Last Updated:April 17 @ 10:14 am

Reagan: A Nation of Dummies

By Michael Reagan

I've seen the future of America -- and it's going to be dumber.

I saw a glimpse of where America is headed last week when prosecutors in the George Zimmerman case put Trayvon Martin's "not-girlfriend," Rachel Jeantel, on the stand.

Jeantel was on the phone with Martin only minutes before he was shot and killed in his fight with neighborhood watch volunteer Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla.

The 19-year-old daughter of a Haitian immigrant was supposed to be the prosecutor's star witness.

But after seeing her bumbling, rude, impertinent demeanor and her poor communication skills, one commentator described Jeantel as a "train wreck."

Jeantel -- who admitted in front of the whole country she couldn't read cursive, and apparently had no idea how a court trial worked -- has been ridiculed unmercifully for her awful grammar and lack of polish.

That's not completely fair. As one of her best defenders explained, she's a product of her unique cultural background.

"Rachel Jeantel has her own particular, idiosyncratic black girl idiom, a mash-up of her Haitian and Dominican working-class background, her U.S. Southern upbringing, and the three languages -- Haitian Kreyol (or Creole), Spanish and English -- that she speaks."

It's true Jeantel has had obstacles to overcome. But neither her race nor her background is to blame for her embarrassing court appearance.

Public education is.

Jeantel's performance was shocking evidence of the continuing failure of our government education monopoly to properly educate our kids. But she's not alone.

Public education has also failed millions of other kids like her -- in the suburbs as well as the cities. It no longer imparts reading, writing, speaking and thinking skills to the kids like Jeantel who need it most.

She's a senior in high school. Tens of thousands of tax dollars have been spent, supposedly to educate her. Yet she's going to graduate from high school without being able to read a letter written in cursive?

What else does she not know?

Like the young, white Southern California businessman I met on the golf course a few weeks ago who couldn't imagine why there would be an American military cemetery in Normandy, France, Jeantel is an innocent victim of our lousy public schools.

Maybe a miracle will occur. Maybe Jeantel's career track to government dependency will be changed for the better because of her negative celebrity.

Maybe someone like Bill Cosby or Oprah will swoop in and help her salvage her bad education. Maybe she will learn to exploit her multilingual skills and go on to make her living as a translator at the United Nations, but I doubt it.

More than likely, and sadly for her future and for the future of America, Jeantel is never going to become a productive member of society who can take care of herself.

If I still had young kids to educate, I'd send them anywhere but public school. Catholic school. Private school. Home school. Online schools. I'd hire tutors.

Those alternatives to public education are America's only hope for a smarter future.

Otherwise, we're going to become a nation of dummies, where cursive writing is like a second language and hardly anyone will be able to read the original handwritten copies of founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence. Happy Fourth of July.

---

Copyright ©2013 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of "The New Reagan Revolution" (St. Martin's Press). He is the founder of the email service reagan.com and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com.

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44 Comments

  1. teapartyproudComment by teapartyproud
    July 8, 2013 @ 6:40 am

    You cannot educate someone who has no interest in being educated and considers education to be a useless and negative thing, as in, “acting white”.

    That attitude, of course, is not racist, whereas I surely am for pointing it out.

    Political correctness rules the day and is a weapon of mass destruction causing far more damage than any nuclear bomb or chemical weapon ever has.

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      July 8, 2013 @ 8:41 am

      Yes indeed Americans of thought need to abandon prejudice to summon up reason which is the common bond of all men under God. We have not used our reason sufficiently, allowing a Liberal softening of our brains under the deceptive disguise appeal of a softening of our hearts. What is really needed in today’s political landscape is a hardening of our brains to re-develop the Liberally corrupted and brain softened miss-educated American minds with the power of HOW TO THINK, not what to think. Only when we have a hardening of the brains will be get the proper softening of the heart, where our limited taxes and resources can actually be dispensed to the people of REAL NEED, instead of being wasted on those capable of production but who choose the couch of their comforts paid for by others, which only serves to further soften all our brains and empty our wallets as well.

      Fitting indeed is the reason the Jackass is the symbol of the Democrat Party of American division into camps of Left or Right.

      “Mules, Jackasses, worms and centipedes only have the option of going to the LEFT or the RIGHT”,,,, and these Jackasses who have abandoned God have forgotten that MAN has the capacity of going UP or going down. Let it be UP again as we rediscover our spiritual sides which these stubborn Jackasses seek to have us ignore to our own peril.

