Education: Suppose Al Capone Lives in Your City

So, Al Capone lives in your city. Do you talk about it? Do you mention that this Mafia guy got his mansion by breaking the law, blackmailing people, Capone Credit Hollowversebuying and selling politicians, not to mention killing people?

 Seriously, do you ever talk about Al Capone? Or do you look the other way and pretend that nothing is going on where you live, nothing journalistically interesting, nothing criminally interesting.

 The man is a psychopath and he’s running a criminal empire in your city. This is not without consequences. To survive, he will have to corrupt your police department, court system, and legislative branch. Meanwhile, he will provide services such as gambling, prostitution, and drugs that your city might be better off without.

 So, do you discuss the fact that Al Capone lives in your city? Maybe you should. Your silence makes him stronger.

There’s a similar dilemma with regard to education. Do you mention that, according to many analysts  you have an Education Establishment that is intellectually incompetent and morally corrupt? These pretend-experts deliberately dumb down schools, students, and the society generally.

Maybe these things need to be talked about. It’s a fact of life that almost nobody learns to do arithmetic quickly and confidently with Reform Math. Similarly, almost nobody learns to read with sight-words, no matter how many lies the Education Establishment tells on this subject. Nobody learns much science, geography, and history with Constructivism  Nobody learns much of anything in a school that is crippled by the doctrines of Self-esteem, Multiculturalism, 21st Century Skills, and all the rest of it.

So, should you mention these things when you meet people for lunch? Or do you prefer to look the other way? That’s what our newspapers and other media do. That’s what too many of our community leaders do.

  But this is not without consequences. The country is being dumbed down but everybody is busy looking the other way, as if these bandits will find a new racket somewhere else. Maybe they’ll all move to Spain and dumb down the Spanish. No, probably not.

I suspect that our Education Establishment has a lot in common with Al Capone. He is a parasite making lots of money doing things in a way that’s not helpful.

But do you talk about it? Are you afraid to talk about it? Or maybe you just don’t realize it might be interesting to talk about it? Or that maybe we can save ourselves if we talk about it? Maybe, if you don’t talk about it, things will get even worse.

 Apparently, the Victorians managed to avoid talking about sex for 50 or 100 years. We seem to be able to avoid talking about education, at least at a deep level, ever since the Progressives started dumbing it down.

 Our Education Establishment and Al Capone – is this a gratuitous comparison? If only it were. We have 50 million functional illiterates  People who have been half-killed, you might say. They suffer their whole lives from feeling of inadequacy and from earning less money than they should’ve been able to make. Aren’t these victims worth talking about?

 Add it all up and maybe Al Capone killed several dozen people. Our Education Establishment has crippled millions. Indeed, it’s probably more appropriate to say that they have crippled the whole society. We have tens of millions of parents forced  almost every day to waste time trying to help children do math homework that nobody can understand. It’s designed that way. Surely that’s worth talking about. 

Arguably, most of K-12 education can be described as an elaborate boondoggle. Billions of dollars fly away into thousands of money pits. The perpetual gimmick is to mis-teach subjects so that expensive remediation systems are required. Isn’t that worth talking about?

Look in your local paper. Have you ever seen a discussion of anything educational that was deep or subtle?  Sure, they’ll tell you about a new school, new principal or new tests. Little chitchat like that. But they won’t say that half of your fourth-grade students cannot read in any real sense of the word. These kids can stumble and guess and suffer miserably. But they cannot pick up a little book and just read it. Why not? Because the schools refuse to teach reading in a way that works. This sounds like something worth talking about.

 Al “Keep Them Dumb, Our Time Will Come” Capone lives in your city. You better start talking about it. Otherwise you’re going to wake up one day and realize you haven’t got a city or very much else. 

As the big digital signs at football games say: MAKE SOME NOISE.

Bruce Deitrick Price explains educational theories and methods on his site Improve-Education.org