Skip to comments.Nation Still At Risk. Elite educators seem to prefer mediocrity.
Posted on 07/20/2013 2:07:44 PM PDT by BruceDeitrickPrice
Thirty years ago, a panel of distinguished experts concluded that US public schools were so bad they could be an enemy attack.
The famous Nation at Risk Report stated: "If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.
Thirty years later, nothing has improved. Probably the opposite.
(Nation is at Greater Risk. But everyone pretends not to know why." A new Examiner article explains why our schools don't improve. Link below.)
We are celebrating the 30th anniversary of one of the most famous educational reports in history. It said that things are really, really, really bad.
But guess what? Our Education Establishment has a grip like death itself on the schools of America. They are not allowed to improve. As a quote in the article indicates, we know the answers. We just seem to lack the political willpower to do anything about it.
That's close to the truth, but it's not the whole truth. We have the political willpower to fix the schools. But the Education Establishment has greater political willpower to make sure that doesn't happen.
Really, give credit where it's due. We have people in charge of education who (I would say for obvious social engineering reasons) absolutely don't want great schools. Every stat shows you that kids aren't learning to read, don't learn to master arithmetic, and don't learn basic facts about the world, this country, our history, or anything else.
Now, I'm not saying that the top 10-15% of the kids are not well-educated. There are excellent schools; and there are gifted programs even in bad schools. (But I often suspect the main reason we have gifted programs is to keep those gifted parents out of the way!)
So that leaves 85% of the kids who are mainstreamed at the same level. Not completely bad. But not good either. We always seem to be at about 23rd in various international competitions, in every subject. We spend more than almost everybody else spends per student. How do we manage to end up far outside of the top five? Quick answer: ideological fanaticism and hard work.
I'm afraid the Common Core will just try to lock in all this mediocrity, despite the impressive talk about new and improved "standards."
Suppose a football team announces that in the next season there will be a new standard: all players will run the hundred in 9.2. That's the standard. Which is absolutely not the same thing as saying that anybody can actually do it.
This is one thing our Education Establishment has been absolutely brilliant at throughout the past century: PAINTING THE PRETTY PICTURE.
It's like one of those billboards for a new housing development everything is so beautiful but somehow the development is never built and there is just a pretty billboard standing out forlornly on the highway.
At this moment the Common Core Crowd is painting a beautiful picture of all the new things your schools will do. The standards have been announced! What could be the problem?
Surely every player can run the hundred in 9.2. That's just a given now.
Similarly, every student will be able to read fluently. They will be able to multiply and divide. They will know that the Civil War happened in the 19th century. That will be a huge jump, by the way. All three of those things.
My point is, if our Education Establishment could do these things and really wanted to do these things, why didn't they do them for the last 30 years????????
Why should we think they will suddenly now start doing them???????
Forgive my cynicism. I suspect all the talk about fancy new standards is just a way of keeping our minds off the fact that things stood still for 30 years. Or maybe got a little worse.
New article is here: http://www.examiner.com/article/nation-at-greater-risk-but-everyone-pretends-not-to-know-why At the end are three related articles that might help some parents to work around the obstacles. --
The teachers of today are the useful idiots from 30 years ago. They are too stupid and brain washed to even realize there is a problem.
And if you read the communist manifesto for America you will see it was an enemy attack. But then, you would have to be able to read.
Sure looks like all you care to post are things you have written yourself:
Are you some kind of narcissistic freak or merely a self-promoter?
Segregate the schools and the education of both blacks and whites will improve.
Call me anything you like but both white and black schools got dumped in the toilet right after integration.
I know. No one will ever admit that. But when you think about it, its hard to deny .
I would say that this started a long time ago. Note how many on FR put an apostrophe in the plural of a noun.
“But then, you would have to be able to read.”
Somebody please tell me how how she could write in cursive if she couldn’t read it. I never saw that in the testimony. Did I miss it?
If results must be equal, standards must disappear.
firewall blocks the picture.. Darn!
