I’m a Public School Teacher, and the Kids Aren’t Alright

My students were taught to think of themselves as vectors of disease. This has fundamentally altered their understanding of themselves.

I am proud to be a teacher. I’ve worked in the Canadian public school system for the past 15 years, mostly at the high school level, teaching morals and ethics.

I don’t claim to be a doctor or an expert in virology. There is a lot I don’t know. But I spend my days with our youth and they tell me a lot about their lives. And I want to tell you what I’m hearing and what I’m seeing.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, when our school went fully remote, it was evident to me that the loss of human connection would be detrimental to our students’ development. It also became increasingly clear that the response to the pandemic would have immense consequences for students who were already on the path to long-term disengagement, potentially altering their lives permanently.

The data about learning loss and the mental health crisis is devastating. Overlooked has been the deep shame young people feel: Our students were taught to think of their schools as hubs for infection and themselves as vectors of disease. This has fundamentally altered their understanding of themselves.

When we finally got back into the classroom in September 2020, I was optimistic, even as we would go remote for weeks, sometimes months, whenever case numbers would rise. But things never returned to normal.

When we were physically in school, it felt like there was no longer life in the building. Maybe it was the masks that made it so no one wanted to engage in lessons, or even talk about how they spent their weekend. But it felt cold and soulless. My students weren’t allowed to gather in the halls or chat between classes. They still aren’t. Sporting events, clubs and graduation were all cancelled. These may sound like small things, but these losses were a huge deal to the students. These are rites of passages that can’t be made up.

In my classroom, the learning loss is noticeable. My students can’t concentrate and they aren’t doing the work that I assign to them. They have way less motivation compared to before the pandemic began. Some of my students chose not to come back at all, either because of fear of the virus, or because they are debilitated by social anxiety. And now they have the option to do virtual schooling from home.

One of my favorite projects that I assign each year is to my 10th grade students, who do in-depth research on any culture of their choosing. It culminates in a day of presentations. I encourage them to bring in music, props, food—whatever they need to immerse their classmates in their specific culture. A lot of my students give presentations on their own heritage. A few years back, a student of mine, a Syrian refugee, told her story about how she ended up in Canada. She brought in traditional Syrian foods, delicacies that her dad had stayed up all night cooking. It was one of the best days that I can remember. She was proud to share her story—she had struggled with homesickness—and her classmates got a lesson in empathy. Now, my students simply prepare a slideshow and email it to me individually.

My older students (grades 11 and 12) aren’t even allowed a lunch break, and are expected to come to school, go to class for five and a half hours and then go home. Children in 9th and 10th grades have to face the front of the classroom while they eat lunch during their second period class. My students used to be able to eat in the halls or the cafeteria; now that’s forbidden. Younger children are expected to follow the “mask off, voices off” rule, and are made to wear their masks outside, where they can only play with other kids in their class. Of course, outside of school, kids are going to restaurants with their families and to each other’s houses, making the rules at school feel punitive and nonsensical.

They are anxious and depressed. Previously outgoing students are now terrified at the prospect of being singled out to stand in front of the class and speak. And many of my students seem to have found comfort behind their masks. They feel exposed when their peers can see their whole face.

Around this time of year, we start planning for the prom, which is held in June. Usually, my students would already be chatting constantly about who’s asking who, what they’re planning on wearing, and how excited they are. This year, they’ve barely discussed it at all. When they do, they tell me that they don’t want to get their hopes up, since they’re assuming it will get cancelled like it has for the past couple of years.

It’s the same deal with universities. My students say, “If university is going to be just like this then what’s the point?” I have my own children, a nine-year-old daughter and a seven-year-old son, who have spent almost a third of their lives in lockdown. They’ve become so used to cancellations that they don’t even feel disappointed anymore.

I think all of my students are angry to some degree, but I hear it most from the kids who are athletes. They were told that if they got the vaccine, everything would go back to normal, and they could go back to the rink or the court. Some sports were back for a while but, as of Christmas, because of the recent wave of Covid-19 cases, club and varsity sports are all cancelled once again. A lot of the athletes are missing chances to get seen by coaches and get scholarships.

