I do not have kids of my own. But I pay school taxes like anybody else who owns propert or rents an apartment. [Yes, Matilda… if you rent an apartment, a portion of your rent obviously goes to school taxes]. Now, I hear a lot from folks who think that kids listening to Justin Bieber is addling their brains. I say, hold up! Yes, I will agree he is no Justin Timberlake or Tupac Shakur or Bob Dylan. But let’s climb off his back and scurry up the spine of those who are really doing their worst to screw up our kids, our current culture, and our future society: The men & women of the (mostly for-massive-profit) educational reform industry.
There are good people who want educational reforms. There are good people among those who are in the educational reform movement. There are also good people in prisons and on the side of the enemy in any war.
The degree of public education’s pure slide into the abyss that I have seen happen over the last thirty years is mind numbing. Standardized tests are only moderately usable. Kids that I meet every semester coming into university are more unprepared for real writing, mathematics, and critical thinking than the ones I met the previous semester. How are standardized tests helping?
Hell, even some universities–unimportant and rarely heard of ones, you know, like Harvard & Princeton–would like to get rid of SATs & GREs as requirements… but there are too many lobbyists even in their ivy covered enclosures to be rid of those exams. And those two tests are like a light year ahead of the kind of standardized testing that is done in high schools. It is appalling.
So the next time you want to blame a kid who happened to become famous for what is wrong with little Laura or baby Bruce… bubble in another answer.
Thanks to my buddy John for posting this on Facebook.
One problem with the education “reform” industry is not merely that it generally looks at “education” as though it were a commodity, like soybeans, and that the problems with how we educate a great many children of our fellow citizens can be solved if we just refine the delivery systems for the product. In other words, most education “reform” proponents treat “education” as though it exists in a vacuum unaffected by the factors — like, say, joblessness and poverty — in the real world outside the classroom. (How many prominent school “reformers” have stepped up and said anything about the increasingly effective campaign by the NRA to arm public school teachers? Thought so.) Thus do we come to the second problem with the education “reform” movement — it is shot through root and branch with patent-medicine remedies pitched by for-profit grifters and hustlers.