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    • jorgaoneComment by jorgaone
      July 8, 2013 @ 9:00 am

      “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”.
      Public school is largely conducted so that a low-income (less expensive for the school district) teacher can continue to collect a pay-check. They are not evaluated much anymore. Long-term real teachers almost don’t exist. The other side of that coin is that long-term, eager, real students–who thirst for learning–don’t either.
      In 1970–I started teaching in an “inner-city” school. I was given a 1937 dictionary as teaching material–and a key to my room. THAT WAS IT! I chose to teach them life skills, as nearly all of them were going to be drop-outs. I taught them how to fill out a job application, how to take a driver’s test, how to tell time accurately, how to read a calendar.
      I was chastised for this–as it did not follow the “curriculum”. My 8th graders had an average 3rd grade reading level.
      Now days–they are not even taught these things (by anyone)…and it shows! Trayvon’s “not-girlfriend” is VERY likely to be a duplicate mentally and emotionally, of Trayvon himself–and as such, she is already formed into exactly what she presents herself as: Rude, overbearing, untrained, and racist.
      It’s clear that our youth, supposed to be our shining hope for the future, AREN’T…

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    • freedomfighterComment by freedomfighter
      July 9, 2013 @ 12:37 am

      When I was in school, in the early to late 50’s, before we were allowed to be graduated to the next grade, all students had to take a final test on the class just finished, to make sure they actually knew what they were taught in that class, and to prove that they were sufficiently educated to be sent forward to a new grade. This practice continued from the 4th grade, through the eleventh grade. If a student could not pass the test, they were held back a year to retake the class which they had failed to sufficiently learn the curriculum.
      My question, is how in the Hell could they possibly keep passing this young lady forward without even the skills of a 5th grader?. This is a black eye for the School, a proof on inability to sufficiently do their jobs, on the part of the Teachers, and a disservice to the student, who will enter a world in which she has no chance whatsoever of coping, and thriving. Teachers make a really good salary, b ut the problem is, most of them are Unionized, and nearly impossible to let go, even if they are completely outperforming. This is just wrong, and it is the unprepared Students who are the end users, and totally unprepared to face the higher education into which they are thrust, knowingly by the Teachers who slingshot them forward without sufficient education to be prepared for the classes, and eventual Graduations, from grade school, intermediate or junior high School, and certainly into High School.

      Part of this blame, also lies with the parents of the children, who have gotten so used to saying yes to the them, that they are uncomfortable to say no, or before you go out, you have to finish your homework, and see that they do, do their homework before relenting to allow them privileges.

      It is a simple thing to design a grade end test, which at least gives them a idea as to whither or not the student has learned at least the basics, sufficiently to pass on. This should be a common practice, in not from every grade, at least before they are sent forward to the next higher level of education.

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      July 9, 2013 @ 12:52 am

      Totally agree, and she wears her ignorance and illiteracy like a badge of honor.

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    • leadfoot320Comment by leadfoot320
      July 9, 2013 @ 1:57 pm

      YOU CAN’T FAIL THEM ! IT MITE HURT THEIR CYKY OR EGO OR SOME THING ! JUST GIVE THEM ALL ‘C’ AND PASS THEM ALL ON, THEN YOU DON’T HURT THEIR FEELINGS. EVEN IF THY DITCHED SCHOOL MOST OF THE TIME AND ONLY SLEPT IN CLASS !
      THEY HAVE NEVER BEEN TAUGHT TO BE PROUD ANYTHING BUT THEIR IGNORANCE !
      19 AND A HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE GOTTEN OUT OF THE 5TH GRADE (OR 4TH) ! HERE’S TO OUR GREAT PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM !
      AND THE TAX PAYERS WILL SUPPORT HER AND HER KIDS FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES ! PROBABLY BETTER THAN A HARD WORKING TAX PAYER !

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  2. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    July 8, 2013 @ 7:44 am

    Public education, just one more unfulfilled promise by team destruction who always provides the opposite of what tell you they will give you to create more children of the lesser God.

    Let us address the great secular Political heresy of spiritual entrapment that is going around the world today to ensnare the better nature of our spirits,,, The Progressive promoted BIG Liberal LIE goes like this;

    “Every person on the face of the earth is part of God’s Family and God is the father of every person on earth who is entitled to all the benefits and blessings of the family of God. “

    This half truth is absolutely Theologically and Eschatologically UNTRUE regarding the ongoing struggle between the forces of light and darkness, regarding the ultimate triumph of good over evil,,,, and yes indeed, the devilment is in their subtle but deadly deception of their HALF truths. God IS indeed the CREATOR of every person on earth and we are all part of the family of mankind and humanity, but only those who know Jesus Christ and do the will of the father are part of the family of God, just like only those who know the God inspired American Constitution and follow its doctrines and enforce its laws are part of the legitimate family of America. Those who refuse to enforce those laws are illegitimate and entitled to nothing.

