As schools stuff books with key words
they want all students to know,
bored kids flock to screens like birds.
Fun stories make reading grow.
Learn how school reading lists and book fair books limit choice and act as government barriers to learning in home reading programs.
Maze? The “establishment” gives power to big business to supply rigid education materials. This lessens book variety. It is failing half of our children. The receipt of government money exerts controls on curricula.
Doubling Down? Government favors greater funding with reduced accountability. Inquiries or investigations into important issues for student futures take back seats to politically-skewed power struggles about money.
Rain Dates? Regulators target manufacturers, shipping companies and banking institutions. The Federal Trade Commission ignores the unfair share of revenue earned by suppliers of their employer in education.
Contributors? Super-sized suppliers created with government support may be contributing to student resistance and disengagement. Outside thinking is discouraged by value-free incumbent players and mass group-think.
Red Alert? Few students enjoy class activities. Consumer welfare is harmed by government controls on labor, goods and services. Charter schools, private schools, school vouchers and tax credits are not within everyone's reach.
Basic Instinct? Many parents trust “The System”. They may believe the government knows what is best. The top-down approaches and large-scale operations governing teachers should be explored as obstacles to learning.
Wanderlust? Some schools in poor cities are run like prisons. Police or guards control premises. Short on supplies, technology and individual attention, educators are arming teachers. Long commutes stop homework.
Beauty and the Elements? A recent analysis by The Education Trust of 5 traditional middle schools and one K-8 school found classroom assignments to be below established standards. Students were not stimulated to perform.
Island Time? Mastery-based approaches are being tested in a few schools across the country. Qualified students advance at their own pace to achieve graduation. Promotions of book fair books and other pay-backs remain.
Grass Roots? Mastery programs guide coursework with personal strengths and weaknesses. Students build confidence and knowledge of course content through worksheets, discussions, coursework, internships and testing.
Examples include: Iowa's Muscatine Community School District, Ohio's credit-flex, Brooklyn's M.S. 442 School for Innovation, District of Columbia and Bethesda, Maryland's Mysa Menu and some “micro-schools”.
Dopamine High? The current administration is expanding school-choice options. Four educational policy types are: intra-district, inter-district, charter school and private schools. Improvements in learning are not yet evident.
Last Stand? To avoid summer school, online make-up courses are offered. Struggling students get an opportunity to work at their own pace. Full credit may be received for fast and easy alternatives to traditional classwork.
Wild, Wild Country? High school graduates may be unprepared for college or the work world. In Palm Beach County, Florida, grades were changed by a vice principal on final online tests; some grades soared from 0% to 95%.
Reading Lists and Book Fair Books
Clear Education Power Concentrations? Large insiders squeeze out small outsiders. Government guides purchases of standardized books from lists approved by this closed system for inside lessons and tests in all schools.
Conspiracy of Profit over Learning? Financial incentives of subsidized books and kick-backs to schools should be viewed as a secret plan for profit. Big government and big business direct money flows to inside books.
System-Wide Bans and Blockages? Deliberate obstacles to independent books include professional reviews and grade-level ratings from companies in opposition to these books. The conspiracy only supports inside books.
Starlets? School reading lists and book fair books are government-sanctioned. They empower some publishers, reduce diversity in the supply chain, and obstruct the entry of beneficial titles into home reading programs.
Super Natural? Government sets up agencies for protection. Members, agencies and associations prosper. It supports long-standing, monopolistic book fair books and reading lists designed for lower-performing students.
Cleaning Up? Government puts limits on book vocabulary. This policy may keep advanced books from reaching gifted students' hands. The goal is to improve test scores and lower the dropout rates of under-performing children.
VA-VA-VOOM Service? Parents of public school children may be discouraged from buying anything but book fair books. They feel obligated to buy books on age-based reading lists. Independent books are excluded.
Screen Test? Outside books cannot be used to prepare for inside tests. Government controls the buying and promotion of books from the inside. Graduating students of this system may function poorly in the outside world.
Loud and Clear? Many kids “hate” to read. Big business and public education concentrate power in computer-generated materials based on algorithms. Resulting machine-generated texts are flat, boring and awkward.
Triple Threat? Reading has become a drill for age-based tests. Books are designed to have key words present in the desired frequencies and quantities for targeted age groups. Schools have turned big data into a tight operation.
Golden Hour? No homework may be required. Under pressure to raise graduation rates, educators turn a blind eye to absenteeism. Failing students graduate. The goal is to boost school reputations and increase funding.
Risky? In February 2019, AAP published The Link Between School Attendance and Good Health, finding chronic absenteeism accompanies such unhealthy behaviors as smoking, alcohol and drug use and risky sex.
Perpetual? Learning must be willing. Thanks to restrictions, standardization and monopoly, Reading Problems are not being solved. Children, who read boring materials, are unlikely to become creative and motivated thinkers.
Home Reading Programs
It all stacks up? Parents may help struggling, average and gifted students with at home reading programs, fresh ideas and diverse books. Narrow inventories piloted by big business and big government interests are limiting.
On the Block? Parents should have an ability to end educational programs that are not working and be free to test real alternatives. They should not be subjected to a regulatory state with stagnant learning outcomes at all levels.
Dealer's Choice? Parents are offered little choice to escape centralized commercial force of government or to find innovative tools for specific learning levels, styles and problems with their home reading programs.
Right Confections? Independent thinkers and authors online might be the best place for parents to start their searches. Interesting and entertaining resources exist outside “The System”. They may be acquired at no cost.
Stand Out? An outside approach is less radical than pulling students from the failing system. Although public policy rules home-schooling, innovations are available at low or no cost through Amazon Prime and lending libraries.
From the Same Cloth? Creative writers rarely break through strict book controls. The strength of a single, dominant supplier puts growing reliance on the book fair alliance. Tax dollars are handcuffed to bureaucratic oversight.
All the Angles? Politicians, policy makers and educators have set up a regulatory state. They leave parents with no true choice in the planned supply of labor, goods and services for the education of their children.
On the Sunny Side? Individualized education has positive effects. Gifted, average and under-performing show improvements in reading and math. Students can breeze past content they have mastered to focus on deficiencies.
Structured Environment? Rigid standardization is not stimulating learning. Except for a one-point increase in 8th grade math, achievement was flat or lower in the 2017 Assessment of Education Progress, or Nation's Report Card.
Look Back? The OECD, the WEF and UNICEF focus on prosperity, equality, opportunity, well-being for all. Strong education systems elsewhere in the world are based on long-forgotten U.S. learning research and policies.
Fine Focus? Parents in the United States should put greater faith on home literacy. Educators may be inflating graduation rates and teaching students to answer specific questions. Remedial or vocational classes often follow.
In Full Bloom? Free-thinking, real-world communications and connections do not develop with nominal education. This is convenient for the bureaucracy. Marketplace apathy keeps the ruling powers in place.