A Day of Thanksgiving

On October 3, 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation naming Thursday, November 26, 1789 as an official holiday of “sincere and humble thanks.” The nation then celebrated its first Thanksgiving under its new Constitution. On October 3, 1863, President Lincoln made the traditional Thanksgiving celebration a nationwide holiday to be commemorated each year on the fourth Thursday of November. In the midst of a bloody Civil War, President Lincoln issued a Presidential Proclamation in which he enumerated the blessings of the American people and called upon his countrymen to “set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of “Thanksgiving.”

In 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday to the third Thursday of November to lengthen the Christmas shopping season and boost the economy still recovering from the Depression. This move, which set off a national debate, was reversed in 1941 when Congress passed and President Roosevelt approved a joint house resolution establishing, by law, the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.

Here are the two proclamations that set this holiday into the hearts of a nation: Continue reading

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Arne Duncan Mocks ‘White suburban moms’

From the Washington Post:

 

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a group of state schools superintendents Friday that he found it “fascinating” that some of the opposition to the Common Core State Standards has come from “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.”

 

 

You can read the rest at the link but I find this infuriating. This is how “things get done” now. Instead of addressing parents’ concerns and debating the actual issues our government officials demonize anyone who disagrees with them. Parents aren’t upset with Common Core because they are suddenly finding their children are not brilliant. This isn’t about how tough the standards are. This is about the fact that the standards are teaching the wrong things and the wrong way. A century ago our country had a literacy proficiency above 90%. Today it is 13%. Common Sense was written to be read by the average teenager in 1776. Most adults today are unable to understand it. The Common Core standards don’t do anything to address this. In fact, they take us farther away from the foundational educational principals that made those levels of literacy and reasoning possible. The education of our grandparents and great grandparents was far superior to what we have now but, instead of trying to return to what worked, we keep moving further down the path that has taken us astray. That is what parents are upset about, not test scores. Most parents don’t want the measuring stick that grades the success of education to be reduced down to a standardized test anyway! What do those tests prove? They amount to nothing more than regurgitating a list of facts. Facts that, sadly, most students today don’t know how to process! We are teaching the wrong way and we are judging the success of the system based on the wrong metrics! Until we realize this it is impossible for things to get better. That is what those “white suburban moms” are trying to get Arne Duncan, and others like him, to understand. 

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If you shop on Thanksgiving, you are part of the problem

Love it.

The Matt Walsh Blog

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I’m a capitalist. It’s not my religion, I won’t bow before its altar, I won’t kiss its ring, but I believe in capitalism. It’s an invention of man and it involves money, so it’s not perfect, but I’ve never heard anyone suggest a better system. So I’m a capitalist.

I am not, however, a consumerist. I like the freedom and innovation of capitalism; I loath the materialism and gluttony of consumerism. There’s a popular misconception that capitalism and consumerism are inextricably linked; that one naturally involves and requires the other. But this is a fallacy. Certainly the “stimulus” programs a few years ago ought to have dispelled this notion entirely. The government perverted the free market and elected to hand free money to millions of people, hoping that they’d go out and buy a bunch of stuff with it. This was consumerism at the expense of capitalism, and it revealed…

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THE LATEST COMMON CORE FIGHT: CURSIVE (AND COMMON CORE IS LOSING IN SOME STATES)

An interesting article from The Blaze today. I know we practice cursive in our homeschool because I want my son to actually be able to write in script. How about you?

The swirling lines from Linden Bateman’s pen have been conscripted into a national fight to keep cursive writing in American classrooms.

Cursive. Penmanship. Handwriting.

In years gone by, it helped distinguish the literate from the illiterate.

But now, in the digital age, people are increasingly communicating by computer and smartphone. No handwritten signature necessary.

Call it a sign of the times. When the new Common Core educational standards were crafted, penmanship classes were dropped. But at least seven of the 45 states that adopted the standards are fighting to restore the cursive instruction.

 

Read more: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/11/14/the-latest-common-core-fight-cursive-and-common-core-is-losing-in-some-states/

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David Coleman Again Demonstrates He Doesn’t Get Education

From Truth in American Education:

Common Core architect and College Board President David Coleman recently joined a public forum to discuss “the next America.” His eight-minute speech gives a window into the ideas of those driving education in this country, which many Common Core critics have disagreed with all along.

First is the central idea of college as a pathway to financial security. Coleman opens with this: “The fact is completing a college degree is the most powerful force in driving against income inequality in this country. Seriously, it is the only technology we have.” Continue reading