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Common Core & Banjos

Alrighty then — it must finally be official that a consensus of scientists certainly now agree that the academic gene pool in the American education system has shrunk to the point where parents are, like Burt Reynolds and Angelina Jolie’s dad (Jon Voight) in the movie Deliverance, seeking assistance from banjo-picking bureaucratic mutants.

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The latest evidence?  The inevitable consequences of a “Zero Tolerance” policy against common sense and any rational relationship with reality which leads to generaThe Blaze - Lego Gun Storyl panic and a swift disciplining of a six-year-old for possession of a two inch (2″) plastic Lego assault toy with the intent to commit aggravated childplay.   When a kindergartener is given government detention for having an item that is readily and legally available for purchase at any Toys-R-Us (no background check or concealed carry permit required), then something has “gone off the rails” — no matter what your opinion or interpretation of the Second Amendment might be.  Although it is worth noting:

“Five thousand years of recorded history.  Five hundred years of gunpowder combat.  One hundred and fifty years of repeating firearms.  Yet, despite it all, no one can find a single case, anywhere in the world, where a juvenile committed a multiple homicide in a high school prior to 1975. ”  (Beck, Control, eBook Edition Pg 110 )

The 1975 incident was in Canada.  Four years later, in 1979,  the United States experienced its first double homicide in a high school by a student.    Also notable  in 1979:  the Department of Education Organization Act (Public Law 96-88) was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter.  Hmmm, I wonder if there might be any correlation there.

So, firearms aside, how’s that Department of Education been working out for our children:

“In 2007, just 32 percent of 8th graders in public and private schools in the United States performed at or above the NAEP proficiency standard in mathematics, and 31 percent performed at or above that level in reading.  When more than two-thirds of students fail to reach a proficiency bar, it raises serious questions: Are U.S. schools failing to teach their students adequately?” (Peterson, Ludger, Hanushek, Lastra-Anadon, Globally Challenged:  Are U.S. Students Ready to Compete?, Page 4 – Harvard University Program on Education Policy and Governance)

Seriously?  They have to ask, “Are U.S. schools failing to teach their students adequately?”  As I recall from my days in the classroom, getting 32% on any test was a failing grade.

A moment for a personal anecdote:   Years ago in dealing with my tenth grader’s attendance and behavior issues, it came to light through independent testing I compelled the school district to pay for that she was only able to read at a seventh grade proficiency and the resulting stress was causing her to act out.  When confronted with that empirical data, the school principal tried to assure me that there was no problem, because their testing showed my child was at the 50th percentile of all the school’s tenth grade pupils.  See?  She’s perfectly average.  I inquired whether the principal and his staff took pride in the fact that well over half of their tenth grade class could not read at grade level.  The only sound to be heard in the conference room was cricket chirping.  That was 1995, so this has been going on a long, long time, and the situation, at least according to Harvard University, has not really improved as of  their latest report in July, 2012 (http://hvrd.me/16wf4eX)

Kind of like Aintree in Deliverance, the American education system has become an unhealthy monopoly, dominated by politicians, bureaucrats, union bosses, and civil servants, all “in bed” with one another.  To teach, one needs a government certificate.  To continue teaching, a certificate holder must regularly acquire Continuing Education Units, no doubt from government certified teachers in accordance with the same government mandated homogenized curricula DNA — “Common Core” in its latest evolutionary abberation.  It is all kind of like cousins procreating.  And people wonder why the American education system is dysfunctional; remember — 32% proficiency according to Harvard.

Funny how government lawyers and regulators will descend upon any monopoly in the private sector like hungry dingos on a baby to tear it limb from limb, but the monolith of Education — from text books to funding to cafeteria calorie counts — is untouchable:   “Vouchers Verboten!”

There once was a time in America when one company, AT&T, was sole provider of telephone service throughout most of the United States and most of the telephonic equipment used in the nation.  While the Department of Education was embarking on the monopolization of our children’s indoctrination, the Department of Justice in 1982 broke the back of the Bell System, leading to what has been unarguably decades worth of innovation and improvement in consumer communications choices.

Would anyone trade their iPhone for a Princess desk set?ATT Princess Phone

What would you trade for your child’s future?

Categories: A Brave New Yo-Yo
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