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Tuesday

My nephew started Kindergarten this year, unfortunately in a government school. I fear for the future of this amazingly intelligent child, but at least his mother is determined to protect him from an environment that is overtly hostile to intellectual growth and achievement. And, he's got some of the same genes I got, and shows every sign of being the same arrogant, stubborn bastard I've always been, so there's hope for him. I just wish I was there to help.

Anyway, my sister tells me that the grading system in this cognitive hell is a greatly simplified one, one that seeks to boost a child's "self esteem" while at the same time eliminating any hint of those things that lead to genuine self esteem. Rather than the horribly competitive and distinguishing marks such as A, B, C, D, and F, the new system rates students as "Beginning", "Developing", or "Secure".

Beyond the mind-numbing (deliberately so) political correctness of the terms, the thing that struck me is that the highest pinnacle to which a young mind can aspire is to be "secure". Isn't that just the perfect microcosm of everything that is wrong with not just our obsolete government education system, but everything that is wrong with this country as well? Forget achievement, forget weighing risks against benefits, forget striving to be better, smarter, faster, stronger, whatever it is - just strive for security.

Let's teach our young people, who are at this point in their lives all potential and little actuality, who should have a whole life of value production ahead of them - but who have yet little to their names besides what has been given to them - to seek first and foremost to protect what they have. Teach them to stay where they are, to start from nothing and to make sure they don't lose it. That way, when they grow up and still have nothing, and no idea how to go about getting anything, and see every other person who strives for something as a threat, they will naturally seek out the only means available to them to have something instead of nothing - and that which will protect them from a big bad world of a rapidly diminishing population of producers.

And so the curtain closes, endarkenment prevails.

Comments

I'm not concerned about such "grades" in kindergarten - never even heard of grading start til the 1st grade. However, I would be up in arms if his school does use the same grading system next year and beyond and hope your sister will fight it if so! (Or, better yet - Uncle Kyle can perhaps contribute to non-government schooling?)

Posted by Sal at Tuesday, December 12, 2006 03:37 PM

Sal,

True, it might just be a kintergarden pseudo-grading thing, however, the use of "secure" as the top rank still stands out as a particularly telling choice of words.

Posted by kylben at Tuesday, December 12, 2006 04:18 PM

At least in our children's school they use N - needs improvement, S - satisfactory, O - Outstanding.

I truly think it matters less what terminology they use than what the standard is behind them. If they are giving out O's for mediocre work just to be nice the grades are worse than worthless. But if that top grade is truly something that has to be earned, then I don't care what they call it.

Posted by Stephen Macklin at Wednesday, December 13, 2006 02:53 PM

The public school two of my grandsons attend is using the B-D-S grading in at least 1st grade as well as Kindergarten. My other kid is giving up quite a lot to send his kids to a catholic school.

Posted by markm at Thursday, January 04, 2007 10:08 AM

Reading this brings the all too familiar taste of bile that so often accompanies my reading of whatever idiocy du jour happens to be coming out of the minds of the "educators" occupying the classrooms of public schools.

Fortunately, that bitter taste serves as a reminder of why my daughter will continue to be home-schooled so long as I draw breath.

Posted by Liberty Dog at Monday, February 05, 2007 10:19 PM

Hey, long time, no see, Dog. How you been?

Posted by kylben at Tuesday, February 06, 2007 06:50 AM

Hey Kyle. I have been quite well, but very busy. I have had precious little time to spend reading (or creating) blogs, but I just got back from China and decided to see who all was still around.

I am quite glad to see that you are still blogging.

Posted by Liberty Dog at Tuesday, February 06, 2007 12:03 PM

So are you going to get back to yours, or should I finally take it off the blogroll? How was China? Was my blog blocked there, or what? ;-)

Posted by kylben at Tuesday, February 06, 2007 08:35 PM

Unfortunately, my blog is officially defunct. Perhaps in the future I will start another, or join a group blog.

China was great as always. I always have a good time and I had business in a new city that I had never been to yet, so it made things interesting.

As far as things being blocked, I use a proxy setup to bypass the Great Firewall when I am in the Mainland. When I am in Hong Kong, it is no problem.

Posted by Liberty Dog at Tuesday, February 06, 2007 09:44 PM

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