‘A nation ignorant and free, that never was and never shall be.’, Thomas Jefferson
Two items caught my eye about our disastrous public school system that once more confirm the status of our schools, the intellectual level of our gruberized citizenry, and that teachers unions are the work of the Devil, or a dirty communist conspiracy, or the idiot produce of our progressive elites who are beyond remediation, or, who knows, maybe from the heartbreak of psoriasis. But one thing is for certain, our high schools are bad, really bad; and you can see it for yourself right here in River City.
The first thing I ran across in this morning’s paper was a full page ad (must have cost them a pretty penny) by the XQ Super School Project that lamented the status of our high schools citing “seventy-two percent of graduating high schoolers don’t have the skills they need for success in college or a career.” Why should they when in today’s age of accelerating technology and growing systemic unemployment, 50% of our high schools don’t even offer calculus (and you can easily guess why). The XQ folks have gone out nationally to seek ideas for “rethinking” and revamping our high schools. Take a look at their website and mayhaps you may even want to get involved.
But the dismal findings indicated that we should continue monitoring the intellectual health of the nation, and that has been an ongoing, if not sub-rosa, effort for decades. The bottom line is that our adult literacy is unbelievably poor (numeracy is almost non-existent), and guess which side of the aisle and their organized labor partners would rather that you didn’t learn about it. Today we read “There’s no useful benchmark on what students learn, and by the way, a majority of four-year college graduates don’t learn enough to compare viewpoints in newspaper editorials, according to Education Department research.” (5oct15 WSJ, emphasis mine)
This confirms the NCES longstanding finding that 90% of our adults cannot reliably ferret out the main point of a multi-sentence paragraph in a newspaper or magazine. The newspapers have responded by reporting news with one sentence paragraphs, hoping that their readers can at least identify the subject of the sentence. And you can forget about following any thread of logical development – again, you don’t have to go far to confirm this for yourself.
And with our public forum in this state of intellectual disarray, we’re supposed to understand notions like climate change, national health care, ‘prosecutorial discretion’ claimed by our Executive Branch, relevant gun statistics, impact of national debt, of annual deficits, …; forget it, all we can do is listen to sound bites and emote. Dr Jonathan Gruber, MIT economist and architect of Obamacare, nailed it when he argued that the new legislation could contain anything since the poor schlubs who constitute our citizenry would in the aggregate be too stupid and/or disinterested to understand enough to cause political damage. Hence our language has a new adjective for such people – gruberized.