We Don't Need No Education

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In ancient China, martial arts masters would tell their students to lengthen their own lines. In life, if one wishes to acquire skills equal to or better than those of another, that person should lengthen his or her own line, not try to succeed by cutting the lines of opponents. That is how one prevails in the struggles of life.

If this line ----- represents you, a person I admire and wish to emulate, I would strive to make my line look like this ----------------. I would never believe I accomplished anything by cutting you down to this --. Does that make sense? It actually does, and by not adhering to that simple ancient philosophy, our children are suffering terribly under our education system.

I am old enough to remember when my grammar school summer reading list suggested thirty books, ten or fifteen of which we had to read and report on before returning to school in September. I remember when students who did not learn the classroom material failed and were forced to repeat the course until the material was mastered. How times have changed!

Once we decided as a society to become politically correct, the concept of failure was eliminated. Today, no one can fail. Everyone is successful. Everyone passes. Everyone gets a trophy. The battle cry in many of the local high schools is “Competition Saps Motivation.”

The result has been disastrous. Many of our college graduates don’t read. Many of our high school graduates can’t read. Few in either group can spell, simply because it is no longer an academic priority with the advent of spellcheck programs.

We were afraid that little Billy would feel badly about himself because he failed Algebra. We solved Billy’s problem by passing everyone. Now Billy is happy, although he knows no Algebra. Sally struggled in English, so we handled her dilemma wisely. We passed everyone, and now Sally is happy.

There was a time when neither Billy nor Sally could qualify for acceptance to superior colleges and universities because their grades were sub-par. SAT scores, unfair as they appeared, had been constructed to discover the brightest of American students. Now, employers cannot find them very easily. Every resume looks the same – and ends up in the same round file.

How did we help the future of our nation by focusing so much on the 4% of the population that struggled in 1960 that we served the other 96% on a platter to the charlatans who claimed to know a better path to success? For example, we created a multiple choice Bar Exam and flooded the nation with incompetent lawyers scrambling for business like rats in an outhouse. We set up our high school students for failure. Their career goals do not match their training.

Today, it is impossible to select the best qualified personnel for any business based solely on a resume or academic transcript. Unless they receive government subsidies, employers still seek the best candidates for available positions. However, thanks to those who knew better and got rich selling their academic poison and standardized tests, the best of our young minds face employment discrimination. Students with legitimate graduate degrees are working minimum wage jobs to supplement their incomes. Unqualified students with 4.0 averages work minimum wage jobs because they are simply not qualified for other types of employment.

If America is to remain the leader of the free world in this century, we must revamp our entire education system in the USA to keep pace with the rest of the world. We do not need more Boards of Education or bureaucratic committees that justify their existences with taxpayer dollars while our children despair in the work force. Our kids need real self-esteem, which comes from giving them the education necessary to acquire real skills. We need plumbers and electricians who actually know what they are doing. We need doctors who are listening when they take the Hippocratic Oath. We need dedicated managers who show up on time each morning.

America’s bureaucratic, over-regulated system of public schools is woefully unprepared to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. Our government leaders continue to discuss reforming the current public education system by pumping more money into it. Instead, they should be discussing how to replace it. But that seems unlikely in a political atmosphere striving to magically transform the United States into Cuba. If the movement succeeds, we will all truly be equal.

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Comments

  1. I agree. The Dept. of Education should be abolished, and education privatized. Our kids went to a Christian school and received a superior education. Sure we had to sacrifice, but it was worth every penny.

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    1. Jennifer: I suppose not all education can be privatized, but public education should take a few pages out of the private school playbook. There is nothing wrong with "real" standards of excellence. We do not want our children to strive for mediocrity.

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  2. Although we DO now live in a world that is so upside down, backwards and inside out it is almost unrecognizable I have to say that I have noticed something a bit surprising lately. For those of us willing to actually work hard and improve ourselves on a daily basis there is more than enough work available (maybe not in the precise location I would enjoy living in, but that is another story...) and people who constantly tell me how hard it is to find someone who is actually willing to work. I have discovered that in a round about way these dumb PC policies actually make the difference between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' even greater as the people who are willing to better themselves will soon have everything and everyone else will just end up with a cradle to grave government paid existence.
    While I am sad for those who are willing to accept government handouts as the best that life can offer them, I don't really feel sorry for anyone who puts themselves into that position. There is still no real free lunch, easy money or guarantees in this life. The sooner a person learns that, the sooner that person will get ahead. BTW, I don't think people will ever learn that in public school. Public schools were bad when I attended them and they are impossible now. I support home schooling wholeheartedly. My husband and I volunteer with local home school groups and can see some hope for the future.

