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 Politically correct kids who can’t read, write, or add up

20.10.21.  In western societies, we will blame the drop in our kid’s academic performance on the lockdown and for some that may be true but for others, by not being at school they will be ahead.
Teachers will not admit that the drop in standards is because we have moved away from “doing school” to developing children who are concerned with being politically correct in race, gender, and diversity rather than know the time’s table.
Homework for many children is an unknown as are competitive exams. What this means is that China and India will be outperforming western European-based societies in the future. Of course, as Ilana Mercer discusses the US is leading us down the education slide:

America’s crumbling education system is in the news. On October 5th, Joe Biden managed to disgorge some dismal indicators as to the future prospects of America’s youth compared to the rest of the developed world.
Joe didn’t quite say it, but America’s kids, the product of an obscenely well-funded school system, rank last in the developed world in reading, writing, and math, making homegrown imbecility a far more pressing problem in modern-day America than homegrown terrorism.
Yet conservatives have kept insisting, throughout the Covid lockdowns and quarantines, that kids were missing out on an education because they were out of school.
To paraphrase Joan Rivers, how can you miss out on a rash? (When Madonna accused Lady Gaga of stealing her music, the great, late, lady Joan wanted to know how you could steal a rash.)
A particularly startling fact caught my attention in the Economist. “At 15, children in Massachusetts, where education standards are higher than in most states, are so far behind their counterparts in Shanghai at math, that it would take them more than two years of regular education to catch up.”
This last fact is enormously telling and alarming. It tells you that America’s best schools and students can’t compete with the world’s best.
As the author further quipped cynically, “American children came top at thinking they were good at math, but we’re bottom at math.”
There’s no doubt that American kids are drowning in self-esteem. As someone who had warned, in the early 2000s, about unrealistic, dangerous levels of self-esteem—I would contend that inflated self-esteem and narcissism not only mask failure, but create pumped up nihilists, ready to unleash on their surrounds, unless met with palliative praise.
Yes, self-esteem is the royal jelly upon which America’s children are raised. Our child-centered, non-hierarchical, collaborative, progressive schooling has produced kids who do not believe they can and should be corrected; and when corrected lash out in anger or bewilderment.
Indeed, to listen to our university students speak—is to hear a foreboding amalgam of dumbness and supreme confidence combined. Yet they are often high achievers in the kind of schools “tailored” for just such sub-par output. The achievement Bell Curve has been skewed.
With welcome exceptions, the young can hardly string together coherent, grammatical sentences. They open their mouths and out tumble nothing but inane, mind-numbing cliches and banalities spoken in gravelly, grating, staccato tones. Vocal fry, the linguists call this loathsome sound.
Once upon a time, linguists would have sent our Eliza Doolittles for elocution lessons. Make her sound less rough, more refined.
Eliza, of “My Fair Lady” fame, was treated paternalistically, no doubt. Pedagogic paternalism can be fixed; not so a student’s studied ignorance. And these days, the Kardashian-style guttural growl is considered precious. Linguists name it and study it, instead of crushing it.
In fairness to the kids, anyone under 50 seems to be similarly afflicted: This cohort can’t use tenses, prepositions, and adjectives grammatically and creatively, or appreciate a clever turn-of-phrase, or conjugate verbs correctly. Has anyone noticed that the past perfect tense is dead in our country? People will relate that they “had went” to school or “had came back from the cinema.” Pidgin English is what the young, high-school graduate now speaks.
Inanities and redundancies make their way into compositions, too, where sentences are audaciously prefaced with, “I feel like”:
“Like, I want to give back.”
“Like, I want to make the world a better place.”
“I feel like, it’s important to love myself” (teaching textbook narcissism).
“I feel like, we need to unite.”
“Like, follow your passion.”
Hallmark cards are edgier, more original, and intuitively truer than the monolithic minds of America’s young, and those who’ve raised and taught them.
Clearly, people even more illiterate than the students are setting these sub-standards, giving kids A’s for output that showcases an inability to distill, summarize and generate ideas, and ethically cite sources. In use is only the most rudimentary, emotionally evocative language, for lack of a solid, ever-accreting vocabulary, higher-order thinking, and proper restraint in affect.
As to restraint: Not coincidentally, an asphyxiating hysteria simmers beneath the surface of the prose to match the vapid vocabulary, whereby breathy figures of speech are deployed to fit a febrile, emotionally overwrought state-of-mind:
“Unbelievable, incredibly embarrassing, amazing, OMG!” In short, exclamatory utterances.
As to edginess: America’s young have not been given the analytical tools with which to question received opinion. And, in tackling the “tyranny and arrogant authority” tied to Covid and Critical Race Theory, the kids have been mostly establishment-compliant: 40% of millennials favor the suppression of insensitive speech. It is the oldies who’ve stood up. Young people have, sadly, been readily inclined to accept and follow authority’s orders at all time.
Language mediates thought—and actions. You cannot express or develop worthwhile thoughts without a command of the language.
I feel for the kids. They are not to blame. Their arrogant ignorance, inculcated in schools, is carefully cultivated and then reinforced with incontinent praise from pedagogues and parents alike, from K to university.
Progressive schools and teachers—overseen by teachers’ unions—are responsible for the quantifiable rot; for the monument-smashing, monumental ignorance among America’s youth.
As to the formative figures in the child’s life. More shocking numbers: “Less than half (48%) of all American adults were proficient readers in 2017. American fourth graders (nine-to ten-year-olds) rank 15th on the Progress in International Literacy Study, an international exam.”
“And only 12% [of us] are considered by the country’s health department to be ‘health-literate’. Over one-third struggle with basic health tasks, such as following prescription-drug directions.” The numbers come via the Economist.
Conservatives like Candace Owens have equated keeping kids out of school with keeping kids dumb and compliant. How is that so, if schools are producing kids this banal, boorish and bossy?

