Education programs, systems and methods in
today are ancient and obsolete. The university concept of colleges and degrees, for example, is a medieval invention. University graduates still wear the same cap and gown costumes of many centuries ago. America
But graduation doesn’t mean a whole lot anymore. Almost everyone graduates now. We see kindergartners today wearing the traditional cap and gown for “graduation” up to the first grade. They “graduate” with cap and gown from elementary school too; but most of them still can’t read.
Compulsory primary and secondary public school systems in
took hold in the late 19th century. What began as a method to provide all children with a basic education in reading, writing, and figuring, has become a grand thirteen year daycare program to “socialize” children into the American collective. There’s more emphasis now on teaching kids what to think than how to think. America
By most accounts, compulsory education isn’t working. Arne Duncan, Secretary of the US Dept of Education, admitted recently that this year, up to 82 percent of public schools could "fail" the government's "No Child Left Behind" standards. "No Child Left Behind” is broken and we need to fix it now," he declared. "This law has created dozens of ways for schools to fail and very few ways to help them succeed," "We should get out of the business of labeling schools as failures and create a new law that is fair and flexible, and focused on the schools and students most at risk."
According to Secretary Duncan then, President Bush’s law creating achievement standards for schools is responsible for the schools’ failure to meet the standards. He thinks that if we stop labeling schools as failures, they’ll no longer be failures. If the law were only fair, he imagines, the kids would do so much better. The obvious truth, however, is that 80% of compulsory American public schools can’t even meet basic academic achievement standards.
Meanwhile, in the land of perpetual fruits and nuts, The California Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful Education Act law is pending. It would require school textbooks and teachers to incorporate information on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans into their curriculum.
I can’t imagine exactly what information they want to teach about that beyond the fact that lots of normal people, both gay and straight, like to tickle each other’s private parts now and then. Admitted, that’s an interesting subject, but surely not for a compulsory public school classroom. Public schools have no business instructing children on cultural values and preferences. Those are purely private matters.
School officials from a small district in the state of
have decided to purchase at taxpayer expense $200,000 worth of Apple's brand new iPad 2 tablet computers, one for each new kindergartner in the district, now and every year in the foreseeable future. I’m sure the little five-year-old Einstein’s will have a wonderful time with them before the majority of the delicate machines are kaput within a week or two. Maine
Give a responsible toddler a $500 computer; he’ll likely use it as a hammer.
So I don’t think any of these crackpot ideas are going to work, but if they do, maybe they can pass similar laws requiring expensive equipment and information on how to read.