Has The Socialist Agenda Taken Over Our Schools? A Response To A Great Comment!

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Personal Aside:

Wow! This is some comment! I appreciate you taking so much of your time to write it. It let's me know that at least one person has taken a moment to put some thought into the questions being raised. Thanks.

For original article click here.

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The Response:

First of all, let me say this: Wherever you may find yourself at any given point in time, is a result of all your accumulative past actions. When attempting to find a logical answer to any question of why or how, the natural thing to do is to retrace our steps until we find what we believe to be the exact point of divergence from our purpose. You seem surprised that I may think a 70 year old question is still being debated. The arguments between content and methodology goes on to this very day. Look at the heated arguments over creationism and evolution.(content) Take a look at the travesty called “Invented Spelling.” (methodology) That alone is a pure example of Dewey's screwy psychobabble.

You asked “why in the world would we be debating either of these guy's philosophies of the method and purpose of education?” Are you really asking me that? I wasn't discussing the purpose of education, but rather the purpose of the public education system, and until we are all in agreement about that purpose, we will constantly be in a state of flux. We've been getting nowhere for the last 30 years since it was first acknowledged that our educational system isn't working.

Your statement that “school is a means for social change” is the very same belief that John Dewey perpetrated on society a century ago. How a society interacts within itself, and with those outside, is determined by a selected set of beliefs. There is no better place in the world than a school for changing the way a society think and acts when you look at its usefulness toward indoctrination of the masses. Whoever controls the schools, (the choice of content, the methodology, the accepted behaviors of all, etc) is in control of the direction of which a society will move. Prior to Dewey hitting the scene, school was only seen as an institution for teaching facts. Today, we are more concerned with the social aspects of school than we are with the act of teaching and learning.

As for being a socialist plot? You must remember what was going on at the time John Dewey gained recognition. I don't believe for one moment that he holed up in some darkened corner with Kilpatrick and hammered out a plan for taking over the world. The fact remains that John Dewey and William Kilpatrick were self-proclaimed socialists. Their beliefs centered around socialist ideals and they spoke of those ideals to all who would listen. It's only common sense to understand how their beliefs would find their way into the work they were doing. But I believe I questioned whether they were truly socialists, or merely presenting themselves as such.

Education is a great equalizer in societal circles because knowledge is power. Knowledge allows people to better their station in life, opening doors otherwise closed to them. Kilpatrick's successful efforts to remove many academic subjects from the curriculum, and his stated belief that only a select few had a need for the education being offered up to that point, would point more toward an effort designed to keep the classes widely separated.

Source

J.P. Morgan funded Dewey. If you know anything about the activities of J.P. Morgan, you can understand why I raised the question. Morgan liked control. He used his money to build great monopolies, putting him in a position of calling the shots for all of New York, and even the US government, at one point. He controlled all railway transportation, so in effect, he had a lot of control in business issues across the entire country, and he was completely in control of Wall Street and the banking industry. I believe he saw the appeal of Dewey's “schools are for telling children HOW to live” from the perspective that it was a surefire way to keep the competition down, and keep people in their proper place by his standards. The elite members of society were relatively few, but there had been a growing number of self-made men disturbing their circles. The “Old Guard” didn't like it.

So rather than J.P. Morgan going for the socialistic changes which were Dewey's proclaimed intent, it was more of a fascist direction. The only difference between communist socialism and fascism is that the government is run by a committee who determines policy and hands down governmental decisions. In a fascist government, the authority of government rule rests with a dictator. Both systems advocate the elimination of private ownership of businesses, opting for government ownership and control for the good of all the people. You might wonder why someone such as J.P. Morgan, who had amassed great wealth for himself, would embrace such an ideal.

Morgan was not a self-made man, contrary to popular belief. He was born and raised in the lap of luxury. When he died in 1913, his personal wealth was extremely small in comparison to other giants of his time. John D. Rockefeller, after Morgan's worth of $80 million was made public following his death, commented , “And to think, he wasn't even rich!” Morgan's power did not come from the extent of his personal wealth, but from the billions of dollars he controlled. He liked control. He had, for all intents and purposes, gained total control of New York, and the nation's economy. How much more enticing would the lure of controlling everything and everyone in the country be to a man who was known for his brutal dispensations of polite manners when dealing in business? He walked over people, and wasn't averse to crushing them beneath his boot if they didn't meet with his demands. His obituary called him a brute with a barbarous code of ethics. He was described as “chicanery” and achieving victory over innocence.

