Curtis Dahlgren
"FANTASTIC:" Ten ways they ruined your public school, little Johnny
By Curtis Dahlgren
June 17, 2019

"Man is a creature that lives, not upon bread alone but, chiefly upon catch-words." – Robert Louis Stevenson

JOURNALISTS SAY WE'RE NOT JOURNALISTS, here on the Internet, but I'm thankful that I never went to J-school. Not that they would have ruined me, but to have to listen to four years' worth of psychobabble by professors who think they're the smartest person in the room could have driven me a bit psycho. As it is, I have a column with an unlimited geographical outreach. We don't say "blog" at my outlets; that sounds like something that might come out of your nose. Anyway, a funny thing happened on the way to my next column. I already had one written when I ran into a piece I'd written in 1992 on Groundhog Day. Long before my Internet days, I had a little newsletter that I would share with a friend or two. As I re-read "Ten Ways to Ruin the American Schools," it seemed like Groundhog Day all over again. We've been griping and grumbling about Big Education for over three decades and it has only gotten worse!


That was the banner at the top, along with Stevenson's quote for a motto. The how-to 'cover story' 2/02/92, went something like this:

1) Stop any and all teaching of phonics; it's too EASY for kids to learn to read that way (and requires a bit more effort by the teacher).

2) Ban corporal punishment (or discipline of any kind); it's not fair.

3) Stop correcting grammar; street cursing and ebonics promotes diversity (that's good).

4) Stop teaching penmanship and cursive writing; that's nit-picking (don't have such high expectations of the kids).

5) Stop teaching "HIS" story; that is SO "yesterday" (we're rewriting the past anyway in "social science")!

6) Stop teaching the classics; Western Civ was founded on the writings of Dead White English/European Boys (DWEEBS).

7) Always mock religion; do not under any circumstances allow any kid to fold his hands before a test.

8) Stop holding school from 8 AM to 3:30 PM; 9 to 3 is a more humane work day for the teachers.

9) Never ever teach character or value judgments; morality cannot be legislated (immorality can be).

10) At the end of the day, have a ritual burn of an old book at the flag pole (maybe the flag itself).

WELL that's it "folks"! The way things are going, you'd almost think the results were pre-planned, with only forty percent of students reading or doing math at grade proficiency levels (and that's figuring in all those schools that are "above average"). And the kids are having kids. Consequences having consequences. The way things are going, "health classes" will soon have the little kiddies demonstrating different sex positions on each other (depending on the gender they prefer or "identify" with).

We've come a long way, Baby, since the days of readin', writin', and rithmatic. A long long way from the innocent "Little Johnny" jokes. Now, the teacher asks Little Johnny "How much is two and two?" Little Johnny says:

"Five, of course." The teacher says:

"That's pretty good, Johnny." And Johnny says:

"Whaddya mean 'pretty good'? That's perfect!"

P.S.Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! Will our unaccountable school boards and schools of education GET IT? We should all be able to "see clearly" with 2020 vision, and by 2021, 2020 will be hindsight!

Can they hear us NOW? Will they listen to us THEN? Or will it be too late?

More to come.

© Curtis Dahlgren


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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