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  3. I love this post JJ. I worked hard to promote vocational education, something that was frowned upon by parents way back in the olden days of my childhood. I have complained my whole life that what was taught to me in the school system was not connected to the real world in the classroom where the kids (I) had to know why they had to learn what they were learning; it seemed disconnected. Later, as a naturally gifted architectural space planner, I went back to studying geometry on my own after failing it in high school. The theorums became a lot more important thanks to my job. Education was not and is not connected to the job market. A lot of smart kids fail because they are turned off. A lot of smart children with learning disabilities turn off, because the disabilities are not spotted soon enough by competent educators. The whole situation makes me livid.

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    1. Linda: Me too. "Livid" is a nice word.

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  4. Am so glad I am where I am...grateful...and I too wonder the same things as you, JJ.

    There are a few that still happily surprise you with how much they want to know, read, etc.. Sadly, they are few!

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    1. A-M: I sure hope so, because they are our future.

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  5. When I went to school myself my competition was with myself. I strove for excellence but not thinking I would derail the paths of others, so I like what you say. Interesting post. I was not aware of this. Have you ever heard Sir Ken Robinson's TED talk on education?

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    1. Julia: I have not heard KR, but I will check me out. Thanks!

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    2. You will like this talk, I think:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wX78iKhInsc

      There are more. If you check you tube, you will find more. This is a good one.
      Let me know what you think.

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  6. We rode in, hanging on to the coat-tails of the old education with definite rules of excellence and competition. Slowly the rules changed and students began to change into one homogeneous mass. Then I read Charlotte Iserby and realized this was intentional, the contrived dumming down of students that would make the masses more easily controlled. This kind of mind control, along with fluoride in the drinking water and chemicals released in the air, made the perfect pathway for the agenda that had been set forth many years ago. Genetically modified foods will soon lead to the demise of the human system as we know it. I see it all happening but I continue to cultivate my flower gardens, as it is still the one place place I feel contentment. People were promised "change." They wanted it and they are getting it. Bless you for your awareness.

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    1. Manzie: You are exactly right. Be careful what you wish (or vote)for because you just might get it!

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  7. Sadly, most of what you say is true. Although there is no excuse for high school or college graduates to be illiterate, many quietly slip through the cracks while the disruptive kids are evaluated for extra services. Instead of passing Billy and Sally to spare their feelings, the schools should offer them additional support to work toward reaching their goals. On another note, hopefully my son will never have to be "scrambling for business like rats in an outhouse." Although this doesn't only apply to lawyers.

    Julie

    Julie

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    1. Julie: Very true. It does not apply to all lawyers. I started my career as a young lawyer with the goal of being an advocate for those unable to fend for themselves. I enjoyed a very interesting career as a specialist in my field. I later became a writer and a teacher to escape the changing attitudes of attorneys toward the general public, and vice versa. However, I did come across many honorable, competent attorneys that served the public need very well. Nevertheless, in my opinion, the education system is letting down our children and it continues to weaken all the professions.

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  8. Good morning, JJ.

    What a great post!

    We have "lost" it... whatever "it" is/was. We have been heading in this direction for some time now. We can't play dodge ball in PE class anymore because it hurts the feelings of those who are put out... we can't keep score in kids' games anymore because it hurts their feelings.

    We can crucify (not sure a pun was intended here) Christian beliefs, but we can't mutter a bad word about muslims and islam... We can rake Paula Deen repeatedly over the coals for the use of the word, 'nigger,' when among themselves, blacks use it daily. While the 'main stream media' continues to villify Deen for her 'sin,' that same media looks the other way while Obama and his evil minions continue to dismantle this once great country.

    I felt that if Obama was re-elected president of this country, it and its future was doomed. I still feel this way. I don't think it will ever return to what we knew.

    What kind of a screwed-up, messed-up society do we have now?

    ~shoes~

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  9. I love that philosophy of those ancient Chinese martial arts masters. I agree that the whole education system needs to be revamped. And they need to stop passing the money for the schools around to the administrators. The whole PC is coming back to bite us big time. Great points, JJ. I just hope something is done soon.

    To answer your question on my blogspot post, no, I'm not back to that site, but every so often I'm posting on it and mentioning that I've moved to the other site, in hopes to get some of my followers back. I lost most of them when I switched. :(

    Take care.

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  10. I come from a long line of Public school teachers. They are so distraught over how the government thinks so very little of them, how very little they are paid, and how very little parents think of them.

    They feel like glorified babysitters for some. Too many children in a classroom makes it more difficult to give one on one instruction. They have a passion to teach children and not just teach test answers.

    So much will be lost on our future generations. Some graduate and can't even read, speak proper English, or write. They also have very little as far as role models from home life, thus the decline in an intelligent, articulate and civil society.

    They aren't teaching vocational studies anymore. So who will fix my car or my a/c in the future?

    I used to have a young neighbor who told me she hated her dryer because it took forever to dry her clothes. When I went and looked at it the filter had 6 inches of lint stuck to it. She has a Master's degree and no common sense. I am all for education and higher learning, never stop learning, but bring back vocational studies in to the schools. Stop passing illiterate students and quit dumbing down America! ~Ames

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