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    SHARETEXT? Volume Six The Underground Grammarian

    [Peter Wagschal, Futurist, University of


    The Underground YEAH. And that‟s not all! Just you take a good

    look at the standard American dogs and cats. They GRAMMARIAN live pretty damn well, tolling not, neither spinning,

    and they‟ve never even heard of stuff like reading, Volume Six, Number One . . . . . . January 1982

    writing, and arithmetic. They “do quite nicely without those skills,” and so do tropical fish and

    baboons. And so, too, did black slaves and WITH this issue, and contrary even to our own Russian serfs, and all those marvelously skillful expectations, we begin the sixth year of THE and industrious ancestors of us all who gathered UNDERGROUND GRAMMARIAN. If we had had nuts and roots and killed small rodents with sticks. a five-year plan, this would be the time to report They all knew everything they needed to know. on it. And a dismal report it would be. We would probably never have heard of Peter Indeed, we have to begin our sixth year with a Wagschal, or of his neato Ouija Board Studies couple of the most sickening documents: we have Program, if it hadn‟t been for one Larry Zenke, a ever seen. We found them quoted, and pretty neato guy himself. Zenke is Superintendent appropriately, although not sufficiently, derided, of Schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where men are in an editorial in The Tulsa Tribune. still men. Did he quail when the national Some of the notions that these educationists achievement test scores, which used to be quite sanctimoniously put forth and earnestly adopt good in that prosperous and orderly city, hit new from each other are so preposterous and so vile lows last fall? Nosirree. When taxpayers that no sound mind could accept them. In that fact, grumbled, did he ignominiously promise to do and in a well-known Proverbial hypothesis about better? And when the Tulsa Tribune started one possible cause of unsoundness in the mind, shooting off its editorial mouth about “fads” and we find what little hope-we can still hold, not only “anti-academic garbage,” did Zenke tiptoe away for our schools, but for our freedoms, which into the piloting of experiential remediation depend on the informed discretion of the people. enhancement parameters? Dryden puts the proverb thus: No way. Not in Oklahoma. In the finest frontier fashion, he stood up tall in the middle of Main For those whom God to ruin has designed, Street at high noon and told the unruly rabble that He fits for fate, and first destroys their mind. maybe they‟d like to talk it over, before doing anything hasty, with his pal, Pete (The Persuader) Well, maybe God has destroyed their minds. Wagschal, who somehow just happened to drift That would explain much. And maybe He will into town. True grit. bring them to ruin. But when? Can we afford to Then, having (by proxy) brought light to the wait much longer? benighted fuddy-duddies of Tulsa, Zenke, who obviously knows more than he lets on, laid a little

     groundwork for the defense of next year‟s test

    scores: “Wagschal even suggests that 50 years Nox quondam, nox futura? from now we could be the smartest, most

    Students do not read, write and do arithmetic knowledgeable society that has ever existed, and

    as well as they used to because they can get yet be largely illiterate.

    along quite nicely without these skills. . . . The italics are Zenke‟s, not ours, and we‟re Americans are finding that they need to rely grateful for them. We have often wondered what less and less on “basic skills” to find out kind of an idea it would take to make a school what they want to know and what they want superintendent excited about the life of the to do. Our basic skills are declining intellect.

    precisely because we need them less. And a dandy idea it is, especially for all those

     much misunderstood “educators,” saddled (for

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    now) with the thankless (and difficult) task of those godless communists who are panting to teaching what no one will need to know when the nationalize oil? Do you fear that bleeding hearts bright age dawns. All that burnout and stress! And will take away the guns by which you fancy that for what? For nothing more than an arcane and you won and may yet preserve your liberty? Pooh, elitist social grace no more necessary in a truly Tulsans, pooh.

