Thursday, April 8, 2010
Prelutsky on Education
"Those who shower the most praise on our public education system are those least likely to ever expose their own kids to it. I refer to the pinheads who hold public office. In fact, the only time a president or first lady ever wanders into a public school in Washington, D.C., is for an election year photo op, after having made certain that their Secret Service detail is operating at full strength that day. It’s not a school system, it’s a penal colony with report cards."
Burt Prelutsky, blogger, humorist, author, and conservative, though not necessarily in that order
Posted by Alan Caruba at 4:23 PM
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My grandfather began teaching in public schools in 1905, retiring in 1954. My mother taught Psych at UT. I graduated from high school in 1951; my son in 1981. I guess it's fair to say there's some family history involving education.
Even in the 1930s, teachers were wondering what was wrong with the presentation within the system that had eager young first graders who wanted to learn becoming bored sixth graders who resented school.
I was quite aware of the general cultural changes from my generation to my son's generation in the public schools. It certainly hasn't gotten better with age.
I avow quite strongly that the serious decay began with public aid to education from the federal government in 1962. One thing for sure, regardless: The solution is not "More money!"
I suggest the public school system is doing exactly what it was designed to do. It produces mentally vacuous products who will support the "progressive" agenda of social justice (redistribution of wealth), who resent any display of skill or competence (that produces wealth), and who will feel entitled to the unearned BECAUSE they did not earn it. They are actually very good at bringing about the state of society in which all are enslaved to all.
It is true that the solution is not more money. No matter how much money that is poured into public education, the results will be the same.
Fundamentally the purpose of a system is what it does. If you have a different purpose, you must change the system. There is no alternative.
If your purpose is to produce a free, productive, and independent population, the solution is to eliminate public education and the influence government has on eduction.
"I suggest the public school system is doing exactly what it was designed to do. It produces mentally vacuous products..."
Well, no, not really. It may have come to be that way, but that wasn't the original designed intent. It began as a way to let all kids, poor as well as wealthy, learn enough of the 3 Rs and enough history to have a sense of who we were as a society, to bootstrap upward through life.
Lotta changes away from that original design.
I know from experience that I'll get ripped for this, but here goes anyway ....
Our schools certainly have some big problems, and the teachers our higher educational system sends us certainly ranks high on the list. However, in my opinion, most of the problems in education today can be traced back to the parents. They send their children to school totally unprepared and socially inept, and wonder why they aren't getting educated. Until that changes, we'll continue to reap the seed we sow.
From the day children are born today, too many parents plop their children down in front of the TV to watch videos or play games. I know parents who won't take their kids ANYWHERE that doesn't have a TV and a DVD player available to babysit their kids. If a TV isn't going to be available, they'll bring their own. They even have them in their cars now, sometimes one for each kid, so they don't even have to learn to share or cooperate with each other. They're use the tube as some sort of an electronic pacifier....
If you dare question the wisdom of this, they will vigorously defend their actions, claiming that it's the only way they can "get any free time for themselves". When their children are finally old enough to go to school, they ship them off to school and let the schools deal with them, happy to have some more "free time" for themselves.
Then, they get the inevitable call from the school, complaining that "Johnny just can't focus or pay attention in class". They take him to a doctor, who promptly diagnoses him with "ADD", which is a fancy term for lack of social skills and self-discipline. The doctor then sells them some expensive drugs so they can dope him up and send him back to school as a zombie. Of course, not much education occurs after that happens....
Simply put, the parents of today are sending their little monsters into our schools for the free babysitting, and then doping them up if they cause any trouble. These kids are arriving with no respect for their elders or anyone else, and they lack even basic social skills necessary to function in a group setting. If they don't learn how to "play nicely" fast enough, they get doped up.
Parents expect the school to put twenty of these animals in a room and try to keep them under control, without using physical discipline of ANY sort, lest their fragile little minds become damaged. If they fail, they just drug them ....
Yes, our school system has been invaded by limp-wristed Progressive Socialists, and they may be teaching children the wrong philosophies and indoctrinating them with a Socialist mentality, but education begins in the home, and the old "garbage in, garbage out" adage certainly applies here.
If you fill a class room with twenty spoiled brats, and don't allow the school or the teachers to do their job and discipline them or teach them some respect for others, you'll have twenty bigger spoiled brats a year later. Our colleges are filled with them today.
The parents of today want to take the easy way out, and let TV or the schools raise their children. It's just another sign of the pathetic entitlement mentality that has invaded our society. Until parents start taking some responsibility for what they're sending to the schools, or at least allow the schools to discipline their children, nothing will change. We simply can't expect our public schools to ever be successful with their hands tied behind their backs, and no support from the parents.
Guy won't get ripped by me. He's got a grip on the worldview of this current generation which considers "me first" then, maybe, sacrificing for family.
This AM's Daytona Beach New-Journal has a picture of a local teacher's union president, fist raised, angry demeanor, quoted as saying, (that a current merit -pay plan is) "a takeover of our schools!". Excuse me sir, I always thought that it was the job of local and state governments to have schools under control. The liberal, pantheistic teacher's unions hate that anyone would suggest a methodology which would allow a poor teacher to be terminated.
Granted, teaching the test is not the best way to an education (before someone yells AT ME!). Teachers have been hamstrung in their efforts at educating the masses ever since discipline was outlawed and some notion of right and wrong became illegal to promote.
Our search for political correctness (cultural Marxism) has done us in!
BTW, John Dewey (the Fabian Socialist, called the "father of modern American education), et al, planned all this in the early twentieth century.
There is one more principle that needs to be applied to public education. When a given system repeatedly does the same thing and gets the same result, it intends to get those results. If it didn't, it would change what it does. The words used to define intent are irrelevant. Only actions and consequential results tell the truth.
By that measure, the purpose of public education from the get go was as I said in my previous post. Soothing words to the contrary are totally without meaning or honesty. The only change over time is that they simply got better at doing what they do: extract wealth from the general population and produce children with seriously crippled minds.
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