Sunday, April 27, 2014

No child left behind ... without a college diploma!

I have often remarked, cynically, that kids in elementary school are brainwashed into believing that the whole point of first grade is to get on that preparatory path to college.  In this modern world, the college degree is the holy grail.

My grandmother always reminded us about not joking about important things in life, especially cynically, because she believed that eventually they will come true.  Yes, some twisted logic about causation that is, but, hey, in this case it has come true!  An annual year-end kindergarten show has been canceled at a New York school (ht) because--hold on to your chairs, and look away from the screen if you are feeling queasy:
The reason for eliminating the Kindergarten show is simple. We are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills ...
So, it turns out that I was wrong.  The brainwashing does not start with the first grade, but right at kindergarten.  Hey little boys and girls, can you say SAT?

What the hell is wrong with the system, you ask?

It is simple, dear reader.
This didn’t come out of the blue. Kindergarten (and even preschool) has increasingly become academic — at the expense of things such as recess and the arts — in this era of standardized test-based school reform. In most states, educators are evaluated in large part on test scores of students (sometimes students they don’t have) and on showing that their students are “college and career ready,” the mantra of the Obama administration’s education initiatives.
Yep. As simple as that.  The George Obama presidencies effectively want to make sure that no child is left behind without a college degree.  Johnny may not be able to write or think, and may not be interested at all in going to college, but, by golly, we will make sure that a college diploma is had by all!

That letter to parents informing them about the cancellation ends with this:
Please do not fault us for making professional decisions that we know will never be able to please everyone. But know that we are making these decisions with the interests of all children in mind.
Oh yeah, in the best interests of all children.

If only the kindergarteners knew the real story that college screws everyone, not only the athletes


Ramesh said...

Really ???

What is wrong with that lot ?? Have their brains become so addled ? Even in grade crazy India or South Korea such a thing would never happen.

I hereby award the school the corporate gobbledygook award. The first paragraph is a masterpiece in corporate fluff - can even they understand what they are trying to say ?

Sriram Khé said...

Yes, crazy stuff.
But, does not surprise me at all. In fact, we can expect more and more of such madness. Whether it is India or the US or China, the pattern seems to be the same--preparing kids for careers, for which college is a required stop. Thus, the ever increasing load that we pile on kids. Kids aren't allowed to be kids anymore.

I am so glad I got to experience a childhood in which my parents didn't bother me, was mostly ignored by my teachers, and I could waste away the time doing whatever pleased me. Which is how I am now in a career where my parents don't bother me, other teachers mostly ignore me, and I can waste my time doing whatever pleases me ;)