Warehouse F

Dumbing Down Of America

The Unseen Enemy
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The Tragedy Of An Uneducated Nation

By James Donahue

A newly published report by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education puts on paper something most Americans already know . . . only children of wealthy parents can afford to attend college.

The report found that college tuition and fees have increased 439 percent from 1982 to 2007, while median family income rose 147 percent. Consequently student borrowing has more than doubled and students from lower income families are getting smaller grants than children from more affluent families.

Patrick M. Callan, center president, said he worries that the educational gap between American workers and the rest of the world will soon make it difficult for U.S. workers to be competitive. “We’re one of the few countries where 25- to 34-year-olds are less educated than older workers,” he said.

Gone are the days when middle income families could dream of sending their children to schools of higher learning. Gone are the dreams of struggling lower class workers who once thought they could afford to give their children a brighter future than they ever had.

The tragedy is that some of our brightest minds are getting left behind in the jungle of a poorly run public school system and college tuition costs that are beyond the reach of most families. Those who do get through college are steeped in debt, and left without prospects for good paying jobs. Thus they begin careers of deficit living, spending much of what they earn paying off those student government loans.

We know of middle-aged graduates still struggling to pay off student loans from their college years.

We noticed a story in the Huffington Post that asked if Albert Einstein was the last great genius. Indeed, most science research is done these days with the help of large government and private grants to entire laboratories, so the great minds are working collectively to solve scientific puzzles. But there are many fine minds operating out there, including the English physicist Stephen Hawking and mathematics whiz John Nash, who have made names for themselves.

But there is a troublesome question here. How many great minds are being lost because of our failed education system and our failure to put the education of our children as a national priority?

Sadly our education system is not designed to single out the genius child and reward them for high academic achievement. These children are, instead, shunned by their peers, ignored and sometimes socially punished by instructors for “being different” or failing to conform to the norm. Consequently the child geniuses are sliding through the cracks, and without guidance, many may be turning to lives of crime and self-destruction.