Public Schools -- Stop Experimenting on People’s Children

A few years back, public schools in my hometown of Littleton, Colorado began using laptop computers in the classroom. With great fanfare, every student was given his or her own computer. Classroom instruction quickly moved away from traditional teaching materials to primarily computer-based learning.

This trend occurred throughout the country. We were told this would usher in a grand new world where student’s educational achievements would take off through the stratosphere.

In a normal world, a major undertaking like this would only have been done after extensive research, testing, and actual results. And since we are dealing with something that will affect children’s lives for the rest of their existence, caution and care should be the watchword. 

My wife still bears the scars of a past fad, something called New Math – which damaged math learning for millions of young minds.

Years after this transformation, what has been the actual educational impact on student learning? We will never know since they have never tested to see its effect. Can you imagine any for-profit business doing the same?  Or medicine?  Or technology?  Or agriculture?  Of course not.

Is this incredible or what? The same is true throughout the country. In effect, the public schools are simply following the latest fad and blindly experimenting on the students. Results be dammed – and ignored

I know many teachers and, although the evidence is anecdotal, they all believe this technology has been detrimental to student learning. Yet we can’t use facts to judge the results since they purposely don’t allow such results to be generated.

Another fad that came through a few years ago was the changing of school start times to accommodate the supposed problem of teenagers being forced to get up “too early.”  How they survived the past millennium is never explained.  Littleton public schools took this one hook-line-and-sinker too.

We were told that almost magically, simply starting high school later – which requires elementary and middle school to start earlier - would lead to incredible academic and behavioral improvements. 

And not just academic performance. Merely by starting high school later, we would also address the problems of “weight gain and eating disorders and increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular problems, and diabetes; reduced immunity; depression; anxiety; substance abuse; mood swings; behavior problems; suicidal ideation; and potential impacts on brain development.”

Wow! Sign me up! This sounds like a miracle just waiting to happen. Why have we been so stupid in the past?!

This will significantly negatively impact after-school activities for all kids but that is a small price to pay for the pot-of-gold just waiting for those brave enough to take the leap.

So, a few years later what are the results? Was this a good idea or not? Was it a pot-of-gold or simply an illusion pushed by those with some ulterior motive? Who knows since there has been no testing of actual results on actual students.

It is again antidotal, but I know many teachers and few think the results have been positive. But now that it’s in place, full speed ahead and never look back.

This is another example of public schools blindly experimenting on other people’s kids -- with a purposeful plan to never examine the actual results of these blind experiments.

The public schools have a long history of damaging experiments with no fact-based analysis to determine the impacts of these actions. This must end.

Long ago the public schools decided children needed help with sex and thus sex training, er education was implemented -- soon working its way down to even kindergarten.  The results?  Who knows. But we do know sexually transmitted diseases, promiscuity, and abortions exploded across this land and remain there to this day.   

The schools have had similar unsuccessful experiments with drug training, er education, and anti-bullying. Both have seen a corresponding explosion in what they were supposedly fighting against.

These are all examples of blind experiments on other people’s kids – and I’m certain there are many more.

But kids don’t get a “do-over.” If your understanding of arithmetic is damaged it isn’t going to be magically healed sometime down the road. Can you imagine trying to add a long list of numbers or multiplying multidigit numbers by looking at a computer screen versus using a pencil and paper? These children will carry this damage with them for the rest of their lives.

And the latest uncaring experiment is demanding children be masked for the entire school day. The “experts” freely admit they don’t know the short- or long-term impacts of this -- or even if it will “work” -- but they believe it won’t seriously damage young kids.

Of course, if it does… well, what can you do?

Enough already. Almost 70% of all 4th, 8th, and 12th graders are not proficient at reading. Almost 80% of 12th graders are not proficient in math. Geography? Over 80% not proficient. Science? Almost 80% not proficient. Writing?  75% not proficient. 

American History? Just under 90% not proficient. 

The American people need to rise up and scream, enough! and demand the public schools stop experimenting on people’s children and return to the basics of education. 

Let’s go back and examine the results of some of these other actions to see what needs to be changed and for God’s sake, get the damn masks off our children’s faces. You have no idea of the long-term consequences and you have no right to force this risk on other people’s innocent children.

Enough with your experiments. The results-to-date have been far from acceptable.

John Conlin is an expert in organizational design and change. He also holds a BS in Earth Sciences and an MBA and is the founder and President of E.I.C. Enterprises, www.eicenterprises.org,  a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to spreading the truth here and around the world, primarily through K-12 education. He has been published in American Greatness, The Federalist, The Daily Caller, American Thinker, the Houston Chronicle, the Denver Post, and Public Square Magazine among others.

Image: RIA Novosti archive

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