Education: Orphan Issue of the Campaign

By:  Sam Blumenfeld
12/27/2011
       
Education: Orphan Issue of the Campaign

There have been some mentions of “education” in the Republican debates and by candidates in general. Some of the Republicans have even advocated getting rid of the Department of Education. That’s a good start, but virtually nothing has been said about the reading problem, or the deliberate dumbing down of our children. Nothing has been said about how our public schools are deliberately destroying the brain power of millions of young Americans.

 

There have been some mentions of “education” in the Republican debates and by candidates in general. Some of the Republicans have even advocated getting rid of the Department of Education. That’s a good start, but virtually nothing has been said about the reading problem, or the deliberate dumbing down of our children. Nothing has been said about how our public schools are deliberately destroying the brain power of millions of young Americans.

Yet, every day, we read in the newspapers stories of what is going on in our schools, and none of it seems to arouse much interest among the candidates or our cultural elite. For example, the Des Moines Register reported earlier this month:

Nearly 1 in 3 Iowa fourth-graders last year lacked basic literacy skills and, if a proposal that Iowa lawmakers will consider next year had been in place, most may have had to stay in third grade.

The provision is part of a reform package Gov. Terry Branstad will introduce in January, and is based on a Florida initiative that has boosted scores.

Critics in Iowa say ending social promotion for third-graders could erode students’ self-esteem, and they question the wisdom of retaining children based solely on their performance in one subject area.

Click here to read the entire article.

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