“Somebody please tell me how how she could write in cursive if she couldnt read it”
she’s a “special” student...
which he said would fix the education system already fixed by the 2001 GW Bush and Ted Kennedy legislation called No Child Left Behind,
which was supposed to fix a system supposedly already fixed by a 1994 piece of federal legislation called Goals 2000,
which was supposed to fix a system already fixed by America 2000,
which was a 1991 response during the Bush administration to a 1983 federal report on education called A Nation at Risk,
which was published a full four years after Jimmy Carter first fixed the nations public school system by establishing a cabinet-level Department of Education in 1979.
All of the things you list there are failures and ought to be done away with.
I remember about 1970 there was a book that was popular among leftist educators and future teachers - “Teaching as a Subversive Activity.” It seems to me that public education went into decline as soon as that generation took over the schools.
Race is an 800lb gorilla in the room of education. Part of the reason educational standards have dropped over the years is that consistently, blacks fell to the bottom. The response has been to lower the standards. The tests were all “culturally biased” or based on “White Privilege”. Unfortunately, a problem cannot be solved, if it cannot be discussed, and the discussion usually ends with the scream of “RACIST!!”
It was a slam-dunk for the defense that she did not write the letter, and that, most likely, someone in the prosecutor's office wrote it for her for the trial. It was one of several moments that showed that the star witness was utterly unreliable.
Poorly educated people are better prospects for serfdom than the well educated.
A grave threat to liberty is a nationalized school system. Along with that, is a national standard and a national curriculum. And yet, Common Core is a step towards that. Creeping Federalization of education should be viewed as steps toward a totalitarian state.
It’s about money. I think I understand a bit more. We look at the immediate post-WWII period in the United States as being a golden age. We attribute this golden age to the fact that most of the rest of the world had their manufacturing facilities bombed and ours could still produce personal goods. But is that the only reason for this golden age? How many Americans were in the military during WWII? What percentage of our populace was wearing a uniform? Combat teaches you the necessity of being honest and working together. If someone lies, it can cost you your life. We had people who had experienced the lessons of combat right after WWII. Look at Truman and Eisenhower. What lessons did Clinton and Obama learn? What lessons did the vast majority of the Baby Boomers/ Hippies learn? This is one big reason we don’t have that golden age in America anymore. We don’t have a whole bunch of WWII Veterans.
The title is wrong. Experts do not prefer mediocrity Mediocrity lets some students fail. The experts prefer Lowest Common Denominator so that everyone can get a diploma and go to college. Experts also prefer NO history so that students do not grow up with ideas about what can succeed and what must fail else the experts would have a hard time building Utopia.
Sexual segregation does the best for education for both sexes. Racially it should be neighborhood schools and the very first requirement for actual education in Public “Education” is to remove the Federal and State governments from the process. Best is for everyone who cares anything at all about the future of the country and of their children to get their kids the hell out of Public School altogether.
Excellent compilation, that.
The truth is racist thus the truth cannot be considered in planning.
There's an oxymoron there - if they prefer mediocrity, then they can't be "elite".
My guess is these so-called educators are not quite as smart as they'd like you to believe, and that, coupled with their desire to avoid really tackling and solving hard problems, results in mediocrity.
Not all of us embrace mediocrity. Many of us refuse to give up hope, and in the process educate a few of our fellow teachers. I take out my frustration of the broken system on union posters. I’m hell with a Sharpie.
How can this be????? The state has stolen money from me for all my life “for the children”. I believe, mainly, it was to line the pockets of the various pin-headed “educators”...many of whom are incompetent, degenerate and communistic libs. For the children???? Meh!
Thanks for the response re the cursive writing.
