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Conform: Exposing the Truth About Common Core and Public Education

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#1 bestselling author and popular radio and television host Glenn Beck considers the hot-button issue of education in the US, exposing the weaknesses of the Common Core school curriculum and examining why liberal solutions fail. As he did with the issue of gun control in his thoughtful and succinct #1 bestseller Control, Glenn Beck uncovers the politically motivated truth b #1 bestselling author and popular radio and television host Glenn Beck considers the hot-button issue of education in the US, exposing the weaknesses of the Common Core school curriculum and examining why liberal solutions fail. As he did with the issue of gun control in his thoughtful and succinct #1 bestseller Control, Glenn Beck uncovers the politically motivated truth behind the continual failures of the American educational system and offers real, tangible solutions for change. The debate over education—who decides what and how our children learn as they prepare for their futures—may be centuries old, but with issues like Common Core, homeschooling, charter schools, and teachers’ unions affecting families nationwide, the debates rage hotter than ever. Going point by point with this well-reasoned, fact-based analysis, Glenn Beck proves that it’s not more money our schools need—it’s a complete refocusing of priorities and a total restructuring of the relationship between local schools and our federal government. For the sake of our children’s schooling today and for their successes tomorrow, you must read Controlling Education to fight for a system that offers nothing less than the world’s highest-quality education. An essential handbook for anyone concerned about the precarious state of schools in our country today, Controlling Education is for education what #1 New York Times bestseller Control was for gun rights.


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#1 bestselling author and popular radio and television host Glenn Beck considers the hot-button issue of education in the US, exposing the weaknesses of the Common Core school curriculum and examining why liberal solutions fail. As he did with the issue of gun control in his thoughtful and succinct #1 bestseller Control, Glenn Beck uncovers the politically motivated truth b #1 bestselling author and popular radio and television host Glenn Beck considers the hot-button issue of education in the US, exposing the weaknesses of the Common Core school curriculum and examining why liberal solutions fail. As he did with the issue of gun control in his thoughtful and succinct #1 bestseller Control, Glenn Beck uncovers the politically motivated truth behind the continual failures of the American educational system and offers real, tangible solutions for change. The debate over education—who decides what and how our children learn as they prepare for their futures—may be centuries old, but with issues like Common Core, homeschooling, charter schools, and teachers’ unions affecting families nationwide, the debates rage hotter than ever. Going point by point with this well-reasoned, fact-based analysis, Glenn Beck proves that it’s not more money our schools need—it’s a complete refocusing of priorities and a total restructuring of the relationship between local schools and our federal government. For the sake of our children’s schooling today and for their successes tomorrow, you must read Controlling Education to fight for a system that offers nothing less than the world’s highest-quality education. An essential handbook for anyone concerned about the precarious state of schools in our country today, Controlling Education is for education what #1 New York Times bestseller Control was for gun rights.

30 review for Conform: Exposing the Truth About Common Core and Public Education

  1. 4 out of 5

    David

    Here is my short review. As a teacher, I am not at all a fan of Common Core, and Glenn Beck is a first-class, grade A jerk, who uses demagoguery and distortion to create animosity among those of us who are too lazy to find out what is really going on. Here is my detailed review. I am a teacher. I am working with Common Core Standards and trying to teach students the best I can. Beck's presentation of Common Core is that classrooms are striving to meet Common Core Standards. This is ridiculous. Ever Here is my short review. As a teacher, I am not at all a fan of Common Core, and Glenn Beck is a first-class, grade A jerk, who uses demagoguery and distortion to create animosity among those of us who are too lazy to find out what is really going on. Here is my detailed review. I am a teacher. I am working with Common Core Standards and trying to teach students the best I can. Beck's presentation of Common Core is that classrooms are striving to meet Common Core Standards. This is ridiculous. Every teacher I've ever known knows that Common Core is a minimum. Most teachers I am acquainted with meet these minimums easily, and then do their best to raise the standard as high as they can, pushing the envelope as much as parents will let them. Yes, I said "parents." The number one push against educating children that I get is from parents. "You're pushing them too hard." "You're demanding too much." "It's just school--can't you just pass my kid and let him/her move on?" And, even more horrifying, I hear this from students. "My parents say teachers are stupid liberals anyway, and not to pay attention to them." "Teachers only care about getting paid anyway." "My parents weren't good at school either, and we just laugh when I serve detention or get a bad grade." The worst thing Beck does is rile up a bunch of parents who don't know ANYTHING about education. I'm not saying that "if you haven't been inside a classroom, you shouldn't criticize education." I don't agree with that at all. But, I will say that I wish people would avoid criticizing before taking a class or two in education. I want people to understand how to teach children--many think this is innate in people--before they start criticizing it. We have got it all wrong when we compare our system to the system of other countries. Those countries value trained workers, who have a common culture and a common skill set. Those countries don't want mavericks that innovate--they want conformity and loyalty. Our nation values innovation and entrepreneurship. We sneer at conformity and think loyalty is a joke. We value mavericks that come up with innovation and create more efficient ways of doing things. How are we going to educate those types of people? By allowing teachers to allow students to explore their own interests and innovate. Common Core does the exact opposite. I can't wait for it to go the way of No Child Left Behind--another conformist, idiotic method of educating all students. What's the difference between Common Core and No Child Left Behind? Not much--just that one was instigated during a democrat's administration, and the other was instigated during a republican's administration. And this brings us back to Beck again. This is the fifth book I've managed to choke down by Glenn Beck. Beck takes extreme events and presents them as the norm. Beck uses an informal logical fallacy of bifurcation over and over again. Many of the statements he makes are simply not true. Following are some examples. "Teachers get a pay raise for simply not dying over the summer." My school district (and we're not alone) is in its 5th year of pay increase freezes--which means even though many of us have scored very high on our evaluations, we haven't seen a pay increase in 5 years. And when he starts talking about the "Progressive Teaching Philosophy," he is working off of stereotypes of extreme examples--and I've never known any teacher who subscribes to his ideas of "who cares if Johnny can read or write as long as he stands up to the one percent." And I've never heard ANYBODY say that "poverty or different race means the student will not do as well, and are damaged goods." Yet Beck leaves the reader with the idea that this is exactly what educators believe as a whole. It is simply classic Beck--false statements and oversimplifications of ideas for an audience that is short on knowledge and big on passion (I know many Beckoids who would die for the man, but don't know the first thing about most of the subjects he talks about). I really think this is the last Beck book I will ever read. I have given this guy more than enough of my time.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Christie Litchfield

