The Dumbing of America
America’s school systems are in a sad state of neglect. Teacher’s salaries pitifully average about $45,000 nationwide, inspiration is generally lacking, tenure assures that mediocre teachers remain that way, while school authorities, being handcuffed, are no longer respected and can no longer stand in as ‘locum parentis’.
This is an extension of the fact that many homes are controlled, not by parents, but by children who can no longer be subjected to traditional methods of discipline because they might be emotionally scarred by over use of the word ‘no.’ This is not to mention the fact that a child can no longer be slapped, punished, scolded or taught reasonable manners. In many households the tail wags the dog.
Poor students are promoted through each grade simply to get them out of school; whereas at the same time their peers ridicule the National Honor Society students.
Mediocrity is accepted as a new scholastic standard and some schools have abandoned advanced classes because the other students who do not qualify to be in them might feel emotionally diminished. Common Core is a mockery of real education; and a system in which students can even opt out of taking tests.
Guns, knives and drugs are typical playground fare and teenaged girls give blowjobs to their boyfriends because they learned from President Clinton that this does not really count as being “Sex.”
Several years ago (1990s) the United States was almost forced to allow work visas for up to 75,000 foreign computer technicians because internally our own citizens could not supply the demand. Some of these entry-level jobs had starting salaries as high as $90,000 per year. The workers came from India, Pakistan, Japan and Korea; countries where academic excellence is lauded and where summer vacations usually do not exist. These countries believe that school, like real life, is a year-round job. This is not to mention the fact that these immigrants are fluent in English; whereas our illegal Hispanic immigrants are pandered to in their native language making for yet just one more classroom distraction.
U.S. inner city ghetto schools suffer the most because of poor infrastructure, poor facilities and hostile environments both for serious students as well as for their teachers.
America’s high school drop out rates run as high as 32 % with a rate as high as 50% for pockets of certain black and Hispanic populations. The national illiteracy rate, as defined by the ability to read and comprehend at a sixth grade level varies from 18% to as high as 42%.
College Board scores have shown a recent trend to drop. Many after-school athletic programs have either been abandoned because of potential legal liabilities and the cost to cover it, or because they can simply no longer be supported financially.
When my stepson, now a College graduate, was in tenth grade, he had to pay for intramural Junior varsity tennis while her daughter had to endure being in a class with an ADD child, who had to go to school accompanied by an attendant. Instead of being farmed out to a special needs school the child constantly disrupted the class with inane outbursts that destroyed the learning experience for the rest of the normal children.
You see, “everybody is somebody.” Everybody gets a prize or a medal. The problem is that everybody is simply just not the same.
Then god forbid we might risk the learning disabled becoming more “stigmatized” by being placed in a special education environment where they really belong and can actually be significantly helped.
Both of my wife’s children also had to pay a fee to ride on the big orange school busses, all of which makes one wonder where the exorbitant property taxes, supposedly earmarked primarily for schools really goes. So much for taxes; and so much for getting an education along with the opportunity to become a better, more well-rounded citizen.
The blue-collar workforce becomes infused with such mediocre talent that even. Store tellers cannot make change unless it is automatically done on a register. They seem completely baffled if you pay for a $10.32 item by handing over $21.00, cannot do the mental math, and sometimes do not even know how to enter it so that the mini artificial brain can do it for them.
The radio host rush Limbaugh is right when he states that in reference to undergraduate schools we have chosen to lower the level of the water rather than to raise the height of the bridge.
Unfortunately, America is supporting an intellectual vacuum for its children. There is no excuse for this and reflects poorly on governmental agency’s inability to prioritize its spending. The country can spend billions on wars and foreign aid that is hardly justified, while the rotting educational and transportation infrastructure languishes. On a small scale, there are about 16 million students going to college annually in the United States. The average cost of tuition to a State school is about 17 to 25 thousand dollars. The average cost of one nuclear powered aircraft carrier is 762 million dollars. This means that for the cost of just one big boat alone, all the children currently in state colleges could be supported for 2.8 years of education.
Imagine then what could be done with just a fraction of the total U.S. defense spending.
Along with this if there was anything of real value that minority leaders in this country could do for their constituents, it would be to absolutely ensure that the people they purport to represent at least graduate high school, stop speaking Ebonics and dress in a way that would make a corporate executive be proud to interview them.