    Is what I just said politically correct to the American ear in a Jeffersonian Judeo Christian land where all men are created equal? Yes indeed POLTICIALLY CORRECT for they are created equal by their creator, but definitely reside in a different family with a different father in team consumption and destruction of the very things God the creator created, like the right to Life Liberty and the pursuit of happiness, personal property and the blessings designed by that creator as just rewards for his legitimate children. (Get ready for the next Liberal emotionally manipulating Big lie that goes like this, “There are no such things as illegitimate children,,,,,WHAT??? ) Do you fellow Christians not see the half truth interpretation in this Jeffersonian Doctrine of great intent but naïve interpretation of Christian Jefferson’s and Jesus Christ’s very cogent understanding of the real capability of the hearts of men to become dark, and why separation of power in their government became as much a political necessity as Christ’s Biblical separation of the wheat from the chaff? Jesus himself warns us of such men from his own lips;

    John 8:44 –
    “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

    Does this not suggest the design and existence of a two father scenario, one of good the other evil? Being created by God is one matter, belonging to his family is another for not everyone belongs to the family of God nor is a child of God, nor an American just because they were born here, or sneaked in through the back door.

    Yes indeed we are all created equal by our creator, and although equal in the eyes of government, and equal in the eyes of the laws of men, but the Bible and Jesus himself clearly identify two unequal fathers, one of whom we choose in life, and whom more often chooses us. In a land of free will and personal responsibility only those who acknowledge God as their father, do his will and follow his laws belong to the family of God, and the same applies only to those who call themselves real Americans who follow the laws of the land and properly exercise their free will to do good. You fellow Americans of the Christian persuasion had better know whom you are dealing with and voting for, because each comes in all stripes and all colors of skin and when you vote in a member of team destruction it is team creation you end up destroying which is your very Christian self.,,,,,,, Hint,,,,,,,, when your Party votes God out of the Convention, and only votes him back in when the politically correct vote count runs thin, you ARE among those who embrace the Devil in the details,,,,like the father of all deceiving Healthcare bills and its 2600 pages of deception,,, and the mother of all 1200 page immigration bills as well. You are also residing in a fatherless misguided political and spiritual family party of Clintons, Obama’s or any of these father abandoned and abandoning illegitimate politicians whose native language IS lying, who are totally morally and intellectually ill equipped to correctly answer the most cogent question of all?

    “WHO’S YOUR REAL FATHER?”

    And even if they did acknowledge their REAL father to themselves, they would have to emulate their father of all lies by telling you otherwise that they are Christians and Americans who love God, love you and your freedoms, and your personal property, all of which they destroy and seek to deprive you of at every turn. Enter the Clintons, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Weiner, etc. etc. etc. You will know them by their fruits, who time and time again prove themselves unequal to the people of faith and production by both their words, by their actions and by the miserable results of their deceptive leadership which is as illegitimate and foreign to Christian American tradition as the earthly fathers who spawned them, then abandoned them as they abandon God and you to fundamentally change the face of America to reflect a nation of Dummies.

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    • jenerseaComment by jenersea
      July 8, 2013 @ 11:02 am

      I agree you cannot trust the party of the donkey, or the party of the elephant. Only the party of the Lamb can you trust.

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  3. makesenseComment by makesense
    July 8, 2013 @ 9:54 am

    She cannot read cursive nor can she write anything. She asked someone to write for her. There were indications that she can’t write at all — cursive or lettering. …. and she is passed along from grade to grade and will soon get a High School Diploma. A Diploma? Does not a Diploma indicate proficiency in all subjects taken at school? Or has the definition of proficiency been lowered so much everyone passes it?

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    • sexysadieComment by sexysadie
      July 8, 2013 @ 11:08 am

      If you think this is an isolated case, you are wrong. This is commonplace for most of the students who attend public schools in this country. There is no cure for public schools except to disband them all, including the NEA, all teacher unions & federations, “education” departments in colleges and universities, all school boards, and education “experts”–aka educrats. We are the laughing stock of the world because generations of Americans can’t spell without spell-chek, can’t write simple sentences, can’t read, and can’t solve simple mathematical problems without a calculator. It is a miracle that anyone comes out of the public school system prepared for real life. Public education is nothing more than a marxist-commie-atheistic entity sucking up billions of taxpayer dollars to brainwash our children in radical-leftist ideology. And, the diploma that kids receive does not an educated person make. It isn’t worth the paper it is written upon. Until Americans come to the realization that public schools are nothing more than communist propaganda engines, public schools will continue to indoctrinate children with evil.

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    • CharlieComment by vietnamvet
      July 8, 2013 @ 11:11 am

      Today, the diploma means ‘she was there’.
      In today’s competitions, everybody gets a trophy.

      She supposedly ‘signed’ the cursive letter which she could not read. We are left to wonder if that means she has some ability to write … or if she merely knows how to ‘draw her name’ on paper.

      With the advent of electronic calculators people began to forget how mathematical problems are solved. Now, all problem solution is beyond the reach of many (most?).

      Thanks to computers and printers it is no longer required that a person actually learn how to produce alphabetical symbols with his bare hands … and electronic ‘writing’ has become as truncated as the mental capacity of the average Occupy activist.

