Author Archives: Jeffrey

Historic mansion on land George Washington once owned is set to be demolished

Silent George???

Some in Virginia bemoan losing Collingwood, a Potomac River landmark

The Collingwood mansion, which sits on farmland once owned by George Washington. Washington bought the Collingwood property in 1760, after he married the widow Martha Dandridge Custis.

A historic mansion on farmland once owned by George Washington is set to be demolished, a loss bemoaned by some in Virginia.

The Collingwood mansion, located on almost nine acres of land along the Potomac River about four miles north of Mount Vernon, was once part of Washington’s sprawling estate, which included five farms, nearly 8,000 acres and up to 200 enslaved people. Part of the mansion may have been built to house one of Washington’s overseers, local historians believe. Continue reading

The Indoctrination of our Children Begins Long Before College

The indoctrination begins in the public elementary schools. To give you an idea, CA passed a law requiring ALL public schools to teach LGBTQ acceptance in Public schools. That is ages 5-12, think about that. And they make it required. In my local area, many classrooms show clips of CNN and students are then asked to write about their thoughts on what they saw. Continue reading

The Cancellation of the Purge…

July 22, 2019 ~ I cannot give this up…

It matters not what the ‘visitation’ or readership is… This project began in January of 2017… and it will survive – and begin its restoration and advancement today.

We will begin the process of re-migration back to this site – but it will be a manual operation, so stay with us. All new postings will be located here. Metropolis Café is still an operational site, and will remain so. It is not due to how many come to this message – but who it affects – and I know that it has affected some individuals who chose to REMOVE their children from the public school system – the real Village of the Damned!

New posts have already been published – all in the same categories which we have maintained on Metropolis Café.

Until such time that the migration back to this site, we invite you to follow this link to: Le Metropolis Café at Federal Observer for previous entries – ALL of which will eventually be back on this site.

Stay tuned and we will keep you updated. ~ Jeffrey Bennett, Publisher

Teachers Should Design Student Assessments… but First They Need to Learn How

Assessment literacy must be a priority in teacher training and PD

Having teachers create their own tests is one way to counter the backlash to “overtesting” and give teachers better data to improve instruction. Commercially prepared tests often fail to provide teachers with timely, useful, or actionable data to drive student improvement. In contrast, assessments designed by classroom teachers can better reflect what is taught in class and allow teachers the flexibility to choose the best format—such as presentation, essay, multiple choice, or oral examination—to assess students’ mastery. But as education leaders consider using teacher-designed tests to measure school quality and performance, states and districts have missed a critical step: actually making sure teachers are prepared to design and understand assessments. Continue reading

The Best Civil War Movie Ever Made Gets Its Due

Up until a year ago, Federal Observer had a category named, Sunset Boulevard, which was used for columns dealing with film, or the lessons which film taught us on life. The following is the first post in this year that I felt was worth publishing – for numerous reasons – the historical accuracy that was depicted. Right or wrong, Left or Right, North or South…. this is not what matters here. The lessons here belong to Mr. Adair. ~ Ed.

On Sunday and on July 24 (2019), Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events are presenting big-screen showings in theaters nationwide of “Glory,” in honor of the 30-year anniversary of its release. The greatest movie ever made about the American Civil War, “Glory” was the first and, with the exception of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” the only film that eschewed romanticism to reveal what the war was really about.

The story is told through the eyes of one of the first regiments of African American soldiers. Almost from the time the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter, S.C., the issue of black soldiers in the Union army was hotly debated. On Jan. 1, 1863, as the country faced the third year of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, rapidly accelerating the process of putting black men into federal blue. Continue reading

How Stalin Hid Ukraine’s Famine From the World

In 1932 and 1933, millions died across the Soviet Union – and the foreign press corps helped cover up the catastrophe.

LVIV, UKRAINE: Shadows of people burying dozens of coffins in a mass grave are seen on November 25th, 2006 during a day of remembrance for up to 10 million people who starved to death in the great famine of 1932-33, in the city of Zhovkva. SERGEI SUPINSKY / GETTY

In the years 1932 and 1933, a catastrophic famine swept across the Soviet Union. It began in the chaos of collectivization, when millions of peasants were forced off their land and made to join state farms. It was then exacerbated, in the autumn of 1932, when the Soviet Politburo, the elite leadership of the Soviet Communist Party, took a series of decisions that deepened the famine in the Ukrainian countryside. Despite the shortages, the state demanded not just grain, but all available food. Continue reading

Wormhoudt’s Words of Wisdom: It All Begins and Ends with Education

The late scholar Gerrit H. Wormhoudt’s book “Opting Out” says Americans must choose alternatives to government-managed schools for their children.

