Education’s Underbelly

The regrettable situation of college freshmen who cannot read or write at a college level is well known. As many as half the high school graduates who enter college require remediation courses.

Not so much media attention is given to a similar situation that exists with the recruiting of service personnel for the armed forces.

According to an editorial I read yesterday, nearly a quarter of all high school graduates who try to join the U.S. Army can’t pass a basic entry exam on which they are required to achieve a minimum score of 31 out of 99. A sample question:

If 2 plus x equals 4, what is the value of x?

The editorial points out an even more shocking fact about the 17-24 year old demographic that may wish to join the Army: seventy-five percent don’t qualify to take the basic entry exam because

a. they have a criminal record
b. they didn’t graduate from high school
c. they are physically unfit.

If the educational establishment in this country were scrutinized by its users like any other industry, it would be the target of anti-fraud laws.

Before the 19th century, education beyond basic literacy was the privilege of the wealthy. Literate parents could teach their children to read, write and do sums, but only the well-to-do could afford to educate their children beyond these simple basics.

In the 1840s, civic-minded educators like Horace Mann campaigned for a public system that would provide education for children at every economic level. The rationale:

common schooling could create good citizens, unite society and prevent crime and poverty.

We all know how that turned out.

The proof is in the pudding.

Parents who want educated children cannot afford to trust the public schools to do the job.

Academic success begins with reading fluency. Parents who want their children to learn to read and write effectively will get busy and learn how to teach their children these skills at home.

 

 

3 comments to Education’s Underbelly

  • Lawrence,
    I deleted your first comment since you submitted a rewritten version.

    Like Denton, I’d like to see more support for your charge that the U.S. government actually promotes atheism and Islam.

    Here’s how I understand the words of the First Amendment:

    Congress will not make any one religion the state religion.
    Congress will not prohibit the practice of any religion.
    Congress will not limit freedom of speech.
    Congress will not limit freedom of the press.
    Congress will not limit the right of people to gather peacefully in groups.
    Congress will not prevent people from asking the government to listen to their complaints and demanding that it do something about governmental injustice.

  • Speaking of education, perhaps I need some. What, specifically, has the U.S. gov’t done to establish atheism? Honestly, I’m unaware.

    Also, what protection, specifically, has the U.S. gov’t provided to Islam? I’m unaware of any action like this – doesn’t mean it didn’t happen – I could be ignorant.

    And, don’t we want religion out of the classroom except as a subject for study which would include all major religions? Most Americans would “throw a fit” if their kids were exposed to a daily reciting from the Koran.

    But, I’m open to changing my mind once I see the relevant information.

  • I see my little proof reader missed a few mistakes in my copy. I believe this copy will read better and make more sense:

    It is to be expected that education will continue to spiral at an ever increasing velocity into abject failure as long as federal legislators and federal bureaucrats are involved with it. Education is best managed by the smallest local community group of overseers with the capacity to manage local education according to the wants and needs of that community in a given sovereign state of the Union.

    A possibly unforeseen consequence of the Federal Government’s involvement in education is that it has overstepped its authority, as outlined by the enumerated powers assigned to the Federal Government by the U.S. Constitution. It is done this by doing all it can get away with to establish Atheism as a state religion.

    The establishment of a state religion was something the founders of our great nation abhorred so much that they chose to make the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to be the one that strictly prohibited the establishment of a state religion.

    There was more than one reason why the founding fathers feared the establishment of a state religion. Their forebearers and some of their number had fled the British Isles in part to escape being forced to adhere to the state religion enforce there. Another reason was that several of the colonies had state religions and that would certainly have caused grave problems once the colonies were united as a group of sovereign states in one united nation.

    Many people are terribly mixed up as to what the First Amendment says and means, thinking it has to do with “the separation of church and state.” This is certainly not the place to go into the meaning of the First Amendment, but perhaps Maeve will allow me to quote the text of the amendment for those who have not read it, or have read it and have long since forgotten what it says.

    The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    The Federal Government is in violation of the reasonable man interpretation of the textual intent of the founders in establishing that amendment, in that the Federal Government has endeavor by all means at its disposal to “prohibit the free exercise thereof [that is ‘of religion’],” which has served to protect the beliefs and practices of atheism and religions of practically any kind whatsoever, other than Christianity. For instance, sadly, it has chosen to protect Islam; a faith that sees Christianity, and other non-Moslem religions, and Moslem apostates, as its mortal enemies, while driving Christianity out of the classroom, the court house, the city square, and every other place it sees fit, all the while allowing varying degrees of access to those places to the other religions.

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