Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The ‘Education’ Mantra

Our education system has been hijacked by the liberal progressive left, a minority faction that is intent on tearing down our capitalistic society and replacing it with their socialist dreamworld. All you have to do to determine whether Thomas Sowell is right, is to attend one of the graduation ceremonies of one of our elite universities. Our students are not prepared for the rigors of the meaningful university curriculum. The foreign students are.


Unfortunately, an increasing proportion of American education, whether in K–12 schools or in colleges and universities, is closer to the baton-twirling end of the spectrum than toward the nuclear-physics end. Even reputable colleges are increasingly teaching things that students should have learned in high school.

We don’t have a backlog of serious students trying to take serious courses. If you look at the fields in which American students specialize in colleges and universities, those fields are heavily weighted toward the soft end of the spectrum.

When it comes to postgraduate study in tough fields such as math and science, you often find foreign students at American universities receiving more of those degrees than do Americans.

A recent headline in the Chronicle of Higher Education said: “Master’s in English: Will Mow Lawns.” It featured a man with that degree who has gone into the landscaping business because there is no great demand for people with master’s degrees in English.

Too many of the people coming out of even our most prestigious academic institutions graduate with neither the skills to be economically productive nor the intellectual development to make them discerning citizens and voters.

Students can graduate from some of the most prestigious institutions in the country without ever learning anything about science, mathematics, economics, or anything else that would make them either productive contributors to the economy or informed voters who can see through political rhetoric.

Such people have proven to be ideal targets for demagogues promoting polarization and strife. We in the United States are still in the early stages of that process. But you need only visit campuses where whole departments feature soft courses preaching a sense of victimhood and resentment, and see the consequences in racial and ethnic polarization on campus.

There are too many other soft courses that allow students to spend years in college without becoming educated in any real sense.

We don’t need more government “investment” to produce more of such “education.” Lofty words such as “investment” should not blind us to the ugly reality of political pork-barrel spending.

Read full Thomas Sowell article here.

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