachers either live in the suburbs, and/or send their kids to private schools. You see, the schools are good enough for the people they “care” about, but not for their kids. The incestuous relationship between organized labor and the lib/dem politicians reward the unions with absurd pay and benefits the public cannot possibly afford, for a job the public wouldn't possibly approve of or want. But the elites who own the left-wing/democrats also own the media. Remember this.
“The real trouble with this world of ours…is its exactitude is obvious, but its inexactitude is hidden…”--G.K. Chesterton
“Clarity & distinctness are not criteria of truth, but such things as obscurity or confusion may indicate error. Similarly coherence cannot establish truth, but incoherence & inconsistency do establish falsehood.”--C. Bernard
"It is difficult enough to be critical of our own mistakes, but it is nearly impossible for us to persist in a critical attitude towards those actions when they involve the lives of many people."--Karl Popper
“Nature has established patterns originating in the return of events, but only for the most part.” was what G. von Leibniz found century's ago. What he meant was that the behavior patterns of human beings to some degree resemble the probability patterns observed in the rest of nature, they repeat themselves, there does exist an underlying order to the whole. However, they repeat themselves only to a degree. Without that, everything would be predictable and there would be no change, no learning, and most likely, no life.
The modern day existentialists and historicists that dominate the education agenda of our public school system however reject the limits established by both human nature and the complexities inherent in collective life. They are inspired by confidence in the power of the human will. They ignore natural limits and the words of Montesquieu "that particular social and political traditions have a form of their own and are not easily subordinated to the requirements of a universal and homogenous state". They deny any permanence to human nature, ending up incoherently oscillating between a lawless voluntarism and doctrinarism-based myths.
What matters to these neo-liberal relativist, as D. Glasner reports, is not objective truth, but "...coherence between the manmade paradigm and their interpretation of the facts that are relevant to an evaluation of that paradigm... We cannot choose our subjective interpretations willy-nilly and expect that nature will dutifully comply...An objective external world necessarily imposes constraints on interpretations...Unless a theory is objectively true, we cannot expect that all factual observations made in light of that theory will turn out to be interpretable in a mutually consistent way".
Instrumentalism, which is another name for the "all is relevant" neo-liberal philosophy I'm describing here, denies that there can be any universal or permanent moral values or standards. Neither evidence nor logic is allowed to penetrate this fog. If there are no facts or connected mental processes, then all is relevant and ultimately there is no reason for dissent. “Reason can tell us which means are conducive to which ends...If rational conduct consists in choosing the right means for the right end, then relativism teaches in effect that rational conduct is impossible.”--L. Strauss
R. Aron argued that the only way out of this dead end is through a clear affirmation of "authentic faith" by which he means foundational "principles" that provide guidance for thought and-action. Without first principles that guide and limit our action within and orient our reflection about the world, neither thought nor reasonable action is possible. It becomes incoherent and loses its intelligibility. A "faith" in the permanence of human nature is then the indispensable "reasonable" precondition of thought and action.
Or, in other words, a form of pragmatic rationalism recognizes that the world is not rational, but that we continue to submit or subject it to reason, striving to clarify everywhere but recognizing that we will never fully understand. This easily incorporates the dynamism of science. Scientific results are relative only in so far as they are the results of a certain stage of scientific progress. But this does not mean that truth is relative. If an assertion is true, it is true forever.
Subjective theories of truth try to define truth in terms of the sources or origins of beliefs. An objective theory leads to very different attitude. It leads more directly to the search for knowledge; through a critical approach it provides theories, which are nearer to the truth, which correspond better to the facts.
Kahneman & Tversky’s Prospect Theory states that emotion often destroys the self-control essential to rational decision-making and that people are often unable to understand fully what they are dealing with, having difficulty drawing valid generalizations from what they observe. Instead they employ shortcuts that lead to erroneous perceptions, or use small samples incorrectly as representative of what a larger population would show. The consequences are: a trend towards subjective rather than objective measurements, destroying the rules existing prior to the endeavor; the ignoring of the common components of the problem and concentrating on each part in isolation; paying excessive attention to low-probability events accompanied by high drama and overlooking events that happen in routine fashion.
So, how do we control our emotions, to keep them from destroying the very reason that qualifies our species as human? How do we obtain knowledge of ourselves? Not by self-observation but by a consciousness of our self through the medium of other persons. Most of our assertions are not based upon our observations, but upon all kinds of other sources. If we are doubtful of an assertion, the best procedure is to test it (the epistemologically sound method that is), rather than to ask for the source. Focusing on the source often fails to distinguish between the question of origin vs. the question of validity. Without validating the assertion, how can we hope to detect and eliminate error? As A. Tarski eloquently elaborated, the idea of objective truth is its correspondence to the facts. If we find independent corroboration, the original source issue changes to one of assumptive worth, it takes on a qualitatively sense, for the given assertion, establishing the substance of tradition. And without tradition, knowledge would be impossible, since knowledge cannot be established from nothing. Knowledge advances from earlier forms, but it is dependent upon a prior start. Or as T. Short said: "We may know much without understanding ourselves, and without knowing all the ways in which our nature is conditioned by social arrangements...The very dependence of self on society argues caution in changing society-especially if our understanding of that dependence is imperfect."
