Education In America Deserves A Grade Of “F”

“Diploma Disaster?” is the title of an essay by Selwyn Duke at The New American. As low as my opinion is of the Proggressive_Multi-Cultural_Politcally Correct system of education that our country has suffered for the last four or five decades, Duke’s article was an eye opener for me.

As the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP) tells us in “From Wall Street to Wal-Mart: Why College Graduates Are Not Getting Good Jobs,”

Colleges and universities are turning out graduates faster than America’s labor markets are creating jobs that traditionally have been reserved for those with degrees. More than one-third of current working graduates are in jobs that do not require a degree, and the proportion appears to be rising rapidly. Many of them are better described as “underemployed” rather than “gainfully employed.” Indeed, 60 percent of the increased college graduate population between 1992 and 2008 ended up in these lower skill jobs, raising real questions about the desirability of pushing to increase the proportion of Americans attending and graduating from four-year colleges and universities. This, along with other evidence on the negative relationship between government higher education spending and economic growth, suggests we may have significantly “over invested” public funds in colleges and universities.

Okay. None of that is news to any of you. We’ve been hearing for years now that college graduates are finding themselves deeply in debt an unable to find suitable jobs. I read the other day there is now a record number of young adults living with their parents. When I first came to Venezuela in the early 90’s, I was taken back by how many young professionals were married and raising a family in the homes of their parents. The point I want to make is that young adults having live with their parents is something one might expect to see in a third world country __ not in America!

But, here is a quote from the Duke article that caught my attention:

This is especially relevant since it has been said that today’s college degree is the educational equivalent of only a 1947 high-school diploma, although with studies evidencing the ignorance of college graduates, rating it even that highly is questionable. The point is, however, that employers can no longer view a college degree as a guarantor of basic knowledge. As Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa write in their 2011 book Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses:

Growing numbers of students are sent to college at increasingly higher costs, but for a large proportion of them the gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and written communication are either exceedingly small or empirically nonexistent. At least 45 percent of students in our sample [of the study they conducted] did not demonstrate any statistically significant improvement in Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) performance during the first two years of college. (Further study has indicated that 36 percent of students did not show any significant improvement over four years.) While these students may have developed subject-specific skills that were not tested for by the CLA, in terms of general analytical competencies assessed, large numbers of U.S. college students can be accurately described as academically adrift. They might graduate, but they are failing to develop the higher-order cognitive skills that it is widely assumed college students should master.

Wow! So, what does that say about our K-12 public education system that our governments keep throwing more and more money at with each succeeding year? Maybe the statement that a college degree today is equivalent to a 1947 highschool degree isn’t scientifically accurate. I don’t known. But, we do know that education today is not what it use to be and that is especially true in the big urban centers. it use to be that K-12 education was to prepare the young to function in an adult world. Now college graduates can’t function in an adult world. Is this what the “Progressives” who control our education system call progress?

With all due respect to the teaching profession, I am sick and tired of hearing how you are the “professionals” and you know what is best for our children. It is painfully obvious that you DO NOT know what is best for our children! That is why  Home Schooling is growing so fast. But, home schooling is not for everyone. Some people are not equipped to teach their children and others can’t because they are working a full-time job. I am not convinced that educating children is all that complicated. The one-room school-house of my parents time did a pretty good job educating children. (I know that there are a lot good capable teachers out there. But, the system or the politics of the system make it very difficult for them to teach the way they know how to teach.)