You compared the scholastic content of the past to that of the present in your examples of algebra and calculus. Algebra was taught in the schools more than a century ago, as was philosophy and great literary works of the ages, etc. Students were taught much more at younger ages. I've included a link to an 1895 exam given to students in the 8th grade. Passing it was required before moving up to high school. If you can pass it without any trouble, you're better than everyone I know, who has taken a shot at it! Oh, and incidentally, they're still teaching the Columbus discovery story. My grandchildren have each done reports on the topic for their schools. Two of them went to a different school district than the other two at the same age, so it's not limited to a particular school district.

http://skyways.lib.ks.us/kansas/genweb/ottawa/exam.html

You mention the changes made in schools in regards to “you can't beat down a kid much anymore.” Beat down? Really? A century ago, and beyond, if a student acted out in ways considered inappropriate, he might get his knuckles rapped with a ruler, or a swat or two with a paddle, but most punishments were of the humiliating brand, like the old dunce cap routine. Standing at the front of the classroom facing the chalkboard, or in a corner, writing 100 times,etc, were all methods of punishment. The idea was to teach the one acting out that unaccepted behavior will draw unwanted attention, put the perpetrator in a position of paying for his acts, in addition to bringing on shame to his parents, who would then mete out their own brand of justice.

We have been so sensitive to “hurting their feelings” or “undermining their self-confidence” that we stopped using sensible ways to deter children from repeating mistakes. I'm not advocating physical punishment, by any means, but there is a proper way to teach kids right from wrong. And it isn't by destroying the rest of their lives because of one act of indiscretion, or a lack of judgment. There are reasons children are not given the right to make contractual agreements, to drive cars, to indulge in tobacco or alcohol before certain ages...they have not lived long enough to witness (gain experience) how decisions made will affect outcome. We now know that the human brain continues to grow and develop well beyond 18 years of age. We also know that hormones have a definite influence on thinking processes. We have become a society so intent on punishment, that it has become a way of life, even in our schools.

I'll give you an example. In the 60's and 70's, physically fighting wasn't anymore acceptable than it is now. In fact, I'll venture to say it was less acceptable by all, including students. If a fight broke out, the rest of the students tended to watch apprehensively, or tried to stop it, either with words or by stepping in. Today, it's recorded on cell phones, kids gather around screaming encouragement, and many times, a mob jumps in and it becomes a free for all. Why do you think that is?

Forty years ago, if a fight broke out, the students were punished by having privileges taken from them, such as lost recesses, or no admittance to school functions such as pep rallies, sports events, or dances. Their social life was curtailed for a specified amount of time. They also might have to deal with expulsion, or in-school detention. They were sat down with either the guidance counselor or the principle who took the time to discover what the issue might be. Suggestions for conflict resolution were offered. Back then, we didn't punish children for being children, for making the mistakes of children. We guided them by teaching them other ways. The punishments fit the crimes. They were free afterward to go on with their lives, given the opportunity to use their hard lessons as a reminder to do the right thing.

Today, we call the police at the drop of a hat. These kids are arrested, some thrown into adult jails even before they are tried and convicted. We hold them up, shaking their plight in the faces of their peers and warn them that they are just a step away from the same sad ending. We don't teach them right from wrong, we threaten them. We demand they make good choices right off the bat with nothing but our word for what is good. We use threats and coercion as a means to our end, but we tell them they must employ compassion and understanding. We want them to recognize a peer's immaturity when they say or do hurtful things, and not react to them. We as a society do NOT model what we keep telling our children is right and proper. And if they don't get it, we throw them away along with their futures.

