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Educational Reductionism (Derbyshire reviews "Bad Students, not Bad Schools")
National Review ^ | June 9, 2010 | John Derbyshire

Posted on 06/09/2010 6:40:38 AM PDT by reaganaut1

Front-page headline in my New York Post this morning:

2 + 2 = 5 NY passes students who get wrong answers on tests

The accompanying story describes a further dumbing-down of state math tests for kids in grades 3 to 8. Half marks are given for fragments of work; also for wrong answers arrived at via correct methods: “A kid who answers that a 2-foot-long skateboard is 48 inches long gets half-credit for adding 24 and 24 instead of the correct 12 plus 12 . . . ”

For us New York parents the only surprise here is that any further dumbing-down was still possible. There is certainly nothing surprising about book-cooking of state tests. This has been going on for years, and we all know it. (Here’s me complaining about it on the Corner last year.)

If you’re not cynical about education in the U.S.A. today, you’re just not paying attention. Robert Weissberg, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois–Urbana, has been paying close attention. In Bad Students, Not Bad Schools, he takes no prisoners, exposing the corruption, trashing the faddish crackpot theories, and lamenting the decline of what was, 50 years ago, poised to become the world’s finest system of education.

What killed that hope was educational romanticism, the theory that, as memorably expressed by New York Times columnist Deborah Solomon, “Given the opportunity, most people could do most anything.”

This bizarre and nonsensical doctrine was yoked together with a determination to academicize the entire U.S. population, to turn us all into bookish grinds ready to enter full-time employment only in our mid-20s. Politicians of all parties jumped happily aboard the Lunacy Express, seeing the opportunity to spend scads of money while boosting their moral stature as champions of “the children.”

(Excerpt) Read more at article.nationalreview.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: bellcurve; bookreview; derbyshire; education; intelligence; iq; learning; robertweissberg; teaching
Book site here .
1 posted on 06/09/2010 6:40:38 AM PDT by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1

Not bad students,
bad parents. Or bad parENT. The term “Single moms” is being used as a euphemism for women who had a kid in order to get on the dole.


2 posted on 06/09/2010 6:43:07 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a (de)humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: reaganaut1
Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to [the state ideology], and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.


So that explains why the Administration does not get the Arizona Immigration Law!!

3 posted on 06/09/2010 6:51:24 AM PDT by Nat Turner (Escaped from NY in 1983 and not ever going back....)
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To: reaganaut1

Get out of New York State before its too late.


4 posted on 06/09/2010 7:01:01 AM PDT by Thurston_Howell_III (Ahoy polloi... where did you come from, a scotch ad?)
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To: reaganaut1; SoftballMominVA

Ed ping. I don’t have the list.

I like the fact he points out the school, which is a thing and certainly cannot be good/evil, is not to blame, but the students who make it that way.


5 posted on 06/09/2010 7:10:01 AM PDT by shag377 (Illegitimis nil carborundum sunt!)
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