Sam Blumenfeld use to say that “you don’t need puppets popping out of trash cans to teach children to read.” He created “Alpha-Phonics” which has been used to teach thousands to read. Here is a link to testimonials to Sam’s most important work:
Since the creation of the Blumenfeld Archives, thousands of people have downloaded the “Alpha-Phonics” free of charge. Please consider donating to Camp Constitution so we can expand our program and reach out to more people. Donations can be made via our PayPal account accessed from our homepage:
There may not be a question more difficult to answer for Mark Meckler, President of Citizens for Self-Governance and spokesman for its Convention of States Project (COS), than this:
Since the federal government ignores the Constitution as now written, why would it obey an amended Constitution?
This is a fair question, considering COS has spent several years and millions of dollars from undisclosed sources1 on paid lobbyists and “senior advisors” who crisscross the country leaning on legislators to pass resolutions asking Congress to call an Article V convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution, ostensibly to limit the federal government.
All the while, at the local level, COS has been carrying out a massive public relations campaign claiming to be a grassroots movement with a “solution as big as the problem.”
But Meckler’s group has a solution that has nothing to do with the problem! Since the problem is a federal government that has overreached its powers by ignoring our Constitution, logic alone tells us that amending our Constitution, the very document being ignored, can’t possibly fix the problem.
On 7/6/17 (Part 2 at 37:00), Mark Meckler was heard on Red Eye Radio answering that question in an interesting and illogical way:
A caller asked: “Once the amendments are proposed and ratified, how are they actually implemented?”
In response, Meckler said, “… [the amendments] just automatically become part of the Constitution…part of the structure of governance in America…and that means that government then has to begin operating according to those amendments in the same way that they do with the rest of the Constitution.”
He continued, “And functionally, ultimately that means government will shrink, they will have the authority to do less. And if they fail to follow those amendments, then obviously, there is litigation that ensues up to the federal courts and ultimately up to the Supreme Court, if necessary.” (Emphasis added.)
But wait! COS has contended for years that the Constitution needs to be amended precisely because of decisions by activist judges who have undermined the original intent of the Constitution and allowed the federal government to usurp powers not delegated by our Constitution.
In other words, Meckler gives us a circular argument. He’s saying that COS will add more verbiage to the Constitution to counter activist judges; and then, when the federal government ignores the new wording, as they have in the past, there will be lawsuits to force the government to follow the original intent of the framers. And lawsuits generate still more decisions by activist judges!
It should be noted, too, that our Constitution already limits the federal government to its enumerated powers; and any changes such as a Balanced Budget Amendment, will expand the power of the federal government.
State governments already have the power to resist unconstitutional acts of the federal government – they simply need a backbone!
The last caller, only 10 minutes later, hit upon the circular argument and got a different response from Meckler:
Caller: “…What happens, if say, we call a “convention of states” [and] we get some great reform amendments made to the Constitution to undo a lot of damage that has been done by activist judges and left-wing congressional majorities and presidents. What happens if we have future…laws…that violate the new amendments…and… new activist judges on the Supreme Court that then give rubber stamp approval [to the unconstitutional laws]. …Is there a bullet-proof, really good way to stop the same process from cycling over and over again after we get new amendments [at a convention]?”
Meckler: “You know, I think that’s one of the best questions there is. And I’m going to give you the short and blunt answer which is NO!”
That’s right, Mark Meckler asserts there is no way to stop the federal government from ignoring amendments proposed by a convention that later become ratified! And the entire process places our current Constitution at risk—for what?!
Meckler elaborated philosophically: “There is no way to prevent the cycle from happening because the cycle is the cycle of human nature. In our history, you can go back to the Roman Empire and look at what happens… So, I think what happens is, you correct course, you put the ship on course, and eventually it will begin to be blown off course.
“History tells us it takes about 100 years for amendments to stop being effective…I think, for example, the first amendment about 100 years ago started to come under assault. So, it had been in place for well over 100 years; so, I expect the slide to happen.”
