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Monday, January 17, 2005

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In the category of....

A columnist at the Newton Tab in Massachusetts suggests that school officials there wondering why scores on standardized math tests have plummeted in recent years look no further than recent curriculum changes for an explanation.

About five years ago, writes Tom Mountain, the Newton school district opted to start emphasizing its commitment to "anti-racist education" instead of division, multiplication, fractions and decimals.

According to benchmarks established by administrators, the No. 1 priority for math teachers was teaching "respect for human differences."

Now, administrators are perplexed that scores on sixth-grade standardized tests have declined steadily over the past three years to the point where 32 percent of sixth-graders are now in the "warning" or "needs improvement" category.
Perplexed? Maybe they should go back to school. The "dumbest" cowboy in dusty west Texas could figure this one out.

I'm always comforted, when I read stories like this, that the theory of natural selection will ensure that these idiots will not rule the country.

UPDATE: For a full discussion of the issues, see Gene Expression.