Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Education (or lack thereof)

It's pretty bad when even the journalism majors on a well-known college campus start noticing that half the students in college have neither the aptitude, interest, or skills necessary to be there. Here's what a Baylor student newspaper editor wrote:

Public school system creates dumb college students
March 6, 2007

...In the past few decades, teachers, principals and parents have been telling everyone they have to go to college and that the key to success is getting that rolled-up parchment so you can mount it on your wall, point to it and say, "Hey, look how smart I am!" Many students go to college just to get a degree or to socialize.
They have no intention of using their degree, expanding their horizons or even getting smarter; they just want to ease on by.

Unfortunately, the state of our education system allows them to do just that. Most kids breeze through elementary, junior high and high school because they've been "taught the test" and nothing else. They arrive their freshman year of college woefully unprepared for basic math, English and history courses. Part of the reason is standardized testing and the other reason is that college students as a whole simply just aren't as smart as they used to be...


While I have often noted that the current Cheredi yeshiva system is guaranteed to produce almost nothing but young men with no chance whatsoever of earning market rate employment and supporting their families so that their kids aren't raised in herds by minimum wage workers who don't really care a bit about your kids but are only working in daycare themselves because they need money (because their husbands can't or won't support them, either). This comes, amazingly enough, from the same mental illness that American secular education is suffering from: arrogance.

The secular public school and university system is not without problems of its own, and while young men and women can go there and become actually employable, the American system as a whole fails a huge percentage of its students. First and foremost, high schools make no allowances for kids who would be better served learning trades than going to college. They devalue doing manual labor or learning skilled craftsmanship of any kind. They worship the desk job above all others, because - like the Roman empire just before it, too, fell - Americans think they're too high class to get their hands dirty. Just like the cheredi, they're too arrogant to learn real trades and skills.

Other Western countries and races don't waste their kid's potential like this. They have elaborate systems of apprenticeship and journeymen positions to train young men (and women) for skilled work of all kinds. Those who pass their high school proficiency exam and are inclined can still go to college and get a degree in a field of their choosing, but kids who have neither the interest nor ability aren't forced to do so like they are here in America.

Another symptom of this malaise is the tendency to hire illegal aliens and other cheap unskilled sources at an idiotically low wage - one they would NEVER agree to themselves - to do their housework, laundry, etc. American women, especially feminists, should be the most acutely aware of how this demeans what they and their grandmothers and great-great-grandmothers ad infinitum have contributed to the family, community, and economy for a hundred thousand years. But instead of paying these women what they're really worth for the work and chores that they do, they demean them and consider them "unskilled" - as if half the yuppie moms today even know how to manage a household and cook and clean properly (which they don't).

So women who choose to put their family ahead of expensive toys and stay home are also devalued, and not just by feminists - by the entire American education system. Young women are told point blank that if they don't go to college, they are useless and "dependent" and in terrible danger. What a crock of bull! Guess what, class? No one in this world is "independent." The whole human species is designed by evolution/mother nature/God or whatever you want to call it to be an inter-dependent system where everyone pitches in together according to their ability to meet the family, community, and society needs.

And what society needs is more skilled tradesmen and skilled craftsmen and less young men who think playing computer games or sitting in yeshiva all day is a viable plan for their future. What the community needs is more women (and men) who take care of charitable and community needs for the sick, elderly, and less advantaged - instead of relying on government programs which end up doing more harm than good (unless you're profiteering off of them, that is). And what families need is their mother to be home doing her real job, if she chooses to marry and have children, instead of selling herself into indentured servitude and sacrificing her kids, marriage, extended family, and community on the altar of her career.

But you won't hear anyone telling high school kids these things in America, or in the cheredi system, either. Self-sufficiency means that we should never be in a situation where we have to rely on something or someone outside our own community to get our needs met. That means every item that we use everyday needs to be made by someone in our community and be repairable in stead of disposable. The young men and women of our community need to learn to make every stitch of clothing, household appliances, furniture, tools, utensils, and yes, food, needed by the community to develop a sustainable, self-sufficient economy. Getting your hands dirty and doing real work or making real goods in exchange for other such real work and real goods from others doing the same is the only basis for a functional economy. Yes, this includes doctors and lawyers and others who need a university degree. But the vast majority of what we need every day used to come from skilled tradesmen and skilled craftsmen, and needs to again.

That is what high school teachers and counselors should be telling the students.

Unfortunately, class, it's not what they're hearing.

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