Sunday, January 10, 2010

Education Standards Have Fizzled

People worry that American schools no longer prepare students to compete. New fangled communications have challenged our educational system to graduate students prepared to meet INTERNATIONAL vocational standards. We don't. Instead we are graduating high school students that can not form a proper sentence or spell three words in a row correctly. This is not acceptable. We must recognise that this DUMBING-DOWN of American educational standards has happened. It's a fact. Now let us deal with what caused it and why.

I suggest that you and I are at fault. We've allowed POLITICAL CORRECTNESS to supplant good judgement. At some point (near 1950) a liberal idiot convinced new parents to support a NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND policy. The idea caught on, invaded the schools, and changed  the way students were taught. Henseforth every student was passed from one grade to the next REGARDLESS OF MERIT, and class lessons were re-designed to accomodate the lowest performing students. In that way each kid could receive a passing grade and be shuffled off to the next higher school level.

After doing away with the (F) FAILING GRADE, teachers began to  GRADE ON THE BELL CURVE from A to D.  Usually they work it out to be something like this:  20%=A (Top of the class), 60%=B (Better than average), and 20%=C and D (Less than average but passing). Using this method teachers were able to justify graduating all of their students. Every one of them moved up to the next level and NO ONE FAILED AND NO ONE WAS LEFT BEHIND TO REPEAT THE GRADE.  And what a mess did it create.

One consequence of DUMBING DOWN grammer schools was that they produced 1st year HIGH SCHOOL ENTRANTS less educated and unprepared for freshman high school classes. To deal with this growning problem, remedial classes were born.  Despite the fancy name, remedial classes are classes at the grade school level, and they do not belong in high school at all. They are no more than a sad admission that our grade schools have failed.  

Moving on to COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES. All through the last part of the 20th century two additional influences have had an unfortunate effect on further educational efforts.
  • High Schools have picked up on the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND concept and now graduate students with incomplete preparation for college or university entrance. 

  • America's colleges and universities have been RADICALLY POLITICIZED by an overwhelming majority of liberal or ultra liberal teachers.

Now, in the year 2010, most American institutions of higher learning, actively present their many ill prepared students with an advanced curriculum they have no hope of learning. These students almost always drop out during (or following) their freshman year. The colleges and universities are not at fault. The grammer and high schools are.

Also, in the year 2010, most American institutions of higher learning, are actively promoting liberal and ultra liberal political bias in all parts of their curriculum. It is well known that teachers of that political persuasion overwhelmingly outnumber teachers that claim a libertarian or conservative line of political thought. It's known, but rarely is anything done about it. For every 2 or 3 Hillsdale Colleges there are 100 Cal-Berkeleys.

And that is why Mr. Obama got elected.


Greybeard said...

Dix, I knew it! You are truly a "Sierra Delta"!

Rain said...

I know quite a few teachers, not to mention hear from the teachers who teach my grandchildren and no child left behind which Teddy Kennedy promoted and Bush got as part of his supposedly improving education has been the ruin of real education. If it wasn't already suffering, that was even worse as it's all about passing tests. I wonder now if the whole system has been so ruined that there is no fixing it. I really hope it's not too late as public education is our future and when it's lost, we can kiss the rest off.

Universities were ruined by the need to get grants where good teachers got pushed out if they couldn't also sell projects to pay for their programs. Ten years ago, my son in law was in a university and had to leave it as he got tired of having to constantly sell instead of teach.

Kay Dennison said...

Tell me about it!!!! I noticed the difference dropping out of college in 1968 and taking an 18-year Spring Break before I went back. I actually asked my advisor if college got easier or I got smarter. What my classmates didn't know shocked me. I know about Hillsdale College -- my daughter and I looked at it whem we were college shopping. She wound up at an excellent, challenging college here in Ohio and loved it because they challenged her good mind unlike her high school.

Ingineer66 said...

The Universities have been dumbed down partially because it was decided that everyone should go to college. So we have lots of programs to bring intercity kids to college that they normally could not get into. So now the colleges need to have remedial programs to get the kids up to speed before they can even start college level work.

I agree with you Rain, the professors are pushed to get published or at least bring in research money instead of focusing on teaching.

But fear not. Obama has a new plan called Race to the Top. I do not know the details, but supposedly the teachers union in California does not like it, so maybe it is a good plan.