From Daniel Greenfield at Sultan Knish, The Miseducation of Education Reformers

Selected excerpts ( please follow the link and read the entire piece) :

It’s an article of faith that our schools are failing our children. But most educational reformers don’t mean that schools are failing their children. They mean that urban schools are failing minority children. Like gun violence, failing schools are largely an urban problem being passed off as a national crisis. And it’s not the schools that are failing. It’s the students.

The gap in test scores between America and other countries goes away when broken down by race. White American students top those of most European countries. Asian students come out ahead of them. It’s not that Asian students somehow have access to better schools. Often they go to the same urban multicultural schools that are “failing” everyone else.

The difference is that they are determined to succeed because their parents want them to.

A school cannot take the place of the family. It isn’t meant to. Nor are educational theories the determinant of whether a child learns or doesn’t learn. Learning does not begin in the classroom. It begins at home. The first explorations of language and space take place in the nursery. And they determine more about the child’s future than all the synergistic educational strategies for 21st century learners.

The school is not the most vital element in education just as the government is not the most vital element in the economy. Systems don’t take the place of human relationships. Governments cannot replace families. Schools aren’t failing children in Detroit or Chicago. Families are failing their children and the schools by not holding together.

It does not take a village or four administrators and three teachers, two school psychologists and an educational theorist to raise a child. It takes a family.

If the American school system is a mess, it’s because it has been reformed to death until it has stopped being a system for educating children and become a system for educating teachers and administrators about all the latest trends in educational theory. The classroom has become an ER where all the children are assumed to be coming in with fatal educational traumas and can only be saved by using the latest techniques developed by a study funded by Bill and Melinda Gates.

Education is not a system. It is not a technique. It is a culture. The medium of education matters much less than the message. The content matters much more than the techniques used to teach it. Education teaches techniques, but it need not be a technique. And when it becomes a rigid set of techniques then it has already failed.


We have dropped the failed remnant of a vast failed welfare experiment and expect the schools to fix it