Skip to comments.Education: A Case Of Hostile Intent
Posted on 08/08/2011 7:24:55 AM PDT by IbJensen
An Internet forum asked this question: Suppose you had $1 billion to spend, how would you improve education? More than 30 people left suggestions, all of them smart, articulate, and sophisticated.
But something nagged at me. I sensed there was an unstated premise that all these respondents shared. A false premise.
Everyone seemed to assume that the Education Establishment is honestly trying to do a good job.
The premise goes like this: These elite educators mean well. They have the right answers. But for some odd reason, they cant quite get their act together. All thats needed, apparently, is for some smart outsiders to suggest a few new insights, which the Education Establishment will gladly rush into practice. Bingo. US public schools are saved.
The Education Establishment means well? This is such an appealing thought. We are eager to believe it....But where is the evidence for this assumption? In truth, theres a lot of evidence pointing in the other direction.
We can see a clear pattern going back to World War II: declining literacy, declining SAT scores, declining academic skills, declining competitiveness against foreign students, declining general knowledge among the public. This across-the-board decline is often discussed in the media and widely known. So why would anyone still trust the Education Establishment? Its not logical, as Spock would say.
Whole Word, the official way to teach reading, for 70 years, doesnt teach reading. Quite the opposite. We have 50 million functional illiterates and 1 million dyslexics. ( I think history will record that Whole Word is the biggest hoax ever perpetrated against a large population.) Similarly, New Math/Reform Math, the official way to teach math for 40 years, doesnt teach math; it teaches dependence on calculators. If you examine all the methods introduced in the last 50 years (Constructivism, Cooperative Learning, Multiculturalism, Self-esteem, etc.) you find the same perverse theme. Despite fancy rhetoric and glowing claims, these methods produce lots of fog, not much light.
Oddly, the public somehow manages to find hope and optimism in this record of failure. Albert Einstein is usually credited with saying, Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results--thats a good definition of insanity.
Isnt that a fair description of the nations faith in the Education Establishment? People so desperately want to believe that, yes, our experts know what theyre doing, they will get their act together any day now, they will stop turning out ignorant and illiterate children, and we will have schools we can all be proud of.
Common sense would seem to suggest the opposite conclusion; my own research certainly suggests the opposite conclusion. This pattern of educational decline has been going on for a half-century, in millions of lives. We have what statisticians call a big sample; and its mostly depressing.
Here is a more realistic, evidence-based perspective. Our Education Establishment, drunk on weird ideology, is doing precisely what it intends to do. It has its own agenda and world-view. According to its own values, everything is fine.
Just as a thought experiment, assume that last paragraph is 100% accurate. Voila. Doesnt everything that happened in our public schools make complete sense? There is no accident, no mystery, no unexplained collapse. Our elite educators have created precisely the schools they intended to create. Conversely, they were always trying to undercut what schools used to be--i.e., places that teach knowledge.
The Education Establishment is hostile to education as most parents understand the term, and hostile to the aspirations of the community. These thoughts may be unpleasant but you will also find them very liberating. Now everything makes sense, doesnt it?
All this hostility come from seven words that John Dewey wrote almost 115 years ago: ...the school is primarily a social institution. Silly, that. Common sense recognizes the school as the preeminent educational institution. Dewey proved one thing, the pen can be mightier than the sword. With just a few words, he launched the subversion of American education.
The school is a social institution? Everybody with a brain yells: NO, Dr. Dewey, school is where we educate the children. As for socializing them, that happens in the family, community, sports, hobbies, organizations, and religions that they participate in. We will take care of the socializing. You just teach them how to read and write.
John Dewey said in effect: drop dead, parents of America. From now on we are going to socialize your kids our way. We will make them less individualistic, knowledgeable, and competitive. They will be more conformist, cooperative, passive, and dull-witted. In decades to come, the United States will be a socialist country. Its our job to prepare for the future. We will create little socialists. End of discussion.
Long story short, John Dewey and his cohorts moved American education into the social engineering business, with less concern for what might be called intellectual engineering. Indeed, our educators were hostile to the intellectual, the factual, the cognitive.
We simply have to reverse the unfortunate process. Which costs no money. All we have to do is get the anti-education ideas out of the schools. We dont want Whole Word or sight-words. We dont want New Math, Reform Math, or Common Core Standards.
