"In 1976, for the first time in its 119-year history, the National Education Association, the teachers union, endorsed a presidential candidate, Jimmy Carter, who repaid it by creating the Education Department, a monument to the premise that money and government programs matter most. At the NEA's behest, the nation has expanded the number of teachers much faster than the number of students has grown. Hiring more, rather than more competent, teachers meant more dues-paying union members. For decades, schools have been treated as laboratories for various equity experiments. Fads incubated in education schools gave us 'open' classrooms, teachers as 'facilitators of learning' rather than transmitters of knowledge, abandonment of a literary canon in the name of 'multiculturalism,' and so on, producing a majority of high school juniors who could not locate the Civil War in the proper half-century."
As the parent of a child with significant special needs, I try to pay close attention to trends and fads in education. I watched the debate over "main-streaming" as it morphed into "inclusion." and "Least Restrictive Environment."
Now, I may be a cantankerous, contrarian S.O.B. but I want my daughter to receive an education that will help her achieve all that she can. If being in a regular classroom for some part of her school day will help to that end, I'm all for it. But if you want to stick her in a regular classroom so "regular" kids can learn about people with disabilities or so you won't need self-contained classrooms or have to hire more inclusion aides, then we're going to tangle.
No Child Left Behind? Don't make me laugh, it's more like No Bureaucrat Left Behind. The Department of Education should be dismantled and the stranglehold those epistemological child molesters of the NEA have on education should be broken once and for all.
Local schools means local.
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