News – The Sandstorm: America’s Dumbing


America is in the midst of an education crisis, ranging from infants to college students, and it is everywhere. In an under-reported August story, a to study by researchers from five universities found that babies born during the Covid pandemic show reduced overall verbal, motor and cognitive performance. Babies born before the coronavirus had an average IQ of 100, but test results from those born during the pandemic Suddenly falls at about 78.

And those who were already out of the oven when Covid – and our overreaction to it – became a reality are also not in great shape. Researchers from McKinsey found that at the end of the 2020-21 school year, students were, on average, four to five months late where they have been in the past, and low-income and minority children have suffered disproportionate harm in math and reading. Additionally, the latest U.S. Family Survey, released in October, found that nearly 20% of parents said their children’s grades deteriorated during the pandemic and almost a third reported learning declines.

But wait, it’s getting worse. Even before the pandemic, reading scores were declining. As reported by Hechinger, fourth-graders in the United States in 2016 slipped seven points on the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), an international reading test. “Then fourth and eighth graders – especially eighth graders – scored lower on the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a benchmark test that is taken every two years. by both age groups. “

So the question becomes: what can we do to right the ship? Unfortunately, those in charge are ignorant, have a political agenda, are greedy, or all of the above. One cohort wants to change the way we score. Joe Feldman, former teacher and administrator, and now “educational grading consultant” wrote “Rating for fairness.In the book, Feldman says, “Our traditional grading practices have always hurt our traditionally underserved students. He adds: “But now, because the number of injured students was so much higher, people have been more aware of it and ready to tackle this problem.”

In other words, we need to assess factors other than success. At the right time, this was picked up by the Los Angeles Unified School District, where the boards now say “academic grades should not be based on attendance, including unexcused absences, late work, engagement or behavior, which may be reflected in separate “citizenship” or “work habits” scores that do not count towards a student’s GPA. “

While some of LA’s new guidelines make sense, like letting students retake a test they may have failed the first time around, most are pretty damaging. Work habits and deadlines are important. Ignoring them or moving them to an amorphous grading area does the student a disservice. It certainly doesn’t prepare them for the real world, where lack of attention to these issues can lead to job loss.

Perhaps the most glaring area for reform attempts is mathematics, and California is leading the way. In the 2022 project revision project from the California Department of Education “Mathematical framework“, The chapter on” Teaching for Equity and Engagement “includes this language:” Empowering students with math also includes removing the big issues of error and sending the message that learning is still unfinished and that it is prudent to take mathematical risks. This state of mind creates the conditions for students to develop a sense of ownership of their mathematical thinking and of their right to belong to the discipline of mathematics. The project also suggests that math should not be color blind, and that teachers should use the lessons to explore social justice issues – researching gender stereotypes in word problems, applying mathematical concepts to topics such as immigration, inequality, etc.

As John McWhorter notes, the above is a clever way of saying that “diverse” children should not be “”grappling with the daunting task of getting the real answers.»Thus, nearly 1,000 experts in the teaching and application of mathematics having signed an open letter in which they destroy the proposed new framework, maintaining it could devastate learning for the state’s 6 million children in California public schools.

American history is not in better shape. With the advent of a state-mandated high school ethnic studies course, equity fanatics in California are heading to town. In a large room in the Los Angeles Times, Melissa Gomez details what will be on the menu in many school districts. For example, “Eurocentric history” is on the block. The “insensitive use of their culture for sports team mascots”, the disastrous results of “settler colonialism”, etc., will be part of the curriculum. True to the times, one of the featured teachers in the article, Melina Melgoza, a high school teacher at the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center in Los Angeles, begins her class with “students taking a social learning check. -emotional with their feelings.

The bad education continues until college. The researchers found that while grades and graduation rates are on the rise on college campuses, student test scores do not justify the increases. They explain that the likely reason for the disparity is simply inflation in ratings. “Recent policy emphasis on college completion rates appears to have likely contributed to the increase in average GPAs. As schools and departments come under increased scrutiny and, in some cases, increased financial incentives, they may respond by increasing graduation rates. Changing graduation standards is an inexpensive way to increase graduation rates. And in fact, graduation rates have risen sharply at public four-year schools and community colleges, which depend on taxpayer dollars and can be affected by state performance-based funding rules.

American students have been and continue to be severely harmed due to a hysterical response to Covid, agenda-driven learning, lowering standards and greed. Collectively, we will all suffer greatly from this dysfunctional state unless changes are made quickly. Otherwise, our country will be unrecognizable in the not-so-distant future.

[FIRST PUBLISHED AT: For Kids and Country].

PHOTO: brain 2. PHOTO BY: JE Theriot, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

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