Sunday, September 26, 2021
HomeFeatured EntriesJay-Walking, or Are You Smarter Than an 8th Grader?

Jay-Walking, or Are You Smarter Than an 8th Grader?

Promoted by redneck hippie because walking the walk on education is right in the wheelhouse of reversing the cultural decline of America.


photo courtesy of savejersey.com

I’m spinning off lineholder’s brilliant frog-in-the-pot article from Thursday. How can what we don’t know (as a people) harm us? This is a deep and troubling question to me.

I’m convinced the gaps (more like gaping craters) in our corporate/cultural/societal knowledge are quite purposeful and becoming more entrenched as the years roll by. But, not only why, but just what are we missing?

Folks write best-selling memoirs and biographies of the Greatest Generation, of our parents and more distant ancestors, in a wistful, ‘wasn’t that a wonderful time’ kind of way, without ever really nailing down what antecedents made the generation Great. Yes, authors can enumerate the virtues of those people in times past, like a litany of the Boy Scout creed, honest, loyal, thrifty, brave, clean & reverent, but what made them that way?

Instead of lapsing into a diatribe describing how ‘back then’ self-reliance and independence were paramount, as opposed to today’s global economy and need for specialization, yesteryear is chalked up to having a different spirit, perhaps less evolved, and something we needn’t recapture, because that time has passed. Maybe so; question is, is that a Good Thing? How and why were they self-reliant? What made them independent?

To begin at the beginning, ‘back then’ teachers taught fundamentals. Students acquired the basic tools needed to think for themselves and to correctly express their thoughts. They learned facts, practical processes and language. They weren’t taught PC pablum and praised to raise their self-esteem. Examples abound online, but here’s just one: are you smarter than an (1895) eighth grader? After you take a peek at yesteryear’s 8th grader’s test (and blush, like I did), reflect back on the last episode of Jay-Walking you saw on Leno’s show…and remember, those people are eligible to vote!

Why is Glenn Beck’s teacher-ly FOX show so popular? Joe & Jane Sixpack seem to be noticing their own educational gaps, and find Beck’s excursions into history and political philosophy very informative, as in ‘I didn’t know that!’. (I’m not personally a fan of Mr. Beck’s TV show; I’ve already taken his advice and done my own research, but however folks learn good stuff, I’m fine with that.) Our own writers point out things they’re learning daily, myself included. Ditto the apparent box-office success of Atlas Shrugged Part 1. No school can teach everbody everything, but a lot of basic fundamentals are MIA and it’s not by accidental omission. Sometimes it’s not paranoia if they ARE out to get you!

Our schools are teaching everything except how the world really works, and how and why our country was founded. The disciplines in school that teach the fundamentals are made to be dry and boring and impractical; even if you find a good econ class, with a decent instructor, WHAT KIND OF JOB WILL THAT PREPARE YOU FOR? Back when my degree requirements forced me to ‘take’ econ classes, I hated them, they were boring and I totally missed the whole point. Happily, today we have Drs Sowell and Williams to repair that deficiency, enjoyably.

The topic is endless. It’s a sad state of affairs when the man-in-the-street denigrates book-learning, because it seems to have no practical, real-world value. Hence, the Higher Education Bubble. Can we detect the subtle fingerprints of Dr. (hah!) William Ayers here? Fundamentally change our country, anyone? Buehler? Buehler?

Lineholder’s parting comment about the tadpoles is spot-on. Karl Marx said

The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother’s care, shall be in state institutions at state expense.

Much of what passes for public education today leaves too much of what we don’t know unaddressed. Just one for instance, how can a President get away with demanding more taxes on the rich,

My budget calls for limiting itemized deductions for the wealthiest 2% of Americans

as if they don’t pay huge amounts already? And would this stimulate the economy? Buehler?

As parents and grandparents we must man up (run for the school board?) and plug those gaping knowledge gaps before we become a nation of Jay-Walkers. (*shudder*, end of rant, and thanks again, lineholder!)

Cheers!

10 COMMENTS

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Everyone, liberals and conservatives alike, has been on a kick blaming ‘bad teachers” for Why Johnny can’t read. I have come to the conclusion that teachers are teaching the curriculums they have been given to teach and are using the methodologies, approaches and attitudes they have been taught to use.You’ve said a mouthful here, Mrig. You have a special perpective that’s valuable.

  2. This is great, MRiggio!! I absolutely love the way you’ve expanded the simple frog-in-the-pot concept with these very practical examples of how prevalent this conditioned complacency has become in our society!

    Education does play a part in it, and I don’t doubt that in the least.

  3. Taking back our schools should be the first priority of tea parties, even more than electing congressmen, which can only be done once every two years anyway. TP’s can walk and chew bubble gum in either case. Most of the school problems we’re seeing in Wisconsin will fade into memory if suddenly teachers and administrators find themselves accountable to the people once agian, rather than a faceless state bureaucracy.

