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    unrest in the land of 10,000 cheese hats..., 2011-02-20 12:39:22 | Main | in which researchers are shocked to find the quality of the labor force declined with reductions in compensation..., 2011-02-23 14:34:10

    the permanent education crisis:

    We have been told that there a crisis in education every month of every year of every decade for over a century. You might be able to find a decisive point of change -- that is, a crisis -- in American public education sometime in the past. Perhaps in 1852, when the first state adopted compulsory education, or 1918, when the last state did. But for perhaps Brown v. Board of Education there has been no point of crisis in education during the entire period in which we have been told that we're in one. It's been a century of tinkering at the edges of Frederick II's policies, not a century of crisis.

    Anybody still telling you that education is in a "crisis" is one of the people responsible for bringing down our verbal test scores in international comparisons and needs to be sent back to the fourth grade to re-learn elementary English. Not for their sake, but for ours.

    The systemic failure on the part of our leaders to comprehend the meaning of this word, "crisis", is a vivid demonstration of the chronic failure of our political institutions and the intellectual bankruptcy of the political class, who evidently can find no sufficient justification for their own place in society but the practice of brinkmanship on the putting green.

    While they may themselves serve as anecdotal evidence of how our schools often fail our dimmest students, history demonstrates that the failure has been one of perpetual, everlasting disappointment, and not a sudden onslaught or even a moderately interesting deviation from the moving average.

    Even if we accept the premise that these international assessments actually mean what they say they mean and are being assessed correctly to make such comparisons, we're talking about computed scores rarely more than 20% - and usually much less - below first place among countries that have distinct advantages in child support, structure of school funding, and homogenized populations that make it far easier for them to pound entire generations of children into little standardized boxes for all to see. Inheriting systemic flaws that have been a problem for generations is not a crisis.


:: posted by buermann @ 2011-02-23 11:49:09 CST | link





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