I am reminded of Dr. Ben Carson, who broke onto the national scene at the President’s annual Prayer Breakfast. He told us about how he and his older brother grew up poor. They were raised by a single illiterate mother who worked cleaning the houses of rich people. But, Mrs. Carson was a remarkable woman. She noticed while working in the homes of the rich that their children often spent time reading and so she decided that her boys would read, too. She came home from work one day and told Ben and his brother that from that day on they would have to read one book per week and write a book report and turn it in to her. (The boys didn’t know that their mother couldn’t read or write.) Ben and his brother were not good students, at the time. They were not doing well in school. And, they were not a bit happy about being forced to read a book per week by their mother. No doubt Mrs. Carson did not give them a choice. In time, Ben and his brother began to enjoy reading books. For the first time they were learning about the world out of their city block. And, because of their reading, they became interested in learning other things and this showed up in their improvised grades at school. By this simple act of an illiterate mother, Ben’s brother grew up to be an Aerospace Engineer and Ben would become a world renowned Neurosurgeon at the John Hopkins Children’s Hospital. Ben Carson and his brother escaped the vicious circle of poverty because their mother insisted they read. It wasn’t other world stuff, was it? All it took was a parent who sincerely wanted her sons to get a real education.

I would recommend four things to America’s parents if they are serious about helping children to be ready to function in an adult world.

  1. Use your votes to get the federal government out of our education system. Education should be the purview of the local community.
  2. Do away with compulsory education laws. An education should be a privilege; not a sentence handed down by our governments.
  3. Discipline bad behavior at home and at school. Five days a week, the schools have your children as much as you do. Discipline in the schools should complement what parents expect of their children at home.
  4. Insist that your schools concentrate on the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. It worked in the one-room school-house and it will work today.

I stand by the title of today’s post. America’s education system deserves a grade of “F”.

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts.

32 thoughts on “Education In America Deserves A Grade Of “F”

  1. As a teacher who has held the line on educational standards to the point of resigning from two jobs — one in the public school system, where I was ordered to pass the star football player and refused, and one in a private school, where a similar situation arose albeit with ideological overtones (Libtard owners of the school) — I believe that the well-educated homeschooled students whom I send off to college now I am sending off into a void. And an expensive void, at that!

    So glad that I’m fast approaching the time to retire!

  2. home schooling is not for everyone. Some people are not equipped to teach their children and others can’t because they are working a full-time job

    There are many contracted teachers such as I! We contracted teachers teach classes of homeschooled children, and the working parent issue is minimized.

    BTW, I myself am a product of a version of the one-room schoolhouse. What an outstanding education I received by attending an institution with multi-aged groupings! The school that I attended way back when had at least 4 grade levels in each classroom. This system worked for average students, remedial students, and accelerated students.

    1. The science and engineering colleges have been the exception to the otherwise horrible education system we have today. And, Before you tll me about the winners for economics and for peace, the Nobel committees in those areas are not immune to politics.

  3. Welcome to the brave new Peoples Republic of America, where education exists to raise self-esteem. Grades? Standards? That’s just crazy talk. We are all special, unique snowflakes and education should teach us nothing that won’t make us feel good about ourselves.

  4. The problem is that the education system is more interested in indoctrinating our children rather than in educating them. The left wants a dependent society and that is exactly what they are creating through the educational system.

  5. Interesting article, Jim. I don’t agree with you in one sense, but I agree in another. I believe that the American education system is tiered. Here in Atlanta, we have two worlds. The City of Atlanta has a horrible school system. Unfortunately, a very high percentage of the students there are black, and the system is holding them back. In suburbia we have some excellent schools. In my part of town people tend to be better off economically, and their children perform very well in all phases of their educations.

    I am taking math classes at a local university. The kids I am meeting are math and science majors, and are as sharp as a whip. This university is not a tier-one institution, but we have our share of really smart kids.

    The really big problem with college graduates getting jobs is that there aren’t any jobs. It gets real simple, real quick. The recovery from the last recession has been longer and more painful than any I can remember. This is directly attributable, I think, to the governments fiscal and monetary policies. That’s another discussion.

    We desperately need a school voucher system where kids that really want to learn can get out of their hell, and get to a school where they are safe, and rewarded for achieving. Even my Catholic neighbors who send their kids to Catholic schools deserve some of their tax money returned to help with their kids educations.

    1. vouchers would be a great emergency rescue for the kids you speak of, that desperately need to get out of a failing system. in the long term, though, vouchers would not be the answer & would instead grow many strings attached–gov’t still being the middle man and all.

