Some days I find it particularly easy to find a mind-numbing level of stupidity in the liberal media, but I think that Slate.com has finally reached under the proverbial barrel for this one. Allison Benedikt is the managing editor of Slate’s Double X, and finally sets at least one mystery to rest – yes, that site does employ illiterate people as editors. As if to double-down on that particular deficiency, Benedikt even attempts to make the case for educational mediocrity by pointing out that she survived a less-than-stellar educational experience in public school.
People should not send their children to private schools because it hurts public schools. Of course, we’ve known this for years, and have actually considered that almost a good thing. With the advent of cyber-schools, hope that competition will finally force public schools to step up their game has been building. But apparently Benedikt thinks the solution doesn’t lie in competition in the educational market, but in getting everyone to send their children to public schools. It’s a facile argument that is based on the theory parents that actually care about the quality of their child’s education will work within the public school system to improve the schools. I’m guessing that Benedikt not only failed to read the classics, but also failed to learn from what she could have witnessed over the past decade.
Unless you’ve been living under the same rock Benedikt apparently calls home, you already know that President George W. Bush gave us “No Child Left Behind” that lead to radically decreased standards for teacher certifications through his shortcut to the classroom initiative, Common Core curriculum that is being battled across the country, and the dreaded standardized tests that have forced all educators to “teach to the test.”
Of course this could just be a joke, and Slate.com is just going for shock factor with this little rant from Benedikt. Regardless the reasoning, this raises an interesting question about liberal media in general, and Slate.com in particular. If it has gotten to the point where people that really aren’t well-read, literate, and capable of engaging in intelligent conversations on meaningful topics are now creating the content for these outlets, why is anyone giving them any attention whatsoever? Of course it’s not necessary to have an advanced degree to offer tabloid-style entertainment, and that isn’t what I’m referring to here. I mean that if the best Slate.com can offer on an important issue like discouraging people from sending their children to private schools is a woman that freely admits she is undereducated, the fact that their message is coming from her in the first place actually makes the case to do the absolute opposite. Private and parochial schools honestly could take this little commentary, and put it in their marketing packages for prospective families, as an example of what they can guarantee they will not produce.
And then we need to hope that this becomes the cause célèbre of the left. While there is a slight possibility that Benedikt’s sophomoric theory that if all are in the public school system, the strongest will help the rest to rise could happen, it’s far more likely that the weakest will drag everyone else down. We’ve already seen the latter happen for years, which is probably a factor in the increasing popularity of cyber-schools. If liberals do embrace this, then they will be left with mediocre results in the public school system. That means that the thought, business and political leaders of the future will most likely come from the ranks of conservatives, since we all know very well that it’s far better to excel in academic pursuits than it is to accept merely getting by. So, let’s hope that the vast majority of liberals decide that they’re going to save public education by choosing to subject their children to less-than-optimal educational experiences, while we ensure our own children receive stellar educations.