Dumbest Generation Getting Dumber

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DrKrbyLuv's picture
DrKrbyLuv
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Dumbest Generation Getting Dumber

TheTownHall.com full article

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international comparison of 15-year-olds conducted by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that measures applied learning and problem-solving ability. In 2006, U.S. students ranked 25th of 30 advanced nations in math and 24th in science. McKinsey & Company, in releasing its report "The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America's Schools" (April 2009) said, "Several other facts paint a worrisome picture.

First, the longer American children are in school, the worse they perform compared to their international peers. In recent cross-country comparisons of fourth grade reading, math, and science, US students scored in the top quarter or top half of advanced nations. By age 15 these rankings drop to the bottom half. In other words, American students are farthest behind just as they are about to enter higher education or the workforce." That's a sobering thought. The longer kids are in school and the more money we spend on them, the further behind they get.

While the academic performance of white students is grossly inferior, that of black and Latino students is a national disgrace. The McKinsey report says, "On average, black and Latino students are roughly two to three years of learning behind white students of the same age. This racial gap exists regardless of how it is measured, including both achievement (e.g., test score) and attainment (e.g., graduation rate) measures.

Taking the average National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores for math and reading across the fourth and eighth grades, for example, 48 percent of blacks and 43 percent of Latinos are 'below basic,' while only 17 percent of whites are, and this gap exists in every state. A more pronounced racial achievement gap exists in most large urban school districts." Below basic is the category the NAEP uses for students unable to display even partial mastery of knowledge and skills fundamental for proficient work at their grade level. 

The teaching establishment and politicians have hoodwinked taxpayers into believing that more money is needed to improve education.

The Washington, D.C., school budget is about the nation's costliest, spending about $15,000 per pupil. Its student/teacher ratio, at 15.2 to 1, is lower than the nation's average. Yet student achievement is just about the lowest in the nation. What's so callous about the Washington situation is about 1,700 children in kindergarten through 12th grade receive the $7,500 annual scholarships in order to escape rotten D.C. public schools, and four times as many apply for the scholarships, yet Congress, beholden to the education establishment, will end funding the school voucher program.

Any long-term solution to our education problems requires the decentralization that can come from competition. Centralization has been massive. In 1930, there were 119,000 school districts across the U.S; today, there are less than 15,000. Control has moved from local communities to the school district, to the state, and to the federal government.

Public education has become a highly centralized government-backed monopoly and we shouldn't be surprised by the results. It's a no-brainer that the areas of our lives with the greatest innovation, tailoring of services to individual wants and falling prices are the areas where there is ruthless competition such as computers, food, telephone and clothing industries, and delivery companies such as UPS, Federal Express and electronic bill payments that have begun to undermine the postal monopoly in first-class mail.

Larry

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Full Moon
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Re: Dumbest Generation Getting Dumber

    I am copying this  for my local Home School group .  We  our battle with doubt  and skeptics .

 We also dream of what we could do with the kind of money public schools get  for educational materials and opportunities ! On average we spend $500-$1000 per student  for curriculum .  We also pay  for violin lessons , sports, debate , educational field trips  and  ,anything we do not feel qualified to teach on our own  .  

Very grateful for the  Homeschool Legal Defense Organization  that continues to fight the battles for us all .   It was not fun staying underground . Now  we feel confident  to take the children out in public at anytime of the day .  Actually many  people  have positive things to say which was not the case 25 years ago .

  No school is perfect  but institutionalized education is not the answer .   There is so much  out there to study  ... if we can get the children excited to explore the possibilities and love to learn.

    We are in a race.  It is a race for the future of the American family and American self-government.

 

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ao
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Re: Dumbest Generation Getting Dumber

Diana,

You may want to look into Morningside Academy in Seattle as an excellent model to emulate.

http://www.morningsideacademy.org/about/indepth.php

Full Moon's picture
Full Moon
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Re: Dumbest Generation Getting Dumber

   ao,   

  Being educated in public school system myself  ,I  have challenges with a lot more than  just my lack of Language Arts skills .    So open to learn  from  different avenues .     Realizing each ones individual gift is a start .    Thank you

idoctor's picture
idoctor
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Re: Dumbest Generation Getting Dumber

The greatest problem we have in this country is you can't fix stupid

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DrKrbyLuv
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Re: Dumbest Generation Getting Dumber

Diana said:   I am copying this  for my local Home School group .  We  our battle with doubt  and skeptics .

 We also dream of what we could do with the kind of money public schools get  for educational materials and opportunities ! On average we spend $500-$1000 per student  for curriculum .  We also pay  for violin lessons , sports, debate , educational field trips  and  ,anything we do not feel qualified to teach on our own.

