This essay shares some perspectives on understanding why PAUSD, like many other school districts, has inevitablyfailed in closing the academic achievement gap, what the root causes of school stress are, and why parents engage their kids in supplemental studies. This essay is not meant to slight our respectful teachers. In fact, both teachers and students are undermined by a host of false education doctrines entwined with anti-intellectualism. It is hoped that the message from this essay will prompt the readers to ponder how to pitch in to fight against anti-intellectualism that persists in American schools and to save America as a land of hope and liberty.
- Drowning in Mediocrity
Unsurprisingly, the above diagrams reveal that PAUSD’s biggest academic achievement gap lies in math, which epitomizes the epidemic poor math accomplishment across the 15,000 U.S. public school districts. For the past half-century, America has suffered failure in all endeavors to improve math education. In 1957, the launch of Sputnik spurred public anxiety about America’s math and science education quality. In 1983, the landmark report A Nation at Risk famously spoke of the “rising tide of mediocrity” that threatened American schools. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Education report For Each and Every Child lamented that:
Nearly 30 years later, the tide has come in—and we’re drowning … We have had five ‘education presidents’ and dozens of ‘education governors’ who have championed higher standards, innovative schools, better teaching, rigorous curricula, tougher testing and other education reforms … Americans have debated how to approach our education system and have called for reforms of every description.