We is all gonna be edukated


Having solved the housing problem, our President now turns his attention to the education crisis. Apparently, it is a crisis that not everyone receives a post high school education. I did not know this. And I even went to college! Perhaps I need re-education. I'm sure that will be forthcoming.

Anyway, he wants every American to commit to a year or more of post high school education, be it college or vocational training. Also, by decree, "dropping out of high school is no longer an option". The President bemoans the fact that we have one of the highest high school dropout rates in the world. Whose fault is that exactly? Is someone making these deprived darlings leave school to hang out on street corners?

Look, some of the most intelligent people I know did not attend college for a variety of reasons and I'd much rather talk to them than some people with an alphabet after their name. The fact remains however, that a good percentage of the student population can't read, write and do simple math...not because they don't have the opportunity, because they choose not to apply themselves.

Our President and the Democrats don't see it that way. No, we're failing our youth. I'm sure we're going to hear a lot in the coming days about improving the quality of education at the secondary level. I have no argument with that to be honest. I'm all for making sure schools are better equipped, paying teachers a decent salary so as to attract and retain dedicated professionals, making schools safer. These are all good things. But we all know that this is not going to be the solution. Oh, a great deal of lip service will be paid to these measures and some money may even be spent on them, but they alone won't ensure every student is qualified to graduate high school and attend college.

How then, do you ensure this? This is how: high schools will be forced to adopt a "multi-cultural approach" in their course material and exams to make it easier for students to "relate". And colleges will be forced to do the same, effectively lowering their entrance requirements. That is, they will do this if they want to see a dime in federal funding. Rather than help students raise themselves up, the process will simply be dumbed down. And those students with promise and drive will suffer. In other words, they're going to do with education what they did with "affordable housing". Someone remind me again how that worked out.

Now then, who is going to pay for all this education? I think we all know the answer to that one. But fear not. All we are being asked to do is "invest" in our youth. What's the return on that investment? Oh, it's huge. You see, the President wants to make dedicated service to community or country a condition of education. Interesting. So all will be provided for the good of the collective. Where have I heard that before? I do wonder about a couple of things though: who will determine the type and length of service each fresh faced graduate will perform and what happens if said fresh faced graduate doesn't hold up his or her end of the deal? Maybe we can consult the Chinese.

Comments (2)

I've always found black and white views dangerous, and this one is no different. A kid who drops out and winds up on a street corner is not always fully at fault. I'd like to explain this in a way that doesn't come across bleeding heart liberal, but I don't know if that will happen...

My younger brother is a high school dropout. He spends most of the time smoking weed and playing XBOX, with an occasional painting or construction job now and then. He represents the worst type of high school dropout: the one who has no one to blame but himself (a group your post alludes to). His mother holds a Master's and his older brother is going to Law School; he ignored any inspiration to be gained and chose his life now. You're right, those people exist, and it clouds the argument on dropout rates.

In the same post you go on to agree that schools should be better equipped, both with supplies and well-trained professionals. There is something to be said for how the lack of these tools affects students; I myself was a fabled "at risk" student once. My first high school was a joke: the textbooks were barely legible over the graffiti/ripped pages and some of my classes were taught by a rotation of substitutes who knew nothing of the material. It was a mess, and so I almost dropped out.

I think this aspect of dropouts is being overlooked. It's real. It happens, and more than it seems many people think. Dropping out shouldn't be excused, but blame shouldn't automatically fall on the kid.

I know there's a stigma when it comes to the inner city, but urban education is a disaster. I've traveled to and worked in some of NYC's schools, and there are some serious issues. That doesn't include other cities like Baltimore, where things are even worse.

I don't mean to drone on, but the casual dismissal of dropout rates being the fault of the "deprived darlings" just struck a chord. Frankly, it's wrong (to a degree, as my brother can attest).

As for the idea that education will be dumbed down...that will not happen. Kids are "dumb" these days because they're reading at 4th grade levels at the age of 17. You don't fix that by dumbing education down to their level. It eliminates the entire point of education, and will not become policy in this country. One can argue that No Child Left Behind has already dumbed down education, to the point that "teaching to the test" eliminates any chance of these kids gaining the skills they need to actually make it to post-high school education.

Basically what I get here is a sense of anti-intellectualism. That the musings of college grads and those with doctorates is just snooty rantings from an out of touch group. I don't know how or why this movement started, but it really worries me. Goddamn right there are dangerous educated people in this country. Dumbing down the rest to combat this does good for no one, whether it be people on the Left or the far Right. Likewise, If everyone is simply meeting the bare minimum education requirement, everyone is fighting over the same low-paying, service-industry jobs. Is that really a good thing when there's barely a middle-class in this country?

Thank you for your comment. It isn't bleeding heart at all, it's well thought out and welcome. Yes, a lack of proper resources adversely affects students and needs to be addressed but I think you'll agree dropping out isn't the answer.