Image Credit: Ernestoeslava from Pixabay

The evolution of the control of educational institutions from entirely private sources to local government schools and then to control by state departments has culminated with the creation of our federal Department of Education. At all levels, government has increasingly exercised bureaucratic power over education in America, from kindergarten through college, and without genuine accountability for results. The consequence has been the growth of an immense educational establishment with an insatiable appetite for political power, for tax dollars, and for control over the shaping of American institutions and the minds and character of its citizens. ~ Gerrit H. Wormhoudt in Opting Out: It All Begins and Ends with Education, pp. 27-28. Continue reading

Historic Footage from the Day of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing Launch

Fifty years ago today, I was home on leave from my first tour of the Garden of Eden – Viet Nam – and was staying with my Aunt Muffin and her then husband Chuck in North Hollywood, California. What you are about to watch is what I watched that day, as many millions of us did. ~ Ed.

Fifty years ago today, Apollo 11 was launched by a Saturn V rocket, carrying Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the first humans to step foot on the Moon. Apollo 11 launched at 13:32 UTC on July 16, 1969. Armstrong set foot on the Moon on July 21 at 02:56:15 UTC. Continue reading

Why Our Kids Never Went To Public School ~ The Series

The following post was originally presented to Kettle Moraine Publications by its author, Al Benson Jr. – in a five chapter format over a period of weeks during July of 2017. I chose to reread the entire series, at which time I also chose to re-present it to our readers as a single publication. It is a powerful and thoughtful read. We hope that it will turn the wheels of thought within you, helping you to make the right decision for your children. ~ Ed.

In the main filing cabinet in my office I have three bulging folders of material collected over the years from the early 1970s until now. These three folders contain all manner of material I have collected or people have sent me about the ongoing aberrations that take place in what all thinking people realize is our government school system. It’s not a “public” school system; it’s a government school system. This material comes from all over the country. Some of this stuff would really singe your eyeballs, and if you are like me, you can’t read more than a little of it at a time without getting really ticked off. What some government school systems do to our kids is nothing short of criminal. Continue reading

The Main Goal of Schools is Not Education, It’s Conformity

Over the weekend, I had an interesting chat with a friend about her daughter’s preschool program. She confessed to me that she couldn’t wait until the school year was over, for the preschool program dominated their lives. The schedule, she explained, interfered with other outside learning opportunities. At the same time, one of the main things her daughter was learning in the program was how to line up – perfect for fostering an environment of compulsion, but not for encouraging creativity or an enthusiasm for learning. Continue reading

Why Don’t Conservatives Just Take Their Kids Out of Public Schools?

Conservatives have many ideological complaints about the current public education system: the way it indoctrinates their children, the way it teaches them history, the way it institutionalizes them. Their most recent issue (which, arguably, many liberal parents have a problem with, too) is over the federal government’s mandate that a transgender boy at a Chicago-area school be given full access to a girls’ locker room.

So, given conservatives’ growing laundry list of complaints, why don’t they just take their kids out of the public education system? Why don’t they simply put them in a private school or homeschool? Such an action would show conservatives are backing up their talk with walk.

I don’t wish to be combative with this post, nor is it necessarily a validation of the conservative complaints. I’m just honestly confused… Continue reading

Seven Ways to Build Your Child’s Vocabulary

If you want your child to have a rich and fulfilling life, one of the best things you can do is help build your child’s vocabulary. Research shows strong language ability is associated with a number of positive things, including happiness, friendships, connections with family, academic success and a satisfying career.

Building your child’s language ability is not something you should wait to do until they’re old enough to go to school. Continue reading

Collaborative Teaching Benefits Multilingual, Immigrant, and Refugee Students

How do we design classrooms and education systems that truly reflect the brilliance of our most underrepresented children? How do we create learning communities for the greatest thinkers and most thoughtful people for the world? As an elementary school teacher focused on multilingual, immigrant, and refugee students, I’ve been asking myself these questions for years and am convinced that there is now more potential than ever to answer these questions in tangible ways. Continue reading

Why Every Parent Should Consider Unschooling

Gillian Lynne. Maybe you’ve heard of her? She’s the choreographer who did Cats and Phantom of the Opera, and she most likely would be diagnosed with ADHD if she was of school age today.

Gillian was fidgety. She couldn’t concentrate. And she was disturbing people. Gillian was considered hopeless by the school system. This was in the 1930s and Gillian was eight. As the story goes, she was sent to a specialist with her mother. After about 20 minutes of dialogue, the specialist told Gillian that he needed to speak with her mother privately. Before leaving, he turned on the radio. Once the pair were in the next room, he said to her mother, “Just stand and watch her.” Continue reading