public education: success or failure depends on how the goal is identified
Author Sarah Hoyt seems a bit… down on public education.
Evidently, finding out that an estimated “80% of NYC graduates cannot read and write and are functionally illiterate” will do that to you:
[...] whether it’s from malice or misguided credentialism and do-goodism, what I can tell you is that our system of education is accomplishing the “miracle” of turning out a population MORE illiterate than the poor never-taught people in Tudor England.
Malice or incompetence, it comes to the same. If you have kids in the system, look to their future. If they read by “guessing” (the signs are easy. They’ll think words that start and end with the same letter are the same) stop that right now and teach them to sound it out. They’ll hate you for a month, but the hatred will pass and the literacy will remain.
However remember most parents are too busy living their lives to follow the kids that closely/teach them after the kids get home (it doesn’t take very long. Most of the school day is filled with cr*p. You can teach them the essentials and more in two/three hours after school.), and even more most parents think they’re not qualified to teach the kids. Which leaves us in the mess we’re in.
As a nation founded on the consent of the governed, we can’t afford to have a school system that turns out illiterate peasants. Whether it’s by design or incompetence, it doesn’t matter. We simply can’t afford it.
If we are to survive as a people and a culture (and our “methods” have spread across most of Eastern Europe) SOMETHING else much arise in place of public anti-education.
Local systems, with trustworthy people, known to have succeeded in other fields, would be better, as would practically anything else. It’s time we realize that the Public Education System is designed to do the exact opposite of its stated goal.
I happen to agree with Sarah that most teachers don’t realize that they are working to build Idiocracy; they are, however, in many cases (though of course not all) but useful idiots who spent their college years basting in toxic education theory developed and promoted by those who do have as their goal the project of producing graduates susceptible to propaganda and drawn to dogma, “economic units” incapable of real critical thinking and yet filled with the kind of self-esteem that, once it’s successfully (and intentionally) coupled to perverse inversions of the fundamental ideas supporting liberty — “tolerance” morphs into political correctness or state-sanctioned speech; fairness becomes a measure of outcome and not opportunity; and liberty itself is reimagined as a “right” to negate the natural rights of others, provided you show how their natural rights make you feel uncomfortable — yields the perfect progressive-inclined worker bee.
At least, that’s the theory. Naturally, many children will be able to circumvent an indoctrination system that must, as a matter of survival, try to keep its larger agenda hidden from public scrutiny — if only to maintain plausible deniability and allow for outspoken critics of the system who see its political aspirations for what they truly are to be characterized as paranoiacs or fringe cranks. That is, the surreptitious nature of the endeavor itself creates conditions for a certain intellectual and literate survival rate — a cold comfort, really, but a comfort nonetheless.
Still, many children — perhaps even most, if we believe the NY estimates – will succumb to the rote ways of what has increasingly and purposely become a politically-charged public education system, emerging from their years of conditioning filled with collectivist notions, dubious scientific knowledge, and a willingness to assert their opinions vociferously that is undercut by their ineffectiveness in putting together a coherent argument. What they don’t seem to come away with, however, is literacy.
To many in academia, particularly those leftists who are so influential in the field of educational theory — think Bill Ayers, eg., — this becomes a feature, not a bug.
Until that changes, we can expect similar results.