Wee R Stoopidz
After reading the â€œAmerican Kids, Dumber Than Dirtâ€? article, I found several problems with the authorâ€™s argument. From a conversation solely between him and his teacher friend, Mark Morford claims that â€œkids these days are overprotected and wussified and don't spend enough time outdoors and don't get any real exercise and therefore can't, say, identify basic plants, or handle a tool, or build, well, anything at allâ€?. Morford makes the mistake by assuming that his readers all agree with him, and therefore provides little background to his claim. He goes on a ramble about the education system and its lack of direction, and believes the enhancement of technology is responsible for the supposed shortcomings of education in children. Teenagers are apathetic and will not aspire to anything, nor do they appreciate their opportunity to free education that our country graciously provides.
Being of this generation, I have witnessed the degradation of education in the school system. I graduated from Park Center Senior High in Brooklyn Park, which is notorious for its high turnover rates and lack of funding in education. My graduation class was over 60 percent minority students- about 30 percent black, 20 percent Asian, and 10 percent other. Park Centerâ€™s sister school, Maple Grove Senior High, is vastly disproportionate in their account for minority students. With a 90 percent white student population, the state of Minnesota has reduced the Osseo School Districtâ€™s funding as a punishment for their draw-up of district boundary lines. With a reduction in school funding, Park Center would seem to have a much more poor education compared to other homogenous areas within Minnesota. However, I do not believe it is solely the school systemâ€™s fault for the failure rate in education, but has to do more with the families of children in the current school system.
I believe there are many factors that help children decide their beliefs in the value of education. For my high school, it seems that the ultimate goal was to educate students and only prepare them for a high school diploma. Only one year of math, science, and social studies was required in order to graduate from my school, which means that a student can get away with taking Integrated Math I, receive a D-, and still graduate. At my commencements, many of the parents were ecstatic that their child actually walked with the class!
I took several honors and â€˜High Performanceâ€™ courses throughout high school. My classmates were the same from class to class; all white, middle class students from seemingly stable families. Sadly, I had little interaction with students that were not in my honors classes. The other kids, unfortunately, were mostly the minority students who took the most rudimentary classes in order to graduate. I feel that the educational system at my high school was a huge letdown for the overwhelming minority population. These kids, along with several underlying issues Iâ€™d assume, had little to aspire to in the scheme of education. Because of the increasing acceptance of the notion that â€œsome kids just canâ€™t learn like othersâ€?, as depicted in the â€˜No Child Left Behind Actâ€™, it encourages school officials to believe that kids are really just becoming more stupid over time.
Iâ€™d like to argue that children are not becoming more â€œstupidâ€?, or any less intelligent than the generation that has instructed them. It would be difficult for a child to aspire to become something more than a janitor if their family is unsupportive, neglectful, and uncaring of their childâ€™s education and dreams. Because of this, I feel that blaming our educational system is a scapegoat for parents who are not willing to spend time and teach their kids outside of school. I also believe that many of the basic skills Iâ€™ve acquired were not learned in a classroom. I am thankful that I have parents who were willing to read with me and teach me skills that any three year old should know how to do prior to kindergarten. Itâ€™s not that children are incapable of learning; itâ€™s just a matter of how well-trained and supported they are by their loved ones. It does not take a genius to figure this out!
To summarize this article, I found a quote that reveals much of Morfordâ€™s argument:
"I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly disrespectful and impatient of restraint" -Hesiod, 8th century BC
To me, it makes me feel better knowing that this claim has circulated since the beginning of time. It shows that many of us identify with the intelligence of our ancestors, and may also want us to believe that those from other countries are obviously much more intelligent than us.
Therefore, I should not be writing more of this. Iâ€™m gonna go watch some YouTube and melt my tainted mind some more.