August 22, 2017

The End of State Education: Resistance is Futile

From Matt and Madeleine

The litany of the forces arrayed against quality state education systems is long. We believe these forces make state education’s decline inevitable. Without a thoroughgoing reformation of the fundaments of Western society itself, resistance is futile. The Borg is here.

We know that in New Zealand roughly one third of all graduates from state schools are functionally illiterate and innumerate. They cannot read supermarket shelf labels. Nor can they compare prices. We also know that on any given school day one tenth of pupils will be absent, without a conscientious reason. Truancy is systemic.

State Education

Recently we sought to interview potential candidates for a teaching position in our Christian school. These candidates were committed Christians; they were currently studying at a teacher training institution; they were zealous for their prospective careers–but they were unable to write a paragraph that was grammatically or syntactically correct. Apparently they had never learned through thirteen years of state schooling what a full-stop was, or how one was to begin a sentence. Yet, they had all graduated with “flying colours” from NCEA levels 11 through 13 in English! Sadly they were unemployable in our school.

These folk were part of another cohort of graduates from our state schools that are neither functionally illiterate nor innumerate–but they are   incompetent in even the rudiments of language and maths. This, of course, means that their ability to think, reason, encapsulate, describe, argue, and comprehend is severely curtailed. We guess that this cohort would represent another third of graduates from state schools.

Those who think that starting a new state funded programme (for example, Early Childhood Education), or shrinking classroom sizes, or raising teacher salaries, or introducing national testing will turn the tide are naive. They have not reckoned with the barrage of the secular forces arrayed against state schools.

Let’s name two of these secular forces. The first is statism–which arguably is the established religion of our day. By this we mean that for many the state or the government is the ultimate reality and force. Name any social, political, material, economic or cultural problem and within a nano-second the conversation will have become political–by which we mean that “the government needs to do something, or this, or that” will have been introduced into the conversation. Functionally our society looks to government as its god.

The spin-off effect upon state education is direct. The state’s “long term” solution to any problem is to attempt to use its schools to change human nature and action to solve society’s perceived problems. Government as redeemer translates into schools as agents of socialisation and state propaganda, not education. This is a weight which schools simply cannot bear. They both stop educating and fail miserably in socialisation.

The second secular force…Read more here at MandM

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