miércoles, 15 de julio de 2015

“Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts.” vs. “Just your opinion, child, just your opinion.”

“Defactualization” Is Causing American Schools to Become Bastions of Anti-Intellectualism

by William Jeynes

Truth has been relegated to a secondary position in the nation’s public schools, universities, political forums, and public squares.

Years ago, there was a television show called Dragnet. In this popular drama, which largely reenacted real life events, Sergeant Joe Friday would often say, “Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts.” In today’s public schools, it appears that teachers often ask for the opposite: “Just your opinion, child, just your opinion.” In a public school system that emphasizes the subjective over the objective and opinion over fact, it is no wonder that so many American students lack basic knowledge and yet have opinions galore.

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the nation’s chief test of student achievement, American students score lower in history than any other subject, and their test scores have been declining. On the history test for fourth graders, only 9 percent of students could identify a picture of Abraham Lincoln and give two reasons why he was an important figure. Most twelfth grade students did not know the main ideas and purposes of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Meanwhile, recent data indicate that SAT verbal scores have reached an all-time low.

Most high school students do not realize China’s role in the Cold War and most have little overall knowledge of the Cold War. This is especially disturbing because many historians are asserting that the Ukrainian crisis has led us into Cold War II. Moreover, former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachevdeclared to Time Magazine that the United States and Russia have already entered into a second Cold War over the past few months.
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