A few years ago, the big question for me was whether we should say that the public schools are bad because of incompetence or subversion.
Incompetence is a pleasant cop-out. You have clumsy people who can’t do a job right. You have the gang that can’t shoot straight. You have F Troop, an old TV program. They’re clumsy and sort of ridiculous. But you don’t have to deal with that whole realm of intentional malfeasance, of evil.
More and more, when I looked at the patterns over decades -- the same dumb methods and bad results--you couldn’t conclude it was incompetence. Even the most incompetent persons, when they see themselves doing badly over and over and over again, will seek help and find better answers. But our Education Establishment never does. They keep all their bad ideas in play decade after decade. It’s quite a shocking thing.
When Rudolf Flesch wrote his famous book in 1955, you might have thought that the schools would banish sight-words forever. Wrong. Public schools today are just as keen on sight-words in the first grade as they were 50 years ago. The only thing that changes is the jargon and supporting arguments, that is, the razzmatazz they feed to parents and teachers.
I have no trouble now using the words subversion and conspiracy. They seem correct. Now, I’m more focused on motive or mental state. Are these people sociopathic, pathological liars, sadists, or what? There is something so seriously wrong with a group that can consistently harm children -- that is, dumb them down in a variety of ways. How would YOU describe that group?
For best antitdote to this assault, see BILL OF RIGHTS FOR STUDENTS 2012