Let’s get this straight. The convention lobby is pouring massive resources into putting our Constitution at risk in convention because Mark Meckler is trying to steer the ship back on course, somehow predicting that in 100 years our children’s descendants will need to go through the same process, subjecting our Constitution to risk once again (assuming it survives the second federal convention he is trying so hard to invoke?) Why haven’t he, his lobbyists or “senior advisors” brought this up at legislative hearings?
Why not work on enforcing the Constitution we have, instead of rewriting 2,000 annotated pages of Supreme Court decisions, and very probably the entire Constitution? Why not encourage our State Legislators to stand up against and refuse to comply with unconstitutional federal dictates now—that’s what they are supposed to do, according to our Framers.
Article V was meant to correct defects in the Constitution, and this explains why it is not a solution for reining in an overreaching federal government.
If the main COS proponent thinks his “Solution” is a temporary “fix”; and his method of implementing Amendments resulting from an Article V convention is no different than the system that created the problem in the first place, one must wonder…
What is the real reason COS is being bankrolled to advance an Article V convention whose Delegates, as direct Representatives of the People, would have the inherent Right “to alter or to abolish” our “Form of Government”? (Declaration of Independence, paragraph 2). While we are unable to determine all the sources of the funding for Meckler’s group; the ultimate source of much of the funding for the push for an Article V convention is the mega billionaire Koch Brothers of Texas.
Judi Caler lives in California and is Article V Issues Director for Eagle Forum of CA. She is passionate about holding our public servants accountable to their oath to support the U.S. Constitution.
Sam Blumfeld was an advocate for teaching cursive first. He believed that teaching printing or block first was a prescription for poor handwriting. Here is link to his writing tutor: http://blumenfeld.campconstitution.net/Writing/index.htm
Dyslexia: The Disease You Get in School
By Me Samuel L. Blumenfeld
Dyslexia is an exotic word, concocted from the Greek dys, meaning ill or bad,
and lexia, meaning words. It was invented to describe a condition that affects
many normal and intellectual youngsters who, for some reason that seems to baffle
most educators, parents, and physicians, can’t learn to read.
The difference between a dyslexic and a functional illiterate is purely social.
Dyslexics are usually adolescents from middle-class or professional families
whose parents assume that their child’s reading difficulty is more of a medical or
psychological problem than an educational one. The child is too smart to be that
The functional illiterate is simply someone who has kept his reading problem
to himself and goes through life pretending he can read, avoiding situations which
involve reading, choosing, jobs which do not reveal his reading disability. He assumes
he’s dumb, not sick or mentally disturbed.
However, in the last ten years, with the growth of federally funded Special Education
and the proliferation of early testing, more and more children with reading
difficulties are being labeled “learning disabled,” or LD, in the first grade or even
kindergarten. These children are being “diagnosed” as suffering from minimal
brain damage, minimal brain dysfunction, neurological impairment, perceptual
impairment, attention deficit syndrome, or dyslexia.
What are the symptoms of dyslexia? The Academic American Encyclopedia
(Vol. 6, page 320) gives us as good a summary of the disease as we shall find
anywhere. It says:
“Dyslexia refers to an impaired ability to read or comprehend what one reads,
caused by congenital disability or acquired brain damage. Dyslexia is independent
of any speech defect and ranges from a minor to a total inability to read.”
“Specialist used the term specific dyslexia to refer to inability to read in a person
of normal or high general intelligence whose learning is not impaired by socioecnomic
deprivation, emotional disturbance, or brain damage. Psychologists disagree
about whether specific dyslexia is a clearly identifiable syndrome. Those
who think it is clearly identifiable note that it persists into adulthood despite conventional
instruction; tends to run in families; and occurs more frequently in
males. It is also associated with a specific kid of difficulty in identifying words
and letters, which dyslexics tend to reverse or invert (reading p or q, or example
or on for no). Competing theories exist about the causes and nature of dyslexia.
Although there is disagreement among “experts” over the causes of dyslexia,
there is general agreement that the most effective “cure” is remedial programs that
Dr. Orton’s Findings
But it is somewhat puzzling that there should be so much disagreement over
the cause of dyslexia, when, as early as 1929, a leading physician attributed its
cause to a new look-say, whole word, or sight method of teaching reading that
was being introduced in the schools of America. In February 1929, there appeared
in the Journal of Educational Psychology an article entitled “The ‘Sight Reading’
Method of Teaching Reading as a Source of Reading Disability.” written by Dr.
