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The End of Merit - Our schools, even without CRT, are failing to prepare students for a skills-based job market.


Geee
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American Mind

The near hysteria, though justifiable, among conservatives concerning the imposition of racialist Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools fails to address how this theology both reflects and contributes to the “systemic” decline of education itself.

Over time, our educational deficit with other countries, notably China, particularly in the acquisition of practical skills in mathematics, engineering medical technology, and management, has grown, threatening our economic and political pre-eminence. Our competitors, whatever their shortcomings, are focused on economic competition and technological supremacy. In math, the OECD’s 2018 Program for International Student Assessment found the United States was outperformed by 36 countries, not only by China, but also Russia, Italy, France, Finland, Poland, and Canada.

Critical Race Theory and its growing chorus of implementers—from the highest reaches  of academia down to the grade school level—have little use for such practical skills acquisition and brook little dissent from teachers and researchers who raise objections to the new curriculum of racial grievance. Woke educators, like San Francisco’s School board member Alison Collins, claim that “merit, meritocracy and especially meritocracy based on standardized testing” are essentially “racist systems.” Some among the new racial cadres even denounce habits such as punctuality, rationality, and hard work as reflective of “racism” and “white privilege”.

In a world where brainpower pushes the economy, the denigration of habits of mind can only further weaken our economic future and undermine republican institutions. Even though the vast majority of corporate executives perceive a growing skills gap, they have failed to stop educators from abandoning skills in favor of ever greater emphasis on ephemera of race and gender.:snip:

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@Geee

Worse than That. They don't teach students HOW to think. In fact Thinking and asking Hard Questions is discouraged. Very often the teachers themselves have never been forced to really Think or answer Hard Questions.

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7 minutes ago, Valin said:

@Geee

Worse than That. They don't teach students HOW to think. In fact Thinking and asking Hard Questions is discouraged. Very often the teachers themselves have never been forced to really Think or answer Hard Questions.

I believe the phrase is 'dumbing down'. Has been going on for decades now.

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6 minutes ago, Geee said:

I believe the phrase is 'dumbing down'. Has been going on for decades now.

Jun 3, 2011

 

“It’s really started at the level of public school education. I’ve been teaching now for 46 years as a classroom teacher, and I have felt the slow devolution of the quality of public school education in the classroom.”

Camille Paglia

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@Geee

 

What is worse is the lack of curiosity in learning something that might make them uncomfortable or question what they have been taught. 

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Related

The Roots of the Elite Left's Attack on Freedom

Peter Berkowitz

July 25 2021

“The CRT debate is just the latest squall in a tempest brewing and building for five years or so,” wrote Andrew Sullivan earlier this month in “What Happened to You: The radicalization of the American elite against liberalism.” Sullivan is correct that the left has turned sharply against freedom in recent years. And he vivisects the illiberal ideology about race and justice espoused by many schools, private corporations, and government agencies. However, in dating the origins of the larger tempest, Sullivan is off — depending on how you count — by about 50 years, 100 years, or perhaps 250 years.

(Snip)

However, it was not university students — either today’s or those of the 1960s — who first introduced the idea that progressive moral and political ideas were objectively true, beyond reproach, and should be affirmed by all. That conceit we owe to the founders of the progressive era.

For example, in a 1912 essay, “The New Meaning of Government,” then-governor of New Jersey and soon-to-be president of the United States Woodrow Wilson worked out some implications of the progressive convictions that he had been articulating for decades both as a political scientist and president of Princeton University. Government, he argued, should be “an instrument of civilization and of humanity” managed by a new professional class of highly trained and scientifically adept technocrats. By virtue of their education and impartiality, they would rise above the mere “consent of the governed” in which the nation’s founders grounded the legitimate exercise of political power. They would discern “genuine public opinion” — that is, not the preferences people expressed through voting and the choices they made in all the other areas of their lives but the policies that the experts determined would promote the people’s better selves and best interests. Through efficient, rational, central administration, the experts would implement public policy that was unlimited by any consideration — including citizens’ expressed preferences — other than the experts’ authoritative reconstruction of “the purpose of the people of the country.”

On what grounds did progressives suppose that power must be shifted to experts because the people cannot be trusted to identify their own interests, much less the public policies that would advance them? “The Social Contract,” a 1762 treatise by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, gave classic expression to the idea that the will of the people was something other than what the people said they wanted or for which they voted. His point of departure in search of “some sure and legitimate rule of administration” was the proposition that “[m]an is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” Rousseau had in mind the chains of custom and tradition which, he believed, corrupt minds and hearts. A properly organized government, he argued, must see to it that each citizen “shall be forced to be free” of inherited beliefs, practices, and associations. Such coercion, Rousseau emphasized, must only be undertaken by those capable of accurately discerning the “General Will,” which reflects the people’s true interests and is “constant, unalterable, and pure.”

(Snip)

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