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Readin’, Writin’ and Stupidity

 

“In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.”
Mark Twain

“It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense.”
Robert Green Ingersoll

 

Teachers’ unions in Canada are upset with the current Conservative ad that suggests that Justin Trudeau’s career as a substitute drama teacher isn’t sufficient preparation to lead a nation. They decry what they see as the denigration of their profession. Perhaps they would be better served if they turned their focus inward if they want to raise respect for the work they do.

In the past, I’ve written about the New York City Department Education’s war on words like dinosaur, dancing, divorce and bodily functions. I’ve dedicated posts to the politically correct stupidity of schools in Canada that have sought to eradicate the ‘Halloween’ from Halloween by having children dress up only in costumes that reflect occupations of caring or by changing the name to Black and Orange Day.

Schools routinely refuse to allow teachers to assign a zero to students who have failed to submit a required assignment and advance students who have failed the course curriculum so as not to harm their self-esteem.

I’ve written about these things because the education of our children is a sacred trust, a trust that is being abused and violated by educators, consultants and bureaucrats who place more emphasis on politically correct sociological nonsense and social activism than on graduating functionally literate young people who can spell, who have a fundamental grasp of the basics like geography, history and even civics.

UntitledHere’s the latest example of just how stupid the educational system has become. This is a test that was given to 4th grade students at a private school in South Carolina

Each question is followed by the answer that the school deemed to be correct in parenthesis. Try to keep your grip on reality as you read through.

1. True or False: the earth is billions of years old. (false)

2. True or False: dinosaurs lived millions of years ago (true

3. On what day did God make dinosaurs? (on the 6th day)

4. True or False: Dinosaurs lived with people? (true)

5. What did people and animals eat in the beginning? (plants)

6. Which one fits the Behemoth described in Job 40? (Students were asked to choose and circle an elephant, a rhinoceros or a dinosaur). (dinosaur)

7. True or False: If an animal has sharp teeth it means it is a meat eater? (False)

8. Whom do we always trust? (God)

9. What is the history book of the Universe? (The Bible)

10. What did God tell Noah to build? (an ark)

11. The average size of a dinosaur was a) giraffe b) rhino c) elephant   d) sheep  (sheep)quiz2

12. What caused there to be fossils?  a) lightning   b) a global flood   c) tornado   d) evolution  (a global flood)

13. Fossils are. . . (the answer that was given and which was deemed correct was

“billions of dead things buried in rock layers by water all over the earth”

 

14. The next time someone tells you that the earth is billions (or millions) of years old, what can you say (were you there?)

When I first stumbled on this, I was convinced it had to be a joke; a satire by someone taking a shot at religious schooling. In fact, it was so unbelievable to me that I researched it to try and prove it was a hoax. I even looked it up on Snopes.com who confirmed that it’s real

And you wonder why the world is dumbing down.

God help us. The people who are responsible for the education of our children whether in religious or public schools are out of their minds. They are bereft of reason, simply batshit crazy. Children are being taught everything but what they will need to gain a firm foundation upon which to build life-long learning skills.

University students have been tested and failed elementary geography, lack an understanding of how our government works, can’t spell or punctuate but boy, can they work a smart phone.

It isn’t their fault. It’s ours. We’ve allowed this to happen. We have elected school boards and politicians who have grasped every new educational concept that drifted by like the current Common Core nonsense in the United States.

957814We have allowed them to use our children as experiments to achieve their political, religious or secular and social agendas rather than demanding that they impart real knowledge and the ability to learn.

The great dichotomy of our time is that we have never had access to more knowledge than we do at this point in the history of humanity and we have never done so little with it or failed so miserably to impart it to our children.

For all of our sophisticated technology, despite all the experts and consultants, there are days when I believe children learned more in the old one-room school house out on the prairie a hundred years ago than they do today. At least then, they learned things that were somewhat related to reality and that they could use in life.

Educating our children is the most important priority we have in ensuring that they will lead successful lives. You would have thought we would have learned that by now but it seems to have slipped the minds of most educators.

If you’re still wondering where all the stupid people are coming from, look no further than our educational systems. There are some great teachers out there who are committed, professional and who care but they are too often hamstrung by bureaucrats, politicians, unions  and ‘experts’ with agendas that have little to do with giving our children the education they need and deserve. My baby sister is one of those teachers and it frustrates her that there are so many who have elevated stupidity and politically correct thinking to an art form. It too often stands between her and her students and isn’t why she became a teacher.

It’s small wonder that home-schooling is becoming increasingly popular these days.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sebanders Sebastian Anders

    Some years ago while living in Alberta, I became embroiled in a situation at a local school that I thought was inappropriate, and I raised the issue with all levels, from the high school principal to the parent/student council, the local community paper, the provincial education minister as well as the opposition critic. In less than 24 hours, the program was cancelled.

