art credit: giphy.com
Anyone who can stand to watch Fox’s Watter’s World on-the-street interviews with low-information voters, or those who remember similar candid camera interviews on Jay Leno’s Tonight show, are probably aghast at the dumbing down of the American culture, media, and education. We're talking about young adults who do not recognize an image of George Washington and cannot name the sitting Vice President. Who are the young voters who are part of the electorate?
This past week, I came across two opinion pieces that examined the educational decline in our country. The first was by Bruce Deitrick Price (K-12: Parent X Takes On Principal Zero) at the American Thinker blog, about a parent who had attempted on numerous occasions to register concerns with the principal of her daughter’s school:
My complaints were elevated to the new principal. I met with him at least seven times; several times I was accompanied by a member of the school board.
Finally the principal, aggravated and arrogant, told me schools no longer believe in academic excellence because demanding subjects no longer appeal to the mainstream student or to his parents.
He proclaimed that his program, his syllabus, his teachers were all fully in compliance with local, state, and federal standards, and he wasn't going to change a single thing to accommodate me or my daughter.
He said proudly he is a "Progressive," he has a Ph.D., and he had "helped" develop and design many of those standards, and he believed in them. He said any kid who wants a higher-level education for a professional career will have to get it somewhere else.
He was emphatic that neither I nor the school board member could change anything.
This parent decided to home-school her daughter. But the principal’s attitude and his unashamed statement that academic excellence is a thing of the past is more than a little alarming. The rest of that short report is here.
A longer analysis of the collapse of America’s educational standards is by a Canadian contributor to PJ Media, David Solway:
What we see today, then, universities as centers of leftist indoctrination, the shutting down of intellectual debate (cf. Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind), a generation of “snowflake” students who are preoccupied with frivolities like trigger warnings, microaggresssons, transgender bathrooms, and “safe spaces” where they will never be exposed to an unfamiliar or conflicting idea, and the sniveling infantilization of the entire academic cohort—flows directly from [John] Dewey and his followers.
These pedagogical dissidents prepared the ground for the subversive agenda of the Frankfurters by engaging in an act of cerebral softening, that is, promoting the student over the teacher, the child over the man (or woman), and feeling over thought—hence the continuing prominence of the “self-esteem” movement that slashed-and-burned its way through the educational landscape.
Scary stuff. This is a much longer read and very thought-provoking, but it may be of interest to conservative voters who have an opportunity to discuss the upcoming election with family and friends. Be forewarned: the essay is rather depressing, but it does a good job of tracing the history of how we got to where we are and why it's an uphill battle. If you are interested, it’s here.
The key for me when attempting discussions on politics with liberals is that the facts and logic don’t seem to matter – at least most of the time. It’s all about feel-good emotions. If you find Mr. Solway’s observations perceptive, you might also want to take a look at Diana West’s book-length treatment, The Death of the Grown-Up. It’s available on Kindle and discounted hardcovers (as low as 1¢). It’s a good read and goes fast.
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