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- Frederick Douglas

Education Main Page  

I have been involved as an education activist since the late 1980s when, as a teacher in middle school, high school and university level classrooms, I observed firsthand the large number of functional illiterates our schools were producing. When nearly 60% of first time entering freshmen at community colleges must take remedial reading and math it would appear obvious that there is something wrong with the curriculum in public education. When young people have no idea about who the Pilgrims were, where they came from and the reason for their coming, the need for a readjustment in our education system would seem evident.  Knowing that the US ranks 17 out of 30 developed countries ranked should make a revolution in education imperitive. Dean Kunkel of Auburn once told me the current education philosophy was based on "current wisdom" not fact based, empirically proven methodology. The results are proof of this.

There's an old story that goes something like this:
A group of women were walking by a river when they saw a large number of children struggling in the current being swept downstream. The women formed a human chain pulling the children from the current, yet many continued to drift toward the falls.
One woman broke away from the chain and headed back up the river.
"Where are you going? There are so many! We need your help!"
She responded, " I am going to find out who is throwing them in!"

BETSY DEVOS, President Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of the Department of Education, is that woman. She will look at education with a clear perspective untainted by the social engineering progressivism with which our colleges of education indoctrinate their students. (Surely you wonder why the street mobs "Protesting" are carrying out the instructions of their teachers. Some call it their homework.)

The strength of the National Education Association has insured their political power and control of the Department of Education since its inception. Manifestos of their progressive philosophy such as the WHOLE LANGUAGE CATALOG are peopled by socialist heroes like defrocked Marxist priest, Paulo Frere, Jean Jacques Rousseau, who consigned his own illegitimate children to foundling homes in France, and others.

Disturbed by the reaction on campuses and in the streets by young people after the election of 2016, I went back through some of the pages I had deleted from my education website and came across this from pages of the Whole Language Catalog, a manifesto of Progressive Education.

Liberation Pedagogy is how these very influential educators see the process of teaching in their own words in the manifesto of the Progressive Education, the Whole Language Catalog.

Paulo Freire is a defrocked Marxist priest who once advocated liberation theology in Nicaragua and is now a philosopher of whole language advocating liberation pedagogy.

    * Quoted from The Whole Language Catalog," he writes: "Politics is the soul of education" 
    * "All instances of education become political acts."

Michael Apple writes:

    * WL "self-consciously connects itself to political, economic and cultural issues," it is destined to come into opposition to "the political right of the United States " (Apple, 1991, p. 416).

These are my thoughts and I'm not running for office.  I can be as controversial as I like.  Fixing schools doesn't take more money!  

Progressive education has produced Jay Leno's sidewalk comics. 

It's time for radical redirection. 

We must not continue to listen to those who created the problem tell us how to fix it

American Educator
An 18th Century Library owned by a Founding Father

Behavior Models Attitudes and Beliefs (Pavlov in action)
Books and Resources
Boston University
Boston University President speaks out on Three Rs
Cat in the Hat
Critique of the Alabama Social Studies Course of Study

Conflict Resolution? Or New Age Religion? Teaching Tolerance?
Conspiracy of the Left
Difference Between Whole Language and Phonics
Dothan Reading Scores
Education An Historical Perspective
Education Today Article
From the Whole Language Catalog
Help! Someone Has Stolen My Child
How I Would Fix Our Local Schools
Leftist Invasion of Reading Instruction by Dr. Patrick Groff
Marva Collins Childrens' Reading List
Math Notes and Websites
Modeling attitudes and beliefs through Conflict Resolution
My Credentials to Speak Problems in Education
Reading list for adults a 2 centuries ago
Testing Scores
Thank You Whole Language
Transformational Education
What We Must Do to Fix Our Education
Why Reading Instruction Must Be Addressed First!
Who's Learning Disabled?

Power Point: Why We Need Choice This is a download. You are welcome to use it. I truly hope you will read and study this yourself. This is critical to understanding how we came to this situation!

