Natural Stupidity

Quote of the Day

I’m supposed to be worried about Artificial Intelligence destroying us all, but the fact is our Natural Stupidity is more than adequate for the job.

Roberta X
September 21, 2023
Threat Spectrum

Case in point:

The latest round of state test results is raising alarm in Baltimore City Schools. Project Baltimore found that 40% of Baltimore City high schools, where the state exam was given, did not have any students score proficient in math. Not one student.

But that’s not the only alarming finding we made. In those 13 high schools, 1,736 students took the test, and 1,295 students, or 74.5%, scored a one out of four. One is the lowest level, meaning those students were not even close to proficient.

I don’t know if the demonstrated natural stupidity is on the part of the students, teachers, or (or we should embrace the power of “and”?) administrators. But this is scary stuff. From just one city there are now thousands (this has been going on for several years) of young adults with near zero math ability. These sort of people have been diffused into society for decades years now.

As a Heinlein character famously said:

Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human.  At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house.

A case can be made that our country, if not the whole world, is on a superhighway to Idiocracy. An alternate hypothesis is that there will be a great collapse, a massive die off, and those who survive will be “the best and brightest” and the human race will be the better for it.

I don’t know which scenario is more likely. But I am in agreement with Roberta when she said natural stupidity is more than adequate to destroy us all.

I want an underground bunker in Idaho as my observation post.


31 thoughts on “Natural Stupidity

  1. Mr. Huffman:

    I’ll beg to disagree. This is NOT stupidity on the part of teachers and administrators, nor even the entire pedagogical system. Their government indoctrination centers (aka, “public schools”) are doing EXACTLY what they’re supposed to be doing. A) permanently crippling the capability for thought of the “students”, and B) turning them into nice little drones for the state. See John Dewey’s information on the purpose of government schools from back at the turn of the last century.

    The people who are truly at fault for this outcome are the parents. At this point, and for the last 50 years, it’s been blatantly obvious that sending your children to a government school is de facto child abuse. Pulling them out of that horrific indoctrination system and home schooling them is the only option if you actually care about your children’s capability to learn, rather than being brainwashed. Even private schools are now following the same materials and programs that the government schools are so that is not a solution.

    I hear from parents, “We can’t afford to both pay taxes and home school”, or other such BS excuses. You either care about your children, or you don’t. Yes, one of you will have to give up your outside-the-house job…which means you can’t live in a ginormous McMansion like your “neighbors”, and you’ll have to drive used cars, and maintain them, rather than getting your new one every few years. Heck, you might even have to curtail your dining out, and learn to cook wholesome meals from scratch, and wear less-than-latest-fashion clothes. With all of the resources on-line and in communities (parents getting together to hire special tutors for group learning of things they’re unsure how to teach themselves, et cetera) there is no reason not to yank your kids from the clutches of the government.

    It’s a combination on the part of the parents of laziness, lack of caring for their children, and yes, stupidity that results in children being ignorant, uneducated, and brainwashed.

    • Even private schools are now following the same materials and programs that the government schools are so that is not a solution.
      My brother and his wife are paying a lot to educate my nephew at a private school where he can mingle with Hollywood people. All the teachers are using the same Bravo Sierra books and teaching materials the government schools use. I haven’t heard anything about how he’s been doing lately, but when he was first learning Math he was really into it, so I heard about that. All he wants to do these last four years is sit in his room and play some multiple player computer game.
      I’ve mentioned home schooling his son to him, and he looked at me as if I had suggested drilling a hole in his head and sticking a computer chip in.
      They don’t ask me to read his papers and suggest revisions, so I figure there is no hope.

    • Even if parents really, truly cannot home-school for whatever reason (for the sake of this comment, assume it’s legitimate), public schools must be viewed as what they are — state-provided day care for 5-18 year olds, specializing in producing factory worker drones, not thinkers or leaders — and parents must work around that.

