Normally, I couldn't care less what Michael Godwin of the New York Post thinks about anything. His latest offering, "The American Spirit is Breaking,"
contains a lot of crap -- "It is not hard to imagine Putin and China’s President Xi Jinping raising a glass to toast Obama’s health..." Still, one passage deserves non-derisive quotation:
Americans overwhelmingly agree that our educational system, once the envy of the world, is now lagging.
The cry to challenge students spawned a movement to raise the bar through the Common Core curriculum, but it is now grinding to a halt in New York and other places. The problem: Too many students are failing the tougher tests, making teachers look bad, parents unhappy — and politicians nervous.
So the standards are being shuffled aside, and self-esteem is back as the new measure of success. More students can appear to be learning and, presumably, that will make the adults happy, at least temporarily.
Those words concern grade schools in New York City, but the problem is widespread. Consider this piece on grade inflation
, published a few days ago in Slate...
But even with all of these “hard-ass” measures, the ugly truth is that to get below a B+ in my class, you have to be a total screw-up. I’m still strict with my scale—it’s just that said scale now goes from “great” to “awesome.” It’s pathetic, I know. But when you see what professors today are up against, maybe you’ll understand.
If I graded truly fairly—as in, a C means actual average work—the “customers” would do their level best to ruin my life.
But it doesn’t start in college. Thanks to American K-12’s relentless culture of assessment and testing, everything our students have done since the age of 5 has been graded—but almost all of those grades have been “exceptional,” so the exception is now the norm. Now we’ve got high schools with 34 co-valedictorians—hell, why not just make everyone valedictorian, just for being alive?—et voila, students enter college having never gotten anything but an A for their entire lives.
The result is a generation of kids who are really dumb and really arrogant. They are too stupid to know how stupid they are. The emphasis on self-esteem has created millions of King Joffreys -- sneering, narcissistic, contemptuous incompetents.
When you point out their idiocy, they become pluperfectly pissed-off. For example, they will immediately lapse into King Joffrey mode if you politely ask them not to refer to Beethoven's Third Symphony
as a "song." Sneers, insults, death threats. How dare
you remind them that they don't know every fucking thing worth knowing? Didn't they get As all their lives?
(To this generation, there is only one musical form: The song. No-one under the age of 30 will call a piece of music "a piece of music." A younger person would rather use meat scissors to snip off the end of his or her tongue than utter those four dreaded words.)
Our corrupt system has created a generation of ninnies who think they're the smartest creatures on the planet. Their competitors in Asian and European schools will soon teach them the truth.
Self esteem is bad for our economic survival. Bring back shame and guilt!
(For more evidence of coddling, scroll down until you see the words "Trigger Warnings.")