Truth transcends the signs by which it is known. The road to truth is through the elimination of error. Those who deny that there is no truth simply are requesting a short-cut to tyranny at best, chaos and violence at worst, since all they recognize is no need to justify their choices. Better truth contains more precise assertions, explains more, suggests new additional tests of truth and has a unification or connectedness to other premises.
Today's current philosophy dominating the public school monopoly can trace its lineage from Rousseau, thru Hegel, thru Marx thru Dewey. Its message is that human nature is permeable. Despite the fact that the social engineers who believed in that killed approximately 140 million people died last century trying to prove the human nature is permeable. That it can be molded into anything. And only those of the educational monopoly elite are capable of knowing what form that molding is to take, and who is to be in charge of the molding.
This and numerous other dogmas undermine American education and hidden agendas. The dogmas are basically about education itself and about the larger society. "Self-esteem" "Role models" "Diversity" "Multiculturalism" and other buzzwords dominate educational policy—without evidence either asked for or given to substantiate the beliefs they represent. Sweeping beliefs about the general society, or about how life ought to be lived, likewise are prevalent among educators without any empirical verification of its effects being required. More important, world-saving crusades based on such beliefs have increasingly intruded into the classroom, from kindergarten to college, crowding out the basic skills that American students lack. This represents the neo-liberal's existential nihilist relativism philosophy, as defined above, being implanted into and enforced upon our children's schools by the public educational monopoly. And this agenda is enhanced by the efforts of select organized outside interests and movements given special access to the monopoly and determined to get their agenda and their special interests into the classroom.
For example, glance over past issues of the PTA's magazine.You'll find articles on: diet and cancer; food allergies; radon gas dangers; medicines; vaccination; speech disorders; aging and dying; AIDS; teenage drivers; corporal punishment and being a hospital patient. Hardly an article dealing with the educational problems or basics.
Likewise with the National Education Association. It promotes all sorts of ideological crusades. At the N.E.A.'s annual meeting delegates pass resolutions on things ranging from nuclear weapons to immigration, housing, highways, environmentalism, and development of renewable energy resources. These political agendas often find their way right into the classroom. It speaks volumes about today's education monopoly that a captive audience of school children would be used in this way.
Psychological experimenters and crusaders for "causes" invade our classrooms and absorb time sorely needed to teach our children to read, write, do math and learn to think critically, rather than repeat propaganda. Whether blatant or subtle, brainwashing has become a major, time-consuming activity in American education at all levels. Some zealots have not hesitated to use the traditional brainwashing technique of emotional trauma in the classroom to soften up children for their message. These are not isolated incidents, ask your children. And this occurs from the funding provided to the public educational monopoly, funding from tax money taken without any choice from the taxpayer.
A whole neo-liberal system of education has spread across the country, seeking to re-shape the moral values, personal habits, and social mindsets of our children. It is not to be confused with effective learning. The emotionalizing of education not only takes time away from intellectual development; it also places teachers in the role of psychologist and social engineer, for which they are unqualified to gauge the consequences of their manipulations of children's emotions. Beyond that, it is the very antithesis of education.
Much of the politicizing of education during the current era happens to have been done by the political left but it would be a very serious mistake to think that this issue is basically political. Increasing numbers of honest people of all sides have been appalled at the prostitution of education for ideological ends, including the very liberal Washington Post and the New Republic. Even the Marxist E. Genovese has urged "honest people across the spectrum" to stand up for academic principles and
In short, the politicization of education is not fundamentally a political issue, but an educational issue. Yet the educational consequences of ideological indoctrination efforts are likely to be far more serious than the political consequences. It is not the particular goals of ideological zealots, which are at issue here, but the damage they are doing to American education while pursuing those goals, goals that will not solve our educational problems.
The purpose of education is to give the student the intellectual tools to analyze, whether verbally or numerically, and to reach conclusions based on logic and evidence.
As long as school choice is denied, and remains in the hands of a monopoly feed on taxpayer money, it will only get worse.
"We are still responsible when our ideas produce error as when our erroneous ideas have the same result."--J.V. Schall
“The future is open…We all contribute to determining it by what we do. We are all equally responsible for its success.”--K. Popper