      What I mean by that is: Kids can do fine in public schools, provided the parents are engaged with their kids when they are at home together. Schools can teach how to read, write, and do basic math, but parents can foster a love of reading and writing and demonstrate practical uses for math.

      Let’s face it: The learning material in textbooks can be used to teach the basics, but is extremely dry, boring, and comically unrealistic. (As the joke goes, only in math class can a man buy 68 watermelons and not raise an eyebrow.) So as a parent, fill in the gaps. Read fun and interesting things to your kids and get into it (mine love Narnia and Harry Potter; I try to do voices and accents — they love it!). Make trips to the library a regular thing. Keep an encyclopedia in the house (used and a few years old is fine for this) and when your kids have questions, show them how to look it up and get the answer. Ditto with a dictionary and thesaurus. (Google should be a last resort.) Let them help cook from recipes and help build and fix things — with measurements that must be added and subtracted. If you go out to eat, make a game of estimating the bill by adding up everyone’s order in their heads (my mom did this with us). Turn off the TV, put down the phone, and pick up a book yourself so the kids can see you reading as a form of entertainment.

      If the schools fail at the teaching, parents can and should pick up the slack, which if they’ve seeded a love of learning in their kids should be relatively easy. They’ll learn that they can do and discover things for themselves, and that trait alone will put them miles ahead of the know-nothings that public schools turn out these days.

      Because at the end of the day, a person who reads well and often and has mastered basic math and algebra, can use that foundation to learn anything they want, even if they grew up going to public school.

      • Archer, you noted that:
        “Schools can teach how to read, write, and do basic math…”
        This is the key…they CAN do these things, but they DON’T.

        Basically they’re not allowed to. Just as one tiiny example, have you tried looking through a current math textbook? Now, I’m not very good at math, having only gotten through differential equations to get my engineering degree, but my wife has a minor in math as well as her Master’s degree in linguistics. We both agree that there is NO way we could have learned math from any of the current books. The teachers are even worse.

        The only way you can become credentialed (not educated!) to teach is to fully absorb and believe in the collectivist, authoritarian state. You will simply be drummed out of any “Education” program in essentially every college if you do not toe the line. My wife taught in, initially, government “schools”, got out as fast as she could, and then in private industry. She ended up teaching in the premier “private” school in our state, only to find that “public/private partnerships” were in the process of utterly destroying the private school systems as well. She went through the torture of the re-licensing indoctrination sessions, and finally got the heck out before it destroyed her.

        The only solution to the current system of government indoctrination masquerading as “education” is to take off and nuke the site from orbit; it’s the only way to be sure. Dismantle the federal Department of Education and fire everyone involved. Eliminate college “Education” curricula; fire every professor in sight. Return control of the schools to local school boards and involved parents. But the rot goes so deep that I’m not sure even that would work, and it will never even be tried.

  2. They buried the lede:

    “It’s important to note that Project Baltimore is only able to report these test scores to the public because a source gave them to us.

    ALSO READ| Maryland Schools Superintendent dodges transparency questions, locks himself behind door

    When the state officially releases them later this month, the results will likely be heavily redacted, making it more difficult for parents to see how many schools are performing.

    Earlier this year, the Maryland State Department of Education began further redacting state test scores after Project Baltimore reported on last year’s poor outcomes.”

    Not stupidity, corruption, and a lack of accountability.

    • And intent. The specific intent to NOT teach math and English comprehension and any part of composition and therefore reasoning and logic?
      How many parents have been bribed with A’s and B’s to think that their school is actually teaching the subjects and their children are learning the subjects?

      • Who is it you think isn’t teaching math and english? That’s certainly not the case in the Seattle school district.