I try to take time at the beginning of class to ask my kids how they’re doing. Recently, one of my 11th grade students raised his hand and said that he wasn’t doing well, that he doesn’t want to keep living like this, but that he knows that no one is coming to save them. The other kids all nodded in agreement. They feel lied to—and I can’t blame them.

What’s most worrisome to me is that they feel deep worry and shame over the prospect of breaking the rules.

Teenage girls are notoriously empathetic. I see that many of my students, but especially the female ones, feel a heavy burden of responsibility. Right before Christmas, one of my brightest 12th graders confided in me that she was terrified of taking her mask off. She told me that she didn’t want to get anyone sick or kill anybody. She was worried she would be held responsible for someone dying.

What am I supposed to say? That 23 children have died from Covid in Canada during the whole of the pandemic and she is much more likely to kill someone driving a car? That kids in Scandinavia, Sweden, and the Netherlands largely haven’t had to wear masks at school and haven’t seen outbreaks because of it? That masks are not a magic shield against the virus, and that even if she were to pass it along to a classmate, the risk of them getting seriously sick is minuscule?

But I am expected to enforce the rules.

At the beginning of the pandemic, adults shamed kids for wanting to play at the park or hang out with their friends. We kept hearing, “They’ll be fine. They’re resilient.” It’s true that humans, by nature, are very resilient. But they also break. And my students are breaking. Some have already broken.

When we look at the Covid-19 pandemic through the lens of history, I believe it will be clear that we betrayed our children. The risks of this pandemic were never to them, but they were forced to carry the burden of it. It’s enough. It’s time for a return to normal life and put an end to the bureaucratic policies that aren’t making society safer, but are sacrificing our children’s mental, emotional, and physical health.

Our children need life on the highest volume. And they need it now.

Stacey Lance

Teachers’ Unions Harming Our Children

It is now a quantifiable fact that school closures do more harm than good. We have test scores, increased suicide rates, mental health decreases, and more warning signals from the New York Times to the Democrats. We know that prolonged closures adversely affect our children and that the unions in Chicago and elsewhere pushing for remote learning are doing everything they can to keep children out of schools.null

While the mental, academic, and social health of all of our children is important, there is a demographic of students who suffer the most: Children with special needs.

Students who fall on the autism spectrum, students who need accommodations, and students who generally just need extra support in the classroom are now left without because there is no classroom to be in and no help at home. While no one knows their child and his or her needs better than their parents, and the parents can provide some support at home, there are very talented, very well trained professionals at school who have dedicated their lives to helping these students get the most out of an education system that is built for the average, everyday kid – not the kid with exceptionalities.

Sometimes, these professionals and the services a school district provides are the only things standing between a student with special needs and the system leaving them behind.

This isn’t just about coursework, either. School is sometimes the only other place besides home where a child learns social cues, human interaction, and healthy emotional development. I’ve written about this before, but it’s especially true for these students. You have to have human interaction outside of your family in order to develop socially and emotionally, and for many students with needs beyond what the average student requires, school is the place where not just their social and emotional development, but indeed their very understanding of even basic social cues, can occur.

Students who are on the spectrum, for example, can struggle a lot with this. Others, kids with physical barriers like poor vision or hearing, need to be trained to pick up on things that most kids can easily interpret. Then, there are professionals in speech development who can offer the training students need to overcome speech barriers – training that parents may struggle to teach or may not have time to give in the midst of everything else that is part of parenting.

If you have never had the opportunity to work with or see some of these children in a school setting, what you have not witnessed is both the struggle that can take place and the absolute perseverance of these children. They fight, at times much harder than anyone will ever truly know, and when they find their success and achieve their goals it is one of the best moments you can witness in a child’s life.

But unions are pushing to close schools again. They defy the science. They defy the data. These are people who are fine with kids learning remotely or not learning at all (and, oftentimes, there isn’t much difference) because teaching while people are getting sick is just such a hassle.

