Quote of the Day

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Guilty


Groft appears to be owning up to his actions: he pleaded guilty (ht to the anon poster at 12:47). See Spectrum article here. UPDATE: Tribune article here.

Groft's statement: "The road that led me to this point started with smaller offenses that seemed benign but gradually pulled me further and further into a pit of addiction and despair. Although I continually prayed for forgiveness and experienced bouts of fortitude and upright behavior, the cycle of addiction and darkness visited me again and again and engulfed me more and more."

This appears to stem from some sort of sexual addiction.

If anyone out there is struggling with addiction, the LDS Church has a solid program for addiction recovery. You can find more details here.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Solicitation

According to The Spectrum, an Andrew Groft of Enoch, Utah was arrested for solicitation on December 10th, 2010. Article here. (UPDATE: Salt Lake Tribune article here, Deseret News here.)

I don't know if this is the same Andrew Groft associated with GWU, but if it is, the reason I am posting this is to illustrate that these are normal, fallible men behind TJEd and GWU.

For any of you out there that have put your faith in men, rather than a sound philosophy (I'm talking about education here, not religion), this might be a cathartic soul-searching moment. Question whether that faith is properly placed.

UPDATE
Here is the booking photo:


CLARIFICATION
Let me be absolutely clear. When we lean on others for conviction that the principles of a cause are correct, we put ourselves at risk: if those people fail us, our faith fails with them.

Much better to gain one's own conviction.

This incident can be an inflection point for TJEd and GWU adherents. Do you really know the philosophy is sound, or have you been leaning on others for your conviction?

I encourage any TJEd adherent willing to question assumptions to read the eight excellent posts by a homeschool dad at whyidontdotjed.blogspot.com.

Fellow parents, you've got one shot at raising your kids; be just as sure as you can that you are leading them down the right path. And I'm not talking about an emotional surety; I'm talking about an intellectual understanding that the principles of this movement are sound.

I submit that they are not.

Use this moment to re-examine for yourselves, and have the courage to make any--and I mean any--necessary course corrections.

GWU appears to be breaking off into its own direction, independent of TJEd. If that is truly the case, I applaud the GW Foundation board for making sound course corrections. I have said several times that, with a proper foundation and disciplined execution, the school can turn into a strong force for good.

If the school acknowledges the shortcomings of the past (via an honest, written history) and divorces itself from those shortcomings (disavowing all life experience degrees would be an excellent start), the sky is the limit.

UPDATE
Dr. Schulthies (yes, he has an accredited doctorate so I'll actually refer to him as such) released the following statement last night:

"Andrew Groft has not been associated with George Wythe University for several months. His employment terminated on June 15, 2010 and his association as a trustee ended on August 19, 2010 along with all related duties. As an institution, we do not oversee or monitor the behavior of former employees, trustees or other previous associates. We are shocked and saddened by the charges recently filed against Mr. Groft and we extend our deepest sympathy to his wife and children at this difficult time."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Comment Moderation

I have extended non-moderated commenting to posts as old as 60 days.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

GW Trustees: Repudiate Life Experience Degrees


Okay, I'm going to come out and ask for it. I call on the trustees of the George Wythe Foundation to publicly repudiate the "degrees" awarded in the past for "life experience."

As has been noted in the comment sections, these "degrees" are having real consequences for real people in the real world.

I'm talking about degrees like the "doctorate"* awarded to Ann Blake Tracy** (see here) for self-publishing a book on anti-depressants that the Deseret News pointed out "contains spelling and punctuation errors and incomplete sentences." Tracy took this degree and attempted to serve as an expert witness for the defense in a child rape trial in Arkansas. Luckily, her testimony was thrown out. (David Eric WOOD v. STATE of Arkansas, Opinion delivered September 5, 2001)

How many similar cases are there that we just haven't heard about, concerning this individual or some other recipient of a George Wythe "life experience" degree?

Therefore, as the board seeks to legitimize this school, a crucial step in that process will be to stand up and divorce itself from the seamy practices of the past.

Publish an honest history. And repudiate these "degrees."

*According to this website, a "Doctorate in Health Sciences with the emphasis on Psychology"

**According to Tracy, "the Ph.D. was awarded for 'lifetime experience,' specifically for the writing of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? which she says she has been told is the equivalent of, or 'far beyond,' a dissertation." (Source:
Deseret News, "Depressed over Prozac", Sunday, Aug. 22, 2004)

UPDATE: According to Tracy's website, "Since 1992 she has testified as an expert witness in Prozac and other SSRI related court cases around the world." So it wasn't just that one case after all. Real consequences people.

UPDATE: Following is a list (with links) to degrees no longer granted by George Wythe. These may or may not have been awarded for life experience. But given the broad range of "majors," they certainly beg the question.

(On some of these you'll have to search for the term "wythe" to find the referenced statement.)