        • It’s not that they “don’t teach math and English,” it’s that they do it badly, inefficiently, and filled with propaganda and lies and half-truths and fouled up context, etc. They have, for example, dropped proofs almost entirely from geometry in most districts, largely because so many non-white (or non-east-Asian) students struggle and fail it horribly, so it’s called “racist” and not done. The bar and standards have been continually lowered. The math word problems revolve around social justice and core leftist causes. Effort is rewarded more than actually being able to find the right answer. They try to teach more advanced concepts too early, causing frustration and problems; they are now doing the math-equivalent of dropping phonics for whole-word reading that failed so miserably long ago.

          Look at what passes for “acceptable” writing ability, look at what trash they are reading and how they go about reading literature. They took almost two months go go through The Great Gatsby at my son’s HS (a “good” school), fer crying out loud! Taking seven weeks for a 1/4″ thick romance book is a sure way to make a young man absolutely HATE English class and his teacher. They succeeded. They teach Hemmingway’s “Old man and the Sea” without explaining all the many Biblical references!

          They focus so much on “diverse” literature, they don’t spend a lot of time on the core lit of western civilization. They go as slow as the slowest person, and thereby cripple the learning of most of the class. They produce grads who think it’s OK to used texting slang and abbreviations on scholarship applications! (true story, BTW, from my daughter having a convo with guy who read the applications after she won a large one that paid for most of her first years in college).

          So yes, they do sort of teach math and English, barely, and some smart or motivated kids can learn it well, but it’s mostly in spite of the teachers and schools, not because of them.

          • “They go as slow as the slowest person, and thereby cripple the learning of most of the class.”

            (sigh) Yeah, don’t get me started. The problem is made worse by the segregation of the “gifted” students into different classes and in many cases now different schools, while simultaneously “mainstreaming” the problem kids into standard classes. So my kid, who’s smart but not “gifted” gets to suffer through classes with kids who are dumber than a sack of hair and spend all their time spewing their emotional maladjustment across the rest of the class, without the benefit of the gifted kids helping balance out things (though now she’s in high school and does get segregated into AP classes, so that helps…but doesn’t address the problem). Heaven forbid we accuse Timmy’s parents of doing a shitty job and making Timmy go to the remedial room. He’s a special little butterfly who’s just misunderstood and clearly deserves to be with all the other kids you bigoted bastard.

            “Back in my day” there was some notion of holding the problem kids accountable, and the parents as a result. We’ve apparently decided accountability isn’t a thing any more.

  3. ‘those who survive will be “the best and brightest”’

    or the most ruthless. It is visible today.

    Paraprhasing Severus Snape, “intelligence isn’t everything.” Even the prelude to Idiocracy pointed this out.

  4. Good comments all! And agreed to much. Something that came to mind was….Baltimore? And who is the majority in Baltimore?
    Ya, not what I would be calling a national sampling. All that aside, I heard somewhere that when young children that don’t get good nutrition, they will never grow up to what one might term as their full IQ.
    To me it’s not just starving African children, but also the micky’D, cheetos, diet soda for breakfast generation that are now no longer children.
    Could this be part of the problem?
    Next question is who’s the real retard? Evil school system, the kids that are uncapable, or the working class morons having to pay $15,000 per student, per year on it all?
    And yes, those that survive what’s coming to western civilization will probably be classed as semi/very lucky-intellectual-savages.
    Everything else will be subject to being shot on sight.

  5. It’s all designed to create idiots. Grade inflation shuts the parents up, strange lesson plans confuse the parents about what is being taught, and SAT inflation makes them think the kid is doing as well as they did.
    I got a 700 verbal and a 628 math on my SAT. A high school senior today with those scores does not know as much as I did in 1972.

    Parent involvement was touted as the answer thirty years ago.
    Parent involvement was and has been limited to making sure the homework has been done, further limiting the child’s time exposed to the parents’ intellectual functions, appearing at the Back to School night in September, and whatever the spring semester one is called, so they can tell the parents to have the child apply himself (like a jar of putty?) so their lessons — errr indoctrinations take hold and any actual skills the parents have are not passed on.

    • “It’s all designed to create idiots.”

      It’s really not. viz Hanlon’s Razor.