    I honestly don't know where to start. The title of the book led me to believe that common core would be examined, but little of the book was actually devoted to this topic. As a public school teacher, I do feel that there has been too much " Control" coming down from the federal government, yet I would be equally as concerned for someone with the ideas that Beck does having control as well. The book really seems to paint a us verses them mentality which has been the problem in education for quit I honestly don't know where to start. The title of the book led me to believe that common core would be examined, but little of the book was actually devoted to this topic. As a public school teacher, I do feel that there has been too much " Control" coming down from the federal government, yet I would be equally as concerned for someone with the ideas that Beck does having control as well. The book really seems to paint a us verses them mentality which has been the problem in education for quite a while now. In some places, Beck is quick to say we need to reward quality teachers. Yet in other places, one would be led to believe that he feels that educators are not even really needed...anyone could do this job. I find it odd too that he mentions the community having more control over schools, yet he quotes in support of Michelle Rhea in a few spots. He must not realize that Rhea and her ex-husband have more to do with Common Core and similar agendas than he knows. I realize that as a public school teacher with two degrees, my point of view is going to be entirely different than his. It did feel throughout the book that he feels that MOST teachers are not worthy. While I can understand why he is anti-union based on evidence given in the book,he mentions districts being able to save money many times. Come on, educators know how that would be done. Get rid of staff or take away benefits. In several spots, he paints the picture that we are living high on the hog. While there are sections I agree with or can see his point, there are so many others that felt narrow minded in thinking. Some of the data used to make points was very old data or from groups that I personally have never heard of in education. I would question if these groups have agendas which would make them just as wrong as the groups that Beck takes issue with throughout the book. In a nutshell, this book raises some questions which is not a bad thing. Wish he had addressed Common Core in more detail. Let me say lastly a thought that has little to do with this book. Whenever we hear of reform in education, NEVER EVER do we hear ideas about training teachers in strategies that work. I guess that would be just too much common sense?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Roger Miller

    If you wish to understand the political struggle of our country, this is a must read. This book rightly points out it is all about a struggle for control between the controlists and freedom lovers. This book is all about reforming our current educational system, pointing to the progressive movement solution is a top down approach and traditionalist see the solution is a restoration of the home and local control as key to overcoming are downward spiral in the education of the youth of America. A w If you wish to understand the political struggle of our country, this is a must read. This book rightly points out it is all about a struggle for control between the controlists and freedom lovers. This book is all about reforming our current educational system, pointing to the progressive movement solution is a top down approach and traditionalist see the solution is a restoration of the home and local control as key to overcoming are downward spiral in the education of the youth of America. A whole chapter on Finland's success and how we can use some of their principles. I loved this book because it was not just a rag on current position, but offers some very practical clear steps to the reform of our education systemn.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jack Hansen

    The controversy surrounding Common Core is the subject that Glenn Beck tackles in Conform: Exposing the Truth About Schools. Control of the American school system that is driven by unions rather than children is at the heart of the controversy. Glenn explains the history and rationale behind Common Core, a set of universal standards to improve the delivery of a curriculum that each state may tweak to meet its particular needs. This homogenization sounds like a simplification, and therefore, a ne The controversy surrounding Common Core is the subject that Glenn Beck tackles in Conform: Exposing the Truth About Schools. Control of the American school system that is driven by unions rather than children is at the heart of the controversy. Glenn explains the history and rationale behind Common Core, a set of universal standards to improve the delivery of a curriculum that each state may tweak to meet its particular needs. This homogenization sounds like a simplification, and therefore, a need-fulfilling update to a failing educational system. The author argues that actual results from Common Core's application are more foreboding than comforting. Common Core may create a nation of drones rather than free-thinking individuals. A simple approach to basic arithmetic becomes a 30-step convolution that arrives at an answer, one which is incorrect if the Common Core approach is not utilized; for example, if division of one number into another yields the same answer, it is considered incorrect. The controversy deepens with Common Core's unwritten and unspoken intention to control how children think. This opens the door for their manipulation and indoctrination into socialistic views, like the collective is more important than the individual. That and rewriting history to suit an ideology that supports European political concepts, favoring Islam while diminishing Christianity, and teaching that America's Constitutional Republic inspired by Judaeo-Christian morals is outdated. This concept of a collective challenges the role and influence that the nuclear family has on their children when implementing such an educational tool. This book explains why Common Core became so popular in the first place. The idea implies Common Core standards improve America's status in the world; so most Governors sign on before it is complete. States also receive a nice Federal check for accepting Common Core. Powerful government unions endorse the program. Bill Gates invests heavily in Common Core as his company, Microsoft, makes the software for all the curriculum. Popular politicians, like Jeb Bush, argue against Common Core resistance. Beck further explains that most people may be unaware that unions collectively bargain deals that benefit unions over children. Politicians are reluctant to go against political correctness or the powerful labor union, the National Education Association (NEA), who have the power to sway elections and influence one's political career. The NEA represents teachers, secretaries and educational support personnel, not children. All the money thrown at education bears witness to the success of collective bargains securing great deals for union administrators but no change, whatsoever, in student scores or learning abilities. If anything, government control of schools ensures a decline or maintenance of the status quo. Glenn points out how review of textbooks reveal Special Interest involvement which indoctrinates students to favor their agenda at the cost of the truth. Parents are not part of the process that introduces their children to information and processes unfamiliar to them. Less choices are available for parents who have legitimate questions about the veracity of textbook content. Instead, parents are told that educators know what is best for their children when it comes to this fundamental aspect of their lives. This book also gets into the fight against Common Core, which has tried to hide the bad publicity by changing its label, a common Progressive tactic used in other unpopular programs, like Agenda 21 becoming some Green Earth Sustainability Initiative. Beck cites Florida's attempt to hide the bad news about Common Core by relabeling it, Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. Support to fight Common Core is given to the reader with suggestions to attend: 9.12 Project Groups, which exist locally in just about every state, to coordinate and educate communities on civic and social issues; School Board and State Legislative meetings to give voice to community and individual concerns that affect children, who have no voice; and to go online to connect to Education Action Groups, which may suggest reviewing textbooks. It is vital to have private individuals with the passion to write about topics that affect all of us and future generations. Glenn Beck is such an individual who writes this professional, informative, and essential book that serves Americans in the name of freedom and liberty.

  5. 5 out of 5

    StarMan

    Interspersed in this book are some tidbits of good information about what's going on in American schools, circa 2014+. But the book suffers from from too few specific details/example in some sections*, and a sleep-inducing presentation. It also didn't seem as well organized as it could have been, but you may like it just fine -- if you can stay awake. *for example, there are only a few examples of 'Common Core' test questions (and most of those are merely summarized), yet Common Core is supposed Interspersed in this book are some tidbits of good information about what's going on in American schools, circa 2014+. But the book suffers from from too few specific details/example in some sections*, and a sleep-inducing presentation. It also didn't seem as well organized as it could have been, but you may like it just fine -- if you can stay awake. *for example, there are only a few examples of 'Common Core' test questions (and most of those are merely summarized), yet Common Core is supposed to be a very important focus of this book. VERDICT: 2.25 stars. Could have been far more informative and precise. And some of Beck's "facts" here are, at best, broad generalizations rather than truths. After reading, I don't feel like I learned much that I didn't already know. Still, it contains some facts (and controversial statements) that parents and educators may find interesting or discussion worthy.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I really like Glenn Beck but I was a little disappointed that this book didn't mention specific ideas of things to do to get rid of Common Core. For me, I've done my research on the Government take over of our schools and Common Core so most of the information wasn't new news to me. My children have had several amazing, influential teachers and I feel our problems stem more from the way teachers are educated rather than the teachers themselves. Although it wasn't a waste of my time to read this I really like Glenn Beck but I was a little disappointed that this book didn't mention specific ideas of things to do to get rid of Common Core. For me, I've done my research on the Government take over of our schools and Common Core so most of the information wasn't new news to me. My children have had several amazing, influential teachers and I feel our problems stem more from the way teachers are educated rather than the teachers themselves. Although it wasn't a waste of my time to read this book I felt it didn't do much to support teachers and parents to unite together in the fight against Common Core.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sara Campbell

