Educrats and false advertising
Imagine you are driving down the road with your family, and you pass a school proudly displaying a National Blue Ribbon banner on the side of the school. What do you think? Many, I suspect, would be impressed. Some might think, "Wow, that must be a great school!" Such reactions are what the Educrats want you to think. Educrats in America want the public to think our schools are places of excellence.
Educrats want you to see the ribbon, give them the glory, and get on with your family drive. They do not want you to ask more questions. They do not want you asking, "How does a school earn a National Blue Ribbon?" They especially don't want you asking, "How do American public schools stack up against public schools in other countries?" Educrats want us to trust them as educational experts worthy of unshakable trust.
In the real world, people earn a blue ribbon for first place, a red one for second place, and a green one for third place. If you compete in the Olympics, you get a gold medal for first place, a silver medal for second place, and a bronze medal for third place.
In Educrat world, where they use "New Math," things are different. Some blue ribbons mean that the school is doing relatively well compared to others in the state. However, the "Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools" category simply means that you get that big Presidential Blue Ribbon if your school can show improvement in an area where your school was earlier found deficient. Perhaps a blue ribbon like that ought to be called the Maynard G. Krebs Blue Ribbon or the Alfred E. Newman Blue Ribbon instead of a Presidential Blue Ribbon.
What about that other question? How do American public schools stack up against public schools in other countries? According to the authoritative 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, American public schools rank 13th overall in reading, 36th overall in math, and 18th overall in science.
When faced with this information, some might ask inconvenient questions of the Educrats and teachers' unions. Shouldn't we tear down the misleading blue ribbons and replace them with ribbons that truly reflect the mediocrity of American Public Education?
I was a public school teacher for 23 years, which means I worked in the sausage factory for nearly a quarter of a century. What we crammed in the minds of our students kept them busy, but the education we offered was frankly on par with the quality of what was served in the school cafeterias.
When I taught, I was a conservative in a swarm of leftists. As a conservative, I asked questions and raised criticism as we moved from educating to re-educating and indoctrinating our students. I regularly annoyed the Educrats as I shared my ideas.
Educrats did not welcome my scrutiny, and they will not welcome the scrutiny of citizens wondering about what they do with our tax dollars. For my part, I welcome scrutiny coming from parents and lawmakers about the socialist and Marxist influences that are now so clearly evident in public education. If you take the time to look, you will not like what you find.
Image: National Blue Ribbon Schools seal. Public domain.
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