Remote/virtual learning is not an education plan. It is, at best, a temporary solution that can be implemented on a school-by-school basis. It is not something that makes sense for entire school systems to adopt long term or for unions to push for. It actively hurts our kids, and while some can handle it in the long run, our most vulnerable children suffer when these decisions are made. That is unacceptable for a profession that is supposed to be serving these children.

Joe Cunningham

Happy Un-woke Year !

Watching teachers unions, government school honchos, the media, etc., deny that Critical Race Theory (which makes race the prism through which its proponents analyze all aspects of American life, categorizing individuals into groups of oppressors and victims) is taught in our schools reminds me of that memorable scene from an otherwise forgettable movie, A Guide for the Married ManA husband gets caught by his wife in bed with another woman, and he simply denies it. And he does so, vociferously and repetitiously to the point that his wife actually starts to believe him.

A typical example of this gaslighting is “Who is Behind the Attacks on Educators and Public Schools?,” posted earlier this month by the National Education Association on its website. The union claims, “Small groups of radicalized adults, egged on by…bad actors, have been whipped into a furor over…the false notion that children are being taught ‘critical race theory.’” At the same time that NEA is denying that CRT is taught, the union published its Racial Justice in Education Resource Guide, in which teachers are advised how to directly address issues such as white supremacy, implicit bias and acknowledging how race influences their work.

In November, an American Enterprise Institute report definitively showed “how legacy and education media refuse to acknowledge the hard evidence — numerous clear examples of CRT curriculum taught to students, a CRT pledge on a state website, and the political implications of parents speaking out about CRT at school boards.” And just last week, John Murawski at RealClearInvestigations gave us abundant evidence that CRT does indeed exist in our schools. One of the myriad examples he gives is Manuel Rustin, a high school history teacher, who helped oversee the drafting of California’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum. He discloses “Ethnic studies without Critical Race Theory is not ethnic studies. It would be like a science class without the scientific method. There is no critical analysis of systems of power and experiences of these marginalized groups without Critical Race Theory.”

And then there is Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study which thousands of American educators use to teach children to read. As reported by Daniel Buck and James Fury in City Journal, one part of Calkins’ Critical Literacy: Unlocking Contemporary Fiction, which is geared to middle school students, discloses that the unit will delve into “the politics of race, class, and gender.” The authors explain, “One activity asks students to break down ‘hegemonic masculinity’ in the books they’re reading. Another builds ‘identity lenses’ through which students can analyze various texts, including ‘critical race theories’ and ‘gender theories.’ References to identity pervade nearly every page of the unit. Accompanying materials declare that the curriculum is ‘dedicated’ to teaching ‘critical literacies’ that will ‘help readers investigate power.’”

In Los Angeles, the school district’s Office of Human Relations, Diversity & Equity released a PowerPoint presentation which explained that critical race theory isn’t being taught in schools. But at the same time, the district made presentations which did precisely that. L.A. Unified also mandated that teachers take an antiracism course taught by a known critical race theorist who told them to “challenge whiteness.”

Anti-CRT activist Christopher Rufo quotes Detroit school superintendent Nikolai Vitti: “Our curriculum is deeply using critical race theory, especially in social studies, but you’ll find it in English language arts and the other disciplines. We were very intentional about … embedding critical race theory within our curriculum.”

In Seattle, the school district’s “Department of Racial Equity Advancement” employs critical race theorists who apply the controversial concept to school policies and practices as part of the district’s efforts to embed it in elementary schools.

Campbell Union High School District in California’s Silicon Valley has become downright religious on the issue. One of its “equity resources” includes a document that teaches students how to put a curse on those who say “all lives matter.” One section titled “Hex” asserts, “Hexing people is an important way to get out anger and frustration.” And it instructs students to make a list of specific people who have been agents of police terror or global brutality.

The “hexers” are on to something. CRT is, more than anything, a religion. In fact, Columbia University professor John McWhorter has based his new book on the subject. Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America makes the case that, “It is not ‘like’ a religion…rather, it is what any anthropologist would recognize as one, with its own superstitions, rituals, clergy, and judgment day.” He adds that despite its worshippers’ best intentions, “the religion offers an oversimplified sense of what racism is and what one does about it.” He also maintains that CRT’s adherents, whom he calls “the Elect,” are “content to harm black people in the name of what we can only term dogma.”

