Most Americans are sadly disappointed with the deplorable state of our current federal government. (Many of us feel the same about our state governments, but that’s another matter.)
When we talk about (Washington) DC, we are almost always referring to the foibles of our national government . . . but we often ignore the bizarre machinations of the “municipal” government which oversees the city itself.
Some of the city’s foolishness makes the federal government appear wise in comparison.
Case in point. DC public schools are in shambles. Rather than improve the schools themselves, lawmakers have come up with an innovative solution: Require all of the students to apply for higher education!
Yes, that’s what Kwame Brown and his fellow bureaucrats have proposed.
Forcing students unable to complete high school requirements to apply for college. Right. One brilliant solution to a failed educational system.
Since it’s doubtful that diverting time and energy from actual studies to this questionable exercise will solve the underlying problems, we can hope that the proposed legislation dies an swift death.
In 1868 Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) judged Washington, D.C. with his razor-bladed pen:
This everlasting compelling of honesty, morality, justice and the law to bend the knee to policy, is the rottenest thing in a republican form of government. It is cowardly, degraded and mischievous; and in its own good time it will bring destruction upon this broad-shouldered fabric of ours. I believe the Prince of Darkness could start a branch hell in the District of Columbia (if he has not already done it), and carry it on unimpeached by the Congress of the United States, even though the Constitution were bristling with articles forbidding hells in this country. And if there were moneyed offices in it, Congress would take stock in the concern, too . . .
God, spare us from the whims of those in political authority over us!
The brilliant C.S. Lewis identified one aspect of the faulty thinking exemplified by this proposed statute. He placed on the lips of the devil Screwtape this sure way to cripple a nation.
The basic principal of the new education is to be that dunces and idlers must not be made to feel inferior to intelligent and industrious pupils. That would be “undemocratic.”
6 thoughts on “DC’s Absurd Educational Policies”
Very valid point you bring up. I think this falls under the category of good idea in theory but poor application in real life. While there are some benefits to this proposed measure (kids are focused on higher education even if for short time, kids see its a possibility, kids might get in to colleges that they wouldn’t have applied to before, etc) there are also many negatives.
What would be interesting to see is how many kids already apply to college without the requirement in place, and how many of them are accepted. The answer may surprise us! Then again it may not. Interesting topic that can be debated for days. I would rather see attempts at innovative improvement that are formed from genuine wants to help the situation, then no attempts at all. Just my two cents though!
Talk about setting people up for failure ( and anger). Equally insane is requiring / forcing state colleges and universities to offer “remedial courses” to students who are unable to do the normal college level work…and blaming/ rating institutions for college drop outs/ / student retention rates / low student graduation rates – when it’s the incoming students are unprepared! Besides welders, plumbers, carpenters, and assorted repairmen often more money than some college grads -(without student loans to repay). We need to get back to all honest work is honorable.
You can trust CS Lewis to come up with a pithy comment like that. Especially, in regard to modern education. See the ascerbic comments about Experiment House in “The Silver Chair” too…
Excuse me while I beat my head against the wall a few times…
Always love the wonderfully wielded tongue of C.S. Lewis!
I believe Lewis’ pen cuts deeper than Twain’s on this one. Keep your pen own going—I am so enjoying your blog. So thought-provoking!