Archive for the ‘Education’ Category
This is attributed to Southern California Radio host Dennis Prager.
A Speech Every American High School Principal Should Give.
By Dennis Prager.
To the students and faculty of our high school:
I am your new principal, and honored to be so. There is no greater calling than to teach young people.
I would like to apprise you of some important changes coming to our school. I am making these changes because I am convinced that most of the ideas that have dominated public education in America have worked against you, against your teachers and against our country.
First, this school will no longer honor race or ethnicity. I could not care less if your racial makeup is black, brown, red, yellow or white. I could not care less if your origins are African, Latin American, Asian or European, or if your ancestors arrived here on the Mayflower or on slave ships. The only identity I care about, the only one this school will recognize, is your individual identity — your character, your scholarship, your humanity. And the only national identity this school will care about is American.
This is an American public school, and American public schools were created to make better Americans. If you wish to affirm an ethnic, racial or religious identity through school, you will have to go elsewhere. We will end all ethnicity, race and non-American nationality-based celebrations. They undermine the motto of America, one of its three central values — e pluribus Unum, “from many, one.” And this school will be guided by America’s values. This includes all after-school clubs. I will not authorize clubs that divide students based on any identities. This includes race, language, religion, sexual orientation or whatever else may become in vogue in a society divided by political correctness.
Your clubs will be based on interests and passions, not blood, ethnic, racial or other physically defined ties. Those clubs just cultivate narcissism — an unhealthy preoccupation with the self – while the purpose of education is to get you to think beyond yourself. So we will have clubs that transport you to the wonders and glories of art, music, astronomy, languages you do not already speak, carpentry and more. If the only extracurricular activities you can imagine being interested in are those based on ethnic, racial or sexual identity, that means that little outside of yourself really interests you.
Second, I am uninterested in whether English is your native language. My only interest in terms of language is that you leave this school speaking and writing English as fluently as possible. The English language has united America’s citizens for over 200 years, and it will unite us at this school. It is one of the indispensable reasons this country of immigrants has always come to be one country. And if you leave this school without excellent English language skills, I would be remiss in my duty to ensure that you will be prepared to successfully compete in the American job market. We will learn other languages here — it is deplorable that most Americans only speak English –but if you want classes taught in your native language rather than in English, this is not your school.
Third, because I regard learning as a sacred endeavor, everything in this school will reflect learning’s elevated status. This means, among other things, that you and your teachers will dress accordingly. Many people in our society dress more formally for Hollywood events than for church or school. These people have their priorities backward. Therefore, there will be a formal dress code at this school.
Fourth, no obscene language will be tolerated anywhere on this school’s property — whether in class, in the hallways or at athletic events. If you can’t speak without using the f-word, you can’t speak. By obscene language I mean the words banned by the Federal Communications Commission, plus epithets such as “Nigger,” even when used by one black student to address another black, or “bitch,” even when addressed by a girl to a girlfriend. It is my intent that by the time you leave this school, you will be among the few your age to instinctively distinguish between the elevated and the degraded, the holy and the obscene.
Fifth, we will end all self-esteem programs. In this school, self-esteem will be attained in only one way — the way people attained it until decided otherwise a generation ago — by earning it. One immediate consequence is that there will be one valedictorian, not eight.
Sixth, and last, I am reorienting the school toward academics and away from politics and propaganda. No more time will be devoted to scaring you about smoking and caffeine, or terrifying you about sexual harassment or global warming. No more semesters will be devoted to condom wearing and teaching you to regard sexual relations as only or primarily a health issue… There will be no more attempts to convince you that you are a victim because you are not white, or not male, or not heterosexual or not Christian. We will have failed if any one of you graduates this school and does not consider him or herself inordinately fortunate — to be alive and to be an American.
Now, please stand and join me in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of our country. As many of you do not know the words, your teachers will hand them out to you.
The Root of Our Problem
by L. J. Martin
I happen to be back in Montana for a week, and had my kids and grandkids over for supper before we start back to Ventura. As is usual, while supper is cooking, we played a little pool.