We are in a race.  It is a race for the future of the American family and American self-government.

I absolutely agree that this is a race, I just wish more understood.  I admire your homeschooling efforts as I think most of our public schools have become propaganda and brainwashing venues designed to "prepare" the people for their place in a subservient world.

Here is an interesting story coming from Canada: 'Raising children properly' requires stay-at-home parent: Alberta minister 

Alberta's Liberal leader is demanding an apology from Finance Minister Iris Evans, who suggested that in order to raise children "properly" one parent should stay at home while the other goes to work.

"If she really said these things, she must apologize. If she doesn't apologize, the premier must fire her," David Swann said in a statement Wednesday. "These are truly outrageous claims. I have never been as stunned by the sheer arrogance and ignorance of the Tories as I am today.

"In a sense, Iris Evans did us all a favour by revealing her contempt for the sacrifices made by hard-working Alberta families."

At the end of a speech on Alberta's economy to the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto, Evans spoke about the importance of teaching kids about finances and how those lessons can be empowering.

"They've understood perfectly well that when you're raising children, you don't both go off to work and leave them for somebody else to raise," Evans said. "This is not a statement against daycare. It's a statement about their belief in the importance of raising children properly."

She also said a lack of education is ruining the upbringing of some children and leading to mental illness and crime.

"The huge failure of Canadians is not to educate the children properly, and then why should we be surprised when they have mental illnesses or commit dreadful crimes?" she said. "We've really got to focus on that properly, and it should be financial literacy as well as anything else."

I have little doubt that a stay at home parent can be very helpful bringing up children.  The problem is that few can afford this luxury.  When I was young, one income could support a family but that has changed.  We are taxed to death and deeply in debt - all part of the plan.

Larry

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Re: Dumbest Generation Getting Dumber
idoctor wrote:

The greatest problem we have in this country is you can't fix stupid

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Re: Dumbest Generation Getting Dumber

If anyone hasn't seen the movie "Idiocracy" yet, I highly recommend it. Although it's couched as a goofy comedy, it really is a genius piece of social commentary. It was almost surreal for me to watch because I feel that much of the intellectual degradation portrayed is already in motion.

My elementary schooling was at the "public" school on base while we were stationed in Germany. Then I went through the US public school system in the 80's.  When I came stateside, everyone kept saying that I would be behind because I went to "Army School"... but I would say that I was about 2 years ahead, and didn't really learn squat in school for almost 3 years. High School was a joke, and I actually went to one of the best schools in my area. I actually got sent to the office on more than one occasion for arguing with a teacher because they were wrong (truly factually wrong). It seemed the administration was more concerned with students learning obedience than teaching the students accurate information or how to think for themselves.

One example - I was a senior the year the Berlin Wall came down. We had cable in our classrooms, and they were broadcasting the live news reel with the sound turned off. I was bawling my eyes out because I'd actually been in Berlin, seen and touched the wall, traveled through the DDR on a locked duty train with soldiers boarding & searching it at every checkpoint. So my teacher, my HISTORY teacher, starts talking about how Berlin was on the border of East & West Germany, and after WWII they built the wall to keep the Communist East Germans from crossing into the Allied West.  WTF!?!?  I argued with this nimrod for about 10 minutes, even citing the correct information from the textbook and yanking down the European map.  Yeah - I got detention for 2 weeks for that one!

How can our children be expected to learn anything of value in our public school system when the caliber of teachers has fallen drastically? Don't get me wrong, I had a few truly excellent teachers... but, by and large, most were only mediocre. And that was 20 years ago... I shudder to think what's happening now. It has always been my belief that the public school system was just indoctrination into the Machine. From what I can tell with my friends children, a lot of the private/parochial schools are getting just as bad. Seems like you have to search high and low, and pay out the nose, to find a decent school anymore.

I do support homeschooling and allowing a child to excel in the areas of their natural talents. As long as the basic skills (3 R's) are covered, the remaining education can be spent on Home Ec or Astrophysics as the child's interest dictate.  My only concern with homeschooling, which is not a knock on any parent by any means, is that you may inadvertently pass on the same gaps in knowledge that you possess, or their true talents lie in an untouched subject, or thier interests so outside your scope that you can't keep up.  But I think that a group of homeschoolers, and an active community, would probably reduce any of those possible negatives.

