22 December 2010

American Education is Worthless


MIAMI – Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the U.S. Army fail its entrance exam, painting a grim picture of an education system that produces graduates who can't answer basic math, science and reading questions, according to a new study released Tuesday.
The report by The Education Trust bolsters a growing worry among military and education leaders that the pool of young people qualified for military service will grow too small…
So I instituted a grammar and math test.  To get an interview you had to pass.  They were calibrated at fifth grade level, roughly.  Basic four-function math, done with a pencil and paper, and a basic grammar and English test.
Nine out of ten applicants failed it, despite possessing High School diplomas…
If the military is passing 75% of the applicants, their test is even easier.  And the excerpt that I have seen says that in point of fact it is easier.  One of the questions is apparently "2 + x = 4 - find x". 
23% of the military applicants fail a test filled with that sort of question.
Remember folks, in my case we were talking fifth-grade level, approximately, and 90% of the applicants for an entry-level job requiring only a high school diploma failed, being able to answer less than 60% of the questions correctly.

I think it’s safe to say at this point that the solution to America’s education failings isn’t more money.  The government has poured hundreds of billions of dollars into the sinkhole known as American education, and has nothing to show for it.  In fact, it only has negative results to show for it.

Year in and year out, without fail, bureaucrats introduce a new learning method.  And every year, without fail, the new method doesn’t work.  Ever.

The solution isn’t more money, it isn’t better methods.

The answer is classroom discipline, high expectations, and focus on the basics.  Kids don’t need to know how to write bull(spit) analysis about Faulkner, they need to know how to read.  They don’t need to know how to communicate their feelings, they need to know how to write clearly.  They need to know how to do math.

Best of all, it doesn’t cost very much to do these things.  It simply requires competent teachers, involved parents, and disciplined students.  It does not involve bureaucrats.

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