    Subsequently I heard a speech by a Vice President of the Teachers Federation of Alberta in which she stated that “…parents have no business meddling in the education of their children”. And that is what we have allowed the teachers unions, the school boards, the education departments and the whole chain of command to do. They have succeeded in taking that power out of our hands as parents and dumbed down the entire system to suit their purpose and agenda. Behold the dumb asses of the world.

    • MaggiesBear

      In Ontario, educators and bureaucrats refuse to discuss curriculum with parents.

  • http://twitter.com/Chastity_Flyte Trudy Morrison

    Bloody hell, Bear. As I read on I felt increasingly sick. That is a REAL test? What’s more, a SCIENCE test? How has it come to this?

    I suppose to a degree all teaching history can be considered propaganda. When I moved to Scotland from England I was furious at the rewriting Scottish history has given to Elizabeth I. But as Julian Barnes writes in ‘A Sense of An Ending’: “That’s one of the central problems of history, isn’t it, sir? The question of subjective versus objective interpretation, the fact that we need to know the history of the historian in order to understand the version that is being put in front of us.”

    However, science is evidenced fact. Our children are being deliberately lied to and instead of education taking them into the light, they’re being led back into darkness.

    I need to lie down after this, Bear! I’m fizzing!

    • MaggiesBear

      It has been verified as accurate. I would have passed it by if it was an isolated thing but it isn’t. It’s systemic. At Memorial University, one professor routinely gives her students an annual geography test that they must pass or she won’t give them a passing grade on her course even though it has nothing to do with geography. She does that because she is appalled by the lack of elementary school level geography held by university students. It was one of the students at her university who didn’t have a clue where the Atlantic Ocean was even though the university is less than two kms from its shore.

  • Pingback: Readin’, Writin’ and Stupidity | A Bear’s Rant | Grumpy Opinions()

  • Dean Zehner

    Wow!

    Science is “not” belief but religion definitely is. Science is based on facts and theoretical, pier reviewed studies over time. To argue that scientist don’t “know” anything but “believe”, and so therefore the idea that people who “believe” the earth is 6000 years old based on their religious doctrine and that man living with dinosaurs is plausible, is just asinine. As for those who study dinosaurs; there is enough scientific evidence out there, including fossilized bones and dinosaur turd, for smart folks to determine what they all ate (not to mention technology). But the idea that we throw all scientific research in with the bible or koran or any other scripture, as far as “believability” is utterly moronic.

    Its crap thinking like this that will drive us ever closer to WW3. Far right religious doctrine VS Science and reasoned “thought”. It’s already starting with Islamic terrorists, soon the other religious groups will join in, then its “welcome to crazy-town”. Just think, we can all say we were “there” at the beginning of next “Dark Age”. Fun times!

    • MaggiesBear

      Not all science is reasoned or factual. The recent scientific hysteria over global warming which is now being completely discredited by the fact that global temperatures haven’t changed in 15 years and are not following the models they built is merely one example. The scientific study that linked vaccinations to autism is another example of science that was wrong and in this particular case, dangerously wrong.

      Nobody has a monopoly on the truth.

      You are correct that there is ample fossil and other evidence to establish both the nature and diet of dinosaurs and the time period in which they lived. But there is also evidence to support religious historical belief. In the end, as many scientists will tell you, the two are not mutually exclusive.

      My only problem and it is what I am trying to underscore in this post, is that our educational systems, whether they are public or private, secular or religious are not teaching the fundamentals and are not providing students with the foundational skills they need to continue learning on their own before forming opinions. They are teaching opinion as fact, religious and secular beliefs as the truth.

      I would rather our schools taught students how to be literate, good math skills, technology, a solid understanding of the history and governance of their country and others in the world and opened the door to science and comparative religion so that they could explore those fields on their own as they grow older and learn more.

      For the record, it isn’t merely the far right that is guilty of teaching to advance an agenda or a specific set of beliefs.

  • Open2Debate

    I would love to see the Conservative Party’s internal polling cause I would bet money right now its not good. I have received more requests since Trudeau became leader to donate money to the Conservatives then I have in my entire life.

  • Open2Debate

    You can’t even take care of your own body Bear, why should anyone care about what you have to say fat bastard.

  • Bert_1

    The stupidity in this stuff goes both ways. Just like the comedian in the video you included, many (most?) people believe that what is proposed by scientists is absolutely, guaranteed 100% bonafide FACT. It isn’t. The truth is that we just don’t know. Yes, we have evidence to suggest that one conclusion is true, but that doesn’t make it true. Did humans live at the same time as dinosaurs? The evidence we have today suggests that, no, they did not. But, that can change in an instant. How many times have you seen news stories in which it is reported that the scientific view of something has just been turned on its head?

