Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Young People Don't Know Anything

"The fact that young people think socialism is better than capitalism is proof of what social scientist call their stupidity, and their ignorance." -- Jonah Goldberg

Young people don't know anything. Want proof? Look how many graduated with worthless degrees and are now shocked that not only are they not making six figures, but that they can't even find a job.

Look at how many more are on that same path, not learning a thing from what has gone on, other than to protest that others should pay for their four to six year stay at those adolescent club meds disguised as colleges and universities.

Even some of those with useful degrees used them for nefarious purposes, designing exotic perpetual wealth machines like derivatives, and then standing there gape-jawed when the whole shebang went ka-blooie.  No shame.  No remorse, not even an apology to the taxpayers who refilled their pockets.

America's Cult of Youth is out of hand. Take two minutes and listen to the bete noir of progressivism explain.

I agree with Jonah Goldberg. We should not be worshiping youth, we should be educating them because they will be running the place someday.

Some may think such criticisms unfair, but they are not. Youth movements in Latin America were usually celebrated by older adults, and it is legitimate in those cases, because youth there were protesting an entrenched oligarchy, while the suborned adults cowered in fear of losing favor, their jobs, or what little is left of their freedoms. In such an environment, a youth protest movement represents a fearlessness of those who don't yet have anything to lose and their readiness to take charge of the future. It should give heart to the elders.

Our protesting youth (the .0001% who foolishly claim to represent the 99%) are quite a different story. Our esteem-powered youth sit amid piles of electronic luxuries, bountiful food and college for damn near everybody, and their protests smack of so much puerile whining and parroting of anything that repudiates what America was founded upon. Thankfully, they are a minuscule slice.

Even the good kids don't know anything; we're all born uneducated. It's up to us to teach them: To not automatically kowtow to authority, to question government, to learn, to pursue worthwhile goals even when they are really, really hard to attain. An admirable number of youngsters are already taking their place in our society, in academic achievement, on the battlefield and here in our own country making sacrifices to help others.

Our kids have it in them--It's up to us adults to bring it out.


republicanmother said...

I would say that all those kids who have worthless degrees and lots of debt are not stupid, but trusting. They only did what their parents, teachers, the media, and every other adult in their life told them to. Looks like that was a mistake.

Jonah just pissed because young people aren't going to be subscribing to his rag, NR. Ha, check out the AEI backdrop (let those who have been studying think tanks understand the ironies.)Good Lord, did he just say that we don't have entrenched elites in this country rotflmao!!!

There are lots of young people that are really awake out there and that is a good thing. I wish I could have known about the Federal Reserve and this fascinating suppressed history that I have just begun to share with my 90 year old grandpa.

The Apostle Paul said, let no man despise your youth. The Revolution had a lot of teen boys in its ranks, some of whom died to give us the freedoms we enjoy. The British laughed too.

Donald Trump The Republican's Choice said...

Not true, they know how to Rap, smoke dope, and protest.

Ducky's here said...

Why doesn't "Fat Boy" Goldberg admit that he's a bought and paid for sock puppet who:

1. Doesn't understand the structural problems of pure capitalism unlike economists from Adam Smith on.

2. Doesn't understand the goals of socialism.

The frequent right wing classification of Obama as a socialist or communist which we see in your cute ass little cartoons of Democrats decked out as soviets is sufficient evidence that you don't know your freaking ass from your elbow and should be sent to your room with the moron Goldberg.

Yes we should educate youth. We should not indoctrinate them. The idea of Goldberg as the authority on who is friggin' stupid is absurd on its face.

L'il Jonah is pissed about OWS. Tough. OWS presents a question, frames a problem. Our so called leaders duck and cover like a bunch of pussies when they should be answering the questions posed. That isn't worship.

Ducky's here said...


That's what you want to teach?

Liberalmann said...

And then there's this:

Welcome to Mississippi:

Anonymous said...

Everything SilverFiddle posts here is true, but WHY is so many people's thinking today so stupid, perverse, shortsighted and self-defeating?

