Core Education


This is another one of those stories that so many sent me that I had to blog about it. And despite its bad news, I'm not going to rant about it. No, on second thought, it's not bad news; the news is downright apocalyptic, for it means that if the USA cannot turn its quackademic system around, the country is doomed. I'm at a loss here, because many of my friends and acquaintances are active professional teachers, so any remarks I might make about the systemic problems of the profession are bound to be personally hurtful, and subject to misinterpretation.

But there's no denying what this story is saying: after a decade of spending gobs of money on education, American school children's performance is dropping:

New Test Results Reveal A "Lost Decade" For Academic Progress In Public Schools

(Mr. C.S. spotted this version of the story:)

65% of Public School 8th Graders Not Proficient in Reading; 67% Not Proficient in Math

The problem here hits close to home, for I live in a state where, recently, teachers staged a "walk out" to make their case for a salary increase. And, part of me is deeply sympathetic with their position, because in this same state, while teachers rank near the bottom of the pay scale, educational "administrators" are - in some districts - pulling in almost a million dollars, more money than the President of the USA, the Vice-President, a US Senator, or Congressman. And for doing what? Delivering to us this mess of stupid butthurt Bolshevized students (yes, I said Bolshevized), who cannot read, cannot write, cannot think. So at least a part of me can sympathize with the teachers. But by the same token, the other part of me most decidedly does not sympathize, for in all their demands for more money, not a word was heard about what might be wrong with the system, and how to fix it, and I've always contended that part of that problem stems from the whole idea of teacher certification, which means that one has spent "x" amount of classtime, not learning a subject, but learning method and theory, which usually revolve around cleverly-disguised systems of passive aggression. It's in those classes that teachers themselves are collectivized and turned into "team players" who should not "rock the boat" by failing a student for not knowing the material, for not being able to think clearly. That, after all, would affect their self-esteem, or be to impose a "white male patriarchal system" of value on their Kulcher... yes folks, it's that bad here.  In fact, it's so bad that mathematics itself has come under fire for being a system of "white male privilege." I won't go into that, because I've blogged about it before on this site.

This idea of ending certification or standardized tests sounds ridiculous on the surface, until one recalls the inconvenience of history, which my co-author Gary Lawrence and I pointed out in our book Rotten to the (Common) Core: fully none of the great minds of our Western culture were taught by people who had a "teaching credential" from a modern American department of edgykayshun, and fully none of them ever took a standardized test: JS Bach, Mozart, Haendel, Haydn, Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, Robert or Clara Schumann, Beethoven... not even John Philip Sousa or Leonard Bernstein or Aaron Copland... were taught by people with an American Masters of Music Education, ie., by people who had studied not just music, but who had a teaching credential in the latest pedagogical theory. Poor Bernstein, daring to compose West Side Story and Candide and The Chichester Psalms and presuming to teach music on his television programs and lectures without a teaching credential! Alas, they were taught by people who had actually mastered their discipline. But were they sensitive to other cultures? (Well, actually, if one listens to Bernstein, he was, but perhaps that's because he had mastered his own first.)

Lawrence Stern, Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, John Donne, Edgar Allen Poe, Virginia Wolf, Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, Elizabeth Barret Browning &c &c were not taught English or English literature and poetry by people possessing a "teaching credential," and, by parity of reasoning, these people never took a computerized standardized test on English either. Shame on them!

Yet, to listen to the paragons and mandarins of the American quackademy, these two things - the credential and the standardized test-  are essential, so essential that it's truly amazing that Western civilization, from Plato to Popper, ever got along without them!

We're told time and again that this country's educational system is the best in the world. I beg to differ, because history gives lie to the claim, as do the contemporary "results" of the system.

No, what more money, more technology means is really "we want more of the same."

I know I most decidedly do not more of the same, because what the implications of this study really means is that, within a generation, it won't do any good to talk about things like "the Constitution" or "constitutionality" or "the rule of law", because a large part of them will not be able to read it, much less think in anything resembling a coherent fashion about it. It will do absolutely no good to talk about the Heglian dialectic or "the concrete universal" or the Kantian Ding an Sich or the Thomistic proofs or the principle of parsimony or the "problematic of atheist theodicy" or the Austrian economic school's critiques of Marxism, because no one will even have a clue what you're talking about, because they'll be incapable of reading it. It will do no good to write or talk of Popperian verifiability in science and the problems posed for certain scientific theories; it will do no good to speak or write about Goedelian incompleteness or Hamiltonian spaces or quantum entanglement or double slit experiments or uncertainty principles, because no one will have a clue, because, after all, two plus two equals twenty-two:

(And sadly folks, the edykayshunal kulcher in Amairikuh is just about this bad, especially for a teacher who, like Mrs. Wells, thinks there are "correct answers.")

