Education is bunk, argues John Derbyshire in New English Review. Kids aren’t that malleable, he argues. The children of uneducated parents will not learn much in school; if they do, it’s because the teachers are “saints and masochists,” who are in short supply.
Genes? What are you, some kind of Klansman or Nazi? No, no, no, the kids are little blank slates for teachers, parents, and politicians to work their magic on, These undesirable outcomes â€” these mysterious test-score gaps, these dropping-outs and delinquencies â€” arise only because we are chanting the wrong spells!
A very good rule of thumb when reading child-development literature is that any study that has not taken careful account of heritable factors â€” by comparing identical twins raised together or separately, fraternal twins ditto ditto, non-twin siblings ditto ditto â€” is utterly and completely worthless. That sentence is (a) true, and (b) guaranteed to get you thrown out of a high window if spoken aloud at any gathering of education theorists.
I’ve seen parents whose older children had failed in school choose a different school for the younger children, who then went on to success. I’ve seen regular people — not “saints and masochists” — enjoy teaching in a well-organized school of choice with longer hours and higher expectations. We have no idea how many low-income students can succeed. We haven’t tried hard enough to teach them.
I’m not sure what Derbyshire would propose for low-income minority students. No schooling at all?
Good instruction makes a difference, writes D-Ed Reckoning.