      Then, since the internet provides step-by-step ‘how to’ for almost any activity and process, the desire to learn through trial and error has largely faded from the human mind.

      With just a few more technological advances we can reach a state where humans will only be able to eat and ‘eliminate’ … if somebody can devise a machine that will work the spoon.

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  4. pistol packing mamaComment by txgoatlady
    July 8, 2013 @ 10:01 am

    I was once told never to give pets away for free because things that are free have no value and may be treated as such. I think “free” public education has become just that. It has little to no value for these kids and they only go because they are forced to go. Either that or they go there to socialize with their friends. They don’t care about learning anything and these welfare kids figure they don’t need to learn to read and write if they are simply collecting a check from the government.

    Perhaps if we required them to pay something for their education, it would mean more to them.

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    • sexysadieComment by sexysadie
      July 8, 2013 @ 8:02 pm

      Public schools are not free. They are paid for by the American taxpayers at an average of $10,000 per student per year. Parents who choose to put their children in private/parochial schools pay TWICE for education. They pay the tuition for their child’s private school AND taxes to support public indoctrination. Where the government is concerned, NOTHING IS FREE. Someone always pays.

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  5. middlegroundComment by middleground
    July 8, 2013 @ 10:02 am

    We said of the Nazis that they were conditioned to follow orders and not question authority.

    The perfect Democratic voter of today seems very similar in that they are conditioned to be perfect consumers of the drivel being peddled by today’s political elite. Contrast this with those who voted in the 1860 election, a large number of whom could neither read nor write, but compare what both Lincoln and Douglas said in their debates to the 2012 debates. Both Lincoln and Douglas were speaking to their audience as if all were rational intelligent voters. Yet in 1860 the Democratic Party had split into three groups of highly emotional voters who listened only to to those whose views they wanted to hear. Abolitionists in one group, Slaveowners in another and Jacksonian true believers in the third. Today’s Democratic Party seems similar in having groups who are easily swayed by emotional messages of hate, envy and greed.

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  6. hillbillyComment by hillbilly
    July 8, 2013 @ 10:43 am

    Good article but doesn’t address the root of the problem. I have always wondered & marveled at the situation & why wasn’t it fixed. It is easy to say “public education” is the problem, but who is in charge of that? Government, democrats & republicans are in charge & they could have fixed the problem long ago if they had the will. They don’t. Both parties want a lower working class of uneducated, easily controlled people who are too stupid to know or care what is going on. That’s the same reason they refuse to enforce current immigration laws, it adds to the lower working class pool of stupid people. It provides a large source of votes for the democrats & cheap labor for the republicans. But most importantly, that system lets both parties pretend to be representative but really just lets them do as they please.

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  7. JDZComment by JDZ
    July 8, 2013 @ 10:48 am

    There is no question that our public education system, under the guidance and control of the federal government and their public service union leader friends, continues to fail our children and country. It has become both a national and world view embarrassment for our country as our kids are not learning even basic skills needed to live an independent life as the young woman mentioned in the article is a typical example, not the exception to the rule. The sad thing is that our country has thousands of really good and dedicated teachers who have really no say in the development of curriculum and the policies being implemented in our public educational system. The deterioration of the average quality of teachers is due to union based hiring, assessment, and firing policies that protect the worst teachers and frustrate those younger teachers who want to do the right thing. The liberal ideology in our country has taken over our public education and has basically rewritten much of our history and perverted the selection of teachers and textbooks to be used in our schools. The overall metrics used to promote students and move them through the grade structure have been modified to be easier to pass and move students through to graduation. Our students learn less then in the past and graduate with less skills to deal with the demands of life then in the past.

    This situation within the public system will never improve as long as public service unions and government bureaucracies continue running our schools. Private schools produce better educated children who are getting a balanced exposure to the history our country and its political implications as well as learning to be proficient in fundamentals like reading, writing, and arithmetic which are essential to their ability to be a value added member of our country. More affluent Americans send their kids to private schools or home school their kids to insure they give their kids a good foundation for life. My grandchildren go to public schools but get considerable supplementary schooling at home and access to supplementary reading and math training aids at home which has been very good for them.

    As to another subject. There is a film documentary just coming out called “They come to America II” that was exposed on Huckabee last night having to do with border security (or lack thereof) that every American should watch. The film maker spent months with our border agents in the border area between Mexico and the USA where the security is the most porous and what is actually happening, which is far different then we are hearing from the federal government. For example, do you know what the ethnic mix actually is of those slipping in illegally? You will be surprised to learn that large percentages of the illegals these days are from the middle east and mainland China, and are not just poor Mexicans looking for work.

    Check it out.