My grandson, a junior in high school, and 16 years old, happened to mention to me all the reasons he wouldn’t vote for Romney. My grandson, for your information, lived with his mother, a Mormon, for the first six years of his life, until she passed a couple of years after his parents separated. I tell you that as he attended the Mormon church with her to illustrate that he certainly had no prejudice. If anything, he should favor Mitt.
His reasoning? His geography teacher gave his class a lecture about why they shouldn’t vote for Romney, and should vote for Obama. This, by the way, was on his educational time (geography) and on my dollar as a taxpayer. Why shouldn’t he support Romney? Because Romney made 22 million dollars last year and only paid 3 million in taxes.
Needless to say, he got another lecture from his grandfather.
Romney paid exactly what the fed said he should pay. Do you think my grandson’s geography teacher mentioned that Romney complied with the tax code, that he obeyed the law? Of course not. He is the evil 1%. Do you think she mentioned that she also complied with the code, and paid what the code said she should pay? Did she pay a dime more? Of course not, and neither did Romney, and neither did you.
In fact, he didn’t steal from my grandson by taking class time in the subject of geography to lecture on why not to vote for one candidate or another. He didn’t steal from me by taking my money as taxes to support the public schools by preaching politics in class time. She did.
To tell you the honest to God truth, I’m incensed. But the lectures weren’t over. My wife just gave me a lecture as to why I shouldn’t risk his grade by writing a letter to the editor, by calling the principal of the high school, by appearing at the school board and raising absolute billy-Jo-hell over the fact this teacher is cheating all the students in her class, all the taxpayers in the county, and worse, all those who believe in our public education system, and far worse, the republic which has given her the opportunity to teach the children of those who’ve benefited from the very system she lectures to destroy with half truths and outright lies.
And, no, I don’t mean anything in regards to an individual candidate, be it Obama, or Romney, or Gingrich, whom I support. I mean she cheats the system. She’s the root of the problem. She poisons the system by her biased action in a public venue which should be both unbiased and non-political. If she wants to stand on a soap box in the public square, more power to her. But not in the schools. A public employee who uses her platform and the taxpayer’s money to support either candidate is a cheat. A public employee who has the audacity to try and get my grandson to conform to her political beliefs while on my dollar and yours, is a cheat.
She’s the cheat, not Mitt Romney.
I wish I could challenge her to a debate in front of that class she’s cheated of their classroom time, but that won’t happen as that would only continue to cheat them more from learning what she’s supposed to be teaching—and of course risk my grandson’s grade as she’s already demonstrated that she can’t be fair and impartial. If my grandson wanted a lecture on the tax code he’d have taken accounting, or upon the political system, he’d have taken political science…and even then the instructor should stay out of partisan politics. Fat chance.
It’s time to jerk the chain of teachers K through 12, when children are so susceptible, and require them to take a course in ethics.
L. J. Martin is the author of 30 book length publications as we as dozens of articles in national periodicals. He writes the conservative blog http://fromthepeapatch.com . He’s married to an internationally published NYT bestselling author of women’s fiction. Learn more at www.ljmartin.com.
A Day to Celebrate the Fruition of the Constitution
On this national holiday, celebrating the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, I think it’s appropriate for all those rejoicing to look back on our Constitution and what it promised the citizens of the United States of America. If King did one thing, he brought fruition to that document and to the Declaration of Independence. All men, in the eyes of the founders, are created equal. Now the challenge for those blessed to be born in America, or who’ve emigrated to America, is to live up to her challenge, to know what the promise of those documents were, and to honor them. And the promise was not that all men are equal, but that all men have equal opportunity. Here’s a way to see how you do as a knowledgeable citizen of this country. This Newsweek test was given to 1,000 Americans;
I guess I shouldn’t be shocked by this, but I am…. Make sure you wait and get through the ad on this video…IT’S IMPORTANT.
