A Grave New World

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The entire universe of education has been turned inside out over the last decade.

Long-revered pedagogical precepts have been blue-penciled by classroom-allergic theorists now leveraged by profiteers who see public schools as the next sustainable profit-producing mother lode.

And the political class … put into office by all of us … has mocked our vote and deserted our children in a flash of cash.

Never has American education been in such a moment of willful destruction. Never before have the wishes and concerns of those most vested in public schools  … parents and teachers … been so summarily disregarded by bureaucratic double-speak and political bunk.

Beyond the view of skirmishes now underway across an array of states, is an emerging reality that … in a very short while … this destroying reform will have razed an American institution to a mound of rubble.

And in its place … for as far as the eye can see … will stand drive-thru learning centers offering kiosk-educations from a B. F. Skinner touch-screen that will supply the finger-pointer with all they need to succeed in a life of rich monotony.

That’s what your now titling schools are going to look like. And that’s your child’s purgatory.

Kindergarten is now the Boot Camp Moment. Classroom drill instructors seem unbothered shoving 70 month-olds into a rush-hour of academic traffic … because some basement gnome alleges it’s the ideal moment to vaccinate them with “grit” and “rigor”.

These academic tykes are denied recess and songs and giggles … because those would be indicators of unseriousness. And education is, above all else, an extra-serious business. Even for cherubs still ill-at-ease knotting their own sneakers.

The elementary time seems destined to be called the Tablet Years. The Mario Bros. Educational Principles will rule the day as students win points and pile up Magical No. 2 Pencils as they are prompted from one level to the next. Competency-based-education will erase all of those annoying human variables and every learner who reaches Level Extreme will see their names glitter in on-screen pixie dust. And an 8 X 10 screen-shot of that conquering moment will become the new moving-up document.

Middle school will usher in The Skinner Stage … when on-screen accountability and specially-tapered curricula designs will suffocate all of those aggravating teenage twitches and quirks. School magistrates will homogenize this stage of maturity so that no nail stands up … and individuality is mocked as antithetical narcissism that is thoroughly unacceptable. Creativity will be dubbed a day-dreaming activity … time-consuming musing more symptomatic of a sloth than of genius.

High school will be The Divergent Time… when, at long last, the future of every young adult will become crystal clear. Youngsters will be endlessly nudged in this or that career pathway … justified by the overwhelming mounds of data that can be Hansel and Greteled all the way back to the days when joy was first run out of their very brand-new lives.

And at every level, parents will lose more and more control of their children. They will be less and less invited by school authorities to take part in the joy-remembering rites of passage we all associate with growing up. And that is all by design because the very last thing these new educational absolutists want is any mother or father acting as though they have any regency at all over their own child’s education.

Orwell yourself beyond the moment and come to terms with what awaits us all on the horizon of touch-screen scholarship. Huxley yourself into the world of tomorrow when your children will have been programmed and plugged into lifetime situations based not on their passions but on some algorithmic prescription burped out by some electronic-ouija-motherboard.

If you are doubting of this … and too, too many are … examine what the last half-decade has wrought.

In the blink of an eye, schools have been systematically transformed, childhood recalibrated, and parents richly tattooed as adversaries. Government now dictates to the schools, and politicians have morphed into carnival barkers for every profiteer determined to get their slice of the Big Education pie.

And all the while, half-a-generation has already endured this child-abusing gauntlet of educational malpractice as they are guinea-pigged into blazing trails in the brave new world of scholastic madness.

And that is the great tilt. What is it you are going to do about it?

And if you decide to do nothing … then stand ready to watch their lives topple into misery in a very grave new world that will last for as long as their earthly eternity.

Denis Ian

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