There's a big stink about education around the country. School kids are dumber than they used to be. Test scores are lower. While some students still manage to excel, many others fall through the cracks. As always, the government uses the only solution to everything, throw money at it. The schools are getting more money so they can afford better facilities and more faculty, but is that the problem. As with most things, no, lack of funding was a problem, but a relatively minor one. The No Child Left Behind Act was a good-spirited law meant to clean up the schools, but is still attacking from the wrong angle and is too "cookie cutter" to fit even a sizable portion of troubled schools. The angle to attack education is always how well the kids are being taught. However, how well the teachers are being taught is not the equivalent of how well they are learning. It's logically the first place to look, but not the only place. Here, in this post, I'll present what I think are the failing factors in education. As the son of an insider (teacher), I've got a pretty good perspective, and unlike the mummies in Washington, I know that money can't be the solution to everything. In my opinion, it all boils down to three areas. 1. Political Correctness Indoctrination - This is one of the biggest problems facing education today. All classes must be edited, cropped, and altered until fact is obscured by a watered down version that is guaranteed not to offend anybody except those who actually put stock in facts and learning. This "sensitive" material contains nothing that could possibly be considered offensive to blacks, hispanics, women, gays, or any other group that isn't Christian white males. The Civil Rights Movement gets ten times more attention than World War II, the greatest conflict in the history of mankind. Communism is marginalized while racism is portrayed as a larger blight than the Black Plague. On the other side of this politically correct spectrum is how the classes are taught. Students may no longer be seperated by ability. High achievers can no longer be put into "honors" classes to move at a faster pace and slow students can no longer be put into special ed to teach them in way that better suits their needs. Instead, all students must be put in the same class so nobody feels inferior. I was stuck in an English class with a guy who didn't speak English. My mom has a retarded kid in her 4th period class, which must be co-taught by a special ed teacher who is stone deaf, requiring a translator. She's a crappy teacher, to boot. Then there's all the time focusing on taking away a child's innocence to make sure that sex is taught as a safe and natural, perfectly acceptable activity as long as it's with a condom before the evil conservatives can move in and make it something sacred. With all the political correctness taught, there's no time to fit in actual curriculum. 2. Culture - 20+ years ago, culture propped up astronauts and scientists as heroes. These guys were getting us into space. Smart people were regarded as people worth modeling your life after. If you worked hard enough and got a good education, you could be like one of these guys. Now, the heroes are 'gangstas,' rappers, athletes, and several other knuckleheads who have no education, are dumb as a stump, and glorify similar careers that lead mostly to ruin. With people like these guys as heroes, children just aren't interested in education. They don't think they'll ever use it, and won't care until it's too late and they realize that college is out of reach and the only career they'll have involves french fries, because the careers they thought would lead to riches and fame are very exclusive and available only to a handful of people. Then comes the entitlement culture. It's the same reason service is so bad now. Everybody thinks that showing up is all that's needed. They punch in, punch out, and want a paycheck, regardless of the in-between. Now, they punch in, punch out, and want their grade. That's all they should have to do. You have to give them everything else, because it's not your place to withold it. Hard work has no value in today's society, because everybody seems to have an attitude that the world owes them and that they shouldn't have to work for it. 3. Parents - Parents are ruining more children every day than even KKKarl Rove's hurricane factory could hope to do in a year. Instead of pressuring their kids to excel at what they do, they instead yell and gripe every time the kids get in trouble or make a bad grade. They take the attitude that their children are perfect, so if they get in trouble or get a bad mark, it must be that the teacher has it out for them, or is racist, or is mean, or whatever. What they do is teach their kids that they can do whatever they want, because mommy and daddy will always make it all better. Are mommy and daddy still gonna bail them out when they get sent to jail for 20 years because the only job the kid could get is drug-dealer? No amount of money thrown at schools can get these problems fixed. The "No Child Left Behind Act" puts everything on the teachers, but it's rarely the teacher's fault, since most of the kids simply don't want to learn. When this legislation was introduced, somebody came to my mom's school to explain it. When shown the fact that the kids would have to pass tests for the teachers to get credit for doing a good job, somebody asked why that was. The guy said, "Well, I used to make grape jelly for a reason, but I couldn't just make jelly. It had to be good jelly or I could never sell it. It's just like that here. Your product is students who know the subject. You have to turn this product out in order to succeed in this business, just like any other." The next question was, "What would happen if you got a shipment of sour grapes from the produce truck?" The obvious reply was, "Oh, I'd tell the produce guy I wouldn't take them. I can't work with sour grapes." You know, the teachers cannot simply refuse bad students, so why are we concentrating on them when the real problem lies in the students? Everything else possible is being blamed for education, but the real fault lies on the students. The sooner we realize this, the better, because PC, lawsuit-controlled indoctrination centers are turning out total idiots with high self-esteem and no way to handle criticism.