    Great book that presents the facts and truth behind education in the past several decades. Bottom line, education is not about the students anymore. It's about the unions, selfish/incompetent teachers, and the overall government making money. This book made me regret becoming a teacher since I'll likely never see any of this change in my lifetime. It is time to take that control back from the government fat-cats and make education about the children again! Great book that presents the facts and truth behind education in the past several decades. Bottom line, education is not about the students anymore. It's about the unions, selfish/incompetent teachers, and the overall government making money. This book made me regret becoming a teacher since I'll likely never see any of this change in my lifetime. It is time to take that control back from the government fat-cats and make education about the children again!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    Very informative. I'm glad Common Core wasn't in place when I was in school and I hope it's gone before I have children. Very informative. I'm glad Common Core wasn't in place when I was in school and I hope it's gone before I have children.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Shank

    CONFORM by Glenn Beck really does what the education industry what Food Inc. did for the food industry – completely exposes everything. It definitely is eye-opening, and is packed with a lot of helpful information dealing with everything from teacher unions, Michelle Obama’s school lunches, the new sex ed in schools, and of course, Common Core. Beck brought up a lot of great points and got me thinking about a lot of topics. The beginning opens up with teacher unions; how they discourage good teac CONFORM by Glenn Beck really does what the education industry what Food Inc. did for the food industry – completely exposes everything. It definitely is eye-opening, and is packed with a lot of helpful information dealing with everything from teacher unions, Michelle Obama’s school lunches, the new sex ed in schools, and of course, Common Core. Beck brought up a lot of great points and got me thinking about a lot of topics. The beginning opens up with teacher unions; how they discourage good teachers and protect bad ones. The middle – about Common Core – was very interesting. I do wish he would have gone more in-depth, but then again, it was written in 2012 – 2014 has brought a lot of new interesting Common Core facts. His chapter on Michelle’s school lunches was my favorite and it brought up a lot of things I hadn’t thought about before. The Obama’s (aka government) control school lunches. About 75% of American kids are on subsidized or free school lunches. Who’s paying for those? The government. And obviously, who pays the most gets to pick. It’s not about healthy eating; eating healthy is great. It’s about the control. On NBC News recently, public schools have also talked about serving dinner as well. Just more control and dependence on the government – one of the worst things you can have. Beck did a fantastic job with this subject. I have to admit, the very beginning was borderline boring, and the end, on charter schools, was pretty dry, so I would recommend skipping these parts. The book talks about dumbed-down standards compared to both overseas peers and standards 50 years ago, and defeats Common Core advocates’ main arguments one by one, and advocates homeschooling. The other area in which I think he could have added more is to the solution to Common Core. Common Core truly is dumbing down America, and unfortunately many teachers either blindly agree, or are against it and just discouraged. It’s kind of hard to fight alone with what seems the whole world against you. I know a few discouraged teachers; the only reason they keep teaching is because of their love of teaching. Kudos to those teachers!! Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave. This book is full of great knowledge, and what I appreciated most is Beck telling readers not to just take his word for it; research it yourself, and take action!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Belinda

    I will start with I am a teacher. If you don't want a teacher's opinion disregard this. My issue with this book is that he only presents situations that support his arguments and stereotypes. He labels educators as progressives out to brainwash your kids and tear the moral fabric of the nation. I am a Christian teacher and I work with many Christians who do not agree with many of what would be considered the "progressive" movements he outlines. Not every educator is out to brainwash your child. I will start with I am a teacher. If you don't want a teacher's opinion disregard this. My issue with this book is that he only presents situations that support his arguments and stereotypes. He labels educators as progressives out to brainwash your kids and tear the moral fabric of the nation. I am a Christian teacher and I work with many Christians who do not agree with many of what would be considered the "progressive" movements he outlines. Not every educator is out to brainwash your child. Don't just pick out the few people with politics or opinions you don't like and assume we are all the same. When talking about "unions" or teacher associations and their responsibility for ruining education he fails to mention times when teacher and student rights have been protected from vindictive people. He speaks mainly of NEA and it's affiliates. Once again, stop assuming that every teacher organization is the same. When talking about homeschooling he says "many" home schooled students are above average. I know many students who don't fit that description. Where is it acknowledged that some parents "homeschool" their children and the child never learns to read. I also know parents who have children that excel above and beyond what students in a regular setting do. There are many outcomes and not all of them fit your stereotypes. I didn't disagree with some of his points like some of his issues with Common Core or his discussion of how government is becoming larger and dictating things they have no business being involved in. That being said I can't recommend this book, because it is such a biased viewpoint. I would like people to hear separate arguments and to make a decision for themselves. I realize this was a book based on opinions, but I firmly believe given arguments people can make their own decision.