Samuel T. Orton, a neurologist at Iowa State University.
Dr. Orton, a brain specialist who dealt with children’s language disorders, had
been seeing a lot of children with reading problems at his clinic. In diagnosing the
children’s problems at his clinic he came to the conclusion that their reading disability
was being caused by this new instruction method. He decided to bring
these findings to the attention of the educators, and he did so in as diplomatic a
way as was possible. He wrote:
“I wish to emphasize at the beginning that the strictures which I have to offer here
do not apply to the use of the sight method of teaching reading as a whole but
only to its effects on a restricted group of children for whom, as I think we can
show, this technique is not only not adapted but often proves an actual obstacle to
reading progress, and moreover I believe that this group is one of considerable
size and because here faulty teaching methods may not only prevent the acquisition
of academic education by children of average capacity but may also give rise
to far reaching damage to their emotional life.”
This warning to the educators was quite explicit: this method of teaching will
harm a large number of children.
D. Orton expected the educators to respond to his findings. They did – negatively.
In fact, they accelerated the introduction and promoted of the new teaching
methods throughout the primary schools of America. And it dido’t take very long
before America began to have a reading problem.
The Disease Spreads
Although Dr. Orton went to become the world’s leading authority on “dyslexia,”
and in effect created on of the most effective remediation techniques, the OrtonGillingham
method, his 1929 article is nowhere referred to in the literature on the
I came across it quite by accident while doing research for my book, The New
Illiterates, which was published in 1973. But why the experts on dyslexia have not
found it, I don’t know. In any case, dyslexia was virtually unknown in this country
until the 1940s when, suddenly millions of American children were coming
down with the disease. Life magazine reported in April 1944:
“Millions of children in the U.S. suffer from dyslexia which is the medical
term for reading difficulties. It is responsible for about 70% of the school failures
in the 60 to 12-year-age group, and handicaps about 15% of all grade-school children.
Dyslexia may stem from a variety of physical ailments or combination of
them – glandular imbalance, heart disease, eye or ear trouble – or form a deepseated
psychological disturbance that ‘blocks’ a child’s ability to learn.
The article then described the treatment for dyslexia giving a young girl at
Chicago’s Dyslexia Institute on the campus of Northwest University: “thyroid
treatments, removal of tonsils and adenoids, exercise to strengthen her eye muscles.
Other patients needed dental work, nose, throat or ear treatment, or a thorough
airing out of troublesome home situations that throw a sensitive child off the
track of normality.”
Enter Dr. Flesch
In 1955, Dr. Rudolf Flesch published his famous book, Why Johnny Can’t
Read, in which he revealed to parents the true cause of the reading problem. He
“The teaching of reading – all over the United States, in all schools, and in all
textbooks – is totally wrong and flies in the face of all logic and conunon sense.”
And then he explained how in the early 1930s the professor of education
changed the way reading is taught in American schools. They threw out traditional
alphabetic-phonics method, which is the proper way to teach a child to read
an alphabetic writing system, and put in a new look-say, whole-word, or sight
method that teaches children to read an alphabetic writing system, and they put I a
new look-say, whole-word, or sight method that teaches children to read English
as if it were Chinese, an ideographic writing system. Flesch contended that when
you impose an ideographic teaching method on an alphabetic writing system you
cause reading disability.
Dr. Orton had said as much in 1929, but in 1955 Flesch could cite millions of
reading-disabled children as substantiation of what he was saying. Naturally, the
educators rejected Flesch’s contentions.
Most people, of course, don’t know the difference between an alphabetic system
and an ideographic one. But one must know the difference in order to understand
how and why look-say can cause dyslexia.
Ours is an alphabetic writing system, which means that we use an alphabet.
What is an alphabet? It is a set of graphic symbols – we call them “letters” – that
stand for the irreducible speech sounds of the language. In other words, alphabet
letters are not meaningless configurations. They actually stand for something.