You mention the piles of homework brought home these days as compared to...when? A century ago, curriculum outlines recommended ½ to 1 full hour of homework for grades 1 and 2, 1 - 1 ½ hours for grades 3 and 4, 1 ½ - 2 hours for grades 5 and 6, and 2 – 3 hours for 7th through 12th. They also went to school for longer hours, starting earlier in the morning, but their days were broken up by recess periods strategically placed. There was a mid-morning recess and a mid-afternoon one. Lunch hours were just that..an hour. These breaks allowed children to expend energy and rest their brains a bit. We all know how exercise “wakes” us up. We also know that when children are stuck inside the same four walls for long periods, they tend to get rambunctious and fidgety. Put your children in the same room for three hours straight. Don't let them move out of their chairs or at least beyond a certain boundary, and only give them a very small choice of materials on which to direct their attention. TV and computers are out. Watch what happens. Watch how aggressive they can become, how short tempers begin to flare after about 2 hours, if they even last that long.

When the smaller classrooms issue became the focus, we rushed to build more schools to accommodate the need for the extra classrooms. But then, maintaining them, and staffing them, and supplying the basics like water and heat and electric, all became so expensive. School districts began shutting down the smaller schools in favor of building complexes. The problem with that is now we have a much greater need for providing transportation for many students. Some students travel as much as an hour on their buses each day.

My grandchildren live behind their elementary school. It is about a ten minute walk. The trouble is that they would have to cut through their neighbor's field to get there. The neighbor doesn't mind. The school does, because it's not a “proper” route. Instead, they must catch a bus that takes them on a very circuitous route lasting 45 minutes. The distance traveled and the constant stopping to pick up students requires them to leave earlier and arrive home later, than if they had walked. They literally spend the exact amount of time getting ready, traveling and attending school as I did 40 years ago, but I actually had an hour more of in-school instruction and I walked a distance of just under a mile. What is even more baffling is the fact that teachers are now given a “free” period, but the children have lost their recesses. Why? So the mandatory 5 hours of instruction per day requirement is met. How effective is that instruction if the students are disinterested and fidgety, not to mention feeling a bit cranky. The justification for lost recesses is that the day has been shortened. Well, maybe for the teachers and staff, but certainly not for children. I know quite a few teachers who aren't even out of their pajamas by the time my grandchildren are stepping onto the bus.

You observed that current social change being pushed in today's schools is dramatically more conservative than liberal. I believe you may have made my point in a somewhat roundabout manner. A truly conservative person is one who holds to traditional attitudes and values. He is not readily open to new ideas, change, and innovation. There is nothing traditional about our methods of educating our children. We have adopted one bad idea after another in what we've been told is the pursuit of providing better education. All the evidence points out that these new ways aren't working, but we allow ourselves to be led down the disastrous path first embarked upon by proponents of Dewey and Kilpatrick. “...the bigger debate is HOW we teach, how we structure our schools.” That, my friend, is what is meant by methodology, exactly my point.

“We are STILL in these two guy's worlds...” Again, my point exactly. However, I believe their worlds revolved around a much different agenda than finding the perfect way to educate children. If that agenda was truly the purpose behind the changes made at that time, then we are unwittingly continuing the process.

You mention the testing circus. I'm in agreement with you on that one. But let's remember, our education system was in the toilet long before the testing fiasco took root. If you remember, I commented in my original article that money is always the reason behind the madness. Find out who formulates the tests, who grades the tests, and who is responsible for analyzing the results and putting them into a report. They are the ones making money off of this. In turn, the added expenses associated with the costs can be used as a way to extract more tax money for programs “designed to meet the obligations” (standards) required. It's a game being played at the expense of, not only our children, but the entire nation.

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Comments 12 comments

Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

wow -- awesome reply..... holistic view backed up with meaningful well thought out points... up useful and awesome.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

