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« History IS Serious | Main | Enemies Among Us »

Friday, January 21, 2005



"My Pop sold Chiquita bananas on the street. Unfortunately, she soon had her fill, and Pop went out of business."

Next, Prof. Plum can baffle his students with this:

Time flies like the wind


Fruit flies like bananas.


Poor Tiffany Parker. What I think is perhaps hard for those on the outside to understand is how quickly the phrases and thoughts of the moonbats insert themselves into new teachers' thoughts. I've often heard, by otherwise smart women, that standards crush creativity. REALLY? I don't think so. I don't think that, were they to really think about it, they could even defend that point. But it's one of the many things that is repeated so often that the newest members of the profession never get a chance to pause to examine those thoughts.

OT: I need help from you readers! I'm taking a Reading Difficulties course in grad school. I'm curious about my prof's approach, and I wonder if anyone has a text/article/ experience that has given them a solid opinion on whether or not there is such a thing as dyslexia, what the 'symptoms' are (air quotes are hers, not mine), and anybody who has perhaps seen real help for students with reading difficulties beyond lack of reading opportunities or good old-fashioned teaching - - you know, the times when you can tell something ain't right. As I have written before in my posts, I am woefully undereducated, which leaves me open to things in ed school that I may not agree with, were I to know more. Maybe I WILL end up agreeing with my prof. Maybe not. But I want a chance to decide for myself. If you have any thoughts/references, please click on my name to get my email addy and feel free to write. Anything at all is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance, from deep in the heart of Texas!


Here is an article with a lot of details about the scandalous sacking of a principal for using effective reading methods.

Heroic principal and disadvantaged fall victim to ed cultists. [...]


Published: January 16, 2005

Local News: Rockford
Approach to reading argued
The district’s instructional chief says direct instruction falls short in the long run.

By CARRIE WATTERS, Rockford Register Star

ROCKFORD — Lewis Lemon Principal Tiffany Parker was relieved of instructional duties last week for not implementing an approach to reading that new administrators ushered in this school year.

Parker’s removal was the flash point in a brewing battle over how children are taught to read, one of the most critical skills and also one of the most emotional parts of teaching.

Parents gathered at the school on Thursday to strategize how to protect a reading program they say works. “If the mountain needs to be moved, move it. But if it’s working, keep it,” said parent Tamara Watkins.

Lewis Lemon’s third-grade students did move a mountain of statistics that show a national scourge: minority and poor students persistently performing below their classmates. The west-side students, 80 percent black and nearly as many poor, came in second in the district behind King gifted students on the state reading test in 2003.


Thanks for that excerpt, Instructivist!

Maybe the families will win. Perhaps they should use the old tried and true methods of political persuasion--hanging comes to mind. In effigy, I mean. Or a hasty ride out of town on a rail. A railgun, I mean.

Young Tara will find great resources for remedial reading below. It really doesn't matter whether poor reading (dys lexia) is a disorder. It would be "treated" the same either way--teaching. see esp the second item at the url.


"I've often heard, by otherwise smart women, that standards crush creativity."

As I've said in past comments on Plum's blog, standards HELP creativity, they don't crush it. For most people creativity isn't creating towering pieces of music or art, it's being well versed in what they do and creating a solution to a unique problem.

That kind of creativity is seriously undervalued by our society because it isn't obviously creative. Instead, we worship intellectually devoid acts of creativity like those touted as authentic by ed schools. They think that creativity liberated from serious craftsmanship is authentic, while anything else is repressed. This is wrong. The following is an excerpt from my comments on a previous post []

"Take another great master, Picasso. The man didn't burst out of the gate painting his own twisted (and beautiful) vision of things. No sir. He spent a lot of time sketching and practicing realism in his youth, as a way to hone his skills. Without that training, it's doubtful that the Picasso we know would have existed. And how do you think he got that training? By simply sketching object after object until he discovered how to do it effectively? Probably not. He had a people in his life who TAUGHT him what they knew about painting. Only then, when he could paint realistically in his sleep, could he set out to put his vision on canvas."

That's about a good summation of genuine creativity as I can give. One has to know his *craft* before he can elevate it into *art*. And that doesn't just apply to the arts, either. It can mean a skilled mathemetician creating a proof for a difficult theorem. It can mean a pilot making a perfect landing under difficult conditions. Finally, it can mean a teacher bringing a group of badly-struggling students meet standards. All of those take artful, genuine creativity rooted in mastery of the craft.

So next time you hear someone spout off "standards crush creativity," tell him that he doesn't know what creativity is!


Many thanks, Prof. Plum, for the links and thoughts. I am sifting my way through them and printing for reference, if need be.

Adrian, you are far better at constructing a logical comeback to the standards-crush-creativity hoopla. Must practice a comeback like yours, one devoid of eye-rolling that I only allow myself to do in my mind's eye. You are one tough cookie, and I like the way you think. ;)


I'm a musician and composer, creativity is my business.

Glibness aside, once you've experienced being really creative, you can see what a load of hooey that the edu-cultists' idea of creativity is. Look back to any situation where you've applied mastery of a craft to a problem and devised an original, effective solution. If you can bring that to mind, you know exactly the same creative process that minds like Mozart, Picasso, Shakespeare, etc. have used.

The greater the mastery of the craft, the higher the art. It's not mysterious, contrary to what the educrats claim. It is, however, hard work, which is why I think they cling to their myth of art being mysterious.


Prof, you're right about teaching being the solution to poor reading, but your glibness is open to misinterpretation. It does matter whether dyslexia is caused by an organic malfunction, because that determines the strategies used to teach the dyslexic to read.

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