Indeed, viewed this way, the conclusion is unpleasant, but clear: the problem isn't a lack a funding. The problem is continuing to do the same thing, and to expect different results, which, as I recall, Einstein once said was a perfect definition of insanity. The  problem isn't a lack of funds. The problem is, we continue to fund the same thing. The problem isn't the lack of funding. he problem is we won't even consider turning off the funding spigot to the departments of education, the corporate "textbook" suppliers, that are responsible for this mess.

No, not one more penny for this taurum excretum.

See you on the flip side...


  1. This may be due in part (if not the lion’s share) to immediate and latent effects of this 3 shot series starting in 1991 in infants (coming into to high compliance in the U.S. about 1996 and onward):

    II don’t think it can be assumed that the 3 shot series of killed vaccines DtaP and Hib (also containing mercury and aluminum for some time, still containing aluminum) starting at two months do not have similar adverse longterm impacts.

    And maybe some day, hopefully sooner than later, preferably with a metal injection moratorium already in place, someone will study the impact of these injections within the soup of wireless radiation many infants are now subjected to.

  2. Being a white male myself I’m not afraid to recognise the trouble with patriarchy which has nothing to do with skin colour, and by the way women practically all over the world haven’t known anything but patriarchy for millenias. Feminists like it or not are totally patriarchal (their invented speudo-matriarchy is a pain) and it shows, most women are lost to themselves and they have been for a long time. That is not to say real traditional matriarchy never existed but it has been on the disappearing end of history for a long time. I’m sure no man here would want to be one, leaving the cliches behind there are deeper reasons why not many are ready to look deep within themselves on this question.
    So where is the cure? I’m convince it has to do with education and not schooling with which it is too often confused. The mother is the first educator of a child, is there a problem with this reality in our world? Maybe this is the first thing to be looked at with humility, because I believe this is where problems start and probably before when we’re in our mother’s belly.

  3. . . . Such a face [top image] of an intense scowl of ‘knitted brows’ who, by the way, has a lot of company spanning decades, genders, and ages, from school-age then to now. Photo resembles closely the boy’s face on U2’s album called ‘WAR,’ I think, as it tends to draw one into the frame wondering and considering further implications in context – Albeit, a singular view point from this side of the monitor. A more insidious consideration is how the youth of other countries and cultures respond to those within these borders. One cannot pretend that there are no effects. Quantifying and qualifying those effects are the more difficult tasks.

    ‘You cannot solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that you used to create it.’. . Or something similar is what I remember Albert Einstein is said to have spoken and what you might have alluded to – Probably still on that quotes page online as it is in that book on my shelf. Very useful guidance over the years, too, as it beckons one to check and recheck one’s pursuits so as not to be easily made a fool of typos. Yet they crop up from time to time – Glad I don’t type computer code as desktop crash insurance would be unsustainable.

    Effective and efficient seem to be the terms one is implying and trying to solve for in today’s fast paced “edgykayshun,” which, by the way, is an excellent example of what learning entails. It [edgykayshun] shows how the phonetic form of education can be an adjunct to learning skills by using an additional intact auditory sensory apparatus. This method is used in England. Listening takes hearing, too, but also incorporates the remaining functional senses to help with those six main interrogatories – 6 questions by any other name for some of us simpletons – I raise my hand on this one, too. One should NOT lose scope of what those senses are, either, as they’re subject to subtle changes over time, episodic damages, and sudden catastrophic loss singularly as well as in groups. It can be scary to experience a sudden loss. Not having one from the beginning is different, too, as one some how re-routes brain capacity.

    Re-learning is not always easy, if at all, not to mention linear time required – decades for some. Ask anyone who’s had to relearn and their story can be very revealing of how shallow abstract knowledge actually is. One is privy with firsthand experience, but this blog is not about moi.

    Apparently abstract learning has become abstract and possibly why some feel lost in this presumed information overload. The noise tends to dissipate as it fails to holdfast. . .

