Thursday, July 27, 2006

Education and SB 1437

About a year ago the great Thomas Sowell wrote (“Dogma Versus Reality”) about the education of teachers. An opinion poll among professors of education, the people who train our public school teachers, is “very revealing as to what has been so wrong for so long in our schools.”

One question asks should teachers be conveyors of knowledge who enlighten their students with what they know? Or should teachers see themselves as facilitators of learning who enable their students to learn on their own?

Ninety two percent of the professors of education said that teachers should be facilitators rather than engaging in what is called directed instruction -- what we used to call just plain teaching. This theory has remained the prevailing dogma in schools of education all through the years when test scores stagnated and real inflation-adjusted spending on education skyrocketed.

Sowell asks: “What is more important in math, that children know the right answers to the questions or that they struggle with the process of trying to find the right answers? Among professors of education, 86 percent choose struggling over knowing.”

“This is all part of a larger vision in which children discover their own knowledge rather than have teachers pass on to them the knowledge of what others have already discovered. The idea that children will discover knowledge that took scholars and geniuses decades, or even generations, to produce is truly a faith which passeth all understanding.”

I wondered during the “New Math” craze how the average student was going to discover the product of 7 and 12 without memorizing the multiplication tables. Forget about multiplication, have you seen the deer-in-the-headlights look that comes over a cashier when s/he needs to make change without the cash register telling how much?

The other Ed School dogma that has been a disaster for public education is the focus on feelings over learning. My Zone Bridge partner Maggie tells me that she just attended a workshop on “Focused Learning” where the teachers were told that student performance depends on IQ (25%), Life Experiences (25%) and Self Confidence (50%). Apparently hard work and quality instruction are no longer considered important.

The legislation contained in California
SB 1437 is another spectacularly bad example of educational social theory run amok.

Senate Bill 1437 expressly prohibits textbooks, instructional materials, and school-sponsored activities from “reflecting adversely” on transsexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality. For example, instructional materials could not only say “a husband and wife,” but must include “two wives who are married lesbians.”


SB 1437, Sec. 1 states: “No teacher shall give instruction nor shall a school district sponsor any activity that reflects adversely upon persons because of their race or ethnicity, gender, disability, nationality, sexual orientation, or religion.”

Note the use of gender rather than sex and the addition of sexual orientation. Gender includes trans-sexuality and transvestitism while sexual orientation adds bisexuality and homosexuality, that must not be adversely reflected. Why trans-sexuality, transvestitism, bisexuality and homosexuality need to be reflected or discussed at all is a mystery to me.

But wait, school activities that might be deemed to “reflect adversely” on trans-sexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality could include prom kings and queens, boys basketball, girls synchronized swimming. Furthermore, showing videos depicting the traditional family or man-woman relationships would reflect adversely on other genders or sexual orientations as would omitting sex-change material in sex education class.

Because parental units are gender-specific, married couples or a family with a father and a mother could be prohibited from textbooks because their inclusion “reflects adversely.” Under SB 1437, Mom and Dad will be referred to as sperm doner and sperm receiver and school curriculums throughout California, in every grade K-12, would have to portray transsexual and bisexual “parents” as normal.

Recall that
AB 606 tells school districts what pro-trans-bi-homosexual textbooks they must use. SB 1437 is even more specific as it dictates what California schools may not use (anything “reflecting adversely” on trans-sexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality by promoting traditional families).

In the amended version of the bill, the author Senator Sheila Kuehl (D) now openly and specifically requires positive portrayals of transsexual, bisexual, and homosexual lifestyles in ALL curriculum, for children as young as kindergarten.


SB 1437 continues the campaign of the Ed Schools and liberal politicians to replace traditional learning with social engineering.


The governor is doing a phone poll. If you care about families, call 916-445-2841.


The phone recording will ask:

a. If you want this message in english?: yes, press 1
b. Is this in regards to a legislation bill? yes, press 1
c. Is the bill sb 1437? yes, press 1
d. Are you in favor of this legislation? NO, press 2

15 Comments:

Blogger W Brown said...

My Small Learning Community at the Queens High School of Teaching just read "Whats worth Fighting for in Our Schools"by Hargreaves and Fullan, I would ove for you to join our online conversation.

www.monticohort1.blogspot.com

5:07 PM  
Anonymous mmaggie said...

I love your blogs on education Billy. I agree we need to get back to the basics for all children. Special needs children struggle every day just to learn and remember the basics. They put forth great effort and we praise each success no matter how small (such as learning to match a letter to a sound ) They may never meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind ... but they are all successful in my eyes.
Students certainly need to learn problem solving skills - but let's teach them first and let them problem solve with the knowledge they have LEARNED -

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brother Bill – thanks for making it so simple! You should regularly and frequently have phone instructions regarding various pieces of proposed legislation.