Answers do exist. Here are a few of them:


" ... By the end of WWI, socialists realized that something was amiss, for the world's proletariat had not heeded Marx's call to rise up in opposition to evil capitalism and to embrace communism instead.  They wondered what had gone wrong.

"Separately, two Marxist theorists -- Antonio Gramsci of Italy and Georg Lukacs of Hungary -- concluded that the Christianized West was the obstacle standing in the way of a communist new world order.  The West would have to be conquered first.

Gramsci posited that because Christianity had been dominant in the West for over 2000 years, not only was it fused with Western civilization, but it had corrupted the workers class. The West would have to be de-Christianized, said Gramsci, by means of a "long march through the culture."  ..."

~ Quotation from "Cultural Marxism," American Thinker, 2007

Submitted by FreeThinke

Anonymous said...


... "In 1919, Georg Lukacs became Deputy Commissar for Culture in the short-lived Bolshevik Bela Kun regime in Hungary. He immediately set plans in motion to de-Christianize Hungary.

"Reasoning that if Christian sexual ethics could be undermined among children, then both the hated patriarchal family and the Church would be dealt a crippling blow.

"Lukacs launched a radical sex education program in the schools. Sex lectures were organized and literature handed out which graphically instructed youth in free love (promiscuity) and sexual intercourse while simultaneously encouraging them to deride and reject Christian moral ethics, monogamy, and parental and church authority."

~ Quotation from "Cultural Marxism" - American Thinker 2007

Submitted by FreeThinke

Anonymous said...


" ... Hungary's youth, having been fed a steady diet of values-neutral (atheism) and radical sex education while simultaneously encouraged to rebel against all authority, easily turned into delinquents ranging from bullies and petty thieves to sex predators, murderers, and sociopaths.

"Gramsci's prescription and Lukacs' plans were the precursor to what Cultural Marxism in the guise of SIECUS, LGBT, and the ACLU--acting as judicially-powered enforcers--later brought into American schools."

~ Quotation from "Cultural Marxism" - American Thinker, 2007

Submitted by FreeThinke

Fredd said...

These dipsticks with their liberal arts degrees will eventually end up paying taxes, and when that happens they will shape up.

In the not-so-distant past, there were always B.A., Art History grads who wound up washing dishes at Chin Ho's Chinese restaurant, but they were a minority of college grads. Now these guys are the norm, and accordingly gigs at Chin Ho's are scarce, with the bus boys sporting political science degrees, the waitresses all have degrees in Women's Studies, etc.

Anonymous said...


" ... In 1923, the Frankfurt School -- a Marxist think-tank -- was founded in Weimar Germany.  Among its founders were Georg Lukacs, Herbert Marcuse, and Theodor Adorno. The school was a multidisciplinary effort which included sociologists, sexologists, and psychologists.

"The primary goal of the Frankfurt School was to translate Marxism from economic terms into cultural terms. It would provide the ideas on which to base a new political theory of revolution based on culture, harnessing newly-discovered "oppressed minorities" to join the faithless, atheistic proletariat. Smashing religion, morals, and Tradition, it would also build a constituency among academics, who could build careers studying and writing about the New Oppression."

"Toward this end, Marcuse -- who favored "polymorphous perversion" -- expanded the ranks of Gramsci's new proletariat by including homosexuals, lesbians, and transsexuals.  Into this was spliced Lukacs radical sex education and cultural terrorism tactics.  Gramsci's ‘long march' was added to the mix, then all of this was wedded to Freudian psychoanalysis and psychological conditioning techniques as well as techniques of mass hypnosis and mind manipulation developed in the nascent advertising industry by Edward Bernays. The end product was Cultural Marxism, now known in the West as multiculturalism."

~ Quotation from "Cultural Marxism" - American Thinker, 2007.

Submitted by FreeThinke

Anonymous said...


"Additional intellectual firepower was required: a theory to pathologize what was to be destroyed.