Very well written and presented. I too am one who is disgusted with our approach to education in this country. The mantra never changes.."we need to spend more money on education"...Why? It obviously is the solution to the problem. Could the problem with education actually be related to the "motivation of the child" to learn? Will money fix that? Will new synthetic turf football fields and gymnasiums fix that? Will the most modern technolgy the world can offer fix that? The answer is no...these are tools at best which aid in the motivation of the child. It takes teachers who care about outcome and parents who are objective and self=disciplined enough to prepare the child for the process on a daily basis. Those who excel in school in this country do so for a reason. They will excel in the worst of schools...the environment has little to do with their success. They will excel because they are challenged and engaged to learn. Unfortunately, we are too busy following structure and curriculum to pay much attention to feedback from any source. Education is not just about "molding" a child, it is about giving him/her the opportunity to absorb the knowledge present in our world and apply it accordingly. The mission of a given school or classroom should not be to define little Johnny as a liberal or a conservative but to give him an understanding of the tools at hand to make up his own mind. This process only worsens as we move into the college levels. Here we have high tenure professors drawing six figure salaries with graduate assistants out the whazoo who only care to stand on the lecture podium and teach communist principles to a young head not yet developed in the name of freed and justice. By the time these young people get out into the world and figure out that this utopia the professor sold them was a bag of crap, they have already done their share of damage in the voting booth sending like minds to Washington. We have that situation at the present. Regardless of how complex the world becomes, education will always be first and foremost about the basics of math, science, history, literature, and english. The basics...they become our center on the highway of life. They are the place we come back to when we are totally lost in the complexity of things. Teach a kid the basics and they will find their way to higher places. Instead we have too many folks in the education process who want to reduce or eliminate these courses from the school programs and substitute "social" programs in their place. We deprive a student of the ability to do simple math in order to prepare his mind for a socialist journey...shame on us. Shame on us for allowing the federal government to totally take off the education of our children and define the content of the textbooks, etc. We got there because someone thought we needed more "money" for education. Well, how much is "enough money" in education? It is the same burning question that I keep asking with regard to the current situation in our federal government..."how much is enough?" Ask it yourself and see what kind of answers you get. WB


Terri Meredith profile image

Terri Meredith 5 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

@Neil: Well, hello again, and thanks again! I believe when people hear the word "socialism" they immediately think communism, which is so distasteful to Americans that they can't get past it to understand what is truly being said. I believe every government with an eye to taking care of the basic welfare of its country, will have some form of socialism evident. If it's every man for himself, chaos and barbarianism would rule. But socialism in any amount is a slippery slide. As we are now witnessing, the programs put into place since the 1930's have fed on themselves and replicated into other areas of life. Some of these programs have gotten so big that the cost of running them is more than the benefits being given. Public education may be just one of those programs if we don't get back to teaching facts instead of trying to shape society in the manner deemed acceptable by the few in control.

@Wayne: You and I are in agreement entirely! You mentioned motivation or lack thereof as a potential reason for failed education. That may be true, but we have to look at why the children aren't motivated enough. When my one daughter was in 5th grade, she was struggling with math class. When she approached her teacher for help, he told her to figure it out herself, since he was sure he had explained it thoroughly during math class. I looked at her textbook and was astounded to see that certain steps necessary to calculating the answer were missing in the examples given. I finally set the book aside and taught her the way that I had learned by including the two steps. It took a total of 10 minutes to bring her up to speed. The next day, she came home crying. Her teacher gave her an F because she included the two steps and it wasn't how he wanted it calculated. I was baffled and so went in to find out exactly what he wanted. Turned out, he wanted her to do the steps in her head and not write them down. How asinine is that? Same steps, just written down so she could double check her work, as I taught her to do. How motivating is an example like this? I have a thousand stories just like it. And now I see my grandchildren going through the same things only on a larger scale. I had to be the one to teach them about the Revolutionary War! At 9 years old, my grandson didn't know anything about it. He knew George Washington was the first president, but that's it. So basic scholastic subjects like math, history, spelling, grammar...are all falling by the wayside, in favor of indoctrinating our children with a proscribed set of beliefs. I'm sure you already know, but I'll mention it anyway. There's a school district in Texas planning on mandatory attendance for elemetary and middle school students in classes to teach the language of Arabic. The Department of Education as identified Arabic as "the language of the future". The school district in question was granted a five year $1.3 million grant to do so. The parents didn't have a voice, as the decision was made before informing them of the intent to teach it. We can't teach them proper English, but we're going to teach them Arabic????


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City

Thought-provoking hub; now if we could only get those in positions to make changes to our education system to think and reason in the same manner.

As to socialism; I realize it's a simplistic view, but I've long thought that socialism was the natural medium between two extremes--pure democracy and pure communism. The pendulum may swing between the two extremes, but in the end, it will come to rest at the bottom of the arc, which is socialism.


Texasbeta 5 years ago

I just love you. It is incredibly odd really. I disagree with certain points you have made, but the way you made them has left me enamored with your intellect and writing style.

