Tillerman’s recent blog “Only in America” (where does he find these treasures?) questions the quality of the American educational system.
I think he is really on to something here. This is the era of testing, testing, and high stakes testing, but by many measures, the system does not seem to be improving. We may be measuring the wrong things. We need another test, a better real world measure of education, an “authentic” measure, to use a current educational buzzword.
I suggest we rate the educational system of each state according to the quality of signs, posters, and other pithy outpourings of sports fans and protestors in each state. Despite all the smoke and mirrors of educators and testing services, sports fans and protestors reveal the real decline of a once great system.
For years, I have been very concerned with our local Boston Red Sox witticism, “Yankees suck.” We are an area of 37 colleges and universities, at least two of them world class, and several others among the best in the US. We are an area of high tech, biotech, and other brainy endeavors. We think of ourselves as an area of the best and brightest. And the best we can do is “Yankees suck”? Back in the day (another classy phrase demonstrating the decline of proper English), Boston showed its brilliance with “Berry the Bears” and “Squish the Fish.” Alliteration, rhyme, a homonym – we really had something then!
Okay, in all honesty, it wasn’t such a high standard. As with all standardized tests, the standards aren’t really that high – just some average, respectable norm.
But on the whole, we are no longer living up to the standard. Our only consolation here in Boston is that comparative testing clearly reveals that our students are still awesomely bettah than the “morans” in St. Louis.
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