Wednesday, December 28

Read this article

It's a cliche that the education of American students is growing worse every year. There are several theories as to the cause: Some blame a near-compulsory edict in highschools to pass everyone, regardless of proficiency.

This is surely true to some extent, but this is being reduced by state requirements that students pass proficiency exams to graduate.

A second theory is that the teachers themselves have, on average, declined in knowledge and talent. More inquiry needed here, I think.

Yet a third theory is that curricula have been vastly watered down by politically-correct crap, so that students spend less time learning core skills.

And a final theory is that over time, the very top positions in education have gradually been filled with people who are themselves so indoctrinated with leftist crap and political correctness that they bend all policies they touch to serve the Left's goals.

Regardless of one's favorite theory, you need to read this article. The money quote:
Increasingly, undergraduates are not prepared adequately in any academic area but often arrive with strong convictions about their abilities. So college professors routinely encounter students who have never written anything more than short answers on exams, who do not read much at all, who lack foundational skills in math and science, yet are completely convinced of their abilities and resist any criticism of their work, to the point of tears and tantrums: “But I earned nothing but A’s in high school,” and “Your demands are unreasonable.” Such a combination makes some students nearly unteachable.
Interesting stuff. And the conclusion is a hoot:

The article touches only lightly on a more serious possibility: what if the system leaders themselves can’t tell the difference between a credential and an education--because they themselves are only credentialed? Then the blind would be leading the blind.

In that case, the highest reaches of society could be manned by mediocrities who’ve been selected to edit prestigious journals without ever writing an article; who’ve been elected lawmakers without ever compiling a legislative record; who’ve presided over a depression and yet compare themselves to the greatest of past leaders — to Lincoln and to Roosevelt. Thank God things haven’t reached that point.

For those who aren't political junkes: the writer above is being facetious. In an interview, Obozo ranked his accomplishments as president behind those of just 3 other presidents: Lincoln, FDR and one other (I think Teddy Roosevelt, but unsure).

So yes, things clearly have reached that point.

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