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The High Cost of Dumbing Us Down

Monday, March 12, 2012

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It now costs over $10,000 a year to “educate,” or brainwash, a child in a public school, whereas it costs about $550 to $1,000 a year to homeschool a child. The taxpayer pays nothing for the education of a child at home. Yet, the homeschooling parent must continue to pay the taxes for the public schools. This is just one of the minor injustices that exist in our society in the interest of education.

And the reason why it now costs so much to educate a child in the public schools is that the dumbing-down process is not cheap. It requires costly programs that need frequent upgrading and revision, and it also requires specially trained teachers who are constantly attending expensive conferences and seminars in order to learn how better to dumb down the children.

Let’s just take the subject of teaching a child to read. Back in the old days, before the introduction of the Dick and Jane program, teaching reading was not all that expensive. Teachers taught the alphabet and the letter sounds mainly by using a chalk board, much in the way it was done in the 19th century with Noah Webster’s blue-backed spelling books. Student readers were cheap, and cursive writing helped a child learn to read. But when the progressives created the new look-say, whole-word Dick and Jane books, with their many colorful pictures of Dick, Jane, Sally, and Spot, the new dumbed-down version of reading instruction became expensive. In the old, traditional way, pictures played a very minor part, but with the new look-say method, pictures were indispensable in teaching children how to guess the words by looking at the pictures on the page.

Indeed, when the new Dick and Jane program was introduced in the schools in 1933, during the Great Depression, many schools could not afford it. That was the case in New York City, where the traditional alphabetic-phonics method was used until World War II when the economy revived and the schools now had the resources needed to pay for the new look-say books.

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