Saturday, June 6, 2009

Homeschooling Rocks!

Homeschooling Rocks! Anastasia said she wants to go to college when she is five, we told her she has to wait until she is at least 12 but at the rate she is going if she is ready to go earlier I just may be headed back to college with her earlier than I had thought.


The following article appeared on Fox

11-Year-Old Graduates College With Degree in Astrophysics, At the age of an average sixth-grader, Cavalin has gradated from East Los Angeles Community College. But, graduating college at 10 may not be his highest goal in life.

Like all of this year's graduates, Moshe Kai Cavalin is excited that he completed college, with a degree in astrophysics.

But unlike the majority of college grads, Cavalin is only 11 years old and stands 4 feet, 7 inches tall.

At the age of an average sixth-grader, Cavalin has gradated from East Los Angeles Community College. But, graduating college at 11 may not be his highest goal in life.

"I want to be a movie actor and compete in the 2016 Olympics in martial arts," Cavalin told NBC affliate Wood TV.

Cavalin has maintained an A-plus average in such subjects as algebra, history, astronomy and physical education.

"I don't consider myself a genius because there are 6.5 billion people in this world and each one is smart in his or her own way," Cavalin told Wood TV.

One of his primary interests is "wormholes," a hypothetical scientific phenomenon connected to Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. It has been theorized that if such holes do exist in space, they could — in tandem with black holes — allow for the kind of space-age time travel seen in science fiction.

"Just like black holes, they suck in particulate objects, and also like black holes, they also travel at escape velocity, which is, the speed to get out of there is faster than the speed of light," Cavalin says. "I'd like to prove that wormholes are really there and prove all the theories are correct."

Cavalin's professors can't recall having a younger student in their classes.

"He is the youngest college student I've ever taught and one of the hardest working," says Daniel Judge, his statistics professor. "He's actually a pleasure to have in class. He's a well- adjusted, nice little boy."

Cavalin was an 8-year-old freshman when he enrolled in Guajao Liao's intermediate algebra class in 2006. By the end of the term, Liao recalls, he was tutoring some of his 19- and 20-year-old classmates.

"I told his parents that his ability was much higher than that level, that he should take a higher-level course," Liao says. "But his parents didn't want to push him."

Cavalin's parents avoid calling their son a genius. They say he's just an average kid who enjoys studying as much as he likes playing soccer, watching Jackie Chan movies, and collecting toy cars and baseball caps with tiger emblems on them. He was born during the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese zodiac.

Cavalin has a general idea what his IQ is, but doesn't like to discuss it. He says other students can achieve his success if they study hard and stay focused on their work.

His parents say they never planned to enroll their son in college at age 8, and sought to put him in a private elementary school when he was 6.

"They didn't want to accept me because I knew more than the teacher there and they said I looked too bored," the youngster recalls.

His parents home-schooled him instead, but after two years decided college was the best place for him. East L.A. officials agreed to accept him if he enrolled initially in just two classes, math and physical education. After he earned A-pluses in both, he was allowed to expand his studies.

"He sees things very simply," says Judge, his statistics teacher. "Most students think that things should be harder than they are and they put these mental blocks in front of them and they make things harder than they should be. In the case of Moshe, he sees right through the complications. ... It's not really mystical in any way, but at the same time it's amazing."

Question of the Day - How many people in the U.S. know what significant event happened on June 6th?

Quote of the Day - "The growing number of students being educated at home is also influencing the American education system and saving taxpayers between $4.4 billion and $9.9 billion in instructional costs each year." Dan Lips and Kevin Feinberg of the Heritage Foundation

I spotted the picture on

Friday, June 5, 2009

Yes they can!

Anastasia's Chemistry Quiz.

Click on image to enlarge.
Children are sponges and have the capacity to learn unfortunately that is not a belief that is often held in public schools. At a meeting last year at a Newport School Jim told a teacher that his four year old daughter could read and the teacher insisted she could not. At the Newport Education Foundation meeting someone said that 3rd graders should not have homework because they can not do it. Jim explained that his 4 year old daughter does homework all the time. As you can see from the above Chemistry Quiz Anastasia can do homework. We taught Anastasia to read at three and have made learning fun. Making sure children learn to read by the end of kindergarten or first grade I believe is the key to success in public schools. The problem is they are not teaching them to read and keep passing them from grade to grade even if they can't read.

Hot off the presses is a RAND Study titled Charter Schools Don’t Hurt Traditional Schools. In this study one thing that is clear is the expectations of the teachers make a difference on student performance. If public schools would just expect everyone to succeed maybe their would be more successes in public schools. If you expect mediocrity or failure by certain students that is exactly the outcome that they will get.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Yesterday 14 Democratic Senators Voted to Kill a Bill to Protect Charter Schools

Yesterday 14 Democratic Senators voted to kill a bill to protect charter schools. This was purely a political move and an outrage to the students served by said schools. This was not a budget saving move as charter schools cost less to operate than public schools this was a move to pander to public ed educrats and the unions. Shame on the whole lot of them. While New Hampshire is blocking the creation of charter schools New York will add 100 charter schools next year. New Hampshire we have a problem and that is the Democrats in control of the House, Senate and Governorship.