Religion or not, how do we put an end to it? The answer actually comes from Theresa Montaño, a professional CRT coach and professor of Chicana and Chicano studies at California State University, who coached teachers during a November webinar. She advises her acolytes, “Don’t say critical race theory, just teach its precepts.” She adds, “What they did is they took those tenets of critical race theory, the pedagogy, or the methodology, and create[d] pedagogical models. You’re going to see how classroom teachers apply some of these pedagogical models in ways where they don’t even mention the words critical race theory but are doing anti-racist work.”

Following Montaño’s lead, states and school districts that want to halt the spread of CRT should do so by not using the term. Instead, the Heritage Foundation has solid model wording which avoids any mention of the noxious theory:

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 very simply “outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and later sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Following that line of thinking, the North Carolina legislature recently passed HB 324, which lays out rules that educators must follow. Schools are not allowed to teach that one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex, that an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex, that an individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, etc. But Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed it anyway, saying, “The legislature should be focused on supporting teachers, helping students recover lost learning, and investing in our public schools. Instead, this bill pushes calculated, conspiracy-laden politics into public education.”

This bill is pushing “calculated, conspiracy-laden politics into public education?” With Cooper’s (intentionally?) warped inversion of reality, it sounds as if a political sequel to A Guide for the Married Man is in the works.

*   *   *Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues. The views presented here are strictly his own.

The New Public School Orthodoxy

Readers likely are familiar with the bleak state of American higher education. The U.S. spends more per student than most of its peers, yet comparative-academic-proficiency studies from the Pew Foundation and others consistently rank us in the middle or bottom rungs. Literacy rates are lower today than in 1840, well before the imposition of compulsory public education. University campuses have become pedagogic citadels of woke-ism. What is less understood is the degree to which these same forces have invaded the nation’s primary and secondary public schools.

From Loudoun County to Cupertino, the K-12 public-education system is subverting our shared welfare. A vast array of public and private forces—legislatures, teachers unions, school boards, curriculum providers, and monied special-interest groups—are working in unison to advance a worldview hostile to traditional American values. The evidence for this is legion, and reveals itself in three interconnected threats: sex and gender theory, critical race theory, and replacement parenting.

Sex and gender theory comes in many guises but is centered around the separation of biology from personal identity. This messaging begins in kindergarten, where children are sometimes exposed to cartoon instructional books like Who Are You?: The Kid’s Guide to Gender Identity. Teachers tell impressionable children, “Babies can’t talk, so grown-ups make a guess [about their gender] by looking at their bodies.”

This is followed in later grades with books like My Princess Boy and Jacob’s New Dress, and graphical tools like “The Gender Unicorn” to cement the illusion that chromosomes and body parts are irrelevant. At the same time, state legislatures are passing non-discrimination laws allowing students to access school bathrooms and locker rooms according to their gender identity. Teachers are being ordered to use students’ preferred gender pronouns under threat of dismissal, furthering the lie that biology is irrelevant.

But an equally dangerous goal of sex and gender theory is to sexualize children. What was once known simply as “sex ed” has morphed into “comprehensive sexuality education.” Teaching tools like “It’s Perfectly Normal,” a book meant for ten-year-olds, contain realistic depictions of fully exposed child genitals and sex acts.

Schools today not only promote child sexuality, they facilitate off-campus sex-related medical services for their minor charges. Under California’s Assembly Bill 1184, recently signed into law by Governor Newsom, the first time parents are notified that their child has received such “sensitive services” could be when the bill shows up in the mail.

Then there’s critical race theory, the now-ubiquitous subject that galvanized Virginia’s “domestic terrorists” (parents) and kept Terry McAuliffe out of the Governor’s Mansion. Why the uproar? As Virginia’s parents discovered, CRT is a thinly veiled form of cultural Marxism.

