A recent article in the Memphis Commercial Appeal entitled “MCS Sets Stage for Test-Results Shock” tells us that the Memphis City School system is failing to educate the children of Memphis, and since it is failing in such spectacular fashion, it is entitled to more money.
We learn from the article that Memphis City Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash predicts that city math scores could be in the low teens – at least 30 points into the new “fail zone” – as a result of higher grading standards and more difficult tests.
You may recall that due to a recent court decision, $57 million has to come from the city budget for the schools system, and Mayor Wharton has ordered across the board cuts to comply with the court’s order.
In addition to that, under the guidelines in Tennessee’s application for federal funding in the state’s Race To The Top program, Tennessee was one of two states awarded more than $500 million, with Memphis City Schools due to receive $68.5 million.
Despite this funding, in July of this year Governor Bredesen said Tennessee was seeking a waiver from federal No Child Left Behind requirements, including academic progress. Superintendent Cash said the waiver is unlikely.
Why can’t we educate our children despite all the funding? Perhaps it is because the goal of education is no longer helping children use their minds better for critical thinking and individual responsibility. Instead it is to control their conduct and thinking and direct those things toward a set of federally-approved objectives.
That is what the No Child Left Behind program is about: the sacrifice of individuality for the advancement of the group as a whole.
Cooperative non-learning promotes a lowest common denominator, group consensus approach to problem solving. Since there are no absolute values or standards held by the group, we develop a valueless, morally bankrupt society.
Photo credit: alternatephotography
What are the results of all this education for our children and for our society?
We have a bunch of sick children on our hands and a society with extremely high social costs that we just can’t seem to find an answer for. Each year American children lag behind their peers in the developed world in math and the natural sciences. Reading skills continue to decline year after year due to whole language non-reading programs that destroy children’s reading ability, thus crippling them for life.
Rampant sexual promiscuity at ever-earlier grades leads to pregnancies at ever-earlier grades. Since we have no values, we have no answers, and as a result we just teach them how to do it better and safer.
Rampant drug and alcohol abuse are the norm. Discipline is forbidden, so children are drugged into compliance, and when that doesn’t work they are arrested.
What then is the solution? Homeschooling, religious schools, other private schools and schools controlled and funded locally if local communities want publicly-funded education. Return to basics, especially in reading, math, and the sciences.