"In 1950, the Frankfurt School augmented Cultural Marxism with Theodor Adorno's idea of the ‘authoritarian personality.'

"This concept is premised on the notion that Christianity, Capitalism, and the traditional family create a character prone to racism and fascism. Thus, anyone who upholds America's traditional moral values and institutions is both racist and fascist." 

"Children raised with traditional values, we are told to believe, will almost certainly become racists and fascists.

"By extension, if fascism and racism are endemic to America's traditional culture, then everyone raised in the traditions of God, family, patriotism, gun ownership, or free markets is in need of psychological help."

~ Quotation from "Cultural Marxism" - American Thinker, 2007

Submitted and edited by FreeThinke with added emphasis.

Anonymous said...

If you imagine you have been untouched -- uncontaminated, if you will -- by the persistent insidious attack on our Civilization mounted by the forces outlined in the above quotations, you are sadly mistaken. There isn't one of us who hasn't been touched and profoundly affected by this forceful brand of depraved, distorted thinking.

The widespread acceptance of the imbecilic, degenerate, flippantly iconoclastic popular culture is proof enough of that.

It's not only the degradation of sexual mores that should be held responsible for our decline, but of the lowering of standards to accommodate the unable, the sadly degraded use of the language, the general coarsening of taste and the lowering of aspirations and expectations to abysmal levels.

That many are apt feel "insulted" these words, and become combative rather than responsive only provides further proof of these assertions.

The last thing anyone wants to do is looking the mirror, and take responsibility for his own manifold defects.

The architects of Cultural Marxism counted very heavily on that deep flaw in human nature. They exploited it to the hilt, and it worked brilliantly in the achievement of their objectives.

Their manipulative tactics implemented through relentless pursuit of Critical Theory have succeeded in reshaping our attitudes to the extent that we, ourselves, are now the instruments of our own destruction -- a sad turn of events that will end the long era of ascendancy that was predicated on the establishment and perpetuation of Christian values.

~ FreeThinke

Jersey McJones said...

Boy, reading some of this reminds me listening to the rants of a bunch of angry old octogenarians.

First of all, a lot of this is misplaced. The kids today are much better behaved, erudite, and educated than were in my generation (X). When you look at the statistics over the past generation, you see crime, teenage pregnancy, hard drug abuse, and a host of other social ills among the young waaaaaaaay down.

Granted, some of that probably has to do with RvW. It can not be a coincidence that exactly 18 years after the legalization of abortion all these social ills disappear precipitously.

And, just as subjectively abhorrent but true, the massive police state probably had something to do with that too.

Then there was the latest Revival, which has been very morally conservative.

On the other hand, today's youth are moving away from religion, and that can be a good thing too.

So, there's a lot at play here.

But to complain about the youth complaining is like complaining that the rain is wet or the sky is blue. Besides, it's good that the youth take an interest in things, even if we all don't like everything they're interested in.

Personally, I think they have a fair point. The country is declining, the rich are getting richer and the rest of us are stuck in the mud, even if's a relatively comfortable mud, compared to, say, Somalia, a place conservatives want to turn this country into.


Silverfiddle said...

I am not complaining about our youth. I end with a pat on the pack and an acknowledgement that only an infinitesimal percentage make up the whining stinking OWS crowd.

I am agreeing with Goldberg that our cult of youth is a collective stupidity.

Ducky's here said...

What is this cult of youth ?

It's kids with money and your precious market selling to them. You calling the market stupid? About time.

Ducky's here said...

@Fredd - These dipsticks with their liberal arts degrees will eventually end up paying taxes, and when that happens they will shape up.


What's your degree, big mouth?

Mine's in Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design.

Now I don't know what you do and there's a solid chance I couldn't do it very well but I do know that RISD has one of the most rigorous programs in the country especially the first year. If you tried to make it you would last a month before you and the other cultural illiterate, Freethinker, were on the freaking bus back home to momma.

Hack said...

