Candidates for the position for Chairman of the School Board included a doctor, the Establishment candidate, a good friend of the political power in the town and two conservatives. Of course, Sharman Ramsey was labeled a trouble maker from the beginning. She obviously hated public education (though she had graduated from Dothan High School having attended public schools throughout her education) and had an agenda, having made proposals to bring the archaic Phonics Method back to the schools. And she had gathered a group to run on a BACK TO BASICS agenda because not doing so would have made all efforts futile since the resistance would have been unsurmountable with everyone else on the board determined to "be supportive."
The word (because a disinformation process got started at the Central Office) was they hated public education and wanted to deny the system the money they wanted for all the Progressive "innovations" the administrators had up their sleeves. Things like Whole Language, The Four Period Day, Conflict Resolution! All those wonderfully innovative things the College of Education over at FSU were promoting through Goals 2000. Things supported whole heartedly by the Chamber of Commerce because many of their members wives were members of the Alabama Education Association that supported anything that brought job security and more benefits and they were graduates of Dr. Patti Fritchie's and Dr. Mary Jo Pollman's reading instruction and therefore soldiers for the Progressive/Whole Language agenda. (Dr. Pollman walked the TSUD halls with the Whole Language Catalog tucked under her arm like a talisman.)
That Back To Basics group (the Flat Earthers as they were called) set out their agenda to take the school system back to the dark ages. And PHONICS WAS THEIR CENTRAL ISSUE. Of course the accusations were that Ramsey was out to profit from her efforts. They channeled their own greed, because Ramsey's efforts were truly altruistic. Ramsey even refused to take donations when running for office because she did not want to owe anything to anyone. (That was REALLY stupid. No one would do something like that!)
While no one had heard any education related comments from the doctor running for Superintendent other than he had a "heart" for education and would listen to the experts, he had the administration working hard, handing out goodies at the football games with the financial backing of the mayor of the city and another doctor, tight with Governor Siegelman and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
We know how into education the Southern Poverty Law Center is. Why they even published the Teaching Tolerance Curriculum with all of its New Age techniques to empower students -- to read better? Or perhaps turn classrooms into therapeutic labs for attitude adjustment and opening one to the power of the occult. They would make money off the program. No research done on the program could be produced. (Who else besides those silly people who requested access to the curriculum would even care and if you stonewall long enough you could make them look foolish, mock them, isolate them. Alinsky methods.)
Those with the Back to Basics Agenda must be racist. Or so they were labeled. Anyone who did not support everything the AEA and FSU, the Central Office and their Agenda must be racist. A member of the Ku Klux Klan at the very least!
Racism pervaded Ramsey's comments "What is the common denominator here? Eighty-five percent of the juveniles before the courts are functionally illiterate. Eighty five percent of prisoners in jail are functionally illiterate. Fifty percent of 17 year old black males are functionally illiterate."
Why pointing out that the current system of reading instruction was failing those most vulnerable made her a violent racist! Of course! That's logical.
Where was her heart? RETARDING AMERICA THE IMPRISONMENT OF POTENTIAL
University of Alabama and Troy University Dothan?
So what did they propose? Citing the appalling statistics that "over 30 percent of 9th graders drop out of school before the 12th grade they dared to make some suggestions.
1. A CITIZEN REVIEW COMMITTEE
Parents and citizens should review all books, movies computer software and group administered tests other than teacher administered tests.
2. A RETURN TO CLASSES IN HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY AND THE ELIMINATION OF MULTICULTURALISM
3. LIMIT FIELD TRIPS
Reducing the costs to the students and adding more time for instruction
4. ADMINISTER NATIONALLY NORMED STANDARDIZED TESTS (LIKE THE SAT) with the results broken down by school and by class in order to insure educated parental choice for schools and teachers by parents and assure teacher accountability
5. PARENT SUPPORT GROUPS TO MAN AND RUN FUNDRAISERS FOR THE SCHOOL
Preferably of a kind that develops a sense of community and family
6. ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS SHOULD OFFER A SYSTEMATIC INTENSIVE DIRECT AND EARLY PHONICS PROGRAM option for ALL CHILDREN
7. STRUCTURED TRADITIONAL CLASSROOMS
8. CONTENT BASED CURRICULUM
9. DRILL AND REPETITION to reinforce learning and develop memory skills
10. CONTENT BASED CURRICULUM
10. SEMESTER EXAMS
11. DIRECT INSTRUCTION
12. 9 WEEK TESTS IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOLS
13. FOREIGN LANGUAGE
15. LATIN OPTION
16. SEVEN PERIOD DAY (NO BLOCK SCHEDULING)
17. A PUBLISHED SCHOOL BOARD AGENDA
18. PARENTAL SCHOOL BOARDS FOR INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLS, which along with the principal, determine dress code and discipline code for individual schools.