The Kansas test isn't really impressive to me. It is specific to their time period and just appears to odd to us in its verbiage and measurements, along with its emphasis, that it appears impressive. Give them our 3rd grade test and watch their eyes explode.

Secondly, a century ago, not many kids went to school when compared to a percentage of the population. What percentage graduated when compared to the population. How does that compare now?

Today, we live in a world where foreign languages are nearly a requirement, technology keeps the world moving in a hurricane like pace, more people and more immigration make the competition as if it were from a different planet. They might have taught algebra a century ago, but did they teach it in 5th grade? I got it in 9th grade and I graduated in 94. My 9th grade nephew is in calculus...in the 9th grade! That is wild to me. Our expectations are dramatically higher. In your day, you could get a job at a grocery store, work your way up, and end up in your 40s making $200k a year as a store manager with a diploma. I know this because my father did it. Today, those store managers have 2 degrees at 28, and have so much competition for their job that they have to endure having their mother called a whore to their face when the district manager finds a single piece of meat that is over its date. I learned 3 computer languages by the time I graduated high school, and I am 35. I am old. How many languages were learned in 1950 by the time you graduated? I had 5, 3 computer languages, Spanish and German. I just hired a person to do data entry who has a BA in Aeronautical Engineering. The company across the street from my job requires their dock guys to have Bachelor degrees. They drive a forklift.

Comparing a century ago or even 60 years ago to today, I believe is unreasonable. The level of performance, accountability, and expectation on our children is far beyond anything that could have been imagined even in 1950. Couple that with the billions of dollars spent every year to manipulate their desires and psyche by the advertising world, and the glam culture that we have allowed to become "normal", and the children are doing pretty good. I am proud of them. I am impressed really. I agree with you that we, as the adults and planners of their educational system, are horrible at our jobs. We are failing them.

I want to go to a more progressive, more adjusted methodology and focus, while you appear to want to revert to even farther back. Then again, I think that you are so eloquent and kind hearted that I think you could tell me I was dead wrong and I'd believe it without going back to check. I think I just like reading your writing...can't figure it out. The intent, the structure of the thought, the line of reasoning, the words...if I were a language, I'd ask you out.


Terri Meredith profile image

Terri Meredith 5 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Texasbeta: Thanks!!!! I've always told people, “To know me is to love me,” but, for some unknown reason, my ex-husband just doesn't agree. :-D Seriously, I really appreciate your compliments. They're encouraging to read.

To address your statements about the Kansas test: Yes, it is specific to their time period, as ours would be. The point being made is simply that most people today, even with an advanced education, can not answer a mere half of the questions. When children first enter school, they are pretty much a blank slate, give or take some depending on how much their parents may have pre-schooled them. They are given the very basics, upon which their continued education is built upon. Each year, the knowledge gained is used as a foundation for the next year's gathering of knowledge.

It's no different for humanity, as a whole. What we've learned from years past is a foundation upon which we build as we take the next step and then another on our paths to discovery. My concern is that we are systematically replacing the most fundamental elements of education with touchy-feel good garbage and passing it off as education. Why are we in favor of making kids feel good about their lack of understanding rather than teaching them? As for the verbiage in the Kansas test, we could update the language and exchange the measurements (rods for example) and it wouldn't make a difference in the number of people able to pass it. Oh, wait! We probably can't change the verbiage because most graduating students today don't understand basic rules of grammar and sentence structure.

A century ago, most children certainly did go to school, at least until the 8th grade. A century and a half ago, many were only sent until the 6th grade, though that depended upon their parents' view of necessity. By 1900, 34 states had compulsory schooling laws, but only 4 were in the south. For the most part, those not attending school came from the southern states where the needed extra hands on the family farm outweighed the importance of education. Since compulsory laws required children to attend until 14 years of age, and high schools didn't come about until 1910, all students “graduated”. They even had graduation ceremonies like those we now have for high schoolers.

I understand your take on the world today, and the differences you see between even your education and today's students' educations. Now let me give you some examples of my experiences with today's students being able to employ the “knowledge” they supposedly gained at a younger age.

