Bad teaching is a common explanation given for the disastrously inadequate public education received by America’s most vulnerable populations. This is a myth. Aside from a few lemons who were notable for their rarity, the majority of teachers I worked with for nine years in New York City’s public school system were dedicated, talented professionals.Before joining the system I was mystified by the schools’ abysmal results.I too assumed there must be something wrong with the teaching. This could not have been farther from the truth.
Teaching French and Italian in NYC high schools I finally figured out why this was, although it took some time, because the real reason was so antithetical to the prevailing mindset. I worked at three very different high schools over the years, spanning a fairly representative sample. That was a while ago now, but the system has not improved since, as the fundamental problem has not been acknowledged, let alone addressed. It would not be hard, or expensive, to fix.
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The so called postmodernists had a different view on the matter. They apparently thought that all this arguing is too much of a hassle, so they decided to make it simpler by drastically lowering the standards of what should count as an argument. That is why you can find sentences such as: “It is the horizon itself that is in movement: the relative horizon recedes when the subject advances, but on the plane of immanence we are always and already on the absolute horizon.” (That is an actual sentence from What is Philosophy, by the French duo Deleuze and Guattari.) The first and most obvious thing about this sentence is how convoluted and apparently meaningless it is. But while there are ways by which one can navigate the jargon and find some meaning in these words, there is no justification for it; no argument to demonstrate that “on the plane of immanence we are on the absolute horizon.”
As I said, Brazil’s situation is not the same as in the US. Intersectionality has just now started creeping out in the media and academia, and college campuses are part of a slowly bubbling debate on free speech. Still, in other aspects Brazil seems to be ahead of the postmodern curve when compared with America. Postmodern thought is prevalent from high school onwards and I am sure that it is at least part of the reason why, despite heavy investments in education and a growing number of college enrollments, Brazil’s education seems not to have improved at all in the last decade.
Here are some of my initial thoughts on the latest findings. Firstly the fact that the gap between boys and girls in reading is seen as secondary to the gap between boys and girls in math is very disconcerting. Secondly the reasoning for black boys not reading well appears to be being dismissed as systemic problems which is utter nonsense. These kids are not going to gain a love of reading simply because they are given books with black male protagonists. What they need are curriculums which are geared toward boys and not catering to the female students as has been the educational emphasis in the recent years. It seems people are content to let the male students fall through the cracks while they move their focus towards getting their female students scores up. And to make matters worse it appears that the education governmental bodies are more content to lower the standards for males students especially black male students rather than construct solutions.
This is probably the most asinine article I have come across in a very long time. This manifesto could not be anymore condescending if it tried. The author is essentially saying that if you don’t conform to the collective utilitarian agenda on public education you are a bad person. Don’t want your kids getting a poor education? You are a bad person. Don’t want to wait generations till public schools miraculously start working properly? Bad person. The author had the gall to even suggest that educational ignorance is adequate in navigating today’s world. I think this individual has clearly been so indoctrinated in the left’s religious fanatical belief in equality at all costs that she fails to realize the eventual harm this would have on society. Moreover she gives no clear indication for any public school reforms that would be taking place in the meantime while your kids are meant to be obtaining this sub par education for the greater good. Personally I attended private schools in middle and high school primarily due to the fact that the local public school would not offer an adequate education unless you were in their elite 1% of students. I am fortunate for my parents sacrificing time and money to give me a fighting chance rather than allow me to be stuck in the quagmire of public education. If anything this author’s reasoning is a prime example of why we need better education immediately because her reasoning is abysmal. I hope this is merely satire because if it isn’t its probably the worst regressive social engineering ideas ever recorded.
In a globalized, interconnected world, foreign language skills are more important than ever before, and yet Americans do not tend to study foreign languages, with only 18.5% of K–12 public school students studying a foreign language and a mere 8.1% of college and university students enrolled in a foreign language course.
Sad. The poor educational techniques and inability to practice foreign languages through immersion play a big part in the poor language language learning statistics. Unfortunately many can go their entire lives without the need to learn another language.