School does bad things to people.
When it isn’t doing nothing at all. It should be clear by now that this whole “let’s teach everybody to read!” thing has NOT worked out.
Public schools should be abolished, says PJ O’Rourke:
The average IQ in America is—and this can be proven mathematically—average. Logic therefore dictates that National Assessment of Educational Progress eighth grade “at or above proficient” reading and math levels should average 50. This is true in only one of the 50 states. National averages are 29 and 31 percent. Either logic has nothing to do with public education or that NAEP test is a bear.
O’Rourke has a lot at the beginning about how test scores and that are falling even though the government is spending more money on public education than ever before, which is right up there with “Pentagon wastes $600 on toilets!!!” as a perennial, “so what?” story.
Of course, O’Rourke doesn’t want to admit that there might be a third “either”…
What O’Rourke would never write, but I will, is that those falling scores have a LOT to do with the “America: We Should’ve Picked Our Own Damn Cotton/Lettuce” phenomenon.
Although, in fairness, he hints at it here:
“Don’t kids need to experience the full range of human diversity that public schools provide?” No. And if you don’t understand the process by which modern kids become socialized, you seriously need to update your Facebook page.
Also, let the Statistical Abstract tell you something about the diverse experience provided by public schools. During the 2005-2006 school year 78 percent of public schools reported “violent incidents,” more than one in six schools reported “serious violent incidents” (robbery, rape, sexual battery, or a fight or attack with a weapon), and 46 percent of schools reported thefts or larcenies. More than 10 percent of high school boys admitted to carrying a weapon to school during the previous 30 days. Among middle schools, 8.6 percent reported daily sexual harassment, 30.5 percent reported daily disrespect shown to teachers, and 43 percent reported daily bullying.
Operating on the assumption that adults notice only about a third of what goes on among kids, this means that daily bullying occurs at 129 percent of middle schools. Furthermore 31.5 percent of middle schools and 38.7 percent of high schools reported “undesirable gang activities.” As opposed to the desirable kind.