Government Barriers displayed at 50% of viewport width
August 2018 by V. R. Duin


As schools stuff books with key words
they want all students to know,
bored kids flock to screens like birds.
Fun stories make reading grow.

Learn how government-sanctioned reading lists and book fair books give power to some publishers at a loss of diversity in the supply chain, presenting obstacles for the entry of beneficial titles into home reading programs.

Government sets up agencies for protection. It enables members, agencies and associations to prosper. It supports long-standing, monopolistic book fair books and reading lists designed for under-performing students.

Government gives power to big business to supply rigid education materials. This system lessens the variety of books. It is failing half of our children. The receipt of government money exerts controls on curricula.

The current administration is expanding school choice options. Four educational policy types are: intra-district, inter-district, charter school and private schools choice. Improvements in learning are not yet evident.

Parents are offered little choice for home reading programs. They cannot move against the centralized commercial force of government to find innovative tools for specific learning levels, styles and problems.

Charter schools, private schools, school vouchers and tax credits are not within reach of everyone. Consumer welfare is harmed by government controls on labor, goods and services. Few students enjoy classroom activities.

Many parents trust “The System”. They may believe the government knows what is best. The top-down approaches and large-scale operations that rule teaching should be explored obstacles to learning.

Education power concentrations are clear. Large insiders squeeze out small outsiders. Government guides purchases of standardized books from lists approved by this closed system for inside lessons and tests in all schools.

Conspiracy puts profit over learning. Financial incentives of subsidized books and kick-backs to schools should be viewed as a secret plan for profit. Big government and big business direct money flows to inside books.

The system blocks independent books. Deliberate obstacles to independent books include professional reviews and grade-level ratings from companies that rule out these books. The conspiracy only supports inside books.

Many schools in poor cities operate like prisons. Police or guards control premises. Short on supplies, technology and individual attention, educators focus on arming teachers. Long commutes interfere with homework.

A recent analysis by The Education Trust of 5 traditional middle schools and one K-8 school found classroom assignments to be below standards. Students were not stimulated to perform.

Government puts limits on vocabulary in books. This policy may keep advanced books from reaching gifted students' hands. The goal is to improve test scores and lower the dropout rates of poor and minority children.

Parents of children in public schools may be discouraged from buying anything but book fair books. These parents feel obligated to buy books on age-based reading lists. Independent books are excluded from these lists.

Outside books cannot be used to prepare for inside tests. The government controls buying and promotion of books from the inside. Students graduating from this system may not function well in the outside world.

Increasingly, children “hate” to read. Big business and public education concentrate power in computer-generated materials based on algorithms. The resulting machine-generated texts are flat, boring and awkward.

Reading has become a drill for age-based tests. Books are designed to have key words present in the desired frequencies and quantities for the targeted age group. Schools have turned big data into a tight operation.

There may be no homework requirement. Under pressure to raise graduation rates, educators turn a blind eye to absenteeism. Failing students graduate. The goal is to boost school reputations and increase funding.

Learning must be done willingly. Thanks to restrictions, standardization and monopoly, Reading Problems are not being solved. Children, who read boring materials, are unlikely to become creative and motivated thinkers.

Parents may help struggling, average and gifted students with at home reading programs. Programs need fresh ideas and diverse books. Narrow inventories piloted by big business and big government interests are limiting.

Parents should have an ability to end educational programs that are not working. They should be free to test real alternatives. Instead, they are subjected to a regulatory state with stagnant learning outcomes at all levels.

The government prioritizes greater funding and less accountability. Inquiries or investigations into issues of importance to student futures take a back seat to politically-skewed power struggles over money for schools.

Government regulators target manufacturers, shipping companies and banking institutions. The Federal Trade Commission ignores the unfair share of revenue earned by suppliers of their employer in education.

Super-sized suppliers created with government support may be contributing to student resistance and disengagement. Outside thinking is discouraged by value-free incumbent players and mass group-think.

Independent thinkers and authors online might be the best place for parents to start their book search. Interesting and entertaining books exist outside “The System”. Valuable resources may be acquired at no cost.

An outside approach is less radical than pulling students from the failing system. Public policy also rules home-schooling. Innovative books are available at low or no cost through Amazon Prime and lending libraries.

Creative writers rarely break through the strict controls on books. The strength of a single, dominant supplier creates growing reliance on the book fair alliance. Tax dollars are handcuffed to bureaucratic oversight.

Politicians, policy makers and educators have set up a regulatory state. The “establishment” leaves parents with no true choice in the planned supply of labor, goods and services for the education of their children.

A mastery-based approach is being tested in a few schools across the country. Promotions of book fair books and other pay-backs remain. Qualified students advance at their own pace to achieve graduation.

Mastery programs try to match coursework with personal strengths and weaknesses. Students build confidence and knowledge of course content through worksheets, discussions, coursework, internships and testing.

Examples include: Iowa's Muscatine Community School District, Ohio's credit-flex, Brooklyn's M.S. 442 School for Innovation, District of Columbia and Bethesda, Maryland's Mysa Menu and some “micro-schools”.

Individualized education models are having positive effects. Gifted, average and under-performing show improvements in reading and math. Students can breeze past content they have mastered to focus on deficiencies.

To avoid summer school, online make-up courses are offered. Struggling students get an opportunity to work at their own pace. Full credit may be received for fast and easy alternatives to traditional classwork.

High school graduates may be unprepared for college and the work world. In Palm Beach County, Florida, grades were changed by a vice principal on final online tests. Some grades were raised from 0% to 95%.

Rigid standardization does not seem to stimulate learning. Except for a one-point increase in 8th grade math, achievement was flat or lower in the 2017 Assessment of Education Progress, or Nation's Report Card.

Parents in the United States should put greater faith on home literacy. Public schools may be inflating graduation rates and teaching students to answer specific questions. Remedial or vocational classes often follow.

Free-thinking does not develop with nominal education. This is convenient for the bureaucracy. It does not foster real-world communications or connections. Marketplace apathy keeps the ruling powers in place.