  11. 4 out of 5

    William Lawrence

    Beck is right that conformity is hurting schools, but he’s got the cause of it all wrong. Two chapters into the book and you realize the whole book is just an offensive attack on unions, with very little substance all all concerning the Common Core. He didn’t write this book because he cares about education and students, he wrote this because he’s trying to chip away at a Democratic stronghold donor. More politics. What a shame. With nearly twenty years in education, I gave this book a chance bec Beck is right that conformity is hurting schools, but he’s got the cause of it all wrong. Two chapters into the book and you realize the whole book is just an offensive attack on unions, with very little substance all all concerning the Common Core. He didn’t write this book because he cares about education and students, he wrote this because he’s trying to chip away at a Democratic stronghold donor. More politics. What a shame. With nearly twenty years in education, I gave this book a chance because I thought maybe this guy was really onto something this time, but I was disappointed by his hyperbole, ad hominem, and non sequituir chapters. This book is plagued with generalities and logic fallacies. He goes on and on about unions (obviously because he doesn’t think even the great teachers should have their healthcare benefits paid for). He drops Good teacher and Bad teacher throughout the book without actually defining what a good or bad teacher is. Judging by his examples of unions, bad teachers are those who can’t pass along kids who shouldn’t be passing, which is really at the root of the No Child Left Behind mediocrity. Beck bites himself when he writes on page 17 "…forty five states spent more on education as a percentage of their total budget than Massachusetts, yet Massachusetts finished first in average ACT scores all there years.” If that’s the case, Beck is praising one of the strongest union states out there. But besides contradicting his whole entire book in one sentence, there are some other problems with what Beck asserts in that statement: 1) he is assuming the ACT is the only measurement of success, 2) he fails to acknowledge that many more students take the SAT or no test at all than those who take the ACT and 3) standardized tests are as cookie cutter conforming as it gets. Other big problems with the book: no in-text citations, probably because he is plagiarizing various sources and the sources he does use are non credible websites and blogs. Did he take a research class in college? Not the fact-based book it claims to be on the back cover. It’s not very hard to get into teacher college, you don’t have to do well to graduate, Beck says, but hey, he’s not bashing teachers. A few paragraphs later, and what do you know, it’s the unions fault again for not stopping teacher colleges from destroying education by accepting the lower tier graduates. Obama is always there to blame too, as he periodicaly takes hits at the president and community organziers. There is a hyper obsession with unions in this book, even though most schools in the U.S. are not unionized, and the many of the least educated states are completely non union. Early on in the book he makes the claim that folks who haven’t been to war shouldn’t be allowed to protest war if folks who haven’t been teachers in the classroom aren't allowed to protest education. This doesn’t sound like the Beck from the Bush/Cheney years who used to stand at a chalk board lecturing us about how evil Gore and Kerry were? In fact, where was all this big bad government talk when the Bush administration was ravaging our economy and sending us off to war (based on decisions from those who had never served). I don’t think you can compare protesting a war that kills people and costs billions with the job of being a teacher. But really judging by what he’s written in this book, he demonstrates a gaping lack of understanding for what goes on in schools. Anyone can read blogs and splice together outrageous headlines from twenty years ago, but only Glen Beck can package it up and make a million dollars off of it. This book is great for someone who knows nothing about education, but for the person who has studied the field and knows the facts, every paragraph will produce a grimace or a chuckle because he’s so far off. Take his lack of definition of Common Core. He seems too confident in what the Core is doing and why it was created, but he has no idea what it even is. Apparently to Beck, Arnie Duncan, Obama, Bill Gates, oh and unions, are laughably the creators of Common Core. Amazingly, Beck takes the Math road of claiming we’re not doing enough math and Common Core is robbing our kids of math. In the real world grueling and unnecessary math is being pushed by states, contributing to drop out rates, and getting far more promotion and funding than language and social studies. I wonder how much math Beck took in high school and college. In one of his last pushes in the book, he promotes elearning and etexts, amazingly after bashing Bill Gates for several chapters and blaming him for Common Core. He claims e-texts are more effective for learning, but every study I’ve read actually shows print texts lead to greater comprehension. So again, either he’s terribly misifnroemd or he’s just taking a contribution from someone. Structurally, this book is so unorganized, you’d think a twenty-year-old first-time writer was compiling his random journal entries on education. Chapter 20 suddenly turns into an entirely second book about homeschooling. Wait, I thought this book was about public education. It’s really about how Beck wants to shut down unions (hence Democrats) and have more parents homeschool their kids (which doesn't necessarily stop the dumbing down of kids). It’s so disappointing to see just another know nothing blantantly paint education as a Democrat vs Republican world of politics. If you want a serious book about Common Core, check out some of the other ones on Amazon like Children of the Corn, but there are far bigger problems in education than Common Core. If schools are “Marxist brainwashing factories” as Beck asserts then there are far greater problems to focus on than a national standard that simply asks schools to raise their standards. If you're looking for a book written by a real educator about the dumbing down of students see anything by John Taylor Gatto or E.D. Hirsch or Diane Ravitch.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Eric Sullenberger

