The Crisis of Big Ed
Politicians and social justice warriors attack the oil and gas industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the tobacco industry, to name a few. Big Oil, Big Pharma, and Big Tobacco; these industries are called. They accuse each of them of things like price gouging, manipulating information or harming the public in order to make a profit. In all, capitalism is to blame. Some even accuse these industries of colluding with the government. Whistle blowers have helped expose corporate America when they perform these harmful acts. But what happens when there is an industry that openly does all these things? The educational system is one such industry.
Everything their detractors say about the industries mentioned above can be said about Big Ed. Over the last few decades, America has witnessed a steady decline in educational results. Yet we have continued to pour money into this racist and anti-American system. It starts with our public schools which consistently under perform and, in spite of declining enrollment, continue to demand more money for their failed product.
These disastrous issues are covered by the fact that those in charge collude with teachers’ unions to prioritize their desires over the needs of the children. We are at a crisis point in our education system and if we don’t take corrective action immediately, we will create a difficult future for our country. There are many problems that have been left untreated for years but we can break the problem of Big Ed. into three categories: Culture, Cost, and Curriculum.
Extreme changes in our culture have had a deleterious effect on the education system. Men have been all but drummed out of our schools, leaving our students without male role models. This has an immeasurable impact on young boys; leaving them with no examples of what a positive, responsible man looks like. In addition to this, the shift in beliefs from personal responsibility to greater reliance on the state has pushed many parents to a heightened ‘hands off’ approach to their children. Many look to the public schools to not only educate their children, but to feed them, babysit them and, in the end, raise them.
The schools also play a huge role in the decline of the students’ performance. Many administrators and teachers have abdicated their responsibility to ensure each student gets the education he needs. Because of this, we are seeing more and more instances of students being passed through without being educated. This creates high school ‘graduates’ who read at a middle school level, setting them up to fail. It also makes it more difficult to get accurate data about the academic performance of the students, which in turn sets many up to fail as they enter college.
Many of the solutions for these cultural problems are outside of the scope of government but it is important to shine the spotlight on the problem to try to find community solutions. What is needed is for volunteers and mentors, many from within the black community, to get involved. We need to catch these kids before they’ve fallen too far and give them a chance. We know that this is a process that will take years, but we want to begin a collaborative effort now. There are organizations out there that have been making this herculean effort for years. We need to offer them support where we can or create new groups where the need is not being filled.
Colleges and universities also have a culture problem. Later we will talk about the shortcomings of school curriculums but they are also pushing an ideology that is not conducive to maximizing the students’ learning potential. They stifle alternative points of view which limits the students’ critical thinking skills.
It’s also important to note that a healthy portion of the problem is the product the high schools are sending to the colleges, namely students. Not everyone is right for college but the collusion with Big Ed says everyone must go. High schools around the country, spearheaded by union leaders and school administrators, are graduating students who should not be graduating. They may be motivated by white guilt, the push for diversity, financial gain, or many other social justice issues, but the bottom line is that the students they serve are set up to fail.
Some examples include the Atlanta cheating scandal, data on college freshmen reading at a 7th grade level, the report from CBS New York that 80% of grads need remedial help in community colleges, and NPR’s sad reality of the students at a DC school touted for sending every senior to college. Unfortunately, this is not a new phenomenon as evidenced by the 1987 Chicago Tribune article, “Many Graduates Can’t Read Their High School Diplomas. This would not be tolerated in any other industry and shouldn’t be tolerated in Big Ed.