      1. Actually, vouchers worked in the State of Louisiana for decades in buying books for students whether they were in public or private schools. Huey Long instituted that a long time ago to garner votes from the strong Catholic population, and it worked for everybody.

        I don’t think we can keep governments out of the education systems, especially when so much depends on those systems. Governments do mess up those systems, because by definition whatever a government does is political. There will always be a bit of poison, there.

        Home schooling is an excellent solution for many kids. For those parents who are dedicated and willing to make the effort, the kids win. Well, except in those areas in the secondary schools where you need some actual expertise to be able to teach (as in mathematics). I know there are work-arounds for this, but government will continue to have a role whether we like it of not.

        It makes us feel good to say, “government should keep out of education”. That is not realistic. So, if we are going to make the best of a bad situation, vouchers make lots of sense. Nothing is permanent.

      2. Thanks for your comment Bob.

        The problem with government being in the education system is that the government always has strings attached.

        If you take government funding, you must teach what they want you to teach; see “Common Core.”

        My belief is that education belongs at the local l;evel where parents have more input into their children’s education. Also, early education needs to concentrate on the 3 “R’s” instead of stuff like sensitivity training and “I’m okay, you’re okay.”

      3. Bob the thread isn’t set deep enough to let me reply directly to your comment below but here I am. Thanks for the convo. It sounds like we agree more than disagree, but it sounds like your impression is I think that govt should stay out of education entirely.

        I don’t.

        But I do think that all levels of govt need to have their influence on education reduced. (Well except federal should be eliminated.) States are spending too much $$ for way too little educational return.

        The only way to truly reduce gov’t influence is to reduce the number of dollars that funnel thru the government on the way to education.

        Vouchers are not a bad thing, but I do not view them as a long term way to reduce gov’t influence on education thru tax dollars. If we ever got gov’t spending on education under control, then definitely vouchers would be a good way to distribute tax dollars toward education. Also vouchers are a good way to quickly rescue good students from failing school districts.

        Hope this helps.

      4. Hi, Noone. I don’t know whether to call you noon, none, nooneof, etc. So, I will just call you import 🙂

        You are right, there’s not much daylight between our positions, but I still think vouchers can be a permanent solution to things the government want to fund. For example, it would have been easier and cheaper to give free health care to poverty folks by giving them vouchers to HMO’s, etc. It would cost lots of money, but not as much as O’Care, plus their health care would be a good as any, and the infrastructure is already there.

        I think what you are really concerned about is government control. We have seen what happens when the government funds most of the scientific research in the country, and what happens to our primary and secondary schools. Whatever the government touches is politicized.

      5. Hey there Bob! The name “No One” works just fine, lol, but my first name is Linda. “Everything the gov’t touches is politicized.” Yep, you nailed it there. And I noticed you referring to primary and secondary school. Are you in England?

      6. How about ” no one but Linda”, your name and my dearly beloved’s. We will have been married 46 years next week. We live happily in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. We are retired, with Linda retiring last year after 35 years as a school librarian (media specialist). I cannot stand retirement, but don’t want to work, either, so I am going to college in spite of having two degrees, already. Math is my subject, this time.

  6. Your 4 points are a good start. The arguments don’t stand a chance right now, though. The vast majority of parents would look at you like lobsters were coming out of your ears. Remove federal dollars? But we need those! Education as a privilege? No. way. Discipline? Oh, man, are you insinuating that little Jane and Johnny’s behavior issues might be . . . my fault? And the basics? The experts have effectively sold a Great and Powerful Oz show of expertise; even the smartest and most involved parents fall under its spell.

    Really, I don’t think there is any chance of reforming education right now. The only thing to do is abandon it, especially 4 year colleges, & wait for them to collapse under their own weight. The higher education bubble will pop first. Perhaps the way to go right now is a technical associate’s degree of some kind, one that teaches a marketable trade skill. One can always build on that associate’s degree later on.

    Have a great day my friend

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