September 27, 2007

Dull. As in dull kids. And what to do with them.

From Jerry Pournelle’s blog (the original blog, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!) (Go to Friday):

Rich families can send their kids to good schools. That means that even bright normal kids from wealthy families have a chance to learn more than the basic minimums.

Really bright kids from less wealthy families have to go to public schools so they get to pay a horrible tax: they are put into classrooms where the teacher is far more concerned with getting the very dull, dull, and dull normal kids to pass a test than in teaching bright kids anything at all. The bright ones won’t be left behind.

So the bright kids put up with discipline problems, disruptions, special ed kids who have been mainstreamed, and a general lack of teacher time; in exchange they get all the benefits of diversity. Odd, but most of those who can escape diversity choose to do so.

But I am sure that this is a dangerous way to talk. It will not be all that long before there is a movement to jail Diversity Deniers.

In 1983 Glenn T. Seaborg as Chair of the National Commission on Education concluded that if a foreign government had imposed our system of public education on the United States we would rightly consider it an act of war.

It has not become better since then; and No Child Left Behind has made it even worse. Diversity and Mainstreaming are disastrous. Yes, yes: it’s probably better for at least some of the very dull, dull, and handicapped kids to be mainstreamed. But the cost of that is to neglect the bright ones.

Wealth and private schools have given us some reprieves here. Teachers understand the situation and send their kids to private schools when possible. But any bright normal kid born to a poor family is pretty well doomed to learn diversity without learning a lot more.

Whether we can sustain a First World economy with an education system indistinguishable from an act of war against the people of the United States is a very interesting experiment; but haven’t we run it long enough?

Couldn’t agree more. If I had kids, I’d do my damndest to send them to private school.


One comment

  1. I am glad to read yr not in the US.

    I have taught private and public.

    Public schools are (and can be anywhere) good. A lot depends on a good volunteer group who can help those who struggle- as well as plan activities for all.

    That said, w/ NMLB (no moron left behind), classes are generally +tracked+ now.. and those who have a brain.. or want to.. are in the better classes.

    Yr off track


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