Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Public Schools: Golly How the Truth Will Out

The Department of Education recently published a revealing report on just how well states are doing with setting and achieving academic excellence. You know what academic excellence is right? It's whatever your local school board, principals and teachers say it is. At least this is what was revealed by the DoE report.

Turns out when Georgia says students perform at grade level, they really are well below national performance standards. Often so far below acceptable levels as to be deemed incapable of demonstrating basic understanding of the content. Yet we are told they are not only doing just fine, they in fact are excelling.

How can that be? How can this happen when we have a cadre of well-trained, self-sacrificing teachers educators led by experienced principals and adminstrators who are overseen by some of the best and brightest we can elect to our Boards of Education?

At this point you may be wondering how we can be so sure of their capabilities. You are right to wonder. We, the public, have two critically important sources of information on this matter. Unburdened by modesty, educators will gladly testify to their own amazing work ethic and capabilities. Second, the education machine, those education programs in our colleges and universities represent a multi-billion dollar industry, can supply mountains of data supporting what a great job they, and their graduates, are doing. Of course, with more money it could always improve.

These authoritative sources will tell you that one size does not fit all. That they have a better size chart for the brains of the average Abner and Daisy Mae than some Washington bureaucrat. That these standards are not on a continuum, but are orthogonal. That the dimensionality of the modalities and the dispersion of social paradigms...well, you get the idea.

But perhaps there is a simpler explanation: they are lying. That's right, our "educators" are systematically lying. And this is not a nameless, faceless entity. A "school board". Or the "Department of Education". Or the "administration". Or even the "faculty". No. These organizations exist only because of the people in them. People with faces. People with names. People with paychecks. And apparently people with an agenda. People who will do anything to protect their interest and their agenda. People who lie.

And parents, you see these people everyday in your child's school. It is the principal and she has a name. It is the teacher and he has a name. It is the school superintendent and she has a name. And it is the school board members and they have names. And they are all lying to you.

The lie they tell is both how great they are and, as a secondary consequence of the big lie, how great, how smart, how above average your child is. And every parent wants to hear this---every parent wants to believe this, to believe their child is a budding genius. And these educrats know this. And they use this knowledge to their advantage.

This situation is absolutely incredible. Parents have, with the assistance of tax-supported enablers, deluded themselves into believing their child is magically receiving a world-class education in spite of the fact that they know that Georgia public schools are among the worst in a country falling further behind in world rankings. Then, in any given sample large enough to be statistically valid, most folks are going to be average. MOST. Most students. Most teachers. Most parents. Everyone's child simply cannot be above average.

But it gets worse.  In this case, when you consider a larger population, the whole of the United States rather than just Georgia, our contribution to the whole is below average. We have built an education system that consistently turns out below average results whilst paying people to convince us otherwise. And here is the really good part: these propagandists are the same people who produce the below average results in the first place.

Yet there are parents out there, perhaps even reading this, who persist in thinking "well, yes, that may be true, but MY child is receiving one of the best educations in the world." Even with an embedded culture of systemic prevarication it is these parents who have destroyed public education.