Each letter represents a specific sound, and in some cases more than one sound.
All alphabets are the same in that regard. The Russian, Greek, and Hebrew alphabets
all stand for sounds of their respective languages, and the English alphabet
stands for the sounds of the English language.
How does one teach a child or anyone else to read an alphabetic writing system?
For hundreds of years it was done very simpJy in three steps. First, the child
was taught to recognize the letters of the alphabet; second, the child was taught
the sounds the letters stood for; and third, the child was then given words and sentences
How was the child taught the letter sounds? Usually it was done in the simplest
mechanical way possible. For example, the child was taught the consonant sounds
and then drilled on the consonant-vowel combinations arranged in colwnn form,
such as ba, be, bi, bo, bu; da, de, di, do, du etc. the purpose of the drill was to enable
the child to develop as quickly and easily as possible an automatic association
between letter and sound. Developing that association is at the heart of learning
to read an alphabetic writing system.
Pictographs and Ideographs
The first alphabet was invented about 2,000 B.C. Prior to that invention, the
earliest form of writing we know of is pictograph – the pictures represented objects
and actions. You didn’t have to go to school to learn to read pictographs, for
the symbols looked like the things they represented.
However, as civilization became more complex, the scribes had to begin drawing
pictures of things that did not lend themselves to easy depiction. For example,
how would you draw pictures of such concepts as good, bad, dream, reality, persuasion,
confidence, memory, intent, liberty, justice, etc? You can’t. So the
scribes drew symbols, none of which looked like the concept they represented.
Thousands and thousands of such symbols – called idiographs – were created.
And now you had to go to school and be taught what all these symbols meant.
The result was that literacy was limited to a small class of scholars, scribes and
priests. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics is an ideographic writing system, and so
is modern Chinese. The Chinese use 50,000 ideographs, of which 5,000 must be
mastered if an individual is to be able to read a Chinese newspaper. Thus, ideographic
writing is cumbersome, difficult, and time-consuming to master.
However, somewhere around 2,000 RC. someone in the area of ancient Phoenicia
(today’s southern Lebanon and northern Israel) made a remarkable discovery. He
discovered that all the human language, everything we say, is actually composed
of a small number of irreducible speech sounds arranged in end.less combinations.
It occurred to him that by creating a set of symbols to stand for the irreducible
speech sounds of the language, he could create a new form of writing based on
actual transcription of the spoken word. And so alphabetic writing was invented.
Advantages of tbe Alpbabet
And now for the first time an had an accurate, precise means of transcribing
the spoken word directly into written form, and an equally precise means of translating
the written word back into its spoken form. It was the most revolutionary
invention in all history. It did away with hieroglyphic and ideographic writing and
accelerated the speed of intellectual deVelopment. It also made learning to read
simple and available to the population as a whole.
The invention of the alphabet also had great spiritual significance for mankind.
It permitted the word of God to be put down on paper accurately and precisely in
the form of the Scripture. It made the word of God accessible to the human race.
Clearly, alphabetic writing had enormous advantages over ideographs: I it permitted
greatly increased speeds and accuracy in communications, it was easy to master,
and it facilitated a tremendous expansion in vocabulary, permitting the human
mind to develop ideas hitherto inconceivable.
In the light of all these advantages, it seems strange that professors of education
in the 1930s would decide to teach American children to read Enghsh as if it
were an ideographic writing system. How could you possibly teach children to
read that way? To a logical mind the whole idea seems not only absurd but insane.
Yet, that is what the professors did.
Their idea was that it was better for children to look at whole words as pictures
and have them associate them directly with objects, actions and ideas rather than
have them learn to associate the letters with sounds. And so they eliminated step
two in the three-step alphabetic learning process and had the children go directly
from step one to step three; sometimes they would even skipped step one and
started out with whole words.
Essentially, the method works as follows: the child is given a sight vocabulary
to memorize. He is taught to look and say the word without knowing that the letters
stand for sounds. As far as the pupil is concerned, the letters are a bunch of
arbitrary squiggles arranged in some arbitrary, haphazard order. His task is to see
a picture in the configuration of the whole word – to make the word horse look
like a horse.
