The Dumbing Down
September 13, 2021
When an educational system bases its teachings on the emotional and psychological well-being of its students and replaces merit with mediocrity, the future of that society is threatened.
The New City Department of Education (DOE) recently issued a guidance document that rejects the concept of standards of excellence in academics. Students that achieve the honor roll status, through hard work and diligence, will be denied their rightful acclamation. According to the DOE, a merit-based system can be harmful to students that underperform. This new guidance will help to ease hurt feelings, and accommodate the psychological development of the underachiever.
According to the document, “Recognizing student excellence via honor rolls and class rank can be detrimental to learners who find it more difficult to reach academic success often for reasons beyond their control.” The rethinking of a student's learning ability, according to the DOE, “should include contributions to the school and or wider community, and demonstrations of social justice and integrity, and “grades are not only a reflection of student performance but can be self-fulfilling prophesies.”
The teacher should “eliminate practices that penalize students who have been marginalized based on their race, culture, language, and/or ability.” The DOE seeks to diminish the impact and influence of student grades. Instead of fostering merit, and when necessary alerting the student, teacher, and parent that a problem might exist and that perhaps some form of remedial action is needed, the DOE prefers to allow the student to fall further behind in his or her learning.
When mediocrity becomes sanctioned and it is determined that you must protect the student whose abilities are not adequate to handle the lessons, you do so at the expense of the achiever who becomes a victim of this senseless and ultimately worthless concept of progressive thinking. It should be common knowledge that if a student is denied honor status and recognition for completing assignments, then why should that student make the effort and take pride in his or her accomplishments.
The thinking is that the DOE is considering this move to protect the schools, teachers, and principals, the adults who run the system from what is their failure to adequately teach students. This is also thought to be the reason why the teachers' union opposes standardized tests. It seems it’s all about the adults, the entirety of the education system, and what’s best for its reputation and credibility, and future prospects. As for the students, they’re on their own.
What measures can a society, who seeks to maintain stability and a decent quality of life and standard of living for its people, take when many of its members engage in corruption and are unconcerned with what is one of the most important of endeavors, the education of its young. The loudest voices, in my estimation, speaking out against this travesty and demanding change are the parents and concerned teachers who disagree with this document, and although all students will be affected, it is the one who fails to make the grade that will suffer most. Perhaps what it will take to reverse this egregious attempt to rethink education is for parents to threaten to take their children out of public schools.
Actually, all of us have a stake in this and should join in the protesting, and send a message to the malcontents and naysayers at the DOE that we will not tolerate nor accept this warped and twisted progressive agenda, which portends for the students, especially the underachiever, a future that is less than what it could have been. The Left in America is unleashing a barrage of a radical and corrupt philosophical agenda aimed at traditional values and institutions. It prefers radical cultural standards, critical race theory, equity over equality, and mediocrity over meritocracy.
The cynic in me believes there may be more to the DOE’s reasoning behind their guidance plan for students. It goes without saying that for the immediate future we will still require burger flippers at McDonald’s, maids, janitors, and chauffeurs, so why not create a caste system, a class of citizens that will attend to these needs, instead of the doctors, scientists, inventors, engineers, etc. And most of these in a lower-income status will most likely be minorities.
Visit Bob Pascarella's website at www.ShortStoriesInVerse.com