by James L. Buchal
Parents concerned about the rapid decline of the Canby educational system ought to read this month’s “Principal’s Corner”, mailed to Canby High School parents at taxpayer expense. (In Japan, students sweep the schools, but here we waste precious education money on postage, coddling highschoolers from any responsibility to deliver such missives.)
Once upon a time, high schools were supposed to educate students, and the best high schools would produce the most academically successful students. Since the worst of the Right and the Left conspired to destroy local (parental) control of education, the goals of education have become to serve the interests of large corporations (for the Right) and the State (for the Left). Individual achievement falls by the wayside, in favor of political indoctrination designed to produce either subservient corporate drones or Leftists. The worst elements among our educators slavishly implement such “reforms” as a path to upward advancement, ever farther from the classroom and actual learning.
Thus the Principal writes: “The measure of success at Canby High School will not be the number of 4.0 students or the number of students who attend prestigious 4-year colleges and universities”. No, he says, success now depends upon “the number of students who value learning as a lifelong experience”―making it conveniently impossible to know whether “success” is ever achieved, at least until hapless citizens must report for State evaluation for the rest of their lives.
There is a nod toward “knowledge and skills” as being related to success, specifically knowledge and skills that “transfer to a variety of continuing education opportunities”. Presumably this means such skills as the docility to flip burgers in the service of Globalization, rather the knowledge to compete at prestigious schools.
“School will be about learning to learn”, says the Principal, a focus one step removed from actual learning, but accurately describing the new model of Oregon education, fat in process and lean in content. The Principal’s Corner is cluttered with such clichés, implementation of which is collectively crushing the very spirit out of education. We now have the Great Glorious Plan approach, so beloved of the Communists, providing highly-bureaucratized “school goals and individual student career and academic goals”.
In that perfect and nonexistent world where Communism works, every student could have multiple plans and programs and tests monitored by a selfless cadre of professionals. But in the real world, what counts is the competence and character of individual classroom teachers, the best of which leave lifelong and uplifting impressions on their students. Such teachers instinctively recoil from the Great Glorious Plan, and as they are gradually driven out of the Canby Schools, we can look forward to continuing decline. Only parents can reverse this process, and only when they cease to trust the educational elites with dark designs upon their children.