A True Shocker. Slapped my forehead in disbelief. : Weekly Inspire

Published: Thu, 01/03/13

Weekly Inspire!
A True Shocker

by Oliver DeMille
Note: This is usually when we send out a really feel-good, touchy-feely message that's cozy and inviting. And I guess we're still going to do that - in a few days.
But right now, I just have to comment on a development that is of interest to all of us who feel a call to aspire to excellence in our education, and to help our children and students do the same.
So please bear with me as I share a timely message; I promise Rachel will send out a happy, encouraging one very soon. And maybe, in a strange sort of way, you'll find this message encouraging anyway.
My Year-end Roundup
At the end of each year and the beginning of a new year, many news organizations and commentators list the most important events of the past year.
I typically spend a lot of time every late December and early January reading through these lists, because I like to think about what people consider the most significant happenings in our current events.
Every year I am surprised by one or two things that appear on these lists. This year was no exception.
One item really struck me. On a list of the most important events in the U.S. during 2012, I read the following:

"December 11 .... Schools in the United States plan to drop literature classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird and The Catcher in the Rye from their curriculum; children...will instead learn from "informational texts" such as Recommended Levels of Insulation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Invasive Plant Inventory by California's Invasive Plant Council."

This entry was nestled on the list between the 2012 re-election of Barack Obama on November 6 and the December 14 school killings of 27 people in Newtown, Connecticut.
I agree that this change in curriculum belongs on the list of top events in 2012, but I was very surprised by the quote itself. Take a second and read it again...

"...drop literature classics...and...instead learn from 'informational texts' such as Recommended Levels of Insulation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Invasive Plant Inventory by California's Invasive Plant Council."




Do we really need to go further in the direction of students not learning how to think? Do we want the rising generation to trust themselves even less and become even more dependent on experts and government officials?

Is this really where we want to go?

Funny Ha-ha, or Funny Strange?
When I first read this quote, it just made my jaw drop.

I found myself saying: "How in the world are Americans, especially parents, sitting back and just letting this happen?"

I know the answer, but it is still very sad. Then, after I got over my initial shock, I began wondering: "What are those who made this decision thinking? And how many people will even notice it?"

Finally, the more I thought about it, the more amused I got--in a sad but "consider-the-silver-lining" sort of way.
Then I found myself laughing. This quote is the best advertising for homeschooling, private and charter schooling, leadership education, and Thomas Jefferson Education that I've ever read.
This quote just plain shocked me. I mean, are you kidding me? Recommended Levels of Insulation? Invasive Plant Inventory?
Talk about follower education, not Leadership Education.
The End of the World as We Know It (okay, not really - but sort of)
I know I have a flair for the dramatic, but this really is one of the biggest developments of 2012.
The removal of classics from schools has been going on for a long time, but dropping literature classics from the English curriculum is...well...basically the last step of separating the education of the rich elite class from the education of the masses.
This creates two drastically different socio-economic classes, and reverses the original American founding view of education.

In short, the move away from leadership education in most schools is now extreme.

I can't help but wonder:
Has the time come that we now need to share TJEd with anyone we care about?
Who needs leadership education right now?
Has the time arrived to spread the ideas of real education far and wide?
As I pondered this, I came to one firm conclusion, and deep resolve: We've reached a point where every child needs the opportunity of a great education--and few are going to get it in the old, regular way.
I'm going to do all I can to keep spreading the ideas of excellent education, and I hope you will do the same.
Who do you know that needs a great education?
Please help them find it. Introduce them to TJEd and Leadership Education.
The trends are getting worse, and it's time for good, regular people to stand up and take education to a new level.

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Copyright 2011 by Oliver and Rachel DeMille.
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