It’s no secret that many young Americans graduate from school with little more than the knowledge of where to find the cheat codes for the Call of Duty electronic game. Only a small number know how to use a globe or know you have to pay interest on credit card debt. They expect to start jobs with $100,000 salaries…at McDonalds. And enough math skills to balance a checkbook? Fugetaboutit!
Every holiday a plethora of polls expose the latest statistics for American Dumbassness. This year it’s a July 4th Marist poll pointing out that only 26% percent of Americans (4o% of 18-29 year olds) don’t know which country we fought in the American revolution.
Clearly, we’ve done a bad job of educating our children and parenting them in such a way that they’re ready to learn basic skills. But then, it’s hard for a parent or teacher raised in a dysfunctional educational system to teach subjects for which they’re only moderately better prepared than their students. Think of a copy machine. As you make copies of copies of copies, each new copy progressively degrades more.
Of course, there are many reasons for the collapse and just as many ideas of how to put the wheels back on the school bus. The Every Child Left Behind Act, school voucher programs, the abandonment of tried and true teaching methods and curricula, and cataclysmic budget cuts all do their part. Members of the ignorati, like Rick Santorum, simply believe only liberals are responsible.
It’s appalling that kids don’t know who we bested (geography lesson: not England – they aren’t the same thing) at Yorktown (crib note: it’s in Virginia along the York River). It’s even more appalling that parents, teachers, and politicians trying to win seats in the very heart of American democracy know just as little as the kids they’ve helped intellectually cripple.
American education policy is in a shambles. It seems all we can do about it is spew dogma at each other. Since dogma is a “big word”, here’s a little vocabulary help. One definition of dogma is, “a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds“. Do you know how I know that definition? I learned how to use a dictionary.
Study up kids. You should know what your soon-to-be adult screeds mean before you end up being incapable of delivering them.
Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!