Many years ago when my eldest daughter was in the third grade, I was informed by the School Board that they would no longer be teaching cursive writing to elementary school students. I was nonplussed. I imagined a dismal future where our kids will only be able to sign their names with an “X”, reminiscent of the bad old days of Feudal Europe. I was also envisioning them never being able to read the U.S. Constitution in its original text because of its flowing script. Thankfully, I was able to get my hands on script workbooks and taught my kids how to write in cursive. Perhaps I’m old fashioned, but to me, signing your name to any document implies good character and the spark of intelligence. Although my kids fought me tooth and nail then, as young adults now, they have beautiful signatures, and they read and write in beautiful flowing script.
This was my first fight with a lackluster public education curriculum, but sadly, not my last. In my opinion, for the last several years, public education in the United States has been producing graduates that are less competent in language skills and dramatically less well versed in science and mathematics. As of just this last year, public education has appeared to take on a more “socially aware” role than of education.
One recent example is the push for teaching Critical Race Theory in our public schools, which is a great disservice to the intellectual progress of our children.
As taken from a horrifying admission from “Critical Race Theory: An Introduction,” a 2001 book from Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic:
“Unlike traditional civil rights, which embraces incrementalism and step-by-step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment, rationalism and neutral principles of constitutional law.”
In a nutshell, advocates of the CRT “anti-racism” movement have embraced the purely proletariat notions of economic and racial equality. As a result they openly advocate for discrimination as long as it is anti-white, anti-Asian, anti-Christian or anti-Jewish. In its most basic parts, the theory, like all socialist and/or communist rhetoric, embraces the idea that to be “equal” in society, one must take away someone else’s social equality.
This theory is in complete contradiction of the American notion that “all men are created equal”. That basic principle of genuine human equality, which has been a part of our American belief system since antiquity is the true philosophical enemy of the overt anti-white bigotry embodied by CRT. These teachings are a terrible and detrimental substitute for traditional learning.
To add insult to injury, which goes hand in hand with pushing theoretical dogma in the classroom.
“Many schools in the United States have ceased issuing grades that have any meaning, or they have dropped grading altogether, which means there is no way to judge progress or achievement. National test scores for evaluating possible college entry are on the way out almost everywhere as they are increasingly being condemned as ‘racist’ in terms of how they assess learning based solely on the fact that blacks do less well on them than Asians and whites. This has all been part of an agenda that is being pushed that will search for and eliminate any taint of racism in the public space…
The new world order for education is built around the concept of ‘equity,’ sometimes described as using the public education system to ‘ensure equitable outcomes.’ But the concept itself is deeply flawed as the pursuit of equity means treating all American unequally to guarantee that everyone that comes out of the schools is the same and has learned the same things. That is, of course, ridiculous and it penalizes the good student to make sure that the bad student is somehow pushed through the system and winds up with the same piece of paper.”
The domino effect from this dangerous trend will lead to a less educated populace, and theoretically, a more compliant populace. Sadly this transformation from true education is taking place with the encouragement of some State and local governments. Once fully realized it will become impossible to go back to a system where learning is actually a discipline that requires hard work and dedication.
Thankfully, there has been pushback from concerned parents and teachers. Parents in many school districts are starting to attend school board meetings to register their opposition and even some school board members and teachers are pushing back hard against the “new order”.
However, in the minds of progressives, when there is a crisis, there is an opportunity. In an ever more insulting attempt to “dumb-down” education in the name of “public safety”, it was announced by the NYS Education Department.
“The January 2022 administration of the High School Regents Examination Program is cancelled due to the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic, State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced today. This cancellation applies to all Regents Examinations that had been scheduled for the January 2022 Regents Examination period. No decisions have been made regarding the June and August 2022 administrations of Regents Examinations or any other State assessment programs…
Due to the cancellation of the January 2022 Regents Examinations, the Department will ask the Board of Regents to approve modifications to the assessment requirements that students must meet to earn high school diplomas, credentials, and endorsements.”
This is the third straight year that Regents have been canceled in New York due to COVID. The New York State Regents Exams are a set of required tests which allows them to receive a high school diploma after passing. The basic subjects tested are for mathematics, science, English and social studies. Although I’m sure there are plenty of High School students in New York who may be happy that they don’t have to take these tests in January, in the long run, they will be less prepared for the real world. In my opinion, being tested on the knowledge acquired through study, cognitive thinking and discipline is imperative. Even from an emotional standpoint, preparing for testing, as stressful as it is, can create healthy coping mechanisms, which is also essential for living in the real world. You know it’s bad medicine when the NYS Education Department acknowledged in 2020, cancelled Regents helped inflate the graduation rate to eighty-four percent, and even admitted the distortion could last for many years to come.
It is an insane concept to replace education with indoctrination. It is an utter failure of policy makers to willfully design that degree of idiocy. The decline in quality education in our public schools did not happen overnight, but thankfully the fight to reverse course on this trend is being fought by many parents and front line educators. The greatest gift bestowed to Mankind is the ability to think. To read. To seek knowledge and wisdom. To better understand each other. To shape the world we live in for the betterment of ourselves and for society. As we close out 2021, may we all keep these fundamental principles in our minds and hearts for the New Year.