Gee, What A Surprise: The Left Thinks American Education Is Just Fine

The results of the above poll, commissioned by Yahoo News, shouldn’t surprise anyone, though apparently it surprised Yahoo. The poll, it says, reveals  “a deeper and more distressing divide. According to the Yahoo News/YouGov poll, faith in the American Dream — the ideal, embodied by education, that each successive generation will be better off than the one that came before it — is becoming increasingly polarized as well.In other words, Republicans are not only much more likely than Democrats to believe American education is getting worse. They’re also much more likely to believe that American life is getting worse.”

Here are some other “other words”: A frightening number of Democrats believe that American education is good because it indoctrinates the young into leftist belief systems, cant and ideology. They feel life in the U.S. is  getting better because more censorship, racial preferences, nanny-state programs, and restrictions on individual rights will be the inevitable result of the Left’s takeover of the entire educational establishment.No one who talks with high school and college students or who tracks the historical and cultural literacy of rising generations can possibly think that our children today are better educated that decades ago, or even adequately educated, unless political and partisan indoctrination is considered an added value. The quality of teachers has declined, largely for reasons that were unavoidable and necessary, like the opening up of career opportunities for women, but the deleterious effect on education can’t be reasonably denied.

The poll itself is a mess, and it is almost impossible to sort out all of the polluting factors. Blacks and Hispanics largely say that education now is better than it was when they were children, because it is better—for blacks and Hispanics. Since these groups tend to call themselves Democrats, the Democratic poll numbers are mixing reactions to to dissimilar conditions. However, the numbers (assuming you accept them—you know, polls) carry one particularly disturbing message. The left side of the political divide increasingly sees the purpose of education not to teach critical thinking and basic skills and knowledge to fuel it, but as a crucial tool in reinforcing government power and control over individual liberty and self-determination.

That is the function of education in totalitarian systems.

5 thoughts on “Gee, What A Surprise: The Left Thinks American Education Is Just Fine

  1. Bizarre. Who cares what who thinks? We know educational outcomes are worse. I mean… These things are objectively measurable. America has an ungodly number of children graduating while functionally illiterate and incapable of doing basic math.

    Regardless, the survey itself is weird, and I think indicative of a larger polling problem. lower class/ middle class/ upper middle class/ upper class has always been subjective, but Americans have traditionally said that 70~% of them are working or middle class, 15~% say upper middle class and <5% say upper class. That's obviously not right, there is more than 10% of America in straight up poverty, but it's what people have historically reported. This survey somehow managed to report 40% of respondents as upper middle class or better. That's like…. ten standard deviations off normal. How do you do that?

    • Might you be misreading the results?

      42% of people who identify themselves as upper-middle class think the educational system is worse than it was when they went through it.

      Or are you looking at some detail that I missed?

      • I did, but not in the way you think. If you click Jack’s link and then the link in the article, it takes you to the original YouGov poll, I had skimmed through until I thought I found the Demographics chart. On second look, what I thought was a Demographics chart was something else, and it appears that there are no Demographics charts available. Which is weird, but means that I don’t know how unrepresentative the poll actually is, or even if it is.

        That said, I think you misread me. My comments were:

        1) It doesn’t matter what the surveyed people say, reality asserts itself. And

        2) That the 40% of respondents that were (I thought) upper middle class or better was grossly disproportionate to previous reportings of wealth demographics.

        I didn’t actually make any statement on how any demographic actually polled. Although it is interesting that people’s perception of education increases along with their wealth. That might even be true and represent a problem with the quality of education in poorer neighborhoods.

  2. “Blacks and Hispanics largely say that education now is better than it was when they were children, because it is better—for blacks and Hispanics.
    Is that truly the case, though? I’d like to see some supporting evidence for that bit of conventional wisdom…Maybe a history of high school SAT/ACT test scores over the past 50 years or so in a system where many of the schools could be identified as mostly minority over that span.

    The big cities get most of the press, but smaller ones can also offer insight into what has happened in American society. Take Jackson, Mississippi (please 😉 ) . In recent years, it HAS periodically made national news by having a water supply system with drinking water almost indistinguishable from that in its sewers, and, less reported, often the highest per capita murder rate in the country. This past week: The porkfest bill just passed in Congress is sending them $600,000,000 to help correct their incompetence at providing a basic city service.

    In the 60’s one of the high schools in Jackson was on a Newsweek list of “Top Ten Public High Schools in the USA”, based on ACT/SAT national test scores, college admissions, etc. [Aside: this is the school fictionally noted as attended by the protagonist in Kathryn Stockett’s atrocious novel The Help. Read a few pages and you’ll see why it was rejected by a raft of literary agents until one cleverly figured it would be just the thing for woke suburban white women to feed their self-images of superiority. Stockett wrote it to curry favor with her NYC buddies; she was born in Jackson, but attended private school.] In the late 60’s, there was still very little integration in the city system, so there were schools that were almost entirely white, and others all black. It’s not unlikely that the mostly black schools didn’t receive support equivalent to the white ones, but Jackson also hosted (and still does) a noted HBC, Jackson State University, so an educated black class was not missing from the mix.

    What were the scores at the black schools then, and what are they now? What has changed? Currently, the entire city school system has only about 1% white enrollment, boasts100% subsidized lunches, and is at the very bottom of the heap in performance on national standardized testing throughout all subjects. The previously mentioned high school is right down there with all the rest, performance-wise. One other thing that has changed is that the city has had a (black) democrat (or worse) mayor for the last quarter century. The current mayor is a recently re-elected self-described progressive and socialist, who has has also referred to himself as a political revolutionary, and has declared he would “…make Jackson ‘the most radical city on the planet.” His name is Chokwe Antar Lumumba, after his father who was raised in Detroit as Edwin Finley Taliaferro. Neither of them were born in Africa. You can see where this is going…Wiki both of them if you can stomach it; I’ll avoid moderation hell by having only the one link, above.

    At this point, I think that there are enough clues, at least in one case, on what the educational reality has been for some minorities. Could it be that an emphasis on “progressive” social checklists and policy doesn’t always actually produce the best results, but people have been gaslighted into believing otherwise? Oh, surely not. (See also: Harris, Kamala; Jean-Pierre, Karine, etc.)

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