  4. Outstanding post, mriggio, and well deserving of its promotion.

    You have absolutely nailed one of the biggest challenges facing our nation today. 80 years ago the Left embarked on a systematic plan to eliminate the self-reliance of America because that rugged individualism stood between them and their goal of a top-down society.

    And so they set out to infiltrate the 3 major pillars of our society: the media, academia and entertainment. All one need do is to observe what emanates from those 3 pillars to recognize how utterly successful they have been.

    Until we wrest control of those 3 areas back from the Left, we will lose the long war. And since academia is the cornerstone from which the other 2 emanate, and because it’s the easiest to affect because of its local nature, it’s where we need to start…yesterday.

  5. As always, your thoughts are to the point, Eburke.

    We need to be vigilant and push our states and communities to embrace school reform. Progress is slow, but with what is happening in WI, IN, and OH, a trend is definitely developing.

    As Mriggio suggests, your local school board is where you can make an immediate difference. Fighting on multiple fronts is hard, but the future is worth it.

  6. I took the test, Mr Riggio, and being reasonable well educated I did reasonable well, giving “NLI’s” to only 30% of the History questions, 40% to the math, 50% to Geography, but 90% to grammar. And what the living hell is orthography. The whole test was in a foreign language. And what sadistic bastard doesn’t give multiple choice questions? Or yes-no, true-false? Every question there required 100% memorization.

    Oh, about the NLI, that stands for “No longer Important” which I only used today, but apparently the Natl Education Assn and John Dewey began using about 1910.

    Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe the People should decide what is important, and not education professionals. And certainly not their unions.

    • Yep, me too! Haven’t had to compute the bushels in a cart-load in…um, well, never I’m sure.

      But your point is right-on; let the People determine what should be taught. (Which actually happens in the Workforce Development area of my community college.)

      Someday I’ll write about the degree requirement that landed me in a Gregorian chant class…dropped it before I flunked it.

  1. Everyone, liberals and conservatives alike, has been on a kick blaming ‘bad teachers” for Why Johnny can’t read. I have come to the conclusion that teachers are teaching the curriculums they have been given to teach and are using the methodologies, approaches and attitudes they have been taught to use.You’ve said a mouthful here, Mrig. You have a special perpective that’s valuable.

  2. This is great, MRiggio!! I absolutely love the way you’ve expanded the simple frog-in-the-pot concept with these very practical examples of how prevalent this conditioned complacency has become in our society!

    Education does play a part in it, and I don’t doubt that in the least.

  3. Taking back our schools should be the first priority of tea parties, even more than electing congressmen, which can only be done once every two years anyway. TP’s can walk and chew bubble gum in either case. Most of the school problems we’re seeing in Wisconsin will fade into memory if suddenly teachers and administrators find themselves accountable to the people once agian, rather than a faceless state bureaucracy.

  4. Outstanding post, mriggio, and well deserving of its promotion.

    You have absolutely nailed one of the biggest challenges facing our nation today. 80 years ago the Left embarked on a systematic plan to eliminate the self-reliance of America because that rugged individualism stood between them and their goal of a top-down society.

    And so they set out to infiltrate the 3 major pillars of our society: the media, academia and entertainment. All one need do is to observe what emanates from those 3 pillars to recognize how utterly successful they have been.

    Until we wrest control of those 3 areas back from the Left, we will lose the long war. And since academia is the cornerstone from which the other 2 emanate, and because it’s the easiest to affect because of its local nature, it’s where we need to start…yesterday.

  5. As always, your thoughts are to the point, Eburke.

    We need to be vigilant and push our states and communities to embrace school reform. Progress is slow, but with what is happening in WI, IN, and OH, a trend is definitely developing.

    As Mriggio suggests, your local school board is where you can make an immediate difference. Fighting on multiple fronts is hard, but the future is worth it.

  6. I took the test, Mr Riggio, and being reasonable well educated I did reasonable well, giving “NLI’s” to only 30% of the History questions, 40% to the math, 50% to Geography, but 90% to grammar. And what the living hell is orthography. The whole test was in a foreign language. And what sadistic bastard doesn’t give multiple choice questions? Or yes-no, true-false? Every question there required 100% memorization.

    Oh, about the NLI, that stands for “No longer Important” which I only used today, but apparently the Natl Education Assn and John Dewey began using about 1910.

    Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe the People should decide what is important, and not education professionals. And certainly not their unions.

    • Yep, me too! Haven’t had to compute the bushels in a cart-load in…um, well, never I’m sure.

      But your point is right-on; let the People determine what should be taught. (Which actually happens in the Workforce Development area of my community college.)

      Someday I’ll write about the degree requirement that landed me in a Gregorian chant class…dropped it before I flunked it.

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