Harold's Quoting That Jew Again
[My apologies for the lack of updates this week, but you know Harold is as busy as a cat on a hot tin roof when he forgets to update this blog.
I'm tossing in a quote from my own Court Jew, James Howard Kunstler. Do you see what I mean now about some of these hebe's stuff being just so damned good, so spot on, that I have to quote it in spite of myself? - HAC]
I have said this before to the scorn and derision of my auditors: it should be the primary mission of schooling to teach kids how to speak English grammatically and intelligibly. Without that capability, they may not be able to learn much of anything else. That this is not regarded as important anymore is a spectacular disgrace. It also brings us to the horrifying issue of race in American schooling. (Yes, this is part of that “conversation about race” that the professional race relations establishment calls for incessantly but doesn’t really want to have.)
The failures of education are especially vivid among the children of the so-called inner city — polite code for black. The school troubles of this group may be attributed to an array of other problems, starting with a social services system that pays teenage girls to have babies without a father present in the house, and the inept parenting that follows in chaotic homes. You could argue that children produced in those conditions are so damaged by the time they get to first grade that they can’t recover.
Under Barack Obama’s Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, a policy called “racial equity” was devised to mitigate the embarrassing problem of black students being suspended or disciplined disproportionately for atrocious behavior in the classroom. The solution to that was to just stop enforcing behavioral standards. The policy placed the blame for students’ disruptive behavior on the cultural insensitivity of the teachers and staff, and more generally on “white privilege.” The result, naturally, is greater chaos and dysfunction in the classroom. It is worth reading the piece by Katherine Kersten in City Journal on how this worked out in the St. Paul, Minnesota, district.
Arne Duncan was also responsible for misapplying federal Title Nine law on college campuses (originally drawn up to balance funding of men’s and women’s sports), where it was used to promote the extra-legal prosecution of rape allegations in what amounted to campus kangaroo courts run by ideologues unconstrained by due process. This has produced a star chamber climate of persecution across the country, nicely in step with the officially-sanctioned coercions of the cultural Maoists who are destroying the intellectual life of American higher ed.
American schooling from kindergarten to post-doc has entered a phase of epic failure under the watch of several generations of federal policy experts. It suffers from several other illnesses than the ones I’ve already mentioned, namely the tragic over-centralization of school districts into giant schools; and the odious racketeering in loans that drives college education. Betsy DeVos has a lot of damage to undo engineered by her exquisitely qualified predecessors.