* B.A. in Finance

* B.A. in Biblical Studies

* M.A. in Youth and Family Counseling

* Ph.D. in Family Counseling

* Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies

* Ph.D. in International Business

* Ph.D. in Education

* Ph.D. in Health Sciences with emphasis on Psychology

* Ph.D. in Biblical Studies (previously at http://greatvoicesofdestiny.net/; now taken down)

* Ph.D. in Musicology (previously at http://greatvoicesofdestiny.net/; now taken down)

UPDATE:
Here is a video of "Dr." Tracy:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ethics Emphasis


In an encouraging move, George Wythe has announced it will begin infusing ethics training into its courses.

"'We’ve actually had a lot of discussion about the principles of ethics on the board over the last year,' said Curriculum Committee Chair Vicki Jo Anderson."

Indeed.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Great Comment


The following comment was posted at whyidontdotjed.blogspot.com, a blog maintained by a homeschooling father:

Thank you for this blog! I was involved with TJEd from 2003 - 2006. It's VERY popular where I am, although most people I've spoken to feel quite lost on how to actually *do* it (despite the seminars, books, and articles they have purchased). Trying to do TJEd with my family was a very frustrating and unproductive experience. I nearly quit homeschooling because of TJEd! I know an alarming number of TJEd families whose older children attend schools rather than continuing to homeschool until graduation because the children were not getting what they needed at home. If TJEd works as an educational philosophy, I'm concerned as to why so many older TJEd children end up back at school or have gaping holes in their education (math, anyone?).

I am still upset over the lost years (and money!) we spent trying to make TJEd work. I know several other families who abandoned TJEd because it didn't work for them, either. I didn't read this blog until about six months ago (years after I stopped doing TJEd). Most of what you say here is spot on with the reasons I left TJEd. In some ways TJEd feels like a religion. I felt like I was renouncing a faith when I switched to something else (which really concerns me as I look back). I felt weird about telling anyone that we were doing *gasp* structured time and content, math textbooks, and history programs, etc. I got over the sense of failure and guilt left over from eschewing TJEd principles because my children and I were FINALLY loving to learn! My husband and I chose homeschooling because we want our children to love learning *and* have a solid foundation in academics. TJEd was supremely unsuited to help our family come anywhere near those goals. I'm glad we realized this before it was too late. I hope this blog prevents other families from wasted time and money as well.

Reading The Well-Trained Mind in late 2006 was like a breath of fresh air. It very clearly outlined *how* to give a classical education to my children. We have tweaked The Well-Trained Mind to suit our family. The authors, in fact, encourage this. They give more information and suggestions than anyone can really use because that allows parents to tailor the program to meet the needs of their family. I greatly appreciate having "too much" in TWTM rather than the too little included in TJEd's publications. With TJEd I always felt lost and my children were begging for more structure. I have met the DeMilles and many others at George Wythe and I have attended many lectures as well as their annual conferences (“forums”). They are nice people, even though I have misgivings about their methodology and business practices. My family's education has greatly improved since we stopped doing TJEd in late 2006 and started following TWTM in early 2007.

The Well-Trained Mind's approach to chronological history, reading the classics (love the book lists for each grade/time period), and studying Latin are things my family especially enjoys. Jessie Wise homschooled her children decades ago. Susan Wise Bauer (Jessie's daughter and co-author) currently homeschools her children (I think her oldest has graduated). Susan has a PhD from the College of William and Mary (2nd oldest university in the country), where she has taught writing and literature since 1994. My kids and I love her history program (The Story of the World). I think Susan Wise Bauer is great and her methodology is sound. She *also* happens to have excellent, legitimate credentials as well as real-life experience both as a homeschooled student and homeschooling mother. I hope other parents do more research than I did when I first started homeschooling and that they find an approach that actually works to educate their children. :-)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Skousen Redux


Cleon Skousen is in the news again.

There is a debate of his The 5,000 Year Leap and its influence on the Tea Party movement in The Arizona Republic:

The "against" article: Distorted book is bad history, poses its own tyranny

The "for" article: Visionary helped people see truth of nation's origins

(Incidentally, have you ever noticed that everyone seems to know a Skousen? At least in the Intermountain West. Lots of male progeny I suppose...)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monticello College

Shanon Brooks is forging ahead with the Monticello campus alone: he has built a website touting the great Monticelo College:

http://www.monticellocollege.org/



ht: R.C.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Changes

Dr. Shane Schulthies has been named the fourth president of George Wythe in four years. Schulthies is the first president with a real, accredited doctorate.

See here.

Andrew Groft will serve as the "Business and Government Affairs Liaison" liaison going forward.

In other news, it appears GWU has taken this blog's questions to heart and instituted a formal conflict-of-interest policy, eliminated life experience credit, and made improvements to its curriculum.

Good job, GWU board. These are good and sorely-needed moves. You have addressed many of my concerns.

Once I see an honest history of the institution available at www.gw.edu, I will be very tempted to delete this blog.

UPDATE: Broken links fixed.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Keith Lockhart


A recent comment asked about Keith Lockhart, co-author of DeMille's New World Order book.

I don't know who this person is (I do know he's not the conductor of the Boston Pops).