    I tried to approach what I read with an open mind. I also chose this book because I know that it differs from my normal point of view my perspective. I knew going into it that I probably would disagree with the points that he was going to make but I tried to give him a fair chance. normally I'll collect my thoughts at the end of a book and write a review based upon that. However many of his arguments were so egregious that I decided I had to take notes as I went. I thought originally that I woul I tried to approach what I read with an open mind. I also chose this book because I know that it differs from my normal point of view my perspective. I knew going into it that I probably would disagree with the points that he was going to make but I tried to give him a fair chance. normally I'll collect my thoughts at the end of a book and write a review based upon that. However many of his arguments were so egregious that I decided I had to take notes as I went. I thought originally that I would use these notes to organize my thoughts and I may come back and do that still. However for now I think those are all notes are going to serve as my comments in my views on this book. A quick note about how they are made frequently they are transcribed audio as I just spoke to my phone and had it do voice to text speech recognition I have not made any effort to proofread or correct these for content spelling grammar much like this introduction itself. And so I am sure there will be errors if time allows I will come back and synthesize my actual thoughts of these notes into a coherent review. But until then these are the comments and notes I made while listening to the book in there raw unedited format: 1) asserts the problem is from educators and not politicians 2) claims this benefits those in power, the Dems at this time, even though these have stayed in effect despite the change in administration 3) weight of opinion 4) I agree with an overemphasis on testing, but this was rejected by Unions and enacted Nationally in "No Child Left Behind" by Pres. G. W. Bush, and then renewed by the "Race to the Top" and adoption of Common Core under the Obama Administration. 5) what spending in the classroom goes to students directly? Most of a school's cost (and any business) is employees, then there are utiliti a, and for most gas for buses- little is left after that, and when teachers are already underpaid for their degrees, even IF we only pay them 3/4 of the year because of summer. Who els has to pay to keep their job? 6) most public employees do not negotiate contracts in public 7) we vote on representation at all levels and pass decisions up the chain 8) other placed might differ, but most of my dues for not go to lobbying. I also rely on on them in case I get sued, whether they agree with me if I were to he charged they are obligated to defend me 9) our legal system being slow I'd not a teacher or Union's fault 10) he complains that fewer than 1 out of 1000 tenured teachers are fired without citing how many were (or should be) attempted 11) most tenured teachers don't coast through their careers after 3-5 years 12) teachers who burn out in the first 5 years aren't leaving due to lack of skills, but instead due to working conditions and pay 13) he claims that the encouraging a pre-tenured teacher to leave will bring in a new teacher and it will payoff in improv s performance 75% of the time, without any evidence or support right while he is talking about newbies who should be encouraged to leave!? 14) at some point every year I feel burned out, but it doesn't make me a bad teacher, getting fired for feeling burn s out or disliking a part of the job is ridiculous 15) one of the complaints about oversight or sometimes the lack of it and public schools, and then you champions charter and private schools as replacement for that ignoring the fact that there is even less oversight there sure there's some business incentive but overall there is a lot less they were saying a lot less public opinion that matters 16) teachers getting extra degrees they don't need this in all their fault I am required to take classes and many schools require that those classes be towards a degree even if those classes those degrees are unimportant simply because I need x number of hours to be allowed to renew my teaching license that I also have to pay for to keep my job 17) totally opposed to furnace base pay but it matters will win testing classes are split between teachers I have the privilege of teaching at a very rule school where are tested science subjects which I teach are all taught by me or taught by the other teacher and that is she teaches all the biology classes so all the sophomores and take that test we're taught by her. But if we're going to Bass are pay off of how students perform on tests we are going to work our darnedest to make sure that we have the good students and that is going to cause a bigger problems this is what is meant by the students becoming the focus or the cost of performance-based pay add to that there are some students who just Mark going to pass a text but are still required to take it and there are some students wearing despite all of your effort they just are not interested in furthering their education my pay should not be based off of students who don't give a damn 18) he also argues that teachers should use their skills to negotiate for better contracts or leave to go get other contracts the downside of a teacher or a family to other school districts simply ignoring why many people choose the job in the first place yes better pay would be nice but I don't want to run all over America to get that better pay also doesn't have the same effect of concentrating Bad teachers all in one area in the school districts that can't afford to pay for them and which school districts are those going to be is going to be the poor disadvantaged students deserve and need good teachers in the better quality education are not going to get it if they can't afford to pay for it and this becomes a thing where is 1/2 versus the have-nots when it comes to money which is unfortunately been a republican policy for quite a while 19) in chapter 8 he mentions that alternative certification programs are good I don't disagree with him that in some situations they work with the idea that anyone can teach is still wrong and anyone who's ever had a piss-poor college professor understands this because college professors teach because their degree alone allows them to not because they have been trained in how to educate education is not something that is everyone is up to knowing how to teach a subject is different than knowing the subject itself 20) holy s*** I don't even like he's arguing that teachers are bad at reading and writing and that the whole reason for accepting me to go for standard is because universities want to train students to be social leaders to brainwash the next generation and allow them to then become fans of socialism and Democratic policies. I mean he'd miss and maybe this is a little extreme and maybe he's saying that little tongue and cheek butt f*** why even mention it 21) also unfortunately there is a trend of people being the first of their generation to go to and college going into education it is the most popular field for 2 be produced add on to that that many college students are pursuing degree degrees and so then education degree 22) agreed that we should be careful what we teach teachers with what curriculum do you use but at the same time the idea that we're going to teach teachers to teach a subject but then hasn't teach that subject without the expectation of students applying that knowledge what's the point 23) I don't deny that there may be bad curriculum out there but I can assert that I personally have never come across curriculum that tells me that I should ignore or set different expectations 24) just because there are some good charter schools doesn't mean all are good. Also I wonder if he's really successful charter schools and largely minority socioeconomically low standing communities offer any kind of social safety net worth a just educate the students as Mister Beck subjects. I would bet that you would see that those schools don't let students go hungry that dress family issues and do other things help those students succeed outside of just curriculum in the 25) at the end of chapter 10 he suggests we can do both then I want to see him and Republicans actually support during both addressing poverty and education 26) he has finally here around chapter 11 or 12 admitted that No child Left Behind was a republican initiative and let us down the path towards also adopting the common core standards because schools figured out how to game the system 27) is Mississippi's problem that they adopted the common core standards or that they have nine unelected members as their state board of Ed 28) he's complaining in this chapter that the common core math standards aren't hard enough that they don't push all students to get into calculus by the time you graduate high school I know at least here in Ohio that under the adoption of common core and the end-of-course testing is that our students are not required to have algebra 2 I would argue that most adults don't need algebra 2 skills and that requiring such especially for those not down for college is ridiculous and so the idea that all students should have to have calculus just because some set of standard says so is crazy. Students can take calculus even if it's not in the curriculum and so it's one thing to have standards that tell you what to teach in the courses that you're teaching and set a minimum for what students need to graduate it's a totally different thing to say is this is all that students need to graduate anyone claims of the common core standards do that. Well no one except for Glenn Beck here. 29) not all students are going to go to a 4-year college there for high school standards should not be set based upon . 30) one of the problems with comparing American education educational foreign countries is who is educated and who is testing because plenty of foreign countries don't educate all students K through 12 but at some point funnel students out of school and into other schools or into jobs at a much younger age and only focus on teaching and only focus on testing other students they also don't have anything like i d e a that requires education for all students in matter what their ability or disability 31) he's really complaining that we would be abandoning drill and kill for reasoning and understanding mathematical reasoning seems misguided.sure students need to learn their multiplication tables but at the same time it is ridiculous to think that memorization results in the understanding 32) the majority of what we read as adults is informational text so as great as it is to read literature and to develop your mind and to enjoy the liver arts students don't know how to read nonfiction and don't know how to read from a textbook. Hell, if we don't help students understand how to think critically and your reason into read informational text none of them would be able to grow up and understand this book 33) data and data privacy is certainly a concern and of course having soon to be taught only by a computer would be problematic to say the least. however how else other than data are we supposed to make informed decisions I suppose we can make decisions that are uninformed or just go with our gut 34) also Dana being misused by hacker is the result of a different problem not the result of the data collection itself 35) you spent a lot of time in the last several chapters talk about school choice and charter schools and I've been doing too many other things to really take the time to comment on them but I'm going to take a moment now. First off I don't totally disagree that alternative school options charter schools private schools homeschooling are bad ideas I think they work in some situations I think they work in some places however having said that he uses data to show how schools are doing poorly but then argues that the same alternative schools don't have to be subject to the same oversight to the same testing the same regulations that give us the data that show us whether they're succeeding or not. There's plenty of charter schools that are out there to enrich the teachers just as much as if not more than the unions and the current schools as he claims that we apparently do. Her course what school is becoming rich what teacher is becoming rich I really want to know because it's not me and it's not most educators I know even if we only get paid for working three-quarters of a year. Furthermore he at one point asserts that public schools are crap because a bundle all sorts of crap together and that they offer all these lame services and he compares them to cable companies despite the fact that he's arguing with a free-market should be able to handle this. Cable companies are part of the free-market! And get their service stinks and their service stinks because competition doesn't always win and so why why? Does he think that this is going to work in schools. Schools are not businesses and if they are did the children become the products in the children end up getting disservice because no single charter School can have all the students flock to it to the naturally The haves and up in one place and a half knots and up less well served at another place 36) as long as I'm talking about charter schools quite a ways back you complained about the common core because it was largely funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and yet he's totally ignoring the fact charter schools here that there are a decent number of charter schools that are funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation one of the two that I've actually worked with before in Dayton Ohio is such a foundation School 37) he closes the book with a very short chapter maybe few chapters under The heading part 2 and in the section he talks about the solution moving forward and to be honest I don't find a lot of fun with his arguments other than his continued and already the labor repetition of where the problem lies yeah he is how to improve education he's not wrong on where he is wrong is the source of the problem to begin with I don't think any teacher worth his or her salt out there would say that education is perfect or is as good as it can be needs to be is going to be and so we can all them look for how to improve in what are some effective solutions and I don't think most of mr. Beck's ideas are ineffective solutions