I read a quote a while back, not sure who said it or exactly how it was worded but it said something like this: "All liberal youth eventually grow up, pay taxes, and become conservatives."

I would argue however, that there is MUCH ignorance on the other extreme...the elderly, whose sole source of news is one of the Big 3, ABC, NBC, or CBS News. They tend to know very much about the stories reported by those networks and absolutely nothing about what they don't report. It's as shocking as the general youth ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Creative distruction in the free markets is a good thing. Creative distruction of our culture is not so good.

Speedy G said...

The division of labour in "corporate" America has so specialized the American worker that all of the "core" liberal arts classes that they used to offer in colleges and universities and that once gave unity and provided meaning for the independent thinkers for whom the curriculum had been designed have been tossed aside so as to make room for ever increasing specialized and irrelevant classes in trivial minutia.

Thereby a nation of Giants has been transformed through the education of their children into a nation of Dwarves. Soon, their children will be rendered but a nation of p*ssants.

If you want to create depencies, divide powers (and knowledge is MOST definitely, POWER)... if you want to create independencies, UNIFY them.

There are no longer any polymaths like Edison and/or Franklin available to think for us. And young Johnny's head has been so filled with "corporately useful" trivia that he can't think independently at all.

Speedy G said...

In other words, Freethinke, as much as I'd LIKE to blame "cultural Marxism" for all of our educational problems, I believe hat I must give the success of our own "corporate" business culture ITS due in destroying the social and cultural fabric of this nation.

Rob said...

Yes, we should be educating young people. But more to the point, we need to educate them in meaningful ways.

I'm continually amazed by the mindset of "technology has to be good for kids, so let's shovel it at them" that has become a societal norm without even so much as a shred of solid evidence that technology does in fact facilitate better learning or enhance overall quality of life.

Tech itself may not be a bad thing, but pop tech certainly is. We can see firsthand that Gen Y people who cut their teeth on SoCom and cell phones are not more prone to analytical thinking, social articulacy, or even self-sufficiency.

Please bear in mind that these are not the comments of a Luddite who opposes technological change, but come from a career IT guy. I do support acclimating kids to certain technologies because they will be a requisite parts of their lives.

But before we plunge them headlong into the inescapable cyber-world, our prerequisite responsibility is to ensure that they have skills necessary to survive & thrive in the real world. An ability to be self-sufficient, creative, and reasoning individuals will carry them much further in life than an intimate knowledge of word processing, Googling, or digital consumerism.

And beyond it’s role as a research medium, I’m unconvinced that computers in the lower-level classroom actually do anything to boost student achievement. Worse yet, the committees that push this agenda so fiercely are mostly manned by representatives of the very tech companies who stand to profit the most – a classic case of putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.

So, again, I respectfully advocate that we move our kids gradually and intently towards computer literacy, not just assuming that jamming a mouse (or worse yet, a game controller or smartphone) in their little hands will inherently make them savvy, adaptable, or productive citizens.

Ducky's here said...

However, when ethnic studies in Arizona did coincide with improved achievement and graduation rates the legislature immediately banned them.

Must have been the wrong kind of knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Silver, because the youth of the 1960's and 1970's were oh so well behaved and cultured.

The problem is not only with the youth of America, it's with the old people of America, too.

And both young and old share the SAME problem: neither group is willing to admit that they have anything to learn from each other. Both groups think they have all the answers, and that the other group is full of crap (whether it's because the ideas are "old and antiquated," or "just youthful idealism.")

Anonymous said...

@ Andreas: the only reason my generation knows how to smoke dope and protest is because your generation taught us how to (I'm assuming you're a child of either the 60's or 70's).

Anonymous said...

Funny, I'm a child from the 60's and I never did any of that SHIT!

Ducky's here said...

@Farmer - There are no longer any polymaths like Edison and/or Franklin available to think for us. And young Johnny's head has been so filled with "corporately useful" trivia that he can't think independently at all.