Semper Fi!

Dave.

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Bill.... I phoned, and sent the message on to my mailing list.

As for this:

she just attended a workshop on “Focused Learning” where the teachers were told that student performance depends on IQ (25%), Life Experiences (25%) and Self Confidence (50%).

What a bunch of CRAP!!!

Doc

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, I called and answered the survey; however, on item “b” below you actually press “2”. I’m sure your readers will figure it out………… but just in case.

M

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is NOT true Bill – you don’t know what you are talking about. I am a facilitator and that doesn’t mean no direct teaching! What it does mean is that teacher allow students to learn in the best way THEY can – for example, instead of having ALL students take a multiple choice test, to show their knowledge about a subject a student is given different ways to show what they know. Some may take the test, some may do a written or oral report, some may do a project, etc. You need to bone up on Gardner’s multiple intelligences and see what I am talking about.

What is needed Bill are high schools and colleges who DON”T pass along students who do not know basic spoken and written English, math and sciences– for example, I talked with one woman who had her PH.D from the University of Chicago and in speaking she said, “I axed him what he be doing?” A Ph.D???

That is the problem – not facilitation. There are crummy teachers and there are excellent ones – we need to get rid of the crummy one..

Helen

7:01 PM  
Blogger Bill Lama said...

Helen,
Thank you for the feedback. But help me understand what is NOT true.

Is it that 92% of the professors of education said that teachers should be facilitators rather than engaging in directed instruction?

Or is it that facilitation (allowing students to learn in the best way THEY can?) works? If this new approach is working I sure don't see evidence of it.

I agree with you that high schools and colleges shouldn't pass along students who do not know basic spoken and written English, math and sciences but wonder how the students are supposed to learn that material without directed instruction, and how teachers are to judge whether they know it without testing.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee , do you think the fact that she is a lesbian might, just maybe might, have anything to do with this??!!

Barry

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's Bill for doing some legwork. Today it's more about politics than teaching students. It seems to me that the schools are more often than not driven by the "political correctness" of the day than the desire to teach.

I (we) must remain vigilant.

Dori

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post Bill! We definitely need to get the homosexual agenda out of our schools! It was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!!!!

8:29 PM  
Blogger gary daily said...

Thomas Sowell says: “The idea that children will discover knowledge that took scholars and geniuses decades, or even generations, to produce is truly a faith which passeth all understanding.”

Isaak Newton says: “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”

I guess Sowell is satisfied with running in place; Newton, always one to see the bigger picture, demonstrates a humility that recognizes the contributions of the knowledge acquired from others while taking justifiable pride in “seeing” for himself.

I would have to say that Newton’s formula for successful learning has more going for it than Sowell’s which comes down to: Let’s fill these empty little bottles up with what we know-- now, for sure, for all time. Now _there’s_ a bit of “social engineering” for you. It’s right out of totalitarian pedagogical textbooks.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you read this bill for yourself? There is absolutely no reference in the bill to requiring "that all new text books (k-12) highlight homosexuals and ELIMINATE all references to "Mom" and "Dad." OR to them being "referred to as "sperm donors" and "sperm receivers."

I suggest that you read bills for yourself and not necessarily believe everything you read in an email without thorough investigation of it.  Often times groups in both sides of the political spectrum manipulate people like you and I who may not have time to do the research on every bill.

http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/bill/sen/sb_1401-1450/sb_1437_bill_20060222_introduced.html
 

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please be careful when you vote on the dial in poll. The instructions, like our curicula, have changed.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please be careful when you vote on the dial in poll. The instructions, like our curricula, have changed.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear palosverdesblog,

I want to thank you for your website; however, I must share with you the following.

One of our church members recently signed a petition against SB1437, which referenced the statement that the bill ELIMINATES all references to "Mom" and "Dad."
Instead they will be referred to as "sperm donors" and
"sperm receivers."

Our church member later received a call from the West Hollywood City Council which stated that they received a copy of the email and that it contained false information. (The City Council office received the email from a LGBT--Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender--Labor Leadership group.)

Nowhere in the actual bill does it say that "Mom" and "Dad." will be referred to as "sperm donors" and "sperm receivers." That COULD be an frightening result, but should not be presented as if it were part of the actual legislation.

I hope that you will make an appropriate clarification to your blog. Especially in a high-profile case such as this one, where Christians are already under attack for our stands for the truth and for reason, we must absolutely strive to print accurate information only.

I will also be sharing this with other websites/blogs that I have seen publishing the statement.

Thank you so much.

A. Rice
Pasadena, CA

6:24 PM  

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