They cited facts.
RADICAL. WASN'T IT?
Their plan was supported by the research provided by Dr. Patrick Groff. Please notice Number 24 below. This was the 90s.
Whole Language has a political agenda; to aid in the radical change, to the Left, of the political structure of our nation.
Dr. Groff was quite astute. Prescient. Observant.
Those who won this election and those afterward became mere pawns. Endorsing item after item, a checklist of radical policies that began with paying someone to rewrite the bylaws of the Board shifting from requiring SEQUENTIAL learning to THEMATIC. This got passed without the public having an inkling of the earthquake in education the Goals 2000 written for us by David Hornbeck of the National Center for Education and the Economy and author of Human Capital would bring.
Yes We Can celebrated the status quo or some new innovation year after year with fundraisers to "enhance the education of our children." Dumb down our schools in the minds of the Back to Basics Movement. Yes we can only meant buying fax machines, or microwaves, or encouraging Earth Day Activities. Parents leave education to the educators. And that means those in control of the schools and their clones. Not ever those who might challenge ANYTHING!
But those folks that lost the election hadn't given up affecting a real difference in the lives of Dothan students. They actually proposed a Right to Read Act. I can only imagine the hilarity at the Central Office.
Foolish people. What matter they had research on their side. Why they even were so brazen as to suppose others shared their sincere concern about the high rates of illiteracy and the low scores of Reading and Math.
But the doctor's wife who was so tight with Siegelman, actually turned her back on the foolish woman who dared to bring her the research that could make a REAL DIFFERENCE in enabling those minorities they claimed to champion to be able to read. Her act of arrogance and disrespect has never been forgotten. Nor the time that Seigelman's wife did pretty much the same thing. With people who have power there is no humility, I have found. Money goes to some folks head. She wasn't the only one to turn her back or other "subtle" cuts.
Then that silly woman actually wrote an article that was published in the Montgomery Advertiser pointing out that the State Director of Instruction, Dr. Katherine Mitchell, had written her dissertation on Whole Language (as she proudly proclaimed at an Education meeting at the Capitol. Chip Bailey was in office then and sat on the Education Committee.)
That caused that poor woman's heart to clench up almost as much as Dean Kunkel's admission at the Delphi technique meeting the Chamber of Commerce held where he admitted there was no research to support it, just "current wisdom."
But that is what happens when you step out against the powerful Establishment. The Swamp creatures are everywhere!
She and her friends did not give up fighting for the children. She and others paid to bring educators from schools with methods that worked, like John Winston...
They fought using students in the Dothan City Schools as guinea pigs for the Director of Instruction's dissertation when she promoted the Four Period Day.
When her children graduated, though she found herself crying in her garden over the failure of the schools and the lost children in it, she did not realize how bad it had really gotten until her granddaughter had problems with Common Core Math. And once again that old warhorse got called to battle.
Of course, I am that old nag. Not as strong as before. Not as mobile. (A chair lift in our home is a blessing. But every bit as concerned now as I was thirty years ago because Dr. Groff's concerns have proven valid. And now it is legislatively entrenched within our schools. Our children AND our nation are at risk!)
Unless there is revolution with parents DEMANDING a REAL EDUCATION for their children and freedom from this oppressive education system I think we are headed for a Brave New World in truth and not fiction.
Let us pray for OUR CHAMPION. Because he is truly up against a determined and powerful enemy.
I have a website (southern-style.com) and this blog. So, I am merely as aggravating as one of those black flies of summer and there is really no concern by the powers that be in Dothan or in Panama City that anything I write will bring any real challenge to their goals.
But, I promise until God calls his champion to defend the defenseless, I will work here on the sidelines with the Panhandle Eagle Forum and pray for our children, our schools and our country.
You are welcome to join me.
Alabamians you are in great risk. Your Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Barbara Cooper, is guiding your children's education now. You truly need to find out her belief system.
Please notice the failed IBM Writing to Read mention. That is the program they told us they had too much invested in to change now. And also see Susan Lockwood's determination to promote the Four Period Day. Using our children as her guinea pigs for her Dissertation helped her out a lot. We footed the bill.
And I also warned about computer assisted instruction.
And this was before Bill Gates masterful Marketing coup of getting every child hooked up to his computer data collection.
I found that in my folders. How long ago did I write that article about CAI (Computer Assisted Instruction)? More pertinent than ever. Too much money and power at risk. It would take a revolution to take back our schools.
FREE OUR CHILDREN FROM THE OPPRESSION OF COLLEGES OF EDUCATION. CHICAGO. TWO DIFFERENT PHILOSOPHIES.
