7/31/2019 How Do You Get the Pigs to Move
How do you get the pigs to move? Move the feed trough.
The analog question is How do you get the education fiefdom to move? Move the government
money so that they have to move away from their erroneous beliefs to continue getting paid.
First, we need to realize that the national and state departments of education are card-carrying
fiefdom members. They have been brainwashed to believe incorrect dogma as all the othereducators and hence are blind to the real problems and their solutions. Any efforts to improve
(reform) our failed education system must acknowledge that fact. Unless the continuing supply
of money is threatened, beneficial reforms will simply not be carried out effectively. That is, if
the fox is guarding the hen house the chickens are going to continue being eaten.
In the story The Three Little Pigs, the moral is that if you build a shoddy house you have no
protection against the wolf. In education if you build your whole endeavor on a false foundation
too many kids will not learn what they need to learn to compete in the global meritocracy. Some
kids will learn no matter the system because their support system outside of school enables them
to overcome the negative effect of the schools. Those who are not as fortunate need competentschools to teach them and they exist now only as exceptions.
Curriculathe current approach was fostered by John Dewey and other Progressives. It
goes by many names; child-centered, process, content free, discovery, constructivist, and
how-to chief among them. The problem is that this content-free approach does not
allow our children to gain the factual knowledge required to understand what the process
approach tells them. One more important aspect of the current approach is that any
knowledge learned takes a lot longer than with the more traditional, proven content-rich,direct instruction methods we used before the Progressives drove us into a ditch. It is
also the method used by our best global competitors whose kids learn so much more than
E.D. Hirsch, in his bookThe Making of Americans, relates why content knowledge is
critical. To understand a piece of writing (including that on the Internet and in job-
retraining manuals), you already have to know something about its subject matter. . . My
research had led me to understand that reading and writing require unspoken background
knowledge, silently assumed. I realized that if we want students to read and write well,
we cannot take a laissez-faire attitude to the content of early schooling. In order to makecompetent readers and writers who possess the knowledge needed for communication, we
would have to specify much of that content. Moreover, because much of the assumed
knowledge required for reading and writing tends to be long lasting and intergenerational,
much of that content would have to be traditional.
According to ACT, the biggest college readiness problem in reading is, precisely,
inability to comprehend complex texts. The point is that reading comprehension