Of course, the word horse does not look like a horse. So how does a child remember
that the word is horse? Anyway he can. There isn’t a professor of education
anywhere in the world who can tell you how a child learns a sight vocabulary.
The only research we know of that addresses that question was done by Josephine
H. Bowden at the elementary school of the University of Chicago around
1912. A description of the studies was given by Prof. Walter F. Dearborn in 1914
In the first study of pupils, who had no instruction in reading, were
taught by a word method without the use of phonics and the problem was
to determine by what means children actually recognized and differentiated
words when left to their own devices. The following quotation indicates
the methods employed by the experimenter: “First, incidents; for example,
one day when the child was given the cards to read from, it was
observed that she read with equal ease whether the card was right side up
or upside down. This incident suggested a test which was later given. Second,
comments of the child; for example, when she was asked to find in
context the word ‘shoes,’ she said that ‘dress’ looked so much like ‘shoes’
that she was afraid she would make a mistake. Third, questioning; for example,
she had trouble to distinguish between ‘sing’ and ‘song.’ When she
had mastered the words she was asked how she knew which was which.
Her reply was, ‘by the looks.’ When questioned further she put her finger
on the ‘i’ and the ‘0.’ These three types of evidence correspond to introspection
with an adult. The fourth type of evidence is comparison of the
words learned with the words not learned as to the parts of speech, geometric
form, internal form, and length. Fifth, misreadings; for example,
‘dogs’ was read ‘twigs,’ and ‘feathers,’ ‘fur.’ Sixth, mutilations; for example
‘dogs’ was printed ‘digs,’ lilac’ was printed ‘laJci.”’
Some of the conclusions may be cited, first as regards the kinds of
words most easily learned on the basis of the word form. Four out of six
children learned more ‘linear’ words, i&., words like “acorns,” “saw,” in
which there were no high letters, than of any other group. In but one case
were the “superlinear” words more easily recognized
Misreadings or the mistaking of one word for another occurred most frequently
in these early stages, first when the words were of the same length
(which again converts Messmer’s ftndings); secondly, when words had
common letters, the “g” and “0” of “igloo” caused it to be read as “dogs”;
thirdly, when the initial letters of words were the same; and fourthly, when
the final letters were the same. Words were recognized upside down
nearly as easily as right side up, but [ only] two children noticing any difference.
The word seems to be recognized as a whole, and as the author
notes, recognized upside down just as the child would recognize a toy upside
down. The general conclusion of the study may be quoted:
“The comments and the questions, as well as misreadings, seem to
show that children learn to read words by the trial and error method. It
may be the length of the word, the initial letter, the final letter, a characteristic
letter, the position of the word in the sentence, or even the blackness
of the type that serves as the cue. . .. There is no evidence that the child
works out a system by which he learns to recognize words. That he does
not work out phonics for himself comes out quite clearly in the transposition
test. Furthennore, only once did a child divide a word even into its
syllables. There is some evidence that conscious of letters, except in the
case of “E,” who so analyzed the word “six.” Sometimes, when the child
seems to have made a letter analysis, he failed to recognize the word a
second time, and in some cases did not learn it at all.”
And so it was obvious to the professors as far back as 1914 that the sight method
was a totally horrendous, inefficient and illogical way to teach a child to read.
And despite Dr. Orton’s warning in 1929 that the method would hann many children,
they proceeded to put their new reading programs in all the schools of
Of Course, they beefed up their sight vocabulary approach with a battery of
“word recognition strategies.” They provided configuration clues – putting sight
words in frames; picture clues – loading the page with illustrations depicting the
words; context clues – inane stories in which the word could be easily guessed on
the basis of context; and phonetic clues – teaching initial and final consonant
sounds to reduce some ridiculousness of some of the guessing.
It is important to note that teaching phonetic clues is not the same as teaching intensive,
systematic phonics. The latter helps the child develop an automatic association
of letters and sounds and teaches blending. The fonner simply teaches isolated
consonant sounds with no connection to the rest of the syllable.
