We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We linked this piece from the Pittsburg Trib the other day. It compares American and Korean kids on their views of their math proficiency.
The American kids think they're good, but they aren't. The Korean kids think they're bad, but they aren't.
Their findings are consistent with my own observations. However, I am not sure whether it can be blamed on the schools. I have written many times about the ridiculous notion of "self-esteem," and the absurdity of the idea that this is something schools - or anyone else - should or could instill.
I think the differences might be plain cultural, though I do not mean to minimize the insidious reality of the "dumbing down" movement in education.
At the end of the earlier school year, the old principal had been fired: he was a drill sergeant (literally, ex-military). The new principal was a "reformer": a nice guy, a sensitive guy. Overnight, Ontario’s Hall-Dennis Report had also swept through, with its smug title, “Living and Learning.” Half the subjects had become "electives": 300 pupils in Grade IX Latin, became four pupils in Grade X. The bottom had fallen out of educational standards that had already been slung very low.
My view of "lower education" is that it ought to try to instill humility about their ignorance, try to excite curiosity, and to provide the basic information people need to know to understand the basics of their history, their culture and the world, and to handle life.
To carry kids along as far as their talents, interests, drive, self-discipline, and abilities can handle requires plenty of structure, demands and expectations. I see LaShawn has recently written a piece on the self-regulation aspect.
- David Warren responds to the attention given to his piece linked above, here.
- Right Wing Nation looks at the differences between what high school teachers consider to be good college preparation, and what college teachers consider good preparation
Important post. David Warren is a great one (the if he was as future-pessimistic as he seems at first take, he would not likely bother to write; complaining is inherently hopeful).
And 1969 is as good a date as any, to spot the "inversion point".
November 22, 1963 might be closer to the truth, and it can be put in a place: Dallas (which also gave us Ross Perot, the midwife of Clintonism, which took over with 43% of the vote in '92, thanks to Third Party Ross).
Boo, Dallas. Move it to Arkansas.
Anyway, the 'self-esteem movement' may be an inevitable result of success. It sure is on the way to being a corrective for same, alas.
What is going on behind in the dark corners of academia today is something much more sinister than just turning out kids who can't do math, or english, or , or, or.
What is going on today is a deliberate, structured, organized take over of academia. I am not just talking about the union today. I am talking about those thousands of liberal academics who are on the gravy wagon (research funds). The whole new parade coming to town is this: traditions education was white;we have failed at integrating the schools, and we have sacrificed quality of educaiton in that attempt. Now, we have to find a cover up. A new bandwagon--oh, here it is. Level playing field. That will help fight racism. Let's dumb em all down and hide behind a new fashioned theory. How about Howard Gardner's theory, or how about something called adaptive expertise. After 12 years of school kids don't have to have mastered any skill, or have any factual knowledge, or an understanding of science. Nope, all they need to have is "good intentions" that someday they will be put in a job that will require them to learn something about performing that job, and when that day comes they will be able to acquire these new skills. See for yourself here millions and millions of dollars being spent on this in an effort to justify failed schools: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptive_expertise
BD, naw, there's literally dozens of people in Burnet County--that guy in the pic is one of them others.
Kurt vonnegut, in one of his early novels (i think it was "Sirens of Titan") had a group of people in one of the time warps, wherein everybody who was better than average in any area, looks, brains, athletic ability, size. whatever, had to wear lead weights. These were plates strapped across their shoulders, and the better a person was in some area, the more "handicap weight" he/she had to wear. Great book--can't summarize it here--need 5000 words--
But, IIRC, what had happened was billions of Martians had invaded earth, armed with muskets (their tech had lagged in some areas), and Earth had slaughtered them. Later, remorse and guilt set in (the poor martians!), and to atone, Earth decided to create the perfect egalitarian society. Soon enough, the lead weights were decided on, as the only way to do it.