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Dumbing Down America, One Classroom At A Time

February 14, 2014

This is just pure insanity.

About a decade ago–and I recall it clearly–Leigh, a friend about age 50, sat on our blue sofa in our West Side home with her feet curled up underneath as I sat in a rocking chair to her right.  We were talking about the condition of education, and how many things students were just not learning anymore.  She told me that in a short period of time no one will read Robert Louis Stevenson.    Young people will not know the classics, and perhaps even more disheartening not even care to know what they are missing.  I concurred with her then, and sadly as I reflect back on that afternoon conversation do so again.

Florida students no longer need chemistry, physics or Algebra II to graduate from high school. Texas just scrapped its Algebra II requirement. And Washington state has dropped its foreign language mandate.

States are letting teens study welding instead of Spanish, take greenhouse management in place of physics and learn car repair instead of muddling over imaginary numbers.

The backlash stems, in part, from anger over the Common Core, a set of standards that Obama has promoted as a way to guide students thr

Manufacturing associations, trade groups and farm lobbies have fueled the resentment at universal college prep, arguing that it’s elitist, that it demeans blue-collar workers — and, not incidentally, that it’s cutting off their pipeline of new workers.

Pure unadulterated horse rot!!

I find it a sad commentary about our society when education is considered elitist.  While not everyone will attend college or some form of higher education it is vitally important that the taxpayer dollars are spent educating to the highest degree possible high school students until the day of graduation.  For many those high school years will be the last ones in their entire lives where they can be focused on new ideas, loftier thoughts, and discover new ways to think, ponder, and analyze.    To squander that time by allowing for dribble to replace real classroom experiences is simply unconscionable.

There is no way that the average citizen could have watched over the years the ‘Jay-Walking’ segments of The Tonight Show and not winced while sitting in a darkened living room.  It was most uncomfortable to see how unprepared so many people are when it comes to dealing with the real world.  But that is exactly the type of students we are allowing to pour out of our schools if we do not truly get serious about education reform in this nation.  To now consider weakening standards even further is pure insanity!

Countries around the world that do invest in their schools, and also have family environments where homework is just considered a normal part of the day surely look at this story above and smile.  They know what their better prepared students mean for an ever-competitive world economy.

Shame on those states and their elected officials who allow for the weakening of minds, and the dumbing down of our nation.

4 Comments
  1. February 15, 2014 6:06 PM

    I remind you that high schools are not vocational schools–that is my point. Our property tax dollars should be invested in educating the basics that are not going to be imparted to many once they graduate,

    I fully understand what my post stated. You might embrace the way folks such as the WMC would like to have ready-made workers once they exit high schools, but that is not the purpose of high school. I want my tax dollars to allow for the liberal arts to shape people teaching them how to think. Creating a person into a mere commodity with a welding class in high school is pure bunk– and I think you really do know this to be true.

    As for me I stand with those who think everyone should be college ready when they leave high school. They may not attend college, but they would add dramatically to the national dialogue of our country.

    Meanwhile a new poll today shows that one in four Americans are unaware that the Earth revolves around the Sun. The survey included more than 2,200 people in the United States and was conducted by the National Science Foundation. Yeah. we need more welding classes in high school!!

  2. Skip permalink
    February 15, 2014 5:02 PM

    I am not twisting your words – you are twisting mine.

    “To squander that time by allowing for dribble to replace real classroom experiences is simply unconscionable.”

    I never once mentioned vocational schools so why did you bring them up? We’re talking about high schools.

    This is what you wrote in response to the article you cited about certain classes being passed over in favor of others. One of the examples of this in the article was how some students were taking auto body instead of algebra. After you quoted the examples you wrote, “To squander that time by allowing for dribble to replace real classroom experiences is simply unconscionable.” There is no asterisk in your blog post exempting the auto body instead of algebra example.

  3. February 14, 2014 5:31 PM

    Please do not twist my words. I did not say vocational schools were dribble, or the workers that come from those jobs dribble. What I did say, and repeat is that high school for many is the last time they will have a time to learn things they will likely never again have contact with. “For many those high school years will be the last ones in their entire lives where they can be focused on new ideas, loftier thoughts, and discover new ways to think, ponder, and analyze.” Reading literature, finding out about science, math, a different language, etc should be the focus of learning during those years. Thinking that way is not elitist, but instead allows for a person to grow as much as possible in a limited time.

  4. Skip permalink
    February 14, 2014 1:41 PM

    Does your auto mechanic know that you find his/her vocation to be dribble? Elitist is a good term for people like you who would label the ability to fix cars dribble (or even drivel).

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