Well color me disgusted, in fact, I’m actually appalled and disgusted with the dumbing down of America. We’re doing this thing at my school. We want to redesign how we’re doing things. Which sounds fantastic. Get kids involved in internships, create personal learning plans for all students. Things like that sound great, and I love the idea. We’re broken down into committees that meet to discuss the various areas we’re looking at. While I normally hate committee work, it is nice hearing the thoughts and opinions of the different teachers and basically a lot of us are on the same page. But then there is talk about changing the school hours and starting much later in the day and going until later at night, because “studies show that high school students need to sleep later in the morning.”
Here’s the thing, if kids went to bed earlier instead of playing video games and being on their phones all night, they would be able to get up earlier in the morning. I know that all kids don’t play video games and all kids aren’t on their phone all night, but when I look around the school where I work, and I talk to the kids, that’s the message I’m getting. So maybe parents should parent and put limits and rules in place. I’m not saying school should start at the ass crack of dawn, but we start at 7:45 – I don’t see that as being too late at all.
I won’t even bother ranting about the doing away with leveling and having heterogeneous grouping. That is a very touchy subject and has been for years. To me it’s right up there with doing away with class rank. I’m sorry people, but some of you are smarter than others and some of you are going to work your asses off to do well in school. I think that should be recognized and acknowledged. Ok, I’m going to rant about heterogeneous grouping. At a high school level having kids of very diverse learning abilities doesn’t work. The super intelligent over achievers will be fine, because they’ll do the work. The struggling learners will be fine because the teacher will help them to succeed. But who’s going to lose out? The middle of the road kids who maybe lack motivation or struggle a little. They’re going to get lost in the shuffle.
It’s not just in schools thought. I was talking with an army recruiter the other day, and he was telling me that basic training is nothing like it used to be. They have to find new ways to “talk” to the recruits. I’m sorry, really I am, but if you’re joining the military, do you really want your drill sergeant to be gentle with you? I think I were joining the military with the possibility of having to defend my country, I’d want them to be as tough and as mean and as hard as possible. Why? War isn’t gentle, and it sure as heck isn’t easy. It’s messy, it’s dirty, and it’s scary as hell. I’d want to be ready for that.
Here’s the deal. This is life, and in life, not everybody is a winner, and some people lose. We’ve become so concerned with letting all kids think they are winners and bolstering their self-esteem. I’m not saying we want to tear down or destroy the self-esteem of a child, but we do have to teach them to win gracefully, lose with dignity and to realize that there are going to be people that are better of things than they are. We are ruining our children and the future of this country. To say I am disgusted by the dumbing down of America is actually an understatement. I’m afraid because we are destroying ourselves.