      Yes, there’s plenty of evidence that the school system is creating idiots in many places, but it isn’t *designed* that way, nor are the people in it working towards that goal. My daughter graduates high school next year and we’ve been very involved volunteering at the schools she’s attended (all public). Not once have I seen a shred of data to imply people were actively trying to harm children or their education. What I *have* seen is an enormous amount of incompetence on the part of the district administration, which then cascades down to the people in schools being unable to provide a proper education as a result. And astounding levels of corruption in the teacher’s union, whose leaders live by the motto “when kids start paying union dues I’ll start representing kids.”

      But I’m not buying the conspiracy theory. This isn’t an effort to make idiots, it’s the outcome of paying for incompetent administration of the system and self-interested unions. If there were the same kind of money available in the school system as there is in the tech industry, smart people would rush to be a part and you’d see a massive change in outcomes.

      • Yes, it is. More specifically, it’s designed to create left-leaning activists. Far too many details to go in to and you likely won’t believe any of it even if I did, so look up the work of James Lindsey.

        I can speak from experience, here. I’m a teacher. I’ve taught in the Seattle, Kent, and Lake Washington school districts at various times over the last two decades. I’ve also taught at a private (secular) school, and I’m now at a private Christian school. I can say with first-hand knowledge that while there are many decent, honest people working in all those districts, they are hamstrung by policy, law, curriculum, and the politically-charged activists who are effectively indoctrinating the kids in all sorts of bad ways, grooming them to be fodder for political activists and easy pray for the gay and trans lobby.

        Do all of them turn out that way? No, of course not. But the activists shout down most of the normies. If you stick your head up and point out the problems with the policy, or the curricula, or law, or the methods, you get shut down or shown the door. I won’t go into details on that, but… trust me. That’s the way it works. They do things that are literally making the kids crazy.

        Please note, I’m writing in generalities, and yes, I’m sure you can find some small localized exception. The overall trend is, however, overwhelmingly Satanist/Communist- secular, anti-white, anti-Christian, anti-trad-American, anti-male, anti-logic, anti-fact, and all dressed up in fancy words and lies.

        Speaking as a teacher, I’d tell any new parent “if you love you kids, homeschool if you can, private Christian school if you can’t, move to a small town if you must, but keep your kids FAR away from large urban government schools unless you want them to hate you or die by the time they are 30.”

  6. Mr. Schussler:

    You noted:
    “If there were the same kind of money available in the school system…”
    Unfortunately, the taxpayers are regarded by the “education” system as an essentially unlimited resource. Massive increases in quantities of spending have been made to government schools with an INVERSE correlation to outcomes.

    The overwhelming majority of government school system absorb limitless amounts of money…corrupt, incompetent, it doesn’t matter. The more money thrown at them, the worse the outcomes. The last year for which I could obtain actual data for the school system in the Heart of the Hive™ from which we fled was 2015. At that point, the government schools in our “progressive” (aka, regressive) city were spending around $15,000 per student. The top-level private schools at that time were charging something on the order of $8,000/year for grade school, $12,000/year for middle school, and around $16,000/year for high school. They could have shuttered the schools, sold the properties at a profit, and cut a check to each and every parent for each child for about 2/3’s of what they were spending for the government indoctrination centers.

    Think that’ll ever happen? Nah, me neither. Money is NOT the issue.

    • “Massive increases in quantities of spending have been made to government schools with an INVERSE correlation to outcomes.”

      The budgets allocated to schools are an order of magnitude lower than those allocated in tech companies. Or really, most successful companies in or out of tech. It may seem like a lot of money from a tax perspective, but from a comparison perspective…there’s no comparison.

      I don’t have an answer for how to get the incompetent and the self-interested out of the system, and how to fund the system to the degree we need. But I do know that the level of competence I see within advanced engineering organizations is wildly different than what I see in schools, and until incentives exist to turn (American) schools into equally disciplined organizations we’re just arguing over which turd smells the worst.