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    • sexysadieComment by sexysadie
      July 8, 2013 @ 11:19 am

      Although I agree with most of what you say, I disagree that there are “our country has thousands of really good and dedicated teachers who have really no say in the development of curriculum and the policies being implemented in our public educational system.” No teacher in any public school has any say-so in the development and/or influence on curriculum development. Those are solely the brainchild of policy nincompoops who are as far away from true education as east is from west. Public education is a colossal failure–a political behemoth infiltrated by decades of radical marxists-communists-atheists from the 60′s. They permeate the entire public education spectrum. To rid yourself of vermin, you must eradicate the source of its food–and in this case, they have infected the entire public education system. I went to school with other future teachers–almost all of them vying for public school employment. Why? The #1 reason was to have the summers off, Christmas (not called Christmas anymore…)and other holidays off–not to mention a work day of only 6 hours. THAT’s what is “teaching” children in public schools. My own sister is a public school teacher and she goes along willingly with anything and everything that percolates from the educrats. Her main purpose for teaching in a public school is $$$. That’s the bottom line.

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  8. justinphilpotComment by justinphilpot
    July 8, 2013 @ 11:26 am

    ain’t it wonderful how “no kid left behind” and all the other education programs have worked?
    thinking people can not be “controlled” by the government as easily as stupid people.
    why do you think the government got into the “education” business? it wasn’t to educated kids? on the contrary, it was to brain wash them into being good little slaves.

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    • sexysadieComment by sexysadie
      July 8, 2013 @ 8:06 pm

      In a very revealing documentary I just recently watched, infiltrating the public school system is/was key in the communists agenda. They have accomplished more than Lenin would have ever dreamed.

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  9. NY GrahamComment by NY Graham
    July 8, 2013 @ 11:27 am

    Public education is classic socialism. And, like all socialist schemes, the results are predictable. It was sold as the utopian promise of free education for everyone, even the poorest. Instead we have droves of uneducated, unskilled “graduates” churned out every year at high cost to the taxpayer. Ironically, it creates an even bigger class divide. The richest can afford to send their children to private school or hire tutors. Or, at least for now, you can choose to pay high property taxes in the hopes of finding a good school district (although with the interference of State and Federal government, this is becoming less meaningful).

    The only way to fix the mess is to get government out of the teaching business. Privatize the whole system. Local governments could still offer a stipend (e.g. $10000) to each student to be put towards school fees to make sure everyone can afford to go to some kind of school. But each school will be run completely independently and can charge what they think is a fair price. Schools that do well will be able to charge more. Schools that are failing will see attendance drop unless they improve. The power of the dollar will keep standards high. No unions, no pensions (except 401ks), and no interference from government. No longer will our schools hold our children hostage with every round of budget negotiations.

    Does anyone know of a school district that has tried this?

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    • FreeDameComment by FreeDame
      July 8, 2013 @ 6:32 pm

      “Does anyone know of a school district that has tried this?”

      They can’t. They’d be sued in a heartbeat.

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    • sexysadieComment by sexysadie
      July 8, 2013 @ 8:09 pm

      Not in this world. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Schools should be run either by private businesses or Churches. And, just for information purposes, most private/parochial schools offer scholarships for families who cannot afford the tuition. Of course, those scholarships are limited and the families must submit paperwork to prove that they truly cannot afford the tuition. As a principal in several Catholic schools, we had an average of about 20% of our families on either full or partial scholarship.

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  10. rrg51Comment by rrg51
    July 8, 2013 @ 11:41 am

    I recently read a biographical sketch of Fredrick Douglas, and the contrast to anybody’s motivation toward education today was staggering.

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  11. genesalComment by genesal
    July 8, 2013 @ 11:43 am

    In Nam the called them what they were, ‘reeducation camps’.

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  12. sbflaComment by sbfla
    July 8, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

    Lets get one thing straight here. Not all public schools fail the students. Usually inner city schools that act more like a juvenile detention facility and baby sitting service are the ones that give all public schools a bad name. The students no matter what color or race are a product of the environment they live in. Most of their parents have no education themselves and do not feel it is useful, therefore do not teach their children the importance of at least a good high school education. Better role models for these kids including teachers who actually care and a system that works and prepares teachers to educate those who really want to learn is needed, but we all know this is not the goal of the people we have in power. Make them all reliant upon the state and you have an ignorant, rude,lazy and uneducated voting base that will always vote for the free ride every time. This nation is fast approaching the stage of apathy on the survival scale for being able to sustain and thrive as a civilization. I mean what does our government do when the future of our country cannot read, write or even get a job. That’s great you have accomplished your goal of dumbifying America to buy votes now you have nobody intelligent or educated enough to work so instead of getting a job they take after the poor examples of their uneducated families and millions that came before them and take the easy way out and the free handouts from the government. With no money coming in from taxes and economical advancements this country is doomed and fast approaching the point of no return where the people that work for a living will be outvoted by the people that vote for a living.