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kimball

    I've heard of Glenn Beck a lot but have never listened to what he had to say. I enjoyed some of his thoughts, although he can be pretty extreme and has a tendency to state his opinion as truth a little too much. I liked what he had to say about the Teacher's Unions and the dumb coveted tenure that they shoot for. Teaching should be more focused on talent. But I don't think it's as bad as he says. A bad teacher isn't the end of the world and appears worse than it actually is. I did think it was r I've heard of Glenn Beck a lot but have never listened to what he had to say. I enjoyed some of his thoughts, although he can be pretty extreme and has a tendency to state his opinion as truth a little too much. I liked what he had to say about the Teacher's Unions and the dumb coveted tenure that they shoot for. Teaching should be more focused on talent. But I don't think it's as bad as he says. A bad teacher isn't the end of the world and appears worse than it actually is. I did think it was retarded that there are schools that wouldn't allow a sack lunch to be brought from home because they claim to provide a healthier meal than what the kids get at home. And on that subject it's even more retarded that schools are attempting to replace parents and the home. I can see why they are trying to do that because some kids' homes are worse than school but the way that they are going about it will only make the situation worse. Too much government involvement and hand-holding. It's like those dumb memes that people post about kids not learning how to balance a checkbook or apply for a credit card but thank Beep they learned the Pythagorean Theorem. Schools teach what parents can't: all that math stuff; parents teach the street smarts. If parents don't do that the solution isn't for schools/government to take over, but rather to tell the parents to pull their heads out of their a words. I don't understand why there are so many haters against the notorious Common Core. To me it sounds no different than No Child Left Behind. It's like the Right Wing hates CC and the Left Wing hates NCLB. They should just hate each other. I like the quote "Too much security in a profession or situation breeds laziness."

  14. 4 out of 5

    John

    Though not very in-depth, CONFORM is a thought-provoking read on the state of public education in the U.S. I sympathize with a lot of Beck's arguments, especially since I worked for several years in an academic environment where teachers were paid the same regardless of effort and/or outcomes. That was frustrating. I've also witnessed firsthand that having a degree in education does not make you a competent teacher. Also, being homeschooled has taught me that children don't need Big Brother to ge Though not very in-depth, CONFORM is a thought-provoking read on the state of public education in the U.S. I sympathize with a lot of Beck's arguments, especially since I worked for several years in an academic environment where teachers were paid the same regardless of effort and/or outcomes. That was frustrating. I've also witnessed firsthand that having a degree in education does not make you a competent teacher. Also, being homeschooled has taught me that children don't need Big Brother to get a good education. When progressives argue otherwise, it's because they equate "a good education" with indoctrination into their worldview. The first half of CONFORM made me angry and depressed at the lengths that teacher's unions will go in order to maintain power. But the second half of the book is very hopeful, although I cringe at the thought of digital classrooms and the idea that my future children might spend 90% of their lives on either a computer or smart phone.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Zade

    I am not a fan of Mr. Beck's. In fact, the only reason I can think of to listen to his show is that it's a great way to practice identifying logical fallacies. Nonetheless, there is a lot of good in this book. It's written in a fairly dumbed-down manner, with lots of short, superficial chapters and a fair dose of the expected non-arguments. On the plus side, much of what Beck has to say actually makes sense and he backs up many of his points with fairly thorough documentation and even end notes. I am not a fan of Mr. Beck's. In fact, the only reason I can think of to listen to his show is that it's a great way to practice identifying logical fallacies. Nonetheless, there is a lot of good in this book. It's written in a fairly dumbed-down manner, with lots of short, superficial chapters and a fair dose of the expected non-arguments. On the plus side, much of what Beck has to say actually makes sense and he backs up many of his points with fairly thorough documentation and even end notes. Some chapters are more persuasive than others--it's really hard to agree that school lunch programs are a bad thing--but the ones that *do* make sense are well explained. Overall, the book provides a useful introduction to the problems facing American education today, providing the reader is willing to do a bit of thinking along the way so as to sort out the rhetoric from the useful content.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Corey A. Jones

    A must read for all teachers, administrators, and concerned parents. This book throws a lot of data at you but you don't have to have a degree in statistics to understand it. Glenn does a great job at explaining where the incentives are in education and what the stakeholders really care about-control and power. Common core is discussed at length and it is clearly laid out why it is a horrible plan for America. If all schools are teaching the same things in the exact same way, how will innovative A must read for all teachers, administrators, and concerned parents. This book throws a lot of data at you but you don't have to have a degree in statistics to understand it. Glenn does a great job at explaining where the incentives are in education and what the stakeholders really care about-control and power. Common core is discussed at length and it is clearly laid out why it is a horrible plan for America. If all schools are teaching the same things in the exact same way, how will innovative ideas in education ever see the light of day? We have to allow districts and teachers the freedom to innovate and let the best methods and ideas rise to the top so they can be copied. Great read!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Wendi Lau

    My homeschool daughter wanted to go to the local public high school when this book arrived at my library. It is alarming! Schools keeping unrelated data on students, like how the family votes, whether they go to church, etc. In-class technology that will monitor individual student engagement in the lesson based on facial expressions. Teacher unions that prohibit firing bad teachers and discourage recognition of great teachers. Bottom-of-the-class people becoming teachers. Ugh. I have seen a rigo My homeschool daughter wanted to go to the local public high school when this book arrived at my library. It is alarming! Schools keeping unrelated data on students, like how the family votes, whether they go to church, etc. In-class technology that will monitor individual student engagement in the lesson based on facial expressions. Teacher unions that prohibit firing bad teachers and discourage recognition of great teachers. Bottom-of-the-class people becoming teachers. Ugh. I have seen a rigorous curriculum before and after Common Core. It was dumbed down, reduced. I noticed in literature and math immediately. If my high schooler still wants to go to public school after reading this book, we can have a conversation.

  18. 5 out of 5

    I Contain

    A random mish mosh list of topics that Beck chooses to expand on, few of which have anything to do with the common core. I agree with him on several issues, but as someone working inside the public school system I find it hard to read the book through. He is so cold and insensitive toward burned out teachers, toward those who feel they have earned their tenure, and teachers unions. Who did he think was going to read this book anyway? Parents? In addition, he has some good points about children i A random mish mosh list of topics that Beck chooses to expand on, few of which have anything to do with the common core. I agree with him on several issues, but as someone working inside the public school system I find it hard to read the book through. He is so cold and insensitive toward burned out teachers, toward those who feel they have earned their tenure, and teachers unions. Who did he think was going to read this book anyway? Parents? In addition, he has some good points about children in poverty and the way the school system handles this situation but fails to have a deep understanding of the issue, causing his arguments to fall flat for me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    I will admit to ordering this book on accident, but what a happy accident. My husband and I truly felt we were ahead of the curve on the Common Core, to the point that we have purchased Homeschool curriculum and sacrificed my income. Still, Glenn puts very difficult concepts in easy-to-understand context and blows your mind with detailed, factual information. Every parent should read this book before even considering sending their child back to a brick and mortar school this school year! Thanks, I will admit to ordering this book on accident, but what a happy accident. My husband and I truly felt we were ahead of the curve on the Common Core, to the point that we have purchased Homeschool curriculum and sacrificed my income. Still, Glenn puts very difficult concepts in easy-to-understand context and blows your mind with detailed, factual information. Every parent should read this book before even considering sending their child back to a brick and mortar school this school year! Thanks, and God Bless, Glenn!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Gary Sedivy