    “knowledgeable society” than the ability to play The most dangerous threat to your liberty, the polo, or the lute. one that has by far the best chance of turning you And how, you ask, will people who are “largely all into docile clods, is right there in Tulsa. Think, illiterate” come to amass all that knowledge? Well, dammit! Do you imagine that foreign enemies of don‟t you worry, bless your heart. Someone will this nation could devise for your children a more probably be quite willing to tell them what to hideous and revolting destiny than the one so know, even if it means all the trouble and expense blithely envisionedand as an exoneration, no

    of attaching loudspeakers to every lamp-post in lessby the superintendent of schools? Do you America. yawn and turn to the sports section, citizens of The teachers, then, will be liberated to do what Tulsa, when the man whom you have hired to the teacher academies train them to do. Zenke oversee the growth of understanding and foretells: judgment in your children airily tells you that in a palmier day they will have no need of the literacy Teachers, for example, will no longer be that alone can give those powers? Do you shrug disseminators of cognitive informationwhen he tells you that the children will be spared machines will do that. Teachers will be program the burden of whatever “cognitive information” developers and/or facilitators of group they don‟t actually need, which must obviously, membership, helping students develop since the children will have no powers of interaction skills. Some educators, of course, judgment, be chosen by someone like Zenke? Do will be found too rigid to survive this you, like Zenke, dream of the day when no one metamorphosis, but those who do will find will be able to read our Constitution, but it won‟t excitement and fulfillment in their new matter, because the machines provided by the “teaching roles.” government schools will tell us all we really need

    And that will be just dandy too. Happy, happy, to know about it? Can you think of something to the teachers of tomorrow, at long last fulfilled and say to those teachers, and superintendents, who excited! Freed forever from the stern constraints are not excited and fulfilled with leading young of the tiny smatterings of mere information still minds into the ways of understanding and incongruously expected of teachers, the thoughtful discretion, and who arc unrigid enough,

    facilitator-trainees of the future won‟t have to take flaccid and limp enough, not only to survive but to any of those dull and irrelevant “subjects” that hail as liberation their metamorphosis into now impede their growth as professionals and developers and facilitators? Does it not occur to their group membership development. They‟ll be you that the inculcation of “interaction skills” for able to spend all their time in the enhancement of the purpose of “group development” is exactly the their interaction skills, so that they can go forth opposite of an education, by which a mind can and facilitate the same for little children. (Those find its way out of group-think and the pet

    cunning tots, of course, do have to be educated, promulgations of collectivisms? And in short, you know, so that they will sit quietly in Tulsans, what are those strange black boxes we organized groups when it‟s time to hear some see on your lamp-posts? What soothing message knowledge from the loudspeaker.) And the have they recited, even as you slept? How is it, O training program for superintendents of schools Pioneers, that you are not mad as hell? will be even more exciting and fulfilling. There‟s Oklahoma is much changed, but the descendants just no counting the skills that they can get along of the settlers still like to watch the hawk making nicely without. lazy circles in the sky. Their bird-lore, however, is Which is it you‟ve lost, Tulsans, your spirit or not what it was. In fact, there‟s hardly a damn one your minds? Could it be both? Do you lie awake of them that can tell a hawk from a vulture in the still watches of the night worrying about nowadays.

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     you know, and it has made us what we are today.

    And we taught her all about situations, which are Quatily [higher] Ecudation in NJ the most important things to be able to identify for any person who contemplates a career activity in EMPLOYMENT OBJECTIVE: To help the the professional ecuduation sphere, which may be growth and commonwealth of an perceived as being a multi-faceted arena of one organization into a successful unit by situation after another, especially the emerging continuing my physchological and kind, which, pray notice, this graduate does know sociological expertiese to satisfy existing how to identify. And meet. And just look at all the needs, and to identify and meet emerging good stuff we‟ve made her familiar with. situations within an institution, company or Furthermore, while she probably doesn‟t want to community. Familiar with counseling, boast of it, you can bet your horse and dog that mental health, social services, group therapy she is not only familiar with mental health, for with adults and youths; and, can organize, instance, but that she even appreciates it. And coordinate and supervise career activities. what, you may ask, about those career activities? Also, have the ability to prepare budget and Can she really organize and coordinate them, and financial reports along with light typing even supervise them? Well, come on. That‟s skills. exactly what we do all the time, and, to turn once

    HERE at Glassboro State, we are your good old again to the words of Basic Concepts About A

