(I placed this post in the "academic" category, because I speak about education in America. However, I could just as easily have identified it under "religion" or "politics." It's really about the nexus of all three, and how together they inform the current situation. I look forward to your comments! Peace y'all!)
You can't really have a democracy without an educated and engaged electorate. Unfortunately, our educational system is undermined and/or diluted by competing forces such as religious dogmas and political ideologies. Religion is especially pernicious, because it not only indocrinates people in a set of beliefs that conflict with science, but it also teaches people that it's OK to believe in things for which there is no independently verifiable evidence. Once on that slippery slope, people feel like they have permission to believe whatever they want, no matter how ridiculous. The result is a society where large numbers of folks believe in Q-Anon and a stolen 2020 election. Some wacko beliefs are fairly harmless (e.g. Bigfoot, alien abductions, the Tooth Fairy), but some are also dangerous as hell. Right now our democracy hangs in the balance. If the Cheato is believed by enough people, we could soon slide into a fascist dictatorship. We are sitting on a powder keg with a short fuse, and we got here because people lack the basic critical thinking skills needed to distinguish truth from lies. The American educational system has failed us.
I will go further. The educational system has failed because school administrators routiely buckle under pressure from parents who fail to discipline their kids and instead strenuously advocate for them against teachers who insist on an orderly ckassroom and high academic standards. This is why there is so much turnover in teaching staffs. Most people who enter the teaching profession in K-12 schools quit within five years. Why? Because it only takes one or a few knuckleheads to derail a lesson. And if they do it on a regular basis, and if the administration will not support the teacher, then all students' educations suffer. IMHO
All too true. The Evangelicals had minimal influence and kept their distance from the political process until Roe V. Wade. Falwell and the Moral Majority (?!) commenced a culture war that has proceeded with almost no organized opposition. And here we are, still only vaguely admitting their plan has worked out of fear that they'd be offended.
I was shocked when I questioned the school teachers at my daughter's grade school; the lady teaching biology had no idea, and that is just horrible given how fundamental evolution is to our reality.
The American educational system has been compromised and that has brought us to this point. Originally the idea was to help all of us learn but along the way this changed into things like not teaching government in schools and no longer having to learn cursive writing, etc, etc. The religious were enticed away by QAnon type beliefs that slowly entered the system. Some of these went back a few years and some of them are things believers fear. Along comes your Cheato and gets a following by claiming he hates everything that you do. Followers claim he is going to come back any day now. Well, maybe in July. Our political system is being set up for fascist dictatorship and the ignorant are just too dumb to know it.
Aron Ra is running a series on education now with things text books get wrong. He is running the series on You Tube. Our educational system is being run by the religious these days. They want tax money to fund Christian Schools and prayer back in public schools, but have a holy shit fit if another religion seeks the same. More reason now than ever to find a dying town and take it over for a populace of non believers!
Oh you are so right! The whole push for vouchers is an attempt to direct public funds into parochial schools. And high in their to-do lists is downplay, discredit, or flat out remove Darwinian evolution from the biology curriculum and replace it with pseudoscience like Intelligent Design. There was a big court case in Dover Pennsylvania a couple decades back, and the parents and teachers who wanted their students to learn real science prevailed. But the fight is never over. The dunderheaded religionists just keep on coming.
It's not the educational system but the growing inequality in the society that is the problem.
Education cannot compete with what the child is exposed to in his family and community. We are primarily social and emotional animals not individualistic, rational ones.
Growing inequality promotes growing desperation and desperate thinking. Teaching calm, rational analysis cannot compete with the conditions and thinking produced in the home and community.
Notice that other more egalitarian societies do not have this type of irrational thinking anywhere close to the extent that we do. Their satisfied and fulfilled populations grasp at neither conspiracy nor religion.
You make an important point. Income inequality is a huge issue. However, one could argue that the surest way to level the playing field is through education. It's also true that people in socialist countries like Denmark and Sweden do not buy into conspiracy theories at the rate that Americans do. But then their students see education as a worthwhile endeavor and pathway to success, whereas American secondary students tend to see it merely as an inconvenient interruption to their social lives. And they (American students) are indulged by parents who, rather than push their students to achieve, act more like chearleaders. Around the world, the students who score highest on the PISA (Project for International Scholastic Assessment) test live in countries where the parents act more like coaches. If you are interested in this subject I will refer you to an excellent book titled "The Smartest Students in the World, and How They Got That Way," by Amanda Ripley.
Why are you referring to anything other than helping widows and orphans in need and avoiding worldly corruption as a religion?
Biblical text is often referred to as "religious text", yet those most often calling it religious text is unaware of one of its major themes or motifs. Establishment and enforcement of governing people is one such major theme. I.e. taxation and government requiring identification for taxation and government control.
Intelligence capabilities is one major distinguishing trait separating homo sapian from any other known creature. Why are children placed in kindergarten rather than college, and why isn't all college completely free for all people of Earth?
American education system has greatness in ways yet it caters to the secret religion of the Masonic lodge secret religion racist devil worshipper governmental terrorist European invadors capitalism slavery. United States of America being the secret religion devil worship government of the Masonic lodge secret religion racist devil worshipper governmental terrorist European invadors.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!