K-12: Defining Education Down

Here again is one of my favorite writers about education, Bruce Deitrick Price — a great connection of education to the famous article “Defining Deviancy Down”:

In 1993, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan published a famous article titled “Defining Deviancy Down,” where he argued that behavior once considered indefensible is now mainstream.

His subtitle was “How We’ve Become Accustomed To Alarming Levels Of Crime And Destructive Behavior.”  Moynihan put forward the thesis that “we have been redefining deviancy so as to exempt much conduct previously stigmatized, and also quietly raising the ‘normal’ level in categories where behavior is now abnormal by any earlier standard.”

A perfect example, inconceivable until it happened, was Anthony Weiner sending erotic pictures of himself to women he didn’t know, and shortly thereafter running for mayor of New York City.  In earlier years, he would have been locked in a stockade and ostracized by the community.  But there he was in 2013, an acceptable Democrat candidate.  That’s a huge shift.

Clearly, the public has been indoctrinated to be more permissive.  Liberals want Americans to feel guilty for preferring traditional standards.  The most obvious examples, as Moynihan noted, are in the fields of crime and punishment.  (Rape and murder used to be capital crimes, almost always.  Now we hear about people spending  five or ten years in jail for even the most serious crimes.)

The next most blatant examples occur in our public school system. Education goals once considered reasonable are now scorned as overly ambitious. Conversely, levels of failure once viewed as unacceptable are now embraced as good enough. Education has been defined downward.

Instead of improving K-12 education, our Education Establishment came up with a different kind of cure: ridicule standards and then eliminate them.  Improvement, although endlessly discussed, no longer seems a serious goal.  Mediocrity is good enough for the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Read more: American Thinker

Image credit: www.theimaginativeconservative.org / photo of Daniel Patrick Moynihan.