      • Funding levels is not the problem. It’s how it is spent, and who they hire. The people directing the spending want to create and army of activists, not an army of rational, productive workers and family people. They seek power, and for that they need foot-soldiers.
        How to fix it? Easy few steps:
        Put representatives for the students and the taxpayer on teacher salary and contract negotiations.
        End the teacher’s unions.
        Make administrator and teacher pay depend on long-term income and family formation outcomes of their school product, the student; if grads can’t produce or have a reasonable chance at starting a family, they pay faces a clawback.
        Tell all people collecting any sort of public assistance money that their welfare funds are directly dependent on their child’s progress and lack of disruptions in the classroom.
        End the “education is a right” without any obligations on their part; kick out students who are a problem or not making any effort.
        End all federal funding, beyond collecting data and publishing what works, and what doesn’t.
        End all foreign textbook publishing; they must be written and published by heritage-Americans.
        End Common Core and all the “woke” stuff.
        Do not allow any government employee to put kids or grandkids in private school.
        End all hiring of foreign workers for American companies, to encourage American companies to “grow the farm team” here in America and get involved, rather than simply hiring cheaper foreigners with degrees.
        That’s just the start, before we get to burning gay and pedo activist who are teachers or school employees at the stake.

      • John,
        what you seem to be overlooking, or you don’t believe is true, is that our public school systems were oriented toward producing as docile and dumb a student base as could possibly be engineered. This focus was started back around the ’80 or ’90 years. That’s 1880-1890 era! The so-called movers and shakers wanted a dumb crew to work in the new industrial revolution. They considered a smart, well-educated work force to be a dangerous thing for the owners.

        The only name I can recall was Dewey, of Dewey Decimal fame. This is why when you compare grade school tests from early in the 20th century to college tests now, they look similar. That is how bad the public schools have been screwed up here in the US. Deliberate, not bureaucrats, or malfeasance, or dumb teachers, but actual malice at work. If you ignore this, you will never figure out how to address the problem. You must get to the roots. “Nuke it from orbit, to make sure you kill it”.

        Along with dumbing down everything, the History texts were also rewritten. I could see that in the 60’s, that my textbook didn’t agree with the books in the school’s own library. But, since very few students ever entered the library on their own, the schools could safely deal in horseshit, and no one would notice.

          • Darned right.
            The Decimal system was created by Melville Dewey.
            Thomas Dewey was the 1948 candidate for President, whom either Alice Roosevelt Longworth or Dorothy Parker compared to the groom on a wedding cake.
            John Dewey was the philosopher who thought theory was a fine basis for designing the way to teach children.

      • Having been the CFO of a large school district, I can assure you that the problem isn’t lack of funds. Of course, there isn’t the funding available to do everything everybody wants. There never is in any organization. But what Blackwing1 says above is accurate. I am unable to assess the amount of funding available to tech companies but if you were in the advanced engineering part, you might have been seeing an unrepresentative slice of the whole. At any rate, monopolization aside, the tech companies are subject to at least some market discipline.

        In terms of misallocation of resources in school districts, I will point to two areas. First, virtually all school districts pay the teachers (largest part of the budget by far) in a step and lane pattern. Years of service and levels of (useless) education from the Schools of Education. By definition, half of all teachers are below average so vast quantities of money are wasted on below average teachers. Excellent teacher are worth their weight in rubies but there is no attempt made to determine who those might be. If a school district wants to do something different, they need to stop rewarding longevity and take charge of their own professional development needs rather than outsourcing the latter to the Universities.

        Second, school districts think in terms of “programs” to fix perceived problems. Since there is nothing so immortal as a government program, the practical result is a jinga tower of programs that are never abolished when a new fad comes along to replace them. Instead, school districts need to become high functioning organizations with the resources devoted to that. This is a lot easier to say than to accomplish, especially with the large accumulation of deadwood in an organization based on seniority.