Whoever he is, it appears (see obit here) that as of 2007, he was married to Rachel DeMille's sister. Obviously, that makes him Oliver DeMille's brother-in-law.

Random trivia: His wife and R.D. appear to be the nieces of Ed and Patricia Pinegar. Ed was the president of the Provo M.T.C. and is currently a temple president. He's a good man. Patricia was the Primary General President for the LDS Church.

I am acquainted with both of them and neither appears to hold the kooky world view of the George Wythe College / TJEd crowd.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Open Thread

There has been a lot of discussion lately, so with the idea of furthering that discussion, I creating a new thread for open comment...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Shanon Brooks bio

This is funny.

Senatorial Candidate


One George Wythe alumni (Ph.D. in Constitutional Studies, year ??) has declared himself a candidate for U.S. Senate from the state of Utah.

"Dr." Scott N. Bradley is running as a member of the Constitution Party (in other words he has no chance).

Bradley is a former administrator (what does that mean?) at Utah State University. (Anyone know what he did there?)

If you follow this link, you can learn how Bradley is better than other candidates because he doesn't "need a team of speechwriters, policy consultants, and public opinion pollsters to find out what [he] 'believes'" but instead he has "studied the issues and the Constitution."

To prove the point, he provides a list of "policy papers written by Scott Bradley, PhD."

Included on the list:

- Fasting and prayer (FYI, this is apparently also how one comes to know that TJEd and George Wythe College are "true")
- The UN and NATO: Entangling Alliances? (no mention of the New World Order)
- The Trap of Multi-Culturalism and Diversity

These are just the nuttier ones. He does make some valid points, but unfortunately, his association with George Wythe College causes him to lose all credibility with me.

Photo source: www.scottnbradley.com

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Changes

Here is some interesting evidence about the Wikipedia editor I have previously discussed.

In late February, I had a back-and-forth with Ibinthinkin about the Oliver DeMille article. He kept insisting that LaSalle University was not a diploma mill at the time DeMille got his law degree there. I won't bore you with the details (follow the link if you want them), but it came down to whether or not DeMille got the degree before 1996.

He agreed that before 1996, in its early years of operation, it was a diploma mill. After, he said, it was a normal correspondence school. I had seen plenty of documentation saying he got the degree before 1996.

As I browsed my GWC material for the evidence, I found convincing stuff in DeMille's mea culpa blog entry. But don't bother following that link, looking for what I found. You see the blog entry has been changed, removing any mention of a time line associated with LaSalle. I discovered this when I went to the live site, hoping to provide Ibinthinkin with a link to view.

Luckily, I copied the original entry, and present the relevant section below, juxtaposed with the revised version (click to enlarge; changes highlighted in gray):



Some key quotes that were removed:

- "...my experience was during the first years of operation..."
- "...an unwitting fool in an apparent scam."
- "...they had been shut down as a diploma mill, and my understanding is that it was warranted."

The date of the original blog post (4-10-2009) has not been changed, nor can I find any indication that he has disclosed the changes.


So at the time Ibinthinkin was arguing that there is no evidence DeMille attended before 1996, DeMille made changes to his blog entry that obscure any time-related facts.

Draw your own conclusion.

I don't understand why acknowledging LaSalle as a diploma mill is such a big issue. DeMille has no problem acknowledging TIBS as such. But there it is.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hillsdale College

Every once in a while someone comments that instead of "attacking" George Wythe College, I should go off and start my own school. As if there were no place for constructive criticism!

Well, I'm not going to found a college. But for anyone looking for a solid, well-principled education with constitutionalist roots, look no further than Hillsdale College.

You can read about a recent visit here, here, and here.

Tuition is nearly $20,000, but the average aid package is $12,000.

From the school:

"A liberal education at Hillsdale College entails the study of things inherently worthwhile—things good, true, and beautiful. As stated in the College Honor Code, this study 'develops the minds and improves the hearts' of students, through which they rise to the challenge of self-government in a free republic. Students refine their intelligence, furnish their understanding, and acquire the abilities and wisdom necessary to lead full, humane lives. In so doing, students, like the College itself, become trustees of 'modern man’s intellectual and spiritual inheritance from the Judeo-Christian faith and Greco-Roman culture.'

"Liberal education begins with the 'core curriculum,' where students are conducted systematically through stages of intellectual growth and acquirement in a variety of disciplines, each worthy of study for its own sake. It does not end there, however, as this learning continues in and extends through the academic majors students pursue after the core curriculum."

By the way, their monthly speech digest--which is free--is excellent. It's called Imprimus, and you can read it here.

(photo credit: Robert J. Avrech)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ibinthinkin

It is my personal opinion that the Wikipedia user Ibinthinkin is either Oliver DeMille or his wife.

Check out this person's edits. Note the quantity and type of edits to the Oliver DeMille page.

See my earlier post on the subject.

As Mr. DeMille obviously has a larger bully pulpit than I do, I call on him to either (1) stop these silly, biased edits to his own Wikipedia article, or (2) direct the person who is making the edits to stop.