I've worked in restaurants since I was a teenager, though I've had other positions in other fields, too. When I was in my mid-thirties, I ended up taking a managerial position in a fast food restaurant. I was sure I would hate it. As it turned out, I fell in love with the job. As you can imagine, I dealt with a great many of the world's underdogs (less educated) and hundreds of teenagers, over the years.

Mark was 21 years old and the victim of an accident at the age of 6 which halted any further intellectual or emotional development, according to the experts. He worked a measly 9 to 15 hours a week, due to his inability to do more than wash dishes and maybe put meat on the broiler. I decided otherwise. I refused to pigeon-hole this kid based on a few psychological analyses and medical opinion. Mark couldn't make the connection between what “put 5 burgers on” meant in relation to actually counting them out. I discovered that holding up the amount of fingers was understood. Withing a few short months, Mark had learned how to recognize the orders showing on the screen. I showed him how to look at the shape of the words rather than trying to teach him letters and sound, which he wasn't getting. When I left to take a promotion, Mark was able to “read” what was ordered and make every sandwich on the menu. His 15 hours of scheduled work time was increased to 30 hours.

Expert opinions had literally blocked this young man's education. He went to “school” until he was 21 and no one bothered to teach him what I taught him in less than a year. However, he felt just fine, initially, about his handicaps. So fine, that he was convinced there was no point in trying. I had to work very hard to overcome his brainwashing. Mark didn't really feel good about himself, he just learned to accept that others felt good about it. The evidence was in the pride he began to show in his efforts, and in the huge smiles that lit up his handsome face when he finally accomplished a goal. Mark wasn't my only handicapped employee who was encouraged to reach beyond what experts had determined. I was always rewarded by my efforts and their's.

High school aged employees were my greatest challenge. These kids were coming from 10th, 11th, & 12th grade. Some of them were honors students. They could not make change without a calculator. For instance, a customer's bill might be $4.08. The customer hands over a $5 bill. The cashier enters the cash tendered and is told the change is 92 cents. But then the customer finds a dime and gives it to the cashier. An easy 95% of my teenage cashiers could not figure out the change would be $1.02. They are so dependent on calculators for everything, that they can not do simple math in their heads. And some of them can't do it on paper either. It's very sad when a 4th grade math test must be administered to high school seniors as part of the interview process.

Our computer system went down in the middle of lunch one Saturday. None of my cashiers could figure out how to compute and add the tax at the same time. I had to be the one to teach them to take the amount times 1.06 in order to get the total. These were kids about to embark on a college education! How in God's name did they even get into a college?

Your story about your father and the grocery business simply highlights more problems with our educational system. In the past, a college degree was a symbol of higher education beyond the normal level. It was seen as a measurement of intelligence, perseverance, and a dedication to improve one's standing, all qualities looked for in a job applicant. It wasn't so easy to get into a college, either. The college applicant had to demonstrate his sound knowledge of the basics, before any college would touch him/her. We have lowered our standards, not improved them. Look at just how many college students are enrolled in remedial classes teaching them what they should have learned in high school. It's crazy. I'm glad there is a remedy for a poor public school education, but doesn't its necessity speak volumes to you?

At the beginning of the hub, we are so vehemently debating, I stated my age as being 51 years. If you do the math, you'll realize I couldn't have graduated in 1950 as that would put my age at about 79 years. I graduated in 1978. I chose to learn French and studied it for 4 years, becoming quite fluid in it. I stopped using it and have forgotten most, though I can still read it. We didn't have such things as home computers in 1978. Or, rather, they were not something the average American could even think to purchase, though they were available around '75. We DID have something that has since become obsolete....shorthand. I was in a college prep curriculum, but I chose it for an elective as I saw that it would be great for taking quick notes. I was able to write 220 words a minute after my first year. That was also a language, given the nature of it.

