Latest report: Our public schools are failing us | Eastern North Carolina Now

While our School Superintendent and majority of the School Board do a kabuki dance about adopting “new curricula” and spend a half million dollars on a new math curriculum, the U. S. Department of Education recently announced that student test scores in reading, math, science and particularly history/civics are sinking to historic lows.  And they’re worse in Beaufort County than in many school districts.

The Associated Press reports:  Test scores in history and civics have declined “slightly” for eighth grade students in the U.S., according to results that show an increasing number of children lack a basic understanding of either subject.

The scores were released Wednesday by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The same assessment reported in October that every single state had seen a decline in math or reading scores amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest scores, officials said, reflect more of the impact of the disruptions from the virus that shuttered schools across the country.

At a time of some pessimism about the state of the U.S. democracy, the test results suggest many young people are struggling to understand how government works and the importance of civic participation. Nearly one-third of eighth grade students cannot describe the structure or function of government, according to the results.

When you drill down in the data it gets worse.

Our Opinion:  We require students who want a driver’s license to pass a test to prove proficiency in motor vehicle laws.  Why should we not also require a passing grade on a social studies test to prove proficiency in history and civics in order to vote?

In our opinion The Problem is not with our students or teachers…it is with the central office bureaucrats and clowns who serve on our school board.

Our Governor has declared a State of Emergency for our public education system in this state.  Why not just give vouchers to every student and let them find a school of their choice to attend.  If there are not enough who choose a public school, just shut it down.


What you’re seeing here is a classic case of how money drives curriculum in the public schools. 

Big Publishing companies have to “come up with something new” every few years to make the Big Bucks.  All too often educational leaders fall for the brightest and shiniest fad to come down the path.  It is built in the DNA of too many of them that “new is better.” 

But it’s more than that.  Leaders of failing systems must come up with something that buys them more time.  Beaufort County is yet another victim of this.

For several decades now the Washington City and Beaufort County schools were low performing in terms of student academic success.  When the city and county schools merged it was said that things will get better after we merge.  Then a series of superintendents came and went.  Each offered the hope of things getting better with student learning.  The answer was usually another shiny fad … that of course cost a boatload of money.  Teachers were pulled out of their classrooms for “staff development” while days upon days of instruction were lost.  Scores still did not go up in most classrooms.

This “new” Bridges math is a perfect example of how Big Publishers make money.  It is infused with “manipulatives” or some other name for shiny teaching materials.  To hell with the results.  Just buy the PreK-5 versions and then we’ll come along in a couple of years and offer you the 6-8 version, then in a couple of more years we’ll push out the individual courses materials.  By then, the Pied Pipers for the new way will have moved on and another troupe repeats the cycle.  Teachers suffer another fad.  Few ever question if the “new” works better for student learning than the “old.”  Old does not sell.  No Big Money there.

Must we continue to suffer this failure?

Why have not these Pied Pipers not identified the teachers who have the greatest success with students and let them write the "curriculum"?   And keep the money at home.

Better still, why not just let the parents choose the teachers that they want teaching their kids?




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( May 27th, 2023 @ 8:24 pm )
A red herring is eye catching and Georgia like North Carolina has a variety of nuts, but that doesn't change the well-established fact that "woke" is a radical left neo-Marxist dogma.

Concerning the article, I agree that voting should be contingent on passing a civics/history test. Unfortunately, our population has reached a level of ignorance making that necessary if we are to continue as a healthy constitutional republic. Also, I believe we should be way more wary of the next greatest curriculum fads. Publishing companies push these curriculum fads as ongoing profit makers. Many times, they are used as ideological tools too.

We should not forget tried and true teaching methods. In order to see how much we have digressed educationally in this country, take a look at a 19th century eighth grade exam. I'll bet most present-day college graduates would have to study in order to do well on it.
Big Bob said:
( May 25th, 2023 @ 8:45 pm )
Actually it was some right wing nut in Georgia
( May 25th, 2023 @ 8:12 pm )
That bit about globes being woke obviously comes from one of your "progressive" sources who either does not know what "woke" is, or is trying to deflect. Conservatives understand that "woke" is a radical left neo-Marsist dogma.

Of course, it would not surprise me to see the woke movement move on from attacking historical statues to attacking things like globes. They are already anti-science on things like gender, and use fake science on things like climate.

How Germany started in 1933 was a concentration of political power and rule by decree (executive order) instead of using the legislative process. We see the Biden regime doing the very same things. The Biden regime also seems to be itching to follow Stalin with political show trials against his enemies. Once they did those things to stifle political opponents, they moved on to stiffle ordinary citiens with things like rigid gun conrol to deprive law abiding citizens of their guns. HMMMM! Biden wants to do that, too.
Big Bob said:
( May 25th, 2023 @ 1:23 pm )
BTW, have you heard. Globes are woke and should be banned from schools. Apparently the round world is to divisive for our students. I am not making this up.
Big Bob said:
( May 25th, 2023 @ 11:47 am )
If you don't, think Germany 1933. This is how it starts.
( May 25th, 2023 @ 9:27 am )
Elected officials who are little more than front men and rubber stamps for the bureaucracy are NOT doing a good job, and that is how much of our school board functions. Of course, a woke person like you thinks a group that allows woke policies is "good" but most of us do not.
Big Bob said:
( May 24th, 2023 @ 11:04 pm )
Generally speaking the school board does a good job. If you support them, participate.
( May 24th, 2023 @ 7:22 pm )
Covid allowed parents to finally see what was going on in the schools and many were shocked. That is not what they want for their children. Too many in the education establishment have not figured that out. That is leading to defeat of incumbent school board members and sometimes firing of senior bureaucrats. They ought to wake up, but for too many it is still business as usual.

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