I don’t know why everyone is so down on American education. The schools are doing exactly what we ask them to – keeping the kids busy while we’re at work. I suppose it won’t hurt to teach them something, but keep it light. We don’t want our kids knowing more than we do and whatever you do, don’t teach them some crazy rogue theory like evolution. We really want little Johnny to learn how to get along with his brothers and sisters (the kids are driving me crazy!) – You know, social skills.
American schools are tops at teaching social skills. If we wanted our children to learn math or science or something, we’d move to Lichtenstein or Korea or even Canada. What our kids lack in math skills, they more than make up for in confidence (we may not get the right answer, but we’re confident we’re right – I think this also applies to American foreign policy).
Why do we panic every time a new global test appears that ranks America 34th right behind the Slovak Republic? Our kids can’t even find the Slovak Republic on a map, how important can they be? I’ll bet every child in the Slovak Republic can find America on a map!
Why are we apologizing and trying to be like all those other countries that have smart kids. Our kids will be the ones who grow up and run the companies that all the smart kids work for. We can always import the brains when we need them. So, chill with all this testing. It doesn’t matter. All the kids are just bubbling in interesting patterns on their answer sheets anyway.
Let’s take an inventory of what American kids really need to know.
Math – nope. We have calculators and computers (Both Microsoft & Apple are American – doesn’t that prove we’re smart?)
Geography – nope. America is a Super Power and that means we don’t have to learn the capitals of insignificant little countries – like Canada.
History – nope. Boring. If it’s important, it will come around again.
Science – nope. Doesn’t exist. It’s all theory anyway.
PE – now, we’re talking. Can’t get a scholarship for more education without being able to dunk.
Music – nope. Learned it all from Glee.
Sex Education – ditto.
Recess – the most important period of the day. This is where you learn all the life skills you’ll ever need.
What American schools do really well is create confident, socially outgoing citizens (geeks are outliers). Next time you’re in Europe (it’s the country to the right of America on the map), play the game “Spot the American”. It’s actually quite an easy game. Watch for the tourist power striding across a busy square refusing to detour around anyone or anything. This will be an American – you should probably get out of the way. Listen for the tourist with the booming voice, usually complaining about something (“This French food is ok, but where’s the McDonalds?”) Finally, watch out for the effusive hug that says “We’re all together, but I’ll probably crush you.” Oh, and the tacky Hawaiian shirts and fanny packs, these are also dead giveaways.
In short, Americans act like they own the place. Do you think we act like this by accident? No! It takes long years of intense study to hone our arrogance and denial.
Whoever said that “knowledge is power” wasn’t an American.
Im Jae n’ I kant rede this messgge.