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  13. sunnyarizonaComment by sunnyarizona
    July 8, 2013 @ 1:52 pm

    Hey Michael….hate to say it, but we are already there when it comes to where our kids are at intellectually….I knew that cursive was not going to be taught anymore, had no idea we are there already. American kids used to be among the smartest….they are at the bottom today if they are educated in Public schools. The agenda is no longer “reading, writing, and arithmetic ….it is condums, sex and more sex, and un-natural sex.
    Sad sad day, and our tax dollars pay for that!?!

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  14. braines57Comment by braines57
    July 8, 2013 @ 1:52 pm

    I have to disagree with the notion that “not all public schools fail the students”. Whoever, wrote that has not had any children attend public school recently. Both of my daughters attended putlic school. I would have loved to be able to either send them to private school or homeschool them; however, the cost for either of those options was beyond my reach. However, I have raised both of my girls not to just know what we believe, but why we believe it – something that in our experience not even all of the public school teachers are able to articulate. Oh, they can readily spew the politically correct litany; however, if someone questions how it lines up with facts, they are at a loss and usually dismiss the child who raises those points of discussion. As for the cursive writing, my youngest daughter just graduated from high school this year and during all 4 years she has never once been required to write anything in cursive. When, at my prompting, she asked about it she was told that it is “obsolete”. That philosophy is the same reason that children are no longer taught how to write a proper letter, with the correct address, format and closing. Since I still use those same techniques every day in email, I beg to differ as to how “obsolete” this might be. Personally, I think the root of this problem goes back much further than recent years. I can remember back to the late 80′s when “ebonics” was a common term used to allow teachers to not “downgrade” inner city youth for their improper use of vocabulary, grammar, syntax and spelling. All of those foundations to proper writing were used as criteria for grading white youth, but not any of their “ethnically diverse” fellow students. As long as those other students could put a thought down on paper – regardless of how it was worded or written – they received full credit. If you don’t believe me, browse through some of the “summer reading” books at any local bookstore and see how many of them utilize that same “style” of writing. Yes, I believe that in some texts, utilizing the common form of expression is critical to the work; however, there is no good reason I can think of as to why those same books have to have at least one curse word per sentence. My point is that this double “standard” of no standards at all has been prevalent for sometime. What has happened recently, with the advent of texting and other new forms of communication is that it is now spreading to the point where “old school” proper speech is now the exception. I don’t think there is anything remarkable about Jeantel except that anyone would have been surprised by her behavior.

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    • sexysadieComment by sexysadie
      July 8, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

      Couldn’t have said it better.

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  15. davebnmComment by davebnm
    July 8, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

    Why are they only concentrating on “she can’t read cursive?” Omara gave her a typed transcript and told her to read lines 18-24 and even pointed them out to her. She blankly stared at the paper, turned the page and stared at the next page, and then turned it back. She couldn’t read a word. I’m not making it up. She was just got “passed” to the 12th grade and she’s 19 years old. I wonder how her math and science skills are?

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  16. reelmanComment by reelman
    July 8, 2013 @ 2:45 pm

    Makes some wonder of she was in a Special Ed class…
    who checked on that?

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    • spindizzyComment by spindizzy
      July 8, 2013 @ 5:03 pm

      Special Ed class!? Those were outlawed years ago. They put everyone in together now-days. Makes for a real learning environment.

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  17. Frankly FrankComment by Frankly Frank
    July 8, 2013 @ 3:08 pm

    I read this article with great interest as I have others defending the so called “star witness” for the prosecution. What are my thoughts?

    While it may be true, Rachel is going to graduate soon and is no better off and ill-equipped to be a fruitful member of sociality. It all starts in the home.

    People are defending her and her background. Why? How many prominent blacks were raised in the slums and have risen to become the best in their chosen fields if study. Why is it they rose above all they had and this person can’t? Why is the public education system blamed for her failure? Where were the parents and what were they doing to make a better life for themselves and their children? Were they opportunists just marking time and allowing our welfare state government support them? Why work, why try. Come here, feign any will to succeed and let the state support you. That seems to be the way it’s going.

    My biggest complaint about this trial is it’s lopsided. The media wants to hang Zimmerman even if he is innocent, the prosecution brings in weak people to testify and the judge won’t throw the case out due to lack of evidence. Race riots? Well of course… Maybe if that happens we can blame it on the “public school system.” I mean after all, didn’t Obama blame Bush for the mess he inherited? The public school system is the public school system. Can it turn those who don’t want to learn into productive citizens of society? How do you deal with the gang mentality that seems to be so prevalent today? How do you deal with black mob violence that dictates it’s alright to beat up white people and rob stores and homes? Shall we blame that on the public school system as well?

