Friday, October 07, 2005

Liberal Racism in American Education

According to Clyde Prestowitz’ new book Three Billion New Capitalists, as reviewed by Henry Blodget in the July 3, 2005 New York Times, Book Review:

“China, India, Japan and Europe all churn out more science and engineering degrees than we do. Worse – and downright embarrassing – is the state of American education. Globally, our 12th-graders rank only in the 10th percentile in math (that’s 10th percentile, not 10th). Our students also rank first in their assessment of their own performance: we’re not only poorly prepared, we have delusions of grandeur.”

Add this to Steven Levitt’s evidence in Freakonomics, that once poverty and other extraordinary factors are controlled for, black and white students enter public school statistically identical as far as school readiness, but by 12th grade, black students have fallen dramatically behind white students.

And we can conclude that American education is not only failing all students but it is failing black students decisively. Black men do not go to college and therefore rarely earn the same economic freedom as whites generally. Black men are by far the most endangered of American citizens, and the dumbed-down American labor force is rapidly becoming the most endangered in the global economy. Where White women are the most numerous members of law schools, medical schools, and colleges generally, Black men are the most numerous members of the American Penal system. We seem to be building colleges for white women and jails for black men.

Public education in America is not just racist and sexist, but it is far too narrowly geared to reflecting the paltriest of neo-liberal ideals: Subjective feelings are still presumed superior to objective competency. Social Workers, Psychologist and other purveyors of the cult of Self-Esteem dominate our education policies. According to The National Center for Education Statistics, (

“Of the 1,244,000 bachelor's degrees conferred in 2000-01, the largest numbers of degrees were conferred in the fields of business (266,000), social sciences (128,000), and education (106,000). At the master's degree level, the largest fields were education (129,000) and business (116,000). The largest fields at the doctor's degree level were education (6,700), engineering (5,600), psychology (4,700), and biological/life sciences (4,600). …. The pattern of bachelor's degrees by field of study has shifted significantly in recent years. Declines are significant in some fields such as engineering and mathematics.”

Despite the minor optimism we should have concerning the numbers who major in business, what can be concluded from these numbers is that as American education continues to falter on the world stage we continue to produce more mal-prepared teachers to perpetuate the faulty presumptions of the social sciences that harm us in the global market place. One simply cannot teach math or science effectively without a degree in math or science! In the American circles of professional helplessness -- our schools of education, psychology and social sciences -- we continue to refuse to do the hard work of learning and teaching the required skills our poorest Americans will need to survive in the new world marketplace. If America hopes to survive economically in the 21st Century, we will need to improve our students’ hard science and analytic skills and say good bye to the feel-good-crowd who have managed to train our most needy Americans to speak psychobabble but stalwartly refuse to teach young black boys the skills they will need to balance their checkbooks much less to put money into their own checking accounts.

Of course we can just continue to ignore the problem and depend on Child and Youth Services to put yet another generation of Black children in foster homes. That continues to “feel” good for most liberals.


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