    Well-Functioning Individual, “Human behavior is simple country folk, into the eternal verities, as strongly influenced by its present environment.” you might say, a cabbage-patch of A Number One (And some peoplecan you believe it?say that American Heartland plunked right down

    we should actually spend less money in the smack-dab in the middle of what they call the

    pursuit of such findings, which are the very Great Northeastern Corridor. The trains don‟t stop

    cornerstones of all educationistic theory!) And on here any more.

    top of all that, we even have courses and We are neither new-falutin‟ nor high-fangled. In

    experiential workshops in the writing of resumés! fact, many would say it‟s just the other way

    So how do you figure it? Here this young around. We‟re satisfied with excellence. We refer woman, who has obviously learned exactly as we to it often. We even keep making up new plans for

    teach, who clearly has enough skills to make her excellence even more excellent than our last new at least a deanif not an associate plans for excellence. As our very own, and highly vice-presidentaround here, applies for a job as respected by a number of curriculum facilitators nothing more than Counselor/Special Services, a hereabouts, Curriculum Development Council so

    job she could indubitably do in her sleepcogently puts it, in its list of Basic Concepts wouldn‟t you say?—at some two-bit community About A Well-Functioning Individual: “The

    college where they wouldn‟t even recognize a present can be altered and the future directed situation if it emerged, never mind identify and without explanation of the negative past.” Now meet it, and where they are obviously not the least you put that all together it spells quatily ecudation bit familiar with mental health, and those bozos, with no bones about it. And that‟s the name of our even after reading exactly what you see above, game. Even the union says so.

    have the unmitigated gall to turn her down! So you can Imagine our chagrin when the above, Well, someday they‟ll be sorry. At GSC the or something like it, happens. Not to put too fine a apple never falls far from the whole barrel, and we point on it, the case may be summed up thus:

    often hire our own graduates. She could easily We take in this young lady with plenty of

    make it as our vice-president for Community potential to maximize, and we spend four full

    College Program/Relation/Evaluation. years giving her nothing but an unmitigated quatily ecudation. We teach her all about the

    Teratology growth into a unit, and even the commonwealth into a unit, of an organization, and not through SOMETIMES it is possible to figure out what any dilettantish satisfying of non-existing needs,

    you will notice. That‟s exactly the way we do it, some superintendent of schools is trying to say.

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    However, when that happens, he usually has said schools administered and education directed by

    either something that is too obvious to need people who know how to make sense. saying, or something that he would very probably

    not have said if only he had been able to

    understand exactly what he was saying. The Arrogance of Humanis Here‟s a diverting example from the David Ehrenfeld superintendent of schools in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, We know only his initials, G. E. M. Oxford University Press, Galaxy paperback, $5.95 (really!), which adorn each page of his recent *report to the board, wherein we find:

     THIS is an alarming book, but strangely

    ASSESSMENT OF CURRENT NEEDS consoling as well. It is alarming because it demonstrates, with concrete and repellent We agree that to plan best on where long range evidence, that the half-baked and goals would project the district, a careful pseudo- scientific tinkerers who run our schools review of current status needs to be given. The have lots of brothers and sisters who run almost base formed from this assessment and everything else. It is consoling because it suggests examination can be used to launch successfully that the rejection of the tinkerers‟ silly (and often that which needs to be initiated. vile) premises is an idea whose time may yet come. So. He may mean, of course, that planners The “humanism” of the title is not the should take account of facts. Wow. He may just as incoherently construed “secular humanism” well, on the other hand, be saying that you can denounced by half-baked and (now) hardly expect any concrete plans for the future pseudo-scientific religionists clothed in soft from someone who doesn‟t know what the hell is raiment. It is itself a kind of religion, although one going on in the present. whose articles of belief are susceptible to the tests And sometimes, as in another GEM from the of evidence and reason, which they fail. They fail same document, you can not figure out what a too—this is one of Ehrenfeld‟s most compelling superintendent of schools is trying to say: demonstrations—the simple test of “decent feelings” informed by thoughtfulness. STUDENT RIGHTS/RESPONSIBILITIES This is a flagrant and disruptive book, and thus hard to find. Persevere. Things will get better if One constant and over-riding concern of all

    you read it. district personnel is the rights of our students.