We want knowledge-based education. It will start a new golden age. We will try to teach kids information. The brain loves new information. We can have fun and school can be competitive within reason. Here is the only thing that matters. At the end of each day have the kids learned stuff they didnt know in the morning? Thats it. Everything good follows from that.
To put it crudely but factually, our trouble is we have let extremists take over the schools. To remove the problem, remove the quacks.
...declining freedom, declining economy, declining moral character.....etc. etc.
He’s right. If they were really interested in education, they’d have a voucher program. It works every time it’s tried.
It’s leftest dogma curriculum in all subjects written by leftest entities. It’s horribly written texts all teachers are required to use and again are written by the chosen leftest by the NEA and other subservient local unions, union leadership, and school boards who take the unions opinion; otherwise they would never get elected to school boards.
I am a retired teacher and I have seen what passes for intelligent and well researched texts. Younger teachers have had their “propagandized” education and they are fearful of not teaching the dogma but usually believe it anyway. The public school system is totally corrupt. Inspired teachers try to bring a little light to their small corner of education but by far few children get an inspired and knowledgeable teacher.
Citizens need to do for themselves. The existing system cannot be reformed. Here, above all other areas, is where parents should Go Galt.
The conversation of fixing a “broken” system is wasted time.
I would purchase shovels and provide them to students. On the first day of school they would begin digging holes with the appropriate amount lunch/rest periods required in the workplace.
The entire day....
The next day, I would open the School Day with this statement:
“For those who enjoyed yesterday, the shovels remain outside ready for your use in filling up yesterdays project. For those who want a real education, please report to your classes.”
Great post...anytime one wants to get less product, an inferier product, at a higher cost just start a union!!!
If Teachers truly did not want to teach the Curriculum, the answer is simple. Quit. If enough people stand up against the System, the System fails.
Reasons this is not done:
“Someone else will take my job.” Really?
“...but my Pension” So money over true Reform?
>>>>>The school is a social institution? Everybody with a brain yells: NO, Dr. Dewey, school is where we educate the children. As for socializing them, that happens in the family, community, sports, hobbies, organizations, and religions that they participate in. We will take care of the socializing. You just teach them how to read and write.
In the bad economy today, a teacher taking a firm stand and putting in their resignation is rain droplets. There are plenty of “qualified” to be hired. That doesn’t threaten the unions or the school districts one bit. They have all sold their souls to the devil.
Parents standing up to rotten curriculum can be very powerful, but parents with any children in the district would worry about repercussions on their child-and it happens all the time.
There was an organization called “Separation of school and State” that eventually wanted parents to find other schooling for their kids. The Charter School and Homeschooling efforts haven’t really crippled the public schools at all. Again, it is the Union heads who have voice, certainly not individual teachers , many of whom are frightened to raise their concerns for fear they will be placed in a less desireable school as punishment for speaking out. And that happens all too often.
I know a gifted science teacher who completely rewrote the science curriculum for middle schools which the district used and did not use the text. That happens frequently enough that a few districts get a good curriculum in a few subjects for a few years.
Disolving the national education department that Jimmy Carter put into being would help the public systems lose some of their power. Any Republican willing to do that? Even if they do, it will be a long, slow process for reform. Schools of education need to reform their curriculum but they are too embedded in the university system for that.
I’ve been watching the demise of public education since 1962 and it is disgusting to see what today passes for education.
The reason that most Mexicans are illiterate is that in the last century those in power feared an educated electorate. The evil Mexican government (still in power today) closed the Catholic schools which was the only educational system in Mexico and began a state-sponsored hate and eradication of the Roman Catholic Church and their institutions of higher learning.
The thoroughly evil central socialist government of the Estados Unidos is doing the same thing, albeit differently.
One Teacher most likely cannot change the situation. It would take a group. The entrenchment of the education system into daily social routine is most disturbing of all. Conditioning families to accept that “this is the only way your child will ever be successful so just drop them off please” is a mindset I have a difficult time understanding.
By every measure of reason, the theoretical and practical outcomes of the US education establishment constitute child abuse. The perpetrators should be treated accordingly, and with extreme prejudice.