Readers Digest intellectualismication

Since I blog relatively anonymously, I didn’t screencap this gem, so I’m going to relay it to you.

Friend’s Status Update: “Quote of the Year: ‘We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair.'”

My comment: “Wow, that’s deep – is it from Highlights, Reader’s Digest or the SOTU?”

My friend, I should tell you, has a career in academic science. She has a Ph.D. in physics or something, which means she’s no dummy when it comes to the natural world. As for politics, well, jeeeebus.

I noticed this quote repeated on my Feed a few times, so first question first: how many winners of science fairs have been invited to the White House under Fred-6’s reign? I didn’t bother Googling it, but I’m guessing zero, unless one of their parents happens to also be a big name bundler for OFA, or a Congressman or something.

Furthermore, understand this: what Fred-6 said, why he said it, etc do not interest me in the slightest. That a friend of mine smart enough to get a doctorate in science would be struck by this enough to post it on Facebook is what interests me. The line is a throwaway, or co-opted from that insidious bumpers sticker still floating around:

Public school teachers have had about a half-dozen original, constructive ideas in the past half-century. This one is original, I think. Or at least it was in … 1979. And yet, it and all its permutations remain. Why don’t we celebrate the kid in chem lab the same way we celebrate the kid who scores a touchdown? Only evil alumni point out that no one beyond the kid and his parents give a fuck about what he’s doing in the chem lab, of course, but it’s true.

The sticker and the idea behind it comes courtesy of The Women’s International Forum to Promote Abortion, Communism and Other Terrible Ideas That Sound Great When You’re High and Naming Your First Dildo Freshman Year of College. Or something like that.

The problem with school teachers isn’t that they’re all terrible people – I can think of six of the hundred or so I know who aren’t, and two of them are reading this – it’s just that most of them are neutral people who believe terrible (and terribly simplistic) ideas.

Long ago, possibly in the 1970s, the American public made a deal with the public schools, and it goes something like this:

We, the American public, will not raise our eyebrows as you, the teachers and your unions, invent new and more confusing ways to employ all the unemployable women majoring in inane, useless subjects in college. In return, we ask only that you do not sexually molest our children, call us terrible names when we vote down the latest bond issue, and constantly remind us how difficult your eight-month-a-year-at-twelve-months-pay job actually is. Our jobs are hard too, only we get two weeks vacation and zero moral authority. Also, our jobs aren’t guaranteed, and we like it that way.

The public school teachers I happen to love, I love with everything I have. Unfortunately, that type of teacher – the kind you think of when you think of the Norman Rockwell vision of a school-teacher, equal parts Socrates, Atticus Finch, Jaime Escalante and Joe Clark – is a rarity, and it has been for a long, long time.

Our public schools aren’t failing because only the best and brightest are entering the field.

They aren’t failing because teachers are underpaid.

They aren’t failing because schools are underfunded.

They aren’t failing because the Air Force has too many “bombers.”

They aren’t failing because wicked people like me insist they’re failing.

They are failing, plain and simple, because the people who work there are protected by a union racket that would make Al Capone blush, a racket that has zero interest in achievement and 100 percent accreditation in the fine art of bilking the public for all its worth using equal parts guilt and threat.

And no, Fred, we shouldn’t celebrate science fair winners that way, we should celebrate them by giving them ribbons and scholarships and a chance at a better life via a rigorous education in college, one that does not include indoctrination into post-modern, post-structural, identity- and culture-based subterfuge politics masquerading as education.

Instead, we are celebrating them by having a national freak-out because an upscale American Chinese woman published a book and an essay about Tiger Mothers, and how Tiger Mothers are cruel but effective whereas Western Moms aren’t too interested in everyone’s self-esteem to actually accomplish anything. Our prize-winning American science student is left mulling over his proper dose of self-esteem while the science labs are full of Chinese and Indian kids running laps around his academic ability, and academics who should know better are marveling at the President’s wisdom that could’ve been stolen from the pages of Reader’s Digest, or failing that, co-opted from a sticker espousing a really stupid fucking idea.

Got it?


About godsowncrunk
I'm King B, the originator of the Jellywhite lyrical style and god's own crunk.

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