     Aside from this, it shall no longer he implied THE UNDERGROUND because along with rights for the students, GRAMMARIAN efforts shall he obviated in their inculcation as to responsibilities and obligations they have Published monthly, September to May also. A board document of due process shall be R. Mitchell, Assistant Circulation Manager prepared and which shall contain as well, Post Office Box 203, Glassboro, New Jersey 08028 Rights, Responsibilities. Annual subscription: US & Canada, $10; others, $14.

    Neither can his mind be thought to be in tune, Something or other seems to be missing from

    whose words do jarre; nor his reason in frame, the list of the responsibilities of the superintendent

    whose sentence is preposterous. of schools in St. Clair Shores, but it won‟t be mentioned in that forthcoming “board document” on student responsibilities. Nor is anyone likely to grant students, therein, the right to have their

     * We are practicing the trickier i-e and e-i words, in the hope that someone around here will learn how to spell “hierarchy.”

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    officials, would voluntarily forbid itself the power

    to influence not only the beliefs of the people but

    everything else that might sway the consent of the The Underground people.

    Jefferson held that the functionaries of any GRAMMARIAN government would, if they could, “command the

    liberty of their constituents.” Had he been able to Volume Six, Number Two . . . . . February 1982

    read the future, he might also have warned us that those functionaries would seek to modify the

    behavior of their constituents, to instill in them The Affective Functionary Action

    officially sanctioned civic and personal attitudes, WE GREET with bounded enthusiasm judge to facilitate their group membership through Wm. Overton‟s decision in the Arkansas training in interaction skills, and to afford them creationism case. “The evidence,” he said, “is packets of materials and role-playing strategies to overwhelming that both the purpose and effect of help them out with the clarification of their values. Act 590 is the advancement of religion in the All those things are done by a faction of

    public schools.” He spoke also of the government functionaries, deciding among inappropriateness of such advancement by the themselves what their constituents need to know, “organs of government, of which the most what they don‟t need to know, how they should conspicuous and influential are the public feel, and what they should believe. We have schools.” surrendered the full benefit of the First Two cheers for that. We do need to be reminded Amendment by permitting what was to have been as often as possible that the public schools are our creature to become both teacher and preacher. organs of government. We‟re reserving the third We think those Creationists ought to inquire cheer for a judge who will someday decide that diligently, find the right case, and go back to any advocacy of received dogma is inappropriate court-not to seek special favor, but only equal to organs of government. treatment before the law. Even the ACLU might It was not because the Founding Fathers were help, if their aim is to expel the government from enemies of religion that they saw fit to prohibit all precincts of that Affective Domain. the establishment of religion. It was rather because any established sect or persuasion would

    The Same Old Witchcraft constitute a privileged faction against which all others would be at some disadvantage in the “free District Literacy Definition practice” of religion. Religious factions differ in then, beliefs, and when government is forbidden (From somewhere either in or near Minneapolis.) to favor any one faction, it is in effect warned that

    what the people believe, and how they come to The literate person is one who has acquired believe it, is none of a government‟s damned the skills of reading, writing, mathematics, business. The “we” who held certain truths to be speaking, listening, problem solving, self-evident were “we, the people,” not a acquiring and using information, and government, but the makers of a government that judgment making. Further, the literate was to be a creature of the people who made it. person is one who has developed a feeling of It was supremely fortunate for us that those who self worth and importance; respect for and gave us the Bill of Rights were not government appreciation and understanding of other functionaries bestowing gifts upon the people, but people and cultures; and a desire for people themselves, requiring of government and learning. The literate person is one who its functionaries certain guarantees as conditions continues to seek knowledge, to increase necessary to the consent of the governed. No personal skills and the quality of long-established government like ours as it now is, relationships with others, and to fulfill operated by a self-perpetuating corps of individual potential.

