Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Illiterate Scholar?

This news story blows my mind. My six-year-old daughter attending first grade has a good grasp on the written word already.

John Corcoran graduated from college and taught high school for 17 years without being able to read, write or spell.


Corcoran later attended Palo Verde High School in Blythe, Calif. He cheated his way through high school, receiving his diploma in June 1956.

"When I was a child I was just sort of just moved along. When I got to high school I wanted to participate in athletics. At that time in high school I went underground. I decided to behave myself and do what it took. I started cheating by turning in other peoples' paper, dated the valedictorian and ran around with college prep kids," said Corcoran.

"I couldn't read words but I could read the system and I could read people," adds Corcoran.

He stole tests and persuaded friends to complete his assignments. Corcoran earned an athletic scholarship to Texas Western College. He said his cheating intensified, claiming he cheated in every class.

"I passed a bluebook out the window to a friend I painstakingly copied four essay questions off the board in U.S. government class that was required, and hoped my friend would get it back to me with the right answers," Corcoran said.

In 1961, Corcoran graduated with a bachelor's degree in education, while still illiterate he contends. He then went on to become a teacher during a teacher shortage.

"When I graduated from the university, the school district in El Paso, where I went to school, gave almost all the college education graduates a job," said Corcoran.

For 17 years Corcoran taught high school for the Oceanside School District. Relying on teacher's assistants for help and oral lesson plans, he said he did a great job at teaching his students.

"What I did was I created an oral and visual environment. There wasn't the written word in there. I always had two or three teacher's assistants in each class to do board work or read the bulletin," said Corcoran.

In retrospect, Corcoran said, his deceit took him a long time to accept.

"As a teacher it really made me sick to think that I was a teacher who couldn't read. It is embarrassing for me, and it's embarrassing for this nation and it's embarrassing for schools that we're failing to teach our children how to read, write and spell!"


It wasn't until he was 48 years old that he gave reading and writing another chance. He drove to an inconspicuous office with a sign he couldn't read. He studied and worked with a tutor at the Literacy Center of Carlsbad. Assigned to a 65-year-old volunteer tutor, Eleanor Condit, he was able to read at a sixth-grade level within a year.

I wonder how many students passed through this guy's class. I wonder how many students he failed? I wonder if those children regarded his class as an "easy A?"

The fact that the left and the NEA is dead-set against requiring teachers to pass competency tests is appalling. Such a test, if conducted in an environment in which this guy couldn't cheat would have weeded Corcoran  out, and others like him. 

The left likes to attack "big oil" and other large corporations, yet they fuel a corrupt, money sucking industry of their own, riddled with waste and incompetency; "big education." 

To fuel it, leftists tax your home and then saddle you with ballooning college costs so that their professor buddies can sit fat and indoctrinate your kids, teaching them what to think and not how to think.

Compared to that, $3.00 per gallon gasoline doesn't seen as bad. I say if the Dems want real change, they should take the profits from and reduce the cost of tuition for "BIG EDUCATION."

No comments: