I was shopping recently and decided to conduct a fast experiment. I told the girl at the register that I was new in town and asked if she could tell me who the local congressperson was. She said she didn’t know. I then asked if she knew who her state senators were…either of them. Once again she didn’t know and this time she was starting to feel a bit uncomfortable. I changed the subject to music and talked about Madonna and the Super Bowl and I even threw in some Jersey Shore for good measure and from that point on she was fine. I should add that she informed me how she didn’t watch the Jersey Shore, but when I innocently quizzed her on it she could tell me the names of the main characters on the show. On a side note, I should say I’ve yet to encounter a single person to actually admit they watch the Jersey Shore. So, what does it say about us if our youngest voters can keep you informed of pop-culture, but cannot name the individuals who shall be passing laws on their behalf? Simple, it means that we are producing a society of sheep. Keep in mind that it always benefits those in power to keep the masses in their place as opposed to elevating them. When you elevate a man, that man can become a threat to you. The biggest advantage that this country has had over so many others is that we had a superior educational system. We call it “public school” and it has existed as this country’s great equalizer. It didn’t matter if you were born wealthy or poor. Only a tiny fraction of parents sent their kids to private school. Everyone else went to the local public school where all children regardless of class received the same quality education. At the end, both children were ready for college. Granted, the wealthier child’s parents could afford college easily while the poor child will struggle, but then again our country guarantees the right to explore your success, it doesn’t guarantee it alone. In other words, life isn’t fair. The point is that both children were PREPARED. Nowadays, things are different with our public schools. The problem with public school is that there is no freedom of choice involved and it teaches out of a government curriculum. Now I, of course, have witnessed this first hand. I went to high school in a very poor area and the teachers for the most part didn’t care about their jobs. I had a history teacher who would just play movies all day. Not actually relevant movies…just whatever movie he felt like. The one test we had was open book and was only a page long. For the most part, there was little crime in my high school, but there was little learning too. America’s public schools are the only institutions which insists that you attend the school closest to your home. Imagine if it was that way with your local grocery store. You and your spouse would drive into a new development and the conversation would go something like this: “So how are the grocery stores in this neighborhood?” “Well this grocery store here is one of the best in the state. The stock is always rotated, the produce is always fresh, and they have some of the best cuts of beef you can find!” It sounds rather ridiculous doesn’t it? But don’t parents ask about a school zone before moving into a new area now? And consider the results of this lack of choice; doesn’t it appear that our children are being dumbed down? I think you will find that the easiest way to tell a mature, educated person from the rest is that the educated person can keep himself or herself entertained. Children and the uneducated cannot do this. How many times have you heard a child say they are, “bored?” This also correlates to the primary difference in children’s books vs. adult’s books. The adult’s book contains words; the children’s book contains multiple colors and pictures to keep the child interested. The concept carries over to textbooks also. I’ve looked at trigonometry and calculus books from the 1950’s through the 1970’s to today. The difference is that the books from the ‘50’s and ‘70’s are descriptive and filled with problems. The more modern books, 1994 and beyond are filled with colorful pictures and a variety of anecdotes on the sidebars of many pages. The publishers are not necessarily the ones to blame here. After all they are just following a simple philosophy of why aim high, when you can aim low. Here are photocopies from two textbooks I used when I was in engineering school. Look at both sets. They are both from a physics with calculus book by the same publisher. Can you tell which one was published in 1978, and which was published in 1997?
Well what do you think? These two books are only a generation apart and it’s not getting any better. The important thing is that by dumbing down our children we are not preparing them for the future. Besides the issue with textbooks I’ve encountered students who have teachers who do not grade in red for fear of upsetting the child’s self esteem and still others who receive something called a “participation” trophy so they won’t feel left out. The result is that we have an educational system that is no longer effective. And this is where the class warfare begins. There are both well-off and poor parents who deeply care about their children’s education. The difference is when the well-off parent realizes the school is no longer living up to its mandate he or she can do something about it. The parent can interview numerous private schools until they find a right fit for their child. The less-well-off parent can do none of these things, as they cannot afford a choice different than what they receive for free. Once more and more children leave the local public school for private, a sense of apathy sets in. Apathy both from the other students who know they are receiving a sub-par education and from the administrators who know they are providing it. So what happens when your local public school is no longer functioning? Well according to the Republicans and Democrats you deal with it. To the ruling elite, you are the proletariat…the working class. Your children DO NOT go the same school as theirs. While their children learn about Washington and Lincoln, your children learn about famous trans-gendered Americans. While their children learn trigonometry and calculus, yours learn how to put a condom on a cucumber. Consider, Barrack Obama sends his children to an elite private school in Washington DC where all the other wealthy politicians and lobbyists send their kids. Is it because of security? Well no, because the secret service would follow the same protocol regardless of whether the school was public or private. Jimmy Carter sent his daughter to DC public schools, so why didn’t Clinton and Obama? The real answer? Washington DC public school rank near dead last in the country. They are not in last place, but they are far below average. Which of course begs the question, is the valedictorian of an F rated school an F rated student? All questions aside we should also focus on Rahm Emmanuel, the current mayor of Chicago. When I say that an uneducated man is an asset to a politician here is the perfect example of that. When Mr. Emmanuel was campaigning, someone asked him if he intends to send his children to the Chicago public schools. He said it was a decision he and his wife would have to make. As soon as he was elected, he quietly enrolled them in one of the most prestigious private school in Chicago. He was kind enough to express his views to reporter Mary Ann Ahern when questioned saying he, “Was making this decision as a father.” And adding that his children have nothing to do with his being mayor and that he cares deeply for his family. Translation: The proletariat be damned! This, of course, is not confined to Democrats. Republican Governor Chris Christie shouted back at a reporter who questioned why the governor was sending his kids to private school. It’s no question our public schools are failing our children. Whereas private schools were once mainly for religious purposes they have now become a way to escape their exanimate and non-functioning public counterparts. If any soul dares to mention choice or vouchers the teachers unions immediately go into attack mode. Unless we push for choice, our children will continue to receive a third-rate education.