Headline July 27, 2014



IN O-LEVELS,  I posed this Headline question to my British, English Literature teacher, Mr Fletcher.
'Why?' he pivoted.

"Because,  -Sir, I cannot imagine an individual or a society that is not structured on  greed''.

"' Each generation of Americans  (or for that matter, any and all other nations-) have outstripped its parents

In education, in literacy, and in economic attainment. For the first time in the history of our country, the educational skills of one generation will not surpass, will not equal, will not even approach, those of their parents.''

The above quote is from Paul Copperman, as quoted in A Nation at Risk. President Reagan's National Commission on Excellence in Education

The year in context  is around 1984, and so sets the tale: 

In July 25, 1983, the following letter appeared in the Wall Street Journal -illustrating the dramatic changes that had occurred over many, long decades.:

Years ago in Indiana if pupil in the rural schools wished to enter a public high school he had to pass an examination.

In  1910  there were  6,715  rural schools in the state having  one room and one teacher-

And  1,032  having two or more teachers but not having a high school.

What did the state expect the pupil to know?  One,  world reknowned, and distinguished thinker took the exam in March 1911, and preserved the questions.

They cover all of the basic subjects   -Geography, Grammar, Arithmetic, Physiology, Reading and History. Here's a sampling:

In what state and on what waters are the following: Chicago, Duluth, Cleveland and Buffalo? State an important fact about each.

Name and locate two countries in which the following are important products: wheat, cotton, wool, coffee.

Write on the Panama Canal, telling who is building it, in location and importance.

What causes the change from day to night, and from summer to winter?

Name five republics, three limited monarchies, and one absolute monarchy.

Name the classes of sentences on the basis of meaning or use. On the basis of form.

Write a sentence with its verb in the active voice, change to passive voice.

What is meant by inflection? What parts of speech are inflected?

Write sentences containing nouns showing six case relations.

Write a model business letter of not more than forty words.

What is the length of a rectangular field 80 rods white that contains 100 acres?

A wagon  is  10 feet long, three feet wide and  28 inches deep, how many bushels of wheat will it hold?

A rope  500  feet  long is stretched from the top of the tower and reaches the ground 300 feet from the base of the tower, how high is the tower?

In Physiology,  name three kinds of joints and give an example of each.

Give the structure of a muscle and the spinal chord.

Define arteries, veins, capillaries and pulse.

Write a brief biography of Evangeline.

What do you think the author of   ''French Arden''  aims to teach us?

What kind of a man was Shylock?

When I took this examination there was no attempt to pass a pupil so that he could keep up with his ''peers''.

In my days as a college student (I attended four different colleges and universities and received degrees from three of them).

I never heard of any institution of higher education giving  remedial  reading and  remedial mathematics.

William H.Bell
Bay St. Louis, Miss

And to all of the above, one Nobel Laureate adds:

Answering these questions, today, would baffle a high school graduate or perhaps even a college graduate, let alone a graduate of an elementary school.

We venture to say, with regret, that most high school students today would not even understand the questions 

Why have secondary school curricula been ''homogenized, diluted and diffused\?

In my daily romps, I often pose the above questions to the students in the host country.

Television, the breakdown of the family, other cultural changes in recent decades   -all have been indicted in examining the poor performance of schools the world over.

They have undoubtedly contributed to the deterioration in education and schooling. But the real, real culprit is the:

"The Educational  Bureaucracy"  that has always tended to replace parents in deciding what and how the children should learn.

Every poll of parents shoes that grave concern about the quality of the schooling their children are receiving. An eight-year study.  A Study of Schooling, sponsored by the:

Institute of for the Development of Educational Activities, an independent research organisation  financed by fourteen independent philanthropic organizations, concludes that the

American educational system has  ''deeply entrenched and virtually chronic'' problems and should undergo far reaching restructuring. The National Commission, similarly no words about how-

Deplorable the children's education was. But then agreement about the problem did not extend to the agreement on the causes of the solution.    

And on and on, but come, 2014, here, I find,  The Developing World, is still staring and steering course,  by the stars.

The Honour and Serving of the Post continues. Thank You for reading!  And hope to delight you on the next one.

With respectful dedication to all the Parents the world over. See Ya all on
!WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

"' Education "'

Good night and God bless!

SAM Daily Times - The Voice of the Voiceless


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