The village near our new property has a K-12 school with maybe 20 students total. There are two teachers, the original head mistress who focuses on elementary, and a younger gent who works with the teens. They are both tickled pink that my husband and I are moving to the area because they have a few students who are excelling outside their ability to teach... one writer & one visual artist (my areas), and one techie & one musician (Gungnir's areas). So, even though we have absolutely no teaching credentials, it's likely that we will be asked to provide some extracurricular tutelage for these students in these areas because no one in the area has these particular talents/skills/experience. It's one way we can give back to the community and the next generation since we have no children of our own.

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Re: Dumbest Generation Getting Dumber

I guess that it is about time for me to put in my 2 cents worth here. Why? Because I am an "insider" with regard to the public schools. Before becoming a high school mathematics teacher about 16 years ago I spent about 25 years in industry in software engineering and developmentso I have experience both in and outside the public schools. Since I came from industy I knew what was required to succeed in that world and it did not take too long to figure out the education system so that I could succeed at preparing my students in-spite of the the system and not because of it.

I am sure that there are some "bad" teachers in schools across the country but from my perspective
the real problem with public schools is that the system has been hi-jacked by the apologists
and psychologists. Instead of expending most of the effort (and resources) on making sure that
the young people that are going to lead us into the next century are well prepared most of the effort goes for
what I call the "losers, boozers, and snoozers" that infest each and every school. Somehow many years ago it came to pass that the schools came to be responsible for not only the education of students but also every other aspect of their upbringing and development. It was required that schools not only tolerate anti-social behavior but were expected to modify  and the schools were blamed for it when it did not improve.

It is not possible to remove the offenders from the schools because every student has the "right" to a free
and appropriate education. Just try to remove a student and you will be met by a battalion of lawyers
with a truck load of litigation. This in turn generated a tremendous expansion in the number of bureaucrats whose job it was to see to that every student (no matter how socially disfunctional) was in a classroom.

When someone does try to do something that makes sense it is always met with complaints about it being unfair to this or that minority group. Remember  not long ago when California tried to implement High School Graduation requirements. It was met with outrage, comtempt, litigation, and bullyiing until it was delayed and later watered down to be almost worthless.

The latest incarnation of this phenomenon is called "NO Child Left behind" . From my view if no child gets ahead then no child can be left behind. Whenever a new program comes from Washington or the state capital it always requires bureaucrats to monitor and implement it so that the poor ignorant people down in the trenches (that would be me) can actually implement it as intended. Now all of these bureaucrats have to have something to do so they set about making up rules on "How to teach".

So now the most important thing is the context of education and not the content.
For example, Bulletin boards must show the state standards for the course you are teaching and exactly which state standard you are addressing that day. God forbid some administrator comes into your room and your bulletin boards are not correct. Sure it is important for the students to know that there are standards underlying what you teach but it is not important for an Algebra 2 student to know which state standard it is that deals with exponential functions. this is Just one example among the thousands of ways that money and resources are wasted.

As I said at the beginning I figured out what to do to be successful in this environment. I do all of the "context"
related things required so the administrator can check off the appropriate box on his form and then when he leaves I close the door and teach. I refuse to do things like be department chair or lead teacher or mentor teacher. I just stay in my room and teach the students - usually even through my lunch time. I do not get plugged into the fact that some students will not cooperate no matter what you do inspite of the official psyco-babble to the contrary.

When I started teaching Advanced Placement Calculus here at this large inner city school about 15 years ago the AP Calculus pass rate had been ZERO for years. Now the pass rate is usually between 50-90 percent of my students. By pass rate I am talking about the rate of achieving a score of 3 or better on the nation wide Advanced Placement exam that is used by universities for place and credit.

The rewards I get for this are from the most important participants: the students. Every year I get former students that return to thank me for the preparation they received. Most tell me that they are better prepared at the university  than most of their classmates.

So in response to some posters that seem to believe that most public schools are worthless I would disagree. If you want to make a real change to education you can get the Federal gov. out of it. You can insist the decisions are made by local schools and you can work to get rid of all of the non-curriculum activities that schools are required to do.

Excuse me I have to go now and do an on-line education course so I know how to recognize child abuse. I have to do it so that  my admin can check off the appropriate box on his form. Lets see now I need to come up with some creative way of using what I learn in this child abuse course in teach differential equations.

Ken

 

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idoctor
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Re: Dumbest Generation Getting Dumber

Ken thanks for posting this. I knew it was like this but nice to see someone lay it out so plainly. Really sad...what the hell happened to people with any common sense? Our children are the losers which makes this terrible......well this is why I found a good private school that actually did a great job IMHO. Have to get the Govt out of the important things if one can or it will be a mess.

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