Our children are being poisoned… (video)
In today’s encore excerpt – veteran prison counselor Sunny Schwartz embarks on the task of bringing a highly innovative program called ‘restorative justice’ to the San Francisco County Prison system. Like most prisons, these prisons – which house prisoners with records fairly typical of jails throughout the country – are commonly referred to by guards and others associated with them as ‘monster factories’. The United States has the world’s highest incarceration rate:
“I had to make good on the promise of [introducing] constructive programs, and my first big push went to getting a school in the jail. I discovered that our neighbor to the north, just behind the razor-wire fence and a stand of trees, was Skyline Community College. I gave them the hard sell, told them our population needed their classes more than anyone else, and they’d said they would try. One of the first things the college did was help us perform a survey of our population’s needs so I would know what kind of programs I should start:
“75 percent [of the prisoners] were reading somewhere between the fourth- and sixth-grade levels. 90 percent never had a legal job. 90 percent were self-identified addicts. 80 percent were self-identified victims of sexual or physical violence as a child. 65 percent had been placed in a special-education class at some point. 75 percent were high school dropouts.
“It was dismal. If there was ever a set of numbers that spoke more plainly to the need for some alternative to warehousing people, I hadn’t seen it. Even I was surprised that 80 percent said they had been abused in the past, and I was stunned that 90 percent had never had a legal job. These were incredible obstacles. …
“[I learned of a program called] ‘Restorative Justice.’ The name alone piqued my interest. Nothing I’d seen in the criminal justice system had ever been in the business of ‘restoring’ anything. I’d seen crimes committed, I’d seen people punished, lives and families ruined, but never restoration. … The three principles of restorative justice are offender accountability, victim restoration and community involvement to heal the harm caused by crime. … The goal of restorative justice was to heal the victims, for perpetrators to take responsibility for their actions and make meaningful restitution, and for governments and communities to be part of the process. …
“Most people I think believe that prison or jail should be a horrible experience. People don’t think of it as a deterrent so much as just deserts. ‘They’ hurt ‘us’ therefore ‘we’ should hurt ‘them.’ For years politicians have won elections by promising to take away cable television and weight rooms and anything seen to make prison cushy. We have a culture where jokes about prison rape are made out in the open. The prevailing wisdom is that prisoners deserve to be treated like animals; they should fear prison and suffer while they are there. Anyone who has spent time working with prisoners knows this has largely come to pass. What most people don’t realize is the consequences of making prisons a living nightmare. Most of the inmates I’d worked with, particularly when I was a law intern, felt punished, but not many of them took responsibility for their crimes or felt any remorse.
“Martin Aguerro, the pedophile, the first client I had when I started in 1980, was a case in point. He complained about the squalid treatment and living conditions in jail, he felt wronged, but I never got the sense that he thought about his crimes. In fact, everything about the system of prosecution and defense is set up so that criminals get into a habit of denying their responsibility. Every step of the way between the arrest and the trial, people accused of crimes deny everything or keep silent. It’s what their defense attorneys tell them to do. After their trial, if they’re convicted, many don’t change their mind-set. Why should they? To truly confront what they’ve done requires confronting the shame and fear and the reality of their situation. Few people choose to do this because it’s difficult. After all it’s hard for noncriminals to take responsibility for doing the wrong thing, much less someone sitting in a prison cell. So criminals blame someone or something else – the cop who caught them or their lousy upbringing – for their circumstances and spend their time growing angrier and angrier about being treated like an animal. They are usually full of rage when they are released and less prepared to function as citizens; the predictable products of the monster factory.”
Author: Sunny Schwartz and David Boodell
Title: Dreams from the Monster Factory: A Tale of Prison Redemption and One Woman’s Fight to Restore Justice to All
Date: Copyright 2009 by Sunny Schwartz and David Boodell
Pages: 93-94, 126-127
Dreams from the Monster Factory: A Tale of Prison, Redemption, and One Woman’s Fight to Restore Justice to All
Could you pass the citizenship exam?
Newsweek asked 1,000 Americans questions taken from the U. S. citizenship exam.
The exam is ten questions out of a hundred possible. The results were disappointing if not surprising:
29 percent couldn’t name the VP of the U.S.