As first reported by Christopher Rufo, in Cupertino, light-skinned elementary school kids are taught to “deconstruct their racial identities, then rank themselves according to power and privilege.” Similar kinds of exercises are occurring across the nation. Under CRT, representative democracy and capitalism are taught as tools of white patriarchy. Indeed, the tactics employed to advance the CRT worldview reminds one of the Soviet era joke, “The future we know. It’s the past that keeps changing.” An example is the “1619 Project,” which, although widely discredited, is being pressed into service by public schools in an effort to “reframe” the Declaration of Independence, the War of Independence, and the Constitution as racist machinations of the oppressor class.

Finally, there is replacement parenting, otherwise known as social & emotional learning (SEL). While parents may have resigned themselves to schools acting in loco parentis, SEL takes it to the extreme. Far from being concerned with cultivating traditional conceptions of character and virtue, the goal of SEL is to “mitigate the interrelated legacies of racial and class oppression in the U.S. and globally.” It seeks to “critically examine root causes of inequity” and develop “justice-oriented, global citizens.” In furtherance of these aims, schools have assumed the authority to engage in woke therapy sessions through topics like “self-awareness,” “relationship skills” and “responsible decision making.”

As SEL advocate Dena Simmons put it, “What’s the point of teaching children about conflict resolution skills, if we’re not talking about the conflicts that exist because of racism or white supremacy?” But SEL goes even further: It invades the recesses of a child’s inner life and records what’s discovered there through intimate surveys, family-life assessments, and class exercises designed to achieve doctrinal assent to the ever-evolving demands of social justice.

What’s behind all this? It’s not a secret. The purpose of public-school education is to indoctrinate future generations into a new orthodoxy, a replacement worldview for the beliefs that animated previous generations of Americans. Sex-ed promoter SIECUS, for example, openly advertises its aim: “Sex Ed for Social Change.” This new orthodoxy is religious in nature, with its own dogmas and practices. Metaphysical claims are supported with appeals to “ancestral” and even pagan roots. California’s version of CRT (“ethnic studies“), encourages teachers to guide children in chants to Mayan and Aztec deities. Utterly rejected, of course, is anything resembling the biblical worldview upon which all of western culture developed and advanced, along with its derivative concepts: the nuclear family, liberal democracy, capitalism, and equal protection under law.

If politics is downstream from culture, and culture from people’s personal beliefs, then America’s public schools turning into ideological indoctrination camps is a flashing red signal. How long our civilization can survive such intellectual and moral nihilism is open to debate. But as Lincoln is said to have warned, “the philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.”

In 1943 the Supreme Court was asked to decide if public schools could force children to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. This was in the middle of the Second World War, a time of fervent patriotism. Notwithstanding, writing for the majority, Justice Robert H. Jackson wrote: “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in matters of politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word their faith therein.” Perhaps it’s time that public schools were reminded of this.

Mark R. Schneider is a California attorney and founder of the non-profit Protect Our Kids, whose mission is to educate parents about the scope and dangers of the public-school system.

Can Your Kids Answer These Questions? If Not, Why Not?

Can your kids answer these questions ? If not, why not ?

If your kids don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s time you seriously considered educational alternatives for your child. And please don’t say you can’t afford it, because you can’t afford not to. If you love your children, take them out of public school, find a good private/parochial school, homeschool, or simply keep them at home. They’ll learn a lot more watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune than spending seven hours a day in a government-run holding tank for the children of dysfunctional parents.

Below are subject matters that my peers and I learned between the ages of 10-17. These issues and facts were taught during the 60s and 70s. Minorities had no problems learning these things. Why do they have problems with them now ? It’s called the “soft racism of low expectations.”

Ask your children or grandchildren these questions. If they can’t answer a good many of them, your children are the victims of child abuse.

Who invented the cotton gin?

The steamboat ?

The electric lightbulb?

Movable press?

The reaper?

The sewing machine?

Vulcanized rubber?

Can you identify all 50 states from a map of the United States? And name their capitals?

Can you identify most of the countries on a world map ? And name their capitals?

Can you diagram a sentence?

