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March 12, 2014

"Higher ed’s failure to deliver qualified graduates to business world starts in first grade with the public school monopoly"

Mark J. Perry:

Unless and until the public school monopoly and the teachers unions are reformed, universities will continue to provide four years of largely remedial education to high school graduates ill-prepared for university-level learning, and will continue to deliver college graduates lacking the necessary skills and required competencies for success in the business world.


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These articles are so dishonest. It is impossible to teach algebra to student with 85IQ, full stop. International tests show that US schools are doing fine. No evidence that failure lies with teachers and not with students.


Whatever failure there is [and there is plenty] more probably starts with Colleges of Education in which future K-12 teachers are inculcated with a set of beliefs that apparently has little to do at all with 'educating' young people. I've worked at two Universities with very large Colleges of Education, and both exhibited the same characteristics: little emphasis on knowing a discipline outside of pedagogy and lesson prep, emphasis on unionization and demonization of non-public schools, lowest average ACT/SAT scores of their students, no one fails out of the system, etc, etc.

What we get should surprise no one.


"It is, perhaps, unnecessary to collect proofs that young people do not learn how to study, because teachers admit the fact very generally. Indeed, it is one of the common subjects of complaint among teachers in the elementary school, in the high school, and in the college. All along the line teachers condole with one another over this evil, college professors placing blame on the instructors in the high school, and the latter passing it down to teachers in the elementary school. Parents who supervise their children's studies, or who otherwise know about their habits of work, observe the same fact with sorrow. It is at least refreshing to find one matter, in the much-disputed field of education, on which teachers and parents are well agreed."

That statement is as true today as it was when it was published 105 years ago. It is odd is it not, for all the educators purport to teach, students are left to discover how to do their job on their own? Some say they learned in college. A bit late that, 12-15 yrs on the job, to finally get how to do the job. The author of that quote argued for the training of the student to study to begin in 3rd grade, the first and second more devoted to the groundwork of reading, writing, numbers, etc.

"The student has accomplished much when he has discovered some of the closer relations that a topic bears to life; when he has supplemented the thought of the author; when he has determined the relative importance of different parts and given them a corresponding organization; when he has passed judgement on their soundness and general worth; and when, finally, he has gone through whatever drill is necessary to fix the ideas firmly in his memory. Is he then through with a topic, or is more work to be done?"

There are 3 more factors, but just those 5, except for memorization, are neglected in the student's job skills instruction.

How to Study and Teaching How to Study (1909) by F. M. McMurry, Professor of Elementary Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

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