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Muphin 20/10/2021, 4:20 am

    Our kids are not being educated, there are being indocrinated by leftist leaning teachers.

  • Tamworth 20/10/2021, 6:33 am

    Another brilliant essay by Mercer, a great analyst of culture and politics.
    With a unnecessary last para swipe at Candace Owens.
    Mercer is conservative, no fan of Trump but enthusiastically supports all he does and the processes he uses. Owens is a true conservative who supports Trump for his achievements and ignores irrelevancies.
    Both are easy on the eye women, and it may be that Mercer is dissing Owens to grab the title of Top Conservative.

    • BBob 20/10/2021, 8:32 am

      “Both are easy on the eye women”, but to my eye, Michelle Malkin takes the Gold medal as “Top Conservative”.

  • Ian 20/10/2021, 6:35 am

    The teachers can’t pass the tests that they are setting the kids, what chance have the kids got?

    I recall, (back in the early ’80’s), a maths teacher for our class of pure mathematics, (Yr 12), who couldn’t achieve any of the answers to the text book problems. If not for a couple of the students she wouldn’t have learnt a thing that year and would probably still be a useless waste of oxygen.

    As a minimum, the teachers must be able to not only understand the course content, they must also be able to teach it to students who may not follow logical thought or a similar path to their peers. My experience is that teachers fit one of two molds, they are left leaning and a student’s effort is good enough for a pass or they get results which make the others look bad and hence are shifted sideways until they leave or fall off the team.

    Fix the teachers and the students will follow. To fix the teachers you need to get rid of the current crop in charge. They’ve proven their failings, it’s time to give the next group a chance.

  • LadyMoonlight 20/10/2021, 8:03 am

    I have been a high school teacher in a state school for the last 23 years. I am currently on Long Service Leave and will retire at the end of it (I am on leave all of this term). I am Conservative and most people have no idea how difficult it is to be surrounded by young Lefty teachers. It got to the point where I would spend Recess and Lunch times working in my room rather than sit in the staff room and listen to the verbal diarrhea that spewed from infantile minds. I like teaching, but we are no longer educators we are indoctrinators. I can no longer do this. A teacher’s time = paperwork 50%, well-being 40% and teaching 10%. The paperwork is unbelievable and the constant “Are U OK?” nonsense is unsustainable. If one wants respect, teach in Asia because it won’t happen here! The Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and Singaporeans are smart enough to give their future citizens an education, and we are not. That is why they will walk all over us in the future.
    If I had my time to do again, if I knew then what I know now, I would absolutely, without doubt or hesitation, home-school my kids and my grand daughters. I would not let them within Cooee of a public or, most likely, a private school.

