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As Long as We Remember...

September 5, 2002

NEA Rears its Ugly Mug Again

Lee Marshall

Once again our children head off to school. What will this year hold for them? Will they be challenged? Will they be assaulted? Will they be suspended for having a nail file in their book bags? Will they be suspended for being insensitive to someone of another color or persuasion? Will they learn anything to help them when they become responsible adults?

These aren't simply rhetorical questions, but genuine concerns. We have jammed-up classrooms, unfinished and poorly expanded school facilities, teachers working without a contract and a union pressing for more bucks, which they say will ensure a good education. That is just too much to believe. Education is about at its ebb tide.

Can we blame anyone? You bet your sweet derriere, you can. Place it squarely in the lap of the National Education Association (NEA) and its plan of national domination begun many years ago. So why shouldn't the NEA try another ill-conceived notion on our unwitting and innocent children?

The NEA has reared its ugly head again. America's leading far left educrats are trying to foist off another sham on our school children with a teacher's lesson plan that will emphasize not blaming anyone for the dastardly attack on America last September 11.

We are reaching the last straw with these power-mad, anti-American, academic elitists. I hope that any ties Frederick County Teachers Association (FCTA) may have with the NEA will be severed forthwith.

Thanks goodness, teachers in the State of New York and our neighbors, the West Virginia teachers, have told the NEA in strongest terms that its proposed lesson plan doesn't fit into education in their states. Its children will learn the truth this September 11th, not some touchy, feely, half-baked, pacifistic, watered-down story.

This is the same NEA, which instigated a rewriting of American history textbooks that not only fail to tell more than half the story of the founding of America, but also directly states that America has been the bad guy in the world, especially since World War I, and through the Gulf War.

I am thankful that so many veterans and historians have chosen to retell our history in personal accounts of wartime experience. Hollywood certainly doesn't have any idea what genuine historical facts are when they make a movie like "Pearl Harbor" and sell it as an historical reliving of the Day of Infamy. I wonder how Hollywood will tell the story of September 11, 2001, when it feels it can get away with it.

It is interesting that Japan is still wrestling with the same sort of problem. Its own version of the NEA has failed, and is still failing, to tell the truth about Japanese atrocities in World War II. The media has tried all-too often to tell what Tojo and his henchmen did in starting the war with America.

Japanese textbooks still try to glorify the rightness of the Japanese cause and ignore the raping and pillaging of China, Manchuria, the outright cruelty in the Philippine Islands and Malaysia. That's what happens when educators pursue their own agenda and claim they are all knowing and all seeing.

Do you remember the hue and cry not so long ago when The Hon. William Bennett called for an end to the Federal government's Department of Education. Education, he said, should be in the hands of local administrators. He is correct, except that we have local administrators trained by the NEA.

We've lost the steady hand of those dedicated local administrators like the late William Kemp and James Sensenbaugh, who maintained high standards in our schools, despite the NEA's heavy influence.

I don't know what role the NEA played in the construction of schools, probably a lot, but some of us remember when schools had windows. We didn't have air conditioning, but we had fresh air and didn't seem to have any problems with it. Windowless schools depend on air handling systems and we wonder why so many children suffer high incident of colds and flu, most of all simple asthma - the answer is recirculated air!

The mid-70s gave us the NEA concept of open classrooms. That lasted about five years, then school districts had to find a way to install first temporary then permanent barriers. Teachers couldn't teach and children couldn't learn in that environment. But that was progress according to the NEA.

It is good to see windows in the new Gov. Thomas Johnson Middle School and the refurbished TJ High School. We're making some progress.

The NEA didn't want to "educate" students; it wanted to produce students in their own loser image. One recent wag likened the NEA's educational style to having a pilot learn to fly by experiencing the Wright Brothers' practicum on flight; or learning to drive by getting behind the wheel and forging onto the freeway to see if the student could figure it out.

Like "the process" referred to, the NEA urges the thought process for ideas that ignores practical lessons learned. Our kids need to learn how to balance a checkbook!

This is the same NEA that got its foot in the door during the John F. Kennedy presidency and changed education for no good.

You may recall that when the Russians put up Sputnik (the first satellite to orbit the earth) in 1958, there was a groundswell for schools to emphasize more math and science so we could "catch up" to the Soviets. The NEA was first to say that the Soviet schools were far superior to our American institutions. That notion was excrement then, and is excrement now.

The thoroughly discredited academic weenies of the NEA got their foot in the door despite protestations from teachers nationwide. Schools were teaching mathematics pretty well and the top students were using their Slide Rules to pursue advanced calculus. Colleges also taught in those "olden days."

The weenies, however, wanted the emphasis to be on math in the space age starting in elementary school. They came up with new ways of computing.

I once tried to help my elementary school son with his homework. We went through the exercise and I showed him how to do it. Alas, I found out my way was wrong; it was so old it had cobwebs. The new way of doing what I called "Long Division" was all in estimating, the teachers told me, based on factors of 10, or something like that? First you guessed, then you tried to prove it in a series of separate calculations.

Teachers didn't want the answer, they wanted the process. That's all they want today.

However, using my method my son did it several times faster and achieved the correct answer. But he got an "F" on his homework. Remember, it was the process they wanted.

The NEA also changed the way we teach reading. We are aware of so many young people who have trouble reading that it is yet another scandal. Thankfully, we insisted our children learn to read phonetically, while urging them not to reveal this deep dark secret, else the Big Brothers of the NEA would find out.

The NEA has its head in the sand if it doesn't understand that our children have seen time and again the footage of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York.

The children saw the outrage of a nation at the cowardly attack, but most of all they saw it at home on their televisions and they heard President George W. Bush proclaim unashamedly that we would root out the terrorists and punish them and the countries which support terrorism.

The war cry "Let's Roll," heard on the United Airlines plane that crashed into Pennsylvania, became our nation's battle cry.

It's time to treat the NEA as the enemy it is and get our schools and education systems back in order. Our children must no longer be guinea pigs for these radical weenies.

"Let's Roll" America, the NEA first, then Iraq.

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