Public schools don’t deny their incompetence to educate. Well, they really can’t, given their abysmal test results, low graduation rates and the pervasive need of colleges to provide remedial classes. Instead, they cry poor: How can you expect me to teach anything when I’m so underfinanced? But years of U.S. schools per-pupil spending topping the list of developed countries has dented that a bit, since countries spending less per pupil stand higher on test results from their students.However, nothing changes. Ever ask yourself why? Here are three facts, not opinions. You may decide for yourself if they provide a clue toward the unchanging ineptitude of American public education.
We receive direct evidence of inadequacy from the national “No child Left Behind” testing program for reading, math and science. College entry testing such as the SAT and ACT tests of high school grads provide inarguable and very clear evidence year after year. And employers hiring our young people never stop complaining of their unpreparedness. So what is the reaction of the education establishment and government? Well, a current story out of Chicago (where a teachers’ strike recently won a substantial pay increase) is this: Union: End Testing! Yep, the standardized tests show how badly the system performs, so the Chicago teachers want to get rid of the testing. If you can’t or won’t move the ball, then move the goal posts, right? And then add these: Two bills were proposed in the New Mexico legislature under the (R) Governor’s program to improve the state’s bottom-scraping schools. One program would require that 3rd graders who failed reading would not be automatically promoted to 4th grade, Instead, they would repeat 3rd grade while receiving intensive remedial reading instruction. The other is an administration directive authorizing a virtual high school via internet for initially, some 500 students around the state, which has a widely-scattered rural population. The New Mexico legislature is controlled by Democrats, who’ve been in charge for decades; it had no trouble handling these attempts to improve education. The bill to stop automatically promoting failed readers was tabled and will never be seen again; New Mexican students will continue to be promoted each year whether they have learned anything or not. The program to set up a virtual internet high school? The bill has been introduced to ban use of any private source of instruction. Since the public schools will supply internet teaching only after every union member in the state has emigrated, that will head off the Governor’s other reform, unless the minority GOP can find a way to stop it. These reflect Illinois and New Mexico, but they’re a reasonable sample of the U.S. public education system, seems to me. I know what they tell me about the schools and the reasons for their failure to educate. I think that they don’t want to educate; they want to prepare citizens who will be willing and happy as government clients. They do that now, fairly well, though it costs too much. And I think the Democrats and Republicans are happy with that…they’re happy with what amounts to quasi-open borders, aren’t they? For Democrat new voters and Republican cheap labor, right? And they don’t care that most citizens disagree; why should they? They’re reelected anyway. And aren’t the public schools also providing Democrat voters and cheap labor?