Do you know the grammar rules governing the use of “less vs. fewer?” Punctuation ? When to use an apostrophe ? Semicolon ? Quotation marks ? Capitalization? Proper syntax?

I heard through the grapevine that there are eighth-graders who still don’t their multiplication tables. I find the appalling. Can you quickly recite the multiplication tables from 1-10? As in, right now.

Can you discuss the significance and meaning of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and U.S. Constitution?

Can you name five major figures of the Renaissance? The Enlightenment?

Can you name Christopher Columbus’ three ships?

When was Julius Caesar assassinated? Date and year.

Can you briefly discuss the early American settlements at Plymouth and Jamestown? What drew these early settlers to risk life and limb to come here? Remember–there were no food stamps, no welfare checks, and no Section 8 housing.

When did the Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock?

Can you name the major battles of the War of Independence? Which war preceded the War of Independence that, in fact, helped set the stage for the War of Independence?

Can you prove that a triangle is 180 degrees?

Can you prove that alternate exterior angles are equal?

Can you name the formula of the Pythagorean Theorem?

Can you name the formula of Einstein’s theory of relativity?

Can you cite the four rights enshrined in the First Amendment?

Can you name your Natural Rights? HINT: There are three.

Can you name the seven continents?

Can you name the two major mountain ranges in the United States?

Can you name the seven parts of speech?

Can you name the seven auxiliary verbs?

Can you name the seven figures of speech?

Do you know the “rule of three” in mathematics? Can you explain it ?

Have you read any of the following—A Tale of Two Cities, any Shakesperean plays, Oliver Twist, Wuthering Heights, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Last of the Mohicans, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Little Women, Scarlet Letter, The Red Badge of Courage, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Democracy in America ? If not, can you at least name the authors of these classics ?

Do you know the difference between a peninsula and isthmus?

Can you briefly discuss the Protestant Reformation, Counterreformation? Can you name the major players of these historic periods?

Who is Charlemagne and why is he important? On which day was he crowned the first Holy Roman Emperor and what was the name of the crown?

Can you discuss the Age of Discovery? Columbus, Pizarro, de Leon, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Francis Drake, Magellan, Balboa ? What can you say about these conquistadores and explorers?

Can you identify at least five major figures of the Enlightenment ? Can you identify the generally accepted years during which the Enlightenment took place? What was the significance of the period? Explain its impact on our own history?

Our country is routinely called a democracy. This is soooo incorrect. Our Founding Fathers loathed the idea of democracy, likening it to the “rule of the mob.” Which term correctly describes our form of government?

What is a synonym? An antonym ? A homonym?

Do you know when to use there, their, and they’re ? Your and you’re ?

Do you know the formulae for converting Fahrenheit to Celsius and vice versa?

Can you name the planets? In order of their distance from the sun ?

Can you name the oceans ?

What was the first battle/act of aggression in the War of Northern Aggression (i.e. Civil War) ?

Can you name the Great Lakes ? In order of size ?

Which treaty codified the nation-state system in which we still live ? Which war did the treaty end ? When?

Can you recite the Preamble to the Constitution? The Presidential Oath of Office ?

Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? Whose signature appears boldly as the first signatory?

Can you recite your ABCs? Count from one to 10?

I could go on and on. But these are just the basics of grammar, mathematics, and history that all of us were required to learn while attending school in the 60s and 70s. Minorities were required to learn these things, and did. I don’t recall any minorities struggling with these things. If memory serves me correctly, I learned and retained most of these things before I had completed middle school. Modern culture and our education system consider these matters irrelevant and inconsequential. They’re all smoking pixie dust.

The Artful Dilettante

Government Schools are dangerous. Why not defund them ?

Another school shooting … this time at a high school in Michigan.

Remember when these incidents used to be horrifying, and big news? They’re still every bit as horrifying for the individuals involved. But they’re no longer news. Other than more fodder for totalitarian media and government to say it’s time for mass gun confiscation. (Good luck with that, tyrants).

