Friday, September 17, 2010

How Many Children Left Behind by Universal Education?

Read Conservative Heritage Times's post of Christopher Jackson's account and weep — Amazing Confession from a High-School Teacher. The author's experiences in "a predominantly black high school in a southeastern state" are nearly identical to those of my best college buddy's at "Rust Belt Public" recounted in his entertaining memoirs — My First Year In Purgatory. Such problems spurred the bipartisan consensus (always a warning sign) behind the No Child Left Behind Act.

More children need to be left behind! Those Mr. Jackson describes as having "little conception of ordinary decorum" and "no interest in academic subjects" do not belong in the classroom. They are essentially robbing those who want to learn an education. Let states, local commmunities, and private groups and individuals offer the majority vocational training à la Booker T. Washington and offer W. E. B. Du Bois' "Talented Tenth" (the fraction may be greater or smaller) the classical education he wanted for them. The same goes for whites.

Of course, vocational training requires vocations, so somehow the deindustrialization the Federal Government has forced upon the country needs to be halted and reversed. A few days ago Steve Sailer showed us how deindustrialization is tied up with education — "Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?":
    For decades, American economic sages, such as Larry Summers, Tom Friedman, and Alan Greenspan, have implied that manufacturing stuff was more or less obsolete—that the building blocks of the economy of the future would be cheap labor and expensive finance. The Chinese will make everything, while Americans will get rich selling each other ever more sophisticated financial instruments.

    You might ask: What about the 98 percent of Americans who aren’t cut out for working for Goldman Sachs?

    Well, you see, all we have to do is fix the schools. Then everybody will work for Goldman!
We know how that worked out. We need more than just reindustrialization, though, and Mr. Jackson's students offer some insights in that regard:
    My black students had nothing but contempt for Hispanic immigrants. They would vent their feelings so crudely that our department strongly advised us never to talk about immigration in class in case the principal or some outsider might overhear.
We also need to stop immigration, both illegal and legal, especially of unskilled laborers who rob America's poorest of jobs and drive down wages. In Up From Slavery: An Autobiography by Booker T. Washington, we read the same feelings expressed far more eloquently:
    To those of the white race who look to the incoming of those of foreign birth and strange tongue and habits of the prosperity of the South, were I permitted I would repeat what I say to my own race: "Cast down your bucket where you are." Cast it down among the eight millions of Negroes whose habits you know, whose fidelity and love you have tested in days when to have proved treacherous meant the ruin of your firesides. Cast down your bucket among these people who have, without strikes and labour wars, tilled your fields, cleared your forests, builded your railroads and cities, and brought forth treasures from the bowels of the earth, and helped make possible this magnificent representation of the progress of the South. Casting down your bucket among my people, helping and encouraging them as you are doing on these grounds, and to education of head, hand, and heart, you will find that they will buy your surplus land, make blossom the waste places in your fields, and run your factories. While doing this, you can be sure in the future, as in the past, that you and your families will be surrounded by the most patient, faithful, law-abiding, and unresentful people that the world has seen. As we have proved our loyalty to you in the past, nursing your children, watching by the sick-bed of your mothers and fathers, and often following them with tear-dimmed eyes to their graves, so in the future, in our humble way, we shall stand by you with a devotion that no foreigner can approach, ready to lay down our lives, if need be, in defence of yours, interlacing our industrial, commercial, civil, and religious life with yours in a way that shall make the interests of both races one. In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

An observation and a story:

The observation: The current DC mayor was ousted because the black south east was totally unhappy when superintendent Rhee really tried to get rid of incompetants. They are protecting their educational dysfunction.

The story: A colleague, a Public Health Service officer was deployed to the south after recent hurricane. He got a kick out of a black elderly ex-wet-nurse calling up and telling her now adult charges to come get their "black mama". One of them did.

The difference between top down and organic growth of culture?

faustina

12:35 AM  
Blogger The Sanity Inspector said...

"Reindustrialization"...Hadn't heard that in a while. It was a buzzword, one political season long ago.

12:40 AM  
Blogger xavier said...

Joshua:

Manufacturing isn't dead or obselete it's been merely transformed. I personally think that small scale manufacturing by independent craftsman is the way to go.


Basically, it's craftsmanship capitalism that was so prominent in early modern Europe.

Given the extent of the crisis I wouldn't be surprised to see people repairing and mending stuff just to extend the life of their products. I have a 6 year old notebook computer that I just installed LINUX and it works very nicely.
So people will strat small: fix shoes,make clothes, repair cars, create parts for their various appliances and cars.

11:32 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

I'm all for the "small scale manufacturing by independent craftsman" that you mention, as well as keeping old hardware running.

I've heard third world hospitals use old Playstations for medical purposes.

5:31 PM  

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