That this method of teaching can cause symptoms of dyslexia is not difficult to
surmise. What are the symptoms? Dr. Harold N. Levinson, founder of the Medical
Dyslexic Treatment Center in Lake Success, New York, and author of Smart But
Feeling Dumb which he dedicated to “40 million dyslexic Americans,” lists the
symptoms as follows: (1) memory instability for letters, words, or numbers; (2) a
tendency to skip over or scramble letters, words, and sentences; (3) poor, slow,
fatiguing reading ability prone to compensatory head tilting, near-far focusing,
and finger pointing; (4) reversal of letters such as Q, g, words such as saw and
was, and numbers such as 6 and 9 or 16 and 61.
Most of these symptoms sound like the very mistakes made by those children
back in 1912 who were trying to learn a sight vocabulary. Some of those children
even read words upside down!
But it is obvious that if you are told to look at words as a picture, you may look
at it from right to left as easily as from left to right You will reverse letters because
they look alike and you have not been drilled to know them by sound as
well as by sight. You will be a poor speller because the sequence of letters seems
completely arbitrary, with no rime or reason. Of course, to a phonetic reader the
sequence of letters is most important because it follows the same sequence in
which the sounds are uttered.
Other symptoms include transposing letters in a word, for example, abroad for
aboard, left for felt, how for who; confusing words with others of similar configuration,
such as, through, though, thought, or quit, quite, quiet, guessing at unknown
Dr. Kenneth L. Goodman, America’s top professor of reading, calls reading a
“psycho linguistic guessing game.” And that’s exactly what it is for most American
children in today’s primary schools. The result is an explosion in Special Education,
which has become the growth industry for educators so worried about
falling enrollment. The primary schools create the learning disabilities, and the
federal government is funding a new industry to deal with them. In the 1976-77
school year there were 976,000 learning disabled students in Special Education.
In 1983-84 there were 1,806,000. Dyslexia is booming!
Obviously, the prevalent teaching method causes dyslexia. I have visited many
American cities on my lecture tours and have seen for myself the look-say basal
reading programs being used in today’s primary classrooms all across the country.
You can imagine my feelings when I know that the minds of millions of American
children are being pennanently crippled, their futures handicapped, their selfesteem
destroyed by educators who should have known better. This criminal malpractice
is going on right now in your community. And yet there is little one can
do about it. The professors of education won’t listen – after all, they write the
textbooks. The book publishers publish what the educators want and what the
textbooks committees adopt. The classroom teachers, as a whole, now no other
way to teach; the professional organizations promote look-say; the principals,
administrators, and superintendents leave the teaching of reading to the “experts.”
Circumventing the System
But there is some hope. There are a growing number of private and church
schools that are teaching children to read by alphabetic, systematic, intensive
phonics. Also, the borne-school movement has largely adopted phonics as the technique
to teach reading. And here and there one finds a teacher in public schools
who uses an alphabetic-phonics approach or even a school district that has
adopted a phonics-oriented basal.
However, for the nation as a whole, there is little hope that the vast majority of
schools will change their teaching methods in the foreseeable future – unless a
group of well informed top business leaders make the teaching of reading a top
priority issue and force the educators to change their ways. But considering how
poorly informed our business leaders are and how difficult it is to reach them, let
alone brief them on this rather complex subject, there is little likelihood that they
will act effectively on behalf of the children entrapped in the public schools.
(The quotation from Dr. Dearborn is from The Psychological Researches of James
McKeen Cattell: A Review by Some of His Pupils, Archives ofPsyschology, No.
30, 1914, pp. 40-41.)
Editors Note: Here is a link to a PDF version of this article on the Blumenfeld Archives:
Sam Blumenfeld was involved in many organizations. He was one of the co-founders of the Jewish Society of Americanists founded in April 1966. We believe that Camp Constitution is the only place where you can find the newsletters of the organization. Here is the link:
Camp Constitution’s 2017 family camp came to a close Sunday. The camp enjoyed its largest attendance since the camp started in 2009. Instructors included Professor Willie Soon, one of the world’s top climate realists, Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America, and Alex Newman, author and writer for “World Net Daily.” Attendees celebrated Indpendence Day in style by having Mrs. Catherirne White conduct a class entitled “The Lives of the Signers, and a class by historian Rich Howell on the basis for our indpendence Campers were entertained by Mike Piazza and his High Flying Frisbee Dogs, and a magic show by the camp’s webmaster, Eric Conover. In the evening, campers enjoyed a fireworks display.
