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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Last night's 20/20

Alan Woody, Woody's News and Views, lists some of the high points of last night's 20/20, featuring John Stossel. What I thought particularly interesting about the program was the lacunae. Sure, in a one hour program, it would be impossible to list everything that's wrong with public education in the U.S. But surely his primary theme-choice, competition can do more for improving education than anything else-could have surrendered five minutes to addressing at least a couple of other major problems: fumble-headed dumbass educrats and stupid, lazy parents.

OK, so he did show a couple of the worst examples of educratic administrators/union goons in the SC ed sec and the NY teachers' union boss. But that's not nearly enough to demonstrate the scope of the stupidity problem in schools of education, remote diumbasses in D.C. and state capitols issuing stupid decrees, etc. And his continual painting of parents as capable of making better choices for their children's education fails at the other end, because more and more parents are themselves products of our "prisons for kids" stupid factories and are simply too dimwitted (and often too self-involved, selfish sloths) to be able to make wise decisions about their children's education.

Still, Woody's link to a the Stossel article built off last night's 20/20 might serve you well, if the subject of America going down the drain because we're manufacturing another generation of stupes concerns you.

Minor update from a contraria n point of view. This from Fred Reed:
"Some might argue that the Cherokee in his natural habitat could not read and could not manage the rudiments of arithmetic. In this he closely resembled a high-school graduate. It is true that to some extent the gurgling adolescent of today can use a calculator. The Cherokee had nothing to calculate, a far better thing. Instead of spending twelve years unhappily learning nothing in a regimented ignorance factory, he learned nothing while running through the woods and climbing trees. The choice is, as we say, a no-brainer."
Of course, as we know, neither the "gurgling adolescent" witlessly punching calculator buttons nor the putative Cherokee running freely through the woods learn nothing. But the relative value of learning the fundamental nihilism of our modern culture as opposed to, well, actually bringing home game to eat is, "as we say, a no-brainer." heh