Saturday, January 15, 2011

Giant Step Backwards Looms For Education

Here's further proof that mainstream journalism is incapable of performing even halfway decent analysis of national problems.  The Associated Press eagerly awaits education "reform" that will turn back the clock:

American parents, teachers and students would be left laboring under a burdensome set of testing guidelines and other rules that many agree are pushing standards lower instead of bringing them up.

Ahem, firm standards are precisely what's always been missing from American secondary education.  The opposition of teachers' unions to standards held back progress for decades until No Child Left Behind became law. 

Banalities in this article abound.  Focusing on "teacher performance" is impossible without the so-called onerous standards the article deplores.  "Boosting college graduation rates" is just as meaningless.  American colleges now graduate more bachelor's candidates than ever before in history and yet the ROI of a college degree is nearing zero thanks to federally-encouraged student debt. 

Our country's educational system needs a reset.  On that score, I agree with the critics of No Child Left Behind.  Unfortunately the educational establishment wants more of the same:  more money, more teachers, more student loans.  All of that will lead to more failure.  The real solution is to close schools, fire teachers, eliminate federal student aid, reorient most college students toward trade schools, and let the Internet deliver open courseware for free to anyone with a modicum of curiosity.