    • Neville 20/10/2021, 9:52 am

      LM, it’s sad to hear your personal experiences, though not really surprising.
      My kids are now all a bit over 40yo. Back in the 80s, when they were setting out to enter the school indoctrination system, I felt (in a less-informed way – I know WAY better now!) that I would NEED to strongly focus on what they were being taught, and then give them the full picture at home anyway.
      I agree with you on home schooling, but as with many people, who has the time, especially with the way that demands on parents have increased over the last 50-odd years (by design, one wonders?).
      They are all very slightly, or perhaps a little somewhat infected by the woke bullshit that passes for being ‘with it’ these days – after all, having to wade around in a wide-ranging swamp of socialist slime is bound to cause some of it to rub off.
      But I do see (with perhaps a tinge of pride) that when it comes to working stuff out, and deconstructing the neomarxist crap that passes for ‘education’ these days, they can at least bring a bit of logic and semantic analysis to the task.
      (sigh) We simply just HAVE to keep on pushing back against the Gramski-fixated and Frankfurt-patterned neomarxists that (currently, at least) have control of the reins.

    • Botswana O'Hooligan 20/10/2021, 10:10 am

      I had a hand in attempting to train Celestial Uni graduates on jet aeroplanes that got along at about eight nautical miles a minute so it is an advantage to be able to perform mental mathematical gymnastics for two hands are mostly needed so a calculator isn’t of much use unless you have an extra hand. Not one of about the thousand or more of them I attempted to train could work out simple math problems without a pocket calculator, but mind you I ran across a great many “round eyes” who couldn’t get by without a calculator either. I used to opine that I learned mental maths as a kid from counting all the legs on the cattle being mustered and dividing by four to get the exact number of them. The great problem we face is that people of the modern generations have sophisticated machines to do most everything and have been reduced to systems managers and cannot handle anything that goes “outside the box” or the damn thing gets a flat battery, whereas we didn’t have a blessed box at all, just our brain.

    • Aktosplatz 20/10/2021, 10:24 am

      Thank You Lady Moonlight for a job well done over all of those years.

  • Sir Peter 20/10/2021, 8:44 am

    The sensible Americans woke up years ago. Even the ruling communists send their kids to private schools.

    There is no justification, none at all, for governments to be involved in education. Bring in school vouchers immediately and give parents the choice – get their kids educated, not indoctrinated.

    And G*d knows why we need a massive Federal dept of ed, which teaches not a single child. Gravy train for comrades.

    No wonder we have to import fruit pickers – all the suitable workers are on the dole or in the bloated public circus

    • Neville 20/10/2021, 9:57 am

      All true enough, SP, though with general education, I’d tend to the idea that there needs to be SOME standardisation required, and some commonalities across the country, which would ensure that we turn out Australians, not multi-cultural enemies of Australia. The argument occurs at the boundaries, about just where and how much and what type of standardisation is needed – and no more!! [grin]

      • Sir Peter 20/10/2021, 11:30 am

        Easy. No Muslims need apply

  • davey street 20/10/2021, 5:33 pm

    The American Federation of Teachers, the national education union, is headed up by Randi Weingarten who is an out and proud lesbian, married to another lesbian, Liz Margolies. Neither of these women have any children and both are registered Democrats and far left agitators. They live in a luxury apartment in New York City. Parents peacefully protesting at hundreds of school board meetings about the teaching by Weingarten’s school teachers of far left socialist nonsense like Critical Race Theory and gender fluidity, have been formerly described as “domestic terrorists ” by Joe Biden’s Attorney General who has set the FBI on to those parents. This is no exaggeration. Is there any wonder America is sliding into eventual total oblivion.

  • davey street 20/10/2021, 5:50 pm

    So you chose to censor me, faceless one. Not one word of what I wrote about Weingarten or about parents protesting at school board meetings being told they are “domestic terrorists” by the Attorney General of the US, is
    either exaggerated or a lie. ALL of my information is a available on line via Fox News, Breitbart or Gateway Pundit, or via Wikipedia. Your action, whoever you are, is WHY people so detest the media these days. You cannot accept the truth when it doesn’t fit the narrative or the agenda.

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