‘One size fits all’ education

By
  • Michael Hardy — mathematics and statistics, St. Cloud State University
May 09, 2013

 

In Ronald Dixon’s May 7 column, “STEM employment myth,” he tells us that science, technology, engineering and mathematics majors don’t necessarily pay and that there are 50 percent more engineers than there are jobs for them.

STEM is an acronym invented recently by politicians. The reason for this whole problem is that politicians have so much influence on education. Politicians decide what our educational priorities should be, and people follow them, often because they are coerced (as in compulsory attendance in school) and often because they are credulous. If you’re not offended by this use of the word “our,” your moral compass needs calibration.

The practice of trying to coerce everyone to become educated is the evil that causes all of the educational system’s widespread problems, including, but far from limited to, deficiencies in the incidence of literacy.

Two of its corollaries are that everyone should learn the same things at the same ages and that we (ostensibly the nation, but in effect, demagogic power-lusting politicians of nearly every political party) should decide what our educational priorities will be rather than each person deciding.

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