Tuesday, August 2, 2011


After reading another article on a teaching program "which really teaches children to read" I shake my head in wonder.  Every years or so another piece comes out like this, where the assumption is that there is some teaching panacea out there that will somehow change things around, that the problem with education in this country is the way we are teaching. Every year or so you read it, a brand new program that, THIS TIME, teaches children. Then time passes, the solution proposed fades away, until the next time we hear that - THIS method, THIS time, will work.

It is a poor joke, these methods, and just another way to detach money from taxpayers. There is no substitute - NONE - for TWO parents involved not only with their children's education, but all of their children's development. Parents who will work with educators to find the right way to teach. Problem solved, right?

Well, close, but not quite.  It helps - lots and lots - if the children are in a culture that values education. Since American culture, that is popular culture, in which our children are immersed since birth and is now synonymous with American culture, puts zero value on education.  In fact, our culture that places value not on education, but on failure. The heroes fail, but what is never shown are the consequences of failure - the dead end jobs, the awfulness of not having only enough money for the basics. What is not shown is the sheer ugliness of being uneducated.

No, you cannot tell media what to program, but involved parents can tell children what to watch, or you can toss out the television entirely. It won't be missed. Perhaps if more people did that, or understood that every time they watch something they make an endorsement. And right now most of what is being shown is pure poison.

The other part of this is the politics of single parenthood. Can we - finally - admit that this is not a recipe for good parenting, despite anecdotal examples to the contrary? And maybe the expression, "we stayed together for the children" was something that did make sense - that people should understand that having elected to bring a child or children into the world, that they should buck up and shoulder the consequences, which include staying together and getting along with your spouse/partner?

And maybe we can also agree that subsidizing single parenthood is not a good idea, that there has to be more consequences than a check and food stamps every two weeks.

This issue is infuriating, since it deals with children, who are being punished on a massive scale since as a society we have fallen for the nonsense that has been broadcast at us since the 1960's. And African Americans most of all. Are we even allowed to say that the African American family is in ruins, leading to crime and lack of motivation to get an education, without running into some politically correct reinforced silence, meant only to protect those who are responsible? And to keep the poverty gravy train running?

As a society we need to face the fact that experiment in moving away from the two parent family has been an utter disaster - which has affected some groups more than others. Hopefully, we are not like Humpty-Dumpty and we can put the pieces back together. If it can be done at all.

Because if we can't solve this then we are finished as a first world nation, and the consequences of failure is poverty on a scale not seen for generations.

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