Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The Educational Sleight of Hand Inflaming America - Education or School Systems pt 3

So I've given my unpopular opinion over the last two posts, that our situation with the schools being closed has been the best thing that's happened in 2020, and that if we know what's best for us, we should see to it that they stay closed. Why? So we can begin correcting the century old educational error that has led to the chaotic society we are living in today, and start getting back to providing students with educations that are good in more meaningful ways than just a GPA.

Three reasons I've gone into (so far) for how our schools have loosed the chaos:
  1. America and its school systems are incompatible. America was founded upon the discovery of timeless and self-evident truths, and abstract principles of individual rights, property and the Rule of Law, to secure Liberty for all; while the 'Progressive' experiment in reforming our school systems was driven by Pragmatic tenets (one of Pragmatism's key founders was 'Progressive' education reformer, John Dewey) which dismiss 'Truth' in favor of what seems to work, and rejects abstract principles for guiding right action, in favor of trying whatever seems will have the power to 'work' for the 'greater good' (at the moment). In their founding ideals, America and its school systems are fundamentally opposed to each other.
  2. The Pro-Regressive repurposing of education as a means to 'getting a good job', has always carried with it the belief that 'the masses' are unfit to receive the same education as 'their leaders', and should instead forego that in favor of being trained to perform ''specific difficult manual tasks'' - at the opening of the 20th century that meant helping to support the economy by preparing 'the masses' to operate machinery in factories, and here in the 21st Century it means preparing 'the masses' to support the economy by developing their STEM and computer skills.
  3. Our school systems were designed to assure that govt experts (themselves) would have more power to control what students learn, than their parents. Seeing their surprising success as early as 1909, one designer delighted that "... Each year the child is coming to belong more to the State and less and less to the parent...", and in 2020, amidst the virtual classes & Covid-19 lockdowns, they're still very much concerned to maintain their power to 'teach' "...the messy work of destabilizing a kids racism or homophobia or transphobia..." in their classes, free from parents overhearing or interfering with them even in their homes.
It is with that in mind, and a great deal more, that I listen to the reactions of those who, shocked at my unpopular opinion, typically reply to me that:
"Surely what they're missing out on, outweighs whatever harm they might be exposed to?!"
I try not to show how shocked I am to hear what seems like such a willful exercise in denial, which otherwise responsible people seem to think expresses a 'reasonable' concern. My guess is that, like an audience caught up in the spectacle of a magic show, they fall for the magician's misdirection and fail to see the hand that's making their valuables disappear from sight. Answering that question, requires focusing upon at least two of those points that we're meant to miss.

To take the least obvious point first, to the extent that some good material might make it into what is taught within our school systems, I remind you that all those 'good lessons' will be conveyed and refracted through the pragmatic lens (at best) of a long line of textbook developers, superintendents, curriculum writers, testing algorithms, administrators, and finally at the end of that line, teachers, to present what is by that time a distorted - at best - picture of reality as the background for those 'good lessons' to be conveyed to the students. Also worth noting, those who will be most affected by the distorted views in these lessons, will be those students who're conscientiously making a serious effort to earn good grades. What good can that do?

What distortions? Examples abound for those interested in looking, but there happens to be an especially clear example of the sort of distortions I'm referring to which is fully on display today, in the controversy over what was initially presented as being 'important!' history, with the the New York Times endorsing the "1619 Project" of Hannah Jones. What the "1619 Project" shamelessly presented as being factual, was quickly exposed as being riddled with biased opinion, inaccuracies, and outright lies, which the author and her corporate sponsors soon employed their command of rubberized words to twist their original intentions for it, into being a work of historical 'journalism', not history, which they had only presented so as to counter what they saw as being an existing 'historical narrative'.
School sponsored Communist Clubs
- what could go wrong?

I wonder if the same thing occurred to you about that, as occurred to Legal Insurrection, who replied:
"...Why not counter the other narrative with history if that narrative is wrong? Shouldn’t the nation’s shared memory be historical facts?
Jones also said they “explicitly stated” their aims in the piece. The last sentence of the introduction (my emphasis): “On the 400th anniversary of this fateful moment, it is finally time to tell our story truthfully.”
Truthfully. When I read “truthfully” I expect facts and history.
Even if Jones wanted the 1619 Project to be a “work in journalism” she chose the wrong term. Journalism, like history, should report the truth. Not your truth. Not alternative facts...."
The gist of the lessons that the "1619 Project" is peddling, are not unusual or random one off's of happenstance; sure its tawdry nature may push its message more explicitly than most, but similar messages are implicit in essentially all 'social studies' today (and especially over the last 30 years), and have been progressively lowering the bar of what's 'acceptable' in the classroom and society for over a century.

If you're still not seeing it, then we need to focus on the other sleight of hand obscuring your view, that being:
What do you imagine a 'good' education to be?
As noted in the first post, a good education needn't be an extensive one, and until our time, a good education would have been widely recognized as being one that conveys an essential body of knowledge and general understanding which aims that student towards living a life worth living, and equips them with the intellectual means for living it well, as well as to unlock a lifetime of ability and interest in continuing their own education after leaving school - Abraham Lincoln comes to mind. OTOH, a student who has learned an extensive amount of material, even earning several degrees, but in the process has been led to misidentify a handful of good ideas as being inconsequential or even bad, or has been led to misidentify bad ideas as being good, then despite all the learning they have accumulated, what they have received is a bad education, and their lives will, over time, veer further and further from the bullseye.

To quote someone who once said something, "...what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul..."?