Sounds like a call for the return of the classical education. I'll join you.

Of course Fredd will object to liberal arts degrees. Thinking gets in the way of stuff like the Facebook IPO.

viburnum said...

It's an old song Silver

Kids! I don't know what's wrong with these kids today!
Kids! Who can understand anything they say?
Kids! They are so ridiculous and immature!
I don't see why anybody wants 'em!
Just you wait and see Kids!

Kids! They are just impossible to control!
(Soon you'll be old enough to be)
Kids! With their awful clothes and their rock an' roll!
(Another teenage delinquent)
Why can't they be like you were,
Perfect in every way?
What's the matter with kids to--

Kids! What the devil's wrong with these kids today?
Kids! Who could guess the they would turn out that way!
Why can't they be like we were,
Perfect in every way?
What's the matter with kids?
What's the matter with kids?
What's the matter with kids today?

The more things change the more they remain the same.

viburnum said...

Ducky:" Sounds like a call for the return of the classical education. I'll join you."

Me too. The problem is largely that studying any demanding discipline has become so intensive there is little time left over for anything else. College grads are now 'trained' rather than educated. Outside of their particular field their ignorance can be astounding. I had to explain to one recently why a 3" square post would not fit in a 3" diameter hole. Pythagoras? Who?

Ducky's here said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"In other words, FreeThinke, as much as I'd LIKE to blame "Cultural Marxism" for all of our educational problems, I believe that I must give the success of our own "corporate" business culture ITS due in destroying the social and cultural fabric of this nation.:

Yes, of course, "Speedy," but what you note has happened primarily BECAUSE Cultural Marxism's Mind-Manipulation Machine has been so effective changing popular perceptions of reality, societal mores, and popular taste that it rendered huge numbers RECEPTIVE to the Crap culture we've evolved. Business, which is a values-neutral, profit motivated creature, had no choice but to rush in and fill the mouths hungry to eat great gobs of moral, spiritual and intellectual excrement.

ALSO, Marxism -- antithetical to Capitalism and to Business in general has ATTACKED the Engines of Prosperity to such an extent that Corporations in order to regain some of the advantages Marxism tried to take away have entered into a bizarre, unhealthy alliance with government, and created this phenomenon we call Corporatism or Crony Capitalism -- a Wedding of Business and the State.

The result as we see is deadly.

The root cause of the problem, however, remains Marxism.

~ FreeThinke

Shaw Kenawe said...

“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”
― Socrates

Jonah Goldberg:

"Conservative author Jonah Goldberg has an impressive resume. He is the founding editor of National Review Online and its current editor-at-large. He’s a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

But take a look at the dust jacket of his latest book, “The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas,” and you’ll find another accolade: two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee.

The problem? Goldberg has never been nominated for a Pulitzer. His work has simply been entered. “I’ll check it out and have ‘em remove it if you’re right,” Goldberg told, who first reported the story. “Happily. If it’s not kosher, I shouldn’t have it in there. Period.” Goldberg did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.

The book’s publisher, Penguin Group (USA), insisted it was an “honest mistake.”

In a statement provided to TPM after the report, Adrian Zackheim, president and publisher of Sentinel, a Penguin imprint, said: “There’s no conspiracy here, just an honest mistake at worst. In casual conversation, whenever a news organization submits one of their writers for a prize, people say that person was nominated. By that standard Jonah Goldberg ‘has twice been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.’ You’ve brought it to our attention that the Pulitzer authorities don’t approve of that usage, and that technically Jonah was ‘entered’ but not ‘nominated.’”

Yeah. An "honest" mistake. He didn't read the dust jacket? I'm friendly with people who've had books published. Believe me, they know EVERYTHING that's going into the dust jacket.

Around 2003/04, I had an encounter with Goldberg via email where I brought his attention to a mistake in something he posted on his blog--he misquoted a Democrat on the Iraq war. He finally took the quote down, once it was proved he misquoted the person. I wish I had kept the emails.

