The Statist Mind and Education

If you weeded through the news about Syria, you might have caught a story like this. In essence, Obama wants to find a way to lower college costs, and is developing a rating system for funding.

On the surface, this might not bother you. If not, read it again and notice this line, “outlined plan to institute a rating system to measure metrics such as graduation rates…”

Under such a system, funding would come from what percentage of students graduate in a set amount of time. This is already happening at the state level in many states- and it is frightening.

The problem with a system that promotes graduation rates over everything else is that the pressure is on professors to pass as many students as possible. Don’t fail anyone, or reduce the number of people failing. Cater to the students to keep them in the school, regardless of whether or not these students should be in college at all.

One can hope the proponents of this system are simply naive, thinking that professors will be able to reach more people, and graduate more scientists, doctors and engineers. One would have to be incredibly naive to think that this would not result in grade inflation.

Why does grade inflation matter? Does it matter that a professor bumps a few “F” grades to a “D” so that a few students can graduate? Does it matter if the quality of education decreases, if it means that the quantity of graduates is higher?

Ask yourself that question the next time you hear of an industrial disaster, such as the BP American Refinery Explosion. Ask yourself if the answer to this problem is MORE engineers, or BETTER engineers. Ask yourself if it is more important that we not damage anyone’s self esteem by failing them, or more important that we do not have factories exploding.

Why the statist mind would prefer MORE engineers lies deep within their philosophy, and manifests itself in many ways. The statist mind views everyone as a cog. If we have more cogs, we have more cogs. To them, engineering work, medical work, scientific work- that’s all just training. It’s not a mindset, it’s environment. If we take a subset of 30 people, we can train all of them to be engineers or janitors. It doesn’t matter. They fail to recognize a creative human mind, capable of creating new things or solving difficult problems.

You can hear this in their chants:

They talk of wage differences between the rich and poor. Ultimately, they want a janitor to make the same amount of money as a doctor. After all, it’s all in their training, not in their ability.

They talk of needing more doctors to implement Obamacare (and claiming they aren’t retiring as it becomes reality). Their solution- get more people through medschool. Which people? Any. It doesn’t matter who. Just get some people wearing stethoscopes and white coats. Then they are doctors, right?

They talk of certain groups of people never “being given a chance” to invent, create, or run a business. They miss that it takes a creative mind to invent, create or run a business- and that (typically) nothing was given to them.

The most extreme will even talk of “everything has already been invented.” The first time I saw this was in a very old newspaper clipping, perhaps 1880s. Since then, we’ve developed refrigeration, radio communication (including TV), automobiles, computers, the atomic model, vaccines, and a million other things you can name. They miss that it took a creative mind- a special kind of mind- to envision what had not existed.

Do you want to know why a high school diploma is worthless today? Because you’ve taken all achievement from it. Everyone gets it. Do you want to know why suicides are up, in spite of efforts to stop “damaging” self-esteem? You’ve taken away achievement, which is the only thing which self-esteem can be built.

Destroy achievement, destroy America.

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