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THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY(VIX)

Dumbing Down Education-Part I

Related:THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY (X) Advanced Placement Courses--Part Two

 

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DOROTHY PHILBIN l CNBNews CONTRIBUTOR


There has been a lot of controversies this week about two educational issues.  The first issue is the banning of books in public schools and the second is the revelation of the terrible reading levels in the Baltimore School District.

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First things first.  Why are so many books being considered for banishment?  That answer goes back to virtual learning as a result of COVID.  Parents were watching teachers teach and they could sit in on the lessons.  Many of the gray hair parents/grandparents got their educations in a time when education was benign.  Parents knew what their kids were learning when they helped with homework.  Since then parents trusted the school districts but because of new curricula many times they could no longer help their children.
 
Suddenly COVID makes its entrance and parents find out that their elementary school students are learning pornography, obscenities, and "non-binary" genders.  This may not be too upsetting to big-city progressive families but most of this country is composed of smaller communities with more conservative principals.  If parents want their students to read "progressive" books at home, that is fine but the whole class should not be taught content that is in contrast to the parents' values.
 
In recent months parents in Virginia expressed their anger in the board of education meetings.  They were told they had no right to know what their children were learning in school.  Several meetings were broken up when the boards called the police and one father was arrested after the board members refused to acknowledge his daughter was raped in the girl's restroom by a boy who "identified" as a girl that day.  As an aside, the person who identified as a boy was transferred to another school where he raped another girl.
 
How can our students learn in this environment?
 
But getting back to banning books.  The big fervor this week is about a book called Muse.*  It is an eighth-grade level  "graphic novel" which is another word for a comic book.  No other of the 25 countries with higher educational levels than the U.S.A. considers comic books to be educational, regardless of the content or level.  Other reasons why Muse is under fire are nudity and obscene language.  No one in the "bible belt" considers this acceptable educational material and many, many other parents don't either.  Why should these parents not have a say in whether they want their eighth-grade students exposed to nudity and obscene comics in the name of education?
 
The other big issue this week was the announcement of reading levels in the Baltimore School District.  The specific school names were not announced.  One high school had 628 students.  Of those only 1.18% of those students were reading on level.  Alarmingly, 1.17% of the high school students read on a kindergarten level and 1.4% read on a first-grade level.**  Does anyone question why our students have to read comic books?
 
When this was the case in Camden City, NJ a student named Ralph Abbott sued the state.  That was the beginning of the Abbott program in education, but that is another story.  
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* The sources for this article were an accumulation of news and tv interviews.
** Tucker Carlson Tonight, Fox News, January 31, 2022, and Hannity, Fox News, February 1, 2022

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