Anyway, I've found Goldberg is less than *cough* honest *cough* in a lot of what he writes.

Thersites said...

Seems to me that a values neutral medium rushing to fill a vacuum might have had a little to do with it, especially since the values neutral medium has expanded from controlling 1/3 of the economy to 2/3's in the last 50 years.

Silverfiddle said...

Yeah, kinda like Obama's publisher printing that he was born in Kenya...

Progressives hate Goldberg for his great work, Liberal Fascism, so they nitpick around the edges because the book itself is unimpeachable.

@ Ducky: Sounds like a call for the return of the classical education. I'll join you.

I'll join you as well. K-12 should be all classical liberal arts. We should be teaching our kids how to think critically, analyze and form arguments, read critically and write cogently.

Finntann said...

Ducky, you know as well as I that RISD is one of the premier design schools in the world. I doubt you are offering RISD as a compartive degree to say Peru State College.

It is obvious that there are good liberal arts colleges out there and programs that actually teach something. It is also obvious that there are liberal arts programs out there that really don't offer much in the way of anything other than a piece of paper.

As far as Jersey's comment, I won't get into a chicken vs egg argument regarding behaviour but between 1920 and 2006 the US population grew 2.8 times and the number of inmates increased 20 times. Most of the growth between 1980 and 2006.

There is a significant problem with the US justice system when what is supposed to be the freest country in the world also has the highest incarceration rate (.743), when by comparison Russia (second highest) has a rate of .577 and mean old communist China has a rate of .120.

As a libertarian I might point out that the incarceration rate parallels the growth and power of the state.

As to more erudite and better educated, perhaps that is true if your sole measurement is the number of college degrees. I think if you actually tested them that allegation would fall flatly on its face.

Our higher education system is failing, producing graduates that can't even meet the expectations of a secondary education.

If your measure of a successful education is the inability to perform simple mathematics, incompetency in your primary language, and the lack of autonomous performance and self-sufficiency, well then sure.... they're better educated.


Finntann said...

@Shaw, *cough* never got past the *cough* dust jacket, eh?

Me? I don't read dust jackets.

My bad, I guess.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"...his [Goldberg] essential point was a simple one: fascists believe in state control of almost every­thing, and so do liberals.

There was one small flaw in this argument, though. Liberals don’t believe that at all. They may favor government action to bail out the auto companies, but they don’t favor government auto companies. There are exceptions, and a liberal belief in ­government-managed health care may be one of them. But there are more than a few self-described conservatives who believe in that sort of socialism, too — about 70 percent of the American public, according to most polls, supports Medicare in its current form.


But most of Goldberg’s assaults against alleged clichés collapse into irrelevance. He devotes a chapter to undermining “slippery slope” arguments — which, in truth, are used by conservative organizations like the National Rifle Association as often as they are by liberals — but he ultimately decides that “slippery slope” arguments are “not so bad,” and indeed, he trots out an absurd one of his own in the very next chapter: “Liberals are uncomfortable with the topic of patriotism because their core philosophical impulses are to make America a different country than it is.” In other words, the reforming instinct — the progressive insistence that meat be inspected by the government, for example — is inherently un-American because it’s a first step down the slippery slope toward government control?

After a while, it just becomes exhausting. “Feminism was in no small part launched as a Trojan horse for an older and more familiar Marxist assault.” And “No Jews were tortured in the Spanish Inquisition” (only “former” Jews who claimed conversion to Catholicism were, but Jews were treated far better by the Muslims than by the Catholics, a fact Goldberg neglects). Gandhi evinced “stunning naïveté” and was, occasionally, “incandescently dumb,” without a mention of the impact of his philosophy on the American civil rights movement or the collapse of the Soviet empire. Does Goldberg really believe this stuff? Or is he just being tendentious for rhetorical effect? In the end, his vindictive thrashings have very little to do with the actual practice of politics; the idea that political clichés are banal isn’t exactly a blinding insight, either. Sadly, Goldberg has intellectual resources that might be put to grown-up use. But then, as the liberal cliché has it, “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

Well done by Joe Klein, New York Times Book Review, "The Tyranny of Cliches"

viburnum said...