    Well researched book on the state of education in the U. S. Centralized control (D. C.) and standardized testing, coupled with teacher's unions are an evil brew. Students are not being well served. Unfortunately the news media is not putting any pressure on the powers in control. For example, in Oregon, (this not in the book) student performance and graduation rates are slouching downward year after year, yet we get glowing reports of the massive successes I our school system. "Everything is Awe Well researched book on the state of education in the U. S. Centralized control (D. C.) and standardized testing, coupled with teacher's unions are an evil brew. Students are not being well served. Unfortunately the news media is not putting any pressure on the powers in control. For example, in Oregon, (this not in the book) student performance and graduation rates are slouching downward year after year, yet we get glowing reports of the massive successes I our school system. "Everything is Awesome". Except, it's not. A compelling read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Julia Nixon

    This is a difficult book to read in light of what our young people are being taught in our schools. Although I left the classroom a few years ago, I have no difficulty believing this information because I was always getting in trouble with the administration since conforming is not my nature. The more I expected of the students and the more information and skills I taught, the more I got into trouble with parents and administrators. We were supposed to be teaching critical thinking, but my conte This is a difficult book to read in light of what our young people are being taught in our schools. Although I left the classroom a few years ago, I have no difficulty believing this information because I was always getting in trouble with the administration since conforming is not my nature. The more I expected of the students and the more information and skills I taught, the more I got into trouble with parents and administrators. We were supposed to be teaching critical thinking, but my contention is that you cannot have critical thinking without knowledge.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    4.5 stars This is a really good look at how public education is a slave to bureaucrats and special interests who only care about money. It covers Common Core, antiquated union practices, the war on homeschooling and technology, and the war on parental choice and minorities. Much of it is common sense and should receive bipartisan support. Other areas will be agreed with or disagreed with depending on your political leanings. The end goes over possible solutions and comprises. Overall, it's surpri 4.5 stars This is a really good look at how public education is a slave to bureaucrats and special interests who only care about money. It covers Common Core, antiquated union practices, the war on homeschooling and technology, and the war on parental choice and minorities. Much of it is common sense and should receive bipartisan support. Other areas will be agreed with or disagreed with depending on your political leanings. The end goes over possible solutions and comprises. Overall, it's surprisingly well written, easy to follow, and heavily researched and documented.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Serity

    Oh wow. This was really eye-opening. No, it's not about conspiracy theories. ;) Beck shows the flaws in the public school system and a reasonable, common sense way to fix the flaws. He also gives information and ways that regular people can help to change and alternative schooling options (which, as a parent of young children, I totally appreciated). I feel armed with the knowledge I need to help my children get the best education for them. Oh wow. This was really eye-opening. No, it's not about conspiracy theories. ;) Beck shows the flaws in the public school system and a reasonable, common sense way to fix the flaws. He also gives information and ways that regular people can help to change and alternative schooling options (which, as a parent of young children, I totally appreciated). I feel armed with the knowledge I need to help my children get the best education for them.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hiknbean

    Somewhat preachy, but an interesting read. Confirms my position that we need to get rid of the Department of Education and allow the states control over their academic institutions.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Doc

    Not as good as I expected. This wasn't written to persuade (IMO) as much as to incite. The more Glenn Beck I read, the more disappointed I am. Not as good as I expected. This wasn't written to persuade (IMO) as much as to incite. The more Glenn Beck I read, the more disappointed I am.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    I am shocked at what I read about the changes being made in our system of education. This may be America, but it's not my father's America. Who shall we become? I am shocked at what I read about the changes being made in our system of education. This may be America, but it's not my father's America. Who shall we become?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Martha

