America’s educational update continues.
Over the past few years, classrooms have taken a different approach than in times past.
Judging by a host of headlines, schools are increasingly ditching the dissemination of knowledge and sharpening of skills in favor of creating good citizenry — that is, adherence to a preferred worldview.
If you doubt a robust remake’s on the rise, consider the old-school 3 R’s — reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic.
In Oregon, those very things have met a fourth R: repeal.
As reported by the New York Post, Democratic Gov. Kate Brown signed legislation in June “with little fanfare.”
[Senate Bill 744] drops the requirement that high school students prove proficiency in reading, writing or math before graduation…
As for fanfare, The Oregonian notes that Kate — via a spokesperson — “declined again Friday to comment on the law and why she supported suspending the proficiency requirements.”
Conspicuously, upon signing the measure, the governor held no ceremony. No press release was issued.
Though the bill was signed July 14th, it wasn’t added to Oregon’s database ’til the 29th — purportedly, due to a technological glitch.
The new law’s a ladder rung.
For a very long time, America celebrated achievement — the nation was a symbol of liberty, which was itself an incredible accomplishment.
Facing a tyrannical government, brave men and women crossed a treacherous sea to reach a foreign land to fight a violent war in order to attain independence.
Just last century, a generation triumphed over challenges so immense they were deemed “the Greatest.”
These days, the idea of overcoming isn’t quite so hailed.
A few of those aforementioned headlines:
Two takeaways from the above: 1) Ideology is key, and 2) Attempts at success — for many — are futile.
Back to academics in Oregon, if you don’t prove you can read, write, or do math — at a freshman-to-sophomore level — you can still graduate.
Or, putting it differently:
If you cannot sufficiently read, write, or do math, you can still graduate.
It seems impossible someone could reach 12th grade and be that behind; on the other hand, if it wasn’t, they wouldn’t drop the requirements.
To be sure, not all Oregon legislators thought SB744 was sensational.
Some Republicans asserted it lowers expectations for kids.
Even so, as stated by the Post:
Charles Boyle, the deputy communications director from Brown’s office…said that the new standards for graduation will help benefit the state’s “Black, Latino, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal, and students of color.”
The bill could remain in effect for five years.
The old requirements — emplaced in 2009 — were already temporarily suspended due the pandemic.
And so, progressively, this is where we are: If someone doesn’t reach a standard, the standard will come to them.
Will this strategy lead us to greater national heights?
I’d say there’s at least a healthy chance of No.
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