        I have concluded that the existing structure cannot be reformed and must be completely replaced. In the short run we need a massive turn to home schooling with the resources diverted there. This takes cultural change as well as financing. Perhaps over time we can then build up institutions that actually work.

        • Interesting insights, thanks for that. I agree that the existing structure is broken and needs to be replaced. I don’t agree with you on home schooling, however, as the population is not equipped to do that effectively. We’ve already had decades of decline in education, so asking the products of that decline to take charge of educating the next generation will just continue the cycle. Or we’ll end up with madrassas, if the cult followers have their way.

          I guess my assertion about throwing more money at the problem is based on the theory that once enough money is at stake people will pay attention and hold the spenders of that money accountable, but then I look at the F-35 program or the King County Homelessness Authority and think, “Yeah…not so much.”

          I don’t have an answer. It’s possible we’re just screwed.

          • THAT, that right there, is the problem.
            You know the schools are shitty, but think you would do a worse job. No, no you would not. I may not agree with you on much, but I’m 99% sure you could do a better job at 95% of what a school teaches than the school does. Maybe (just maybe) they could do better at some of the lab science classes like chemistry IF they have a good teacher. But the basics, like reading, writing, history, etc? A homeschooler will get a lot more from it, and get further, than 95% of the government school grads. Best of all, you get to select who their “classmates” are when you form the home-schooling pod, so you don’t get bad influences you have no control over.

            And that’s even before you get to AC’s total surveillance op scenarios that target smart and capable / independent thinking kids.

          • I think teaching is a skill that few learn and even fewer master. The idea that just because someone has managed to create a new human they’re qualified to teach that human literature, math, and science is absurd, IMO.

            On top of that too many humans have been captured by the cults. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, all the collections of folks preaching authoritarianism in the name of some magical sky wizard. At least the Taliban is honest about their desire for theocracy….

            I have an advanced education and read extensively on a broad array of subjects…and I still don’t think I’m qualified to be an educator in anything but the very narrow area where I’m clearly an expert (and even then it’s quite possible I’d suck as a teacher without further training). The idea that we’d hand over formal education of the young to a bunch of high school graduates who think Donald Trump is a business genius? Hard pass. That has Dunning-Krueger written all over it.

          • You have been brainwashed by the System to think that, John. I’ve been through a teaching degree program. I have a master’s in teaching. Everything of use they provided could be taught in roughly two weeks and some field experience as an apprentice for a term under a good teacher. But that’s for a for classroom. For your own kids, and a few friends, it doesn’t take a lot but some curiosity, books, and doing things together. Trust me, you and the spouse are at least as qualified for teaching K-8 as any school, and because you can customize curricula for your children’s skills, interests, and abilities, you’d do a better job. Maybe for some of the more specialized topics a professional would have an edge, but it should be a specialist degree edge (like math, comp sci, bio/physiology, history), not a teaching degree. Credentialing institutions push credentials, and approve credential-issuing institutions. Most teachers are not nearly as qualified as you think:

          • Well, first off I can assure you I haven’t been brainwashed…it’s filthy up there, the carpet’s never been cleaned, I’m not sure it’s ever been dusted, and I’m pretty sure there are some old french fries and part of a baconator in the couch cushions. So there’s that. I could do with a good brainwashing.

            As for teaching, you mention K-8, and ok, sure, I can probably do that. My kid is in high school, so my current mindset is all around high school curriculum. And to be clear, there are plenty of shitty teachers…I hear about them from my kid regularly, so I don’t view teaching as magical. But there are definitely teachers who understand methods of pedagogy to a degree I do not, and have a talent for instilling understanding in ways I wouldn’t think of.

            If in fact I could replace most high school teachers without additional training, then, well…what’s the phrase? “We are well and deeply fucked.”

            Now, school district *administration* is another story. Those people I could replace in a heartbeat and do a better job. I’m pretty sure my dog could do a better job….