    I’m sorry but I think the prosecution’s star witness did a poor job representing the trial. She was crude, ill-behaved and downright rude. Her behavior was contemptible. She had no respect for the proceedings and less respect for the defense attorney. What does that tell you? The public school system has failed her? No. Her parents have by not teaching her respect. It all begins in the home. Any respectful parent doesn’t raise their children to disrespect the law or the legal system even if it is flawed. You respect it and the people who defend our right to a fair trial regardless.

    Another sad point here is the way the world is going. Our news media puts more emphasis on the Zimmerman trial than it does on what’s going on in Egypt. Who cares about the potential for another world war.

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  18. hizgemComment by hizgem
    July 8, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

    PLEASE remember it takes two to educate. Don’t blame the education system and teachers until you find out the students attitude. One above mentioned taking a horse to water but not being able to make the horse drink. BINGO! As an educator I find children who crave learning and children who are there because their parents make them, at all levels even kindergarten and that is where the college education starts. So please do not put the blame on the teachers and eduction system until you find out ALL the pertinent information. Thank you Frankly Frank for being so truthfully blunt.

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    • sexysadieComment by sexysadie
      July 8, 2013 @ 8:15 pm

      Anyone who claims to be an “educator” isn’t one.

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    • leadfoot320Comment by leadfoot320
      July 9, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

      AGREED ! WHEN I WENT TO SCHOOL, IT WAS READING WRITING,AND ARITHMETIC ! AND IF YOU MISBEHAVED YOU WERE PUNISHED . AND YOU GOT WORSE WHEN YOU GOT HOME !
      CHILDREN WERE TAUGHT RESPECT AND RESPONSIBILITY! NOW IT “MY LITTLE JOHNY WOULDN’T DO THAT” IT MUST BE SOMEONE ELSE’S FAULT! IF THEY ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG AND GET HURT IT’S THE PROPERTY OWNERS FAULT ! SUE THEM !
      WE HAVE MANY GOOD TEACHERS THAT WENT IN TO TEACHING FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS, BUT THEIR HANDS ARE TIED AND ALL THEY CAN DO IS BABY SIT !
      A FRIEND OF MINE WAS A HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER FOR MANY YEARS, WHEN A SENIOR STUDENT TOOK A SWING AT HIM AND HE TOOK HIM BY THE BACK OF THE NECK TO PRINCIPALS OFFICE, HE WAS THE ONE REPRIMANDED ! AFTER BEING A LOVED TEACHER FOR SO MANY YEARS , HE GAVE UP AND RETIRED!
      I REMEMBER GETTING PUNISHED IN SCHOOL (INCLUDING THE PADDLE) IF THAT HAPPENED NOW THE PARENTS WOULD SUE ! NOW EVEN THE PARENTS CAN’T SPANK THE CHILD OR THE CHILD CAN CALL THE COPS!
      ALL BECAUSE OF THE DEPT. OF EDUCATION AND THE GOVERNMENT ! THY RAISE YOUR CHILDREN NOT THE PARENT!

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  19. peletierComment by peletier
    July 8, 2013 @ 4:50 pm

    Dear Mr. Reagan:

    After reading your “Nation of Dummies”, respectfully, I need to disagree with you.

    You blame the Public Education System in our Country for performances like the one Rachel Jeantel gave in the Trayvon Martin Trial yet, it is my opinion that such educational disaster is no accident. It has been intentional by our Goverment, at all levels because it is much better, and producive to deal with ignorants and idiots than with educated individuals… Tell my you do not agree.

    The Public Education and the books used in 2013 have nothing to do with the ones in 1950 or even in 1930. Why you ask? Because Governement have Agendas and they need the least resistance possible to accomplish their goals…

    Case in point. Have you ever seen the Tonight Show, when Jay Leno go out on the street and begin to ask “simple and retorical quetons” to passerbies, and the answers he gets… and 90% of this people are “going to college”… Now, what does that tells you…

    Dummies are slowly been created to become followers, no leaders. Have you seen anyone, remotely similar to our late President Ronald Reagan, amongst today’s Politicians? Of course not. Therefore, their plan is working, reason why Barck Obama’s are elected, and re-elected. So, who are the Dummies?

    We can not blame their Haitian, Dominican Republic, Mexican, or black heritage… It has been embedded in our Publica Education System, intentionally!

    Thank you for your comments!

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  20. middlegroundComment by middleground
    July 8, 2013 @ 5:20 pm

    I watched my wife take a class of first-grade students who were labeled slow learners because they scored less than 95 on the standard IQ test to the point where they averaged 120. It is called creating motivation and her class of 35 was a mixed bag of students from both upper middle income professional and low income blue collar. She used those techniques she’d learned in child psychology from Katherine Read (author of The Kindergarten) to motivate each student to learn, supplemented by those graduate courses in education required for teacher certification. She was able to get the lowest student to a third grade level of reading and the highest to the 12th grade. The class was enriched by science, both observational and experimental, with students working with circles, squares, triangles and pendulums to figure out puzzles (in reality formulas), as well as minor amounts of botany, zoology and geology (my sole input).