Finntann: "Our higher education system is failing, producing graduates that can't even meet the expectations of a secondary education."

I recall reading a column years ago by Walter Williams, about giving his freshman classes the entrance exam from a NJ public high school ( Passaic? ) from the early 1900's. If I remember right, something like 85% of them failed.

I'll see if I can find a link

Ducky's here said...

@Silverfiddle - I'll join you as well. K-12 should be all classical liberal arts. We should be teaching our kids how to think critically, analyze and form arguments, read critically and write cogently.

Why isn't it? I went to a working class public high school back in the day and the curriculum included physical sciences, ancient and American history, geometry, algebra, trig, four years of foreign language and English plus art.

Why have we moved so far from that?

Silverfiddle said...

Shaw: You begin with a false premise. Unlike socialism, fascism does not seek ownership of the means of production, just control, you know, like telling airplane manufacturers they can't use their new factories to placate the syndicalists, raiding guitar factories for supposedly violating another country's laws even though that nations say the exports were legit, installing your own managers in car companies...

Finntann said...

@Why have we moved so far from that?

That's a very good question. I think it all started when we started giving A's for effort instead of for quality of work.

I can recall questioning one of my son's teachers at a parent-teacher conference on why he received an A for a short story that he wrote for an English assignment that was full of grammatically incorrect sentences, misspelled and incorrectly used words, etc. and was told "well he tried so hard".

I was also told that they only mark down incorrectly spelled words that were on their vocabulary list. I can remember thinking WTF... he's mispelling words that were on his 7th grade vocabulary list.

I can't help thinking that those students who do study hard, use a dictionary, and produce a quality product, when faced with students who don't yet who also get an 'A' must think why the hell am I going to all this effort.

My son was not stupid, scored well enough on rigorous tests to get put in advanced placement classes, yet had absolutely no motivation to put forth any effort beyond the bare minimum and was rewarded with good grades.

I've also reviewed resumes from people with Master's degrees whose resumes looked similar to my son's English paper. Where do you think those went?

I have to agree, we need to return to the rigor of a classical education. My high school curriculum sounds similar to yours and my first year of high school (1980) was the year they stopped offering Latin and Greek. My school had 'majors' and I was a science major, took astrophysics as an elective. My son seemed to spend two or three classes a day in minors.

Where did we go wrong?


Z said...

The only thing I think Goldberg's wrong about is that we care what youth think today. Who does? I don't even hear that in the liberal media.
Sure, they get tons of press when they get rowdy (well, they DID until they started to defecate on doorsteps, have sex in public, and threaten to blow up bridges, but..), but in general? I think most people have written off this generation.
From many videos we've seen, they don't even know who the VP is...or where Iraq is.
And that's just the college grads!

I love your line "esteem powered youth"...when lefties told teachers self esteem is more important than learning, we started to go downhill....just after prayer got taken out of schools.

Look at the picture you used for this piece...and look at the young women of 1950. Is this BETTER?
I rest my case.

Great post, well written.

Z said...

Good Grief! I posted, then saw that FInntann had posted at the same time, read his, and want to thank him for the illustration of my comment (and SF's point about esteem, of course!) Nice.

viburnum said...

Finntann: "I think it all started when we started giving A's for effort instead of for quality of work."

Also doing away with grades and going to a pass/fail system where there is no way to differentiate between excellence and mediocrity, and then hand out 'social promotions' so kids can keep up with their age group whether or not they could do the work.

Those go a long way to explaining the current notions that no one should be left out, no one should be allowed to fail, performance shouldn't count, only participation and even a half-hearted effort at that should be enough. When they've been carried through the education system for 12 or 16 years why shouldn't they think the world owes them a living?

Finntann said...

Of all the classes my son had, the one he hated the most was math. Why? Because your answer is either right or wrong. Says alot.