73 percent couldn’t say why we fought the cold war
40 percent didn’t know we fought Germany, Japan, and Italy in WWII
63 percent got the number of Supreme Court justices wrong
65 percent had no idea what happened at the Constitutional Convention
70 percent didn’t know that the Constitution was the supreme law of the land
44 percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights
23 percent didn’t know that Martin Luther King fought for civil rights
6 percent didn’t know that Independence Day fell on July 4
Would you like to see how well you’d do….
Here are the possible questions on the test, followed by the answers:
Typical citizenship Examination Questions
In the U.S. citizenship application process, after you have filed your naturalization application package, if you meet the requirements the Bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will schedule you for an interview. During the interview, the examiner will test your English reading and writing skills by giving you a simple dictation test. You will also have to sign your name in English. If you are physically unable to read or write or are at least fifty years old and have lived in the United States as a permanent legal resident for at least twenty years, you do not have to take the literacy examination.
The examiner will also ask you some questions about the U.S. system of government and history to confirm that you have basic knowledge of these subjects. From the USCIS, below are questions you can expect to be asked, followed by the answers to those questions.
1. What are the colors of our flag?
2. How many stars are there in our flag?
3. What color are the stars on our flag?
4. What do the stars on the flag mean?
5. How many stripes are there in the flag?
6. What color are the stripes?
7. What do the stripes on the flag mean?
8. How many states are there in the union?
9. What is the 4th of July?
10. What is the date of Independence Day?
11. Independence from whom?
12. What country did we fight during the Revolutionary War?
13. Who was the first President of the United States?
14. Who is the President of the United States today?
15. Who is the Vice-President of the United States today?
16. Who elects the President of the United States?
17. Who becomes President of the United States if the President should die?
18. For how long do we elect the President?
19. What is the Constitution?
20. Can the Constitution be changed?
21. What do we call a change to the Constitution?
22. How many changes or amendments are there to the Constitution?
23. How many branches are there in our government?
24. What are the three branches of our government?
25. What is the legislative branch of our government?
26. Who makes the laws in the United States?
27. What is Congress?
28. What are the duties of Congress?
29. Who elects Congress?
30. How many senators are there in Congress?
31. Can you name the two senators from your state?
32. For how long do we elect each senator?
33. How many representatives are there in Congress?
34. For how long do we elect the representatives?
35. What is the executive branch of our government?
36. What is the judiciary branch of our government?
37. What are the duties of the Supreme Court?
38. What is the supreme law of the United States?
39. What is the Bill of Rights?
40. What is the capital of your state?
41. Who is the current governor of your state?
42. Who becomes President of the U.S.A. if the President and the Vice-President should die?
43. Who is the chief justice of the Supreme Court?
44. Can you name the thirteen original states?
45. Who said, “Give me liberty or give me death”?
46. Which countries were our enemies during World War II?
47. What are the 49th and 50th states of the Union?
48. How many terms can a President serve?
49. Who was Martin Luther King, Jr.?
50. Who is the head of your local government?
51. According to the Constitution, a person must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible to become President. Name one of these requirements.