    functionaries little troubled by transient elected

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    and relationship-quality encounter sessions may THE TRUTH, at last, can be told. That Aristotle not come as quickly as many of us would like. fellow was, in fact, not a literate man. He never And even then it will probably be useful if the developed positive feelings about barbarians. masses can figure out the wall posters. So we will Indeed, the more he came to learn about them, the have to teach some reading and writing into the less he appreciated them. foreseeable future. However, reading and writing Franz Kafka wasn‟t literate either, you know. can be overdone, as the examples above must Like so many other illiterate “writers”—who can prove. People can sometimes, even in schools, count them?he was never able to develop any become addicted to reading and writing, using positive feelings of self-worth and importance. them as crutches. Reading addicts especially often Hemingway was always shooting off his mouth becomewell, we had better say it right out

    and never became a good listener. Eliot made they become critical. You show us a student who some positively anti-democratic judgments, and would rather read some book than fulfill Mark Twain made some really dumb ones. Even individual potential through creative interaction Norman Mailer is said to be utterly illiterate in the with representatives of other cultures and age quality of his relationships with others. groups, and we will show you someone who will But don‟t worry about it. Our schools are doing always have difficulty with increasing the quality everything they can to assure that we will be less of relationships with others.

    and less troubled by such pseudo-literates. You laymen would better appreciate the true The true literates are in the sphereor is it the meaning of literacy if you could only see arena?of education. In that sphere, or field, it is hyperkinetic reading behavior for what it really almost impossible to find anyone who hasn‟t isyet another of the countless hitherto developed impregnable feelings of self-worth and unidentified learning disabilities. This should be importance. So unreservedly do they respect and perfectly clear to anyone who takes the trouble to appreciate other cultures that they never fall into consider what effects hyperkinetic reading the error of finding anything respectable or behavior must have on true literacy as defined

    appreciatable in their own. The quality of their above:

    relationships with others is amazing; they never,

    never disagree or contend, and they always hail v Because he is often exposed, and without enthusiastically each other‟s bold innovative appropriate professional guidance, to diverse and thrusts and experiential programs of excellence. conflicting opinions, and the all-too-often And what could be stronger testimony to their cunningly persuasive rhetoric of people who fulfillment of individual potential than the fact really have nothing more to express than some that they have somehow persuaded the rest of us ideas of their own, the hyperkinetic reader often to pay them for all the stuff they do? lags behind his classmates in Judgment Making. Now all of that, as you can discover from the He is all too apt to say, either to himself, thus handy District Literacy Definition shown above, exacerbating his disability, or aloud, thus is the real heart and guts of true literacy, pure and disrupting a whole class and spoiling a perfectly undefiled. What little it seems not to includegood lesson plan: “Well, maybe, but on the other reading and writing and the acquisition of mere hand” And just think what that can do to the information, for examplewill simply have to be quality of relationships with others! re-understood in the context of the more important aspects, which may also be perceived as being v The hyperkinetic reader not infrequently facets, or else parameters, of district literacy. abuses the Acquiring and Using of Information in Reading and writing are, of course, quite useful. unprogrammed acquisition (and inevitable misuse) How else, after all, will our children grow up to of information not conducive to the Respect and understand the labels on medicine bottles and Appreciation of Other People and Cultures but write letters of application for jobs and increase only to the Understanding of the same. That will personal skills in the solution of Rubik‟s Cube? just not do. Indeed, the promised day of universal mass

    education through non-print electro-multi-media

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     v Hyperkinetic readers almost invariably read Linguistics has become a magic word in works that do not appear on the school district‟s

    language instruction of today. Vigorous list of suggested readings, so that they often find activity during the past 25 years has themselves perplexed and troubled by materials stretched linguistics beyond the esoteric written at much too high a grade level. Reading, enclaves of graduate departments of modern after all, is supposed to be loads of fun. When it language departments and brought it becomes a struggle, and especially when it causes cascading down through the high school and negative feelings of doubt and questioning, the elementary grades. There is, indeed, a hapless reader may fail to develop that Feeling of curriculum and instruction revolution Self Worth and Importance appropriate to literacy. underway.

