Beyond Donald -2

In the previous post, mariner envisioned the time of Donald to be similar to Flanders Field in WWI. With visibility clouded by the smoke of conflict and confusion, the horizon of reality could not be seen. Mariner contributed some verifiable realities about the US economy as the nation begins again to move into the future.

In this post, mariner seeks to clear enough smoke to see the reality of education. Do not worry, Betsy Devos is gone – and so is Lori Loughlin.

The contemporary grading model for public schools and colleges, i.e., As, Bs, Cs, or 100s, 90s 80s, etc. plus the separation into grades, i.e., 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. plus ringing a bell to change classes, plus being required to sit still at a desk – are a grading methodology established in 1853 by Horace Mann and others. 1853! Nevertheless, readers must offer kudos to Horace for advocating and installing (in New England) government-supported free public education without prejudice to race, religion, or social status.

By and large, primary and secondary schools still abide by this methodology; colleges have added variations – but still tests – like ACT, SAT and activity history (cheerleader? sports? honorary recognition?)[1] In the last thirty years or so, individual teachers have been exploring teaching not with individual desks but having students sit around a table; students are allowed to influence content and to be openly expressive. Still, though, that damned bell rings to ruin the mood.

But as the smoke clears beyond Donald, education is no longer a pure – or effective – ideology. Race is an issue; religion is an issue; social status is an issue; cost is an issue and to be blunt, the electorate is satisfied if their children can read, write and can deal with rudimentary arithmetic. Beyond that expectation, education should not be a first-line expense for their taxes.

Due solely to an outdated economy manipulated by capitalism and compliant government for 40 years, education and housing both suffer pricing that is beyond the general public’s reach. Some progressive candidates advocate free education via paying off student debt and cancelling tuition. Mariner is suspicious of this approach because it deals only with the imbalanced economy and doesn’t mention learning targets, new concepts for elementary education or modifying that grading system students have lived with since 1853. Education is more important than ever as the approaching technical age changes every aspect of an electorate’s reality.

Ancient Mariner


[1] For a good survey of issues related to methodologies, check out The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World In Flux, by Cathy N. Davidson, Basic Books 2017.

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