What the Left gets Right: public education has gone wrong (part 3).
I want to acknowledge that I started this series in agreement with The Left on its stance that public education has gone very wrong. I agree; it has. And Street Data is just one example of how it could go even more wrong. Street Data, as I've written elsewhere, crystallizes one of the Radical Left's core tenets, which (though they'd never say it this way) is to play opposite day with everything. They advocate for treating adults like children and children like adults with veiled language like "student-led learning" and encouragements to "ask students what they want to learn." If you'd asked almost any one of my peers when I was in pre-college school what we wanted to learn, we either would have had no idea or named our favorite boy band or sports team. Swap out "boy band" for "video game" and "sports team" for "internet personality" and you have kids today. (Hyperbole is to prove my point, just to be clear.)
This would be scary enough if it were standing alone-an entire school district advocating that kids not only have no boundaries but that they have to figure out what's important to know for the real world (if they're even told such a thing exists anymore) on their own and calling it "empowerment," as if guidance and wisdom from life experience is somehow oppressive. But it's just one voice in a chorus of patronizing voices coming from every arena chastising adults for daring to tell kids no at all and, complete with tsking and finger wagging, telling us that "as adults, it’s our job to listen when kids tell us who they are."
I, for one, am grateful that my parents did NOT listen when I told them at age six that who I was was for absolute certain (as in, not make believe) a unicorn and threw a FIT when they refused to play into my delusion. I am grateful I had boundaries set by wise adults who had some suggestions for me about what might be important in life. Now that I have about 20 years of distance from being a teenager, it's clear to me that I had NO idea how much I didn't know (despite being very sure that I knew everything and adults were clueless about my Oh So Large Problems), and thus, how much I needed adults who cared about me to teach me some things I might need to know to do well in life.
The public education system is not perfect at all (if I had school-age children right now, I would do everything I could to be homeschooling them, to be sure), but God help us all if the Radical Leftists remake it in their kids-are-in-charge image. Treating kids like adults fails them in every way and treating adults like kids is one of the main reason society is as dysfunctional as it is right now. This insanity (and I mean that word clinically) has to stop, not get codified into public-education curriculum. Otherwise, we will see the already increasing rates of mental illness and violence hockey stick. And that – mental illness – will be the subject of my next Musing in a couple weeks.
Finally, a quick note - my full-length poetry collection Bowed As If Laden With Snow releases in paperback this month! I'll let you know how you can order a copy and leave a review on Amazon if you're interested in the my next letter.