OK... it's time for another rant on Amairikkuhn Edgykayshun; we're well overdue for one, and my therapist told me after the last electroshock that if I didn't vent the steam soon, they'd have to up the amperage.
Back when Gary Lawrence and I were writing Rotten to the (Common) Core, one of our mutual concerns was that in establishing a kindergarten to graduate school tracking and surveillance system in the guise of an individually adaptive computerized testing system, that inevitably this system would be used to force people into "career choices" that they themselves might otherwise not make. We suspected then that the goal was to impose penalties on individuals for not following "recommended career choices". One can envision the new Common Core Conversation between an "Edgymakayshun Fasillytator" and a perplexed parent:
"Suzie has a talent for music? We're sorry, but that didn't show up on her test results. Those results show that her optimal career choices lie in the field of office sanitary services, or as a mobile sanitary services engineer."
"What's a mobile sanitary services engineer?"
(Nervous glances, and in a hushed voice): "A garbageman."
(Hushed response) "Don't you mean a garbagewoman? or better, a garbageperson? I'll report you for not being sensitive enough in your pars pro toto usage if you don't change those 'recommendations'".
"Huh? pars pro...uhm... What?"
"You heard me. Change that recommendation - I don't care how you do it, just do it - or else (evil grin) I'll report you and you'll have to undergo (maniacally evil laugh) sensitivity training or attend a continuing education seminar."
(Nervous pleading): "No! No! I beg you! Put bamboo shoots under my fingernails, peel my skin, but not another continuing education seminar or sensitivity training! I-I-I'll change Suzie's recommendation!"
And on and on we could go.
We didn't suspect, however, that the "follow our choices for you or suffer the consequences" would happen so soon in (where else?), Chicago (Mr. C.S. shared this article):
These paragraphs say it all:
Hey, Chicago parents: Are you ready for a bunch of government officials to decide whether your teen has appropriate post-high-school plans?
If you're not, too bad. Your city's school district is pushing forward with its plan to demand—as a requirement to graduate—that seniors prove to the school that they have a plan for the future. What's more, this plan has to match what school administrators think your kid's future should look like.
Reason previously warned that this order was in the works and that Mayor Rahm Emanuel was fully supporting it. It is now officially in place, and it will start applying to students graduating in 2020. Here is a list of options that graduating seniors will be allowed to pursue:
- College acceptance letter received and returned
- Military acceptance/enlistment letter
- Acceptance into a job program (i.e., coding boot camp)
- Acceptance into a trades pre-apprenticeship/apprenticeship
- Acceptance into a "gap year" program
- Current job/job offer letter
The original version was less hospitable to the idea of teens entering directly into the workforce, so at least there's an improvement there. And it says waivers "will be developed" for students with "extenuating circumstances," however the district might eventually define them.
But note the insistent attitude here that moving forward into adulthood and being "successful" at it is assumed to involve putting one's self right back under the control or authority of others. Personal entrepreneurship is not an option. If your kid is a wunderkind in crafts or 3D printing and is making bank on Etsy, that doesn't satisfy the Chicago school system. Will administrators see private contract work as a "job" under this system?
Like all such schemes, it looks good on paper, until one considers (1) the Mayor backing it, which should raise the needle on anyone's suspicion meter, and (2) the consequences that Reason is spelling out: Chicago's "solution" is meant only to keep graduates in debt and subservient to the edgykayshun system and its overpaid mandarins. The first "requirement fulfillment", i.e., a college acceptance letter received and returned" is the problem: why would anyone want their children to go to an American college, where they will be exposed to revolutionary Gramscian nonsense, learn how to mangle the English language by being forced to use "gender neutral" language, and spend more time learning how to be sensitive and not "offend" anyone, than they will learn history, literature, the arts, the sciences, or mathematics? where their overpriced tuition money will go to pay the salaries of fat and talentless administrators, who do nothing but mangle said academic disciplines, while underpaid adjuncts teach the courses that matter, and overpaid shills teach the ones that don't? Chicago's test bed program, in other words, only fuels the fraud and ensures its continuance. The real point here is that the end result of the Common Core system is being implemented, and, I suspect, Chicago is "the test bed."
