Has an era of American mediocrity begun? In January the College Board announced it would eliminate the essay portion of the SAT, as well as all of the separate SAT subject tests. Their stated purpose was “reducing and simplifying demands on students.” Such a burden.
One high school near me just dropped freshman advanced standing (honors) English “to combat the effects of academic ‘tracking” because it “ultimately separates students of different socioeconomic and racial backgrounds.” It turns out that middle schools from lower-income areas aren’t adequately preparing their students for high school. So rather than fix that problem, they dumbed down high school.Mediocrity Is Now Mandatory by Andy Kessler, Wall Street Journal 2-7-21
Average, mediocre, acceptable … I have come to hate these and similar words. It seems we are on a quest to lower standards in the name of …. of progress? We have come to the point where we treat symptoms rather than the disease.
- Promote subprime mortgages to people who can’t afford to pay them
- Forgive student loans with no accountable criteria
- Expand social safety nets, but ignore what causes their use and the goal to reduce their need
- Raise the minimum wage, but little focus on getting workers out of MW jobs
- Complain about unfairness, but accept education systems at high school and below that are failing
- Promise anything and everything free, even payments at birth, monthly checks, etc.
- Create an entitlement, I deserve mentality
- Treat wealth accumulation as a disease instead of examples of innovation, creativity, industry and job creation
- Ignore personal responsibility and accountability
My high school I graduated in 1969 is Brooklyn Tech. It along with several other high schools are considered ‘specialized’ HS and require passing the SHSAT; specialized high school admissions test administered to 8th and 9th graders. Some of the specialized HS have low populations of minority students; so there are many in the ‘enlightened’ city government that want to eliminate this test – as the OUTCOME is inherently unfair (sarcasm intended). Dismantle decades upon decades and thousands upon thousands students hard work, diligently applying themselves to academic rigor – to turn these specialized HS into diploma mills?
No, the hard and only true answer is, demand elementary and middle schools from all across NYC adhere to a rigorous curriculum of STEM or STEAM subjects along with English! and Social Studies or history.
Thankfully, there are enough graduates of the specialized HS that have been successful in thwarting these invasive progressive ideologists.
We need to allow students to fail. We need reforms school for problem students. At some point, special ed students who are so far behind need to go to special schools. We also need vo-tech schools for only the students who are serious about learning a trade. Otherwise we have no rewards or punishments for students. Not every students wants or can go to college, academically. But there are students who will excel in a trade.
Instead, a large majority of students have no idea what they want and know that if they just show open they will graduate and most likely get into college. Yet in some schools they don’t even have to show up. Then there are the inner city schools cheating on the national tests to look good.
Maybe, the minimum wage jobs should be for people who can’t pass high school, take away their welfare and let’s start failing kids again. I know this won’t work, is not fair, and is racist, but how else to you get parents to put an importance’s on there children’s education other than demanding that they just pass them? Asian family put education first nd is why so many score so high on national test. There must be away to apply these principles without being racist or being accused of harming the economic disadvantaged.
Our current solution is to throw money at the problem with no results.
Much easier to complain about the state of secondary education than to fix it. I’m pessimistic. The best we can do, I think, is to make it easier to get a B.A. Then some students will be forced to take remedial courses.
Look up the definition of soft totalitarianism…and there’s no turning back.
Thanks for the tip. I have found a few books that I need to read now. It certainly looks like “soft totalitarianism” is taking or has taken over.
George Orwell’s book 1984 was a warning and we are very close with the way the media is controlled and how it controls us. I also have been reviewing some of George Carlin’s standup videos. He is still spot on about government and rights, I mean privileges. I also thought that the movie Idiocracy was a warning but now, as reported here with the dumbing down of the schools, I think that it just might be a documentary.
I believe that the dumbing down of schools has been happening since before the 1960’s. I graduated in 1980 and the signs were there. You had to test to graduate high school and then NJ colleges had to test before you started classes to see if you could read, write, and do math. High schools are trying to do away with all the testing now because they are only teaching the test.
Racial equality should have meant equal opportunity but instead has resulted in a demand for equal outcome. Since government fiats have failed to raise test scores, we have lowered them so that the outcome will be equal.
My question is how low we will go since the government has basically kept children out of school for a full year. This is really two years of compromised of learning since so far we have spanned two school years. Now the Biden administration wants the schools to reopen but in order to punish Trump, governors back themselves into a corner and they can’t just undo all the fear that they created from saying how unsafe the schools are. Nothing has really changed. Vaccines will not get to everybody until the fall at the earliest. And how well did the annual flu shot work to prevent this pandemic?
(Disclaimer: I realize the danger of the covid-19 is real but in NJ only 9.8% of population were children <18 who have tested positive and 0.00% have died between the ages of 5-17, as per NJ DOH web site this morning. Yes the teachers are at risk but we also managed to keep Walmart and other big stores open. Instead of protecting the ones at risk, we have condemned the healthy.)