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