Why does everything seem to stay the same year after year, despite all the hoopla and the 600 billion shoveled into the money pit?
I finally figured out a way to explain this inertia in a few paragraphs. Here is short blog post "K-12 is Groundhog Day":.
In the movie, Bill Murray gets up every day and has to live through the same realities that he lived through the day before. Nietzsche called this predicament “eternal recurrence.”
Einstein weighed in on this topic. Doing the same thing again and again, while getting the same results, is a working definition of insanity.
So there you have our public school system, an insane Rube Goldberg contraption with lots of wheels turning, balls dropping, springs springing…. but nothing is accomplished.
I've been studying education for 25 years and finally see a simple way of explaining the nonsense and inertia that we all witness. Every day is Groundhog Day because the essential conflict has not changed in almost 100 years. The underlying forces don't evolve. We are stuck.
Traditional education, where an expert teacher tries to transfer all the interesting stuff about our civilization to the minds of the young, is the proper job of schools. It is the right way to do things (even if we today would like to see more fun and cleverness in the classroom). So the community, and common sense, are always trying to push the schools to do what they ideally should be doing. That’s the situation today just as it was in 2000 and 1980 and 1960 and 1940 and 1920.
On the other side, we have “progressives” (that’s code for Socialists and Communists) who want to transform the schools so they become part of a collectivist transformation of society. Knowledge, facts, interesting stuff of all kinds, is of no interest to these people. The schools have only one purpose: social engineering. If some kids learn a lot and some kids learn a little, this opens up divisions in society. If children learn to think for themselves, they will argue with their ideological overlords. So in general the people at the top of the Education Establishment prefer dumbing down, mediocrity, and low standards. These people are for me the merest hacks. But you have to give them credit for hard work and relentless discipline. If even the smallest smidgen of education takes place in the schools, they will try to expunge it. They have dozens of bogus theories and dysfunctional methods designed to accomplish precisely this goal.
So this war—this battle for the souls and minds of the children—has not changed in the last hundred years. The apparent changes are all superficial: nomenclature, jargon, faddish claims. The community wants children to be educated. The progressives want children to be indoctrinated. That’s it. That's the whole game for 100 years.
That’s why K-12 is Groundhog Day.
The progressives have a vast interlocking network of people and organizations intended to keep the schools mediocre. Last year I would've said: the fix is in and the situation is hopeless. Now, however, new people have taken over the Department of Education. Now we can start to drain the swamp, as explained in this article on American Thinker: (K:12: Drain This Swamp."
Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos are promoting charter schools and vouchers. Choice is the key concept. If the public has choices, the public will pick what delivers the most traditional education. That's how we disrupt "eternal recurrence." -- Bruce Deitrick Price