Schools are failing.....students aren't learning...
We're not paying enough attention to education...
Oh, children learn differently today, we were told. You see, someone in a faculty of education somewhere has done a study, and that always trumps common sense.
At the school, over nine years, there were terrific teachers and a beloved principal, but there was no one to teach art, music or gym. In fact, gym class was running around in street clothes, chasing a ball. No running shoes needed.
Last year, a popular after-school ski program was cancelled. A long-standing year-end three-day class trip to Montreal for the graduating sixth-graders -- for which they raised money all year -- shrunk to a day-trip. By then, cupcakes and cookies in lunches had been banned from the school in some parental jihad against sugar; on a birthday, though, you could give a kid a carrot.
Homework, now considered too onerous, is disappearing. Report cards of straight-As are not uncommon. Written comments are generated by computer, which may explain why my daughter was once called "Casper", whom, we were pleased to learn, "accurately converts between units when comparing capacity."
This isn't to say there aren't fine public schools and teachers in Canada. There just aren't enough of them.
No wonder, then, that students are unprepared when they reach university. This isn't an isolated outbreak of ignorance in a remote precinct; it is now a full-blown contagion. Teachers are seeing it everywhere.
Dana Hansen, an English teacher in the Ontario college system, writes in the Literary Review of Canada that she and her colleagues are "constantly confronted ... with a crisis in foundational literary skills." Students leave high school without fundamental reading comprehension or analytical skills.
Hansen notes that a lack of evidence doesn't prevent students from taking a position. When challenged, she reports, the argument is said to be valid because "it's my opinion."
Perhaps this is what happens in a culture in which children are told they are wonderful and parents treat them as friends.
Examinations are retaken in school and no one can fail, because that would hurt a child's feelings.
In the United States, a newsmagazine reports that college students are attending so few classes that one institution is now tracking their attendance electronically. An accompanying image shows students floating in a campus pool watching television.
It gets worse. A new comprehensive study by two professors in California found that students at four-year colleges in 1961 studied 24 hours a week. Today they study just 14 hours.