    v And these people who always have their noses BEHIND every Great Movement, every stuck in books usually won‟t even Listen! collective convulsion of the human mind, there is

    usually A Book, the book, the fount and origin of Among the great successes of our schools is the ideas and inspiration. Suicidal melancholiacs slept fact that they have always been able to prevent their last sleep with Werther under their pillows. serious and widespread outbreaks of hyperkinetic Fervid supermen conned amid the carnage the reading behavior syndrome. This is a remarkable cryptic Mein Kampf. Our land once swarmed with feat, since most young children, even when they door-to-door drummers who had memorized How first come to school, already exhibit morbid

    to Win Friends and Influence People. Even curiosity behavior and persistent questioning American educationists are People of a Book; behavior, dangerous precursors that must be

    every day in every way they practice and replaced quickly with group interaction skills and exemplify the lofty principles and noble self-awareness enhancement. (Children who are aspirations so piquantly and imperishably properly preoccupied with themselves and with expressed in that classical paradigm of practical some presumed distinctions between individual pedagogy, The Little Engine That Could. whims and collective whims hardly ever fall into The passage quoted above is intended to hyperkinetic reading behavior syndrome.)

    demonstrate the “Uniqueness” of a proposed Although a few intractable cases can still be found, “module” to be named “Linguistics in Language we realistically expect, and before long, to

    Arts Teaching.” The proposer is one L. Molinari, eradicate this crippling disability and usher in the a professional of educationism here at Glassboro; age of true literacy.

    and if you think that vague references to Our only problem, as usual, is with the public, supposedly widespread and general practice make where outdated and narrow-minded

    a dubious demonstration of uniqueness, it must be misconceptions about true literacy can still be

    because you are not a professional of found. We must educate the public. Again. It‟s

    educationism. Or even a Little Engine. You have time for every literacy district to promulgate a

    to think you can, think you can. You have to find District Literacy Definition. That‟ll teach „em.

    that magic word and stretch it until it cascades beyond those esoteric enclaves where the big And a few words from Emerson engines hog all the glory, vainly dreaming that

    Well, most men have bound their eyes with one mere scholarly concentration and the routine

    collection of mere facts can some how take the or another handkerchief, and attached themselves place of esteeming yourself, and of trying oh so to some one of these communities of opinion.

    hard. This conformity makes them not false in a few It is an interesting (albeit mere) linguistic fact particulars, authors of a few lies, but false in all that the Little Engineers love the word “module.” particulars. Their every truth is not quite true. What, after all, is the Little Engine itself but a Their two is not the real two, their four is not the module, a teeny-weeny module plugged in to take real four; so that every word they say chagrins us the place of a big and strong module? And it and we know not where to begin to set them right.

    serves just its well, thus demonstrating that The Molinari Module

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    desirable behavioral objectives can be achieved excellence, the POD-EPICists have fallen without regard to special powers and skills. Now strangely silent.

    that is both democratic and humanistic, and it It‟s good to know that they‟re still around, and

    would be really swell if only Amtrak could learn that the spirit of the Little Engine still stirs them. the trick of it. We urge them on. We think they can, we think A module, of course, is better than a course. they can. And we‟re sure they will. They, of all, Although this module proposal makes, for some know best that no engine is too little to pull a reason or other, no mention of the fact, the great big bandwagon.

     teacher-trainees who end up in the module will

    THE UNDERGROUND first have taken a course in linguistics as taught in GRAMMARIAN an esoteric enclave, i. e., as mere subject matter Published monthly, September to May insufficiently related to the needs of a R. Mitchell, Assistant Circulation Manager professional. It is only when they get to the Post Office Box 203, Glassboro, New Jersey 08028 module that the trainees will actually “become Annual subscription: US & Canada, $10; others, $14. familiar with linguistic concepts as they relate to elementary language arts instruction.” We can‟t Neither can his mind be thought to be in tune, reasonably expect teacher-trainees who‟ve had whose words do jarre; nor his reason in frame, nothing more than a course in linguistics to whose sentence is preposterous.

     “develop an understanding of the nature of

    linguistic science,” or to “be able to identify the components of those models known as Structural Grammar and Transformational-Generative Grammar,” or even “to be able to name the

    elements that constitute a language.” For stuff like The Underground that, a course won‟t do. It takes a module.

