Many have said there is an education crisis in this country. If you look around at our educational institutions with an appraising eye, this is the only possible conclusion.
Our children are stupid and are in danger of becoming stupider.
According to the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress report, this trend toward stupidity apparently comes about as children get older.
While standardized tests show increased reading scores for nine-year-olds, since the ’70s our teenagers have remained at the same level, unwilling or unable to improve.
In 2002, our elected government met this problem head-on with the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which promised to make our schools accountable for the low test scores of their students.
This new plan created a standard of “adequate yearly progress” to identify if students are improving their scores on annual and semiannual tests.
If the school does not make enough progress, parents can choose to transfer their students to other schools, which will have no problem absorbing new students, or use some of the private tutor companies that 20 percent of a school’s budget must go to once it is classified as “failing.”
The plan ranks all students equally; it groups developmentally disabled students with all other students. We should not let a little thing like Down syndrome keep us from holding a child to the same standards as his or her peers.
Also, testing is only done on reading and science because only the weird kids and goths like the social sciences and art.
Unfortunately, the provisions of NCLB have been hard to implement because of a lack of resources.
Our country is not that wealthy and sometimes our plans outstrip our financial capabilities. After all, the $3,747.36 billion (that’s well over three trillion) in our yearly budget only goes so far these days.
So NCLB has not received the federal funding that was promised to the states, coming up $13.1 billion short this year.
However, it’s not fair to blame the federal government – like Connecticut has by suing the government because of the underfunding – they only promised to fund the program completely.
If you believe a promise from this administration, you should probably never answer the phone because telemarketers are going to eat you alive.
Some people, like rethinkingschools.org, urge a more holistic approach where critical thinking and learning skills are taught rather than how to do well on a standardized test.
But let’s be serious, those things are hard to teach and hard to learn, as anyone who has taken a logic class can attest.
It’s dangerous to put too much faith in our nation’s children -look who they grow up into: us.
So, why bother?
Our youngest children do well on these tests but our older children are losing out compared to children from places with too many consonants, like Slovenia, and places that sound made-up, like Cyprus.
All the unrest around education and NCLB mean that there is a need for a change. It’s time to take bold action, and that always means it’s time to start killing people.
If our teenagers are unwilling to work a little harder to fill in a few more of the right bubbles on their Scantron sheets, perhaps we should start making examples of them.
We should start with the kids that do the worst on these tests.
Kill a few of them and if that doesn’t motivate the rest, then they can choose between working in textile factories modeled on the productive systems in China and Thailand, or an exciting career in coal mining.
Similarly, we cannot let the smart kids get complacent.
Take one kid that does really well on standardized tests and shoot him or her in front of their peers.
That will make sure they keep getting high scores. Nothing motivates people like fear of death.
This plan will also help alleviate poverty.
Poor families will have fewer expenses with fewer children. The remaining poor children will be extra motivated to do well.
Middle class families will also benefit from this, as it will weed out the unmotivated kids who move into their parents’ basements after graduation.
With fewer kids, we could also spend less of our budget on education and have more left over for everything else that’s worthwhile. Tax cuts for everyone!
I know some people will say that this plan is inhumane and unfair.
However, I’d like to remind everyone that we would not be killing the cute nine-year-old kids that do well on standardized tests.
Those little munchkins with their naive worldviews and precocious attitudes will have nothing to fear.
Once they get to high school though, if their test scores start to drop they might find themselves dropping – a quick six feet.
Of course by then, acne will have hit and the moodiness of the teenage mindset taken hold, so nobody will really miss our young misanthropes.
Once this plan is implemented I guarantee our students will be the best in the world, or they’ll die trying.
Information from – nces.ed.gov, ed.gov, resultsforamerica.org, nathannewman.org, “Growing Unrest for NCLB” – American School Board Journal