The school that sabotaged its standout students
by Jeff Jacoby The Boston Globe
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It is hard to overstate the outrageousness of this betrayal, but it reflects the school district’s stated determination to “produce equal outcomes for every student, without exception.” Taken literally, such a policy requires the dumbing-down of classroom expectations to the lowest common denominator. It means that high-scoring students must on no account be encouraged to excel.
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“Catholic school taught them that it was their obligation, and could even be a mortal sin, if you didn’t use all your talents to the greater glory of God.” — “Chapter Fifty — Samaritans going to Jericho / Monday November 5, 1962 – Church Day + 17 (continues)” CHURCH 10●19●62 Volume 1 Page 296
I was never a willing student, but I was always “encouraged” — sometimes with physical violence — to do my best.
Now, seven decades later, I realize how important that encouragement is. We don’t have “corporal punishment” like in my day, but sometimes — to refer to the old joke about the farmer and the stubborn mule — sometimes “you need to get the student’s attention”. I like when the student is encourage to learn what they want and when they want to learn. Maybe we have lost the American ethic to “work hard and smart”.
I admire the Asian family influence over children and the importance of education. It’s a shame that black students equate being educated with “acting white”. We’ve failed them. The late Walter Williams came from the segregated Philly school system where poor performance was just unacceptable. He attributed his success to the encouragement he got then.
Bottom line for me is that the Gooferment has take over “education” and “achieved” diminishing results and an ever expanding cost.
In the tax revolt of the 1970 in the Pepuls Republik of Nu Jerzee, I urged a “Forty Year” plan to move from the current system to a free market solution. The first 20 years was a series of 5% liberations of students from the requirement to attend a local public school with a “green voucher” to but whatever education is best for them. The second 20 years was a series of 5% reduction in the amount of those vouchers. At the end of 40 years, the problem would be solved.
But, as ususal, politics and the “teachers’ union” was impossible to overcome.