    In fact, the lucky teacher-trainees who pass

    through this module will even be able to “define GRAMMARIAN the linguistic definition of grammar”! Those Volume Six, Number Three . . . . . March 1982 esoteric enclavists just don‟t have the kind of mind that it takes to establish and achieve the behavioral objective of definition definition. For

    that you need a professional, one who is WE NEVER advocate violence, but we still nonesoteric enough to point out that “the content sympathize with the man who wrote us about his of this module is important because it deal with tribulations as a school board member in New material that is vital to elementary language arts Jersey. He was impelled to seek that office after a curriculum.” It can only be an awareness of Parents‟ Night visit to the local high school, at definition definition that can produce the strange which the head of the English department and subtle distinction implied in the assertion that, displayed a poster that promised “New Horisons at least in this case, content deals with material. in Education.”

    Now that’s linguistic. That‟s a level of language But that, he came to learn, was the least of art that you probably won‟t find very often in problems. He was finally driven to suggest, at a esoteric enclaves, where they can‟t even teach mass meeting of educationistic functionaries in their students to name elements or identify Trenton, that schools in New Jersey could be components. immensely and immediately improved by the This marvelous module is a recent emanation detonation in the meeting room of a very large from the depths of Glassboro‟s POD-EPIC and powerful bomb.

    program of superior excellence in teacher-training, The discovery that could lead an otherwise and we are heartened to see it. We‟ve been law-abiding citizen to dream such a desperate worried about those people. Since the board of dream is simply this: American educationism is trustees, about fifteen months ago, urged them to protected and preserved as a government start putting out papers and articles about their

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    enterprise over which there is no civilian control Branch, New Jersey. We would like to admire his worth a damn. brass, for he says right out a shabby truth that In this issue we bring you the story of one most educationists would rather not tell. We school board member who took his stewardship suspect, however, that it was not out of brass but seriously and actually thought he could change simply out of thoughtlessness that he gave away something. But as you read it, please try not to go such an important trade secret. His use of commas thinking about big bombs, OK? is not characteristic of a cunning contriver, and his

     notion that connotations can be “dropped” at will

    is more likely a result of ignorance than of Respeak In Monmouth


    I am pleased to inform you that the Basic Nevertheless, he achieves the intended goal. Skills Center is henceforth, to be known as Respeak takes its power from the fact that most the Center for Developmental Education. Dr. people are not inclined to discriminate between Andreach, Coordinator of the Basic Skill what something does or is and what it is known as.

    Center will be known as Coordinator of Any educationistic enterprise can instantly win Developmental Education. Increasingly, favor and support by giving its centers and colleges are dropping the basic skills coordinators, or anything else, fresh new outfits of connotation that goes with the kind of center the latest designer fashions in sheep‟s clothing. we have established and are looking to the And the educationistic establishment takes from developmental aspects since they have more its own Respeak a double advantage. It can go on of a positive connotation than do basic skills. forever inculcating whatever combination of meager skills and pop notions it chooses to call WE keep watching for harbingers of 1984. The “literacy,” and it can thus assure itself an endless

    supply of those very people who are not inclined job is a cinch. Our maps bristle with pins, and we

    to discriminate between what something does or is have often discovered readings as high as 9.7 on

    and what it is known as. the logograph recorder. All the outlying stations

    It‟s a neat racket, and it would be horrible report the same thing, and all the instruments

    enough if it were operated by a pack of hard-eyed agree. Just before the end, we will try to send out

    villains who knew exactly what they were doing. one last signal; but, should something go wrong,

    The truth, however, is even more horrible. you may have to do that for us. We suggest: “The

    There are, of course, some villains. There are lights in the sky are stars.”

    agency spawned educrats and grant-hustlers who We once brought you the news that literacy had

    really do profit from “increased spending.” There become “a feeling of self worth and importance,

    are book and gadget boosters who make big bucks and respect for an appreciation and understanding

    from innovative thrusts. And there are even some of other people and cultures.” Just a few days ago,

    supreme villains, ideological rather than venal, we heard from a mole at the Department of

    who want to fashion society to suit their Education, soon to be retreaded as the Ministry of

    ideologies. But those are just a few of the big kids Truth. The DOE, we were told, no longer harbors

    playing hardball. Samuel H. Magill is not in that any of those “change-agents,” who had come to

    game. be looked on, by uninformed but noisy critics who

    The Magills of educationism, in all their proved impervious to re-education, as intrusive

    thousands, are not villains. They are just modules, social manipulators. The change-agents, having

    plugged into openings here and there. Any one passed through a larval stage as facilitators, have

    will do. It‟s the function of a component that is now emerged as linkers. Linkers, along with

    needed, not the judgment of a mind. It doesn‟t programs for linker-training and linkage

    matter whether Magill understands what he says. enhancement will soon hatch out in every teacher