52. Why are there 100 senators in the senate?
53. Who selects the Supreme Court justices?
54. How many Supreme Court justices are there?
55. Why did the pilgrims come to America?
56. What is the head executive of a state government called?
57. What is the head executive of a city government called?
58. What holiday was celebrated for the first time by the American colonists?
59. Who was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence?
60. When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?
61. What is the basic belief of the Declaration of Independence?
62. What is the national anthem of the United States?
63. Who wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner”?
64. Where does freedom of speech come from?
65. What is the minimum voting age in the United States?
66. Who signs bills into law?
67. What is the highest court in the United States?
68. Who was the President during the Civil War?
69. What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?
70. What special group advises the President?
71. Which President is called the “father of our country”?
72. What immigration and naturalization service form is used to apply to become a naturalized citizen?
73. Who helped the pilgrims in America?
74. What is the name of the ship that brought the pilgrims to America?
75. What were the 13 original states of the United States called?
76. Name 3 rights or freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights?
77. Who has the power to declare war?
78. What kind of government does the United States have?
79. Which President freed the slaves?
80. In what year was the Constitution written?
81. What are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution called?
82. Name one purpose of the United Nations.
83. Where does Congress meet?
84. Whose rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?
85. What is the introduction to the Constitution called?
86. Name one benefit of being a citizen of the United States.
87. What is the most important right granted to U.S. citizens?
88. What is the United States capitol?
89. What is the White House?
90. Where is the White House located?
91. What is the name of the President’s official home?
92. Name one right guaranteed by the First Amendment.
93. Who is the commander-in-chief of the U.S. military?
94. Which President was the first commander-in-chief of the U.S. military?
95. In what month do we vote for the President?
96. In what month is the new President inaugurated?
97. How many times may a senator be re-elected?
98. How many times may a congressman be re-elected?
99. What are the 2 major political parties in the U.S. today?
100. How many states are there in the United States?
- - - - -
1. Red, white, and blue
4. One for each state in the union
6. Red and white
7. They represent the original 13 states
9. Independence Day
10. July 4th
13. George Washington
14. George W. Bush
15. Dick Cheney
16. The electoral college
17. Vice President
18. Four years
19. The Supreme Law of the Land
24. Legislative, executive, and judiciary
27. The Senate and the House of Representatives
28. To make laws
29. The people
31. (local information)
32. 6 years
34. 2 years
35. The President, Cabinet, and departments under the cabinet members
36. The Supreme Court
37. To interpret laws
38. The Constitution
39. The first 10 amendments of the Constitution
40. (local information)
41. (local information)
42. Speaker of the House of Representatives
43. William Rehnquist
44. Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts,Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Rhode Island, and Maryland
45. Patrick Henry
46. Germany, Italy, and Japan
47. Hawaii and Alaska
49. A civil rights leader
50. (local information)
51. Must be a natural born citizen of the United States; must be at least 35 years old by the time he/she will serve; must have lived in the United States for at least 14 years
52. Two (2) from each state
53. Appointed by the President
54. Nine (9)
55. For religious freedom
59. Thomas Jefferson
60. July 4, 1776
61. That all men are created equal
62. The star-spangled banner
63. Francis Scott Key
64. The Bill of Rights
65. Eighteen (18)
66. The President
67. The Supreme Court
68. Abraham Lincoln
69. Freed many slaves
70. The Cabinet
71. George Washington
72. Form N-400, “application to file petition for naturalization”
73. The American indians (native Americans)
74. The Mayflower
76. Freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights:
(a) the right of freedom of speech, press, religion, peaceable assembly and requesting change of government.
(b) the right to bear arms (the right to have weapons or own a gun, though subject to certain regulations).
(c) the government may not quarter, or house, soldiers in the people’s homes during peacetime without the people’s consent.
(d) the government may not search or take a person’s property without a warrant.
(e) a person may not be tried twice for the same crime and does not have to testify against himself.
(f) a person charged with a crime still has some rights, such as the right to a trial and to have a lawyer.
(g) the right to trial by jury in most cases.
(h) protects people against excessive or unreasonable fines or cruel and unusual punishment.
(l) the people have rights other than those mentioned in the Constitution. Any power not given to the federal government by the Constitution is a power of either the state or the people.
77. The Congress
79. Abraham Lincoln
81. The Bill of Rights
82. For countries to discuss and try to resolve world problems; to provide economic aid to many countries.
83. In the capitol in Washington, D.C.
84. Everyone (citizens and non-citizens living in the U.S.)
85. The preamble
86. Obtain federal government jobs; travel with a U.S. passport; petition for close relatives to come to the U.S.to live
87. The right to vote
88. The place where Congress meets
89. The President’s official home
90. Washington, D.C. (1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW)
91. The White House
92. Freedom of: speech, press, religion, peaceable assembly, and requesting change of the government
93. The President
94. George Washington
97. There is no limit
98. There is no limit
99. Democratic and Republican
100. Fifty (50)