Parents have rights Against Intrusive Surveys PROTECTION OF PUPIL RIGHTS AMENDMENT and SEL (Social Emotional Learning)
If I Ruled the Schools
Common Core, Sylvia Plath, and Death Educationhttps://sharmanbursonramsey.blogspot.com/2017/12/common-core-sylvia-plath-and-death.html
The Truth about Phonics that will Help You Help Your Child! Whole Language: A Fraud Perpetrated upon Our Students. One of Many?
The Tragedy of the Math Mess and Another Way
MATH WARS. ONCE AGAIN INTO THE FRAY
COMMON CORE MATH
The Reality of Bay District Schools. Only Fifty Percent Read Proficiently. Is there hope?
The Four Period Day: Students as Guinea Pigs and Professional advancement for "innovators"
The Tale of Last Hope for Local Control
DEMONIC ROOTS TO COMMON CORE? VISIT YOUR CHILD'S THERAPEUTIC CLASSROOM.
THE GENEALOGY OF COMMON CORE: BILL GATES/UNESCO/ROBERT MULLER//ALICE BAILEY/LUCIS TRUST
THE CHICAGO CONNECTION TO COMMON CORE
does anybody really believe anymore? does anybody really care?https://sharmanbursonramsey.blogspot.com/2017/12/does-anybody-really-believe-anymore.html
Sounding the Alarm! Today's Therapeutic Classroom. What are you going to do about it?
Spalding Writing Road to Reading and John Winston of Parks Elementary Natchitoches, Louisiana
RETARDING AMERICA THE IMPRISONMENT OF POTENTIAL
NOTE FROM ROBERT SWEET OF THE NATIONAL RIGHT TO READ FOUNDATION
The DARE PROGRAM 20 years later.
Merry Christmas! Meet Alliwishus, The Elf Mother Met at the Battle of the Bulge
My Mother. My hero who won a Battle Ribbon at the Battle of the Bulge. December 16, 1944. A SCRAPBOOK LOOK FROM JEAN BRONSON GILLIS BURSON.
LEONARD COHEN HALLELUJAH PROJECT AT BAY HIGH SCHOOL AND ESTABLISHMENT RELIGION, SECULAR HUMANISM, IN OUR SCHOOLS
WHY SHOULD CONSERVATIVES, CHRISTIANS AND THE THE FAITH COMMUNITY BE CONCERNED ABOUT THIS? SUBSCRIBE TO THE PANAMA CITY NEWS HERALD AND GET WASHINGTON POST FREE
PEACE EDUCATION? CONFLICT RESOLUTION? TEACHING TOLERANCE? COMMON CORE
TRADITIONAL OR PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION. DO YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE? HAS POLITICS AFFECTED YOUR CHILD'S MATH EDUCATION?
RETARDING AMERICA THE IMPRISONMENT OF POTENTIAL
NOTE FROM ROBERT SWEET OF THE NATIONAL RIGHT TO READ FOUNDATION
DELPHI TECHNIQUE, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND THE EDUCATION ESTABLISHMENT CONVINCED A GULLIBLE PUBLIC TO BUY INTO COMMON CORE
COMMON CORE: PORNOGRAPHY 101
MIDDLE SCHOOL AGENDA FOR SEXUAL ORIENTATION AS A PART OF MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION
BEHAVIOR MODELS ATTITUDES AND BELIEFS
CULTURE WAR AND COMMON CORE
SOCIAL STUDIES AND COMMON CORE
TEACHERS AS LIBERATORS PRODUCE STUDENTS AS REVOLUTIONARIES: Whole Language Live On!
RADICAL POSSIBILITIES: YOUR CHILDREN
Response to AL.Com article "Alabama Superintendent Proposal to Raise Academic Standards."
SECULAR HUMANISM IS NOW THE RELIGION OF OUR SCHOOLS
COMMON CORE: THE EMPEROR IS WEARING NO CLOTHES
COMMON CORE=PETRI DISH FOR RADICALS
Revolutionary Pedagogy: Or, so you thought reading, writing and calculating were why you sent your child to school?
Politics, Profits, Position, Power, and Prejudice published 1995
CAPSTONE EDUCATION (UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA) AND MY CONCERNS
CONFLICT RESOLUTION OR POLITICAL INDOCTRINATION?
DELPHI TECHNIQUE, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, AND THE EDUCATION ESTABLISHMENT CONVINCED THE GULLIBLE NATION TO BUY INTO COMMON CORE
WHO DO WE HOLD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE FAILURE OF OUR SCHOOLS?
PUBLIC EDUCATION SHOULD EMPOWER PARENTS
CONSPIRACY THEORIES IN EDUCATION
THE CIVIL WAR IN EDUCATION
SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS
TAKE A KNEE