Since government-run schools are either unable or unwilling to ensure even minimal safety — for DECADES now — then why don’t we defund them all? And let parents and innovators in PRIVATE education figure out better ways. Millions of us are mortally petrified at even the mention of the word “flu”. Aren’t these schools way, way more dangerous?


American Kids Can’t Read, Write, or do Math, but They’re First in Critical Race Theory

America’s crumbling education system is in the news. On October 5th, Joe Biden managed to disgorge some dismal indicators as to the future prospects of America’s youth compared to the rest of the developed world.

Joe didn’t quite say it, but America’s kids, the product of an obscenely well-funded school system, rank last in the developed world in reading, writing, and math, making homegrown imbecility a far more pressing problem in modern-day America than homegrown terrorism.

Yet conservatives have kept insisting, throughout the Covid lockdowns and quarantines, that kids were missing out on an education because they were out of school.

To paraphrase Joan Rivers, how can you miss out on a rash? (When Madonna accused Lady Gaga of stealing her music, the great, late, lady Joan wanted to know how you could steal a rash.)

A particularly startling fact caught my attention in the Economist . “At 15, children in Massachusetts, where education standards are higher than in most states, are so far behind their counterparts in Shanghai at math, that it would take them more than two years of regular education to catch up.”

This last fact is enormously telling and alarming. It tells you that America’s best schools and students can’t compete with the world’s best.

As the author further quipped cynically, “American children came top at thinking they were good at math, but bottom at math.”

There’s no doubt that American kids are drowning in self-esteem. As someone who had warned, in the early 2000s, about unrealistic, dangerous levels of self-esteem—I would contend that inflated self-esteem and narcissism not only mask failure, but create pumped up nihilists, ready to unleash on their surrounds, unless met with palliative praise.

Yes, self-esteem is the royal jelly upon which America’s children are raised. Our child-centered, non-hierarchical, collaborative, progressive schooling has produced kids who do not believe they can and should be corrected; and when corrected lash out in anger or bewilderment.

Indeed, to listen to our university students speak—is to hear a foreboding amalgam of dumbness and supreme confidence combined. Yet they are often high achievers in the kind of schools “tailored” for just such sub-par output. The achievement Bell Curve has been skewed.

With welcome exceptions, the young can hardly string together coherent, grammatical sentences. They open their mouths and out tumble nothing but inane, mind-numbing cliches and banalities spoken in gravelly, grating, staccato tones. Vocal fry, the linguists call this loathsome sound.

Once upon a time, linguists would have sent our Eliza Doolittles for elocution lessons. Make her sound less rough, more refined.

Eliza, of “My Fair Lady” fame, was treated paternalistically, no doubt. Pedagogic paternalism can be fixed; not so a student’s studied ignorance. And these days, the Kardashian-style guttural growl is considered precious. Linguists name it and study it, instead of crushing it.

In fairness to the kids, anyone under 50 seems to be similarly afflicted: This cohort can’t use tenses, prepositions, and adjectives grammatically and creatively, or appreciate a clever turn-of-phrase, or conjugate verbs correctly. Has anyone noticed that the past perfect tense is dead in our country? People will relate that they “had went” to school or “had came back from the cinema.” Pidgin English is what the young, high-school graduate now speaks.

Inanities and redundancies make their way into compositions, too, where sentences are audaciously prefaced with, “I feel like”:

“Like, I want to give back.”

“Like, I want to make the world a better place.”

“I feel like, it’s important to love myself” (teaching textbook narcissism).

“I feel like, we need to unite.”

“Like, follow your passion.”

Hallmark cards are edgier, more original, and intuitively truer than the monolithic minds of America’s young, and those who’ve raised and taught them.

Clearly, people even more illiterate than the students are setting these sub-standards, giving kids A’s for output that showcases an inability to distill, summarize and generate ideas, and ethically cite sources. In use is only the most rudimentary, emotionally evocative language, for lack of a solid, ever-accreting vocabulary, higher-order thinking, and proper restraint in effect.

