We used to be number one in almost everything but, over the last couple of decades, America has been losing the competitive edge after so many years of being on top. We saw it in the schools when the byword was that it’s more important that students should feel good about themselves than learn useless information in their classes.
I’ve spoken to teachers from the elementary school grades up through college level and they are all saying the same thing. The “leave no child behind” policy that we embraced was the most misguided policy we could have ever adopted. It goes right along with the dumbing down of America.
My main concern with this emphasis on students feeling good about themselves is that they aren’t being given the opportunity to fail or succeed according to their own strengths and efforts. They are developing entitlement issues at such a young age that will make them unable to meet life’s exigencies.
They won’t be able to hold a job that demands the best of them; they will always be looking for the easy way out and expecting that everything should be given to them with very little effort on their part. And most of all, I’m concerned about how they are going to survive in these difficult economic times.
We used to have a competitive edge in education. Now we have graduates who can’t even count out change at the cash register. In the old days, cash registers just tallied the cost of the person’s merchandise and the cashier took the money and counted out the change in the customer’s hand.
Nowadays, the cash register prints out a receipt that tells the cashier how much money the customer gave and how much change he should receive. Is it any wonder that our graduates can’t compete in the global arena for mathematical skills?
I shudder to think that these same people who can’t count out change might not be able to reconcile their bank statement or figure out their credit card debt. And I quake at the thought that these same people might go into government and be in charge of our national debt when they can’t even figure out their own debt. And I tremble at the thought that someday these same people might be in charge of making a decision about a bailout that will cost all of us billions of dollars and not even know anything about their own credit card APR. But we can take heart; at least they will feel good about themselves.