“Upon the education of the people of this country the fate of this country depends.”
“If kids come to us [educators/teachers] from strong, healthy functioning families, it makes our job easier. If they do not come to us from strong, healthy, functioning families, it makes our job more important.”
“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.”
48% of the USA culture is “Functionally Illiterate” which means they cannot
read a restaurant menu or a newspaper or fill out a job application.*
The vast majority of these ‘functionally illiterate’ students including their parents and
other adults have some type of learning disability and/or learning disorder or co-morbidity, that
is, they have multiple learning issues, which I prefer to call “learning differently” issues the
traditional educational process has not learned to accommodate. These students lack neither the
intelligence nor are they lazy nor stupid nor unmotivated. These students are not getting the
proper diagnosis and treatment from the “Educational Process” to learn even the basic skills
needed to discover the magic of learning how to learn with the ability to read, write and do
In order to better understand the current state of the United States public school system, review
the following videos about a documentary film called “Waiting for Superman”. Note that the author of
this post emphatically states that neither Charter Schools, nor Vouchers nor the Federal Common Core
State Standards are the answer. The answer is to fix the public school system not to decimate the public
school system. The answer is a fundamental problem that is the “Educational Process” needs a
revolution with a reorganization of the physical and human resources to be more responsive to address
the individual learning needs of the whole student. This can be done without additional costs to the
Waiting for “Superman” is a 2010 documentary film from director Davis Guggenheim and
producer Lesley Chilcott. The film analyzes the failures of the American public education system
by following several students as they strive to be accepted into a charter school.
The film received the Audience Award for best documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film
Festival. The film also received the Best Documentary Feature at the Critics’ Choice Movie
Awards. Geoffrey Canada describes his journey as an educator and his surprise when he realizes
upon entering adulthood that Superman is a fictional character and that no one is powerful
enough to save us all.
Throughout the documentary, different aspects of the American public education system
are examined. Things such as the ease in which a public school teacher achieves tenure, the
inability to fire a teacher who is tenured, and how the system attempts to reprimand poorly
performing teachers are shown to have an impact on the educational environment. Teaching
standards are called into question as there is often conflicting bureaucracy between teaching
expectations at the school, state, or federal level.
The film also examines teachers unions. Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of the
Washington, D.C. public schools (the district with some of the worst-performing students at the
time), is shown attempting to take on the union agreements that teachers are bound to, but suffers
a backlash from the unions and the teachers themselves.
Statistical comparisons are made between the different types of primary or secondary
educational institutions available: state school, private school, and charter school. There are also
comparisons made between schools in affluent neighborhoods versus schools in poorer ones.
Since charter schools do not operate with the same restrictions as public institutions, they are
depicted as having a more experimental approach to educating students.
Since many charter schools are not large enough to accept all of their applicants, the
selection of students is done by lottery. The film follows several families as they attempt to gain
access to prominent charter schools for their children.
Katie Couric on “Waiting for “Superman”
“A Conversation On Waiting For Superman”
“The Inconvenient Truth About Waiting For Superman”
Another set of excellent videos on the state of the U.S.A. public school system was
produced for ABC’s 20/20 show where reporter John Stossel investigated why public school
students in America seem to be less well-educated than their counterparts in the rest of the
World. Mr. Stossel demonstrates he believes students in America are not less intelligent, but are
actually receiving a lesser quality of education across the board. Stossel reports, that this is due
to the US government holding a complete monopoly over the public school system, which
generates no choice of schools for those looking to enter one. Stossel represents that this differs
to most other countries, where choice apparently brings the quality of education up. Stossel
attempts to highlight some innovative educational programs cross the US within this film. Note
that Mr. Stossel does not attempt to compare the cultural differences when comparing the nature
of the students learning issues between the countries.
“JOHN STOSSEL DOCUMENTARY STUPID IN AMERICA”
Stupid In America Documentary Part I by John Stossel
Stupid In America Documentary Part II by John Stossel
Stupid In America Documentary Part III by John Stossel
Any student, whether a young student or an adult student may turnaround
their basic learning issues in as little one to three months with the proper
motivation, diagnosis, treatment, mater teacher instruction, educational videos and
computer software learning tools.
“We need a revolution in education not reformers.”
“Reform is distinguished from a revolution.”
A revolution means a basic or radical change; whereas reform may be no more than fine
tuning, or at most, redressing serious wrongs without altering the fundamentals of the system.
Reformers seek to improve the system as it stands never to overthrow the educational system.
What we need is a meaningful educational process that is responsive to the educational needs of
the whole student not only to address the students traditional academic learning needs, but,
modernly, the educational process includes an Individual Educational Learning Plan (IELP)
to address the needs of the whole student including any learning disability, learning disorders,
social, cultural, behavioral, emotional, physical, mental health, nutritional health, parent or the
lack of one or both parent’s involvement the students’ issues and any other learning issues that
impact the students’ ability to learn. The fundamentals of the educational process for the
majority of students and the nation have failed.
An education revolution of the educational process
is required not a reformation.
It is alarming to some people that the increasing number of more educated students in science
and math in other nations when compared to the United States is perceived as a political
competition and the perception there is a “shift” in world political and economic power. However,
I see it as an opportunity for people in other countries to raise their standard of living with a better
educated population who will make more sophisticated choices in their everyday lives including
their personal relationships, religious tolerance, political freedom with more individual rights. As I
see it other nations are beginning to live a more intelligent lifestyle with better political and
lifestyle choices rather than as a competition for political dominance.