As for guys who drive forklifts being required to have Bachelor degrees: Another sign of troubles on the home front. Jobs are scarce. It is an employer's market, and we can require anything we want because people from all walks of life are out of employment. If the shoe was on the other foot and there were more jobs than employees, how many forklift operators with degrees do you believe they would be able to find? Right now, employers are able to get away with paying far less for a degree'd employee than they would otherwise. As a General Manager for a national brand restaurant chain,


Terri Meredith profile image

Terri Meredith 5 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

@LLWoodward: I'm sorry, I almost forgot you. So glad you found the article thought provoking. That was my intention in writing it. I believe Americans truly need to start thinking about the issues in a more serious manner. It's not about who's right or wrong, necessarily, but whether we've arrived at our conclusions through the use of our own critical thinking skills. I'm seeing so many people parroting others without the ability to back up how they've arrived at their belief. It's alarming to me because it signifies just how easily led Americans have become. If we follow the wrong person for the wrong reasons, we will most assuredly live to regret it!


Texasbeta 5 years ago

Terri, I think you've responded masterfully, and I enjoy your response very much. I don't think I can really ever buy the concept that someone in 1900 or 1940 or 1960 is anywhere near the level of education that most children are today. HOWEVER, I can turn on Jersey Shore for 40 seconds and rethink my position quite swiftly. Maybe it is just something I need to accept and get beyond. Not sure. I do adore your responses however. Take care, I have enjoyed it.


Learn Things Web profile image

Learn Things Web 5 years ago from California

Texasbeta,

Students in the 1950's and 1960's left school with about two years more worth of education than students today. This is based on comparisons of textbooks that were in use during those decades and those in use today. Material that was covered in 8th grade in the 50's usually isn't covered until about 10th grade now.

Our educational system has been continually dumbed down in the last few decades. I just read recently that even AP classes and exams will be dumbed down because too many students are failing the AP tests. So, less material will need to be learned to pass future exams.

We do seem to have an attitude in America that we should have equal outcomes in education regardless of effort or ability. We should provide equal opportunities to all students but success or failure should be up to them. We do have an idea that making children work hard will harm them. Grade inflation is widespread because of concern that kids will feel bad about themselves if they get a low grade. But if kids get high grades regardless of effort or quality of work they will obviously assume that they don't need to work any harder.


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Dear Terri ~ I enjoyed reading your presentation on the school system, discipline, punishment, method of instruction, times for resting the mind and exercising the body, while providing high quality instruction. And, I agree that kids need mentors, ethical codes of conduct, self discipline and self motivation to learn. However, I did not agree with blanket statements concerning labels like conservatism, socialism, and communism.

Certainly, based upon those in power and their agenda, we can take a look back in history and understand some of our present day predicament. And, your story about the kids having to take that long circuitous bus route can be stated as 'wrong' and the school board should have no right to make the kids go through such nonsense.

Administrators at all levels have lost their ability to make logical solutions to simple situations. Perhaps, yes, it is to conform to standardizations. But, in most cases rules are there to be bent and broken when they are inappropriate in individual cases. Equal for all does not mean vanilla flavored, and someone with a brain would realize that.

So, the problem with having nincompoops in office means we have to find responsible, ethical, astute and discerning individuals voted into office. Where we can find such people, all I can think is that you need to volunteer or be nominated for office. Another problem turns up. I bet you're already busy, in the middle of a career you love, and wouldn't want to be stuck with a job that is so messy, where you couldn't accomplish anything due to the red tape and the finger pointing. Anyone out there?

What's a country to do?

love

Debby


Terri Meredith profile image

Terri Meredith 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Hi again, Debbie! I'm not sure exactly what you mean with regards to blanket statements about labeling terms. Are speaking of my use in the original hub, this hub, or in my replies to some of the comments?

As for the rest of your very welcome comment, I agree. However, we wouldn't be faced with bending or breaking laws if our officials weren't so myopic in the way they address new problems. The end result is that we trade one issue for another that is even more complex and difficult to address.

The idea of me running for office probably isn't a good idea. I'm far too outspoken, employing very little tact, and don't shy away from confrontation. While I know how to be a smooth talker and understand the necessity of smoothing ruffled feathers, I rarely have the patience required to do so. Me in office?? Now that presents a vision of total anarchy!


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Dear Terri ~ A little anarchy didn't hurt anyone, or did it? Oh, dear, I guess I was reading about all those "isms" on a different hub and may have gotten them mixed up in a jumble.

We need outspoken, telling the truth type of people who can shake things up and break up stagnation or monopolies and get us into a new direction. I knew you wouldn't take the job. No person in the right mind would. Blessings, Debby

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