Education in America: Conditioning for Low Expectations

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I encounter many a leftist talk who about education and its “problems.” Of course, hearing that often entails having to listen to their solutions, from more money to more teachers.

The problems and solutions are always simple: more of some commodity (usually cash) is needed in schools and, thus, more resources are thrown haphazardly at the problem, in hopes of fixing it.

Of course many of these liberals likely haven’t attended a school in decades.

It has not been so many years that I have forgotten my own school days, and I recall knowing, even back then that something was seriously wrong.

In my high school, there were three “tiers” of classes: Applied, Academic and Honors.

According to the catalogue, applied courses were the basic, grade-level requirement courses, designed for lower achieving students. The academic courses were considered the “college” track, and were more challenging and designed to prepare students for higher education. Honors courses were for the highest achieving students.

I opted for the academic courses, except in history. Generally speaking, they were challenging enough, their ease often more dependent on how rigorously the teacher drove the students than the overall course content. The problem seemed to lie in the honors and applied levels.

I was qualified throughout high school to sign up for honors classes, but I never did. There were many reasons to, chief among them that I was never quite sufficiently challenged in academic courses and most of my friends were brilliant enough to be in honors.

But then I would see the workloads of my friends. In English alone, they would read books on a near weekly basis and write at least one, if not more, papers as well. The focus seemed to be on quantity of work rather than quality of work.

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