The United States of America excels at creativity more than any other culture in the world.
Our technology developed through our personal freedom, democracy, the free enterprise system,
capitalism, and character makes all the difference on the competitive world political, business and
The fact that other nations have more educated people in science and math is meaningless
without the ability to do research and develop new technology and science that includes our
creativity, ingenuity, leadership and capital investment unique to The United States of America.
Our current elementary and secondary educational system offers mediocrity. It’s not because of the
students, parents, teachers, administrators, unions or legislators. It’s because of the dysfunctional
“educational process”. What is frustrating is that we have the capability to unlock the highest
quality most rewarding and fulfilling innovative and technologically advanced education system in
the world at whatever levels our society and the students are motivated to achieve.
We are a free nation with a fundamental belief in individual rights as natural law. We must do
what is necessary to keep all Americans free from government control, domination, political and
religious oppression with our laws written into the Declaration of Independence, the United States
Constitution and the Twenty-Seven (27) Amendments to the Constitution, particularly, First Ten
Amendments to Constitution we call the “Bill of Rights” which are common to all people no
matter what their political culture.
If we continue to fail as a nation with our current educational policy, we will fail as a world
culture. If we fail to encourage other nations to grow and respect our mutual cultural differences
and allow each of us as individuals and individual political cultural groups to be free and give
meaning to our lives with our personal beliefs and values in the pursuit of happiness, we will either
self-destruct or destroy each other in the name of our own ignorance and selfish beliefs.
“We must revolutionize the educational process as we have the teachers and technology to unlock the highest quality, most rewarding, fulfilling, innovative and technologically advanced educational system in the world. This will lead us to a better the quality of life and a higher standard of living for all Americans. An education is the nexus between new research and development in every aspect on the quality of American life and our ability to compete on the world stage in all political, economic and cultural aspects of American life.
We must continue to channel our ability to excel with our creativity and ingenuity in the United States in every field of endeavor. This gives us the competitive edge on the world political stage in every aspect of life, particularly, in our economic growth and development more than any other country. The challenge is to revolutionize the educational process so the students whether young or older adults and the American culture will soar to new heights driven by whatever level society and the student are motivated to achieve. Individual entrepreneurs and corporations that fail to do research and development and introduce the new technology when available and stay on the forefront of new scientific discoveries are doomed to failure. If we don’t invent it, other countries will at our expense. Creativity is what advances our culture, quality of life and our competitive edge that keeps us free from the threats, dominance and control of other nations. Our creativity to invent and advance new technology and science motivate entrepreneurs, business leaders and managers is what advances our culture and keeps us free from other nations who would destroy our way of life politically, socially and economically.
We enjoy the highest standard of living because of the free enterprise system and capitalism which give us an economic system that provides for our advancements in education, technology, science, medicine and business. Our Republic is a government of the people, by the people and for the people with elected representatives under the United States Constitution and the first ten amendments to the constitution we call the “Bill of Rights” that reflect natural fundamental human rights. These documents give use our freedom, democracy, entrepreneurship, leadership, character, “The American Spirit”, “American Know How” and the “American Can Do” attitude coupled with our research and development to advance current technology and science makes all the difference in the United States to revitalize our education, scientific, business, economic, and military development that affect not only our quality of life in The United States of America, but our own future as a nation on the world political and economic stage.”
To accomplish these goals, the educational process must be responsive to educational needs
of the whole student that affect the students’ ability to learn and function independently in the
educational process and, in turn, society. This requires an Individual Education Learning Plan
(IELP) that includes a determination of the students multiple intelligences, learning style or styles,
academic, behavior and social needs of each student in the school system.
The Individual Education Learning Plan for each student includes “The Arts”, sports,
academic subjects, elective classes and activities such as basic nutrition, cooking, personal finance
and other “life skills classes” depending student interest in consideration of the students’
educational needs and interests.
We must reorganize the human and physical resources of the education system, without
additional cost, integrating 21st century technology. Our teachers will choose the students they
want to teach. Some teachers will become “Master Teachers” with the necessary education and
skill sets to teach the students they want to teach. Merit pay is based on taking the students they
choose to teach from point A to point B in a learning level rather than grade levels. This means
when a student finishes a learning level, the teacher receives bonus pay. For example, when a
student learns addition, the teacher receives a bonus, when learns subtraction, the teachers
receives a bonus, etc. We eliminate grade levels for learning levels. Class size will depend on the
type students in the classroom, their learning style or styles, their intelligence or intelligences in
multiple areas and their learning capability. We will build the school system from the inside or
from the ground up out based on the needs of the students in that particular school with the
required human and physical resources necessary to address each students particular educational
needs and learning style.
Next: Article III “What Is An Individual Education Development Plan (IELP) and Article IV “Eliminate Grade Levels For Learning Levels”.
*Adult Literacy in America report, Literacy Research Associates, Inc., a non-profit educational corporation, calculated the average yearly earnings by literacy group and compared with the threshold poverty level for an individual reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. The average annual earnings of U.S. adults in the two lowest literacy groups, comprising 48.7% of the interviewees, were below the poverty threshold. This means that 48.7% of U.S. adults read and write so poorly that they cannot hold an above-poverty-level-wage job. This is another way of saying they are functionally
illiterate. This report provides a first look at the results of the National Adult Literacy Survey, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by Educational Testing Service, in collaboration with Westat, Inc, (April 2002)