The New York Daily News reported  that “Martha Stewart sent a letter to Bill de Blasio asking that his administration seek answers in the mystery ailment of Tickles, a carriage horse who had to be euthanized.” What really happened to that horse? Martha Stewart wanted answers! The “home-improvement maven” sent her demands directly to the mayor and then told the world what she had demanded. Excellent. Martha Stewart seeks humane treatment for Manhattan’s carriage horses. Famous people should take idealistic stands. They can use their prestige for good. But who is taking a stand for the children of New York City? What celebrities have raised their voices in a similar way for more intelligent schools? The silence is terrifying. Siegfried Engelmann, one of the country’s great educators, lamented this contrast years ago. Engelman said  “The system panders and plays games because it is thoroughly incompetent at the top….At present, there are strong advocacy groups for the spotted owl, the killer whale, the Alaska fur seal, and hundreds of other ‘endangered species.’ Paradoxically, millions of our kids are endangered. They will fail in school. They will suffer a very real form of child abuse. Yet these kids have far less real advocacy than the spotted owl does.” Or the carriage horse. Deal with that phrase: “child abuse.” Wallow in that mud. Engelmann is talking about children being diminished and permanently damaged by dysfunctional classroom practices, practices which are aggressively chosen and  promoted by our politicized Education Establishment. Samuel Blumenfeld, who recently passed away at the age of 87, described our K-12 system as “a criminal enterprise from top to bottom.” He lamented that many of the common theories and methods constitute “child abuse.” Blumenfeld and Engelmann are two of the smartest people we ever had in education. They both sang essentially the same song. Everybody has to start speaking up for the children, because the far-left social engineers, the insatiable unions, and the corporate interests trying to make a killing through Common Core are not going to do it. Let the benevolent grown-ups get back in the game. A quasi-Red mayor wants to make a big deal out of outlawing carriage horses in the park. What will happen to those horses? They’ll probably be made into glue. In any case, you don’t hear DeBlasio talking about the kids in the public schools. He’s known for promoting the very  approaches most often associated with the problems. In particular, he supports the controversial chancellor Carmen Farina, who is a big supporter of the controversial literacy guru Lucy Calkins  whom one blog refers to as “legally insane.” A New York City schoolteacher recently wrote an open letter saying that “NYC is lost. Totally.” Why?  Because the school system refuses to teach reading with phonics, which always works. Instead, children are taught in ways that virtually guarantee failure. Who will stand up to these pretend educators?  Who will insist that children, first of all, master reading, writing, and arithmetic? That’s been the very foundation of all educational progress for thousands of years. Please, all you people who are famous and rich, get busy and get involved. Become a “change agent” for the right kind of change. If you want to know what’s wrong with the schools, here is the simple answer. The Education Establishment seems always to prefer the worst  theories and methods. If there are some goofy ideas that didn’t work 75 years ago and still don’t work, those are the ideas that our experts will push. Professional ideologues have created the mess we’re in now. Every citizen needs to get informed, get angry, and get involved. Take back the schools. That’s the only way they will be saved.]]>