    So, how many of the 14 answers given above are wrong? Any scientist worth his/her weight in puppy farts would say “we don’t know”. Yet, show after show and book after book tell our children EXACTLY what it was like in the days of dinosaurs. They tell our children what the dinosaurs looked like – including their color -, what they ate, how they interacted with one another and all kinds of things. What burns my butt is that all of that stuff is presented as FACT when it isn’t. If the questions you listed above were presented in the context of religious belief, I have absolutely no problem with them. If the scientific equivalent of those questions was presented in the context of them being scientific postulations, I have absolutely no problem with that, either. But when anyone presents a belief – religious OR scientific – as fact, I have a problem with it.

    • MaggiesBear

      We’re saying the same thing

      • Bert_1

        No, Bear, I don’t. Is the earth more than 6,000 years old? Yes, I believe it is. But its actual age is unknown. Just look at the Shroud of Turin. Catholics believe that it is the burial cloth of Jesus but the scientific community has tested that cloth numerous times trying fix an age on it and they range anywhere from a few hundred years (in which case, it cannot be Jesus’ burial cloth) to over 2,000 years (in which case, it can be). So I am open to whatever age people can provide proof for.

        I don’t know about the “dinosaurs bigger than sheep” part. I have never heard that before. But, if they happen to be referring to a particular time period, science says that they are correct. The larger dinosaurs didn’t come about until much later in the evolution of dinosaurs and the early ones were quite small.

        No, we don’t know whether humans and dinosaurs co-existed. Some scientific data says that they did not and other data suggests that they did. The religious part comes from a particular interpretation of a passage in the Bible so that interpretation may or may not prove to be correct.

        I am suggesting that neither science nor religion should be permitted to distort the truth. We DON’T know exactly how old the earth is so I am open to any age – including 6,000 years – if someone can provide me with proof of their proposal. That is TRUE science in my opinion because I am accepting the limitations of our measurement equipment and techniques and maintaining an open mind. The comedian in the video is a very closed minded bigot as far as I am concerned. Yes, I know that it was comedy, but what he presented was totally without concrete, verifiable proof. He may be right but he may be wrong. I don’t know.

        • MaggiesBear

          Lewis Black, who is the comedian in the video, was doing a satire on exactly
          what you and I are discussing; ;a rigid adherence to belief as fact rather. There is a lot we don’t know and some of what we think we know will change as more knowledge is learned and discovered, you and I agree on that. We also agree that there are things on which science and faith disagree

          I’m a Christian and I believe that Moses led the children of Israel from Egypt even though there is no historical record of Ramesis having existed.

          The problem with scripture is that it is man-made and it is incomplete.as evidenced by the Dead Sea Scrolls. It had been amended and revised for centuries before it became canonized and then the scrolls were found which challenged many of the Bible’s teachings.

          Which is accurate? I don’t know and scholars don’t agree on it either. The same is true about science as we saw recently with the reversal of the scientific theory about global warming.

          But that’s my entire point. We are teaching children rigid doctrines both religious and secular that are evolving as we learn more. We are locking them into a knowledge base that is incomplete rather than teaching them the fundamental skills they will need to learn more and to formulate better opinions. .You only have to read some of the comments I get to see the danger behind that.

          We need to go back to basics and teach what we know rather than what we want others to believe. We need to stop using our children as part of the ongoing battle for moving the agenda forward and start focusing on giving them the skills that will allow them to move forward.

          Distorting the truth about what we do know and avoiding teaching the differences between fact and belief simply narrows minds. When we are graduating secondary students who don’t know where the Atlantic Ocean is even though they are attending a university that is less than 2 kms from it, we have a serious problem.

          • Bert_1

            I have a similar take on life, but not exactly the same as you. I, too, am Christian and I believe that the Bible is the Word of God (not manmade). Further – and more to the point of this article – I believe that science and theology can NEVER disagree. If a scientist and a theologian disagree on some issue – such as the age of the earth – then one or both of them are wrong. And you are saying basically what I said originally: do not present belief as fact, regardless of whether that belief is derived from religion or science.

            I believe this because I believe that theology is the study of God’s WORD while science is the study of God’s WORK. Same God, different perspectives.

            • MaggiesBear

              One of the reasons I enjoy our discussions is because we don’t fully agree on everything. It’s a big world with lots of room for differing opinions and interpretations. A civil discussion is a learning experience for everyone involved and our discussions are always civil.

              Here’s my belief.

              Scripture was divinely inspired but written by human beings .For centuries it was actually handed down verbally and we both know how easy it is to alter, even if unintentionally, the original text if it is passed through many in a verbal manner.

              For me, the important thing about scripture is not its historical narrative but it moral teachings. Too many, as in the example in this post, are focused on trying to turn historical allegory into scientific fact rather than focusing on the profound spiritual teachings the book contains.

              In the final analysis, my fundamental belief is that nature of God passes all human understanding and that all of the teachings in the Bible are built on two simple commandments. Love God, love your neighbour.

              All this other stuff is merely corrupting our society and teaching children to think so narrowly when we have failed to teach them how to read and write properly is criminal in my view.