It’s a natural progression. For those of us on the right, the approach is insanity; a recipe for disaster. But for our friends on the left, it all makes sense in their twisted, illogical brains. One day someone decided that it’s unfair for only some kids to get trophies while others don’t. Those undeserving kids might be awful at soccer, or swimming, or softball, and are probably better off focusing their attention on piano lessons, but it’s just not fair, don’t you know. What’s the solution? Participation trophies. From participation trophies, we progressed to the lowering of academic standards. And from lowered academic standards, we’ve now graduated to lessened requirements to become a certified schoolteacher. It’s all very predictable.
The left lives in their own little world, their own utopian wonderland. Everyone is a winner in that world… except that everyone isn’t a winner. That’s not how life works. Some of us were blessed by being 6’ 5” tall with 240 pounds of muscle, exceptional hand-eye coordination, and blazing speed. While others of us are only 5’ 9” with 170 pounds of flabbiness, poor coordination, and bad feet. It happens. And the result is that some of us may play Division I football as a tight end, and others are better suited for the marching band.
Rewarding based on merit means not everyone will be rewarded. It’s inevitable. It’s also highly probable there will be unequal outcomes based on inherent traits. More girls than boys might succeed, or perhaps more Asian-Americans than blacks, or more straight people than gay. And herein lies the problem. Inequity is a part of life, and most of us with brains whose growth weren’t impeded with the repeated intake of cannabis not only recognized that reality long ago, we’ve accepted it. But the left has not, and in their ongoing search for Shangri-La, they continue to push policies that will ultimately destroy our society and our country.
We’re increasingly seeing stories of lowering the bar with academic standards, and it almost always comes from locations dominated by Democrat/leftist leadership. We recently documented the disasters of the Baltimore school system, a city that has been under Democrat control since Lyndon B. Johnson was in the White House. Students in Baltimore are moseying through high school with the scholastic aptitude of elementary school students, while the public-school administrators “announced a new grading policy… that will allow the district to move tens of thousands of students who have failed at least one class up to the next grade level.” Because it’s not fair if some kids fail.
In leftist academia, we’re witnessing the elimination of the SAT and ACT standardized exams factoring into the admissions of many, prominent schools. Including Washington State University, the University of California Berkeley, and the Ivy League’s Brown University. Why are these schools ignoring those test results? Because statistically, white and Asian students attain better scores than black students, and that inequity is unfair. So rather than insisting on black students receiving better educations enabling them to score better on the standardized tests, they just eliminate those test results from the equation. The students in question haven’t been helped by the softening of requirements, but those geniuses running the institutions – the ones with a slew of letters after each of their names – they sure feel better about themselves when sipping their wine and gobbling from the cheese plate at their dinner parties.
The watering down of educational standards, the striving to not have anyone’s feelings hurt, and the overall disregard for the value of merit is destroying America’s educational system. Since 1971, the number of high school seniors who can “read well enough to understand and use information found in technical materials, literary essays, historical documents, and college-level texts” has been steadily dropping. These dreadful results continue even though we have significantly improved student/teacher ratios and spend much more per pupil than we did fifty years ago. Not coincidentally, this downward trend aligns largely with the birth of our Federal Department of Education in 1979. Government, once again, creating problems rather than fixing them.
Rather than addressing the issue with improved training and financial incentives for better teachers, state and local governments – most, but not all, of which are run by Democrats – are opting instead to simply make it easier to become a teacher. In California, the number of tests required to be a certified teacher was recently significantly reduced. Illinois no longer requires teacher candidates to film and submit video of themselves in the classrooms. And in Delaware, one school district is going so far as to allow individuals with only a high school diploma and the completion of a local training program to begin teaching students.
In many red states, officials are taking a more sensible approach to attract good teachers. In South Dakota, the state is helping prospective teachers pay for their college educations. Florida, meanwhile, is looking to sweeten the pot with $1,000 bonuses for their teachers. And in Central Texas, school officials are studying the compensation packages teachers receive to determine if pay/benefit increases are the proper solution.
Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, and it’s critical they’re well-educated, and a key component of a good education is the men and women who teach. American students continue to struggle when compared to the test results of students from other countries. The solution is not to make it easier for students to pass classes. The solution is not to promote them to the next grade when they’re clearly unprepared. And the solution is certainly not to dilute the qualifications needed to become a teacher. This isn’t Little League, and this isn’t the Cub Scouts. Not everyone is a winner, and for those who aren’t up to standard, they need to work harder to become better students and teachers. Reward achievement, not involvement.
P.F. Whalen is a conservative blogger at TheBlueStateConservative.com. His work has appeared in multiple publications, including Human Events, the Western Journal, and American Thinker. Follow him on Parler @PFWhalen.