As to restraint: Not coincidentally, an asphyxiating hysteria simmers beneath the surface of the prose to match the vapid vocabulary, whereby breathy figures of speech are deployed to fit a febrile, emotionally overwrought state-of-mind:

“Unbelievable, incredibly embarrassing, amazing, OMG!” In short, exclamatory utterances.

As to edginess: America’s young have not been given the analytical tools with which to question received opinion. And, in tackling the “tyranny and arrogant authority” tied to Covid and Critical Race Theory, the kids have been mostly establishment-compliant: 40% of millennials favor the suppression of insensitive speech. It is the oldies who’ve stood up. Young people have, sadly, been readily inclined to accept and follow authority’s orders at all time.

Language mediates thought—and actions. You cannot express or develop worthwhile thoughts without a command of the language.

I feel for the kids. They are not to blame. Their arrogant ignorance, inculcated in schools, is carefully cultivated and then reinforced with incontinent praise from pedagogues and parents alike, from K to university.

Progressive schools and teachers—overseen by teachers’ unions—are responsible for the quantifiable rot; for the monument-smashing, monumental ignorance among America’s youth.

As to the formative figures in the child’s life. More shocking numbers: “Less than half (48%) of all American adults were proficient readers in 2017. American fourth graders (nine-to ten-year-olds) rank 15th on the Progress in International Literacy Study, an international exam.”

“And only 12% [of us] are considered by the country’s health department to be ‘health-literate’. Over one-third struggle with basic health tasks, such as following prescription-drug directions.” The numbers come via the Economist.

Conservatives like Candace Owens have equated keeping kids out of school with keeping kids dumb and compliant. How is that so, if schools are producing kids this banal, boorish and bossy?


WATCH: “American Kids Come Top At THINKING They’re Good At Math, But Bottom At Math, Reading, Writing”

Pro-Antifa California Teacher Admits Communist Indoctrination

Gabriel Gipe, AP Government Teacher, Inderkum High School: “I have 180 days to turn them [students] into revolutionaries…Scare the f*ck out of them.”

Gipe: “I’m probably as far left as you can go.”

Gipe: “I post a calendar every week…I’ve had students show up for protests, community events, tabling, food distribution, all sorts of things…When they go, they take pictures, write up a reflection — that’s their extra credit.”

Gipe: “So, they [students] take an ideology quiz and I put [the results] on the [classroom] wall. Every year, they get further and further left…I’m like, ‘These ideologies are considered extreme, right? Extreme times breed extreme ideologies.’ Right? There is a reason why Generation Z, these kids, are becoming further and further left.”

Gipe: “I have an Antifa flag on my [classroom] wall and a student complained about that — he said it made him feel uncomfortable. Well, this [Antifa flag] is meant to make fascists feel uncomfortable, so if you feel uncomfortable, I don’t really know what to tell you. Maybe you shouldn’t be aligning with the values that this [Antifa flag] is antithetical to.”

Gipe: “Like, why aren’t people just taking up arms? Like why can’t we, you know — take up arms against the state? We have historical examples of that happening, and them getting crushed and being martyrs for a cause and it’s like — okay well, it’s slow going because it takes a massive amount of organization.”

Gipe: “I think that for [left-wing] movements in the United States, we need to be able to attack both [cultural and economic] fronts. Right? We need to create parallel structures of power because we cannot rely on the state…Consistently focusing on education and a change of cultural propaganda. We have to hit both fronts. We have to convince people that this is what we actually need.”

Gipe: “There are three other teachers in my department that I did my credential program with — and they’re rad. They’re great people. They’re definitely on the same page.”

Gipe: “Sacramento, as a city itself, is incredibly diverse. But we’re surrounded by a bunch of right-wing rednecks.”

[SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Aug. 31, 2021] Project Veritas released shocking new video today of California AP Government teacher, Gabriel Gipe, boasting about politically indoctrinating his students at Inderkum High School.

Pink Floyd Reminds Us of Why We Should Defund Government Schools

Lyrics from Pink Floyd’s song seem to be talking about Critical Race Theory, i.e., what passes for “education” in today’s thought control mills, government-run schools:

We don’t need no education
We dont need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

We don’t need no education
We dont need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason