The Dumbing-Down of America

Pat Buchanan, Human Events, June 21, 2011

“Is our children learning?” as George W. Bush so famously asked. Well, no, they is not learning, especially the history of their country, the school subject at which America’s young perform at their worst.

On history tests given to 31,000 pupils by the National Assessment of Education Progress, the “Nation’s Report Card,” most fourth-graders could not identify a picture of Abraham Lincoln or a reason why he was important.

{snip}

Only 20 percent of fourth-graders attained even a “proficient” score in the test. By eighth grade, only 17 percent were judged proficient. By 12th grade, 12 percent. Only a tiny fraction was graded “advanced,” indicating a superior knowledge of American history.

{snip}

“We’re raising young people who are, by and large, historically illiterate,” historian David McCullough told The Wall Street Journal.

“History textbooks,” added McCullough, “are “badly written.” Many texts have been made “so politically correct as to be comic. Very minor characters that are currently fashionable are given considerable space, whereas people of major consequence”–such as inventor Thomas Edison–“are given very little space or none at all.”

Trendies and minorities have their sensibilities massaged in the new history, which is, says McCullough, “often taught in categories–women’s history, African American history, environmental history–so that many students have no sense of chronology . . . no idea of what followed what.”

{snip}

And the racial gap, 45 years after the federal and state governments undertook heroic exertions to close it, is wide open across the Empire State.

While 51 percent of white freshman in 2006 and 56 percent of Asian students were ready for college in June 2010, only 13 percent of New York state’s black students and 15 percent of Hispanics were deemed ready.

The implications of these tests are alarming, not only for New York but for the country we shall become in this century.

In 1960, there were 18 million black Americans and few Hispanics in a total population of 160 million. By 2050, African Americans and Hispanics combined will, at 200 million, roughly equal white Americans in number.

If the racial gap in academic achievement persists for the next 40 years, as it has for the last 40, virtually all of the superior positions in the New Economy and knowledge-based professions will be held by Asians and whites, with blacks and Hispanics largely relegated to the service sector.

America will then face both a racial and class crisis.

The only way to achieve equality of rewards and results then will be via relentless use of the redistributive power of government–steep tax rates on the successful, and annual wealth transfers to the less successful. It will be affirmative action, race preferences, ethnic quotas and contract set-asides, ad infinitum–not a prescription for racial peace or social tranquility.

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  • Question Diversity

    On one level, I’m not that upset that most people are so ignorant about history. A little learning can be a dangerous thing. It’s not as if the history that Official America wants us to learn is that accurate anyway.

    Too, remember that Lake Calhoun spat out of Minnesota? The main reason why it hasn’t already been changed and probably won’t be is because most people don’t attach any historical significance to the name “Calhoun.” Probably most Minnesotans might be more likely to think it’s Jim Calhoun and not John C. Calhoun for whom the lake was named.

  • Anonymous

    “America will then face both a racial and class crisis. ”

    The crisis is here, but will build like a crescendo until all out violence becomes evident. I expect that far sooner than 2050.

  • white guy

    buchanan-talyor 2012! who’s with me?

  • Alan Andrews

    George Bush. Whatta moron!

  • Flaxen-headed Strumpet

    Mission accomplished.

  • allovertheplace

    It is to turn people off from history. As Patrick knows, a good deal of the history coming down to us is either a lie or a colorized, nuanced pseudo-history (also a lie). The truth attracts. Lies detract. Untruthful history is promulgated by the PTB so that the vast majority will be disinclined to actually investigate the truth for themselves due to disinterest and apathy.

    So, truth is stranger than fiction and it is more interesting than it too.

    The scripting of history is a program specifically designed to denature White America, not one aspiring to uplift non-White American history. How do we know?

    The lies.

  • SKIP

    ““We’re raising young people who are, by and large, historically illiterate,”

    And MORE in the news…SURPRISE! history is not the only thing in which most “students” are illiterate, they are LITERALLY ILLITERATE in reading, writing, math, grammar and anything else important. Having to read resumes often in my job I see so many that are simply trash can fodder.Actually saw this on a resume, when asked for qualifications (at a power plant) the applicant put “will wuks ever day” HAHAHAHA round file! They all know about MLK though, blacks AND whites…totally disgusting.

  • the Soviet Republic of New Jersey

    Only 15 percent blacks are ready for college but 90 percent enter every year. Please explain this? This is to fill up college classrooms and keep out whites. Every form of tyranny starts by using access to education as a weapon. Education is or its denial to whites is a weapon of genocide against whites. Its not even being kept a secret anymore.

  • Anonymous

    “This appalling ignorance among American young must be laid at the feet of an education industry that has consumed trillions of tax dollars in recent decades.”

    I concur wholeheartedly with the above statement by Mr. Buchanan. I would carry this further and lay the blame directly at the feet of the unions and the meddling of the

    federal government. Public service unions are top heavy with administration who exists as illuminati on the backs of the U.S. taxpayer. These union members continuously demand more from the taxpayer and deliver less in the way of a quality education product. The union agenda is to place the unionist well above their employers (taxpayers) on the socioeconomic ladder while indoctrinating rather than education their wards, our children.

    Education should in fact be a local or at least a states issue with all decisions made locally. A big part of the dilemma we find ourselves in is that the Federal Government has commandeered our education process and is using it as a political tool to create future voting blocs. States and local communities are attempting to take back control of the education system and limit the power of public service unions as exemplified by Scott Walker’s efforts in Wisconsin.

    My presupposition is that the POTUS Obama is not merely taking rhetorical sides in a state education precipitates, but actively mobilizing his political cadre to affect outcomes in favor of unions, even though nothing that Scott Walker or any other state leaders is doing is in any way antipathetic to federal law.

    To me it is pellucid; the current events around education in Wisconsin and most other states are a states’ rights issue. State Governments have an onus to their taxpayers to educate children within the financial means of the taxpayer. This is not to say that

    the efforts of the states do not have far reaching impacts on this nation and the world at large, they do. However, the Federal Government’s meddling in this matter is outrageous and constitutionally unsound.

    Obama has accused Scott Walker and other state leaders of unleashing an “assault” on unions in pushing conjuncture legislation that would change future collective-bargaining approbations that impact virtually all public employees. In what cosmos does the POTUS have the right to endeavor to trump duly and lawfully elected leaders on a 100% state issues?

    I wish to be perfectly vitreous: The President of the United States has no appanage whatsoever to interfere with state rights, especially by using his campaign apparatus. Obama and his cult have no prerogative to interfere with Wisconsin‘s or any other state’s state affairs, none, nada, nicht!

    If Obama surmises that state legislation will in any way violate an aspect of federal law, then he should direct the Department of Justice to sue the states, but only after it acts. Instead, Obama and his political consortium are trying to expropriate ostensibly lawful actions by state governments.

    The events surrounding federal intervention around unions in our nation are testimony to the logical conclusion of Obama’s philosophy that our tax dollars exist to sponsor public sector unions. When funds cease to exist for those contracts and promises, the only

    solution he recognizes is tax increases. Anyone who dissents is considered an oppressor

    and fascist.

    People, in case I have not made my feelings diaphanous: There is nothing that Obama considers outside the purview of the federal government. His meddling in state issues and pro-union aggrandizing is the logical conclusion of that ideology.

  • Jeddermann.

    “America will then face both a racial and class crisis.”

    This is a comedy and a joke in itself.

    AMERICAN ALREADY DOES FACE AND RACIAL AND CLASS CRISIS AND HAS DONE SO FOR SOME TIME NOW!!

    “The only way to achieve equality of rewards and results then will be via relentless use of the redistributive power of government”

    Very typical and very wrong. Let us be frank about this. There IS NOT WAY TO CLOSE THE “GAP”!! NOT now and never will be. And we all know it.

  • WR the elder

    By 2050 America will be as Brazil is now. The middle class will have to wall itself off in protected enclaves. (Many of our elites are already in gated communities.) There will be no good resolution of the condition of permanent inequality among the various races and ethnic groups within America.

    Thanks a lot, open borders advocates, for ruining my country.

  • Tim Mc Hugh

    “Most 4th graders could not identify a picture of Abraham Lincoln” I`ll never forget being in the History section of a Walden`s Bookstore back in the mid `80`s. One 10 year old was telling another to look at a book next to the book on moustache`s. But it wasn`t a book on moustaches, it was a book on Hitler!! The kid saw the full cover portrait with the famous stunted lip covering and assumed it was a book on Barbershops?!?! I walked out stunned and subdued, musing on the future of the next generation AND model airplane corporations.

    The next week I was back at the store and remembered the two boys from my last visit. Right before two more ten year olds came in and one shrieked with glee, “Check it out!!! An MP-43 with the Stalingrad Krummerlauf fighting barrell!! ” I don`t know what it all meant but I felt better than when I walked in…

  • Anonymous

    Liberals and neo-cons assume it is gospel truth that differences between the races are only skin deep. To contemplate otherwise would be unfathomable bigotry. Therefore, only irrational racists would be alarmed by the deographic transformation (as evidenced by all those minority births) that is unfolding. Have no fear we are told! Only 40 more years of head start, affirmative action, ethnic studies, NCLB and any and all manner of programs our all-knowing elites are able to dream up; and surely the gap between the races in schooling and income will just magically close.

  • Allan

    Some years ago in Chicago a striking teacher got on national TV and announced, “I teaches English.” The union quickly agreed to a settlement the next day. Nearly seventy years ago I started school speaking only German; as a result, the only English I ever learned was correct English. In today’s public schools that would not be guaranteed. All teachers should be required to pass standardized tests on both general knowledge and their field of expertise before they are allowed in a classroom.

  • Aaron Houk

    Part of the problem with our public school system is that in the rush to hire so many teachers to reduce class sizes they forgot to make sure these people even knew anything about the subjects they would be teaching. I can guarantee with almost absolute certainty that if you took away the teachers answer books that they would know less than the kids they are teaching. I see it first hand when I go and talk to the teachers of my 3 kids.

  • Jake

    The #1 Poster hit a grand slam. I could not improve on his post if I labored all day. The following is but a small example:

    “My presupposition is that the POTUS Obama is not merely taking rhetorical sides in a state education precipitates, but actively mobilizing his political cadre to affect outcomes in favor of unions, even though nothing that Scott Walker or any other state leaders is doing is in any way antipathetic to federal law.”

    In a mere two and a half years our current president is well on his way of destroying the most successful nation in the history of the world.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    All teachers should be required to pass standardized tests on both general knowledge and their field of expertise before they are allowed in a classroom.

    Allan:

    This used to be the case with a passing score on the old NTE (National Teachers’ Exam) as a condition for a teaching credential. The NTE was a multi-part, comprehensive exam covering the prospective teacher’s subject matter PLUS a writing exam (not just an essay, but a test of grammar and writing mechanics), AND (the lame part), also a test about educational theory and pedagogy.

    One guess as to why it was discontinued!!

    I took the English language/lit test which was very difficult, covering material from the time of The Dream of the Rood all the way up to the present era — extending over 1,000 years! That plus knowledge of standard writing/grammar conventions — I had to sort out and identify writing from the Reformation, Elizabethan, Transcendental, Romantic, Gothic, and Modern eras — among others, plus identify tricky grammar errors embedded in long paragraphs.

    Not that these things are being taught at the high school level these days!!

    Now, American lit textbooks are about the “immigrant” experience in America and England — non-White sob stories about overcoming and succeeding against, despite all odds, White racists, murderous colonialists and

    determined genocidists of non-Whites.

    I’m not sure if an ability to read and write are prerequisites any longer for an American teaching credential.

    It doesn’t appear so.

    Bon

  • ProudtobeWhite

    Pat is the voice of reason in a wilderness of ignorance and stupidity. An intelligent politician is a rare commodity in this world. He should run again for POTUS.

  • Anonymous

    Its no accident they are not taught history. As the cultural Marxists know, detach a people from their past and they have no anchor, no heritage. They become a rootless mass to be twisted into anything they like. Look how the British have been brainwashed by the leftists and have had their rich history revised and perverted to make the British into self-haters. All the easier to colonize and control them.

    As for America by 2050 it will be just like Brazil is now. (God knows what Brazil will be like by that time.)

  • N.B. Forrest

    The US has made two fatal mistakes. The first was not re-locating the descendants of the first slaves brought to this country. The second is the on-going open southern border.

    We are no longer the country I was born into, and it is getting worse by the day.

  • Anonymous

    Pat Buchanan is a traitor to the white race in his DENIAL of the obvious.

    There is a education gap because there is a race based IQ gap. His REFUSAL to come out and say it is based on one of 2 reasons, only:

    He knows this but is afraid to say it due to the loss of status and income OR he doesn’t really know it and is therefore too stupid to comment on topics of this nature.

    IQ is a function of race and culture is a function of IQ, thus (simple algebra) culture is a function of race.

    Buchanan and phonies like him (that California Professor who wrote Mexifornia) are dangerous to the white race. They lie to us whites, refuse to discuss RACE, block attempts to discuss race and IQ, and refuse to think their darling little Mexicans (in the case of the CA.Professor) are ruining California BECAUSE THEY ARE MEXICANS.

    As for the standards of teachers: They had to be lowered so Blacks could become “teachers”. Just like school standards had to be lowered to accommodate Africanized students, they entire feeding chain, up and through college, had to be dumbed down so the failure rate would not have been astronomical and so obvious.

    Imagine the white education of the first half of the 1900’s. Imagine if that standard was held after 1965. Black failure in high schools would most likely be 80-90%. Can’t have that. So dumb down the work and only have 50% failure rate.

    As long as we pander to the Africanized people, we will destroy civilization.

  • wake up and stand up

    I need old textbooks that cover history, science, grammar, and math. I want to open my own private Whites only school but for now will have to focus on creating lesson plans. Unlike Bon, I am not a professional teacher, but with the help of professional teachers we could pull this off. My plans also involves creating videos of lesson plans, so that children can learn without needing to go to a physical location. Everyone on amren if you know quite a lot about a useful subject, please compile lesson materials and together we can undermine the efforts of the miseducation unions, and indoctrinational policies of public school systems. I am not interested in monetary profits. I must also get a server and host a private website.

  • cajunrebel87

    3 — white guy wrote at 7:35 PM on June 27:

    “buchanan-talyor 2012! who’s with me?”

    we do need to agree on candidates and form a White voting bloc. what are all our options?

  • Anonymous

    “only 13 percent of New York state’s black students”

    is that not proportional to their population percentage?

  • John Engelman

    A number of years ago I read an article in American Conservative, which Pat Buchanan helped found in 2002, that said that American public schools are performing as well as they always have, and that those who argue otherwise make inappropriate comparisons. For example, in the past a much smaller percentage of Americans graduated from high school, so it is reasonable to expect that several generations ago graduating seniors knew more on the average than they know today.

    I think the article appeared in 2005. I unfortunately no longer have the article. If anyone reading this knows when the article appeared, please tell me.

    Anyway, history scores on the NAEP for grades 4, 8, and 12 have improved steadily since 1994.

    http://nationsreportcard.gov/ushistory_2010/summary.asp

    If anyone wants to take sample NAEP tests, they can do so here:

    http://nationsreportcard.gov/testyourself.asp

    For the twelfth grade I got perfect scores for Civics, Economics, and History, but in mathematics I had forgotten how to calculate the area of a triangle.

  • KP

    The following sentence from the article bothers me:

    “New Economy and knowledge-based professions will be held by Asians and whites, with blacks and Hispanics largely relegated to the service sector.”

    This totally neglects the White service sector that has been the true source for innovation in the past. Sure, some doctors and chemists have come up with some pretty important stuff but it’s the guy on the factory floor and on the farm who built this nation. They, their work ethic and ideas are why so many people work in offices to account for everything.

    It is just wrong to shut out Whites who’d rather make things with their hands than to sit at a desk. What are all the computer jocks going to do when all they have to account for are the doings of the Blacks and Hispanic?

    You USA white collars better watch what’s happening to the hand that feeds you because the Asians ain’t goanna hire no Blacks and Hispanics. That pretty much means they’ll be running the show and don’t think they’ll throw you any scraps. They won’t have any use for White people who require air conditioned offices.

  • BullMarket

    16 — Jake wrote:

    The #1 Poster hit a grand slam. I could not improve on his post if I labored all day. The following is but a small example:

    “My presupposition is that the POTUS Obama is not merely taking rhetorical sides in a state education precipitates, but actively mobilizing his political cadre to affect outcomes in favor of unions, even though nothing that Scott Walker or any other state leaders is doing is in any way antipathetic to federal law.”

    ———-

    I do not agree! Just what does that long, run-un, ungrammatical, garbled non-sentence actually MEAN? It means nothing! It is sheer, rambling babble. You are easily fooled by a few misused big words, my friend, if you think that is a grand slam.

    I notice there seems to be an increase in ramblers and babblers here lately, particularly under the cloak of anonymity, who have nothing of substance to say. Yet they take excruciatingly long to say it. But writing five inarticulate pages of garbled jabber instead of five terse sentences of grammar and logic does not make their arguments any more weighty or impressive. They are just wasting our time. And substituting ten-letter words for five-letter words does not impress me either. Unfortunately, some readers don’t know the difference. (And this is not my, ahem, ‘presupposition’!)