But wait, there's more, because apparently this new "scheme" is just that, a scheme to raise more money for - you guessed it - more administrators, not teachers in the classroom, not textbooks, but administrators (after all, we have to supply jobs for the illiterate but sensitive people being graduated from the edykayshun system, don't we?):
Chicago school leaders don't really see that unintended consequence, because that's not their goal. As I noted the last time I blogged about it, this entire "plan" appears to be a mechanism to lobby for more money and more staff for administrative, non-education-focused purposes. The Washington Post's coverage of the policy on Monday makes it clear that this system is intended to shake out more money and support for guidance counselors and to create new programsthat further entwine administrators into students' lives. Here's what's going on at Morgan Park High School:
Given the new graduation requirement, seniors beginning this fall will take a year-long seminar on planning for life after high school. [Principal Carolyn] Epps said she hopes to reach younger students through assemblies, parent meetings and instruction in home-room classes.
The official description of this new demand notes that the mayor and district are attempting to raise $1 million to create new positions for "college and career coaches." This a jobs program for them. Installing this system is meant to create leverage to ratchet up administrative funding. It's not just about blackmailing students and parents into declaring they'll conform to a set of roles in order to get out from under the state's thumb. It's yet another way for the school system to demand more money by making it harder for students to graduate if those who hold the purse strings don't agree to more administrative spending.
Now, call me old fashioned, but I thought seminars on life after high school was the parents' job... oh, wait, I forgot, the progressivist nuts in edgykayshun don't like things like families, babies, children, fathers, mothers, &c.
The root cause, I submit once again, is having a class of "professionals" called "educators" that are allowed to foist all this progressivist claptrap and codswallop on people in the first place, and the root of that problem is the idea of teacher credentialization. This is at the central core of the steaming piles of horse puckey that Amairkuhn Edgykayshun - with its Doctors of Edublither and its "fasillytators" and "administrators" has become.
Surprise surprise: when the Common Core centralizing "one-size-fits-all-one-size-suits-Mr.-Gates" agenda is dropped, low and behold, things improve when teachers don't have "administrators" and Doctors of Edublither breathing down their backs:
In other words, it's very simple: Want your son or daughter to learn English skills, and learn them well? Hire someone who knows English literature thoroughly. Want your son or daughter to learn math? Music and/or a musical instrument? Biology? Then one clue is: how much time did their teachers spend learning those subjects themselves? Clue: when you see "Ed" in their degree, that means they spent a lot of time, not learning the subjects themselves, but in classes of edublither learning how to fasillytate. And yes, I am being harsh, because that's the reality. Ask a teacher who has had to endure all that nonsense, if they had rather been able to use that time to learn more about their disciplines. Those that say "yes" are the ones you need to hire. Those that said "oh I wish I had more time to learn educational psychology, or pedagogy and methods," those are the ones to avoid like mad cow disease, for effectively, they're just as brain dead, and they're usually the ones you see out protesting something. Question them, and you will discover that they are amazingly, consistently, and thoroughly progressivist-bordering-on-outright-Gramscian Marxist in their ideology.
But there's good news: Illinois is going down the tubes financially. Other states will quickly follow. The trough is running dry; there will be less for the pigs to feed on, and eventually, nothing at all. That's when you'll have the opportunity, once again, to fire the administrators, the doctors of edublither, the professors of methodoloboggle, the lecturers on lavatory leveling, the educators of equality, the sensitivity squatters, and also be able to get rid of the pseudo-disciplines that empower them with paid positions in the quackademy. You'll be free to be insensitive again. And your children will be literate and educated. And they probably won't be sensitive, but they'll probably be courteous.
OK. Rant over.
See you on the flip side...