If you are considering curricula for a Charter School, I highly recommend these websites:
Right to Read Foundation

The Case Against Block Scheduling

Spalding Writing Road to Reading -- for reading, writing and spelling  Review

What is Common Core?

Saxon Math (the curriculum that guided our oldest daughter into computer engineering, our youngest daughter into a Masters and a career as a marketing analyst, and our son to a Masters in Organization Management (and a career in making furniture). Though a favorite with homeschoolers, apparently Saxon Math has lost favor in public schools-- which might tell you something about its effectiveness. My computer engineer daughter cannot help her daughter with the new new math because it is so confusing to everyone.

Open Court Readers
Marva Collins rescued her Open Court readers from the garbage cans outside the public school where she worked in Chicago. Her students labeled Learning Disabled, ADD, etc. flourished with these books. Right to Read Foundation Review: "Amazon has the older versions of Open Court that what we recommend.  The program has been modified and newer versions do not meet the standards for the “systematic phonics’ component of the five essential components of reading instruction.  Search the web for earlier versions that are still available.

Comment: I have been appalled to find school boards choosing book series that come with remedial materials. What does that tell you about the series? When I first begain looking at the book series our school system was considering, I noticed that Open Court did not come with remedial materials. I also noticed that the school systems in the state of Alabama that scored highest on national tests used the Open Court series. That was years ago before Goals 2000, Marc Tucker, David Hornbeck and Hillary Clinton through their power with the National Center for Education and the Economy rewrote the education bylaws for the education of our children.

I found encouragement from this note from Robert Sweet, President of the National Right to Read Foundation. Gather your information from sources recommended by trustworthy sources. You may have an opportunity to start a Charter School and you need the best information available. NOT THAT PROVIDED BY SOURCES THAT PRODUCED THE CURRENT CONDITIONS IN OUR SCHOOLS! Dr. Patrick Groff, mentioned below, was an old warhorse battling against the power and money of the bureaucracies and elites in the power structure of education. He passed away at 90, but I have posted some of his work here on this website. What REALLY worked in Education STILL works in Education. Much of everything else is like fads in fashion, frivolous and ephemeral.

Dear Sharman,

This is Bob Sweet…President of The National Right to Read Foundation.  I just found your website and posted it on  Thank you for your clear thinking and fact based writing on the “politics’ of education, and other relevant topics.  Yes, I have been tempted many times to head to my garden and pull weeds too!  And, I do not blame you one bit for feeling so overwhelmed and discouraged about making change. I have been on the front lines for many decades myself, and even though I too am discouraged, and weary I trudge on because each child we rescue in our efforts is worth every bit of "blood, sweat and tears.”  At the moment my wife Joy and I are in Murrieta, CA to present the Patrick Groff Teacher of the Year Award to a young lady who is a kindergarten teacher here.  She too was a “casualty” of the upside down reading practices when she was in elementary school.  He Mom called our office and both my wife and I spoke with her, between the sobs and tears being shed in frustration for her daughter.  After battling the school system for a long time, with no avail at that time anyway, she pulled her daughter out of school and taught her to read at home…using phonics of course….duh!  Now, her daughter is a kindergarten teacher in the very school system that could not teach her to read.  I visited her classroom a few months ago and the NRRF Board and I decided to choose her as our “Teacher of the Year for 2014.”  I will be presenting it to her in a couple of hours…and, even though the school district is still lost in the morass of “politics” and poor education policy like Common Core and “leveled reading”  (same old same old) there are glimmers of light that are beginning to shine through, and this young lady is one of them.  The news reporters will likely be there today…and certainly the children in Ashlee’s classroom will be proficient readers at the end of the school year.

I want to thank you for including so much valuable information about the lack of proper reading instruction on your website, and for your willingness to engage in the battle against illiteracy.  The value of even a few students who succeed is worth the effort.  God bless you.



P.S. Dr. Patrick Groff was my mentor and friend and served on the NRRF Board for almost 30 years.  At the request of his son Christopher I spoke at Pat’s memorial service last April.  He was 90 when he passed away.