Discover more from bad cattitude
i am old enough to remember
when schools were supposed to be about education
there was a time, not so very long ago, when schools were about education rather than indoctrination. they sought to teach students and help them rise up to the level of their abilities. they sought to serve the students and to find the programs to help them become their best selves. these days seem to be gone.
now those running these institutions seem entirely political, captured by a marxist body of union bosses and administrators whose goals are the “equity” and the imposition of wild and baseless ideologies of critical race and gender and colonization that have so little to do with reality as to render schools entirely unfit for purpose. they are now entirely riddled with orwellian doublespeak to the point of predation upon our children. these ideas are so inimical to the process of human growth and education as to demand refutation:
achievement is oppression
equity of outcome serves the community
these are pernicious and absurdist claims. they frame the best and brightest as oppressive for being best and bright and seek to deny them access to the classes and advancement that will keep them challenged, interested, and let them reach their potential.
you are literally telling children that they must run slower because if they do not, the others will feel bad. imagine trying this at a track meet. it would be ridiculous. it is no less so in math class. if you ban fast running at track, then your school is never going to be able to compete. you will not produce runners for the NCAA or the olympics or that can even compete in a friendly race later in life. math is the same. you’ll stunt the most capable and leave them slow and torpid, years behind where they should be. their achievement is not oppression. they owe no duty to the other children to dumb themselves down. this is deprivation, pure and simple. and it will land predominantly on those is alleges it helps.
the wealthy can hire tutors or attend private schools and mitigate these throttlings, but this now produces exactly the inequality you sought to remove and shifts it to class vs ability. you’ve made a meritocracy into an aristocracy based on wealth and tried to call it equity. alone, this would be obscene, but it gets far, far worse when we add the next layer of indoctrination on top of this budding catastrophe:
when you fail, it is not your fault. someone did this to you.
it is bad enough to hamstring the ability to achieve and rise to the level of one’s own ability, but to then vilify achievement itself as some sort of innate privilege rather than personal merit is a whole new level of despicable.
rather than taking pride in accomplishment and fostering a desire to emulate it, this makes it shameful and “racist” or “sexist.” your ability to do differential calculations oppresses me! it’s just the structure of math embodying prejudice that favors you!
leaving aside the fact that this is barking mad, it’s the literal stigmatization of diligence and attainment. this is a ruthlessly evil thing to inflict upon a gifted child.
but it’s even worse for the children it purports to serve. it not only stirs up race hatred among them by giving them an “oppressor” at which to be angry, but worse it damns them through the soft bigotry of low expectations. much of learning is striving; you have to work, to try, to apply yourself. but why strive when you’re endlessly fed dogma about how stacked the deck is? this easy excuse forgives a failure to persevere and inculcates the idea that “you just cannot do this.” this is death to attainment. “math is racist” is never going to help build an airfoil or span bridges over rivers. it’s just going to anchor a race in failure.
this is setting everyone up to underperform. it’s like having a football team where none of the strongest players are allowed to lift weights and where all the weakest get told that the strong are only strong because we need to dismantle the inherent prejudice and oppression of squat racks. we can have no complex plays or stratagems because some might get confused.
you get a team that may be more equal, but that is, overall, weak and riven with internal dissention. how will this team fare when faced with one that DID train and promoted by merit? in the real world, one day, everyone ends up in the “real game.” china and india and russia and even most of europe are not nerfing their kids. they are teaching them to play hard to the best of their abilities while we stunt and derange ours. this is not the setup for a winning season. this is the road to disaster.
we need to get back to first principles:
indoctrination is not education, it is its opposite
schools should teach how to think, not what to think
achievement is to be lauded and emulated, not suppressed
striving must be encouraged, not failure excused
and let’s be honest, the US school system cannot get us there. it’s been hopelessly captured by rapacious, self serving unions with outlandish political agendas and it’s time we broke them. the US spends ~$13,000 per student per year on k-12. this is among the very highest in the world. $260,000 per year per class of 20. i defy anyone to try to argue with a straight face that this is not enough money to teach 20 5th graders. the returns on our investment stink and they are getting worse. the existing system has failed and needs to be ended. there is one simple fact:
schools are too important to be trusted to government.
so let’s stop. it’s really VERY easy. fund the kids, not the teachers unions and school districts. free the curricula, allow parental choice, and force schools to compete for kids. we live in the age of the internet. classes and materials of every kind are available in quantities and quality levels that great universities would have killed for just 30 years ago. we can get SO MUCH MORE from this system. we’re getting 5% of what we could. we have not even scratched the surface of what specialization and market discipline and competition could bring us.
i hear so many parents say “but what can we do? i don’t know how to fix a school!”
this is the wrong question. you don’t know how to build a car either, but look how many you can buy, how high their quality is, how much choice you have, how many different things they can do, and how much better they have gotten in the last 50 years while the schools have gotten worse. that’s what a market is for. you just need some idea of what you want. the market will provide the rest and assure its quality and value for money.
public schools are cars made by the DMV.
fund the kids and their futures will follow.