For those of you who do associate learning large quantities of material, and the accumulation of numerous degrees with being a 'good' education (and you are sadly in good company), you should keep in mind that there was a certain western European nation of the 1930's that was considered to be 'highly educated' by that same criteria, even as they plunged the world into war. The once uncontroversial fact is, that having learned to put little or no value on what puts the Good in 'good', is a product of a bad - AKA: 'Progressive', education, and that message more than resonates with, and is promoted by, that same long line of textbook developers, superintendents, curriculum writers, testing algorithms, and administrators (the institutionally blinded leading the soon to be blind), and seeing a disturbingly large number of professors and teachers, who also approve of the riotous violence occurring in our cities.

With all of that in mind, my answer to the question of "Surely what they're missing out on, outweighs whatever harm they might be exposed to?!", is an emphatic: No.

If you still don't see it, it is difficult to see how you see that, when surely you are able to see the fruits of at least five generations of this living educational experiment, who've been rioting in our streets on a nightly basis for months now. Notice also, that they are doing so with the general approval and support of millions more who've 'somehow' learned that damaging or destroying property and lives can be called 'peaceful', when they're directed towards the ideals, laws, heritage, statues & persons, which once were valued by Americans.

Again, in their ideals, America and its school systems are fundamentally opposed to each other, and the hostility that so many students bear towards The West in general, and towards America in particular, is not the unexpected side effect of, or somehow strangely learned in spite of the 'education' our school systems provide them - that systemic maleducation is inherent in the nature of their systems and is their intended product. If you object to that, I've got to ask, on what basis do you do so? On the basis of what you wish our schools were, or on the basis of the 'lessons" they actually are, and are visibly & intentionally furthering?

America's patience is going to make it late for its own funeral
If you think I'm being too hasty, well I'm sorry but I've got to point out that it is you who are clearly tardy, and tragically, inexcusably so. When this was reported (outside the establishment news) three years ago, it was already several years late in pointing out that numerous public schools across the nation had already been openly hosting Communist Clubs for officially approved of after school activities:
"...Officials at Edina Public Schools confirmed the existence of the club.

"We did have a Young Marxists Club last year," said Susan Brott, Director of Communications & Community Engagement at Edina Public Schools. "I think that was the first year they had it."

School officials said all clubs are student generated and led by faculty advisors. Clubs are not automatically approved. There is an application process, as well protocols and guidelines that must be followed upon creation of a club. Symbols deemed "inappropriate" by school officials are not permitted, for example.

"So long as everyone is welcome to join, clubs are generally approved," Brott said..."
Apparently the irony of saying 'everyone is welcome' in regards to 'clubbing' around an ideology that brutally consumed the lives of many tens of millions of people across the 20th Century, is lost on that school's Director of Communications & Community Engagement - though her irony deficiency is widespread amongst numerous school districts across the nation. And if that's not obvious enough, simply pay attention to the evidence of those tearing up our streets and tearing down our statues: Clearly, whatever lessons our schools are teaching kids in what they should know of history, grammar, math, art & literature, are being massively outweighed by the uglier lessons which are far more thoroughly, frequently, consistently and effectively, teach students and teachers alike in such demoralizing ideals as these:
  • that 'truth' is relative;
  • the expectation for someone to make a moral choice is an unrealistic expectation;
  • that 'cancelling' and treating strangers like dirt is acceptable if it furthers your ends for 'the greater good';
  • that uncivil behavior and violence can be called 'peaceful protesting';
  • that it's possible to respect 'human rights' while actively destroying the property of actual human beings whose lives depend upon it being secured; lives secured and depend upon;
  • that people can be presumed to be good or bad based upon skin color or wealth;
  • that America is evil.
Believing just one of those tenets is corrupting to the mind of the person thinking with them. Look at the faces of those who've taken these ideas into their minds - believing that - not dropping out of school, or getting poor test scores - is what constitutes a bad education.
Professors, graduates, students, Left & Right... 'educated'

And those beliefs and messages are widely accepted - again, the '1619 Project' is unusual only in how blatantly they state their beliefs - and are treated in our school systems as if they were admirable ideals which your A+ Students will be encouraged to study hard and get their A's in, and consequently be the most harmed by. There should be no surprise that such 'ideas' as those lead to professors of "American Literature and Composition” who loudly proclaim "F*ck every single cop", and how could you possibly think they'd lead to anything else but that?! You might want to think about that, as you urge your child to "work hard and get A's".

That is the nature of our school systems, and the education that it intends our students to learn - it just is. We are long past the point where you send your child into their classrooms and be surprised when they come out having no regard for what is right & true, condoning or actively forcing their positions upon others and forcefully silencing other views, judging people as being good/bad based upon their wealth & skin pigmentation, disrespecting property and individual rights, and hating the West in general and America in particular.

Open your damn eyes. Especially as there are finally viable alternatives, such as 'Pandemic Pods' & 'Micro-Schools' springing up from coast to coast (though don't take your eye off the material being taught from) - more on that in a bit.

I don't know anything at all of a preacher named Voddie Baucham, other than several friends have sent me a quote attributed to him (which I haven't been able to source), but while I might very well disagree with some or most of what he has to say, on this point at least, he is exactly right:
“We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans.” — Voddie Baucham
Are there still good teachers in our schools? Of course there are. My question is why?! Why are they still there? And why would you want to send either students or teachers back into such a system as that?

We'll get into some of the excuses most often given to that question, whether of 'old complaints' or blaming it on management, in the final two posts.

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