Why are we Dumbing-down our Future? 18 November, 2006Posted by paralleldivergence in Brad & Phil, children, education, My Thoughts, Political Correctness.
None of us will live forever. The record advancements of the 20th Century were made on the back of strong education systems aimed directly at providing our children with the analytical and problem-solving skills that each generation needed to continue the progress that humanity was demanding. But now it appears that mankind has well and truly peaked and downhill is the only way to head.
Don’t get me wrong, there will always be brilliant individuals, amazing inventions and important breakthroughs. But global progress requires smarter communities and nations, not dumber ones. The sad reality is that school curricula are becoming easier and more broadly-based. Teachers are confused. They teach too much, and much of what they teach is watered-down and out of context. The orbiting of planets, the rules of mathematics, indigenous peoples, ICT skills, isometric drawing, dance, politically correct history, and so on. Plus, children are being taught not to care too much about anything, even though they may desire to do so.
The focus for most students at school is their social pecking order among their peers. Do they have the latest gadgets? How does their hair look? And is their brand of sneakers better than their friends’? Never before have students had so much information available to them for so little effort. It breeds laziness. We seem to be developing an anti-intellectual society whose citizens no longer want to learn anything.
Yet, somehow, governments are still reporting the wonderful improvements in academic achievements: “More Grade A’s in Mathematics“. While it sounds like a fabulous result for any government to report to the community, how is it possible that 43.5% of students were able to earn an A grade at the ultimate high school examination? You’ll need to read the linked article to find out.
Basically, it’s all about statistics. Governments have realised that in order to look good politically, they need to reduce the range of academic results. It doesn’t matter if that means reducing the highest scores because you’ll still get a top 5% and top 10% of scores regardless of the scores. Only there will be more individuals in those groups than before. The more that they raise the bottom-level results and lower the top-level results, the more students that will end up in the top band. This is the lie of overall improvement. So instead of trying to bring every school up a level in terms of performance, governments actively work to bring the bottom schools up and the top schools down.
The latest decision of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority is aimed at compensating for the poor teaching of spelling and writing. Rather than mark students down for not being able to express themselves accurately in English, they have now approved the use of TXT Speak by high school students in examinations. Yes, the abbreviated gibberish used by kids when keying SMS messages on their mobile phones is now acceptable language in all exams in New Zealand high schools.
This means that teachers marking the exam papers will need to be conversant in this pointless language in order to verify that the student was able to effectively answer the questions being asked. Fortunately, there is a website that might be able to help them. Transl8it is an on-line English-SMS TXT Lingo converter. Just type in the English text and convert it to TXT lingo – and vice versa.
I cnt W8 untl dEz students bcum d leadRz of society.
STOP PRESS: If you need more evidence of the dumb-down, take a look at straight-A student, teen role-model Lindsay Lohan’s heartfelt public tribute note to the late Robert Altman.