Actually, in everyday operation, schools are MORE segregated today than they were in 1962. One of the biggest determinants of school effectiveness is property value. If you have effective schools with good test scores, young parents flock to that community. If the state issues mandated testing and the scores are high at a particular school, property values increase proportionally and middle, upper class families flock to that area. People that cannot afford middle to high income housing are therefore forced to send their kids to inferior schools with inferior teachers. The best teachers go to the best schools because there are fewer discipline problems. School systems are based on seniority. A young teacher teaches two years in a ghetto school. They then apply for reassignment. The attrition rate amongst first year teachers in incredible. Only the strong survive. If a young teacher has two years teaching with outstanding recommendations, the higher performing school principals get rid of their least effective teachers, and take the young guns. If test scores drop they transfer the poor performers to ghetto schools. Thus the rich get richer and the highest performing scores are located in the richest neighborhoods. The lower the income, the lower the performing schools. Since the gross estimated income in the Afram community is much less than the white community black parents cannot send their kids to the better schools. Education is therefore directly proportional to income. Having been on the inside, as a teacher administrator and statewide education monitor and a staunch conservative, I can honestly tell you that ghetto schools are 99% black and suburban high income schools are 99% white. When bussing ended, thank God, schools reverted to demographic situations more dramatic than they were in the 1960’s.
It amuses me that articles like this are actually taken seriously on a national level. If you live in the United States, states run their local school systems, not the federal government or the so-called Dept. of Education. The only thing the DOE can legally do is monitor and observe.
However, once a school system accepts federal money e.g. lunch programs, the local systems become dependent on fed money to logistically operate their schools. Once that foot is in the door then the DOE can begin “suggesting” that the local system accept the Common Core curriculum. If they don’t accept it, federal money is withdrawn. Extortion at the highest level.
This curriculum is dumbed down recognizing, for example, that 95% of students in ghetto schools cannot pass Algebra 1 or Freshman English grammar. Since Trayvon cannot read, write or add, the states cannot write a curriculum that recognizes the needs of the local business community. Trayvon can’t pass state tests, Trayvon can’t get a job so Trayvon drops out of school and sells drugs. If you dumb down the curriculum, Trayvon passes the state tests, educators pat themselves on the back for their success but Trayvon won’t get a job because he still cannot read, write or add. Trayvon sells drugs. But the test scores look great, the school brags that they have a 95% passing rate, the fed is happy and the bucks keep coming in.
If you want more successful schools take federal money out of the equation, increase local taxes for education to replace federal money and let the states’ educators and business community jointly write a curriculum that satisfies both of those groups criteria.
I firmly believe that we should have mandatory testing at grade 2 for apptitude. Students that have a proclivity towards language and math are directed eventually towards college. Those whose aptitudes are mechanical are directed towards trade schools. That way job applicants are eventually filled by qualified candidates that have the skills necessary for their available positions.
RE: “Teaching as a Subversive Activity.”
Yes, I remember all the hoopla when this book came out. I think you’re right.
(I just went on Amazon to look at the reviews. I found this one startling as I can’t imagine anyone reading a book like this 15 times. But it does suggest the book’s impact:
“This book is easily within the five best books I ever read. I read it through maybe 15 times. It helped explain to me my 12 years of school - what actually went on there. It has highly provocative ideas concerning what goes on in school. It still help guides me in my advanced and home studies. Highly recommended for all students, and teachers. A very good read for all who are not brain dead. I am not a teacher.”)
Now, that really is racist. Thanks for giving Free Republic a black eye.
Death to all misplaced apostrophes!!
(it's my personal pet peeve)
Steve, as a terrible typist myself, I don’t agree that the misused apostrophes are typos. Typos are hte for the, adn for and, etc. I have done that, but in my entire life as a terrible typist, I have never written a misused apostrophe. Nor have I ever seen it before joining FR.
To write rally’s instead of rallies is not a one letter error, and furthermore, it takes slightly more effort on most keyboards to access the apostrophe than an S. It is easier to write Nazis than to write Nazi’s, easier to write the Obamas than to write the Obama’s - yet a majority on FR do not know how to make a plural.
Mine too. Thanks for letting me know that I’m not alone out here.
I recently made the specific type of error you mentioned and I am well aware of the difference between the plural form and the possessive form of a word.
I don’t agree. Mine doesn’t - not in English.
“The mind seems to think phonetically”
They are houses of dumbing down. A malleable, uneducatable youngster is a controllable one.
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