The following piece appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

From today's WSJ: School reforms on the brink; The Empire Strikes back in Milwaukee and NYC
Today at 12:56pm
School Reforms on the Brink
The empire strikes back in Milwaukee and NYC.

The education establishment and its political allies employ multiple methods to keep kids trapped in rotten schools. One tactic is to use control of school boards to prevent or limit the creation of charter schools. Another is to smother existing voucher programs with rules and red tape. Real world examples are currently playing out in Milwaukee and New York City.

The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program provides vouchers for some 20,000 low-income, mostly minority children to attend private schools. Because the 20-year-old program polls above 60% with voters, and even higher among minorities, killing it outright would be unpopular. Instead, Democratic Governor Jim Doyle wants to reduce funding and pass "reforms" designed to regulate the program to death. The goal is to discourage private schools from enrolling voucher students and thus force kids to return to unionized public schools.

To that end, Democrats in the state legislature voted last week to cut per-pupil payments to private schools by $165 while increasing public school spending by $400 per student. Taxpayer support for students in the program is only $6,607 per student to begin with, which is less that half of the $13,468 for students in Milwaukee public schools.

Those funding cuts would be accompanied by mandates of dubious academic benefit. One regulation would require schools that have already been accredited to meet additional accreditation requirements. Another would force schools to offer expensive bilingual programs that suck up scarce resources and are spurned by most immigrant parents who want their children taught in English.

The irony is that satisfaction and enrollment at Milwaukee public schools has steadily declined despite these very policies that choice opponents want to impose on successful private schools. A recent evaluation of the Milwaukee choice program found that its high school graduation rate was 85%, compared to 58% for students in the city's public schools. Between 1994 and 2008, the voucher program saved taxpayers more than $180 million. Yet opponents insist these schools need additional regulations to make them more like the public schools that cost more and produce inferior results.

Meanwhile, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in a battle royal with the teachers union and state politicians who want to strip him of mayoral control of the schools. Since 2002, the Mayor has been able to hire and fire the schools chancellor and appoint a majority on the city's Board of Education.

Academic results argue strongly for continuing the policy, which expires June 30 unless state lawmakers renew it. According to the latest test scores, 82% of children in grades three through eight scored at or above grade level on this year's standardized tests, up from 74% last year and 57% three years ago. Mayoral control has also eased the expansion of charter schools, many of which are performing better than the district schools. In Harlem, where 19 of the 23 elementary and intermediate public schools are failing, all of the third graders at the Harlem Success Academy passed the most recent state math exam and 95% passed the English exam.

Before 2002 New York had fewer than 20 charter schools because the United Federation of Teachers, the dominant local union, blocked their growth. Thanks to mayoral control, there will be more than 100 charter schools in New York next year, which is one reason that the teachers union doesn't want the policy to continue. The great moral outrage of our time is the way the public schools establishment puts its interests ahead of children, trying to kill every school choice program whatever its success. Genuine reformers should be shouting from the rooftops.

Croydon News

I finally put a link to Gayle Hedrington's column on our links of interest. Her column now appears at I miss reading her column in the Eagle Times.

Gayle Hedrington is reporting that there is an SAU 43 meeting June 8th to discuss the area agreement. Why the SAU is involved in our agreement between Newport and Croydon is beyond me. The decision is that of the Croydon School Board and they should follow the wishes of the Croydon taxpayers and voters. Newport's and the SAU's action show not only their level of greed but the state to which they like to bully Croydon taxpayers and parents around. Shame on the whole lot of them. Most parents would choose Newport, but Newport should not be chaining other parents and students to their poorly performing school system.

Cathy Peschke
One Very Upset Croydon Parent and Taxpayer

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Deliberately Dumbed Down by Those Who Should Not Allow It to Happen

The following piece appears on and a number of other places. I can't believe Al Sharpton and I actually agree on something. Schools have failed to adequately educate the populous for 40 years and it has nothing to do with money. This has been an intentional dumbing down and indoctrination of the populous. It took a nation of ignorant people to get us where we are today.


Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Dumbest Generation Getting Dumber
by Walter E. Williams

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international comparison of 15-year-olds conducted by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that measures applied learning and problem-solving ability. In 2006, U.S. students ranked 25th of 30 advanced nations in math and 24th in science. McKinsey & Company, in releasing its report "The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America's Schools" (April 2009) said, "Several other facts paint a worrisome picture. First, the longer American children are in school, the worse they perform compared to their international peers. In recent cross-country comparisons of fourth grade reading, math, and science, US students scored in the top quarter or top half of advanced nations. By age 15 these rankings drop to the bottom half. In other words, American students are farthest behind just as they are about to enter higher education or the workforce." That's a sobering thought. The longer kids are in school and the more money we spend on them, the further behind they get.

