Saturday, 2 November 2013

This is what happens when left-wingers are allowed to run a great country's education system

You can read more about this 2012 video at The Huffington Post, here.

I don't wish to contribute to the lazy left-wing European "aren't Americans stupid?" meme. I am absolutely sure that if one conducted the same exercise in many of the UK's state schools, substituting basic questions about this country's geography, politicians and history, you'd end up with similarly depressing results. A survey of 1000 UK secondary schoolchildren commissioned by Lord Ashcroft last year revealed that, while 92% recognised a photograph of the dog in the Churchill Insurance TV adverts, only 62% recognised one of Sir Winston Churchill - and half thought that the Battle of Britain was fought at sea (for more, click here). 

Thanks to decades of liberal, child-centric, anti-rote learning education policies, England's young adults are currently 22nd for literacy and 21st for numeracy in a league table of 24 industrialised countries. I wonder if the ideologically-driven swine who brought this disaster about ever feel even vaguely ashamed of what they've done. Probably not - after all, being left-wing means never having to say you're sorry, because your heart's in the "right" place (usually where your brains should be).

Back to the US: the 1895 eighth grade examination paper for Saline County, Kansas acts as a poignant reminder of what 13-14 year olds used to be expected to know before liberal experts were allowed to impose their goofy, feelgood theories on American kids: read it here and be amazed. 

There have been claims that the exam was actually intended for adults - but as the authorities in Kansas know how many children passed the test, this seems unlikely. The explanations given by modern educationalists to explain away the difficulty of the questions children were expected to be able to answer back then are pretty much what you'd expect: the exam is actually a lot easier than it looks and could be passed by today's 13-year olds with a week's study; it was all about rote-learning back then - kids nowadays have to know "why" and not just "what"; kids today have to know different stuff - like what a terabyte is and what causes climate change; kids could graduate at 13 back then, so they had to pack more learning into a shorter time... you can read the responses of modern Salina teachers here

I expect there's something in each of these points - but I'm also pretty sure that those Saline County farm kids would have known which countries shared a border with the United States and the name of their Vice-President (Adlai Ewing Stevenson, in case you're interested).


  1. I don't think The Boy even understands that there are public schools and, Lord willing, he won't ever step foot in one.

    1. Over here, private schools never stop reminding pupils that they are "privileged". We weren't wedded to educating our son privately - but then we took a closer look at a few of the local public ones (there was one good one, but we were in the wrong cachement area). Cost a fortune to educate him privately - and it has subsequently become the preserve of a high-earning elite - but I reckon he ended up having to listen to less left-wing bullshit than he would have done in the state system, so it was worth it.