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October 20 2016

An Educational Election: Will Our Schools Get Dumb and Dumber?

Quote of the Day:

What the cry from the Trumpian heartland has revealed is that many rural schools also offer the same futureless education futureless education as inner-city schools. These people aren’t irredeemably stupid. Their schools are stupid.

--Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal

In a column headlined "Dumb and Dumber," Henninger suggests that if we could fix American education, "half of America's myriad problems are solvable." The problems of joblessness and inner-city hopelessness, to name just two, could be alleviated.

But, as Henninger points out, this isn't an inner city problem anymore:

It’s time to send the sniffer dogs into the rubble of America’s 2016 presidential election to see if there’s anything worth saving. We’ve learned some important things. We have learned that at the lower end of the income scale, the white vote is broken, or more accurately, brokenhearted. Many middle-class white voters are angry over a system they say has failed them.

They aren’t the only ones. America’s inner cities, its poorest neighborhoods, are increasingly on edge. One of these days, they could blow on the scale of the 1960s.

Much of this has to do with dismal job prospects, and better growth is part of the answer. But there’s a bigger problem than growth—the diminished state of American education.

Without an education upgrade that matches learning skills with modern jobs, all these people will still lose ground, and personal behavior will continue to degrade.

No better source of information exists on this than employers, especially manufacturers, who say U.S. schools, notwithstanding claims of improved “graduation” rates, are not producing sufficient numbers of workers able to perform at the level they need for the realities of the 21st century workplace. Apparently the universal skill of being able to manipulate a cellphone to take a selfie isn't enough.

A kid's best chance to escape a failing school is often a charter school (unless the family is affluent and can afford to pay for a private school). The Obama administration has been adamantly against charter schools. Hillary Clinton was in favor of charters before she reversed herself (the anti-charter National Education Associationsubsequently has spent nearly $14 million trying to elect her). Donald Trump, who is down in the polls, is at least on record favoring charter schools.

The presidential election will have a profound effect on the future of education in the U.S.:

A new element is the descent of U.S. colleges and universities into PC hell. A basic mission, to prepare students for the new workplace, is being rechanneled into wheel-spinning controversies, such as “hurtful” speech or names on buildings. A Clinton win will empower this insanity.

Some of these institutions of higher learning actually brag about the remedial-education programs they offer first-year students who were waved through 12 years of inadequate public schooling. By 18, it’s too late. They will never catch up.

Since it is likely that Mrs. Clinton will be the next president, charter schools, the best hope of many American kids, will have a fight on their hands. It will be a fight over their very existence.



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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