Although I swear there were teachers whose minimum grade provided you turned something in was a D. You could get 20 out of 20 answers wrong and still get a D for the piece of paper.

Anonymous said...

Republican policies have caused schools and libraries to close, teachers to be laid off, classroom size increased. Hard to educate, if you don't invest money to get the job done.

Z said...

"You could get 20 out of 20 answers wrong and still get a D for the piece of paper."

Seriously? what a terrible disservice to our kids.

OD357 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OD357 said...

I agree with almost everything here. (Liberalman and Bill Maher excluded) But just when you want to write off young people you run into our young adults in the military. The young troops returning from Afghanistan are just as mature and responsible as preceding generations. There may be hope yet. Let's hope the cream rises to the top.

Always On Watch said...

As a teacher who does hold the line for high standards, I can tell you that I am not appreciated by many parents. All that a lot of parents care about is their children being handed good grades so that they can get into a "good college." This attitude has now crept into the homeschool group where I work. Very disheartening for me.

viburnum said...

Anon: "Republican policies have caused schools and libraries to close, teachers to be laid off, classroom size increased. Hard to educate, if you don't invest money to get the job done."

The US spends 5.7% of the GDP on education which based on last years numbers amounts to 831.63 billion dollars. A higher percentage than either France or England, and just under Switzerland and Portugal. Among the developed countries only the Israelis and Scandinavians outspend us by much. We are 37th on the list but the list is skewed by countries with very low GDP's. Cuba for instance is 1st.

As for classroom size, they are now a third to half the size of when I went to school. We're laying off teachers to preserve the jobs of superfluous administrative drones, the problem isn't the Republicans it's the unions.

Always On Watch said...

Also, along the lines of what I mentioned in my comment just above, the numbers in our homeschool group are shrinking, shrinking, shrinking. My rates aren't low enough (about $400 for a full-year, one-credit high school course) -- and never mind that every single one of our graduates gains admission into prestigious schools of their choice (Those perfect SAT scores, you know). Parents would rather spend their money on other things: new cars for their 17 year olds, expensive vacations, clothes, etc., etc. I'm speaking of parents who earn 6-figure salaries IN ADDITION to their investments, BTW.

PS: I will probably be joining the ranks of the unemployed next school term. I won't even be able to collect unemployment because I'm self-employed.

Z said...

AOW, we have a few parents like that at our school, but very few, thankfully.
I loved it today when I read teacher evaluations and one anonymous kid had written "he makes us work TO hard"
Not hard ENOUGH, evidently :-)

viburnum, everything you say is true about the union and schools.
By the way, many schools in LA are being substantially helped financially by some pockets of this city, parents actually care and buy computers for the schools, clean, etc.
If more parents could chip in, we'd sure be ahead of the game.
Did you know 30% of our kids don't graduate high school? You can imagine that another 30% can't really read or write like we did at their age, too.
SOmething has to be done and it's sure not letting liberals spend time on sex education and environmental threats.....Let's get them READING again.

98ZJUSMC said...

Now I don't know what you do and there's a solid chance I couldn't do it very well but I do know that RISD has one of the most rigorous programs in the country especially the first year. If you tried to make it you would last a month before you and the other cultural illiterate, Freethinker, were on the freaking bus back home to momma.

You know, maybe if you post this three or four more times, someone may believe it. Perhaps, even you will.

98ZJUSMC said...

OD357 said...
I agree with almost everything here. (Liberalman and Bill Maher excluded) But just when you want to write off young people you run into our young adults in the military. The young troops returning from Afghanistan are just as mature and responsible as preceding generations. There may be hope yet. Let's hope the cream rises to the top.

There is a reason for that and it has nothing to do with the relative merits of todays' youth vs. any other. It's the military itself. The way we train to fight and how we learn to survive. Conversely, there are some pretty sorry individuals running around the military. It's always been that way and always will be, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

"Great post, well written."

How patronizing!