    It matters only that he who is currently known as academy in America.

    the president says it. It is the greatest triumph of Now we have the announcement quoted above.

    our schools that they fit their victims to become It is the work, the deed, one might better say, of

    their agents. one Samuel H. Magill, who is currently known as

    the president of Monmouth College in West Long

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    SHARETEXT? Volume Six The Underground Grammarian

    “All machines,” wrote Thoreau, “have their by his years of service in the comparatively friction. But when the friction comes to have its benign and ethical atmosphere of Washington, machine, let us not have such a machine any had no way of knowing that. He was actually longer.” surprised as he leafed through the high school

     yearbook for 1979.

    He found there exactly what most of us would An Enemy of the People Revisited have expected. Although the basketball team was

    “loosing” a few strong seniors (and cross-country SOME READERS will remember Robert W. exactly ditto), all was not lost. The coaches, filled Geweke, the rogue elephant of the Kettle Moraine with “strength, spirit, and determinism,” will still, School Board. Two years ago we mentioned unlike the undeterministic yearbook advisors, give briefly the obstreperous and anti-social behavior “infinite wisdom.” The football team had shown with which Geweke, a retired Justice Department commendable “impudence,” and the success of attorney, no less, outraged some parents and all the track team proved that “our ability and talent

    educationists in an otherwise placid suburb of is unlimitless.”

    Milwaukee. (It was probably while trying to figure out the Geweke discovered, and announced, that many meaning of “unlimitless” that Geweke began to of the teachers in the district were unable to write totter amok.)

    conventionally correct English. He displayed the He found the usual creative spelling. evidence. He was not applauded. Here‟s what we “Humourus” and “humerous,” but no

    said in March 1980: “humorous.” He found “confrence” and Parents and teachers, especially teachers, are “rhythims,” and forms like “its” and “it‟s,” accusing him of trying to ruin the lives of “girls,” “girl‟s,” and “girl‟” used indiscriminately, innocent children by discrediting their high as though chosen at random. All routine stuff

    school, thus making it unlikely that they will be the stuff that, even if noticed, would not be accepted at the colleges of their choice... deemed worthy of comment in your standard

     American high school. After all, it‟s not as though

    Perhaps out of devotion to their professionalism, the “boy‟s” basketball team had lost nine in a row or perhaps for other reasons, the teachers were because of a coach‟s lack of determinism.

    even keener than the parents in defense of the But Geweke did comment. How‟s that for persecuted children. impudence? When other board members joined The Geweke Affair did, in fact, begin with him in expressions of dismay, the local teachers‟ revelations that were to be officially characterized union sprang to the defense of the helpless as unfair criticism of helpless children, who “were children, and of quality education, in a stern letter. *only doing their best in preparing the yearbook.” Any more of that stuff, the board was warned, and It is an intriguing fact that higher standards of the union would “institute legal proceedings performance are expected of every baton-twirling against them.” One of the district‟s administrators, squad in America than of any of the numberless asked what he intended to do about the “yearbook

    publications that ooze forth from the organs of the fiasco,” replied that he “couldn‟t care less,” and schools. There is far greater attention to detailed that anyway the yearbook was none of the board‟s accuracy in the enhancing of intercultural business.

    awareness through folk-dances of many lands, and Nevertheless, out of the other side of its mouth, more devotion to the marriage of substance and the district‟s administration did instruct all its

    style in the Family Living Course‟s mock teachers to start correcting their students‟ mistakes wedding, than you can ever hope to detect in in “spelling and English usage.” And that bold, either the seventh-grade newsletter or the innovative thrust might actually have done some superintendent‟s annual message. But Geweke, good some day if it hadn‟t been for the fact that a sheltered from the stern realities of educationism surprising (to Geweke) number of the teachers

    proved to have problems of their own with spelling and usage. * We are quoting, here and throughout, from Geweke‟s

    own account in Wisconsin School News, August 1980.

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