    1. As I’ve written before the administrators are taught how to literally game the system. There are actual computer games that they play in a faculty vs admin script that is very game theory orientated, constantly update, extremely sophisticated and engineered.
      I read a book on it. [Unfortunately my better half trashed it, and I can’t remember the author/title.]

    2. I remember my professor in English
      telling me the why of professional education:
      Or, as they say in telemarketing scams biz:
      Certificates of Authenticity.

    3. …and nowhere has this mission been more accomplished than in the so-called science of economics.
      J is For Junk Economic:
      A Guide to Reality In An Age of Deception
      by Dr. Michael Hudson
      ISLET, 2017

  4. I agree with Basta. It’s all going according to plan.

    However, whilst there is still time, say in the next 30 years, we should all endeavour to pass on our great knowledge to our grandchildren, so natural humanity has a chance to continue on with unhacked and natural intelligence. Teach them to read and solve arithmetic problems. Imagine that, one day real education goes underground. This might be necessary … for those of us whose brains are still whole and organic.

  5. Indeed… all this technology that’s being purported to improve the human condition is taking a wrong turn. From the way you operate your “gadgets” – as an example: the simple act of typing out whole words significantly enhances thought process and recall…

  6. I think that Joseph has the right ‘inclination’, but does not fully-grasp (at least in print) the Nature of the Exercise. The desired ‘product’ is an unempowered, docile, worker-class humanity (with a semi-hidden Overseer class). The System is what trickles-down from that Objective. The System is not ‘broken’; it is working well.

    In my mind, the most important sleight-of-hand around “edgykayshun” involves taking Spirituality and ESP off the educational table, and banning them to the far-reaches of ‘fringe society’. (Note that I said Spirituality, and not Religion.) Those subjects are the Key to mankind’s real growth and empowerment. Once they are ‘locked out’ of education, we get edgykayshun – meaning the Control System is fully in place. Once they are ‘locked out’ of education, we get a zero-sum, materialistic game where teachers submit to the Control System for their own survival.

    Certification and standardized tests are about Level 6 of the ‘unempowered, docile, worker-class humanity’ agenda. One can either whale/wail-about in Level 6, or posit that there is a Larger Agenda being carried-out and respond accordingly…

  7. If you taught those “less than human, useless eaters” to think for themselves, we wouldn’t have a “governmental services corporation” posing as our government with its dual citizen “representatives” who “attempt” to serve two masters at the same time.
    Follow the money, it should be apparent just whose interests these people serve and just whose “puppet” our “leaders” have become. It most certainly isn’t Putin’s.
    If you desire to understand just who rules over you, recognize who you cannot criticize or boycott.
    They want their NWO and they will engineer the apocalypse and burn the entire earth to the ground to get it. Make no mistake about that.

  8. Aren’t a lot of these stats regarding the decline in Maths and English literacy simply due to immigration though? If you have a lot of people who can’t speak the language inserted into English speaking schools who don’t speak the language particularly well (if at all) and are then taking exams in English, it stands to reason that there will be a decline in results.

    1. That could be too… It’s like Austria-Hungary, only worse: how in the name of sense are teachers supposed to master N+2 languages in order to teach biology or English lit?

  9. Lost is on to something, some geographical areas seem to be “pumped” while others are “trashed”. Could be related to what C.A. Fitts has discovered about country-by-county rape of resources through drug trafficking and real estate speculation. And, as she points out, the solution is pushback on the local basis.

  10. And yet the public schools in Palo Alto, Princeton New Jersey, Brookline Mass, Greenwich Connecticut, the north shore of Long Island (Nassau County NY), produce some of the best students in the world.

    I’m seeing a pattern here. And that’s hardly a complete list.

  11. Dear Joe,
    In Minnesota, we have a radio show called “Garage Logic”. They feature a segment called “The Destroyed Academy” where they discuss at least once a week of the the school system failures. The article you cited in this blog was recently discussed the show also.
    Anyways, this article came across my feed and the link inside of it, was also recently brought up on G.L. you may want to read this also.

  12. I admire your outrage and your persistence in bringing up “education” (lol), but actually, everything is going according to plan.

    Once you realize that unpleasant truth, your anger is redirected elsewhere.

    1. Basta, do not assume that my books or blogs contain all that I think about a subject, nor who the real culprits are. I believe my co-author Gary Lawrence and I laid it out pretty well who is behind it.

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