You’ve Gotta Have Standards!

So our public education system has resulted in a population in which 1 in 7 adults are functionally illiterate, and “only 12 percent of high-school seniors, who are getting ready to vote for the first time, have a proficient knowledge of history.”

What about math? I think this picture says the proverbial 1,000 words:

Well, it’s good to know in these dark days of mass ignorance that our institutions of higher learning have their standards! Or, at least are considering having standards.

The local junior college, Pima Community College has a standard: students must be at least sixteen years old. But now they’re considering imposing some new ones:

The question boils down to how smart you should have to be to attend Pima Community College.

Currently there is no requirement. You only need to be age 16.

But Pima’s governing board is considering changing that to require new students to have a high school diploma or GED. Students also would have to pass a reading, writing and math assessment test with the skills of a sixth or seventh grader.

Pima Chancellor Roy Flores says, “We need to find different pathways for those students that are testing in at second, third, fourth and fifth grade levels.”

Sweet. Bleeding. Jeebus.  No, it’s not a question of how smart you are, it’s a question of how educated you are. Ignorance is correctable, but as comedian Ron White has said, “You can’t fix stupid. There’s not a pill you can take; there’s not a class you can go to. Stupid is forever.”

Bear in mind, this is a college. Yes, you can go learn to weld at PCC (and if you don’t test out at above sixth grade, be prepared to suffer a lot of burns for the rest of your life), but you can also go get a 2-year associate’s degree. When I moved to Arizona I went to PCC for the first two years and got caught up on my freshman and sophomore courses before transferring to the University of Arizona (at in-state tuition rates, which I couldn’t get at the U of A until I’d lived here a year.)

Read the last line in the above excerpt again: “We need to find different pathways for those students that are testing in at second, third, fourth and fifth grade levels.” These are, at minimum, sixteen year-olds. The vast majority of them are over 18.

And as Say Uncle put it this morning, “their vote counts just as much as yours.”

You want to know how we ended up with the government we have? This is how. In 1983 the report A Nation at Risk on the state of public education in America pulled no punches when it stated:

If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.  As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves.

Our government-provided schools have produced generation upon generation of government-approved product. It’s a positive-feedback loop, and it has achieved full screeching saturation.

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