    Her worry was that these students might have trouble in a more structured second grade because she knew it would take at least three years of similarly reinforced teaching to set these students on a path to educational success. However, this type of teaching requires massive amounts of individual energy and when she had children she felt her children needed her full attention.

    Both of us are now retired, but I drive past a grade school in this teacher unionized state every day. There is never seems to be any school on Friday, so I calculate that the school year consists of approximately 144 teaching days out of 365. Basically, that is a half time job with the national average for such work reported to be between $50,000.00 and $75,000.00 and some have retired early on full medical benefits and geometrically increasing pensions in this bankrupt state, but “with just a few more taxes we can let these teachers continue to squander the intellectual development of this nation’s youth”.

    Our youth are capable of a lot more than we are asking of them, but who wants to exert the effort when there is no reward for accomplishment? We should steal an approach from our successful athletic coaches. It is called tests and rewards with outstanding teachers in the first through fourth grades and specialized teachers in the fifth and above. Moreover, the present system penalizes boys in that they are motivated mainly by competition and it favors those who create an image of accomplishment which may be intellectually false.

    However, it boils down to the reality that we are paying enough to demand the best, but we are settling for the absolute worst with unmotivated students who are being taught by unmotivated teachers. Read Herman Cain’s bio and you have a picture of hard working realistic parents who motivated their sons to excel in an environment where many fail, and that is what this country needs to reverse the damage inflicted by well meaning Washington bureaucrats who’ve bought into the thought that rewards come from above without individual effort and hard work.

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  21. EHeasslerComment by EHeassler
    July 8, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

    Until the black community at large values education as a means to social and economic advancement as well as its intrinsic value for self enlightenment, I think that we’ll see many more Jeantels as a norm rather than the exception. As long as its cool to use the black conjugation of the verb “be”as in “I be, we be, they be” followed by whatever mongrelization of the language that follows, you won’t see much improvement in verbal skills. One of the complaints I hear from black people is that they don’t seem to be able to communicate with white people and that white people can’t relate to them. As long as formal grammar skills are considered “acting white”, I don’t see a basis for change. Language is one of the areas that unite us as a nation and as long as there is such a vast difference in formal language skills between blacks and whites as well as the insistence by the black community in maintaining a uniquely black set of idioms whose sharing by whites is not invited nor appreciated, things are not going to change. Of the two ethnics groups, the black community is the one that suffers most for it.

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  22. flyerComment by flyer
    July 9, 2013 @ 10:50 am

    Then Atlas Shrugged

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  23. mvotano58Comment by mvotano58
    July 9, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

    I have an education from the public school system. I can read, write and perform mathematical functions. All my children are being, or were, educated in public schools. The difference between us and the rest of the world is simple to explain.

    I had parents who saw the value of an education and they instilled that in me. They participated in my education. They made sure I went to school, did my homework and behaved while I was in the care of my educators. I have instilled that in my children. Hopefully they will teach it to their children if and when they have them.

    My parents also taught me that I have a brain to question what I am being taught and, if it doesn’t ring true, then it is up to me to be bring falsehoods into the light.

    Education does not begin and end with the ringing of the school bell. It is something that begins with your birth and ends with your death. School is never out.

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    • peletierComment by peletier
      July 9, 2013 @ 6:15 pm

      You were a blessed and fortunate child…

      But, when was the last time you sat in a classroom, reviewed the topics been taught, spoke with your children teachers, or look through the books been used, today? There is your answer… You are living in the past! In case you wonder, I also have a College Degree!

      Suggest you be very careful, encouraging your children to “question/inquire” what is going on in any particular Classroom…

      Radical Liberals own and rule the Education System, and hence, your children learning process.

      Children today, do not have the freedom to express themselves that, you think, they have!

      Sorry to tell you.

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  24. gsreaganComment by gsreagan
    July 9, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

    Ever since JC created the DoED in 1979, the US of A’s educational system has been dumbed down. My older son started KG in 1974 and had a good report card up until the mid 1980′s and by the time he started 10th grade, he wasn’t interested in school. He dropped out of public school and we sent him to private school. Today, he owns his own successful data business. The younger son by 8 years wasn’t as fortunate. The system was dumbed down when he started. Today, he is an OK general laborer that works for his brother. America is in trouble because of the recent attempts to incorporate Common Core into the system. In Texas the CScope system has been stopped and is being debated. The general publics parents are concerned.

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  25. peletierComment by peletier
    July 9, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

    Reply to leadfoot320

    Congratulations on your “on target comments”…
    I don’t mind repeating myself: Corrupt policias, civic and speritual leaders want nothing more that an “ingnorant and uneducated population”, so that they carry out their wicket Agendas, undisturbs…

    Than is how the Barack Obamas of this world are elected, and re-elected…

    GOD SAVE AMERICA!

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