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More of the Same

President Obama unveiled his latest strategy for improving America's schools.
President Obama unveiled his latest strategy for improving America's schools. He wants to lengthen the school year.

That should do it. If the present amount of exposure to the environment and instruction available in America's public schools has made us the 11th greatest nation in the world, then more exposure to the same environment and instruction should move us, oh, to about 20th?

With apologies to all the diligent, faithful, hard-working school teachers and administrators who love kids and pour themselves out on their behalf, what America's schools need is not a longer course but a redefined one. As long as the aim of American education is primarily materialistic and pragmatic, the latter is always going to win out over the former, at least with young people, who will continue to do as little as possible to get by. Meanwhile, the nation continues to sink in the slough of despond.

This is yet another example of what I hate about politicians. Does the President imagine that you and I, hearing this recommendation, will suddenly have a light go off in our brains, raise a pointed finger to the sky, and exclaim, "That's it!"? Does he really think we're that stupid?

Or is he just looking for something to waft before the electorate and drool the lips of teachers' unions over these last few weeks before the mid-term elections (more time teaching = more money)?

Whose kids are these, anyway? The President's? His kids go to private school, as do the children of most Congress persons. Are they the nation's kids? Or are they our kids, as parents and grandparents? And if they're ours, would it be such a horrible idea to give us more say in what our children are taught, and how, and to what ends?

Well, in fact, given that we're probably all fairly stupid, it would be horrible.

But more horrible than what the President and his elite advisors recommend?

T. M. Moore
T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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