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    It is to turn people off from history

    –allovertheplace

    It is to rewrite and promote a government-sanitized version of history that will mold children into becoming drones of the state.

    This “new” account of American history dehumanizes Whites, claims the notion for the US Constitution was stolen from the Iroquois indian tribe and that the US was built as a “proposition nation” on the backs of non-Whites.

    A typical example of a re-written Amerikan history textbook is Howard Zinn’s Marxist book, A People’s History of the United States.

    Zinn himself explains:

    that he has no interest in striving for objectivity, and that his history is ‘a biased account.’

    ‘I am not troubled by that. I wanted my writing of history and my teaching of history to be a part of the social struggle… history itself is a political act, has always informed my writing and my teaching….there is no such thing as pure fact.’

    Got that?

    It is history presented as a justification for non-White social justice — justice against Whites, that is, as non-Whites are primed to despise and deeply hate “what Whites did to them” according to modern history texts.

    Reviewer Dan Flynn reports:

    More striking than Zinn’s inaccuracies—intentional and otherwise—is what he leaves out.

    Washington’s Farewell Address, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and Reagan’s speech at the Brandenburg Gate all fail to merit a mention. Nowhere do we learn that Americans were first in flight, first to fly across the Atlantic, and first to walk on the moon. Alexander Graham Bell, Jonas Salk, and the Wright Brothers are entirely absent. Instead, the reader is treated to the exploits of Speckled Snake, Joan Baez, and the Berrigan brothers…Gettysburg, and other important military battles are left out. In their place, we get several pages on the My Lai massacre and colorful descriptions of U.S. bombs falling on hotels, air-raid shelters, and markets during the Gulf War of the early 1990s.

    Do you need another reason to home school your children?

    And finally:

    Mr. Brimelow is wrong: This will not end in tears, it will end in ashes.

    Bon

  • Anonymous

    Soviet Republic of New Jersey #8: No one can deny White children a good education, because we are the Educators.

    I suggest that you look into Home Schooling your children. The Home School Legal Defense Fund is there for people who face legal entanglements from the Local, and State Governments.

    Remember, we are the Engineers, Computer Programers, Mechanics, Plumbers, Electricians, Pilots, etc. in this Country. We operate most of the Big Rigs with their supplies of furniture, oil, or food.

    Without us, nothing gets done, and no new inventions, of any use, are invented. Society crashes.

    Let’s withdraw in to ourselves, and have the rest of them fend for themselves. That should prove amusing to see.

  • Question Diversity

    21:

    Your swipe at PJB might seem harsh, but all I can say is that while he has written numerous positive words that we like, any number of books, columns innumerate, and had a chance to say a lot of these words on TV, the simple fact of the matter is that words are cheap, cheaper than dirt, actions are what count, especially actions where nobody is looking and/or doing the wrong thing is rewarding and/or doing the right thing means pain and suffering.

    What do I mean by all that?

    Two words: Ezola Foster.

    When he had the chance on his own, he showed us by his actions that he was not one of us.

    3:

    One thing precluding that ticket is that they live in the same state, Virginia. While it wouldn’t mean that Jared Taylor couldn’t become President and PJB become VP at the same time, it would mean that Virginia’ electoral votes could not go to both at the time of the Electoral College.

  • Anonymous

    I may sound like a conspiracy obsessionist, but I suspect Buchanan of being part of a bipartisan plot to destroy the emerging Reform Party. After two respectable presidential runs with the quixotic Ross Perot, and winning the governorship of Minnesota, the two establishment parties may have become concerned about an outbreak of democracy. Buchanan was an ideal poison pill. He split the Reform party, and gave the Election Finance Committee the excuse to delay (effectively denying) funds to the Reform Party’s presidential campaign. Little has been heard from the Reform party since 2000. If not a plot by the Republicans and Democrats, Buchanan’s candidacy certainly was to their benefit.

  • Anonymous

    And thus Mr. Buchanan, we must leave. For while the news that white students ‘only have to compete with Asians’ should be heartening, we all know it’s not and the reason it’s not is that everyone in this blighted land has falled for the ‘equality of all men’ schlock.

    We are not all equal. We should not pretend to be all equally qualified for the tasks given us. And in a nation where the feelings of 13% of us are allowed to drive the soft emotions of those who put other races _not just equal with but ahead of_ their own, we are doomed.

    Because America is a land of quality through competition.