Then at the next level, besides funneling ignorance out of the high schools and into the general population base, some adults have become adept at internet based knowledge, which only makes them masters at inductive reasoning. This is the proverbial “know it all” that epitomizes the proverb: A little knowledge can truly be a dangerous thing. Unfortunately, there seems to be one in every crowd. Rote inaccuracy often becomes quoted as irrefutable truth, while at the same time the equally ignorant company that it keeps, tends to stupidly agree.
Bill Clinton states on national television that:
- I never had sex with that woman… Monica Lewinsky.
The overweight, redneck beer guzzler watching an NFL game with his friends says:
- Same thing happened to me once. I stuck it in her. Then I moved it back and forth a few times. But I never really fucked her.
The redneck was referring to a one-night stand. What he failed to realize was that Bill Clinton, in furtively speaking directly to Monica, was referring to his own wife, Hillary.
Another typical example would be that if you have an ache in your chest, you can dial up Web MD and give yourself any diagnosis from a heart attack to heart burn. Then depending on your personal interpretation of the facts and symptoms you can either be self cured or risk dropping dead. A housewife, cum registered nurse, could either take her husband to an emergency room or just give him a slug of Maalox. Aside from her deduced Internet based opinion, her treatment may also depend then on either how smart or cunning she really is; which then entirely defaults to how much she actually likes him. A sad little Maalox widow indeed.
I have had patients tell me in all sincerity that it is the glue in cigarette paper that causes lung cancer and that pasteurized milk is a government conspiracy because the pasteurization process is what makes the milk cause hardening of the arteries. In the latter case I was informed that only un-pasteurized milk could safely be consumed, which this person did by the gallon, and then went on several years later to die prematurely of a massive heart attack. Forget the calcium and fat problem in whole milk. What about the myriad bacteria, including the bovine tuberculosis organism that thrive in milk, but can be attenuated by simple mild heating.
The process was not invented because someone was bored and liked to boil milk for kicks. People actually used to get sick and then die from drinking raw milk.
Yet another great modern phenomenon is that of the unqualified person of little or no experience or talent who wants to join an organization or a corporation, but believes he should start at the top. This is the person who honestly has such a high self-opinion, that he should be exempted from climbing the ordinary “reward for performance” organizational corporate ladder: The proverbial “legend in his own mind.”
- Yeah. If I was the CEO of General Motors, I’d know how to fix that bankruptcy problem.
Want ad: GM Position: CEO. Apply here. Absolutely no experience needed
Then lest we forget the so called ‘news analyst,’ better defined as being a person who knows nothing about everything. I wonder why night after night this country has to be subjected to the monologues of individuals who come without credentials or portfolio but who feel compelled to tell us the truth about news and world affairs; only as they happen to see it. One man’s opinion of moonlight becomes labeled as daily media gospel.
It is only regretful that all my relatives who sat around the Christmas table debating the merits of pricking a roast or not to see if it was medium-rare, did not have access to Google. They could have easily resolved the dilemma and then moved on to yet another mindless argument about yet some more trivial nonsense such as the great debate about whether lettuce tastes better if it is pulled apart with the fingers as opposed to cutting it up with a knife.
John Lawton was correct when he stated that; “the irony of the information age is that it has given new respectability to uninformed opinion.”
In the current information/ technology era we have become a nation of armchair experts, unqualified want-to-bes, and partially literate yet authoritative half educated nitwits.
Here are just a few inane quotes I picked up here and there
- “If I was not entirely tone deaf, then I would have perfect pitch;” said the contestant on American Idol.
- “I thought Europe was a country;” said Kellie Pickler on the TV show, Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader.
- “Don’t go into the woods next to the driveway. You might get poison ivory or poison shumack;” said my wildlife expert, Aunt Rose.
- “Don’t swim in the ocean right after you eat, or you might sink to the bottom and drown in the under-toad,” said my scientifically sophisticated cousin.
- “Yuhs two should stop buggin’ me and don’t aks me no more questions. Your refund is a mute point anyways,” said the irritated counter clerk.
- “Waiter, could you please bring me a schtraw,” said my thirsty English language murdering first wife.
- “I got kicked so hard in my groan, I can’t stand up,” moaned the NFL tackle.
- “My momma got die-a-betes so bad the doctah sayed it was almos tri-a-betes,” said the concerned ghetto dwelling son.
- “That’s a violation of my Silver rights,” said the freedom marcher.
- “My Florida Gators team is superb to yours,” said Congresswoman Corrine Brown
- “In retro-respect, I was wrong.” Said the Black State Missouri Representative.
- “I would be King, too. If I had balls;” said the Queen.
Ignorance is bliss.
But only if you keep it to yourself.
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