While the academic performance of white students is grossly inferior, that of black and Latino students is a national disgrace. The McKinsey report says, "On average, black and Latino students are roughly two to three years of learning behind white students of the same age. This racial gap exists regardless of how it is measured, including both achievement (e.g., test score) and attainment (e.g., graduation rate) measures. Taking the average National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores for math and reading across the fourth and eighth grades, for example, 48 percent of blacks and 43 percent of Latinos are 'below basic,' while only 17 percent of whites are, and this gap exists in every state. A more pronounced racial achievement gap exists in most large urban school districts." Below basic is the category the NAEP uses for students unable to display even partial mastery of knowledge and skills fundamental for proficient work at their grade level.

The teaching establishment and politicians have hoodwinked taxpayers into believing that more money is needed to improve education. The Washington, D.C., school budget is about the nation's costliest, spending about $15,000 per pupil. Its student/teacher ratio, at 15.2 to 1, is lower than the nation's average. Yet student achievement is just about the lowest in the nation. What's so callous about the Washington situation is about 1,700 children in kindergarten through 12th grade receive the $7,500 annual scholarships in order to escape rotten D.C. public schools, and four times as many apply for the scholarships, yet Congress, beholden to the education establishment, will end funding the school voucher program.

Any long-term solution to our education problems requires the decentralization that can come from competition. Centralization has been massive. In 1930, there were 119,000 school districts across the U.S; today, there are less than 15,000. Control has moved from local communities to the school district, to the state, and to the federal government. Public education has become a highly centralized government-backed monopoly and we shouldn't be surprised by the results. It's a no-brainer that the areas of our lives with the greatest innovation, tailoring of services to individual wants and falling prices are the areas where there is ruthless competition such as computers, food, telephone and clothing industries, and delivery companies such as UPS, Federal Express and electronic bill payments that have begun to undermine the postal monopoly in first-class mail.

At a Washington press conference launching the McKinsey report, Al Sharpton called school reform the civil rights challenge of our time. He said that the enemy of opportunity for blacks in the U.S. was once Jim Crow; today, in a slap at the educational establishment, he said it was "Professor James Crow." Sharpton is only partly correct. School reform is not solely a racial issue; it's a vital issue for the entire nation.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"The Cartel"

The Education Intelligence Agency is reporting that a documentary titled "The Cartel" by Bob Bowdon is now available. A clip of the documentary is on You Tube. The Cartel is a documentary about the public schools in New Jersey.

These problems exist in all public schools it is just a matter of degree as to how they differ.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The 1st Amendment Right to Assemble is Under Attack in New Hampshire

For three years New Hampshire's Live, Free or Die Rally successfully went off without a hitch. This year the group's organizer Jean Coutu is reporting problems getting permits for the Rally. This has never happened in the past. The Canada Free Press is reporting that the people of the Live, Free or Die Rally believe this is an attempt to stop their 1st Amendment right to assemble. New Hampshire has been listed as one of the freest states in which to live. The ACLU usually assists in these situations but will not because guns will be present at the Rally.

Jean Coutu is asking people to assist in the right to assemble by.....

contacting the
Town of Jaffrey
10 Goodnow Street
Jaffrey, NH, 03452
Town e-mails:

Write a letter to the editor expressing your concern over the Right to Assemble being denied to the people of the Live Free or Die Rally.


If you are an attorney or know an attorney please contact Jean Coutu at

Will this denial of the right to assemble spread to Tea Parties and other groups? Please help in anyway you can.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Newport Education Foundation

On Saturday Jim attended the Newport Education Foundation meeting at Richards School. Some of you may have seen the sign for the meeting near the roundabout in town. The sign congratulated Newport Schools on making AYP. At first glance it looked there would be a large crowd. Jim estimated there were only 20 people present; all but three were associated with the school or SAU.

A handout was given to those in attendance. When looking at the flyer mailed out prior to the meeting it appeared they would discuss AYP. This did not happen. Classic Delphi Techniques were used to try to persuade the crowd towards Newport Education Foundation's line of thinking. Since most attendees were part of the educrat crowd little damage was done. Delphi meetings typically employ a "fisherman". This is a person who tries to fish out those who do not agree with the "groupthink" and tries to limit the outsiders impact on the rest of the group.

What's clear from the handout is that this group is an extension of the teachers and/or the unions of Newport School; their goal appears to be getting more money to the school. The group will likely focus a great deal of effort on passing tax increase warrants for the Newport Schools. It does not look like an education reform group where they would focus on having the dollar follow the child instead of the institution or focus on legislation such as getting rid of unfunded mandates, getting rid of tenure or trying to get school choice here in New Hampshire. The group appears to have no intention of scrutinizing the school budget for waste or reducing bureaucratic overhead so that more money is in the classroom where it has the greatest impact on the education of Newport students.

During the meeting numerous suggestions were made as to how to improve academic performance and the response from NEF was we cannot tell the school what to do. But when you read their mission statement they are "dedicated to the improvement and enhancement of the educational opportunities for all Newport students through working in cooperation with the Newport School District to facilitate positive change." When I read the mission statement improving educational opportunities would mean to try to achieve school choice. I don't think that is what the meant but if they do hats off to the NEF. The statement also suggests they intend to try to improve academic performance by telling the school what to do, so which one is it NEF?

Another one of the goals of the NEF is to improve public relations with the community. Improve the educational results and there will be no need to improve public relations with the community it will happen automatically.

I will post more on the NEF later this week.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.