          • I have taught at a variety of schools and levels and districts. I am confident that with two weeks instruction, you could sub as well as half or more of the sub teachers out there, and with a year’s subbing experience teach at least one subject area as well as any average first-year teacher.

            Yes, we are “well and deeply,” without some really major changes. Read that article I linked to above. They often can’t even get the basics right.

            If kids are homeschooled properly, then they can largely drive a lot of their own learning at the HS level because they are interested, have the basics down cold, and you don’t have to be the expert, you have to be the competent facilitator and voice of experience, along with transport and buyer of supplies. A kid interested in programming can learn more on their own with a lot of time and available internet resources than they will in a class for 50 minutes a day a few times a week. Change the oil with him. Do fractions while cooking with him. Give him a stump, a hammer, and a hunk of sheet metal and tell him to dish it out into some armor. Doesn’t have to be fancy. Just has to be real.

          • I read the APM article, and they mention “School districts spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on curriculum materials that include this theory” This is why I’m still unconvinced of any conspiracy theory around teachers trying to undermine education…it’s the district administration that’s the problem, at least here in Seattle, where their inability to understand how a curricula is properly designed and vetted leads to continual failure in the schools when teachers try to implement their stupid ideas.

            And also they’re incompetent at everything else as well, so it’s just a shitshow all around. I’m not generally a “just privatize it and let the market figure it out” kinda guy, but I’m increasingly leaning towards that if we can’t get smarter people in school admin positions (though I note many charter schools are failing miserably as well, so…). And in government, which also plays a role in setting up rules that don’t make any sense. Which of course means we need smarter citizens electing better representatives, so…

            “Somebody stop this stupid ride, I wanna get off….”

          • I am with Rolf. As I said, I had an insiders view of this mess. Even when you are part of a reform regime, as I was, overcoming the institutional inertia is somewhere between very difficult and impossible. Making sustainable change is just impossible. The reforms go away as soon as the reformers do and no one is immortal. I don’t categorically reject the possibility a functional public education system could be built-we had one once- but it cannot be built on the foundations of the one we have.

  7. Except for the occasional weird nerd mathematics’ is not fun. It’s at best boring. Thus people had to be required to learn it and demonstrate at least basic proficiency in school…at least they did when I was in school. Now students are not
    required to learn anything and are certainly not required to prove proficiency to even the slightest degree. The results of that policy are bearing fruit. And it’s the western world where this is a problem. School kids in places like China learn their math…and learn it well. Which is why China is slowly pulling ahead of the western world in terms of science and industry. We are voluntarily ceding our dominant position on the planet out of sheer laziness. Math is one of the true universal languages. To be truly successful you must at least speak it to some degree.

  8. One factor in this mess, that I don’t see anyone noticing, is the question of where do our school teachers come from? I was in HS in the late 60’s, and it was obvious even then that there was a problem with who was teaching, and why they were teachers. The vast majority were youngish females. Most of the males, and there weren’t many, were ww2 vets, with just a very few younger ones. It was apparent that the males were better instructors overall than the females. The females only seemed to work well with female students, but the male teachers could teach both sexes.

    What little I have found on the subject indicates that female teachers liked the school environment when they were in school, and liked the idea of being in charge, and also got along with the female teachers. So, their focus became becoming a teacher, to replicate their early years. This group of teacher groupies were not nearly the brightest students, but they fit in, and later as actual teachers they attracted the same type of student that they mentored to continue the production line of future teachers. Unfortunately, to get on board, and to progress in the job, you had to start early. Males were much more likely to want to look at teaching at a later age, and that makes entry, and retention, more difficult.
    So, we have mostly female teachers, that generally have trouble dealing with half their students, who are on the low end of the IQ range, and no one really notices that this may be part of the school problem.
    Female teachers demand that the boys act like the girls do in class, quiet and subservient, and wonder why the boys tune out as a consequence. And why the boys almost never consider becoming teachers themselves. At least as a career. Not until much later.

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