Super campers were Madeleine Girard of Manchester, NH, and Jordan Britt of Northeast, PA. The local paper “The Monadnock Ledger” send a reporter to camp on Monday and he wrote a good article: http://www.ledgertranscript.com/Camp-Constitution-in-Rindge-11201932
Classes and camp activities were videotaped and will be available on the camp’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/my_videos?o=U
Sam Blumenfeld wrote letters to numerous mayors around the U.S. offering to improve their students reading skills. They never responded. Here is a letter he send to the Mayor of Newark in 2011:
S A M U E L L. B L U M E N F E L D
161 Great Road Littleton, MA 01460 781-354-2040
January 7, 2011
Hon. Cory A. Booker
Mayor of Newark
920 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102
Dear Mayor Booker:
I recently became aware of your efforts to improve education in the city of Newark and
of Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to help you in that endeavor. As a writer of over ten
books on education, I’ve been aware of the problems that beset American public schools
for over forty years and have worked strenuously to find ways to improve the
performance of our children. But the greatest obstacle I have found is the educational
establishment that refuses to make the necessary changes that would guarantee academic
success for all students.
I first became aware of the reading problem back in the 1960s when I was an editor at
Grosset & Dunlap in New York. I was invited to become a member of the Reading
Reform Foundation’s National Advisory Council. It was then that I became aware of the
war among educators between advocates of phonics and advocates of look-say, the
whole-world or sight method that teaches children to read English as if it were Chinese.
I did an investigation of the reading problem and came to the conclusion that the sight
method could cause reading disability and dyslexia among many children. I put all of
this in my book, The New Illiterates, published in 1973. The Establishment response to
my findings was zero.
Determined to provide parents with a way of saving their children from such educational
malpractice, I created a simple, inexpensive, easy-to-use intensive phonics reading
program–Alpha-Phonics–that any parent could use to teach their children to read at
home. It has now been used very successfully by thousands of homeschooling parents
for over twenty years and has produced wonderfully literate children.
In your press release about Newark’s Education Opportunity, it states that “In 2008-2009,
only 40 percent of students could read and write at grade level by the end of the third
grade, only 54 percent of high school students graduated and just 38 percent enrolled in
I can show you how to get all of the children in Newark’s schools to become proficient
readers, dramatically increase the rate of graduation, and increase the percentage of
students enrolling in college.
I recently received a testimonial from a teacher in Florida who has been using
Alpha-Phonics for the last ten years, and he has literally performed miracles with some of
the worst readers in his classes. I can state without any equivocation, that I can produce
a miracle in Newark if permitted by you to do so. I am enclosing this teacher’s
remarkable testimony of the power of this program.
The “miracle” that Alpha-Phonics performs is really no miracle at all. It is simply the
sensible and proper use of a primary program that puts the emphasis on the development
of the right side of the brain, the language faculty. Today’s schools force children to use
their right brains to perform the functions of the left brain, thereby actually deforming the
children’s brains. This phenomenon can be seen by extensive brain scans conducted by
neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene, author of Reading in the Brain. In other words,
common teaching practices in our schools are actually deforming the brains of our
children. And that is why the children act out, knowing that something harmful, which
they can’t understand, is being done to them.
All children are born with a dominant language faculty in their left brains. When the
continued natural development of this faculty is thwarted by faulty teaching methods, you
get educational problems. You get ADD and ADHD. I would like to show you how it is
possible to reverse this process and get kids back into a positive learning mode. I propose
a pilot project whereby I am given the worst elementary school in Newark and allowed to
demonstrate how it can become the best school in the city in about eight months.
Although I have lived in New England since 1965, I know Newark well. My sister lived
there with her husband and children, and as a teenager I spent many pleasant summer
weeks on leafy Elwood Place. I know that Newark today is not what it once was: the
safest, most pleasant place to live in America. But I am more than willing to do
whatever I can to assist you in making Newark’s schools the best in the nation.