    Conform is an “educational” read, literally! The subject of Common Core and the public school education in the United States has been an issue for many years, but Glenn Beck brings it all to the forefront clearly and concisely in Conform. Mr. Beck did his research and thoroughly cites his sources. The statistics he presents in Conform are astounding. Part One of this book, first chapter: “You Can’t Criticize Public Education if you haven’t been in the Classroom” “If you haven’t been in the classro Conform is an “educational” read, literally! The subject of Common Core and the public school education in the United States has been an issue for many years, but Glenn Beck brings it all to the forefront clearly and concisely in Conform. Mr. Beck did his research and thoroughly cites his sources. The statistics he presents in Conform are astounding. Part One of this book, first chapter: “You Can’t Criticize Public Education if you haven’t been in the Classroom” “If you haven’t been in the classroom you have no business in the [school] board room.” Patricia Fox, teacher in Orange County, Florida. Really? Mr. Beck immediately brings to our attention, (and rightly so) then who has the right to debate war for those of us who have never worn a uniform or fought in battle? Yes, it seems we all have a right to criticize both even if we haven’t literally “been there”. And, scrutinizing the school system is our duty, especially as parents; it affects the upbringing of our own children. The Economist Intelligence Unit developed a report titled The Learning Curve – the U.S. ranks 17th out of forty countries in overall educational performance. Finland ranks first. The top ten countries in educational performance are: 1. Finland 2. South Korea 3. Hong Kong SAR 4. Japan 5. Singapore 6. United Kingdom 7. Netherlands 8. New Zealand 9. Switzerland 10. Canada What a sad performance by the United States of America. Not in the top ten? We should be number one. Where are we going wrong? Mr. Beck breaks down piece by piece the ineffective programs within America’s educational system. He brings out the government control, too much partisanship regarding teachers unions – oh, I read an earful to make me more than cynical, I am outraged. There is one chapter that really shocked me and I gasped, and said “What!? Are you kidding me?” (To myself because no one else was in the room with me at the time). It is Chapter 16. “We Need Better Data Collection to help us Better educate our Kids”. Oh, my goodness, the lengths the government goes through to collect this data is unbelievable. The statistics are a depressing read and at first I thought I was going to throw this book across the room, thinking, I can’t take all these negative facts, but then Mr. Beck reels you back in away from the federal government, away from the teachers’ union, with hope - a light at the end of the tunnel. A glimmer of hope with anecdotes of cities where there is hope, with sensible ideas to help us get out of this quagmire. Glenn Beck has many statistics at the back of this book of other programs that are working in certain parts of the United States. Mr. Beck explains the essence of Common Core throughout several chapters. He is not an advocate of this program and gives us a breakdown of why it is faulty. I also learned from several reviews that many teachers are not especially keen on Common Core either, which was interesting. Common Sense Reforms: Use Your Voice: “Look, I am being manhandled and shut down because I asked inconvenient questions. Why won’t they allow an open forum where there can be a debate? We are told to sit there and be lectured to about how great Common Core is.” Robert Small, Baltimore County Parent. Glenn Beck makes an obvious, but pertinent statement - Our kids need “mothers and fathers working cooperatively in a loving and structured home, regardless of income. Our focus should be on promoting the concept of strong family.” The high rate of divorce in the United States is staggering. This point should be brought out as a movement, as a cause. Part Two of his book, Glenn Beck shows Finland’s educational success. But, as Mr. Beck points out, their country is much smaller and less diverse than ours. But, we could take a few notes on their success and implement into our system. I grew up in the public school system, 1st through 5th grades (1962 -1966) in western Massachusetts. These were the years of real education – the basics were emphasized, reading, writing and arithmetic. Also, I was lucky to be raised in the military school system while my Dad was stationed out of country (more strict than your average public school, I assure you). But, my Dad retired here in Sacramento when I started 8th grade and plopped me into a Sacramento Jr. High public school. What a culture shock it was for me coming from an on-base school to this California school. No control of classrooms, chaos was rampant. Oh, what a disastrous two years I had. Now, my high school experience here in South Sacramento was a little better, but there definitely were many bumps in the road. My years of high school were 1971 – 1974 to give a point of reference. While I started my sophomore year in geometry, my Dad had to intervene because some fool Sac School District Board member approved a method of teaching geometry. My teacher grouped students in the classroom with a stellar student as the lead in each group to teach the rest of us “dummies”, while she stood at the head of the class observing. What!? Well, needless to say, I received a “D” in the first quarter and my Dad went through the roof. When I told him the method of teaching from this geometry teacher, he ran down to the school wanting an explanation – he received the explanation. “This is the progressive teaching method we are now implementing.” Needless to say, his rant produced no change to the classroom. Now, the good news for me - my Dad was a math major, and after every school day, that semester, he patiently taught me Geometry. I walked away with a B+ from that class because of my Dad. Can you smell “Homeschooling”? My husband grew up as a good catholic boy from kindergarten through graduate studies. Hmm, now, that is what I call a true Catholic. Well, he always talks about his school years with many pleasant memories. The friends he grew up with – they still talk very warmly of several nuns and brothers who taught them growing up. So, my point to these lengthy stories is: We had two boys and as soon as they were eligible for kindergarten they went to the same catholic schools as my husband, the grade school and the high school here in Sacramento. We have no regrets at all for having to pay the high tuition because they have both developed into wonderful young men. We had to work harder to make more money but it was worth every dollar. (We didn’t mind paying the high tuition fees because we chose this route, but we did mind paying taxes for the Sacramento public schools in addition.) Please don’t come to our front door asking for donations - we gave at the City. How about that school voucher system idea? Sounds pretty good to me. I recommend Conform for everyone – it is an eye opener. And, I especially recommend this for parents whose children will be starting school within a couple of years. It is an “educational” read not to miss.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    It’s pretty much common knowledge that public education in America has issues. Many people are very much opposed to Common Core, whether because they understand what is really is or because they just think they do. Conform: Exposing the Truth About Common Core and Public Education by Glenn Beck attempts to address and explain the problems and give ideas on how to fix it. Unfortunately, I felt like the book fell a bit short of its goal. Most of the examples given felt like scary, this is the worst It’s pretty much common knowledge that public education in America has issues. Many people are very much opposed to Common Core, whether because they understand what is really is or because they just think they do. Conform: Exposing the Truth About Common Core and Public Education by Glenn Beck attempts to address and explain the problems and give ideas on how to fix it. Unfortunately, I felt like the book fell a bit short of its goal. Most of the examples given felt like scary, this is the worst that has happened sorts of things. I don’t disagree with many of the points of the book (such as the problems with teacher’s unions). I just didn’t feel like the arguments were super well done and I really felt like the solutions were extremely lacking (and this may be partly because Glenn Beck’s kids are homeschooled so they aren’t even in the “system” – two of my kids are homeschooled as well, but I have two in public school and even if I didn’t, good public education is important no matter how your own kids are educated). Conform was good, but it definitely wasn’t great or overly useful. The best part, as with all Glenn Beck books, was the extensive section at the back with all the sources and references for what was written in the book to, as Beck always insists, not take his word for it, but to do your own research and form your own final conclusions.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Callie

    This is another one of those books that I started a couple years ago and finally got around to finishing. Conform is about the problems with education in America, and Beck presents suggestions on how we can fix some of it. There is a lot of common-sense here, which is sorely needed in our current educational system. I picked up this book initially because I was interested in what Beck had to say in the chapters on homeschooling, but the whole book was interesting and relevant to all Americans, w This is another one of those books that I started a couple years ago and finally got around to finishing. Conform is about the problems with education in America, and Beck presents suggestions on how we can fix some of it. There is a lot of common-sense here, which is sorely needed in our current educational system. I picked up this book initially because I was interested in what Beck had to say in the chapters on homeschooling, but the whole book was interesting and relevant to all Americans, whether they are parents or not (we're all paying the school districts through our taxes, after all). I didn't agree with every suggestion he had - for instance, I would not participate in a program for government vouchers to pay for my homeschool curriculum. That gives the government a certain claim to a "right" to have a say in my curriculum choices. I know many homeschoolers, myself included, are trying to escape governmental influence in curriculum choices, so vouchers would not fit with that goal. However, overall, I think this book has a ton of great information and common-sense principles, and I'd recommend it for anyone who wants to understand more about education in America today.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This was research, because my parents were starting to show signs of supporting this whole ‘thing’ (like just ritual white BS from talking heads in general, Glenn Beck just happens to be the unlucky sucker whose book I chose to read, about a topic I know a fair bit about-Education) and I wanted to get out ahead of it 😂 honestly, a snooze. I can’t remember a thing I read. Standardized testing is…bad? Good? I don’t know. All I remember is that I can’t remember what his opinions were on the varied This was research, because my parents were starting to show signs of supporting this whole ‘thing’ (like just ritual white BS from talking heads in general, Glenn Beck just happens to be the unlucky sucker whose book I chose to read, about a topic I know a fair bit about-Education) and I wanted to get out ahead of it 😂 honestly, a snooze. I can’t remember a thing I read. Standardized testing is…bad? Good? I don’t know. All I remember is that I can’t remember what his opinions were on the varied and proven benefits of a portfolio-based assessment system for all ages. Oh, because I don’t think he addressed it, which is weird, because portfolios are the best way I think there is to assess academic performance. Compiling a portfolio to show what they’ve learned allows someone to produce something of value, which the teacher assesses in order to assign them a grade. I don’t know. But yes, let’s keep doing the standardized test thing. By all means, allow the Scantron titans of industry to make enough dough to put some money down on that yacht. “Come On!” **Gob Bluth voice **🥸😵‍💫

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