The headline on today’s StarTribune’s front page is “Can new laws reverse reading declines?”. Minnesota, as with most states, has experienced a significant decline in student achievement in recent years, especially in public schools. Our legislature has attempted to address the problem by mandating certain approaches to teaching reading. This raises expenses for schools, among other issues. But the main problem is not addressed by some law attempting to mandate a different way of teaching reading. The legislature, because of its whacko makeup, is incapable of identifying, or even if it did identify, saying out loud, the real source of the problem.
Many children come from families that are not good, to put it mildly. The parent(s) don’t really care about their children or their education. They don’t read to their children, the don’t take an interest in their education. So that is a huge barrier, no matter what the approach to teaching reading, or any other subject is. Lack of support at home will undermine everything else. That has to be addressed as part of any solution. The second problem the legislature won’t recognize or speak to, is what has happened with teacher education and approach. It is not an exaggeration to say that the teachers being cranked out by the University of Minnesota and other colleges are not smart or educated themselves and are being indoctrinated to become indoctrinators. Just look at the course listings at any education school. These people are incapable of teaching anything other than the “social justice” and “gender ideology” nonsense they have been brainwashed with. They are remarkably ignorant and knowledge free. And they aren’t really being taught how to teach.
So unless these two underlying problems are addressed, educational attainment will continue to decline and there will be no change. Of course, what the whackos will ultimately do, is just make up data to show improvement or even better, just stop testing for reading or other skills. That is entirely consistent with their approach. If you can make up data, that is great in their view. But if it is hard to get away with that, then just stop testing. And states like California are already doing that. Who loses–as usual students, and particularly low income and minority students. (Strib Story)