I hope you will take me up on my offer. This is an opportunity that Newark can’t afford
Samuel L. Blumenfeld
Cc: Governor Chris Christie, Mark Zuckerberg: Startup Education
A link to the letter from the Blumenfeld Archives:
We lost a good friend with the passing of Dr. Michael Coffman. On Monday June 19th, Mike posted this on his facebook page:
As a scientist and writer, I have been fighting the global agenda that would destroy America as we know it for decades. As a researcher in the American paper industry, I ran a multimillion dollar research project on the effects of acid rain. When the results came in that it was basically a non-issue, I was told to quash my results or find a new job. That was when my eyes were opened to the fact that it was politics driving the science and not the other way around.
In 1994, myself and a few other individuals stopped the cloture vote to move forward to ratify the Convention on Biological Diversity Treaty which would have destroyed property rights in our country, thereby destroying free enterprise, the American way of life, and ultimately Freedom itself. That is the goal of the Globalists. It is not “saving the planet,” it’s not even redistribution of wealth ultimately. It is Control. Global control of everyone and everything. Together with my wife and all who have worked with us, both as colleagues and as fellow warriors in the fight for freedom, we have labored to inform citizens and policy makers, and to stop this agenda.
To all of you who read this, I say this, Don’t give up. Keep fighting. Keep working. Keep doing whatever it is that God has called you to do.
For me the fight is over. After a 2 ½ year battle with cancer, I am going Home. My time here is almost over. I thought I had more to do, but God is saying otherwise.Thank you to all who have fought and are continuing to fight for freedom.Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Cor. 15:58.
Here is Mike’s bio from his website http://www.americaplundered.com/dr.-michael-s.-coffman.html
Dr. Michael Coffman received his BS in Forestry and MS in Biology at Northern Arizona University at Flagstaff, Arizona and his Ph.D. in Forest Science at the University of Idaho at Moscow. He taught courses and conducted research in forest ecology and forest community dynamics for ten years at Michigan Technological University, a leading forestry school in the Midwest.
Until 1992 Dr. Coffman was a manager for Champion International, a leading forest and paper products company in the United States. During his tenure with Champion, he became Chairman of the Forest Health Group within National Council for the Paper Industry for Air and Stream Improvement, a respected scientific research group for the Paper Industry. In this, and other related responsibilities, he oversaw a multimillion dollar research program in which he became intimately involved in such national and international issues as acid rain, global climate change, wetlands, cumulative effects and biological diversity. During this time he was a spokesperson for the Paper Industry for the Media on these issues. It was during this time that Dr. Coffman began investigating the environmental movement and the blatant distortions of science that were being used to justify sweeping, and very punitive legislation. What he found shocked him and lead him to quit his job to try to expose the horrifying agenda to create a tyrannical world government, now called global governance.
Dr. Coffman is currently President of Environmental Perspectives, Inc. (EPI). He provides professional guidance and training in defining environmental problems and conflicts, and developing solutions to specific issues as well as the hidden dangers of international treaties and agreements that threaten our Constitutional protections, especially property rights. He played a key role in stopping the ratification of the Convention on Biological Diversity (Biodiversity Treaty) in the U.S. Senate one hour before the ratification vote. He has written many books exposing the attack on our Constitution and personal liberties; including, Plundered, Rescuing a Broken America, and Radical Islam In The House. He has also produced numerous videos, the most recent are two in which numerous scientists explain why global warming cannot be caused by man. Dr. Coffman frequently authors articles on national and global issues.
Mike visited Camp Constitution and conducted several excellent classes which included a nature walk. In the video below Mike explained how he and a handful of patriot activists stopped the ratification of the Biodiversity Treaty
Mike died Tuesday the 20 of June after a 2 1/2 year bout with cancer. Camp Constitution’s Rev. Craft, Dr. P. Kishore and Hal Shurtleff had the opportunity to visit with Mike and his wife Suz last November. It was a good time of fellowship. He was a great man, a loving husband, father and grandfather, a devout Christian and patriot. He will be missed but his legacy lives on.