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AMAIRIKUHN EDGYKAYSHUN: A LOOK BACK, AND A SHUDDER FOR THE FUTURE ...

Regular readers here know that every now and then I simply have to vent on the deplorable state of Amairikuhn edgykayshun and over the wreckage of what fifty years of standardized testing and "progressive" educational "theory" have done. The problem will reach new heights of insanity in the coming months- particularly as the USA is entering yet another presidential selection cycle, when the sound bites and platitudes will reach new depths of innaneness, triviality, and venality. Both front-running presidential candidates - awaiting their annointing from the powers that be and the fake computerized "election" - have, not surprisingly, both bowed to the latest gimick - Common Core - and its corporate backers who stand to gain a lot of money from all of the nonsense.

Well, this article shared by Mr. C.S., if nothing else does, should convince even the most hardened skeptic that edykayshun in the USA is a shambles, for imagine giving this test to the modern American high school student (and, I suspect, even to a few college professors):

8th Grade Test From 1912 Shows How Far American Education Has Been Dumbed Down; Can You Take It?

Now, making adjustments if you're a reader in, say, Australia, Canada, The U.K., France, or wherever, and I think you'll agree that presenting such a test to a modern student, educated along the American "model", would be a challenge.  For one thing, the sexes are, you'll note, still sexes and not -in yet another modern misuse of words - "genders".  The test is also comprehensive and, as might be expected, focused on the peculiarities of American geography and history. It takes a little effort to imagine such a test translated, say, to an English public school at the same time period: "Sketch briefly the history of the Roundheads vs. King Charles" or "Outline the five most significant points of the Glorious Revolution" and so on, but you get the idea.

But there is one thing about this test that stands out above any other, and that is the underlying philosophical assumptions about what education is, and must be, and what it can never be under a regime of standardized tests and Pavlov's bells ringing every fifty minutes, for there are no multiple choice questions here. There are no "fill in the oval with number two lead pencils" choosing among pre-selected answers, which, under the best conditions, allow the student to exhibit no nuance of thought, and which under the worst of circumstances, might simply be incorrect. There is no reduction, here, of knowledge and education to a mechanism which, in turn, is evaluated by a machine which has been programed by remote and anonymous "experts". The assessment and evaluation process remain non-mechanical, and localized, for the test demands real knowledge, and real interaction from the student, in that she or he must write his or her answers, and hence display literacy and thought, to another human being who knows the student and who will evaulate their response. One student's list of significant things about the Glorious Revolution might be quite different than another's: one might stress the changed relationship between the Crown and the bureaucracy, another might stress William III's establishment of the Bank of England, and so on, and then they would have to give their process of reasoning for doing so, and this process itself is the central issue, not whether a student is able to select the correct "answer" from a pre-selected list of answers compiled by anonymous experts and graded by a machine.

So, for all those teachers out there about to have their profession completely undone by Common Core and its standardized testing process on steroids, my hat's off to you. For those of you who don't know, that mechanical assessment process of the standardized test is nw going to be "personally adjusted" for each student!  By what criteria? We don't know. By whom? We don't know, for the experts compiling the questions, and designing the algorithms for those "personal adjustments", remain anonymous and utterly out of touch with the local classroom. How evalutated? Again, we don't know...

But one thing I can assure you, if those experts were to take this test, they probably wouldn't fare too well...

See you on the flip side...

 

 

7 thoughts on “ AMAIRIKUHN EDGYKAYSHUN: A LOOK BACK, AND A SHUDDER FOR THE FUTURE ...”

  1. marcos toledo

    I use to have old history text books from my father which I read one even from England published in 1916. As for the Constitution and Bill Of Rights. You buy a copy of the Federalist Papers and read your for self or forget about learning about in school that’s a laugh. I was in school from 1954 to 67. You have to say this about the American Public School system at the time they had a fine school libraries when I attend them. And used them when I was in Catholic School I didn’t know where it was and didn’t read books except text books. I love history and science that why I read historic novels and science fiction. With the lost of bookstores and comic racks in stores try finding something to read now.

  2. Robert Barricklow

    Mission Accomplished: A Dumbed Down “Public”.

    They want slaves believing they are truly free;
    serving the greatest country on Earth.

    George Orwell could have written the Amerikan Educational Goals:
    1) War Is Peace
    2) Slavery Is Freedom
    3) Ignorance Is Strength

  3. The name of the program itself suggests the loss of individuality and independent thought, creativity and understanding. It is imprisonment of the mind.. hence, that of the being.

  4. Stupidity is a condition; Ignorance is a choice…
    There is nothing to prevent you from continuing your real education after you get out of the “system”. Learning is a life long process and should be continued until the day you die.
    You have access to the accumulated knowledge of mankind {mostly) through a device most people carry in their pocket. Most use it for Facebook and getting into arguments with other people.

    1. valaren105674

      Great points… the internet is truly becoming a digital battleground where total strangers who otherwise might be best friends become eternal enemies, and for what? Good luck finding anything “intellectual” on the front page of YouTube. All they do is push prank videos, trashy music, and Late Night w/ Jimmy Fallon.

  5. valaren105674

    This is no joke — AT ALL. I was dumbed down so badly up through the 10th grade that I was this close to flunking… thankfully something “clicked” and I managed to pull out straight A’s from there on out (I maintain that I had “guidance”, but that’s a complicated story). The point of the matter is most of our kids post 2008+ don’t even know what the bill of rights is, what sides fought during the American Revolution, ect. In fact, my brother had to watch like 30 movies+ that had absolutely nothing to do with schooling during his senior year of high school. I’m not a fear mongerer by any stretch of the imagination people, but our children’s intellectual capacity is literally being siphoned out of their heads. To this day I’m struggling to “catch up”, as it were, because of all the intellectual damage I received while attending government schools my entire life. It really frustrates me where I might be today had I been homeschooled, because if I found my way here, I must be doing something right. (I hope?)

    Warmest regards,

    Valaren

    PS: I hate to partake in some selflish advertising, but please check out http://gizadeathstar.boards.net/thread/2/welcome-post as I created an unofficial forum for the global GDS community that I hope will be useful particularly in post-vid chat discussions. Don’t forget to send me a PM if you’re a paid member so that I can grant you access to the vidchat section.

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